Cavity Prevention

Easter Basket Gift Ideas

March 19th, 2021

With Easter right around the corner, we know it can be challenging to come up with fresh ideas to fill your child’s Easter basket without breaking the bank. We wanted to help you out, so we put together a list of some fun gifts we found around town. Check it out!

Stores to Check Out!

Kindness and Joy Toys is the best toy store in Northwest Arkansas! Located on College in Fayetteville, the store has many great gift ideas for your child, whether they are an infant or a tween! Check out their Easter ideas here

My Little Flock is another local business that has some fantastic gift ideas. Check out their tic tac toe boards, DIY yarn kits, and Easter basket tags! You can find their website here!

Gift Ideas for Infants and Toddlers

One great thing about having young children is that they often aren’t picky about their toys! Any of these ideas are sure to make your child smile and provide them with a good time.

  • Teething Rings
  • Toy Cars and Trucks
  • Board Books -- Board books are a great way to entertain and educate your child while they are still in their chewing phase! The thicker pages are sure to withstand whatever your child chooses to do to them.
  • Fun-Shaped Crayons -- Many stores sell crayons shaped like small cars, animals, and other fun objects. Be on the lookout for fun new ways to encourage your child to color!

Non-Candy Egg Fillers

Contrary to what you might think, we aren’t anti-candy! If you choose to give your child candy, we recommend giving them milk chocolate, as it will not stick on their teeth for as long as other candy. If you are trying to cut back on candy this year, here are some other things you can put in your eggs.

  • Coins -- Kids love to collect change. Try splitting it up and putting it in a bunch of different eggs so that your child can find $5 across 25 eggs!
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Small Toys

Prepare For Fun Summer Weather

You can pick up fun summer-themed items for your kids to get them excited for all of their warm-weather adventures! It’s always beneficial to knock out two birds with one stone and give your kids things that they need as gifts.

  • Swimsuits
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach/Pool Toys
  • Flip Flops/Crocs
  • Goggles

Gifts For Older Kids (5-10)

  • Chalk Sets
  • Headphones
  • Facemasks
  • Reusable Water Bottles
  • Finger Skateboards
  • Lip Gloss
  • Scrunchies
  • Gift Cards
  • Prank Sets
  • Card Games

Finding gifts for your kids can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. We hope we were able to help! Happy Easter!

PDAO'S Tips for Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

March 6th, 2018

SOMETIMES, BEDTIME CAN BE a real struggle, and a bottle might seem like an easy solution. Unfortunately, putting a baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice does more harm than good, because the easier bedtime comes at the expense of the baby’s oral health. Keeping those baby teeth healthy is crucial so that the adult teeth will have a better chance of coming in straight.

What Is Bottle Rot?

Prolonged exposure to the sugars in milk or juice erodes the enamel on a baby or toddler’s teeth, particularly the central incisors. If you’ve ever heard of the phrase “baby bottle tooth decay” or the more sinister-sounding “bottle rot,” this is what it refers to, and it’s definitely something to avoid. It can also happen with sippy cups and even breastfeeding! If a baby’s gums and teeth aren’t properly cleaned after feeding, the sugary milk residue left in their mouth increases the risk of tooth decay.

Stopping Bottle Rot Before It Starts

Preventing bottle rot is simple: only use a bottle for the baby’s mealtimes, not to soothe them or help them fall asleep when they aren’t hungry. A pacifier will be much healthier for their teeth. After the baby reaches six months old, it’s safe to use a bottle of water, or a sippy cup of water for toddlers. Not only will it not cause bottle rot, but it won’t leave stains if it spills!

After every meal, make sure to clean out milk residue. Once baby teeth start appearing, it’s time to start brushing them. Use a soft toothbrush and a dab of toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice. Because babies can’t rinse and spit, make sure to use a non-fluoride toothpaste that is safe to swallow.

Treating Existing Bottle Rot

If your baby is already showing signs of tooth decay, come see us! We’ll be able to assess the extent of the decay, deal with any cavities, and come up with a plan to prevent future damage. One of the easiest steps you’ll be able to take at home is to limit their consumption of sugary drinks like juice and soda. You can also bring them to us for fluoride varnish treatments to give their teeth extra protection.

Watch this Video For More Information:

https://youtu.be/SlwiXRmlLyA

We Are Here To Help

We know that parenting is full of unexpected twists and turns, but we’re happy to help you navigate the ones involved in infant and child dental care. Like you, we want your child to have a healthy smile for life! If you haven’t already brought them in for a checkup, schedule one today! You can schedule online www.smilesarewild.com or call our office 479-582-0600.

Thank you for being our valued patients!

Top image by Flickr user Sander van der Wel used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The Way You Eat Fruit Matters For Your Teeth

May 30th, 2017

FRUIT IS AN ESSENTIAL element of a well-balanced, healthy diet. It is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and eating it on a regular basis helps boost your immune system and reduces your risk of illness and chronic disease. There are a lot of ways people get their fruit, however, and when it comes to your teeth, some ways are worse than others!

Beware Dried Fruit

Many people think dried fruit is a great healthy snack. Unfortunately, dried fruits have a lot of sugar in them, not to mention the added sugar that many packaged dried fruits come with. Because they’re dehydrated, most of the water is lost from the fruit, but none of the sugar is, making it highly concentrated.

As we’ve said in previous blog posts, more sugar, more cavities! Harmful bacteria in our mouths consume the sugar and produce acids as a by-product, which can cause tooth decay. Dried fruit is also extremely sticky, meaning it sticks to your teeth longer than most other foods.

To learn a bit more about why sugar is bad for our teeth, watch the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvDucjSnnhI

Can The Canned Fruit

Most canned fruits you find are bathed in sugary syrup. It may taste good, but it can wreak havoc on your teeth if you’re not careful! Even those that are labeled “light syrup” often have a high sugar content. If you’re a fan of canned fruit as a healthy snack, make sure it doesn’t have any added sugar or is packaged in 100 percent fruit juice.

Watch Out For Fruit Juice

Fruit juice, even if it’s all natural, contains a lot of sugar. What’s worse is that many fruit juices, especially those marketed for children, have added sugar in them. In fact, the majority of fruit juice sold in stores contain just as much sugar as soda, sometimes even more!

Sugar isn’t the only problem–fruit juice is also very acidic. The combination of sugar and acid doesn’t bode well for your teeth: while acid weakens tooth enamel, sugar feeds cavity-causing bacteria and contributes to decay.

Do What’s Best For Your Teeth

As a general rule, try to eat your fruit fresh! Not only is it better for your teeth, but the fiber in whole fruit slows the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, making it much healthier for your body. Of course it’s okay to have juice and dried or canned fruit every once in awhile. But remember to rinse with water after and brush and floss to protect your pearly whites!

Have you scheduled your next appointment? Call us today and we’d be happy to help! 479-582-0600 or 479-268-5000

You can also visit our website at www.smilesarewild.com

Follow us on Instagram @smilesarewild

Smile-Friendly After School Snacks

February 23rd, 2017

AS MANY PARENTS KNOW when your child comes home from school, they often run straight for the pantry!
We understand that kids can be a bit hungry after a long day in the classroom and we want to help you provide snacks that won’t only fill their bellies, but will benefit their smile as well!

Try These Smile-Friendly Snacks!
Consuming a lot of starchy and sugary treats in the afternoon can do a number on a child’s teeth—not to mention ruin their appetite for dinner! Sticky, sugary snacks can adhere to your child’s teeth for long periods of time, potentially causing harmful cavities. In order to avoid snack-induced cavities and other oral health concerns, try these ideas instead:

Leafy Greens and Fresh Veggies
Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens have calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B2, and magnesium–all essential for healthy teeth and gums. Veggies like broccoli and celery are great too! In addition to being rich in vitamins, broccoli has been shown to create an acid-resistant teeth “shield.” As for celery, because of its fibrous material, it massages gums, cleans teeth, and encourages saliva production—making it a natural tooth scrubber!

If your kids like a little crunch in their snack, you could even try making homemade veggie chips! You can use anything from kale and spinach to sweet potatoes and carrots. Simply mix your veggies with enough olive oil to coat them, add any spices you’d like (garlic or pepper is always good!), and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, flip your veggies, and then bake until crispy!

Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt
Dairy is the go-to dental snack for a reason! Few other foods give such a great boost of calcium. Cheese and yogurt even help cut acidity, helping protect your child’s teeth from erosion caused by acidic fruit juices.

If your child doesn’t just want plain yogurt, fruit and yogurt parfaits are a great option to add some flavor and healthy vitamins to their snack.

Fruit High in Vitamin C
A lack of vitamin C can break down the collagen network in our gums, making them tender and more susceptible to bacteria and gum disease. Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and kiwi are great sources of Vitamin C.

To make their citrus snack fun, you can make fun kabobs with some citrus, berries, and some of their favorite cheeses.

If you’d like some healthy and creative school lunch ideas, check out these tips from Martha Stewart!

https://youtu.be/JmXX1VjLmBI

Do You Have Anything To Add?
Do you have any healthy snack recipes of your own? We’d love to hear them! Feel free to share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 

Thank you for your trust in our practice!

 
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 

Top image by Flickr user Bradley West used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.