Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Back to school for kids is always a nervous and exciting time for children and parents alike. What teacher will they get? Will their friends be in the in class with them?

One often overlooked item is school lunch and their associated snacks. Most schools these days have certain policies of trying to be more healthy and better educate kids and parents in nutrition.

As you head back to school, keep in mind what kind of foods and beverages you are giving your children to keep them energized going through their day. Many research studies have shown the importance of nutrition and its role in academic success. A good lunch (and healthy breakfast) can give kids the energy they need to stay focused throughout the entire school day.

Some parents choose to pack their children’s lunch box with fruit juice and other sweet drinks such as Gatorade. Cookies, fruit gummies, and candy bars are also chosen quite often for kids lunch snacks. Most children have little to no chance to practice dental hygiene while at school. As a result, these children are placed  at an increased risk for tooth decay. Remember that it is not just how much sugar our kids consume that causes tooth decay it is the length of time the sugar is left in the mouth, and sticky sugars stay the longest.

Tips For Choosing Healthy Lunches and Snacks

-Involve your kids in decisions.Make a grocery list, get kids excited about shopping for items for their lunchboxes. Teach them the proper food choices to make and understand why bad choices are bad for them. Also, gives them control of what they are eating. A child who chooses their lunch and helps prepare their own food is more likely to eat it. Colorful, fun wrappings, baggies and containers make items more visually appealing too.

-Think High Protein. Chicken, tuna, and egg salads can contain a lot of protein, which is great for a mid day pick me up. Do not use heavy amounts of Mayonnaise, as it is high in fat content. A good substitute many kids love is plain regular or greek yogurt, or olive oil mayo.

-Make Whole Wheat, whole grain choices. Try whole wheat bread, pitas, bagels, or sandwich thins to keep sandwiches interesting and healthy. Brown rice, wheat or brown rice pasta,with beans, veggies or cheese,  are a great alternative as well. Whole grains stick with you longer than white flour breads, and are not converted to sugar directly in your mouth as white flour and white rice are.

-Vegetables can be FUN! Vegetables can be made interesting for children by pairing them with fun dips. These dips can include low fat ranch, peanut butter, and hummus. Bright colorful pasta salads, and colorful veggie/bean salads are delicious and satisfying.

-Keep warm foods warm, cold foods cold with a Thermos, or ice pack. Use a thermos to pack favorite soups (like chicken soup or even meatballs) and leftovers and keep them warm until lunchtime arrives, many snack containers come with convenient re freezable inserts to keep foods cool. Kids love hot meals at lunch in winter time, and cool, refreshing treats in summer.

-Make sandwiches interesting. Use a cookie cutter to create fun sandwich shapes like dinosaurs, stars, or even hearts, you can even shape fruits such as pineapple and melon with cookie cutters.

-Avoid sweets and candy. Instead of sweets or candy, try fun packs of squeezable applesauce, fresh fruit, nuts, yogurt, baked potato chips, wheat pretzels and cheese as snacks.

-If kids buy lunch at school review the school lunch menu at the beginning of the week with your child, and decide with your children the days that they would like to buy lunch and what choices are best for them.

-Chew Gum after meal. A chewing gum that is sweetened with xylitol is an excellent way to help prevent cavities.  Chewing gum, helps pull some of the stickier items out from between teeth, it also increases saliva which reduces the acid content in the mouth, and the xylitol inhibits cavity causing bacteria. It is easy to pack a piece of chewing gum in lunch box for a child to chew for a few minutes ( or have them count to 50) after lunch, and a napkin to place it in after chewing. Make sure to instruct them to dispose of gum when discarding other lunch trash, and NOT to bring it to recess. This habit will reduce sugar and acid content in mouth, and lower the risk of tooth decay.

Hope everyone has a great school year and keeps up their dental hygiene and schedules dental examinations as needed.

Maintaining good dental health can often be overlooked in our busy lives. A small investment of time in our smiles can lead to a lifetime of good dental health. The benefits go beyond dental health as recent research has linked dental health to our general health. Below you will find some of the top reasons to invest a little extra time to keeping your smile healthy and shining bright.

Dental Health Investment

-Maintaining General Health. Recent research has linked periodontal disease to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even alzheimer’s disease.

-Save Money. That is right, keeping up with dental care maintenance will end up saving you money in costly procedures over time.

-Bad Breath (Halitosis) Prevention. Research has shown that over 80% of all persistent bad breath issues are due to an underlying dental health issue. Regular dental cleanings along with diligent at home care will help prevent bad breath.

-Increased Self Confidence. Having a shiny, bright, healthy smile will allow yourself to feel better. People notice you and this leads to increased self confidence as you venture out into the world.

-Prevent Osteoporosis. Maintaining good dental hygiene will help protect bone density in the jaws. Missing teeth cause the bones of the jaw to remodel and resorb. Also, studies have shown that those who care for their bodies also choose better nutritional choices which can help maintain bone structure throughout the body.

-Maintain A Youthful Appearance. As we age our faces change, the skin around the face becomes less elastic leading us to look older. Maintaining good dental health allows the teeth to remain in place helping to keep the skin around the mouth firmer and more youthful looking.

-To Teach Our Children. Children learn from their parents. If you set a good example and make dental health a priority at a young age you will be giving a wonderful gift of dental health to your children.

-To Prevent Oral Cancer. The best defense against oral cancer is early diagnosis. Seeing your dentist regularly for dental examinations will allow your dentist to complete an oral cancer screening to detect any changes in your oral tissues. Oral cancer is highly curable if diagnosed early enough.

Conclusion

Dental health is an investment in our futures. Do you want a future filled with pain free, healthy smiles or one where you are spending time and money fixing your smile? For many it is an easy choice. Devoting a few minutes twice a day to dental health can lead to a lifetime of smiles for you and your family.

As children grow and become more active in contact sports, it is important to keep them fully protected. This might include the proper fitting helmet, proper pads for their shoulders, and even shin guards. One very important item is often overlooked,  the mouthguard. Many parents believe that the one you buy at the local sporting goods store is just as good as a custom made one. Recent research may prove otherwise.

Custom Mouthguards Protect Against Concussions?

Recent research published in an issue of General Dentistry may prove that custom mouthguards can reduce the risk of concussions while playing contact sports. The study followed over 400 high school football players from multiple teams. Approximately half the athletes were fitted with custom made mouthguards while the other half received the standard, over the counter, one size fits all, mouthguard. Helmet was not a factor as all participants wore similar style helmets. A player wearing an over the counter mouthguard had a doubled risk of concussion. About 8% of the players wearing over the counter mouthguards were diagnosed with concussions.

This is significant because while there are many factors that go into a player recieving a concussion, a custom made mouthguard can reduce that risk. The reduction in risk is believed to be from the custom mouthguard absorbing some of the shock, stabilizing the head and neck, and limiting movement of the jaw when applied with a direct force. One key factor the researchers found was in the thickness of the mouthguard. Most standard over the counter mouthguards are only about 1.65 millimeters in thickness while custom mouthguards are over 3.5 millimeters. That is a significant difference and may help explain the benefits of a custom mouthguard.

Types of Sports Mouthguards

Athletic mouthguards come in a few varieties. These include the following:

-Stock Athletic Mouthguards. This mouthguard is typically the least expensive and offers the least protection for your athlete.  It is readily available in most sporting goods stores. Their prices range from a few dollars to about 25-30 dollars maximum. These sports mouthguards are ready to be used right out of the package. This type of sports mouthguard has some serious drawbacks. They tend to be quite bulky and lack any real retention. These tend to interfere with speech as well and breathing. These mouthguards  often need to be modified by the user and thus reduce protection and retention.

-”Boil and Bite” Sports Mouthguards. This is the most common type of sports mouthguard in use today. These are available at most sporting goods and drug stores. This type of guard is fairly inexpensive. These are better fitting and more protective than the stock athletic mouthguards. These tend to fit better since they are form- shaped by each athlete’s mouth and teeth. Hot water is all that is needed to adjust the plastic comfortably around the teeth and gums. These sports mouthguards are made from a thermoplastic material that is immersed in boiling water and then formed in the mouth using biting, finger, and tongue pressure. Even this can be a challenging task for some so it may be best to contact your dentist when using even these to ensure they fit properly and cover the teeth sufficiently for protection. These sports mouthguards come in only a few stock sizes so they may not fit all participants the same. Many studies have shown that these boil and bite sports mouthguards do not adequately cover all the teeth in a high percentage of high school and collegiate athletes.

-Custom Fit Sports Mouthguards. These sports mouthguards are custom designed and fit just for each individual athlete. These are available thru your dentist. The entire process takes about one week to complete. The initial visit will include taking an impression of the upper teeth. This allows the dentist to create a model of your teeth which is then sent off to a dental laboratory. The laboratory technician will make a custom sports mouthguard adjusted  to fit each athlete’s preferences and needs. The sports mouthguard should cover all teeth on the upper arch to be considered to be offering adequate protection. The major advantages to a custom nightguard include:

-Protection of teeth, jaw, and from concussions.

-Increased retention

-Breathability. The custom appliances have been shown to allow for a better airway to help get the air you need.

-Thinner material to allow for better breathing while maintaining the protection.

-Longer lasting. While custom sports mouthguards will cost more it will last a significantly longer time than the other versions mentioned earlier.

-Personalized. You may choose your color so that you know it’s yours, or team colors/logos. You can also have your name imbedded in the sports mouthguard (a good example of this is the proform sports mouthguards) so that it can be readily identified. You do not want to mistakenly put someone elses sports mouthguard into your mouth!

-More hygienic. the higher quality material is less likely to embed bacteria within your sports mouthguard.

-Comfort. The custom fit allows for a much more comfortable feel.

Tips For Caring For Your Mouthguard

-After each use, brush and rinse your mouthguard with a toothbrush and cool water.

-Keep your mouthguard in a well-ventilated, plastic storage box when not in use. Your dentist will give you a colored case for your mouthguard.

-Stay away from excessive heat. Do not store your mouthguard in direct sunlight or in a hot car. The heat can melt the mouthguard, altering the way it fits in your mouth and resulting in less protection.

-When you see your dentist twice a year for your regular cleanings, bring your mouthguard with you. Your dentist can give your mouthguard a thorough examination and cleaning. This will ensure it is in proper form.

-Contact your dentist if you have any questions or concerns about your mouthguard.

Conclusion

Concussions and facial trauma are a big issue in professional sports as well as youth athletics. More research is needed, but the above study shows the value of having a custom mouthguard fabricated for your child by your dentist. The benefits of protection will far outweigh the cost from an injury (either medical or dental). Talk to your dentist about custom sports guards for your little athlete, you’ll be glad you did.

Calcium is an important building block in our diets. The proper amount of calcium results in strong, healthy bones as well as strong teeth. Vitamin D plays a supportive role, and should be understood for it’s important role in helping the body absorb the incoming calcium. Many parents want to know if their child is receiving enough calcium to keep healthy and develop properly. This is especially true for those children who do not like to drink milk (8 ounces contains about 300 mg of calcium).

Guidelines For Calcium Intake

This amount needed varies by the age of the child:

-1 to 3 years old — 700 milligrams daily

-4 to 8 years old — 1000 milligrams

-9 to 18 years old — 1,300 milligrams

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, only one in five children meets even the minimum standards for calcium intake. But most kids ages 9 to 18 do not get the recommended 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day.

Foods To Ingest For Calcium (Besides Milk)

Sometimes a refusal to drink milk is just a matter of taste. A good option is to try to use flavored milks, such as chocolate or strawberry milk (which has less sugar than juice or soda), and drinkable yogurt, which is loaded with calcium. Another good way to make milk taste better are by making milkshakes or healthy smoothies.

-Yogurt (8 ounces contains about 400 mg of calcium)

-Cheese (Think grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, or lasagna)

-Custard

-Rice Pudding

-Calcium-fortified orange juice

-Calcium-fortified soy milk

-Calcium-fortified breads and cereals

-Beans

-Broccoli

-Spinach

-Tofu

If your child is allergic to milk or is lactose intolerant, you may not be able to use many of the above suggestions to help increase their calcium intake. Luckily, there are many products and supplements available to provide the necessary calcium that your child requires.

Conclusion

Calcium is an essential part of a healthy diet for children and adults. The importance of the proper amounts of calcium found in our nutrition is vital to the proper development of a child. Without proper intake of calcium, growth can be stunted, teeth and bones may not be as strong. There are many options available to provide your child with the right amount of calcium. Find what works best for you and your family!