Tag Archives: children

When should you take your child to the dentist for the first time?

January 25, 2018

Getting your child comfortable with the dentist’s office and oral hygiene is equally as important as getting the checkup itself.

We recommend bringing your child in for their first visit within 6 months of their first tooth coming in, as tooth decay and plaque can start to show. Your child’s baby teeth will fall out but they still need care. Even though you can’t see them, your child’s adult teeth are growing underneath.


Mother’s milk, formula, cow’s milk and fruit juices all contain sugars.

Babies may get early childhood tooth decay from going to bed with a bottle of milk, formula or juice.

If your baby absolutely requires a bottle for bed, use water instead.

The first visit is meant to accomplish 3 things.

  • First, it’s meant to familiarize your child with the dentist’s office, allowing him or her to explore and become more comfortable. The dentist will only take a look at a child’s teeth once he or she is at ease.
  • Once trust is established, the tools used in dentistry will be introduced in an attempt to remove the fear associated with these items.
  • Lastly this visit allows the dentist to do a quick exam, looking for evidence of tooth decay. The dentist will check the child’s gums, jaw, and bite looking for any problems that may affect the teeth, or speech.

People who start proper oral hygiene habits early tend to:

  • End up with fewer cavities and gum infections
  • Increase their overall oral health
  • Gain a positive dental outlook (are less afraid or nervous of dental processes)
  • Have increased self-confidence

Check out 10 Ways To Make Brushing Fun For Your Child for some helpful ideas!

At Desired Smiles we are known for our unique Dental Program for children. It’s designed to educate children about oral hygiene and dental processes in an encouraging and relaxed way.

We offer three types of appointments for kids. Each child’s program is customized specific to their needs, age, developmental abilities and level of anxiety. We work with kids in a fun and captivating way. Contact us to learn more or book your appointment!

Tips for the parent:

Dentists are trained in describing dental procedures and processes to children in a non-threatening way.

  • Before the appointment, try not to share personal experiences unless they were positive.
  • Explain to them where they are going and talk about it in an excited manner rather than a nervous one
  • Remind them that dentists are there to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy.

Check out How To Get Your Child Ready For Their First Dentist Appointment for more tips!


It is important to start the oral hygiene process young, as the younger a child is when they’re exposed to new routines, the more likely they are to continue them into adulthood.

Candy Eating: A Users Guide

October 26, 2016


Halloween is coming up and after that, there’s the holiday season. The next few months will see our children faced with a barrage of sugary treats and candy. In particular, what is the best way to handle the basket of candy hauled in on October 31st?

When we eat candy, the sugar combines with the bacteria in the plaque existing on our teeth and gums. This combination produces a mild acid that starts the tooth decay process. The longer and more often the teeth are exposed to the sugars in candy, the more damage can occur. 

So, here’s our Users Guide to Candy Eating:

1.       Children should not eat anything before they get home. Make sure to check all the treats collected, for safety and also for potential allergic ingredients.

2.       Set a treat time. For reasons outlined above, it is better to eat a little more candy at one time than snack on candy multiple times a day. The teeth are exposed to sugar less frequently.

3.       A good treat time is with meals or shortly after. The saliva in the mouth increases at meal time and helps lessen the effect of the acid produced by the sugar and bacteria in the mouth.

4.       Drink more water with treats as it will flush the mouth of sugars and acids and also help remove food particles.

5.       Avoid hard candy. Hard candies take longer to eat so the sugars and the cavity causing acid are present in the mouth for a much longer time.

6.       Avoid chewy or gummy candy. These treat are usually higher in sugar and stick to the teeth much longer. They also tend to be more difficult for the saliva to breakdown.

7.       Brush, floss and rinse after treat time.

8.       Finally, if that candy haul is lasting way too long; try a candy-swap. Exchange your children’s candy for something else they like, such as stickers or passes to an amusement park.

Halloween and the holidays that follow should be fun events for kids, so deprivation of treats is not the answer. Candy and sweets can be enjoyed while limiting their impact on our children’s teeth and oral health.



Back to School Means Back to the Dentist

September 1, 2016


Thinking about your back to school checklist?FullSizeRender

  1. Fresh haircut
  2. A new outfit
  3. School supplies
  4. Dental appointment

The next few days are a hectic time for students and parents getting ready to return to the classroom. Don’t overlook an important step in getting your child ready for school, a check up with the dentist and also a chance to reinforce good oral health habits.

Studies show that one of the first things people notice about someone is their smile and that a good smile creates a positive self-image…something all parents wish for their children. That Desired Smile starts with a dental check up and oral care instruction from their early years and continues into their teens as children’s teeth and mouths change dramatically as they grow throughout their school years.

So here’s our back to school dental checklist:

  • Regular dental examinations to diagnose and treat or prevent dental problems.
  • Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. If it’s hard to remember when to change a brush, you could try to change it every time report cards come out.
  • Eating healthy lunches and snacks including grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt or fruit. If your child eats in the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food choices with them before the first day of school. Cut back on sugary foods and soft drinks.
  • Wearing a properly fitted mouth guard while participating in organized sports, PE classes or playground activities.

We offer three types of appointments for kids:

  • Self-care (1 hour session, including a dental hygiene appointment)
    For children who are 2-6 years old, we use puppets, models, cameras, microscopes and disclosing tablets to engage them through play. The goal is to make them comfortable in the dental office, but also to motivate them to care for their teeth at home, and make healthy choices. Self-care sessions end with a cleaning and a friendly check up from Dr. Heidary.
  • Prep (1/2 hour session)
    Kids get a chance to “play dentist” and do dentistry on puppets, which gives them a chance to get comfortable with the tools and procedures that will be used in their appointment. It’s a great way for kids to develop coping strategies so they can feel more in control.
  • Treatments (1/2 hour session)
    Specific dental treatments are based on the child’s age, psychosocial needs and coping abilities; our goal is always to make it an experience that’s as easy and stress-free as possible for the child. We encourage parents to get involved.

Proper dental care and maintenance along with good oral health care skills learned at an early age, gives our children the best chance of maintaining healthy teeth throughout their lives.



Reasons to Smile During The Holidays

December 14, 2015


It’s that time of year again: aisles of gift-wrap and Christmas decorations have taken over every store, and the holiday spirit has arrived in full steam. December is a time of tradition, joy and cheer; a time to give, receive and help those in need. You can definitely feel the spirit of Christmas magic floating in the air everywhere you go. With Christmas coming up, and the New Year quickly approaching, there are many reasons to smile this Holiday Season.


Spending Time with Loved Ones

There’s no greater gift during the holidays than the gift of spending time with your loved ones. Spending quality time and appreciating the ones that matter the most is the true meaning of the holiday season. The spirit of the season always comes through as people take time to gather with family and friends, or attend work parties with co-workers. Whatever your holiday traditions are, whether they include large family dinners, ugly Christmas sweater parties with friends, or cuddling by the fireplace with your significant other, being around the ones you love is sure to put a smile on your face.

Festive Decorations 

Everywhere you go, holiday displays light up the darkness with the most bright and colourful decorations imaginable. Christmas trees filled with ornaments collected throughout the years have light up households. Halls are decked with boughs of holly, and mistletoe is hung. Children are lined up to sit on Santa’s lap to take a picture, and give St. Nick their Christmas list. You won’t be able to help but smile as the feeling of magic and warmth surrounds you.

Spreading the Joy

Who doesn’t love presents? But nothing compares to the feeling of seeing the look on a loved one’s face as they open their gift! This holiday, don’t stress about buying the perfect gift for your friends and family. Instead, focus on do-it-yourself presents that show your loved ones you are thinking of them. Remember, it’s the thought that counts! The feeling of sharing and caring is representative of this special time of the year, so take a moment to give back to others. Give a smile to someone in need by giving back to charities and local food banks this holiday season.

Holiday Food

Holiday treats such as eggnog, gingerbread cookies and peppermint stick candy are everywhere this season. Gathering in the kitchen with the family to bake and decorate special cookies, or build a gingerbread house are activities that are enjoyed at any age! Remember, foods that are high in sugar speed up the tooth decay process if proper cleaning is not in order. We know that this is a time of indulgence, and while we want you to enjoy yourself, remember to appreciate everything in moderation. Here’s a tip: brush your teeth after every treat, and give out leftover baked goods to your friends or co-workers. You will have a fun time baking and decorating delicious treats, putting a smile on someone else’s face AND stay healthy! The holidays may take a toll on your teeth if you aren’t careful, so make sure you schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible after the holiday parties start to calm down.

Outdoor Winter Activities

The temperature may have cooled down substantially, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the outdoors! Grab your children and hit the hills for some tobogganing, or the local rink for some skating fun. If that is not your cup of tea, try horseshoeing or building a snowman. If you prefer a more fast-paced activity, hit the slopes for some skiing or snowboarding. Whatever your preference is, there are many winter activities to help you keep active this holiday season.

New Year’s Resolutions

As 2015 comes to an end, it is a great time to step back from our busy day-to-day lives and reflect on the past year. It is a time to evaluate last year’s resolutions and create new ones. With a new year, comes the possibility of reinventing yourself. If living a healthy lifestyle is one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2016, don’t forget about oral health. Make oral healthcare a priority for the whole family this year and keep healthy smiles for life!


These are just a few reasons to smile this holiday season. We hope that you can find many more reasons to smile and spread the holiday cheer. From everyone at Dr. Walter Heidary Family Dentistry, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season full of healthy smiles!





10 Ways to Make Brushing Fun For Your Child

November 16, 2015

Even for the most diligent brushers among us, it can be a difficult task to get your child excited about brushing. As adults, we know both the short and long term benefits of a proper and consistent brushing routine. In your child’s eyes, it’s quite possible they could see brushing as a chore; something they are somewhat obligated to do, just because you told them so.

Brushing teeth is one of the most important things your child will learn to integrate into their daily lives, very early on. The absolute best way to get your child brushing is to make it fun! We’ve put together a list of ways to help get your child enthusiastic about brushing.

10 Ways to Make Brushing Fun:

  1. Buy a New Toothbrush

By letting your child pick out their own toothbrush (with your approval and guidance, of course) they will feel a sense of pride in ownership, and will be happy to use something they chose themselves and is theirs alone. This is a great way to get your child excited about seeing their toothbrush everyday, as it could be their favourite colour, or have one of their favourite characters on it!

  1. Invest in Tasty Toothpaste

While you’re at the store, pick up some child-friendly toothpaste as well. Many types of toothpaste now come in fun flavours and colours, with familiar characters to boot. Don’t worry, parents, these toothpastes have the same cleaning ability, but are just better suited to amuse and engage your children while brushing, as a strong mint flavour can be too harsh for their tiny taste buds.

  1. Brush Together

Your child may be at the monkey-see, monkey-do age. If this is the case, take advantage of it! Make a point of brushing in the bathroom with your child, to show them the importance of brushing for everyone. If your children see you making a point to brush your teeth, and enjoying it, they are likely to tag along and follow suit.

  1. Bring a Buddy

Does your child have a favourite stuffed animal or toy? Allow them to bring one of their stuffed buddies into the bathroom during their brushing time. This will help your child to connect teeth brushing with fun and play, and move further away from the idea that it’s a chore. They can even show their buddy how to brush!

  1. Make Brushing Musical

Let’s face it: every little task is much more fun when there is music playing. Pick one of your child’s favourite songs, and be sure to play it during teeth brushing time. If the song is around 2 minutes long, tell your child they must be brushing the entire time the song is playing!

  1. Create a Sticker Poster

Children are inherently very visual, so a sticker poster is a great way to show them the benefit and reward of brushing. For every day or every time they brush, place a sticker on a board. Your child will be proud of all the stickers they have collected, and you could even have a reward when they reach a certain number of stickers.

  1. Read Books About Brushing

Children still may not understand the importance or purpose of brushing. Finding helpful or educational books about brushing, incorporating characters they know and recognize, is a helpful way to explain the benefits and importance of brushing.

  1. Get Into a Routine

Children identify with routine, as it helps them to understand the world around them. Add brushing in as part of the morning and bedtime routine, and your child will slowly become accustomed to brushing on a regular basis. Plus, once your children learn that reading a bedtime story comes right after brushing in their routine, they will be eager to get their brushing all done so they can have story time.

  1. Make it Fun!

However you choose to get your child used to brushing, don’t forget to make it fun! If your child enjoys their time while brushing their teeth, they are more likely to do so without a fight.

  1. Educate Your Child About Dental Care

One main hurdle is that children don’t understand the importance of brushing, and of general oral care. By getting your child familiar with regular teeth brushing and dental appointments early on, they will become comfortable with taking their dental care into their own hands.

At Dr. Walter Heidary Family Dentistry, we use 3 types of children’s dentistry appointments to help children take control of their oral health. By introducing children to all aspects of their dental care and appointments early on, we are confident that your children will have healthy smiles for life. Contact us to learn more about our children’s dentistry program, and to book your child an appointment today!



clean teeth

Keeping Your Teeth Clean Around Halloween

October 13, 2015

The start of October has us counting down the days to Halloween, and all the fun that it entails. Between the costumes and spooky movies, there is something fun for everyone to enjoy. But we all know one thing: Halloween is really all about the treats and sweets! There are only a few other times during the year where you can shamelessly indulge in all your favourite goodies, and all those seasonal snacks come back for a limited time only.

Though always important, it is especially crucial during Halloween to pay attention to your oral health. If you’re not careful, the constant presence of all those tasty temptations could really be taking a toll on your teeth!

While we all love to indulge, we don’t want your short-term satisfaction to leave you with life-long toothaches. As such, we’ve put together a few tips on how to keep your teeth clean, and healthy, around Halloween.

Limit Your Treats

The average person consumes 3.4 pounds of candy over Halloween. Yes, that much! We know this can sound almost impossible during this festive time, but the most obvious way to take care of your teeth is to simply limit the amount of treats you enjoy. Whatever tricks you may need to hold back from the treats, we suggest you give it a try for the sake of your teeth. You can even put some candy aside to enjoy in the weeks after Halloween. No need to eat it all at once! Remember, everything is better in moderation.

Brush After Snacking

We know it may be difficult to limit your treat intake this month; but that’s ok! You can always offset your treats with a good brushing. Whenever you, or your children, dip into your sweets, make sure you are brushing the treats away afterwards. Brushing regularly is always important, and becomes even more so when your teeth are exposed to a higher amount of sugar and sticky snacks. If you choose to snack, make sure you are pairing your snack time with an extra round of brushing to offset the possibility of cavities

Don’t Forget to Floss

We’ve said it before, and we will say it again: flossing is extremely important. Even if you are pairing your treat time with brushing, some of the sticky candy Halloween is famous for will be tough to simply brush away. Flossing allows you to get in between all the corners of your mouth, and give your teeth a more thorough cleaning. Flossing at least once a day will help to prevent cavities, tooth decay, and all the headaches that come along with fixing your teeth after you have let your oral care slip!

Pay Your Dentist A Visit

After all the sweets, treats, snacks, and goodies during Halloween, your dentist will sure be happy to see you come in! If you happen to have an appointment before Halloween, your dentist will likely advise you of much of the same tips you have read about here, particularly the suggestion for more careful and consistent cleaning. If you have a hard time following any of the tips to keep your teeth clean around Halloween on your own, know that your dentist is always there to get you back on the right track! A regular appointment or cleaning will help you get back to your regular oral health care routine, and perhaps be more careful the next time treats come around.

Dental Care at Dr. Walter Heidary Family Dentistry

At Dr. Walter Heidary Family Dentistry, our goal is to perfect your smile. Halloween can be tough on teeth, and we want to make sure you have all the resources necessary to keep your teeth in their best condition. Our general dentistry appointments encompass a regular check-up and cleaning, vital to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Be sure to book your post-Halloween appointment to give yourself piece of mind during the season.

Additionally, we think you’re never too young to take good care of your teeth. Your children, after all their Trick or Treating adventures, could also benefit from one of our children’s dentistry appointments sometime after Halloween. Our goal is for your children to have fewer cavities and gum infections, and a children’s dentistry appointment is a good way to start helping us with this goal.

If you had a particularly indulgent Halloween season, you also may benefit from one of our teeth whitening programs. Whether in-office or take-home, our whitening options could help give you a brighter smile, and get rid of some of the dullness your seasonal snacking may have caused.

Halloween is a favourite for adults and children alike, but that doesn’t mean your oral care has to suffer to enjoy the season. Contact us to book your free smile analysis, schedule an appointment, or learn more about our whitening options, and get the smile you have always wanted.