Pre-School (4-6)

First Visit

toddler.jpgYour child's first visit to Riverpark Dental is fundamentally important, as it forms the basis of our relationship. We work together with parents and guardians to obtain important information needed to provide excellent comprehensive dental care for your child. We strive to make this experience fun and relaxing for everyone.

At the first visit, your child will be shown all of the equipment, including Mr. Thirsty (our suction tip), our water and air shooter. They will also take a ride up and down in the dental chair. Depending on your preferences, you can choose to be seen by one of our general dentists or Dr. Nainar - our pediatric specialist.

Each child will start to learn about lifelong habits for flossing, brushing, nutrition and all about sugar bugs. Parents are invited to become partners in educating their little ones about dental care and reinforcing positive dental practices.

At the end of the visit, kids pick out a prize from our Treasure Chest to reward them for their good behaviour.

Child/Parent Visit

During the appointment your child will be sitting in the dental chair. If the child is too small we have a 'booster-type' soft chair that goes on top of the regular chair. For younger children, we use the "lap-to-lap" technique (Click here to learn about lap-to-lap technique).  Before starting the treatment we want to establish a closer rapport with your child to gain their confidence and overcome any apprehension. To ensure great experience for all patients at the practice, other children who are not being treated should remain in the playroom or in the reception area with a supervising adult. We offer complimentary child care if arranged in advance.

Establishing your Child's Dental Home

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care. The dental home is the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated and family-centered way.

You can make the first visit to our dentist enjoyable and positive. If old enough, your child should be informed of the visit and told that our dentist and our patient care specialists will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to do concerning the visit, the better. It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as needle, pull, drill or hurt. We strive to make a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.

Services

  • Oral Hygiene Education for Toddlers and Parents
  • General Dental Care
  • Hygiene Services
  • Emergency Dental Care

Education

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TEETH ERUPTION
Around 6 to 8 months, the first baby (or primary) teeth to erupt are the lower front teeth (lower central incisors), followed closely by the upper front teeth (upper central incisors). Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their eruption varies. Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors.

HEALTHY EATING HABITS = HEALTHY TEETH
Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet. Your child should eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Many of the snacks that children eat can lead to cavity formation. The more frequently a toddler snacks, the greater the chance for tooth decay. How long food remains in the mouth plays an important role as well. For example, hard candy and breath mints stay in the mouth a long time, which cause longer acid attacks on tooth enamel. So when choosing snacks for your toddler, choose nutritious foods such as low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese and vegetables, which are healthier and better for your child's teeth.

WHY ARE PRIMARY TEETH SO IMPORTANT?
It is very important to maintain the health of the primary teeth. Neglected cavities frequently lead to problems which affect developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth, or baby teeth are important for:

  • Providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position
  • Proper chewing and eating
  • Permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles

Primary teeth also affect the development of speech and add to an attractive appearance. While the front 4 teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (bicuspids and molars) are not replaced until age 10-13.

BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY (EARLY CHILDHOOD CARIES)
One serious form of decay among toddlers is baby bottle tooth decay, also referred to by dentists as early childhood caries. This condition is caused by frequent and long exposures of an infant or toddler’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk, formula, fruit juice and other sweetened drinks.

Putting a child to bed for a nap or at night with a bottle other than water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay. Sweet liquid pools around the toddler's teeth giving plaque bacteria an opportunity to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. If you must give your toddler a bottle as a comforter at bedtime, it should contain only water. If he/she won't fall asleep without the bottle and its usual beverage, gradually dilute the bottle's contents with water over a period of two to three weeks.

HYGIENE
Good oral hygiene removes bacteria and the leftover food particles that combine to create cavities. For older toddlers, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give them.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends visits every six months to the pediatric dentist, beginning at your child’s first birthday. Routine visits will start your child on a lifetime of good dental health.

FLUORIDE
Fluoride is an element which has been shown to be beneficial to teeth. However, too little or too much fluoride can be detrimental to the teeth. Little or no fluoride will not strengthen the teeth to help them resist cavities. Excessive fluoride ingestion by preschool-aged children can lead to dental fluorosis, which is a chalky white to even brown discoloration of the permanent teeth. Many children often get more fluoride than their parents realize. Being aware of a child’s potential sources of fluoride can help parents prevent the possibility of dental fluorosis.

Some of these sources are:

  • Too much fluoridated toothpaste at an early age
  • The inappropriate use of fluoride supplements
  • Hidden sources of fluoride in the child's diet

Teach your children to spit out fluoride-containing toothpaste when brushing - even if it means cleaing the bathroom mirror after every brush.  Otherwise, these youngsters may ingest an excessive amount of fluoride during tooth brushing. Toothpaste ingestion during this critical period of permanent tooth development is the greatest risk factor in the development of fluorosis.

Excessive and inappropriate intake of fluoride supplements may also contribute to fluorosis. Fluoride supplements should only be given to children after all of the sources of ingested fluoride have been accounted for and upon the recommendation of your pediatric dentist.

Certain foods contain high levels of fluoride. Some beverages also contain high levels of fluoride, especially decaffeinated teas, white grape juices, and juice drinks manufactured in fluoridated cities.

Parents can take the following steps to decrease the risk of fluorosis in their children's teeth:

  • Place only a pea-sized drop of children's toothpaste on the brush when brushing
  • Account for all of the sources of ingested fluoride before requesting fluoride supplements from our dentist
  • Obtain fluoride level test results for your drinking water before giving fluoride supplements to your child (check with local water utilities)