Q. My teen son needs braces, but doesn’t want braces. Are teens good candidates for Invisalign?
A. Research shows that parents underestimate the extent to which teens feel self-conscious about crooked teeth, and using braces as a solution can exacerbate this lack of confidence. Invisalign uses removable aligners that have been custom-made for the patient’s teeth rather than wires and brackets. With Invisalign Teen, no one needs to know the patient is straightening his or her teeth, removing a potential source of anxiety and boosting confidence so they can be themselves. It’s important, however, that the patient wears the aligners as instructed. Check with your orthodontist to see if they offer a teen guarantee that if the treatment isn’t going as planned due to lack of compliance in wearing aligners, they’ll switch to traditional braces with no upcharge.
Joshika Kanabar, DDS, MS | Walnut Central Orthodontics | www.orthodontistdallastx.com
Q. My daughter just turned two. When should I start looking for a preschool and what should I look for?
A: Two is a great age to begin looking for a preschool. The first three years of childhood are consumed with exploration and experimentation. Given this innate curiosity, children need safe spaces for exploration. They also need stimulating environments that foster early learning and development. A high-quality educational preschool can position children for academic success for years to come. When choosing a preschool, health and safety are always a parent’s first concern. Pay attention to the esthetics of the Preschool. Is it well maintained? How does it make you feel when you walk in? Look for well-organized classrooms that allow teachers clear sight-lines. Check that classrooms and playgrounds are clean and are age appropriate. Finally, when visiting how does your child respond?
Lynne Groff, LMSW | Owner | Primrose School of N.E. Green Oaks | www.primroseschools.com
Q. We’re planning a ski vacation this year and my youngest wants to snowboard. I think he should try skiing first. Does it matter?
A. Nope! It’s great that your son wants to board. Motivation is key, regardless of how he wants to get down the mountain; of course taking a lesson is the best place to start. You want to give them a solid foundation to build on so that at the end of the day it was a positive experience. At Monarch we offer convenient half or full day lessons. For a first-timer, I recommend a full day lesson. These all day lessons are great because your child can get totally immersed in the Colorado mountain experience, make friends and build on what they learn throughout the day, all while you enjoy your own day on the slopes. Win win..
Drew Middlemiss | Director of Ski + Ride School at Monarch | www.skimonarch.com
Q. How do you teach children to self-regulate when it comes to screen time?
A. Parents these days often find themselves battling their children over “screen time”- and it’s exhausting. So, how can we best teach our kids to self-regulate their screen use? First, remember our kids are watching us, so as parents we need to make sure our own screen habits are in check. Once that’s in place, take time to come up with a family plan for what the time limits will be and stick to it. For younger children, use a kitchen timer. Set it for 5 minutes before screen time is over to give your kids time to transition mentally. Teach kids to track how they feel after extended time on screens. This helps them learn to listen to their bodies as an indicator that it’s time to stop. Take heart. Building habits takes patience, but the results are worth it.
Julia Storm | Digital Media Family Educator and Founder | www.reconnect-families.com
Q. My child’s eye doesn’t look right, but it’s not pink eye. What else could it be?
A: Your child’s ability to see is critical so it’s important to identify emergencies in the blink of an eye. Anytime your child’s vision is compromised or their pupil is altered, you should seek medical attention immediately. A ruptured globe or other serious injury may require surgery. If your child’s eyelid is swollen and red, it could be an infection called periorbital cellulitis that requires antibiotics. Did a foreign object get in your child’s eye? This can cause corneal abrasions, or scratches on the surface of the eye. A physician may prescribe medicated drops to treat pain or infection. Remember whatever the injury, eyes are complex organs, so don’t take any chances. If there’s any concern, get it checked out right away.
Dr. Christina Johns | Children's Health | www.childrens.com.urgentcare