Tag Archives: dentist

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.

Gift yourself a stress-free holiday

December 17, 2016

Holidays bring cheer and festivities all around. The family dinners, shopping, gifts and decorations, while being joyful can also be stressful.

Oral health issues like dry mouth, poor hygiene, canker sores, teeth grinding, TMJ and gum disease can all be related to stress. Furthermore, some coping mechanisms like night-time teeth grinding, indulging in sweet treats, etc. worsen the effect. Here’s 5 easy steps to prevent stress related health issues:

  • Exercising can not only reduce stress but also provide a good night’s rest. Regular exercise releases endorphins into our system which promote a positive feeling.
  • Make time for yourself. It’s easy to lose oneself in all the holiday bustle. Schedule time for unwinding and make it a priority to sit down to healthy, home-cooked meals as opposed to unhealthy alternatives on the go.
  • Avoid munching on treats throughout the day. This can be quite tempting especially during the holiday season when holiday treats and left-overs are plentiful. Munching is also used as a coping mechanism for stress. Drinking plenty of water promotes a feeling of being full and helps curb extensive snacking.
  • Smile! A simple smile is known to have stress-relieving effects and what’s more…smiles are contagious! Make this holiday season, a reason for smiling, not for stress.
  • Lastly, if you experience teeth grinding or related pains in the jaw and/or teeth, visit your dentist to prevent any further damage to your teeth.


Health Benefits of Smiling

December 1, 2016


The clocks have gone back, daylight is shortening, and the festive season looms closer bringing with it many more reasons to smile. However, the decrease in daylight can be a problem for many. Thankfully, we all come equipped with the tools to help. Heading into the winter months is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the health benefits of smiling.

  • Did you know the simple act of smiling boosts endorphin release in the brain and nervous system? Endorphins are our friends, lowering stress and anxiety.
  • Another benefit of endorphins is they act as painkillers.
  • Smiling improves mood, even when not in social settings.
  • When in social settings, happy faces are preferred to neutral faces. It seems obvious, but how often are we out in the world, or in front of a screen in neutral or scowling without realizing? We don’t drive in neutral or reverse (at least not too long), why neutralize our face.
  • There is power in the giving of a smile. Mother Teresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing”.
  • Smiling children are a boon. Studies in Sweden showed other people’s smiles suppress control over our facial muscles forcing us to smile, and children smile 400 times a day compared to the 20 smiles of the average adult!


Take your smile one step further to belly-busting laughter. Hard laughter leads to increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen consumption. If this reminds you of exercise, you would be correct. However, this is only present in periods of intense laughter and should not replace aerobic exercise, or to justify that extra bag of chips, no matter how tempting.

Research in the activity of smiling continues to uncover various benefits, including links to boosting your immune system. Now armed with knowledge of the health benefits of smiling, look after your most important asset, your teeth.

For bright, and beautiful smiles, the smile you desire, schedule your free smile analysis at Dr. Walter Heidary Family Dental today.


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.



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!