Friday, July 21, 2017

Dental Hygiene: A Bone of Contention

Dental Hygiene: A Bone of Contention

When people think about their dentists, they tend to think only about their teeth and gums. Most people don’t think about their bones. It’s very easy to think of your teeth as little bones that grow out of your gums, but when we talk about bone loss, we aren’t just talking about tooth decay. We are talking about your child’s jawbone and skull.

Every part of the body is connected. Just as the leg bone is connected to the hipbone, the jawbone and skull are connected to the teeth and gums. Poor dental hygiene can cause harmful acids and bacteria to build up not just on your children’s teeth and gums but in the jawbone and skull, causing them to wear away. Your children’s teeth live in little holes in those bones. If those holes get eaten away and become too big, your children’s teeth can loosen or even fall out.

Another preventable cause of bone loss is osteoporosis, a weakness of the bones caused by a lack of calcium. While this condition is uncommon in children, childhood diet may influence osteoporosis later in life. The best way to prevent osteoporosis and a good piece of health advice in general, is to ensure that your child has a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. It’s never too early to reduce the risk of developing this very serious condition later in life.

Certain conditions such as cancer and autoimmune diseases can cause bone loss; so can certain medical treatments. It’s important to let us know at KiDDS Dental when your children have significant changes in their health or if they are taking new medications. Dr. Jared knows the best ways to mitigate the effect of these changes on their teeth.

Bone loss is a serious problem, but one that can be effectively fought.

Give us a call at (509)-891-7070 to schedule today!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Dental Health Screenings Important for Children

Dental Health Screenings Important for Children

A dental health screening is a brief examination of your child’s teeth, gums, tongue and soft tissue of the mouth performed to identify abnormal conditions so the child can come to the dental office for treatment. Screenings should occur regularly after the first tooth has erupted.

A dental screening by someone other than a dentist—often first performed in the pediatrician’s office—is usually the first dental care a child receives. These screenings are usually performed by a dental hygienist, pediatrician, nurse or physician’s assistant. People who serve at-risk children are often trained to screen the mouths and teeth of young children. Some states require proof of a dental screening before a child can enroll in school.

Dental health screenings help to identify tooth decay, infected gums and other oral problems. While 89% of America’s one-year-old children have had an office-based physician visit, only 1.5% of the same aged children have visited a dental office.

A dental health screening consists of three parts. The screener first inquires about the child’s dental health history. This is followed by a brief physical examination of the child’s mouth. Finally, the screener will offer a referral to a dentist for preventive care and treatment.

Common problems spotted during a dental health screening include
  • baby bottle tooth decay
  • cavities—28% of children age five and under have one or more cavities
  • missing or damaged teeth
  • sore, swollen or infected gums

In order for these problems not to worsen and compromise your child’s health and performance in school, they should be treated by their pediatric dentist. Dr. Jared will screen your child in our office or accept referrals from other screeners.

If you have further questions regarding dental health screenings,click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Dental Checklist: Check Your Child’s Teeth

Dental Checklist: Check Your Child’s Teeth

A lifetime of good dental health starts at birth. In fact, regular dental care should begin by your child’s first birthday, followed by a dental check-up at least twice each consecutive year. This checklist from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry can help you know the whats, whens and hows of your child’s dental health.

Birth to 6 months old

Even though your baby has a gummy smile, you still need to think about his or her teeth. Clean your infant’s mouth by wiping the gums with a soft piece of gauze after every feeding and at every bedtime. As your baby starts to get on a more regular schedule, implement better feeding habits (i.e., avoid nursing or bottle-feeding throughout the night, and make sure to wipe your baby’s gums after the last feeding of the evening).

6 months old to 2 years old

During this period, your baby will begin teething. Now is a good time to start a dental health routine, brushing after meals and at bedtime with a soft-bristled toothbrush and bringing your child to see us when the first teeth erupt. Because children begin toddling around during the same time these first teeth appear, you also need to be on the lookout for chipped or damaged teeth after your toddler stumbles and falls.

2 years old to 5 and 6 years old

Most children will have their complete first set of teeth by the age of 3 and will begin to lose them to make way for the permanent adult teeth between 5 or 6 years old. Baby (or “deciduous”) teeth play an important role in ensuring future dental health: They hold space for future permanent teeth. Infected baby teeth can cause problems long into adulthood. To keep your child’s smile healthy, see us every six months or as directed, and instill good dental habits in your child. 

Around the age of 12, your child will have his or her full adult smile (aside from wisdom teeth, which come in later). Encourage healthy eating and regular brushing, and see us at KiDDS Dental regularly, so that we—and your child—can keep those teeth pearly white for years to come.

Call us to schedule an appointment today! (509)-891-7070.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Dental Care for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Dental Care for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Parents of children with cerebral palsy already know the unique demands and requirements that must be met just to cope with everyday life. While other life challenges may seem to be of more concern, dental care for children with cerebral palsy is as much a priority as it is for other youngsters.

It is important that parents of a child with cerebral palsy partner with us at KiDDS Dental to create an individualized treatment plan that meets the child’s needs with a minimum of undue difficulty, while still protecting his or her teeth and creating a self-care program they can use when they reach adulthood.

The first thing the parent needs to do is communicate the child’s needs in advance of their visit. Although our clinical team is trained to deal with the challenges of cerebral palsy, every case is unique. The more we know before your child sits in our dental chair, the better we can tailor our office environment to meet his or her needs, and the better equipped we will be to recommend a specialist if necessary. We have specialized equipment and protocols we can follow, from anesthetics that will make dental procedures less stressful to the use of nonverbal communication methods, such as squeezing a hand in place of speech to indicate discomfort.

Children with cerebral palsy often have elevated risks of certain dental disorders, including
  • bruxism (tooth grinding)
  • malocclusion (displacement of the teeth)
  • difficulty swallowing
  • gum disease
It’s important to determine whether your child exhibits any of these conditions. If he or she does, Dr. Jared would love to create a plan to best deal with it at home.

Protecting the dental health of your child with cerebral palsy is a team effort. Make sure to keep us involved.

Give us a call at (509)-891-7070 to schedule an appointment today!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Father's Day? Nope! Father's Week!

Father's DAY? No way!
We'll be celebrating dads ALL WEEK on Facebook
and one lucky winner will get a Kindle Fire HD 8 just for playing along.
Look for a new way to enter to win each day
June 11th through June 17th.

Contest Rules:

By entering this promotion, participant agrees to a complete release of Facebook from any or all liability in connection with this contest. It is also acknowledgment that the contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

How to enter: Entries consist of following the directions (comment, "like," etc.) given in the official promotion posts on the KiDDS Dental Facebook page between June 11, 2017 at 9:00 AM and June 17, 2017 at 5:00 PM. One entry per promotion post per Facebook user is allowed. Multiple entries per promotion post will be disqualified.

Drawing: One random prize drawing will be held on or about June 20, 2017.  The winner will receive a Kindle Fire HD 8. This prize is valued at $89. Cash cannot be awarded in lieu of prize. Prize is not transferable. The winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying applicable state and federal taxes. If a winner is disqualified or if a prize is unclaimed, KiDDS Dental reserves the right to conduct another drawing to determine an alternate winner or to not award that winner's prize, at its sole discretion.

Odds: Actual odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries.

Eligibility: Legal residents of the United States are eligible to participate and win. Any person under the age of 18 must have a parent's or legal guardian's permission to participate and/or win.  Must be 13 years or older to enter. Employees of KiDDS Dental and their immediate families (spouse, parents, siblings, children, in-laws) are not eligible to enter. Winner must be available to pick up prize in person at KiDDS Dental in Liberty Lake, WA by June 29, 2017.

Decisions: By entering into the promotion, entrants and their parents or guardians (if the entrant is under the age of 18) agree to abide by and be bound by these official rules, and to accept the decision of KiDDS Dental as final.  Entrants and their parents or guardians (if entrant is under the age of 18) also agree to hold KiDDS Dental harmless from any liability arising from participation in this promotion. KiDDS Dental is not responsible for entries not received because of technical difficulties. KiDDS Dental reserves the right to disqualify any participant to a person who fails to follow these official rules or uses fraudulent means in participating. If for any reason this promotion is not able to be conducted as planned, KiDDS Dental reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend this promotion and randomly draw from the entries received up to the cancellation/suspension date.

Liability Release: By participating, each participant and winner waives any and all claims against KiDDS Dental their employees and agents for any personal loss of any kind which may occur from the participation in the promotion.

Publicity: Each winner (and such winner's parent or guardian if any winner is under the age of 18) agrees to permit KiDDS Dental to use his/her name and likeness in promotional and other KiDDS Dental materials, without additional compensation or permission, except where prohibited by law.

This promotion is void where prohibited.

By entering the contest, entrants grant KiDDS Dental license to display, distribute, reproduce contest entries. Winners must sign a media release and will be responsible for paying any taxes they may owe on a prize.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Defeating Decay with Sealants

Defeating Decay with Sealants

Dental sealants are commonly used in children to reduce cavities in permanent teeth. Bonded to tooth surfaces, these clear or white plastic coatings safely and effectively prevent tooth decay.

Most decay starts in narrow pits and grooves on the biting surfaces of teeth toward the back of the mouth, spaces that are hard to clean with a toothbrush. Within those pits and grooves, bacteria from plaque produce acid, leading to tooth decay.

Sealants work very simply and effectively to fill the grooves. Applying the sealant is a painless, comfortable process that doesn’t require injections or drilling, and takes just a few minutes.

Our clinical team at KiDDS Dental will clean and dry your child’s teeth; then a thin layer of a plastic liquid is applied into the groove or pit of the tooth. The liquid hardens into a strong layer that protects the tooth and prevents decay. Permanent teeth in the back of the mouth tend to be at a higher risk of tooth decay, making them a priority for sealant application. Some children benefit from sealants on their baby teeth, too.

Sealants are only one part of a healthy program of dental hygiene. We can show you and your child the right way to clean his or her teeth. In addition, use the following tips to help your family:
  • Avoid giving your child sugary foods and drinks.
  • Provide your child with a balanced, nutritious diet.
  • Offer water after meals.
  • Make sure your child has regular dental checkups.
  • Brush your child’s teeth twice daily.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste for children ages 2 and older.

At your child’s next appointment at KiDDS Dental, Dr. Jared can discuss how sealants can help prevent cavities in his or her teeth. With sealants and good preventive care at home, your child can enjoy a healthy, cavity-free mouth for years to come.

If you have questions about sealants, click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Decay-causing Foods That Will Surprise You

Decay-causing Foods That Will Surprise You
Most of us know that, in the battle against childhood tooth decay, sweetened soft drinks are the mustache-twirling villains. There are sneakier suspects, though, that actually can do just as much damage to your child’s dental health. Pickles? Positively. Lemons? Likely. In fact, this group of edibles includes sodas, fruit juices and acidic foods that many children heartily enjoy.
How do these foods damage teeth? Decay occurs when mouth-residing bacteria produce acids that wear away the hard enamel present on healthy teeth. Bacteria thrive on sugars, the compounds left behind after we consume any one of hundreds of foods and beverages.
When your teeth are not immediately cleaned, sugar from, say, soft drinks lingers on them, providing a hearty meal for bacteria. Equally bacteria friendly, though, are the sugars—added or naturally occurring—in many fruit juices. To minimize residue, have your child sip such beverages through a straw.
But here’s the kicker: Fruit juices can have a second detriment—they are acidic, as well. And acids in foods and drinks affect teeth physically just as bacteria do—they erode enamel.
So, consider acidity when you serve your child otherwise nutritionally beneficial foods, including citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, etc.), tomatoes (including pizza, soup and pasta sauce), and other fruits and vegetables, such as pickles, with high acid content. Sweet honey, too, is surprisingly acidic.
Even without sugar, zero-calorie sodas are potentially harmful. Many contain phosphoric acid, citric acid or both that wear away enamel like any other acids. And while carbonation by itself isn’t corrosive, the artificial sweeteners or flavorings in sparkling waters or seltzers boost the drinks’ acidity. Energy drinks, bottled iced teas and lemonades may contain acids that wear away tooth enamel, as well.
After your child consumes these types of foods or drinks, have him or her rinse immediately with water to dilute and wash away the acids. Because the teeth may be softer after consuming acidic foods, have your child wait 20 minutes before brushing with American Dental Association-approved toothpaste.

The less sugar and acid that remain in your child’s mouth, the fewer dining opportunities those oral-dwelling bacteria will have, and the possibility of erosion of the enamel is diminished. Ask Dr. Jared at KiDDS Dental about other ways your child can enjoy his or her favorite foods—acidic or not—and still maintain terrific oral health.
We'd love to meet you and your family. Call us to schedule an appointment today! (509)-891-7070.