Oral Health

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!

Is it Safe to Bring my Child to the Dentist?

December 7th, 2020

With COVID-19 numbers rising across our state, we have heard several parents question whether it is safe to bring their child in for a dentist appointment.  The short answer to this is yes, it is safe.  When our state was given stay-at-home orders earlier in the year, we took the time to analyze our protocol and ensure our patients' safety when we could reopen. Today we will go into more detail about what makes it safe, what you can do to be prepared for your appointment, and why your child needs to be maintaining their dentist appointments throughout the pandemic.

To begin, we have closed our waiting room.  Instead of coming inside to wait for your appointment, you will park in a numbered spot and either call or text us when you arrive.  Using the same method you choose, we will alert you when we are ready for your appointment, so make sure your phone is charged, and your ringer is on.

We also have mobile check-in for our appointments, so you will be able to fill out your check-in information forms, including a COVID-19 symptom questionnaire from your phone or computer before you enter the building.  This ensures that we will not be unnecessarily transferring pen and paper with patients.  You will receive your COVID-19 questionnaire by email three days before your appointment.  When you follow the link, you will be asked to log in or specify if you are a first-time user.  If you have had an appointment with us previously, you will login.  If this is your first visit with us, click first-time user, and register a login with us.

When you enter the building, families will be limited to one parent and the children with appointments.  Children without appointments, along with extra parents, will not be allowed inside.  This is not typical for us, and we do not want to limit the number of family members allowed inside. Still, we ask this to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Inside the office, we have a few extra measures in place to keep everyone safe.  There are sanitization stands at our entrance and exit, as well as throughout the office.  We also have stripes separated by six feet on the floor to help patients maintain social distancing guidelines.  Similarly, our water fountains are not currently available to prevent the spread of germs.

As far as our staff, they are required to wear masks at all times when they are in the office.  The only time they take their masks off is when they are sitting down at a table in the break room eating lunch.  Also, they go through a screening each day when they enter the office.  They take their temperature and fill out a COVID-19 symptom questionnaire.

While we have been asked if it is safe to bring a child to the dentist, we have also been asked about the importance of a dentist appointment during the pandemic.  The answer to this question is relatively simple.  Your oral health is a vital part of your overall health.  Many conditions, such as tooth decay, become more complicated, painful, and expensive when they are not detected and treated quickly.  Cavities often develop quickly in children, so it is crucial that you keep your child on their six-month dental checkup schedule.

We know that the pandemic causes anxiety for many in our community. We assure you that we are taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure our patients' and their families' safety.

Top 10 Questions Answered

September 7th, 2020

This week we are back to answer the top 10 questions we have been asked over the last year and a half.  

What age should I bring my child to the dentist?

We recommend that you bring your child in for their first dentist visit anytime before their first birthday. This might seem soon, but it is crucial to get them acclimated to the dentist's office. It will not be an intense visit. Instead, it is an excellent time to ask questions and show your child that the dentist office is not something to be scared of. If your child is more than a year old but is yet to visit the dentist, that is alright! It is never too late to start, and we would rather begin to see them now than continuing to delay their first appointment.

How often should I replace our family's toothbrushes?

Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months. Also, if a family member is sick with something contagious like a cold, the flu, or COVID-19, all toothbrushes should be replaced. This includes electric toothbrush heads as well.

Why should I fix their teeth at this age? They are only baby teeth.

Baby teeth and primary teeth are crucial to adult teeth' health, as cavities in primary teeth can cause pain and infection. The health of your child's baby teeth will also affect the health of their future permanent teeth. 

When should I bring my child in for an orthodontic consultation?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child sees an orthodontist by age 7. This allows the orthodontist to address things like overbites, crossbites, crowded teeth, missing teeth, etc. It is advantageous to address these things while their jaw is still forming.

How can I prepare my anxious child for dental visits?

Every child is different, and we know that you will know what is best for them as their parent. It is helpful for some children if they do not know they are going to the dentist until they arrive. For others, it is helpful if they know weeks in advance. Most importantly, if you had a negative experience with the dentist, do not share this with your child. It is important to talk positively about the dentist to help them avoid anxiety regarding the subject.

Do you take my insurance?

Yes! We will always take insurance and process it, but it is possible that your insurance will not cover the procedure that is being done. This can depend on the insurance provider and the plan that your employer chooses from the provider. That said, we accept all insurance and will process it to save you as much money as we can.

Are you accepting new patients, and what ages do you accept?

Yes, we are always accepting new patients. We typically take patients between the ages of 0 and 15 years old. Occasionally we will refer our patients out to other practices, but this is not because of age. If your child would be better served by general practice, we will refer them in that direction.

What can I do if my child has an emergency after hours?

We have an after-hours line that is always open. Call the main office number, and you will be put through a series of prompts before you can leave a message. That message is sent to our on-call assistant, who will contact you. They will ask you some follow-up questions to determine the best course of action for your child.

Why do my child's permanent teeth appear to be darker than their baby teeth? Is this normal? 

Yes, it is normal. The reason for this is the enamel on permanent teeth forms differently, so it can contrast with the baby teeth that your child has. You will notice that the adult teeth are the same shade when they have all grown in.

How do I make an appointment?

We have several ways you can make an appointment. One option is calling us at (479) 582-0600. You can also request an appointment through our website or email us at info@smilesarewild.com.  

 

How Water Helps Your Smile

June 25th, 2020

How Water Helps Your Smile

It seems like a no-brainer when people are instructed to drink plenty of water, especially during the hot summer months. Hydration is important. But what folks may not know is how important it is to a healthy smile. Below are four ways water contributes to a great smile. 

First, water actually cleans your mouth. All the food and germs you collect throughout the day, especially leftover sugar from juices and sodas? Water helps get rid of it. Leftover sugar can actually help create bacteria, which leads to cavities. It also dilutes acids from your drinks. 

Second, tap water (and some bottled waters) provides fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay. Most city water contains fluoride used to strengthen teeth. 

Third, water helps prevent dry-mouth. If you stay hydrated, your body produces the right amount of saliva. And in turn, that saliva helps stop bacteria from forming. 

Finally, water is calorie free and a healthy body option. Sugary drinks have been linked to increasing obesity in America. 

You may find it challenging to get your child to drink water, but there are ways to help. Try buying a special cup that is just theirs. When they’re old enough, they might enjoy getting water from the fridge dispenser. Use a sticker chart to track water intake and make it fun. And you can also show them how beneficial water is by drinking it in front of them. 

When it comes to summer outdoor activities, it’s important to have a hydration game plan. 

The Kendrick Fincher Hydration for Life program recommends four tips. 

First, know your sweat rate. You have to replace what you’re losing during outdoor activities. Balance is key. 

Second, make sure you’re drinking liquids before, during, and after workouts. This helps you perform at your best by giving you a head start, providing the energy to keep going, and replacing fluids and electrolytes. 

Third, choose the right beverage. Water is the best source to prevent dehydration. But if you’ve been sweating for more than an hour, sports drinks might be the better option because they have electrolytes, flavor, and carbs. 

Kids should avoid fruit juices, carbonation, and caffeine, before and during their outdoor activities. 

Finally, speak up if you feel ill. Ignoring early dehydration signs can be dangerous. Athletes should tell their coach if they’re feeling unwell so they can get liquids and proper rest.

Introducing our New Virtual Smile Consultation Tool

June 12th, 2020

Introducing our New Virtual Smile Consultation tool

Firstly, we want to take a moment to thank all of the parents who have been bringing in their children for their appointments at the clinic since we reopened on the 18th of May. We always strive to provide exceptional customer service here at Smiles are Wild and we appreciate all of the patients that have support us through this time!

We’d like to introduce to you now our new Virtual Smile Consultation Tool. It’s an online service that we have introduced onto our website which helps new and existing patients have a FREE one-on-one orthodontic consultation with Dr. Jason.

We created this tool to help patients to reach out virtually and to have questions answered if they do not want to or cannot come into the practice due to the pandemic.

Here are some of the answers you can get via the virtual smile consultation:

  • Find out if you or your child would benefit from orthodontics
  • Get your questions answered about existing braces or Invisalign

So, how does the tool work? Here’s a step-by-step guide for both new and existing patients:

How to find the tool:

Firstly, head to the homepage of our website on your mobile device, tablet, or desktop. On the left-hand side of your screen, you’ll find a blue button labeled “New Virtual Smile Consultation- Click Here”. Click this button.

Step one: Take some photos of your teeth

The first step of the consultation is to take photos of your teeth. We recommend taking your photos on your phone before you open the tool, however, you can take them during this stage if not.

Here’s what you will need to take the images:

  • Another person
  • A set of plastic spoons
  • A mobile phone

Use our video to watch the full guide of how to take photos of your teeth for your virtual appointment here.

Step 2: Enter your personal details and set up a password

The second step is to enter all of your personal details into the system (Your name, phone number, email address). Set up a password for your account so that you can log in to view Dr. Jason’s response to your questions at another time.

Step 3: Upload your photos

The virtual smile tool will now ask you to upload the images of your teeth. It will take you step-by-step through which photos to upload of your teeth and in which order.

Step 4: Complete a questionnaire

You will then be asked to complete a short questionnaire and there will be a comment box below for you to enter any concerns or issues you might have for your teeth or your child’s teeth. New patients can also use the comments box to get information about new treatment concerns.

Step 5: Check your emails!

You will then receive an email confirming that your request has been received by Dr. Jason. Once your questions have been answered, you will receive an email notifying you.

Although the consultation feature is available to use 24/7, your request is likely to be responded to during normal business hours.

Any questions? Feel free to email Amy@smilesarewild.com.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for new updates by searching “smiles are wild.”

 

Identifying a True Dental Emergency for your Child

April 2nd, 2020

Identifying a True Dental Emergency for Your Child

Due to the pandemic, Pediatric Dental Associates & Orthodontics is closed for all appointments until further notice. But staff are still available to help with dental and orthodontic emergencies, as well as billing. Learning to spot a true dental emergency in your child will be especially important in the coming weeks. 

If a child is complaining of pain, and Tylenol isn’t helping, give the clinic a call. Swelling in the gums creating a blister or pimple that is bothering them is another reason to call. It may be signs of an infection. 

PDAO also wants to know if a child falls and hits their teeth, chipping or damaging them. 

If a parent calls, the clinic will be able to triage that and talk about what to do in the meantime. 

One of the biggest emergencies to call for is if a permanent tooth gets knocked out. It’s a slightly higher risk right now due to kids being out of school and possibly outside playing more.

If that happens, and you have the tooth in your hand, PDAO advises to hold it by the bottom and not the root. Try to put that tooth back into the mouth where it came out. Should that not be an option, place the tooth in a cup of milk, and clinic staff will provide further instructions. This is a situation where staff will see you. 

Broken teeth might be in a similar situation, depending on if it’s a baby tooth or permanent tooth and where it’s broken. 

Depending on those things, staff might not be able to repair the tooth, but they could put a sealant over it to protect against sensitivity.

For any of those emergencies, call PDAO at (479) 582-0600, and follow the prompts.

National Children's Dental Health Month

February 5th, 2020

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

It started out as one day created in Ohio in February in 1941, and since then, National Children’s Dental Health Month has grown from a two-city event to a nationwide program. 

The first observance took place on February 8, 1949. The single-day celebration later became a week in 1955, and in 1981, the program was extended to a month-long observance. 

Attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical to maintain good oral health throughout one’s lifetime. It’s important at Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics to provide tools needed to teach children so they can learn how important dental health is at an early age.

In honor of this month, here are five facts about children’s dental health some people may not be aware of. 

  1. Cavities are surprisingly common in children. They’re actually five-times more common than asthma, seven-times more common than hay fever, and more common than type-two diabetes and obesity. Cavities are the leading disease in children. 
  2. Many of those cavities end up going untreated. A CDC study reports about 42 percent of children ages 2-11 have untreated cavities. 
  3. Not only can cavities affect oral health, they can affect academic performance. The Center for Health and Healthcare in Schools reports 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental related issues. This is mostly due to children being in pain. 
  4. Over 80 percent of the cavities children get are on the chewing surface of their teeth. Dental sealants can help with this issue. Only 18.5 percent of children have at least one sealed permanent tooth. 
  5. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says fluoride is proven to be the most effective way to prevent cavities. More than 100 million Americans don’t get enough fluoride from their tap water. 

For more information on how to prevent cavities in children, contact them on social media, or call PDAO at 479-582-0600.

New Year | New Smile - A Healthier Mouth in 2020

January 14th, 2020

A Healthier Smile For 2020

A new year often brings new resolutions, and it’s important to keep in mind some resolutions should pertain to a healthier smile. To that end, there are six goals Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics would like patients to focus on this year. 

The first is brushing. Brushing should be consistent for two minutes and hit all sides and surfaces of the teeth. Cleaning the tongue is also important. Good brushing habits lead to fewer cavities. 

Flossing is the next important thing. It can be a hard habit to start, especially for children. For kids, when back teeth start touching, it’s time to start flossing. Cavities are common in those regions because food and sugar get trapped in the molars. The toothbrush bristles can’t get in between those teeth. 

It doesn’t matter what kind of floss you use, string or a pick, but it’s important to do at least once a day. 

Replacing your toothbrush is something that should be done once a quarter. So if you get a new one for Christmas, it will be about time to replace it in April. If a family is going through a viral illness, like a cold, toothbrushes should be thrown away immediately. 

Making appointments to visit the dentist again is another important goal that should be made for the new year. Children should have two checkups per year. Also, if an infant has turned one but hasn’t seen the dentist, they should make an appointment. 

Getting them into the office helps get them used to future visits, lying down, the procedures, etc. The first couple visits are actually pretty easy. 

Eating a healthy diet is often already a regular goal for the new year. But it also ties into smile goals. When dentists talk about a healthy diet, it’s about balance, getting fruits and vegetables, while limiting sugar and soda intake. Really, there should be limits on anything acidic. Acids can wear down enamel and cause white spots on the teeth. 

The final goal may be among the toughest, but dentists encourage patients to stop smoking. Smoking can do a lot of damage to the mouth and teeth, with cancer and stains to the teeth. 

These are some healthy goals which can lead to brighter smiles in 2020, but if you have any more questions, the dentists at PDAO are always happy to help. Give them a call at (479) 582-0600

Keeping the Smile through Retainer Maintenance

November 4th, 2019

Keeping the Smile Through Retainer Maintenance

Braces are typically worn for 18 to 24 months, but when they come off, the focus shifts to retaining gains in one’s smile that came from the braces. The good news is the smile gained from braces can stay intact throughout a lifetime with proper use of a retainer. Many get their braces off during teen years. Some don’t wear their retainer and end up back in braces as an adult. This is why it’s important to keep up with the retainer. Of course, there are different types for different situations. Some patients get bonded retainers that are permanently glued on. That’s not typically used for kids because the cleaning process can be rigorous. Instead, kids are often given removable appliances. Normally with most younger patients, a removable upper retainer is given, made of plastic in the middle and metal on the outside or a tray clear retainer shaped like their teeth. This kind just goes on the teeth. Regardless, a lower retainer will also typically be glued in. This is called a BLR or bonded lower retainer. And of course, this all depends on the age of the child.

The biggest thing for retainers is the need is to follow instructions. If a doctor says to wear it all the time except when not eating, then patients need to do that. If it’s nighttime only wear, then that means nighttime only. That’s actually the type more commonly given. Retainers also need to be kept in a protective case. Typically, Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics, will provide one the day retainers go in. Rinse and clean retainers as best as possible. Warm water and a toothbrush work perfectly fine, but some people use toothpaste. There’s even cleaning tablets. Just remember the retainer needs to be taken care of like any other appliance. The appliances can also be rinsed in clear mouthwash, not a blue or green one. Let them soak in the clear mouthwash. Just clean them regularly so the retainers stay fresh and appropriate for putting back in.

If a retainer gets lost or broken, call the office immediately. Replacements can vary in price depending on what kind is needed. An appointment is necessary, and another scan may be needed to make a new one, depending on how long a patient has worn the retainer. If a patient sees a shift in their teeth even with the retainer, get to the dentist because they’ll want to know. It’s simple maintenance when braces come off. Follow instructions. If the retainer isn’t in the  mouth, it’s in a case. Keep in mind if a patient loses their retainer that some replacements need to be sent off to the lab and may take longer to get back in. So it’s important to get replacements done quickly if a retainer is lost. It’s not worth risking a shift in teeth that might come without the retainer while without a retainer.Adults who had braces as a child may notice some shifting in their teeth as an adult. These patients can also be seen by Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics and are welcome.

To set up an appointment, simply call 479-582-0600.

What to Expect on the Day You Get Your Appliances Placed

October 18th, 2019

The month of October is the Orthodontic Health Month and we have one of our assistants, Lorena to talk about orthodontic appliances and the sets of appliances we use – which can be braces, rapid palatal expanders, a Herbst supply or any other permanent appliance that is placed in your mouth for the duration of your orthodontic treatment. We also follow a couple of steps for aligners, Invisaligner and clear aligners but most of these have to do with the prepping for your appliance so that it stays there permanently.

How do we make sure you’re comfortable?

A lot of people might come across an orthodontic treatment with fear but we try out best to answer any questions you might have and make the treatment more comfortable.

When you come back and see us, you may have already taken your records, which includes impression and x-ray scans. Before you get started on your treatment, assistants like Lorena will sit down and ask you about any questions you might have. Common questions include whether the process is going to hurt and how long the treatment may take. The length of the treatment depends on the type of appliance that you are getting, and thus can range from an hour to an hour and a half. You will also not be sitting for the entire duration of the period – we won’t hold you for that long.

What are the first steps of the treatment?

We usually get started by prepping the teeth first which takes about 20 minutes to get done. This includes cleaning and preparing your teeth for Dr. Jason to come and see it. From then on, Dr. Jason takes measurements of the appliance and the brackets as well as see where he wants them put in. Afterwards, we use a cool glue and blue UV light that will get your appliance on.

How we comfort you during your treatment

The process of cleaning up and prepping your teeth might be uncomfortable as we use dental retractors. These are those retractors you use when playing the game where the retractor is placed inside your mouth and you have to guess a word that another person is mouthing. Since the prepping process takes about 15-20 minutes with the retractor on and you wouldn’t see what’s going on. You are also not used to holding your mouth open for that long and therefore, it will become uncomfortable as well. For this, Lorena likes to show you what they are going to do and talk with you throughout the procedure so that you are not scared and completely aware of what’s going to happen. This works according to our personal philosophy of ‘show and tell’.

The time of the procedure does go quickly as well and after the prepping is done, you get a short break from your treatment.

What happens afterwards?

We then take you to our office to ask you if you’re okay. Here, you’ll also get the fun part of the treatment as you can choose your colors and wires that you want to set in. This usually takes about 5 minutes at maximum.

After this, we go over the instructions that you need to take care of your teeth after your treatment. This part requires your absolute attention as you need to know the actual technique to take care of your teeth at home because that’s what makes them look amazing. We show you different tutorial videos on how to brush your teeth because brushing varies when you have your appliances fitted in. We also show you different types of brushes other products to use to take care of your teeth.

The things you might need to use

We will give you a small bag with different toothbrushes and other products that you might need to take care of your teeth. You will get a regular sized toothbrush and a baby toothbrush, where the baby toothbrush might seem surprising to you at first. However, the head of the baby toothbrush is softer and its small size lets it cover any areas that are difficult to get to due to crowning. It also helps resolve issues of sore teeth, which is a normal complaint after getting your appliances fixed.

The travel sized toothbrush that we give you lets you take it to school. You should make sure to use it after having lunch so as to not have food stuck on your brace. You also get a proxy toothbrush, which is short for interproximal brush. Because of its tiny size and dispersed head that makes it look like a Christmas tree, the proxy toothbrush almost acts like a flosser and gets in between the teeth to remove any stuck food.

We also show you videos on flossing because the normal two-minute flossing will no longer apply to your dental hygiene. You need to take a lot of time to floss and constantly check your teeth on the mirror to ensure that you have removed everything that can be stuck on your brackets. We do give you different types of floss threads which you can slide underneath and over your brackets when flossing.

We also provide you with a wax that can be used when you feel your appliance bothering you. Everything might feel funny after you get your appliance in because your lips and teeth aren’t used to having the brackets in, and these brackets might constantly rub against your mouth as well. But, you do need to give time for your lips and teeth to adjust to the brackets which will take a couple days and therefore it is better to use the wax for limited periods. While we give you the wax you need after your treatment and during check-ups, you might also get these at Walmart.

The Clinic Pro 5000 is a specific toothpaste that we prescribe to you because it gives your teeth the extra protection it needs after getting braces. It is super important that you use it daily as you wouldn’t want any cavities and stains to appear on your teeth, something which this particular toothpaste is quite an expert in preventing.

How we help you after your treatment

If you do forget anything, feel free to call us and ask us for information. Other than that, we also send you home with a note that includes all the information you need to take care of your teeth after your orthodontic treatment. Parents need to make sure to put the sheet out somewhere that your kids can see, such as on the fridge, which will help remind them of their dental care routine. Remember that the more care you take of your teeth, the better your orthodontic outcome will be.

We also do schedule the next visit and tell you what you can expect from it. We want you to leave being comfortable and see you coming back as being comfortable too. The process of getting your appliances set in isn’t scary, despite being a tad lengthy and slightly uncomfortable. However, it does not hurt and in the case of any queries, we give you all the information you need as well as continuously check your dental hygiene to ensure that you are taking the best care of your teeth.

Introduction to National Orthodontic Health Month

October 9th, 2019

Introduction to National Orthodontic Health Month

The month of October is dedicated as the National Orthodontic Health Month and therefore, we have Dr. Jason to talk about orthodontics, why Dr. Jason became an orthodontist and what his beliefs are. You will also learn about what happens when you get braces, how to take care of your braces during treatment and the reason behind the regularity of retention processes.

About Dr. Jason

Growing up in South Arkansas, Dr. Jason Landers moved to Fayetteville to go to his school and after college, decided to enroll in a dental school in orthodontic training. His hobbies include outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and fishing. He is married to his wife, Laura and has two beautiful children – Lilly, who is 12 and Davidson, who is 14. Taking up any opportunity to go outside, their family loves to participate in activities including camping, hiking, fishing and anything else that gives him a break from work for a while.

Considering himself both lucky and blessed to have grown up with a really good orthodontist who made a positive impact on him, Dr.Jason started to become interested in the field of dentistry. Although, no one in his family were dentists, looking at other professionals in the field sparked his interest more in high school, making him want to explore the area more in college. During college, Dr. Jason went to different offices to see if dentistry was truly what he wanted as a career.  The reason behind Dr. Jason choosing the aspect of orthodontics is because it was a little different to most of the areas of specialization in dentistry, where the results aren’t as immediate as the others. He loves the long haul of the field, as orthodontics typically requires a year and a half to two years for completion of the process.  He likes how the process includes problem-solving and especially loves seeing the changes in the personality of his patients from when they initially come for treatment and feel a bit insecure about their teeth, to later seeing their full-on smile after their teeth transformation. He feels like their personality becomes more outgoing and this brings him the satisfaction to work at his area of orthodontics.

About Orthodontics

The methodology of orthodontics changes a lot over time with new and more effective technologies coming on about. To ensure that they deliver the highest quality of service, Dr. Jason involves his staff in continuous training to learn about recent studies and new science relating to orthodontics. They go to meetings, conduct research and hear the most up-to-date information to make sure that they are delivering that to their patients. Dr. Jason favors training with his staff once every 2 to 3 months and sits from 8:00 to 5:00 to go over the different procedures, consider the ways to bring better services and decide on how to complete those procedures to stay as efficient and effective as possible for the team. Dr. Jason believes that orthodontics is more than just straightening teeth and going for a more aesthetic look. There are additional issues relating to the shifting of teeth and for that, orthodontists have to perform comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis to ensure that they address all the orthodontic needs of their patients. They specifically look at their patient’s bite and how their upper and lower teeth are fitting together, and how the back teeth and rest of the teeth are fitting together. Such issues not being accurately addressed can result in joint pain, damage to permanent teeth which would lead to more crowns or restorative work down the road. Therefore, the main work of orthodontics lies in not only straightening the teeth but also correcting the bite as well.

Cost of Orthodontics

The general cost varies depending on the severity of the cases where a patient with a fantastic bite and just a few rotated teeth might find treatment to be less expensive than someone with skeletal disharmony and more troubling issues with their bites. However, the cost of Dr.Jason’s office is rather fair and includes everything from the start to the finish. This includes the comprehensive evaluation at the initial appointment, placing all the brackets, using every adjustment, putting on the retainers and maintaining them throughout the patient’s life by follow-ups. Patients will not be charged every time as Dr. Jason only charges a one-time fee.

Traditional Braces Versus Aligners

Due to technological advancements, clear aligners can achieve a lot more than they could years ago. Orthodontists can do a lot more with with orthodontic teeth movement using clear aligners. Therefore, fewer cases require traditional braces now. Yet, if the patient has trouble remembering that they need to wear their aligners, which usually need to be work for 20 to 22 hours a day, the optimal result cannot be achieved. This is when traditional braces are recommended for use.

Why There Are Different Phases of Treatment

There’s a lot of bite issues that can be resolved by treating patients at an earlier age, typically in the ages of 7 to 8. If significant crowding or two teeth are seen to come out of place, it is called cross bites where the upper arch becomes too narrow causing bite issues. When patients are younger, there’s a lot of advantages to treating their cases. Braces are kept on until the children reach their junior high school and maintained for about 12 to 14 months. This early phase treatment corrects the major bite issues. When the patient becomes older and have all their permanent teeth in, a second phase of treatment is conducted to finish everything off.

When should you visit an orthodontist?

It is recommended that orthodontists have mothers coming in with their children when they are as young as seven. This is the ideal time to clear up earlier issues before your child is ready for braces and is done every 6 months.

Ending Notes

Dr. Jason would love it if kids at such age do not require any treatment but he still feels at peace knowing that he had tackled any issues of the child beforehand. What sets Dr. Jason’s orthodontic clinic apart from the rest is having young dedicated ladies working for the smiles of people. Their years of experience and attention to detail accompanied with the environment they work in provides excellent results for their patients. Dr. Jason remarks that the advantage of working with other dentists in one office is how great the communication is, how easily difficult issues are handled and how patients don’t have to go to another office for treatment of other dental issues beside orthodontics.

Rapid Fire Question and Answers

Q. Is Dr. Jason a morning or night person?

Ans. A morning person.

Q. Does he prefer peanut butter or Nutella?

Ans. Peanut butter.

Q. What is his favorite Broadway musical?

Ans. Wicked, because he saw it on Broadway at NYC and he was blown away by the performance and talent. Other musical favorites include Hamilton, Book of Mormons and Lion King.

Non-Nutritive Oral Habits

September 4th, 2019

Non-Nutritive Oral Habits

Learn with Dr. Garrett about non-nutritive oral habits and what those tendencies can mean for your child’s future dental health!

So, what is considered a non-nutritive sucking habit?

A non-nutritive sucking habit means that a child is placing something whether it be a pacifier, blanket, fingers, toys, etc. in their mouth without a food nutrition benefit.

Why do kids suck their thumb and use a pacifier and is it normal for them to do this?

A  majority of the time there is a negative connotation associated with children sucking their thumb because of the orthodontic issues that can come about later. However, it actually is a very normal habit for kids and it can even happen as early as the womb. For some kids, it is a self soothing thing and it’s desirable as a way to cope.

This habit actually gives them a positive endorphin feedback, which is why it can become addictive and they can start to use it in a non- coping way and rely on it for too long. Therefore, as long as it is monitored, it is not harmful to your children’s dental health. 

What are the negative effects of a non-nutritive sucking habit?

The oral ramifications of these habits is that whenever you place a thumb or another non food item in the mouth it applies either a biting or sucking force that is irregular to their teeth. It throws off the dental balance and can compress or flare the skeletal alignment and depending on how frequent the kids do it and the duration they do it, it can be a profound amount of force.

If kids are employing non-nutritive habits for an extended period of time, it applies the same sort of consistent shifting force that normal orthodontics like braces would. The difference is that it is not controlled so you have no handle on where the teeth are going to go or what they are going to do.

When should you stop allowing your kids to have non-nutritive sucking habits and does the amount of the habit have anything to do with when they should stop?

Depending on the individual child, if they are still partaking in non-nutritive habits past the age of three, but it is a very infrequent thing and it’s a short duration, that is not particularly harmful. However, if you have a child who is doing it for a long period of time and you are starting to see issues with their teeth then you should do your best to deter them from their non-nutritive habit no matter their age.

What are some techniques parents can use to stop their kids non-nutritive sucking habits?

Parents can often feel pressure to get their children to stop and they tend to get frustrated, but it is hard sometimes to force the child to stop with punitive approaches because they usually just don’t work that good.

What tends to work the best is the buy in approach which assumes that by the age of three most kids have enough language that you are able to have a dialogue with them and explain why this is an important negative consequence. Positively reinforcing them, reward systems, and prizes, are ways that you can encourage your child to break the habit and even if the child doesn’t stop right away, you are laying a foundation of why it is important for the child to stop. Then later once the child starts to buy in and they understand why they need to stop, then you can start introducing punitive approaches before it gets so far that you have to introduce nail polish on the fingertips or other tactics to get them to stop.

Are there any special things you can do for kids that have sensory issues or any type of neurological dysfunction?

Sometimes kids with certain oral sensory or neurological issues will have oral habits that are much more deeply rooted and they’re hard even when the child is aware to get them to stop because the child may feel like they need to do it or they can’t help themselves. In this case, occupational therapy is sometimes beneficial to help the child work through the issue more specifically and intentionally than what a parent typically has the training or time to do, but this is a case by case solution. 

Any other advice?

Ideally, yes we want to stop the non-nutritive oral habits and yes, there are some consequences, but at the end of the day, none of that stuff is that big of a deal. Even kids with pretty profound dental change at three will get some self correction and limited orthodontic treatment can fix it, so don’t stress yourself out about it. With a little intentionality you can monitor the habit and try to stay on top of it!

Orthodontics: Braces, Invisalign & All the Things!

August 30th, 2019

Orthodontics: Braces, Invisalign & All the Things!

This week we are going to share with you some basic information about orthodontics like what age your child can start being seen for orthodontic services, what happens during the first initial consult, and other services we provide! 

All of our recommendations fall in line with the American Association of Orthodontics which is if you have an orthodontic concern for your child then you should bring them to see the orthodontist around the age of seven. Around this time, kids are starting to get a mixed variety of their primary versus permanent teeth; therefore, we start to see some growth with their jaws. Furthermore, we want to try and intercept during that age bracket because during an early exam we might be able to find things that will help prevent future issues or won’t make orthodontics as hard for them as they are older.

So, three of the main things that we would address as far as early treatment would be:

  1. Severe crowding where teeth are not able to grow in 
  2. Permanent impacted teeth 
  3. Excessive overbite or underbite

All of these issues are normally addressed by your general dentist via x-rays and if they were to find any of these symptoms they would refer you to an orthodontist to further address them. Most dentists will follow a protocol and check for issues at each six month checkup so it is important to keep up with those appointments. Parents are also able to bring up some concerns to the dentist if they are worried that their child might need early treatment. The purpose of early treatment is not to necessarily move baby teeth or improve their appearance, it is more aimed at creating a healthy environment for permanent teeth that will be coming in. Moreover, we like to stress that if they have early treatment it doesn’t mean that they will only have one phase of treatment and not every child will meet the standards of early treatment. 

The great thing about our practice is that we are a combo practice, so we have an orthodontist and dentist at our locations, making it easier to coordinate and share patient information! In our practice as a whole we do not charge for the initial complimentary consultation. Typically it consists of radiographs and photos, and if we see some concerns but your child is not quite ready for orthodontics but they might develop some issues when they are older, they get put in a que where we will follow up with them every visit.

Some of the orthodontic services that are provided include but are not limited to:

  • Digital Scanning for Impressions 
  • Palate Expanders
  • Brackets (clear ones and metal)
  • Invisalign 

We strive to make sure that while your child is wearing braces or other orthodontic products they are taking care of their teeth because while they have them on they are more prone to things sticking to their teeth. Therefore, to encourage a good oral hygiene routine while they are in treatment, we run a monthly contest! So, every time your child comes in when they’re in braces and they score an excellent hygiene grade they get entered into a contest to win a $100 gift card that is drawn for once a month! Plus, we continue to do follow up retainer checks until we release you. 

Overall, within our office we have over 120 years of orthodontics experience, so you can be sure that your child’s orthodontic needs and oral health are our number one priority!

 

The Importance of Hydration

July 30th, 2019

The Importance of Hydration

As we approach some of the highest temperatures of the year, we want to share with you about why hydration is important for your overall health and for your mouth. Our hydration motto here at PDAO is: brush, floss, hydrate, and repeat! No matter what activities you are participating in this summer, it is vital that you are taking in the correct amount of water in order to stay properly hydrated. 

Last year we attended an event with a local foundation known as The Kendrick Fincher Hydration For Life Program, whose goal is to promote hydration in the community. They have created a Hydration Game Plan that parents can put into action with their children in an effort to make sure they are staying hydrated during the summer months. This game plan consists of four things:

  1. Know Your Sweat Rate: staying properly hydrated is all about maintaining your body’s fluid balance so that there is never too much or too little. In order to do this you need to know how much you sweat so that you know how much needs to be replaced.
  2.  Hydrate Before, During, and After Workouts: hydrating before gives you a heat start to help you compete at your best, hydrating during gives you the energy to keep going, and hydrating after helps you to replace the fluids and electrolytes your body loses while sweating. Hydrating before, during, and after are all vital to your bodies recovery.
  3. Choose The Right Beverage: water is the best fluid for hydration and a properly formulated sports drink is best for when you have been sweating for more than an hour. Children should avoid any fruit juices, carbonated beverages, caffeinated beverages, and energy drinks immediately before and during activities. As far as hydration goes, the fruit juices can slow down the absorption and cause an upset stomach, carbonated beverages can make your mouth dry, and energy drinks have too many carbs which can slow fluids from processing through your body. 
  4. Speak Up If You Feel Ill: a lot of times older kids don’t feel comfortable telling the coach if they are having a problem or are feeling sick. Therefore, it is important to teach them that it is okay to tell someone when they think there is something wrong.

The Kendrick Fincher Hydration For Life Program wants to ensure that while we are promoting competitive sports in our community, we are also making sure that we are taking care of their bodies because hydration is essential for preventing heat exhaustion. So, to kick off August as heat stroke awareness month, The Kendrick Fincher Hydration For Life Program is having an event called Heat Fest, this coming Thursday, August 1, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Grove in Lowell. Kids are free and there will be free fun and games, lunch, and different kinds of tournaments like baggo, volleyball, pickle-ball, and human foosball! View the comments in the Facebook Live video below for a link providing more information about The Kendrick Fincher Hydration For Life Program and this event. 

Furthermore, as dentists we want to make sure you are drinking water because staying hydrated helps your mouth and smile! Here are four reasons why we want to encourage you to stay hydrated:

  1. Water helps clean your mouth because it removes food and germs that can develop throughout the day. 
  2. Water helps to dilute any sugary acids. It is also important to make sure that at some point you are drinking tap water instead of bottled water because most bottles do not have fluoride and fluoride is the key to preventing dental decay and strengthens your teeth.
  3.  Water prevents dry mouth because staying hydrated helps produce the right amount of saliva that will then in turn help to prevent bacteria from forming. This is why people with dry mouths tend to have more cavities. 
  4. Water is calorie free and is the healthy body option.

So, as a way to be sure that our patients are being encouraged to stay hydrated, we have put together some tips and tricks to help your child drink more water:

  1. Get them a special cup that is only for them and their water because this promotes that drinking water is a fun process.
  2. At the right age, you can allow them to get their own water from the refrigerator and from their own special cup because they will feel older, responsible, and more independent.
  3. Set water intake goals with a sticker chart and reward them when they meet their goals.
  4. Lead by example, if they see you drinking water then they are more likely to mimic that.

Lastly, we want to remind all parents that children should be wearing a mouthguard when participating in sports. You can pick these up at most Walmarts, Targets, or Academy and any kind of sports store. Plus, we also make custom ones here at the office. So, if you are interested in pricing you can contact us at (479) 582-0600 or you can email me directly at amy@smilesarewild.com.

Trying out the Latest Electric Toothbrushes with JJ & Lex

June 25th, 2019

Tryout the latest electric toothbrushes with JJ & Lex

 

Pediatric Dental Associates & Orthodontics had two special visitors for a special task: Trying out the latest kids electric toothbrushes.

Here are their reviews of the following electric toothbrushes based on functionality and fun.

Please note: Some of these brushes have replaceable heads or must be replaced every three months. You can buy these brushes at your local store.

  • Super Mario / Marvel Adventures Arm and Hammer Spinbrush: This electric toothbrush is soft and not loud. It will help clean your teeth very well. 
  • Batman / Despicable Me Colgate Spinbrush: Press the top button to turn on this electric toothbrush. It is loud and the top part spins very fast. The bottom part doesn’t spin at all. It vibrates your teeth a bit more. 
  • Bumblebee / Black Panther Firefly: This electric toothbrush is not very loud. It comes with a neat cap. It doesn’t spin, it only vibrates. Con: It feels very hard on the teeth. 
  • Pro-health Oral-B: This electric toothbrush looks very cool.  It has a rubber handle with a good grip and the head is very soft and feels very nice. The brush has a plus and minus button and spins really fast. A plus, the brush is not very loud. 
  • Auto-brush kit (ages 8+): This electric toothbrush comes with a charger and also has music. Definitely recommended. 

So what toothbrush was JJ & Lex's favorite?

JJ AND LEX CHOSE…THE AUTO-BRUSH KIT AS THEIR FAVORITE!

The auto-brush is designed to cut brushing time, so we do not professionally recommend it because it doesn't remove plaque as well as a traditional brush. However, kids love them. Whatever is working for you is fine. Help your child to maintain healthy oral habits by allowing your child to find a brush they want to use. 

Have questions on toothbrushes? Check out our recent blog post on different tooth brushes and how to choose the best on for your child.

TIPs

  • The right toothbrush for your child is the one they will actually use.
  • If you have an HSA or FSA they will cover electric toothbrushes within our practice.

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.