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The Legend of the Tooth Fairy

Have you ever stopped to think about the origin of the Tooth Fairy? Most parents continue the tooth fairy tradition without question. But you may be surprised to know that she has a long and deep history rooted in several traditions around the world.

tooth-fairy-legend

 

Hundreds of years ago, Europeans believed that a witch could gain control over you if she obtained a part of your body. Out of fear, parents threw their children’s baby teeth in the fire as quickly as possible.

Over the following years, as superstitions around witches wore off, parents would choose to bury the tooth instead; in hopes that burying the tooth would spare the child from experiencing hardships in their adult life. Other cultures believed that if their children’s baby teeth were buried in the garden, it would encourage healthy adult teeth to grow in their place.

It wasn’t until the 18th-century French fairy tale, La Bonne Petite Souris was publicized, that putting baby teeth under a child’s pillow became a tradition. The story goes, a bad king kept a good queen imprisoned and her only hope of escaping was help from a friendly mouse. To the queen’s surprise, the mouse was actually a fairy in disguise! The fairy freed the queen and knocked out the king’s teeth for revenge. She then hid the teeth under the king’s pillow before calling the guards on him.

In the last few hundred years, La Bonne Petite Souris gained worldwide popularity and has been changed slightly to suit the individual differences of each culture. In North America, the Tooth Fairy leaves money under the child’s pillow in exchange for lost tooth. It’s believed that this practice began to teach children about monetization and trade.

Unfortunately, by the age of five or six, when most children lose their teeth, they are already skeptical of mystical creatures. Especially ones that sneak into their rooms at night and take teeth from under their pillow without them noticing!

Despite this, there are interesting ways that parents can keep the Tooth Fairy tradition going for as long as your children would like. Here are a few ideas:

1. Leave a small gift to reinforce oral hygiene, such as toothpaste or a new toothbrush.
2. Leave a special note or certificate under your child’s pillow, along with money to commemorate the occasion.
3. Sprinkle sparkles or feathers around your child’s room as proof the Tooth Fairy stopped by.
4. If you’re worried you child might see the Tooth Fairy when retrieving the tooth, reserve a special jar of the box for missing teeth next to their bed.

Do you have a Tooth Fairy Tradition from your childhood? Share your stories on our Facebook Page

For concerns about missing or losing teeth, don’t hesitate to contact us at our Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642) location. We would love to hear from you!


Why is saliva important for my child’s health?

Saliva is the most important ingredient in the digestive system. Many parents underestimate the the importance of saliva, but it is vital to many of your child’s bodily functions.

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Saliva serves a number of purposes including:

  •     Acting as a natural mouth disinfectant
  •     Helping to keep gums healthy by keeping them hydrated
  •     Preventing tooth decay
  •     Washing away food particles
  •     Carrying natural disease-fighting chemicals to prevent infections and cavities
  •     Fighting germs in your mouth and preventing bad breath

 
Healthy saliva is essential to your child’s oral and overall health. Without a healthy amount of saliva, your child is at risk of a number of health concerns, some of which can cause long term damage, such as tooth decay. Daily functions such as swallowing and even tasting food, would also become difficult.

Our salivary glands are located on the inside of each cheek, at the bottom of the mouth and behind our upper row of teeth, towards the back of the mouth. Throughout the day, our salivary glands secrete saliva into our mouths.  It is mostly made of water, but it also contains chemicals that help your child digest food and keep their teeth healthy. The average healthy child over the age of eight should produce one to two litres of saliva a day. Children under the age of eight may produce more saliva, and because their muscles are not fully developed, they also have less control over swallowing.

If your child breathes through their mouth, they may experience dry mouth. Encourage them to inhale and exhale through the nose to keep their mouth hydrates and healthy. Dry mouth is also  often a reaction to medication your child may be taking. Medications used to treat allergies, pain, diarrhea, and some others can cause the body to slow saliva production. It’s best to speak to your family doctor to get an individual diagnosis.

If you are concerned about your child’s overall oral health, don’t hesitate to give us a call and arrange a free consultation.  You can contact us at our Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642) location. We would love to hear from you!


Should My Child Drink Water To Improve Oral Health?

Parents know that drinking water regularly is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only does water help to transport nutrients in our bodies and regulate body temperature, but our oral health would be at risk without it. Kids Dental Group pediatricians recommend making water your child’s go-to choice as well. While sugary, acidic drinks are harmful to oral and general health, water has limitless benefits.

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Water strengthens teeth:

In most neighbourhoods in North America, tap water contains a naturally-occurring mineral called Fluoride. Fluoride has been shown to prevent tooth decay and reduce the chances of cavities by over 50%. Some even say the fluoride is nature’s “cavity fighter”. Drinking water with fluoride is one of the easiest things your child can do to maintain oral health.

Although there is controversy about fluoridation, several international health organizations including World Health Organization and The Centre for Disease Control support fluoridated water.

Water cleans the mouth:

Throughout the day, food particles and natural bacteria coat the teeth. If this debris is not removed soon after eating, it can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Fortunately, drinking water regularly helps to wash damaging particles off teeth and displace bacteria. It’s an easy way to for your child to quickly clean their teeth between brushing.

Water creates saliva:

Saliva is the body’s way of defending the mouth from tooth decay. It helps to balance the Ph level of the mouth by washing away food, allows you to swallow with ease and provides the teeth with strengthening calcium. The proteins and minerals in Saliva even counteract enamel-damaging acids. Saliva is also made of 95% water, meaning your child must consume a significant amount water in order to produce it.

When your child is well hydrated, saliva can get to work!

In addition, water is extremely healthy. No juice or soda is as pure as water: it has no calories and no sugar!

Above are only a few of the ways drinking water can benefit your child’s oral health.

To learn more about health drink options for your child, contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


Why Are X-Rays Important?

Sometimes your child’s pediatric dentist will use X-rays to get a closer look at your child’s teeth. In simple terms, dental x-rays allow dentists to take a detailed picture of the teeth, bones, and soft tissues in your child’s mouth and jaw. In children, X-rays are often used as a preventative measure to allow dentists to foresee any potential issues before they become a larger problem. Dentists need x-rays to see areas of the teeth that are not usually visible to the eye, including the root of the tooth and bones in the jaw.

importance-of-dental-X-rays

What issues can dental X-rays help with?

  • Locate damage to the mouth including injuries to individual teeth and the jaw bones
  • Spot teeth that are not developing in the wrong place or position before they break through the gums
  • Find tumors or abscesses
  • Check the locations of adult teeth in children that currently have baby teeth
  • Plan treatment for large procedures including difficult tooth removals and severe cavities
  • Catch infections that develop under the gums

What happens when my child gets an X-ray?

Dental X-rays are taken in designated areas in our offices. The process is totally painless and usually takes less than five minutes.

  1. Your child’s dentist will encourage them to sit upright before covering their midsection with a lead apron. This lead apron shields your child from X-rays and radiation.
  2. Other dentists in the room will wear a protective mask and stand behind a protective shield.
  3. Your Kids Dental Group dentist will give your child and small piece of plastic to bite on. This plastic holds X-ray film to help get a close-up picture of the teeth.
  4. Your child may want to rinse their mouth after the X-ray is complete.

Are dental X-rays safe?

With today’s digital X-ray equipment and detailed research on radiation safety, safe low-dose X-rays are possible.

In fact, the amount of radiation used during a dental X-ray is so small it won’t affect your child.

Kids Dental Group pediatric dentists follow the follow the ALARA principle, which means “As Low As Reasonably Achievable,” when obtaining radiographs. This principle limits your child’s exposure to radiation.

We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about your child’s X-rays. 

Contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now. We look forward to having you!

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


Help your kids overcome their fear of dentists

Many children experience anxiety or fear about going to the dentist. Going to the dentist can seem intimidating and uncomfortable, especially for young children. At Kids Dental Group, we are trained to deal with young people and are experienced in treating children that are fearful of the dentist. In our care, your child will feel as safe and comfortable as possible.

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To ease your child’s next visit to the dentist, we suggest the following tips:

Don’t share your fears with your child

It’s no secret that children are easily influenced, especially by parents. Even with the best intentions, sharing your fear of the dentist with your child can cause them to carry those fears into their future appointments.

Be aware of your behaviour, attitude and language when around your kids before and after visiting the dentist. Children will pick up on your anxiety and nervousness, possibly ruining their dentist experience. Help your child have the most positive experience they can by inspiring positive images of the dentist. Teach your child that regular visits to the dentist are a normal part of everyone’s oral health routine, not something to be scared of.

Play pretend

Help your child warm up to the idea of visiting the dentist by playing a pretend dentist game. Allow your child to take on the role of the dentist and “check” your teeth using a mirror. Let them role-play by using a toothbrush and floss on their dolls or stuffed animals. This will allow them to get familiar with the process of visiting the dentist and become comfortable with routine procedures. Additionally, children will understand how they are expected to behave in the dentist’s chair.

Trust your Kids Dental Group pediatrician

Kids Dental Group staff have developed their own proven techniques to help your child get through a difficult experience. Allow your child to become comfortable around their pediatrician by encouraging them to listen closely and engage in conversation. We will gladly walk you and your child through every visit before beginning.

In case your child has complex or sensitive questions, allow your pediatrician to answer them. We know how to describe things to children in an approachable, non-threatening way using simple language.

There’s no need to fear, book your child’s visit to the pediatrician now.

Contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now. We look forward to having you!

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


How do sports drinks affect your child’s oral health?

sports-drinks-children

What are sports drinks?

The term  “​sports drink​” can include anything from vitamin waters to highly caffeinated energy drinks​. It’s important to distinguish between caffeinated energy drinks and sports drinks, which generally don’t have caffeine.

Sports Drinks vs. Energy Drinks

The caffeine in most energy drinks can cause a variety of health concerns in children. This includes:

● Interference with sleep

● Anxiety and nervousness

● Raised heartbeats

● Headaches

● Difficulty concentrating

● Frequent urination

How do sports drinks work?

Sports drinks, on the other hand, use electrolytes to increase energy. Our bodies use electrolytes to maintain our nerve and muscle function, hydration, muscle repair and blood pressure. When children sweat during exercise, they lose these electrolytes. Additionally, the sodium and sugar in sports drinks replace salt lost in perspiration and keep energy levels up.

Sports drinks can be beneficial, but they should be consumed in moderation. A child needs to have done vigorous exercise (such as cross-country running, skating, soccer, basketball etc.) for an hour before it’s necessary to replenish with a sports drink. Otherwise, the high amounts of sugar can increase the risk of ​weight gain​ and tooth decay. For most children, water is the better option for good oral health and physical wellbeing.

How do sports drinks affect oral health?

The sugar in sports drinks creates unhealthy acids that coat the teeth and build a sticky, damaging deposit called plaque. The bacteria in plaque produces acids that can ruin the protective surface of the tooth, called enamel. Over time, as a result of this damage, tooth decay will occur.

Of all age groups, teens are most heavily affected by tooth decay resulting from sports drinks. After adult teeth have come in, damage to the enamel is irreversible. Without the protective layer of enamel, teeth are prone to increased sensitivity and cavities.

Protecting your child’s teeth from sports drinks

Besides cutting out sports drinks entirely, there are other measures that you can take to protect your child’s oral health:

1. Chew sugar-free gum: Sugar-free gum will help to increase saliva production exponentially. The healthy bacteria in saliva helps to protect the mouth and teeth from damaging sugar and acids.

2. Brush an hour after drinking:  Brushing your teeth after consuming sugary foods is one of the best ways to combat tooth decay. However, children should wait at ​least an hour after consuming sugary drinks before brushing their teeth. Brushing too soon can spread harmful acids into the grooves of the teeth where they are difficult to remove.

As parents, we know that you want you child to succeed in sports, but it is important not to encourage kids to believe they need a sports drink to perform at their best. Be careful not to make sports drinks your child’s go-to source of energy or as a reward for a good performance. Like soda, children can become addicted to the sugar in sports drinks.

The best place for your child to get the necessary nutrients to live an active lifestyle is from balanced meals. Kids that eat natural foods, drink water throughout the day and get enough physical activity, will naturally have energy.

If you are concerned about damage to your child’s teeth from sports drinks, your Kids Dental Group pediatric and orthodontic specialists can advise you on how to proceed.

Contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now. We look forward to having you!

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


Should I brush my child’s teeth for them?

As your child develops adult teeth, it is especially important to maintain healthy brushing habits. But pushing your child to brush their own teeth before they’re ready is one of the biggest oral healthcare mistakes parents can make. Some children may not be mature enough yet to brush their teeth properly. Your Kids Dental Group pediatric dentists can advise you how to brush your child’s teeth properly until it is time for them to do it on their own.

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Signs that your child’s teeth are not being brushed properly:

  • White film, otherwise known as plaque, covering your child’s teeth
  • Red and swollen gums that could likely be a sign of gingivitis

How to Brush Your Child’s Teeth:

  1. Put a small, pea sized amount of toothpaste on a soft children’s brush.
  1. Stand behind your child and tilt their head slightly backwards, so you can see all the surfaces of your child’s teeth.
  1. Move the brush in gentle circles, angled towards the gums. Be sure to clean both the inner and outer sides of the teeth.
  1. Move the toothbrush back and forth on the chewing surface of the teeth.
  1. After cleaning all of the teeth, gently sweep the the toothbrush downwards on your child’s tongue, being sure not to reach too far back.
  1. Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste and rise with water.

Signs that kids can brush their teeth on their own:

  1. They have reached the age between 6 to 9: This is typically the age range that children can comfortably transition from having their teeth brushed by their parents, to brushing on their own.
  1. They prove they are responsible: A child that can manage personal responsibilities such as cleaning their rooms or completing homework on on time, can likely take on the responsibility of brushing their teeth twice a day.
  1. They pass your tests: Check your child’s teeth after they are done brushing. Are their teeth and tongue sparkling clean? Gaining your approval is the most important test of all!

Are your concerned that your child’s teeth are not brushed properly? Are your child’s teeth unclean even with regular brushing?

Contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now and we will find the solution you need.!

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


Signs that my child may need orthodontic treatment

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Orthodontics can be an intimidating topic for children and parents, if your child  visits the dentist regularly they will be able to determine whether it is the right time for your child to see an orthodontist.  At Kids Dental Group we recommend the first orthodontic check-up at the age of 7 and up, if you are concerned prior to that time, please feel free to contact or schedule a FREE orthodontic consultation at one of our locations nearest to you. Keep in mind, there are many indicators that your child needs braces that are not as obvious. See below for some obvious conditions / symptoms that may indicate that your child needs braces:

Leave your concerns with us.

Contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now!

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


Why does my child get bad breath?

Bad breath, also known as Halitosis, is a condition that even the healthiest children experience. There are hundreds of types of bacteria in the mouth and many causes of bad breath.

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See below for some common causes of Halitosis in your children:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath in children. When plaque and bacteria are not brushed away, it can irritate and infect the gums, leading to bad breath. We recommend scheduling an appointment with a Kids Dental Group pediatric specialists for regular teeth cleanings and an exam.

Tongue

The grooves of your child’s tongue can house bacteria that result in foul breath. It is important to remember to brush your child’s tongue as well as their teeth to prevent the accumulation of odour causing bacteria.

Sinus Infection

If your child continues to have bad breath after maintaining a consistent oral health routine, it may be an indicator of sinus infection. Schedule an check-up with your child’s pediatrician.

Dry Mouth

When your child’s mouth is producing less saliva than normal, this may contribute to bad breath. In a healthy mouth, saliva helps to clean the mouth and break-down bacteria in food. It is important to keep your child hydrated.

A Foreign Object

Very young children often place foreign items (toys, food pieces, nick-nacks) in their nose. If your child’s nostrils are running and they have bad breath, this could be an indicator of a foreign object stuck in their nose. In this case seek medical assistance immediately.

If you are still halitosis, schedule a consultation with one of our pediatric dentists today!

Contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now!

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


Common Bite Disorders That Indicate It Is Time To Visit The Orthodontist

At Kids Dental Group, we treat a number of common bite disorders, referred to as malocclusions. If your child suffers from any of the bite problems below, it may be time to schedule your Orthodontic consultation.

common-bite-disorders

Underbite:

An underbite in a condition where the lower teeth and jaw protrude beyond the upper teeth. This causes the lower teeth to overlap the top teeth. For the most part, underbite is a hereditary condition. If you or somebody in your immediate family have an underbite, your child may develop one as well. Underbites can also be caused by thumb sucking or the long-term use of a baby bottle.

Upper Front Teeth Protrusion:

Protruding front teeth, otherwise known as buck teeth, occur when the teeth in the top jaw protrudes over the bottom lip. Like underbites, buck teeth are often caused by genetics. Habits such as thumb sucking and prolonged use of a pacifier can also be to blame.

Crowding:

Crowding occurs when the jaw cannot accommodate all of the teeth in the mouth. Teeth have insufficient room to grow out of the gum and may over lap or turn side-ways as a result. The cause of crowding may be as simple as the shape and size of the jaw. Alternatively, if your child uses a pacifier or sucks their thumb, this may lead to crowding.

Overbite:

Overbite is a condition where the upper teeth dramatically overlap the bottom teeth. When overbite is severe, it can be referred to as retrognathic or a deep bite. Sometimes overbites are hereditary, while others are caused by a malformed jaw.

Openbite:

Openbite occurs when the top and bottom teeth do not overlap. Even with the mouth closed, the top and bottom front teeth do not touch.  Open bites may be caused by common childhood habits such as thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting. Sometimes it is caused by genetic skeletal issues such as excessive development of the molars or jawbones.

Midlines:

It is obvious that dental midlines do not match when the top and bottom back teeth do not match up. Over time, this can lead to jaw pain and other dental issues. Usually, a distorted midline is caused by bad sucking habits and asymmetrical chewing habits.

Have you noticed any of these bite disorders in your child? Our orthodontists are experts in children’s bite disorders and will ensure that you and your child are extremely satisfied with treatment.

Contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now!

Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642)


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