Monday, October 10, 2011

Why send candy to troops?

The planning for our 4th Annual Great Candy Buy Back is well underway.  As a reminder, here are the details:

Tuesday, Nov 1st
4pm - 7pm
Children will get a dollar for each pound of candy they bring in.   We'll also be handing out goody bags with Firefly toothbrushes and other fun stuff!
Parents will be able to enter to win prizes.
Candy will be shipped to troops overseas through Operation Gratitude

Dr. Jared got a question via e-mail the other day about our buy back that he'd like us to share with everyone:

I have a really good question. Why do you want the troops overseas to eat the candy the kids get at Halloween? Adults get cavities too and are prone to obesity and hyperactivity if they eat too much candy. This doesn't make any sense to me.

Here is our response:

You do, indeed, ask a very good question.  I want to reassure you that we do care about the oral health of not only the children in our area, but the adults who are courageously serving the US in hostile countries.

We have chosen Operation Gratitude as the organization that we go through to recognize our appreciation for our country's soldiers. The care packages that Operation Gratitude assembles fit into a 12" x 12" x 5" box. This box could probably hold 3-5 lbs of candy.  The packages, however, are not made entirely of candy.  The care packages include other things such as DVDs, stuffed animals, stacks of greeting cards, socks, scarves, CDs, and more.  I would estimate that none of the packages contain more than 2 lbs of candy.  Some of the kids that bring in candy bring in less than 2 lbs.  Most, however, bring in plenty more.  In most cases, we're distributing the candy from one child to multiple service members.

Although there is no way to track what the one service member does with the one package they receive, I am told that the items in these care packages are often shared with the other members of their team.  There are also reports of troops using the candy to befriend the children in the areas in which they serve, making their territory just a bit less hostile.  So, of the up to 2 lbs of candy that is delivered to one member of the military, it is likely that it is not all eaten by that one individual. 

Another way that we mitigate the effects of the candy on the recipient is by sending toothbrushes and toothpaste to Operation Gratitude.  In the last few years, we've shipped almost 300 toothbrushes and tubes of  toothpaste to be included in the holiday care packages.

The price of the candy and shipping charges are well worth it to us.  Check out these videos that show how amazing this cause is:

In conclusion,  Dr. Evans believes that candy should be enjoyed by children who have trick-or-treated to earn it, but it is not healthy for anybody to enjoy it in excess.  His suggestion:  Eat a little, save a little to enjoy for the few days following Halloween and then get rid of the rest before having candy daily becomes a habit that is hard to change.  Why not turn that excess candy into a good deed for another?  We're happy to buy that candy from children to give it to others who will be uplifted by the gesture and who should enjoy it, as well.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us again!

What do you think?  Should we reconsider our efforts to buy back candy and send to troops?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dr. Jared in the News

Local Dentist Encourages Sports Safety for Young Athletes
Spokane Valley, WA

Jacob shows off his muscles AND his new custom mouthguard. 

Most parents with active kids understand that mouth guards protect their children’s teeth from trauma when they are engaged in active play.  Many parents don’t know, however, that wearing a mouth guard while playing sports helps prevent a concussion.  Dr. Jared Evans of KiDDS Dental in Liberty Lake has spent the spring and summer educating the parents of baseball and football players about the benefits of a properly fitted mouth guard.

This spring, Dr. Evans offered each participant of the Riverview Little League and the G-Men Football organization a free custom fitted mouth guard.  To date, Dr. Evans has fitted and delivered 28 free custom fit mouth guards to eligible baseball and football players.  Dr. Evans says, “I went to a symposium this spring where professional athletes and their dentist discussed the importance of a proper fitted mouth guard to prevent oral-facial injuries, to deter concussion and to enhance performance.  I wanted to share this information not only with my patients, but to all children who are actively participating in sports.  The leagues that I partnered with were eager to share the message.”  When asked about the variety of mouth guards available, he responded,“The custom fitted ones, like the ones I’ve been making for athletes through this promotion, are the best as they are made from a mold of the athlete’s teeth so that they fit securely. However, they are the most expensive type. If you aren’t going to go to a dentist to have a custom mouth guard made, the ‘boil and bite’ style you can find at the store will be more effective than the pre-formed style.  Any mouth guard is better than none.”  Dr. Evans recommends that participants in any sport where there is a likelihood of contact with other participants or playing surfaces wear a mouth guard during games and practices.

Dr. Jared Evans is a pediatric dentist at KiDDS Dental in Liberty Lake, WA.  He is available to provide more information at 509-891-7070, or visit KiDDS Dental online at

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Activities That Teach Respect

This month's PACE character trait is Respect.  With school starting, it's the perfect time of the year to talk to your children about how to put their best foot forward when meeting their new teachers and classmates.  Here are some activities (from to help you teach respect at home:

Explain Why Manners Are Important

When teaching your children manners, explain why the desired behavior is so important.  For example, explain that thanking someone for a gift shows how much we appreciate the thought, time and money that went into choosing and purchasing the gift.  A child needs to hear that we look people in the eye when they speak to us to show that we are respectful listeners, and we don't interrupt.  Don't assume your children will naturally know these things without being told.


Household Rules

In their book "Teaching Your Children Values," co-authors Richard and Linda Eyre say, "Extend respect and then expect respect." Establish household rules, the same way teachers do in a classroom, so that your children know what behavior is expected of them. When sibling quarrels escalate, gently warn your children that they are beginning to show each other disrespect. When you see your children showing respect for another person, compliment them.

Real Life Teachable Moments

Because children learn so much through experience, take the opportunity to have a discussion with your child when you see someone acting either very respectfully or very disrespectfully. If you encounter a disrespectful individual when your child is with you, resist the urge to respond in anger. According to the U.S. Department of Education, "our examples of good behavior can teach our children to take the high road when other roads look tempting."

Role Play

Role playing is a wonderful way to demonstrate a concept for elementary-aged children. Role play a disagreement between two people, so your children learn that they can disagree without disrespecting. If your child has a birthday party coming up, role play with him how he will greet his guests and thank them for his gifts.

Read About Respect

When reading to your child, choose titles that demonstrate characters learning about and showing respect.  Recommend such titles to your children who read independently.  Some titles to explore are "Dragonfly's Tale," by Kristina Rodanas (Gr. K-2); "Through Grandpa's Eyes," by Patricia Maclachlan (Gr. 3-4); and "The Cay," by Theodore Taylor (Gr. 5-6).  Your public library's children's librarian or school librarian can suggest new titles to you that deal with the theme of respect.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teaching Generosity at Home

The PACE Character Trait of the month is Generosity.  This article by Dr. Robyn Silverman outlines some ways to teach generosity to children.  They include:

Request that your children pick out one item each at the grocery store to contribute to the local food pantry.
Direct your children to set aside a certain percentage of their allowance, job money, or money that came through gifts for the purpose of giving to charity. Then help them choose a charity that is meaningful to them.
Visit an assisted living facility or a nursing home so that your children can sing songs, play games, and read with the seniors there.
After every other season, have a “closet day” in which your children spend some time going through their closet and bagging up the things that are too small or unused. Then drive them to the drop off center or charity and allow them to contribute their donations.
Invite someone who doesn’t have family nearby to share a meal or come over for a movie. You wouldn’t believe how grateful they will be just to feel included.
Encourage your children to call elderly family members—even extended family members– just to say hello, tell them what’s new, and ask them what they’re up to these days. A simple call can make someone’s day.
Ensure that your children send out thank you cards. If they’re very young, have them sign them in their own way—either with their name, a drawing, or decorative stickers.
Read books that illustrate the power of giving. Talk about the characters with your children and ask them how each character showed generosity of spirit. What did they admire?
Whenever you give your time, talent, thanks, or treasures to others, let your children know how good it makes you feel, how it helps others, and why you do it. When they see and hear about you doing it, it will be more natural for them to do it as well. It will simply be “something your family does.”
Refrain from giving material rewards for giving generously. It’s counter intuitive to reward a child for giving by giving him or her money or more toys. Generosity should be tied to internal gratification not external motivators.
Before your child’s birthday or birthday party, ask him or her which toys she can contribute to others. If s/he receives 10 new gifts, are their 10 toys or games from her current stash that she can donate to someone in need?
Nip selfishness in the bud. Many parents reward tantrums by giving toys and treats to their children. This breeds more selfishness.
Let your children know when you see a great example of generosity among them or their friends. Praise the person who showed the generosity in front of your children as well as privately.
Each day ask what the family is grateful for and how they showed generosity. This can become part of your routine at dinner time or before bed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A (very) short tour of the office

Getting to know Dr. Evans

New Year, New Blog

Welcome to the KiDDS Dental blog!  Stop by to read our comments on current issues that relate to oral health, overall health and child development.  You'll also be able to read about local events and promotions and we'll introduce you to our office and staff.  Stay tuned!