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Braces-Friendly Food in Englewood, Thornton and Denver Restaurants

By | Community, Orthodontics | No Comments

Are you thinking about getting braces for your child, or is your kiddo already on her way to a new smile? One of the first things the parents of our Denver area orthodontic patients ask is, “How will braces change my child’s life?” For starters, braces will improve your child’s bite, oral health and self-confidence. But there are also a few changes she’ll need to make along the way, such as avoiding certain foods that could damage the hardware.

Fortunately, there are tons of braces-friendly food, so it shouldn’t be a huge adjustment. Even eating out is totally possible with braces! If you’re looking for a place to eat in Denver with braces, look no further. Read on for Kids Mile High’s ultimate braces-friendly food guide to the best restaurants in Denver, Thornton, and Englewood.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

First things first, let’s start with a little refresher on what foods to eat with braces and what foods to avoid. While it can be a bit of a bummer to be told what to eat, we’re here to assure you (and your kids) that eating with braces can be just as enjoyable as without. You’ll just need to follow a few hard-and-fast rules to keep your child’s teeth safe and healthy.

Basically, you’ll want to avoid anything hard, crunchy, chewy, sticky or any foods you have to bite into. Here’s a list of foods to avoid with braces and why:

    • Hard/crunchy foods: Popcorn, ice, chips or hard candies could potentially break your child’s brackets, which has the potential of delaying progress.
    • Chewy foods: Dense bread, like bagels or pizza crust, can get stuck in braces, making it more difficult to brush and floss effectively.
    • Sticky foods: Sticky items like caramels, candy and bubblegum are off-limits if your child has braces for obvious reasons. Not only do they get stuck in the brackets and wires, but these treats can also pull the brackets off your child’s teeth. And of course, the sugar itself isn’t good for developing mouths!
    • Foods you bite into: Biting into things like apples, corn-on-the-cob, or carrots are dangerous for your child’s hardware, so it’s best to avoid them until the braces come off.

The most important thing to remember about eating with braces is that you need to be extra diligent about oral health care. The brackets and wires create lots of extra little spaces for plaque and bacteria to hide, so your child will need to brush and floss after every snack and meal to avoid harmful build-up.

Where to Eat with Braces in Englewood, Thornton and Denver

Okay, now to the fun part! Let’s talk about all the delicious foods you can eat with braces in the Denver area. While eating out with braces can take a little extra forethought, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are our favorite restaurants in Denver, Englewood and Thornton for anyone — with or without braces

  • Undici Ristorante Italiano – 1200 E Hampden Ave, Englewood, CO – Italian food is one of the best things to eat with braces for many reasons: it’s delicious, it’s usually soft enough for even sensitive teeth, and everyone loves pasta! Undici has some of the best food in Englewood, serving up classic Italian dishes like calamari, spaghetti and meatballs, and tiramisu. The best part? All of the above are perfectly safe for diners with braces, so there’s no need to compromise. Undici is currently open for dine-in and takeout.
  • Garibaldi Mexican Bistro – 3298 S Broadway B, Englewood, CO – For a casual dining experience that even kiddos with braces will love, Garibaldi is the spot. It truly doesn’t get more authentic than this for real-deal Mexican eats in the heart of Englewood. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the chicken mole enchiladas or the daily quesadilla special. Mexican food is an ideal braces-friendly cuisine, as long as you stick to soft tortillas, not the crunchy kind. And be sure to cut everything into bite-sized pieces to guarantee your child’s braces stay safe! Garibaldi is currently open for takeout and delivery.
  • Doug’s Diner – 4243 E 136th Ave #6918, Thornton, CO – Everyone’s favorite diner in Thornton doubles as the perfect place to eat with braces. This neighborhood gem dishes up American classics like omelettes, hamburgers and sandwiches. Kids with braces can still eat at Doug’s, as long as they cut their food into bite-sized pieces or stick to soft menu items like the many delicious omelettes available. Doug’s Diner is currently open for dine-in and takeout.
  • Four Friends Kitchen – 2893 Roslyn St, Denver, CO – This Southern-inspired eatery is a fantastic place to eat out in Denver with braces. Located in Central Park, Four Friends was created by, you guessed it, four friends! So you know it’ll be a friendly restaurant for the whole family. For your braces-clad kiddos, stick to menu items like grits, waffles and mac-n-cheese. Four Friends is currently open for dine-in, takeout and delivery.
  • Ace Eat Serve – 501 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO –  This has got to be one of the coolest restaurants in Denver, whether you have braces or not. With a menu full of unique Asian-inspired dishes and a dozen ping pong tables (yes, really), you and your kids are guaranteed to have a great time. Most things on the menu are safe for braces, including rice bowls, noodle bowls, bao buns, and especially the peanut butter Thai rolled ice cream (just watch out for those crunchy peanuts!). As long as you avoid any tough meats like the crispy beef, you should be in the clear. Ace Eat Serve is currently open for dine-in, takeout and delivery — and ping pong!

Did we miss one of your favorite local restaurants? We’d love to hear all about it at your next appointment with Kids Mile High. Contact us today to book.

Children and Gum Disease

By | Kids Dentistry | No Comments

Most of us think of gum disease as an adult problem that only affects us later in life. Of course, as pediatric dentists in Central Park, Englewood and Thornton, we know that gum disease (and especially its precursor gingivitis) are extremely common in children and teens. Gingivitis and gum disease cause puffy, swollen or red gums that bleed when brushing or flossing. Caused by a build-up of food particles, bacteria and plaque, gum disease in kids and teens can lead to significant tooth damage and health concerns if left untreated.

Though signs of gum disease are typically first seen in adolescence, the beginning stages can begin at any point in childhood. That’s why it’s so important for kids to learn healthy oral hygiene habits from an early age. At Kids Mile High, it’s our job to help set your child up for lifelong tooth health. Here, we’re answering all your questions about kids and gum disease, including:

  • What are common symptoms of gum disease in kids?
  • Why do kids get gingivitis or gum disease?
  • How can I treat my child’s gingivitis at home?

What is Childhood Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. Characterized by inflamed gums, bad breath and loose teeth, gum disease can affect children, teens and adults alike. There are three types of gum disease in children: chronic gingivitis, localized aggressive periodontitis and generalized aggressive periodontitis.

Chronic gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is not only very treatable, it’s preventable with proper brushing and flossing and regular dental care. Gingivitis itself is a non-destructive form of periodontal disease but untreated, it can lead to more serious, damaging periodontitis.

Localized aggressive periodontitis primarily affects the first molars and incisors in teens and young adults. Oddly, patients with this type of periodontal disease don’t usually have much plaque, but experience severe loss of the alveolar bone. That’s the part of the jaw that holds the roots of your teeth and keeps them in place, so it’s pretty important!

Lastly, with generalized aggressive periodontitis, your child will have very inflamed gums and heavy build-up of plaque and tartar. Over time, this condition can weaken the teeth and cause them to become loose, leading to tooth loss.

Gum Disease in Kids: What to Look Out For

Do you think your child might have gingivitis or gum disease? There’s no reason to panic. It’s a common part of childhood and adolescence and if you catch it early, it will not cause lasting damage. If you suspect your child is suffering from periodontal disease in any form, it’s always best to visit your pediatric dentist. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the main symptoms of gum disease in kids:

  • Swollen, red or puffy gums
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away with regular brushing and flossing
  • Receding gums
  • Gums that bleed during or after brushing and flossing
  • Loose teeth that are not caused by any other impact or force

However, your child’s symptoms alone are not always enough to diagnose childhood gingivitis. A baby with sore gums most likely has a tooth erupting, not gum disease. Loose teeth are also not a cause for concern on their own because all kids lose their baby teeth to make space for their adult ones. But if, for example, your two year old has swollen gums and bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away, it may be an early sign of childhood gum disease.

Why Does My Child Have Gum Disease?

If your child does in fact have gum disease, you’re probably wondering what caused it in the first place. As we’ve mentioned, gingivitis and periodontal disease are characterized by excess plaque, bacteria and tartar that accumulate on the teeth over time. In most cases, the condition is caused by poor oral hygiene, such as not brushing or flossing your teeth, which allows all that gunk to build up. But even with proper dental habits, kids can still develop gingivitis. There are several additional causes of gum disease in children and teens, and risk factors that may make them more likely to develop the condition.

Puberty (and all the wonderful hormonal changes that come along with it) can contribute to the development of gum disease in teens. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, heightened progesterone and possibly estrogen during puberty raise blood circulation to the gums. This in turn increases the gum’s sensitivity to any irritation, including food and plaque, causing sore, swollen and red gums. These symptoms will go away as puberty progresses, but teens need to be extra diligent about brushing and flossing their teeth during this time to avoid further gum disease in the future.

Additional risk factors for childhood periodontal disease include various diseases, such as Kindler syndrome, type 1 diabetes, Down’s syndrome and Papillon–Lefèvre syndrome. Genetics may also increase your child’s risk of gum disease.

Treating Children with Gum Disease

Gum disease, as with all health concerns, is best treated early. If possible, it’s better to prevent it before it even starts! This is absolutely possible with proper oral health care, including brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once per day, and maintaining regular visits with your dentist. All of the above applies to treating gum disease in children, teens and adults.

So teach your child how to brush and floss from an early age, be a good role model by demonstrating positive oral health behavior, and always stay up to date on your child’s dentist appointments. Is your child due for a visit with the doctors at Kids Mile High? Contact us today to book.

kids-mile-high-central-park-office

The Denver Kids Mile High Location Has a New Name!

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It’s official: our Denver pediatric dentistry office is now Kids Mile High Central Park!

As you know, the Stapleton neighborhood was recently renamed Central Park following a unanimous vote in mid-August. The name change came as a response to the growing Black Lives Matter movement and the Kids Mile High team is proud to follow suit.

Even though our northeast Denver practice has a new name, you can still expect the same fantastic service you’ve come to love at Kids Mile High. As Central Park pediatric dentists, our number one goal is to make dentistry … well, fun! We know that might sound like a tall order, but if you’ve visited our Englewood, Thornton or Central Park pediatric dentistry locations, you know we deliver.

Our kid-friendly offices were designed with our patients’ comfort and enjoyment in mind. They’re bright, engaging, interactive and downright awesome. When you walk in the door, get a high-five from Dr. Paddy while showing off your skills on the in-office putting green. Admire Dr. Roger’s Mickey Mouse shoes or peek inside at the aquatic life in the 250-gallon fish tank. Once you experience the exceptional pediatric dental services in our relaxed, cheerful environment, you’ll never look at going to the dentist the same again!

Aside from our interactive offices and fun approach to pediatric dentistry, Kids Mile High offers only the best in kids’ dental care. We use state-of-the-art technology to prevent, diagnose and treat your child’s oral health concerns. Using preventive dentistry and orthodontic intervention when necessary, we stop serious problems before they start and can tackle even the most complex issues with ease.

Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger and Dr. Owens are experts in creating healthy smiles for patients from infancy through adolescence. As Central Park’s pediatric dentistry specialists, they’re committed to helping children develop amazing oral health habits for life. Together, the Kids Mile High team shares a mission to create a fun, positive dental experience for kids and parents alike.

Join us in celebrating the new name of our Denver location. Better yet, come check out the office for yourself! Contact us to book an appointment at Kids Mile High Central Park today.

teeth-grinding-child-care

Your Guide to Teeth Grinding in Children

By | Kids Dentistry | No Comments

Ever heard of bruxism? You’re not alone. Even though it’s one of the most common kids’ oral health concerns we treat at Kids Mile High, it’s not a term that most of our Thornton, Central Park and Englewood pediatric dentistry patients are familiar with. You probably know it better by it’s non-technical name: teeth grinding. While it can be cause for concern in some cases, it’s a totally normal part of childhood that typically resolves itself on its own.

Taking care of your little ones’ teeth is our number one priority at Kids Mile High, from infancy all the way through adolescence. We know that navigating your child’s oral health can be confusing at best. If you’re hearing grinding noises from your child’s bedroom at night, it can be downright scary! Unfortunately, there can be long-term effects of bruxism if left untreated and it may also be a sign of a bigger issue. Here, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about teeth grinding in children and what to do about it.

Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?

If your child is grinding his or her teeth, you might be wondering why it’s happening in the first place. The exact cause of teeth grinding in children is unknown, but most experts agree that it’s a response to tooth discomfort due to normal oral development, such as emerging or misaligned teeth. If the cause of tooth grinding is developmental, kids will usually stop on their own once all of their adult teeth come in.

Sometimes, though, teeth grinding has nothing to do with tooth development. When teeth grinding is ongoing, it may be caused by emotional upset, such as stress or anxiety. Believe it or not, children deal with a lot of stress in their young lives, from school pressure like getting good grades and making friends, to changes at home like moving or a death in the family. Children thrive in routines and any major changes can lead to physical reactions — including bruxism.

Additional causes of teeth grinding include reactions to medications, hyperactivity, being tongue tied, or medical conditions such as cerebral palsy.

Effects of Teeth Grinding

Many parents never even know their kids are grinding their teeth. That doesn’t make you a bad parent! Bruxism usually goes away on its own, so you may never have the chance to worry about it! If you know your child is grinding his or her teeth, you’re probably concerned about the effects of bruxism for your child’s oral health.

Some children may experience temporary symptoms, such as headaches or earaches, but these typically go away when tooth grinding stops. For children who continue to grind their teeth, you may see some more serious side effects, such as damage to tooth enamel, chipped teeth, increased temperature sensitivity, facial pain, or jaw issues.

Teeth Grinding: What to Look Out For

The most important thing to remember about teeth grinding in children is that it is generally not something you need to worry about. It’s a normal part of childhood oral development that should resolve itself eventually. That said, there are always exceptions. Teeth grinding isn’t good for your child’s teeth and can cause wear and tear in the long run. Asking yourself, “Is my child grinding her teeth?” Here’s how to tell if your child has bruxism.

  • Grinding noises while your child is sleeping
  • Complaints of a sore jaw
  • Changes in eating habits or discomfort with chewing
  • Chipped teeth
  • Behavioral changes

Any combination of these symptoms can be a sign that your child is grinding his or her teeth. As we’ve mentioned, kids usually outgrow this habit on their own but if you notice that it’s not going away, err on the side of caution and contact your Central Park, Englewood or Thornton pediatric dentist.

How to Treat Children’s Teeth Grinding

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: children usually stop grinding their teeth on their own. But simply waiting for teeth grinding to go away can be somewhat stressful for parents. How long does it take for kids to stop grinding their teeth? When is it time to see a pediatric dentist for bruxism? While intervention for bruxism is not usually required, a pediatric dentist like the doctors at Kids Mile High can give you the guidance and reassurance you and your child need.

Even for mild cases of bruxism, having a pediatric dentist keep an eye on your child’s development can ensure teeth grinding isn’t interfering with their oral health. If your child is experiencing facial or jaw pain from teeth grinding, we recommend getting a special mouthguard for your child to wear while sleeping. A custom-made night guard can help prevent teeth grinding quickly, effectively and for the long-term.

But what about treating teeth grinding that’s caused by stress or anxiety? This can be a little more difficult and treatment starts at home. Talk to your child about what’s upsetting them and encourage them to open up about what’s triggering their anxieties. Once you know why your child is upset, you can help them develop healthy strategies for coping with stress. In the interim, it may be helpful to schedule a consultation with one of our pediatric dentists to determine if they would recommend an occlusal guard to help protect the teeth from damage.

Does your child grind his or her teeth? Worried that your child’s bruxism isn’t going away? Kids Mile High is here to answer any questions you have about teeth grinding in children. Call us to book a free consultation and help your child overcome their bruxism today.

summer-activities-for-kids

Our Annual Guide to the Best Fun & Free Summer Activities for Kids in Denver

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The Kids Mile High team is beyond excited to say that it’s officially summer! With social distancing still in effect, this year is surely going to look a little different than summers’ past, but we can’t wait to enjoy all our favorite summer family activities in Denver. We may need to adapt how we do things, but farmers’ markets, family hikes and camping trips are all safe with the proper precautions in place. Need some ideas for (almost) free things to do with kids in Denver and beyond this summer? Read on for the annual list from your Englewood, Central Park and Thornton pediatric dentists.

  1. Explore Dinosaur Ridge Facebook

Is there a kid out there who doesn’t love dinosaurs? We don’t think so! Fortunately, Dinosaur Ridge is open — with a few new socially distant protocols, of course. Let your kiddos discover their inner archeologist by exploring the exhibits at this National Natural Landmark. There’s a small fee to enter the park and participate in a walking tour. Choose from a full or half guided tour for $6-10 per person, or fly solo and download the audio tour to your phone for just $6. However you choose to experience Dinosaur Ridge, we’re sure the whole family will love it.

  1. Catch an Outdoor Movie in the Park

Everyone’s favorite summer family night out is back as movie goers flock to parks across the city to catch a free, outdoor flick. Grab the kids, pack a blanket and some snacks, and settle in for a fun family activity in Denver your little ones will always remember. Check out the full listing of outdoor movies in Denver, Central Park and beyond to make sure you don’t miss your favorites. Many outdoor movies are currently operating as drive-ins to keep everyone safe, so be sure to check the appropriate websites for updates.

  1. Browse One of the Many Farmers’ Markets – Facebook

Our idea of a perfect summer morning is strolling through the farmers’ market, picking up fresh produce and seeing all the artisan goods on display. And we’re lucky to have many farmers’ markets in Denver and the surrounding area. One of the best (and biggest) is Cherry Creek Fresh Market, taking place every Saturday, Wednesday and occasionally on Sundays at Cherry Creek Shopping Center. It’s the perfect place to teach your kids about the value of supporting local growers and businesses. You could even let them pick out the goodies for tonight’s dinner! After all, we’re all cooking at home more than usual these days. Why not give your kiddos the opportunity to be involved? Admission and parking for the market is free. Check out the market’s current COVID-19 protocols before you go.

  1. Stroll Through the First Friday Art Walk – Facebook

Get your art fix — virtual style —  with the Art District on Santa Fe’s First Friday Art Walk. Usually located in Denver’s local art hub in the heart of downtown, the art walk has gone virtual for the season. It takes place on (you guessed it) the first Friday of each month and is one of the best free, kid-friendly activities in Denver! Featuring art from over 30 galleries, artist studios and restaurants, the First Friday Art Walk is an art lover’s dream. Shows start at 5pm on Facebook.

  1. Have a Backyard Camp-Out

You don’t have to go anywhere to enjoy everything that summer in Denver has to offer. You can simply pitch a tent in your own backyard and have a family camp-out! If you have a fire pit, roast up some hot dogs and be sure to save room for s’mores. No campfire? No problem. Throw some burgers on the BBQ and try this baked s’mores recipe. When the sun goes down, gather around the fire or a flashlight and share ghost stories. You’ll feel like you’re camping in the great outdoors without leaving the comfort of home. Of course, if you want to do some real camping, there are plenty of family friendly campsites near Denver. Just be prepared to drive for an hour or more.

  1. Take a Family Hike

Did you know there are plenty of family friendly hiking trails less than an hour’s drive from Denver? Now you do and we recommend you hit the trails, stat! Hiking is one of the best things to do with kids in Denver this summer. Not only does it get you and your kids active — it’s an opportunity to teach them all about the beauty of nature. Not to mention that it’s easy to maintain a safe social distance when you’re in the forest! In just 30 minutes from downtown, you can get to Bear Creek Trail at Lair o’ the Bear Park, or the Lookout Mountain Hiking Trail, for easy kid-friendly hikes. A little further out, you can explore the castle ruins at Mount Falcon (even if you have a stroller!). Whether you’re beginners or seasoned hikers, there’s a trail near Denver with your name on it.

What are your favorite summer family activities in Denver? We’d love to hear all about your summer adventures at your next visit! Book your next appointment with Kids Mile High today.

kid-uses-mouthwash

Is it Safe for Kids to Use Mouthwash?

By | Kids Dentistry | No Comments

As your little ones get older and begin to sprout new pearly whites, you probably have a million questions about how best to care for your child’s developing teeth. From what kind of toothpaste to use to teaching your kids to brush and floss, there are a few key things you should know about children’s oral health.

At Kids Mile High, one of the most common questions we hear is, “Is mouthwash safe for kids?” First, it’s important to remember that what’s safe for adults may not be ideal for kids. But fortunately, there are kid-friendly versions of oral health products that can be extremely effective. Read on to find out when it’s safe for your child to start using mouthwash and which products are the safest choice.

When is Mouthwash Safe for Kids?

The answer to this question really comes down to your child’s age and behavior, as well as your personal preference as a parent. To decide whether you want your child to use mouthwash, you’ll want to consider whether your child is ready for mouthwash, from both a developmental and maturity perspective.

Since mouthwash usually contains fluoride, it typically is not recommended for children under the age of 6. Fluoride has many benefits, including the prevention of tooth decay, but too much too soon can cause a condition called fluorosis. This condition can only occur when your child’s teeth are still developing and causes changes to the color and texture of the teeth, such as brown spots or bumps. But don’t worry; fluorosis is a cosmetic issue and can be prevented by not giving fluoride mouthwash to a child too young to understand the concept of spitting after rinsing.

Even if your child is old enough for mouthwash, he or she may not be ready to use it. Just like toothpaste, mouthwash should not be swallowed and needs to be spit out. It can take practice for some children to get used to swishing and spitting, instead of gulping it down. Before giving your child mouthwash, practice with water. Encourage them to swish the water around their mouth to wash all their teeth, and then spit it out into the sink. If your child does this with ease, he or she is probably ready to graduate to mouthwash.

Benefits of Mouthwash for Children

Now that you’re able to assess whether your child is ready for mouthwash or not, you might be wondering why you should give your kids mouthwash in the first place. Fortunately, there are many benefits of mouthwash for children, including the following.

  • It gives brushing and flossing an extra boost. Brushing twice and flossing once every day is the gold standard for at-home dental care, but mouthwash can boost the effects by whisking away any leftover food particles and plaque.
  • Mouthwash prevents tooth decay. Like we mentioned earlier, fluoride has incredible cavity-fighting power. Just remember that it’s only recommended for children over 6 years old.
  • It freshens your child’s breath. If your child experiences bad breath, mouthwash can provide extra freshness between brushing and flossing sessions.
  • Mouthwash helps those with braces clean their teeth more effectively. If your child has braces, you know how tricky it can be for them to brush and floss properly. Mouthwash can help loosen trapped bits of food and get into hard-to-reach areas, ensuring a more effective clean.
  • It’s a stepping stone towards proper brushing and flossing. It can take time for children to learn how to brush and floss their teeth properly. If your child hasn’t quite mastered the techniques, mouthwash can provide an effective (temporary) solution for cleaning their teeth.

Safe Mouthwash Brands for Kids

Just like there are kid-friendly toothpaste flavors and colors, the same exists in the world of children’s mouthwash. When choosing a mouthwash for your kids, you’ll want to look for alcohol-free mouthwash. Here are a few child-safe mouthwash options you can use.

  • Listerine Smart Rinse Anticavity Mouthwash: Everyone’s go-to mouthwash brand is also available in a kid-friendly mouthwash option, with zero alcohol, fun flavors and themed bottles with your kids’ favorite characters. When your kids can clean their teeth with Elsa or the Avengers, rinsing with mouthwash will become their favorite part of their oral health routine.
  • Kid’s Crest Anticavity Alcohol Free Fluoride Rinse: Crest kids mouthwash is an alcohol-free, fluoride rinse that’s safe for younger mouths (over the age of 6, of course). Available in bubble gum or strawberry, this mouthwash for kids provides effective cavity protection and deep cleaning for hard-to-reach teeth, all in a tasty flavor your kids will love.
  • Tom’s of Maine Children’s Anticavity Mouth Rinse: If you’re looking for a more natural mouthwash for kids, Tom’s is a fantastic choice. In addition to being alcohol free, it contains no artificial flavors, dyes, sweeteners or preservatives. This natural kid’s mouthwash comes in a tasty strawberry flavor we’re sure your kiddos will be excited to use.

So there you have it. If you’ve been concerned about giving your kids mouthwash, rest assured that it can be perfectly safe, as long as your child is old enough and responsible enough to use it properly. The doctors at Kids Mile High always recommend supervising your children when they use mouthwash to avoid any swallowing. Still have questions about mouthwash for kids? Call your Englewood, Central Park and Thornton pediatric dentist today!

kid-baking

Simple Baking Recipes for Kids Using Pantry Staples

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We’re so excited that our doors are finally open again and we can welcome our Englewood, Central Park and Thornton pediatric patients back into our office. We’ve missed you over the past few weeks, but we’ve managed to find ways to keep ourselves busy. One of our favorite things to do during self-isolation? Family baking!

The team at Kids Mile High has been making the most of our time at home, trying fun new recipes that are simple enough for kids to make (with adult supervision, of course). Even though banana bread is basically the official baked good of quarantine, there are so many other kid-friendly baking recipes you can make together. The best part is you probably already have everything you need in the pantry, so there’s no need to make unnecessary trips to the grocery store.

Whether you’re still isolating at home or just want to introduce your kids to the art of baking, here are five super simple baking recipes for kids.

  1. Everyone’s Favorite: Chocolate Brownies

There’s nothing better than a gooey chocolate brownie, am I right? They’re a crowd pleaser for kids and adults alike, and it turns out that they’re incredibly easy to make. With just eight ingredients you likely have on hand already, you can make delicious, chocolatey brownies the whole family will love.

Here’s what you need: bittersweet chocolate chips, unsalted butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, salt and all purpose flour. All you have to do is melt the chocolate and butter together, then add the rest of the ingredients to make a thick batter. Then bake at 350°F for 25 minutes and you’re good to go! Get the full easy brownie recipe here.

  1. The Classic Baking Treat: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ready to make the chewiest, gooiest chocolate chip cookies of all time? All you need are nine simple pantry staples. It might sound like a lot but once you read the list, you’ll realize you already have everything you need. These chocolate chip cookies are also egg-free, so they’re truly a pantry-only treat!

Here’s the list of ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, chocolate chips, brown sugar, white sugar, coconut or olive oil, and water. You could easily sub in whatever kind of flour, sugar and oil you have at home. Let the kids mix up the ingredients and then all you have to do is pop them in the oven. In about 15 minutes, you’ll have the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever had. Read the full kid-friendly chocolate chip cookie recipe and get baking!

  1. The Easiest, Healthiest, Tastiest One-Bowl Banana Bread

No list of quarantine baking ideas would be complete without a delicious banana bread! This one requires just a handful of ingredients and only one bowl to make. Just throw everything into one bowl and mix it up to create a batter. Then pour into a parchment-lined, 9×5-inch baking dish and bake for at least an hour. You’ll know it’s ready when the crust becomes a golden brown and begins to crack.

Using pantry items like bananas, oats, maple syrup, sugar and more, you can make kid-friendly (and naturally gluten free) banana bread in no time. Get the full healthy banana bread recipe from Minimalist Baker (and if you’re missing an ingredient or two, read the comments below the post for suggestions on substitutions!).

  1. Kid-Approved Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Every kid’s favorite sandwich just got an even tastier makeover. If you’ve got flour, oats, sugar, salt, baking soda, peanut butter, butter and jam on hand, you’ve got yourself the fixings for one of the best baking recipes for kids. These chewy peanut butter and jelly bars have a crumbly crust on the top and bottom that sandwiches a thick layer of strawberry jam. These bars look so delicious we’re willing to bet your kiddos will be asking for them again and again. Check out the full kid-friendly baking recipe and get ready to see your kiddos smile.

  1. Nutritious (and Delicious) Trail Mix Cookies 

Well, you knew we had to include at least one healthy baking recipe for kids. We are pediatric dentists, after all. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice taste for nutrition with these yummy trail mix cookies. Peanut butter, maple syrup, salt, vanilla extract, baking soda and trail mix come together for a super healthy-yet-tasty treat that even kids will love. Does your child have a peanut allergy? Simple swap out the peanut butter for any other nut or seed butter (like almond butter or tahini). This healthy cookie recipe for kids is perfect for breakfasts, picnics or as an on-the-go snack for family walks. Trust us, they’ll be a hit.

Baking is not only a super fun family activity, it can also be educational for your youngsters. They’ll learn all about fractions and measurements, and discover the magic of watching a bowl of ingredients transform into delicious baked goods. Baking is truly one of the most fun family activities for children and parents to enjoy together. What have you been baking over the last few months? Be sure to let us know at your next appointment with Kids Mile High.

We’re reopening!

By | Community, Kids Dentistry | No Comments

Hey KMH patients,

We’re super excited to welcome you back to the office starting Monday, May 4th, however, to continue to ensure a safe and healthy environment for both our patients and team, we’ve made the following changes to our policies and protocols while we adjust to this “new normal.”

As always, we appreciate your understanding and support, and we look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces again in the weeks to come!

Changes we’ve made:

  • When visiting the office for an appointment, both patient and parent must wear masks. (If you have them)
  • We will be asking parents to limit siblings coming to appointments when possible.
  • We will ask a series of screening questions upon arrival, such as travel, symptoms, etc.
  • We will also be taking temperatures of all staff as they enter the practice for work each morning and patients and parents at check-in.
  • We will be opening at a 50% capacity to abide by the social distancing requirements and will be adding sneeze guards to our front office stations.
  • Staff will now be wearing surgical hair bonnets and N95 masks with additional eye shields.
  • We have purchased medical-grade air fresheners to circulate the air in the treatment rooms.
  • We have removed toys, books and magazines from the reception area, and the video game systems will be turned off.
  • The coffee/tea stations have been removed, but we are happy to get patients a beverage if desired.
  • We will be delegating “family areas” so patients do not co-mingle in the reception area.
  • The toy stations for patient prizes will now be restricted to staff disbursement.
  • We are diligently working on developing electronic forms to minimize staff/patient exposure with paper forms.
  • If patients have dental needs, but the parent/patient has flu-like symptoms, we will do a screening by phone and ask them to upload photos of the problem via our website portal set up for patients.
  • The medical building we are located in has also done their part by bringing in a professional sanitizing crew to sanitize the common areas.

In regards to scheduling, every effort has been made to contact patients that require schedule changes, and we will be reaching out again to get them back on schedule. However, if you have not been contacted, please give the office a call to get those appointments scheduled.

We will continue to update our patients through our websitesocial media, and email announcements. When calling, please update your email address with our practice to ensure you get all of our updates and go to our Facebook page to see the latest news. We will also be extending office hours as necessary to accommodate patient needs and assist them in maximizing their insurance.

Thank you, and see you SOON! 😁

The Kids Mile High Team

fun-art-projects-with-kid

4 Super Fun Art Projects to Do with Kids at Home

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So what day of self-isolation are you and your family on now? For the team at Kids Mile High, it’s been a few weeks since we had to close our doors due to the current COVID-19 crisis. We really miss seeing all our patients’ smiling faces, but we also appreciate this rare opportunity to spend extra time at home with our families. That said, it can take some time to adjust to having your kids home all day, every day. Finding creative, fun, engaging activities can be easier said than done.

As your Englewood, Central Park and Thornton pediatric dentists, we care about more than your children’s oral health. We want to make sure they’re happy, healthy and thriving in all aspects of their lives. That’s why we put together this list of fun, kid-friendly art projects that you can do at home. You probably already have everything you need on hand. Ready to help your kiddos release their inner artist? Check out these awesome art ideas for kids.

  1. Create a Blow Paint Monster

Whether you’ve got toddlers at home or fifth graders, this is a fun art project for kids of all ages. Blow painting is super easy (as long as you teach your kiddos to blow instead of suck the paint through the straw!) and lets your kids show off their creative side. To create your very own blow paint monster, all you need is watered down paint, a container and spoon for each color, large sheets of paper, straws and a permanent marker.

First, use the marker to draw (or have your child draw) a monster’s face on the page, making sure to leave enough space around your monster. Then spoon a few drops of your chosen color of paint onto where you want your monster’s hair to be. Now the fun part: grab your straw and start to blow on the paint. The paint will go wild, swirling and twirling on the page, to create a wacky, crazy hair-do for your monster. When your child is happy with his or her creation, lay it flat to dry. And then make another one (or two, or three…).

Tip: To avoid accidentally ingesting any paint, we recommend using food coloring and water instead of real paint.

  1. Make Your Own Paintbrushes from Nature

Want to elevate your kids’ at-home art projects? All you need is a little touch of nature. Take your kids for a walk outside and encourage them to grab some sticks, pinecones, evergreen leaves, or whatever they can find. Maybe you’re fortunate enough to have beautiful trees right in your own backyard! The sticks will become the handle for your natural paintbrush and the leaves will become the bristles. Layer the leaves around the end of the stick to create a good-sized brush, and then secure using a bit of string. All you need now is some paint and a canvas. Set your child up with a large sheet of paper, a few color options, and let them loose. You’ll be amazed at how something as simple as leaves and twigs can create such beautiful art.

  1. Grow a Paper Flower Garden

Now that spring has finally sprung, what better way to entertain your kids at home than by creating a beautiful flower garden? A paper flower garden, that is. This simple, fun craft for kids only requires a few supplies. Here’s what you need: regular printer paper, colored paper, straws (preferably green ones!), scissors, a glue stick and clear tape.

Start by cutting a circle out of colored paper for the center of your flower. Then use a different color to cut strips of paper and glue them into loops. Then glue the loops to one side of the circle, and voila: you have flower petals. Then glue the straw to the center of your flower to create a stem and secure it with tape. And that’s it! Make a few more flowers using different color combinations until you’ve got a pretty garden. Read these detailed instructions for this fun paper flower craft for helpful tips.

  1. Get Creative with Painted Rocks

Looking for a super easy art project for kids that also encourages them to get outside? Painted rocks are the perfect solution. Send your kids on a rock hunt for the smoothest, shiniest rocks they can find. Big rocks, small rocks, medium-sized rocks — anything goes! Once they’ve gathered up enough rocks of various sizes, it’s time to get painting. Small rocks could become ladybugs or bumblebees. Bigger rocks could turn into turtles, crazy patterns or anything your little ones can imagine. After the painted rocks have had a chance to dry, you could display them throughout your garden to give your yard an artsy boost, or share them with the community by dropping a few “Hello, stay safe” rocks on the side of the road when you take your walk for the day. (Take care not to put in the street which could create a hazard)

There’s a lot going on and we’re all adjusting to a new normal right now, and it can be tough to keep your kids busy when they’re at home full time. Try to remember that while the days are long, the years are incredibly short. So let’s all enjoy this extra time with our kids while we have it and create fun, beautiful art projects together. Before you know it, life will be back to normal. At Kids Mile High, we’re already looking forward to seeing you.

The Benefits of Dental Sealants for Your Child’s Smile

By | Kids Dentistry | No Comments

A pediatric dentist’s number one job is to care for children’s teeth from birth through to adolescence. That, of course, includes treating oral health issues when they arise — but more importantly, pediatric dentistry is about preventing problems before they start in the first place.

At Kids Mile High, dental sealants are one of our favorite ways to protect your child’s teeth from decay. Never heard of dental sealants? Don’t worry! As your Englewood, Thornton and Cenral Park pediatric dentists, we’re here to answer all of your questions. Read on to learn more about dental sealants for kids and how they can improve your child’s lifelong oral health.

What Are Dental Sealants?

First things first: before you can decide whether dental sealants are right for your child, you’re probably wondering what exactly they are and what they do. Dental sealants are basically like protective armor for your child’s teeth. Made from a thin, BPA-free plastic, dental sealants are painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth (usually the premolars and molars) to create a barrier over the enamel of each tooth. Dental sealants block out all the bad stuff, like bacteria, plaque, acids and food particles, to keep your child’s teeth as healthy as can be.

You might be thinking, “Isn’t that what brushing and flossing is for?” Well, you’re right. But brushing and flossing alone often isn’t enough to clean hard-to-reach nooks and crannies in your child’s back teeth. Instead of washing away harmful bacteria or plaque after the fact, dental sealants prevent the nasties from getting in there in the first place. Preventive dental care for the win!

When Should My Child Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are most effective on the big chompers, officially known as the molars and premolars. That’s because they have rough, uneven surfaces which are perfect places for bacteria and food debris to hide. So it makes sense that dental sealants for kids should be applied when their molars come in. This will happen twice in your child’s life: their first molars will typically erupt between the ages of six and seven, and their permanent molars will come in around age 12 or 13. It’s best to apply dental sealants for kids shortly after their molars arrive to prevent as much decay as possible.

Dental sealants may also be effective for adults, but only for those who don’t already have decay or fillings. Since dental sealants are a preventive measure against decay, their purpose is to block the bad stuff before it takes hold on your teeth, not afterwards. That’s why children are the best candidates for dental sealants.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

So what exactly can you and your child expect from the dental sealant process? It’s a super simple, pain-free procedure! It only takes a few minutes to apply the sealant to each tooth, so your kids will be back doing the things they love in no time. Here’s how it works:

  1. First, your pediatric dentist will thoroughly clean and dry off the teeth to be treated.
  2. Then, we’ll apply a solution to the chewing surfaces of the teeth which will help the sealant stick.
  3. Next, the teeth are once again rinsed and dried.
  4. Finally, we’ll paint the sealant onto your child’s enamel. Once it hardens, you’re free to go on your way!

How Long Do Dental Sealants for Kids Last?

When cared for properly, dental sealants have a lifespan of three to 10 years. That’s up to a whole decade of decay and cavity prevention! That said, things do happen and your child’s dental sealants may become loose. At each appointment, we’ll check on the condition of the sealants to make sure they’re still doing their job and protecting your child’s teeth.

Since the process of applying dental sealant is so quick and easy, we can fix up any missing sealants on the spot. As for what you can do at home to increase the lifespan of dental sealants, make sure your kids avoid hard candies, lollipops, or other hard treats that can chip away at their sealant.

Do Dental Sealants Actually Work?

In a word, yes! They’re one of the simplest, most effective ways to prevent tooth decay in kids. The CDC reports that dental sealants protect against 80% of cavities in the first two years, and 50% of cavities for up to four years. It’s also been shown that school-age children without dental sealants have nearly three times as many cavities than children with sealants.

At Kids Mile High, we believe it’s our duty to protect your children’s mouths — and therefore, they’re overall health — from harm. Dental sealants are a quick, painless, cost-effective way to improve your child’s lifelong oral health. Call your Central Park, Englewood and Thornton pediatric dentist today to find out more.