kids

Happy Halloween!

Many of us have already trick-or-treated this past weekend and still some of us wait until the BIG day - Halloween - to fill our bags with sweet treats. We’ve spent the last couple of weeks talking about this time of the year and how to make sure all the treats don’t play tricks with our teeth, so here’s a few last minute tips to help you and your family this Halloween!

  1. Time your Treats! Eat treats right after a meal rather than as a snack or much later on their own. When you are eating a meal, your mouth produces saliva and it’s better to eat the candy when saliva production is in full swing, as it can help to get your mouth back to a neutral state more quickly.

  2. Choose Carefully! This is a good rule for all of us but can be especially true for little kids (especially if you are the one still cleaning their teeth). Try to stay away from the super sticky, hard candies. These can really stick into and between teeth and they can stay there a long time and be very hard to remove. Things like milk chocolate and peanut butter, however, will melt off your teeth quicker and be easier to remove. We aren’t saying chocolate is healthy, we are just saying that a Reese’s might be better than a Jolly Rancher … for your teeth. (let’s be real though… they are all delicious.)

  3. Don’t Rush to the Brush! Ideally you want to wait 20-30 minutes after you consume your candy before rushing to the brush. Immediately after eating sugary treats, the pH level in your mouth is likely acidic, and it can cause your enamel to be softer than usual. Brushing at this time could cause you to damage your enamel or cause erosion. Waiting a little bit can let your mouth and enamel return to a more neutral state, which is better for brushing. Either way, brush gently - no need to ‘scrub’ your teeth. 

  4. Pay Attention to Costumes. Some costumes come with fake teeth or prosthetics that just aren’t made very well. Sharp edges of fake teeth can cut or scrape your gums and some could push on teeth in an unhealthy way. Be cautious of these things and if you are concerned, either: don’t use them or use them in very limited amounts of time. 

We hope everyone has a fun, safe and treat-filled Halloween!

Remember - everything in moderation, brush and floss every day and give us a call with any concerns or issues! 

Back to School with a Smile!

It’s that time of year again! School supplies are purchased (and labeled!), new clothes are ready for those school pictures and the first day of school is upon us. We’ve put together a few tips on how to start the school year off with your best foot (and best smile) forward!

  1. Be sure to start the school year with a dental exam and cleaning. Some schools require that a child entering 4K or Kindergarten have a dental exam before the year starts. Even if that is not the case, be sure your child has their preventative visit before school starts or as soon as possible. If there are any issues, you want to catch them early and not have your child experiencing dental pain while trying to focus on their school work. 
  2. Put up a brushing calendar for your kids! School is all about accountability and hitting goals. A brushing calendar to monitor their daily brushing habits will fit right in. Post this in the bathroom or their bedroom and encourage them to use crayons or stickers to mark down every time they brush. If they get a full month of brushing for 2 minutes, 2 times a day, consider adding a reward for them. See one below!
  3. Pack tooth-healthy lunches and snacks! It’s easy to pack processed foods in your child’s lunch because it’s quick, but remember that fresh fruits and vegetables are also quick and are a much better option for your child’s teeth and overall health. A few healthy options are: cheeses, cucumbers, apples and carrots. These will not only keep your child’s teeth healthy but also give them a great pick-me-up in the middle of the school day!

With a few simple steps you can ensure that your child starts the school year with their best smile possible! Have a great school year, everyone!

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Avoiding a (tooth)Break During Summer Break!

Summer is a time of relaxation and enjoying the simpler things in life, right? Right! However, summer is not the best time to break a tooth. So here are a few tips to help you and, the kids in your life, to protect your teeth over the summer break!

  1. Invest in a mouthguard for your sport-playing kids! This is the time when baseball might be wrapping up but soccer and football are getting ready to start. Whatever the sport, if there is a chance of physical contact or ball-to-head contact, you should invest in a mouthguard for your child. While you can buy these from a local drug store, we recommend that you check with your dentist about making a custom mouth guard for your child. These will fit better, accommodate braces, if necessary, and they will protect your child’s jaw joint, or TMJ. 
  2. Drink water! At Grand Avenue Dental Care, we continue to come back to this. Drinking water throughout the day can help your mouth get back to a neutral pH level and can help protect our teeth from possible decay. In addition, snacking on something like cheese can also help neutralize acidic levels in your mouth from things like fresh fruit, coffee, beer or other delicious summer treats. 
  3. Consider an Occlusal Guard. This is similar to the mouthguard mentioned above, but this one is meant for anyone who has a crown or a bridge in their mouth. An occlusal guard protects both your crown, or bridge, and your natural teeth. Typically this is worn at night-time, when it is more common for people to clench or grind their teeth. The occlusal guard prevents the crown from wearing on your natural teeth and protects the crown as well. This is a great investment to protect the work you might have already done in your mouth.

Taking care of your teeth in the summer, and year-round, mostly comes down to your at-home care and what you do to protect your teeth between dental visits. However, if you ever have a question about your teeth, or your loved one's teeth, don’t hesitate to ask any of us at Grand Avenue Dental Care!

Sharing Smiles from Day One - Your Child's FIRST Dental Visit.

Dr. Hollaway with her little patient, Avery, after her first dental visit!

Dr. Hollaway with her little patient, Avery, after her first dental visit!

Has your child already hit one of these milestones?

  • Did they get their first tooth in?
  • Have they had their first birthday yet?

If they have, they should also be hitting another milestone:

Their FIRST dental visit!

That's right, at Grand Avenue Dental Care, we recommend that you take your child to the dentist when they get their first tooth or when they turn one year old - whichever happens first. 

This is what we call our ‘knee-to-knee’ exam and it’s a great chance for a dentist to take a look at how your child’s teeth are developing. It also allows the child to start getting comfortable at the dentist, and the parent the opportunity to ask questions about at-home care and eating habits. 

Here is Dr. Hollaway performing a knee-to-knee exam for Avery, while Avery rests on her Dad's lap. 

Here is Dr. Hollaway performing a knee-to-knee exam for Avery, while Avery rests on her Dad's lap. 

The goal of this early exam is prevent decay and development problems and to develop a relationship with the patient from a young age. We hope to start the relationship early and encourage even our youngest patients to come every 6 months for their preventative visits. 

For more information about other issues or concerns you might want to discuss with your dentist early, check out an earlier blog post here.

If your child has hit one of their FIRST milestones and still needs their first dental appointment,

call us today at 262-673-7826 to schedule!

Have You Scheduled Your Child's Summer Dental Visit?

Summer is here! And it’s almost official (June 21!). So, it’s time for staying up late, bonfires on weeknights and crazy camp schedules, right? Well, yes. Many of us at Grand Avenue Dental Care have young children and understand the busy-ness of summer all too well. That is why we recommend that you schedule your family's dental visits right away. 

For some of us, we have young ones who are just starting 4k or kindergarten this coming year. For these kiddos, there is usually a dental examination that is required by the school district before registration. For others, we know that our kids are overdue for their cleaning or they might need some dental treatment to address some areas of decay. In both of these situations, you should call your dentist now and get these appointments scheduled. 

We all know how the summer can fly. Before we know it, it will be August 15th and we will have mere weeks before the chaos of the school year starts back up. This is the kind of situation that we want our patients to avoid. By calling to schedule your appointments now, you will reserve your ideal time, check another to-do item off of your list and be able to enjoy the rest of your summer as lackadaisically as you can. No rush involved. Sounds nice, right?

As a way to celebrate all that is summer, we are offering a Summer Sealant Special!  A sealant is a bit of material that is painted on to the biting surface of the tooth to protect the grooves of the tooth from decay. They are a wonderful thing for both kids and adults, but can be particularly helpful in preventing cavities in younger children who are still perfecting their brushing habits! 

From now until September 1st, 2018, all sealants will be 1/2 off! That’s a savings of over $25.00!

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Call us today and take advantage of our Summer Sealant Special and get one more step closer to knocking that to-do list out of the park!