All Posts tagged children dentistry

A Guide for Proper Dental Care: From Infant to Teen

A Guide for Proper Dental Care: From Infant to Teen

We all wish kids came with a user manual; it would take out much of the improvisation that comes with parenting. But your kids are individuals, and as such, have their own needs. Luckily, when it comes to oral health, there are a few guidelines that simplify the process of teaching your little ones about tooth care. Dr. Jaleel, your Ottawa-Nepean Dentist, has been practicing children dentistry for over 20 years. Through these years, she has learned a lot about helping children keep their teeth in the best condition.

You might wonder if your disciplinary methods are working, or how to instill common manners, but good oral hygiene can actually consist in this handy parent guide to children’s teeth:

BABIES AND TODDLERS

Most babies start teething around six months of age, which is when oral health should be a priority. Dr. Jaleel suggests parents should start brushing their children’s teeth as soon as those first pearly whites emerge. You can use a little toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush, but keep the amount to about the size of a grain of rice. Don’t forget that your child should have his first dentist appointment by his or first birthday.

PRESCHOOLERS

“I can do it myself!” might as well be the motto for preschoolers everywhere. As your once-toddler grows into a curious preschooler, it’s the ideal time to encourage healthy oral habits. He or she may even look forward to brushing, so build on that enthusiasm: Let your child pick out a new toothbrush and a great-tasting toothpaste. Kids that take the lead are more likely to make daily brushing a personal habit.

Even though your preschooler might want to fly solo when it comes to brushing and flossing, you’ll still need to supervise his technique and help ensure that the teeth are cleaned at least twice daily.

ELEMENTARY-AGED

Between catching the school bus, homework and soccer practice, your elementary-aged child might have a tight schedule. Two things can result in poor oral health during these crucial years: forgetting to brush and indulging in sugary treats. Help out by setting a timer or alarm to keep your child on top of these things.

Kids at this age also start losing their primary teeth – usually between the ages of five and seven. But just because these teeth are on their way out doesn’t mean kids can eat with impunity. Dr. Jaleel suggests making a habit of offering healthier options and limiting sugary sodas, juices and candy as well. A reusable water bottle can help remind kids to stay hydrated – encouraging saliva production – whereas treats like trail mix or sliced veggies make for a nice lunch side dish or after-school snack. The occasional sweet won’t hurt, but they should be balanced with healthy foods to ensure the adult teeth develop properly.

Slip a dollar under their pillow from the Tooth Fairy, but don’t forget to schedule regular checkups with your dentist to detect any complications during this process.

TEENAGERS

Smart, moody and fun, your teenager might raise an eyebrow to your oral health advocacy. Instead, approach it from a self-image angle: It’s important to brush and floss to look your best. Nonetheless, don’t be surprised if your teen sleeps in and then races out the door without even looking at his or her toothbrush. You can help, of course: Arranging for regular dental checkups can help remind your teen to keep brushing.

The teenage years are also a great time to discuss orthodontia for a straighter and more confident smile entering adulthood. From traditional brackets to plastic liners, an orthodontist can design a treatment plan that puts your teen on a path to aligned teeth by graduation. Ask your dentist for a recommendation.

Naturally, your kids’ needs depend on their personal health and age, but a parent guide to children’s teeth can keep you informed on what to expect over time.

Other Articles You May Be Interested:

How to get your children to brush their teeth.

 

 

 

 

Stop Procrastinating: Young Children Need Dental Visits Too.

 

 

 

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What Can Parents Do About Dental Anxiety?

What Can Parents Do About Dental Anxiety?

Taking your child to the dentist can be a difficult experience if he is feeling anxious about the appointment. There are varying degrees of dental anxiety and phobia. At the extreme, a person with dental phobia may never see a dentist. Others may force themselves to go, but they may not sleep the night before. It’s not uncommon for people to feel sick — or, in some cases, to actually get sick — while they’re in the waiting room.

Dental phobia, like other mental disorders, can be treated. Without treatment, dental phobia is likely to get worse over time. That’s partly because emotional stress can make dental visits more uncomfortable than they need to be.

Some of the signs of dental phobia include:

  • You feel tense or have trouble sleeping the night before a dental exam.
  • You get increasingly nervous while you’re in the waiting room.
  • You feel like crying when you think of going to the dentist. The sight of dental instruments — or of white-coated personnel in the dentist’s office — increases your anxiety.
  • The thought of a dental visit makes you feel physically ill.
  • You panic or have trouble breathing when objects are placed in your mouth during a dental appointment.

So what can you do as a parent to help ease his mind? Here are a few tips that can help provide some comfort to your child and make his visit much more pleasant.

Scared Girl Covering Mouth Before Dental Treatment

Talk to Your Child

Talking to your child about his anxiety may not only help him feel better, but it can also help you understand the root cause of his fear. Perhaps a classmate shared a scary experience or your child watched something disturbing about teeth on television. When bringing up the topic, choose a quiet time when you’re not distracted so you can give him your full attention. Also, don’t make light of his fear; let him know that you understand. You could also share a fear of yours to show him that you’ve been in that situation too. This is a great way to build trust with your child and get him to open up to you. With a better understanding of the problem, you will be able to deal with the underlying issues.

Make It a Family Affair

The presence of a parent or even a sibling can help comfort your little one. Scheduling an appointment for both your child and a family member is one way to show him that he is not alone. Children often like to copy their older siblings and want to be just like them, so having your child watch his brother or sister in the dentist’s chair can give him that extra boost of confidence he needs. And when it’s his turn to sit in the chair, you and his sibling can cheer him on from the sidelines.

Talk to Your Dr. Jaleel

It is worth mentioning your child’s anxiety to Dr. Jaleel before the appointment. We can cater the appointment to timid patients by providing some toys in the examination room or setting aside a little extra time beforehand to talk to your little one. Sometimes it takes just a little preparation ahead of time to make your child’s dentist visit a lot more enjoyable.

Your child may never be fully comfortable visiting the dentist, but hopefully with some of these suggestions you can reduce his anxiety.

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Conquer Your Fear of the Dentist

Conquer Your Fear of the Dentist

If the buzzing sound of a dental drill or the latex smell of the office gives you familiar chills, rather than making a dental appointment, you’re not alone. Millions of people avoid getting necessary treatment because they fear going to the dentist. Although there may be many reasons for your anxiety, however, modern dentistry and those trained to help dental-phobic patients can make facing your fears less frightening than you think.

Cause of the Fear

Someone with an intense fear of the dentist is usually reacting to memories of a past unpleasant experience, whether it’s the result of a painful incident or similarly upsetting life event. Those who experience mild anxiety before a dental appointment, on the other hand, may just be nervous about a procedure they have yet to experience. Still others equate a dental visit with pain because their last experience wasn’t as pleasant as today’s pain-free dentistry allows.

Fear of needles or a sensitive gag reflex can also cause people to avoid going to the dentist, as can the embarrassment of someone seeing the condition of their teeth if they haven’t been treated in a while. Feelings of helplessness or loss of control when in the dental chair can create phobias as well. They can even come out of flippant or insensitive remarks by a dentist or another staff member. Keep in mind the apprehension of going to the dentist can also be learned and passed down from parent to child.

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Facing Your Fear

If you haven’t been to a dentist for over a year because of a deep-seated fear, your teeth and gums may be paying the price. The good news is Dr. Jaleel understand these fears and has plenty of experience making dental appointments more comfortable for their patients. Whether you suffer paralyzing fear of the dentist or experience just a little apprehension, here are a few suggestions that can help make your next dental visit a positive experience

1. Ask friends and family.

If you don’t already have a dentist, ask people you trust about their own dentist and if they are happy with their provider. Word of mouth is a great way to find a good dentist.

2. Search for a dentist online.

Many dental offices have web sites where you can learn about their practices, the type of services they offer, meet the staff and learn what values and goals the practice wants to achieve with patients. If you have found a few dental practices that look promising, ask friends and neighbors if they are patients or if they know anything about them. We welcome you to come in for a visit and speak to the members of our team.

3. Talk about your feelings.

Another important point to remember is to communicate with Dr. Jaleel and the staff. Don’t be shy! You are not the first patient who ever felt nervous or anxious. Convey your concerns and fears before a procedure or if you experience any discomfort during your visit. It is very important to have clear and open communication with your dental professional. Talking will make your dental experience more relaxed and pleasant.

4. Ask questions.

Ask our dental team to inform you about the type of dental treatment they recommend based upon your unique oral health needs. Once a treatment plan has been developed, ask your dentist to explain the procedures in detail. Knowing what to expect before it happens can help put your mind at ease.

5. Relax.

If you are uptight or nervous prior to a procedure, talk to Dr. Jaleel about ways to make the experience easier. Nitrous oxide or other medications to help you relax can be prescribed depending on the level of your anxiety. We will make every effort to make your visit comforting and stress-free.

 

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Conquer Your Fear of the Dentist

Conquer Your Fear of the Dentist

If a visit to your dentist is always a white-knuckle experience, you’re not alone. Studies show that between 10 and 40 % of the population experience some degree of dental anxiety. Feeling anxious about your dental appointment is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s not your fault, and it’s not punishment from the tooth fairy. Fear of the dentist can range from a sense of uneasiness and butterflies-in the-stomach to a diagnosed mental health issue known as dental phobia. People who have dental phobia aren’t merely anxious, they’re terrified or panic-stricken. Whether mild or extreme, dental anxiety or phobia can cause those who experience it to put off routine oral health care and end up with gum disease, tooth loss and other dental problems. As well, growing evidence shows a possible link between gum disease and a variety of serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke and respiratory disorders.

Why so anxious?

One of the most common reasons for avoiding the dentist is the fear of pain. This usually stems from a previous bad experience. The fear can be intensified by listening to dental horror stories told by family and friends. Everybody has an Aunt Jane or Uncle Bill who love to tell tales about how their experience was worse than anybody else’s, so you build up your own fears based on their experiences. Some people are also uncomfortable with the physical nearness of the dentist or hygienist, especially if they’re embarrassed about the appearance of their teeth or poor oral hygiene. Feelings of helplessness and lack of control in the dental chair can also be factors. Dr. Jaleel wants to ensure you and your family have a positive experience at the Fairlawn Dental Clinic. Read what some of our patients are saying about our dental service. Our Testimonials page is here to settle some of those nerves.

Anxious-Patient-Sedation-Dentistry

Speak up

Discuss your concerns and fears with Dr. Jaleel and the rest of the team. We will work with you to determine what type of help you need. Do you need sedation or just some hand-holding? If your child has anxieties, it’s important to give Dr. Jaleel the heads-up before the appointment so our team can properly prepare for it. There are a number of different things we can do to create a more comfortable environment for the child. Call us today to about how we can help manage your children’s fear of the dentist.

Set yourself up for success

Book your appointments at a time when you’re less likely to be rushed or under pressure (weekends or at the end of the work day, for example). If the appointment is for your child, schedule it for a time when he or she is well-rested and, therefore, a little bit more comfortable.

Find the right dental home

Looking for a dentist in Ottawa? Call our office and ask for a “meet and-greet.” We will be happy to offer you and your children a tour of our facility. We want to make sure you feel comfortable in the clinic and at ease in the dental environment. Read more about the introductory tour we offer in our Children section. We really hope to hear from you soon.

 

613-829-6868

2194 Carling Avenue, Unit 1

Ottawa, ON K2A 1H3

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Dental Care While Pregnant

Dental Care While Pregnant

What medications should I avoid during pregnancy?

Many over-the-counter drugs may have warning labels that alert you to the use of the product before, during and even after pregnancy. We encourage you to consult with your doctor and dentist to discuss any of the risk vs. benefits of the medications.

  • Antibiotics  – are prescribed with caution to prevent or treat infections. Only those that are known to be safe such as penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin should be used during your pregnancy. There is also an antibiotic called tetracycline that is routinely avoided since it can cause permanent staining to your baby’s developing teeth.
  • Chlorohexadine – is a germicidal mouth rinse that is used to treatment gingivitis or gum disease. It is considered safe to use throughout pregnancy.
  • Lidocaine – is an anesthetic used to numb your mouth tissue and can be safely administered during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  Only the lowest amount necessary will be used to make you comfortable enough during treatment. Although some dentists may consider the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) safe, we do not use it for expecting mothers.

It is a good idea to to consult with your OB/Gyn before your dental appointment. Take note of any special medications or caution your OB.GYN prescribes. This will decrease the likelihood of drug-drug interactions come your dental treatment with Dr. Jaleel.

Dr-Jaleel-Ottawa-Family-Dentist-Smiling-Baby

Can I whiten my teeth during pregnancy?

There is not a enough reliable data available yet concerning the use of products to whiten your teeth during pregnancy. Until we know more about whether it poses a significant risk to your baby, we advise against teeth whitening during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period.

Are x-rays safe during pregnancy?

Today’s advances in technology have made the new dental digital x-rays much safer. In fact, the radiation exposure is so low that you can take 1 digital x-rays for every 10 of the old, paper-type dental film. Dentists will usually hold off taking any x-rays until after your pregnancy, however, in the event of a dental emergency or infection, an x-ray may be necessary.

Safety precautions will be taken, and, if possible, the dentist may wait until your second or early part of your third trimester to take an x-ray or begin treatment. The use of a lead dental apron with thyroid collar is a standard practice in dentistry, so make sure one is used and is fastened snugly.

Word of Caution…

According to several studies that have been published in the Journal of Periodontology, there is evidence that women with gum disease are more likely to have premature or low birth weight infants. Gums that are free of disease are important in having a healthy mouth and a healthy body.

By practicing a  few healthy steps you can help reduce the likelihood of dental problems during your pregnancy:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day
  • Flossing at least once daily
  • Rinsing and gargling with an antiseptic mouth rinse recommended by your dentist.
  • Reducing the frequency of snacking in between meals.
  • Maintain a well-balanced, health diet avoiding sugary snacks as much as possible.
  • Maintain regular dental hygiene care.


Can I get dental treatment done during my pregnancy?

If possible, arrange to visit with Dr. Jaleel, one of the top family dentists in Ottawa, for an examination before you become pregnant. In doing so, any treatment or cleanings that are advised can be done before conception. The second trimester is the safest time for a routine check-up/cleaning and any recommended, non-invasive treatment.

When routine and preventive dental care is avoided, dental emergencies are more likely to occur. Through good, preventive care most dental problems associated with pregnancy can be minimised or avoided.

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Halloween Advice from Your Dentist

Halloween Advice from Your Dentist

Avoid Spooky Cavities with Dr. Jaleel

Halloween might feel like a holiday made for creating tooth decay, but the truth is that it is actually a great time to teach your kids about how to prevent cavities and about making healthy choices. It is nearly impossible to avoid Halloween candy altogether, but there are some tips and advice from your Ottawa dentist, Dr. Jaleel, to help you minimize the sugar overload after trick-or-treating is over.

Brush Away the Treats

Whether your child eats one piece of candy or ten, it is essential to brush properly to prevent tooth decay. A brand new toothbrush or toothbrush holder is always a fun way to get your child excited about brushing. Be sure to drop one in your child’s Halloween treat bucket, along with some floss, before they head out for the night.

toothbrush-holder

After indulging in Halloween treats, have your child both brush and floss, since candy can easily get stuck between teeth. Remind your child of proper brushing techniques. Show your children how to move the brush back and forth against their teeth and gums with short, gentle strokes and how to place the brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gumline. Younger children will need your help to brush and floss thoroughly.

Make a Candy Plan

The best thing you can do to avoid going overboard with Halloween candy is to prepare ahead of time. Have a talk with your child about what the plan will be after the bucket is brimming with candy. It helps to give your child options from which to choose, such as whether they would like to keep the candy and or trade it in for a no-sugar reward. Another idea is to set a limit on the number of houses that you visit or to simply have your child fill a smaller bag. Regardless of what you decide, the most important part is to establish the rules beforehand. It can be especially helpful for younger children to repeat the conversation a few times.

Discussing your plan for Halloween candy is also a great opportunity to talk about the importance of limiting consumption of sweets. Explain to your child how to make healthy choices for one’s body and teeth, what foods are the best for overall and dental health and how to prevent cavities with brushing and flossing.

Not So Sweet Rewards

There are a lot of alternatives to simply deciding whether or not you will allow your child to indulge in Halloween sweets. A candy swap is a great way to let your child enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating without overloading on sweets. The basic concept is to swap your child’s candy for a non-candy treat, such as a toy that your child has wanted for some time or an activity he has wanted to try. You can also extend the swap by trading out small amounts at a time rather than the whole thing at once; for example, you can allow your child to pick one piece of Halloween candy a day but then give them the opportunity to do a daily trade for something as simple as a sticker.

Remember that Halloween does not have to be scary for dental health. Use it to help your child learn about moderation and dental care. You will set your child up for a future of healthy choices. For more dental advice, book an appointment with Dr. Jaleel at the Fairlawn Dental Clinic in Ottawa.

613-829-6868

2194 Carling Avenue, Unit 1

Ottawa, ON K2A 1H3

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Seal The Deal on Your Child’s Oral Health with Dental Sealants

Seal The Deal on Your Child’s Oral Health with Dental Sealants

Having ended 2013 with the passing of Halloween and Christmas, ringing in 2014 with the continuation of (edible) holiday delights, and Easter right around the corner, children’s teeth witness a lot of sugary goodness passing through year-round. While their spry metabolisms and healthy, energetic bodies have no time processing these delicious treats, children’s teeth are unfortunately the most prone to cavities compared to their older counterparts.

Kids have sweet teeth that need protecting!

Kids have sweet teeth that need protecting!

Think of it this way: to a child’s imagination, your teeth are the caped-crusaders, saving the day and allowing them to eat their yummy food.  Gingivitis and plaque are the villains. Just like any saga goes – it’s a constant battle between good and evil!

Beginning at the ripe age of just 6 months, and continuing into toddlerhood, children develop their first set of pearly whites. Right off the bat, the difficulty is not only keeping them white, but also more importantly, keeping them cavity-free.

Just when the “terrible twos” pass and all that teething is beginning to pay off, children start to loose those baby teeth. Between the ages of 6 and 12 children – with the financial encouragement of the tooth fairy – replace those baby teeth with permanent teeth that will be with them for the rest of their adult life.

These two periods – each time your child has sprouted a new, complete set of teeth – illustrate the perfect opportunity to use dental sealants on the pits and fissures of your children’s teeth.

The crevices on the molar's surface help break down food, but are also vulnerable for food particles to get stuck in and decay.

The crevices on the molar’s surface help break down food, but are also vulnerable to food particles to get stuck in and decay.

The tops of teeth aren’t flat. Teeth tops are actually grooved like hills and valleys (pits and fissures) to facilitate the crushing and deterioration of food so to be suitable to swallow. Being the omnivores we are, some teeth are best suited for tearing off food, while others are ideal for chewing and grinding. These grinding teeth are the best candidates for dental sealants, as they have the most irregularities in surface texture. By filling the crevices with sealants, this prevents the evil plaque and gingivitis from giving your children cavities.

ottawadentist.dentalsealants.beforeafter

The procedure is short, simple and non-invasive. After teeth are cleansed, an adhesive and the sealant itself are painted on the teeth. A light may be used to help harden the sealant, but overall it only takes about a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield. Sealants are virtually invisible, and are unnoticeable when a child talks or smiles. A couple minutes in your Ottawa dentist chair with a sealant application could protect your child’s teeth for as long as 5-10 years!

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Dr. Jaleel is warm and friendly and invites your kids to get a great start to oral health and valuable habits. Dr. Jaleel wants your child to know that dentist trips can be fun and are beneficial to their well-being. Instilling healthy habits young will secure a lifetime of prosperity. Bring your family to your Ottawa dentist to seal the deal on their oral health.

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