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10 Tips for Helping Kids Overcome a Fear of the Dentist

10 Tips for Helping Kids Overcome a Fear of the Dentist

By Kids Dentistry

10 Tips for Helping Kids Overcome a Fear of the DentistWe’ve had a lot of parents visit Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry concerned that their two-year-old or three-year-old is scared of the dentist (though dental anxiety in children can happen with any age group). It’s definitely a normal reaction considering a stranger is attempting to look around in their mouth with various instruments. Even adults can be a little freaked out by the prospect! Yet, knowing this doesn’t mean that if a child won’t open their mouth at the dentist or they refuse to even sit in the chair, parents won’t be a bit stressed out. The good news is that taking certain steps can go a long way in alleviating dental phobia in kids. When little ones are comfortable with regular visits and have warm and fuzzy feelings towards their dentist, it sets the stage for a lifetime of good oral health because as grown-ups, they’ll be more likely to schedule checkups and address any issues right away. Here are 10 ideas for turning your child into a brave little patient to make your life easier and ensure they develop a positive outlook on dental care.

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From Fever to Red Cheeks: What Science Says About These 6 Symptoms Commonly Attributed to Teething

By Kids Dentistry, Orthodontics

Babies grow up so fast! It seems like one day, your sweet baby is melting your heart with gummy smiles. The next day, they’re teething, and before you know it, they’re winning you over with toothy grins! So when can you expect those little pearl whites to actually start showing up? Every kiddo’s teething timeline is unique, but it typically starts around six months old with the eruption of a lower front tooth — and a host of teething symptoms. Some, like biting and chewing, irritability, and loss of appetite make sense as a response to the discomfort of cutting a tooth. But are all the things you see directly connected to infant teething?

Your Denver-area pediatric dentists at Kids Mile High to the rescue with answers! We’re here to help alleviate your uncertainty by covering six symptoms commonly attributed to infant teething and answering whether science actually links them to teething.

1. Does Teething Cause A Fever?

Many parents will swear that fever is a teething symptom. However, research generally shows that while teething might cause a slight increase in temperature due to inflammation in the gums from teeth erupting, the increase isn’t typically high enough to be an actual fever. According to this study, the answer to the question, “Do babies get fevers when teething?” is essentially that they shouldn’t. However, increased temperature is typical the day before and the day of a tooth erupting, but these temperatures aren’t in fever territory. If your child does have a fever during or after a tooth erupts, we recommend calling your pediatrician.

2. Red Cheeks When Teething

Are red cheeks when teething a surefire symptom of new teeth coming in? Scientifically, red cheeks can happen because of the slight temperature rise we mentioned above. Face-rubbing because of oral discomfort can also lead to red cheeks when teething, while increased drooling can irritate skin and cause redness or a rash on your wee one’s chin.

3. Is Diaper Rash a Symptom of Teething?

Speaking of rashes, what about diaper rash as a symptom of infant teething? No, diaper rash isn’t a direct symptom of teething, though a child experiencing diarrhea (as we’ll cover next) might get diaper rash from it.

4. Is Diaper Rash a Symptom of Teething?

Speaking of rashes, what about diaper rash as a symptom of infant teething? No, diaper rash isn’t a direct symptom of teething, though a child experiencing diarrhea (as we’ll cover next) might get diaper rash from it.

5. Does Teething Cause An Earache?

Earache and teething: directly related? Research shows that the answer to “Does teething cause earache?” is yes. In our experience as pediatric dentists, Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, and Dr. Meredith know that earache is one of the common teething symptoms kids experience. How do teething earaches happen? Teething pain can radiate and travel from your child’s mouth into their face and head, making your little one’s tiny ears feel achy.

6. Is a Runny Nose a Symptom of Teething?

Some experts say a runny nose isn’t a direct symptom of infant teething — it’s stress on the body from erupting teeth that can make babies more susceptible to germs, leading to sickness and a runny nose. On the other hand, this study published in Pediatrics did find a correlation, making the answer to “Is a runny nose a symptom of teething?” anything but cut and dried. Again, the safest step is to see your pediatrician if you’re concerned about your little one’s runny nose.

So, what’s the verdict? Well, while some teething symptoms — like drooling and biting — are directly related to teething, others, like fever and diarrhea, are more likely caused by other factors. As always, keep a close eye on your little one and check with your pediatrician if you’re unsure.

Have any other questions about teething? Your Denver-area pediatric dentist has got you covered. Come in to see us at your kiddo’s first birthday so we can chat about avoiding cavities for your child’s tiny smile and spot any baby teeth dental issues early on those first teeth.

Set up a first visit today at our award-winning pediatric dental offices in Englewood, Central Park, or Thornton, CO!

The Best Winter Activities for Kids in Denver, Thornton and Englewood

The Best Winter Activities for Kids in Denver, Thornton and Englewood

By Community, Kids Dentistry

The doctors at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics LOVE winter in Denver. You may know us as your super fun, trusty Englewood pediatric dentistry and orthodontics office, but when we’re not bringing out your kids’ best smiles, we’re all about the Colorado lifestyle in our free time.

For Dr. Paddy, skiing is his passion and he spent his formative years on the ice playing hockey so you just might see him and his family out on the slopes or ice this winter. But amazing outdoor rec isn’t where the winter activities in and near Denver stop. There are a ton more things to do in Denver, Colorado, during winter. Follow along with this guide to kid-friendly things to do in Denver in winter for the best season ever!

Children’s Story Times at the Englewood Public Library – Englewood

Instill a love of literature in your kiddos and meet other parents at Englewood Public Library’s various Story Times, ranging from baby-focused through preschool. With stories, songs, and play, Story Times are among the most popular things to do in Denver with toddlers. And for older kids? The library has weekly tween and teen drop-ins and events. The first week of January features a Children’s Winter Break Program to keep kids busy before school starts again. Check out the calendar for specific dates and times.

Swimming at the Englewood Recreation Center

Swimming is one of those tried and true indoor kids activities in Denver for winter fun… and for every season really! Englewood Parks and Recreation offers open swim every day as well as swim classes for all ages. Take a look at the schedule.

Ice Skating at Southwest Rink in Downtown Denver

If you’re looking for kid-friendly things to do in Denver that are extra special in winter, look no further than outdoor ice skating at Southwest Rink. The outdoor ice rink is open to the public through February 11. Admission is free, and skate rental is available. It can’t get much more magical than outdoor city skating during the holidays, right?

Sledding in Englewood and Surrounding Areas

Sledding hills abound in Colorado. So, for your next family outing, bundle up the family and head out for some excitement. It’s one of those winter activities near Denver that you can’t miss out on. Check out this list from Colorado Parent to find a good hill close to you.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science Free Days – Denver

Come in from the cold and explore! The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is one of those go-to indoor kids’ activities to do in winter that the whole family will enjoy. And bonus, visits are free this winter on January 8, 28, and February 25.

Hitch a Ride to the Slopes with Snowstang

A list of winter things to do in Denver isn’t complete without including skiing and snowboarding. Need a lift to the lift? Colorado Department of Transportation’s got you with Snowstang service. Snowstang runs weekends and holiday Mondays from December 17 – May 7. Pick up and drop off schedules from Denver Union Station to Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Loveland Ski Area, and Steamboat Springs.

Skiing or Snowboarding at Ruby Hill Terrain Park – Denver

Denver in February offers one of the coolest things to do outside: the seasonal opening of Ruby Hill Rail Yard, a really fun area of Ruby Hill Park located at the intersection of Platte River Drive and Jewell Avenue. It is the first free terrain park in the country and has six to eight rails and boxes in different configurations for varying skill levels that you can ski and snowboard for free. Snowguns cover the area with snow and the park stays open until the snow melts in March. This activity is a joint effort between Denver Parks and Recreation and Winter Park Resort. Typically, free ski and snowboard equipment rentals are available Friday through Sunday.

Children’s Museum of Denver – Denver

As one of the top kid-friendly things to do in Denver in winter, we think you could spend all day here with the little ones. Explore exhibits, take part in daily activities and special events and even play on a real fire truck or frolic in the bubble room. Plus, Snow Days are on now until February 16th.

Englewood Parks and Recreation Active Kids Programs

The Englewood Parks & Rec department has several indoor kids activities in winter to keep kids active, including swimming lessons, tumbling for tots, dance and gymnastics. See the Englewood Magazine & Recreation Guide for registration details and dates.

My Gym – Highlands Ranch

So this one isn’t in Englewood or Denver, but it’s mere minutes from Englewood. It’s worth the trip as one of your winter things to do near Denver when your kids need to get out their wiggles when it’s too cold outside to play.

The kiddie gym has classes and programs for children ages six weeks through 10 years old that incorporate dance, music, games, sports, gymnastics and more while allowing them to learn and socialize.

Tour the U.S. Mint – Denver

One of the things to do in Denver, Colorado during winter you might’ve not considered? If your kids love getting their allowance, visiting The United States Mint on West Colfax Avenue might help them learn (and appreciate?) where that money comes from. The Denver Mint offers free, guided tours Monday through Thursday. Tours are for visitors ages seven and up and cover the history of the United States Mint and how coins are made.

Climb and Play at REI – Denver

REI’s flagship store on Platte Street in Denver is a wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts and the perfect place to include on your list of things to do in Denver, Colorado during winter. No, we’re not just talking about shopping: kids can practice their climbing skills on the Climbing Pinnacle at an indoor Kids’ Climbing Class.

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum – Denver

This family-friendly Denver museum offers aircraft, space and rocket exhibits. Kids will love seeing real, enormous airplanes up close. If you have a Star Wars fan in the family, the museum has a ¾ replica of Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing, too. Check out their packed calendar of events where kids can make crafts, enjoy stories or even climb aboard certain aircraft and explore the cockpits.

Butterfly Pavilion – Westminster

And for a different kind of flight, how about the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, just 15 minutes from downtown Denver? It’s one of these great winter activities near Denver since it’s warm and tropical inside! Oh, and yes, the thousands of butterflies are fabulous, too. You’ll also learn about bees, the little critters you can find in your Colorado backyard, and the beautiful creatures in our water ecosystems.

Denver Art Museum – Denver

Have budding artists in your family? A visit to the Denver Art Museum is a great way to inspire your creative kiddos. Admission is free for kids 18 years old and under. Make this an even more fun thing to do in Denver by encouraging your kids to pack sketchbooks, clipboards, paper, and their favorite drawing and coloring tools to capture what they see.

Kids Dig – Littleton

Winter activities near Denver don’t get more creative than this! With outdoor playgrounds often wet and cold during winter, you do have an option for your wee sandbox lovers. About 20 minutes from Englewood at Kids Dig, you’ll find 40 tons of sand indoors with Tonka and CAT trucks for kids seven years old and under to dig, scoop, and move.

Indian Hot Springs – A Rejuvenating Soak

Ok, we admit, this is one of those winter activities near Denver that might skew toward families with older kids. But we thought a day outing to the mineral pool and baths at Indian Hot Springs would be a relaxing, post-mountain-day activity. Families are welcome, though there is an age minimum for the geothermal caves and Club Med.

Grizzly Rose Family Night – Denver

The family that dances together, stays together. Okay, maybe that’s not quite the expression but it can ring true of Family Nights at cowboy-inspired establishment Grizzly Rose. Sundays are Family Night, where doors open at 6 pm, and there’s live music and a free line dancing class at 7 pm. Maybe your kids will even brave the bucking bronco!

Dentist for Autistic Child

A Guide to Taking a Child With Autism and Sensory Issues to the Dentist

By Kids Dentistry, Orthodontics

For kids, going to the dentist can include a lot of new sights, sounds, smells, and people. And for kids with ASD or sensory issues, these things can be especially difficult. If you’ve been wondering, “Can a child with autism go to the dentist?” The answer is a resounding, “For sure!”

You’ll be glad to know that the team at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is your pediatric dentist in Denver, Englewood, and Thornton for autistic kids and kids with special needs. We’re trained and experienced in gentle techniques, protective stabilization, and, if needed, sedation dentistry — so your child is always comfortable and safe.

That said, a positive dental experience starts at home, so to help you prepare your child for a trip to the dentist, Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, and Dr. Meredith have some tips for setting your child up for dental care success at home and preparing them for dental visits.

Sensory Support For At-Home Dental Care

Kids with autism or sensory issues can benefit from at-home brushing that suits their particular sensory needs. As a Denver pediatric dentist who’s treated many kids with sensory issues, we suggest an electric toothbrush for kids who need extra sensory stimulation. The extra movement can have a calming effect… and is also extra fun! An electric toothbrush might encourage your child to brush longer too, resulting in a cleaner, brighter smile.

On the other hand, sensory avoiders might need a change in toothpaste or a modified brushing technique because of the uncomfortable physical feeling of a toothbrush in their mouths. If this is the case for your child, try unflavored toothpaste or a different flavor of toothpaste. As your pediatric dentist in Denver, give us a shout if you need some product recommendations! Although toothpaste is recommended, in difficult situations, always remember that even a wet toothbrush with no toothpaste to remove plaque and food particles is preferable to no brushing at all!

If a change in toothpaste or a modified brushing technique isn’t helping, here are some bigger-picture techniques for easing your child into feeling comfortable with dental care. Pediatric dentists recommend that an adult brush their kids’ teeth or supervise tooth brushing until about age 7 or 8 due to the lack of dexterity in younger children.

1. Gentle touch: Start by providing gentle pressure to the back of your child’s head for five seconds, repeating three times. Do this three to five times per day, preferably where your child will be brushing their teeth. If the bathroom isn’t where your child feels comfortable, choose a different setting in your home where they feel more relaxed.

Once your child is comfortable with gentle touch on the back of their head, extend your routine with gentle pressure below the ears, lower cheekbones, and sweeping motions from the ears to the chin. Then try applying pressure on the lower and upper lip, and upper cheekbones.

2. Move on to a warm washcloth: Repeat those same gentle touches with a warm washcloth. At this point, ask your child if you can touch their teeth with the warm cloth.

3. Introduce a toothbrush: At this point, if your child is okay with the washcloth touching their teeth, introduce a toothbrush without toothpaste. Gently brush with a soft, kid-sized toothbrush. Let your child pick out their own toothbrush at the store.

4. Bring on the toothpaste: Adding toothpaste is the last step. Make sure it’s one with fluoride and use only a pea-sized amount. Of course, the flavor is up to you and your child and it may take a few tries to find a toothpaste they’re okay with. Show your child how you brush your teeth and brush your teeth together.

Preparing For Your Child’s VIsit To The Dentist

Preparing your child with ASD or sensory issues in advance goes a long way in easing anxiety and experiencing a smooth visit. As your specialist for autistic and special needs kiddos, we’re happy to have you come in for a tour in advance of your actual check up/cleaning appointment. A tour is also a great time to chat with Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, or Dr. Meredith about your child’s needs.

If a big tour is too overwhelming, no worries! Break up your introductory visit into smaller steps. For example, you can first come in, say hello to our friendly reception team, and then hang out in our fun reception area. Our “Fun Zone” has games, toys, and a giant fish tank. A second visit can then include a tour of the treatment areas and a chat with our doctors and dental care team.

One great way to further alleviate pre-visit anxiety? Your pediatric dentists serving Denver/ Englewood/Thornton areas suggest a visual schedule at home that shows every step that will happen at a dental visit. Steps can include:

  • Choosing a comfort item to bring
  • Waiting/playing in the waiting area beforehand
  • How to sit in the dentist chair (feet out, mouth open wide, etc)
  • What the hygienist or doctor will do when examining your mouth
  • What they’ll do when cleaning your teeth
  • What happens during x-rays
  • Getting a prize

Visit Your Denver Pediatric Dentist Specializing in Autism and Sensory Needs

Kids Mile High is your go-to team of board-certified (and award-winning!) Denver pediatric dentists for safe and comfortable treatment if your child has ASD or sensory issues. With

Got more questions about taking your ASD child or child with sensory issues to the dentist? Contact us so we can work together to ensure a healthy smile for your child.

Dr. Roger and young paitent Kids Mile High

Meet Our Denver Pediatric Dentist: 20 Questions for Dr. Roger Castro

By Kids Dentistry

You may know Dr. Roger Castro as your super awesome Stapleton pediatric dentist who’s dedicated to making dental visits relaxed, positive and fun for kids and parents alike. However, did you also know when he’s not making smiles sparkle at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry, he’s an ice cream aficionado and loves rooting for the San Francisco 49ers? Well, there are more fun facts where those came from. To help you get to know Dr. Roger a little better, we played a game of 20 questions.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in El Salvador and I grew up in California, Texas, Tennessee, and Maryland.

2. Why did you become a Denver pediatric dentist?
I like joking around with kids all day!

3. What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
The best vacation I ever went on was to South Africa.

4. Who is your role model?
My dad is my role model.

5. What’s your favorite thing about coming to work at Kids Mile High every day?
Seeing the colorful fish!

6. What are your three favorite ice cream flavors?
I love vanilla, cookies and cream, and peanut butter ice cream.

7. What’s your favorite movie?
Die Hard

8. What was the most challenging part of dental education?
Definitely the one million exams!!

9. How would you describe your perfect weekend?
My perfect weekend is watching sports with my baby on my lap.

10. Did you like going to dentist as a kid?
Yes, even though I bit the dentist!

11. What’s your favorite restaurant in Denver?

12. What is something your patients would be surprised to learn about you?
I hate getting blood taken.

13. Which sports team do you root for?
The San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, and the New York Knicks

14. What do you think makes you different from other pediatric dentists?
I am silly!

15. If you could have a super power what would it be?
My super power would be time travel.

16. What was your first concert?
The first concert I went to was Wu Tang Clan with Rage Against the Machine.

17. What’s your spirit animal?
A squirrel

18. What’s the best advice you can give parents about caring for their kids’ teeth?
Encourage lots of water, fruits and veggies!!

19. What is your favorite food?
Maryland blue crabs

20. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

If you want to meet Dr. Roger in real life and learn more about what makes him such a fantastic Denver pediatric dentist, schedule a visit at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry today!

13 Ways to Add Halloween Fun to Brushing and Flossing

Ghoulishly Great Oral Hygiene: 13 Ways to Add Halloween Fun to Brushing and Flossing

By Community, Kids Dentistry, Orthodontics

Halloween is lurking just around the corner, and while the kiddos are pumped about trick-or-treating, you might be thinking about your kids’ oral hygiene. Well, the Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics team is too and we’ve got you covered! Your Denver-area pediatric dentists, Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, and Dr. Meredith, offer 13 fang-tastic ideas to add a bit of Halloween magic to this season’s brushing and flossing.

  1. Candy Toothpaste

If your kiddo uses a mint-flavored toothpaste, switch it up with a flavor that’s more candy-inspired. Brushing kids’ teeth with a flavor like this “dragon dazzle” blue raspberry and sparkle fluoride toothpaste is a sweet experience (from xylitol and stevia) and keeps their teeth boo-tifully clean and can help prevent cavities.

  1. Match Their Toothbrush To Their Costume

Is your kid dressing up as their favorite superhero? Or maybe as their beloved kids’ show character? If so, there might be a matching kids’ toothbrush. 

  1. Spooky Flossers

Flossing isn’t always an easy habit for kids to get into. But this Halloween, your kids just might sink their teeth into it with black, creepy-looking flossers — like these ones. Need to gamify flossing? Here are a few ways to help kids enjoy flossing.

  1. Sweet Treat Mouthwash

Did you know that mouthwash doesn’t only come in mint? Yep, surprise your kids with a mouthwash that tastes like a treat: this bubble fruit fluoride mouthwash has a kid-pleasing bubble gum flavor that will help clean away lingering bacteria after brushing and flossing.

  1. Bewitched Brush Holder

How about a toothbrush holder that looks like a witch’s cauldron to stir up some brushing and flossing excitement? Or a jack-o-lantern-looking cup or container.

  1. Halloween Brushing Playlist

Brush and floss to “Monster Mash,” “Thriller,” or other kid-friendly Halloween classics. Whether your kids are old enough to handle their oral hygiene by themselves or you brush your kids’ teeth for them, two minutes will fly by with a spooky soundtrack.

  1. Haunted Timer

Another way to get kids to brush their teeth for two minutes? Set a timer that plays spooky sounds when two minutes is up. Ghostly whispers or witch cackles anyone?

  1. Spook-tacular Stickers

You can’t go wrong with spooky sticker rewards. Every time your child completes their oral hygiene routine, let them add a Halloween sticker to a Halloween-themed chart. Or get window clings they can stick to the mirror. Once your child reaches their goal, reward them with a non-sugary treat like a small toy or activity.

  1. Brushing Charades

Turn brushing and flossing into Halloween charades. Need ideas? Print out these Halloween charades cards and leave them on the bathroom counter for you and your kids to choose from.

  1. Scary Story Time

Tell a two-minute scary story while your kiddos go through their oral hygiene routine. Or tell a Halloween joke every time a section of teeth is brushed.

  1. Flashlight Adventures

Turn off the lights, give your kids a flashlight, and brush in the dark! Brush with the classic flashlight-under-chin for a ghost-stories vibe.

  1. Get Brushing With Glow Sticks

Glow sticks are a surefire answer for how to make brushing teeth fun. Attach a thin one to your kiddo’s toothbrush handle, decorate the room with them, or give them to your tooth-brusher to wear while they’re brushing and flossing.

  1. Spidery Decorations

Decorate your bathroom with fake spider webbing, hang plastic creepy crawlies, and add Halloween window clings to the mirror for haunted house oral hygiene.


Your Fun, Halloween-Loving Dentists in Denver, CO

As your Halloween-loving pediatric dentists, we want your kids to enjoy it without having to worry about sugar bugs and cavities. We hope the ideas we’ve shared will help. If you want a few more pointers, check out these Halloween brushing and flossing tips

And don’t forget, make good oral hygiene standard year-round with regular check ups and cleanings. Book your next appointment with our fun and friendly team at our Englewood, Central Park, or Thornton, CO office. 


Happy brushing and flossing… and Happy Halloween!

Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

4 Lunchbox Favorites That are High in Sugar (And What to Pack Instead)

By Community, Kids Dentistry, Orthodontics

Packing your kids’ lunches is a fine art, am I right? After all, you’ve got to find a balance of nutrition, quantity, and covering all the food groups. Oh, and it has to be yummy so your kids will actually eat it. With all this to think about and all the food options out there, we at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics understand when a few not-so-healthy foods that are high in sugar find their way into the lunch kit.

So How Does Sugar Affect Kids’ Teeth?

By now, it’s common knowledge that too much sugar is not good for our kids’ overall health. But your Denver-area, board-certified pediatric dentists, Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, and Dr. Meredith, are also here to remind you that excess sugar is not ideal for the health of your kids’ teeth. Does sugar cause cavities? Simply put, yup; we can confidently say that it’s the main culprit behind tooth decay and cavities.

You’d be surprised at some snacks that are typically promoted as “healthy snacks,” options that any dentist would advise you to steer clear of. Keep reading to find four such examples from your Kids Mile High team of healthy low- or no-added-sugar alternatives for kids that’ll still get the thumbs up — and go a long way in helping with cavity prevention for your kids.

  1. Granola and Cereal Bars

Featuring star ingredients like oats, grains, and sometimes nuts, store-bought granola and cereal bars are a trickster of the kid snack world. You might think they’re one of the good guys — one of the healthy school lunch ideas you can rely on — but some have loads of sugar.

Always check the nutrition info on premade granola and cereal bars and consider how much sugar will contribute to your kids’ daily intake. The American Academy of Pediatrics says kids should have no more than 25 grams or six teaspoons of sugar per day.

What to Pack Instead: No need to cut out granola and cereal bars completely. Alongside the ones high in sugar you’ll find low sugar granola bar snacks for kids that still taste like a treat. Take a look at MadeGood bars and bites or KIND bars.

  1. Juice Boxes

Not long ago, parents didn’t think twice about packing a juice box into their kid’s lunch. But today, we now realize that those standard-issue drink boxes actually contain a lot of sugar for the amount and type of fruit servings they provide. Even a slim, 177ml apple juice has an average 19 grams of natural sugar. That’s only 6 grams shy of the recommended total limit for kids — and it doesn’t come with the fiber or protein that helps minimize spikes in blood sugar.

What to Pack Instead:

Many schools suggest that students bring a refillable water bottle to school everyday. Tap water doesn’t have any sugar and typically has a bit of fluoride to help strengthen kids’ teeth.

If you want to occasionally pack juice, opt for low sugar drinks in your snacks for kids arsenal. These Honest Kids or Juicey Juice fruit punches each have only eight grams of sugar per container.

  1. Sweet Yogurts

Like granola bars, yogurt is one of those sneaky snack foods that can be high in sugar. The sugar listed on a flavored yogurt doesn’t distinguish between sugars naturally occurring from the milk, yogurt base, fruit, or added sugars. An average amount of sugar in a six ounce cup of sweetened yogurt typically varies between 23-29 grams of sugar. But comparing the sugar content in the same amount of plain yogurt can give you a good idea of how much extra sugar comes from the additional ingredients.

What to Pack Instead:

It’s fair to say that plain yogurt isn’t a taste for everybody, especially kids. But non-flavored yogurt that you add your own fresh fruit into can be a kid-approved go-to on your list of healthy snacks for kids. Sweetness hack? A bit of vanilla extract makes the yogurt taste sweeter but doesn’t add sugar.

  1. Gummy Fruit Snacks

Don’t let the name trick you; though some brands have real fruit in the form of juice or puree, there’s also corn syrup and straight sugar. Like candy!

What to Pack Instead:

At Kids Mile High, we see those fruit snack pouches and raise you no-added-sugar fruit snacks like… drum roll, please… actual real fruit! Yes, real fresh (or frozen!) fruit is sweet, has vitamins for teeth, and comes with healthy extras like fiber and antioxidants.

Team Up with Kids Mile High for Keeping Your Kids’ Teeth Strong

Now that you’re more informed about lunch box foods high in sugar and what you can swap them out with, we’ve got one final suggestion for building awesome habits for healthy teeth: make sure you visit us for regular dental health cleaning and exams! The Kids Mile High team is your award-winning, kid-friendly kids’ pediatric dentist in Denver, CO, with colorful, high tech offices that make visits comfortable and fun.

Contact us at one of our three Denver-area offices today! We’re here to help Central Park, Englewood, and Thornton families kickstart a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles for their kids.

Tooth Decay and Cavities

Does My Child Have a Cavity? 7 Signs They Should See a Pediatric Dentist

By Community, Kids Dentistry, Orthodontics

Picture this: your kiddo is munching away at their favorite meal when suddenly, a sharp twinge of pain shoots through a tooth and they yell, “Oww!” It’s an awful feeling that signals something’s not quite right with their teeth. “Does my child have a cavity?” you wonder. 

Your Denver pediatric dentists, Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, and Dr. Meredith, say yes, pain in your child’s teeth might be a sign there’s a cavity and you should come in to see us at Kids Mile High for a professional diagnosis and treatment. But that’s not all! Your child might have other signs of tooth decay so we’ll cover them here, too.

What are Tooth Decay and Cavities?

But before we cover the actual signs of cavities in kids, let’s make sure we’re on the same page as to what exactly tooth decay and cavities are all about. What is tooth decay in children? Like in adults, tooth decay is the gradual destruction of your kiddo’s tooth structure caused by acid-producing bacteria. You see, your oral bacteria feed on the sugars left behind in your mouth after you eat. This process releases acids that erode the protective enamel on your teeth. Weakened tooth enamel leaves your dentin — the softer layer underneath your enamel — exposed and susceptible to tooth decay. 

And how about cavities? What causes cavities in kids? Over time, tooth decay can turn into permanent holes in your little one’s teeth called cavities. Deep cavities can expose the nerves in teeth causing painful toothaches, or worse, infection or tooth loss.

So What Causes Tooth Decay in Children?

Understanding what causes cavities in kids can help you and your child prevent them. Here are three of the most common causes for tooth decay:

Poor oral hygiene:

We know that kids aren’t always hyped about cleaning their teeth. But inadequate brushing and flossing allows sticky plaque to cover teeth and produce enamel-damaging acid on your child’s tooth surfaces.

Frequent snacking on sugary and starchy foods:

Kids and snacking go hand-in-hand but keep in mind that teeth need a break sometimes, a break from food that is. Your kids’ teeth need a pause between meals to give their saliva time to do its job: saliva plays a starring role in washing away plaque and neutralizing the acidic pH in your child’s mouth that weakens their tooth enamel. 

Excessive consumption of acidic beverages:

It’s not only acids from bacteria that weaken teeth; acidic drinks like juice, soda, or sports drinks can also damage tooth enamel and provide a feast for cavity-causing bacteria. Keeping acidic beverages for rare occasions can help reduce the likelihood of cavities in your kids.

Tooth Decay and Cavities

Signs of A Cavity in Kids

So back to that sharp pain your little one experienced when chewing. Let’s talk about that and six other most common signs of a cavity in children.

  1. Pain When Chewing or When Drinking Certain Beverages

Sensitivity or pain from a cavity or tooth decay can be especially noticeable when your child chews or bites down, even without food. And certain foods or beverages can trigger tooth pain, too: super sweet foods and beverages like candy, soda, or baked treats can trigger tooth sensitivity. Hard foods like nuts or crunching on ice can crack your child’s enamel. And those sweet drinks? They introduce the acids that weaken enamel over time, exposing the softer dentin underneath closer to the nerves and causing discomfort.

  1. Persistent Toothache

One of the most obvious signs your child needs to see your Denver-area pediatric dentist for kids’ cavity treatment? A persistent toothache. Their tooth pain may range from mild discomfort to a throbbing ache depending on the severity of the decay. Ask your kiddo how the pain feels on a scale of 1-10, or if the pain worsens when they bite down on food or consume hot, cold, or sugary items. 

One thing we want to mention is that toothaches in kids aren’t always because of cavities. Persistent toothaches in kids can also be because of: 

  • Adult teeth erupting
  • Loose baby teeth
  • An infection
  • Cracks or damage to their tooth
  • A damaged filling
  • Aggressive brushing
  • Teeth grinding

This is why a professional evaluation by a Kids Mile High dentist is absolutely essential for pinpointing the cause and getting your child the right treatment.

  1. Increased Sensitivity To Hot and Cold

Does your child cry out in pain when they sip a hot chocolate or bite into an ice cream cone? Heightened sensitivity to temperature extremes is one of the typical signs of tooth decay in both kids and adults. When your protective enamel is compromised, the underlying dentin is exposed and the nerves inside the teeth are in closer contact with the temperatures of what’s consumed.

  1. Dark Spots On Your Child’s Tooth Surfaces

Visible holes, pits, or dark spots on your kid’s teeth could be telltale signs of a cavity. Cavities often appear as white, brown, or black spots on the tooth surface. We suggest making an appointment at our Englewood, Thornton, or Central Park office as soon as you can if you see  these discolorations on your child’s teeth.

  1. Visible Holes or Pits in Your Child’s Teeth

This is a similar story to dark spots and discoloration. Sometimes cavities in kids look like small holes in their teeth and indicate exactly where your child’s tooth decay has happened.

  1. Bad Breath or An Unpleasant Taste

The bacteria responsible for cavities produces unpleasant-smelling gasses that contribute to bad breath. If you can smell that your child has consistently bad breath even after brushing and flossing, this might be a sign of tooth decay. You can also ask them if they have an unpleasant taste in their mouth: chewing food near a decayed tooth can cause a weird taste and point to a cavity.

  1. Changes in Tooth Texture

As a cavity progresses, your child may notice changes in the texture of their teeth. The affected area might feel rough or uneven when they run their tongue over it. When cavities are left untreated, tooth decay can advance and weaken your child’s tooth structure.

Why Kids' Cavity Treatment is super important

Why Kids’ Cavity Treatment is Super Important

At Kids Mile High, we want your kids to have the healthiest, happiest, superhero smiles possible. Like the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, we recommend scheduling your child’s checkups and cleanings every six months so we can catch little problems before they become big ones. When it comes to tooth decay and cavities, regular checkups allow us to spot any early signs of tooth decay in your children and provide prompt treatment. 

On the other hand, tooth decay that goes unnoticed could worsen and become bigger, more painful dental problems for your child. Bacteria and acids can move deeper into their tooth, reaching the sensitive pulp that contains the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. The pulp can then become swollen and irritated, and since there’s no place for the swelling to expand inside the tooth, it presses against the nerves causing pain.

This pain can also travel beyond your child’s tooth root into their jawbone. In severe cases, untreated cavities can lead to tooth loss, infection, and even an abscess — a painful pocket of pus caused by the infection. Ewww.

Making It All Better – Kids Cavity Treatment

Bottom line? If your child’s been experiencing one or several of the cavity signs we’ve discussed above, schedule an appointment immediately with your expert pediatric dentist at Kids Mile High. Your board-certified pediatric dentist will conduct a comfortable exam to confirm if your child has a cavity. We might even use our cool, high-tech DIAGNOdent™, a special laser that detects even the earliest and smallest cavities. Sometimes we’ll also opt to take quick and painless, low-dose digital x-rays to ensure we’ve got the most up-to-date images of your child’s teeth.

Once Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, or Dr. Meredith has diagnosed your child’s tooth decay, they’ll suggest an appropriate kids’ cavity treatment. Kids Mile High cavity treatment includes options like:

Tooth-coloured fillings:

We offer tooth-colored fillings color-matched to your child’s tooth. It won’t even look like they had a cavity in the first place! At Kids Mile High, we use Herculite composite resin, one of the strongest composite materials on the market so you know your child’s filling will last.

Pediatric Crowns:

If your child’s cavity is large or most of their tooth structure is now missing because of it, a special pediatric dental crown may be what we suggest for your kid’s cavity treatment. What’s a crown? A crown is a cap over the tooth that covers the entire visible part right to the gum line. 

We use NuSmile pediatric crowns on baby teeth to keep them in place until they’re ready to fall out and make way for the adult teeth. NuSmile pediatric crowns are white, metal-free and made from durable zirconia. We color-match crowns to look natural and mimic the shape, contours, and slight translucency of real teeth. 

Root Canal Treatment:

When dental decay has reached the pulp of a tooth, a baby root canal may be recommended. Yes, we totally get that a root canal for your wee one can sound a bit scary, but rest assured, your child is in gentle, expert hands. The goal of a root canal for a primary tooth is to save what’s left of your child’s tooth to avoid extracting a baby tooth too early. We’ll restore your child’s tooth with a NuSmile crown so they can chew, talk, and smile with confidence… and without pain!

Tooth Extraction:

Although we do whatever we can to save a baby tooth that’s not ready to fall out, sometimes tooth decay is so bad that it’s healthier to remove it. Tooth extraction is a super last resort, and we make sure your kiddo is comfortable and doesn’t feel a thing. To help our young patients feel at ease, we offer sedation dentistry with nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, or in-office general anesthesia administered by the anesthesiologists from CarePoint Anesthesia.

Say Goodbye to Kids’ Tooth Decay With Your Denver Pediatric Dentists

Tooth decay can really put a damper on your child’s everyday life so if they’re going through any signs of a cavity, we’re here to help. Our engaging, kid-friendly office, friendly staff, and high-tech approach make us your go-to pediatric dentist in Denver.

Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment today.

Summer Backpack Contest

Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics Launches Our Summer Backpack Contest

By Community, Kids Dentistry, Orthodontics

Turn those summer photos into a $50 Amazon Gift Card: Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics has launched our summer Backpack Photo Contest. During the month of June, you can pick up a Kids Mile High backpack from any of our three Denver-area locations — Englewood, Central Park, or Thornton, CO and get snapping. Only 50 backpacks are available per office so stop by soon. 

Wherever the summer leads you — on vacation, at camp, or just hanging out nearby — take a smiley snap with your backpack and post the image on social media with the tag @kidsmilehigh. All posts are entered into a draw for a $50 Amazon Gift Card. You can post and tag as many photos as you like. 

Dental Care Fun Is Fun With Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry

This summer backpack contest is just one of many ways we make dental care fun. If there’s something to smile extra big about — a birthday, a holiday, getting braces off — we’re the Denver dentist that definitely celebrates. And every visit to our office is fun, too. Our state-of-the-art offices in Thornton, Central Park, and Englewood, CO are cheerful, colorful, and designed for our young patients to enjoy. 

From prevention to orthodontics, Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics offers everything your family needs to stay on top of your children’s oral care. Pediatric dentists, Dr. Paddy Smithwick, Dr. Roger Castro, Dr. Meredith Ghivizzani, along with orthodontist, Dr. Brandon Scheer are all board-certified and provide award-winning, high-quality oral care wrapped up in a friendly, kid-focused approach. 

What Causing White Spots on Your Baby's Teeth

5 Things That Could be Causing White Spots on Your Baby’s Teeth

By Community, Kids Dentistry, Orthodontics

Your wee one’s first set of teeth are precious. So understandably, you might be a little concerned about white spots on those cute little baby teeth. What’s causing these white spots?

In this post, Dr. Paddy and your Denver-area pediatric dental team at Kids Mile High want to equip you with the info you need about white spots on your little one’s teeth. Let’s talk about the top 5 common causes for white spots on baby teeth.  

  1. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Ok, to be clear, your little one won’t get tooth decay or white spots on their teeth from the actual bottle or sippy cup. Phew! One less thing to worry about as a parent. Instead, “baby bottle tooth decay” refers to getting tooth decay or white spots from bottle or sippy cup habits that prolong the presence of sugar on their teeth. 

How does baby bottle tooth decay happen? If your child falls asleep with their bottle or sippy cup, the sugar in what they’re drinking tends to coat their teeth, causing tooth decay more quickly. For the same reason, tooth decay is more likely to happen from continually drinking milk or a sugary drink without long enough breaks in between. (This goes for everyone actually: babies, kids, and you!) 

You see, when baby teeth come into frequent contact with the sugar in milk or sweet drinks, oral bacteria gets to work feeding on those sugars and produces acids that attack and weaken your child’s tooth enamel. This makes teeth more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. Breaks from the sippy cup or bottle will allow your baby’s saliva to neutralize the acids and return your child’s enamel from a weakened, softened state to a hardened, durable state.

  1. Enamel Hypoplasia

Speaking of enamel, white spots on a baby’s teeth can also happen because of an issue called enamel hypoplasia. This is when tooth enamel is hard enough but too thin to properly protect your child’s soft dentin underneath. Hyperplasia can happen to individual teeth, in certain spots on individual teeth, or less common, on all teeth. The unprotected tooth is then more susceptible to tooth decay and can result in white or brown spots. Kids get enamel hypoplasia because of disruptions in their tooth enamel development — either in utero, early infancy, or early childhood. 

  1. Medications

Certain antibiotics can cause white spots to show up on baby teeth. How? By interfering with tooth enamel development when taken during pregnancy or when given to young children. In other words, some medications cause enamel hypoplasia (talked about above) and make your child more susceptible to a baby tooth cavity or tooth decay.

Make sure you let us know about medications your wee one is taking, has taken in the past, or if mom took antibiotics during pregnancy. This info can help us really pinpoint reasons for the white spots on your child’s teeth. 

  1. Fluorosis

You’ve likely heard that fluoride is good for strengthening teeth. But when baby teeth are  exposed to too much fluoride through drinking water or toothpaste, this can cause white or brown spots. The good news? Fluorosis isn’t harmful to baby teeth or a child’s overall health; quite the opposite! Teeth with fluorosis are actually more resistant to tooth decay and cavities. Fluorosis is only an aesthetic concern. 

  1. Poor Dental Hygiene

If a baby or toddler’s teeth are not cleaned well every day, plaque and bacteria can build up and cause white spots — or even cavities — on teeth. As your Denver pediatric dentists, we can’t say it enough: diligent brushing and flossing is Step One in preventing tooth decay in your little one. And bonus, starting a good oral hygiene routine early and making it fun builds a solid foundation for valuing life-long oral health.

​​Your Denver Area Pediatric Dentists For Happy Smiles

If you notice white spots on your child’s baby’s teeth, come in to see your award-winning pediatric dentists at Kids Mile High. Dr. Paddy, Dr. Roger, and Dr. Meredith are happy to assess your child’s white spots and recommend a plan for your child’s best oral health.

Contact us to make an appointment at one of our fun and friendly offices in Englewood, Central Park, or Thornton, CO.