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COVID-19 UPDATE - Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry

March 15th, 2020




March 17, 2020                                                                                            RE:  COVID-19 Update


To our Patients and Families,


In the midst of this Public Health Crisis with the novel Coronavirus, we want to inform you of office and policy changes that Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry will implement beginning immediately.  We are making every effort to keep our patients, staff, and community at as low a risk as possible for spreading COVID-19.


We have followed guidance by the American Dental Association, Iowa Dental Board, Centers for Disease Control and Iowa Public Health Board.


The following policy changes have been made effective immediately:


  • Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry will cancel all non-emergent dental appointments until further notice. All appointments currently scheduled will be cancelled.  Our office will be contacting you directly to reschedule these appointments.  PLEASE DO NOT CALL TO CANCEL YOUR APPOINTMENT.


  • Emergent dental needs, such as facial and dental trauma, dental swelling, and pain may contact our office or contact the Pediatric Dentist On-Call. The dental need will then be assessed by the Pediatric Dentists and arrangements for care will be determined and made on a case-by-case basis.


  • In an effort to minimize the number of people in our clinic, families with emergent dental needs are instructed to bring ONLY the patient scheduled plus one adult or guardian for a total of “patient plus one” persons. Infants are not included in this count.



We will continue to follow all public guidance made by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Linn County and Iowa Public Health boards, American Dental Association, and Iowa Dental Board.


Thank you all!  Wash your hands! Practice social distancing!  Stay home and out of public spaces as much as possible.  Help us all work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe.


-Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry

Sarah Swenson, Teresa Geneser, and Ursula Diehl

COVID-19 Update Policy (PDF)

Let's Talk Children's Dental Health Month with Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry

February 6th, 2020

February is Pediatric Dental Health Month, and we’re excited to kick things off with some tips on keeping your family’s smiles healthy.

Modeling Behavior

Creating good dental habits for your children should start as soon as they wake up. Before breakfast, you should brush your teeth with your kiddos. When children are learning good habits, modeling the behavior can be beneficial. Let them watch you, and then work with them on their skills.

Brushing and Flossing

Start with a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Tooth paste amount is important for their safety and should be put on by a grownup until they are old enough.  One-year-olds should have a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Three-year-olds and up can have a pea-sized ball of toothpaste.  Children will need help with brushing until they are about 7 years old or until they are finished with 2nd grade!  Brushing along gumlines is hard – and little wrists may have a hard time reaching everywhere.

Flossing is important because it removes plaque and food that is between teeth. Brushing can only go so far, and flossing does the rest of the job. It’s not only good for your mouth, but helps prevent bad breath, which makes morning cuddles with your kiddos much more enjoyable. Even if your kids’ teeth aren’t touching, you can still work on forming the habit from a young age. Because gums are sensitive, parents should be in charge of flossing until age 6 or 7when kids have better control over fine motor skills.

In addition to brushing and flossing twice a day, you can also take extra steps to protecting your kids’ teeth. The molar teeth are most susceptible to cavities for two reasons. First, their chewing surface have more pits and fissures than the rest of the teeth (they are the wrinkles and grooves on the biting sides!). This can make it more difficult for toothbrush bristles to clean the chewing surface. Second, the majority of chewing is done with your molars, increasing the chances of food and bacteria getting stuck and causing decay.

Preventative Options

To protect your children’s molars, we may recommend an application of sealant when they fully come in.  These grown-up teeth usually start to come in by age-6 for the first set and age-12 for the second set.  They are usually finished growing in about 2-3 years after they poke through, and a protective sealant on their biting surfaces can really minimize the chance of a cavity on these important grown-up teeth!  A report published in July, 2017 by the Cochrane Collaboration, a group that studies and analyzes health information, found that the prevalence of cavities was reduced by 51% in children whose teeth were treated with a sealant.  That’s a lot!  It’s one of the beneficial preventative things we can do to protect them.

Healthy Choices

Brushing, flossing and visiting Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry can help keep yoru teeth and gums healthy.  But it’s important to keep them healthy on the inside too! What you give kiddos for snack and what you put on your family’s dinner table has a big impact on their dental health. Be sure to include colorful fruit and vegetables in your family meals!  Be sure to visit our FaceBook Page HERE for more great snack and meal ideas for your family.


Let’s Talk About the ABC’s of Healthy Smiles - Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry

August 20th, 2019

With school starting soon, we thought it would be a good idea to go over the basics of happy, healthy smiles.  So here are the tooth ABC's:


-Always brush & floss twice a day!!

  • Lead by example and make oral care a family affair. Use a toothpaste with fluoride! Using fluoride is one of the greatest ways you can protect your child’s teeth from decay. Start brushing as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts. Starting at an early age helps to create healthy brushing habits. Don’t forget about flossing between teeth as soon as they’re touching. Otherwise, you’ll miss 40% of tooth surfaces! If you’d like a tutorial on how to help your child floss, we’re always happy to demonstrate at your next appointment. Make sure your twice daily brushing sessions last for two minutes. Follow us on social media for tooth brushing tunes to make this time more entertaining. Brushing for the duration of each song will make the recommended two minutes go by fast!


-Bring your child to Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry twice a year for a cleaning and check up.

  • This should starting when their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. Twice yearly visits set a good foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles. The health of your child’s baby teeth plays a big role in determining the health of their adult teeth. Keeping their little chompers free from cavities and decay is also very important for their overall health. Starting by your child’s first birthday allows us to identify potential issues early. It also gets your children used to dental visits as a normal part of life. Our friendly office is designed to ease anxiety and normalize cleanings. If your child is nervous about visiting our dental practice in Cedar Rapids or Marion, you are welcome to schedule a time to just come in and say hello! We’ll show your family around and introduce them to our wonderful staff.


-Choose healthy food to grow strong bodies and teeth.

  • Healthy teeth and gums come not only from brushing, flossing, and visiting our Pediatric Dental Specialists at Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry in Eastern Iowa... It also comes from the inside! What you put on your family’s dinner table has a big impact on their dental health. The vitamins and minerals in healthy foods help strengthen enamel, and keep inflammation in check with their antioxidants. On the other hand, sugar and food that is known to cause decay will weaken enamel and cause cavities. When your family is indulging in candy, chocolate is always preferable to gummy, sticky candies which are difficult to get out of the grooves of teeth.  Pay attention to how OFTEN your family members snack or eat foods too... sometimes quantity of times they eat is more important than the amount of food they are eating too!  Ask our staff next time you are at Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry to discuss the role of diet in a healthy smile.
As always, call our friendly pediatric dentists and staff at Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry with questions.  We are always here to help!

Let's Talk About Child Abuse Prevention with Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry

April 15th, 2019

While April is known for showers and spring flowers, it’s also National Child Abuse
Prevention Month. President Barack Obama issued a Presidential proclamation in 2016
saying, “During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we recommit to giving every
child a chance to succeed and to ensuring that every child grows up in a safe, stable,
and nurturing environment that is free from abuse and neglect.” 2019’s theme is “Strong
and Thriving Families.” You may have noticed blue pinwheels while you’re out and
about: these are a symbol for child abuse prevention.
I know that this is a difficult topic, but it is a really important one and something we
should be talking about. It is important for us to be advocates for children and families
and to help them find the resources they need. Protecting children is everyone’s job.
The World Health Organization defines child abuse as “all forms of physical and/or
emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or
other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to a child’s health, survival,
development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.”
There’s a 2019 Resource Prevention Guide and Tip Sheets that deal with subjects like temper
tantrums, keeping your family strong, stress and finances, building resilience in your
kids and much more!
The following are six protective factors for families:
1.  Nurturing and attachment
2.  Knowledge of parenting and child development
3.  Parental resilience
4.  Social connections
5.  Concrete support for families
6.  Social and emotional competence of children
It would be wonderful if we could all commit to preventing child abuse and neglect and
remember that every child matters. Let’s stand up, not only for our children, but for all
children in our community with whom we come in contact on a daily basis. We can
make a difference by learning more about this difficult topic and loving, noticing, and
supporting those around us.