Nitrous Oxide

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Lora Cook, RDH

Nitrous Oxide 

What is it and how can it help you?  

Nitrous oxide, other wise known as laughing gas, is a form of sedation dentistry that our offices offer.

Nitrous is gas that you can breath. It was discovered in 1772 by Humphrey Davy. Humphrey did self administration to see if it would help on his own tooth ache he was experiencing at the time.

There is a lack of oxygen in pure nitrous so with longer periods of time using nitrous, this can lead to unconsciousness and even death. However, when nitrous is mixed with oxygen it is safe to use for longer periods of time.  The mix that is commonly used in dentistry is 70% oxygen to 30% nitrous.

Four Levels of Sedation with Nitrous Oxide

1.  Initial light headless, followed by a tingling sensation in arms and legs.

2.  Warm sensation

3. Feeling of well being or a feeling of floating

4.  Sleepiness, difficulty keeping eyes open.

Open communication 

Keep an open communication with your dental professionals on how you are feeling. Then goal is to remain in the first three levels of sedation.  If a nausea feeling comes over you this would indicate a overdose / over sedated.  Then dentist can simply adjust the percentages that you are receiving.

At the end of the procedure the dentist will administer five minutes of pure oxygen to clear any nitrous from your system.  All levels of sedation are then completely reversed.

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Myths of Dentistry


Cortney Davis, RDH

Myths of Dentistry

 It’s no myth that to some dental work can be scary sometimes. Statistics show that around 12 percent of the population in the U.S. says they are anxious when it comes to visiting the dentist, and many don’t know how to take care of their oral health properly. With the overwhelming anxiety and stress build up around dentists and dental health, it’s not shocking that people may have made up or heard several dental myths over the years. People then tend to believe these myths and decide not go to the dentist regularly, rather than find out the truth. Having false information can be harmful to your health, so let’s talk about some of the common myths which you may believe yourself or have heard.

Myth #1- As long as I brush my teeth twice a day or don’t have tooth pain, I don’t need to go to the dentist.

Fact: While brushing twice a day and flossing once daily is Important, it is not enough. It is also important to get routine cleanings. During cleanings, the hygienist will clean the hard to reach areas, will make sure your gums are healthy, and will educate patients on proper home care. Dentists will also use x-rays and visual exams to make sure a patient doesn’t have any problems with their teeth or gums. Many don’t know this, but you don’t always have tooth pain when you have a tooth problem or gum disease, and if left untreated a tooth problem and unhealthy gum tissue will only get worse and lead to more serious problems. That’s why it is so important to come in for routine check-ups.

Myth #2 The dentist only wants my money

Fact: While some dental procedures and treatments can seem costly, they are completely worth it. As stated above, if dental problems are left untreated for a period, the treatment needed typically becomes more extensive which will cost more than a simple cleaning every six months. If a dentist can catch the signs of infection early, treatment will be minimal and less costly.

Myth #3 Bleaching your teeth can damage them.

Fact: Bleaching is a popular service that allows patients to get whiter smiles faster. Scientific studies have shown that using peroxide to whiten teeth is both safe and efficient. Although bleaching can cause some sensitivity when a patient is using it, bleaching gel is safe concerning damage of the structure of teeth; it merely makes teeth whiter and brighter.

Myth #4. If gums are bleeding, brushing and flossing should be avoided. 

Fact: The exact opposite is true. Regular brushing and flossing are essential to remove plaque build-up which causes bleeding gums.   Bleeding gums is a sign of gum brokerage, and more care actually must be done to avoid worse oral problems.

Myth #5 Baby teeth aren’t important, they will fall out anyway.

Fact: Yes, eventually all of your child’s 20 baby teeth will fall out eventually. However, many serve important functions for your child’s development. Baby teeth are known as the natural space maintainers for adult teeth and if a child loses a tooth too early due to dental problems, they could cause crowding for adult teeth. The health of your child’s baby teeth can also affect the health of their adult teeth. If you leave dental decay in a baby tooth untreated, it could eventually cause your child pain, abscesses, swelling, and affect the adult tooth developing under the baby tooth. Also, if the infection got worse it could even spread to other parts of the child’s body.

Myth #6 I shouldn’t go to the dentist because I am pregnant

Fact: A dental check-up is recommended during pregnancy. Although many women make it nine months with no dental discomfort, pregnancy can make conditions worse or create new ones due to hormonal changes and changes in eating habits. Regular checkups and good dental health habits can help keep you and your baby healthy. Local anesthetics and x-rays are okay during pregnancy although they are to be done only when necessary.

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No Insurance? No Problem!


Katie Moynihan, BS RDH

No Insurance? No Problem!

Just when you thought you couldn’t afford dental treatment because you do not have dental insurance, think again. We have you covered, and are here to help! Our offices offer an in-office savings plan for patients who do not carry insurance. This savings plan provides members preventative and diagnostic treatment at a discounted fee. Knowing how important preventative care is to keeping treatment costs low and your oral health high, we have designed our plan to reward you and your family for coming in for your regular check ups.

In-Office Savings Plan

Annual Membership Cost is paid each year by the 15th of the month during the month the patient first begins the plan with the office. This annual membership fee is due each year to remain a current savings plan member.

Annual Membership Cost

Single Member      $99/YR

Member +1            $165/YR

Member +2            $235/YR


New Patient Specials

18+ yrs – New Exam, Full Set of X-rays, Oral Cancer Exam and Routine Cleaning – $150

6-17 yrs – New Exam, X-rays, Child Cleaning, Fluoride Treatment and 2 Sealants – $150

1-6 yrs – New Exam, X-rays, Child Cleaning, and Fluoride Treatment – $100


Preventative and Diagnostic Treatments

Established Patient Exam $30 membership fee -vs- $59 full fee without insurance

Check-up X-rays  (7 films) $40 membership fee -vs- $100 full fee without insurance

Full Series or Panoramic X-ray $60 membership fee -vs- $140 full fee without insurance

Routine Cleaning (adult) $45 membership fee -vs- $102 full fee without insurance

Routine Cleaning (child) $30 membership fee -vs- $76 full fee without insurance

Fluoride Treatment $20 membership fee -vs- $47 full fee without insurance

Sealant (per tooth) $25 membership fee -vs- $45 full fee without insurance

*Periodontal Maintenance $70 membership fee -vs- $510 full fee without insurance


Restorative Treatment – tooth colored fillings, porcelain crowns, porcelain bridges, dentures, and partial dentures

First year on the plan = 20% discount off of Usual, Customary, Reasonable (UCR) Fees

Second year on the plan = 25% discount

Third year on the plan = 30% discount


Oral Surgery Treatment – extractions, implants, and bone grafts *Excludes Sedation

First year on the plan = 20% discount off of UCR Fees

Second year on the plan = 25% discount

Third year on the plan = 30% discount


Endodontic Treatment – root canals

First year on the plan = 20% discount off of UCR Fees

Second year on the plan = 25% discount

Third year on the plan = 30% discount


Periodontal Therapy – gum disease treatments *Excludes Periodontal Maintenance

First year on the plan = 20% discount off of UCR Fees

Second year on the plan = 25% discount

Third year on the plan = 30% discount


IV Sedation-

$450 – 90 minutes of sedation

$100 – 30 minutes following initial 90 minutes


Cosmetic Treatment – whitening, veneers, all porcelain crowns for front teeth, and Invisalign

10% discount off of UCR Fees


In-Office Savings Plan Disclaimer:

  • This plan cannot be combined with other office discounts such as prepayment discounts.
  • You must renew your plan the month of its anniversary to enjoy increases in % discounts for services year over year.
  • Every member on your plan must maintain the preventative care schedule of 2 exams, 1-2 sets of check up x-rays and recommended number of hygiene treatments indicated by your hygienist and dentist to maintain current % off of dental services.
  • Beyond the third year on the plan you will enjoy a 30% discount off services.  If hygiene appointments are missed or if the annual membership fee is not received the month due the % of discount resets to the 20%.
  • Payment for services including annual membership can be paid with cash or major credit card.  Outside financing with Care Credit can only be used on amount over $1000.
  • Payments are due at time of service unless arrangements are made prior to treatment being rendered.

If the cost of dental treatment is preventing you from scheduling an appointment with us, please think again. We are here to help you and provide you with all the resources you need. Our office happily accepts most insurance programs including but not limited to: Dental Dental, Cigna, Principal, Aetna, Guardian, Assurant, MetLife, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, and United Health Care. We also offer OAC (on approved credit) financing such as CareCredit. With CareCredit, you can pay for treatment and procedures right away and then make convenient monthly payments. For more information about CareCredit please visit: or visit our offices and we would be happy to help you!

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Your Pets Teeth are Important Too!


Andra Mahoney, BS RDH

Your Pets Teeth are Important Too!

Next week is February and February is National Pet Dental Health Month.  Just like in humans, it’s very important for your pets to have healthy, happy teeth!  Plaque and tartar grow on animals teeth, just as they do in humans.  Animals can get periodontal disease, just like humans.  The down side is when your pet’s mouth hurts, they cannot tell you the same way humans can.

Mozart's Teeth

This is a 6 year old, male, Yorkshire Terrier.  His owners has taken care of his mouth his whole life.  He has received healthy, crunchy, dog kibble, and minimal human food.  His teeth are brushed.  He has appropriate chew toys and treats.  As you can see his teeth are white and shiny.  Gums are healthy and happy too!

Rosie's Teeth

This is a 12 year old, female, Yorkshire Terrier.  Her pervious owners did not take care of her mouth.  As a result you can see her yellow/brown teeth covered in tartar.  Her gums are angry and inflamed.  She has periodontal disease and will soon loose more teeth than she already has.  Until she has her cleaning and her teeth/gums are in health, she cannot eat crunchy kibble.  Her food has to consist of soft foods she doesn’t have to really chew.  She cannot enjoy the same treats as the previous dog.  And the vet has said that her periodontal bacteria has caused her to have a respiratory condition.

The American Veterinarian Medical Association has a wonderful article on the importance of your pet’s dental health.  You will find a lot of similarities between the importance of keeping your mouth keep and the importance of keeping your pet’s mouth clean!

“Dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health, and dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems. Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.

What is veterinary dentistry, and who should perform it?

Veterinary dentistry includes the cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction, or repair of your pets’ teeth and all other aspects of oral health care. These procedures should be performed by a veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist. Subject to state or provincial regulation, veterinary technicians are allowed to perform certain dental procedures under the supervision of a veterinarian.

The process begins with an oral exam of your pet’s mouth by a veterinarian. Radiographs (x-rays) may be needed to evaluate the health of the jaw and the tooth roots below the gumline. Because most dental disease occurs below the gumline, where you can’t see it, a thorough dental cleaning and evaluation are performed under anesthesia. Dental cleaning includes scaling (to remove dental plaque and tartar) and polishing, similar to the process used on your own teeth during your regular dental cleanings.

Oral health in dogs and cats

Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.

Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe any of the following problems:

  • bad breath
  • broken or loose teeth
  • extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • pain in or around the mouth
  • bleeding from the mouth
  • swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth

Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems, and any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit to your veterinarian. Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth, because a painful animal may bite.

Causes of pet dental problems

Although cavities are less common in pets than in people, they can have many of the same dental problems that people can develop:

  • broken teeth and roots
  • periodontal disease
  • abscesses or infected teeth
  • cysts or tumors in the mouth
  • malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and bite
  • broken (fractured) jaw
  • palate defects (such as cleft palate)

Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats – by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken. Early detection and treatment are critical, because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth. Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes.

It starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gumline can often easily be seen and removed, but plaque and tartar below the gumline is damaging and sets the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone. Periodontal disease is graded on a scale of 0 (normal) to 4 (severe).

The treatment of periodontal disease involves a thorough dental cleaning and x-rays may be needed to determine the severity of the disease. Your veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist will make recommendations based on your pet’s overall health and the health of your pet’s teeth, and provide you with options to consider.

Why does dentistry require anesthesia?

When you go to the dentist, you know that what’s being done is meant to help you and keep your mouth healthy. Your dentist uses techniques to minimize pain and discomfort and can ask you how you are feeling, so you accept the procedures and do your best to keep still. Your pet does not understand the benefit of dental procedures, and he or she reacts by moving, trying to escape, or even biting.

Anesthesia makes it possible to perform the dental procedures with less stress and pain for your pet. In addition, anesthesia allows for a better cleaning because your pet is not moving around and risking injury from the dental equipment. If radiographs (x-rays) are needed, your pet needs to be very still in order to get good images, and this is unlikely without heavy sedation or anesthesia.

Although anesthesia will always have risks, it’s safer now than ever and continues to improve so that the risks are very low and are far outweighed by the benefits. Most pets can go home the same day of the procedure, although they might seem a little groggy for the rest of the day.

What can I do at home for my pet’s oral health?

Prevention of the most common oral disease in pets consists of frequent removal of the dental plaque and tartar that forms on teeth that are not kept clean. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings, and may reduce the frequency or even eliminate the need for periodic dental cleaning by your veterinarian. Daily brushing is best, but it’s not always possible and brushing several times a week can be effective. Most dogs accept brushing, but cats can be a bit more resistant – patience and training are important.

There are many pet products marketed with claims that they improve dental health, but not all of them are effective. Talk with your veterinarian about any dental products, treats, or dental-specific diets you’re considering for your pet, or ask your veterinarian for their recommendation.”

Below is a video produced by the AVMA that is published on their youtube page.  It is very informative video on how to brush your pet’s teeth.  Check it out:


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3D Imaging in Dentistry


Katie Moynihan, BS RDH

3D Imaging in Dentistry

Dental x-rays are a routine part of your dental visit. Unfortunately, x-rays can only show the healthcare provider a 2D image of your tooth structure and supporting bone. Our North Stapley office is excited to now offer our patients a 3D imaging device called Cone Beam Computed Tomography, or CBCT. All patients at any of our locations can utilize this great technology.  This device is able to capture a 3D scan of a patient’s maxillofacial skeleton for diagnostic purposes.

Uses for a CBCT Scan:

CBCT scans are used in many different fields of dentistry to improve diagnosis and treatment planning in the following cases:

-Tooth morphology, number of canals and root curvature
-Identification of periapical pathology
-Location of trauma, root fractures

Dental implants
– Location of anatomic structures
– Size and shape of ridge, quantity and quality of bone
-Number, orientation of implants
-Need for bone graft, sinus lift
– Use of implant positioning software

Oral and maxillofacial surgery
– Relationship of third molar roots to mandibular canal
– Localization of impacted teeth, foreign objects
-Evaluation of facial fractures
-Location and characterization of lesions

– Treatment planning for complex cases
– Impacted teeth
-Root angulation, root resorption

Sleep Apnea
-Identification of obstructive airway

Temporomandibular joint or TMJ
– Osseous structures of TMJ
-Relationship of condyle and fossa

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How Does It Work:

The patient is precisely placed in a comfortable position at the machine. The scan takes about 20 seconds to rotate around the head, obtaining nearly 600 distinct images. The focused x-ray beam reduces scatter radiation, resulting in better image quality. Once complete, the 3D image is immediately available for viewing and diagnosing. The scan produces a wide variety of views and angles that can be manipulated to provide a more comprehensive evaluation. One CBCT scan uses about 1/20th the radiation of a traditional head and neck scan at the hospital.

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There are many benefits to using a 3D imaging CBCT system in dentistry. We are excited to be able to provide top of the line technology to our patients. This new machine will be beneficial in increasing predictability by decreasing failure to provide you with the best quality of care!

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Guidelines for Antibiotic Pre-medication


Wendy Parker RDH

What Is Laser Dentistry?



Peggy Storr RDH

Just as in other areas of medicine, lasers are increasingly becoming more common in dentistry.  Lasers are instruments that produce a very narrow but intense beam of light. The light can remove or shape tissue. While lasers have been used in dentistry since 1985, its estimated that only 6% of dental offices utilize lasers. With improvements in technology and as the cost of lasers decrease, a greater number of dentists and hygienists will feel confident in incorporating lasers into their treatments.

How are lasers used in dentistry?

Hard Tissue (or Tooth) Laser Procedures

  • Cavity detection: Lasers provide readings of by-products produced by tooth decay
  • Tooth preparation for fillings- dental lasers may soon eliminate the need for anesthetic and the dental drill.
  • Tooth Sensitivity-lasers may be used to seal tubules located on the root of the tooth that are responsible for sensitive teeth.
  • Help treat infections in root canals



Soft Tissue (or Gum) Laser Procedures

  • Reshaping of gum tissue to expose tooth structure if needed to place a filling
  • Reshaping gum tissue to improve the appearance of a gummy smile
  • Remove inflamed gum tissues and aid in the treatment of gum disease
  • Removing muscle attachments causing “tongue-tie”
  • Removing benign tumors from gums, palate, sides of cheeks and lips
  • Reducing pain and minimize healing of cold sores
  • Treat pain and inflammation of temporomandibular joint disorder


While lasers do not yet replace the traditional dental drill, or the instruments the dental hygienist uses to scale teeth, improvements in laser technology will soon offer quicker, more effective and more comfortable procedures than in the past. This is good news for all especially those of you are anxious at the thought of visiting the dentist!

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Lesley Ranft, The Future of Dental Lasers, Retrieved from  http://www.Consumer Guide to Dentistry

Lesley Ranft, Laser Dentistry: Enhancing Dental Treatment with Lasers, Retrieved from http://www.Consumer Guide to Dentistry

http://www.Know Your What is Laser Dentistry?



Save a Tooth, Save a Smile


Julie West BS RDH

I have had several nightmares about my teeth being knocked out.  I wake up in a panic to the relief that they are still there.  Losing a tooth to injury can be very scary, and those precious minutes following the displacement of the tooth are critical.  If you are a parent, a coach, or have any involvement with children, the following tips can equip you to save a smile.

Baby teeth 

If a child loses a baby tooth after injury, DO NOT attempt to put the tooth back into its socket.  Instead, place the tooth into a tooth saver like this one approved by the ADA.

If you do not have a tooth saver handy, a container of milk, water, or saline solution can be used.  DO NOT scrub/rinse the tooth clean!  Get the child to the dentist as soon as possible.  The faster the tooth can be reimplanted by a dentist, the better.

According to Martha Ann Keels, DDS, PhD, division chief of Pediatric Dentistry at Duke University, injuries to children’s teeth are both common and preventable.  She states, “The good news is most dental injuries can be avoided. But if an accident does occur, don’t worry –- most times even a tooth that’s been knocked out completely can be saved if proper care is taken in the first 20 minutes,” Keels said.

Time is of the essence.

Adult Teeth

If an adult or teenager loses an adult tooth after injury, DO put the tooth back into the socket immediately!   If the tooth has been soiled, gently rinse it with water being careful not to scrub/rinse off any attachments.  Hold the tooth by the crown and gently insert it into the socket.  Hold the tooth in the socket with clean cloth/ gauze until the adult can get to the dentist.

If it is not possible to reinsert the tooth (it is broken into several pieces), use a tooth saver container, milk, water, or saline solution to transport the pieces with the patient to the dentist as soon as possible.

There is no guarantee of long-term retention of a replanted tooth. A small percentage of replanted knocked-out teeth will be lost even with optimum treatment.

Bottom line: get the person and the preserved avulsed teeth to the dentist FAST!

Click here to view the tooth saver product pictured above.  I would encourage all parents, coaches, and school teachers to have a kit like this on-hand in case of dental trauma.  And, of course, all children playing sports should be wearing a mouthguard to help avoid such injuries.  See your dentist to have one made for your child.

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Cold Sores


Ann Clark RDH

Ever have that “ tingling” feeling under your skin? An estimated 50-80% of people are familiar with this feeling and are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1). Cold sores aka: fever blisters are ugly, uncomfortable and embarrassing. These lesions are not caused by the common cold and they are not a canker sore( inside the mouth). They are a herpetic sores brought on through contact with infected skin or body fluid, manifesting around the mouth. They are clear, filled with fluid and unfortunately, a common problem that never really goes away.


The first symptom of an outbreak is a tingling feeling in the skin, a warning… then, small fluid-filled blisters appear around the mouth on red, swollen areas of skin or mucous membranes. They rupture and crust over before healing. They are tender and painful and heal without scaring. In 80% of the adult population have antibodies against HSV1 and 25% against HSV2. They are extremely common and are only transmitted by close, personal contact…Kissing etc. The virus is usually present on an infected person’s lips, even if there’s no obvious sore. Because it can live in saliva sharing utensils or drinking glasses can also allow infection. Oral sex can lead to HSV1 infection of their partner’s genitals. HSV invades the cells of the epidermis (outer layer of skin), causing the blister to appear. The virus travels from the epidermis along the nerve paths to the roots of the nerves where it becomes inactive. A weakening of the body’s defenses due to severe cold, for example, can reactivate the virus causing reoccurring blisters.

HSV1 damages the skin as it reproduces itself creating a sore lasting approximately 1 week. Between sores, HSV1 hides itself inside the nerve cells, so you are never completely cured. Although usually inactive, a few things can trigger a reactivation such as: stress, sunlight, fever and menstruation. Though some will only get them 1-2x a year, others can get the outbreak monthly.


The primary infection can progress in different ways. Some only get very mild symptoms or none. The first outbreak occurs 1-3 weeks after contracting the virus and usually goes away in a few weeks. The first symptom is an unpleasant tingling in the skin, then, the blisters appear. The sores become covered by scabs that usually fall off 8-10 days after they appear. The virus can spread until the sores are completely covered by scabs. 20% of people with HSV1 have recurrent attacks throughout their lives. In children the virus affects their mouth and throat and can be accompanied with fever, general aches and pains.


Oral antivirus meds help reduce the healing time if taken at the first sign- red/itchy skin.

Zovirax is taken before the virus fully flares and is taken 5x daily.

Vatnex is taken at first sign, then, 12 hours later.

Famvir is taken as a single dose.

Is THIS the virus? Not on the lips is not as common but anywhere on the face-cheeks, chin, nose. They usually will reappear in the same area each time. You can even get them on your finger or in your eye; most commonly the cornea causing damage or even blindness. Self-spreading can be prevented by washing hands and not touch the infection. Outbreaks can last up to 2 weeks. Recurrent outbreaks usually 1 week. Hot/cold compresses, OTC or Rx creams/gels (Abreva, Zovirax, Denavir) can relieve symptoms.


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Help! My PreSchooler Won’t EAT!!


Peggy Stoor BSRDH


I often hear parents complain that they cannot get their kids to eat healthy foods.  I remember the frustration myself when I couldn’t get my toddler to eat anything, let alone a healthy vegetable.  Now that my kids are grown, I wish I had understood that my young child wouldn’t starve himself to death. Toddler’s appetites vary from day to day and if the child is growing and energetic, they are probably getting enough of the nutrients they need.

Here are some things I’ve learned:

1. Young children and toddlers need between 4-6 healthy meals and snacks per day.

2. Limit beverages such as juice, sweetened drinks and even milk,  as it can    reduce the childs appetite for food.  (not to mention harmful effects on the teeth!)

3. The context in which the food is offered is also of importance so present a relaxed environment, free from distractions like the tv.

4. Kids should be allowed to decide whether and how much to eat and they should not be pressured or rewarded for eating certain foods.

5.When introducing foods, patience is key as it often takes as many as 8-10 exposures to a food before it is accepted.

6. When children are stubborn about eating, it is commonly their way of exerting their independence and this may be a battle to be cautious with. Force feeding may cause a child to dislike that food, shuts off the mechanism in the brain that tells the child she is overeating, and may possibly make the child more stubborn and difficult about food.


All of this being said, with our increasingly hectic schedules and the relative ease in which fast foods and overly processed foods are available, nutritional deficiency as well as obesity is becoming more of a concern in our country. Scary Statistics show that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents since 1980.  In 2010, more than 1/3 of children and teens were overweight or obese.

Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for heart disease, prediabetes, or diabetes. They are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and social problems like teasing, bullying, and poor self-esteem. Obesity also increases the risk of many types of cancer!

There are many websites on nutrition, healthy eating and ideas. Here are just a few healthy ideas for snacks and easy meals offered from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

  1. Mini Pizza: Toast a whole-wheat English muffin, drizzle with pizza sauce and sprinkle with low-fat mozzarella cheese.
  2. Snack Kabobs: Put cubes of cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.
  3. Peel a banana and dip it in yogurt. Roll in crushed cereal and freeze.
  4. Spread celery sticks with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese. Top with raisins (optional).
  5. Mix together ready to eat cereal, dried fruit and nuts in sandwich bags for an on-the-go snack.
  6. Microwave a small baked potato. Top with small amount of cheddar cheese and salsa or plain low-fat yogurt. (Tastes just like sour cream)!
  7. Banana Split: Top a banana with low-fat vanilla and strawberry frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with your favorite whole grain cereal.
  8. Apple Pie Oatmeal: Make one packet of microwave oatmeal with low-fat milk. Mix in ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  9. Microwave a cup of tomato or vegetable soup and enjoy with whole grain crackers.
  10. Fill a waffle cone with cut-up fruit and top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.
  11. Parfait: Layer vanilla yogurt and mandarin oranges or blueberries in a tall glass. Top with a sprinkle of granola.
  12. Spread peanut butter on apple or banana slices.
  13. Breakfast smoothie: low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.
  14. Try crunch vegetables instead of chips with your favorite low-fat dressing for dipping.
  15. Keep cut veggies ready for an after school snack. Some favorites are red, yellow, or green peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas.
  16.  Dip pita chips in hummus.
  17. Dip graham crackers in applesauce
  18. Dip baked tortilla chips in bean dip
  19. Dip bread sticks in salsa
  20. Dip a granola bar in low-fat yogurt.

For more ideas go to     and


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics



  •  Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010. Journal of the American Medical Association 2012;307(5):483-490.
  • National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2011: With Special Features on Socioeconomic Status and Health. Hyattsville, MD; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2012.lymphoma.15
  • Freedman DS, Zuguo M, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS, Dietz WH. Cardiovascular risk factors and excess adiposity among overweight children and adolescents: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Journal of Pediatrics 2007;150(1):12–17.
  •  Kushi LH, Byers T, Doyle C, Bandera EV, McCullough M, Gansler T, et al. American Cancer Society guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention: reducing the risk of cancer with healthy food choices and physical activity. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 2006;56:254–281.
  • Dietz WH. Overweight in childhood and adolescence. New England Journal of Medicine 2004;350:855-857.