Tag Archives: tips

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.



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.

Are You Afraid of the Dentist?

May 28, 2014

Don’t worry; going to the dentist is actually a very common phobia. Many people don’t know where the fear originates, but many feel anxiety about ridicule from the dentist or something else. In some extreme cases, this fear prevents people from receiving proper treatment for their teeth and gums.

Overcoming the Fear

As avoiding proper dental care can result in serious complications, it is best to face your fears to stay in good health. The first step to accomplishing this is finding a dentist that’s right for you. Having a positive relationship with your dentist can do wonders to relieve your fear. Find someone who you get along with, that you trust, and that can put your fears at ease. If you feel comfortable enough telling your dentist about your phobia, they can work with you to make you feel at comfortable.

On the other hand, if you don’t feel comfortable around your dentist, the lack of relationship can is exacerbate your fears. Do your research and find someone you trust.

How to De-stress Before Your Visit

So you’ve found the perfect dentist, but you’re still nervous? That’s understandable, but there are ways you can deal with your anxiety. Here are some tips to calm you down before your visit.

Think Positive!

When facing a phobia, a positive thinking manta may seem unattainable. That’s your negativity speaking! When you enter a situation with a positive outlook, it’s easier to handle the fear or anxiety you may feel. Besides, your dentist is there to help, not hurt. So smile! Your experience won’t be as negative if you, yourself, aren’t as negative.

Bring a Friend with You

A relaxed attitude is contagious. Bring a friend who makes you feel comfortable and takes you mind off of your fear.

Listen to Relaxing Music

Do you have that one playlist that just makes you feel good no matter where you are? Why aren’t you already listening to it in your dentist’s waiting room?


When you’re stressed out, you can forget to breathe which adds to your stress. Put those yoga breathing techniques to good use and remember to breathe smoothly. You’ll feel calmer in seconds.

Things to Remember

At the end of the day, your dentist is not a cartoon villain. Your dentist wants what is best for you and wants to make your experience a positive one.