Friday, November 10, 2017

Does Your Child Have “Dentist Visit Anxiety”?

Does Your Child Have “Dentist Visit Anxiety”?

When it is time to visit the dentist, many children are fearful and anxious. Some of these fears are derived from previous experiences, such as having received a shot or having had a tooth drilled or extracted. Others are often based on anxieties about the unknown and what might happen. Even when previous visits haven’t resulted in discomfort, many children find the sounds and sights, such as loud drills and suction machines, sharp metal tools and bright lights, scary.

As a parent watching your child struggle with these worries, you may feel helpless, but you can take several steps to encourage your child to feel more comfortable about the checkup. Here are a few things you can do to help your child cope:
  • Try not to take your child with you to your own dental visits. You could wind up transferring your own fears—even subconscious ones—to your child.
  • Discuss the visit and your child’s fears before coming to our office. But don’t give your child too many details or make any promises about what will or will not happen.
  • Do not talk about shots, drills, extractions or other potentially frightening aspects of dental care.
  • Practice what you preach: Go to the dentist regularly, without talking about fears or worries or demonstrating anxiety.
  • Understand that fear is not an uncommon emotion in children. Many children may feel separation anxiety, and fear of the unknown is especially common.
  • Emphasize the role of going to the dentist in keeping teeth healthy and smiles bright.
  • Do not cave in and cancel or postpone appointments; your child should understand that going to the dentist is a necessity, not a choice.
Let Dr. Jared and his clinical team know about your child’s worries. As a pediatric dental practice, we are trained in treating scared children. We know how to help worried children calm down once they sit in our chair. And that can help your child feel more in control.

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Great Candy Buy Back 2017 Top Ten

The Top Ten Reasons to join us on
November 1st between 4 and 8 PM . . .

10. $1 per pound for children's leftover Halloween candy 
Event underwritten by Banner Bank. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Candy must be factory wrapped. No pixy stix, please. 

9. Opportunities to win tickets to our upcoming movie event
You could be one of the first in Spokane to see "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" with the KiDDS Dental Team!

8. Dr. Scott Ralph's team in SUPER SECRET costumes

7. The KiDDS Dental team in SUPER SECRET costumes

6. Telling soldiers "Thank You!" with a handmade card

4. Goody bags
Participants will receive coupons and promotional products from participating and local businesses.
Follow us on Facebook for specific details about the fun stuff we'll have in the goody bags.

3. Photo booth 
This year we'll have a self-serve photo booth with props to entertain the kids and commemorate the event.
2. Support the troops!All candy will be shipped to members of the armed services stationed overseas through Operation Gratitude.
1. No more cavity-causing, hyperactivity-inducing candy in the house!

Monday, October 30, 2017

KiDDS Dental takes you to the movies . . .

KiDDS Dental Introduces
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
December 14, 2017
Regal Cinemas
Spokane Valley Mall

To qualify for tickets you may:
  • Share with us your children's Halloween costumes! Email your picture to by November 2nd at noon. We'll be posting the picture to our Facebook page. The picture with the most votes earns two tickets to the movie.
  • Guess how much weight we'll bring in at our 10th Annual Great Candy Buy Back. Click here to be taken directly to the post where you can leave your guess!
  • Bring us a hand-written letter of appreciation for our troops by November 6th at noon. We will mail the letters to Operation Gratitude, where they will be placed in holiday care packages for troops and first responders. Write as many heartfelt letters as you want (no photo copies). Each hand-written letter will earn you one entry for the drawing.
  • Bring your children to our 10th Annual Great Candy Buy Back underwritten by Banner Bank where you can enter to win tickets.
  • All non-winning entries for all contests will be included in our last chance drawings. Enter as many contests as you can! We have over 100 tickets to give away.
  • Follow the directions on contest posts on the KiDDS Dental Facebook page between now and the night of the movie.
Winners will be notified by phone, e-mail or FB messenger on or before December 4th. Tickets will be available to pick up on December 7th between 9 am and 4 pm and December 11th and December 12th between 8 am and 5 pm. Tickets not picked up by 5 pm on Tuesday, December 12th will be considered forfeited by the winner and distributed to others.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Does Parents’ Stress Lead to Child’s Cavities?

Does Parents’ Stress Lead to Child’s Cavities?

Stress—the kind that weighs heavily upon adults’ minds, no matter what its cause—is clearly not a good thing in any context. It may be a negative factor in their children’s dental health. Scientists have tried to study the nature of the relationship between parental stress and caries (dental cavities) in their children.

One factor is financial. Parents or guardians who are barely getting by are much more likely to experience stress. Usually, such parents are also pressed for time, perhaps by working more than one job or having an extra-long commute because of slow public transportation. Less time can mean less opportunity for taking children to the dentist. And less money can mean that parents, despite possible good intentions, may feel they can’t afford dental care, especially routine visits. Although low-cost options, such as dental school clinics, may well be available, researching those possibilities takes time, which, again, overly stressed parents are less likely to have.

A generational link may also exist. Parents who are stressed may themselves come from families where dental checkups were not a top priority, and so it becomes less of a priority for their children, too. Fewer checkups and fewer reminders about the importance of daily dental health routines can mean more cavities. More cavities, and more fillings, can exacerbate fear of future dental visits.

Sometimes, the cycle begins even before a child is born. Mothers who experience poor dental health while they are pregnant may give birth to children who are more likely to have caries. The prevalence, and subsequent transfer, of the cavity-causing bacteria in the mother may be at the root of that problem.

So, while ascertaining the exact nature of cause-and-effect when it comes to parental stress and children’ cavities might be significant, one practical take-away message is clear: Parents should be aware of their own stress levels and make every effort to keep their offspring stress-free. It will make life calmer while keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthier.

Click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Does My Child Need a Tooth Pulled?

Does My Child Need a Tooth Pulled?

Dental extraction is one of the most feared reasons to visit a dentist’s office. To many parents, extraction represents a worst-case scenario. Many causes of tooth extraction are preventable, although others are not. While unfortunate, it’s important to remember that, when your child’s dentist pulls a tooth, it is to benefit the overall dental health of your child.

The preventable causes of tooth extraction are related to general safety and good oral care. Sports accidents are one of the leading causes of broken and dislodged teeth. If your child is engaged in sports, particularly contact sports, it is important that he or she wears a mouthguard. Another leading cause of tooth extraction is severe decay. The best way to prevent this outcome is to make sure that your child regularly brushes, flosses and visits Dr. Jared.

However, some reasons for tooth extraction are not preventable. Sometimes, if a child’s baby teeth don’t fall out at the proper time, they can prevent adult teeth from coming in correctly. That may require removing the baby tooth. If your child needs braces, it is occasionally necessary to remove a tooth to ensure that the rest of the teeth align properly. A large number of children and adults will need to have impacted wisdom teeth removed. Finally, certain prescription drugs or medical procedures can result in changes to your child’s gums or teeth. If a child is undergoing radiation therapy, irradiated teeth may need to be removed.

Fortunately, children can be much more resilient than their parents, and losing a tooth is usually less painful and less uncomfortable for them. If your child has been especially good, you might want to consider inviting the tooth fairy over for a visit. It will certainly help blunt the sting of losing a tooth.

Call us to schedule an appointment today! (509)-891-7070. We'd love to meet you and your family.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Does Breastfeeding Prevent Early Childhood Cavities?

Does Breastfeeding Prevent Early Childhood Cavities?
Parents often wonder whether the choice of breastfeeding will help reduce a baby’s risk of developing dental cavities in future years. Can primarily nursing an infant instead of bottle-feeding truly make a dental difference? The answer turns out to be—maybe. What’s actually most important is to keep your child’s mouth as free of sugar as possible at all times. Just about any residual food or liquid particles, other than pure water, that are left in the mouth contain sugar or compounds that become sugar. Surprisingly, that includes breast milk as well as formula.
Cavities are actually a bacterial infection, usually caused by Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). Because this bacterium is so common, your infant almost surely has it once he or she has one or more teeth. S. mutans can feed on any small particle of sugar left on that tooth. After consuming the sugar, the bacteria produce acid, and this residual acid causes decay.
Keeping your baby’s mouth sugar-free means cleaning his or her gums with a soft cloth after every feeding, even if no teeth have yet emerged. As an added benefit, your infant will get used to good oral hygiene, so transitioning later to toothbrushing will be easier.
Also key is not letting your infant drift off to sleep during feedings. Sugar residue remains in the mouth whether your child is drinking breast milk, formula or any other nonwater beverage. What’s more, babies (like all human beings) produce less saliva while sleeping, so those sugar particles are less likely to be “rinsed” away.
Breast milk does contain natural chemicals that are beneficial in many ways; one even offers some resistance to S. mutans. And compared with formula or juice, breast milk contributes relatively little to acid production in your child’s mouth. Still, lengthy nighttime nursing is risky for future development of cavities.

At your next visit to KiDDS Dental, we’ll tell you more about how to properly care for your infant’s teeth to help him or her get a good start in avoiding cavities, whether fed primarily by breast or bottle.
Give us a call at (509)-891-7070 to schedule today!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Diabetes and Bad Breath

Diabetes and Bad Breath

A child with type 1 diabetes presents special challenges to a parent. Maintaining your child’s proper blood sugar levels through diet is likely your primary concern. But maintaining your child’s oral health should also be high on the list, not only because diabetes can lead to cavities and periodontal disease but also because it can cause bad breath.

When there is too little insulin in the blood or when insulin resistance is too high, the body utilizes fats instead of glucose to provide energy. That process produces ketones, an acidic waste product that can be excreted on the breath.

High sugar levels in the blood can also lead to high sugar levels in saliva. Because bacteria thrive in high-sugar environments, people with diabetes are much more prone to cavities and periodontal disease, which also can cause bad breath.

If your child has diabetes, it is important that you be extra vigilant about his or her blood sugar regulation and dental care so that the diabetes does not lead to bad breath and other dental conditions. To maintain a healthy mouth, we recommend the following tips for your child:
  • Brush the teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day.
  • Brush the tongue as well, because it is a breeding place for bacteria.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat a healthy diet with few sugary foods and drinks.
  • Visit us regularly.

If your child has type 1 diabetes, be sure to let our office know so that we can provide him or her with optimal dental care. Between visits at KiDDS Dental, it is also important that you and your child remain focused on dental hygiene. Together, we can prevent many of the oral conditions associated with diabetes so that your child maintains a healthy mouth as he or she grows into adulthood.

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