Friday, December 20, 2019

Make Toothbrushing Fun for Your Child

Make Toothbrushing Fun for Your Child

Getting your children to brush their teeth can be a lot like, well, pulling teeth, and it is a challenge many parents list among their greatest difficulties. But getting children to brush—and do it correctly—may require a change of perspective. Dentists have spent decades helping children view taking care of their teeth not as a chore to be dreaded but as a game to be enjoyed. Here are a few of their techniques you might want to try with your children.

Musical molars: Brushing the teeth requires a certain amount of time. Most electronic toothbrushes have built-in timers to make sure that at least two minutes are spent brushing teeth. But what if, instead of counting up to two minutes, you used music to pass the time? Pick a favorite children’s song at least two minutes long. Challenge your child to thoroughly brush each tooth before the song ends. If he or she manages to brush every tooth with time left, challenge the child to brush each tooth twice! Remember to monitor the toothbrushing. They cannot win the game if they don’t brush each tooth thoroughly or if they neglect their gum lines!

Harry Potter and the Plaque of Peril: Why not take advantage of your child’s love of make-believe? Turn toothbrushing time into a story featuring their favorite characters. Perhaps you could say that Lord Voldemort (of Harry Potter fame) put plaque on the teeth to help the Death Eaters control your child’s mind and that he or she must brush that plaque away before it becomes dangerous. For children who are easily scared, use a less-threatening villain.

ChoreMonster: An app for iOS, Android and Windows smartphones and tablets called “ChoreMonster” creates a reward structure for children who complete their chores. You set a schedule for how often a task needs to be completed, and assign from 5 to 5,000 points for completing it. When a certain point level is reached, the child can choose an appropriate reward that you have created. Many parents find that using the app helps motivate their offspring to become more disciplined about their personal responsibilities. Why not add toothbrushing to the to-do list?

Seasoned parents know that the best way to turn a child off from toothbrushing is to make it a struggle. We have many other easy tips and tricks to get children to brush their teeth in our oral care toolbox. Let us know if you need additional suggestions at your child’s next visit to KiDDS Dental.

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

Friday, December 6, 2019

Maintaining Good Dental Health: Easier Than You Think

Maintaining Good Dental Health: Easier Than You Think
Dentists use all sorts of weird, complicated-looking equipment during treatment. Keeping your child’s teeth and gums as clean as they are after an office visit would probably take as much time, work, education and expense as dentists have to go through when starting their practices, right? Wrong. Maintaining your child’s oral health is much easier and less complicated than you might think.
You don’t need any special training, tools or degrees to manage the health of your child’s mouth. Here are a few easy ways to maintain your child’s oral health.
  • Set a routine: Most children’s lives are a series of routines. Once they learn them, they stick to them. If you make brushing and flossing a part of their daily schedule, over time they won’t even notice that they are doing it. It will become just another form of muscle memory.
  • Use fluoride products: Easily available mouthwashes help keep your children’s teeth and gums clean and their breath fresh. A brief rinse every morning before they leave the house will not only help your children’s oral health but also make them much more pleasant to talk with.
  • Watch what your children eat: Managing their sugar and carbohydrate intake is not just good for their oral health but it is beneficial for their health in general. A well-balanced diet helps their teeth and the rest of their body.
  • Make sure your children pay attention to their own mouths: You don’t need to know as much as a dentist to recognize when something is wrong. Ask your child if something in his or her mouth feels uncomfortable, swollen, itchy or painful—then tell us during the next appointment. We’ll figure out what’s wrong and know how to fix it.
  • Schedule regular cleanings and checkups: Don’t wait until your child’s mouth is in terrible shape to see the dentist. Bring your child to see Dr. Jared at least twice a year—more often if necessary.
If you follow these easy steps, taking care of your children’s teeth will become second nature in no time.
Call to schedule an appointment today at KiDDS Dental. (509)-891-7070.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Contest: Let the KiDDS Team Stuff Your Stocking!

Contest Rules:

By entering this promotion, participant agrees to a complete release of Facebook from any or all liability in connection with this contest. It is also acknowledgment that the contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

How to enter: Entries consist of following the directions (comment, "like," etc.) given in the official promotion posts on the KiDDS Dental Facebook page between December 2, 2019 at 9:00 AM and December 16, 2019 at 5:00 PM. One entry per promotion post per Facebook user is allowed. Multiple entries per promotion post will be disqualified.

For first choice of prize: One random prize drawing will be held on or about December 17, 2019.  The winner will receive their choice of the two prize stockings. This prize is valued at $100. Cash cannot be awarded in lieu of prize. Prize is not transferable. The winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying applicable state and federal taxes.


For remaining prize: One random prize drawing will be held on or about December 17, 2019.  The winner will receive the remaining stockings. This prize is valued at $100. Cash cannot be awarded in lieu of prize. Prize is not transferable. The winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying applicable state and federal taxes. 
If a winner is disqualified or if a prize is unclaimed, KiDDS Dental reserves the right to conduct another drawing to determine an alternate winner or to not award that winner's prize, at its sole discretion.

Odds: Actual odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries.

Eligibility: Legal residents of the United States are eligible to participate and win. Any person under the age of 18 must have a parent's or legal guardian's permission to participate and/or win.  Must be 13 years or older to enter. Employees of KiDDS Dental and their immediate families (spouse, parents, siblings, children, in-laws) are not eligible to enter. Winners must be available to pick up prize at KiDDS Dental in Liberty Lake, WA by December 23, 2019 at 4:00 PM.

Decisions: By entering into the promotion, entrants and their parents or guardians (if the entrant is under the age of 18) agree to abide by and be bound by these official rules, and to accept the decision of KiDDS Dental as final.  Entrants and their parents or guardians (if entrant is under the age of 18) 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 participant to a person 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.

Liability Release: By participating, each participant and winner waives any and all claims against KiDDS Dental their employees and agents for any personal loss of any kind which may occur from the participation in the promotion.

Publicity: Each winner (and such winner's parent or guardian if any winner is under the age of 18) 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.

By entering the contest, entrants grant KiDDS Dental license to display, distribute, reproduce contest entries. Winners must sign a media release and will be responsible for paying any taxes they may owe on a prize.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Living a Sweet Life Without Sugary Beverages

Living a Sweet Life Without Sugary Beverages

You limit desserts and encourage your children to brush and floss daily, but they still get cavities. You wonder how this happened. If your children are fans of sports drinks, fruit juices or soda, you may have found the culprit.
Sugary drinks―even those that contain no added sugar, such as 100% juice―are very acidic. When you drink them, the acid combines with the bacteria in your mouth and attacks the enamel on your teeth. The more often you drink sugary drinks, the longer your teeth are exposed to this harmful acid. As enamel breaks down, your teeth may appear stained or yellow, become more sensitive and, most importantly, be more prone to decay.

If you can’t cut out sodas and juices completely, you can reduce the damage to your children’s dental health by following a few rules:

·    Limit juice intake to 6 ounces per day for children younger than 7 years old and to 12 ounces for older children.

·    Make sodas an occasional treat. Soft drinks are both highly acidic and void of any nutritional value. Also, the phosphoric content of soda can affect the way your children’s bodies absorb calcium, a necessary mineral for healthy teeth.

·    Serve juice with a straw, and tell your children not to swish the juice around in their mouths or sip it continuously for long periods of time. The more contact it has with their teeth, the more damage the acid can do.

·    After your children drink sweet beverages, have them swish some water around in their mouths to wash the acid and sugars away or brush their teeth.

·    Give your children plenty of water to drink to help quench thirst, which may also help them avoid cravings for other beverages.

While cutting out sugary beverages can be difficult, your children can benefit in so many ways that extend far beyond dental health. Talk to Dr. Jared if you are concerned about the damage done by sugary drinks, and make it your goal to decrease your family’s sugary beverage consumption. It’s a lifestyle change that will lead to a “sweeter” life.

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

Friday, October 25, 2019

Know When to Take Away the Bottle and Sippy Cup

Know When to Take Away the Bottle and Sippy Cup

To a parent, the bottle and spillproof training cup (often called a sippy cup) are two essential tools that ensure your child is happy and content. We see these two innocuous objects, when used incorrectly, as the root cause of early-onset tooth decay in infants and toddlers.

So what is the problem with bottles and sippy cups? Both require a sucking motion, resulting in the liquid coating the six upper front teeth. That prevents the normal cleaning effects of saliva and promotes tooth decay. Because “baby teeth” hold the place for permanent teeth to grow in, this early childhood tooth decay can be highly detrimental. Movement or loss of the baby teeth from decay affects the way the permanent teeth grow into the gum.

The worst damage can come from the choice of liquid in the bottle or cup. Fruit juices or formula filled with sugar increase the amount of bacteria and acid generated around the teeth. In addition, these drinking aids do not develop any special oral motor skills and actually support the suckling habit detrimental to proper tooth development.

As children learn to walk, they often carry a bottle or sippy cup in their mouths. When they fall, the bottle or cup can be jammed into the mouth where it hits the teeth and gums, causing oral trauma. Think it can’t happen to your toddler? A 2012 study by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, reported that every four hours another child ends up in the emergency room due to an injury from a sippy cup, bottle or pacifier.

The following are some simple measures you can take to limit the detrimental effects of the bottle and sippy cup:
  • Wean your child off the bottle by the age of 1 year.
  • Use a sippy cup as a transitional, not permanent, solution.
  • Fill the sippy cup with only water unless it’s being used at mealtime.
  • Have your toddler use a straw and an open cup when drinking fruit juice or sugary drinks.
  • Begin a regular oral hygiene routine at a very early age.
Bottles and sippy cups may be a simple and easy way for a toddler to experience a small degree of independence, but easy and convenient do not always equal healthiest. If you are concerned about the effect on your child’s teeth from using a bottle or sippy cup, bring your toddler to KiDDS Dental for a checkup and advice about how to keep those baby teeth healthy.

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

Friday, October 11, 2019

Kicking the Thumb-sucking Habit

Kicking the Thumb-sucking Habit

Thumb-sucking is a common way for infants and very young children to soothe themselves when they feel anxious or stressful. Most children abandon the habit once they develop the ability to speak and voice their anxieties. However, for many children, the habit is not so easily abandoned; for them, the risk of developing dental problems such as overbite or jaw malformation is strong.

Although it was once believed that, until the emergence of permanent teeth, thumb-sucking caused no damage, experts now think that the negative effects of thumb-sucking can begin as early as age 2 or 3. If your child refuses to give up the thumb as he or she ages, there are some steps you can take to help your child kick the habit:
  • Praise your child or offer simple rewards when he or she does not suck his or her thumb for a specified period of time, increasing the time period as the child shows repeated success.
  • Remove the thumb from the child’s mouth after he or she falls asleep.
  • Talk to your child about the habit and about the importance of stopping; be supportive and calm instead of scolding or threatening.
  • Help your child become aware of the habit by calmly pointing out when he or she is thumb-sucking. Many children lack self-awareness at this age, and gentle reminders can help them recognize the habit and find other ways to cope (like hugging a stuffed animal, for instance).
  • Remind your child in a positive way that he or she is growing up; point to older role models (cartoon figures are fine) who do not suck their thumbs.
  • Avoid stop-gap measures, like foul-tasting liquids or mittens to prevent thumb-sucking, because these can actually increase a child’s anxiety. If needed, we can create a mouthguard or night guard that can help children quit the habit.
  • For children who are ready to quit, use a plastic bandage on the finger as a reminder not to suck.
  • Finally, don’t panic. Your anxiety will be picked up by your child and may cause him or her to increase the habit to alleviate increased anxiety.

If your child displays aggressive or long-term thumb-sucking habits, bring him or her to KiDDS Dental for an evaluation. Dr. Jared and his clinical team can give you a better understanding of how your child's thumb-sucking is affecting his or her dental development, and we can assess the possible need for dental braces or other orthodontic treatments in the future.

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

Friday, September 27, 2019

Keeping the Color Off Your Child’s Teeth

Keeping the Color Off Your Child’s Teeth

Are your child’s pearly whites looking a tad less pearly lately? Just like adults, children can suffer from tooth discoloration in both primary (baby) and permanent teeth. Depending on what has caused your child’s teeth to become stained, we can recommend ways to improve the teeth’s appearance and make sure that the stains do not signify a more serious health issue.

A common cause of stained teeth is poor dental hygiene. When your child doesn’t brush and floss adequately, hard-to-remove plaque can develop and make the teeth appear yellow or orange. While we may be able to remove some of this debris during a cleaning, you can help your child’s teeth look whiter by helping your child become better at caring for his or her teeth.

Other Causes of Discoloration
  • Vitamin supplements that include iron can cause dark stains on a child’s teeth; so can antihistamines and certain antibiotics (including a mother’s use of tetracycline during pregnancy).
  • Trauma from an injury to the teeth or gums can make the teeth turn pink or gray.
  • Some genetic conditions interfere with the development of tooth enamel, causing baby teeth to come in with a discolored appearance; newborn jaundice and certain infections may also be to blame.
  • Even fluoride, usually considered a tool in your child’s dental health arsenal, can affect the appearance of teeth—excessive fluoride exposure from not spitting out toothpaste or drinking formula made with fluoridated water may lead to white streaks on tooth enamel.
Unless the discoloration is due to reasons of hygiene, the stains on your child’s teeth can be difficult to remove. Cosmetic whitening can be an option if you’re concerned about your child’s appearance. Most importantly, we can make sure that the staining is only a cosmetic problem, not the result of an underlying illness. That way, you can at least rest assured that those not-so-perfectly-pearly whites are still perfectly healthy.

If you have further questions regarding cosmetic whitening, click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Keep Your Teen’s Teeth in Tip-Top Shape

Keep Your Teen’s Teeth in Tip-Top Shape

While the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your adolescent child’s mouth is eating—or kissing his or her sweetheart—the challenges of adolescence extend beyond these two activities. In fact, teenagers face specific dental problems, most of which can be managed as long as someone stays on top of them. If you have a teen in the house, be aware of the following dental concerns.

Healthy, straight smile

Most teenagers are preoccupied with their physical appearance, and their smiles are no exception. Your child may become conscious of bad breath, or of stained or crooked teeth. Brushing twice a day with an American Dental Association-approved toothpaste, flossing regularly, eating healthy foods and visiting us every six months can help keep your teen’s smile healthy and bright. We may recommend orthodontics for your teen, and not only for aesthetic reasons. Crowded or misaligned teeth can lead to gum disease, cavities and jaw problems.

Wisdom teeth woes

You thought your teething woes were over when your child got his or her permanent teeth, but there’s one more round of it heading your way. The third molars, commonly called “wisdom teeth,” emerge in the teenage years. If there isn’t enough room for them to come in properly or they become impacted, they can cause pain, infection and damage to the surrounding teeth. In that case, they may need to be removed.

Smoking, drug use and eating disorders

Despite our best efforts, many teenagers engage in dangerous behaviors during adolescence. Smoking can cause bad breath, gum disease and stained teeth; certain street drugs can wreak havoc on your child’s mouth. Bulimia, an eating disorder that strikes a large number of teenagers and involves purposeful, repeated vomiting, severely damages enamel from acid exposure. While these problems require the intervention of other health care professionals, we can help minimize their impact on dental health. Be sure to alert us if your child is struggling with an eating disorder or substance abuse.

As the parent of an adolescent, you probably have a lot of issues that require your attention. While you may put your child’s dental health lower on your list, it’s in your child’s best interest to make it a top priority. Be sure to schedule an appointment with KiDDS Dental at least twice a year.

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

Friday, August 30, 2019

Keep Your Teen Cavity-Free

Keep Your Teen Cavity-Free

It’s true: Teenagers do know everything. Just ask one; he or she will assure you that it is adults who have their facts—about pretty much everything—wrong.

Sometimes facing off against teen attitude can feel poignant, in an “I remember being like that” way. But when your adolescent decides that he or she has outgrown worrying about cavities, there is no cause for smiles, wry or otherwise.

Just like children, adolescents must maintain proper dental hygiene to prevent cavities. To help your teen do an adequate job, suggest that your teen brush his or her teeth twice a day for the length (or half the length, depending) of a favorite song. Flossing is important, too. Because the hormonal shifts of adolescence can sometimes increase gum sensitivity, work with your teen to find a dental floss or tape that feels comfortable.

As for diet, it’s unrealistic to expect a teen to avoid carbohydrates and sugars totally. And as for brushing during the day after eating lunch—at school? in the bathroom?—that might also be an unpalatable proposition. Suggest in-a-pinch substitutes: rinsing with mouthwash or water or chewing sugarless gum sweetened with xylitol.

Save your strongest arguments for insisting on pre-bedtime toothbrushing. The lessened production of saliva during sleep makes food residue more likely to contribute to decay formation overnight—and increases the possibility that any mouth piercings your child may have can become infected. Infections at a piercing site can lead to systemic infections, such as hepatitis.

Schedule your teen for regular appointments at KiDDS Dental. Professional cleanings contribute to cavity prevention (or easier treatment if they’re caught early); we also offer sealants that contribute some protection against decay. This makes the occasional teenage dental hygiene slip-up less of a big deal.

We promise that your adolescent will be treated like a young adult—no baby stuff, no balloon animals, and no SpongeBob or Dora stickers will be foisted upon them. Alert us in advance that a sensitive teen is coming in, and we’ll be extra-conscientious about leaving childhood references at the door.

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

Friday, August 16, 2019

Keep Your Child’s Smile Beaming

Keep Your Child’s Smile Beaming

As adults, we know that few things in this world are as beautiful as a child’s smile. But if those pearly whites are not well taken care of, tooth decay and misaligned teeth can take their toll. By the time your child reaches adolescence, he or she may avoid smiling or laughing because of unsightly or misaligned teeth.

A smile communicates positive qualities. People who smile are perceived as more sociable, trustworthy and intelligent, not only in social situations but in job interviews as well. The good news is that most dental health problems are fully preventable with good oral hygiene. But it is important to start at an early age.

The following tips can help your child develop a long-lasting, healthy smile:
  • Do not share eating utensils with your baby, and never let others put your baby’s pacifier in their own mouth. These practices can spread bacteria and lead to tooth decay.
  • Do not feed juice or soda to your baby, and do not let your baby go to sleep with a bottle. This, too, increases bacteria in the mouth and can lead to tooth decay.
  • Bring your child in for a dental visit before his or her first birthday. We can help you establish good oral health habits from an early age, such as brushing your child’s baby teeth.
  • As your child grows up, we may find that his or her teeth are not properly aligned. We will refer you to an orthodontist, who can more fully assess your child’s teeth and determine whether orthodontic treatment is needed. Although the prospect of braces is rarely welcome, orthodontic care has come a long way over the past generation in terms of aesthetics. More importantly, it is a short-term investment with lifelong benefits.
Remember: An attractive smile contributes to a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence. If your child is embarrassed or ashamed of his or her teeth, let Dr. Jared know at his or her next appointment with KiDDS Dental. Our clinical team can assess your child’s oral health and recommend treatment that will have your child smiling proudly.

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

Friday, August 2, 2019

Keep Your Child’s Gums Healthy

Keep Your Child’s Gums Healthy

When we consider their oral health, we tend to think of our children’s teeth most often. But their gums should be on our minds as well. Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is not uncommon in children, and it can signify more than just a little redness.

Although gingivitis is a condition unto itself, if left untreated it also can lead to more serious periodontal (gum) disease. Gingivitis can run in families, but whether it has affected other relatives or not, you and your child should check regularly for these gingivitis symptoms:

  • Bleeding: Gums may bleed with the gentlest brushing or flossing, or even at other times.
  • Color changes: Gums may be red-purple or bright red, possibly with a shiny appearance.
  • Swelling: A puffy appearance may accompany tenderness.
  • Bad breath: If bad breath (halitosis) does not go away with vigilant flossing and brushing, gingivitis may be the cause.
  • Receding gums: When gums recede, more of the front surface of the teeth than normal is visible, potentially exposing the roots.
If one or more of these symptoms exist, extra-vigilant oral care is the first line of defense to reduce inflammation, starting with a professional cleaning and evaluation. Afterward, even though gums may remain sensitive for one to two weeks, strict adherence to brushing and flossing routines has to begin. Mild anti-inflammatory pain medicine may help during this time. In addition, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash or warm salt water may reduce the chance of recurrence. In severe cases, specialized therapies can be used to keep disease from spreading to nearby tissues and tooth-supporting bone.

As boys and girls reach puberty, circulating hormones increase blood flow to the gums, resulting in greater sensitivity. Flossing, for instance, may hurt more, as may food particles or plaque. While the sensitivity is real and understandable, and may last for a while, your child needs to maintain good oral habits.

Helping children to remember that their gums will always be as important as their teeth is a lesson worth its weight in gold—or a lifetime supply of floss.

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

Friday, July 19, 2019

Keep Your ADHD Child Decay Free

Keep Your ADHD Child Decay Free

Keeping your child as free of cavities as possible is always a partnership between you, the parent, and us, the dental professionals. This is especially true when your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As a team, we’ll use the widely recognized tell–show–do approach, with its brief, clear, step-by-step instructions, to teach and reinforce proper toothbrushing habits.

Product choices are important. Some children with ADHD don’t like foaming toothpastes; for these children, a toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulfate would be a good choice. Your child may strongly prefer a manual or electric toothbrush; let him or her select. If your child responds to rewards for consistent good dental hygiene habits, use stickers or small change, instead of carbohydrate-filled snacks or sugary drinks.

In addition, ADHD medications can contribute to decreased saliva production, causing dry mouth (xerostomia). Since decay-causing bacteria tend to flourish in the absence of saliva, tell us if your child has xerostomia, so we can discuss management techniques (sugar-free gum, mouth rinses, etc.). Because of xerostomia—and because children with ADHD tend to “graze” and eat more times a day than usual—it is a good idea to have your child’s teeth cleaned by us more frequently than twice a year.

During a cleaning, we will take special care to make the experience as pleasant and unthreatening as possible for your child. We will discuss your child’s current ADHD status with you beforehand. Please make an appointment for the time of day when your child is usually at his or her best, and during a period when he or she is taking medication. We will schedule a longer-than-usual time slot for your child’s cleaning.

Because ADHD can challenge ideal dental hygiene practices, it’s especially important to consider sealants and fluoride treatments for your child. By adding an extra level of protection, these treatments can help to make up for lapses in maintaining oral health.

We are well acquainted with children with ADHD and want to help your child stay as cavity-free as possible. If it’s time for your child’s appointment, schedule it now at KiDDS Dental. We’ll work together to make the appointment a successful experience.

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

Friday, July 5, 2019

Keep Tooth Decay at Bay

Keep Tooth Decay at Bay

Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent diseases affecting children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42% of 2- to 11-year-olds have cavities in baby teeth; 21% of 6- to 11-year-olds have cavities in permanent teeth. And tooth decay doesn’t just lead to cavities: When left untreated, it can lead to malnourishment, learning and speech delays, and even deadly bacterial infections.

To put it in perspective, tooth decay is actually five times as common as asthma and seven times as common as hay fever. But unlike asthma and hay fever, parents have the ability to reverse the effects of tooth decay. That’s because decay is a process in which bacteria attacks the enamel of the tooth. If you catch the decay early, you can avoid cavities or more serious problems down the road. Keep your child’s risk of tooth decay low by following these tips:
  1. Watch the snacks. Every time your child eats something sugary or starchy, the food combines with bacteria in the mouth to create acids, the precursors to decay. Saliva is the best weapon against these acid attacks, so the longer your child’s mouth gets a “break” between eating to let saliva do its job, the better. If he or she wants to snack between meals, stick to healthy, low-sugar choices such as vegetables or cheese.
  2. Skip the sodas. Sugary, acidic drinks like fruit juice, energy drinks, sports drinks and sodas are tooth decay’s best friends. Have your child stick to water.
  3. Brush regularly. If your child is less than 6 years old, assist his or her toothbrushing routine to ensure that the teeth receive a thorough cleaning. Because young children tend to swallow most of what’s on the brush, use just a dab of toothpaste. Older children can brush their own teeth, but make sure they are doing so for at least two minutes, twice a day.
  4. Visit your dentist. Professional cleanings are necessary to remove trapped food particles and monitor early signs of decay. If your child does have a cavity, it’s important to get it treated right away to prevent further complications.
Fortunately, tooth decay is preventable and treatable. By following these tips, you can minimize tooth decay and establish good oral health habits for life.

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

Keep Those Primary Teeth Intact

Keep Those Primary Teeth Intact

Children often seem to have an innate ability to find trouble in the strangest places. As a parent, you worry about scrapes, cuts and other assorted boo-boos. But too often, you don’t think of tooth injuries. Simply put, tooth injuries involve any loss, chipping or cracking of a primary (baby) tooth.

The best starting point for you as a parent is to instill a consistent daily dental regimen. Insist on having your child brush his or her teeth both in the morning and before going to bed at night. This will help prevent general decay, which has the potential for weakening enamel and causing teeth to crack.

Using a fluoride toothpaste means that your child will receive a regular infusion of fluoride that naturally strengthens tooth enamel—simply by brushing his or her teeth. Not allowing your child to chew on hard objects, such as ice or pencils, will help prevent chipped or cracked teeth.

Because trauma is generally the result of some sort of impact, it is important that a parent reduce the potential for these types of injuries. When driving, be sure that your child sits safely in an appropriate car seat and that seatbelts are used correctly. If your child is learning to walk, restrict access to staircases and make sure all hard edges are babyproofed in case of falls. Belt your child into his or her stroller or high chair, and use an abundance of caution when your child rides in a shopping cart or a wagon.

If your child participates in sports, make sure that he or she wears a mouthguard. Constructed of hard rubber and composite plastics, this simple piece of equipment will help prevent trauma to the teeth and gums. It also provides the added benefit of helping to prevent concussions.

Despite your good efforts, chances are your child will do something to surprise you. As a parent, your job is to provide the best protection against your little one’s winding up at KiDDS Dental with a cracked or broken tooth. Take these precautionary measures, and those primary teeth just might make it to the next stage of your child’s development.

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

Friday, June 7, 2019

Keep Those Baby Teeth Healthy

Keep Those Baby Teeth Healthy

As adults, we understand and accept that good oral hygiene is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Poor oral hygiene in adults often leads to drastic complications over the long run. Why, then, would you not want to consider the health of your child’s teeth from their very first appearance? Even though these “baby teeth” will one day be replaced with a second set, there is no need to risk the quality of your child’s life because of poor oral hygiene.

It is easy to be a little lazy as a parent and allow your child to use a bottle or sippy cup as a secondary pacifier. You may not realize that those drinks you put in the bottle or cup are extremely high in sugar. Believe it or not, those drinks we think are the healthiest—fruit juices, sugar water, honey, even formula and milk—can coat your child’s newly growing teeth with sugar.

Sugar breeds bacteria, which in turn breed acid. Acid is the ultimate villain here; it erodes the outer layers of the teeth, weakening them and leading to the dreaded cavity. Cavities can cause severe pain while eating and talking and, in severe circumstances, require the teeth to be removed. This process alone has its own set of possible repercussions: infection, gum disease and misalignment of the adult teeth when they begin to grow in.

Your child’s baby teeth sometimes need to last him or her into early adolescence. For this reason, avoid contributing to the decay from the teeth’s very first appearance. Even at a very young age, it is important that you rub the gums and teeth with a damp gauze pad or washcloth. Once the teeth appear, start teaching and reinforcing the need to brush them. Most importantly, start bringing your child to us when his or her first tooth appears; once all the teeth are in place or by age 2 or 3, start scheduling regular visits with us.

Being a parent isn’t easy. Maintaining your child’s oral health is simply another added responsibility. But good oral health helps ensure that he or she grows up happy, healthy and strong!

Dr. Jared and his clinical team would love to meet you and your family! Give us a call at 509-891-7070 to schedule today!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Keep That Saliva Flowing

Keep That Saliva Flowing

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water than it takes in, making it unable to carry out its normal functions properly. In both children and adults, dehydration can be caused by excessive sweating, vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration can include dry skin, headache, dizziness and dry mouth.

Saliva plays an important role in keeping teeth healthy. It helps wash away bits of food that might otherwise linger on or between teeth. Those food particles provide a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. Saliva also carries disease-fighting substances that can prevent cavities, while keeping tooth enamel strong by providing calcium, fluoride and phosphate ions to the tooth surface. Dry mouth—a lack of saliva—can have a negative effect on teeth. Dr. Jared often recommends that children increase the flow of saliva by drinking water and chewing sugarless gum.

While scientific studies have identified associations between saliva and dental disease and between saliva and dehydration, the precise nature of the connection between dehydration and dental disease has yet to be firmly established. Nonetheless, it is important that your child stay hydrated, especially if he or she is sick or exercises in the heat.

Your child can avoid dry mouth by drinking plenty of water and eating water-containing foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Thirst is generally a good guide. But if your child is ill, you need to encourage fluid consumption early on, so that he or she does not become dehydrated. Use an oral rehydration solution to replace lost electrolytes, and stay away from sodas, which contain a lot of sugar.

Dry mouth may be caused by dehydration, some medications or a medical condition. If your child complains of dry mouth, call us for an appointment at KiDDS Dental so we can assess his or her oral health. We can narrow down the cause of dry mouth and prescribe treatments that restore salivary function and keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy.

If you have questions about your child's dry mouth, click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Keep Molar Decay at Bay

Keep Molar Decay at Bay

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth make acids that eat away at the teeth, causing a hole or a cavity that can cause pain, infection and tooth loss. Helping your child protect his or her permanent molars from the effects of decay can save a world of hurt down the road. Here are some tips to help you ensure that those hard-to-reach back teeth stay as healthy as possible:
  • Make sure your child brushes his or her teeth twice each day with toothpaste that contains fluoride. You may need to help your child brush until the age of seven or eight years to ensure he or she is reaching all teeth properly. Also, make sure your child rinses thoroughly and does not swallow the toothpaste.
  • Limit your child’s intake of snacks, sugary beverages and even fruit juice, which can contain acids that erode tooth enamel. Have your child rinse after drinking juice or a beverage containing sugar, or after eating a snack that contains sugars or starches, both of which can increase the amount of acid in the mouth.
  • Delay brushing until at least 30 minutes after a meal. Thanks to an increase in the production of food-dissolving acids, tooth enamel can soften when we eat. It takes about 30 minutes for it to re-harden. After that time has passed, your child can brush without fear of damaging the softened enamel.
  • Bring your child to us for regular checkups. Your child may not care for visits to the dentist, but you aren’t doing him or her any favors by giving in and postponing care or cancelling visits. Regular checkups can spot early signs of decay and other oral health problems that are best treated in their earliest stages. We can also provide fluoride treatments to help protect your child’s teeth from decay.
  • Use dental sealants on your child’s molars. Dental sealants are clear, protective coatings we brush onto tooth surfaces. Most commonly used on molars, they can be beneficial when used on any tooth surface that’s grooved or ridged. Sealants should be applied as soon as molars emerge, before decay has a chance to get a foothold. Watch for the emergence of your child’s molars, which typically come in between the ages of five and seven and again between the ages of 11 and 14 years.
Dr. Jared and his clinical team can help you learn more about how to protect your child from tooth decay. Schedule an appointment for him or her today at KiDDS Dental. Together, we can combat decay on your child’s permanent molars.

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

Friday, April 26, 2019

Keep It Clean: Why Your Child Needs Regular Dental Cleanings

Keep It Clean: Why Your Child Needs Regular Dental Cleanings

With our expertise and instruments, we can clean your child’s teeth to a degree that simply cannot be achieved at home. From there, your child has a baseline from which to begin the next six months of brushing, flossing and rinsing until we see him or her again. But there are other reasons to ensure that we clean your child’s teeth on a regular schedule:
  • Regular visits ensure that your child is comfortable with us. Then, if a dental emergency arises, he or she will have been to the office fairly recently for a friendly, routine visit. That can reduce the amount of fear in what might otherwise be a scary situation.
  • Checkups and cleanings give us the opportunity to remind your child—and you—of the proper techniques for brushing and flossing. We also give instructions for using disclosing tablets, which give children a visual way to understand plaque’s potential pervasiveness in a way they often find delightfully “gross.”
  • At each visit, we check your child’s mouth for the beginning of potential orthodontic problems and can suggest a consultation with an orthodontist, if necessary.
  • When you come in, we can discuss developmental milestones your child has reached, and we can help you determine where your child is on the path to adult oral health.
  • During cleanings, we often take x-rays that can reveal not-yet-visible cavities, allowing us to fill them before more damage is caused. We can also apply a sealant and possibly recommend a fluoride mouth rinse to promote additional cavity prevention.
Finally, we use cleaning appointments to discuss good nutrition with both parents and children. If you have a really young one, we’ll offer some crucial advice: Switch your toddler from a bottle to a cup as soon as possible after his or her first birthday, and never let your baby fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup of milk or juice. We look forward to talking about these topics with you and your child soon at KiDDS Dental.

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