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Help your kids overcome their fear of dentists

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.

overcome-fear-dentist

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)


Why does my child get bad breath?

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)


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.


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.


Is your child brushing their teeth twice a day?

Is your child brushing their teeth twice a day?

Proper brushingBased on the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) only 55-60% of children brush two or more times a day. That means about a half of children out there don’t have proper brushing habits – brushing only once a day or not at all.

Also, only 20-26% brush for 2 minutes! Proper brushing occurs two times a day for two minutes.

2 FOR 2 IS WHAT WE DO!!!

We try to go to as many schools and as many classes as we can to teach children when and how to brush. Many can now recite our handy slogan “2 FOR 2 IS WHAT WE DO”.

Here are a few other common things we get asked about:

  • Tooth brushing with an age appropriate tooth brush should start with the eruption of the first tooth.
  • Usually it is also recommended to start using a rice grain size or a smear of fluoride toothpaste at this time as well. This is definitely something to discuss with your dentist at your child’s first visit.
  • We recommend brushing after breakfast and last thing at night.
  • For children that can cough or spit phlegm, a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste can be used.
  • Parents should always assist/brush their children’s teeth for them until about age 8 or when they can tie their shoelaces. The best way to know if they are ready to brush on their own is to watch them brush, watch their coordination and if they are actually getting to all the tooth surfaces.

It is important to be mindful of our children’s dental health from an early age and we hope these proper brushing practises have been helpful to you. A check up as early as the age of one is recommended – click here to schedule your child’s very first appointment with us!

 


What’s the deal with thumb-sucking?

What’s the deal with thumb-sucking?

thumb suckingKids suck their thumbs due to the fact that it’s comforting and calming. Most little ones develop this habit while in the womb, and continue it as an infant. Before you know it, your child is sucking their thumb when tired, scared, bored, sick, etc.

Infants are hard-wired to need and enjoy sucking, even when they aren’t feeding. For some infants this need is much greater than others. Many children discard the habit on their own by their first birthday, when it begins to cause problems is when they continue to suck their thumb beyond four to five years old.

Prolonged thumb sucking may cause the teeth to become improperly aligned, or push the teeth outward. This sometimes will correct itself after the thumb-sucking stops, but the longer it continues, the more likely is that orthodontic treatment will eventually be needed.

Speech problems can also develop with thumb-sucking, such as the child not being able to say T’s and D’s, lisping, and thrusting out the tongue when talking. What many people don’t know is that children can safely suck their thumbs without damaging the alignment of their teeth or jaws until their permanent teeth begin to appear.

Not all thumb-sucking is damaging. Some children intensely suck, thrusting their tongues, that’s what could develop into dental issues down the road. Children who rest their thumbs in their mouth are less likely to have dental problems. It’s important to observe your child’s technique, and determine the intensity of it.

Don’t worry about trying to break the habit when your child is young, but if you begin to notice that their sucking is intensifying, or you notice irregular changes in speech or dental, that’s when you should begin to try and break the habit.

Some ways to begin to crack the habit is by setting rules, or providing distractions to help limit the times or places they are allowed to suck their thumb. You can also put gloves on their hand, or a bandage on their thumb to help remind your child to not suck their thumb. Offer praise and rewards for not thumb-sucking, and make sure to not shame or punish your child if they continue to suck their thumb.

If home treatment doesn’t help break the habit, talk with your child’s doctor or dentist. It is important to keep reminding yourself though that thumb-sucking isn’t a problem in children that are preschool age or younger, most kids will stop on their own if you give them time.


When will my child get their first tooth?

When will my child get their first tooth?

teethingTeething or cutting teeth, when should your child expect to get their first tooth?

Just like any other developmental milestone, this is entirely dependent on the child, and cutting teeth isn’t a milestone they will reach all at once. For some it can take years to complete, but eventually your child’s gummy mouth will be transformed into a mouthful of pearly whites.

Rarely a baby is born with a tooth or two, or even grows a tooth within the first few weeks of life. The majority of children develop their first tooth between 4 and 7 months of age, but just like everything else, there are early bloomers and late bloomers. By age three, your child should have a full set of 20 baby teeth.

Your baby may be in pain and drool for a month or two before their first tooth appears. If your baby’s gums are hurting, you can soothe them by massaging them gently with one finger, or giving them something cold to chew on. The pressure of emerging teeth beneath the gums may be relieved by counter pressure, causing the want and need for babies to chew on things.

When your child’s first tooth peaks through, their gums can become inflamed which can cause their cheeks to appear red and swollen, but teething should never cause your baby illness, therefore if your baby does develop a fever or other symptoms, pay a visit to your doctor.

To give you an idea of the average teething timeline for infants, and when to expect certain teeth to appear:

  • 6 months: lower central incisors
  • 8 months: upper central incisors
  • 10 months: lower and upper lateral incisors
  • 14 months: first molars
  • 18 months: canines
  • 24 months: second molars

 

The development of a first tooth is a big milestone in a child’s life, make sure to monitor the development of each tooth, and if you notice anything abnormal to bring your child in for a visit to your dentist.


What is Xylitol and why is it so important for my child?

What is Xylitol and why is it so important for my child?

Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant material, including fruits and vegetables.

It is extracted from birch wood to make medicine and is widely used as a sugar substitute and in sugar-free candy and gum. It tastes sweet, but it is not converted in the mouth to acids that cause tooth decay like regular sugar. It is added to some chewing gums, candy, and other oral care products to help prevent tooth decay and dry mouth. It does this by reducing the levels of decay-causing bacteria in your saliva. It also lessens the severity and occurrence of inner ear and sinus infections, especially in children.

At least six grams of xylitol per day is thought to be needed for dental efficacy, so how can you start including it in your child’s daily life?

Maternal Chewing
Xylitol gum is obviously not suitable for very young children, but infants can actually benefit from maternal chewing! Studies show that Mothers who used it several times each day, protected their child from tooth decay until the age of 5! It helped reduce the amount of microorganisms transmitted from Mother to child.

Sugar Substitute
Once a child reaches toddlerhood, xylitol can be consumed as a sugar substitute or as a natural byproduct through eating fruits and vegetables. A sugar substitute can be dissolved in water and drank, or for young infants can be used on a wipe which can be applied to a child’s gums.

Gum and Candy
Older children can reduce the threat of cavities from developing by chewing xylitol gum, such as Trident. Early studies even show that compared to chewing regular sucrose-flavored gum, xylitol resulted in nearly two fewer cavities or missing teeth.

There are also a wide variety of products such as lozenges, and lollipops available that include xylitol. Check out: http://www.xylitolcanada.com/

Incorporating it into your child’s daily life can be easy and can help improve your child’s dental health. For more information on the use of xylitol in your child’s diet, contact your dentist.


Kids Dental | Richmond Hill | Markham | Stouffville