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Your Child’s Dental Firsts

Guest blog post by Dr. Daniya Pervaiz

Many adults have a fear of visiting the dentist, let alone taking their child to one. April is Oral Health Month in Canada, and all the more reason to address some of the most common paediatric dental inquiries I get as both a dentist and a mother. 


Your baby’s teeth start forming in utero, and in rare cases your baby might be born with what is called a ‘natal’ tooth. By definition, a natal tooth, is one which appears within the first 30 days of a newborn’s life. On average, a baby’s first tooth, which is usually the lower central incisor, will erupt around the 4-6 month range. Your child’s first adult tooth, the first molar, will likely appear around age 4 to 6. However, genetics play a big role so you, the parents, are a good indicator of when your baby will cut their first tooth. My own daughter did not have a single baby tooth until after her first birthday. Often, delayed eruption is a sign of other genetic disorders, so if you are concerned do see your dentist. 














Image Source: American Dental Association


There is a difference in opinion among dentists about when to introduce fluoridated toothpaste to your child. Firstly, fluoride is a mineral which helps prevent cavitation of teeth by helping remineralize the top enamel layer. Tap water in Canada is fluoridated to a regulated level, for this exact purpose. Most children’s first-stage toothpastes are not fluoridated as they do not have the ability to spit without swallowing. Excess exposure to fluoride, can result in fluorosis, which is a change in appearance of the teeth. Fluorosis, most commonly and in its mildest form, will present as small white specks on the enamel. Personally, I would wait to introduce fluoridated toothpaste until your child is able to spit instead of swallowing the paste, which is a skill I am still struggling to teach my 2.5 year old daughter! However, if your child’s first dental visit results in concerns about cavities then I would go ahead and use a rice-grain sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste while helping your child brush. Usually, by age 3 a child should be ready for fluoridated toothpaste. It is important to help your child with toothbrushing until at least age 6. 

Example of fluorosis. 

Image Source: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research             



The Canadian Dental Association recommends that your child’s first dental visit should be within six months of eruption of their first tooth, or by their first birthday; whichever comes first. The purpose of the first visit is mainly for the dentist to identify any problems with the teeth and more importantly to familiarize your child with their “dental home.” You and your children will be seeing the dentist on a 6 to 12 month interval for the rest of their lives and the first visit will set the stage for this. 

I see many anxious adult patients in my practice, who have developed a fear of the dentist from a very young age. Bringing your child in from an early age when minimal treatment is required will allow them to be more comfortable for future visits which may be more procedure-based. Prior to your child’s first dental visit, it is important to avoid using any phrases with the words “pain” or “fear”, even in the negatory. I prepared my daughter for her first visit at age 1 by using positive words to incite excitement beforehand as well as letting her watch her father get a cleaning. This helped peak her curiosity to try something new. 




Now this is a first I hope you do not have to experience with your child, however, this is an important point to discuss as a history of cavities in childhood is one of the main indicators of caries in adulthood. Early childhood tooth decay, also known as “baby bottle tooth decay” occurs when your child’s teeth have a prolonged exposure to sugary liquids, most likely due to pooling of milk in the mouth from a bottle. It is important to note that this pattern of tooth decay is also common in breast-fed babies who have a tendency to nurse through the night. If you note any brown or black spots on your child’s teeth, it is important to have them checked immediately. Preventative efforts that can be implemented include not letting your child fall asleep with a bottle of milk, switching your child to a cup by their first birthday, brushing and flossing regularly, and of course regular dental visits!





Image Source: California Dental Association

Dr. Daniya Pervaiz is a general dentist based in downtown Toronto. She graduated from Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in 2013 and has been practicing since. She is also a busy mom to an energetic 2.5 year old daughter and a newborn 2 month old son. 

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6 Baby Bath Time Tips

Disclosure: I have partnered with Kitchen Stuff Plus and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Does bath time with the kids leave you completely soaked? Have you put the babes in the bath only to realize you forgot some bath time essentials? Is your bathroom full of baby bath toys? Been there…done that!

After having two babies in two years (YES, you read that correctly!) I have mastered the art of giving a baby a bath. It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows though and I have learned from many bath time mistakes. I have implemented these 6 bath time tips which have made our bath time routine at home so much better! I have grown to love giving both of my babies a bath, filled with lots of giggles (perfect way to unwind and get ready for bed!).

Here are the 6 tips for any mom out there struggling to get through baby bath time!

1. Invest in the Memory Foam Bathmat (Your knees will thank you!)

All that kneeling down while giving your baby a bath can get rough on your knees. This is where a good quality memory foam bathmat comes in. Not only does this Harman Supreme Large Microfiber Memory Foam Bathmat look great while matching my decor but my knees are spared!  A definite win for this mama!

2. Use a Bath Tub Mat

My kids love bubble baths…but that can get really slippery in the tub.  That’s why I use the Splash Softee Foam Bath Tub Mat ! This non-slip mat features suction cups underneath to keep it in place. Having this mat in the tub is an essential tool to keep your baby safe during bath time!

3. Storage for Baby Bath Time Toys

Every baby loves playing with toys in the bath and every mom hates walking into the bathroom and stepping on these said toys….ouch! The solution is to have some storage right in the bathtub so once bath time is over, you can rinse the toys and place them in the basket. The InterDesign Powerlock Corner Basket is what I use and it has become a life saver! There a lot of baby bath storage items on the market but they’re so colourful and just don’t go with my bathroom decor! This is why I love this clear corner basket! It also features strong suction cups that won’t ruin your bathtub tiles!

4. Keep a Laundry Hamper Handy

I don’t know about you but before I started doing this I used to have my babies clothes on my bathroom floor for days before I got around to picking them up…eww, I know! Bath time just gets so busy once you pick up the little one from the tub; you have to haul them to their room, dry them off and get them ready for bed!  Anyways, my solution is to keep the laundry hamper right in the washroom to make my life easier and my bathroom tidier! This laundry basket is stylish, durable and easy to carry to the laundry room! A bathroom must have!

5. Gather Baby Bath Time Items BEFORE you Run the Bath

This tip is really important. A little pre-planning and organization before the bath starts is so essential. This is because once your baby is in the tub, you cannot leave them alone…even for a second! Keep your baby safe please! Anyways, the solution is to gather all the items you need – towel, lotion, comb, wash cloths, hair dryer (I use a travel hairdryer for my kids!), nail clippers and so on before you start. I use this handy  Made Smart Bath Tidy Soft Grip Tote to gather all of the items before hand – and it fits perfectly under the sink when not in use!

6. Invest in a Bath Towel Apron for Yourself

After giving many, many baths to my first baby and always being completely soaked afterwards, my lovely friend gifted me a towel apron that protected me from all of the splishing and splashing that comes along with bath time! This was a total life changer! I no longer have to do outfit changes after bathing my kids! It’s basically an apron made from towel material so it’s super absorbent and comfortable! Definitely something every mom with young children should have!

These 6 tips have really changed bath time for me and my kids; think less stress and more fun and bonding time with your little ones! Good luck mamas!







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The Young Learner

My name is Mehwish Siddiqui and I am a teacher in Vancouver, B.C. I have a little girl who is three years old. I have an instagram blog ( dedicated to my daughter’s learning experience through play. I use educational items as well as everyday items to create activities for my little one. As a teacher, I have often seen students lack confidence in using basic tools such as glue, scissors, holding a pencil and much more. I believe, we need to develop their fine motor and hand eye coordination skills from the beginning.  I thoroughly believe that young children need to exposed to lots of learning opportunities in their early years. This helps build their confidence and encourages the love of learning.



Flashback to the beginning of 2017  – I am rushing through my day with my two year old literally hanging off my leg, asking for the i-Pad for the fourth time. No! I think enough is enough. I always thought I would be a parent who would limit screen time for obvious reasons such as bad eyesight and lack of creativity. BUT…unfortunately I had been sucked into using technology as a way of getting some much needed ME time (I was taking care of my two year toddler on my own all day).  So, I give in and put on that awful song “daddy finger, mommy finger where are you?” You all know how that song goes, sometimes I could hear it when it was not even playing!


“Play is the beginning of knowledge” –George Dorsey

One day, I put some acorns that I had found outside on the table and I noticed my toddler was just moving them back and forth.  Then, she stacked them on top of each other. Next, she lined them up. I continued to observe and was so happy that she was creating the “play” for herself!  Self-play is best play! (That was my light bulb moment- I quickly grabbed some pebbles and placed the acorns in a bin and let her discover play) Funny enough, I later found out that what I created for her was called sensory play.


From then onwards, I decided to start activity time with my daughter everyday in which we would try learning different skills or use various tools and simply have FUN! I would take pictures of her playing and make videos for memories. I had posted some videos on my personal instagram account and #kashmirifoodie and a few other friends encouraged me to start an activity blog.  That is how the young learner started. We try to do at least one new activity a day .In my activity post, I usually write instructions and materials for the activity.

Here is one activity I put up recently on the young learner. My daughter is learning to recognize letters, so I named letters and she stamped it on the play-dough. I love when one activity can teach more than just one skill. For example, this activity taught her

1) letters

2) stamping with play-dough

3) peeling the play-dough off (now that’s what I call three birds with one stone hehe)


“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn”- O.Fred Donaldson

After breakfast, I encourage my toddler to do some self-play. I usually choose two to three activities and lay them down for her to do on her own. Some examples are play-dough with cutters, a puzzle, popsicle sticks, letters.  Usually, she moves from one activity to another. Sometimes, she only chooses to do one activity and other times none at all. I do not force the activities- they are just there for her to approach when she is ready. Here is a picture of her with three activities (a puzzle, a matching game and her roller coaster spinnyos toy.)


“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold”- Joseph Chilton Pearce

For a young learner, I know it is important to have different types of activities, which are not just related to academics. Here is an example of an activity we did when her cousin was over. I put pom poms and cut up straws in water and gave them both a try at spoon fishing! (I honestly think my niece enjoyed the activity more than my daughter haha.)



I have made a commitment to myself that I need to take responsibility for my daughter’s early learning. Sure, they will learn at school but what they learn from you will only make school easier and them more confident. So moms, dads, caretakers try out an activity today and see your children’s eyes light up and see the joy! (My daughter literally jumps up and down when I say its activity time).  I have been getting such good feedback from moms, teachers and friends about the fun activities on the young learner. Do check it out for yourself!