November 2nd, 2023
Kids are constantly active and constantly growing. No wonder they’re constantly hungry! When it’s time for a snack, here are some tips to make between meal treats timely, tasty, and tooth-friendly.
Keep snacks to a minimum
Every time we eat, we’re also providing food for the bacteria in our mouths. Bacteria use sugars to produce acids. These acids weaken our enamel and can lead to cavities. Luckily, we have a natural way of protecting our teeth. Saliva washes away food particles and bacteria, and even provides substances that strengthen our teeth in the hours between meals.
When we eat throughout the day, there is no chance for this recovery period to take place. Small children aren’t usually able to get through the day without a few snack periods, which is perfectly normal. Just try to make sure that snacking doesn’t become all-day grazing!
Avoid foods that contain sugar and carbohydrates at snack time
We know that sugar leads to an increased chance of cavities because bacteria convert this sugar into acids that damage our enamel. But carbohydrates should also be in the no-snack zone. Why? Because carbohydrates break down into sugar very quickly. So while you wouldn’t offer your child a daily mid-afternoon snack of sodas and chocolate bars, those muffins, doughnuts, chips, and bagels should be on the “special treat” list as well.
Luckily, we are left with many healthy and convenient choices when your child needs a nibble.
- Crunchy, crisp fresh fruits and vegetables provide vitamins as well as a gentle scrubbing action to help clean teeth. They are also rich in water, which helps us produce the saliva that naturally washes away food particles and bacteria.
- Low-fat yogurts and cheeses provide essential calcium for strong teeth and the vitamin D that helps us absorb calcium.
- Whole grain breads, cereals, and crackers are healthier than products made only with white flour because they retain valuable vitamins and minerals that have been removed from refined grains.
- Lean meats, peas, legumes, and eggs provide protein that helps build connective tissue and maintain tooth structure.
- Water helps stimulate saliva production and provides cavity-fighting fluoride. Win/win!
You are constantly looking for ways to make your children’s lives better. Mix and match any of these foods for a snack that’s not only good for their teeth, but rich in the proteins, vitamins, and minerals needed to keep them active and growing throughout their school years. If you have questions about your child’s dietary needs, feel free to ask Drs. Hollenberg and Ko at our Katy office.
October 26th, 2023
Halloween is an annual event celebrated by both children and adults every October 31. Some scholars claim that it originates from the celebration of Celtic festivals that honored the dead and harvest season. This day marks the end of summer, and the transition to cold winter months ahead. No matter what the origin may be, Drs. Hollenberg and Ko and our team hope all our patients have a fun and safe Halloween!
The History of Halloween
North America predominantly celebrates Halloween by dressing up in costumes, going trick-or-treating to collect candy, and eating an abnormal amount of sweets. This tradition goes back hundreds of years and usually involves celebrations throughout the month of October.
Halloween festivities can also include carving pumpkins, going on hayrides, visiting apple orchards and haunted houses, watching scary movies, attending costume parties, and much more!
- Fifty percent of kids prefer to receive chocolate candy for Halloween, compared with 24% who prefer non-chocolate candy and 10% who preferred gum.
- One quarter of all the candy sold each year in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween.
- The first jack o’ lanterns were actually made from turnips.
- Halloween is the second highest-grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.
- The largest pumpkin ever measured broke the world record in 1993 by weighing in at 836 lbs.
Worried about your child’s teeth?
- Limit the amount of candy he or she consumes each day.
- Have your child brush his or her teeth after eating candy.
- Avoid hard, chewy candies, because they can stick in hard-to-brush places.
- Keep candy out of sight to reduce temptation.
- Don’t buy candy too far in advance so you can limit pre-Halloween consumption.
- Help or encourage your kids to floss.
Moderation is key when it comes to your oral health and celebrating Halloween. Make sure to schedule your child’s next appointment at our Katy office if you notice any issues with his or her teeth. We hope you have a fun and spooky Halloween!
October 19th, 2023
Our team at Katy Kids Dentist, PLLC would like to offer some tips regarding the sometimes dreaded task of brushing a toddler’s teeth.
Much of the trick lies in the positioning. Before you begin, make sure you are in a position of control. This protects both you and your child from injury. Consider how well you can see. If you cannot see clearly, the quality of brushing drops significantly. For instance, if your child is standing, you are likely to see only the bottom teeth well.
Our team finds that the best position for brushing and flossing a toddler is when your child is calm. Have your child lie down on his or her back with arms out to make a T. Sit down just above the head and lightly place your legs over your child’s arms. Using a circular motion, brush all sides of the teeth.
It may sound odd, but approaching the routine this way can make brushing time a cinch! After you’re done, give your child the toothbrush and let him or her have a turn. The benefit of doing the brushing and flossing first is that it gives an example, which your child is more likely to repeat when you’re done.
Different methods work best for different families and children. These practices need to be performed with kindness and care. Be gentle and make this time a happy learning time. Don’t forget to bring your child to our Katy office for regular dental checkups and cleanings. Drs. Hollenberg and Ko can advise you on ways to implement portions of these tips in a way that may work bests for you and your child.
October 12th, 2023
You’ve planned your dream vacation. Your reservations are made. You’re packed and ready. You’ve even scheduled a dental checkup at our Katy office to make sure you catch any potential problems, have finished any major work, and have an up-to-date chart.
But things don’t always go according to even the best of plans. So, what to do if you find you have a dental emergency while traveling? Drs. Hollenberg and Ko and our team have some recommendations for problems that might arise.
- Toothache—Rinse your mouth with warm water and use dental floss to remove any food particles. Never put aspirin directly on a tooth or gum tissue. If the pain persists, call a dentist.
- Cracked or broken tooth—Immediately rinse with warm water to clean the area and apply cold compresses to the face to minimize swelling. Get in touch with a dentist.
- If you lose a tooth—Keep the tooth moist at all times. Put the tooth back in the socket without touching the root if possible. If that is not an option, place the tooth between the cheek and gums or in milk. See a dentist as soon as possible.
Know where to get help if you need it! If you are traveling in the United States, the American Dental Association offers Find-a-Dentist, a website that can locate a member dentist closest to you. If you are traveling to another country, there are steps you can take to prepare for an emergency.
- If you are out of the country and need to locate a dentist, your local embassy or consulate, your hotel concierge, or friends abroad can be a useful resource.
- Before you go, check your insurance to see if you are covered while traveling.
- If you have travel insurance, find out if it covers dental treatment and can provide information on qualified local dentists and translation help, if necessary.
- Good dental care is available in many areas internationally, but it is important to know what standards are present in the countries you plan to visit. The Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures offers a checklist for safe treatment in their “Traveler’s Guide to Safe Dental Care.”
If you have any questions, Drs. Hollenberg and Ko and our team are happy to do all we can to answer them. While it’s unlikely that problems will arise, we are always available if you need to contact our Katy office. Bon voyage, and we look forward to hearing about your trip!