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Welcome Dr. Michael!

June 16th, 2021

We are SOOO excited to welcome Dr. Alvin Michael to the CDCI team!

The pediatric specialist team at CDCI is growing again! Dr. Alvin Michael will be joining us on Fridays starting July 23rd, 2021. We cannot wait for you to meet him!

Here are a few fun facts about our newest team member:

  • He's TALL! 6 foot 8 inches, to be exact. And yes, he does play basketball!
  • He was born and raised in Mesquite, TX.
  • He speaks Malayalam (a South Indian language).
  • He loves kids and enjoys spending time with his large extended family.
  • You can learn more about Dr. Michael on our website.

You may have already met him at our 7th Annual Patient Appreciation Day at the Dallas Zoo!

Check out more of Dr. Michael in the June issue of Living Magazine and on our website!

Summer appointments are filling up fast! Give us a call today at 214-484-3199 or book online. And yes, you can ask for Dr. Michael!

 

We Love Our Community!

May 18th, 2021

Ask anyone at CDCI why they work in the dental field and they'll tell you it's because they love helping people! Our doctors and staff make helping the kids of our community their daily mission - and we don't let that limit us to just your dental appointments! We host an annual food drive, serve as a designated Toys for Tots drop off center, and much, much more throughout the year. Check out our community outreach gallery to learn more!

We love inviting our patients and their families to join us in giving back to the community by participating in our events. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@cdci_kuba) to keep up with our latest activities. We hope to see you at our next event!

 

Have You Met Our Hygiene Team???

April 20th, 2021

Earlier this month we celebrated National Dental Hygienists Appreciation Week and spotlighted our 3 superstar hygienists, Maria, Rocio, and Darby!

So what does a dental hygienist do? . . . So much more than "just clean teeth!" Dental hygienists are trained to:

  • Remove bacteria-filled plaque and tartar from the mouth
  • Administer fluoride treatments
  • Apply sealants
  • Take x-rays
  • Assess a patient's oral health and report to the dentist
  • Complete chart notes and clinical documentation
  • Educate patients about their oral health

What does it take to become a dental hygienist? . . . In the state of Texas, a registered dental hygienist completes a 2 or 4 year degree in dental hygiene studies - including biology, chemistry, and pharmacology - and then must pass a state board licensing exam. Hygienists are also required to complete continuing education every year to maintain their licensure. This equips the hygiene team to be fantastic oral health educators!

What kind of experience can my child expect with a pediatric trained dental hygienist? . . . At Children's Dental Centre of Irving, our top priorities are keeping kids cavity-free and creating positive dental memories! Hygienists who are trained to work with kids have multiple techniques and strategies to keep the visit positive and upbeat. They are also enthusiastic about patient education and enjoy encouraging children to take part in their oral health care at home.

Staying up to date with regular 6 month dental check-ups is a key element in building healthy habits for life! If your family is due for dental check-ups, please give us a call today at 214-484-3199 or book online.

Our hygienists can't wait to see you!

Sleep for Your Health

March 12th, 2021

Did you know that today is World Sleep Day???

The quality of our sleep has a major impact on a child's overall health and development!

Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep?

What About Sleep Quality?

Quality sleep = restful sleep. When sleeping quality is poor, you may notice:

  • Snoring
  • Pauses, gasps, or snorting when breathing while asleep
  • Restless sleeping or sleeping in unusual positions
  • Hard time waking your child in the morning
  • Child is sleepy and/or inattentive during the day

Why is Sleep Health Important to Your Pediatric Dental Specialist?

Sleeping habits can affect your oral health! Your pediatric dental specialist may ask you questions about your child's sleeping habits, tonsils, and medical history at your child's check up. This may seem unrelated to their dental health, but habits like mouth-breathing, snoring, and grinding/clenching can put your child at a higher-than-normal risk for cavities!

Not only does sleep affect your child's oral health, but the structures inside the mouth, nose, and throat can affect your child's sleep! Our pediatric dental specialist regularly screen for signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, tongue posture, and other factors that could negatively affect your child's growth and development. We frequently coordinate referrals to pediatricians and/or an ENT specialists for follow up on concern areas.

Please keep in mind that this post is a general overview of sleep health and there are other risk factors and symptoms that can be associated with sleep disorders, oral health, and overall bodily well-being. Visit your pediatric dental specialist and your pediatrician regularly to discuss your child's specific medical and dental needs.

Resources

Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep? Infographic

Kids Health - Pediatric Sleep Apnea

 

 

February is National Dental Health Month!

February 17th, 2021

Show your teeth some LOVE this month!

Traditionally, our hygienists spend the month of February visiting local preschools and daycares performing fun and engaging "Tooth Talks" to teach kids how to keep their smiles healthy and strong, but COVID-19 social-distancing precautions have prevented us from visiting this year. So we got creative and put together this fun kid's video that can be enjoyed all year round!

Dental Insurance 101

January 14th, 2021

How well do you understand your insurance benefits? Navigating the language and rules of dental insurance can be confusing for both patients and providers! Let's take a look at some insurance basics to help you understand your plan and get the most out of your benefits:

The Verbiage

Insurance has a language all its own. Understanding the vocabulary will help with reading your benefits booklet and explanations of benefits.

  • Explanation of Benefits (EOB) - This is a written summary sent to the provider and to the patient after a claim is processed. It shows what was charged to your insurance, what was covered or denied, and the patient's estimated copays.
  • Frequency Limitations - Some procedures are subject to frequency limitations, meaning your plan will only cover this procedure a specific number of times in a certain time period. For example, your plan may allow exams once every 6 months or 2 in a 12 month period.
  • Downgrading - Also known as "alternate benefit." When a claim is submitted, insurance will look to see if a less costly procedure could have been performed as an alternative to what was done, and will then pay the benefits of the lesser procedure, leaving a balance that becomes the patient's responsibility. Insurance commonly downgrades what they consider cosmetic procedures, like white fillings (downgraded to silver).
  • Deductible - This is the required patient out-of-pocket payment before your insurance coverage kicks in. When a deductible applies to a procedure, it does not mean that your insurance doesn't cover it. Example: If you have a $50 deductible on your plan and you need a $200 filling, you must pay $50 before your plan will cover their percentage of the crown. If insurance covers 50%, that means insurance is estimated to pay $75 ($200 - $50 deductible = $150, 50% of $150 is $75). Once a deductible is met for your plan period, you don't have to pay it again until your plan year renews.
  • Copay -  This is your out-of-pocket cost per procedure. If insurance covers something at 80%, your copay is the remaining 20%. Copays vary by procedure type, frequencies, limitations, and are affected by the deductible.

Now that you're familiar with the verbiage, let's talk about some common misconceptions. . .

  1. Myth: Paying for dental insurance means you shouldn't have to pay out of pocket at the dentist's office. TRUTH: Dental insurance functions like a maintenance package for your oral health that helps to offset the cost of basic dental care. It's not designed to cover everything 100%. Most plans have built-in deductibles, co-pays, coverage percentages, and limitations that account for the patient's out-of-pocket expenses. This is called cost-sharing.
  2. Myth: If insurance doesn't cover it, then I probably don't need it. TRUTH: Your doctor is looking out for YOUR unique health needs and will make recommendations in your best interest. Insurance plans are built to cover common procedures for large groups of people. It's reasonable to expect that many people of the same group will have differing medical needs. Furthermore, your doctor's decisions are guided by current research and recommendations from professional organizations such as the American Dental Academy and the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, which may not be taken into consideration by your employer or insurance carrier when building your plan.
  3. Myth: If I paid my copay at the time of my appointment, then I shouldn't get any bills from my dentist in the mail later. TRUTH: Insurance does not provide a guarantee of payment, ever. The insurance professionals in the dental office will provide as best an estimate as they can based on the limited information that the insurance company provides, however, there are many factors out of your dentist's control that can affect how your claim is processed. A few examples include: if you or your dependents have pending claims in another office or have history in another office during the same plan period, downgrading clauses, and deductibles.

Do you have more questions? The best way to learn more about your insurance is to contact the company directly. Most plans offer web portals with detailed plan information and articles to help you read your EOBs, view claims, and find a provider near you. Or call the customer hotline to speak with a representative.

Sources:

8 Definitions To Help You Make Sense Of Your Insurance Policy

ADA Position on Explanation of Benefits (EOB) Statements

Tips for Dealing with Dental Anxiety

December 17th, 2020

Does the thought of visiting the dentist fill you with dread? If so, you're not alone! An estimated 75% of adults experience some level of dental anxiety.

Chances are if you're feeling nervous about the dentist, you may be passing the anxiety on to your child as well.

Regular dental visits are an important part of dental health. So what can be done to put parents and children at ease? Actually, a lot! . . .

  1. Choose a board certified pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists and their staff are specially trained to work with kids. They often foster a child-friendly environment, value a positive patient experience, and talk to children on their level.
  2. Schedule your appointment first thing in the morning, when your child is well-rested. Avoid scheduling near nap times, after school, or close to meal times.
  3. Let the dental team know if you and/or your child are nervous. We're here to help you!
  4. Ask questions. Eliminate the fear of the unknown. Again, then dental team is here for you!

Does the anxiety start before you've even arrived at the office? Try these home tips before your appointment:

  • Remember that a healthy mouth is something you want for yourself and your family. Close your eyes and visualize your ideal dental visit from start to finish. Picture yourself with a beautiful smile. This practice works well for both adults and older children.
    • Studies show that visualization exercises have the same calming effects on the mind as mediation. Learn more here.
  • Help your child understand what to expect from the dental visit by reading a storybook, watching a video, or role-playing with your child.

Looking for more tips? Check out the Preparing for Your Visit page of our website.

 

 

 

 

FAQ's About Dental X-Rays

November 17th, 2020

Are dental x-rays necessary? Are they safe? How often should they be taken?

If you've had questions like these, you're not alone! Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about dental x-rays from REAL parents like you.

Why do we need to take x-rays if my child's teeth are fine?

Many problems begin painlessly and cannot be seen with the naked eye. X-rays enable the doctor to clearly see the anatomy of your child's teeth, gums, and bone structure to check for abnormalities. Treatment is less complicated, more cost-effective, and has a higher chance of a successful outcome when problems are found early, which is why the doctor doesn't want to wait until something hurts to look at it.

Do x-rays need to be taken at each dental visit?

Not necessarily. Every child's needs are different and the dentist will make recommendations in the best interest of your child's oral health.

Why does my dentist recommend taking different kinds of x-rays?

Different types of x-rays are used to evaluate different structures of the mouth. When looking for something small, like a cavity between the teeth, a "zoomed in" view is necessary. When looking at larger structures, like the development of the jaw, a "zoomed out" view is more appropriate. Some x-ray types require different angles and film sizes that help your doctor get the clearest picture of your health in order to make an accurate diagnosis.

I'm worried about radiation exposure. Are dental x-rays safe?

Yes. Dental imaging today is the safest it has ever been. Dental x-rays are already low in radiation because it's not necessary to penetrate through many layers of the body to get to the teeth. Digital x-ray technology lowers the radiation level even further. To put it in perspective, it would take 50 dental x-rays to equal the same radiation as a flight from New York to San Francisco. One dental x-ray is typically the same  radiation exposure as eating 2 bananas. Curious what other daily events expose you to more radiation than a dental x-ray? Check out this article to learn more.

It's important to weigh the risks when it comes to radiation exposure. A patient is at a much greater risk of harm from an undiagnosed dental issue than from the minimal amount of exposure in a dental x-ray.

My child had x-rays taken at another dental office 8 months ago, can't you look at those instead of taking new ones?

A lot can change in the mouth over time, and no one can predict how fast cavities will grow and spread onto other teeth. To make an accurate diagnosis, the doctor must have the most up to date information. Seeing is knowing. Not seeing is guessing. Our doctors will not guess when it comes to your child's health.

Do you have a question not featured here today? Please ask the doctor and staff at your next check-up!

Sources:

The Importance of Taking Dental X-Rays

Radiation Safety

Early Childhood Cavities

October 16th, 2020

Did you know that tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease? It's 5 times more common than asthma, 4 times more common than early childhood obesity, and 20 times more common than diabetes. What separates dental decay from other chronic illnesses is that it's almost 100% preventable!

Your child becomes at risk for cavities the moment the first tooth erupts, which is why establishing healthy habits from a young age is so important. Consistency is the key! Just like all new experiences, your baby may be fussy or uncooperative when you first begin cleaning his teeth, but will soon accept that this is part of daily life, just like changing diapers and taking a bath.

A special note about bottle and breastfeeding:

One of the most devastating dental conditions found in infants in toddlers is known as Baby Bottle Decay - this happens when teeth are bathed in the sugars of breastmilk and formula for an extended period of time, such as throughout the night while sleeping or children who tend to "graze" throughout the day. Liquids coat all tooth surfaces during feeding, which causes multiple teeth to break down and decay at once. This requires general anesthesia and the placement of multiple crowns to restore dental health. Without treatment, teeth deteriorate quickly, cause pain, and are at high risk for infection. Both bottle-fed and breast-fed babies are at risk of developing this condition.

To avoid Baby Bottle Decay, our pediatric dentists recommend these tips:

  • Wipe your baby's teeth and mouth clean with damp cloth after every feeding.
  • Do not add sweetener, flavoring, or thickeners to your child's drinks.
    • If your pediatrician recommends additives specific to your child's health needs, make sure you wipe the mouth clean after every feeding.
  • Never put your baby to bed with a cup of milk, juice, or formula. Do not allow your child to fall asleep at the breast or breast/bottle feed at will throughout the night.
    • This tip is easier said than done! Check out this article from Live Love Sleep on how to establish a healthy nighttime routine.
  • Establish set feeding times to avoid grazing throughout the day. Limit milk and juice intake to mealtimes only and give water in between meals.
  • Limit your child's sugar intake. Once of the sneakiest forms of sugar is 100% fruit juice, which has a higher amount of sugar than eating the fruit itself. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, follow these guidelines:
    • No more than 4 ounces of 100% fruit juice a day for children ages 1 through 3 years
    • 4 to 6 ounces for children ages 4 through 6
    • 8 ounces for children ages 7 through 14.
    • Do not give fruit juice to infants under 1 year old.

Next steps:

Whatever your child's age, the best day to start a healthy habit is today! If your child is due for a dental check-up, don't delay in scheduling. Regular dental care is an excellent opportunity for your dentist to coach you on creating healthy habits specific to your child.

 

Sources:

AAPD Early Childhood Caries Stats

CDC Baby Home Hygiene Infographic

Live Love Sleep

AAP Added Sugar in Kids' Diets

Healthy Homecare

September 18th, 2020

Getting Started

Did you know you should start oral care before your child has any teeth? Yes!  You simply use a wet washcloth or gauze and lightly wipe your infants gums to help cleanse the mouth.  Once your child has developed their first tooth, you can transition to using a toothbrush. At this stage, it is recommended to use fluoridated toothpaste, the size of a grain of rice. When your child is the age of three, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on their toothbrush. It is encouraged to assist your child with their home-care habits until they are at least 7 to 8 years old.

Why is Brushing Important?

Brushing your teeth is a wonderful way to remove sticky plaque from your teeth and gums. It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes.

Fun Fact! Did you know that most people think they are brushing their teeth long enough, but in reality they are brushing their teeth less than one minute? Yikes!  Have a timer ready to make sure you do not fall in the category of brushing your teeth less than a minute.

Choosing a Toothpaste

When searching for toothpaste at your local store, you want to make sure the toothpaste you’ve chosen contains fluoride. All fluoridated toothpastes work at removing plaque and aide in keeping the teeth cavity free. The type of toothpaste you select should have a seal of approval. This seal is the American Dental Association (ADA) stamp. This stamp symbolizes the toothpaste has undergone clinical trials and is safe and effective.

   

 

Source:

Brushing and Toothpaste for Children

ADA Seal of Acceptance FAQs

 

What Does it Really Take to be Cavity-Free?

August 17th, 2020

Dentistry has seen a lot of change over the last 100 years.

Expecting to eventually lose several (or all!) of your teeth was once the norm. Then preventive dentistry came along and the possibility of your teeth lasting a lifetime became a reality. . . .

So what does it take for the 21st century child to stay cavity-free? Surprisingly, just a few basic steps*:

  1. Follow a Healthy Diet
  2. Establish Good Home Hygiene Habits
  3. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Healthy Diet**

Diets that are high in sugar and carbohydrates create the prefect environment for cavities. Candy and sodas are obvious sources of sugar, but do you know how much sugar is lurking in your everyday foods? Processed foods that are marketed for children (ex: gummy snacks, crackers and chips, juice, breakfast cereals, granola bars, yogurts, etc.) tend to be high in sugars and carbohydrates. Bacteria in the mouth thrives on these substances, giving them plenty of cavity-making fuel.

Need help identifying unhealthy snacks in disguise? Check out this link for tips on decoding the jargon used on kid's food labels.

Whole grains, unprocessed fruits and veggies, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water instead of reaching for flavored drinks provides the best nutrition for your child's overall body health, including healthy teeth.

** Your pediatrician can help you plan an age-appropriate healthy diet to meet your child's developmental needs.

Home Hygiene

The dental hygienist cleans your child's teeth only twice a year - the other 363 days are up to you! Having a home routine is an important step in maintaining a clean smile. Tooth brushing should begin  as soon as the first tooth erupts, - yes, even babies need their teeth brushed! - and flossing should begin as soon as teeth are touching each other.

Brush the teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste recommendations vary by age. Please ask your dentist what's best for your child at his/her next visit.

Regular Dental Visits

Visit your dentist every 6 months for a dental cleaning and check-up.

The focus of dentistry is prevention. Your board-certified pediatric dentist is specially trained to evaluate your child's mouth, teeth, and development. When issues are caught in the early stages, treatment is less complicated and has a higher rate of success. Your dentist also provides valuable cavity-preventing services such as fluoride treatments and sealants.

Every child's needs are different. Ask your dentist about the best strategy for staying cavity-free at your next dental visit.

 

*PLEASE NOTE: These 3 steps should be considered as basic guidelines for healthy teeth. Visit your dentist for a thorough evaluation on your unique cavity risk and a customized oral health plan that may include more than these 3 guidelines.

 

Sources:

Parents.com - Don't Be Fooled by These Misleading Labels on Kids' Foods

American Dental Association - Brushing Your Teeth

Dentalcare.com - Why a Regular Dental Check-Up is Important

Your Teeth on Juice

July 22nd, 2020

Juice is a staple in the American child's diet and it's very cleverly marketed to lead parents to believe that it's a convenient source of nutrients. What do the experts have to say about juice consumption?

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) stated in 2017 that juice provides no nutritional benefit to children under age 1. For older children, the AAP advises avoiding juice because the high sugar content is a contributing factor to childhood obesity, diabetes, and causes tooth decay.
  • The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) agrees with the AAP's recommendation to avoid or reduce juice intake.
  • Children will readily drink juice and it is easy to over consume. Kids who fill up on juice miss the opportunity to eat other healthy foods.

Do you know how much sugar is in your juice?

Apple juice contains the same amount of sugar per ounce as Coca Cola! (Click HERE to see how much sugar your favorite snacks and beverages contain).

Diet is an important part of a successful oral health plan. Here are some frequently asked questions we have encountered with patients in our office:

What about unsweetened juices?

"Unsweetened" or "No Sugar Added" means that no additional sugar was added to the juice. Fruits used to make juice contain natural sugars.

Are organic juices healthier?

Organic fruits still contain natural sugars that can cause cavities.

My child loves juice and will be really upset if I take it away. What should I do?

Start by diluting your child's juice with a small amount of water. Over time, increase the water and reduce the juice until eventually your child is drinking water with a splash of juice. From there it is easier to offer plain water to drink.

Try flavoring plain water with slices of fresh fruit. Let your child get involved and add the fruits himself.

Does this mean fruits are bad for my child's health?

Fruits and veggies are an important part of a healthy diet and should not be eliminated. Whole fruits are much more nutritious than juices made from just the sugar and water of the fruit. Whole fruits contain fiber, are digested slower, and provide much better nutrition for the teeth and whole body. Click HERE for more info on making healthy food choices for your child.

 

Sources:

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry 

Choose My Plate 

Sugar Stacks

Welcome to Our Blog

July 21st, 2020

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about  the dental industry, and the latest news about our practice.

Feel free to leave a comment or question for our doctors and staff - we hope this will be a valuable resource for our patients, their families, and friends!

8870 N MacArthur Blvd Ste A-101
Irving, TX 75063
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