Friday, February 17, 2017

Children’s Dental X-rays—Safer than Ever

Children’s Dental X-rays—Safer than Ever

A 2012 study from the Yale University School of Medicine that found an association between dental x-rays in children and an increased risk of a particular type of brain tumor received a great deal of publicity in the media and may well have scared many parents. However, media coverage tended to leave out several important factors suggesting that there was less to worry about than first appeared, including the fact that many of the patients with brain tumors were older people who had undergone dental x-rays decades ago, when the amount of radiation exposure was significantly higher than it is today.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has issued guidelines on dental x-rays for infants, children and adolescents. These guidelines, which were officially reviewed at the time of the 2012 study, note that x-rays are a valuable tool for diagnosing oral diseases, and monitoring dentofacial development and the progress of therapy. Since every patient is unique, we base decisions about the need for dental x-rays on each child’s individual circumstances.

We use x-rays when we expect that the results will have an impact on patient care. We weigh the benefits of obtaining radiographs against any risks to your child from radiation exposure. The use of lead aprons, thyroid collars and high-speed film minimize your child’s exposure to radiation. Our equipment at KiDDS Dental and procedures conform to the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) standard for radiation exposure.

Children may require x-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing, and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than are those of adults. Certain oral conditions cannot be diagnosed except through the use of x-rays. Some of these conditions, if left untreated, can be a much greater health threat than the radiation from dental x-rays. Dental x-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool that can help preserve your child’s health.

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Floss Madness 2017

Facebook in no way endorses or promotes this contest. It is solely promoted by KiDDS Dental.
The Rules:

KiDDS Dental's Floss Madness Bracket Contest begins February 15, 2017 and ends March 14, 2017.  By submitting a bracket, each entrant agrees to the rules and states that they are 18 years or older.

Who may enter: Adults 18 years or older are eligible to complete a bracket. KiDDS Dental will determine the eligibility of each bracket submitted at its sole discretion. 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 at KiDDS Dental in Liberty Lake, WA by April 7, 2017.

How to enter: Go the the KiDDS Dental Facebook page and click on the Floss Madness tab. Follow the prompts there to complete your bracket. Entrant must complete the entire bracket to be considered a successful entry. 

How to win: Members of the KiDDS Dental team will participate in "Floss Races" according the the bracket assignments posted. Contests will run March 15, 2017 through April 3, 2017. Points will be distributed based on correct predictions at each bracket level.

Judging:  The entrant with the most points will be the winner. In the case of multiple entrants sharing the same high score, those entrants will be entered into a random drawing. Winner will be notified on or before April 7, 2017.

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

Decisions: By entering into the promotion, entrants agree to abide by and be bound by these official rules, and to accept the decision of KiDDS Dental as final.  Entrants 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 entrant 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.

Prize:  The entrant deemed the winner will receive a certificate for two to Mica Moon Zip Tours valued at $225. Winner must be available to pick up prize at KiDDS Dental by 4 PM on April 7, 2017 or prize will be forfeited. Winners must sign a media release and will be responsible for paying any taxes they may owe on a prize.

Publicity: Winner 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.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Children’s Mouth Rinses—Are They Safe?

From breath freshening to cavity prevention, mouth rinses and mouthwashes claim to improve your child’s oral hygiene. But are these products really a good choice for your family?

For children under the age of 6, the answer is usually no. Youngsters can’t really handle the responsibility of properly swishing and spitting.

For older children, however, mouth rinses and mouthwashes specifically for children are a great option. These typically do not contain alcohol. There are even products made from naturally derived ingredients for those who are trying to avoid chemicals. Children’s products also come in child-friendly flavors, making the mouth rinse and mouthwash portion of your child’s dental routine a treat.

These children’s products usually fall into one of three categories: fluoride/anticavity mouthwashes, breath-freshening mouthwashes, and mouth rinses that color the teeth to make brushing more fun and effective. The latter type is usually used before your child brushes, turning the teeth a colored hue so your child can see where he or she needs to brush.

Mouthwashes are made to act as a final, thorough step in the dental routine, rinsing away any leftover debris or bacteria. They also may contain fluoride and other anticavity, antibacterial ingredients that help prevent decay. Children undergoing orthodontic treatment may find mouthwashes especially beneficial, because they can reach spots that brushing alone cannot.

To make sure your children are using mouth rinse and mouthwash safely, stick to products designed for their age group. Show your children how to use mouthwash by demonstrating how to swish and spit, rather than swallow, and let them know why it’s unsafe to ingest the rinse. The major risk of using these rinses is fluoride overdose, which can result in white stains forming on the teeth, or in the worst case, severe illness. By monitoring your children’s mouth rinse and mouthwash use, you can avoid accidental ingestion and make them a positive addition to your children’s oral health routine.

Using mouth rinse and mouthwash is an easy way for your children to achieve and maintain good oral health. Just be sure to choose the right ones. Our clinical staff at KiDDS Dental can help you show your children how to use them and avoid risk.

We'd love to meet you and your family! Give us a call at (509)-891-7070 to schedule today.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Children’s Oral Health Linked to Mom’s Well-being

Children’s Oral Health Linked to Mom’s Well-being

Teaching children to brush and floss may not be all that’s needed to ensure their dental health. A 2012 study suggests that oral health at age 14 is directly related to a primary caregiver’s emotional health, knowledge and education level.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dental Health followed a group of 224 children, born with both normal and low birth weights. They tracked the children throughout the years, examining the amount of tooth decay and missing teeth they had by age 14. They also gave the children’s mothers (the primary caregiver in all cases) surveys to track dental visits and access to dental care and insurance, sealants, fluoride treatments and sugar consumption. According to the study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, regardless of all these factors (which obviously appear likely to affect dental health), having healthy teeth had less to do with the dental care and more to do with the mother’s overall emotional state and knowledge about nutrition and health.

It is important to remember that this is one small study and that it simply suggests a link, not an explanation. Since three factors (emotional health, educational level and knowledge) played into the findings, it’s hard to know which one really confers the most benefit. What we can take away from this research is that oral health, and most likely health in general, is affected by a child’s environment.

What can parents do with this knowledge? There is no point in dwelling on the past, and there is certainly no reason to blame yourself if your child has had dental problems. But perhaps adults can learn that staying positive and conscientious about taking care of ourselves has a direct impact on our offspring.

Many parents worry so much about their children that they forget to pay attention to their own well-being. This research could be used to justify putting your own happiness and health at the top of your priority list to set a good example for your children—and perhaps give them an extra edge in protecting their oral health in the future.

If you have questions regarding your child's oral heath, click here to schedule an appointment at KiDDS Dental. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Childhood Oral Health Brings Lifetime Benefits

Childhood Oral Health Brings Lifetime Benefits

Want to give your children a great advantage in life? Then be sure they receive regular dental care and develop good oral habits from a young age. Dental problems in early childhood can negatively affect oral and general health in later years, as well as the quality of life of the children and family. Oral health is a major factor in overall health and well-being.

Experts say that children with early dental decay are at greater risk for cavities, gum disease, malocclusion and even general health problems. Poor oral health can have an impact on a child’s ability to chew properly, resulting in limited food choices and affecting his or her nutritional level. And limited food choices can contribute to excess weight and obesity.

Furthermore, children whose teeth affect their appearance or speech may feel embarrassed and avoid social interactions or classroom participation, establishing a negative pattern that could continue into the future. Studies show that children and adolescents who suffer from dental pain often perform poorly in school. They are absent more frequently and have difficulty concentrating when they are in the classroom, seriously affecting their grades and influencing future opportunities for college and career.

Starting your child early on the road to good oral health can lead to a happier, healthier individual, saving the family the stress and cost of extensive treatment later. Here are some things you can do:
  • Establish a relationship with us by the time your child’s first tooth erupts. Then bring your child in for checkups twice a year.
  • Encourage good oral hygiene. Teach your child effective brushing techniques and have him or her brush at least twice a day. Using toothpaste that contains fluoride can also help reduce decay.
  • Watch your child’s diet. Sugary drinks and other sweets that children enjoy encourage decay. So can frequent snacking, which causes sugars to remain on the teeth and cause damage. Be sure your child eats a healthy, balanced diet.
The payoff for such dental diligence on the part of you and your child? A healthy mouth that can lead to a lifetime of feeling and performing better—academically, socially and professionally.

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

Friday, December 23, 2016

Caries and Sugar—A Sticky Subject

Caries and Sugar—A Sticky Subject

Most of us know that allowing children to snack on sugary foods all day long isn’t the best choice for their overall health. But when it comes to dental health, even foods that have some nutrition can be detrimental. Gummy candies and vitamins, dried fruit snacks and chewy protein bars may seem like smart snacking choices, but they can easily get stuck in between young teeth—and since children typically aren’t the best flossers, this can be a recipe for dental disaster.

Sugar doesn't actually cause cavities; rather, the sugar acts as “food” for bacteria that cause decay. When carbohydrate-heavy foods become stuck to the teeth, they produce an acid that eats away at the enamel of your child’s pearly whites, allowing bacteria to make a nice, comfy home in the dentin, or center, of the tooth. Once the dentin begins to decay, cavities are the next step down the road to the dentist’s drill and fillings.

Interestingly, eating a massive amount of sugar in one sitting is less harmful than sucking on sugary candies or sipping juice all day long. This is because the more time the mouth spends in that sugary, acidic state, the longer the bacteria can do their dirty, decaying work. After eating a sugary snack, the negative effects can be mitigated if children rinse their mouths with water, brush their teeth or floss.

So while it might be a losing battle to try to remove all sugar and sticky carbohydrates from your children’s diets, you can teach them good dental habits such as
  • chewing sugarless gum with xylitol
  • carrying a toothbrush in their backpack to brush after meals and snacks
  • eating fresh fruit instead of fruit leather or juice
  • choosing chocolate—if you do allow candy—rather than gummy candy (just as it easily melts in your hand, chocolate can easily melt off your child’s back teeth)
And if all else fails, remind your children that swishing some water around in their mouths after snacks is a lot easier than getting a cavity filled!

If you have further questions regarding your child's oral health and diet, click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Bulimia’s Impact on Dental Health

Bulimia’s Impact on Dental Health

Eating disorders pose a serious problem in the United States. More than 10 million Americans, especially teen and young adult women, suffer from eating disorders, one of which is bulimia—a cycle of bingeing on food and purging by the use of laxatives or vomiting. Bulimia can wreak havoc on a young person’s health, including causing serious dental problems. In fact, dentists are often the first medical professionals to suspect bulimia in their patients, making us a key part of the recovery process.
Throwing up frequently can affect the mouth in several ways:
It destroys the enamel. When you vomit, your mouth is bathed in digestive acids, along with the foods being regurgitated. These acids can erode the enamel, or top layer, of your teeth. This is a problem because the enamel protects the more fragile layers of your teeth from sensitivity and decay. Studies show that 89% of people who are bulimic suffer from enamel erosion.

It ruins appearance. As the enamel of your teeth is worn away, the teeth take on a yellowish or grayish appearance. If the erosion process continues, teeth can even change in size, appearing longer. Frequent vomiting may cause problems with the salivary glands, and swollen glands can widen your jaw, giving it a “square” appearance.

It can make a person with bulimia feel uncomfortable. Dry, cracked lips; chronic dry mouth; severely sensitive teeth; and a sore throat and tongue are painful conditions common in bulimics.

Dr. Jared can help manage the effects of bulimia on your child’s mouth. He may suggest avoiding brushing the teeth directly after vomiting, because this can make erosion worse. Instead, encourage your child to use a baking soda rinse to wash acid from the mouth. Saliva replacements and fluoride treatments can also help counteract the negative effects of the disease, as is making frequent visits to our office to treat cavities and perform root canals on damaged teeth.

Despite being able to help with the side effects, we at KiDDS Dental can’t help your child recover from bulimia. It is vitally important to get the help your child needs—not only for the sake of his or her mouth, but also for health, happiness and the future.
Call us to schedule an appointment today! (509)-891-7070.