Category: General Tooth Care Info

Thanksgiving Recipes You Won’t Want to Miss
Thanksgiving Recipes You Won’t Want to Miss

Thanksgiving recipes are cherished classics in every kitchen, whether it be an old family recipe or the back of a pre-packaged box, we all enjoy this hearty holiday meal. Having these recipes on hand before the big feast is important, after all, good cooking is mostly preparation! If you are looking for some interesting twists on Thanksgiving classics, or simply need a fun recipe for those little mouths at the table these recipes are for you, and they are kid-friendly too!


Thanksgiving morning usually comes early for those of you preparing the Turkey. From the moment you wake up, you begin your preparations and sometimes, you just don’t have time (and oven or stove space) to grab some breakfast! Cereal is quick and easy, but it can get boring and doesn’t provide the nutrition you need to get through your cooking marathon.

Freezer egg bakes

Try out some of these delicious breakfast ideas for your busy morning. These freezer-bite recipes involve some preparation the night before, which will free your time for the most important preparations the morning of Thanksgiving. They are convenient, easy, and healthy for you and your family! Follow this link for three easy, cheesy ideas:

Freezer Egg Bakes


“Gobble” some Pancakes

Who couldn’t enjoy pancakes for breakfast? If this classic breakfast is a staple for the weekends home with your kids, then here is a fun twist!

Turkey Pancakes



When you’re busy cooking such a yummy meal, it can be tough to keep your fingers out of it which is why we are providing some great recipes and ideas for snacks to munch on, pre-dinner. Of course, you want to save room for all that turkey and stuffing, but sometimes you just need something to hold you over until then.

Caramel/dulce de leche dip

If you have an extra can of sweetened condensed milk, a staple in Thanksgiving dessert recipes, than you can make one yummy caramel dip, or dulce de leche, if you prefer!  If you have never tried this before, you must try it now. See the link for the recipe on this mouth-watering dip.

Caramel/Dulce de Leche


You can do this a couple days before, or the night before, just give it a few hours (very little work, we promise) its well worth it! Be sure the dip is very cool before opening. Take a few of your kid’s favorite apples (try Honeycrisps), slice them up on a tray, and you have a wonderful apple dip! While you are at it, drizzle over some popcorn for a sweet and salty treat, or spoon it over some yogurt.

Trail mix

For an easy-to-grab snack, try this trail mix! It’s easy to make and easy to take with you around the kitchen (if need be). Mayflower Munch


Cheese/fruit/meat “turkey” platter

Another easy snack would be a party-type tray. Though simple, they can be quite versatile and customizable to any occasion. All you need for this one is some pepperoni and different cheeses of your choice! You could also use fruit and vegetables of your choice. This is a very simple and quick snack when you need to focus on the meal preparation.


Mini cornucopias

This next option is not only creative and festive, but its also easy entirely edible. You could make your own variations with this one and customize it to your child’s favorite finger snacks. Or, if you are one for ice cream year-round, try some fun holiday flavors such as pumpkin or eggnog ice cream with a spoon of the homemade caramel listed above! Check out the “Mini Cornucopias” using waffle ice cream cones at this link:

Mini Cornucopias


Dinner Sides

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest meals you will probably cook through the year and though it’s all so tasteful, sometimes it can get a bit messy for kids, especially stuffing and gravy. Here are some recipes to put a little user-friendly twist on the ordinary recipes.

Stuffing Muffins

Whether you’re cooking your stuffing in the turkey,  a crock pot, or the stove, this handy tip can prove useful for all the little mouths at the table. All you need is a cupcake pan and you can turn the stuffing into a “muffin” that can be easily held by toddlers and small children. Check out this link for the how to, as well as a simple stuffing recipe from scratch!

Herb Stuffing Muffins


Mashed potato puffs

Finger food really is the best for kids, especially when it comes to large feasts and a table full of kids. Whether you need to make it quick with instant potatoes, or you already have a pot of mashed potatoes for those who may not be fond of yams, this is a great variation for messy little eaters and babes learning how to feed themselves. Here it is:

Mashed Potato Puffs


Honey glazed carrots

This sweet dish is full of great nutrients for your little one who may prefer to pass up the yams. Use baby carrots or chop full-size carrots for an easy-to-eat dish. See this link for a delightful recipe:

Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

Thanksgiving is a day of appreciation and spending time with our loved ones, and we want to keep it that way with some quick, easy, and convenient meals and snacks with items you may already have on hand. As you prepare for this year’s festivities, remember to be present in all things and thankful for all things, especially those we love… and great food!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Out with the Old, In with the New
Out with the Old, In with the New

Losing baby teeth

As parents and caretakers, we often experience just as much discomfort as our little ones do when it comes to teething. From long nights of frequent wakings for teething gel, to a freezer full of popsicles to sooth the gum inflammation, we are more than happy to see that last tooth pop through their little gums! But, after all that hard work, those pesky teeth then begin to fall out. Just when you think you have this tooth-sprouting business done with, you hear, “my tooth is loose!” and it’s a whole new game!

Those words represent another big milestone in your child’s life. Baby teeth have to fall out to make way for permanent teeth to grow; this process can last six or more years from start to finish. Most kids are probably excited to feel their loose, wiggly tooth, and some may worry and wonder if it will hurt. Every child is unique and will react in either fashion. Your response should be as unique as theirs: reassuring them that this is a normal, necessary process, and even showing excitement for them.

First things first

file0001992721486Your child’s 20 baby teeth, which typically come in by age 3, usually fall out in the order in which they came in. On average, kids begin losing teeth at age 5 or 6, but some can lose the first tooth as early as 4 or as late as 7. Since the lower center teeth (lower central incisors) are usually the first to erupt, that means they are usually the first to go as well. The top center pair is next. The middle teeth are usually the first to go (at 6 to 7 years), followed by the ones on either side (at 7 to 8 years). The molars can be lost at any time after that, but will likely be gone between 9 and 12 years. Typically, the teeth will not loosen until the permanent tooth begins to push its way through. These permanent teeth have been growing beneath the gums for some time and eventually dissolve the root of the baby tooth in its path, making it loose.

Think of it like this: the younger the child was when the teeth came in, the earlier they fall out.

It is possible, however, for kids to lose a baby tooth too early, before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt, due to an accident or dental disease. Sometimes a pediatric dentist will put a spacer (a custom-fit plastic placeholder) in the place where a baby tooth fell out too soon until the adult tooth is ready, in order to prevent future spacing problems. If your child begins to lose teeth before 4, you should consult a dentist to make sure there’s no underlying disease.

On the contrary, it is also possible for a child to reach 7 or 8 without losing any baby teeth. In such cases, there’s probably nothing wrong, but it’s a good idea to consult a dentist for X-rays to assess the situation. During the preschool years or shortly after the age of 4, prior to losing their baby teeth, your child’s jaw and facial bones grow to create space between the primary teeth for your child’s permanent, adult teeth to come in. In all, your child will have 28 permanent teeth by the age of 12, sometimes later which is also normal. The remaining four “wisdom teeth” arrive between 17 and 25 years of age.

 What to do

So your child has approached you declaring that they have a loose tooth. During these years in your child’s life, his grin will slowly start start to transform, but in the meantime, it will be full of permanent teeth and baby teeth alike. What can you do, and what should you do to help your child through such a loss as this?

  • Encourage your child to gently wiggle a their loose tooth. Some loose teeth can actually be rotated because the root underneath has almost completely disintegrated.
  • Remind your child not to yank a tooth before it’s ready to fall out on its own because it makes the broken root more vulnerable to infection. No tying-a-string-to-a-doorknob tricks, please! A loose tooth that refuses to come out may need to be pulled by a dentist, though this is hardly ever necessary.
  • Just allow nature to take its course! It shouldn’t take much effort, and there should be very little bleeding. Focus on making sure your child is brushing well at the gum line; often the tooth will come out easily during regular teeth brushing.
  • Losing baby teeth is seldom as painful a process as teething. If your 5- or 6-year-old complains of pain in the back of his mouth, it’s probably the 6-year molars coming in. (He has no baby teeth there to fall out first). A topical painkiller, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen can ease the ache, though it’s unlikely to last long.
  • Make it fun! Play the tooth fairy and give your child some quarters for their teeth. Make a pillow or use an envelope to keep them safe!

The new arrivals

The new teeth may look bigger, especially those first few. That’s because they are! Adult teeth also tend to be less white than baby teeth and have pronounced ridges because they haven’t been used yet for biting and chewing. Sometimes, but not often, a couple of new teeth come in before the old ones are gone, creating two rows of pearly whites. This is a temporary stage, sometimes called shark’s teeth. Keep an eye on your child’s progress and if you are concerned, talk to their dentist. Brushing is now more important than ever. You’ll probably need to supervise the process until your child is around 8, and until then he won’t need to use more than a pea-sized dot of toothpaste. Some doctors recommend using toothpaste without fluoride until the child can spit, if tap water contains enough fluoride. Replace toothbrushes every two or three months to reduce harmful bacteria and keep them working at their best. And make sure your child sees a dentist twice a year. As your child wiggles those teeth away, take pictures of all the awkward smiles, and sing, “all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!”

Mind, Body, and Mouth
Mind, Body, and Mouth


The Connection

Finding the link

Often, we hear about the mind, body, and soul connection, or the mind-body connection, but have you heard of the mouth and body connection? Most people think their dental visit is about their oral health, and it is for the most part. Your visit, however, is not just about your teeth, its about your overall health. The state of your teeth, gums, and lips offer clues to how the rest of your body is doing. You see, what goes on in the rest of your body can, and usually does affect your teeth. Like the eyes to the soul, your mouth is a window to the health of your body.

Many diseases and illnesses can cause oral problems, and the reverse is also true. The American Heart Association published a statement in April 2012 supporting an association between gum disease and heart disease. Gum disease results in the kind of inflammation that has been shown to contribute to heart disease and diabetes. In recent years, the connection between oral health and overall health has peaked interest in the health community. In one recent study, people with serious gum disease were 40% more likely to have a chronic condition on top of it.That is definitely worth further research.

Understanding the connection


Studies show that the mouth can indeed affect the body, but to understand how, we need to know what can go wrong from the start. When we skip out on brushing our teeth, or even fail to do it properly, bacteria can build up on the teeth. Over time, plaque, the buildup of bacteria, causes an immune response, resulting in gingivitis or inflammation. About 35% of U.S. adults have some form of perionditis or severe inflammation. Another 50% have gingivitis which is the beginning of gum disease; the mildest form of gum disease. Inflammation will continue as long as it goes uncared for. Over time, it causes a chemical release that weakens the enamel and bone structure of your teeth and gums, down to the root. This results in… you guessed it… gum disease and tooth decay. Not only does regular inflammation of the teeth affect your body, but so do oral infections such as cold sores or ulcers, also known as “canker sores.” Weakened immunity can often result in mouth sores which cause much pain and discomfort. Like the snowball effect, once you have mouth sores it becomes painful to brush and bacteria tends to build on the teeth.

Heart Disease

One of the most common health conditions in America is Heart Disease. Perhaps more common due to the connection with chronic gum disease and the increase of this oral condition. In heart disease, one theory is that chronic, ongoing gum disease can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream where they attach to the fatty deposits in the heart blood vessels. Anytime bleeding occurs in the mouth, certain oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and may settle on abnormal heart valves or tissue weakened by an existing heart problem or heart condition.This can then cause blood clots and may lead to heart attacks.

Though the connection is still not fully understood, it is quite clear that the conditions go hand in hand. Recent studies have shown that over 90% of patients with heart disease have gum disease, while over 60% have gum disease without heart disease. Some suspect that perionditis has a direct role in raising the risk of heart disease, especially since they both have common risk factors such as unhealthy diet, smoking, and excess weight.


Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. Inflammation that starts in the mouth seems to weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar. People with diabetes have trouble processing sugar because of a lack of insulin: the hormone that converts sugar into energy. Risk increases for serious gum disease due to the decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums. You could say there is a two-way relationship. High blood sugar provides ideal conditions for infection to grow, including gum infections. This relationship can be used to your favor: managing one can help bring the other under control.

It doesn’t end here

While Heart Disease and Diabetes may seem so extreme a condition to develop from gum inflammation, the list of ailments doesn’t end there. Even pregnancy, though not a ailment, causes changes and susceptibility in the mother’s teeth due to hormone changes. Your body is one big puzzle piece and everything is connected. So why does this information about such serious conditions matter? Because, these conditions don’t develop overnight, they are developed over time and often, it starts with lack of dental care and education about oral hygiene Teach your children now about the importance of oral hygiene and help them develop healthy habits that will serve them well in life and avoid the ailments that can manifest later in their lives. Eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene helps reduce your risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss once a day!

Fall Fluenzas
Fall Fluenzas


Enterovirus and preventing illness in your home

Fall, one of the more radiantly beautiful seasons of the year, is finally upon us again and as parents, we know what that usually means! Back to school, sweaters, and the flu. This year in particular, there has been much concern regarding the Enterovirus in the eastern and central states. Every year, the colder seasons usually come with a cycle of colds and viruses and keeping them away is of every parent’s concern. So what is the Enterovirus and how can you prevent and protect your family from falling sick this fall?

What is Enterovirus?

Enterovirus is a non-polio respiratory virus that can cause mild to severe breathing problems, particularly in children with asthma. The strain that is currently traveling the United States is known as the Enterovirus D68. Symptoms mimic those of a cold: runny nose, sneezing, cough, body aches, and fever. More severe symptoms include wheezing and difficulty breathing; usually in children with a history of respiratory problems. The virus is spread just like the common cold, through sneezing, coughing, and touching a contaminated surface.

The CDC has confirmed that from Mid August through September 16th, 120 people across 13 states have been confirmed to have the illness caused by the Enterovirus. These states include: Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Currently, children with respiratory illnesses from different parts of Washington have been admitted to Seattle Children’s hospital for testing to determine the virus or an uncommon strain of cold virus that typically hits in the Fall. There are no confirmed cases of the virus in Washington yet. The virus lasts about one week and most children recover without any lasting symptoms. Children with asthma or any kind of respiratory weakness though, are at higher risk for more serious symptoms. Like most viruses, there are no vaccines to prevent the illness and it must run it’s course. Only temporary relief from symptoms with medicine like cough syrup or pain relievers.

Preventing Illness

Whether effective cures are discovered or not, prevention is the best cure to any illness out there. Education of proper hygiene is one of the best tool you can give your kids to stay healthy and happy throughout their lives.

Wish Wash!

The first step in prevention is teaching your children to wash their hands, properly! Though it’s obvious, it cannot be stressed enough. 80% of infectious germs are spread by touch alone! Keeping toddlers from touching infected surfaces and covering coughs is near impossible which is why hand washing is realistic and most effective for younger children. Introduce your child at 1-2 years of age and let them play in the water and get comfortable with it. Pump some soap between their fingers and let them squish it around and play with it, just don’t let them eat it of course. Singing a song or practicing letters and numbers can distract them to lingering longer at the sink, enabling you to make sure they get a good wash.

Washing your toddler’s hands can be tricky, but making it fun is a learned art that will help you equip them with important hygiene skills. Experts suggest washing for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water and any soap; the regular soap will be just as effective as antibacterial. If a sink and warm water aren’t available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer and have your child rub it around until evaporated, about 20 seconds. Just don’t rely on hand sanitizers for keeping your child’s hands clean, use it only when warm water or soap is not available due to alcohol content.

When should you wash hands? It may seem obvious, but to kids it isn’t so. Encourage them to wash after blowing their nose and sneezing, coughing, touching their face, using the bathroom, and eating. The best method for teaching your child about hand washing is to do it yourself! When they see you wash, children are far more inclined to do it themselves; kids learn by influence. It is equally important for you to wash your hands for a few reasons: taking care of a sick child can also get you sick. Also, taking care of a sick child while you are sick is just miserable. Make hand washing a group activity!

Disinfect your home

When you have a sick child, it may seem inevitable that everyone in the house will get sick, but you can prevent spread by taking a few steps to eliminate germs. Keeping a clean home to prevent illness means keeping surfaces such as counter tops, door handles, and light switches sanitized. Also consider toys, toothbrushes stored in a shared cup, and chairs. Using wipes or a spray solution and paper towels, spray surfaces but allow it to rest for about 20 seconds, then wipe, ensuring that those germs are eliminated.

Besides the obvious surface sanitation, keep towels in both the kitchen and bathroom laundered regularly. Germs can hold in damp towels and cause anyone using them to become sick, especially hand towels used by everyone. Consider using disposable paper towels to prevent reduce germ spread. This sounds like a lot, but don’t make yourself go crazy in attempts to prevent germ spread, just do your best. You can’t follow your kids around disinfecting every little thing, its impossible! You can’t eliminate every germ in the house, but encouraging all members of your home to wash hands regularly will reduce the germ population greatly.

Keep your hands to yourself!

Literally, encourage your kids not to touch other children or food in the kitchen that is not going directly to their mouth. Encourage hand washing after eating and don’t let them share food and drinks with others in the home or with their friends. Oral transmission is another very common way to spread germs, so avoid sharing any food, beverage, or toys and binkys.

For parents, avoid preparing food if you can, and if you must, we cannot emphasize enough to wash your hands! Avoid breathing directly onto food as well. If your kids want a snack, remind them to wash before opening the fridge or prepare a snack for them. If possible, pack lunches for school the next day while you are washed up and preparing dinner the night before, or while preparing breakfast that morning.

Eat a healthy diet

This may seem obvious, but most people don’t get enough hydration or food intake while they are sick because they simply don’t feel up to it. Drinking plenty of water and liquid like tea and juice will help your body “flush” out the bug and heal more quickly. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains and try to avoid dairy since it promotes mucus production. Take in foods with vitamin C and D. Consider taking a supplement even before you ever become sick, especially in the area we live. Studies have shown that people in the Northwest area do not get enough sunlight which is processed as Vitamin D in the body which is necessary for strong immune support.

Stay Home

Ask any parent, or person for that matter, and they would prefer those who are sick to stay home from work or school. While it may be difficult for some families, it is important to think of others in your area of work and play. Think about it, if you didn’t stay home or keep your kids home from school for a day or two, and their playmates or a co worker became sick later down the road, you could become sick again yourself! While viral illnesses usually build an immunity in your body and remain a “one time deal”, bacterial illnesses such as the common cold could be caught multiple times a season. Keeping your kids home and taking a day off from work to rest will also help you to get healthy quicker. Taking time to rest and take care of yourself saves you more trouble than missing a day of work or school and not only getting others sick, but remaining sick yourself due to lack of needed rest to recover.

But Keep in mind…

You can’t know and predict when your child will get sick. While trying to prevent germ spread is a noble goal, it can spread quickly, especially in the home. You can try though! For instance, you could kiss your kids on their heads rather than their cheeks for a few days. You could ask your spouse to read the bedtime stories and baths for a few nights if you are sick. Though taking these precautions could result in becoming sick anyways, you don’t know if doing so could also prevent the rest of your family or even one of you from becoming sick as well! . But obviously, you can’t be so careful in your efforts to prevent germs from spreading that you feel like you’re shunning your kids or initiating a lockdown. So, why not try and while you are at it, use some of these suggestions to be proactive this cold and flu season!

Summer Sizzle
Summer Sizzle

Helpful Tricks for Soothing Sunburns

You spent all day at the beach, you wore sunscreen and maybe reapplied it after a few hours, but you’re still sunburnt! Sunburns happen, even without spending the whole day at the beach! Getting lobstered tends to happen in much less time today than in our grandparents day. Sunburns can be miserable, especially for the little ones who may have never experienced one before. Here are some facts you should know about sun exposure:

Facts about sunburns

● Unlike burning yourself on the stove, sunburns are a unique kind of burn because they are not immediately apparent. You can’t usually tell your skin is burning until much later; redness develops between three and five hours after sun exposure. Burning peaks at about 12 hours and fades within 72.

●Did you know that you can get a sunburn in just 15 to 30 minutes? Children and those with light, fair skin and hair have less melanin and are at a higher risk for sunburn compared to adults and people with darker colored skin.

● Sunburns are caused by UVB rays while UVA rays cause cancer-increasing damage beneath the skin surface.

● Those that live in the mountains or or near the equator are at a higher risk for developing a burn since the ultraviolet rays are stronger in these regions.

● Certain medications, such as ibuprofen and motrin, make the skin more susceptible to burning. If you or your children take any medications, it is important to check the label for sun exposure warnings.

Soothing the burn


As parents, our child’s comfort is our own and soothing that sizzling burn becomes a priority when you come home from the beach. Here are some helpful remedies that you can utilize:

● When you arrive home, encourage your child to take a cool shower or bath to help reduce the inflammation. You can even add some chamomile tea bags, lavender oil, baking soda or oatmeal to the water for a soothing effect.iDepending on the severity of the burn, give them an appropriate dose or asprin or ibuprophen to reduce the swelling and pain.

● Aloe Vera is the classic go-to for burns. You can usually find it in drug and department stores and often times it is a green or blue gel. Aloe Vera is a plant that looks a bit like a cactus with gel-filled leaves. You can buy an Aloe Vera plant for your own home to use for any kind of burn, scrape, or itch. The gel straight from the plant, however, is not green or blue but rather clear. Better yet, whether you have a plant or a bottle from the store, store it in the refrigerator for a cool touch, just store plant gel in a jar.

●Another product that doesn’t require you to rub it onto a painful sunburn is Solarcaine Cool Aloe Burn Relief Spray Formula. It provides an instant cooling effect, the healing properties of aloe, and the pain relief of Solarcaine–all in an easy-to-apply spray. You can find this product at most drug stores and large retailers.

● Baking Soda is not only great for cookies and household cleaning but also for burn and even rash relief. Take a couple tablespoons of baking soda and mix into cold water. Use a soft washcloth or cotton balls to apply the solution to the burn.

● Apple cider vinegar is another great household-item remedy that brings much relief to sunburns, especially when it is refrigerated. Raw, unfiltered vinegar is the trick to the soothing power and it can also aid in healing the burn because it helps to balance the pH (alkalinity) of sunburned skin.  Though it does have a more foul scent, this is sure to do a wonder! It is also safe for sunburns that develop blisters and reach the peeling stage. A great brand for this liquid gold is known as Bragg’s and you can find it at most grocery and health food stores.

● Witch Hazel is another soothing astringent for sunburns. This solution is used for both facial cleansing as well as first aid purposes and you can apply it with the same method of apple cider vinegar.

● Coconut oil has astounding healing properties and it is quite popular for its numerous uses today. Among these many uses, coconut oil promotes healing by moisturizing the skin and killing any potential germs since it is antibacterial. For a more soothing effect, add a few drops of peppermint oil. Coconut oil melts quickly with body heat so apply it quickly as a lotion.

● For severe burns with blisters present, do not pop or scratch them since this can lead to infection and increased pain. Instead, let them remain uncovered and soothe them gently with cold water. To avoid rupture, put some aloe vera gel or apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle.

● Vitamin E oil or gel, as long as it is real and not synthetic, with bring much moisture back to the skin and promote healing as well. If you have vitamin E supplements, take a few capsules and pop them open over the skin, lightly rubbing them into the skin.

If you haven’t already, Make a habit of checking on your kids throughout the day for sunburn, especially young kids who may not give any attention to it. Burns can be overlooked in bright daylight and since they take time to manifest on the skin, try limiting how much time they are outside and bring them in for activities in the house for a break. The best source of protection while they play? Use that sunscreen! But despite even our greatest efforts to protect our family’s skin, burn happen. So equip yourself with remedies to soothe that sun-baked skin and keep your children informed about sun exposure.



Fluoride Update
Fluoride Update

The Recommended amount

Mention the word fluoride and people instantly think about dentistry and toothpaste. Fluoride has been a big part of public water supplies as well as dental care, and in case you didn’t know, it is also found in some foods. Fluoride is a natural mineral found in the earth’s crust. In 1931, it was discovered that people who drank naturally fluoridated water had fewer cavities. Since this time, fluoride has been added to deficient water supplies and proven to prevent cavities.

Early this year in April (2014), the American Dental Association advised that all children brush with fluoride, beginning at the appearance of the first tooth. Using only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste, the same size as a grain of rice, for children under three will help prevent the ingestion of too much fluoride. For children between 3-­6 years of age, use a pea­size amount. These serving recommendations ensure that children are not overexposed to fluoride, and for the younger kiddos, they are not ingesting too much. With all children, it is advised to brush both morning and evening with fluoridated toothpaste. Here is a great example of the “smear” and “rice grain­size” amounts of toothpaste appropriate for your child’s age:


This update was put in place by The American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA) in order to further prevent childhood cavities.Tooth decay is the most common childhood ailment, surpassing childhood obesity, diabetes, or asthma. Luckily, cavities are entirely preventable through preventative care including: brushing, flossing, dental sealants, fluoride, and regular visits to your child’s dentist. Have you started brushing your child’s teeth yet? If they have sprouted their first tooth, its time to start!

City Strolls to Scenic Adventures:  Outdoor Activities for the Family
City Strolls to Scenic Adventures: Outdoor Activities for the Family

Summer time means the opportunity to break out of the wintertime blues and take an outdoor adventure! Whether you enjoy leisurely park strolls, take city tours, or take off on a wild forest adventure, getting outdoors with your family is a must during the rather short, fair weather months of the Northwest!

While work schedules tend to pick up in the summer months, taking the weekend to spend time with your family is important to stay connected. If you find yourself rolling into your Friday afternoon with not a clue about how to spend the weekend, fear not, there are plenty of great places to visit and activities to do right here in the area you live! Here are some suggestions for those of you who enjoy the great outdoors, whether you are city bound or rural country hiking.

Take a visit to Green Bluff


Green Bluff is a collection of small family farms for the adventurous visitor to discover. What makes Green Bluff unique in the entire country is the large association of over 30 farms within about 12 square miles. They host seasonal “pick your own” activities and festivals which run from Spring to Falls and even the holidays. Green Bluff is located about 15 minutes north of Spokane, nestled at the foothills of Mt. Spokane. Each farm has it’s own schedule of events, with some farms open all year round. Check their website for an event calendar!

Travel the North Idaho Centennial Trail

centennial trail

Walk, run, bike, roller blade, there are plenty of options here! The Centennial trail stretches 24 miles: from the lovely mountainous ranges of Higgin’s Point off Lake Coeur d’Alene, through Spokane along the river! This is a multi-use recreational trail offers numerous scenic rest areas and historical interpretive signs to enhance your enjoyment of one of the most majestic trail systems in the country.

Explore the Post Falls Dam


One of the phenomenal scenic destinations along the Centennial trail is the Post Falls Park. This is a beautiful, 22-acre park that includes picnic shelters, accessible paved pathways, historical interpretive signs, restrooms, a playground, and scenic views of the dam and gorge. A fishing pond dedicated for youth & handicapped individuals creates the centerpiece for this historic attraction. Bring a lunch and even some bread for the ducks and groundhogs that roam the park! This site is especially enjoyable during spring when the damn waters run strong.

Skip along the Mudgy Moose Trail


If your children are fans of Mudgy and Millie, this could be an especially exciting activity! The Mudgy Moose Trail, created in conjunction with the City of Coeur d’Alene Parks Department, begins at the base of Tubbs Hill and concludes at Independence Point, where Mudgy discovers that Millie was hiding close by all along.The 2-1/4 mile Mudgy Moose Trail along Lake Coeur d’Alene and through Downtown Coeur d’Alene features five life-size bronze statues positioned at locations where Mudgy pauses in his search for Millie. Watch for the Mudgy Moose Trail signs which will guide you along the trail which is free to explore. Along your expedition, stop to enjoy the new CDA park at the base of Tubb’s Hill. Bring your hiking shoes along with your bathing suit as there are many points to stop and take a swim along the Tubb’s Hill trails!

Take a walk on the wild side

If you would like to take a grand adventure beyond the city limits, take a camping trip! There are numerous places to camp with your family and enjoy the wild side of the Northwest. Here are some places you can venture:

Idaho: Washington:
– Bumblebee – Riverside State Park
– Coeur d’Alene KOA – Spokane KOA
– Farragut State Park – Nine Mile Recreation Area
– Mokin’s Bay

For your K9 family member


In case you have a special pet, there are fun adventures for them too! High Bridge Dog Park is located in Spokane at approximately 4.5 acres. This park land includes wooded trails, open space and a large bowl-shaped slope. SCRAPS Dog Park is located closer to Idaho in Liberty Lake, Washington and became the first open-leash park in 2006. Coeur d’Alene also offers dog parks including Cherry Hill Dog Park and Central Bark. For great insider tips to bringing your pet to the local dog parks, visit Dog About Town.
Getting outdoors couldn’t be anymore enjoyable or convenient in the Great Northwest. Break out of the wintertime blues and explore a few of these places this summer, you may be surprised at what you can find!

Some Wisdom About Wisdom Teeth
Some Wisdom About Wisdom Teeth


What are “Wisdom” Teeth?

Most of us know a friend or family member, and perhaps even had their own experience with wisdom teeth at some point in their young adult lives. As you can gather, wisdom teeth have a rather troublesome reputation for being anything less than wise! Wisdom teeth are often referred to as “third molars” and resemble the shape and size of your molars. Most people have four of these teeth, but it is quite possible to have fewer or even none at all! These teeth are the last to erupt, between the ages of 17 and 25 when a person reaches adulthood.

Since the nineteenth nineteenth century they have been known as such it because they appear so late, at an age when a person matures into adulthood and becomes “wise.” Most people have a negative and often fearful outlook on the emergence of these teeth, but actually, if they grow in properly and fit well in the jaw and gums, they are of no concern and do not require extraction. The problem is, however, most people do not get very “wise” teeth and they do not come in as they should.

What can I Expect When These Teeth Emerge?

Sometimes, usually with most people, the jaw just doesn’t have enough space for wisdom teeth to push through the gum line properly. Lack of space causes impaction and they become “stuck” in the jawbone, which causes pain, swelling of the gum, and sometimes infection of gum tissue. Wisdom teeth can also cause other teeth to shift, resulting in a sore mouth throughout. Everyone has a different experience with their wisdom teeth. Some may experience partial eruption, when the teeth come through but don’t have enough room to fully come in; and some have too little space for them to even break the gum surface, in which they may ever erupt.

When Should These Teeth be Removed?

Your child’s dentist will monitor their teeth throughout the growing years, which is why xrays are important to your child’s development. If there are problems with these teeth, most dentists will recommend immediate removal, usually within a year’s time or less, depending on the rate of development. Since most mouths are too small to allow wisdom teeth to reach full size, it is evaluation and recommended removal will occur when your child is between 16 and 19 years old. Every child’s development is unique, so ask your dentist when he or she would recommend removing your child’s wisdom teeth. The signs for needed removal are usually obvious:

● There is pain, infection or swelling
● There are cysts or tumors (usually rare)
● There is gum disease around the wisdom tooth area
● There is tooth decay
● You have an orthodontic, restorative or periodontal treatment plan and your wisdom teeth will hinder that treatment’s effectiveness
● The wisdom teeth are partially erupted, making them more prone to bacteria and infection
● There is evidence (such as xray) of poor alignment, they are angled in any direction other than straight up or beneath the second molar.

How Does the Extraction Take Place?

Your dentist is the best source of information regarding the removal process, but it typically involves a surgical removal.The difficulty of the extraction depends on the position of the tooth and how developed it is. In a nutshell, the removal includes an incision on the gum gently detaching the tooth from the connective tissues, removing it, and suturing (sewing) the gum line back in place. Sometimes, if the tooth is too large, it may need to be cut into sections to remove it safely. Wisdom tooth extractions are performed in the dental office under local or intravenous anesthesia. You can discuss the options with your child’s dentist.

If you have questions regarding wisdom teeth and the removal process, make the wise decision to contact your dentist or schedule a consultation!

Toothpaste: A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right One
Toothpaste: A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right One


Since children can be picky about tastes and parents selective about what goes into their child’s mouth, choosing a toothpaste can be a daunting task! When your little one reveals their first few teeth and its time to choose a toothpaste, how do you pick the best one to care for your child’s smile? The store shelves are full of many different kinds of toothpastes, which are all meant to do the same thing, right? Selecting a proper size toothbrush and a nourishing, yet cleansing brand of toothpaste is the first step in maintaining a healthy smile, so here is a quick guide to help you decide which toothpaste is best appropriated for your child.

Chose an age appropriate toothpaste

When your child’s first tooth appears, its time to find a toothpaste! A good place to start would be in the children’s section of the oral care aisle. Children’s toothpaste is formulated with ingredients appropriate for young teeth and gums, unlike adult toothpaste with unnecessary whitening agents and often too harsh abrasives for kids. Still, there are many options! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends using just a smear of toothpaste until 3 years of age, and a pea-size amount for older children. Check labels since some toothpastes are intended for children 6 years and older.

Look for the ADA Seal

 When it comes to products such as mouthrinse and toothpaste, your best source for dental product suggestions would be your pediatric dentist, but apart from this, toothpaste with the familiar American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance is a good choice since it has been tested for effectiveness and proper ingredients. Products with this seal must renew every three years, thus maintaining the recommended standards.

Watch out for harsh ingredients

 Some toothpastes contain harsh abrasives which can wear away young tooth enamel, which is why choosing an age-appropriate paste is important. These abrasives include phosphates and alumina. Abrasives are necessary to remove plaque and polish teeth, but some can be too harsh on young enamel, causing sensitivity. Look for a toothpaste that will be gentle on your child’s teeth.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is an ingredient added to give toothpaste foaming action, however, it can cause mouth ulcers (also called canker sores) in some children. If your child has developed these painful sores, consider switching to a SLS-free toothpaste or if you are introducing toothpaste, opt for one without this ingredient to avoid the potential ailment. Enamel Saver is one brand popular among children that is SLS free and also comes in various flavors.

Look for fluoride

The American Dental Association revised their guidelines in April of this year concerning the use of fluoridated toothpaste for infants under the age of 3. Previously, it was recommended that children under the age of 2 use non fluoride toothpaste, and a small amount for children between 2 -6. Now, regardless of age, all children should use fluoridated toothpaste. The important thing to remember here is how much. The recommended amount for children under 3 is just a smear, and the usual pea size amount for older children.

It is up to you as the parent to decide what amount and when your child gets fluoride in their toothpaste. Keep in mind that children under 2 are unable to spit out their toothpaste and tend to swallow a small amount. If your child tends to swallow, take caution and give them a fluoride-free toothpaste until they are able to spit out remaining toothpaste.

Consider Flavor

 Though flavor is not of a dental health concern, it is for your child and their willingness to brush! Some kids cannot tolerate the taste of a minty toothpaste, which may feel “spicy” to them or tingly and “cold.” Opt for a toothpaste with fun children’s flavors such as watermelon or strawberry. These tend to have a mild, palatable taste that will encourage your child to brush their teeth. Sampling a few toothpastes may be what you have to do, but it is worth the effort of finding a flavor that will make your child ask to have their teeth brushed!

Toothpaste is only as good as the toothbrush

 While you’re shopping for toothpaste, pick out a toothbrush that is age appropriate for your child. Children’s toothbrushes are often labeled for the appropriate age. If your child’s toothbrush is too big, it may cause them to gag or won’t reach their teeth in the back of their mouth. If its too small, they may miss cleaning much of the surface area on their teeth.

If you prefer the natural toothpastes

 Natural products and diets are popular, now more than ever. If you prefer to use natural toothpaste for your family, there are some choices for you that are ADA approved! Tom’s of Maine carries a variety of toothpastes for the whole family. They have both fluoridated and unfluoridated toothpaste for children as well as adult toothpastes in many flavors and purposes, from whitening to tartar control.

Finding the right toothpaste doesn’t have to be a challenge if you know your family’s needs and seek advice from your pediatric dentist. Our toothbrush and toothpaste is something most of us use 365 days a year, hopefully twice in each of those days, which amounts to about 730 brushings a year! Take the time to find a good toothbrush and toothpaste for your kids that works well for them and that they can enjoy! Happy brushing!

Summertime Fun Aside From the Sun
Summertime Fun Aside From the Sun

Summertime Fun Aside From the Sun

Outdoor activities are a given for summer time fun, however, sometimes it just gets too hot to be outside! There is nothing like the cool, crisp, air of an air conditioned building on a 90+degree summer day! If you’re sporting a new sunburn or simply want a break from the heat of the day, guess what? There are still fun places to take your kids to get out of the sun for a change.

Take a visit to the Museum

The Museum of North Idaho collects, preserves and interprets the history of the Coeur d’Alene Region heritage. The Museum is located downtown CDA and remains open Tuesday through Saturday 11-5, April 1 to October 31. The Museum Store features a wide selection local history books, locally made silver jewelry, souvenirs and gifts. Along with the museum tours and open visits, tours are also available of the old Fort Sherman near the North Idaho College. If you love history and would like to know about the fascinating history of Coeur d’Alene Idaho, this is the place to go!

Enjoy the show at Christian Youth Theater

 If your child loves the stage and appreciates the performing arts, Christian Youth Theater North Idaho is a wonderful place for them to participate. The theater is not a church, but a non-profit, educational children’s theater arts program for children ages 6-18. They offer theater summer camps, theater classes, acting classes, voice classes, dance classes, improv and theater specialties. They also offer the Christian Community Theater (CCT) which is a summer production program for both youth and adults. There are no accompanying classes in this program and  all ages are welcome to audition.

Visit your local community center

 For those of you in Spokane, the YMCA is a not just a gym and a pool, it has many activities to accommodate everyone in your family! Some of these activities for infants, children and teens; include: swim lessons and water acclimation starting at 6 months old, tumbling, sports, teen programs, and day camps.

For those of you in Coeur d’Alene, The Ray and Joan Kroc Center provides community programs, classes, events, aquatic and fitness/recreation center, acafé, chapel and performing arts. Each of these facilities include childcare while you work out in the gym and hold special family events.

 Participate in your local Library events

If you have younger kids , make a visit to your local library such as the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, Post Falls Library, Hayden Library, or any of the Spokane Public library branches located throughout the area. This is a great way to instill the love of reading into your child and even take some time to read a book yourself. The best part is its free to the public. The Spokane County Libraries tend to do more with the kids and include a play time afterwards with educational toys!

See a free or reduced price movie

 The Garland Theater as well as the Riverstone Stadium Theater in Coeur d’Alene offer free or reduced movies one a week to kids and families. Call ahead or check their websites for movies listings and times.

Some parks also offer free movie nights in the park for a family-friendly movie. Fort Sherman Park in CDA, Mirabeau Park, and Riverfront park in Spokane, just to name a few, all offer these events. These are free and open to the public, just bring a chair or a blanket to lounge on the grass!

 Bowl the night away

Bowling is a fun family activity that even young children can participate in. River City Lanes in Post Falls, Triple Play in Hayden, North Bowl and Valley Bowl in Spokane (just to name a few) are great places to take your kids on a summer evening. Bowling alleys have family lanes with bumpers and a roll rack for young kids to participate in the fun also. Triple play also includes the Raptor Reef swim park, laser tag, mini golf, bumper boats, arcade, climbing wall, and more.

There are many things you can do with your family during the summer that don’t include further sizzle to your sunburn. Some days, or just certain times of the day, can be just too hot to participate in outdoor activities. We hope these suggestions can help in your hunt to make weekend family plans, but search around! Check park websites and local listings for upcoming activities around your area, there is plenty to do and often times, there are many free events in the summertime months!