pediatric dentistry

CSC Dream Big 2021

July 12th, 2021

It’s that time of year again! We’ve been partnering with the Children’s Safety Center for nearly ten years now, and we are so excited to continue the partnership this year by once again raising funds and awareness for child abuse prevention.

The Children’s Safety Center is a nonprofit organization based on the Children’s Advocacy Center Model. CAC’s design and offer programs that meet the unique needs of their community, but they share a common goal to facilitate more effective prevention, detection, investigation, and treatment of child abuse.

If you are interested in volunteering or getting involved with the Children’s Safety Center, click here for more information. 

This year’s gala is the 14th annual, and we are so excited to share that it will be a two-part event! Both portions of the event will take place on Friday, July 16th. First, there will be a 30-minute live stream on Facebook and Youtube that starts at 7 pm where you can hear information about what the CSC does and why they need your help.

The second portion of the event will be in-person, and it will kick off immediately after the live stream wraps up. Join us at Prairie Street Live for a performance by the band Boom Kinetic, and bring the whole family! Come hungry to support a couple of local food trucks, and don’t forget your lawn chairs in case you get worn out after an evening full of dancing!

You can purchase concert tickets for $20 at the door.
In conjunction with the two-part gala, you can also participate in an online auction to support the CSC. The auction is open now, and it will close on July 16th at 10 pm.  Click here to check out the auction now!

PDAO On The Go!

June 29th, 2021

https://youtu.be/F4xZb8H9xVE

We’ve heard about all of your summer trips, camps, and other fun activities, and we need to be honest with you...we are jealous!  We’ve been working hard at the PDAO offices, and we’re tired of missing out on all of the summer fun, so we came up with a solution that works for everyone! 

Swing by the office and pick up a doctor-on-a-stick!  We created a bunch of miniature versions of our doctors for you to take along with you to all of your favorite summer activities.  Plus, there’s a big prize involved!  

Take your doctor-on-a-stick with you on your trips, and take a photo of the two of you having a blast.  Post that photo to social media and tag us to enter the giveaway.  We’ll be choosing one lucky participant to win our PDAO summer prize pack, which includes a few PDAO beach towels, a $200 gift card to the place of your choice, and much more!  

We will also be giving away a prize to whoever can take their doctor the farthest away from home, so make sure you pack us for your trips outside of the country!

We can’t wait to be included in all of your summer fun!

Camp Braces

June 15th, 2021

https://youtu.be/-i57RuxyzNE

Summer is here, and our kids are headed to camp! There are always so many things to think of as you get your kids prepared for a week away, and we know it can be overwhelming. We want to make sure your children’s smiles are still cared for while they are out having fun – especially your kids with braces! Here is a foolproof list of items your children might need while they are away.

What Every Child Needs

These are your no-brainer dental hygiene products: a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. You likely won’t forget these staples, but we want to make sure they are on your list.

Kids That Recently Got Their Braces Off

If your child recently had their braces removed, you want to make sure they maintain the progress they’ve worked so hard on. Make sure they pack and wear their retainers, and don’t forget to pack their retainer cases. Every year we hear horror stories of camp counselors digging through the trash at lunch to find a rogue retainer that was accidentally thrown away. Pack a retainer case to ensure this won’t happen to your child!

Kids with Braces

Admittedly, the packing list for children with braces is substantially longer than for those without braces, but we want to ensure that you have all of your bases covered. You’re spending a lot of money to enrich their smiles, and we don’t want a week of camp to set them back. We also know that braces can be uncomfortable, and we would hate for braces-related discomfort to ruin a potential highlight of their summer.

The first braces necessity is wax. Whether your child recently got their braces or they’ve had them for a year, wax might come in handy. While it can help ease the discomfort of new braces, it can also help with an extra-long wire or a recent adjustment.

We also encourage you to pack nail clippers and tweezers to help with wire-related discomfort. When their teeth begin to move and correct from an adjustment, your child might notices wires protruding farther into their mouth and poking their cheeks or gums. You can easily use tweezers to bend the wire into a more comfortable position or use nail clippers to trim the excess wire. You’ll want to make sure these tools are packed in case this happens while your kid is at camp!

Many kids misplace smaller items while they are at camp, so you’ll want to pack an extra packet of rubber bands for them. Again, you don’t want one week at camp to set them back on their braces journey.

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure to pack them floss picks and proxabrushes to get where their toothbrush can’t. Some numbers suggest that you miss 40% of your mouth by brushing without flossing. Make sure your child is cleaning their entire smile by sending them with all of the tools they need! 

Brushing with Brushalot!

June 7th, 2021

https://youtu.be/BcftDz7K_ak

Here at PDAO, we know it can be challenging to convince your kids that taking care of their smiles is essential. So we are constantly looking for new ways to make dental health more fun and engaging, and today we want to share one of our new favorites: the Adventures of Brushalot.

Regan Watts, the creator of the Adventures of Brushalot, understands that a good story is often all that it takes to motivate children to take proper care of their smiles. He riffed off of a classic medieval tale that features Camelot, King Arthur, and Lancelot for this dental hygiene-focused fairytale.

The Adventures of Brushalot tells the tale of the land of Brushalot, where the Tooth Fairy lives with her family in the Pearly White City. Her brother Sir Brushalot and his horse Incisor partner with General Floss and the Knights of Floss to protect the walls of the Pearly White City. Every day at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Prince Plaque and the Tartar Troopers depart from the Cavity Castle to attack the Pearly White City.

The story also explains why the Tooth Fairy comes to take lost teeth. When a child loses a baby tooth, the Tooth Fairy picks it up to take it back to the Tooth Making Workshop, where the workers turn baby teeth into the adult teeth that come in as your child grows up.

Our favorite part of the book set is its inclusive characters. For example, Sir Brushalot is a bi-racial boy, and General Floss is a Black girl. The story also features characters that are physically impaired. Regan made it clear that one of his top priorities was ensuring that the book was for every child, no matter what they look like or where they live.

The book is sold as part of a boxset that includes a plush version of Incisor – Sir Brushalot’s trusty steed, a tooth-shaped nightlight, and workbook pages that promote a healthy smile.

When children lose a tooth, the boxset instructs them to place it in Incisor’s pocket and put the horse at the foot of their bed. They also change the nightlight from yellow to blue to alert the Tooth Fairy that they have a tooth for her.

We love the Adventures of Brushalot, and we think that its resources will do wonders for your family as you teach your children about oral hygiene. CLICK HERE to purchase the Adventures of Brushalot for your family!

Parenting Playbook: Are we there yet?

June 1st, 2021

https://youtu.be/jNA5RrZBbdQ

Summer is finally here! We know all our kids are excited, but this season can be challenging for parents. Whether it’s keeping the family calm on a road trip or merely surviving two-and-a-half months of having your kids at home all day, we know that summer is sometimes stressful. In this week’s Parenting Playbook, we’ll share helpful information, tips, and strategies to make this the best summer yet!

Road Tripping

With the county’s COVID-19 numbers dropping to safer levels, we know that many families plan to hit the road for their summer vacations. These extended car rides are often filled with car games, movies, and snacks, and we want to help you stay healthy on the road. Luckily eating habits that are healthy for your smile are also beneficial for your body! The best snacks you can give your kids are apples, fresh veggies, and hard cheeses. Not only are these snacks healthy for your body, but they clean your teeth, too.

Another good habit for your road trip is staying hydrated. It might cause you to make a few extra restroom stops, but the benefits of drinking water are multifaceted. While the water keeps you hydrated through the summer heat, it also washes your mouth out.

As dentists, we don’t want to tell you not to have specific snacks, but we want to encourage you to be smart and informed about your snacking choices. Sugary candies and fruit snacks are fan-favorites and readily available at the gas station, but they don’t make healthy road trip snacks. The sugar encourages bacteria to grow in your mouth, and gummies will get stuck in your teeth.

Peanut butter crackers, Goldfish, and other snacks that are high in carbohydrates can also be tricky on long road trips. While they don’t contain sugar, they do get stuck in your teeth. If these are your snack of choice, we recommend drinking water while you eat to keep your smile clean!

Staying at Home

One of the summer’s biggest challenges is the drastic change in everyone’s schedules. Gone are the days of your child waking up for the bus. For nearly three months, they’ll sleep in as long as they can with the hopes of abandoning all forms of a schedule.

As their schedules dissipate, so do many of their hygiene habits. If you stay at home with your children, it can be easier to remind them to brush their teeth and floss, but this can be pretty challenging if you don’t stay at home during the day.

Many families set alarms on their Alexas and Google Homes to remind their children to brush their teeth in the morning. Other parents will have their kids text a picture of themselves brushing their teeth to confirm that they are taking care of their smile.

Whatever your method, we encourage you to stay on top of your kids’ dental hygiene habits this summer!

Virtual Smile Ortho Consults

May 24th, 2021

https://youtu.be/RQzIsKQVJu8

Is it time for you or your child to have an orthodontic consult? There are several reasons you might need an ortho consult, and our team is here to help every step of the way! An easy way to get the process started is with our Virtual Smile Consultation. Here are a few reasons you might use this tool:

Your Child Has Turned 7

Around the age of 7, every child should be evaluated by an orthodontist to see if we need to take action to keep their smile growth on track. While many children will not necessarily need to take action at this time, the consultation also serves as a preliminary evaluation to determine if the patient will need braces in the future.

You Aren’t Happy With Your Current Smile

Don’t let your smile keep you down! We want all of our patients to feel confident in their smiles, including adults. We even offer clear aligners to our adult patients. If you feel like you could benefit from orthodontic treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out.

You’re Feeling Discomfort

If you’re experiencing any oral pain, please make an appointment! It could be a sign of an orthodontic issue that needs to be resolved. Using our Virtual Smile Consult feature, you can make this process go by even more quickly. This is an excellent way for our ortho team to determine whether or not you need to be seen urgently.

Don’t let your smile hold you back! It’s as easy as one, two, three to determine if Dr. Jason and our orthodontic team should see you. For more info on how our Virtual Smile Consult works, check out our YouTube video by following the link below.

Time for a New Toothbrush?

May 17th, 2021

https://youtu.be/9JVzyvlw4VU

Keeping up with your child's oral health can be challenging, and we at Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics want to make sure that you are equipped with the information you need. Each week, we go live on Facebook with helpful information to encourage you to take care of your child's smile from the outset. This week, Amy talked about using age-appropriate toothbrushes, rotating your toothbrushes in a timely manner, which toothpaste your child should be using, and when to start flossing. Check it out!

Age-Appropriate Toothbrushes

When you walk down the toothbrush aisle, you'll find numerous toothbrushes with all of your child's favorite superheroes and movie characters on them. These are fantastic tools for encouraging your child to brush their teeth, but we want to make sure that you are getting a toothbrush that is effective for your child.  

Each toothbrush package will be labeled with the age range that it is designed for. It is imperative that you are only allowing your child to choose their toothbrush from the age range that fits them. These labels are not suggestions. Instead, each toothbrush is explicitly designed to cater to each age's mouth size and physical development. When your child is around the age of 8, they will typically graduate to a regular adult toothbrush.

Rotating Toothbrushes

Many don't realize it, but you should be swapping your toothbrush for a brand new one every three months. A common rule of thumb is to replace your family's toothbrushes at the beginning of each quarter. It is also critical that you replace a family member's toothbrush after they have been sick. Failing to do this results in a high chance that the illness could be passed amongst the rest of your family.

Choosing Toothpaste

Choosing your toothpaste and knowing how much to use can be difficult, especially when making these choices for your child. We recommend using a smear of fluoridated toothpaste for any child up to the age of two. Once your child is older than two, they can graduate to a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste.

Flossing!

Yes, we know that flossing is not the most popular subject, even amongst dental health. But, we want to remind you that it is a critical part of your oral health routine! You should begin flossing your child's teeth as soon as their teeth start to touch. Typically, this occurs when their back molars come in. This will keep plaque from building up between their teeth and causing problems for their young smiles!

As always, we want to remind you that it doesn't always matter how you take care of your child's teeth; it's that you take care of them from the beginning!

Emergency Dental Care

May 3rd, 2021

Every year as temperatures rise and the weather gets nicer, we see a significant increase in mouth and face injuries from our patients.  Kids get more active outside, and they start playing outdoor sports again, and accidents will inevitably happen.  Whether it’s a busted tooth from a fall at the pool, a crash on the bike, or a taking a grounder to the mouth, we are here to help!

If the incident occurs during our regular operating hours, give us a call, and we’ll schedule an appointment to get your child the medical attention they need.  If your child’s accident happens after hours or during the weekend, we will do our best to help you. 

We keep a dentist on call at all times, and we have someone ready to take your emergency calls and texts as well.  If you think your child might need emergency dental attention, please contact us at (479)582-0600, and we will guide you through the following steps.

Our response and plan of action are typically dependent on the extent of the injury and other relevant circumstances.  If your child has chipped or broken a tooth, we will try to bring them in ASAP if they have exposed nerves.  This can be extremely painful for your child, and it risks infection if it is not addressed promptly.  If the tooth does not have exposed nerves, we will generally try to schedule an appointment during operating hours and encourage you to keep your child on light pain killers until we can see them.

If your child has one of their adult teeth knocked out, we must see them ASAP.  It is imperative that you find the tooth and put it back in its place as quickly as possible to save the tooth.  If this isn’t done, it is unlikely that we will be able to fix it.

For issues regarding swelling, we will usually try and schedule an appointment during regular office hours.  If the swelling is kept to the gum area, it is likely a cavity or piece of food that is stuck.  If the swelling increases to the face, cheeks, or eyes, it becomes more critical that we see your child immediately.  This could be a more significant infection that needs to be addressed.

Emergencies happen, and they don’t have to be the end of the world.  We are always prepared to help keep your child safe and healthy, and we hope you will contact us next time an incident occurs.

Make a Difference on Earth Day

April 26th, 2021

https://youtu.be/S2ryFaPTltA

Happy Earth Day!  Since 1970, people have been coming together across the globe the celebrate Earth Day on April 22.  Now, 193 are officially participating in events and initiatives organized and coordinated by earthday.org. 

We want to take this Earth Day as an opportunity to highlight a few things we are doing with our partners to make the earth a better place and encourage you to do the same!

At PDAO, we are always looking for new ways to decrease our carbon footprint and operate more sustainably.  One way that we do this is by prioritizing recycling.  Every cardboard box we receive is broken down and taken to Fayetteville’s recycling facility.  With the size of our practice, you can imagine how much cardboard we are dealing with every month!

We also partner with Crest Oral-B, and we only carry their products in our offices.  Through Crest Oral-B, all of the packaging we send home with you is sustainable!  The bags that your toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss come in is recyclable.

Because of our partnership with Crest Oral-B, we’ve been exposed to Procter and Gamble’s Ambition 2030 program.  P&G is Crest Oral-B’s parent company, and it is setting goals for a more sustainable, healthy future!

P&G has set goals to lower their waste and get as close as possible to being carbon-neutral.  Part of this initiative was rolling out a marvelous recycling program for items that you cannot commonly recycle.  

Through the website https://recycling.oralb.com/, you can print off a free shipping label and send all of your used toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads, floss, floss picks, floss packaging, and toothpaste tubes to Crest Oral-B to be recycled!  The process is free, and the products you send don’t even have to be from Crest Oral-B; they can be any brand!

We encourage you to start sending your used and empty dental hygiene products in for recycling.  How are you recycling and celebrating Earth Day in your home?

Adult Orthodontics

April 12th, 2021

https://youtu.be/77q1tL2mMnw

Did you know that our orthodontists provide services for adults?  While we are a pediatric dental practice and most orthodontic practice is with teens and pre-teens, we do work with several parents of children within our practice.  We love to meet you where you’re at and make things as easy as possible for you!  If you are already coming by for your child’s appointment, why not streamline things and set your appointment up for the same trip?

On this week’s Facebook Live, Amy Morgan talked with Bryan Fittin, a parent taking advantage of these offerings!  Bryan and his family have been coming to our practice for years, and he even found himself jealous of the dentist’s office experience that his kids were getting.

Bryan had braces in his youth, but he didn’t keep up with his retainer afterward.  Over time, his smile started to revert back to his pre-braces days.  During one of his kids’ appointments, Bryan mentioned this to Dr. Jason, and they started a conversation about what a solution would look like.

Wanting to avoid brackets and traditional braces, Bryan was hesitant, but Dr. Jason set the record straight.  We can take scans of your teeth and work with Invisalign retainers to get your smile back to tip-top shape.  

Gone are the days of taking molds with goop that doesn’t taste quite right!  We take scans of your mouth here at the office and ensure a 24-hour turnaround time to get you going on your Invisalign journey.

Bryan found that the rest of the process with Invisalign was rather simple as well.  He wears them roughly 22 hours a day, taking them out solely to clean his retainers, drink coffee, and eat.  Plus, the retainers are tough to spot.  He’s been using Invisalign for over a year, and some of his friends are just now finding out!

As far as the experience of being an adult patient at PDAO, Bryan only had good things to say.  We’ve fashioned our Fayetteville location so that the orthodontic department is mostly separate from the dentistry section.  It has fewer pediatric themes and is much more approachable for both teens and adults.  

We like to make sure that our adult patients get the VIP treatment!  From the orthodontic department, you’ll have no idea that the other half of the business is built for children.

Ask us about adult orthodontics next time you’re in the office!

weAR Blue Day 2021

March 29th, 2021

 

As you may know, we here at Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics love to partner with several organizations throughout the community to give back in various ways. One of our favorite community partners is the Children’s Safety Center. Emily Rappe Fisher, the development director for the Children’s Safety Center, joined Amy Morgan on a Facebook Live video to talk about the many ways you can get involved in April, which happens to be National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

The Children’s Safety Center is the only organization of its kind in Washington Country. They are first responders when there is an open investigation for child abuse in the community, and they provide a safe space for children to tell their stories. Along with this, they offer several other services free of charge to children in abusive situations.

April is a busy month for the Children’s Safety Center, and there are several ways you can get involved. The month kicks off with Pinwheels for Prevention, a nationwide event where advocacy centers from across the country join together to raise awareness about what is happening in their communities.

Due to COVID, they cannot hold an in-person event this year, but you can purchase pinwheels and signs here. The pinwheels and signs are to be placed in your yard, and they have the child abuse hotline telephone number on them. A portion of the proceeds returns to the Children’s Safety Center.

Another event to be aware of is Wear Blue Day! On April 2nd, make sure you wear blue to work, school, the gym, the grocery store, or anywhere else you go to show your support and raise awareness that child abuse is preventable.

April 8th is NWA Gives Day! On this specific day, the Children’s Safety Center has set a goal to raise $5,000 between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Plus, they already have a donor that has promised to match up to $10,000 in donations! When you give $50, it’s like you’re donating $100!

On Tuesday, April 13th, they are hosting a child abuse prevention training via Zoom at noon. You can find more information and sign up for the training here.

On Saturday, April 17th, the Children’s Safety Center is partnering with the Scout Guide to host Shop Small, Help Kids. Through this event, they will partner with local businesses that will donate a portion of that day’s sales to the Children’s Safety Center. For updates on where to shop on Saturday, April 17th, follow their Instagram page.

For more information on the Children’s Safety Center, check out their website.

Floss like a Boss!

November 20th, 2020

You might not know it, but National Flossing Day is coming up, and it is no coincidence that it falls the day after Thanksgiving. Here at Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics, we get countless questions from parents about their children’s flossing habits.  At what age should my child start flossing? Are picks okay? What brand of floss should they use? Is there a proper technique? What are water picks, and are they alright to use? We want to take a moment and answer some commonly asked flossing questions:

When should my child start flossing?

Your child should begin flossing when their teeth start touching. Usually, when a child’s teeth are coming in, they have gaps between them until their molars come in and push everything together. This usually happens around age 4 or 5, but every child is different, and you should not worry if your child’s teeth begin touching earlier or later.

How often should my child floss?

The American Dental Association recommends that everyone flosses once a day. The best time to do this is in the evening before bed. It is crucial to floss in the evening because you want to remove all of the sugars, starches, and other sticky foods from your teeth before falling asleep. These things break down the enamel on your teeth and cause cavities, especially when given a full night of sleep to work through. 

What brand of floss should I buy?

The short answer is this: It does not matter what brand of floss you buy, as long as you are flossing! Both picks and string floss are effective, and it is more about what you feel comfortable using. We do want to warn against water picks, as they are significantly less effective than other methods. If you have tight contacts or teeth that are very close together and difficult to get the floss in between, try Glide floss from Oral-B. It is designed to fit into the smallest gaps.

What is the proper flossing technique?

While it is beneficial to be flossing at all, using the proper technique will ensure the most productive results. If you are using string floss, wrap the string around your middle fingers, and use your index fingers to push the floss in between your teeth. Rather than merely getting between your teeth, you will want to push the string up against the sides of each tooth, scraping any food or gunk that may be stuck to your teeth.

Flossing is often the portion of oral hygiene that is forgotten or ignored, but it is crucial to keeping your smile healthy. Remember to floss this evening!

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.  

 

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.

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.

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!

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.