Our Blog

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.