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.

Friday, December 2, 2016

2016 Elf on a Shelf Photo Contest

KiDDS Dental's 2016 Elf on a Shelf Photo Contest

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

The Rules: 

KiDDS Dental's Elf on a Shelf photo contest begins Dec 21, 2016 and ends Dec 28, 2016.  By submitting a photo, 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 submit a photo.  KiDDS Dental will determine the eligibility of each photo submitted at its sole discretion.

What to enter: A picture of an Elf on a Shelf shot by the entrant.  If a child is in the picture, only a parent or guardian of the child may submit the picture.  
Photos that violate or infringe upon another person's rights, including to but not limited to copyright, are not eligible. 
By entering the contest, entrants grant KiDDS Dental license to display, distribute, reproduce photographs. 

How to enter: Photo must be emailed to to be considered. All entries will be included in a Facebook album on the KiDDS Dental Facebook page starting December 21, 2016. Voting will take place in that album only. 

Judging:  Winner will be chosen by a popular vote.  Each "like" constitutes one vote. Voting begins on Dec 21, 2016 and closes on Dec 28, 2016 at 5:00 PM .  Winner will be notified on or before Jan 6, 2017.

Prize:  The entrant with the most votes wins a Kindle Fire HD 8.  Winner must be available to pick up prize at KiDDS Dental by 4 PM on Jan 19, 2017 or prize will be forfeit.
Winners must sign a media release and will be responsible for paying any taxes they may owe on a prize.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Giving Tree 2016

The KiDDS Dental 2016 Giving Tree Photo Contest Rules


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

How to participate
1. Choose a local non-profit organization.
2. Decorate a mini tree and display at your location.
3. Take a digital picture of your Giving Tree.
4. Email the picture to, making sure to note the charity you've chosen. 
5. Get votes! Each "like" your picture gets in our "Giving Tree" album will earn your charity $1, up to $250.

Some ideas to get votes:
  • Make a small sign to display with your tree explaining the contest and directing your patrons to "like" the picture on the KiDDS Dental Facebook page.
  • Post a link to the contest picture, from the KiDDS Dental Facebook page, to your company's Facebook page and ask your fans to vote.
  • Include a link to the picture of your Giving Tree in your company's e-newsletter.
  • Contact your charity to see if they'll share the contest with their fans.

KiDDS Dental's "Giving Tree" photo contest begins December 1, 2016 and ends at 5:00 pm, December 21, 2016.  By submitting a photo, each entrant agrees to the rules and states that they are 18 years or older. 
Who may enter: An authorized representative of the participating organization may enter.  KiDDS Dental will determine the eligibility of each photo submitted at its sole discretion.
What to enter: A picture of the decorated tree along with the name of the charity being supported.  
Photos that violate or infringe upon another person's rights, including to but not limited to copyright, are not eligible. 
By entering the contest, entrants grant KiDDS Dental license to display, distribute, reproduce photographs. 
Judging:  Winner will be chosen by a popular vote of likes on Facebook. 
Prize:  The chosen charity for each picture will be given $1 per vote, up to $250 per picture/charity.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Bruxism Bites!

Bruxism Bites!
Do you ever find your child clenching his or her teeth or waking up with a sore jaw? He or she may have bruxism—a condition that causes people to unconsciously grind or clench their teeth.
Bruxism affects about 20% of children under the age of 11 years, many of whom do not even realize they are doing it. Many people do the bulk of their grinding at night, when they are fast asleep. If your child shares a room with a sibling or attends a lot of sleepovers or sleep-away camp in the summer, somebody may have mentioned that your child gnashed his or her teeth together while asleep. But most people with bruxism do not realize they are grinding or clenching their teeth until the dentist notices certain problems that show up years after the condition first appears.
Most children don’t have any serious side effects from bruxism. But over time, grinding can wear down the enamel of their teeth and, in severe cases, damage or even fracture them. And long before this type of problem occurs, your child might experience annoying issues like headaches, sensitive teeth, jaw pain or even earaches (caused by pain in the jaw that feels like it is coming from the ear). Bruxism can interrupt your child’s sleep, too, which can lead to feelings of fatigue, grumpiness and hyperactivity or distraction during the day.
So what can you do about something you are not even aware your child is doing? First of all, talk to Dr. Jared at KiDDS Dental. He can examine your child’s mouth for signs of bruxism and figure out how severely he or she has been grinding or clenching. He might prescribe a night guard—a type of mouthguard similar to the kind worn when playing hockey or other contact sports, but much thinner and more form-fitting to the mouth—or splints that will keep the teeth from gnashing as your child sleeps.

Stress and anxiety can cause bruxism, too, so if your child is feeling worried or anxious about something, have your child talk to someone who can help find healthy ways to release stress. Even simple things, such as taking a warm bath before bed or learning some breathing techniques, can make a difference and keep the tension out of your child’s life—and out of his or her jaw! 
If you have any further questions regarding bruxism, give us a call at (509)-891-7070.