Thursday, July 31, 2014

Enter the KiDDS Summertime Picture Contest!

Three ways to win . . .

1. Color our color page and bring to our office.
2. Draw your own summer picture and bring to our office.
3. Post a picture of you having summertime fun on our Facebook page.

We'll draw one lucky winner for a $25 gift card on August 31st.

 Remember . . . we're still running our "Where Did you Brush your Teeth This Summer?" Photo Contest on Facebook, too!  Click here to enter to win a Triple Play Fun Pack for your family!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

All About Sealants

Brush On Long-lasting Cavity Protection
Among the items in the Dr. Evan’s toolkit for which we’re the most grateful is a cavity-prevention technique called “sealing.” It is one of the simplest and most effective ways to help keep tooth decay from ever forming—making life easier on child, parent and dentist alike.

Here’s how it works: The sealant is actually a safe liquid form of plastic that can be brushed onto the tooth surface. The chewing surfaces of back teeth need sealants most, because they have the deepest crevices in which food and cavity-causing bacteria can accumulate and may be untouched even by conscientious toothbrushing.

The sealant—which quickly hardens after application—acts as a colorless physical barrier so that food and bacteria cannot take up residence in the nooks and crannies in the first place. That is why it’s important for us to apply sealant to the chewing surface of each back tooth as soon as it erupts in your child’s mouth—and that can include primary as well as the later-emerging adult teeth.

One application of sealant can last for up to a decade. But sealants need to be checked during your child’s dental checkups to ascertain whether additional sealing material is needed and to apply it if appropriate.

The only downside to applying dental sealant is that it can give children—and their caregivers—a false sense of security. Sealants are very helpful deterrents against cavity formation in the crevices of back teeth, but they don’t protect all tooth surfaces. The best cavity protection for the smooth surfaces of all teeth is exposure to fluoride, via fluoride toothpaste, fluoridated water and, sometimes, a fluoride-containing mouth rinse.

So, even with sealants in place, your child needs to follow the rules of good dental hygiene just as strictly as before:
  • Brush twice a day. For children over 2 years of age, use a pea-sized bit of fluoride toothpaste on the brush, and clean each tooth thoroughly.
  • Floss once a day. Have your child use whatever type of floss is most comfortable for him or her to manipulate.
Try to have your child avoid the stickiest of candies, as well as chips, pretzels and cookies, which form residues that are among the toughest to brush away. But if your child eats them, have him or her brush as soon as possible after consumption.

If you have more questions about sealants, or cavity prevention in general, please talk to us at your child’s next visit or call KiDDS Dental at 509-891-7070. We can give you the most up-to-date information.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Get the Vitamin D Needed for Healthy Teeth

Despite the increased intake of food, today’s children still lack many vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy growth. The reason is simple: Children love snacks, and many of the snack foods they eat today are devoid of meaningful nutrition, packed instead with sugar and sugar substitutes, fats, additives and other nutrient-poor substances.

Vitamin deficiency can have a significant effect on a child’s overall health, including playing a major role in the development of strong, healthy teeth. One nutrient that’s critical for strong teeth—vitamin D—is also frequently lacking in children’s diets. In fact, according to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, vitamin D deficiency is startlingly common among children of all weight classes, with one in five “healthy weight” children deficient in this critical nutrient. The risk of deficiency increases as children become heavier. According to the study, 29% of children considered overweight and 34% of obese children do not get enough vitamin D.

Here’s what you can do to make sure your child is getting the vitamins and minerals they need for healthy teeth:

  •  Make sure your child eats plenty of healthy foods, such as dairy products (some studies have shown cheese is especially good for teeth), lean proteins, leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains. 
  • Get a double-dose of nutrients by including foods that provide both vitamin D and calcium, such as fortified low-fat dairy products, fortified soy and rice beverages, and canned sardines or salmon. 
  • Sunlight is important for the production and absorption of vitamin D, so make sure your child gets moderate exposure to sunshine on a regular basis. 
  • Avoid fast food and sugary snacks filled with empty calories. 
  • Avoid high consumption of carbonated beverages, including soda, that can actually remove vitamins and minerals from your child’s bones and other tissues.
One more important caveat: If your child is a vegetarian or has specific health issues, such as diabetes or digestive problems, he or she may need additional nutritional supplements to stay healthy. But instead of trying to decide on your own which supplements your child needs, ask your child’s pediatrician and us for guidance. Together, we can help you select the best supplements to ensure that your child receives all the vitamins and minerals he or she needs to stay healthy.