Category Archives: Pediatric Dentistry

Halloween Candy: What You Need to Know

It’s every child’s favorite time of year: Halloween. This is the one time of year where kids get all of their favorite candy without having to ask permission or spend their allowance. However, for parents, the scariest part of Halloween is what might be going on with their kids teeth (or their own) after consuming more sweets and treats than usual. Here is what you need to know to have a stress-free Halloween:

  1. Remember, a few days of eating candy won’t ruin your child’s oral health if they have a good routine with regular brushing and flossing. Just be sure they are cleaning their teeth after meals and before going to bed. The only thing you should be worried about is getting them to bed on time after all of that sugar!
  2. If you child has braces, they can still participate on Halloween! Just make sure you know what is safe for them to eat, and clean around the braces well before bed. Stay away from sticky, chewy candy and avoid biting on hard candies. If you still aren’t sure, review the list your orthodontist gave you or give them a call.
  3. Drinking more water can be helpful. Water is great at dislodging food from between your teeth, but fluoridated water can also help prevent tooth decay.
  4. Setting rules is important. Your child is going to want to eat as much candy as they can as soon as they return from making their rounds in the neighborhood. Eating too much sour can hurt their mouth, and too much sweet can hurt their stomach. The best thing to do is set some rules about how much candy is allowed at once, and spread their loot across several days.

The most important thing is for your kids to have fun, and that certainly won’t be the case with cavities! Call our Chesapeake office today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule a dental visit or to learn more about our practice.

Tooth-friendly Summer Snacks

Group of homemade mixed berry yogurt popsicles on a rustic wood background

For kids, the start of summer is the most exciting time of the year – It means school is out and it’s time for fun and adventure. However, for parents and dentists, it can be a sugary nightmare. Summer is defined mainly by outdoor fun, but is accompanied by sugary snacks: ice cream, popsicles, fruit drinks, movie theatre candy and more.

Thankfully, with a little creativity, you can create your own tasty summer treats without all of the processed sugar! Here are our favorite tooth-friendly summer snacks that are just as sweet:

  1. Banana ice cream. Yes, we just said that ice cream was a sugary treat, but this ice cream is all natural and just as satisfying! Made with just frozen bananas resulting in a texture similar to ice cream, this snack is so good your kids won’t know the difference.
  2. Homemade popsicles: Store-bought popsicles can be full of added sugar, and making them at home is amazingly simple! You’ll just need a popsicle mold, and can customize them with your child’s favorite natural juices, or even add coconut milk to make them creamy.
  3. Frozen fruit: Easier than a popsicle, but still just as tasty and refreshing, frozen fruit cures a sweet tooth on a hot day. Give your child a bowl of the frozen fruit of their choice, making sure the pieces are big enough to prevent a choking hazard.
  4. Smoothies: Fruit drinks and sodas sound great when water just won’t quench your thirst, but they have tons of added sugar. Smoothies are the perfect sweet, cold drink after a day in the sun, and can even mask the flavor of added spinach for an extra healthy kick.
  5. Fruit kabobs: Fruit is an obvious choice when it comes to summer snacks, but creating a kabob station (using popsicle sticks and the fruits of your choice) and letting your child build their own adds a layer of fun and creativity to an ordinary snack.

Remember, replacing sugar with tooth-friendly snacks doesn’t mean you can avoid the dentist all together! Call or contact Vacendak Dentistry now to schedule a dentist appointment.

What’s Not Working With Your Kids’ Dental Hygiene Routine?

Child little girl brushing teeth in bathEstablishing a dental care routine for young children can be a real challenge. As a parent you have a hundred things going on (today alone) and sometimes you’re lucky to get the kids out the door with all their shoes on, much less with their teeth brushed and flossed. No judgment here. As dental professionals, we have some tips for some of the most common pitfalls of children’s daily dental habits:

They Don’t Want to Brush

Let’s face it: brushing teeth is one of life’s most mundane but most necessary activities. This fact is not lost on children, but there are ways to make brushing a little more exciting. First, let them pick out their own toothbrush. It may be superhero themed and have sound effects or as simple as can be. Either way, it gives them some ownership over the task. You can also develop a rewards system. A whole week of brushing twice a day means a little more screentime or a family outing for ice cream. A little bribery is ok when dental health is at stake. 😉

They’re Not Brushing Thoroughly Enough

So your kid is picking up the toothbrush and brushing for only 10 seconds? Maybe they seem to be brushing for the full recommended two minutes but your dental hygienist has noted plaque buildup on those hard-to-reach places? Consider setting a fun timer in the bathroom that buzzes after two minutes, playing a two minute long song, or getting a toothbrush like this one that lights up when it’s time to move from the upper teeth to the lower teeth or vice versa. Note: Many adults aren’t brushing for as long as they should, either, so this could be a learning experience for the whole family!

They Find Flossing Difficult

Flossing requires a certain amount of dexterity that some little hands just do not have. Once teeth are close enough together to require floss, make sure that you are flossing for them and modeling good flossing technique yourself. Handheld floss picks are easy to use for older kids.

They Keep Getting Cavities

So you feel like the brushing and flossing have been going well but each trip to the dentist reveals another cavity? Dental sealants are a smart (and recommended) choice for kids between the ages of 5 and 7 as they provide another layer of preventative protection for molars.

They’re Afraid of Going to the Dentist

Odontophobia, or fear of going to the dentist, is one of the most common reasons for missed routine dental appointments. Some scientists say it even runs in the family! That’s why it’s so important that parents make a point to keep their own dentist appointments and treat them as positive experiences rather than necessary evils. It’s also important to find a “kid-friendly” dental office with a team that will do all they can to put your child at ease from the moment they walk in the door.

If you’re searching for an excellent pediatric dentist, look no further than Vacendak Dentistry. We partner with you, the parent, to make dental health a  positive priority in your family’s life! Our office is conveniently located in Chesapeake and we accept most insurance plans. Call us today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule an appointment or contact us online.

Now’s The Time to Schedule Your Child’s Dentist Appointment

Happy Kid Girl SmileFor just about nine months out of the year, 5 days a week, your family’s schedule is non-stop. Work and school, extracurricular activities and the daily grind make it difficult to fit in routine doctor and dental appointments (though we know you do it anyway…parents rock!). Though Vacendak Dentistry offers extended hours on certain days of the week to help families make it work, summer break is the best time to make dentist appointments for your children. You have greater flexibility and they won’t have to miss class. We advocate “getting it over with” before you see us again in another six months!

The Best Pediatric Dental Care in Chesapeake

Vacendak Dentistry specializes in helping kids start a lifetime of healthy smiles and good dental hygiene. Our calm, compassionate staff will take the time to make your child feel totally comfortable and prepared for their visit. In addition to our general dentistry services, we offer:

  • Routine dental checkups for infants, toddlers, kids and teens
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Pediatric dental sealing

If you’re concerned about the cost of care or whether Vacendak will take your family’s dental insurance, give us a call. Our office manager, Terry, will be happy to answer your questions and make it as easy and affordable as possible to get the excellent care you and your children deserve.

Don’t wait until the school year starts! Call Vacendak Dentistry today to schedule an appointment or fill out the form. We look forward to your visit.