Friday, August 26, 2016

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.

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

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bonding Over Bonding: Straight Talk About Tooth Bonding for Children

Bonding Over Bonding: Straight Talk About Tooth Bonding for Children

Teeth that come in crooked. Wide gaps between teeth. Teeth that are cracked or chipped during sports or play. Childhood can be rough on those pearly whites. Your child’s imperfect smile is still beautiful, of course, and a bit of an imperfection can certainly add to one’s character. But to improve the look of imperfect teeth, dental bonding is a safe, relatively inexpensive way to fix problems such as gaps or chips. Best of all, bonding can usually be completed in one painless visit at KiDDS Dental.

Dental bonding gets its name because that’s exactly what happens during the process―the material used bonds to the tooth. We use composite resin, a combination of a special type of glass and either plastic or resin, to fill in spaces and cracks. Your child may actually have some composite resin in his or her mouth already because it is often used to fill cavities. As an added benefit, composite resin actually adds strength to a tooth without damaging the structure underneath.

If you and your child decide that dental bonding is a good idea, Dr. Jared will choose a shade of composite resin that closely matches your child’s natural teeth. We prepare the tooth for bonding by applying a liquid that roughens its surface. After the solution is applied, we will clean and dry the tooth, then brush on the bonding liquid. The tooth is now ready for the composite resin, which needs to be applied a little bit at a time. A special light is used to harden the resin between applications.

The final step in dental bonding is to shape, smooth and polish the composite resin to make it look as natural as possible. And here’s the best part: The entire process takes only about an hour.

Your child will need to take care of the bonded teeth, because they can easily stain and chip. Although bonding doesn’t last forever, that’s actually what makes it a good choice for children, whose mouths are constantly changing and growing. Talk to us to see if your child is a good candidate for this process―it might be a great “bonding” experience.

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

Friday, July 29, 2016

Battle Bacteria with Brushing

Battle Bacteria with Brushing

Your child’s mouth contains billions of bacteria—some helpful and some harmful. There are more than 700 different types of microbes that call the mouth their home, and just one tooth can host as many as 500 million bacteria. While some bacteria actually help control the development of cavity-causing plaque, others can cause tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease if the teeth and gums are not cleaned regularly and properly.

The best way to keep your child from developing cavities and infected gums is to make sure he or she brushes twice a day (the best times are after breakfast and before bedtime). This will keep bacteria populations in check and minimize the risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Passing up snacks and brushing after having one are obvious preventive measures. Here are a few other important guidelines your child should follow to make sure the risks of tooth decay and periodontal disease are minimized:
  • Have your child brush all of his or her teeth, not just the front ones, spending some time on the side and back teeth and brushing for two to three minutes. Use a timer or a song to keep track of the time.
  • Your child should use a soft-bristled brush. Replace it every three to four months—earlier if bristles show signs of wear. If your child becomes ill, replace the brush when your child recovers.
  • After brushing, have your child rinse his or her toothbrush with warm water and dry it in the open air—not in a closed container, which can enable bacteria to multiply. And don’t clean toothbrushes in a dishwasher or in the microwave, both of which can damage bristles.
  • Talk to us about swishing with an antiplaque mouth rinse and mild pediatric mouthwash, which can help reduce harmful bacteria that can cause decay and gum disease.
  • Although gum disease is not contagious, harmful bacteria can be spread from one person to another. Thus, not sharing toothbrushes, lip balm or gloss, water bottles, musical instruments or any personal item that comes in contact with the mouth is important.
Of course, one of the best ways to make sure your child’s teeth remain healthy is to schedule—and keep—regular dental checkups at KiDDS Dental. Pediatric dental care is essential to help your child avoid dental problems in adulthood. Establishing good oral health habits saves time, money and headaches in the short and long run, so it is never too early to start your child on the road to optimum oral health.

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

Friday, July 15, 2016

Balance Cavity Causers with Cavity Fighters

Balance Cavity Causers with Cavity Fighters

During infancy, children go through a stage when they try to stick into their mouths almost anything they can get their hands on. While children eventually learn the difference between plastic blocks and actual food, that doesn’t mean everything that’s edible belongs in their mouths. Some foods help children’s teeth grow healthy and strong. Others rot them away. It’s important to know the difference.

Cavity Fighters—Consume a Lot of These!
  • Fluoridated water: Easily available in most areas and an essential part of a child’s diet, fluoridated water helps prevent cavities and keeps your child hydrated.
  • Milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy foods: The calcium, phosphates and vitamin D found in dairy products all promote strong and healthy teeth. Even better, calcium can actually form a barrier on top of the tooth that protects it from acids that cause cavities.
  • Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables: These versatile foods are not only good for your child’s mouth but they also serve as an effective alternative to some of the “cavity causers” listed below. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables stimulate the flow of saliva that washes away the acids and food particles that lead to cavities. And as a bonus, these foods will freshen your child’s breath.
  • Xylitol gum: As a sweetener in sugar-free chewing gum, xylitol shows great promise for cavity prevention because the bacteria present in the mouth cannot use xylitol to grow. With xylitol use, fewer decay-causing bacteria survive on tooth surfaces, less plaque forms and the level of acids attacking the tooth surfaces decreases. When purchasing sugar-free gum, check the list of ingredients. If xylitol is listed first, the amount will be at decay-preventing levels.
Cavity Causers—Avoid These!
  • Sugar-sweetened chewing gum, caramel, taffy and other sticky candies: Not only do these foods contain lots of sugars but they actually stick to your child’s teeth and cause his or her mouth to fill with acidic bacteria that rot the teeth.
  • Soft drinks and fruit juices: These beverages are full of sugar and take a long time to drink, thus remaining in your child’s mouth long enough to create an ideal environment for cavities to develop.
  • Citrus fruits: Citrus is incredibly acidic. And acid eats teeth. Don’t let your child suck on these fruits or keep them in his or her mouth for long periods.
Being smart about what your child eats is important, but it’s not enough. If you want to do everything you can to fight cavities, bring your child in to KiDDS Dental on a regular basis.

Dr. Jared would love to answer any further questions regarding your child's oral health. Call us to schedule an appointment today! 509-891-7070.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Baby Those Baby Teeth

Baby Those Baby Teeth

Baby teeth (properly called primary teeth) usually all fall out by the time your child is about 12 years old. Most, in fact, are gone years earlier. So, if baby teeth inhabit your child’s mouth for a relatively short time, why is their health so vitally important? The dental experts at WebMD recently provided some answers.

Healthy primary teeth
  • provide your child’s mouth and face with an essential element of “normal” appearance
  • keep spaces available for the permanent teeth to later erupt in their correct positions
  • are essential for speech development and clarity
  • let your child chew properly, which makes getting good nutrition easier
  • help ensure that the permanent teeth will emerge in a healthy condition
Untreated decay in baby teeth can harm the permanent teeth growing beneath the gumline. If baby teeth are lost too soon because of decay, the adult teeth may grow in crooked or spaced too closely together. What’s more, untreated decay (also called cavities or caries) causes pain and can progress into an abscess that can cause infection to spread to other areas of your child’s body.

Preventing decay is relatively simple. The key: Limit contact between your child’s teeth and liquid carbohydrates—in other words, drinks with sugar. These include not only drinks like soda but also fruit juices, milk, formula and sweetened water.

Avoid laying your baby down for the night or a nap with a bottle that contains anything but plain water. The most common cause of decay in baby teeth occurs when the child is put to bed with a milk- or formula-filled bottle. In fact, early childhood caries is frequently called baby bottle tooth decay.

Before his or her first birthday, transition your child from a bottle to a sippy cup. This helps prevent liquids from settling on the teeth. Even with a sippy cup, however, sugary beverages are still less desirable than plain water. Resist adding sugar to food, and avoid coating a pacifier with sugar or honey.

Finally, after your child eats or drinks, wipe his or her gums with a wet cloth or gauze. Start using a toothbrush once the teeth erupt. This helps remove residue that can develop into bacteria-laden plaque, a precursor to decay.

Taking care of baby teeth helps ensure healthy adult teeth. See Dr. Jared as soon as the first baby tooth erupts or by the age of 12 months. It’s never too early to start good oral care.

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

KiDDS Team: Two Truths and a Lie Facebook Contest

KiDDS Dental on Facebook

This summer you'll have 16 chances to win as each member of our team introduces three statements about themselves . . . except one is a lie!

It's your job to guess which of the statements is a lie.

Your guess is your entry to win two Regal Cinemas tickets.

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 by the deadline posted on each contest post. 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 the deadline posted on each contest post. The winner will receive two Regal Cinemas movie tickets. This prize is valued at $20. 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 at KiDDS Dental in Liberty Lake, WA by September 12, 2016.

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 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, June 17, 2016

Asthma Medications and Cavities

Asthma Medications and Cavities

Could your child’s asthma medication cause cavities? The answer is somewhat unclear. Some scientific studies have suggested that anti-asthmatic medications may increase the risk of tooth decay and erosion, while others claim that there’s no link at all. Unfortunately, these conflicting studies don’t offer much reassurance when your child’s teeth and lungs are in question.

What we do know is that inhaled asthma medications can create conditions in the mouth that may increase the risk of dental problems. When your child inhales the medication, a powdery substance washes over the teeth, reducing the level of saliva and increasing the amount of acid in the mouth. These two factors can contribute to tooth erosion and decay.

In addition, many asthmatic children breathe through their mouths, which also reduces the level of saliva, resulting in dry mouth (xerostomia). Saliva is the body’s natural defense against decay, diluting the acids in the mouth that break down the tooth enamel; anything that reduces saliva encourages cavities.

Nebulizers utilize a type of sugar called fructose; other oral anti-asthma medications use sugars to make them more palatable to children. Frequent use of these types of medications creates more exposure to sugar, which we all know can lead to decay. However, there is no conclusive proof that taking these medications puts your child at increased risk.

The best solution is to pay special attention to the dental health of a child who takes asthma medications. Be extra vigilant with brushing and flossing, and have your child chew sugarless gum, rinse with water, or brush after taking his or her medication. See Dr. Jared regularly, and discuss your child’s asthma medications at each appointment. This way, we can watch for signs of acid erosion or decay, catching any problems before they become more serious. Together, we at KiDDS Dental can ensure that your child’s teeth stay healthy―that will allow everyone to breathe a little easier!

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