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5 Tips to Ease Teething Pains

5 Tips to Ease Teething Pains

Teething is a painful process—for parents and babies alike! With 20 primary teeth in total, arguably the first ones hurt the most. Your child’s teeth may start coming in anywhere between 5-12 months, yet signs of discomfort may show even earlier than 6 months as the jagged edges of teeth start to push against the gums.

Ease Teething Pains

The first teeth to cut through are typically the two bottom fronts (central incisors), then the four upper teeth (central and lateral incisors). The (back) molars usually show up shortly after the baby’s first birthday, followed by the pointed teeth between the molars and incisors (canines). The second set of molars arrives behind the first set at around age 2. Sometimes there is no clear teething pattern, with teeth appearing in ‘batches,’ and there is rarely cause for concern.

While your baby is teething you can expect plenty of irritability, drooling, and swollen gums. Your child will begin mouthing any object in sight, so be sure to keep any dangerous items well out of reach. It may be helpful to keep a bib on your child during the day to soak up all that saliva. You may also notice a rash around the mouth at this stage. Pat the area around the mouth to keep it as dry as possible.

During this time, babies may experience a loss in appetite and have trouble sleeping. Some parents even report ear pain, diarrhea, and low-grade fever in their teething infant. Be mindful, a fever that is persistent or above 101 degrees will requires a visit to your child’s doctor, as the cause is unlikely to be related to teething.

Teething TLC

  1. Massage

Gently rub your child’s gums with a clean finger or a wet cloth. Light pressure feels good and soothes sore gums.

  1. Chill

A cold compress helps reduce inflammation. Try having your baby suck on a chilled, twisted cloth or teething ring. Bear in mind that chilled items will only stay cool for around 20 minutes, so you may wish to keep, and rotate, a few teething rings in the fridge.

  1. Gnaw

Opt for ridged or bumped rubber instead of liquid-filled teething rings, which can puncture after repeated chewing. Hard vegetables, such as peeled and chilled carrots or cucumbers, can double as homemade teethers. But make sure to supervise your child closely since such items could pose a choking hazard.

  1. Medicate

Many parents swear by liquid Tylenol for pain relief if the pain gets too much. Follow dosage instructions carefully, though, because too much Tylenol, too often can be harmful to your child. And always consult your child’s doctor if the pain persists beyond a few consecutive days.

  1. Distract

Sometimes affection and distraction are the only remedies for fussy babies. If nothing else, rocking and hugging your child may bring them momentary comfort.

For more advice about teething stages and relief, Kids Dental Group would happy to help. Contact us at any of our convenient locations in Stouffville, Richmond Hill, and Markham.


Why You Should Ditch Your Child’s Sippy Cup?

Why You Should Ditch Your Child’s Sippy Cup?

There’s no denying they are convenient. But when it comes to your child’s oral health, sippy cups may be doing more harm than good.

Unlike a bottle or breast, the hard spout of a sippy cup can alter the structure of your child’s palate, jaw, and oral cavity—all of which may prevent your child’s mouth from developing properly, necessitating later orthodontic treatment. Prolonged use of a sippy cup could even lead to speech impairment and sleep concerns.

And sipping on juice, soda—even milk—throughout the day bathes your child’s teeth in sugar and acids that can lead to decay. Although baby teeth do eventually fall out, developing cavities at an early age can impact adult teeth, and change the size and shape of the oral cavity.

Child-Sippy-Cup

Let Kids Dental Group help you ditch the sippy cup with these tips:

  • Your child can start drinking from an open cup from the time they start eating solids (between six months to a year). Opt for a BPA-free plastic cup with your child’s favourite superhero or cartoon character. Fill it halfway to minimize spills, and be sure to praise your child’s attempts to drink from a “big boy/girl” cup.
  • If you do use a sippy cup, only serve water. All other drinks should be reserved for mealtimes, and juice can be diluted. Let your child learn to enjoy drinking water. If they want something sweet, serve whole fruits washed down with water to ensure that natural sugars and acids do not linger on the teeth.
  • If you are looking for a convenient, spill-proof alternative, try a cup or thermos with a built-in straw. Unlike the rigid spout of a sippy cup, a straw can bend and mould with the shape of your child’s mouth. Again, only serve water and avoid sending your child to bed with a sippy cup.

Last but not least, don’t cry over spilled milk. It is far easier to clean up a few spills here and there than to console a toddler whose mouth is full of cavities.

For more help or advice, Kids Dental Group would be happy to assist. Contact us at our Markham (905 294 0995) | Richmond Hill (905 709 3888) | Stouffville (905 642 3642) location.


Caring for Your Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Caring for Your Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

A routine visit to the dentist can be extremely difficult for children with special needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Although the manifestations of autism vary from one individual to the next, kids with ASD typically experience challenges with communication, social interaction, and may display restrictive behaviours and interests. While some children are completely non-verbal, others may be able to speak in full sentences, yet still require support to express themselves or understand instructions. Children with ASD may experience heightened sensitivities to their environment that make the lights, sounds, smells, and tactile sensations in a dentist’s chair uncomfortable, even painful.

A caring and compassionate approach by the paediatric dental team is paramount in order to build trust with your child and family. Maintaining your child’s oral health is vital and should start early, to avoid serious complications or concerns.

The team at Kids Dental Group is highly trained to deliver a variety of dental services  for children with special needs. Our top priority is making you and your child feel as comfortable as possible.

Some ways we can help your child with autism:

Social stories

Social stories are simple stories that contain pictures and use few words to provide a step-by-step description of exactly what will happen at each visit. Because individuals with ASD are very visual and routine-driven, letting them know exactly what to expect ahead of time can help mitigate any anxiety during the visit.

Reinforcers

Some children also respond well to rewarding or reinforcing activities during or after their visit, such as special toys, movies, and games.

Desensitization

For children with sensory issues, it may be necessary to schedule frequent “desensitizing” visits in which the child is gradually exposed to the clinical setting and process. For instance, the first visit could simply involve meeting the hygienist and sitting in the chair, with the child eventually allowing the dentist to look inside their mouth.

In some cases, it may be necessary for a child to undergo a form of sedation—mild or “conscious” sedation or sedation via a general anaesthetic—to enable the dentist to perform a procedure. As always, our team at Kids Dental Group is happy to discuss any concerns or questions you may have involving your child’s treatment. 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!


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.

bad_breath_causes_children

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!

 


Kids Dental | Richmond Hill | Markham | Stouffville