Resources for Parents

Your Child’s First Visit with Us

Your Child’s First Visit with Us 1920 910 Kids Dentistry Barrie

What happens during the first visit?

Your child’s initial visit will be a consult with one of the pediatric dentists. If there is a specific problem that you are concerned about, we will address it. A plan will be made so treatment can start and we can take care of any problems.

If your child is well and healthy, and you are simply coming to our office to establish a dental home for your child, we will give you all the information you need to raise cavity free kids. Every effort will be made to provide a polishing/cleaning and the appropriate preventative measure on your first visit so that you can jump quickly into a preventive routine at our office.

How should I prepare?

Your child should be told that they are going to the dentist. Rest assured that we try our best to make every visit enjoyable and playful. The less to-do about the visit the better. Tell your child “the doctor will count your teeth”, and that it will be fun. All too often parents try to prepare their children by saying “you have to be brave” and “it won’t hurt”. Children are very adept at reading body language and tone, and will read between the lines. Try not to project your anxiety onto your child. Keep the explanation simple, and if you are unsure of what the first visit will be like, tell them they will have fun counting teeth. Read about your first visit…

If you unsure what to say to your child about their first visit, keep it simple. “We’re going to go to the see the dentist. You can look at the animals and they will count your teeth.”

When should your child see a dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics agree. Your child should be seen by a dentist by 12 months of age, or within 6 months of the first teeth erupting.

The idea is to establish a DENTAL HOME, or place where you can take your child in the case of a dental emergency other than the emergency room. Why so young?  In health care, and especially in the case of children’s oral health, prevention is the key. By learning what not to do and starting with good habits right when the first teeth erupt, you can can prevent problems that are difficult and expensive to treat once they start. Young children often fall, and trauma to the primary teeth occurs in one third of all children by the age of 6! Cavities, or DENTAL CARIES, is the most common childhood disease, many times more common than asthma…..and it is 100% PREVENTABLE.

DON’T FORGET: We are here to help. You can call us to ask any questions you may have before making an appointment.

Dr. Mike

Six Reasons to Take GOOD Care of Baby Teeth

Six Reasons to Take GOOD Care of Baby Teeth 1912 816 Kids Dentistry Barrie

Why bother taking care of them?  After all…they are just baby teeth.

As a pediatric dentist, I get this question all the time. Here is my answer, and why parents should take good care of the primary teeth.

  • To hold SPACE for the adult teeth – Primary teeth are place-holders and guides for permanent teeth. Without them, the adult teeth do not have a proper path to erupt into proper smile and bite. If the baby teeth become decayed, they get narrower and  get pushed closer together.  The adult teeth then have less space to grown into. If a child loses a baby tooth altogether much space will be lost, space that is needed by the adult tooth.
  • Proper SPEECH DEVELOPMENT – Without the front teeth, young children have difficulty articulating sounds properly. This leads to speech delay and lisps which can affect how a child learns and interacts with others.
  • Proper NUTRITION – You need strong healthy teeth to eat healthy foods. If children do not have strong teeth to chew with, they will be more likely to eat soft and processed foods, not healthy natural foods like raw veggies, fruits, and grains.
  • To develop SELF-CONFIDENCE – Once children start kindergarten, they notice how their peers look and behave, and their peers notice them. A healthy smile projects confidence, whereas a smile with obvious cavities or missing teeth can make a child self conscious. Children can be more shy and withdrawn because they become self conscious of their appearance.
  • To LEARN and GROW – A toothache is a terrible thing to have. Tooth pain is a frequent cause of school absenteeism, sleeplessness, and lack of concentration. Children need to be rested and pain free to be ready for school and learning.
  • To PRACTICE good health habits – It’s hard to teach an old dog a new trick. But kids are impressionable and  eager to learn. If they learn right from the start that it is important take care of their mouth and teeth, and thereby to take care of themselves, they are more likely to keep those habits into adulthood. The opposite is also true.

Start with proper oral care and brushing when the first baby tooth erupts. Baby teeth are more important than you know.

Treating Young Children

Treating Young Children 1919 736 Kids Dentistry Barrie

“My son is only four. How can you possibly fix his cavities?”

With the right techniques, even very young children can cope with dental treatment. It is important not to develop a negative attitude towards dentistry, and healthcare in general.

Every child is different, and treatment is tailored specifically to each child based on temperament, maturity, and extent of treatment need. Sometimes we can fix dental problems without much fuss and without local anesthetic (freezing). Other times kids need more help overcoming their anxiety and a mild sedative is used. In certain cases, treatment while asleep under a general anesthetic is best. We can review options and let you decide.

All too often children come to us too late, and with severe dental disease and toothaches. These are the most difficult cases to manage because prompt treatment is needed but the child is already very anxious about care because of ongoing dental pain

If you are concerned about your young child’s teeth and do not want them to have a negative first experience, please see a dentist before they have a toothache.  Once something hurts, it is usually very late in the disease process and the child is already anxious and guarding.

“I don’t want my daughter to be scared of dentists.”

And nor should she be. The Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that a child establish a Dental Home by 12 months of age, or 6 months after the first teeth erupt.

Not every family dentist is comfortable with children that young. However, all our our staff are specifically trained and accustomed to making young children feel comfortable in a dental setting.  We will gladly see infants and toddlers for exams and treatment, and give you the information you need to raise healthy cavity-free kids. The number one cause of dental anxiety is a history of tooth pain and stressful dental treatment.  If your child is anxious, we can help them cope.

“We’ve tried, but our child can’t handle getting fillings.  Can you have her asleep for treatment?”

Yes, we can do that. It is a fact of life that as we get older, we get wiser and better able to cope with our emotions. Simply put, some children do not have the emotional maturity to cope with serious medical or dental treatment awake. If that is the case, the least traumatic way to address significant and urgent dental problems is dental treatment asleep (under a general anesthetic provided by a medical anesthesiologist – a medical doctor who is a specialist in anesthesia). Our office is equipped with a fully accredited surgical suite with a 15 year plus safety record where a board certified medical anesthesiologist from Royal Victoria Hospital will provide general anesthesia, and either Dr. Goralski or Dr. Morley will provide the dental treatment. In this situation, you have a medical specialist for the anesthesia and a dental specialist for the dental treatment. Anesthesia both at our In-Office Surgi Suite or at one of the local hospitals is available through our office

“Are there benefits to having dental treatment for my son asleep?”

Yes.  There are benefits to doing treatment while our young patients sleep.  Namely those are that kids are not stressed and potentially traumatized to dental treatment, all treatment is completed in one visit meaning less time lost from work/school, and you get a fresh start right away so that you can focus on preventing further cavities and disease. Read about dentistry asleep….

It is something that should be considered for young children that need extensive dental treatment.  You can discuss treatment under anesthesia with one of our pediatric dentists.

Philosophy of Care

Philosophy of Care 1920 882 Kids Dentistry Barrie
If you are considering bringing your child for an consult, or have been referred to us, this article will help you prepare for your visit. Most parents are nervous about their children seeing a dentist, and I hope some of this information will put you at ease.

The dentists that practice here are board certified specialist in pediatric dentistry. They have complete years of post-graduate training above and beyond that of a family dentist and have passed the rigorous licensing process to become a specialist. All of our staff are especially sensitive of the needs of young children.

We are a dental office specialized in and committed to helping children get proper oral healthcare

Treating teeth is easy. Taking care of kids is hard.

Anyone who has tried will attest to that. We make every effort to provide a nurturing environment where both parents and children are comfortable. Some kids will have the emotional maturity to cope well with dental treatment and some have not yet reached that emotional milestone. Treatment options are tailored to each child’s maturity level and ability to cope.

Help your child build a strong beautiful smile that projects confidence. My advice to you is to start early and be prevention minded

Dental cavities are the most common childhood disease, far more common than asthma, and are 100% preventable.  It is not enough to remove dental decay once a cavity has started.  We strive to do more than that.  With the right information and a little hard work, we can show you how to keep kids cavity-free for a lifetime.

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