5 Tips for Getting Your Reluctant Kids to the Dentist

Do you have a hard time getting your kids to the dentist? Well, you are certainly not alone.

It is actually very common for children to experience a fear of visiting the dentist.

Our Top 5 Tips to Help Your Child Through a Dental Visit

While fear of dentists can spring up for many reasons, science has found that a child’s fear is often a result of a parent’s own dental anxieties. This is why it is important for parents to take steps to neutralize these fears so the child can move past them.

Here are some tips to help make an anxious child’s dental visit a breeze.

1. Give Advanced Notice

Before the big day, be sure to give your child an advanced warning that a dental visit is coming up.

Children thrive on predictability and giving them plenty of warning will allow them the time that they need to process any anxiety or ask you any questions they may have.

2. Be Honest and Straightforward

If your child has questions, try to answer them honestly. At the same time, also try not to overwhelm an anxious child with too much information, as this will only heighten their distress.

Whatever you do, never lie to a child to try to soften the blow, this will only make them more distrustful of experiences in the future, and they might not take you at your word in the future.

3. Bring Along a Favourite Toy or Comfort Object

Having a familiar toy can do a lot to comfort a child and help lessen anxiety and stress.

In addition, by associating the experience with a beloved object, the child is likely to be less fearful and hold more positive associations of the experience.

4. Stay Calm and Relaxed

It can be difficult to remain composed when your child is upset or in distress, but if they throw a tantrum at the dentist office, it is important to try to remain as relaxed and collected as possible.

If you become agitated, the child is likely to sense your anxiety and they will believe that their own fear is justified. Remaining calm will demonstrate to a nervous child that there is nothing to fear.

5. Trust Your Dentist

Remember that your dentist is a qualified professional who is here to help. They deal with children on a daily basis and are well informed as to how do to handle a fearful child.

And, don’t be afraid to ask your dentist for their advice.

We Are Highly Experienced in Pediatric Dentistry and We’re Happy To Help Teach Little Ones About Proper Dental Care

Here at Pickering Square Dental, we understand how hard it can be to get your little ones into the dentist office. That’s why we are here to help. We have a full staff of qualified professionals who are here to guide you through every step of the process.

To learn more, come and check us out in person, contact us online, or give us a call at 905.420.1777


Is Your Child’s Nail-biting Affecting Her Teeth?

Nail biting child on white background

Did you know that around 30% of kids between the ages of seven and 10 bite their nails? Yes, it’s true! Your child is not the only one who has this annoying and harmful habit. But whether your little one is doing this consciously or subconsciously, you should address it immediately because of the oral health and overall health consequences that you might not know about.

Here are some little-known risks that are associated with nail-biting:

Exposure to Disease-Causing Bacteria

You might not know it but your nails are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, including pathogenic ones like E. coli and Salmonella. When your little one bites his or her nails, those bacteria are transferred into your child’s mouth and they eventually spread to the rest of the body, leading to infections.

Susceptibility to Paronychia

Paronychia is a skin infection that occurs around the nails. When children chew their nails, bacteria and yeast, as well as other microorganisms, can find their way in through abrasions or tears. This may lead to redness, swelling, and even pus around the nail. This is a painful condition that may even require surgical draining.

Dental Problems

Nail biting can also affect dental occlusion or how the upper and lower teeth come together when the mouth is closed. Your child’s teeth may shift out of their proper position, get misshapen, and even wear down prematurely.

Nail-biting often starts in childhood and pea in adolescence. It usually declines with age. But that does not mean you just have to wait for your child to grow out of it.  Here are some things that you can try to help your child quit biting his or her nails:

  • Keep your child’s nails trimmed short
  • If your child will let you, make him or her wear gloves or mittens at home
  • If your child bites her nails because of boredom, you can engage her in activities that will keep her hands busy like knitting, colouring, painting, and more

It is important that as soon as your child is old enough to understand that you tell her the risks that go with nail-biting. More often than not, kids stop when they get an understanding that nail-biting is not as harmless a habit as they though it to be.

Fluoride for Toddlers – Good or Bad?

Fluoride for Toddlers – Good or Bad?

What can be cuter than a toddler giving you the biggest smile?

If you have a toddler, you’d probably agree that there’s nothing you wouldn’t do to keep your little one’s smile looking perfect. And if you’re like most parents, you probably have done a little research on the things that you can do to maintain your toddler’s oral health, as well as things can be harmful to small children. You probably have encountered the two different stands on the safety of fluoride for toddlers.

Some say it is better to wait until your child reaches the age of two before you introduce fluoride toothpaste. Others claim that parents can use a “smear” of fluoride toothpaste as soon as the baby’s teeth start to show.

Knowing What’s Best for Your Child

You might think that baby teeth eventually come out anyway, so why should you worry too much about them? It is because it takes years before baby teeth are replaced by permanent ones, and your child can get cavities that can be really painful. Fluoride can prevent cavities but too much of it can put your child at risk for other health issues. It is a good idea to find out first whether or not you have fluoride in your drinking water. You can have your water tested if you’re not sure about that. Also consider your child’s diet. If he or she frequently eats sugary snacks, then the harmful effect of sugar on his or her teeth should be reversed, and fluoride can help do the job.

So… Should You Be Using Fluoridated Toothpaste with Your Toddler?

According to CDA, that if your child is under the age of three, using fluoridated toothpaste should be determined by the risk level of tooth decay. You can take your little one for a dental check-up at Pickering Square Dental. Our dental health experts can determine whether he or she is at risk of getting tooth decay. If so, you can use a minimal amount of fluoridated toothpaste about the size of a rice grain and make sure that you brush your child’s teeth. Using just the tiniest amount helps achieve the perfect balance of reaping the benefits of fluoride for your child’s oral health and keeping the risk of developing fluorosis at bay. 

Dr. Lean and the Pickering Square Dental Team can thoroughly assess your child’s oral health and also take into consideration all the factors before giving you a clear idea as to whether or not toothpaste with fluoride would be good for your precious toddler.


Back-to-School Dental Checklist for Healthier Teeth

Back-to-School Dental Checklist for Healthier Teeth

So, you’ve got everything ready and you’re excited to go back to school. Wait! How about your back-to-school dental checklist? You should not forget it because it’s going to be your key to keeping that strong, healthy, and beautiful smile – and you don’t want anything less, eh?

Because we don’t want you to forget anything important, we rounded up some of the most important things that you should definitely add to your checklist:


It’s very easy to forget about brushing your teeth when you’re rushing off to school in the morning or when you’re crawling your way to your bed tired from the very busy day at school. The thing is, you don’t just have to establish an oral hygiene routine, what’s more important is that you make time for it. Brush your teeth every morning and night. Floss your teeth once or twice a day, too. It’s also a good idea to rinse the mouth with antibacterial mouthwash. Sticking with this routine will reduce your risks of having dental concerns. That means no emergency appointments with the dentist and no missing out on school in the future!


Visiting your dentist every six months is very important if you want to have a clean and healthy mouth. You may think that you’re taking good enough care of your teeth, but there are things that only a dental professional can see. You can call Pickering Square Dental and we can easily schedule you for a check-up and cleaning!


Healthy food is good not only for your body but also for your teeth. Choosing healthier food for your lunch and snack every day can help you keep a strong set of teeth. Don’t have any ideas what to pack? You can add vegetables, fruits, and string cheese, among others. Swap your usual can of pop for good old water.


If you are an athlete, it is always a good idea to protect your teeth and gums with a sports mouth-guard that is customized just for you.  You can find off-the-shelf ones, but you won’t get the same level of protection and comfort that you would from a custom-made appliance.  You can have yours made at Pickering Square Dental.  Dr. Lean, the official dentist of the Toronto Maple Leafs customize one for you, too!

If you need more tips on how you can turn your smile into your best asset this school year, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Every member of our team will be more than happy to talk to you!