Category Archives for "Parenting & Kid’s Corner"

Your Baby’s Oral Health – The Beginning Stages

Being a parent is one the most rewarding experiences in someone’s life. As rewarding as it can be, it also comes with its own set of challenges. As your Mississauga Dentist we would like to provide you with ways to encourage a positive dental future for yourself and your child.

Like with any behavior, routine plays a key role. Getting your infant used to having their mouth cleaned will make it easier to transition to using a toothbrush down the road. After each feeding, take a slightly damp baby cloth and clean the inside of your baby’s mouth. At around 6 months when your baby’s first tooth or teeth grow in, you can begin using a finger brush or baby brush to clean baby’s teeth. Did you know that breast milk contains sugar in the form of lactose? And that baby formula also contains this and others as well? Most parents begin feeding solids to their babies at 6 months of age paralleling the growth of the first baby teeth so when solids begin, it is again very important to establish good oral care routines.

At this stage, no toothpaste is required. If you decide to use toothpaste, it is best to select one without any fluoride. Since toddlers usually cannot spit until the age of 2 or 3 they end up swallowing most of the toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste can cause stomach upset when combined with stomach acids so it is best to avoid fluoride until they are able to spit well. When using toothpaste, only a small amount is required; about the size of half of a pea. At this stage, no toothpaste is required. If you decide to use toothpaste, it is best to select one without any fluoride. Since toddlers usually cannot spit until the age of 2 or 3 they end up swallowing most of the toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste can cause stomach upset when combined with stomach acids so it is best to avoid fluoride until they are able to spit well. When using toothpaste, only a small amount is required; about the size of half of a pea.

It is recommended by the American Paediatric Dental Association that infants have their first visit to the dental office between 6 months to around their first birthday. At this appointment our dental team will ensure that your baby’s teeth are growing as expected, determine if modifications to the homecare routine are required and evaluate the structures of the mouth, head and neck. Tongue ties and lip ties are common concerns which are best treated early in infancy. This can affect an infant’s ability to eat properly and eventually speak properly among other concerns. Sleep apnea in infants is another concern which will be evaluated during this assessment to ensure there are minimal risks for any type of obstruction. Tips on how to alleviate discomfort during teething will also be discussed. Click here for teething tips: please link to Sam’s Blog on Allieviating teething discomfort -

Baby Bottle Syndrome

It is still common practice to put infants and toddlers to sleep with a bottle containing milk or sometimes even juice. We know that the development of cavity or decay is highly related to the length of time teeth are exposed to sugars. Whether it is sugar from formula, milk or juice, children should not be put to bed with any sugared drink in their bottles as this tends to result in Baby Bottle Cavities of the front teeth. If need be, water would be best to prevent this.

As your Mississauga dental team we strive to provide our community and our patients with information that can help improve your quality of life. Good routines give your family a great start. For any questions, concerns or tips on your child’s oral health, don’t hesistate to call a member of our team at 905-278-4297. Your family’s oral health is our top priority!

5 Tips to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Visit

As a parent, there are a lot of exciting “firsts” that you experience with your child. From first steps, to first words, to first tooth, the list goes on. Another first that can be a huge deal is taking your child to the dentist for the first time. It is important to start the habit of taking your child to the dental office as soon as their first tooth comes in to help familiarize them with the office and to monitor their oral health conditions. Typically, adults who have had earlier exposure to oral care at an early age see it as a routine part of life. However, in the eyes of a child who has never met one, a dentist can be quite intimidating. As your Mississauga family dentist, we feel that it is important to make every child’s first visit a great experience so they feel at home.

Here are some tips that can help you prepare your children for their first dental visit:

  1. Remain Positive
    Children often mirror our behaviour so promoting a positive attitude about oral hygiene will allow children to be more enthusiastic about it. Children love to learn about their bodies and the things they can do. For younger children, having them simply identifying where their teeth and tongue are will help bring awareness to that part of their body. You may also want to explain the importance of keeping their teeth and gums healthy.

  2. Use Encouraging Words
    Using positive and encouraging words will help your child feel at ease. If you have any fears of the dentist yourself, it is best not to relay those fears to your child. Children can quickly pick up on their parent’s anxieties, which tend to make them feel anxious too. Using phrases like “we will show the dentist what a great job you do when you brush” or “the dentist will count your teeth” will make them feel more comfortable with opening their mouths and showing the dentist their teeth.

  3. Expose Them to Dentistry
    Reading children books and allowing them to watch TV shows of their favorite characters visiting the dentist allows them to learn more about going to the dentist and gets them excited about going. Another idea is that you can also check out the dental office’s website or Instagram and show them pictures of the staff in order to familiarize them with the names and faces. Explain what will be happening during their visit and how friendly the dental staff will be. You can also bring them to tour around the office or to any events hosted by the office before their visit to also help familiarize themselves. Here at Credit River Dental Centre, parents and children may borrow books from our Children’s Dental Library that can help introduce children into a positive dental environment.

  4. Tell Us More About Your Child
    As your Mississauga family dentist, we will do our best to ensure that your child has a great and comfortable experience. Telling us about their favorite shows or activities will allow us to prepare for their appointment as soon as they come in. If you don’t, our friendly patient co-ordinator will be sure to ask when you call us. You can also let us know if your child has any fearful traits which will allow us to develop strategies to prevent any problems that may arise during treatment.

  5. Make Your Child Feel Secure
    Children cope with anxiety in different ways, some by hugging their favorite stuffed animal and others by simply staying close to their moms. As you enter the clinic, hold your child tightly as you introduce the dental office. This will allow them to feel your support and allow them to be more comfortable knowing that you are there with them. Allowing them to bring their favorite toy as well will also give them extra support. It is important for the child to feel comfortable inside the clinic first before they go to sit on the dental chair.

    Starting children off at a young age is crucial to developing good dental hygiene habits for their future and will only make future visits easier. If you are currently looking for a family dental clinic who will offer your child a wonderful and comfortable experience, be sure to contact Credit River Dental Centre and schedule your child’s first dentist appointment with our experienced and compassionate professionals today!

Benzocaine…Not for Teething Pain!

As your Mississauga dental office, informing our patients and the community about potential dental concerns is our utmost priority. As parents it’s always heartbreaking to hear your children crying especially when they are in discomfort and we feel helpless to relieve that pain. This can be true of pain in the mouth whether it’s coming from an emerging tooth or a canker sore. In the past few years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents against using products that contain benzocaine for treating teething discomfort. In fact, they are now taking action to get the products off store shelves because they are linked to a rare but potentially dangerous illness.

According to a May 23, 2018 press release, "OTC oral health products containing the pain reliever benzocaine for the temporary relief of sore gums due to teething in infants or children should no longer be marketed and [the FDA] is asking companies to stop selling these products for such use. If companies do not comply, the FDA will initiate a regulatory action to remove these products from the market."

Benzocaine is a topical anesthetic (pain reliever), and is the active ingredient found in a number products used to treat mouth pain including Anbesol, Cepacol, Hurricaine, Orajel and Topex. It's also available as a generic medication or a store brand, and may come in the form of a gel, spray, ointment or lozenge. Regardless of the name or the form, however, it's unsafe for babies and young children to use.

Benzocaine has been linked with a disease called methemoglobinemia - an uncommon but serious and potentially fatal condition. This illness occurs when the blood contains high levels of methemoglobin, a hemoglobin-like protein. Because methemoglobin carries less oxygen to body tissues than hemoglobin, an excess of this substance can cause shortness of breath, fatigue and dizziness - and in more severe cases, seizures, coma and death.

So what options do parents have to ease discomfort that may be caused by teething? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, there are a number of simple things that may help.

  • Give young children a clean rubber or silicone teething ring that has been chilled in the refrigerator (not frozen), or a cold, wet washcloth to chew on. A chilled pacifier may also be helpful - but be sure anything you put in baby's mouth is free of potentially harmful substances like lead paint.
  • Try gently massaging the gums with a clean finger - this can counteract the pressure of an emerging tooth and help soothe the irritation.
  • If pain persists, ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, in a dosage that's appropriate for your child. However, do not give your child alcohol in any form!

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding the discomfort your child may be experiencing while teething don’t hesitate to call your Mississauga Dentist at Credit River Dental Centre!

Autumn and You and What to Do…

As your Port Credit Dentist, we aim to provide you with information that can have a positive impact on your overall health.  With seasons changing, saying goodbye to summer sometimes makes one a little sad with the pending arrival of the long winter months. But, there is still the beautiful autumn season that is now upon us. There are a lot of activities you can do to enjoy the outdoors before the brisk chill of winter comes.

As the weather cools down gradually it is much more comfortable for most people to do outdoor activities. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Planting fall flowers – flowers that can withstand the chill of fall without withering away (such as the chrysanthemum, oak leaf hydrangeas, heleniums to name a few). These flowers will still add some beautiful colour to your garden to last until the winter. Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start cleaning up the garden and putting away lawn furniture.
  • Farm visits are always a good idea especially when you’ve got children (but is not limited to only children), as they offer a wide variety of activities such as apple picking, pumpkin picking, wagon rides, corn mazes and many more.
  • Hiking, biking or simply just taking a drive through a scenic part of your area to look at the various colours of the leaves.
  • Go camping. Now that it is cooler there won’t be too much annoying insects and heat to deal with. Snuggling up with a blanket and hot chocolate by the bonfire will be just as awesome. This may be a more pleasant experience for some, so give it a try – even if only in your backyard! Just be sure to pack extra warm clothes and appropriate gear for the chilly night time.
  • Hot air balloon ride – If this is on your bucket list many suggest to do so during autumn due to the extraordinary colour display of the leaves. Going up 1,000 feet in the air really allows you to get a spectacular view!
  • Visit the Zoo – With school back in session, most attractions are less busy therefore making your experience more relaxing. Also, it is known that the animals are much more active when it is cooler. This can mean you may actually see them doing something other than sleeping when it is too hot.

There are also a few festivals/events that are happening around the GTA that usually have free admission. You can look online for events that are happening in your town/city for information.  We hope as you’re reading this, it inspires you to try something you’ve never done before or get you excited for another chance to experience these amazing things that autumn has to offer.  And don’t forget that at Credit River Dental Centre, in Mississauga, we’re all about optimum overall health, so as we prepare for the colder months ahead, make sure to take caution in dressing for the weather and keeping your oral health in check too!

Back to School!

With August coming to a close it's important that you get out and enjoy the summer before it's too late! While we've had to endure record-setting heat over the last month, the weather has been a little more comfortable lately, leaving you with no excuses to stay indoors.

While summer official runs until September 22nd, August often feels like the last month of the season with kids heading back to school. Whether you have children in the house or not, back to school routine can feel more demanding than summer's. Perhaps the shorter days may make it feel as if you have less time to accomplish things in any given day, perhaps the pace of people around us speeds up. Regardless of the reason, take a moment everyday to relax and breathe. While the immediate effect may not be obvious, stress and oral health are related. Stress contributes to grinding and clenching teeth, canker sores and even gum disease. We suggest starting your day off with breakfast and thinking positively about the day ahead while you brush your teeth and floss. This will give you a few minutes to yourself as well help to ward off some of the effects of stress on your oral health.

If you are looking for something with minimal stress to do with family or friends, apple and pear picking season will soon be back. Freshly picked fruits make a great snack and can often be stored for making pies, treats and meals that will remind you of your adventure to the farm. 

If you have children we suggest booking an appointment for a cleaning before schedules fill up with after school activities and clubs. If you are heading off to college or university, don't forget to look into your school's dental coverage. Make sure you maintain good oral health while in school and consider scheduling an appointment with us to get your smile in shape for your first day of class.

What You Didn’t Know About Gum Disease During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a wonderful time and during this time many changes occur in preparation for the big day. Lifestyles often change from the moment you receive the great news.  We often start to eat healthier, make future plans and keep a healthy mind set.  With the many changes occurring during pregnancy, it is important to also maintain healthy teeth and gums especially when pregnancy gingivitis can occur.

Did you know that studies have shown that women with severe periodontal disease (bone loss) or gum disease are 7 times more subject to have premature delivery, pre-eclampsia (pregnancy hypertension) and deliver babies with low birth weights?  These problems can occur when bacteria from the gums enter a woman’s bloodstream and affect the levels of prostaglandin (a lipid that affects uterine contractions).  If the levels of prostaglandin increase, this can trigger premature labour.

As a preventative health care provider, your dental hygienist will want to monitor you closely to ensure that your oral health is being maintained.  When you are at risk for gestational diabetes or are diagnosed with this, it is of utmost importance to maintain optimal gum health because your risk of periodontal disease increases.

During pregnancy a woman’s gums may become more red, swollen, sensitive and irritated due to enhanced hormonal production, so when bacteria along the gum line (where the tooth meets the gums) is present, the gums become more prone to gum disease. This may deter some women from their regular oral hygiene routine due to the discomfort.  Not continuing with proper oral care will cause more sensitivity and irritation.  Maintaining oral health during pregnancy is important especially when pregnancy gingivitis is present.  Regular check-ups and hygiene appointments will ensure that you maintain optimal oral health for the duration of your pregnancy.

As your Mississauga Dentist and team at Credit River Dental Centre, not only will we maintain your oral health but also provide you with tips on how to maintain your baby’s oral health once your baby arrives.  Creating good habits with your baby from the start will help establish a good dental routine and help your baby maintain healthy teeth for life!

Improving Your Patient Experience by Improving Our Techniques!

After practicing for many years and using the traditional method of numbing lower back teeth, I was looking for an alternative to this method especially for cases where only a single tooth needed to be numbed. I thought to myself, what is it that patients dislike most about getting numbed for a filling on the bottom back teeth?

  • They have that numb feeling for close to 4 hours?
  • They can’t feel their tongue or lip and end up biting either one?
  • They usually have to wait about 10-15 minutes before starting?
  • If they are not completely numb with the first injection they have to wait again for the next one?
  • All of the above?

In my research I came across this new technique that piqued my curiousity and seemed too good to be true when I read about it.  There was very little to lose and everything to gain so I decided to learn this new technique. What if I told you that here at Credit River Dental Centre that we could now numb your lower back tooth and:

  • Eliminate the waiting time to get numb so your appointments are shorter
  • You will still be able to feel your lip and tongue
  • You will only have a slight numb sensation for about an hour
  • Use only about 1/3 -1/2 of the amount of anesthetic that is usually used


Feel free to ask us about this new numbing technique!