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In the enchanting world of pediatric dentistry, a perplexing mystery continues to baffle parents and dental professionals alike: why do some kids get cavities and others don’t? While some kids seem to navigate the sugary terrain of childhood without a single cavity, others find themselves in the dentist’s chair more frequently than their peers. So, what exactly lies beneath this pediatric dentistry mystery? Dr. Matt Hillman is here to explain.

If your child is prone to cavities, a visit to our pediatric dental clinic in Overland Park, KS, can help solve this confounding mystery. Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids at (913) 685-9990 to request an appointment today!

In today’s post, we explore common reasons why some kids are prone to cavities while others aren’t.

The Wonderful World of Oral Bacteria

Our mouths are teeming with a vast array of bacteria, with experts estimating that some 700 species exist in the oral cavity alone

While some of these microbes are beneficial, others can lead to cavities. Indeed, an overgrowth of harmful bacteria can lead to enamel erosion, which is the leading cause of cavities. 

Therefore, keeping the microbial landscape in a child’s mouth in harmonious balance is key to fighting cavities. Parents can help prevent dental decay through a healthy diet and by monitoring dental hygiene practices.

Smile-Saving Saliva

The unsung hero of cavity prevention is saliva. This seemingly simple fluid holds a treasure trove of protective elements, including minerals (like calcium and phosphate) that can help remineralize weakened enamel

Pediatric dentistry fact: Some children naturally produce more saliva or saliva with a higher mineral content, providing an internal defense against cavity formation. This variability in saliva composition may explain why certain kids seem almost immune to dental decay.

Diet and Dental Health

Dietary habits also play a crucial role in the cavity conundrum. While we know that excessive sugar consumption is a primary contributor to cavities, some children may have a heightened susceptibility to the damaging effects of sugar on their teeth. 

Genetics’ Influence on Little Grins

Some children may inherit strong enamel and a robust immune response that helps fend off harmful bacteria. 

On the flip side, genetic factors could also contribute to weaker enamel or a less efficient defense system. As a result, these children may be more likely to develop cavities despite their best oral hygiene efforts.

Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles

Beyond the biological factors, lifestyle choices and oral hygiene practices add another layer to the mystery. Children who establish good dental habits early on (including regular brushing, flossing, and attending regular pediatric dentistry check-ups) may naturally have a lower risk of cavities

Have a pediatric dentistry mystery? We can solve it!

While the mysteries surrounding cavity susceptibility persist, pediatric dentists are not without tools to address the puzzle. Advances in diagnostic techniques allow for early identification of risk factors, enabling targeted interventions to prevent cavities before they take hold. If you’d like to discuss cavity prevention and treatment with Dr. Matt, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, today!

You can reach our team online here, or you can talk to us directly by calling or texting (913) 685-9990 to learn more about your child’s dental health. 

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
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Friday
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8:00am - 4:30pm
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Dentists, with their white coats and shiny tools, often evoke a mix of curiosity and anxiety among adults. But what about kids? Those pint-sized bundles of energy and imagination have their own unique perspectives on the mysterious world of dentistry. So, what do kids think about dentists? Our pediatric dental clinic in Overland Park, KS, is here to give our perspective. 

Dr. Matt Hillman has years of experience helping little smiles grow into healthy and strong grins. If it’s time for your little one to visit a dentist, consider Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS. We have fun and effective solutions that can make going to the dentist a positive experience for your kiddos. Call or text (913) 685-99990 to request an appointment now!

If you’ve ever wondered, “What do kids think about dentists?”, then stick around. In today’s blog, we delve into the whimsical minds of children and explore what they truly think about dentists.

The Tooth Fairy’s Ally

Kids might view their dentist as the one who ensures their teeth are in top condition, ready for collection by the elusive Tooth Fairy. This connection adds a touch of enchantment to the dental experience and makes the dentist a key player in the folklore of childhood.

The Mysterious Dental Tools

Dental tools, with their peculiar shapes and names, can be both intriguing and intimidating to kids. 

The dental chair, the mirror, and the drill may seem like instruments from a futuristic spaceship to the young imagination. Children might concoct wild theories about the purpose of each tool, turning a routine dental visit into an adventurous exploration of uncharted territories.

Stickers, Prizes, and the Treasure Trove

One aspect that often shapes a child’s perception of dentists is the treasure trove of rewards they receive after a successful visit. Stickers, small toys, and even a shiny new toothbrush can transform the dentist’s office into a wonderland of prizes. These little tokens become symbols of triumph over fears, creating positive associations that may stick with kids throughout their lives.

The Dreaded Drill Dilemma

While the prizes and rewards are a hit, the sound of the dental drill can be a different story. 

Many kids harbor a certain level of apprehension about the dreaded drill, envisioning it as a buzzing beast that might invade their mouths. Dentists, aware of this fear, often go the extra mile to make the experience as painless and comfortable as possible.

The Friendly Faces Behind the Masks

Dentists and their assistants, often garbed in masks and gloves, can initially appear as enigmatic figures to kids. However, the magic lies in the moments when these professionals reveal the friendly faces hidden behind the protective gear

Establishing a rapport with young patients and making them feel at ease can turn a dental visit into a positive and memorable experience, fostering trust and dispelling any lingering fears.

Find out what kids think about our dentist in Overland Park, KS!

In the kaleidoscopic world of a child’s imagination, dentists play a unique role, weaving together elements of fantasy, curiosity, and a touch of apprehension. While dental visits may come with a mix of emotions for kids, the friendly faces at Smiles Dentistry for Kids can help make their experiences more pleasant. But don’t take our word for it – read more about what our patients think here!

Want to learn more about what kids think about dentists? Contact Dr. Matt online here or call our team at (913) 685-9990 for more information!

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
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Happy Thanksgiving from your children’s dentist! This time of year, kids often learn about the first Thanksgiving, shared between European settlers and their Native American friends. But your child’s teacher probably hasn’t talked about dental health in the American colonies. And that’s a shame because, when you think about the strides we’ve made since that first Thanksgiving feast, we truly have a lot to be grateful for!

Dr. Matt, Dr. Craven, and the team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving. At our Overland Park, KS, office, we are thankful that you have chosen to trust us with your childrens’ dental health. Enjoy this peek into daily life in colonial America, and enjoy this beautiful celebration with your loved ones. (Just don’t forget to brush your teeth after dinner!)

To join our office family or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

The First Thanksgiving 

When we think about the first Thanksgiving, we usually think about the feast in Plymouth colony. In November 1621, the Pilgrims organized a celebration following the first successful corn harvest in their new land. They invited several of the Wampanoag people, with whom they had formed an alliance. 

It’s important to note that many Native Americans resent this rosy portrait of friendship. Though the European settlers initially befriended the native people, this peace was short-lived. It wasn’t long before fighting broke out, and the many local tribes were deprived of their ancestral land.

Chowing Down in Plymouth

We don’t know for sure what was on that first Thanksgiving menu, but it probably looked a lot different from the feast we enjoy today. For one thing, turkey wasn’t necessarily an option. But the revelers definitely enjoyed venison, since the Native Americans arrived with five deer as a contribution to the meal. And many historians believe that most of the dishes were prepared using Wampanoag spices and cooking methods.

It’s also unlikely that pie – pumpkin or otherwise – was on the menu. Sugar was unheard of among Native Americans, although they did use honey and molasses to sweeten their food. 

The Early American Settlers and Dental Health 

It’s a good thing that the Pilgrims couldn’t feast on dessert because they had enough dental problems as it was! They didn’t have a children’s dentist (or a general dentist) among them. Instead, barber-surgeons trimmed hair, pulled teeth, and performed any other needed health services. And the settlers probably didn’t perform any type of dental hygiene. After all, they didn’t even like to bathe regularly!

All-Natural Remedies among Native Americans

All in all, the Wampanoag and other native tribes likely enjoyed better dental health. Most used “chew sticks” to keep their teeth clean, much like a modern toothbrush. They also chewed mint and other herbs to freshen their breath. And they rubbed charcoal on their teeth – an early form of teeth whitening. 

Contact Your Children’s Dentist Today

Today, we are thankful to have made enormous strides in the way we care for our teeth, including routine exams and cleanings. To schedule an appointment with a great children’s dentist, contact our office today.

Reach us online or call (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
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Sometimes it seems like children are constantly getting sick. But if your child suddenly develops a sore in or around his mouth, it can set your alarm bells ringing. It can also be very unpleasant, especially for small children. Fortunately, your children’s dentist is here to answer your questions and set your mind at ease.

As a father himself, Dr. Matt knows that being a parent comes with a lot of worry. That’s why he and the team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, prioritize parent education. Whether your child has recurring cold sores or a toothache, he is always happy to explain the causes and your treatment options.

Still have questions or looking to schedule an appointment? Contact us today!

What is a cold sore?

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are quite common in children. They are the result of the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Children can be infected by the virus and then not manifest symptoms until another factor causes it to awaken. That’s why fever blisters often appear during times of stress, cold weather, or another illness.

Are cold sores contagious?

HSV-2 is highly contagious! If you or someone in your family has a cold sore, it’s important to avoid kissing, sharing utensils, and using the same towels until the blister has gone away. 

Is there a treatment for cold sores?

Cold compresses and acetaminophen can help to minimize pain, and, in some cases, your children’s dentist may prescribe antiviral medications. 

What is a canker sore?

Canker sores are small ulcers inside the mouth, particularly on the lips, cheeks, or under the tongue. They are usually small and white with a red, inflamed ring. They may appear on their own, or they could develop in clusters. Canker sores usually go away in one to two weeks. They are quite common and affect an estimated 10% of the population.

The cause of canker sores is unknown. In some cases, they can appear as a result of food allergies or a diet low in folic acid. Stress and hormonal changes can also bring about canker sores, but the exact correlation between these events is unknown.

Are canker sores contagious?

No. You cannot pass on canker sores. However, they tend to run in families, so if you suffer from recurring mouth ulcers, there is a greater likelihood that your child will, too.

Is there a treatment for canker sores?

There is no cure for canker sores, but, again, acetaminophen can keep inflammation under control. Dr. Matt may also prescribe a topical numbing medication if pain is particularly bad.

When should I be concerned?

In general, you shouldn’t! 

However, if a baby under six months of age gets a cold sore, you should seek emergency medical treatment.

You should also contact your children’s dentist if cold or canker sores last more than two weeks. If your child has recurring canker sore outbreaks, your dentist or pediatrician may recommend testing to see if there is a dietary cause.

Contact Your Children’s Dentist 

To learn more about children’s oral health or to schedule an appointment, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids. 

Reach us via our website or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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It truly is a pediatric dentistry mystery, where the Tooth Fairy originated. Throughout history and across the globe, parents have built excitement and anticipation around their children’s loss of primary teeth. Indeed, it is a right of passage when a young child begins to see evidence of their growth. Today, Dr. Matt will share some of the folklore around the Tooth Fairy, her mystery, magic, and wonder. Your children will love this!

The American Tooth Fairy

In 1908, Lillian Brown authored an article in the Chicago Tribune encouraging parents to introduce the Tooth Fairy. As the story went, the Tooth Fairy’s token gift prompted children to allow baby teeth to be pulled without tears. Brown suggested a $.05 exchange for each tooth, left under the child’s pillow to help promote the myth.

The average gift left by the Tooth Fairy today is $3.70 in the US, according to a poll by Visa. Other research by Delta Dental shows that in 1998, average payment of $1.80 has risen to $6.23 in 2023! 

Tooth Fairy of the Norse and Vikings

In the 10th Century, Norse parents paid tand-fe, or “tooth fee,” to their children in exchange for lost teeth. Some families would burn or bury a child’s first lost tooth, so he would be spared from hardships later in life. Tradition held that a milk tooth not burned or buried would become cause for an eternal search in the afterlife. 

Another belief was that if a witch found a child’s tooth, she would hold power over that child for his lifetime. 

Also, Viking warriors wore multiple children’s teeth on jewelry to bring good luck and protection. 

The Tooth Mouse of France and Spain

In the 18th Century, French parents told their children of Le Bonne Petite Souris (the Little Mouse). This little critter would leave a coin in exchange for a lost baby tooth. Children placed a lost tooth in their shoes, and the following day voila! Payment appeared in its place.

El Ratoncito Perez, or Perez the Little Mouse, is a similar figure in Spain. Hispanic cultures teach children that El Ratoncito Perez will come at night. He will trade a coin for a tooth left near the child’s bedside.

Other Tooth Children’s Tooth Traditions

Folklore across the globe depicts the “tooth fairy” as a beaver, cat, dog, and squirrel. Some rituals involve throwing lost children’s teeth into the fire, sun, or even between the legs! Parents and children have dropped teeth in mouse holes, placed them in trees, and thrown them over a roof. Stranger still, baby teeth have been purposefully swallowed by the child who lost it, his mother, or a family pet. All of these strange rituals were thought to bring luck, protection, or favor.

We Love the Tooth Fairy!

At Smiles Dentistry 4 Kids, Dr. Matt and our team want your children to enjoy taking great care of their teeth. We help parents and children learn how to brush, floss, and protect baby and permanent teeth from dental disease. Every parent should trust their dentist. We respect the trust our patients and their families place in us. Give us a call in Overland Park at (913) 685-9990 today to schedule your child’s dental appointment.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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With Mother’s Day approaching, we want to take a moment to salute all the amazing moms that are part of our practice family. You are doing a great job, raising happy and healthy kids. Moms have a huge impact on every element of their children’s lives, and this is no less true when it comes to kids’ teeth. You already know that it’s up to you (and dad!) to teach your kids how to brush and floss. But your own oral health, your genes, and your example also have a role to play.

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt and his team partner with children and their parents to provide outstanding pediatric care. At our Overland Park, KS, practice, we prioritize gentle treatment and patient education. If you are looking for the best ways to protect your kids’ teeth, you have come to the right place!

To learn more about children’s dental health or to schedule an appointment for your child, contact our office today

Passing on Cavities

Here’s a fact that may surprise you: cavities are contagious. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria. And just like other types of bacteria, oral microbes can spread from person to person. Alarmingly, babies and small children are most susceptible to contagious cavities because their immune systems are not fully developed.

To keep from passing cavities on to your kids’ teeth, avoid sharing utensils and drinking out of the same cup. Of course, this is especially vital if you have untreated tooth decay. But since decay often goes undiagnosed until the advanced stages, it is important that you visit the dentist regularly for exams.

Genetics and Your Kids’ Teeth

In other ways, your effect on your kids’ teeth is totally out of your control. As much as 60% of a person’s risk for cavities is genetic. Genes affect the strength of your children’s dental enamel, the ability of their saliva to combat bacteria, and their predilection for sweets. Genetics also contributes to a person’s risk for gum disease.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that if you have struggled with cavities or periodontitis, your children are destined to a life of dental problems. Daily hygiene and regular visits to the dentist also determine how likely someone is to enjoy good oral health.

Leading by Example

And that brings us to our last point. Perhaps the biggest way that you can affect your kids’ teeth is by setting a good example of oral care. When you brush and floss daily, your kids are more likely to do so, too. And when you visit the dentist regularly, your kids will accept their own visits as a normal part of life. 

Contact Us to Protect Your Kids’ Teeth 

We know that our moms are working tirelessly and wholeheartedly. We encourage you to keep being proactive about your children’s dental care. If you need additional tips and tricks, or if you are ready to schedule an appointment, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today.

Request an appointment online or call (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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Kids are prone to a lot of illnesses. Sometimes it seems that your child is staying home from school every other week for an ear infection, a stomach bug, or a cough. One sickness you probably don’t worry about too much is gum disease. But the condition is actually quite common among kids. Fortunately, a children’s dentist in Overland Park can provide the care your child needs to protect his smile. 

Dr. Matt and the team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids are committed to providing outstanding care for children of all ages. Our gentle preventive care can reduce the threat of gum disease and prevent dental damage if it does occur. 

To learn more about children’s oral health, or to schedule an appointment for your child, contact our children’s dentist in Overland Park today.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is a chronic condition that results when bacteria accumulate in the mouth. Moving from the teeth to below the gum line, the microbes make pockets in the soft tissues. Initially, patients will experience gum inflammation, redness, and mild bleeding. As the pockets grow larger, however, patients can experience significant discomfort, increased bleeding, gum recession, and even tooth loss. 

How common is gum disease?

Gum disease is one of the most prevalent health conditions in the country, affecting 46% of US adults over age 30. Additionally, studies suggest that nearly all children and adolescents display some signs of gum inflammation and infection

Most children have the milder form of gum disease, gingivitis, which is reversible with proper care. However, early intervention is essential to prevent tooth loss. Moreover, children who have gum inflammation are more likely to suffer from gum disease as adults. 

How can a children’s dentist in Overland Park treat gum disease?

For gingivitis, a thorough dental cleaning is typically enough to end symptoms and reverse the condition. For children with more advanced periodontitis, more will be needed. A deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, will allow the dentist to remove bacterial pockets from deeper in the gums. During the procedure, he will also smooth tooth roots, since rough spots in these areas can provide an ideal haven for bacteria. The dentist will administer local anesthesia before a deep cleaning, and nitrous oxide is also available for wiggly younger children or those who are particularly anxious.

How can I prevent gum disease?

Working hand-in-hand with your children’s dentist in Overland Park, you can go a long way to prevent your child from developing gum disease. First, make sure he or she is practicing good oral hygiene at home. As soon as baby teeth appear, you should begin brushing them twice a day. Flossing should also begin as soon as your child has two or more teeth that touch.

Second, be sure to schedule routine cleanings and exams for your child. When he or she visits the dentist biannually, Dr. Matt or our hygienist can remove plaque and bacteria before it has a chance to migrate to the gums. 

Contact a Children’s Dentist in Overland Park

To schedule preventive care for your child or to learn more about pediatric gum disease, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today.

You can reach our office online or call (913) 685-9990.

 

 

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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It’s normal for children to be scared of new experiences. And since kids typically only visit the dentist twice a year, it may be several years before your little one remembers and recognizes what is happening. Plus, some kids continue to feel nervous at the thought of dental care. Anxiety is normal. And it is manageable, especially when you visit an experienced children’s dentist in Overland Park

Dr. Matt and his team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids focus exclusively on pediatric care. Our bright, colorful office is full of activities and visuals to keep kids distracted and entertained. Most importantly, our fun-loving and understanding team love working with kids. We know how to help children feel at home so that they look forward to their dental visits year after year.

Contact your children’s dentist in Overland Park to schedule an appointment.

1. Visit the Office in Advance 

For some kids, just being in a new environment can be a harrowing experience. That’s why schools offer a “meet the teacher” event before the first day of the academic year. If your child is ill at ease in new places, come into our office beforehand to get a taste of what to expect.

2. Talk about What Will Happen

In accord with American Dental Association guidelines, Dr. Matt recommends that children have their first dental appointment as soon as their teeth come in or no later than their first birthday. At this age, of course, kids probably don’t have the vocabulary to understand what will happen. But if your child is older, talking about what to expect can really set her mind at ease.

Discuss your own experiences at the dentist, but, of course, use positive language. However, if you have struggled with dental anxiety yourself, it can be helpful to share. Talk about how you overcame your fears and had a positive experience.

3. Read Books about the Dentist

There are lots of books about the dentist. Find an age-appropriate one to read aloud. Use it as an opportunity to discuss your child’s own upcoming appointment. Read it for the first time several weeks prior to the visit, and reread it several times before coming into the office

4. Bring a Lovey

Does your child have a security blanket or favorite stuffed animal? Bring it with you! We welcome all favorite dolls, dogs, bears, blankets, trucks, and more! 

5. Find a Compassionate Dentist Specifically for Kids

There are many gentle dentists who work with anxious patients. Nonetheless, a dentist who exclusively sees children may be better able to set anxious kids at ease

As your children’s dentist in Overland Park, Dr. Matt offers a full range of pediatric dental services, including preventive care and emergency treatment. Your child will see the same dentist every time. We want children to understand what is going on and will use age-appropriate vocabulary to explain every step of treatment. Plus, our welcoming office has cartoons, movies, and video games to keep kids entertained! 

6. Offer Sedation, If Needed

For many kids, our expertise and welcoming environment is enough to set them at ease. But if your child suffers from more severe anxiety or is preparing for an extensive procedure, we can also provide nitrous oxide sedation. More commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is safe and wears off quickly. Our team is appropriately trained in the use of sedation and will carefully monitor your child throughout treatment.

Contact a Fun, Gentle Children’s Dentist in Overland Park

Dental care should be a pleasant experience – both for your child and for you! Contact our office to schedule your stress-free appointment. 

You can reach us online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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With the new school year ramping up, you may already find yourself stuck in a rut when it comes to your child’s lunch. Changing things up not only introduces your son or daughter to a wider range of textures and flavors. Packing different options can also provide more essential nutrients for both physical and oral health. Here your dentist in Overland Park  provides some top suggestions for promoting a healthy smile. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt is committed to your child’s complete wellness. Whether you need more tips for healthy school year routines, or your child requires more advanced dental treatment, we are ready to provide outstanding care for you and your family.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Celery Sticks and Carrots

Carrots and celery help to clean teeth while you’re eating them! Both help to stimulate the production of saliva, which washes away food and bacteria from the mouth. Plus, carrots contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and calcium.

Cheese Sticks

Studies strongly suggest that cheese helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay. This may be because, like celery and carrots, cheese stimulates saliva production. Plus, the casein and whey protein in cheese may help to prevent tooth demineralization

Whole Grain Bread and Crackers 

Next time you pull out the stand-by ham and cheese, be sure to make the sandwich on whole grain bread. Of course, whole grains give your child more sustained energy for the school day. But fiber intake is also important for oral health. According to one study published in the Journal of Nutrition, the risk of gum disease is higher for those who consume low amounts of whole grains.

Nuts

We know that peanuts may not be an option for school lunches, due to the risk of allergies. But other types of nuts can be just as beneficial for oral health. Brazil nuts, cashews, and almonds all help to combat oral bacteria. Walnuts also contain tooth-healthy fiber, iron, thiamine, magnesium, and many other nutrients.

Apples

Apples are beneficial for many of the same reasons that carrots and celery help dental health. It’s true that apples contain lots of natural sugars. But whole apples also have a high amount of fiber to increase saliva and reduce bacteria.

Furthermore, unlike other fruits, apples are low in acidity. Highly acidic fruits, like citrus, can have a corrosive effect on tooth enamel. 

Water

Water is one of the most important things you can pack in your child’s lunch – and encourage them to drink all day long! Fruit punches and drinks in pouches are usually high in sugar and low in nutrients. Even 100% fruit juice, while more nutritious, contains high amounts of sugar. If your child drinks juice at lunch, those sugars are just sitting on their teeth for the rest of the school day. 

Instead, water helps to keep his or her mouth clean until they can get home and brush their teeth. Plus, it doesn’t set your student up for a sugar crash in the midafternoon.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Dentist in Overland Park

Learn more about oral health and how you can protect your child’s precious smile. 

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids online or call 913-685-9990 to make an appointment.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

Get in Touch

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Losing a tooth can be so exciting! What could be more thrilling than waiting for a little fairy to sneak into your bedroom while you are asleep? Children around the world celebrate this milestone – but the tooth fairy doesn’t visit every country. Instead, a diverse range of traditions exist surrounding the loss of a baby tooth. Here, your children’s dentist in Overland Park, KS, takes a look at some of these fun international rituals. 

If your child has begun losing his or her baby teeth, be sure to check in with Dr. Matt. It is important to verify that the permanent teeth are coming in correctly and that your little one is not at risk for dental decay. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we offer complete pediatric dental services for children of ages.

Contact our office today to book an appointment.

The Tooth Fairy

The tooth fairy is a busy lady. In addition to visiting children in the US, she also collects teeth in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Denmark.

And not only does she have to gather all those teeth – she also needs to keep up with economic trends! In a 2018 poll, the average tooth was worth $3.70, up from $1.30 in 1998. 

The Tooth Mouse?

It seems that tiny creatures have a penchant for lost teeth. In Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile, a little mouse collects baby teeth. He goes by different names depending on the country, including El Raton de Los Dientes, Raton Perez, and Ratoncito Perez. 

In most of these countries, the tiny rodents sneak under kids’ pillows to gather teeth. But in Argentina, children leave their teeth in a glass of water. Ratoncito Perez drains the glass and leaves money in the bottom. 

Raton Perez is so popular that there is even a museum dedicated to him in Madrid.

Tossing Those Teeth Around

In many Asian and Middle Eastern countries, children throw their bottom teeth up onto the roof. Lost top teeth get tossed on the floor or under the bed. The hope is that the new incoming teeth will grow towards the old baby teeth.

Some countries are very particular about the way in which teeth are thrown. Children in Indonesia toss their teeth over their shoulders. They’d better have good aim! Tradition states that if they throw straight, the new tooth will come in correctly. But if their aim is off, the new tooth will be crooked.  

In other countries, as children toss their teeth onto the roof, they ask a particular animal to bring them a new one. For instance, children in Sri Lanka hope a squirrel will help them out. In India and Korea, they ask a bird for a new tooth. And in Botswana, they wish upon the moon!

Other Fun Traditions

While certain rituals are widespread, other countries have tooth-related traditions all their own. In Pakistan, children toss their teeth in the river. In Kyrgyzstan, they stuff the teeth in bread to be eaten by a mouse. And in Turkey, they bury teeth in a place that represents a parent’s hopes for the child’s future.

Contact Your Children’s Dentist in Overland Park

We know that your hopes for your child include a lifelong healthy smile. Make sure your little one receives outstanding dental care from a young age!

Contact Dr. Matt and his team online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
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8:00am - 4:30pm
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