Category: General Tooth Care Info

Eat Dairy Free & Get your Pizza Too!
Eat Dairy Free & Get your Pizza Too!

Why Dairy Free Eating?

For those who suffer from adverse affects caused by dairy consumption, eliminating dairy products from the diet is a step in the right direction to promote good health. As it turns out, for some individuals, a variety of conditions can be cured by simply choosing dairy free eating. Among the ailments that can be related to dairy consumption includes digestive issues, acne, ear infections and chronic congestion. Often, these conditions will disappear a few weeks after dairy is eliminated.

People who suffer from dairy-related conditions are frequently advised to try a dairy free diet for about one month to see if there are improvements. Many notice an improvement in quality of life, above the cessation of symptoms, once they eliminate dairy products. However, it is important to realize that while embracing a dairy free diet can be beneficial, it’s also necessary to ensure that valuable nutrients are not simply omitted.

Aside from eliminating specific conditions, there are other benefits from going “dairy free.” For example, whole milk is high in saturated fat and sugar, which are bad for health. While milk may be rich in calcium and vitamins A and D, it does not contain any iron or fiber, and certain milk replacements include various combinations of these nutrients. There are also a number of dairy related concerns related to hormones injected into cows and bovine-oriented diseases that could end up in milk.

For individuals who are gluten intolerant, another reason to be wary dairy, is because of certain flavored milk and yogurt products which frequently contain gluten byproducts.

There are also a number of ethical arguments that prompt some to support dairy free eating. For those concerned about livestock not being cared for adequately on dairy farms, a dairy free diet alleviates such concerns. Those who oppose dairy for these reasons point to the fact that many dairy farm cows do not have an opportunity to roam around fields; instead they live a confined existence. Cows should have a lifespan of about 20 years, but the sad fact is that most never make it to five years on a dairy farm. They are also moved along the production line as soon as they stop producing the required quantity and quality of milk.

Start your Dairy Free Diet

trader joes vegan cheese - non dairyMost people consider the idea of dairy free eating challenging. For the individual suffering from allergies and a compromised immune system, a healthy reboot may include dairy free eating. Those coming from an ethnic or cultural background with heavy amounts of dairy used in foods may find it especially challenging to begin a dairy free diet. Often it’s best to begin slowly, eliminating dairy from the diet item by item, until all have been replaced. Learning about healthy products that can substitute is a smart way to feel good about changing to a dairy free diet.

Perhaps most daunting is the idea of eliminating those foods that are comforting or fun to eat. For some, the love of a hot and tasty pizza or a cold cup of yogurt may be reason enough to object to a dairy free lifestyle. In order for some to be successful, it comes down to making a gradual transition.

To succeed in one’s attempt to begin a dairy free diet, there needs to be a strong strategy about making better choices when purchasing grocery items at the market. There are many wonderful replacements; products designed precisely to help ease the transition. You can still get your pudding, cream cheese, coffee creamer, butter, yogurt, milk, cheese and ice cream – they’re simply vegan options, dairy free. Many vegan foods, while made from dairy free ingredients, taste every bit as good (and often better) than the dairy foods they replace. This means that with an open minded approach and an adventurous spirit, choosing to eat dairy free requires no sacrifice at all! The idea is not to let go of favorite meals, but to find healthy and satisfying substitutes. After a while, people who start to eat dairy free claim to enjoy their food every bit as much, or more, than they did when they ate dairy.

For many who choose to eat dairy free, the best news is that pizza can be still be part of their diet. Eating dairy free means that you can still enjoy pizza with your favorite toppings, by simply substituting dairy cheese with non-dairy cheese. Dairy free pizza can be found in a variety of places. At the supermarket, Better4U Foods dairy free pizza is healthy, convenient and tastes great. This natural brand’s dairy free pizza is also gluten free and made with fresh “flash frozen” ingredients, without preservatives.

Dairy Free Cooking

better4u dairy and gluten free pizzaBaked goods are traditionally made with milk and other dairy products (like butter), yet this does not need to be the case. There are several excellent dairy free cookbooks, filled with delicious recipes that are free of dairy products.

It is quite possible to make delicious cakes, cookies and other foods without eggs or milk. Many of the world’s most talented chefs bake incredible cookies and brownies, dairy free, that rival the best versions made with dairy. Those who believe that eating vegan means suffering and eating tasteless food, have likely never tried good vegan fare. Delicious dairy free food is simply about making different, healthy ingredient choices. Today, you need look no further than Pinterest, Facebook or YouTube to find an incredible number of amazing vegan recipes that are easy to make and appropriate for every occasion.

Whether preparing your own dairy free foods − or popping into the local grocer to pick up a Better4U Foods Gluten Free Dairy Free Pizza – choosing a dairy free or vegan lifestyle can be healthy and fun. Try it!

Food Preservatives – What You Should Know
Food Preservatives – What You Should Know

In the natural order of things, spoilage is the end-stage of every food left uneaten. Spoilage is the result of an increase in the number of microorganisms in food. In order to prevent spoilage and waste of said food, scientists and experts have come up with components or substances that are popularly known as food preservatives. The addition of food preservatives increases the lifespan of almost every food item. These preservatives are extremely helpful in preserving the freshness of food and inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. For many years, people have considered food preservatives as “all-good” products. However, after recent studies and research, it has been found that these products are not as good for us as once believed. As is often the case when man introduces a process that goes against the natural order of things, the use of food preservatives entails several risks which every consumer must know about.

Food Preservatives: What are they?

Almost all food and beverages seen at the market today contain food preservatives. Food preservatives are combinations of several chemicals designed by experts in laboratories. Each chemical included in food preservatives has special properties which prevent spoilage. Although most food preservatives sold in the US are considered as generally safe by the FDA, these products can still cause adverse effects to the human body. Common chemicals included in food preservatives are ascorbic acid, sorbic acid, and calcium propionate among many others.

Disadvantages of Food Preservatives

Compared to their benefits, food preservatives have an alarming number of disadvantages. These include the following:

  1. Little to no nutritional value

    empty nutritionFresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, meat and fish and others are generally full of vitamins and minerals which the body needs to perform essential bodily processes. When foods lose their freshness, their nutritional value also diminishes, as their enzymes and minerals begin to decrease. In the past, companies that produced food containing preservatives claimed that the nutritional value of food was preserved through the use of such products. However, it was found recently that food preservatives do not preserve nutritional value but merely preserve the flavor or taste of food. This is why you may notice that preserved foods taste fresh even when they have already been there for several days, months or years from the manufacturing date.

    Eating food with no nutritional value is useless. Although you may feel full after eating, your body’s cells will not feel energized and satisfied. This may compromise your health and make you less resistant to diseases.

  2. They may cause disease

    As you eat foods with preservatives, unhealthy chemicals are being accumulated in your body. These chemicals may cause toxic effects, especially when they are not flushed out of the body. The chemicals used in preservatives usually start destroying the body by targeting the cells. They may also cause mutations to your DNA, which in turn could cause serious disorders such as Cancer. Toxic chemicals also weaken your immune system. When your immune system is very weak, microorganisms can easily invade your body and cause severe disorders.

  3. They are expensive

    Preserved foods are not cheap. They can even cost more than the fresh foods at your local market. This is because they can be stored much longer than fresh foods and therefore their perceived value can be rationalized.

Choosing Healthy food

Health consciousness is something that hopefully grows with each passing day. It seems that everywhere we turn people are seeking to live more healthfully. Aside from exercising regularly, having adequate amounts of rest and drinking enough fluids, eating healthy foods is also an essential component of health. The following are very good healthy food choices:

  1. Gluten free choices

    gluten freeA gluten free diet used to be an exclusively adhered to by people suffering from Celiac disease. However, upon discovering the numerous benefits associated with eating gluten free, the dietary choice has gained popularity by the public as a healthy food choice. A gluten free diet excludes the consumption of foods that contain gluten, such as barley, wheat, rye and triticale.

  2. Fresh Cohen Diet

    cohen diet - fruits and vegetablesThe Fresh Cohen Diet is another balanced-nutrition diet which promotes consumption of fresh or raw fruits and vegetables instead of those which are processed. This diet has been claimed to aid in weight loss.

Overall health should be on the top of everyone’s list. It is our birth right as participants on this planet that we enjoy healthy good food and good health. We know that food, whether processed or not, does not have to contain preservatives and additives. There are options such as flash freezing vegetable and fruit, which preserves their nutritional value. It seems that there may be increased danger in consuming preserved foods and building up toxins, rather than eating as natural as possible and flushing these toxins out with a natural and gradual detox.

Teething Myths
Teething Myths

Every child is different, but every child goes through the teething process, and parents often ask what they can do to help. It seems like teething goes hand in hand with runny noses, ear aches and upset stomachs, which is difficult for the child, but also frustrating for a parent.

Historically, teething has been blamed for a variety of ailments, including runny nose, earache, diarrhea, fever, and other conditions. Contrary to popular belief, however, several studies have shown that teething does not cause any of these conditions. Multiple studies in Pediatrics and The Journal of Family Practice found that although diarrhea, cough, vomiting, sleep disturbance, rashes or temperatures higher than 38.9 C were reported occasionally, they were not reported in enough children during the time teeth were erupting to be significantly associated with teething.

It is important to remember that teething takes place over a period of 2 and a half years, so it is not surprising that coincidental symptoms occur. Children are often becoming more social during this time period, and may be entering daycare or preschool for the first time. They are around other children who may be sick, and are putting more items into their mouths and the mouths of other children. It is more likely that other mild infections may be present during this time, in addition to teething.

If you notice that your child has a high temperature, it is important to visit your child’s pediatrician. There are some symptoms that are correctly associated with teething, including daytime restlessness, thumb-sucking, gum-rubbing, drooling, hand or object-biting, and potentially a loss of appetite. Slight temperature elevation may occasionally be seen.

Some simple techniques can be used to help alleviate the true symptoms of teething. If you notice excessive drooling, try to keep your child’s mouth and chin clean and dry to prevent skin irritation. Sore gums are common, and can be rubbed with a chilled teething ring, damp gauze, clean finger, or cold wet washcloth. We do not recommend using common over-the-counter numbing gels, as they have recently been linked to serious health risks in some children. These gels may contain benzocaine, a local anesthetic which has been linked with a serious blood disorder that reduces oxygen in the bloodstream. Commonly used gels include Anbesol, Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase, and some store brands. Using over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be used at the recommended dosage for your child’s weight, although children should not be given asprin. Asprin can cause a potentially fatal disease called Reyes Syndrome, which affects the brain and liver.

We encourage parents to visit their child’s dentist with any concerns during the teething process, but to visit the pediatrician for vomiting, diarrhea or fever.

Sugary Drinks & Tooth Decay
Sugary Drinks & Tooth Decay

As sugary drinks have become more popular, more studies have been done to find out if the consumption of the drinks is connected to the rise in tooth decay. Whether it is an energy drink, sports drink, soda, or store bought juice-, all can be negatively influential in oral health.

The high acidity levels and sugar content in soft drinks and energy drinks are especially dangerous. Keep in mind that drinks that are sugar-free are not necessarily better. Yes, the sugar content is low, but the acidity levels do not change and the sugar substitutes are not very beneficial. As of late, many dental professionals have come to agree that these drinks are connected with the rise in tooth decay. For children, especially with the summer months in store, parents often give out drinks like Capri Sun, Gatorade, and various bottled juices. Some of these choices are better than others, but all of these choices are very high in sugar.

To ensure the proper development and protection for your children’s teeth, as well as the upkeep of your own, it is first recommended to reduce the consumption of these sorts of drinks. Also, knowing the way that these drinks should be consumed is also important. It is dangerous to drink any fizzy or sugary drink over a drawn out period of time- say if one were to sip a Pepsi over a few hours, because to do so means constant and prolonged acid and sugar exposure for the teeth. For example, it is better to drink a beverage of this kind with a meal. While you eat, the chewing action will produce saliva, which then moves along the acid and sugar content of the drink. It also helps to swish with water after drinking any of these drinks, but to brush them immediately after does not. The reaction between the drink and the toothpaste on the teeth can actually cause erosion. It is best to swish with water and wait thirty minutes to brush.

So as summertime begins, think of alternative, fun, and yummy drinks for the little ones. A great idea is homemade lemonade versus making it out of the can. Also, make your smoothies at home unless you have a trusted place like Jamba Juice. Many store-bought smoothies have high sugar content and are also highly pasteurized, which causes many of the nutrients to be lost. When you make them at home, you can add a little plain yogurt or milk (whether cow’s milk, almond, or soy- as long as they are calcium & vitamin D fortified) for a calcium boost. Another good idea for summertime is to put water in a pitcher, add cucumber, and refrigerate it- this way you can pull it out when the children are thirsty and want something besides ‘plain, old water’ to drink. It tastes a little differently, so it may take getting used to but is nice, cool, and refreshing. One last recommendation is tea- green, black, or an herbal blend, but leave out adding sugar. Go ahead and put a few tea bags in a big glass jar of water, put a lid on it, surround it with aluminum foil and put it outside in the sunshine. This is called sunshine tea; it is an easy way to make a big batch of delicious tea all at once. The foil will insulate the jar and draw the heat of the sun. Leave it out until the color has evenly spread (a few hours) and then refrigerate for delicious refreshment! With any of these ideas, it is most important to HAVE FUN! Feel free to experiment, but limit high acid fruits like lemon.

Happy smiling!

A Parent’s Guide to Dental X-Rays
A Parent’s Guide to Dental X-Rays

How Safe are Dental X-rays?

We are very careful to limit your child’s exposure to radiation. Using contem-porary safeguards, the amount of radiation re-ceived is extremely small. In fact, the risk associated with exposure to a dental x-ray is lower than undetect-ed and untreated dental problems.

How can I limit my child’s exposure to radiation?

1. Talk to your child’s dentist at each appointment, and ask whether x-rays are nec-essary.
2. Digital x-rays are utilized at The Kidds Place, significant-ly reducing radiation expo-sure.
3. Children must wear lead aprons to block the body from exposure.

How often should my child have x-rays?

Every child is unique and different, so the x-rays needed for one child may be differ-ent for another child of the same age. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, as well as the American Dental Association recom-mend that children have x-rays taken by age 3 or 4 to evaluate growth and development.

This may involve taking one x-ray of the upper front teeth and one of the lower front teeth, as well as one on each side, depending on how many teeth a child has.

X-rays of upper and lower teeth do not need to be taken again at each check-up, unless the child has had trauma to a front tooth. X-rays of back teeth should be taken at a minimum of once/year if the back molars are touching each other. The sides of these teeth cannot be visualized with a dental exam, and often the only way to iden-tify decay is with an x-ray. Decay damages children’s teeth at a faster rate than permanent teeth, and when untreated can cause severe infection.

What if my child has never had a cavity?

X-ray films can detect more than just cavities. X-rays can detect certain infections caused by trauma, and can give valuable infor-mation about the developing teeth. Children’s mouths change rapidly as they grow, and x-rays provide vital details about the health of un-erupted permanent teeth, as well as the surround-ing bone and tissue. Your child’s dentist will use these x-rays to screen for diseases, tumors, miss-ing/extra teeth, malpositioned teeth, and ortho-dontic planning.

My Child has braces…does he still need x-rays?

X-rays may be taken at a check-up if your child has braces. If the orthodontic wires are in, we may not be able to see between all of the teeth, and may elect to defer x-rays until the wires can be temporarily removed. Children with braces are highly susceptible to decay due to diffi-culty brushing and flossing around wires and brackets, as well as because of the lim-ited diagnostic ability of x-rays while the wires are in. For this reason, it is crucial to take x-rays as soon as braces have been taken off, as cavities may have formed between your child’s teeth.

Will X-rays al-ways be taken at each visit?

No. X-rays are recommended only when necessary to evaluate and monitor your child’s oral health. The frequency of films taken is de-pendent on your child’s needs. Many times, two bitewing x-rays will be taken at your child’s check
screen for cavities that may have start-ed between visits. If your child has had trauma to one or more teeth, x-rays may be indicated at each follow-up ap-pointment to ensure that infection of the root does not begin. Drs. Luchini, Coombs and Johnson welcome any ques-tions you may have about your child’s needs.

Comparing Common Sources of Radiation:

Source:———————— Estimated Exposure

Dental Radiographs

Bitewings——————————(2) 0.016

Medical Radiographs:

Lower GI series———————-4.060

Upper GI series———————-2.440

Chest X-ray—————————0.080

Average radiation from outerspace in Denver CO per year:

Average radiation in the United States from natural sources per year:


* A millisievert (mSv) is a unit of meas-ure that allows for common types of ra-diation to be compared to each other.

What should I watch for after my child has chipped his/her tooth??
What should I watch for after my child has chipped his/her tooth??

It’s a fact of life. Most children will experience a chipped tooth at some point. Kids are busy learning to walk, run, jump, and their front teeth are just waiting to be bumped into. As much as we try to prevent this from happening, it only takes a second before your child may join the growing “chipped tooth club”.

So you’ve taken your child to the dentist to have the injury checked out, but what should you be watching for a few weeks or months after an accident happens??

The most common consequence of a bumped tooth is a color change. The tooth may turn yellow, brown or gray. Sometimes this color change is dramatic, other times it may be very subtle. Sometimes it stays discolored, while other parents have reported that eventually the tooth may appear white again. If the tooth changes color, but does not have any associated sensitivity, no further treatment is needed.
Sometimes a bumped tooth can develop an infection weeks or months after an injury. The tooth may become loose in the socket, or it may have fluid that oozes out from around the edges.

You may see a “pimple” or “boil” type bump on the gums above the tooth. Any of these symptoms mean that the tooth will have to be extracted.

We realize that no one wants their 2 or 3 year old child to have to lose a front tooth, but when we observe symptoms such as these, the primary concern must be the developing permanent tooth. Permanent teeth must be allowed to develop in a healthy environment, and an infected or injured baby tooth can severely affect growth of the permanent tooth.

Immediately following the injury, make sure to provide your child with a soft diet to prevent them from having to chew or function on the injured tooth. This is the best way to ensure healing

Teething Advice
Teething Advice

Most of the time newborns usually have no visible teeth and most start developing baby teeth around 6 months of age. Children usually have a full set of 20 primary teeth in place by age 3.

As their teeth begin to come in, most babies become fussy, sleepless and gernerally  irritable. They may lose their appetite or drool more than usual. If your infant has a fever or diarrhea while teething or continues to be cranky and uncomfortable, call your physician. These are not normal symptoms associated with teething.

Your child may have sore gums when teeth begin to come in. Gently rubbing their gums with a small cool spoon, or a moist gauze pad can be soothing. A steralized teething ring for your child to chew on may also help. We can recommend a pacifier or teething ring to use as well. We do not recommend that you use benzocaine products for children younger than 2, except under the advice and supervision of a health care professional. Benzocaine is an over the counter anesthetic, usually under the product names Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel and Orabase. Benzocaine has been associated with a rare yet serious and even sometimes fatal, condition called methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced.

Teething can be a stressful time for both mommy and baby so when your child’s teeth begin to come in, brush them gently with a toothbrush suitable for a baby and use filtered water if available.

A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about six months, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 months. For children between the ages of 2 and 5, brush their teeth with a small amount of natural toothpaste. Be sure they spit out the toothpaste.

You should start regular dental check-ups for your child after his or her first tooth appears, but no later than their first birthday.

Does My Child Need Braces?
Does My Child Need Braces?

This is a very commonly asked question by parents of our patients. Braces can be used to correct many variations in dental development, and it is important to consider your child’s potential for future growth when answering this question. A good rule of thumb involves looking at your child’s primary (baby) teeth prior to the first tooth coming out.

Generally speaking, children who do not have spaces between their primary teeth, or children who have some crowding in the primary dentition will likely require orthodontic treatment during the adolescent years. Children who do have spaces between the baby teeth are less likely to need orthodontic treatment. Some children may exhibit more growth in either the upper or lower jaw, without showing any crowding between the teeth. In these children, braces may also be indicated at some point.It is important to continue bringing your child every 6 months to their check-up so that the doctor can evaluate your child’s growth and development.

Handling a Dental Emergency

Knocked Out Tooth – Rinse your child’s mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. Applying a cold compress to the face will help to reduce any swelling. Call your dentist immediately to rule out any other injuries. If it is a baby tooth, do not try to re-implant it! Doing so can cause unnecessary damage to the developing permanent tooth. If it is a permanent tooth, place the tooth in Tooth Saver (available at your local pharmacy), or in a glass of room temperature milk and call your dentist immediately.

If no other liquid is available, you can place the tooth in water. Your dentist may try to place the tooth back into the socket, however the success of this procedure depends on the amount of time the tooth was out of the mouth. Ideally, the permanent tooth should be re-implanted by your dentist within 1 hour of the tooth being knocked out.

The Sticky Truth about Gummy Vitamins
The Sticky Truth about Gummy Vitamins

Gummy vitamins have been a very popular choice for parents since they came onto the market about 10 years ago. They taste great and they are supposed to be healthy. What could be better? There are some significant concerns associated with these vitamins, however that parents need to be aware of.

First, these vitamins are just as sticky as fruit snacks or other gummy treats. Many of them contain sugar, which allows the vitamins to stick in teeth and slowly dissolve into the pits and fissures of your child’s molars. It only takes about 20 minutes for the bacteria that form cavities to start digesting these sugars and begin making the acid that forms a cavity.

Secondly, the vitamins taste good, which has led to overdoses. Children may mistake these for snacks and take too many at one time. It is possible for a child to suffer from vitamin toxicity, which can be severe in some cases.

Most children can obtain their required nutrients from normal food groups, and may not even need vitamins. We encourage you to talk with your child’s pediatrician to determine your child’s nutritional needs.

At The Kidds Place, we recommend following a few simple guidelines for giving your child vitamins:

1. If you do give your child a daily vitamin, select a non-gummy variety that turns to powder as the child chews. These may contain added sugar as well, but do not stick to teeth in the same fashion.

2. Give your child their vitamin with a meal if possible

3. Have your child brush their teeth after they’ve taken their vitamins

4. Never give your child a vitamin before bed and let them go to sleep without brushing and rinsing with water.

Why your child’s medical history can influence their dental visit
Why your child’s medical history can influence their dental visit

Every child is unique and special, and many children have various medical needs. Some medical conditions are minor, while others require more attention, but all need to be disclosed to your child’s health care providers, including your child’s dentist.

Many conditions and syndromes consist of multiple systemic needs. Syndromes or conditions that involve cardiac needs may require antibiotic treatment prior to a dental visit. If you are unsure of your child’s cardiac status, it is a good idea to review with your pediatrician, or ask your dentist. Other conditions that may require antibiotics before dental treatment include artificial joints, shunt placement, uncontrolled diabetes, leukemia, neurological conditions, or immune system deficiencies.

While the above conditions may be rare, many children today are diagnosed with ADHD, Autism, or autistic-spectrum disorder. Many children with Autism require special accommodations to be made while at the dental office, and the sooner we can plan for your child, the successful your visit can be. Some children have been instructed to take daily medications; these should always be taken unless instructed differently by your dentist.

If your child takes medication for any of these or other conditions, your dentist needs to be informed to ensure that if local anesthetic or sedative medications are planned, there are no unexpected drug interactions.