Your Family and Cosmetic Dentist in Calgary

Parent FAQs

What You Need To Know

A smiling baby

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two or three years of specialized training after dental school, limiting his or her practice to pediatrics only. Pediatricians are those who provide specialized care to infants and toddlers with special special health needs.

Tooth inside a magnifying glass

When should I first bring my child into the dentist?

An initial appointment is recommended for your child’s first tooth or first birthday. This initial exam can give the dentist and parents an opportunity to review some basic aspects of children’s teeth growth and development, check for dental cavities, and review some important procedures so prevent it. The oral health and general health and well-being of your child can be enhanced by early detection and treatment of oral conditions. Sometimes, delaying treatment results in the need for more involved and costly care.

A dentist

What can I expect from the first visit?

This first visit gives your child the opportunity to meet the dentist in a non-threatening and friendly manner. We will complete an ophthalmic examination of the mouth and teeth, observe your child’s behavior and may request vital x-rays to check areas that are not visible to the naked eye We want to keep the appointment short and enjoyable for the child. This may mean that we will wait until the second visit to complete a cleaning or perform any dental work your child may need. We may ask you to wait in the reception area for part of the visit to allow your child to bond with the dentist.

A woman speaking

How should I prepare my child for their first visit?

Kids are often cooler than their parents when it comes to going to the dentist. Try not to project any anxiety you might have onto your little one. Just relax and be honest – tell your child he or she is going to the dentist, which is a good thing. You can even say: “the doctor will count your teeth”, and that it will be fun – we’re pretty sure it will be!

A calendar and a tooth

How often should I bring my child to the dentist?

Examinations are usually done every six months to prevent cavities, look for cavities early, and catch any other dental problems, but we recommend when and how often your child should have visits based on your individual oral health.

A clipboard and a tooth

Do you accept assignment or direct billing?

We will bill your insurance company directly and collect the balance from you (if any) at the time of treatment.

Clipboard with tooth at the top left

Do you accept government social services insurance plans?

Yes, we accept social services including the Alberta Children’s Health Benefit (ACHB) program and the First Nations Uninsured Health Benefit (NIHB).

A denture

Why should we fix baby teeth if they are just going to fall out?

Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, but they also help develop a trajectory that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt in. Primary teeth can cause cavity pain and develop infection when untreated.

Tooth getting brushed

How often should I be brushing my child's teeth?

Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, morning and before bed. The most important time to brush is before your baby goes to bed at night.

Toothbrush with toothpaste

Toothpaste: When should we begin using it and how much should we use?

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important things you can do for good oral health. When looking for toothbrushes for your child, be sure to choose the one recommended by the Canadian Dental Association as indicated on the box and package. These toothpastes have been tested for safety.

From birth, babies should clean their mouth with a brush or soft cloth or water. Start brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and an age-appropriate soft toothbrush as soon as teeth begin to appear. For children under 2, brush your teeth with toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice. For a 2-5 year old patient who can spit, offer a “pea-shaped” brush, or help the child brush their teeth. Remember, young children cannot brush their teeth properly. Do not let children scream and swallow excess toothpaste after brushing their teeth.

Two teeth and a thread

Should I floss my child's teeth?

Even if you only have baby teeth, you need to start flossing. Children often develop cavities between their teeth. Brushing alone will not clean these areas properly and can cause food and bacteria to build up between your teeth. When a child’s teeth begin to develop properly around the age of two to six, parents begin flossing every day and as their teeth improve, you can help them get used to their teeth. Children typically develop the spinning ability to cut knots on their own in about 10 years.

An apple and a tooth

What is a good diet for healthy teeth?

Good nutrition promotes healthy teeth. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and soft tissues of the mouth need a balanced diet.

Most foods that children eat can cause allergies. The more snacks a child eats, the higher the chances of tooth decay. How long the food stays in your mouth also plays a role. For example, hard candies, sticky foods, and breath mints stay in the mouth longer, allowing the acid to attack tooth enamel longer. If your child must eat, choose healthy foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheese, which are healthy and good for children’s teeth.

A range of foods from the five main food groups should be consumed by children.. Most foods in children can cause allergies. The more snacks a child eats, the higher the chances of tooth decay. The duration that food remains in your mouth also matters. For example, hard candies, sticky foods and breath mints stay in your mouth longer, prolonging the acid attack on tooth enamel. delayed by acid attacking the tooth enamel. If your child must eat, choose healthy foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheese, which are healthy and good for children’s teeth.

Baby bottle tooth decay

What is baby bottle tooth decay?

Baby bottle dental caries (BBTD) is a serious form of tooth decay that can rapidly destroy a child’s four upper and lower teeth by the age of two or three. BBTD occurs when a bottle containing a child’s milk, water or sugary liquid is placed in the child’s mouth for a prolonged period of time.

Tooth decay

How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay?

START EARLY with good feeding habits. The bottle should only be used with meals, not as a sedative during the day or night. Do not give your child a bottle of soft drinks, fruit juices, gelatin juices or other soft drinks.

If your baby is currently taking a bottle during naps or at night, you should stop this habit immediately, provided the child is well and caregivers are prepared for two to three nights of crying which will end once the child adjusts to the new regimen. You can immediately stop feeding your baby from the bottle at night or at bedtime or mix the contents of the bottle with water to slowly wean him or her off this habit.

A child's tooth

Are my child's teeth coming in at the right time?

All 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, however the pace and order of their eruption varies. Generally, the first baby teeth to exit through the gingiva are the lower middle incisors, closely followed by the upper and middle incisors. Most children get their first baby teeth at about 6 months, although some get them sooner or later, which is perfectly normal. Some children don’t get their first tooth until their first birthday! Permanent teeth usually begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors.

Baby's mouth opening wide

Why does my child grind their teeth? Should I be worried?

Teeth grinding at night (bruxism) is a common source of concern for parents. Often, the first indication is the noise created by the child grinding on their teeth during sleep, or you may notice wear or the teeth getting shorter. Most childhood bruxism requires no treatment. The good news is that most kids control bruxism. Grinding decreases between 6-9 years of age and children stop grinding between 9-12 years of age. If you think your child might have bruxism, speak with your pediatric dentist.

Sealants for kids

What are sealants?

The sealant is a clear or white acrylic resin applied to the chews (grooves) of the back teeth (front teeth and jaws), where most cavities are found in children. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, thus protecting areas prone to tooth decay. It is a simple, non-invasive, and cost-effective procedure that has been shown to significantly reduce the chances of potholes, cracks and potholes.