5 Teeth Friendly Ways to Enjoy Halloween

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Fill those candy bags, October is here! The month every kid across the land dreams could take place every day, and the only day when dressing up and eating gobs of candy is not only allowed, but encouraged. Now, that’s a good deal for a kid. But what if you’re a parent? Everyone knows healthy snacks are the way to go every other day of the year that is not Halloween, so how do you give in a bit and let your children enjoy the festivities while keeping these healthy habits top of mind? Here are five teeth-friendly habits that’ll ensure you’re still communicating the right message. Read more

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Did You Know April is Facial Protection Month?

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Break out the bike, the skateboard and the rollerblades, Spring is here! Just don’t allow your kids to break their face while they’re at it. No doubt, they’re looking forward to dusting off their sports equipment and getting active outside again. And since April is facial protection month, we want to be sure they hit the pavement (so to speak!) safely. Let’s explore! Read more

When Will Baby’s Teeth Arrive? A Guide

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Before your baby can talk, it’s a guessing game to figure out what may be causing them discomfort. If they’re drooling, nibbling on hands or toys, or seem extra irritable, chances are they’re teething. Peek in that adorable little mouth and you might see some teeth sticking through those gums! Fortunately for your baby, teeth don’t all erupt at once; they typically follow a predictable eruption pattern. Read more

Should Your Child Do More Than Just Brush and Floss?

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As an adult, your oral care routine tends to remain fairly static for a large part of your life. Brush and floss. Rinse, perhaps, if you’re fond of it. And, unless you need prosthetics, that’s about all you’ll ever do. But, what about your kids? Toddlers? Adolescents? What sort of routine should they follow? Is it the same as yours? And, should it change from time to time? Since it’s February, and Children’s Dental Health month is upon us, let’s take a quick dive into “what’s-what” from toddlers to teens when it comes to oral care. Read more

Fluoride and Floss: What You Need to Know!

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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! This year’s slogan is: “Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.” So let’s get our little ones’ positive habits started early! Here’s what you need to know about flossing, fluoride, and keeping our kids’ dental health in tip-top shape this and every month. Read more

Saving Space for Permanent Teeth with a Space Maintainer

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If your little one’s teeth have begun to fall out, and their permanent replacements appear to be lagging far behind, you may wish to consider a space maintainer to minimize future orthodontic work. Believe it or not, the absence of your child’s teeth might seem cute now, but those tiny little gaps can cause deep gouges in your pocketbook as you watch them fill up with teeth that don’t belong there. Space maintainers are simple to use, kids get along fine with them, and they have become the de-facto standard for protecting the cosmetic and functional aspects of your growing child’s mouth.

Why Your Child Might Need a Space Maintainer

When a child’s tooth is lost early due to trauma, tooth decay, or nature’s insistence that it drop out before its permanent replacement is due, a space maintainer can be used to hold back the natural inclination of teeth to move forward. Without preventing this movement, teeth that should be in the rear of our mouths end up along the sides, and take up precious real estate destined for another tenant. The result is overcrowding, and in some cases impacted teeth. In the end, it’s always easier to save the space now, then create it later.

How They Work

Space maintainers are very similar in purpose and design to an adult “bridge,” but instead of placing artificial teeth over the gap, the space is kept open to accommodate its future resident.  Most maintainers are made of metal, (sometimes both metal and plastic), and are custom-molded to the shape of your child’s mouth. In most cases, the maintainer is made up of a metal band attached to a rectangular-shaped wire that butts up against the tooth across the gap. This acts to temporarily preserve the space where the baby tooth once was, so its replacement can erupt without obstruction. To some, the final product looks like an old Radio Flyer® snow sled, or a shoe horn you might use to maintain the shape of unworn shoes.

Does My Child Need One?

It’s important to note that dental space maintainers are not required for all childhood tooth loss, and that your dentist isn’t going to suggest you create a decade worth of space maintainers as each tooth falls out of your child’s mouth. Our bodies are quite effective at saving space for the loss of our front teeth as well as our incisors – it’s the teeth along the sides of our mouths that tend to cause the majority of complications.  Of course, each mouth is different, and your dentist can suggest the best course of action for you and your child.

Using a space maintainer is an affordable and effective way to ensure your child’s teeth come in where they are supposed to, and when they’re ready. It can have a positive effect on your wallet, reduce the amount of time your child needs to wear braces, and control the cosmetic appearance of your child’s teeth and mouth.

Three Kid-Friendly Summer Tips as We Tip Closer to The Sun!

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June 21st marks the day when, with a little tilt of the earth’s semi-axis, the earth leans a wee bit closer to the sun and ushers in … what those of us in the northern hemisphere have been looking forward to for a long time … Summer! Yeah! Off come the jackets, and out comes the sunscreen, the bikes, summer sports gear and whatever makes you kids happy this time of year. And that’s not all! June also brings with it Father’s Day, International Children’s Day and Fruit and Vegetable Awareness Day. Who knew you could squeeze so much fun into just 30 days? With that in mind, let’s check out a few dental-centered tips you can toss your kids’ way while they’re out there soaking up the sun. Read more…

Fermented Foods to the Rescue!

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We know what you might be thinking. The word “fermented” alone might not sound too appetizing. And, if you’ve personally sworn off sauerkraut long ago… well then your kids don’t stand a chance at adopting these oh-so-good-for-you treats! Because there’s a whole world of yummy fermented foods that are not only tasty but super nutritious. PLUS, they can help with digestive issues given their probiotic content. May we say…it’s the cool thing to do? For recipes and reasons, read on!

What’s a fermented food?

A few in this list likely sound familiar to you: sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, kefir, tofu, yogurt. Fermentation has been around for centuries to preserve food. Just like your kids, there are microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) that love eating sugar and carbs. Fermentation is essentially when these microorganisms eat away at the sugars in food, converting them into carbon dioxide, acid, and alcohol. Ever leave a gallon of apple cider in your fridge too long? Did it get bubbly and smell a little yeasty after a while? That’s fermentation! As we all know, not all fermented items are suitable for kids. So let’s stick to foods over beverages 🙂

Why should your family eat fermented foods?

The process of fermentation does wonderful things to foods. With the presence of helpful bacteria, the food is essentially partially digested for you. Sounds kind of gross, but fermentation breaks down the food for you, yielding helpful digestive enzymes, bioavailable nutrients, and probiotics! Plus, the tastes and textures of different fermented foods offer variety to your palate!

Tell me more about probiotics.

Okay! A probiotic is a living microorganism (mostly bacteria, of which there are many strains) that inhabits your body and helps things run smoothly – bowel movements, gut health, your immune system, even brain health! When your little one has had a recent bout of diarrhea, if they’re on antibiotics, or if they need help being regular, probiotics are recommended to help things get back in order.

Now, you can purchase probiotic supplements for your little one, but the science of supplements is lacking. At this time, researchers aren’t sure which strains of probiotics, in what quantities, are the best. A diet consisting of various fermented foods can, however, offer a wider array of probiotics, so you’re more likely to see a benefit. 

You’ve convinced me, now convince my kids!

If your family is completely new to fermented foods, it might be fun to learn about them together. Research the history of fermentation and do some science experiments by making homemade fermented veggies. Otherwise, find some in the grocery store and do a fun taste test! Talk about the tastes and textures there are, make funny faces, and give each food a score out of 10.

Alternatively, simply offer fermented foods along with your family’s favorite foods at mealtimes. Here are some yummy ideas for you:

  • Make (or order out!) Korean bibimbap and serve with kimchi, a yummy, slightly spicy side dish made of cabbage
  • Incorporate yogurt or kefir into smoothies or popsicles
  • Add some chopped up fermented cauliflower, carrots, or onions into scrambled eggs (our in-house toddler approves of this one!)
  • Serve Reuben sandwiches with your child’s favorite lunch meat and cheese
  • Offer sauerkraut with baked beans or brats during your summer barbecue

The possibilities are endless. Have fun on your fermented adventures!