Airway and Emergency Simulation Seminar

Our dental team is committed to continually reviewing, learning and updating our knowledge on dentistry. We are particularly interested in improvements for your child’s oral health and safety.    

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We recently attended an airway and emergency simulation seminar that refreshed and expanded our knowledge on the important topic of sedation safety. Some of the highlights from our day included lectures on specific differences between child and adult physiology, emergency prevention, case selection and detailed patient medical history. We practiced emergency simulations with a high fidelity simulation doll (Jose, was his name), CPR and AED. It was a great opportunity for us to discuss emergency practices and reflect on ways we work as a team, especially in these critical situations.

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We want to thank Michael Dare, an experienced paramedic, registered critical care nurse and primary sedation instructor at Sea to Sky Dental-Ed who shared his insights with us. We enjoyed learning and practicing these skills and spending quality time together as a team.


Old world wisdom or old wives tale? …… is there any good with rinsing your mouth with salt, baking soda water and coconut oil?

Normal Saline, Sodium Bicarbonate and Chlorhexidine rinses – Are they good for your teeth and gums?  

Very likely!  Do you remember your dentist asking you to rinse with salt water after your wisdom teeth extraction?  The irrigation of dental extractions with normal saline can prevent “dry sockets” and relieve the symptoms associated.  A dry socket is a complication that can occur after the extraction of a tooth/teeth.  The acute inflammation of the bone around the extracted tooth creates severe pain and the breakdown of the clot within the socket.  Food and bacteria may fill up this empty hole where your tooth used to be and can lead to infection.  One study found that 36.8% of patients that ended up with a dry socket did not follow oral hygiene instructions, which included using a warm salt mouth bath to irrigate the extraction sites.

Salt, baking soda water or chlorhexidine rinses have also been recommended for increasing oral cleanliness and reducing the risk of infection in the mouth or other oral diseases.   Normal saline and sodium bicarbonate are both bland rinses that have no known biological properties but Chlorhexidine actually has antimicrobial properties.  Even though, research has not been able to directly prove the effects of these rinses against other significant problems, like oral mucositis, they are often still recommended.  The Guidelines Panel of the Basic Oral Care Section for example recommend their use in patients undergoing cancer treatments as most patients found their improved oral hygiene and comfort with the use of these rinses.  Chlorhexidine mouth rinse is usually recommended for periodic use only in the prevention of oral mucositis, gingivitis or plaque control as its long term use may cause side effects.


Oil-pulling with coconut oil can treat cavities?

Plausible! Coconut oil has been shown to have numerous positive effects in health promotion and disease prevention and its products have been well respected in Indian folk medicine for thousands of years.  According to Ayurvedic medicine, documented in Sanskrit well back to 4000 years ago, the oil, milk, cream and water of the coconut have been used to treat hair loss, burns, heart problems as well as it being used as an electrolyte, antioxidant, antithrombotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and immunostimulant to name only a few benefits.  The process of oil-pulling for the mouth involves rinsing and swishing approximately one tablespoon of the oil around in your mouth, pulling, pushing and sucking it around your mouth and through your teeth and then spitting it out.  The microbes hiding in and amongst your teeth are “pulled out” and held within the solution.  Some state it has helped whiten their teeth, prevent bad breath and reduce inflamed gums.   While coconut oil rinse may help decrease the overall bacterial load in the mouth, it is difficult to say if  this method actually prevents oral diseases.   More research is needed to show if it is beneficial to oral health because good oral health does not mean a mouth without bacteria but a happy equilibrium between good and bad bacteria.   Sunflower and sesame oil have also been used although coconut oil is the preferred oil due to the fact that it contains lauric acid, which is known to have strong antimicrobial action. Before this new concept has a more concrete link with science, it is still beneficial if the placebo effect helps increase everyone’s awareness to oral health.

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Copyright 2014 The Children’s Oral Care Centre

Love has no border – our dental volunteer mission: Ojochal – Nicaragua

Abre la boca! (open your mouth!) –  Not only did the Nicaraguans open their mouths for us when we visited them in March for our dental mission, they also opened their hearts for us.  When we visited the two different villages during our trip, we found them all very welcoming.  Even though the history of Nicaragua is scarred by dictatorship, civil wars and hurricanes, the people have not given up and are striving to make Nicaragua a better country.  They have such positive outlooks on their lives that we could never tell Nicaragua was the second poorest country in Latin America.  As much as we helped to improve their oral health during our trip, we benefited more as they made us experience true happiness, which lies in what you enjoy and not what you have!   We also made many friends with other dental professionals from all over the country who not only had talent in dentistry but also in music.  Impromptu live bands at the beach were definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

Want to see more about our trip – please visit:

This is how other members of the Children’s Oral Care’s team feel about the trip…


People in North America seem to think of going to the dentist as a right or a pain they’d rather not endure. It was a real treat to experience those that see it as a blessing and a special occasion. In a village we visited on the last 2 days of our mission in Nicaragua, it was a real eye opener. We were told by our translators that everyone went home and dressed in their best attire to meet us for treatment. They saw it as a gift and a very special day.  They spoiled us with fresh foods for lunch that they prepared in thanks and the children put together a program of song and dance to perform for us. After treatment the kids would just hang around, watched and enjoyed our company.  Quite different from what we know. Some wait for hours in the hot sun, just to have a quick cleaning. I only hope that we would all realize what a privilege we do have in North America.


There are so many things to share about our trip to Nicaragua; in general it was just awesome. It was an eye opener when going out into the villages to perform dental work and seeing how the people actually live. They are very poor people, who truly needed our help. Even though our drives to the villages were quite long, especially when it was an hour drive down a gravel road and you wondered where in the world we were going, it allowed me to see and soak in more of the culture and life of Nicaragua. I was surprised when seeing an oxen/horse and cart used to pull people or their belongings on the main road. Even though each day had its challenges, like not having power for our machines, dust and dirt flying all around or the language barrier, the best part of it all was being able to use my given talents to serve the people there. And through it all I learned a bit of Spanish.


Going to Nicaragua was one of the most memorable trips I have ever been on. Someone’s explanation of what a mission trip is does not do justice to what actually happened.  There was so much more that I have experienced.  The warm greeting we got from each village put a smile on my face for the entire time I was working.  When we drove down the dirt roads, we pulled up to villages that have nothing. Each house looked empty and dark but the entire family lives in it. When we came to do the dental work,  each patient showed great cooperation although I could only communicate with my limited body language. The patients were very helpful and very grateful for everything we did.   Parents thanked us even if their children were upset and fearful for the work, which made it that much more rewarding. Life in Nicaragua is so different than back home.  People live without what,  we in North America, feel that we can’t live without.   It makes me realize how little I really need to live a happy, healthy life and to be grateful for what I have already got.  Overall it was an amazing, life transforming experience and I cannot wait to go again.


Copyright 2014 The Children’s Oral Care Centre

March is National Nutrition Month – Your nutrition early in pregnancy plays a role in the dental health of your child.

Healthy diet and good nutrition are important to all but are especially important in expecting mothers.  When you’re pregnant there are a hundred things to think about and worry over and dental hygiene may be put to the side, however this is one of those times where extra attention should be placed on it.

Did you know that the development of your child’s teeth begin as early as 6 weeks after fertilization?

This explains why it is so important that you take care of yourself very early on in pregnancy.  Malnutrition and poor diet during the early phase of tooth growth can cause tooth or jaw changes in your child.  Children of mothers who have poor nutrition during pregnancy can be born with enamel hypoplasia, a defect that increases a child’s risk of developing tooth decay.

Inadequate nutrition or periodontal disease throughout pregnancy may lead to your baby being born with a low birth weight.  Low birth weight has been found to be associated with enamel hypoplasia, palatal deformities, developmental complications, asthma, ear infections, and behavioral difficulties. One study showed that there was at least one enamel defect in 90% of children with low birth weight.

What exactly is malnutrition in pregnancy?

Since you are experiencing many body changes and are now supporting the growth and development of a new life inside you your diet must adjust to allow that.  The requirement for protein increases by 20% and is approximately 60g per day.  Be sure to have enough vitamins – A, C, D and minerals – calcium, phosphorus, iron an iodine so that your child’s dentition can develop properly. Follow the food pyramid – a well-balanced diet complete with; low fat, low sugar and high nutrient snacks is important (celery, carrots, milk, cheese).

Nutrition guidelines can be found at:

When planning a pregnancy it is important that you see a dentist beforehand.  This way you can have any required dental treatment completed and have your risk level assessed.   During your pregnancy you are also at a higher risk for tooth decay.  You are more likely to transfer decay-causing bacteria on to your newborn baby or other young children you may have.  It is as easy as sharing food, cutlery or even kisses that can help spread the bacteria.  Morning sickness can also be one of the culprits or tooth decay because of the stomach juice acidity.  If you have morning sickness it is a good idea that you rinse your mouth out with baking soda water or a fluoride mouthwash as soon as you can.

Ensure you are getting enough calcium too!


Copyright 2014 The Children’s Oral Care Centre

It’s time to kick your (cigarette) butts! National Non-Smoking Week is upon us.

If you go for a walk outside, you will probably pass a smoker along the way.  Although the number of smokers appears to be declining as more and more education and prevention strategies are available, it is still a major health issue in today’s society.  The health consequences for smoking are serious and significant.  There are more than 440,000 deaths a year related to smoking and an additional 50,000 deaths from second hand smoke.  Health concerns resulting from smoking are not only linked obviously to your lungs but also; to your heart, your reproductive organs, your blood (eg.  leukemia), your eyes (eg. cataracts), just to name a few examples.  Along with the usual health problems associated with smoking (allergies, asthma, infections), second hand smoke from friends or family members particularly affects children.  Infants and children are at higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome and early childhood caries when they are exposed to the smoke of others. Don’t forget also,  third hand smoke, which is when residual toxins from the cigarettes are deposited on surfaces throughout the homes even after the cigarette is no longer lit.  The toxins lingers in the air for months and the well being of children who play in these contaminated areas are jeopardized.


The Children’s Oral Care Centre strongly supports the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s  recommendations for smoking  prevention.   We take interests in regular screening for tobacco use, prevention strategies for children and adolescents and treating any tobacco dependency within this population because shocking statistics tells us that, today 20% of high school students use tobacco (including smokeless forms) and 90% of adult smokers began before the age of 19.  Every day 3,600 teenagers between the ages of 12-17 will try smoking and of those 1,100 will become regular users.  As pediatric dentists, we are concerned about the large number of adolescent smokers who expose themselves to negative oral health outcomes, including  smell and taste reductions, staining of teeth, leukoplakia, coated tongue, oral cancer and periodontitis.


One effective way to spread the word “no” to tobacco in the young generation is through technology! QuitNow is a province wide quit smoking resource that provide services and scientifically-proven support for smoking cessation   The BC Lung Association’s QuitNow program can also be found on your phone so you can have access to this support system at any time anywhere! You can even sign up for text messaging support, participate in monthly contests and join their facebook group to interact with and share stories with others who are trying to quit themselves.  Another great resource for quitting is your pharmacist, they are usually within close distance and you don’t need an appointment to speak with them for advice and support with smoking cessation.


There is no better time than now to look into smoking cessation for you and those you care about, like your teenage sons or daughters.  Share with them these resources and show them your support!


Copyright 2013 The Children’s Oral Care Centre