Pediatric Dentistry

Tips to Teach Good Dental Habits

Good dental habits can mean the difference between a life full of healthy teeth or dental problem after dental problem. If you have children, the best time to teach your children healthy dental habits is while they’re young. Read our blog post for tips on teaching good dental habits.

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Helping Your Child Learn Self Dental Care

Is there anything more magical than watching your child grow from a small infant into a gangly, independent big kid? It happens in fits and starts at first, from the 20-month-old who proclaims, “Do it myself! Me!” and becomes more frequent in its appearance until one night, you realize that your role in the “getting ready for bed” game has shifted from player to coach to observer.

But it’s still your job to make sure hygiene and personal care are taken care of well enough for your child to be healthy. There is a fine line to walk between doing the job for your child and teaching him to care for himself, and many ways to reach that point. But the end result should always be a grown child who can take care of his own body. How do you get there? Here’s some advice from our North Vancouver family dentist.

Baby Steps

When your child is an infant, you’re the one who stands between their smile and “baby bottle tooth decay.” You’re the one who gets them used to the sensation of something rubbing and brushing over their gums. Establish good habits early – even too early for them to know what’s happening. Don’t allow milk or juice to be taken to bed in a bottle or sippy cup. Make cleaning the gums a nightly ritual. Use a small, fingertip gum brush or a damp washcloth to wipe away the residue from a day’s worth of milk, juice, cereal, and baby food.

Hand Over Hand Learning

As your little one gets bigger and has more “I do it myself” moments, it’s useful to switch models of dental hygiene from one where you do everything to one where your child gets to help. Giving him a chance to try to brush his own teeth before you brush them helps him grow more confident of his skills. Don’t stop teaching, though. One of the ways little people learn best is to have a grown hand holding theirs, showing them the right way. This can be a particularly effective way to teach brushing the teeth, since manipulating the brush can take a little practice!

Continual Transitions

Each phase of growth for your child will come with newly gained abilities and hopefully greater responsibility. As she begins to master brushing, give her the responsibility to brush in the morning without a monitor, while you still keep an eye on the night time brush and floss. Get a tooth brush with a timer to help her know how long to keep brushing, so her evening cleaning is long enough. Provide floss picks to take away the coordination problems that are part of flossing.

Gradually, you can begin stepping away from her dental hygiene routine, until she is at a point where you trust her to care for her teeth.

Even when kids can brush and floss, it’s still important to keep their cleaning appointments twice a year! Don’t forget to schedule with your North Vancouver Dentists at Pier Dental Centre!

Three Reasons to Have A “Family” Dentist

Do you have family dentist in North Vancouver? If you don’t, you should!  Who else are you going to call when you have a terrible toothache or when your child breaks a tooth?  But if you don’t have a family dentist, you also don’t have someone who knows about the tooth you had extracted during college, or the fact that you had gingivitis last year; this means that there’s no one to watch out for shifting teeth or periodontal disease currently. Here are three reasons why you should choose Pier Dental Centre in North Vancouver as your family’s dentist!


1.Having a dental team you know and trust. When you come to the dentist, it’s important that you feel comfortable with all the people who help you. You should trust that you can talk about any dental concern or discomfort you have, or discuss how you feel about your teeth. Only when you have a friendly rapport with your dentist can you begin to have conversations about your ideal dental health and appearance!


2. A centralized location for adults AND children’s dental care.  Your family and children’s dental health is an important consideration for you as you choose a North Vancouver dentist. After all, a smile should last a lifetime. Children in particular require dental care that is gentle and not remotely frightening. At Pier Dental Centre, Dr. Cegielski, Dr. Kherani, and all our staff are particularly compassionate and tender with our smallest patients. We know that it is important for them to feel comfortable at the dentist in order to encourage good dental habits throughout their lives! Plus, you can bring everyone to the same office, saving you valuable time.


3. Someone who understands everything your family has been through You know your general practitioner MD needs to have a complete record of your medical history to be able to provide the best and most accurate care. Did you know that your dentist needs the same? If you’ve skipped around from one office to another, no one knows to watch for gingivitis coming back, that you have a new cavity every year, that your bite has gotten steadily worse since a tooth was removed. Staying with one family dentist over the course of many years gives you another reason to trust your provider. At Pier Dental Centre, we up the ante with your dental record. Everything is digital: there are no notes or pages that can be lost. We can look through your entire history in a few moments to ensure we are recommending the best treatment for your teeth.



A Dental Home in North Vancouver


Your dental health is important to your overall wellness and may predict or be linked to many major medical issues like heart disease, diabetes, and infertility. Imagine how better off you could be with a dentist who has a long-term stake in your health.  Choose a family dentist you trust; call Pier Dental Centre today for your next appointment!

Dental Care for Children

Five Ways to Ease Dental Anxiety for Your Child

One of the most crucial habits to develop for your children is good dental hygiene. Maintaining a clean, healthy mouth will help a child as s/he grows into adulthood and begins a life outside of a parent’s home.


But while you’re working on those good habits, an unhealthy fear of the dentist or the dentist’s office can take root, sometimes with no apparent reason!


There are several ways to help your child overcome dental fear; these are our top five ideas:


  1. Read About It: Sometimes, fear comes from a place of ignorance (not the bad kind – just not having the information you need.)  If your child’s first appointment comes at a grade school age, s/he may feel anxiety about what will happen.  Find an age-appropriate book or information online to explain what happens during a visit to the dentist. Just knowing all the facts can help your child feel more at ease with visiting our North Vancouver office.
  2. Talk About It: In the days or weeks leading up to an appointment, make dental care and the dentist’s office a regular topic of conversation. Let your child know that it’s okay to have questions. When the idea of the appointment becomes normal, s/he may feel less anxiety for the approaching date.
  3. Play Pretend: Play is the work of childhood.  It helps kids make sense of the things happening in their life.  Playing doctor or dentist with your child may help him or her face fears about the dental chair.  It will also help him or her put into words the questions s/he wants to ask.
  4. Use Positive Language: Your little one doesn’t need a horror story from when you were little and went to the dentist; the goal is to help them trust the dentist. At the youngest ages, explain that the dentist wants to count teeth and make sure they’re clean.  Build on that explanation as they get older, continuing to use the language that your dentist office recommends. Let the dentist introduce shots, x-rays, or anything that might otherwise seem scary.
  5. Stay in the Room: At Pier Dental Centre, we encourage parents to stay in the room with their children. Holding a hand if they need it, or even holding them in your lap in the dental chair may help them feel more comfortable.


 Compassionate Care in North Vancouver


The team at Pier Dental Centre is dedicated to serving the entire family from the youngest child with brand new teeth to grandparents with aging smiles. For every patient we serve, we attempt to provide the most relaxing experience in a comfortable environment.


Since it’s so vital for small children to develop healthy dental habits, we are especially gentle with these youngest of patients. Ultimately, we aim to make the dentist a fun place to go, one without an element of fear.


Find out why Pier Dental Centre is a great choice for you and your family.  Schedule your next cleaning appointment with Dr. Robert Cegielski or Dr. Sam Kherani.  Our friendly staff will help put any anxious family member at ease!

Preparing for Your Wisdom Teeth Removal

Medically speaking, a wisdom teeth extraction procedure is not a major surgery. It’s typically completed in an hour or less and involves no vital organs or arteries. But, as the saying goes, the only “minor operation” is one that’s not on you or your family. Still, as long as you are prepared, there is no reason why your teen can’t be comfortable and have a quick recovery time for this common dental procedure.


Here are some ways you can prepare:


Coming Home: Wisdom tooth extractions typically involve a general anesthetic. Your teen won’t be able to drive home, so you must come with him or make transportation arrangements. Make sure you have a couple plastic bags and perhaps some anti-bacterial wipes with you. Some patients have a rough time coming out of anesthesia, and nausea and vomiting could occur as the medication wears off.


Foods: Once your teen wakes up enough, he’ll be hungry (when are teens NOT?) Choices should only include soft, easily chewed and swallowed foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, applesauce, or ice cream. Soups with soft vegetables may be well tolerated, but only at lukewarm temperatures. Flat, non-carbonated drinks are best for the first couple of days.


A Cozy Nest: Maybe it’s common sense, but you want to make sure there is a convenient, cozy place for your teen to rest when he returns home. He probably won’t want to do much for the first day or two, so now is the time to indulge in a Netflix binge! Have enough pillows to prop him up as he sleeps to help decrease any risk of swelling.


Ice, Ice Baby: Get a flexible ice pack before the surgery. One you’re home, fill it up with ice, wrap a clean towel around it, and have your teen hold it to their jaw. The coldness will numb the area, reduce any throbbing ache, and also help reduce swelling.


Watch Out: The biggest detriment to recovery is a “dry socket.” After an extraction, the body forms a clot in the socket where the tooth was. This clot is essential to closing the wound and healing. Occasionally, the clot will come out, leaving the socket exposed. Not only is this painful, but it increases the risk of infection and may double the recovery time.


To avoid dry socket:


  • No straws! The suction from using a straw could remove the clot.
  • Avoid foods that get caught like tough meats, berries, popcorn. Cleaning them out of the extraction area can irritate it.
  • Fizzy Drinks: Avoid carbonation and alcoholic drinks after having a tooth extracted.
  • Eat soft foods. Crispy or harder foods could put pressure on the surgical area and irritate it.
  • No tobacco products. Items such as cigarettes can cause atrophy to blood vessels, slowing down recovery.


Without dry socket, you can expect the gums to heal over the wounds in about two weeks, but your teen should feel recovered long before then.


If you suspect that your child’s wisdom teeth need to be removed, contact Pier Dental Centre of North Vancouver.  Dr. Cegielski can assess and if necessary, remove the painful problem teeth leaving your teen with a naturally beautiful smile!

Why Everyone Should Get a Six Month Checkup


It seems like every time you leave the dentist’s office, the receptionist wants to schedule you for your next visit in six months. Maybe you think it’s a hassle, after all, your appointment went fine and there’s no sign of decay. Or perhaps your schedule isn’t constant. Your kids’ school activities change, your work schedule fluctuates, and setting up an appointment six months in advance seems silly if you’re just going to have to break it again. But the truth is, you need to make and keep your routine to benefit your overall dental health.


What Can Happen in Six Months?

Half a year is just enough time for plaque and calcified tartar to build up, for bacteria to begin eating away at the enamel and dentin of your teeth, for small cavities to develop. Most of the time, if a cavity has developed in six months, it’s small and relatively easy to fill and restore. But when you wait longer, a year, maybe two, the decay will spread deeper into the tooth or its nerve. Not only will the repair be more invasive, but you’ve given the bacteria that causes the decay a chance to spread to your other teeth.


It’s Not Just About Your Teeth

One of the most important things that happens during your six-month checkup and cleaning is a periodontal exam. At Pier Dental Centre, we know that your gum health is a predictor of your overall wellness.

Without the right care, bacteria can cause inflammation, which allows biofilm to get under your gums and into your bloodstream. Poor periodontal health may be a predictor of heart disease, fertility and pregnancy problems, and diabetes among other problems.  But during your six-month visit, our caring dental professionals will check for deep pockets surrounding the teeth, calculus build up, and inflammation. If there’s a problem, we’ll be able to stop it quickly before it spreads to the surrounding gum tissue.


Cancer Screenings

When cancer is caught early, the prognosis is almost always better. Oral cancer screenings are an important part of your six-month appointment. Dr. Cegielski will check the soft tissues under your tongue, around your cheeks, and toward the back of your mouth for any signs of lesions or pre-pathological tissue that might indicate the presence an oral cancer.

So, the next time the front office wants to schedule your next appointment before you leave, take a look at your calendar. Chances are, there isn’t much on it for six months away, and you’ll have your pick of spots at our office. Your kids’ schedules and your schedule can all be worked around it for a couple hours one day. But putting it off could mean it slips your mind, and you easily fall behind on your routine.

When you’re ready to schedule your next visit, call our North Vancouver dental office to set the time. We’ll be happy to see you at our office, and you’ll be smiling when you leave with healthy teeth!

How To Plan Your Child’s First Dental Appointment

Your child’s teeth are a reflection of their growth and maturity; a signal that those sweet newborn and infant days are coming to an end. New things are on the horizon when that first tooth breaks through: solid foods, teething rings, and even bite marks on your furniture!

Another first that’s coming up is your child’s first trip to the dentist. The general rule of thumb is that a child should have their first dental checkup within six months of the appearance of the first tooth or by the first birthday.

Pediatric Dental Care in the Heart of North Vancouver

Pier Dental Centre offers care for your entire family, including the newest members!

When you get ready to come in for that initial appointment, bring a list to help you remember what questions to ask. If you’re unsure what to talk to the dentist about, some topics you might need more information on include:

● How to Brush Your Child’s Teeth
● Fluoridated Toothpaste and Fluoridated Water
● Thumb-sucking and Pacifiers
● Discoloration of baby teeth
● Alignment of baby teeth
● Healthy snacks and food choices

We want to give you all the information you need to keep your child’s smile healthy and strong for years to come, so any question you have is welcome!

Preparing Your Child

You’ve already been to a number of doctor’s appointments with your baby, but at a year of age, he doesn’t remember it specifically. You want your child’s first dental visit to be just as unmemorable. Use age-appropriate vocabulary at the right times to tell older toddlers or young children about what to expect:

● Over a meal tell him how dentists are friends who want to keep our teeth and smiles healthy.
● While brushing her teeth, talk about how the dentist will want to touch and count each tooth in her mouth.
● Read bedtime stories about dentists
● Play “dentist” while lying on the floor and allow your child to brush your own teeth just for fun!

It’s Never Too Late

Even if you didn’t get your child to the dentist at a year old, it is never too late to start them down the road to good dental health. Make their appointment sooner rather than later. The longer your little one goes without a checkup and cleaning, the more likely he will be to have cavities.

If she is older, five or more, you can have actual conversations about the dentist. Allow him to ask questions about what will happen and keep your answers as simple as possible. If you have your own hang ups about getting dental care, don’t spread it to your child. Keep your tone neutral and avoid telling about the time something scary happened to you. Don’t use words like “shot,” “hurt,” or “drill,” even if it’s in a positive light…keep things positive so as not to plant any ideas about the experience being less than enjoyable.

Whether you’re making a first appointment for your infant or an older child, you can trust that Pier Dental Centre will make the initial visit as easy as possible. Dr. Cegielski enjoys working with children of all ages and has a gentle bedside manner that kids love!

Contact our North Vancouver office to schedule your child’s – or family’s – next appointment today!