Tips: How to Make Kids Brush Teeth and Floss

Taking care of your child’s oral care is important from a very early age. Starting good oral hygiene practices with your child as soon as their baby teeth come in will help prevent dental problems like gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities later in life.

However, as all parents know, trying to teach a young child good habits of any kind and getting them to pay attention for more than 30 seconds at a time is much easier said than done. That’s why the pediatric dental experts at Ellerslie 66 Dental are here to give you some tips that can help make tooth brushing and flossing fun and easy for you and your child.


Show Them How

Before letting your child be involved in the process of brushing and flossing, take the time to show them how you do it yourself.  Since you should be brushing your own teeth twice a day for two minutes anyway, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to show your children how you take care of your own pearly whites

Sit together in front of the mirror and let them get a good look in your mouth to see how you reach every surface of your teeth, gums, and tongue. Make sure to emphasize that it’s important to spit the excess toothpaste out and rinse afterward. Then take the time to show them how you wrap the floss around your fingers and get into the spaces between all of your teeth.  

Showing your child how you do this on yourself can not only give them a visual aid for what they should be doing, but it can also help relieve anxiety by showing them that if mommy or daddy can do it there’s nothing to be worried about. 


Let Them Practice on You

One you’ve shown them how you brush and floss on yourself, give your child the chance to practice on you.  Let them brush and even practice flossing on a few of your teeth. Even if they don’t get it right the first time, you have the ability to go back and do it yourself again later!

Giving them the chance to practice on you lets your child feel like you are their equal in the process, rather than just the person telling them what they have to do.  If it’s important for you to take care of your teeth, it must be important for them as well!


Let Them Try On Their Own (Supervised)

Once your child has had an opportunity to watch and practice on you, give them some independence and let them try brushing and flossing their own teeth. Give them the freedom to put their own pea size amount of children’s fluoride toothpaste on their brush, wrap the floss around their fingers, and do the work themselves.  

Allowing them to brush and floss on their own while you guide them can give them a feeling of responsibility and being in control.


Let Them Choose

One of the easiest ways to help your child feel in control of their own oral health is to simply let them pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste flavor. 

Next time you’re at the store, let them make the choice.  Since they won’t necessarily know the difference between a child’s brush or toothpaste and a grownup’s, you can narrow it down for them, and give them some options to choose from. 

If they don’t end up liking the flavors they choose, try something else the next time, or have a couple different options in the house to give them variety.


Brush to music

From Raffi, to Sesame Street and the Wiggles, there are several children’s musicians who have written songs about brushing teeth.  Putting on one of these songs from their favorite characters can make brushing teeth a fun game, rather than a tedious activity.  In addition, most of these songs are conveniently about 2 minutes long, so your child will get in the habit of knowing the proper amount of brushing time.


Give Them Rewards

Incentivising your children to brush and floss regularly by giving them rewards is another way to make oral care fun and help your child feel like they are doing something important.  This could be something as simple as giving them a sticker or putting coins in a jar to save for a fun prize. 

To reward different levels of completion you could give a gold star or a quarter if they brush for the whole two minutes and floss, and maybe a silver star or a dime if they brush and floss, but don’t fully complete the process.


Be Patient!

Last but not least, be patient!  The process of getting your children to practice good brushing and flossing habits will take time and there will be bumps along the way.  However, if your children see you get frustrated, they’ll get frustrated and lose interest as well. 

Be there to answer their questions, and help them when they need it.  

And if you ever have questions yourself, or would like to schedule your child for their regular dental checkup and teeth cleaning, the team at Ellerslie 66 Dental is here for you.  Feel free to contact us or call us at (780) 705-9866 and we’ll be happy to help!

Children’s Dental Care Made Easy

Your child’s oral health is just as important as your own.  From the time they are babies, all the way until they get their permanent teeth, it’s important to make sure that your child practices good dental home care to help ensure that they grow up with healthy, happy smiles. 

However, at Ellerslie 66 Dental, we know it can be difficult for your child to learn how to practice good dental hygiene habits, especially at an early age.  If your child is too young to take care of their own teeth, or if they need some help acquiring some good habits, we’re here to offer a few suggestions to help make your children’s dental care easy. 


Advice for Your Children’s Dental Care:

To help ensure your child’s dental health, they should begin to brush and floss on their own as soon as they are old enough to do so. In most cases children should be able to do this with supervision around the age of 4 or 5.  However, each child is different, so make sure to consult with your dentist to make sure they think your child is able to practice good oral hygiene on their own.

Helping your child practice good dental hygiene early on can help them engage in good hygiene habits after their adult teeth come in. 



Engaging in good brushing habits removes plaque from your child’s teeth, and helps prevent cavities and tooth decay.  Children should start brushing using toothbrushes with soft bristles. 

You can help your child learn proper brushing technique by first showing them how to place their toothbrush against their front teeth at a 45 degree angle.  Have them start brushing in a circular motion along their gums. After they have brushed all of their front teeth have them move to the top and inside surfaces as well. Finally, help your child get in the habit of brushing their gums to remove bacteria and help keep their breath fresh.   

Many cities, like Edmonton, have fluoride in the water to help strengthen and repair tooth enamel.  However, using a small amount of  fluoride toothpaste is recommended to help maintain the health of your child’s teeth 



Your child should start flossing as soon as they have teeth that touch together. Often this will occur before your child is old enough to floss on their own so you should help them until they are capable of flossing themselves.  

To practice proper flossing technique, you or your child should wrap a string of floss between the thumb and forefinger. Place the floss between each set of teeth in a C shape and gently move the floss back and forth. You don’t have to floss too hard, stop when you feel resistance on the gums or teeth.  And don’t forget to get all of your child’s teeth, including the four in the back.

Tips To Help Teach Your Children Good Brushing & Flossing Habits.

Visiting the Dentist:

An important part of your child’s dental care, is to make sure that they receive regular dental services from a pediatric dentist.

Visiting a dentist within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth is recommended in Canada by the The Canadian Dental Association (CDA). As we emphasize in Preventative Dentistry, the purpose is to take preventative measures before problems occur or get more serious. 

Regular dental appointments for kids can teach them good oral habits and learn the importance of oral health from their childhood. Dentists can also offer other preventative measures, like dental sealants, that you can’t get at home. They can also help identify and mitigate possible dental health issues before they happen. A dental exam every six months is recommended if a child has had cavities before, otherwise every twelve months.

Dr. Li and the care team at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic know the importance of children’s dental health. We will provide your child with compassionate and comfortable care, and help them to understand the benefits of good dental health. 

If you have questions about our pediatric dentistry services, or would like to make an appointment for your child, contact our team of dental professionals or give us a call at (780) 705-9866.

How to Whiten Teeth with the Help of Your Dentist

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures because it can help restore confidence in your smile. Some patients might feel embarrassed about wanting to undergo a teeth whitening procedure, and we hope we can help you understand that teeth whitening is very common, and many people do it!

We assure you that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Teeth whitening is a great way to remove stubborn stains that most people will encounter over the course of their lives.

Discoloration in your teeth may be caused by:

  • Tobacco use
  • Aging
  • Side effects from certain medication
  • Consumption of coffee, tea, wine and other deeply pigmented food and drink
  • Poor dental hygiene due to lack of preventative dental care
  • Many other reasons that may be beyond your control

It’s important to understand that not all teeth can be whitened, and there are many health factors that will determine if tooth whitening is right for you. In cases where teeth whitening will not be effective, dental veneers might be a suitable alternative for brightening your smile.


How to Whiten Teeth

Teeth whitening can be performed in several ways, and a qualified teeth whitening dentist can help you make a decision based on your health history and whitening goals. The three most common ways to whiten teeth are:

In-Office with the help of Dr. Li and our friendly team

Teeth whitening can be performed in the office and is the fastest method of whitening teeth. In-office teeth whitening is performed through the use of high concentrations of bleaching gel in precise applications. This form of teeth whitening is not permanent, and patients may need to book follow up appointments to keep their teeth white over time.

Custom made trays that contain teeth whitening gel

Teeth whitening trays work by gradually whitening teeth over time through the use of teeth whitening gel applied to a tray that is custom-fit to a patient’s mouth. The whitening gel used in our take home trays is professional strength and more powerful than teeth whitening products you find at a store.

Over the counter teeth whitening kits

There are many teeth whitening kits and strips available over the counter at pharmacies and other retail outlets. Because there are so many brands available, it can be difficult to know which teeth whitening kit is best for you. We suggest that you speak with Dr. Li and our care team to understand your options and which teeth whitening method will be most effective for you.


Find Out the Best Way to Whiten Your Teeth

When you meet with Dr. Li and our friendly care team, we will review your dental health history and fully examine your teeth to determine if you are a candidate for teeth whitening. Dr. Li will explain which teeth whitening method might be most effective for you, and will take the time to answer all of your questions.

We understand that going to the dentist can sometimes be stressful, and we’re committed to making you feel comfortable and relaxed. 

To book a teeth whitening consultation, fill out our convenient online form, or call us at 780-705-9866.  

Everything You Wanted to Know About Dental Veneers

Your smile is important! From instant selfies, to showing confidence at the big business meeting, or looking your best on that first date, your smile says a lot about you.

However, dental issues such stains and discoloration, broken and chipped teeth, abnormally shaped teeth, and gaps can cause millions of people hide their smile from the rest of the world.

If you’re one of the many Canadians who are stressed or embarrassed by their smile then dental veneers might be a good fit for you.

We know that you might have a lot of questions before choosing veneers, so we’re here to help provide you with the information that you need to make the right decision for your dental health.


What Are Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin shells that are attached to the front surface of the tooth. They are arguably one of the most versatile tools at a dentist’s disposal, and can be used to help encourage tooth repair and hide a number of cosmetic dental issues.

The most traditional veneers are porcelain veneers, but other types of materials may be used in some situations. Most dentists prefer porcelain because it is not only a strong and highly durable material, but it’s coloring and sheen closely mimic the look of your natural tooth enamel. This means the veneer more closely resembles your natural teeth, giving you a clean, beautiful smile you can be proud of.

What Are Veneers Used For?

Veneers are a truly multifaceted cosmetic dental tool and can be used to help resolve a variety of dental issues.

One of the most common uses of veneers is to help cover up stains and discolorations that do not respond to other teeth whitening or bleaching procedures. However, they can also be used to repair issues with your tooth structure including covering up chips and broken teeth, filling gaps between teeth, and helping make crooked teeth look straight.

  • Veneers Can Help With:
  • Permanent stains and discoloration
  • Gaps in teeth
  • Broken and chipped teeth
  • Abnormally shaped teeth

Are Veneers Permanent?

Porcelain veneers are not a permanent fix for your dental issues, but they do provide you with a long lasting, natural looking solution that can improve your smile for many years. While the procedure itself is irreversible, your veneers will eventually break down and need to be replaced. However, porcelain veneers can last for an average of 10 years, and can last for even longer if well maintained.

There are also some cases where temporary, clip-on composite veneers might be suggested. Composite resin veneers can be a less expensive alternative to permanent veneers, are removable and replaceable, and don’t require invasive dental procedures to place. Therefore they may be a better option for patients in some circumstances.

However, they do come with a number of disadvantages that porcelain veneers don’t have.

Because they are not as durable as porcelain, there are a number of foods that should be avoided when wearing temporary veneers such as hard foods, tough meats, sticky foods, and foods that have staining agents. Brushing and flossing with temporary veneers also requires some additional caution as flossing, and electric toothbrushes may loosen the bonds between your teeth and the veneer. Finally, although composite veneers can help resolve several dental conditions, just like porcelain, they don’t have , so they may be more noticeable.


How Are Veneers Applied?

The process of installing veneers can take several weeks to complete and is done in multiple phases.

First, in order to prepare your teeth for your veneers, your dentist may need to reshape the surface of your tooth by trimming off some of your existing tooth enamel. In some cases your dentist may suggest a local anesthetic for this part of the procedure to help a patient feel more comfortable.

After your teeth have been shaped and prepared, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth. This mold will be sent off to a laboratory that will create your porcelain veneers. In the meantime, this is one of the instances where temporary veneers come in handy, as they can be inserted until the time your new veneers are ready.

After two to four weeks you’ll return to your dentist for the veneer placement. After your dentist ensures that they fit on your teeth well, they will clean, polish, and etch your teeth to prepare them to be set. To place the veneer, a special cement will be applied to bond with the etching made in your teeth. Once the veneers are placed a special light will be applied to encourage a chemical bond between your veneer and the cement. Your dentist will then clean any excess cement, check your bite, and make any last minute adjustments before sending you off with your new smile.


Are Veneers Worth It?

In many cases dental veneers can be the best solution to help resolve some of your cosmetic dental issues. As previously mentioned, they are highly versatile and can be used to help with anything from covering discolored teeth, to hiding broken and chipped teeth, filling gaps, and fixing abnormally shaped teeth.
That being said, they are not the answer to every dental problem.

We recommend a consultation with our team of compassionate dental professionals to determine if you are a good candidate for dental veneers. At the time of your consultation a dentist will examine your teeth to determine if a veneer will help resolve your issues.

If you’re a good candidate, we’ll move forward with the procedure from there. If not, we’ll recommend another procedure that may be right for you, whether that may be dental implants, dental restorations, or something else.


How Much Do Veneers Cost?

The price of dental veneers varies from patient to patient depending on their needs. During your initial consultation with Dr. Li, she will examine your health history and current oral health, and outline a treatment plan that is customized to your exact needs.

Dr. Li and the care team at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic strive to make dental care affordable and accessible to all of our patients. We will work with you to find a treatment plan for your dental veneers that works for your financial situation.

If you have questions about dental veneers, our team of compassionate professionals can help you understand all of your options. Contact us now or give us a call at (780) 705-9866.

A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Root Canals

For many people the term “root canal” conjures up negative perceptions. Root canals have had a bad reputation in years past because they were thought to be painful or frightening. Modern root canal therapy is safe and effective, and most importantly root canal treatment brings relief from severe pain that many patients feel as a result of inflamed or infected teeth.

Our goal at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic is to help our Edmonton friends and family understand dental procedures and the positive outcomes of practicing good oral hygiene. We hope to dispel rumors about root canals and offer you insight into this effective treatment.


What is a root canal?

Root canals (also known as endodontic treatments) are dental procedures that are designed to remove bacteria from an infected root canal. Deep inside your tooth, below the hard outer layer, is a soft tissue called “pulp.” Pulp contains nerves and blood vessels which nourish your tooth as you grow. When you reach adulthood and your teeth have fully developed, the roots of your teeth no longer need to rely on pulp and can survive without it.

When pulp becomes inflamed or infected, a root canal may be necessary to remove the pulp and any bacteria that are left behind. If left untreated the inflamed or infected pulp can lead to a tooth abscess, which in turn may lead to bone loss or total loss of the tooth itself.


When you might need a root canal

Root canal therapy can become necessary for a variety of reasons including traumatic events like a cracked or chipped tooth, as a result of genetics, or due to problems with a filling. Many patients first notice a problem when their teeth become sensitive to hot or cold, or daily activities such as chewing or brushing.

Other symptoms that may indicate a root canal is needed include:

  • Pain while chewing
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Tender gums
  • Visible tooth decay or discoloration of gums

These symptoms are not entirely unique to root canal problems, and may be a result of other dental issues. If you feel sudden or acute pain in your teeth, contact our emergency dentistry team right away by calling 780-705-9866.


Steps in the root canal procedure

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of a root canal, your first step will be to reach out to a trusted Edmonton dental clinic for an examination. At your first appointment, a licensed dentist such as Dr. Yuping Li will conduct a thorough examination of the root canal.

If it is determined that a root canal is needed, you’ll be scheduled for root canal therapy. Root canals are performed in several steps:

  • The patient is anesthetized to numb the affected area and provide comfort.
  • An opening in the tooth is made to remove the infected tissue.
  • The dental canal is thoroughly cleaned to remove bacteria.
  • The canal is filled and sealed to prevent future infection.

A crown may be placed to give the tooth a natural appearance. For root canals that need extensive repair, a small post may be inserted into the root to give support to the crown.

Each patient is unique and your goals will be discussed to find the right treatment and aftercare options for your comfort and safety.

Root Canal Infographic

Who can perform a root canal?

Root canals are performed by general dentists, or in some cases referred to a specialist called an “endodontist.” An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal treatments. At Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic, Dr. Li performs endodontic treatments in house without the need to refer to a specialist.

Root canals can affect patients of all ages, so it is important to find a dentist who is qualified at treating children and adults. Dr. Li offers pediatric dentistry services and dental care for the whole family.

To book an examination with Dr. Li, please fill out this form or call us at 780-705-9866. You can see what our happy patients have to say about our services by reading our reviews.

Everything You Need to Know About Preventative Dental Care

So much of our daily lives are impacted by oral health. For many of our Edmonton patients, having a healthy smile provides encouragement and improves confidence. By taking daily preventative measures to improve your oral health you may be able to avoid serious complications like cavities, gum disease or dental emergencies.


What is Preventative Dental Care?

You’ve probably heard it time and time again: brush and floss daily! But that’s only part of the preventative care picture. There are steps you can take daily, monthly and even yearly to ensure your smile is healthy. Preventative dentistry is a combination of routine dental checkups and daily habits like brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash. 


Tips for Preventative Dental Care at Home

Better oral health begins at home! The good news is that the time and effort required to practice proper daily hygiene is not as daunting as you might think. For some patients the most difficult part is establishing a routine. Once you understand the steps and frequency of proper daily oral hygiene, you can begin to practice a routine that will soon become a healthy habit.


Brush at Least Twice Daily

Frequent brushing is one of the most important and effective preventive measures you can take on a daily basis. Brushing your teeth removes bacteria and plaque that can quickly build up between meals and overnight. Brushing frequently can help prevent cavities and gum disease. You should brush at least twice a day, but it is recommended that you also brush after every meal.

Use a soft bristle brush and brush in a  semi-circular motion. Do not apply a lot of pressure or brush too vigorously, or you may damage your gums.


Floss at Least Once Daily

Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, and brushing alone can’t reach every nook and cranny of your teeth and gums. Flossing can reach the spaces that toothbrush bristles can’t. By flossing at least once a day, you can avoid the build up of tartar in hard to reach places between your teeth and in the gumline. 

Looking for even more reasons to floss? It can help prevent bad breath!


Use Mouthwash

Some patients don’t like the taste or sensation of mouthwash, and may opt not to include it in part of daily preventative dental care. There are numerous over the counter mouthwashes available, and even some prescription mouthwashes for use in specific cases. Dr. Li can help you choose a mouthwash that will work best for your dental health plan.


How Can a Dentist Help Me Improve My Dental Health?

Preventative dentistry gives you and your dentist insight into dental health throughout the year, so that complications like cavities can be caught before they become more serious. As part of a preventative dental care plan you may receive:


Dental X-Rays

Dental x-rays help identify hidden cavities or other problems lurking deep within your teeth and gums. Dr. Li uses digital x-rays, which are a fast and convenient alternative to traditional dental x-ray machines. Every patient’s care plan is different, so the frequency of getting dental x-rays will vary depending on your unique situation.


Routine Teeth Cleaning

Teeth cleaning is typically performed by a dental hygienist who will remove tartar and plaque from your teeth using various dental instruments. Teeth cleaning is an important part of preventative dentistry because it gives our care team an opportunity to closely examine your oral health and reduce build up between cleanings. 

We recommend that patients have their teeth cleaned once a quarter, every 6 months, or at least once a year depending on your clinical condition and current oral health.


Regular Dental Examinations

Regular dental examinations allow your dentist to track your oral health and identify potential problems year over year. Dental checkups may be performed during the same appointment as a routine teeth cleaning, but might be scheduled separately if your dentist wants to take a deeper look into your oral health. If you feel pain in your mouth or suspect there is a sudden problem with your teeth or gums, please contact us for an examination. 

Being proactive about your dental health is a team effort! Dr. Li and her staff can help you achieve your dental health goals through our preventative dentistry program. Contact our friendly care team today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Li will evaluate your oral health and create a preventative dental care plan that fits your unique situation. Call us at 708-705-9866 or click here to contact us online.