Healthy Smiles, Happy Kids
Contrary to what most three year olds think, children aren’t just mini adults. Little ones actually have unique oral health needs, and the team at Nest can address them. Our Vancouver kids’ dentist, Dr. Sonia Sahi, is experienced in treating infants, children and teens, including those with special needs. She talks to children on their level using kid-friendly terms and employs a variety of techniques to put patients at ease. And, while we’re very serious about your child’s oral health, comfort and safety, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We do everything we can to make dental visits exciting and fun for kids — and parents!
Our Dental Treatments for Kids
Prevention is the name of the game at Nest. During your child’s cleaning and exam, we’ll take low-dose, digital x-rays (only if needed), get your kiddo’s smile sparkling clean and complete a thorough exam. Dr. Sahi will make sure your little one’s teeth and gums are healthy and that their development is on track.
By spotting any issues in their earliest stages, we can prevent or reduce the need for more extensive treatment. At these visits, we’ll also fill you in on everything you need to know about caring for your child’s smile.
Topical Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral and cavity-fighting superhero. And, topical fluoride treatments are a safe way to strengthen kids’ enamel and make it more resistant to decay. We’ll talk with you about your child’s fluoride intake and may recommend wrapping up their cleaning and exam with a fluoride treatment.
Protective dental sealants are incredibly effective at preventing tooth decay. Dr. Sahi simply paints a thin, clear, BPA-free varnish onto your child’s six-year and 12-year molars. The material seals the pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to keep acids, food debris and bacteria out. Dental sealants are affordable and the procedure is well tolerated and quick.
Sometimes, because of injury or decay, a child’s tooth needs treatment. This even applies to baby teeth, because they’re placeholders for the permanent teeth and losing them prematurely can lead to future bite problems. If treatment is needed, we use technology and techniques to make sure it’s accurate, efficient and comfortable. Once the problem is fixed, we have a range of options to restore your child’s tooth, including tooth-coloured fillings and pediatric dental crowns.
Dr. Sahi is trained and experienced in offering sedation dentistry for children. While we always try behavioral techniques first, if those aren’t effective, Dr. Sahi can help you decide if sedation is right for your child. Dental sedation can be really helpful for kids with high anxiety, those with certain health or behavioral conditions that make getting dental care challenging or for very young children who need extensive dental work.
Benefits of Children’s Dentistry
Keeps Growing Smiles Healthy
Regular dental care is a key to preventing tooth decay in children and ensuring their smile development is on track.
Encourages Healthy Habits
We educate parents on how to take care of their kiddo’s smile. As children get older, we help them learn the ins and outs of a stellar homecare routine too.
Gets Kids Comfortable With Dental Visits
We create a fun, positive dental experience, which makes it more likely that kids will keep up with regular dental care throughout their lives.
When should a child have their first dental visit?
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommends babies have their first dental visit within six months of their first tooth erupting and no later than 12 months of age. We know, we know, that sounds incredibly young. But, the truth is, kids can get a cavity as soon as their first tooth comes in. In fact, according to a report published in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, early childhood caries (a fancy way of saying cavities) are the leading cause of day surgery for Canadian children ages 1 to 5.
Untreated cavities in children lead to pain, problems eating and sleeping, speech difficulties, missed school and poor self-esteem. Having your child’s first dentist visit by age 1 is the key to the early diagnosis and prevention of tooth decay. It also gives you, as a parent or guardian, the opportunity to learn how to take care of your child’s smile and get important information on diet, oral habits (i.e., thumb sucking, pacifier use, etc.) and development.
And, last, but not least, going to the dentist at an early age helps your child get used to the sights and sounds of the dental office and gives us a chance to build rapport with them. This makes future visits much easier and helps kids see going to the dentist as something positive.
What happens during my child’s first visit at Nest?
When you bring your kiddo to Nest, they’ll receive a warm welcome from our friendly team. Depending on your child’s age and the reason for their visit, a hygienist may or may not take quick, low-dose, digital x-rays.
Once you’re settled into a treatment suite, our Vancouver kids’ dentist, Dr. Sonia Sahi, will come in and introduce herself. For infants and toddlers, she might have your child sit on your lap during the visit. Older kids can hop right on up into the chair themselves.
Dr. Sahi makes visits interactive to help kids feel engaged, confident and relaxed. So, she’ll describe any tools she’ll be using in kid-friendly terms and demonstrate how they work before getting down to business.
She’ll examine your child’s mouth and perform a gentle cleaning. If needed, we can wrap up the visit with a fluoride treatment and/or dental sealants. We’ll answer any questions you have and talk with you about how to care for your child’s smile and what to expect as their teeth erupt. Before you head out, of course, your child will get some fun prizes.
How can I prepare my child for their dental appointment?
Preparing your little one for their first dentist appointment can go a long way in easing jitters. Try these tips in the days leading up to your visit:
- Tell your child they’ll be going to a friendly tooth doctor who is going to look in their mouth and count their teeth. Use positive words and avoid terms like “shot,” “drill,” or “pain.” Make it seem as if it will be an exciting, educational experience for you both (which it will be!). Keep your explanation brief and upbeat.
- Turn it into a game! Pretend to be the dentist and look in your child’s mouth and gently brush their teeth. Then, swap places, and let your little one be the dentist and you (or a stuffed animal) can stand in as the patient.
- Consider reading a book or watching a fun video about going to the dentist. Just be sure to vet it first to ensure it doesn’t contain descriptions of things like getting fillings.
- Try to encourage your child to get a good night’s sleep before the appointment and have them eat a healthy meal or snack. You might also want to schedule the visit for the time of day when they’re generally the most cooperative. It’s a lot harder to get your child to relax when they’re hungry or tired.
- If your kiddo has a favorite stuffed animal or toy, feel free to bring it with you to the office. Sometimes, having a trusted friend by their side helps kids feel safe and comfortable.
- Call us if you have any questions or concerns. We’re always happy to help! Don’t stress yourself out or worry about whether or not your child will behave. We have plenty of tried-and-true techniques up our sleeves to make it a stress-free, positive experience.
A Modern Take on Oral Health
Get expert dental care for the whole family in one convenient Vancouver location. With a gorgeous space, thoughtful service and a range of tech, Nest is creating a new kind of dental experience.