The Tragedy In Hawaii

Tragically, a three year old girl has passed away this month after receiving dental treatment at a clinic in Hawaii. You can read a news report about the incident HERE.

We send our deepest condolences to her family and friends during this impossibly difficult time.

We have been gathering details in order to further understand the situation to be able to better answer questions that our patient families may have. Information released in a statement by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry explains that the treating dentist was a general dentist. It is alleged that improper medications and incorrect dosages were administered to the girl and that she was not properly monitored during the dental treatment time. Parents may want to be reassured about their child’s dentist after hearing this information.

To become American Board Certified Pediatric Dentists, Drs. Stafford and Skierkowski both completed an additional two years of specialty training focused in providing dental care specifically for children, passed the national pediatric dental board examinations, and continuously attend pediatric dental courses yearly to maintain that board status and to be up-to-date with current research. We follow all guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, thus we take every precaution to provide a safe environment for all of our patients, including constant monitoring of vital signs during sedations, safe medications that have reversal agents, and medical emergency protocol.

If you have any concerns about the standard of care that we uphold at World Of Smiles, or questions about our practices and procedures, please no not hesitate to ask our doctors or any team member.

Back To School!

We’ve entered a classic time of year; when summer is teasing us with its lingering warmth and the routine of books, field trips, homework, and bus rides is looming ahead. Some of us feel a bit nostalgic each time we enter the “back to school” season – while others want to squeeze every last ounce of summertime fun.

As you’re planning your child’s back to school adventure, these are 5 things you’ll not want to leave off your to-do list:

1) Be prepared! Although you have a school shopping list to complete, keep in mind that some of your child’s work will need to be completed at home. Find a simply caddy and fill with glue, scissors, a ruler, crayons, pencils, and a sharpener and you’ll always be prepared for that last minute homework assignment that was found the night before its due!

2) Set a budget. This can be a great time to teach kids of all ages how to set a budget and stick to it, and it’s easy to adapt to your children’s ages. For young kids, help them choose between the super shiny pencil case and the less expensive plain case by showing what their money will save. For older children, hand them a pre-loaded gift card and their school shopping list, and help them walk around the store looking for the best deals. As an incentive, the remaining monies left on the card can be used on a toy!

3) Talk about change. Changes in schedules and routines can be incredibly stressful for kids – and as adults, we don’t tend to experience that stress in the same way. Help young children cope with the upcoming changes by starting to bed earlier and rising earlier a good few weeks in advance of school beginning. Have a practice run the day before if your Kindergarten child has not attended a structured day class before; getting up at the right time, timing out breakfast, dressing, and brushing teeth, and driving to school together. Your child AND their teacher will thank you!

4) Have the right tools. Make sure your child has sturdy shoes for playing outdoors, and has clothing that is season appropriate. As a former teacher, I can’t begin to tell you how many times kids showed up at school on cooler or rainy days with no coats and wearing flip flops (and these were third graders – not teenagers)! When looking for a backpack, follow the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and make sure that you’re buying a pack with wide cushioned straps that can carry the appropriate load for your child’s stature.

5) Stay healthy! Packing lunches at home is a proven way to keep kids healthy – but only if you’re avoiding fruit snacks and dried fruit that is excessively sticky or filled with sugar, leaving out the cookies and soda, and including whole grains, vegetables, and proteins. Keep those dental appointments as a regular part of your child’s year, as well as well-child check ups with their pediatrician.

Starting a new school year can be a busy time for parents and kids, but remember to save time to enjoy each other as a family and appreciate this new year and experience together!

Healthy Smiles, Happy Kids!

We’re so lucky to work with some amazing pediatric dentists in the Pacific Northwest! Check out what Dr. Molly Gunsalis, DDS shared with us in her last e-newsletter.

The KidsDoc Symptom Checker is available on, the official American Academy of Pediatrics’ website for parents.

Parents can enter their child’s symptoms into the interactive tool and receive up-to-date advice about how to treat minor illnesses at home, or when to call the doctor immediately.

Caution: Blaming teething for fevers can lead to a delayed diagnosis of ear infections, urinary tract infections, meningitis and other infections.

For more great information on your child’s health and development, you can read more here in our blog (search by catagory!) or read our information on what to do in a dental emergency.

At what age should I take my child to the dentist?

At what age should I take my child to the dentist?

Every parent wants a healthy and happy child. To best accomplish this, a child needs overall health checks. Just as your child goes to their pediatrician for well-child check-ups, your child needs regular dental check-ups too. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states that “dental visits should begin around six months but no later than one year, or with the appearance of a child’s first tooth. Earlier dental visits have a greater chance of preventing dental problems. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly and smile with confidence.” Putting your child on the right track for heath will build confidence and healthy habits to last a lifetime.

At World of Smiles, we believe the purpose of a first year exam is to educate the parents or guardians on what is taking place in the mouth of their child, how to prevent caries, what proper nutritional habits will keep teeth healthy and strong and what to do in case of a dental emergency. As children grow and learn to walk, they often stumble and even fall. Having a dental home is a must for getting questions answered regarding falls and broken or loose teeth, toothaches, erupting teeth, bubbles or blisters on gums and even discoloration of teeth.  When the unexpected occurs you will want someone to turn to with compassion and patience for your child. 

Another important reason to bring your child in early is to get them acquainted with being in a new environment. Every child needs time to adjust to new experiences. By bringing your child to the dentist every six months, it provides the child with a sense of comfort being in a familiar atmosphere. 

February is Dental Health Month

February is National Dental Health Month. Every year the first Friday/Saturday in February is Give Kids a Smile Day. What this means is thousands of dentist and dental team members across our nation take time to help children who lack access to dental care and get the dental treatment that they need.  The team of World of Smiles will be volunteering at Pacific University for this event. Learn more at Give Kids a Smiles. No child should suffer from dental pain; all children deserve to grow up happy and healthy and free of cavities!

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