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Archive for September, 2015

September 3, 2015

Off to School – Healthy Snack Ideas

Healthy snack ideas

“Ants on a log” (celery with peanut butter and raisins)
Fresh or canned fruit (canned in 100% juice, not syrup) with fat-free or low-fat yogurt
Whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese
Vegetable “matchsticks” (thin sticks made from fresh carrots, zucchini, or bell peppers)
Whole-wheat bread or apple slices with peanut butter
Quesadillas (low-fat cheese melted in a whole-wheat tortilla)
Unsalted pretzels or air-popped popcorn
Baked (not fried) tortilla chips and salsa
Whole-wheat pita bread with hummus (dip made with chick peas)
Put fresh fruit in a bowl that’s easy to reach in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter. This will make it easier for kids to grab a healthy snack.

On the go

Take nuts and unsweetened dried fruits, fresh veggies, or fresh fruit in small baggies.
Pack low-fat string cheese sticks.
Set the rules
Teach your kids to ask before they help themselves to snacks.
Eat snacks at the table or in the kitchen, not in front of the TV.
Serve snacks in a bowl. Don’t let kids snack directly out of the bag or box.
Drink water or milk (fat-free or low-fat) instead of soda or juice.

 


September 3, 2015

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Cracked tooth syndrome occurs when a tooth has a crack that’s too small to show up on X-rays, or is under the gum and challenging to identify. It appears most often on molars.

Signs & Symptoms

Most people experience cracked tooth syndrome as pain or discomfort when biting into food, or when teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures. The pain or discomfort won’t be constant, as with a cavity.


September 1, 2015

Backpack? Check. Booster shots? Check. Teeth cleaning? Check!

Regular dental visits are important year-round, but a back-to-school checkup is key in fighting the most common chronic disease found in school-age children: cavities. In fact, dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 million school hours each year. Prevention and early detection can help avoid pain, trouble eating, difficulty speaking and school absences.

Encourage Age-Appropriate Dental Habits at Home

The best kind of checkup is a cavity-free checkup. Moms and dads can help make this happen by encouraging kids to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day.

Ages 6 and Under

At this age, your child might want to do all the brushing herself but doesn’t have the fine motor skills needed to do a thorough job. Let them start and jump in when needed. During that age, the mouth is changing so much that children who are 5 or 6 are often brushing their teeth in the way they were when they were 2 or 3. They’re not accommodating the new molars, and they’re not accommodating the fact that the mouth is growing.

Ages 7-12

By now, your child knows what to do, she just might not want to. Keep encouraging healthy brushing and flossing habits. Be aware of the fact that sometimes you have to take over a little bit more. By the time they’re teenagers, they’re starting to understand self-care, accountability for their actions and such.

Ages 12-18

When you look at research for when caries appear in kids, it tends to be in young kids. But another bump-up time is teenage years and early adulthood. Part of this has to do with the fact that teenagers may have gone for many years and never had a cavity. They don’t necessarily take care of their teeth because they don’t see the consequence of not.

Don’t let your teen’s habits become out of sight, out of mind. The behaviors of the teenager are going to translate into the 20-year-old. We want to be able to support them and be respectful of them because they’re not kids anymore.

Timing Is Everything

Time of day can make or break your child’s appointment. It’s important for a child of any age who’s used to a nap to not schedule during nap time. If your child is always cranky after waking up, factor that in too.

For older children, avoid cramming in a dentist appointment right after day camp or school. Not all kids have the energy to do that. Parents who want to do very elaborate operative work after school because that’s when the kids can come out. But if the child has already been exhausted or had a bad day or had tests, they just don’t have the stamina to make it through the appointment successfully.

Make One Child a Model

If you’ve scheduled back-to-back appointments for your children, there’s a simple way to decide who goes first: Choose the child who’s had the most positive experiences at the dentist. Every child is going to be a little bit different in their temperament about how they approach a visit. You generally want the ones first who are more successful because the others get to see how it goes.

A Hungry Child Is Not a Happy Patient

Feed your child a light meal before the appointment. Hungry people are grouchy people. You want them to be comfortable. It’s also generally a good idea not to feed them in the waiting room before you see the dentist because there’s all that food in [their mouth]. Eating light is also better for a child with a healthy gag reflex. Some children gag a lot just because they gag with everything. As they age and they get more control over swallowing, kids tend to gag less.”Bonus points if your child brushes before an appointment. It’s polite.

Leave Your Anxiety at the Door

If your heart races at the very thought of the dentist, your child can probably tell. “Kids pick up on parents’ anxiety,” Dr. Hayes says. “It’s important with kids, especially at 4, 5 and 6, because I believe the phobic adults are the ones who had bad experiences when they were that age.”

The younger your kids are, the more you need to be aware of how you’re communicating with them. For example, if your child asks about getting a cavity filled, don’t say, “It will only hurt for a little bit.” Instead, encourage your child to ask the dentist. “With any child, you want them to be able to feel successful at accomplishing a good visit and link that positive feeling with the idea that their teeth are strong and healthy so they have that message going forward for the rest of their lives.”

Keep Cool If Your Child Won’t Cooperate

If your child gets upset during her visit, the worst thing you can do is swoop them out of the chair and leave. The next visit is going to be harder. You still have to help them get through part of the visit.

First, assess why your child is acting out. Are they truly afraid, or are they trying to test the situation? “One of the reasons a 4, 5 or 6-year-old gets upset is because they think they’re going to be asked to do something they can’t be successful at. They’re in an environment they feel they can’t control and that makes them upset, so we try to break it down into small steps.

Take a Card (or Three) on Your Way Out

Accidents can happen whether your child is in sports camp, gym class or just walking down the street. In case of emergency, make sure your child’s teachers and coaches have all the medical contact information they need – including your dentist’s number. Grab business cards for your wallet, your child’s backpack and your school’s files.


September 5, 2015

Labor Day Holiday – September 7th

About Labor Day… The first Labor Day was held in 1882. Its origins stem from the desire of the Central Labor Union to create a holiday for workers. It became a federal holiday in 1894.

Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.