Dentistry for Children
at Meadows Gate Dental Clinic

At Meadows Gate Dental, we specialize in dentistry for children.  Our goal is to improve dental health for kids.  We have an advanced family dentistry clinic that is focused on providing dental services for the entire family. Our dental office is well staffed with competent and friendly dentists, registered dental hygienists, certified dental assistants and dental receptionists.

Pediatric Dentistry: Caring for Your Child’s Teeth

Pediatric oral care has two main components: preventative care at our clinic and preventative care at home.  We are committed to providing advanced family dentistry and will work with you and your children to improve dental care.  Infant and toddler cavities and tooth decay have been on the increase in recent years; the result is poor dental health for years.  Our goal is to assess and preserve your child’s healthy teeth; to ensure that goal is met your children need to visit our office every six months for preventative assessment.

In addition to brushing and flossing, good preventative care includes:

Diet – provide your children with a nourishing, well-balanced diet.  Minimize sugary diets and continuous snacking. Provide healthy snacks like celery sticks, carrot sticks, and low-fat yogurt.

Oral habits – minimize pacifier use and thumb sucking since they can cause the teeth to misalign. If your child has a pacifier, choose an ‘orthodontic’ one.  This minimizes the risk of developmental problems like narrow roof arches and crowding.  As a pediatric dentist, we can recommend strategies to stop thumb sucking.

Oral hygiene – Wash toys and pacifiers regularly with warm water and soap to reduce bacteria and infections.  Avoid spoon-sharing wherever possible.

Sippy cup use – Sippy cups are often used as a transitional aid for the baby bottle-to-drink glass period.  However, some children like to keep sippy cups (filled with milk, breast milk, soda, juice, and sweetened water) at their mouths for long periods of time; resulting in continuous acid attacks on tooth enamel.  Sippy cup use needs to be terminated between the ages of twelve and fourteen months – or when your child has the motor capabilities to hold a drink glass.

Brushing – Your child’s teeth need to be brushed a minimum of two times per day using a soft bristled brush and a small amount of toothpaste. You will need to help with the brushing process until your child reaches the age of seven and is capable of reaching all areas of the mouth (otherwise the teeth will not be adequately brushed).  Use non-fluoridated toothpaste before the age of two and fluoridated toothpaste thereafter.  For babies, clean the gums with a clean cotton cloth after each feeding.

Flossing – Tooth decay and cavities form most easily between teeth. Ask us to demonstrate the correct child head positioning during flossing and ensure that teeth are properly cleaned between adjacent teeth.

Fluoride – Used to prevent mineral loss and promote re-mineralization of tooth enamel.  Too much fluoride can result in fluorosis, a condition where white specks appear on the permanent teeth, and too little can result in tooth decay.  We can assess how much your child is currently receiving and prescribe necessary supplements.

Dentistry for Children:  Your Child’s First Visit

A first visit to our pediatric dentistry clinic is an important start to your child’s dental health. There are several things you can do to make the first visit enjoyable:

Take another adult along: your child may become fussy when his or her mouth is examined.  Another adult will soothe your infant and allow you to ask questions.

If possible, leave your other children at home to minimize distraction and stress.

Avoid negative language: we are trained to avoid the use of threatening language, such as drills, needles, injections, and bleeding.  It is important to use positive language when speaking about dental treatment with children.

Use positive language and explanations: explain the purpose of the dental visit in a positive way. We “help to keep teeth healthy” is more positive than saying that we “are checking for tooth decay, and may have to drill the tooth if decay is found”.

To reduce anxiety, we explain what will happen if the child is old enough to understand what to expect.  Age-appropriate books about visiting the dentist can be very helpful in making the visit more fun.  A list of parent and dentist-approved books:

  • The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist – by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist – Part of the “Dora the Explorer” Series
  • Going to the Dentist – by Anne Civardi
  • Elmo Visits the Dentist – Part of the “Sesame Street” Series

What Happens on the 1st Visit:

  1. As the pediatric dentist, we want to get properly acquainted with your child.
  2. We need to monitor tooth and jaw development to get an idea of your child’s overall health history.
  3. We need to evaluate the health of existing teeth and gums.
  4. We answer your questions and advise you on how to implement a good oral care regimen.

Check-up procedures:

  • Our dental staff will greet you and your child.
  • Your infant’s and family’s health history will be reviewed (including questionnaires).
  • We will address parental questions and concerns.
  • More questions will be asked, generally pertaining to your child’s oral habits, pacifier use, general development, tooth alignment, tooth development, and diet.
  • We will advise on good oral care, how to prevent oral injury, fluoride intake, and sippy cup use.
  • Your infant’s teeth will be examined and we will provide good brushing and flossing techniques and demonstrations.
  • We will describe our assessment in detail and make specific recommendations. We will also provide information on which teeth are expected to appear in the following months.

We will provide an appointment schedule and describe what will happen during the next appointment.

Find out more:

We are an advanced family dentistry clinic located close to the Tri-Cities area and provide services to patients in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Maple Ridge, Haney and Pitt Meadows. Our British Columbia pediatric dentist has a long history of providing services to improve dental health for kids in our area.

Or return from Dentistry for Children to Meadows Gate Dental Home Page.