Seasonal Updates

Maintaining good dental health is always important! Stay tuned here for timely updates during holidays and other special times of the year.

What To Do In a Dental Emergency

The last thing you want for your little one is a dental emergency but accidents happen and you could be in a situation where your child needs immediate care. So what should you do during these tooth emergencies? Well, the truth of the matter is that it depends on the ailment. Your course of action will be different for each dental issue. Let’s look at the most common emergencies that can happen and how you might want to deal with it.

Chipped Tooth

With so many kids playing sports, one of the most common accidents is a chipped tooth. Depending on the size of the chip, your little one might not even feel the crack but if they did, it simply means the chip was a larger one. The tooth may need to be filled, crowned, extracted, or otherwise worked on so just get to your dentist as soon as you can to see what the recommendation is. Be sure to take the chip with you to the dentist if you can find it.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If your child has knocked out a tooth, don’t be alarmed.

  1. Baby tooth
    • If a baby tooth is knocked out, rinse the mouth with cold water, apply a compress, and contact your dentist immediately to ward off infection. Don’t worry about finding the tooth as a permanent one will take its place eventually.  
  2. Permanent tooth
    • The first thing you want to do is find the tooth. Usually, if the tooth has been knocked out by the root, your dentist can easily reinsert it (within the hour) and it will likely take root again in the gums. This means you should get to your dentist immediately. Store the tooth in cold milk (or the child’s saliva) until you can get to the dental office.

Pain When Biting

It can get really frustrating to have pain every time you bite and even more of a struggle for a child. This could be because of a cracked tooth, an abscess, or even nighttime grinding that’s causing the problem. Depending on the severity of the pain, you might need to see your child’s dentist as soon as possible for a root canal or other form of treatment.

It could very well take a few hours to get to a dentist so to combat pain while waiting, try these tips.

  1. Rinse with a saltwater solution to alleviate pain and swelling.
  2. Use a cold compress and take a pain reliever.

As always, if you’re concerned about your child’s health, bring them to our dental office or an emergency care facility if needed. To avoid some devastating accidents that could cause a dental emergency, have your child wear a mouthguard and use caution when in a risky environment.

Keeping Up with Oral Health During the School Year

back to school

During the school year, you’re juggling many things: Getting the kids to school on time, packing lunches, going to PTA meetings, going to soccer games, and making it to track practice. It’s easy to put a lot of things on the back burner but your child’s oral health shouldn’t be one of them.

Dental Appointments

Your child is seeing a dentist twice a year and more appointments could be necessary throughout a given year. Plan these around your child’s other obligations instead of missing out on a day of class or an important swim meet. Try to schedule the earliest or latest appointment to avoid any scheduling conflicts.

Proper Brushing

With so many other things for your little one to worry about, we’re sure brushing twice daily isn’t at the top of the list, and certainly not for two minutes. Making sure your child continues a proper oral care routine, even on the busiest of days, is essential to their overall oral health. Have a schedule that they can follow to make sure brushing is being done. In the morning, it could be to shower, brush teeth, and get dressed. At night, have them brush their teeth before putting on pajamas or getting ready for bed. Maybe even break out the timer and set it for 2 minutes to make sure they’re adhering to the recommended brushing time.

Healthy Lunches

Pack healthy lunches that protect your child’s teeth from plaque and tartar. By replacing sugary snacks with fresh fruits and vegetables, your kid’s teeth will be healthier and cleaner. Opt for water instead of sodas and carrots instead of chips. This cuts down on the amount of sugar that can build up on your child’s teeth, and many fruits and veggies can even strengthen their enamel.

Sticking to a scheduled routine is important for children. By keeping consistent oral health care in the mix, your child’s teeth will get the attention they need, even in the most hectic of times.

Staying Healthy During Summer Vacation

healthy during summer vacation

Summer vacation is finally here, which means it’s even harder to keep healthy snacks a part of your child’s routine. With BBQs, pool parties, popsicles, and more, it can be difficult to keep fruits and veggies in your little one’s diet. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Check out these tips for combatting the summer sweets battle.

Plan Ahead

Spending your summer on vacation is a great way to have fun with the family and take on adventures together. But when the routine is challenged and healthy food doesn’t come as easily on the road, it can seem like you’re destined to feed the kids fried foods and sweet snacks. The truth is, it doesn’t take that much extra effort to eat healthily while out and about. Planning ahead by scanning restaurant menus before your travels or even packing your own meals or snacks can save you the frustration of finding a healthy meal at the last minute.

Make it Fun

During the summer, you not only have to keep the healthy snacks coming, but you also have more time for fun activities with your kids. Make their snack time fun by combining it with craft time. Find easy and fun kid-friendly snack recipes online, such as the ever-popular “ants on the log” (made of celery, peanut butter, and raisins), which is full of protein and veggies. Use well-known recipes or come up with your own based on your little one’s favorite foods. Either way, you’ll have a blast with a healthy reward at the end.

Stash Snacks

With the kids at home during the summer, you’ll want to be sure you have plenty of snacks on hand. Instead of opting for chocolate or pastry cakes, try fruits and veggies or a healthier chip or cookie version of their favorite snacks. If you do go for the sugary alternatives, have the kids brush their teeth after or at least rinse with water to avoid plaque build-up.

If you’re especially set on keeping healthier options available for your little ones, carry carefully picked snacks with you to BBQs, pool parties, and on all of your adventures this summer.

The Dos and Don’ts for a Healthier Easter

For most kids, Easter is just as candy-filled as Halloween, making parents a little leery of the holiday before it even gets here. It’s traditional to load up a basket with seasonal candy, hunt for eggs that may have chocolate in them, and eat a big meal similar to Thanksgiving or Christmas. If you’re worried about the effect such a day may have on your child’s carefully thought-out dental routine, we’ve got some tips to make it a great, healthy Easter.

Pack your little one’s Easter basket with healthier options. Chocolate covered fruit gives them that sweet taste they’re craving while sneaking in something you’ve been trying to get them to eat all year. Instead of dipping the fruit in chocolate, provide several dips, like peanut butter, caramel, or chocolate. Try dark chocolate candy bars, as these have less sugar. Look into all-natural fruit snacks or individually wrapped candies for portion control. You might even want to throw in a few carrots. After all, the Easter Bunny loves them.

Hunt with real eggs. Hardboiled eggs are a great source of protein and an even better snack. Instead of filling plastic eggs with candy or chocolate, hide decorated boiled eggs and have the kids search for these colorful eggs instead. To add that personal touch to the traditional egg hunt, have the children help you decorate the eggs and then encourage them to search specifically for the ones they were responsible for.

Avoid too many starches and sugars in your Easter Sunday lunch. These types of food are breeding grounds for bacteria that causes plaque, tartar, and subsequently, gum disease.

Be sure to keep the sweets to a minimum this Easter and compensate with some tasty healthy treats instead.

Dental Tips for Busy Moms


We all know the struggle. Just trying to get your children out the door in the morning or into bed at night can take up a lot of time. But that doesn’t mean you should skimp on their health routines. Having your children brush their teeth is an important ritual to instill in them, a part of their daily routine that’s vital to their overall health. And even with your busy schedule, you can be sure they maintain their oral health with these tips.


One important part of dental care doesn’t have much to do with fluoride and brushes. Keeping your child hydrated with plenty of water can do wonders for his or her teeth. Drinking water clears away the sugars and acids that take a liking to enamel, making it less likely that those cavity-causing bacteria will find something to latch onto.

Healthy Snacks

To give the water a break from the demanding job of washing away the sugar, try to incorporate healthier snacks into your child’s diet. Vegetables like carrots and celery are great for strengthening the enamel on your child’s teeth while fruits like apples and oranges contain natural sugars and acids.


That bag of yours always has baby wipes, snacks, juice, coloring supplies, a stuffed animal or two, and much more. Try adding a dental kit in the mix as well. Keeping a toothbrush, some toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash in your bag can be a great way to remember your child’s dental care on the go. Headed to a softball game that’s sure to last until bedtime? Brush before leaving the field so you don’t have to wake them up in the car just to brush their teeth when you get home. Help your child to brush after an especially sugary meal or when you know they’ll go a long time without being able to do so.


What to Have and Avoid on Thanksgiving Day


With Thanksgiving coming up, there’s no doubt that you’re gearing up for the big meal. While you’re chowing down, chatting with family, and watching the football game, don’t forget that dental hygiene is still important. Your oral health might be last thing on your mind when it comes to the holidays but it’s still something to think about. If you’re worried about keeping your kids and yourself healthy through the holiday season, here are some tips for eating right on Thanksgiving Day.

Avoid Sticky Foods

These are a dentist’s worst nightmare all throughout the year and this day is no different. Many sticky foods are on the Thanksgiving menu. You’ve got marshmallows on the sweet potatoes, the pecan pie is ooey-gooey, and the cranberry sauce is clinging to your lips. As good as these treats are, it’s a best practice to limit the amount you or your children have, especially during the holiday season when the temptation is all around. Instead, try snacking on cheese cubes and mixed nuts. The calcium in cheese is great for the enamel on your teeth and the crunch of nuts can help to break up plaque.

Watch the Sugar

Thanksgiving is definitely a time to splurge and give in to the temptation of sugar, but don’t overdo it. Avoid extra servings of pie and soda and be sure you give your children the same advice. Instead, try natural juices and just a small piece of dessert to keep the sugar from sticking to your teeth and causing problems. Be sure to rinse your mouth after every meal or sugary treats.

Create a Balance

Just like in your everyday life, try to balance out your meals. For every one sugary, unhealthy item you eat, go for a healthy one. This doesn’t mean you can overindulge in sweets as long as you crunch on a carrot in between, nor does it mean that one large pie slice is balanced by a celery stalk. Be responsible and remember your health (oral health included) during the feast of the year.


Tips for a Healthy Halloween


Halloween is almost here, and that means stores are advertising candy in full force. Every time you walk through their doors, you immediately see stacks of colorful bags of fun-sized candy bars that are designed to call to your children.

This season is a lot of fun for kids, and it’s hard to look into their little faces and deny one of the biggest parts of the holiday. Because we want the best for our kids, here are a few tips to help get you through the Halloween candy boom:

  1. Stress the importance of waiting until Halloween to get candy.

To avoid having candy in the house all month, remind your kids that they’ll have more than enough candy after trick-or-treating, and try to wait as long as you can before buying the candy you plan to pass out.

This will help you and your kids avoid snacking on candy for weeks, which will save your waistlines and your teeth from all that extra sugar.

  1. Stress the importance of waiting until you get home to start snacking.

To keep your kids from snacking on candy while trick-or-treating, make sure they know to wait until they get home. This will also give your kids time to trade candy with each other in case they get something they don’t like.

  1. Stress the importance of portion control.

Let’s face it—when faced with a bag full of candy, most kids won’t have the self-control to keep from eating it all in one sitting. It’s probably a good idea to keep most of the candy somewhere your kids can’t reach (or don’t know about) and giving out a few pieces when it’s appropriate.

This will make the candy last longer and help keep your kids from eating too much of it at once.

  1. Stress the importance of brushing and flossing after eating candy.

Probably the most important tip for the Halloween season is to take proper care for your teeth after you eat candy. Letting sugar sit on teeth promotes the growth of plaque which eats away at your enamel. After your child eats candy, make sure that they brush and floss their teeth thoroughly to prevent tooth decay.

Halloween can be a tough season to get through when you’re trying to eat well and keep your teeth healthy, but with these tips you can help your children make good choices.

Easter Candy Fun Without Cavities


For many Easter is fondly associated with new life, new clothes, and Easter baskets brimming full of candy filled eggs, pastel colored jellybeans, and chocolate Easter bunnies. What we don’t want associated with Easter is new cavities.

Some Candies Are Better Than Others

Did you know that not all candy is created alike when it comes to cavities? When choosing candy for your child’s Easter basket, avoid sticky, chewy candies, hard candies, and sour and highly acidic candies.

Sticky and chewy candies stay in between the teeth for a longer period of time and get stuck in the grooves of the back teeth which are not so easily removed by saliva. The longer sugar sits on your teeth, the more cavity-causing acids form.

Hard candies such as lollipops and suckers are also bad choices. Again, the issue is that the longer it takes to eat sugary candy, the more acidic the environment in your mouth becomes. Additionally, hard candy is notorious for causing tooth fractures and chips.

Finally, avoid sour, mouth puckering candies. While these are popular with children, they are a double whammy for your child’s teeth. These candies are already very acidic and may also be chewy and gummy, meaning they create a breeding ground for cavities.

Tips to Protect Your Teeth From Cavities

There is good news. Chocolate is one of the best options for your teeth. Chocolate, without caramel or sticky additions, melts quickly in your mouth and doesn’t stick to teeth easily. When chocolate is eaten quickly, there is less time for it to coat your teeth and therefore, less time for cavity causing acids to form.

A few additional practices can promote oral health without depriving your child of the fun of the Easter season. First, don’t allow your children to eat sweets throughout the day, instead, give children candy after dinner when saliva production increases, helping to neutralize cavity-causing plaque. Secondly, drink water after treats. Again, this helps wash away the sugar from candy. Finally, follow the 1-2-3s of good daily oral hygiene: Floss once a day, brush twice a day, and eat three balanced meals a day.

Healthy Holiday Recipes


The holiday season means a lot of things: Roaring fires, time with family, and lots and lots of cooking. When you have kids, all of that cooking is more than an opportunity for bonding with the little ones; it’s a chance to teach them that holiday foods can still be delicious without being bad. Jacobs Pediatric Dentistry wants kids to understand that healthy foods are delicious and good for your teeth.

If your kids love decorating cookies but you don’t want to feed them all that sugar, you can try baking some whole wheat sugar cookies. The whole wheat flour makes this version of sugar cookies a little bit healthier, but they’re still fun to cut out and decorate! The recipe includes the icing if you want to be able to decorate the cookies while controlling the ingredients in the icing. And if you don’t want to keep lots of cookies around the house, these cookies make excellent gifts for your friends and family!

Another holiday staple is kettle corn, sold in those big festive tins at the store. But you can make your own at home to control the flavor and ingredients. Combining some air-popped popcorn with some cinnamon and sugar makes a delicious snack to enjoy during a family movie night.

Make more than special occasion foods with your kids: Cookie cutters can make almost any food holiday shaped. Create Christmas tree-shaped pancakes for breakfast and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich shaped like a snowman for lunch. Tiny cookie cutters can be used to cut snowflakes out of cheese for afternoon snacks.

No matter what you make with your kids this holiday season, remember that holiday foods don’t have to be full of calories and sugar. Cooking together is a fun bonding experience that can create lifelong memories for you and your children. Use your special time together to create delicious treats that promote dental health, too – and from all of us at Jacobs Pediatric Dentistry, have a safe and happy holiday season!

Tips for a Healthy Halloween

Happy Halloween


Sesame Street said it best: There are no good or bad foods; just “every day” foods and “sometimes” foods. It’s trick-or-treat season, and your house is about to be flooded with sugar. It happens every year, and we could preach handing out toothbrushes (Don’t do that – that’s our job!) or pretzels, but let’s be real: Your kids want candy.

Science shows that overly restricted kids—that is, kids who are never allowed to eat candy and other sweets—actually tend to overeat. This makes perfect sense: No fruit is as sweet as the fruit that’s forbidden! The best way to make a person crave a donut, after all, is to tell them they can never have another donut.

Here are a few tips for a happy and healthy Halloween.

  1. Eat a good meal before you go out trick or treating. Something warm and hearty, like stew or chili, will fill your children’s bellies and make them less likely to start begging for a taste of candy the moment it hits their buckets.
  2. Don’t focus on restriction; focus on moderation. Encourage your kids to be mindful about what they’re eating, and put limits on their daily intake, but don’t forbid it all together. Teach them to understand their own bodies and stop before making themselves sick. By doing this, you are acknowledging that the candy belongs to them, and you are teaching them an important life skill: Self-control.
  3. You might try telling them they can have a certain number of candy pieces each day after Halloween, and require them to drink a glass of milk or water with each piece. This helps fill them up with healthy alternatives and makes candy a little less appealing!
  4. Help your kids brush their teeth after enjoying a candy treat. Sugar bugs never sleep, even on Halloween!
  5. Be a role model. You can’t expect your kids to approach the holiday with moderation if you’re hoarding all the Butterfingers and binging on them.
  6. Consider this: Halloween is one day out of 365. Consider being a little lenient this one day, and allow them some celebration. Then brush and floss thoroughly, put the candy out of reach, and institute daily limits going forward.
  7. If the candy really is out of control and seems like it will never be gone, consider buying some of it back from your children (and dispose of it; don’t eat it all yourself!). This way they get a little bit of spending money and feel that giving up the candy is their choice.

The best thing you can do is to teach your kids every day of the year about moderation and “sometimes foods.” If you do this, Halloween won’t ruin the dental health you and your child have worked for. Enjoy the holiday!



don't forget to brush

Kids across the country are headed back to school this month, and households are swinging into that busy daily routine once again. The lazy days of summer are behind us for another year!

What is your morning routine like? If it’s anything like ours, it’s hectic to say the least. You’re getting kids out of bed, getting them cleaned up, dressed, fed, lunches packed, backpacks together. Suddenly your third grader has a paper you NEED to sign today and your kindergartener decides he hates peanut butter and jelly. It’s a lot to deal with!

But don’t forget to find 5 minutes each morning to focus on dental hygiene! It’s easy for kids to forget to brush their teeth when they’re rushing through their mornings, and it’s easy for a busy parent to overlook. But those teeth need to be brushed twice every day: morning and night!

The reason brushing in the morning is so important is because when we sleep, our saliva production slows way down. Saliva contains calcium and other protectants that serve to strengthen and protect your child’s teeth against harmful bacteria and acids. Brushing helps kick start salivary production, and toothpaste will add fluoride to the mix to give your child’s teeth a layer of “armor” against the foods he or she will eat during the day.

You might find it helpful to hang a sign on the bathroom mirror, provide your kids with a dry-erase checklist of tasks to do in the morning (including brushing teeth!), or set an alarm on your phone each morning reminding you to oversee tooth-brushing time. We know how busy your mornings are; don’t neglect your kids’ smiles! It only takes a few minutes to keep them healthy and protected for the day!