Children's Dental Center

Fun Easter Facts

Easter_Childrens_Dental_Group3Happy Easter from Children’s Dental Center!  We found some fun Easter facts for you!

  • Americans eat about 16 million jelly beans every Easter.
  • “Easter” was named from the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre, or Eastre, who was known for spring time celebrations and fertility.
  • Giving eggs is a tradition that dates back even farther than Easter.
  • Americans purchase 2.6 billion eggs each March.
  • 89% of Americans believe the proper way to eat a chocolate Easter bunny is ears first!
  • 81% of parents steal candy from their kids’ stash.
  • 19% of parents lie about not stealing candy from their kids stash.
  • 15,873 pounds is the weight of the largest-ever chocolate Easter egg.
  • 1.5 billion marshmallow Peeps will be given for Easter, which means 1.4 billion marshmallow Peeps will be thrown away the day after Easter.
  • Easter is the second-best holiday for candy retailers.

Children’s Dental Center believes that dental health education is the key to preventing childhood tooth decay. We’re committed to providing a forum where parents and pediatric dental professionals can discuss preventative dental care. We encourage parents, educators and doctors to check back frequently for more fun facts, articles and activities!

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween_Safety_Tips_Childrens_Dental_CenterHalloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

ALL DRESSED UP:

Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.

  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost/

 CARVING A NICHE:

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.

 HOME SAFE HOME:

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

 
ON THE TRICK-OR-TREAT TRAIL:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:
    • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
    • Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
    • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
    • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

HEALTHY HALLOWEEN:

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

– See more at: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Halloween-Safety-Tips.aspx#sthash.ICdgD1wh.dpuf

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Halloween Crafts And Treats For Kids

 

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Halloween is right around the corner, and Children’s Dental Center is super excited! We’ve compiled some of our favorite Halloween crafts for your kiddos, including some fun Halloween treat ideas as well! Click on the photos to enjoy!

Halloween Crafts from Parent’s Magazine:

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Vampire Teeth Cookies:

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10 Healthy Halloween Treats For Kids:

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More Kid’s Halloween Crafts From Martha Stewart:

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21 Easy Halloween Crafts For Toddlers:

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Children’s Dental Center wishes you and your family a fun and safe Halloween!  Remember to drink lots of water in between eating candy, and brush your teeth!

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How To Have A Cavity-Free Halloween

Cavity_Free_Halloween_Childrens_Dental_CenterThe American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the leading authority on children’s oral health, is encouraging parents and caregivers to enjoy a Mouth Monster-free Halloween. Whether your kids are attending Halloween parties or trick or treating in the neighborhood, keep on the lookout for ghosts, goblins and worst of all, Mouth Monsters. Sweets can still be part of the Halloween fun as long as parents and caregivers help their children practice moderation and proper oral hygiene to keep their mouths healthy.

According to AAPD President Dr. Edward Moody, “Let children have fun and enjoy trick-or-treating or a Halloween party, but don’t let them choose the treats on their own. When they get home, go through the bags of candy together and let them pick a limited number of treats to keep. Remember, as a general rule, the stickier and gooey something is, the worse it is for teeth. Good oral health habits allow children to enjoy sweets as a treat and still keep a healthy smile.”

Below are some ideas parents and caregivers can incorporate into festivities to scare the Mouth Monsters away but still keep Halloween full of fun.

Beware of the Mouth Monsters’ Favorite Treats! 

After a night of candy collecting, kids love to dive into their stash and begin sorting. Before they get started, remember that not all sweet treats impact teeth in the same way. A fun way to guide kids towards more tooth-friendly candy is by sorting goodies according to which are best and worst for your kids’ pearly whites, including:

  • Candy to avoid includes gummies, caramels and sour candies. The chewy, sticky candies get stuck in the grooves and crevices of the teeth making it hard for saliva to wash them away which leads to tooth decay. Sour candies have a high acidity content, which breaks down tooth enamel, making teeth susceptible to a Mouth Monster invasion.
  • Better choices include milk chocolate and snack-size packets of pretzels or crackers. These options are less sticky and do not have high acidity, therefore are less harmful to teeth than gummies, caramels or sour candies. However, it’s important to limit snacking overall because a child’s dental health depends less on what they eat and more on how often they eat it.
  • Best options for a sweet treat include sugar-free gum and dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants like tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids that can inhibit bacteria from sticking to the teeth, preventing infections in gums and battling tooth decay. Sugar-free gum made with xylitol promotes the growth of tooth-protective, non-acidic bacteria, which can make it nearly impossible for bacteria and plaque to form.

Finally, for those who are passing out tricks and treats, remember non-food favorites like temporary tattoos, stickers and glow-sticks are great alternatives.

Swish and Brush! 

Let’s face it – most kids don’t look forward to Halloween for the sugar-free gum and dark chocolate. And that’s ok. If kids are indulging in any kind of candy, ensure they drink plenty of water after eating the treat.  Encourage them to swish the water around in the mouth to help dislodge particles that can get stuck and encourage the Mouth Monsters to latch onto tiny teeth.

And whatever you do, don’t let your young ones go to bed before brushing and flossing if all sides of a tooth cannot be cleaned by brushing alone. It’s a busy, exciting time, but as is the case with every other day of the year, kids should brush their teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day.

Set a Limit and Sell the Rest!

Set the number of treats that your child can keep – you may even want to select a number they can keep from each of the three categories of the sorting grid – and encourage them to sell the rest to a local dentist candy buy-back program. Most dentists participating in a Halloween buy-back program will pay $1 per pound of candy, which is then shipped out in care packages for U.S. soldiers serving overseas. Ask your pediatric dentist whether they are participating in a similar program during the first week of November.

For fun Halloween activities, more helpful tips and tools to help keep kids’ mouths healthy all year long, including a pediatric dentist finder, visit the Mouth Monster hub at http://www.mychildrensteeth.org.

About the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is the recognized authority on children’s oral health. As advocates for children’s oral health, the AAPD promotes evidence-based policies and clinical guidelines; educates and informs policymakers, parents and guardians, and other health care professionals; fosters research; and provides continuing professional education for pediatric dentists and general dentists who treat children. Founded in 1947, the AAPD is a not-for-profit professional membership association representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Its 9,300 members provide primary care and comprehensive dental specialty treatments for infants, children, adolescents and individuals with special health care needs. For further information, visit the AAPD website at http://www.aapd.org or the AAPD’s consumer website athttp://www.mychildrensteeth.org.

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What Causes Tartar?

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Why do we get tartar on our teeth?

Children’s Dental Center knows about Tartar. Tartar is defined as being a hard calcified deposit that forms on the teeth and contributes to their decay. What causes tartar build up? Bacteria and calcium!

Calcium and fossilized bacteria are the main ingredients of tartar. The bacteria are foreign invaders in your body, and the calcium comes from the saliva in your mouth.

Where does saliva come from, and why does it contain calcium? Saliva is actually filtered blood. The main reason you don’t bleed directly into your mouth has to do with your salivary glands. These glands, located in your cheeks, strain out everything from your circulatory system (blood) that your mouth does not need.   The glands let through things like calcium, hormones, and antibacterial cells into your mouth, while leaving things like hemoglobin (which your mouth does not need), to circulate around your body. These good cells then attack the harmful, foreign bacteria in your mouth. The result? Tartar!

So, next time you see tartar on your teeth, think of it as your body’s natural way of protecting those pearly whites. The more tartar you see, the more harmful bacteria and foreign objects are present on your teeth. That means your mouth and saliva is working overtime. Unfortunately, Tartar can build up over time, so be aware, and make sure to brush and floss every day to keep that smile bright!

Children’s Dental Center believes that education is the key to preventing childhood tooth decay. We’re committed to providing a forum where parents and pediatric dental professionals can discuss preventative dental care. We encourage parents, educators and doctors to check back frequently for more fun facts, articles and activities!

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Junk Food And Your Teeth

Junk_Food_And_Your_Teeth_Childrens_Dental_CenterJuly 21st is National Junk Food Day, and you know what that means!  Even more the reason to brush and floss! :)  But, let’s be realistic – we know it’s hard to quit the junk food snacking 100% – especially over the Summer.  And we also know that nobody can brush and floss after EVERY snack, right?  Fear not! Children’s Dental Center is here to help! No need to slack off on those yummy treats, cold turkey! There are a few things you can do to prevent yourself and your children from ending up in the dentist with a cavity or tooth decay chair before the start of the school year!

The Junk Food Culprit: Sugar

Think of your favorite junk food – does your vision include an abundance of sugary treats? Most likely, it does. Snacking on sweets and sipping sugary drinks throughout the day increases the risk of tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the excess sugar, creating acids, which erode the enamel on teeth. If the sugars aren’t brushed or rinsed off, the acid continues to eat away at the tooth enamel for at least 20 minutes afterwards. The result is tooth enamel that is worn down and susceptible to tooth decay.

What Can I Do To Prevent Junk Food Cavities For My kids and Myself?

First of all, don’t eat it.  If you do decide to indulge, however, follow these tips from Children’s Dental Center so you can still enjoy SOME junk food and protect your teeth and their teeth at the same time!

  • Avoid carbohydrate overload by making snacks well-rounded. Eat protein, vegetables and fruits first, before the carbohydrates and sugars. There will be less room on your plates (and in your stomach) for the cavity causing culprits like chocolate, and candy, and more room for the nutrition-packed, tooth loving foods like vegetables and lean protein.
  • Watch what you and your children drink while you’re eating. For your kids, have them avoid high-calorie and high sugar drinks such as soda and sports drinks. The acid and sugar in these kinds of drinks remain on your teeth and eat way at your enamel. Your best bet is to sip on water while snacking. This will wash away any food particles and sugars stuck on and in between the surfaces of your teeth.
  • Lastly, try to get rid of any food particles and sugars on your teeth as quickly as possible. This may require some planning ahead – a travel-sized tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush could come in handy. If a toothbrush and toothpaste aren’t immediately available, your best bet is to rinse your mouth out with water after eating. Have your child do the same. You can even follow up with some mouthwash for fresh breath after your snack.

What Junk Food Treats Are The Best Choice For Our Teeth?

  • Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulate saliva, which can help prevent dry mouth.  A dry mouth allows plaque to build up on teeth faster, leading to an increased risk of cavities.
  • Sugar-free gum can actually prevent cavities as it not only dislodges food particles from between the teeth but also increases saliva—which works to neutralize the acids of the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
  • Dark chocolate and its antioxidants, according to some studies, can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure.

Remember, with a little planning ahead, indulging in all of your familiar Junk Foods can be done without negative consequences on your teeth.

Children’s Dental Center believes that education is the key to preventing childhood tooth decay. We’re committed to providing a forum where parents and pediatric dental professionals can discuss preventative dental care. We encourage parents, educators and doctors to check back frequently for more fun facts, articles and activities!

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10 Tips For A Healthy Summer Smile

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Summer is here! Great news! You can maintain a healthy summer smile without having to give up many of your favorite activities and foods!  Here are a few tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy this summer!

  1.  Establish A Brushing Routine! Stress the urgency of tooth brushing to your kids. The normal routine of school will be a distant memory, so have them focus on a solid night and morning tooth brushing routine. That way, when school is back in session, it’ll be second nature.
  2. Focus On The First Meal Of The Day! Focus on eating a healthy breakfast. Sometimes mornings can be rushed during the school year. If you have more time, try to focus on stepping away from the quick, sugary cereals, and on to a well-balanced breakfast full of fruits, whole grains and protein – not processed sugar.
  3. Go To The Dentist! Make a follow up appointment for your children – there’s more time in the summer to go to the dentist. Make sure you take advantage of the time to get any necessary procedures done!
  4. Choose Your Snacks wisely! Snack on protein-filled food! Nuts and cheese are good, healthy choices, and protein is an excellent acid-buster!
  5. Hydrate! Stay Hydrated With Water! Choose water over sports drinks, juice or soda. The sugar in sports drinks, juice and soda mixes with the saliva in your mouth and produces acids that eat away at your precious tooth enamel!
  6. Choose Ice Cream! If you must eat sweets, choose ice cream instead of sticky candy. Candy can attach to teeth! Residual ice cream is easy to wash away with a quick glass of water afterwards. Plus, it refreshing on a warn summer day!
  7. Protect your smile! Use proper mouth protection while playing outdoor summer sports like baseball, soccer and basketball. Though it might seem unconventional, using a mouth guard can prevent damage to braces or other orthodontic work, as well as prevent mouth cuts, jaw injuries and tooth damage.
  8. Get a New Toothbrush! If it’s been 3 months since you last changed your family’s toothbrush, it’s time to get a new one!
  9. Wear lip balm with SPF 15+. Let’s not forget about your lips. It’s important to use lip balm with SPF throughout the summer months because UV rays can also burn your lips with long exposure.
  10. Don’t forget to floss! – It’s always important to floss, but when what you’re eating is likely to get stuck between your teeth –(Think: corn on the cob at a weekend barbeque!) – it’s especially important to get rid of any food particles that are stuck between teeth.

Children’s Dental Center believes that education is the key to preventing childhood tooth decay. We’re committed to providing a forum where parents and pediatric dental professionals can discuss preventative dental care. We encourage parents, educators and doctors to check back frequently for more fun facts, articles and activities!

Tips For Parents From the American Academy Of Pediatric Dentistry

Tips_For_ParentsChildren’s Dental Center is proud to share this tip sheet from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.  It offers pointers on communicating good oral health to your little ones, broken down by age group, including birth to two years old, two to five years old and school aged children. Download to learn more!

TIPS FOR PARENTS

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FREE DENTAL TOOTH-BRUSHING CHART FOR KIDS

Click below for a FREE, FUN Dental Tooth-brushing Printout Chart for kids from Children’s Dental Center!  This fun chart will get kids excited about brushing their teeth!  Includes daily check-off boxes to help kids remember to brush their teeth twice a day – morning and night!  Great for kids to use themselves, or for a reward chart for parents to use as part of teaching kids the importance of establishing a healthy dental routine! Enjoy!

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