Find APD’s Fourth of July Trolley

All around the city of Alameda, U.S. flags are up and waving. Behind closed doors, the dedicated members of school bands, local dance troupes, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood communities, and independent businesses are putting the final touches on nearly 200 floats. It’s all in preparation for the Annual Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade—one of the longest Fourth of July parades in the country at 3 miles long.

Photo: David Brossard/CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo: David Brossard/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Mayor’s Fourth of July Parade is a Bay Area tradition that spans decades. It draws a crowd of 20,000 from all over the region who want to catch a glimpse of Alameda’s hometown spirit. The East Bay Express has dubbed the parade the “Best Hometown Celebration” and the “Best Hometown Parade” for a reason—it brings friends and family together and demonstrates the diversity and talent found across our nation’s cities, big and small. [Read more…]

5 Easter Basket Alternatives to Candy

It’s March, which means Easter Sunday is fast approaching. Whatever your tradition for the holiday, chances are that egg-hunting and Easter baskets are a part of it. This year, why not fill your kids’ baskets with fun, tooth-friendly alternatives to candy? Here are five ideas from around the web: [Read more…]

3 Tooth-Friendly Game Day Snacks Kids Love

Photo: eric molina/CC by 2.0

Photo: eric molina/CC by 2.0

Whether you’re an authentic Warriors fan, root for the Giants, or get ringside seats to see the Sharks, Game Day is always an exciting occasion. If you’re hosting, the right munchies will go a long way toward keeping the little ones occupied—and happy—so the adults can focus on all the action on the big screen. This post inspired by MouthHealthy.org will help you create a healthy spread kids enjoy. Bonus—the snacks are good for teeth, too!

  1. Baked Cheese Roll. Made with goat cheese, grape or olive oil, tomatoes, pesto, balsamic glaze, and French bread or crackers, this is savory goodness that will keep the kids grazing at the table. The goat cheese contains more calcium than cow’s milk, which ups the protection for everyone’s teeth.
  2. 7-Layer Dip. The base of this recipe contains black beans, Greek yogurt, cheese, and olives, which you’ll layer with a homemade guac and Pico de Gallo. The yogurt and cheese will help balance the acidy of the tomato and citrus juices. Plus, the dish is packed with mouth-healthy vitamins, like C, E, and A!
  3. Meat and Cheese Tray. Football fans will be on the lookout for just such a dish, and you’re not one to disappoint. Assembling a party tray like this is super simple—just pile summer sausage on a bed of kale, load a variety of cheeses, embellish with red grapes, and surround the offering with whole wheat crackers. The cheese is high in tooth-strengthening calcium and casein.

Find the complete recipes at 5 Super Snacks for the Big Game. The resource is one of many provided by the American Dental Association, which partnered this month with the ADA Foundation to bring you National Children’s Dental Health Month.

7 Halloween Safety Tips

pumpkinFor many kids, Halloween is one of the best days of the year. Between the festive decorations, the chance to dress up in costume, and of course, trick-or-treating, what’s not to love? Make sure the kids have a fun and safe night with the following tips:

 

  1. Prevent falls. Keep kids injury-free on Halloween with a costume that fits well and doesn’t obstruct their vision. Avoid long gowns they can trip on and masks that fall over their eyes.
  2. Help them be seen. Help your kids stand out when they cross the street. Lighter costumes are preferable, and darker costumes can be brightened by glow sticks or flashlights. You can even place reflective tape or glow-in-the-dark stickers on your child’s clothing or treat bag.
  3. Photo: Rochelle Hartman/CC by 2.0

    Photo: Rochelle Hartman/CC by 2.0

    Reestablish the rules. Kids may think it’s okay to set rules aside amid all the stimulation of Halloween. Before you go out, remind them to keep their eyes on their surroundings, not on their phone screens; to stay on the sidewalks and cross walks; and to look both ways before crossing the street.

  4. Tag along. Kids under 12 need at least one adult to chaperone. Older kids should trick-or-treat in a group and stay in a familiar, designated neighborhood.
  5. Drive safely. If you’re taking the car out on Halloween night, be extra cautious of kids who may be darting excitedly across the street in dark costumes, especially between the hours of 5:30-9:30 p.m.
  6. Avoid separation. Stick together while trick-or-treating–it can be easy to be pulled apart when the sidewalks are crowded and everyone’s wearing a disguise. Before you go out, make sure the kids aren’t wearing their names on clothing or jewelry, as a stranger may pretend to know them. Remind your kids to avoid entering strangers’ homes and cars.
  7. Check their treats. When you get home, check all the little ones’ treats before they eat them. Throw out anything that’s been opened or unwrapped or looks like it’s been tampered with.

[Read more…]

5 Tips for National Facial Protection Month

youthsportsThe National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that about 3 million teeth are knocked out in a single year during youth sporting events. Wearing a mouth guard helps offset this risk, preventing over 200,000 injuries each year. Unfortunately, 67 percent of parents do not insist that their children wear one. With National Facial Protection Month coming up in April, it’s the perfect time to play it safe by encouraging mouth guard use. Also, talk to your kids about the following precautions: [Read more…]

7 Fun Stocking Stuffers that Promote Healthy Teeth

The holidays have begun! Chances are, your tree is already decorated and the stockings are hanging above the fireplace, all in a row. Next on the agenda: filling them! Here are seven kid-friendly stocking stuffers your dentist will approve of: [Read more…]

5 Tips to Avoid Halloween Candy Overload

According to Forbes, Americans spent just over $2 billion on Halloween candy last year. That’s over 600 million pounds! The candy we buy is not typically meant for own households, but for other people’s children. However, if your kids are among the over 41 million trick-or-treaters who’ll pound the neighborhood streets come October 31, they’ll still come home with more than enough candy to last a month.

Prolonged exposure to sugar is a big no-no when it comes to the little ones’ dental hygiene—in fact, it’s preferable to eat a large amount of candy at once rather than distributing small amounts repeatedly over a long period. How can you prevent the Halloween candy overload? Here are some ideas: [Read more…]

6 Steps for Perfect Teeth in 2014

happy_new_year_colorA new year is on the horizon. What will you do to keep up your oral health care in 2014? If you’d like to include “perfect teeth” on your list of New Year’s resolutions, read on for a must-do checklist:

  1. Stay Covered. Many individuals and families will lose existing health insurance coverage on January 1, 2014 due to stricter Affordable Care Act requirements. Have you checked on or updated your insurance plan yet? Don’t forget that Covered California’s open enrollment with premium assistance for qualifying families runs through March 31, 2014. Dental plans for children are available.
  2. Keep Your 6-Month Appointments. The most basic dental plans cover preventative care, and this includes your 6-month check-up! It’s easy to miss this appointment because half a year comes and goes surprisingly quickly. If you don’t remember the last time your child went in for a cleaning, check your calendar or call your pediatric dental office. You might be surprised at how long it’s been! [Read more…]

The Tooth Fairy vs. Santa Claus

fairysantaIt’s that time of year when Santa gets all the attention. Not to get on Jolly Old St. Nick’s case – we all appreciate him for the elements of wonder, surprise, and generosity he inspires during the holidays. But here’s giving the Tooth Fairy some love: because many kids will lose a baby tooth before the New Year!

Here are 10 ways the Tooth Fairy shows up Santa:

  1. The Tooth Fairy can bring gifts multiple times a year.
  2. The Tooth Fairy doesn’t need a magic sled or reindeer to fly.
  3. Both Santa and the Tooth Fairy are recognized for their hard work and dedication to children. As far as we know, though, the Tooth Fairy does it all on her own. No fleet of elves in her forest.
  4. The Tooth Fairy has multiple disguises. In some countries, the Tooth Fairy is known as a mouse: Ratoncito Perez.
  5. There are too many fake Santas around; the grumpy ones only confuse the kids. But it is nearly impossible to impersonate the elusive Tooth Fairy. [Read more…]

5 Essential Halloween Tips for Kids with Braces

Pumpkin

Eating hard and sticky foods like candy can damage braces and wires, warns Alameda Pediatric Dentistry’s Cinthia Galvez, RDA. Does that mean kids who wear braces can’t enjoy treats this Halloween?

Dr. Kan recommends getting decked out in costumes, trick-or-treating along the festive neighborhood streets, then bringing all your candy back to Alameda Pediatric Dentistry for the annual buy back. If the little ones must have their fix, here are 5 Halloween tips from our trusted orthodontics team:

  1. Brush your teeth right after eating candy. If you do not have access to a toothbrush, simply rinse your mouth after eating any sweets until you are able to brush.
  2. Remember that braces are bonded to the surface of teeth and can be damaged if that bond is broken. That said, avoid hard candies, including chocolates with nuts. They can break brackets and bend wires.
  3. Avoid candy that’s sticky, such as Starburst, taffy, Tootsie Rolls, and Skittles. They stick to the teeth as you chew, creating tension on the braces and potentially loosening them.
  4. Replace candy with soft sweets like fresh fruits, fruit shakes, or frozen yogurt. If you must, the lesser of all evils would be chocolate (think Hershey’s Kisses), without any nuts, caramel or additional ingredients that would make it hard, sticky or chewy.
  5. Brush at least three times a day for 3 minutes each time!

Want an alternative to passing out candy this Halloween? Here are 20 Alternatives to Sticky Sweets.

October is Orthodontic Health Month! That’s why all our posts this month have been dedicated to the art of wearing braces.

Photo (featured): slgckcg/CC BY 2.0