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.

Teething Baby

Whether you’re a first time parent or a veteran, we know you worry about your kids. And teething can cause a whole host of new concerns. Are your child’s teeth coming in normally? Is your child sick or just teething? And how do you keep problems from occurring in the future? At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we know all about baby teeth complications and are here to reassure parents.

Dr. Matt and his team exclusively treat pediatric patients, but we also believe that we are partners with parents in creating a foundation for lifelong oral health. No concern is too small. Whenever you have questions or concerns, we are here for you. 

Whether your child is experiencing baby teeth complications or if you just want to make sure that everything is going normally, contact our Overland Park, KS, office today.

Delayed Teething 

On average, children begin teething around six months of age. But as a parent, you know that milestones are different for every kid! Some children don’t cut any teeth until they are closer to a year in age. If your child has not begun teething by his or her first birthday, you should bring them into the dentist for an evaluation.

Most children are finished teething by the time they are three. Again, you should bring your child to the dentist if they do not have all their teeth by the time they are four.

Teething Symptoms 

You just settled into a somewhat manageable sleep schedule (hopefully!), and then your child starts teething. Along with interrupted sleep, there are several other common symptoms of teething. These include:

  • Drooling
  • Constant chewing or gnawing
  • Fussiness 
  • A facial rash, due to drooling
  • A mild fever of less than 101 degrees

Contrary to popular belief, teething does not cause babies to be sick! If your child is vomiting, has diarrhea, or is running a high fever, contact your pediatrician right away.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the most common of the baby teeth complications. It may be a surprise to learn that very young children can develop cavities, but 23% of children ages 2 to 5 have sustained tooth decay. In fact, that is why the condition is sometimes called “nursing caries” or “baby bottle syndrome.”

If you notice the symptoms of tooth decay, be sure to schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist. These symptoms can include: 

  • A white spot on the tooth just above the gums
  • Brown or black spots on the teeth
  • Swollen gums or pain around teeth that have fully erupted

Of course, good oral care and habits can often prevent decay and other baby teeth complications. Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they come in, and schedule a dental appointment no later than your child’s first birthday. In addition, you should never put your child to bed with a bottle or fill a bottle with anything other than breastmilk, formula, or water. 

Contact Us to Learn More about Baby Teeth Complications 

If you are worried about your child’s tooth development, or if you simply need to schedule their first dental appointment, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today. We proudly offer free exams and cleanings to kids under 2. 

Make your appointment online or call us at (913) 685-9990. 

little girl wearing a stocking cap

When you’ve had a hard day, nothing beats the sight of your child’s smile. So when it comes to routine oral care for kids, you naturally want the very best. But what exactly does that look like? 

Children’s dental care looks very much like adult oral hygiene. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we can provide tips to improve your whole family’s dental care. And, of course, Dr. Matt also provides regular preventive services specifically for young patients. 

To learn more about children’s dental care or to schedule a routine visit for your child, contact our Overland Park, KS, office today.

Daily Brushing and Flossing 

Good daily care is the foundation of oral health. Twice daily brushing and once daily flossing can keep bacteria, plaque, and tartar at bay. Since these are the substances responsible for cavities, good maintenance can lay a foundation for a lifelong healthy smile. 

You may be surprised to learn just how early brushing and flossing should begin. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends wiping down baby’s gums with a soft cloth even before any teeth come in. Once teeth erupt, parents should use a soft-bristled brush and a tiny amount of toothpaste to brush baby’s teeth twice a day. 

Good Hygiene Modeled at Home

As a parent, you know that kids watch everything and try to copy whatever they see, especially in the early years. That is why it is so important that your children see you maintaining good dental care for yourself. From a young age, let them see you brushing and flossing. And when they get old enough to do it themselves, try brushing together as you teach them proper technique. 

Not sure what the proper technique actually is? The American Dental Association has a whole guide

A Healthy Diet

While removing oral bacteria is vital, what kids put into their mouths is also important! Too much sugar not only makes for a crazed kid; it also increases the risk of tooth decay. And refined sugar is not the only culprit. All simple starches, including white bread, rice, and fruit juice, provide oral bacteria with easy energy sources. 

For optimal oral health, limit sugars and starches. Instead, encourage kids to reach for lean proteins, calcium-rich cheese and yogurt, vegetables, nuts, apples, and pears. It’s also important to drink water during and after meals, as this can help to flush away food particles. 

Here is another instance of kids imitating what they see. If you make a habit of reaching for the healthy stuff, chances are your kids will, too!

Biannual Dental Visits

Finally, it is essential to visit the dentist twice a year. Biannual appointments allow a dentist to clean a child’s teeth, check for decay, and look for any problems with dental development. Often, early intervention can prevent serious functional or orthodontic problems later down the line.

Again, you may be surprised at how early this should start. In fact, babies should visit the dentist once their first teeth come in or no later than their first birthdays

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we focus exclusively on pediatric care. We offer gentle, stress-free exams and cleanings. And we are ready to address any issues with equally compassionate, child-centered treatment.

Contact Us for Gentle Routine Oral Care for Kids

Protect your greatest treasure – your child’s smile! Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today. 

You can make an appointment online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

As a parent, you know kids are insatiably curious. “Why?” seems to be their favorite word, and sometimes it’s very difficult to come up with an answer that will satisfy! But perhaps no other topic elicits such curiosity on the part of children – and such bafflement on the part of their parents – as the tooth fairy! Here, your KS dental office answers some of kids’ most pressing questions about the little sprite.

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt and his team want to make dental care fun – whether that means helping you bring the tooth fairy to life or making your kids excited to have their teeth cleaned. 

To benefit from our fun-loving approach and our pediatric expertise, contact our Overland Park, KS, dental office today.

Where does the tooth fairy live?

Fairies are very secretive. They are very small and easily hurt by big animals and mean human hunters. So, unlike Santa Claus, the tooth fairy has never publicized her home base. However, your KS dental office staff has heard rumors that the tooth fairy lives in a magical forest in western England

What does she do with all those teeth?

This is probably the biggest mystery of all when it comes to the tooth fairy. What does the little creature want all those teeth for? 

Some say she uses them to build a castle to live in. Others say she polishes them up and throws them into the night sky to be new stars. Still others believe that she recycles them and uses them to make big, grownup teeth that will replace the old teeth. 

The Smithsonian claims that she uses them to make an exhibit in the Museum of American History!

How does she get into my room at night?

Lost teeth play magic music, which only the tooth fairy can hear. Guided by this siren song, she squeezes through the cracks of doors and beneath pillows. She uses her fairy dust to cast children into a deep sleep so they won’t wake up and catch her while she is gathering their teeth. 

How old is the tooth fairy?

The earliest known oral reference to the tooth fairy dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. The first written record of her existence is from a 1927 children’s play by Esther Watkins Arnold. So you could say that she is about 100. 

However, we’ve heard that she magically stays 18 forever

How much money does she leave?

Like everyone, the tooth fairy is subject to inflation. As of this year, kids receive an average payout of $5.36 per tooth. This is an all-time record high. In 2020, the tooth fairy paid an average of $4.03, and in 2019 she paid just $3.70.

Contact Your KS Dental Office for Kids

To protect those precious baby teeth and make sure that the tooth fairy gives a clean bill of health, be sure to visit your KS dental office twice a year

To schedule your child’s exam and cleaning, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today.

The first smile, the first steps, the first words. When you have very young kids, it seems that every day brings a new milestone. But one important milestone that you may not have considered is the first dental cleaning. Babies and toddlers require routine dental care just like their parents. Preparing for this appointment at our Overland Park, KS, office can ensure that it goes smoothly for both you and your child.

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt works exclusively with children. He understands the special concerns of young patients, and he knows how to make appointments fun. 

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment or to find out what is entailed in a first dental cleaning. 

Do young children really need teeth cleaning?

Absolutely! Children’s teeth are just as prone to decay as adult teeth. In fact, 52% of children between the ages of 6 and 8 have suffered from at least one cavity. For teens, the situation is even more alarming, since 57% of them have developed a cavity in their adult teeth.

Dr. Matt believes so strongly in early preventive care that he offers free exams and cleanings to kids under 2.

When should I schedule the first dental cleaning?

The American Dental Association recommends that children first visit the dentist when their teeth first come in and no later than their first birthday.

That being said, it’s never too late to begin good oral hygiene. Whether your child is six months old or six years old, cleanings can lay a foundation for lifelong dental health.

What will happen during my child’s appointment?

One of our hygienists will gently clean and polish your child’s teeth. Like Dr. Matt, our hygienists specialize in pediatric treatment, so they know how to keep kids comfortable in the dental chair. 

Cleanings always occur in conjunction with dental exams. Dr. Matt will evaluate your child’s teeth, taking x-rays if appropriate. He can recommend any treatment that he deems necessary and provide tips for better oral hygiene at home. 

How can I prepare my child for a cleaning?

Brushing your child’s teeth at home will not only help to prevent dental decay. It can also acclimate her to having her teeth cleaned. 

Discussing the upcoming visit can give your child a sense of security since he will have an idea of what to expect. You can also find a number of good children’s books about the dentist. Pictures can help familiarize smaller children with the sights of a dental office. 

How long will the first appointment last?

Dental visits last from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on your child’s health needs and level of comfort. This also includes time to answer any questions you may have.  

Please note that for your first visit, you should arrive at least ten minutes early. We work hard to keep wait times to a minimum. 

Schedule a Dental Cleaning Today

Make sure your child receives specialized dental care, tailored to his or her particular needs. Contact our Overland Park, KS, office today.

Request an appointment online or give us a call at (913) 685-9990.

When kids come to the dentist, the new sights and sounds can make them a little nervous. But for children who suffer from dental anxiety, visiting the dentist is not merely nerve wracking. It can be an overwhelming and highly emotional experience

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, Dr. Matt and his team have years of experience treating children. Our gentle, friendly demeanor is often enough to put kids at ease. If necessary, we can also provide IV sedation for youngsters with severe anxiety. 

We know that anxious kids make for anxious parents! But we will walk you through every stage of your visit and support you as you help your child. Contact our office today to learn more. 

Why is my child afraid of the dentist?

Dental anxiety is common, affecting an estimated 9% of pediatric patients. Anxiety can arise for many reasons. 

  • A history of dental problems from a young age
  • Parents passing on their own dental anxiety to their kids
  • Shyness
  • General anxiety
  • Cognitive development 

What can I do at home to help my child overcome her fears?

One of the most important things you can do is to make sure that you always speak positively about the dentist. If you struggle with dental anxiety yourself, talk to your own dentist about ways to soothe your nerves before and after treatment. 

Additionally, never use dental care as a threat. For example, you might be tempted to say, “If you don’t brush your teeth, you’ll get a cavity and have to go to the dentist!” But this only makes children associate dental care with punishment. Instead, use positive reinforcement to encourage good oral hygiene. 

To give your child support, look for some kids’ books about visiting the dentist. Often a picture book can give your child a visual idea of what to expect. And when she sees kids in storybooks being brave about the dentist, she may feel inspired to be courageous themselves! 

Finally, you are always welcome to bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket to your appointment. We know that these little things can be a huge comfort to our younger patients!

What steps do you take in the office to help anxious kids?

We offer free exams and cleanings to kids under 2. At these appointments we will check their dental development and recommend any appropriate treatment. But the visits are primarily to introduce ourselves to your child and acclimate them to the office. 

At subsequent visits, your child will see Dr. Matt every time. He remembers his patients and their interests, so he can engage them and keep them smiling the whole time. 

Finally, for kids with higher levels of anxiety, we can provide IV sedation. Intravenous sedation will put your child into a “twilight sleep.” He will technically be awake, but he will be deeply relaxed. And he will have little to no memory of treatment when the medication wears off. We recommend sedation only when it is absolutely necessary. But for very anxious children, sedation can enable us to perform important treatment that could prevent a lifetime of dental problems. 

Contact Us for Compassionate, Stress-Free Care

If your child suffers from dental anxiety, find a dentist who specializes in treating children. Dr. Matt’s demeanor and rapport with kids can go a long way in alleviating anxiety.

Book your appointment online or call our Overland Park office at (913) 685-9990.

Just like age-appropriate vaccines and routine wellness checks, dental checkups are a vital part of your child’s overall health. Good dental care beginning at an early age can greatly reduce your child’s risk for repeated cavities and orthodontic complications

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, Dr. Matt and his team focus exclusively on pediatric care. Whether it is your child’s first visit or their tenth, we know that appointments can be scary for younger kids. That is why we work hard to make dental appointments fun and to let you know in advance exactly what you can expect. 

Contact us today to learn more about dental checkups or to schedule an appointment for your little one.

Why are dental checkups so important?

Dental visits can prevent serious damage to your child’s teeth. 52% of children aged 6 to 8 have already developed at least one cavity in their baby teeth. This may not seem like a big deal – after all, those teeth will fall out eventually anyway! But early decay can dramatically increase your child’s risk for cavities as an adult

Plus, unchecked decay can lead to premature baby tooth loss. Baby teeth serve as placeholders for adult teeth. Therefore, early loss can result in significantly misaligned permanent teeth

Finally, when very young children are suffering from dental pain or problems with tooth development, they can experience difficulties in eating and speech development

Oral Exam 

All dental checkups include an oral exam. Dr. Matt will evaluate your child’s teeth, looking for any decay, erosion, cracks, or other damage. He or she will also assess the gum tissue to identify inflammation or other signs of gum disease. Though it may not seem like a major concern, periodontal disease affects up to 73% of children between the ages of 6 and 11!

Dental X-Rays

Typically, we will take x-rays at every other visit, unless your child is experiencing some troublesome symptoms. X-rays help us find hidden cavities and internal damage to teeth. Panoramic x-rays help us assess dental alignment. We can also evaluate permanent teeth that have not yet erupted. 

Parents often worry about the risks of radiation exposure during x-rays. That is why we use digital x-rays, which can reduce radiation exposure by 80% compared to traditional imaging.

Dental Cleaning 

Of course, cleanings are a key part of all dental checkups. One of our skilled dental assistants will carefully remove all plaque and tartar from your child’s teeth. After polishing, she will provide some tips and guidance for maintaining better dental hygiene at home. 

Our team knows how to help kids relax in the dental chair and enjoy their experience. For those children with severe anxiety, we can also provide safe IV sedation.

Schedule Your Child’s Appointment Today

We are excited to be your child’s home for dental checkups and any other treatment they might need. 

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids online or call our Overland Park office at 913-685-9990.

Eating disorders can be devastating, both to those who suffer from them and to their families. But many are surprised to learn that eating disorders can compromise dental health, as well as overall physical wellness. Here your pediatric dentist in Overland Park explores the oral effects of these mental illnesses.

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt treats children of all ages, including preteens and teens. He is committed to their holistic wellness and recognizes the unique challenges of today’s kids. For adolescents facing the heartbreak of an eating disorder, he can partner with their whole treatment team to ensure that their oral health does not go overlooked. 

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids to schedule an appointment with an experienced and understanding dentist in Overland Park

Eating Disorders: An Overview

Eating disorders are sadly all too common, affecting almost ten percent of Americans. Although they are most frequent among teens, a growing number of eating disorders have been reported among children. They are divided into three primary types:

  • Anorexia nervosa: Individuals who suffer from anorexia significantly restrict their caloric intake. Symptoms can include heart damage, low blood pressure, loss of menstrual periods, osteoporosis, and organ failure, among many others.
  • Bulimia nervosa: Those with bulimia eat large quantities of food and follow their binges with a cycle of purging, typically through vomiting, laxative use, over-exercise, and/or fasting. Bulimia symptoms include gastrointestinal discomfort and dysfunction, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance, which could even lead to stroke.
  • Binge eating disorder: Patients with binge eating disorder eat large amounts of food in a relatively brief period, but there are no episodes of purging. Those who suffer from binge eating disorder often experience intense guilt and are frequently overweight or obese.

Eating Disorders and Dental Damage

Patients with severe anorexia are so nutrient deficient that their bones may start to thin. When the jawbone shrinks, this can eventually lead to tooth loss

Those with binge eating disorders often consume high amounts of sugar and refined carbs, which can greatly increase the risk of tooth decay.

And while all eating disorders are serious, bulimia has perhaps the most impact on oral health. Vomit contains high levels of stomach acid so repeated episodes of induced vomiting can lead to significant enamel erosion. Therefore, these patients are prone to pronounced dental sensitivity and an increased risk for decay. Furthermore, the longer someone suffers from an eating disorder, the more severe their tooth erosion.

Can a dentist diagnose an eating disorder?

Although dentists are certainly not mental health experts, they are trained to recognize the signs of dental damage due to disordered eating. Plus, they typically see their patients more often than the standard physician. As such, they are in a unique position to diagnose eating disorders early on.

Often, when patients are questioned by a non-judgmental dentist, they are willing to share their struggles, perhaps for the first time. As a result, a knowledgeable and understanding dentist in Overland Park, like Dr. Matt, can help to prevent the serious, life-threatening effects of eating disorders.

Contact Your Pediatric Dentist in Overland Park Today

If you are seeking quality dental care for your child or teen, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids. 

You can make an appointment online or call (913) 685-9990.l

kid with toothache sitting in the car

Is there anything worse than seeing your child in pain? Unfortunately, accidents and unexpected things like toothaches happen. If your child has a toothache, it’s important to know what’s causing the toothache and how to find toothache relief. Your child can help you determine what’s causing the toothache by pointing out the source of the pain, but you’ll need to look for signs of trouble to figure out the underlying issue. 

Some symptoms to look for include: 

  • Red gums
  • Swelling
  • Tooth discoloration
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • A loose tooth
  • Food lodged between teeth

In most cases, you’ll need the help of a professional to diagnose the underlying cause. If your child is experiencing a toothache, call Smiles Dentistry 4 Kids in Overland Park, KS today. Dr. Matt and our friendly team are here to help your little one get back to normal, pain-free living.

What’s causing my child’s toothache?  

Sometimes, the cause of a toothache is obvious. Has your child recently been hit in the face with a ball? Or fallen and chipped a tooth? Then you have your answer! Be sure to visit the dentist as soon as possible and take the proper steps to save the damaged tooth. 

Other not-so-obvious causes of toothaches include: 

  1. Tooth decay. Pain that persists for more than a day is likely caused by a cavity. Look for a yellow-brown mark on the back molars where cavities are the most common. 
  2. Dental abscess. If your child describes throbbing and severe pain, he or she may have a dental abscess. Look for a pimple-like bump on the gum line, but an abscess may not be visible at all. 
  3. Cracked enamel. A cracked tooth will be sensitive to hot and cold substances and is generally caused by biting on a hard object. Search all of your child’s teeth for a crack, but the crack may be below the gum line or not visible to the naked eye. 
  4. Gum disease. Red, swollen gums are one of the first symptoms of gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease). If your child’s gums are bleeding after brushing and flossing, gingivitis is likely to blame. In some cases, gingivitis will clear up on its own with consistent and thorough brushing and flossing. 
  5. Lodged food particles. Meat, popcorn, and other foods can lodge themselves between two teeth, causing pressure and pain throughout the mouth. Be sure to check your child’s teeth for remnants of food particles. Brush and floss their teeth to eliminate this possibility. 

How can I help my child find toothache relief? 

In many cases, a toothache only lasts about 24 hours. However, if your child has a cavity, it will like become a recurring issue. Here are a few ways to relieve your child’s toothache pain while you wait to visit a pediatric dentist: 

  • Floss. Remove any food particles that may be lodged between the teeth for immediate relief. 
  • Pain medicine. Over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol and ibuprofen can relieve pain temporarily or permanently. 
  • Ice. Place a cold pack or ice in a washcloth on the outside of your child’s face where the pain is coming from. Leave it there for 20 minutes. 
  • Salt water. Combine a teaspoon of salt and a small cup of water. Show your little one how to swish it around for 30 seconds, then spit it out. 

Contact Our Pediatric Dentist in Overland Park

If your child is suffering from a toothache, please call our friendly dental team at (913) 685-9990  so we can determine the root cause and help your little one find permanent toothache relief as quickly as possible. 

The last Saturday of September is the annual celebration of National Family Health and Fitness Day USA. It’s the perfect opportunity to establish good habits for all aspects of your health – physical, mental, and oral! Here your pediatric dentistry office provides five great ideas to celebrate this important but little-known holiday. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt and his team are committed to your family’s complete wellbeing. That’s why we offer free exams to children under two. And we take all the necessary time to make sure little ones feel comfortable in the office. 

In addition to the ideas listed below, make sure your kids are up-to-date on their dental care. Contact our office today to book your appointment.

Exercise Together

The American Heart Association recommends that children ages 6 to 17 get at least an hour of moderate to strenuous physical activity each day

Exercising as a family doesn’t have to mean sweating it out at the gym! There are lots of ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine:

  • Go for a family walk after dinner
  • Take a bike ride
  • Have a dance party
  • Go ice skating
  • Go for a hike
  • Sign up for a family exercise class

Cook a Meal as a Family

Even if you regularly cook healthy meals, your kids may not have any grasp of what makes a food nutritious or not. Cooking together is not only a fun family activity. Research shows that kids who cook at home are more likely to make healthy eating choices

Try making some of the following with your children:

  • Healthy homemade pizzas with whole-wheat crusts and loads of veggies
  • Turkey meatballs over whole-wheat spaghetti
  • Homemade hummus with veggie sticks and grilled chicken
  • Chicken and vegetable soup

Set a Limit on Screen Time

In the US, children ages 8 to 12 spend an average of 4 to 6 hours a day watching screens. Teens can spend 9 hours a day on electronic devices! This means kids are not getting the right amount of exercise, which can lead to obesity and poor body image. Too much screen time can also lead to poor sleep, lower grades, and a reduced quality in relationships.

Set a realistic screen time limit for your children based on their ages. Discuss other activities that your kids can do to fill up the time.

Take an Emotional Temperature Reading

Around 70% of parents say they struggle to have deeper conversations with their kids. Encourage meaningful discussions with a weekly “temperature reading.” Have each person share:

  • Something they appreciate in another member of the family
  • New information
  • Puzzles they may have
  • Polite requests for change
  • Apologies
  • Wishes and dreams 

Encourage Family Dental Health

Children will more likely practice good dental hygiene if they see their parents doing so. Be sure that everyone – including mom and dad – are brushing twice daily and flossing at least once. 

You should also make sure that everyone is visiting the dentist regularly. Children should visit the dentist for a biannual exam and cleaning as soon as their first teeth appear.

Schedule an Appointment at Your Pediatric Dentistry Office 

Celebrate Family Health and Fitness Day by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Matt. 

Make an appointment online or call our Overland Park, KS, office at (913) 685-9990.

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