How To Help Children Feel Excited About Visiting the Dentist

Child Smiling in Papillion

It is not unusual for children to resist going to the dentist. This is often due to a lack of understanding about their teeth and a fear of what will go on in the dental office with all the noisy tools and foreign smells. How do you help your child look forward to going for a checkup in Papillion? Here are a few ways.


Teach Them the Science

Children typically love knowing all about the names and functions of their internal organs, so it makes sense that they would enjoy learning more about their teeth as well. Help them identify terms such as gums, enamel, molars, roots, canines and so on to create more familiarity with the structure and function of their teeth.

When youngsters know the names of enemies of their teeth such as plaque, tartar, cavities and acids and how they harm the teeth, they may gain incentive to protect their little chompers. Helping your children recognize how a dentist keeps their teeth safe from these enemies could paint him or her as the hero and allow them to become more excited to go to their annual checkups.

Make Learning Fun

Many fun books may be available at the local library that can be used to instruct kids about caring for their teeth and having them examined regularly. There are also some great websites sponsored by the American Dental Association that help kids learn through engaging interactive games, puzzles and videos, and make the subject matter more interesting to children.

One simple activity, smearing peanut butter on a gloved hand and allowing the child to “floss” between the fingers with a piece of string, can show kids how easy and effective it can be to take that extra step and how flossing can keep teeth healthy between checkups. Similar activities can inform and allow children to understand the vital role that a friendly and caring dentist plays in maintaining their dental health.

There are also demonstrations parents can help kids do to see for themselves how certain foods and behaviors affect their dental health. For example, by applying simple materials such as cola, vinegar and fluoride mouth rinse to eggshells, kids can see the effect of different acidic substances on tooth enamel. This could open a discussion on how to prevent the damage by treating and cleaning teeth properly.

Let Them Make a Plan

When children help make a plan, they will often stick to it more successfully. Hanging a calendar on the bedroom or bathroom wall can be a good way to achieve this. Keep stickers handy and let them mark the calendar each time they brush and floss their teeth. A week full of stickers could earn them a small reward. Let them select their own (with guidance) brush and toothpaste. Let them choose and mark the day they want to visit the dentist on the calendar, and when it is closer, a simple countdown can make it more fun for them to anticipate.

A trip to your children’s dentist doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. Following a few of these tips can alleviate their fear and may even help them look forward to visiting their dental hero.

Taking Care of Your Teeth in the Winter Months

Taking Care of Your Teeth in the Winter Months

If you know anything about dental care, you know it needs to be a habit. Getting into the proper routines of brushing and flossing are key to maintaining healthy teeth. Regularly visiting a quality dentist in Papillion La Vista is important, too. Any change in routine can sabotage your dental health efforts.

Winter is a wonderful season – the kids are in school and it’s holiday time. You’re out of your usual routine and you’re loving it. But your teeth are not. It’s important to maintain a routine of regular dental hygiene during these cold days of winter. But don’t worry; there are ways you and your dentist can keep your teeth healthy while enjoying the wonders of winter.

  1. Keep Your Appointments

Even in the winter, it’s important to visit your dentist for regular appointments. A dental checkup is a key component to good oral hygiene because it can identify any needs early. It can sometimes help you avoid pain and expense later. As you are booking your winter vacation, make sure to check your calendar and book around dental health visits if possible.

  1. Remember: Sugar Is Still Bad for Your Teeth in Winter

Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your teeth are. Your choppers respond to sugar just the same as they do in the dead of winter. While it’s enjoyable to sit by the fireplace and sip a mug of hot cocoa, too many sugary drinks can wreak havoc with your teeth. If you or your child overindulges in such beverages, try to stay on top of frequent tooth brushing and flossing to minimize the damage.

Winter is a great time for healthy snacks, and many of these snacks are tooth healthy. Instead of candy or sugary desserts, a good dentist would recommend sliced carrots. These wonders of nature help to maximize saliva production in your mouth, and that’s anathema to cavities. Other healthy winter foods to enjoy include leafy greens, apples, and even yogurt for its calcium and probiotic content. A word of warning, however: steer clear of yogurts with added sugar.

  1. Create a New Routine, If Necessary

Since wintertime often runs on a different timetable than other seasons, use this to your advantage and create a new routine in which dental hygiene plays a part. This routine should include brushing teeth for at least two minutes twice daily and flossing once a day. One way to keep to this habit is to set an alarm on your phone to remind you of your daily toothbrushing and flossing times. These times may be different than the times you brush and floss in other seasons, and that’s okay.

Winter Can Be Great for Your Teeth

Don’t let the winter changes have a detrimental effect on your dental hygiene. Keep in mind that sugary drinks and snacks are harmful to oral health. Be sure to create a routine in which brushing and flossing are a part of every single day, and visit a good dentist in Papillion La Vista in winter and beyond.


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Pregnant? 9 Questions You May Have About Your Dental Health

Pregnant? 9 Questions You May Have About Your Dental Health

Pregnancy is a wonderful time, but it also brings about many questions. See a dentist in Papillion La Vista if anything concerns you about your oral health. Here are some answers to the most common questions women have during this time.


  1. Should You Go to a Dental Office While Pregnant?

You should definitely continue seeing a dental professional when pregnant. However, you should always inform the office you are pregnant in case you require any medications.

  1. What Should I Do About Morning Sickness?

Many pregnant women experience morning sickness where they vomit first thing in the morning. Stomach acid in vomit can erode enamel, so it is always a good idea to rinse your mouth with water after throwing up. Brush 30 minutes after the vomiting took place.

  1. Are X-Rays Safe?

Your dentist may recommend taking an X-ray, and this is perfectly safe for pregnant women. You will receive protective devices so that the small amount of radiation produced has a minimal impact. Your office may even provide a protective thyroid collar.

  1. What Habits Do I Need to Change?

You genuinely do not have to change anything in terms of your daily oral health routine. You should brush twice a day and floss daily.

  1. Why Is Gum Tissue Bleeding?

A woman’s hormones go crazy during pregnancy. One side effect is that gum tissue may be more susceptible to bleeding. Pregnant women face a greater risk of developing gingivitis. While a little blood may be nothing to worry about, women should see a dentist if it gets out of hand.

  1. What Can I Do When Brushing Makes Me Gag?

A woman’s gag reflex is sometimes more sensitive during pregnancy. You still need to brush, so try to find a workaround to this problem. Getting a different flavored toothpaste can help. You may also want to try brushing at different times of the day when your gag reflex will be less sensitive.

  1. How Does My Diet Affect the Baby’s Teeth?

Pregnant women in general should maintain a good diet in general for the baby’s health. In terms of good dental development, women should consume ample amounts of Vitamins A, C and D as well as phosphorous, calcium and protein.

  1. Is It Safe to Have an Intensive Dental Procedure Done at This Time?

A routine dental cleaning is nothing to worry about, but a dentist may find you need something more intensive, such as a root canal or cavity filling. Speak with your dental professional. You do not want to risk developing an infection that puts the health of the baby at risk. Many dental procedures are fine as long as they are done in the second trimester or before.

  1. Do You Lose a Tooth After Having a Baby?

Fortunately, pregnant women losing teeth during pregnancy is an old wives’ tale. It likely came about due to the fact many women report having loose-feeling teeth during pregnancies. If you are ever concerned about your oral health while you are pregnant, then do not hesitate to see a dentist promptly.

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Promote Oral Health by Sinking Teeth Into Healthy Snacks

Healthy Snacks

Tooth decay afflicts over 90 percent of adults and is the most common chronic childhood disease in America. This ailment typically stems from a combination of irregular or nonexistent dentist appointments and excessive sugar, fiber and starch consumption. These carbohydrates combine with bacteria to produce tartar and plaque acids that break down enamel. Eating a well-balanced diet may counteract these harmful effects and improve overall health. Balanced nutrition often starts with smart snack choices, while oral wellbeing can be contingent upon regimented home care and consistent visits to qualified professionals in Papillion La Vista.

Proper Care

Oral hygiene begins at home and continues with routine dental checkups, yet only 63 percent of seniors aged 65 and over attend the dentist yearly as compared with 64 percent of adults aged 18–64 and 85 percent of children aged 2–17. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice per day and flossing regularly can form a solid groundwork, especially after consuming detrimental foods and beverages. Replacing sweets with wholesome selections can also serve as a vital maintenance step.

Harmful Habits

Foods with high acid, sugar and vinegar content can soften enamel and accelerate wear. These may include

  • grapefruits,
  • lemons and limes,
  • oranges,
  • pickles and
  • tomatoes

Dried fruits and soft candies tend to get stuck in hard-to-reach areas sometimes accessible only by a dentist, while extended hard candy exposure can exacerbate decline. Soda and sugar sweetened drinks, coffee and red or white wine can cause stains in addition to deterioration. Diluting and drinking natural fruit juices with meals may help to alleviate their destructive effects.

Smart Choices

Nutritious transitions don’t have to feel like pulling teeth. Have fun thinking up creative snack ideas, making lists and learning to read nutrition labels. Keeping the fridge and cupboards healthfully stocked can soon feel like second nature, and will likely make for more successful trips to the dentist.

  1. Seeds, Nuts, Grains, Meats, Tofu and Fish: Ingest healthy fats from sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and nuts. Increase protein with turkey, chicken and sliced meats. Satisfy hunger with unsweetened cereals, bread, plain bagels and crackers and unbuttered popcorn. Safeguard enamel with phosphorus found in salmon and tofu.
  2. Dairy Products: Low or nonfat cheese, milk, yogurt and nondairy equivalents supply vitamin D, casein, phosphorus and calcium that can strengthen pearly whites and restore valuable minerals.
  3. Raw Vegetables and Fresh Fruits: Crunchy vegetables such as celery, kale, cucumbers, carrots, bok choy, okra and broccoli are often dentist favorites, as they necessitate chewing, stimulate saliva flow, clean surfaces and supply valuable minerals and vitamins. The sugar inherently present in fresh apples, pears, melons and canned alternatives can also satiate cravings.

Have fun by creating tasty combinations such as crackers dipped in hummus or yogurt topped with chopped fruit. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Preventative Practices

Nearly all foods and beverages contain sugar of some kind. Choosing items with minimal added sugars, reducing snacking frequency, eating occasional sweets only as desserts and keeping nutritious options readily available can serve as smart and valuable modifications. Conducting proper at-home care and upholding steady visits to a dentist in Papillion La Vista can also go a long way towards preserving healthy teeth, showcasing dazzling smiles and enhancing overall lifestyles.

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Dental Anxiety: 3 Ways to Stop Fearing the Dentist

Dental Anxiety

Many children and adults are afraid of going to the dentist. It is a common feeling, and there are a variety of explanations for why individuals experience this anxiety. The next time you know you need to visit a dental office in Papillion La Vista, simply keep these tips in mind.


  1. Tell the Team How You Feel

Many times, simply telling someone what you are feeling does a ton of good. Before the treatment begins, you should inform the dental professional that you are often scared of such treatments. This provides the professional with a few options. The dental team can provide you with a sedation treatment where you will feel more relaxed during the treatment.

You should also feel free to ask the dentist as many questions as you like before the procedure begins. You can even set up a system where if you raise your hand at any point, the dental professional will stop to give you a break. Dentists are here to help you, and they are willing to work with you in any way you see fit.

  1. Practice Relaxation Techniques

There is a lot you can do at home or even when you are in the waiting room to calm your nerves before the treatment. For starters, you can attempt a body scan. This is when you review every part of your body, from your head to your toes, to locate areas of tension before you see a dentist. It gives you something to focus on, and you will go into the dental chair with peace of mind.

Another excellent technique is to count your breaths. Inhale slowly, keep the air in for a few seconds and then slowly exhale. Do this at least five times. These techniques are great for any situation where you need to calm down your nerves.

  1. Distract Yourself With Something Else

 Once you are actually in the chair, you may still feel a little nervous. One of the best things to do is to think about something else entirely. If there are no external stimuli, then close your eyes and think about your favorite vacation spot.

Additionally, you should bring headphones and a music player with you, so you can listen to your favorite music while the dentist is working. This is also helpful because it drowns out the sounds the professional may be making with his or her tools. A stress ball is good to have, or you may even want to get a fidget spinner to have something to occupy yourself.

Different techniques work for different people when they are trying to calm down at a dental office. See what works for you. Above all else, it is vital you do not allow your dental anxiety to prevent you from getting your teeth and gums cleaned by a professional. People should see a dentist a minimum of twice annually to improve oral health. Dental professionals understand that some people are fearful of such treatments, and they will work with you to make you relaxed as soon as you step into the office.

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Dental Insurance – The Basics

Dental Insurance

Dental Coverage

When it comes to understanding dental coverage, there are some things that you need to be familiar with. In this article, we cover the basics of insurance plans, some important terms, and different types of dental plans.


  • Inspired Dental a Papillion Dentist accepts different types of dental insurance plans and each of them comes with different features and benefits. This means, you should do your research, so you know exactly what you are getting. For instance, while two plans might be offering complete coverage, they might be different in terms of copayment.
  • Keep in mind that in certain situations, having multiple dental plans or dual coverage might be more feasible. Just make sure that both plans don’t exceed your dental expenses when availing yourself of this opportunity.
  • We also caution against knowing when your benefit period ends because it might not necessarily mean a calendar year.

Important Terms

Amount to pay before your benefit plan can begin.

The highest amount a dental plan will pay within the benefit period.

For people who have a fee-for-service benefit plan, you pay the balance after the plan pays a percentage of your treatment cost.

Reimbursement Levels
The different coverage categories offered by fee-for-service dental plans will be reimbursed to varying extents. Dentists suggests that diagnostic and preventive procedures, such as cleaning, offer the highest reimbursement amounts. On the other hand, major procedures, such as crowns, will be reimbursed at lower percentages.

Dental Plans

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans
Often, these plans balance out costs (lower) with dentist choice (high). Since the PPO dentists are a part of the network, you pay the coinsurance. Again, the type of procedure that you are getting done will matter. You will pay less for preventive services since most of it will be paid for by the plan.

Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) or Prepaid Plans
When choosing these plans, you are limited to one dentist or dental facility. People, who opt for this plan, pay a fixed amount or copayment. There are no deductibles or maximums with this plan.

Fee-for-Service Plans
Like the PPO plans, you pay the coinsurance amount for these plans as well. However, the amount reimbursed to you will be smaller than it would have been for a PPO plan.

Discount Plans
Also known as reduced-fee-for-service plans, these aren’t actually insurance plans. Through them you can access certain dental services at discounted rates. Since this isn’t insurance, there is usually no paperwork to fill. The same is true for any limits or deductibles. Not all dentists treat patients as part of discount plans, so you will have to confirm if you are going to a participating dentist.

We would advise that you read up as much as you can on what your plan offers. It is also important that you familiarize yourself with the terms commonly associated with dental insurance. Coming across this knowledge when you need to fall back on your plan is bound to result in a rude awakening!

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Brushing Away your Kids’ Bad Dental Habits

Kid Brushing Teeth

You know how important it is for your kid to learn how to take care of their teeth. Even so, getting them to realize the importance can take some work. At Inspired Dental a Papillion Dentist, we know that every kid is different. That means, if you want to instill good dental habits in your kids, you will have to do it the way they want it!

Here, we mention some useful tips that will help you get started. If you don’t think these tips will work on your kid, don’t despair just yet. Nobody knows them better than you do. Pick something that you know your kid is fond of and try incorporating it into a daily brushing regime.

Tip # 1 for the Tube Lovers

If your children love watching TV, then it is likely that they are fans of the characters making up the world of Disney. It shouldn’t be too hard to get them to start brushing with the help of the Disney Magic Timer. Using characters from the kids’ beloved shows, this app encourages kids to brush. The longer they can go brushing regularly, the more prizes your kids will win. If that doesn’t encourage your little TV-watchers, then what would!

Tip # 2 for the Independent Ones

We know too well that no two kids gravitate towards the same interest. That’s why we also have a tip for kids who like doing stuff on their own. If your kid loves doing things that way, then don’t get into a power struggle with them over brushing. Instead, turn it into an opportunity where they take responsibility for brushing their own teeth independently.

Tip # 3 for the Doll Players

These days, there is a doll for everything! That includes a doll that has been designed to get your kids to start brushing. Some kids learn much faster when they can perform an act practically. Let them start brushing their doll’s teeth before they give their teeth the same treatment. If you don’t want to splurge on a new doll, then any old doll would do.

Tip # 4 for the Future Accountants

For some kids, nothing but an incentive or a reward will do. If that is how your kid learns to do stuff, then make brushing into a reward-earning task. Each time your child brushes their teeth, give them a sticker. Let them trade in a week’s worth of stickers for something that they will love, such as a toy or cookies, etc.

Tip # 5 for Scientists in the Making

Some kids need a reason before they are convinced to start doing something. Explain to your kid how not brushing their teeth can make them dirty and yellow. If they need a little nudge, try convincing them with pictures of bad teeth.

What do you think? Will your kid go for the tips mentioned above or not? Share with us, if you have something else in mind. If you have already helped your kid start brushing regularly, then share your method with the class!


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3 Ways to Maintain Good Oral Health

You obviously care about your dental health, so you’ve made the choice to visit Inspired Dental. But you only see your Dentist and Dental Hygienist once every six months. Here are some tips you can use every day to improve your oral health and make your dental visit more pleasant.

Diet and Hydration

Inspired Dental, Dentist in La Vista, NEFluoridated water, is the best beverage for maintaining good oral health by preventing acid attacks that cause cavities. Sugary snacks should be kept to a minimum. Fruits and veggies are high in water and fiber, they balance sugars which help clean teeth. Milk and dairy products are high in calcium and protein, they strengthen teeth. Meat, poultry, and fish are high in phosphorus and protein, they also help strengthen teeth. 

Brush & Floss Daily

Inspired Dental, Dentist in Papillion, NEBrushing and flossing is the cornerstone of good oral health. Brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled brush keeps teeth and gums healthy. Flossing once a day, helps to remove plaque and bacteria from in between your teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. Insufficient brushing or flossing can lead to plaque which hardens into calculus and tarter which causes gum disease leading to bleeding, tenderness, swelling, and recession. For more information on how to brush, see our website here.

Routine Dental Visits

Inspired Dental, Dentist in Omaha,NEGoing to the dentist twice a year is the easiest thing you can do to maintain a healthy smile. Regular dental exams and cleanings ensure that most oral health issues are prevented or treated promptly.  Lastly, don’t procrastinate on seeing the dentist…If you have a regular dental visit scheduled, keep the appointment.

Inspired Dental would love to help you with your dental care. Contact us to set up your first appointment today.

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Coat and Winter Clothing Drive

Do you have coats you don’t need anymore? Donate them!

Drop off your items at Inspired Dental and we will be happy to deliver them to the Open Door Mission.

When Nov. 1 – Dec. 31

Tues-Fri 7am-4pm
Sat 8am-3pm

Coat and Winter Clothing Drive
Where Inspired Dental
7302 Giles Road
LaVista, NE 68128

Update: January, 2017

Thanks for making our coat drive a success!

We thought you’d all like to see all the coats we were able to collect for charity last month. Thanks for contributing! Start saving your old coats now for next year’s drive.

Inspired Dental, Dentist in La Vista, NE

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Don’t Miss Out on Dental Insurance Benefits

Use your dental benefits before you lose them!

Use your dental benefits before you lose them!As you know, the end of the year is fast approaching. But what some of our patients don’t know is that most dental benefits do not roll over into the new year. That means your benefits are lost if you don’t use them.

You’ve paid a premium every month for dental insurance, so you have earned those dental benefits. In fact, you could save hundreds of dollars by using your dental benefits before the end of the year. So, to help our patients, we’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of your dental insurance this year.

3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Dental Insurance

  1. Get regular dental checkups. Most checkups are covered by insurance at no cost to the patient, so you’ve nothing to lose.
  2. For extensive treatments, you can maximize your benefits by starting treatment in 2016 and completing the remaining treatment in 2017. If you have an annual maximum dental benefit, spreading costs out over 2 years can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
  3. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) can be used to pay for dental treatments. You usually have to use the money in an FSA during a calendar year, or lose the money, so consider your dental care as a way to use up any extra dollars. Or, consider investing in an FSA for next year if you know you need an extensive treatment in the future.

We are here to help.  Call 402-932-3317 or stop in and talk to Ana or Steve and they will be happy to call your insurance company on your behalf, see what your remaining benefits are for the year, and help you learn how you can maximize your benefit to lower pocket expenses. 

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