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Books to Read Before the First Dental Visit

Many children experience anxiety during their first trip to the dentist. This anxiety can be transferred from parent to child and we often see parents who are more nervous than the child.

To help ease some of this anxiety and help prepare for the first visit to the dentist try reading dental children’s books at bedtime for a few weeks before. I have not found one children’s book that perfectly illustrates the experience, but there are so many to choose from that it is easy to find the right one for your child.

Here is a list of my favorites:

1.) “The Berenstain Bear’s Visit the Dentist,” by Stan and Jan Berenstainberenstain Bears

2.) “Just Going to the Dentist,” by Mercer Mayer

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3.) “Elmo Visits the Dentist,” by P.J Shaw                                                      elmo

4.) “I Love Going to the Dentist!” by Lynda Hudson

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5.) “Dancing Daisy Goes to the Dentist,” by Deborah Bradley daisy

6.) “Does a Tiger Open Wide?” by Fred Ehrlich

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7.) “The Tooth Book,” by Dr. Seuss

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8.) “Going to the Dentist,” by Stephen Cartwright

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9.) “What to Expect when you go to the Dentist,” by Heidi Murkoff What-to-Expect-When-You-Go-to-the-Dentist-Murkoff-Heidi-9780694013289(1)

10.) “Show me your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist,” by Christine RicciDora

 

Adding a few of these books into the bedtime routine before their first visit can help to make them excited about the experience. Be careful not to accidentally let your own dental anxiety sneak into the conversation and leave questions up to us. We love making the dental visit fun for the kids by using kid friendly words and terms throughout the appointment. By avoiding words such as, “hurt” “scared” “shot” “needle,” you can help us be more successful with your child and they’ll love coming back to see us each time!

 

Apple Nachos!

 

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Parents are superheroes-running around to activities, school drop-off and pickup, making meals, cleaning house and everything in between. It can be hard to think of creative ways to encourage your child to eat more fruits and veggies.

Often in between all of these errands, kids are hungry and asking for a snack. Parents tend to grab carbohydrates such as chips, crackers, and goldfish. As mentioned in previous blog posts, these are not teeth friendly options. The simple carbohydrates break down into sugars on the teeth and cause decay.

What I hear often at the office are parents, in exasperated tones, saying that their child is picky and won’t eat much besides carbohydrates. To encourage them to try new things and open them up to choose healthier options, try setting aside some time to make snack time fun!

Here’s a recipe that I LOVED! “Apple Nachos.”

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Ingredients:

1-2 apples of your choice

Almond butter, peanut butter or sun butter. Preferably choose the option with the lowest sugar. The almond butter I used had 3g of sugar per 2TBSP

Almonds, peanuts, raisins, cinnamon – anything to dress up your nachos and make them kid friendly!

 

Directions:

Slice the apples to about 1/4″-1/2″ thickness and arrange on a platter

 

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Melt the topping of your choice on the stove or in the microwave so it can be easily drizzled onto the apples

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Use a spoon to drizzle over the apples

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Decorate and enjoy!

How to get rid of that Halloween Candy!

Halloween Candy: A cavity’s best friend!

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Halloween is over, but unfortunately so is the warmer weather of early fall. Now that the costumes, holiday and school parties are done, you are more than likely left with an excessive amount of sugary loot.

It can be difficult to convince your child to release the candy goodness and save their body and teeth, but here are a few suggestions that may help you win the battle.

Get your kids involved and make it fun. Try making a wreath out of candy or having a contest of who can build the best statue! To combine education and candy reduction, set up a science experiment in your kitchen.

There are a number of different experiments to try, but here are a few of my favorites.

The Acid Test:

Fruit-flavored candy is full of acid! Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, and Starbursts are a few of the culprits more than likely present in your child’s Halloween candy. With a little water and some baking soda you can test the candy to see if it has acid.

Add a ¼ cup of water to a measuring cup, add in your candy of choice and sprinkle baking soda on top. If the mixture bubbles the candy has acid in it.

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M&M Test:

M&M’s have a dissolvable candy shell. Make a tie-dye, rainbow project with a plate of warm water and M&M’s. Add the candy to the warm water and watch the color dissolve off the candy leaving behind a rainbow in the water.

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You can also try the sink or float test by adding various candy to small containers of water to see if they float to the top or sink to the bottom.

Some parents may choose a different tradition to reduce the amount of sugar intake this time of year. The Switch Witch will come at night and replace the pile of candy left on the table with a toy for the child. This is a fun tradition to start and it will help reduce the sugar craving that will follow an excessive amount of sugar consumption.

Look through these options and decide what is going to be the most successful for you and your family. It is a common misconception that by eating the candy slow and steady is better than all at once, but when it comes to the health of your child’s teeth, this is not the case.

Sugar + Acid + Time= Decay. The math is that simple. If your child consumes just a piece with lunch every day until the candy is gone, the sugar is going to be reintroduced to their teeth and increase the risk for decay. It is better, although it sounds absurd, to let your child eat more candy at once and then get rid of the rest. Although it’s more sugar and acid, it is only one frequency, thus reducing their risk of cavities.

 

Good luck and please share what methods worked best for you!

What is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist?

Recently, we have the exciting opportunity to announce that ALL of our pediatric dentists at Concord Pediatric Dentistry are board certified! We have amazing doctors at our practice and we love an opportunity to brag about them! The question you may ask is, what does all of this mean?

 

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Our dentists went down a long educational pathway. They each finished their undergraduate degree, applied and were accepted to dental school, continued on for more education to become pediatric dental specialists and after finishing their education, pediatric residencies and passing their exams they electively chose to pursue MORE education by studying and preparing for the board exam.

Each of our dentists had to pass a written qualifying examination and an oral clinical examination. After diligent and lengthy studying, they each passed the requirements and are now recognized as Diplomats of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

Because pursuing board certification is an optional accomplishment, I chose to ask our doctors the following question:

“What were your reasons for pursuing board certification?”

This is what they said:

“I knew that the vast majority of dentists are not board certified, however achieving board certification status in my pediatric dental specialty had been an early goal in my professional career after receiving my Masters of Science in Pediatric Dentistry.

I wanted to have the highest knowledge of my pediatric dental specialty and also keep up with the most current scientific studies and literature. With that knowledge I can provide the best oral health care to my pediatric patients and also educate their parents. Growing professionally and caring for my patients were my motivations to attain board certification in my specialty of pediatric dentistry.

Getting board certified is a stressful process that requires sacrifice of one’s time and energy. Also, to remain board certified is not a given. There are many steps involved, however it is totally worth it for all of our young patients. As pediatric dental specialists, we take care of and advocate for the children of our great nation regarding optimum oral health and craniofacial growth and development.

At Concord Pediatric Dentistry I am challenged to be my very best as I have the honor and privilege to currently practice my specialty with four other, younger, board certified pediatric dental specialists (Drs. Patrick Capozzi, Danielle Hinton, Elliot Chiu and Bradley Field). We all complement and synergize one another. Because we are board certified in pediatric dentistry, all five of us have the special designation of “Diplomates” of The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry defines a diplomate as a pediatric dentist whose credentials have been verified, who has successfully completed voluntary examinations, and who demonstrates specialized knowledge and skill. A Diplomate is dedicated to providing exceptional patient care through a voluntary commitment to lifelong learning.

At Concord Pediatric Dentistry all of the pediatric dental specialists are board certified and ‘We Love Taking Care of Kids’.” – Dr. Achong

 

“My goal was to put myself in a position to provide the best possible care to my patients. By achieving my board certification, I wanted to demonstrate my continued pursuit of excellence in the pediatric dental care I provide to the children and families of New Hampshire. I also wanted to be part of a group of individuals with similar goals and aspirations so that we can learn from each other’s experiences.” – Dr. Capozzi

 

“I chose to attain board certification  for several reasons. Besides being a personal accomplishment, becoming board certified involves life long professional growth and self improvement. It is an opportunity to provide assurance to my patients and community that I have completed a voluntary examination process to validate my knowledge, skills, and experience while delivering quality patient care. Lastly, I wanted to become board certified to maintain my hospital privileges at Concord Hospital to treat patients who require or would benefit from treatment under general anesthesia.” – Dr. Hinton

 

“Continuing education and lifelong learning are high priorities for me and essential to achieving and maintaining board certification. Becoming a board certified pediatric dentist was an important goal of mine so that I can provide the highest level of care for all of my patients.” – Dr. Chiu

 

“Board certification is the highest level of education and training for pediatric dentists. It was an excellent opportunity for me to challenge myself and stay up to date, which will help me provide my patient’s with the highest quality of care.” – Dr. Field

 

From all of the staff at Concord Pediatric Dentistry, we congratulate our doctors on their pursuit of the HIGHEST level of education they can receive! What an outstanding accomplishment for all of them and for their passion in providing their patient’s with the highest level of care they can!

 

Happy Wednesday!

Sara

Tasty, Kid-Friendly, Fall Treats!

With so many things hidden in the foods we eat, it becomes increasingly difficult to understand what makes for a healthy snack. When you combine this with the picky appetites of our favorite kiddos you have a recipe for parental frustration.

I speak with so many parents that are shocked to learn that foods they assumed to be a healthy choice may not be the best option for keeping teeth healthy and cavity free. Some of the most common cavity causers are acidic beverages in any form. These include the obvious choices like soda, juice and sports drinks, but also include flavored waters and calorie-free flavor additives such as Crystal Lite or Mio.

The best drink choice is plain water or milk. Milk has sugar present in it, but it does not contain the acids in the above mentioned drinks. That being said, it is best to consume it with a meal.

When choosing snacks for your kids try to avoid the simple carbohydrates like chips, pretzels, Goldfish and crackers. These snacks break down into sugar that sits on the teeth. To promote saliva production give kids crunchy vegetables like carrots, peppers with hummus or apples and peanut butter. For a fun spin on snack time, check out the Apple “cookie” recipe below!

 

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The options are endless! Choose your favorite toppings, like nuts, cinnamon or raisins.

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Slice the apples into 1/4″ thick slices.

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Cut out the center and spread with peanut butter or nut butter. (Be sure to keep in mind how many grams of sugar is in your favorite nut butter.)

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Let your kids decorate their “cookies.”

Enjoy!

Welcome!

At Concord Pediatric Dentistry we love taking care of kids! Throughout the day we hear a multitude of questions from parents and patients and our hopes with this blog are to address some of these questions and concerns, but also create a space to include fun topics, articles and projects. I have worked as a Registered Dental Hygienist for Concord Pediatric Dentistry for three years and I’ll be using my knowledge, passion for educating, and creativity to enhance your vision of the dental profession.

I encourage you to follow us on this journey to learn about engaging projects, dental tips, facts, and happenings in New Hampshire. This blog will also serve as a platform for you to ask us questions you may have. Stay tuned for exciting news and contests!

I feel so thankful that we have such a strong team at Concord Pediatric Dentistry and being a part of the community is a strong thread of who we are. This past weekend we spent time organizing an employee run yard sale in our office to fundraise for the Making Strides against Breast Cancer foundation. Each year we participate in the event in hopes to raise awareness of the disease and to aid in the most important thing, prevention. As a dental hygienist prevention is what I know best and I hope that with our efforts we can make the future prognosis of breast cancer optimistic.

We had a great day with our team and meeting members of the community as they graciously donated to our cause. I was stunned and humbled by the outpouring support from community members as they walked up to our bake sale table and donated money without expecting anything in return.

Breast cancer is a disease that affects everyone to some extent. We all fall victim to knowing a survivor or someone who lost the fight. This creates such a passionate energy and nothing like the other fundraising events I am involved with.

We already have some great ideas for making the yard sale a bigger success next year. Take a look at some of our photos from the day and share any comments or suggestions for making it better!

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Cheers!

Sara, RDH at CPD