Archive for March 2014

Great Children’s Books on Dental Health

Trying to find a collection of books that will get your kids interested in dental health? Below are plenty of books for kids in preschool through junior high.

Books About Going to the Dentist

Image via Flickr by madgerly

Image via Flickr by madgerly

Your kids can follow their favorite characters to the dentist with the Bernstein Bears Go to the Dentist or Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer. There’s even a Dora the Explorer book called Show Me Your Smile.

Books About Losing a Tooth put together a list of books, including The Lost Tooth Club by Arden Johnson, A Tooth Story by Margaret McNamara, and Wibble Wobble by Miriam Moss. If you are looking for a book about the tooth fairy, try The Night Before the Tooth Fairy by Natasha Wing. Frogwarts and the Tooth Fairy by Jerry Jindrich is an online book, too.

Books About Brushing Your Teeth

Babble has a great list of books on brushing your teeth, but we like Have You Ever Seen a Moose Brush His Teeth? by Jamie McClaine and April Goodman Willy. It’s cute and funny and, of course, about brushing teeth. For a more informative and motivating book, try Open Wide, Tooth School Inside by Laurie Keller. It’s got a lot of great facts and is prett entertaining. You can also read a book about a class that puts on a play about dental care called The School Play by Rosemary Wells.

Books for Older Kids

While children’s books can help younger kids understand what a dental visit is, older kids can also benefit from a book like How to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston. It’s a novel about a popular junior high girl who gets braces, and reviewers call it hilarious and heartfelt. Smile is another coming-of-age story revolving around dental gear by author Raina Telgemeier.

Did we miss your favorite book on dental health? If so, let us know!


How to Help the Kids Love the Dentist

Wondering how you can help your kids feel comfortable and happy at the dentist? Here are four ideas:

1. Start Young

Image via Flickr by sethstoll

By bringing your kids to the dentist for a first appointment at a young age, your kids are more likely to always feel comfortable in the office. Several professionals recommend taking your child to the dentist for the first time when they are one years old, or when they get their first tooth. Our Boise dentists will count their teeth and help them get acquainted with the office.

You can also help your kids understand how a dental appointment goes by playing pretend at home. For example, you can pretend to be the dentist and use a toothbrush to count your kid’s teeth, and then you can have her be the dentist and pretend the brush her favorite stuffed animal’s teeth.

2. Let the Doctor Set the Tone

Our Boise dentists love having a kid-friendly office, complete with a kids waiting room, televisions on the ceiling, and other ways to help kids have fun. That also means that our dentists know how to help kids feel most comfortable during a dental appointment, so let us choose the vocabulary of the appointment. For example, we don’t use words like “shot,” “hurt,” or “pain.” Instead, we say things like “sugar bug” for cavity and “painting the tooth” for the cavity filling process. We’re also used to kids whining or wiggling, so we know how to do our work while keeping your kids comfortable. That means we might request that you take a step back, or that you take a seat and hold your child’s hand. Just relax and watch us for cues!

Wondering what a kid’s appointment looks like? You can take a walk through a kid’s appointment, a blog we wrote to help you know what to expect.

3. Don’t Be Fearful

Kids can pick up on your fear, spoken or unspoken, and your fear will color their interpretation of any situation. A recent study found that if a dad is anxious at the dentist, their children will be, too. Even if you don’t say anything, kids can pick up on negative body language and other signals that you are feeling fearful. On the other hand, if you are relaxed and at ease, your kids will be, too.

4. Don’t Bribe Before the Appointment

Bribing a child by saying things like, “If you are good, you’ll get a lollipop after this,” is a pretty common way to buy a kid’s cooperation for something they don’t want to do. And that is why you shouldn’t offer any bribes for a child’s dentist appointment. Our Boise dentists work very hard to make sure that our children’s appointments are fun and relaxing, so there shouldn’t be any need for a bribe. And by offering a reward, you may give your child the impression that the appointment is something to dread—something that warrants a bribe! And besides all that, promising a sugary treat after a dentist visit is counterproductive.

With such a fun office and such incredible staff, we at Summit Dental do our best to make a kid’s appointment amazing, but you can help us make it even better with these four ideas.

How do you help kids learn to love the dentist?


How Much Does the Tooth Fairy Leave?

Have your kids started losing their baby teeth? Not sure how much to leave under their pillow? The tooth fairy’s treasure varies over the years and even by region, and more than one parent has wondered what to do:

Tooth Averaged over $3 in 2013

Image via Flickr by Bunches and Bits {karina}

A poll done by Visa found that that kids get an average of $3.23 for every tooth they leave, and that most parents give a lot more for the first lost tooth. For example, Visa found that kids in the Northeast get the most, receiving over $4 a tooth. Western states are next up with the Tooth Fairy giving an average of $3.70. Kids in the Midwest get the least with only 3.30. However, a third of parents said the Tooth Fairy leaves only one dollar or less, a more comparable number to when they were children.

Dealing with Differences on the Playground

One of the hardest things about deciding how much to leave for a tooth is that parents don’t want their child to get a lot less than other kids, as it can cause confusion and disappointment. Visa has a solution to this problem, however, with its Tooth Fairy Calculator app, which gives you an idea of how much a parent in your age group, income bracket, and education level are leaving for a tooth.

Even the Tooth Fairy Is Affected by the Economy

Not even the Tooth Fairy is immune to the effects of the recession. A 2012 article by CBS reported that the Tooth Fairy left 17 percent less under the pillow in 2011 than 2010. The same study found that the most common amount for a lost tooth is $1. The Tooth Fairy isn’t opposed to leaving other things in lieu of money, such as dolls, books, or even an antique typewriter. However, more recent studies have found that the Tooth Fairy’s generosity has risen by almost 50 percent since 2011, which correlates with a less extreme rise in the economy.

How much do you think the Tooth Fairy should leave these days?




How to Get Your Kids Excited About Dental Care

Having a hard time getting your kids to care about brushing their teeth? You are not alone. Parents and teachers have been finding ways to teach kids about dental care for decades. Here are a few things you can do to help them understand the importance of dental care and get them in the habit of regular dental hygiene:

1. Talk About Dental Health

Image via Flickr by adwriter

IWonderful charts and handouts like this one explain what different kinds of teeth we have and what we use them for. This website also talks about what a tooth is made of, what a cavity is, and some other interesting facts. In addition to learning about our teeth, kids can also learn what is healthy for teeth and what is not by doing an activity like this one, which compiles a list of foods that aren’t healthy for teeth.

2. Make Crafts Related to Dental Hygiene

When talking about dental health, you can get kids more excited about what they are learning with a hands-on craft. Several Pinterest boards are full of great ideas, but our favorites include making a paper tooth brush, or letting kids glue cotton ball “teeth” onto red paper. You can talk about the different types of teeth and their roles as kids work on the craft.

3. Offer a Prize

Want to make sure that your kids remember to brush their teeth regularly? A monthly brushing chart lets kids color in a sun every time they brush their teeth in the morning and a moon when then brush their teeth at night. Once they have filled in the whole chart, you can give them a reward (though preferably not a sugary one!)

Have you gotten your kids excited about keeping their teeth clean? What did you do?