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Is it Safe for Kids to Use Mouthwash?

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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, Stapleton and Thornton pediatric dentist today!

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, Stapleton 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!

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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

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, Stapleton 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 Stapleton 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 Stapleton, Englewood and Thornton pediatric dentist today to find out more.

An Important Message from KMH

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Dear friends of Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry,

We are still open!

However, with the situation rapidly changing day-by-day, we’ll continue to keep you updated via email, social media, and our website should the status of our office change in the future.

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 virus situation in our community, we want to reach out and share the actions KMH is taking to keep our patients and staff healthy and protected, so that we can continue to provide the best pediatric/orthodontic treatment for your children.

We follow and exceed all CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines with the highest level of disinfection between patients and use modern state-of-the-art sterilization techniques and equipment to ensure our instruments are always pristine. Our top priority has always been the safety and wellbeing of our patients, guests, staff, providers and community.

Established Standard Precautions
Our staff and providers strictly adhere to the CDC’s Standard Precautions for Healthcare settings.  These include disinfecting treatment rooms between patients, using single-use personal protective equipment (such as masks and gloves) with each patient, and sterilizing instruments using best practices in sterilization techniques.  We routinely disinfect patient waiting areas, as well as frequently touched surfaces (door handles, toys, etc).  We publish and enforce standards for hand washing, maintenance of patient safety measures, and conduct routine training on best practices for all office staff to ensure compliance.  These standards have always been in place in our practice, even prior to the recent pandemic.

Additional Precautionary Measures for COVID-19
We are constantly monitoring and following all recommendations from the CDC, the World Health Organization, the American Dental Association, as well as local and national government agencies, to stay current with information and safety measures.  We are implementing all process changes recommended by these leading agencies.  Our staff is trained to recognize symptoms of COVID-19 so additional safety measures will be taken immediately if there is potential exposure.

Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. The Environmental Protection Agency has developed a list of registered surface disinfect products for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Our disinfection process utilizes products on this list.

With an abundance of caution, we have established additional, temporary protocols in our offices by:

  • Monitoring the number of people in our office in order to enable appropriate social distancing
  • Asking families to bring only scheduled patients and 1 parent/guardian
  • Asking patients to arrive on time for their appointment and no more than 15 minutes before a scheduled appointment
  • Requiring everyone to sanitize their hands when entering and leaving our office -we will supply the appropriate sanitizer
  • Asking you to stay home and call to reschedule if:
  • You meet the CDC criteria for home isolation: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  • Have flu-like symptoms including:
    – fever
    – chills
    – cough
    – shortness of breath
    – muscle aches and/or
    – gastrointestinal symptoms
  • You or your child is ill (unless it is an emergency appointment)
  • You or a family member has been diagnosed with, or are in the testing phase of diagnosis of COVID-19
  • You are 60 yrs or older
  • Are immune-compromised
  • Have chronic conditions such as
    – Diabetes type 1
    – COPD
    – Heart disease
    – Lung disease

We are confident we can and will be able to care for your children’s dental needs in a safe and effective manner and rest assured we will make adjustments as the situation dictates and as directed by authorities. We look forward to keeping our patients and their families happy and healthy!

5 Benefits of Good Oral Health in Children

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5 Benefits of Good Oral Health in Children

It goes without saying that in order to maintain good overall health, we need to take care of our teeth and gums. Regular brushing, flossing and dental visits are all part of any healthy adult’s oral hygiene routine — but did you know that when you start practicing proper dental care can have a big impact on your lifelong health?

At Kids Mile High, we know that children’s oral health matters just as much now as it will in their adult years. Establishing healthy routines from an early age will not only pave the way for proper oral development, it will help your children grow into strong, healthy, confident adults. In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, let’s discuss the benefits of good oral health in kids and how your Denver, Englewood and Stapleton pediatric dentist can set your child on the path to a healthy smile.

1. Dental Care for Kids Prevents Disease

You might think that taking care of your child’s baby teeth doesn’t matter much, since they’re just going to fall out anyway. But when it comes to kids’ dental care, it’s all about stopping oral health issues before they start. Just like you brush and floss your teeth to keep plaque and disease at bay, your children will benefit from preventive measures too.

It’s important to develop at-home oral health routines for kids as soon as possible, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily and visiting your Denver pediatric dentist regularly. Taking good care of young, developing teeth will reduce plaque, prevent gum disease and tooth decay, and improve your child’s overall health. This will mean fewer sick days and time off from school, less time dealing with discomfort from cavities, and more days doing what they do best: being a kid.

2. Proper Oral Hygiene Supports Healthy Tooth Development

Children’s teeth have very different needs than adults’ do. While your mouth is fully developed, your child’s teeth, gums and jaw are still growing and changing every day. That’s why we always recommend that your child see a Denver, Stapleton or Englewood pediatric dentist as early as their first birthday (and, of course, continue with routine visits throughout their lives!).

A pediatric dentist like Dr. Paddy or Dr. Roger can give your child the support they need throughout their oral development, starting from their very first tooth until their 18th birthday. With their special training in kids’ oral health needs, the doctors at Kids Mile High have the knowledge and expertise to treat younger mouths, catch potential issues early on, and set your kiddos on the path to a beautiful smile.

3. Healthy Teeth Save Money

Children’s oral health care starts at home. The sooner you begin proper oral hygiene routines, the fewer dental appointments your child will need in the long run. As much as we love to see our little patients, the less often your child needs to visit the dentist chair, the better. Your pediatric dentist is always there to help when issues arise, but corrective dentistry can be expensive. It can also cause your child discomfort and anxiety, so outside of routine check-ups, our hope is that your child won’t need any intervention. Teeth-healthy habits are a win-win: your child (and your bank account!) will be healthier overall.

4. Children Thrive with Routines

Believe it or not, brushing and flossing regularly is about more than creating the foundation for a healthy smile. It also forms an important part of a child’s day-to-day routine, which is essential for their development. Kids thrive when they have a routine, as it gives them a sense of security and stability. Whether they understand it yet or not, kids take comfort in repetition and knowing you’re there to go through the motions with them every day. Routines also teach your kiddos time management, responsibility and the importance of healthy habits. So create a fun routine for your kids’ oral health care and they’ll be well on their way to a lifetime of strong, healthy teeth.

5. Healthy Smiles Lead to Happy Kids

At the end of the day, you really can’t put a price on the confidence that a strong, healthy smile brings. Studies have shown that a healthy smile helps kids eat and talk better, which in turn improves their self-esteem. Dealing with oral health issues like tooth decay or bad breath, on the other hand, can cause embarrassment or reduce your child’s confidence. It’s your job as a parent, and our job as your Stapleton, Englewood and Denver pediatric dentist, to give your child the tools and support they need to build a healthy, confident smile. After all, a healthy child is a happy child and that’s a win for all.

Ready to book your child’s next dental appointment or have questions about at-home oral health routines for kids? Call Kids Mile High today.

The Ultimate Teething Survival Guide

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The Ultimate Teething Survival Guide

A baby’s (and new parent’s) life is full of firsts: first smile, first steps, first word, and of course, first tooth! As Denver pediatric dentists, we know how exciting all of these little milestones are. We also know there’s a lot to learn about keeping your little one happy as they go through a million changes — especially the more uncomfortable experiences like teething.

While it’s exciting to see your baby’s first tiny tooth appear, teething can be a challenging time for both parents and child. Your little one is going to experience some discomfort as his or her smile begins to take shape, so you might be in for a few sleepless nights (and a whole lot of drool!). The doctors at Kids Mile High are here to support you and your baby throughout the teething process. Read on for everything you need to know about what to expect, what not to do, and how to keep your baby as comfortable as possible.

What to Expect When Your Baby is Teething

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for when your baby will get her first tooth. For some babies, the first tooth erupts as early as three months, while others remain toothless until after their first birthday. But for most infants, teething symptoms will start before the appearance of any pearly whites. That’s because your baby’s teeth are already beginning to form beneath the surface.

Most babies will experience some level of discomfort during the teething process, but some lucky kiddos (and parents!) will have little to no symptoms. If you’re not sure whether your baby has started teething, here are a few telltale signs:

  • Excess drooling
  • Irritability and fussiness
  • Gumming and biting objects
  • Refusing to eat
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Ear pulling and cheek rubbing

Safe Remedies for a Teething Baby

Naturally, a teething baby is going to experience swollen, tender and painful gums. When it comes to soothing your baby during this time, there are plenty of safe, at-home teething remedies you can try. Here are some ways to alleviate teething pain for your child:

  • Chewing: As your baby has probably already been showing you, chewing can help to relieve pain from teething. Chewing, or gumming, applies counter-pressure to developing teeth as they work their way to the surface. Give your baby teething rings or plush teething toys made from safe materials, free from BPA, phthalate, latex and PVC. Cold objects are even more effective against teething pain, so put teething toys in the fridge to give your baby the cool comfort he needs.
  • Gum Massage: This is simple yet effective way to give your baby relief from teething pain. Similar to chewing, massaging your baby’s gums will provide counter-pressure to aching teeth.
  • Cold Food/Drinks: As we mentioned, cold objects are soothing to teething babies. If your baby has been introduced to solid foods, start giving her cold items like yogurt, applesauce or fruit blended with ice. You could also refrigerate breastmilk to give to your little one in a bottle. Another option is to let your baby chew on a cold washcloth that’s been soaked in water or breastmilk.
  • Distractions: You’d be surprised how effective distractions can be for a teething baby. If your kiddo is extra cranky, find ways to take his mind off his teething pain. Go for a walk, read a story and have extra playtime. Focusing on other things will help your little one feel better.
  • Wipe Up Drool: Yep, there’s going to be plenty of drool while your baby is teething. This is totally normal, but it can also cause irritation to your baby. The constant flow can cause a rash or redness to the area around your child’s mouth, so be sure to wipe droll away frequently using a clean cloth.
  • Pain Relievers: When all else fails, talk to your pediatrician about using a baby-safe pain reliever. This might be the best option for babies (and parents) who aren’t getting any sleep due to teething pain.

Avoid These Teething Remedies

While it’s invaluable to know how to relieve your child’s teething pain, it’s just as important to understand what not to do. Certain teething remedies can actually be dangerous for your child. Before you try any teething remedy, make sure you’re avoiding any of the following:

  • Liquid Teething Rings: These are a popular choice as a teething toy for babies, but the liquid inside can pose a health risk. There’s no way to know for sure what it contains and if your baby chews through the plastic, there’s a chance she will ingest the substance. Solid teething rings are a safe, effective alternative.
  • Teething Necklaces/Bracelets: There’s been a lot of hype around teething jewelry to alleviate teething pain, but experts are warning of the dangers of teething necklaces and bracelets. Amber teething jewelry poses a choking hazard, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported a case of a baby who suffered lead poisoning from a homeopathic bracelet. It’s best to avoid these teething devices altogether.
  • Products Containing Benzocaine: No parent wants to see their baby suffering, so it can be tempting to reach for over-the-counter products like teething gels to help them feel better. But the FDA has determined that these products contain benzocaine, which can cause potentially fatal harm to your baby. Benzocaine is associated with methemoglobinemia, a disorder that reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream.
  • Homeopathic Remedies: We’d all love to find a safe, all-natural solution for teething babies, but the simple fact is that homeopathic remedies are not evaluated by the FDA.

As a parent, you want the best for your little one — and so do we. If you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s teeth as they develop, give your Englewood, Stapleton and Thornton pediatric dentist a call. We’re here to help.

New Year’s Resolutions for Kids’ Healthy Teeth

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New Year’s Resolutions for Kids’ Healthy Teeth

Can you believe that we’re mere weeks away from a brand new decade? At Kids Mile High, we can’t wait to ring in 2020 with big goals for the year ahead. After all, the start of a new year is the perfect time to kickstart all your resolutions. This year, we want to help your kids set themselves up for a lifetime of healthy teeth!

As your Denver pediatric dentists, we know that getting little ones excited about oral health care can be a challenge — but with a little fun and motivation, you can set smart teeth goals for your kids to keep them happy and healthy all year long. Not sure where to start? Here are our favorite New Year’s resolutions for healthy smiles.

  1. Brush Twice a Day — For Two Minutes!

I think this is something we’ve all been guilty of at one point or another — kiddos and adults alike. Even though most people brush their teeth twice a day, most spit and rinse well before the recommended two-minute time frame is up. This year, help your kids (and yourself!) stay on track for great oral health by encouraging them to brush for two minutes, twice a day. You could even make a game of it by picking a fun, two-minute song to play while they brush. This is sure to keep them scrubbing their pearly whites until the final note.

  1. Floss Once Per Day, Every Day

Brushing your teeth twice a day is a fantastic start on your kids’ New Year’s resolutions, but brushing alone isn’t enough to keep plaque and cavities at bay. Food particles can get stuck in hard-to-reach places between your teeth, leading to harmful build-up over time. To truly improve your kids’ oral health this year, you need to make flossing a regular part of their dental routine. And what better time to start creating new, healthy habits than the start of a new year? To get your kids to floss every day, make it a family affair and floss together. Kids love to imitate their parents, so show off your flossing skills and soon enough, your little ones will follow your lead.

  1. Drink Plenty of Water (And Limit Sugary Drinks)

Everyone knows how harmful sugar can be for your teeth. Plaque, tooth decay, cavities, oh my! This year, swap sugary drinks for the health-boosting benefits of good old fashioned water. Water is the healthiest drink in the world, not only because it’s hydrating and necessary for all your bodily functions — it also washes away bad bacteria and build-up on your teeth. On top of that, water also boosts your natural saliva production, which ultimately means that water prevents tooth decay. Talk about a healthy, tooth-friendly beverage! This year, avoid packing sugary drinks like juice or pop in your kids’ lunches and encourage them to drink plenty of water instead.

  1. Eat Tooth-Friendly Foods

Just like sugary drinks can wreak havoc on your kids’ oral health, so can sugary foods. One of the best New Year’s resolutions for kids is to eat more healthy, tooth-friendly foods (like vegetables) and cut down on foods that are bad for their teeth (like candy). Set your kids up for a healthy year by packing tooth-healthy lunches with plenty of whole foods, such as fruits, veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats and, of course, plenty of water. After all, your kids’ teeth are only as healthy as the food you give them. Start making healthier choices today to give them a lifetime of good oral health.

  1. Wear a Mouthguard When Playing Sports

Not-so-fun fact: almost five million teeth are knocked out during sports every year in the United States. So parents with active kids, this one’s for you. If your child plays sports or participates in activities that put their teeth in harm’s way, this might be the year to invest in a mouthguard for your kiddo. Contact sports (like football, hockey, soccer and so on) put your kids at risk of chipping or breaking their teeth. A mouthguard offers necessary protection against falls, collisions or contact with hard surfaces. This keeps your child’s teeth safe and healthy, and also helps them avoid emergency visits to the dentist. You can buy ready-made mouthguards at sporting goods stores or you can have a custom mouthguard made by your Denver pediatric dentist. Not sure if your child needs a mouthguard? Talk to the experts at Kids Mile High.

  1. Visit Your Denver Pediatric Dentist Twice a Year

The foundation for good oral health starts at home, with regular brushing and flossing, and a proper diet. But to make sure your kids’ teeth are as healthy as possible, they should see their pediatric dentist twice a year for routine check-ups, professional cleanings and fluoride treatments. A dentist can catch underlying oral health issues that you or your child might not have noticed. They also have professional tools to give your children’s teeth a deep clean, removing all the bad stuff they may have missed. You can even schedule your kids’ appointments in advance, so you always have a visit with your Englewood, Stapleton or Thornton pediatric dentist on the books. If you haven’t booked your child’s next dental appointment, call Kids Mile High today.

Ready to get a jumpstart on your kids’ New Year’s resolutions? The doctors at Kids Mile High are happy to answer any questions and provide helpful tips for keeping your kiddos on track. Let’s start the new decade off right with happy, healthy smiles for life.

What are the Different Types of Braces for Kids and Teens?

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What are the Different Types of Braces for Kids and Teens?

At Kids Mile High, we know that getting braces is a big deal for any child or teen. It’s a big first step towards achieving the smile they’ll have for the rest of their lives. But the decision to get braces is one thing — choosing from the many different kinds of braces is another. Depending on your personal preferences for how you want to look and your various lifestyle choices, there are a number of factors that indicate the type of braces that are best for you.

Every one of our Denver orthodontic patients has different goals for their smiles and there are many different ways to get straighter teeth. Traditional braces are a classic, proven way to straighten your teeth, but many teens would prefer a more discreet option. Fixed brackets might fit easily with some kids’ lifestyles, but for those who play sports, a removable device, like Invisalign aligners, are a better choice.

With so many different types of braces available, it can be difficult to know what’s best for your kids. But your kids shouldn’t have to change their whole lives to work with their orthodontic treatment — their orthodontic treatment should work with them to change their lives. If you’re struggling to choose the best type of braces for your teens, here’s everything you need to know about the kinds of braces we offer at Kids Mile High.

Not Your Parents’ Metal Braces

 

Metal braces are probably what come to mind when you first hear the word “braces.” That’s because they’re tried and true, with decades of proven results under their belts. Metal braces have been so popular over the years that they’ve practically become a teenage right of passage. They’re an effective method to straighten your kids’ teeth and give them the smile of their dreams.

Here’s how they work: the brackets are bonded to your teeth, where they’ll stay put for the entire duration of treatment. Then, your orthodontist will fit the brackets with a wire that’s bent into the desired position of your teeth. The brackets and wires work together to put pressure on your teeth and slowly move them into place. You can even customize them with funky colored elastics to let your personality shine through.

Even though metal braces have been around forever, they’ve come a long way from the chunky brackets and pokey wires they used to be. Braces today are much more streamlined, with smaller brackets and thinner wires. They cause less discomfort than traditional versions and are much more subtle than the mouthful of metal your parents wore in the ‘70s!

Cool and Clear Ceramic Braces

 

At Kids Mile High, we understand that metal braces aren’t for everyone. Some kids, particularly older kids and teens, would rather not have metal hardware on display every time they smile. For patients who prefer a more discreet kind of braces, we offer clear braces. Also known as ceramic braces, this type of treatment functions in the exact same way as metal braces, using brackets and wires to gradually straighten your teeth. But instead of metal, they’re made from (you guessed it) ceramic. The material blends in with the color of your teeth, meaning your braces will be much less noticeable to the naked eye.

The most common concern with ceramic braces is that they’re not as durable as metal braces and they can stain easily. That’s why they’re often recommended only for older teens and adults who will take care of them properly. But the newest kind of clear braces are stain resistant and made from stronger materials. Kids Mile High offers the latest ceramic braces technology for kids and teens of all ages.

Invisalign Teen: No Brackets, No Problem

 

You can’t argue with the proven teeth-straightening power of braces, but a fixed orthodontic device isn’t compatible for every person’s preferences and lifestyle. Fortunately, your kids can effectively straighten their teeth — free from brackets and wires — with Invisalign Teen.

Here’s how the process works: first, we’ll take a digital scan of your child’s mouth using the latest technology. Dr. Owens will use the scan to create a 3D model and map out the ideal movement of your child’s teeth. The prescription will then be sent to Invisalign where a series of customized clear aligners will be created. As your teen’s teeth continue to move throughout treatment, he or she will receive a new set of aligners to wear approximately every one to two weeks.

The benefits of Invisalign are obvious: since there’s no fixed appliance, your kiddos can still eat their favorite foods, it’s easier for them to clean their teeth and they can simply remove their aligners for sports activities. But for Invisalign Teen to be effective, your child has to wear his or her aligners for 22 hours a day. This type of orthodontic treatment is best for responsible kids who will stay on top of their treatment schedule and keep track of their aligners.

Kids Mile High is proud to offer the latest in orthodontic treatment options to give you and your kids the opportunity to choose your own braces adventure (under our expert supervision, of course!). Need help deciding which type of braces are best for your teen? Call your Denver orthodontist to book a consultation today.