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The Legend of the Tooth Fairy

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?

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.

importance-of-saliva

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 I brush my child’s teeth for them?

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)


What is enamel erosion and how can I prevent it for my child?

What is enamel erosion and how can I prevent it for my child?

Enamel-Erosion-Prevention

What is enamel?

Enamel is a clear, hard layer of mineral that coats teeth to protect them from daily damage. Because of enamel, our teeth are not easily damaged from chewing and grinding. It prevents tooth pain by shielding your child’s teeth from hot or cold drinks and food.

What is enamel erosion?

Enamel erosion occurs when acid damages the protectant layers of enamel. Every time your child drinks or eats something acidic, the enamel becomes a bit softer and losses some of its mineral content. Saliva usually helps to break down harmful acid and bacteria that cause erosion. However, if your child eats too many acidic foods on a daily basis, the saliva in their mouth will not have enough time to do its job and small pieces of enamel will be brushed away.

What causes enamel erosion?

There are two main causes : acidic and sugary foods.

The worst culprit in children’s diets is soft drinks or juice with a high sugar content. The sugars in these drinks are destructive to your child’s teeth and will contribute to erosion and decay. Beware of the several different names for sugar – all of which are damaging to the teeth. Some examples are fructose, honey, glucose and corn syrup.

Some babies may experience it if their mother had a poor diet during pregnancy or because of other genetic reasons.

The following symptoms may be warning signs of enamel erosion:

  • Pain when eating hot, cold or sweet food and drink
  • Rough or uneven edges of the teeth (which may be prone to crack or chip)
  • Discoloration and thinning
  • Dulling of the teeth
  • Hollows on the tooth surface and biting edges
  • Exposed dentine (the darker, yellow colour under the enamel)

 

How can I prevent enamel erosion for my child?

The most important rule to prevent enamel erosion is to feed your child a healthy and balanced diet with minimal sugary/acidic drinks and foods. If you give your child a sugary drink or food, serve it with a meal and encourage them to rinse their mouth after eating. Drinking through a straw is also helpful because liquid will be pushed to the back of the mouth, minimizing contact with the teeth and reducing possible damage.

Plain non-carbonated water or milk are best for enamel health. Milk and other dairy products form a sticky film over teeth to counteract acid in our mouths.

You may consider asking one of our dentists if they would recommend a fluoride treatment. This painless treatment will help your child build stronger teeth.

Is enamel erosion repairable?

No. Enamel is a mineral, meaning the body cannot grow it back. Once it has been damaged through erosion, that loss is permanent. Remember, prevention is always better than correction.

Are you worried your child may be experiencing enamel erosion? Book an appointment with our pediatric dental specialists at one of our three locations:

Markham 905.294.0995 | Richmond Hill 905.709.3888 | Stouffville 905.642.3642


Ease Your Child Off The Pacifier

Ease Your Child Off The Pacifier

techniques for easing your child away from the pacifier

A pacifier is a quick fix for a crying baby. However, parents should know when and how to break their child’s pacifier habits.

When Should You Take The Pacifier Away?

Some experts say parents should take the pacifier away when their child turns one, while others suggest that children can use it up to the age of four without negative consequences.

You should be aware that the longer a pacifier is a part of your child’s daily routine, the more difficult it will be to separate them from it. Take it away sooner rather than later to minimize difficulty.

Here are some techniques for easing your child away from the pacifier:

The Gradual Approach:

Remove the pacifier when your child is in a non-stressful situation, such as when they are playing at home. Once your child has adapted to being without the pacifier at home, you can encourage them not to use the pacifier outside of the house. From then on, only allow the pacifier in the crib or around bedtime. If your child is old enough you can explain to them that they no longer need the pacifier for bedtime, as they are too old to sleep with it.

Cold Turkey:

Be prepared to deal with nights of crying and tantrums if you suddenly take away your child’s soother. Remember to be persistent and not to give in. If you hand your child the pacifier after they’ve thrown a tantrum, they will learn that they can get what they want by putting up a fight.

Prepare your child by letting them know ahead of time that their pacifier will be taken away on a certain date or event. Using a line such as, “Your birthday will be your last day with your binky”, will prepare them and minimize kickback.

Make It Taste Bad:

Sprinkling a safe but bad tasting food (not hot sauce) on your child’s pacifier will deter them from reaching for it next time. After a while, you will find that they don’t want their soother anymore.

Story Time:

Assist your child in the process of removing their pacifier by reading to them about other children doing the same. There are a number of books on the market that are written for this purpose.

The most popular books include:

Bye-Bye Binky by Maria van Lieshout

Binky by Leslie Patricelli

Pacifiers are not Forever by Elizabeth Verdick and Marieka Heinlen

 

If these techniques do not work for your child, please contact our office to book a consultation with a Kids Dental Group pediatric specialist.


The First Facility Dog Working In A Dental Setting In Ontario

The First Facility Dog Working In A Dental Setting In Ontario

Mango – The ‘tail’ of a dog who loves to make you smile

 

Kids_Dental_Therapy_DogThe friendliest, and funniest, member at Kids Dental Group isn’t a doctor, hygienist, assistant or receptionist. She’s furry, soft and four years old. Meet National Service Dog (NSD) Mango, our very own Facility Dog. Here’s Mango’s story.

When Mango was born on April 4th, 2012, the National Service Dogs Association knew she was special. As a puppy, it was clear that Mango knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. A dog that loves to make people smile. To achieve this goal, Mango went through some pretty amazing training. She was specially trained and placed by professionals for her high level of obedience, great temperament and unique skills. Thanks to her training, Mango knows how to provide therapy to kids, specifically in a dental setting.

After anxiously waiting for a year for the right facility dog for our clinic, National Service Dogs found the perfect fit for Kids Dental Group! Mango came to visit our office and waggled her tail during the whole visit. She chose us as her home and we couldn’t be more excited. Today, Kids Dental Group is very proud to have NSD Mango as the first Facility Dog working in a dental setting in Ontario!

Dentist_Therapy_Dog_Ontario

Mango’s work is magic. She can instantly stop tears, fears and any jitters that you might have coming to the dentist. Most kids love when she sits on dental chairs with them – some kids even rest their legs on her during a checkup! This really helps to alleviate any anxiety and even to create some smiles. Here are some other neat facts about NSD Mango:

What type of dog is she? Black Labrador

Where does she live? Mango lives at Dr. Zee’s house. Dr. Zee is her foster mom

What is Mango’s favourite birthday gift? Anything squeaky

Does she get her teeth cleaned too? Absolutely! Mango sits still while the team cleans her teeth

kids_dental_richmond_hill_therapy_dog

Mango is very clean and well behaved. She knows to come to you only when she is needed. When Mango is wearing her national service dog coat she is “working.” Mango is so well trained that when she’s working, she walks slowly, doesn’t bark or jump to help everyone feel calm. If you want to meet her, just let her know. She loves to shake a paw.

If you can’t find Mango, don’t worry. She’ll be back soon. Mango is likely outside ‘doing her business’ or just taking a lunchtime walk. If not, Mango could be in the backroom snacking on her favourite food – fruit! (We like to think that’s how she got her name).

If your child would like to spend time with Mango during the next orthodontic or pediatric appointment, please call our Richmond Hill, Markham or Stouffville office to inform the receptionist.


Cavities in Kids: Is my child at risk?

Cavities in Kids: Is my child at risk?

kids cavitiesCavities, or tooth decay, is one of the most common childhood diseases. It can happen when bacteria in mouths react with carbohydrates left on teeth and producing acid. These acids dissolve the tooth enamel over time and leads to cavities.

How do I know if my child has cavities?

Did you know that cavities grow a lot faster in children, and can form in just a few months, that’s why it is so important to take your children for regular dental checkups. When cavities are small, they do not cause any symptoms. But left untreated, it will hurt. Your child may complain of discomfort while chewing, and sensitivity to cold and hot foods. Some children may have a hard time verbalizing their discomfort, so instead of informing their parents of toothache, they may choose to eat softer foods, which irritates the teeth less.

 

Here are some main risk factors for cavities in children:

  • Falling asleep with a baby bottle

This is one of the most common reasons for tooth decay that we see here at Kids Dental Group. When a child falls asleep with their baby bottle, whatever they drank will remain on teeth for hours while your baby sleeps, providing food source for acid-producing bacteria. One of the most common complaints we hear from parents is that “my baby will only sleep if I give him/her their bottle”. We understand how hard it is, and at your child’s dental checkup, we can provide helpful tips to avoid the habit of night-time bottle feeding.

  • Breast-feeding on demand

Don’t get us wrong – we are huge fans of breast-feeding. Although breast milk alone does not cause tooth decay, breast milk in conjunction with other carbohydrate containing foods can cause cavities, especially when feeding is frequent.

  • Inadequate brushing and flossing

Your children may not be old enough to do their own brushing and flossing, and they may be missing the hard to reach locations. As a result, plaque remains on the teeth, which can lead to tooth decay.

  • Not getting enough fluoride.

Fluoride helps prevent cavities, and sometimes, it can even reverse the earliest stages of acid damage to teeth. In City of Toronto, Richmond Hill and Markham, fluoride is added to the public water supply. However, fluoride isn’t added to public drinking water in Stouffville. Bottled water and water from reverse osmosis water filters, also do not have adequate levels of fluoride. During your child’s dental cleaning at Kids Dental Group, we apply topical fluoride treatment, which strengthens their enamel to help fight against cavities.

  • Frequent snacking and juice intake

When a child is constantly snacking or drinking juice, the bacteria in their mouth is getting a steady supply of fuel to produce acid that wears away at their teeth. Imagine your child’s teeth bathed in acid all through the day, this surely will increase the chance of them developing cavities.

  • Anatomy and shape of the teeth

Some kids naturally have teeth that have lots of pits and grooves on them. Some grooves and pits are so deep, that they can collect food, making them very hard to clean. Fortunately, there is a solution for that. At our clinic, many patients have sealants, a protective layer over the grooves, placed on their teeth by our experienced staff. Sealants can decrease the rate of cavities on these teeth significantly.

 

Let’s help your child fight tooth decay together with a few simple steps:

As we mentioned before, your child may not be old enough to brush and floss on their own. Here are some helpful hints to get them started (link to dr. Heder’s blog for 2 for 2 is what we do and why floss)

  • Help your child cut down on snacks and juice

Everything in moderation! We are not saying no treats at all, but a treat is no longer a treat if a child gets it anytime they want.

  • Take your child to their pediatrics dentist every 6 months for cleaning and checkups

Because prevention is the best medicine and your pediatric dentist can help detect cavities before they start hurting your child, and give you helpful individualized tips on how to take care of your child’s teeth. We are happy to have you as part of our Kids Dental Group home.

 


Does My Child Need to See a Pediatric Dentist?

Does My Child Need to See a Pediatric Dentist?

pediatric dentistWhen you’re taking your toddler to the dentist for the first time, you might wonder if you should visit your general dentist or find a pediatric provider.


What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric dentists are dentists with an additional 2-3 years of formal education in children’s care techniques. Their training focuses on child-specific treatment methods for infants through adolescents. As such, they’re better equipped to handle conditions such as:

• Behavioural techniques to limit anxiety or fear of the dentist
• Special health concerns in children (such as Down’s syndrome, ADHD, or Autism)
• Interceptive treatments, like space maintainers or help with thumb sucking
• Developmental and restorative concerns of primary (baby) teeth
• Sedation techniques for younger patients

Most family dentists may not have the additional training required to treat children at a young age and restore baby teeth, especially if the child is nervous. Therefore it’s recommended that your child see a pediatric specialist for their care.

Something Your Child Can Look Forward To

Our pediatric dental office is set up in a way that is actually fun for your child to visit. We tailor everything to your child’s comfort level, and use age-appropriate communication to educate your child on caring for his or her smile.

Plus, our office is designed to fit smaller bodies comfortably in our chairs, with plenty of room for mom, dad, and even a stroller.

Creating a positive outlook on dental care is one of the most important steps in encouraging a healthy smile as your child grows up. When he or she actually enjoys visiting the dentist, they look back fondly on the time they spend with us. This also means they won’t be afraid of seeing someone else when they’re grown.

Something for Every Stage of Growth

Whether your child is just now getting their first tooth, or it’s time for your teenager to get braces – Kids Dental Group has everything you need. From check-ups and cleanings to fillings and orthodontics – we’re your family’s comfortable, convenient choice for pediatric care.

Call Kids Dental today to schedule your family’s first visit with our pediatric and orthodontic specialists. We’ll help your child keep his or her smile healthy for life!

Richmond Hill
905 709 3888

Markham
905 294 0995

Stouffville
905 642 3642


Kids Dental – Pediatric and Orthodontic Specialists – Now in Markham

Kids Dental – Pediatric and Orthodontic Specialists – Now in Markham

Pediatric and Orthodontic Specialists MarkhamKids Dental Group is proud to announce that we’ve opened a new pediatric and orthodontic specialists practice in your neighbourhood. Situated on Highway 7 between Markham Main Street and McCowan Road, Kids Dental recently took over Laski Orthodontics, which has provided orthodontic care to the Markham area for over 30 years.

Kids Dental will continue to offer orthodontics at this location and in addition we also offer pediatric dentistry as well. As a dual-specialty dental clinic (Pediatric and Orthodontic Specialists), Kids Dental can seamlessly treat your child from their first dental exam right through their teens – from checkups and cleanings, to fillings and braces.

Kids Dental provides a very unique dental environment for your kids – providing high quality care in a fun and safe environment. Your kids will truly enjoy our photo booth, ice cream machine, and of course Mango our onsite service dog!

The Kids Dental Team recommends dental check-ups for kids at age one and orthodontic consults at age seven. Call us today to set up a consultation; we look forward to hearing from you.

We also invite you to check us out by visiting more pages on the site. Start by checking out our the Kids Dental team.


Why you need to floss your child’s teeth

Why you need to floss your child’s teeth

floss your child’s teeth“It is important to floss your child’s teeth” – many times we have parents who are surprised when we tell them this bit of advice. What we need to remember is that some baby teeth do not fall out until the age of 12, so they are just as important as adult teeth!

Why do we need to floss?

The toothbrush can get to all the surfaces of the teeth, unless teeth are touching each other. Once the teeth are in contact, the brush bristles are not small enough to get to those ‘in between’ areas, and the only way to clean those surfaces is by flossing. This usually occurs anywhere between age 2-4 in back baby teeth, and even earlier in the front. So flossing is just as important as brushing.

How often do we need to floss?

The best way to floss is after each meal, however, with our busy lives, flossing at night during the evening brushing time is good enough. Using floss sticks is much easier for parents then using the string floss.

How do we floss?

The best way is to have a demonstration at the dental office. In general you want to see-saw the floss in below the contact and then pull the floss straight up.

What happens if we do not floss?

Gingivitis and inflammation of dental papilla (bleeding between the teeth) is the most common effect of not flossing. However, it is also common to get cavities between the teeth. These cavities can only be detected with xrays, unless they are already very large.

 


Kids Dental | Richmond Hill | Markham | Stouffville