WZZM 13 reporter Catherine Behrendt recently spoke with Dr. Darren Riopelle about Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. As Little Smiles prepares to add a fourth West Michigan location in Holland, Dr. Riopelle explained how the idea for Little Smiles was born and what makes it such a popular destination for children. Little Smiles can be found inside every Smile practice, providing a one-of-a-kind dental experience designed just for kids.
Surprisingly, tooth decay can occur beneath the gum line well before any baby teeth appear in your child’s mouth. In order to prevent this and other early-onset oral health issues, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents bring their children in to see a pediatric dentist within the first six months after the first tooth erupts, but no later than age one, whether or not teeth are visible. This is only a general guideline. If your infant appears to have excessive oral discomfort or unusual problems teething, a visit to a pediatric dentist is warranted.
Another benefit of bringing your child to a pediatric dentist early is to give them a positive experience with the dentist. When children are introduced to healthcare providers early—and in a non-emergency situation—it can help to establish a comfortable experience.
At Little Smiles, we encourage parents to schedule their child’s first visit at the time of their first tooth or first birthday, whichever comes first. The visit allows your child to meet the dentist, experience a “chair ride” in a child-sized dental chair, and choose a prize from the treasure chest. The visit also has benefits for parents who wish to learn about diet and hygiene that will prevent future cavities and promote a healthy smile.
The Little Smiles team provides an atmosphere for kids that is relaxed and fun, teaching them to enjoy their dentist appointments. The benefit for your child is a healthy, life-long relationship with healthcare providers.
Little Smiles’ 12th Annual Halloween Candy Buyback was a sweet success. A big thank you to all the kids (and grown ups) who brought in over 380 pounds of candy. This year we introduced the program at our new North Muskegon practice and invited the elementary schools in the area to participate in the school competition as well..
The winning school in the Grand Haven/Tri-Cities area was Peach Plains Elementary. The winning school in theGreater North Muskegon area was Central Elementary. Each school will receive an award, a check for $2 per pound of all the candy brought in by their students, and bragging rights for the year.
The candy collected is being donated to our Public Safety Departments along the lakeshore in appreciation for their service.
Halloween is almost here! And that means it’s time for Little Smiles’ 12th annual Halloween Candy Buyback. The purpose of this fun program is to encourage kids to support their local school while making healthy choices.
Our message to kids is simple: Too much Halloween candy isn’t good for you or your teeth. So pick out your favorite candy to enjoy. Then, bring the extra, unopened candy to Little Smiles (Grand Haven or North Muskegon) and we’ll buy it back from you for $1 per pound. It’s a win win! (Children must be 13 years and under.)
Support your School!
Little Smiles’ Halloween Candy Buyback is also good for local schools. Every pound of unopened candy that is delivered to Little Smiles is designated to each child’s school. The school that brings in the most candy wins, and will receive $2 for every pound of candy that was designated to that school. The winning schools receives an award, a check, and bragging rights for the year. (Candy may be donated by anyone in the community—children and adults alike—and applied to the school competition.)
Bring unopened candy to Little Smiles Grand Haven (1203 S. Beechtree Street) or Little Smiles North Muskegon (1915 Holton Road). We will be accepting candy on the following days:
- Monday, November 4 — 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, November 5 — 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Tooth Fairy and the Little Smiles team spent this Summer visiting several of the West Michigan communities we proudly serve. We attended various local festivals and meet hundreds of kids while participating in local parades. We had so much fun and look forward to seeing many of those “little smiles” at Little Smiles.
The Tooth Fairy is coming!
The Little Smiles team is excited to announce our 2019 Parade Schedule. Look for us (along with the Tooth Fairy) at these West Michigan events:
Cascade Township July 4th Celebration
- Cascade, Michigan
- Thursday, July 4, 2019
- Parade begins at 10:00 a.m.
- For event information, visit cascadetwp.com
The National Baby Food Festival
- Fremont, Michigan
- Saturday, July 20, 2019
- Parade begins at 10:30 a.m.
- For event information, visit babyfoodfestival.com
The Coast Guard Festival
- Grand Haven, Michigan
- Saturday, July 27, 2019
- Kids Parade begins at 10:30 a.m.
- For event information, visit coastguardfest.org
Northside Family Fun Fest
- North Muskegon, Michigan
- Thursday, August 9, 2019
- Parade begins at 7:30 p.m.
- For event information, visit northmuskegon.org
A protective barrier is a great way to keep the things we value safe. From fingernail polish to decks, we use sealants to protect a lot of things in our lives. Did you know there’s even a way to seal your children’s teeth from cavities?
Sealing your children’s teeth is an easy way to provide an added layer of protection against the sugars, bacteria, and acid in their mouths. Just as a sealant covers the inconsistencies, dents, and divots of a piece of wood, sealants for teeth cover the areas of your child’s tooth where sugar and food may be unlikely to be touched by a toothbrush or floss. Often, sealants are recommended for newly emerged molars, protecting the tooth as soon as it is exposed.
Sealing teeth is a quick and painless procedure that involves “painting” the sealant on a cleaned and dried tooth. It can be done during a regular visit to the dentist and does not take a significant amount of time. While there is an investment required to seal teeth, the cost is recouped with the first cavity avoided, not tot mention the savings of time and discomfort.
Halloween is almost here! And that means it’s time for Little Smiles Grand Haven’s 11th annual Halloween Candy Buyback. The purpose of this fun program is to encourage kids to support their local school while making healthy choices.
Our message to kids is simple: Too much Halloween candy isn’t good for you or your teeth. So pick out your favorite candy to enjoy. Then, bring the extra, unopened candy to Little Smiles Grand Haven and we’ll buy it back from you for $1 per pound. It’s a win win! (Children must be 13 years and under.)
Support your School!
Little Smiles’ Halloween Candy Buyback is also good for local schools in the Grand Haven and Spring Lake area. Every pound of unopened candy that is delivered to Little Smiles is designated to each child’s school. The school that brings in the most candy wins, and will receive $2 for every pound of candy that was designated to that school. The winning schools receives an award, a check, and bragging rights for the year. (Candy may be donated by anyone in the community—children and adults alike—and applied to the school competition.)
Bring unopened candy to Little Smiles Grand Haven (1203 S. Beechtree Street). We will be accepting candy on the following days:
- Thursday, November 1 — 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Friday, November 2 — 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Eating healthy foods has a positive impact on just about every area of our kids’ lives. From focus in school to performance in athletics making healthy food choices has major benefits, including fostering healthy teeth.
Some foods, however, which are positioned as “healthy” can have a negative impact on teeth. While sports drinks help to rehydrate kids during or after activities, they also bathe teeth in sugars and acids much like soda and other sugar soft drinks. Dried fruit is another common snack provided to kids to offer a boost of energy. While dried fruits are a great source of carbohydrates and fiber, they’re also full of simple sugars and due to their sticky composition can get caught in the crevices of kids’ teeth.
High fiber fruits and veggies act as natural teeth cleaners by scrubbing away food particles left from less healthy snacks, as well as providing minerals and increasing saliva production which neutralizes the acid in your mouth. Eating healthy snack items such as apples, celery, or carrots at the end of their lunch will help kids to keep their smiles clean and healthy.
Looking for the best solution? Water is always best for keeping kids hydrated and it has no bad side effects. Fresh fruits and veggies, cheese, and other natural, no-sugar-added snacks will provide kids a healthy boost of energy while helping to keep their smiles bright and healthy.
Join us for a family night of learning and fun at the Haunted Museum!
Little Smiles is proud to join the Tri-Cities Historical Museum for this year’s annual Haunted Museum on Saturday, October 20, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. The focus is on education and fun. Learn how Halloween was celebrated in the past, enjoy a performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and more.
A new feature of the event will be a trick-or-treating opportunity. Kids will be able to make their own trick-or-treat bags and then walk through Centennial Hall to receive candy and prizes. All children are encouraged to wear their costumes to the Haunted Museum.
For more information, visit: https://www.tri-citiesmuseum.org/explore-museum/events/haunted-museum
See you there!
The Little Smiles Team