Everyone loves Halloween, especially our little ones as this is the time of year they make out like bandits when it comes to their favorite sweet treats. In order to keep your little monsters smile healthy, the Boise dentist at Summit Dental offers some practical tips when it comes to your little monsters below:
Sort the candy together
For safety reasons, its not only vital to sort the candy together for safety reasons, but from a Boise dentist perspective, its also a time when you can separate the bad from the worst. A good rule of thumb is to let your kids pick out their top 10 favorites and put the rest away for the night. The next day have them separate the stack into two parts. Taffy, caramels, gummy bears, or anything sticky, or chewy should go into the first pile while the rest of the candy should go into the second pile.
Our Boise dentist suggests avoiding the first pile completely. We know its hard but Boise dental cavities are more prone to develop when exposed to sugary, chewy substances that linger on your teeth. Oral bacteria thrives in this environment and converts these substances to acid that in turn, can lead to cavities. Instead, steer your child toward stuff that dissolves quickly like suckers, and hard candies followed up with a good tooth brushing.
Regulate their candy consumption
Since Halloween is such a fun time for our little ones, it’s important to balance celebrating the holiday and maintaining a healthy, and teeth. Keep an eye on their sweet intake. While the amount of sugar you eat doesn’t necessarily determine whether or not you’ll get a cavity, its about how long sugars linger in your mouth. A great tip from Dr. Robert Studebaker is to set a daily limit of how many candies your child can have so you can remember how many ghoulish confections they’ve eaten. Dont let a fun holiday turn into an expensive Boise dental visit down the road.
Provide them with sugar-free gum
Not only does chewing gum help you ration your intake of sweet treats, it helps to produce saliva which in turn helps to buffer acid and dislodge left-over, sugary particles stuck in between teeth. Research has also shown that sweeteners in sugar-free gum like Xylitol and Sorbitol help to starve bad bacteria, allowing your mouth to replenish essential minerals to your teeth.
Brush & Floss!
Halloween is not a day for slacking. Its quite the opposite actually. Make sure your child sticks to their twice-a-day brushing & flossing routine to help remove any sticky residue left over from their favorite treats. In an ideal world, encourage your child to brush their teeth after eating any candy. Halloween is also a great time to schedule a Boise dental check-up or Boise teeth cleaning in order to keep your and your little ones teeth happy and healthy!
Between early morning drop-offs & establishing homework schedules with your kids this fall, keeping their teeth healthy while they’re at school may not be your #1 priority. While it may seem like a mundane task, packing an apple instead of a fruit roll-up or cookies in their lunch can help boost your child’s oral and overall health in addition to keeping unwanted cavities and unexpected Boise dental bills at bay.
Boise dentist, Dr. Robert Studebaker warns that too much sugar can cause bacteria in the mouth to generate acid which over time wears away enamel causing tooth decay (cavities). While kids love their sweets, moderation is important. Overconsumption can not only hurt their teeth but provides an addicting, temporary jolt for kids that is typically followed by a sugar “crash” leaving them hungry, and lethargic which isn’t how you want your kids to feel during afternoon classes.
Instead, your Boise dentist at Summit Dental recommends the following Boise dental recommendations to help keep smiles healthy before, during, and after school:
- After breakfast, or before leaving for school, have your child thoroughly brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste to remove the buildup of problem causing bacteria in their mouth accumulated overnight while sleeping. Brushing after breakfast (or any meal) not only removes leftover food particles but helps to eliminate bad breath (halitosis) as well.
- Fill your child’s lunchbox with healthy foods and snacks. Whole grain breads, lean meats, nuts, cheese, apples, or bite-sized carrots are not only healthy but help to clean the teeth and gums naturally. Remember that old saying “an apple a day helps to keep the doctor away”? The same goes with your Boise dentist.
- If their school allows it, send your child to school with a couple sticks of sugar-free gum to chew before and after lunch to help stimulate saliva to buffer acid and dislodge leftover food particles stuck in between teeth.
- Children with extensive Boise dental work such as braces or removable retainers should take care to brush their teeth and rinse any dental appliances after every meal in order to keep their teeth happy, and healthy.
In the end, make sure to schedule a Boise dental visit during the school year for a checkup & regular Boise teeth cleaning. Ask your Boise dentist about protecting your children’s teeth from cavities with options like sealants – a thin coating of translucent material that acts as a barrier to cavity-causing bacteria.
This autumn, families everywhere are falling back into the routine of going back to school. While we are all getting used to early morning drop-offs, and after-school homework schedules, what happens during school hours is usually out of our hands. Once the school bell rings, certain things are bound to happen, including the loss of a baby tooth.
If your child does in fact lose his or her first baby tooth at school, don’t worry! Most likely a celebration will be provided by the teacher and their classmates in light of reaching this mini-milestone as long as your child is prepared for the possibility.
Normally, most children lose their first baby tooth around the age of 5 or 6, but it can happen any time between the ages of 4-8 which leaves a high probability they might experience losing a baby tooth during class time.
Provide them with Boise dental information
Prepare your child for the possibility of losing a baby tooth by explaining why we lose our teeth and how it feels or what will happen so they’re not afraid or caught off guard. By now your child has most likely visited their Boise dentist for a Boise dental checkup or Boise teeth cleaning. If they don’t already know, start off by explaining to your child that we all develop two sets of teeth, our primary (baby) and secondary (permanent) teeth. Normally, permanent teeth will begin to grow in around the age of six (except for wisdom teeth) in a addition to their 12-year molars.
If they happen to lose a baby tooth while in school, have your child notify their teacher. Not only will a teacher provide comfort & a tissue, they might indulge your child by taking a photo while providing them with a prize, and tooth-shaped carrier or baggie to bring the tooth home.
Boise Dentist Reward Ideas
Next, don’t forget to have your child put their tooth under their pillow at night for the tooth fairy to find! Aside from money there are other fun ways to reward your child. In addition to a couple of quarters (or dollars), your Boise dentist, Dr. Robert Studebaker would suggest leaving a fun, new toothbrush or other Boise dental care prize! In the end, make sure to care for your child’s overall dental health by establishing good brushing and flossing habits in addition to scheduling a Boise dental checkup every six months.
4 Things to Do After a Dentist Visit
So you got a few hours off from work for your Boise dentist visit, and you want to wait for the anesthetic to wear off a little more before you head back to the office. Here are some things you can do after your visit!
1. Get Some Ice Cream
Image via Flickr by nan palmero
Just north of our office is the amazing Goody’s Soda Fountain, where you can get old-fashioned homemade ice cream and sundaes. If you are more of the frozen yogurt type, head to Blue Cow just southeast of us. Looking for more desserts? Check out this article for more of our favorite dessert places.
2. Go to the Park
If you’ve got kids with you, walk across the bridge over the Boise River to Ann Morrison Park. Bring a picnic blanket and lay out in the sun if you are tired, and let your kids run around the grassy areas. You can also follow the Boise River just a little bit south to the Julia Davis Park, which has beautiful gardens, a playground, and a duck pond.
3. Go to a Movie
If you don’t want to lounge on the couch at home, you can relax and watch the latest releases at the Regal Boise Downtown Stadium. More of an indie moviegoer? The Flicks is located just on the edge of Julia Davis Park. Watch a movie on one of its four screens, or rent an indie movie to take home.
4. Visit a Museum
If you are feeling energetic and curious, take advantage of your time off and visit one of the many museums in the downtown area. Within the Julia Davis Park, there are three museums: the Idaho State Historical Museum, the Black History Museum, and the Boise Art Museum. Go just two blocks north, and you’ll find yourself at the Basque Museum.
Where would you go if you had some free time after a dentist visit?
Congratulations to Jack Tobin for being September’s Cavity Free Super Star Winner! By regular brushing and flossing, Jack kept his teeth healthy and cavity free for his appointment. Thanks for coming in, and for taking such good care of your teeth and gums, Jack!
All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join the Boise Summit Dental Cavity Free Super Star Program! Each child will be entered in a monthly drawing for 2 Free Movie Passes! We will also place their names on our website as we want everyone to know that we are proud of these children who have been doing a great job taking care of their teeth and gums at home!
Congratulations to Landon Schweiger for being July’s Cavity Free Super Star Winner! At six years old, Landon kept his teeth healthy and cavity free for his appointment by regular brushing and flossing. Thanks for taking such good care of your teeth and gums, and enjoy your two movie passes, Landon!
The Summit Dental Super Star Cavity Free Program was created to show recognition to those special patients who demonstrate excellent home care in between dental visits and therefore have no cavities when they come in for their dental check-up.
All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join Summit Dental Super Star Program! Each child will be entered in a monthly drawing for 2 Free Movie Passes! We will also place their names on our website as we want everyone to know that we are proud of these children who have been doing a great job taking care of their teeth and gums at home!
Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? We love a good cup of coffee or a delightful pastry, so here are our Boise dentists’ favorite places to go for coffee or dessert!
Our Boise staff love their coffee and can recommend several places around town where you can great mocha or regular coffee. Stop by Dutch Brothers for a latte on the go on your way to work, or choose one of the delicious monster scones at Big City Coffee when walking around downtown Boise. We also think Moxie Java offers some of the best blended iced coffees, perfect for hot summer weather! For a little more of the sweet stuff, we have to recommend the donuts and coffee at DK Donuts. This place has been around forever and still serves some of the best and freshest donuts in town!
A’Tavola is one of our favorite restaurants in all things—from lunch to dessert! The atmosphere, the gourmet food, and the sweets make it a great place. They serve locally-roasted coffee from Dawson Taylor, and have a beautiful display of yummy goodies to choose from. If you are looking for a great dessert date or a place to meet a friend, stop here for unique and delicious pastries.
If you love taking the kids to get ice cream or milkshakes, make sure you get the best sundaes in town at Goody’s Goodies in Hyde Park, or head to Blue Cow or U-Swirl for a great frozen yogurt. Our Boise dentists and staff love Goody’s not only for their great ice cream and old-fashioned feel, but also for their excellent location. We love the historic neighborhood, full of antique stores and specialty shops for browsing, in addition to its several summer festivals and events. When you are wondering where to take your kids for a frozen yogurt, we love Blue Cow for their unique flavors like peppermint stick and eggnog, while U-Swirl is great with Candy treats like Reese’s frozen yogurt, in addition to having other seasonal flavors.
While we love to go out for a cup of coffee and a donut or ice cream, we also know the importance of taking care of our teeth after eating something sweet. It is always best to brush your teeth right away, but when this is not possible, at least swish with water and chew sugar free gum or mints, as this will help stimulate saliva flow to help buffer and clear the sugary treats.
We hope you enjoy a dessert from one of our recommendations! What are some of your favorite places to snack?
Congratulation to Nolan Harasimowicz for being this month’s Cavity Free Super Star Winner! Nolan was entered into this month’s Super Star drawing by caring so well for his teeth that he didn’t have any cavities at his appointment. Enjoy your two movie tickets and keep taking such good care of your teeth, Nolan!
All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join the Summit Dental Cavity Free Super Star Program! Each child will be entered in a monthly drawing for 2 Free Movie Passes! We will also place their names on our website as we want everyone to know that we are proud of these children who have been doing a great job taking care of their teeth and gums at home!
At Summit Dental, our Boise dentists do their best to make sure that all of our patients, especially kids, have a relaxing and comfortable appointment. Take a look at how we keep the experience fun and comfortable for kids from their time in the waiting room to when they walk out of our office doors.
In the waiting room
The waiting room at our new Boise office has an entire kids area for families to relax in. Puzzles, toys, and books are just a few of the things kids can play with in the room, or they can tune into the flat screen television that plays children’s programs, Pixar movies, and other kid-friendly content. This room has a soft kid-friendly rubbery floor and brightly colored paintings along the walls to create a fun environment.
During the appointment
If the appointment is for a child between three and five years old (we recommend a first appointment at age three), the appointment is usually just a happy visit where we check their teeth and help them get acquainted with the office. The child can sit on their parent’s lap or by themselves, whichever is easiest.
Parents are always welcome back to the treatment rooms with their children, whatever their age. For some procedures, the experience may be better if parents wait in the waiting room, as the child may be less distracted, and it allows us to phrase things properly and use our “show, tell, do” philosophy. However, parents are always given the option to come back to the treatment rooms with their child if they feel it would be best.
Regardless what the appointment is for, our Boise dentists always use a “show, tell, do” philosophy with every procedure. This involves using kid-friendly terms while explaining and then showing what we will do before we do it. For example, when using the water sprayer or air sprayer, we will call it “rain” or “wind,” in addition to calling the suction that draws out the water the “big straw.”
For cavity fillings, we often use nitrous oxide or laughing gas for children as it helps them relax. To do this, we use a nose piece which we call their “silly nose.” The nose piece is flavored like cherries or strawberries, so we ask them if they can smell the cherries. This is another procedure where we use kid-friendly language, such as calling a cavity a “sugar bug” and referring to part of the filling procedure as “painting the tooth.” We sometimes offer different colored filling material in blue, green or orange so kids can choose their favorite color or school color.
We maintain the “show, tell, do” philosophy with our other tools as well. We call the drill a “water sprayer” and let kids feel the spray of water on their hands. When numbing a child’s mouth, we never use the word “needle,” and we do our best to hide the needle before getting them numb. We call it “sleepy juice” that is going to make their tooth feel sleepy or silly, and we call the poke they may feel a “mosquito bite.” We are almost always able to get their mouth numb without them seeing the needle or feeling much discomfort. Usually the one thing that can interrupt this process is if another family member or sibling is in the room and says something that will give the child anxiety.
The end of the appointment
After any filling, cleaning, or procedure, if the child is well behaved, they will get to pick out a prize from the treasure chest, get a coupon for a TCBY kids frozen yogurt, or receive a toothbrush and toothpaste, or perhaps all three! If the child doesn’t have any cavities, they are entered in the Cavity Free Kids Club, which has a monthly drawing for a prize and movie tickets. This monthly Cavity Free Super Star Winner is given balloons, movie tickets, and a prize in addition to getting mentioned on our Facebook page and blog. After every appointment, we generally call to follow up and make sure everything is feeling okay.
In the end, our main goal during a child’s appointment is to make the whole experience fun every step of the way, from waiting room to back in the treatment rooms. We choose the words that reflect this and then offer kids a “prize” at the end to reward the experience. We would love to talk to you about how we provide the best dental care for your children, so leave us a comment or stop by our Boise office.
Julia Wolfe is our Super Star Cavity Free Winner this Month! Congrats Julia! The Summit Dental Super Star Cavity Free Program was created to to show recognition to those special patients who demonstrate excellent home care in between dental visits and therefore have no cavities when they come in for their dental check-up.
All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join Summit Dental Super Star Program! Each child will be entered in a monthly drawing for 2 Free Movie Passes! We will also place their names on our website as we want everyone to know that we are proud of these children who have been doing a great job taking
care of their teeth and gums at home!