Helping your child stop sucking his thumb

Thumb sucking is one habit that is always hard to break until your child is ready to quit. Here are a few ideas from Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry for when your little one decides he is ready.

Positive Reinforcement - Whenever you notice your child not sucking his thumb, you give him praise. This serves as a gentle reminder and is a good first step even if he hasn’t mentioned that he wants to quit.

Sticker Chart - This motivates kids to be consistent with the change. When your child brings his completed chart to us, we will take his picture and put it on our Wall of Winners. He can also pick out a special prize! Here’s a link to our personalized thumb sucking chart on our website: http://www.smiles-for-kids.com/charts/

Physical barrier - These come in all shapes, designs and sizes but basically, it places a cover over the digit that they suck so that he doesn’t get that same suction when it is placed in the mouth. Here are some photos of some available on the market.

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Thumb appliance – Dr. Lindhorst or Dr.  Jadav may recommended this for patients that have tried all of the above and are still having trouble stopping the habit. It’s a custom appliance that sits on the palate and serves as a barrier in the mouth.

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Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Patient Appreciation Party Time!

We can’t wait to see all of you on Sunday, September 17th at 3 pm for our annual patient appreciation party! We love to celebrate our wonderful families with a movie, food, and fun!

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This year, we’ll be watching Ratatouille while enjoying some delicious pizza and popcorn at Studio Movie Grill. Before the movie, we’ve planned some exciting activities for the kiddos. We’ll have face painting, Idea Lab activity, Mad Science experiment, balloons, BINGO, and tons of games with prizes!

Please don’t forget to RSVP at drkasia@smiles-for-kids.com as seating is limited. We can’t wait to see you and your family!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Coordinating Care with the Orthodontist

You’ll still want your child to come in for his or her 6 month recare appointments. The orthodontist will, of course, give you a summary of how your child is doing with their brushing. Going to a monthly orthodontist appointment does not replace seeing the pediatric dentist for recare appointments. Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav will have the hygienist clean your child’s teeth, take cavity-detecting radiographs (if they are due), check for dental decay, pathology, and do a thorough head and neck examination to screen for any abnormalities. Without coming in to Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, there may be undiagnosed decay or pathology present, which is the last thing you want to uncover as your child get his or her braces off! We will monitor your child’s bite alongside the orthodontist. Also, anytime your child has an appliance or braces in his or her mouth, his or her risk of decay or gum disease increases significantly.

Some patients even benefit from a 3 month appointment in between the 6 month appointments for thorough cleanings with the hygienist. Often, your child’s oral hygiene habits will suffer when in braces, as the increase in difficulty dissuades them from putting in the time necessary to clean around brackets, wires, and appliances.  An additional 3 month appointment allows for the hygienist to go through more oral hygiene instruction and remind the patient about how to care of his or her braces/appliances. With this, we see normally see a significant improvement in hygiene score.

When choosing an orthodontist, we’ll help you make the right choice for your family. Dr. Lindhorst and Dr. Jadav will consider many factors when referring you to the right orthodontist for your child. They consider your child’s orthodontic needs, where you live, and your child’s personality, and then choose the orthodontist that’s the right fit!

We are always happy to share our radiographs with your orthodontist. If we take a panoramic radiograph, Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry can always email it to your orthodontist to help coordinate care. As long as you’ve given us permission, we will be able to accommodate.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We hope to see you soon!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Staying Hydrated

As the intense Houston heat is setting in, Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry wants to remind everyone about staying hydrated this summer. It is super important for our kiddos to drink plenty of fluids especially with the peak of the summer heat already here. It seems like there are a million and one options these days at the grocery store when it comes to drinks for our kids. Here’s a quick guide to help you make the best choices for your little one.

Juice

Juice is loaded with sugar, which will only accelerate the cavity process! Even 100% organic juices have lots of sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting juice intake to less than 4-6 oz per day for children ages 1-6. The newest recommendation is no juice for kids less than 1 year old. The constant exposure to sugar and acid can quickly break down teeth.  We recommend giving children fresh fruit slices to get their daily fruit intake. A fun idea for summer is to freeze grapes or blueberries for a fun, juicy, and healthy afternoon snack!

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are not recommended for young children.  Having them often increases your child’s risk for obesity. They can cause dental erosion because they are acidic. The sugar will of course increase their risk for cavities, too.

Sodas

Soda, as we all know, is bad for our teeth and bodies. Drinking soda can be as bad as having battery acid in our kid’s mouth. The acidity can quickly cause breakdown and weakening of teeth.

Keep in mind that frequency is key.  It’s worse to sip on a juice drink all day than to just have it during a meal when it comes to your teeth. If it’s not for mealtime, they should be drinking water.  All in all, the best option is always water! It will keep our little ones hydrated without all the side effects of juices, sports drinks, and sodas.

Look at how much sugar these drinks have in them! We would never let our kids eat spoonfuls of sugar so why give them drinks loaded with this much sugar?

Dr. Jadav

 

Radiation Comparison

At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, our promise is to use as little radiation as possible while still gathering all the information that we need to diagnose and treat your child safely and comprehensively.

Each dental radiograph exposes your child to 0.5 mrem of radiation. Below is a schematic that puts this number into perspective.

We often get asked about x-rays and why we need them. We strictly follow the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Guidelines. We need them in order to diagnose cavities between the teeth that cannot otherwise be detected, check for abnormalities in the bone, monitor growth and development patterns, and identify missing teeth, extra teeth or infections. We evaluate each patient individually and take radiographs only when we know it will affect patient care. We take into account age, date of the last radiographs taken, patient’s specific risk for decay, oral hygiene, diet and any concerns such as trauma, pathology or infection.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us or email us.

Dr. Jadav

Apthous Ulcers

What is an apthous ulcer? Physically, it’s a shallow lesion that develops in the mouth.

It is quite common and it is similar to the body’s reaction to an allergen. Triggers can vary. Some common triggers are stress, acidic foods, trauma, and ingredients in mouth products. It is not known to be a viral nor a bacterial infection.  They do not occur on the outer surface of the lips and they are not contagious.

Unfortunately, they can be painful making eating and talking difficult. Most of the ulcers resolve on their own in 2 weeks. Applying a topical numbing gel can help with discomfort for children that are old enough for it. It is recommended to avoid spicy or acidic foods while the healing is in progress.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Dr. Jadav

Hygiene Scores

Every time you visit us at Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry for a six month appointment, we provide your child with his or her hygiene score. It’s a rating system that helps you track your child’s progress with home care. Here’s a little more information to shed some light on it.

We rate from 1 to 5 with 5 being the best. Everyone should be shooting for a 5!

Our average score is a 3.5 which means that the hygienist noted some plaque with light tartar buildup. Oftentimes, she may have noticed some light bleeding of the gums, too.  She will give you a detailed report of all that she noted.

A score higher than a 3.5 is above average. Keep up the good work!

A score below 3.5 means that there are areas that your child is missing. With this, we see more bleeding, swelling, plaque and tartar buildup. The hygienist will give you specific recommendations to improve your score. This could mean focusing on a certain area, angling the toothbrush differently, or incorporating flossing to your nightly routine.  

If Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav feel that your child would benefit from a 3 month appointment with our hygienist for a cleaning in between his or her six month visit, she will let you know. This is especially useful for patients that are in braces or have appliances that are harder to keep clean.

Prevention is key at Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry and a huge part of this prevention plan is hygiene. If you have any questions for us, please let us know. We can’t wait to see your smiling face soon!

Dr. Jadav

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)

Silver diamine fluoride has been in the news recently and Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry offers it as an alternative to traditional cavity treatment.

It’s primarily for patients with decay who may be too young or apprehensive for fillings or crowns. It involves no injections, drilling, or pain. Teeth with minimal to moderate decay or hypoplasia (defect in formation) can be treated. Any tooth that has very deep decay that is close to the nerve or a tooth that is abscessed cannot be treated with this technique.

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The actual application of the product takes a few minutes. The entire length of the appointment varies based on how many teeth are treated and your child’s behavior. Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav apply this medication with a small brush to each tooth. Once teeth are treated, there is a chance of having to retreat it. Some teeth only need one application.

At your follow-up appointment, Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav will let you know if the tooth needs more applications of the product. Some teeth will need fillings or crowns in the future as the patient matures.

The main drawback of silver diamine fluoride is that any active decay on the tooth will turn black permanently. It can be removed if those teeth get fillings or crowns in the future as the affected tissue is removed.

Please call or email us with any questions or concerns. Don’t forget that summer vacation is right around the corner and our slots are filling up fast. We can’t wait to see you!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

 

Open Sesame!

At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we know it can be hard to get your kids to open wide so you can take a look around! This is a link to a super fun and cute video to help kids learn to open wide (for you and for us). They'll be humming along before you know it!

Mouthhealthykids.org is a fantastic resource full of videos, coloring pages that you can print, games, and activities for the little ones. There’s even a section for preteens and kids that are interested in becoming a dentist.

Check it out and let us know if you have any questions. We can’t wait to see your sparkling smile!

Dr. Jadav

Preventing Tooth Decay

At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, one of our major goals is to help prevent tooth decay before it happens. That’s why Dr. Lindhorst and Dr. Jadav always emphasize good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, drinking lots of water, and coming in for your child’s regular dental check-ups every 6 months.

Here are five easy ways to prevent tooth decay:

1.       Use fluoridated toothpaste for 2 minutes 2 times every day

2.       Come in for the first dental visit by your child’s 1st birthday

3.       Don’t share utensils with your child

4.       Eat healthy

5.       Seal out decay

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The American Dental Association has a fantastic website MouthHealthy.org where you can find lots of useful information about toothpaste, teething, cavities and prevention.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

 

 

 

How many eggs can you find?

Don’t forget we have our very own Easter egg hunt going on at Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry! Feel free to stop by the office and enter.

You’ll have to search all over the office for the eggs and give us your count! Whoever gets the closest will win. We’ll announce who the lucky winner is on April 13th.  The winner gets a personalized basket of goodies. We can’t wait to see you and hopefully, you’ll be our winner!

Here’s a sneak peek of a few of our eggs around the office!

Best of luck!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Your Child's First Dental Visit

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your child’s first dental visit be before his or her first birthday. You may be wondering what we do at Smiles for Kids Pediatric dentistry for a first visit and why it’s so important to start early.

ORAL DEVELOPMENT - A lot of changes happen in a child’s mouth from when they are born until they get their full set of baby teeth.  At Smiles for Kids, we want to explain what to expect. We will talk about timing of new teeth coming in, what to expect when they are coming in, and how many of them are left to come in. Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav will show you if they note any concerns with their mouth and what that means for your child. By starting early, we can let you know if we see any early signs of decay. Many times, when we see very early changes, we can suggest changes that can prevent having to do treatment on these teeth. Aside from his or her teeth, we will be checking the tongue, cheeks, jaws, and tonsils. We want to make sure every aspect of your child’s mouth, bite, and jaws look healthy!

ORAL HYGIENE - Parents often ask when to start brushing and how to brush their little ones. We will review when to start, how to position them, and toothpaste use.  At our office, we rate oral hygiene on a scale from 1-5 with 5 being the best. That way, you can see how you’re doing in terms of hygiene at each and every visit.

DIET – Diet plays a major component in cavity formation. For babies, we’ll review bottle use. For toddlers, we talk about gummy snacks, sippy cups, and juices. For older kids, we’ll review the types of foods (ooey, gooey, sticky) to try to avoid. Sippy cups, juices, and candy are just a few of the topics we’ll cover.

HABITS - We will talk about habits that your little one may have like thumb sucking, a pacifier, or nail biting. Although a lot of these habits are age appropriate, we will review what long term changes that they can cause in terms of his or her bite if the habit continues.

TRAUMA - We will review what to do if and when your child ever has any trauma. It’s very common and we want parents to know what to look for, when to call us, or when to come see us in the office.

Most of all, we want you and your child to be very comfortable here. The more the child visits, the more likely that they will realize that coming to the dentist is fun! We can’t wait to meet your little one!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

 

Rethink your drink!

Houston is off to a warm start and an early spring. With the temperatures creeping upwards, our little ones are bound to be thirsty. At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Lindhorst and Dr. Jadav want to make sure you’re choosing wisely.

Sodas, sports drinks, and juices all have high amounts of sugar and acid. Unfortunately, this can lead to dental decay. It can also play a large role in childhood obesity and metabolic diseases. There is more and more evidence coming out about the harmful effects of sugar. All three of these options have spoonfuls of extra sugar added to them. Take a look at this alarming comparison.

When it comes to choosing a healthy alternatives for our kiddos, milk and water are your best bet. Milk should be offered at mealtimes. Even milk has sugar in it so sipping on it throughout the day can contribute to dental decay.

The main thing to remember is that, when possible, choose water to stay hydrated! We’re looking forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon. Spring break appointments are filling up fast so give us a call to reserve yours.

Dr. Jadav

National Children's Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health month! Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry is so excited to promote this amazing cause and spread the word for healthy smiles!

The American Dental Association (ADA) encourages parents and kids to choose tap water, when possible, to quench their thirst and avoid drinks with added sugar like soda and sweetened juices.  These sugary drinks contribute to dental decay, diabetes, and obesity (just to name a few). It’s also important to maintain good oral health by brushing, flossing and eating healthy. Dr. Lindhorst and Dr. Jadav invite you to help spread the message!

Here’s a recap:

1. Choose tap water for a sparkling smile!
2. Avoid drinks with added sugar like soda and juice drinks!  
3. Protect your smile with a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste and floss. 
4. Keep smiles sparkling: limit sugary treats, eat healthy and brush two minutes twice a day!

We can’t wait to see your beautiful smiles soon!

Dr. Jadav

Is my child ready for mouthwash?

Many parents encourage their little ones to use mouthwash starting from an early age. Though it can be a beneficial part of his or her oral hygiene routine, you want to make sure your child is ready for it.

At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we stress that if your child hasn’t mastered the “swish and spit”, they are not ready for mouthwash. We don’t want them to accidentally swallow it so please make sure to always supervise. This is especially true for mouthwash with alcohol in it. Always purchase alcohol-free mouthwash for children. If you’re not sure if they’re ready, have them practice with water until their confidence grows.

All mouthwashes are not the same. They can serve several different purposes. Some are simply to freshen breath and others to have the added anti-cavity effect of fluoride. Kids with braces can highly benefit from an anti-cavity rinse in addition to their regular brushing and flossing. To get the optimal anti-cavity effect, always follow the instructions on the back of the bottle. With fluoride mouthwash, don’t eat, drink or rinse after.  It’s best to do the rinse at night so that the active ingredients can stay in contact with the teeth longer.

Don’t forget that mouthwash is just an addition to your hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day and flossing will help keep teeth strong and beautiful!

Dr. Jadav

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry team! As everyone is making resolutions, here are some that can benefit your beautiful smile!

1.       Brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste.

2.       Floss nightly.

3.       Avoid sugary, chewy or gummy foods because they get stuck in the nooks and crannies of teeth and cause cavities to form. This includes “healthy” foods like raisins/fruit leathers and gummy vitamins.

4.       Limit sweet or acidic drink intake like juices, sodas and energy drinks. This includes organic 100% juices.

5.       Increase water intake.

6.       Increase cavity-fighting foods like cheese, yogurt, leafy greens and nuts.

We hope you get to incorporate some or ALL of these ideas for a healthy 2017!

Take care,

Dr.  Jadav

Holiday Toy Drive

We hope everyone had a delicious and memorable Thanksgiving with family and friends! Here, at Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we're kicking off the holiday season with a local toy drive and we need your help!

We’ll be collecting new, unwrapped toys and clothing between now and Friday, December 23rd at our office. These items will be shared with the children at the Oncology Ward at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Katy. Below is a list of the items on the “wish list”.

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Please keep in mind they kindly asked us NOT to gift gently used stuffed animals or beanie babies, sporting equipment, toy guns, makeup/lotion, religious items, edible or glass items.

We thank you for teaming with Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry to make a child’s holiday season brighter! Please don’t forget that we’re open the week before the holidays when the kiddos are out of school. Call soon to make your appointment. These spots are filling up fast! We can’t wait to catch up with all of you!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

"Mr. Fishy"

For most procedures, we use what is called an Isolite. At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we lovingly call it “Mr. Fishy”.

It’s a plastic piece that comes in many sizes. It helps your child stay open, keep the area dry with suction, provide light for the dentist, shorten treatment time, and protect your child’s tongue and cheeks. Our assistants are well-trained in picking out the right size for your child. Once one is chosen, they will show it to your child. They’ll get to see the light, hear the suction, and feel how soft it is. Then, the assistant will try it in so that your child can see how it will feel when the dentist starts treatment. We find that this show and tell helps with anxiety especially for patients that are new to “Mr. Fishy”.

Some patients have difficulty tolerating it. Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav may recommend laughing gas to help with gagging and anxiety. If patients are still having trouble, they will review other options with you. We hope this helps explain why and how we use the Isolite system.

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

Halloween Candy Buy Back

It's time for Smiles For Kids Pediatric Dentistry's annual Halloween tradition!  We’re gearing up for the Halloween Candy Buy Back program! We are joining with Operation Gratitude in donating candy and toothbrushes to our troops.

 

Every child is eligible to receive $1 per pound for all unopened, uneaten Halloween candy. We encourage all of our participants to also write a nice note or letter to the troops so that we can deliver them alongside toothbrushes and the candy.  The program starts on Tuesday, November 1st and ends on Friday, November 11th.

Halloween is just around the corner and we’ve already heard some of your creative and fun costume ideas. We hope you have a safe and fun time trick or treating!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry

How are sealants placed?

At Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Lindhorst and Dr. Jadav strongly believe in placing sealants. It’s a protective layer that we place on teeth that goes deep into the “nooks and crannies” of teeth. This layer helps keep food and bacteria out of these vulnerable areas. This, in turn, helps prevent against cavities from forming.

You may wonder how exactly we place sealants. Here’s a step by step rundown of how we place them.

 
 

We first prepare the tooth by brushing it. Once it is clean, it is very important that it stays dry during this process so that the material can adhere to the tooth. We often use an Isolite to help with this. It’s a plastic piece that goes into your child’s mouth to help keep them open and allow the dentist to visualize that area. It also helps dry the area with the suction and protect your child’s cheeks and tongue.  Once we have the tooth isolated, we place a solution that etches the tooth to prepare it for the sealant. The tooth is then rinsed off and dried again. The sealant is then placed on with a small brush and hardened with a curing light. We then carefully rinse the tooth and surrounding areas.

 

Patients can eat or drink right away after the sealant placement. We always warn patients not to chew on ice or hard candy because the sealants can break. Once they break, they no longer can fully protect the tooth from cavity formation. Also, patients still have to practice good oral hygiene and floss. These sealants do not protect against cavities that form between teeth. Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav will check the sealants at every six month check-up.

If you have any other questions or concerns about sealants, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Dr. Jadav

Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry