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This past May 5 was widely celebrated as Cinco de Mayo. But we also celebrated National Astronaut Day! The first American in space, Alan Bartlett Sheperd, Jr., launched into the atmosphere on May 5, 1961. The anniversary has since been dedicated to inspiring everyone to “reach for the stars.” A fun way to celebrate is to learn how astronauts do daily tasks in space, including caring for their teeth.

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, Dr. Matt and Dr. Craven appreciate the insatiable curiosity of children. That’s why we love to answer their questions, including (when we can) the unexpected queries, like, “How do astronauts brush their teeth?” We also encourage kids to reach for the stars with their own oral health by practicing outstanding dental hygiene. 

To schedule an appointment for your child or to learn more about dental care for kids, contact our office today.

Dental Health Is Vital for Astronauts

If you want to be an astronaut, bravery and keen intelligence aren’t the only requirements. Astronauts must also have a clean bill of dental health before being allowed to enter orbit. Though good dentistry is important for everyone, it’s all the more vital for astronauts. This is because they are under tremendous pressure from G-forces during launch. Untreated decay or loose cavities can cause immense discomfort.  

Brushing and Rinsing without Gravity

So how do astronauts keep their teeth healthy while they are in space? Isn’t it impossible to rinse and spit when there’s no gravity to keep things in place?

As it turns out, brushing in space isn’t too much different from brushing on earth. Astronauts use standard toothbrushes and toothpaste, usually sharing the same tube among crew members. After squeezing a drop of water onto the toothbrush from their water bags, they apply a small amount of toothpaste and brush thoroughly. When they’re done, they simply swallow the toothpaste. Then they use another drop of water to clean off the toothbrush, often physically sucking the water off the brush. If you want to see the process in person, you can watch astronaut Chris Hadfield here.  

A word of advice: typically swallowing toothpaste isn’t encouraged. Consuming large amounts of toothpaste can lead to stomach pain and even blockage of the intestines. Even regularly swallowing a bit too much can result in a fluoride build-up, which can create white spots on your teeth. But in space, waste management is a high priority. So astronauts use small amounts of toothpaste that will not cause bodily harm when swallowed. 

Dental Emergencies in Space 

Another reason that dental health is so important for astronauts? There aren’t any dentists in orbit. Crew medical members (CMOs) have some medical training and are authorized to perform emergency dental treatment, including extractions. But in many cases, CMOs just don’t have enough dental knowledge. As a result, an oral health problem could result in an astronaut being sent home early.

Reach for the Stars with Your Own Dental Hygiene 

Whether your child aspires to be an astronaut or simply wants to have an out-of-this-world smile, contact our office for great pediatric dental care. 

Send us a message online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
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February marks National Children’s Dental Health Month, sponsored by the American Dental Association. This year’s theme is “Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles!” It’s a great time to teach kids the best ways to care for their teeth, including visits to their pediatric dentist in Overland Park, KS

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we celebrate children’s dental health every day. But this month in particular, we are committed to educating kids and families alike regarding the importance of good oral hygiene. Dr. Matt, Dr. Craven, and our entire team truly love working with children. Their enthusiasm and their smiles warm our hearts. And we love their receptivity to acquiring new habits that can protect their smiles for life. 

Celebrate this month by scheduling an appointment with a great pediatric dentist in Overland Park, KS. Contact us today!

National Children’s Dental Health Month

This year, children are encouraged to establish four good dental habits, described below. If you are looking for fun ways to incorporate this observance in your home, the ADA has activity sheets and coloring pages linked on their website

Brush Twice Daily

The first dental habit to establish is twice daily brushing. This should begin early, as soon as your child has their first tooth. Use a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles. Fluoride toothpaste is perfectly safe – and, in fact, preferable! Just be sure to use the right amount. A smear no larger than a grain of rice is appropriate for children under three. For older children, use a drop the size of a pea.

Floss Once a Day

Flossing should begin early, too. As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, you should be cleaning between them. A floss stick may be helpful when your child is younger, since it gives you a free hand to keep their mouth open. Once your child is old enough, they should learn how to use traditional floss for themselves. 

Eat for a Healthy Smile

A good diet is not only important for healthy growth and development. It’s also essential for healthy teeth. Make sure your child is eating a wide variety of nutrients, including fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, yogurt, and cheese

Actually, juice is the main concern when it comes to children’s cavities. Children under age 

one shouldn’t drink juice, and it should be strictly limited after that.

Visit Your Pediatric Dentist in Overland Park, KS, Twice a Year

Dental visits also need to begin early. Once your child has at least one baby tooth, it’s time to see the dentist. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we are so committed to early dental hygiene that we offer free exams and cleanings before age 2

As children grow older, dental visits become even more essential. They can prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist can also spot early signs of orthodontic issues, often offering early treatment to reduce the severity of misalignment.

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids

This month, visit your pediatric dentist in Overland Park, KS. To schedule your appointment, contact us online or call (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
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When it comes to kids’ health, it seems like most of the information is directed toward moms. It is assumed that moms handle most of the health-related tasks, such as scheduling appointments, preparing food, and managing day-to-day wellness. But we recognize that dads do a lot of unacknowledged and unappreciated work. This Father’s Day, we salute the amazing dads who are doing so much to ensure that their kids enjoy good oral and physical health. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, we provide compassionate pediatric dentistry, and we want to make sure that oral health is a positive experience for everyone in the family. As a dad himself, Dr. Matt understands the important role that fathers play in their kids’ health. He can explain how best to fill this role and answer any questions you may have.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our office.

Involved Dads Promote Better Health

Increasingly, health and sociology experts are becoming more aware of the role that dads play in their kids’ overall wellness. In part, this is due to widespread social trends. For instance, between 2003 and 2007, the number of stay-at-home dads increased by 60%. The majority of stay-at-home parents are still moms. Nonetheless, this number is not insignificant and indicates the importance of fatherhood and its role in child health and development.

Further, one study showed that 30% of moms reported that their child’s father had a positive impact on their children’s oral health. This impact came primarily because dads actively performed dental hygiene for their children, and they promoted a tooth-health diet.

The Power of Example 

Any parent knows that kids imitate everything. Although this can be an intimidating thought, it’s actually great when it comes to dental care. When a child sees his dad brushing his teeth, the youngster is more likely to brush his own teeth. And if a little girl sees her daddy going to the dentist, she’s more likely to accept dental visits as a routine part of life. 

One unique opportunity for dads involves dental phobia. Very often, dads feel compelled to display fearlessness in front of their children. And if a child expresses fear of the dentist, there’s a temptation to dismiss their anxieties or tell them there’s nothing to be afraid of. What if you let your child know that you feel nervous sometimes, too? Whether you suffer from dental anxiety yourself, or your anxiety comes at other times, when kids see that dads face up to their own fears, it can be an inspiring and lifelong example of courage

The Role of Diet and Nutrition 

Dads are increasingly spending more time in the kitchen, and their food choices can have a tremendous impact on their kids’ dental health. Of course, there are certain notorious causes of cavities (such as candy), but any carbohydrate can lead to tooth decay, especially refined or processed carbs. A balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, lean proteins, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fat can dramatically reduce the risk of cavities. And, of course, some treats are appropriate in moderation. 

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids 

Happy Father’s Day! Are you ready to schedule an appointment for your child? Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today. 

Reach us online or call us at (913) 685-9990. 

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
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8:00am - 4:30pm
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Did you know that National Toothache Day is February 9th? Now, we know what you might be thinking – why would anyone want to celebrate National Toothache Day? Well, it’s more about focusing on optimal oral health than it is about dental pain. Our pediatric dentist is here to tell you why this little-known day matters.

Is your child currently suffering from a toothache? Help them get the relief they deserve at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS. Simply give our friendly team a call at (913) 685-9990 to get scheduled for the next available appointment. 

What is a celebration without a little education? In this post, Dr. Matthew Hillman tells you more about toothaches, why they occur, and how you and your little ones can avoid them in the future

What is a toothache?

A toothache is pain that originates in or around one or more teeth. The pain can range from minor discomfort to agonizing pangs. Depending on how severe the pain is, a toothache can make eating, speaking, and even sleeping, learning, and playing much more difficult.

Toothaches can occur for many reasons, and most are easily treatable with restorative and preventive solutions. While some toothaches may go away on their own, it is best to consult with a trained professional to assess the cause of the pain

What causes toothaches?

There are many reasons why a toothache may develop, including:

  • Loose baby teeth that are making way for adult teeth
  • Adult teeth that are erupting through the gums to take the place of baby teeth
  • Abnormal bite patterns (malocclusions)
  • Cavities (the most common dental condition in children, according to the CDC!)
  • Thin tooth enamel
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth infections
  • Sleep bruxism (the unconscious grinding of teeth at night)
  • Dental damage, like cracks or fractures
  • Food debris lodged between the teeth

How to Celebrate National Toothache Day

The best (and easiest!) way to celebrate National Toothache Day is to prevent them! Thankfully, there are plenty of things you and your little ones can do to keep dental pain at bay, including:

  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Eating a nutritious diet
  • Drinking plenty of water 
  • Visiting a pediatric dentist in Overland Park at least twice a year for routine checkups

But, what do you do if your little one is currently living with a toothache? Well, here’s what we recommend to ease the pain until you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Matt:

  • Rinse the mouth with a warm saltwater solution to control microbial growth
  • Use over-the-counter painkillers and oral analgesic gels to minimize discomfort
  • Serve room temperature food and drinks to prevent additional pain
  • Limit sugar intake
  • Apply cold compresses to the face for 20 minutes at a time

If you suspect that your child may have a toothache, don’t delay. The sooner they get treatment, the sooner they can get back to being a kid.

Celebrate National Toothache Day with Dr. Matt Hillman

So, what is the best way to celebrate National Toothache Day this year? With a preventive checkup and dental cleaning, of course! Schedule a routine dental exam and cleaning online here, or call our Overland Park pediatric dental office at (913) 685-9990. 

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
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We are just days away from the New Year! It’s the time for setting personal goals for 2023. But New Year’s Resolutions aren’t just for adults. Kids can set goals, too. In this post, your pediatric dentist in Overland Park offers some great ideas to help your kids choose their resolutions. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt and his team are committed to every aspect of your child’s wellness. Of course, dental health is our top priority. But we understand that oral, physical, mental, and emotional wellness are all interrelated. Through quality care, compassionate communication, and thorough education, we want to help your family enjoy the best year yet

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services.

How to Help Kids Set New Year’s Resolutions

Unfortunately, many New Year’s resolutions are self-deprecating. For instance, a whopping 40% of people who set resolutions say that they want to lose weight in 2023. But setting these types of goals can be harmful for kids, making them feel insecure about their bodies. Instead, help kids focus on positive changes that will make them feel good

Second, help your kids set actionable goals. Instead of saying, “I will become the best soccer player on the team,” resolve to practice shooting drills three times a week outside of team practice. Or instead of saying, “I will get better grades,” say “I will do my homework first thing after I come home and before I play any video games.” 

Exercise Resolutions

“Exercising more” is the top resolution, set by 52% of global survey respondents. Kids can resolve to get moving, though, again, it is best to focus on how good exercise will make them feel. Although goals will vary by age, some ideas for exercise-related goals include:

  • I will only watch one hour of TV a day.
  • We will go for a family walk after dinner three days a week.
  • I will learn how to play a new sport or activity.

Healthy Eating Resolutions

Healthy eating comes second to exercise in the list of 2023 resolutions. But as with all goals, it is important to be specific about what you want to do. For instance, depending on age, your child might resolve: 

  • I will eat vegetables when they are served to me.
  • When I see new foods, I will give them a try before deciding whether or not I like them. 
  • I will drink no more than two sodas a week. 

Dental Care Resolutions

Of course, your dentist in Overland Park couldn’t resist adding in a few oral health-related ideas. Fortunately, these are small changes that could have big effects on your kids’ dental health, not only in 2023 but for the rest of their lives!

  • I will brush my teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once.
  • I will drink water (or milk, for younger kiddos) with all my meals.
  • I will visit the dentist twice this year. 
  • I will wear my retainer when I am supposed to.

Enter 2023 with Your Dentist in Overland Park

We can’t wait to help you make 2023 a year to remember! Contact your dentist in Overland Park to schedule your first appointment of the new year.

Reach us online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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It’s hard to believe that it’s already November and Thanksgiving week! And while some of us are a little behind on our cooking, we are all ready to do what matters most – count our blessings and give thanks! At our pediatric dentistry office, we have so much to be thankful for! 

Dr. Matt and his team and Smiles Dentistry for Kids want to share the top 5 things for which we’re giving thanks this holiday. We hope that you and your family have a wonderful, joyous (and delicious!) Thanksgiving Day. 

And remember, we are always ready to provide you with outstanding dental care. If your child needs dental treatment or preventive services this holiday season, contact our Overland Park, KS, pediatric dentistry office right away!

#5 – A Great Place to Call Home

We are so thankful to be located in the beautiful city of Overland Park. With all the convenience of a big city and the charm of a small town, there is no shortage of things to do in our community. 

We are proud to be in the heart of it all at our location on Metcalf Avenue. Easily accessible off of Highway 69, we are just minutes from the Museum at Prairiefire, the Firefly Forest, and the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead.

#4 – Digital Technology 

We know that parents want the best and safest treatment for their children. That is why we are so grateful that we can offer the reassurance of digital x-rays. This type of imaging involves up to 80% less radiation exposure than traditional x-rays. Plus, the pictures are sharper. And they can be more easily shared with parents so that they can play a more active role in their children’s dental health.

#3 – A Wonderful Office Family

We are so thankful to come to work every day with people whom we love like family. We feel supported by each other, and we truly feel that we work as a pediatric dentistry team. The smiles around our office are infectious, as we laugh and share each other’s joys and struggles. 

We want our patients and their parents to feel like members of our family. Our true affection for one another and our infectious smiles help to make everyone feel welcome.

#2 – The Opportunity to Do What We Love

Not everyone looks forward to going to work every morning. But we do – and for that we are so very thankful! It is such a gift to provide meaningful service, helping to lay a foundation of oral health for the youngest generation.

Pediatric dentistry poses a unique set of challenges. The energy is high, the wiggles can be vigorous, and the attention spans are often short. But we love it and are so thrilled that we have the opportunity to pursue our calling

#1 – Our Patients 

Without a doubt, our patients are the number one thing for which we are giving thanks this November. Kids are just so much fun, and we truly think that our patients are the best! We love getting to know each of them and their unique personalities. And we love getting to know their parents, too. 

So if you are one of our existing patients, thank you for trusting us with your child’s precious smile. And if you are looking for a pediatric dentistry home, we’d love to have you! 

Contact Your Pediatric Dentistry Office 

You make our practice what it is. Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids to set up an appointment. 

You can reach us online or call (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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Easter season is imminent! This means it’s a time for annual traditions, family time, and more. Indeed, it’s fine to indulge in chocolate or candy-filled eggs in moderation when paired with proper oral hygiene. 

However, the humble chicken egg is a superfood filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients. Whether you like your eggs fried, deviled, or scrambled, Dr. Matt cracks down six justifications for why eggs are an exceptional choice all year long.

Protein

While it’s crucial to consume an adequate amount of protein in your diet, it’s equally important to ensure that you are fueling with the correct type of protein. Eggs are a complete protein, containing nine essential amino acids that the human body needs to survive. 

For example, proteins are required in the body to help build and repair damaged or worn down tissues and muscles. This includes the connective tissues and our mouths, such as the tongue, the jaw muscles, and gums.

Phosphorus

Furthermore, protein (especially animal-based protein) contains a remarkable mineral called phosphorus. When combined with calcium and vitamin D, phosphorus plays a vital role in strengthening the teeth and bones.

Selenium

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, one to two eggs every morning can help your child reach their recommended dietary allowance for selenium. Even in small amounts, selenium supports many bodily processes. Also, an increase in this potent antioxidant has been linked to a decrease in cavities in children and young adults.

Calcium

Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body, and 99% of our body’s total calcium is stored in the bones and teeth. Specifically, calcium is responsible for: 

  • Strengthening enamel (the protective outer shell of our teeth)
  • Preventing dental decay
  • Stabilizing the jaw bone, which keeps our teeth in place

Ideally, people should consume at least 1,000 mg of calcium daily, and eggs are a wonderful non-dairy source of calcium. The more calcium you consume, the stronger your teeth and bones will get. Likely, this translates to fewer cavities, less tooth damage, and other horrible dental issues.

Conversely, if a person does not get enough calcium in their diet, dental problems may occur, such as:

  • Gingivitis and periodontal disease
  • Brittle teeth
  • Tooth decay

Vitamin B-12

Whole eggs are rich in vitamin B-12. Also known as cobalamin, vitamin-B-12 aids in red blood cell formation and cell metabolism. Regrettably, cobalamin deficiency can deteriorate oral health. B-12 deficiency has been coupled with various manifestations, including abnormal tongue and gum tissue.

Iron

Did you know that eggs are a great source of iron? Each egg contains 1.89 mg of iron, which helps keep the teeth and gums in tip-top shape.

However, when the body does not get enough iron, a person may develop anemia. Unfortunately, people who suffer from anemia are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease.

Is it time to book your child’s next dental appointment? If so, hop to it.

This weekend, let the Easter egg hunts commence! But don’t forget to indulge in your hard work by sitting down and cracking open a few eggs for a tooth-healthy treat. 

Contact our Overland Park, KS office if it’s time to schedule your child’s next kid’s dental appointment. Call us at (913) 685-9990, or send us a message online.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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Many people wear green clothes to keep themselves from getting pinched each St. Patrick’s Day. But did you know that consuming green foods is a component of keeping your teeth and gums healthy? So, put these green items on your next grocery list.

1. Broccoli

Chock full of Vitamin C and E, broccoli is one vegetable that stands out for oral health: 

  • Wards off oral bacteria
  • Aids in healing
  • Strengthens teeth
  • Protects enamel

2. Kiwi

Did you know that kiwis are loaded with Vitamin C? These fuzzy green fruits provide over 100% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of developing gum disease.

3. Asparagus

Spring has sprung, which means it’s asparagus season! Here’s a tip: enjoy more asparagus! Although they may not seem like much, asparagus tips and spears contain a wealth of nutrients, including:

  • Folate
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Vitamins A, C, E, and K
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Riboflavin
  • Fiber

Furthermore, asparagus is an excellent source of prebiotic fiber, which helps aid digestion and balance the gut microbiome. Adding asparagus to the menu at least once a week can keep your teeth and digestive tract healthy.

4. Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables are a critical component of a balanced diet. While low in calories, leafy greens are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Spinach and kale are superfoods brimming with vitamins (A, C, and K), folic acid, iron, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, and protein. What more could you ask for in a simple leaf? 
  • Cabbage is high in fiber, Vitamins C and K, and glucosinates (special antioxidants that may aid in disease suppression).
  • Did you know that one measly cup of Swiss chard provides over three times the daily allowance of Vitamin K? 
  • Although carrots are predominantly orange, carrot tops are green, fibrous, and crammed with beta carotene.

5. Green Tea

According to research scientists, green tea is one of the healthiest drinks available. Green tea is packed with periodontal health saving agents that can:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Prevent bone resorption
  • Stifle bacterial growth that is associated with gum disease

Whether you meet your match with matcha or enjoy green tea poured over ice, unsweetened green tea is a smart swap for sugary drinks.

6. Green Apples

If you are thinking about grabbing a candy bar, consider holding a green apple instead. When you replace sugary treats with fresh apples, you:

  • Gain hydration
  • Chew the fibrous texture of the fruit, which can gently remove plaque trapped between teeth
  • Stimulate the gums
  • Reinforce gum health by supplying the gums with antioxidants and polyphenols
  • Promote healthy saliva production

Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy this St. Patrick’s Day with a Balanced Diet of Green Foods and Regular Dental Checkups

While plenty of green foods can keep your mouth healthy, it’s simply not enough to prevent gum disease, cavities, and other oral health conditions. So, we recommend that young patients visit their dentists at least every six months.

Are you searching for a new dentist for your kids in Overland Park? Well, look no further. Our kid’s dentist, Dr. Matt, is anything but green. Dr. Matt has years of experience helping children keep their teeth and gums in optimal condition. Schedule your child’s next dental appointment. Call (913) 685-9990 or message us online today.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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Whether you’re looking for activities in the sunshine or the comfort of cool air conditioning, there are local Spring Break activities to keep everyone in your family busy. So, pull out your planner and start penciling in these engaging activities to do around Overland Park, KS, while your children are out for school. 

1. Stop and Smell the Flowers

If the weather permits, load up on fresh air and Vitamin D while you admire the local natural wonders of the season. Embracing environments with plenty of foliage is linked to many positive effects (such as improved cognition, better coping skills, and less stress). 

Fortunately, our community has many green spaces, including:

  • Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
  • Indian Creek Hike & Bike Trail

2. Escape Rooms 

Discover a safe, thrilling, and immersive experience only an escape room can provide. Brain-teasing escape rooms help children think critically and make essential decisions to move through the stages. Therefore, escape rooms are an ideal, entertaining activity for developing problem-solving and objective analysis.

3. Play Board Games

If your kids are bored over Spring Break, bust out the board games! Board games are much more than family fun. Playing multi-player games can stimulate and strengthen parts of the brain responsible for complex thought processes and memory formation for kids of all ages. Additionally, playing board games can:

  • Strengthen bonds between people
  • Release the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals
  • Teach children how to set goals and be patient 
  • Help build self-esteem

4. Clean for Spring

Did you know that childhood cleanliness may impact your kid as an adult? In a compelling, multi-generational study, researchers discovered that young adults who grew up in homes that were rated “clean to very clean” completed more school and earned more money than those who grew up in homes rated as “not very clean to dirty.”

We get it. It can be a pain to teach kids how to clean. Frankly, it’s sometimes much faster to just do it yourself. However, teaching your kids how to clean correctly is an essential life skill that teaches them responsibility and helps them value hard work. So, crank up the tunes and start dusting as a family!

5. Visit a Museum or Two

Just because school is out doesn’t mean kids should turn their brains off. Museums provide multi-sensory opportunities to gain knowledge. Also, some museums allow children to explore their interests through hands-on activities and authentic artifacts. 

That is why your family should check out these local installations to experience the arts, history, science, and more:

  • Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Museum at Prairiefire
  • Kidscape at Johnson County Museum
  • Wonder Wonder?
  • Overland Park Murals

6. Get Lucky at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Mark your calendar! On Saturday, March 12th, Downtown Overland Park will be kicking off its first-ever St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Celebrate this free Irish-themed parade with the entire family. But, most importantly, don’t forget to wear green!

7. Visit Smiles Dentistry for Kids

Since kids get a week away from school during Spring Break, this time serves as a fantastic opportunity to schedule children’s dentist visits. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt and his team believe in keeping your children’s teeth as healthy and clean as possible so that they can smile confidently. Book your child’s next dental visit by calling (913) 685-9990 or messaging us online.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
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Friday
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8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
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8:00am - 4:30pm

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Some pediatric dentists believe that the tooth fairy is so honorable and impressive that she deserves recognition on February 28th and August 22nd. Since National Tooth Fairy Day is celebrated every six months, it serves as a clever reminder for parents to schedule their children’s twice-annual routine dental appointments. Until then, here are three ways to celebrate our favorite magical dental hygiene hero at home.

1. Learn about cultural practices related to lost baby teeth.

During the mid-1920s, American dentists and other oral health enthusiasts developed the idea of the tooth fairy to combat the anxiety and discomfort of losing teeth with the joy of accumulating cold hard cash. 

In a piece published in Salon, Michael Hingston stated that “Every recorded human culture has some kind of tradition surrounding the disposal of a child’s lost baby teeth.” So, here are a few tooth-related traditions from around the world:

Tales of Tooth-Collecting Creatures

While the tooth fairy is synonymous with bringing riches to sleeping children, countries around the world celebrate this milestone with creatures that “buy” children’s teeth from them with coins or gifts.

  • Rodents: While this creature has many names, a tooth mouse visits children in many French and Spanish-speaking countries, some former and present British commonwealth countries, and some European countries.
  • Tooth Troll: In Finland, opposite of the tooth fairy is the “Hammaspeikko,” which translates to “tooth troll.” Actually, this character serves as a metaphor for explaining cavities. According to folklore, the tooth troll is lured by candy and drills holes into the teeth. Thankfully, brushing scares him away!

Feeding Teeth to A Furry Friend

In Mongolia, children are encouraged to hide their lost baby teeth in meat fat and feed them to their dogs. Mongolian children participate in this practice hoping that their adult teeth with be as strong as the bone-eating dog’s teeth.

What do they do if they don’t have a dog? In this case, Mongolian children bury their teeth in the ground near a big tree so that their new teeth will have strong roots (like the tree).

2. Get creative with DIY tooth fairy projects.

For National Tooth Fairy Day, get festive with art projects the whole family can enjoy:

  • Decorate a picture frame and show off a photo of your child’s toothless smile
  • Draw or color a picture of the tooth fairy
  • Write a letter to the tooth fairy
  • Construct a pillow, pouch, or keepsake box (so that the tooth fairy can find missing teeth easily)
  • Create a tooth fairy puppet and have your children direct a puppet show 

3. Encourage your kids to take care of their teeth.

Losing baby teeth is a normal part of childhood, but losing them too early can be a major health issue. Ideally, establishing healthy habits at a young age is intended to help children remain fit for the rest of their lives. Dr. Matt of Smiles for Kids Dentistry encourages parents to facilitate excellent oral health routines and habits, including:

  • Brushing teeth with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride (twice a day)
  • Removing sneaky food particles and plaque between the teeth with floss
  • Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
  • Visiting the dentist at least every six months (for routine cleaning and a checkup)

If it’s been over six months since your child’s last dental appointment, don’t wait any longer. Schedule your child’s next dental appointment in Overland Park, KS. Call (913) 685-9990 or message us online today.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

Get in Touch

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