Friday, March 16, 2018

Guard Your Child’s Mouth During Sports

Guard Your Child’s Mouth During Sports

Does your child participate in a contact sport such as football, boxing, hockey, lacrosse or rugby? If so, you can greatly reduce the risk of traumatic injury to your child’s mouth by having him or her wear a mouthguard while playing and practicing. In fact, experts recommend mouthguards for youth involved in noncontact sports, such as gymnastics or recreational activities, that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth.

Also known as a gum shield, a mouthguard helps cushion any impact to the mouth, reducing the chances of trauma to the teeth, gums and lips. A participant who does not wear a mouthguard during a contact sport is 60 times more likely to sustain an injury to the teeth than someone who wears one. A coach could—and should—keep your child from playing or practicing without a mouthguard.

Mouthguards come in three varieties:
  • ready-made mouthguards purchased at a drugstore or athletic equipment store
  • boil-and-bite mouthguards that, when softened after heating, conform to the shape of your child’s mouth
  • custom-made mouthguards from impressions we take in the office
Custom-made mouthguards are generally considered the safest, most comfortable option. For some families, however, the cost may be a factor in their choice. If you decide to purchase a mouthguard elsewhere, we will still be happy to talk to you about the other available options. You need to select a mouthguard that is not only resilient and protective but that fits properly so your child is comfortable when wearing it. 

To get the most out of your investment, have your child rinse the mouthguard before and after each use. Caution your child to avoid chewing or biting on it, and don’t let him or her share it with others. Keep the mouthguard out of hot water and direct sunlight, which can distort its shape. Finally, be sure your child wears it every time he or she plays a sport, including during practices.

If your child is involved in a recreational activity or contact sport that involves risk of injury to the mouth, be sure to discuss appropriate safety measures with Dr. Jared at your next appointment. We can review options with you and help you select the best one. Whatever option you choose, be sure to bring your child’s mouthguard to his or her next appointment at KiDDS Dental so we can evaluate its fit and effectiveness.

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

Friday, March 2, 2018

Exterminating Sugar Bugs

Exterminating Sugar Bugs

Has your child ever asked you if there are “sugar bugs” in their food? If they have, chances are they have recently been given a lesson on plaque. “Sugar bugs” are a popular teaching tool used by dentists to help children learn about the dangers of plaque. Children are easily confused by discussions of “invisible films of food particles and bacteria that latch on their teeth,” but they are certainly aware of bugs and that they don’t want them in their mouths.

The image of “sugar bugs” eating away at their teeth isn’t far from the truth. Deposits of sugar and carbohydrates mix with the bacteria in the mouth to produce a thin layer of film called plaque on the teeth. If that plaque is not cleaned away by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, it interacts with further sugar and carbohydrates, creating acids that cause holes in the teeth—cavities. That allows more acids to weaken the tooth from the inside. Weak teeth cause pain and run the risk of literally breaking apart.

So use this fear of sugar bugs to your advantage in helping your children take care of their teeth.
  • Eating healthily will stop the sugar bugs from getting into their mouths.
  • Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day will keep those sugar bugs away from their teeth.
  • Coming in to KiDDS Dental twice a year will get rid of whatever sugar bugs they may miss.

When children grow up and learn the truth about what’s going on in their mouths, they might find the idea of sugar bugs a little silly, but their healthy gums and bright smiles will justify the fairy tale.

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

Friday, February 16, 2018

Expecting? Mom’s Healthier Mouth Means a Healthier Child

Expecting? Mom’s Healthier Mouth Means a Healthier Child

Keeping teeth and gums healthy is always important, yet many pregnant women ignore dental visits as they become wrapped up in other health care demands of pregnancy. Disregarding regular dental care during pregnancy poses risks not only to the mother but also to the child she’s carrying.
Research has indicated a possible link between gum disease in pregnant women and low birth weight, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and preterm birth. While those relationships have not been conclusively proven, there is strong evidence that keeping your teeth and gums healthy while pregnant poses no harm to the baby and is a key component in counteracting some of the negative effects pregnancy can have on oral health.
How does pregnancy affect the teeth and gums?
  • Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can increase a woman’s risk for cavities as well as cause gum inflammation.
  • So-called pregnancy gingivitis—a mild inflammation of gums that occurs during pregnancy—affects as many as one third of all pregnant women.
  • Tooth decay and enamel erosion may also increase as a result of changes in diet, along with nausea and vomiting.
  • Tooth and gum disease is also associated with heart disease, respiratory illness and diabetes in the mother, all of which can affect your child while still in the uterus.

If these reasons are not enough to encourage you to maintain dental care during pregnancy, consider this: Studies also have shown that mother-to-child transmission of bacteria through transference of saliva is the primary cause of cavities in young children. This means that when your mouth is healthier and fewer harmful bacteria are present, the risk of your child’s developing cavities is significantly lower. Taken altogether, keeping your own teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy is a safe, simple way to improve your child’s overall health, both before and after birth.
Call us to schedule an appointment for your child today!  (509)-891-7070.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Floss Madness 2018

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, 2018 and ends March 13, 2018.  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 13, 2018.
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 14, 2018 through April 2, 2018. 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 6, 2018.

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 13, 2018 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 2, 2018

Every Six Months: The Importance of Routine Dental Care

Every Six Months: The Importance of Routine Dental Care

Most children need to be seen by a dentist at least every six months for regular cleanings and checkups. Good oral health requires professional cleaning and observation, especially as children grow. It can be difficult for little children to learn to brush properly, and older children and teens may engage in habits like chewing sugary gum or candy that can lead to plaque build-up. And even the best brushers and flossers can’t get rid of tartar, a hard substance that forms on the teeth when plaque isn’t removed completely. We remove plaque with special tools, helping your child to maintain a healthy smile. Regular examinations with Dr. Jared also help to make sure teeth and jaws are developing properly and that there are no cavities or other problems that might need immediate attention.

For some children, though, twice-yearly appointments may not be enough. Certain dental issues are hereditary, putting children at higher risk for oral health problems, no matter how well they care for their teeth. Children with special needs may need a little extra attention and help keeping mouths free from decay. Past habits such as pacifier use or thumb-sucking might have created problems that require monitoring. And children entering the preteen years and requiring orthodontia may need to be seen more frequently to ensure that food particles and bacteria aren’t hiding under braces.

At KiDDS Dental, we treat every patient as an individual, which means that we might recommend an individualized schedule for visits. Untreated dental problems can lead to speech, confidence and general health issues down the line; rest assured that we’re doing all we can to keep your child healthy.

Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be a chore. We provide a fun, educational, relaxing environment. Coming in for a visit, regardless of the frequency, can become a pleasant tradition instead of a dreaded experience, especially if you practice good oral health habits at home.

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

Friday, January 19, 2018

Emergency Dental Help: Always Available

Emergency Dental Help: Always Available

It’s Murphy’s Law of Parenthood: Your child’s teeth will be fine until our office has closed for the day. So what should you do when it’s 9 p.m. and your kindergartner cracks a tooth, your son suddenly complains of terrible pain from an unrecognized infection or your teenage daughter breaks her braces?

In some cases, a hospital emergency room will be your best bet. Jaw fractures or serious cuts to the mouth that require immediate medical care are best left to the hospital. But other dental problems, such as those mentioned above, also need urgent attention—and hospital emergency rooms are often not equipped to handle these, and the fees for such services can be high.

Of course, Dr. Jared should be the first person you call. When you reach the office, you will hear a recorded message telling you what to do in case of emergency. If we are unable to see you after-hours, we will direct you to an on-call substitute. Keep this information handy so that if and when an emergency occurs, you won’t waste time searching for the number to call.

However, emergency dentistry is more of a stop-gap than a final solution. Most substitute dentists contacted in an emergency will make your child more comfortable and apply temporary fixes that will suffice until he or she comes in to see us during normal office hours.

If you are not sure whether your child’s problem requires after-hours care or if it can wait until morning, don’t hesitate to call our office. With more and more practices offering after-hours care, there’s really no good reason to sit there worrying, with a child in tears, waiting for the office to open!

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

Friday, January 5, 2018

Drink Well While Protecting Your Child’s Tooth Enamel

Drink Well While Protecting Your Child’s Tooth Enamel

“If you’re thirsty, drink orange juice rather than soda.” You’ve probably said that more than once to your child. But did you know that too much citrus juice can actually harm the enamel coating on your child’s teeth? It is true, but that does not mean your child should avoid orange juice and other citrus altogether. It simply means that he or she needs to take a couple of steps to make sure the damage is avoided.

Citrus juices pose a threat to enamel because they contain high levels of citric acid, and acid can erode tooth enamel over time. While all citrus fruits contain citric acid—including lemons and grapefruit—orange juice is more commonly consumed by children than, say, grapefruit juice.

Everyone needs vitamin C, and if your child loves orange juice, there’s no reason to prevent him or her from enjoying the health benefits of 100% orange juice. But you should take a few precautions.
  •  Don’t let your child overindulge. One 8-ounce cup of orange juice contains 82 mg of vitamin C. If your child has reached his or her recommended daily allowance of vitamin C (from 15 mg to 75 mg, depending on your child’s age), consider encouraging him or her to drink water instead.
  • Once your child is finished drinking, encourage him or her to drink water or rinse with water to remove residue. 
  •  If your child can’t rinse after drinking orange juice, consider offering sugar-free gum to increase production of saliva, which can help neutralize acids and wash away food particles.

Finally, be aware of the signs of enamel erosion. Pain or discomfort when eating hot or cold foods is the most common, but yellowed teeth and cupping or shiny spots on tooth surfaces are also signs. If your child exhibits any symptoms of erosion, come into KiDDS Dental right away.

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