By: Dr. Ella Choi
Oral health can be an educational and fun playtime for children. At Playtime Dentistry, we are dedicated to creating positive experiences for families by providing a playful environment, child-friendly language and applying behaviour management techniques. The result? A healthy, happy smile.
WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD SEE A DENTIST FOR THE FIRST TIME?
The Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents bring their child to the dentist six months after the first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Did you know that cavities are the most common chronic disease in children? So much so that the most common surgery at BC Children’s Hospital involves placing kids under general anesthesia to fix cavities.
WHY A PEDIATRIC DENTIST?
Pediatric dentists have specialized knowledge about how to care for a child’s oral health. An additional two to three years of specialized training at a children’s hospital provides us with exceptional behaviour management skills and clinical knowledge specific to children. A check-up and cleaning every six months in a fun and friendly environment with a pediatric dentist will ensure your child has a lifetime of positive experience at the dentist.
WHAT DO YOU DO DURING THE FIRST VISIT?
We do a dental exam to see if there are any signs of weak enamel. We look for colour changes, presence of plaque, and abnormal growth patterns. We will go over diet and oral hygiene in depth to make sure your child is getting the optimal care for teeth.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO FIX BABY TEETH?
Baby teeth are important for eating, speech and self-esteem. Also, baby teeth hold space until adult teeth come in. Preserving baby teeth helps to develop a normal functional bite for growing children.
(AREN’T THEY JUST GOING TO FALL OUT ANYWAY?)
Not for a while. Front adult teeth begin to appear at 6-7 years of age. Back adult teeth don’t come in until 10-12 years of age. Baby teeth with cavities can damage the adult teeth that are developing underneath. For your child to have the best chance at healthy adult teeth for a lifetime, visit a pediatric dentist near you.
I am a certified pediatric dentist and the founder of Playtime Pediatric Dentistry. At Playtime, we believe in creating a nurturing and positive dental experience for infants, toddlers and children. In the world of dentistry, we’ve come a long way. We understand that childhood experiences carry through to adulthood – and going to the dentist is no exception. From their favourite toys, iPad games, TVs on the ceiling, to personalized treats, we make every visit special. Our goal is to make a dentist appointment the best play date of the week.
I received a Diploma in Pediatric Dentistry from the University of British Columbia. I also have a Master’s Degree in Craniofacial Science. My research was about x-ray radiation in pediatric patients. Prior to specializing in Pediatric Dentistry, I worked as a general dentist in Calgary, Alberta. I received my Doctor of Dental Surgery and Bachelor of Medical Science from the University of Alberta. My husband and I enjoy traveling, hiking and skiing in our spare time. We love living in the Lower Mainland because it is the perfect place for us to work and play.
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