Education and awareness are at the forefront of improving our function from birth onwards. Drs. Alison and Michael Sigal and the independent practitioners that work at Little Bird, have a passion for teaching and sharing all of their global lessons, knowledge and experience with the greater community.

As such, at Little Bird, we will be hosting various workshops within our classroom and clinic. Below are some of these workshops as well as dates of speaking/teaching opportunities for those interested in attending.

Available upon Request - Dr. Alison Sigal Workshop/Symposium: Airway Centric Pediatric Health Care From Birth Onwards

Covering all of the essential airway centric elements for optimizing your patient’s cranio-facial growth, development, and function from birth onwards.

Scientific and evidence-based with an emphasis on anatomical and physiological changes occurring from birth. Learn the signs and symptoms to be aware of, what can be provided, and how a multi-disciplinary approach is essential for best care. From breathing, tongue and lip function, breastfeeding/feeding, incorporation of solid foods, and sleeping to products.

Dr. Sigal covers a review of the current literature including up to date research from her own multi-disciplinary practice.

Dr. Sigal has provided the first full day symposium hosted by the Baby Friendly Initiative and Halton Prenatal Network to an audience of 150 health care providers including additional attendees streamed in from Australia, USA, UK and Italy. In addition to providing the keynote day course for the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners among others.

2019 – 2024 Pediatric Airway Centric Presentations
February 6th, 2019 – Peterborough, Ontario:
Peterborough Family Health Team Annual Continuing Medical Education Day

April 10th, 2019 – Gerogetown, Ontario: Sleeposium 2019

April 25th, 2019 – Windsor, Ontario: Essex County Dental Society Meeting

October 17th, 2019 – Hamilton, Ontario: Hamilton Dental Society Meeting

November 7th, 2019 – Mississauga, Ontario: Halton Peel Dental Society Meeting (Dr. Alison and Dr. Michael Sigal presenting)

November 14th, 2020 (Virtual) – Halifax, Nova Scotia: Dalhousie University and IWK Hospital – Airway Centric Symposium

December 8th, 2020 – Milton, Ontario: Milton District Hospital OBGYN Health Care Team

March 31st, 2021 (Virtual) – Northern Ontario: MAHC Grand Rounds Hospital and Community Medical Care

April 19th, 2021 (Virtual) – Orangeville, Ontario: Headwaters Dental Society Meeting

April 21st, 2021 (Virtual) – Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario: Kitchener and Waterloo Dental Society Meeting

December 9th, 2021 (Virtual) – Milton, Ontario: Ontario Pediatric Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists Meeting

February 17th, 2022 (Virtual) – Milton, Ontario: 2022 Sleeposium – Pediatric Sleep Conference Meeting

April 28th, 2022 (Virtual) – Milton, Ontario: Thunder Bay Dental Society Meeting

April 29th, 2022 (In Person) – Guelph, Ontario: One day interactive workshop for pediatric occupational therapists, feeding specialists, doctors, and any health care professionals who support children.

May 12th, 2023 – Toronto, Ontario: Ontario Dental Association (ODA) ASM 2023 – Introduction to Airway Centric Pediatric health care and Tongue Tie.

September 2023 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Oral Health Conference of Saskatchewan 2023 – Introduction to Airway Centric Pediatric health care and Tongue Tie

February 10th, 2024 10AM – 1PM Elora, Ontario – Kids Can Shine – Introduction to Airway Centric Pediatric health care and Tongue Tie.

April 18th, 2024 9:30AM – 12PM Toronto, Ontario: Ontario Dental Association (ODA) ASM 2024 – Airway Symposium – Representing Pediatrics – Presenting Evidence Based Support for the Treatment of Tethered Oral Tissues in Pediatrics. Registration is now OPEN! Follow this link https://asm.oda.ca/ to Register. *Costs of the presentation are Included with your ASM Registration.


For information on potential speaking/teaching engagements and formats

Please contact Dr. Alison Sigal directly by email at alison@littlebirddental.ca

Available upon Request - Drs. Alison & Michael Sigal Workshop/Lectures: Past, Present, Future - Providing Oral Health Care for Persons with Special Needs

Despite over a half-century of education and public advocacy, individuals with special needs continue to experience limited access to oral health care. Dental care continues to be identified as one of their top unmet healthcare needs.

The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of the oral health care issues that affect persons with disabilities, the actual and perceived barriers to care and then to present an innovative community based model that promotes universal access to oral health care. Can a clinic designed to address the special needs of persons with disabilities make a difference?

Oral health care for persons with disabilities has traditionally been provided in institutional settings such as hospitals, rehabilitative facilities, long term care settings and centres of education rather than in the community office setting. Management of ‘uncooperative individuals’ continues to be a challenge, with pharmacologic intervention (sedation) becoming more common. Little Bird Pediatric Dentistry was developed to address this concern based on integrating sensory calming elements known as Snoezelen® throughout its entirety, to determine if such a clinic could make oral health care more accessible in the community. Snoezelen® or controlled multisensory environment is a therapy for persons with autism and/or other developmental disabilities, dementia or brain injury. It consists the individual being in a soothing and stimulating environment, called a “Snoezelen® room”. Many centers use such environments as therapy but very few integrate this with the provision of patient care – such as dentistry. The principals of design, environment, and provision of oral health care for persons with special needs are covered. Data will be shared that clearly demonstrates the percentage of persons with special needs who require care under general anesthesia or sedation is much less in this community clinic than in a hospital based program and that the amount of oral – dental care that can be provided in an ambulatory setting is much greater than that was provided in the hospital ambulatory clinic. Patient and caregiver satisfaction scores for this type of clinic are very high. Oral care can be safely provided to persons with special needs, including those with significant co-morbidities, in a community based ambulatory clinic and the hospital should be depended on to care for those with poorly controlled / unstable co-morbidities.

Learning Objectives: After attending the session, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of an oral/dental assessment for all persons with disabilities
  • Be aware of innovative and emerging practices in the assessment and management of persons with disabilities
  • Understand the role of the community oral health care practitioner in providing appropriate care
  • Initiate effective practices to improve oral health for persons with disabilities
  • Understands the barriers to providing oral health care to persons with disabilities

Dr. Sigals have provided this presentation to numerous audiences including the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine, Health and Well-being in Developmental Disabilities Day, Ontario Dental Hygienist Association AGM, and Ontario Peri-Anesthesia Nurses Association AGM.

2019 – 2023 Presentations
April 13th, 2019 – Atlanta, Georgia:
Special Care Dentistry Association (SCDA) – Dr. M invited as the Max Bramer Memorial Lecture at the 31st Annual General Meeting.

October 22nd, 2021 – Rhode Island, USA (Remote): Rhode Island and USA invitational symposium lecture presentation.

July 2022 – University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry (Remote): U of C and extended health network – Special Care Dentistry and power of the environment

May 12th, 2023 – Toronto, Ontario – Ontario Dental Association’s ASM 2023 – Drs. Alison and Michael Sigal presenting on the topic of oral health care for persons with special needs with sensory/snoezelen integration.

September 2023 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Oral Health Conference of Saskatchewan 2023 – Drs. Alison and Michael Sigal presenting: Oral Health Care for Persons with Special Needs: The Past, Present and Future – Pioneering a New Community Based Approach.

For information on potential speaking/teaching engagements and formats

Please contact Dr. Alison Sigal directly by email at alison@littlebirddental.ca

Available upon Request - Drs. Alison & Michael Sigal Workshop/Lectures: Infant Oral Care, A New Beginning, A New Approach

Drs. Ali Sigal and her father Michael Sigal are pediatric dentists with additional training in orofacial myofunctional therapy and Buteyko breathing. They have learned from experts in pediatric care from around the world and are passionate about changing the way we assess and care for our pediatric patients across North America.

Pre-natal education is at the forefront of this required evolution in healthcare.  

  • Review of traditional and current guidelines regarding infant oral care. Followed by the introduction of an airway centric approach as it relates to optimizing the growth, development and function of all children.
  • Optimized Tongue Rest Position and Range of Motion: Newborn’s tongue must be able to reach and rest upwards against the palate
    Learn why this is among the MOST important assessments to be made of a newborn
    – Gain an appreciation for how the tongue dictates the growth/development of the palate, nasal airway and many critical functions including swallowing, breathing, and sleeping
    – Learn about the signs and symptoms that can indicate a tongue-tie and/or restricted range of motion and what treatments are available
  • Optimized Palate Development: With optimized tongue rest posture, the palate will develop to be wide, broad, shallow, and with a maximum surface area
    Learn about the consequences of inadequate palate formation (narrow, high arched, and with a minimum surface area)
  • Optimized Nasal Airway: The opposite side of the palate is the nasal airway; ensuring proper palate development is the first step in achieving an optimized nasal airway. The nasal airway must further be assessed to ensure appropriate function, as this is our intrinsic filtration system of our respiratory system.
    Learn about the signs to watch for that indicates mouth breathing
    Consequences of chronic mouth breathing can include: Increased potential of airway obstruction, enlargement of tonsils/adenoids, tonsillitis, acute otitis media (ear infections), and disrupted sleep
  • Occlusion Development: Learn how focusing on the above factors during infant’s most rapid years of growth potential can maximize their chances of optimal development of occlusion.
    Will further explore treatment options throughout early childhood years (primary and mixed dentition)
  • Optimized Upper Lip Range of Motion and Rest Position: Newborn should be able to freely evert their upper lip to properly latch and breastfeed.
    Learn signs and symptoms to watch for that can indicate an upper labial tie and/or restricted range of motion
    Learn about the consequences of a restricted upper lip including and what treatments are available

If we are not aware of the signs and do not provide the appropriate treatment when indicated, a domino effect of various consequences can occur. You will learn about some of these potential outcomes including: habitual mouth breathing, disordered/restless sleep, bedwetting, pediatric obstructive sleep apnea, and hyperactivity.

  • Introduction to solids; Optimizing our infant’s chewing, swallowing and use of their orofacial muscles: In North America we are giving our 6-month-old infants pureed, mashed and food products that disintegrate.
    Learn about the importance of having our infants develop appropriate oral sensory skills, utilizing their facial musculature through chewing solid foods, and how this strongly correlates to symmetric, optimized growth of their jaws, and a less picky eater with improved digestion
    Explore products that optimize the growth and development of our infants and children
  • Minimizing Colonization of Cavity Causing Bacteria in Newborn’s Mouth: Did you know that cavities (caries) are the most common chronic infectious disease, to which babies are not born with the bacteria that cause cavities.
    Learn about these bacteria and how they are non-competitive, desiring to be the initial colonizer. Why this is important to know for reducing the likelihood of colonization in the first year of life and beyond to give our children the best chance at cavity free futures
    Explore factors that place some babies at a greater risk for having cavities including why babies born cesarean section are more at risk for having cavity causing bacterial colonization than those born vaginally
  • Preventive care: From birth onwards, what we should be advising to our patients and families to strive towards cavity free futures and good oral health.
    – Home care to dental appointments, what we should be recommending and offering
  • Dental Trauma: Review of most common dental-facial injuries, how to prevent, and what to do when they take place.

Upon completion of this course you will have the knowledge, tools and resources to provide infant oral health care, work collaboratively with allied healthcare professionals, and guide parents along a path of optimized growth, development and function for their children.

For information on potential speaking/teaching engagements and formats

Please contact Dr. Alison Sigal directly by email at alison@littlebirddental.ca

Learning – Growing – Sharing

For more information please contact us at 905-876-2473 (BIRD)

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