15 things kids (and their parents) have to say about dental health

15 things kids (and their parents) have to say about dental health

February is known as the month of love, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day…

But did you know that February is also Children’s Dental Health Month? Well, it is!

We could talk about all of the ways to prevent dental decay, how to properly brush your kids’ teeth, good dental habits, etc. But we’ve done that in past blog posts. This time around, we wanted to know what some of our patients had to say about those things, so we decided that we would reach out to our youngest patients and their parents to see what they have to say about what they like about visiting the dentist and the importance of dental health. We also asked the kids what the tooth fairy placed under their pillows, and we think you’ll find their answers to be adorable.

If you think that “kids say the darndest things” and want to have a reason to smile, then keep on reading. We know you’ll enjoy it.

*Before diving into the main part of this post, I just wanted to let you know that, since the kids were the ones to answer these questions, their spelling is sometimes incorrect. However to keep their answers more authentic, I felt it necessary to keep their spelling the same. I didn’t change anything. On some of the answers, I have added a note to explain the answer a bit more. 

Kids’ Question and Answers

1. What is your favorite part of coming to the dentist?

“The flavor of cleaning stuff.”

“Getting my teeth klene.”

“Getting the water sprayed in my mouth.”

“The paist.”-The toothpaste used to polish teeth.

2. What is your favorite character to have on your toothbrush?

“Olofe.”-Olaf from Frozen


“Onu.”-We weren’t quite sure who Onu is, but we loved this answer.

“Likes adult toothbrushes.”

3. What is your favorite flavor of toothpaste to use when getting your teeth cleaned?




4. How much money have you collected from the tooth fairy?


“Five dollers”-Dollars

“Pinecone, stick, and rock, and a dollar”


Parent’s Question and Answer

We can’t forget the parents; we only asked them one question: “Why do you think it’s important for your children to get regular dental checkups?” We received several good answers from the parents. Here are two of the answers that we thought explained the importance of regular checkups for kids the best:

“Because it keeps their teeth healthy, and it can catch any dental problems that they may have.”

“I feel it’s important to see the dentist regularly for several reasons. If you go often and care for your teeth, you don’t have to worry about problems later in life. Healthy teeth contribute to overall health and self image. Regular visits also alleviate anxiety.”

We think that those two answers nicely sum up what makes regular dental checkups so important.

Dental health does affect overall health, and it can have a great impact on children’s health later in life. While this blog post is meant to be more fun than anything else, it is also for Children’s Dental Health Month. If it’s been a while since your child has been in to see us, please schedule an appointment by calling 620-275-9157 or clicking the “Schedule” button at the bottom of the page. We want to help our youngest patients have the best dental health, and overall health, possible!

We send our thanks to the kids and the parents who answered our questions. This article wouldn’t have been possible without them. And thank you to all of our patients. You are the reason that we do what we do, and why we love our jobs.

Halloween Candy Buy Back

Halloween Candy Buy Back

Halloween and candy go hand-in-hand.

No brainer. It’s so fun for kids. They don their costumes, knock on neighbors’ doors, yell “trick-or-treat,” and receive free candy. It’s fun for the children getting the candy, and it’s fun for the adults giving it out. Then the kids return home and devour their loot. Fun! Except for maybe the possible cavities and tummy aches that can follow.

Is there a way to keep the fun of trick-or-treating without the undesirable side effects?

Yes, actually! A nationwide event called Halloween Candy Buy Back pays trick-or-treaters $1 for 1 lb of their candy (up to 5 lbs per child). This event turns candy into cash! It’s a great way to prevent cavities and tummy aches. Kids can also use that money to buy something else that they might want to buy, such as, a toy. Another great benefit to this is that the candy is sent to our troops to thank them for their service.

The dentist who came up with the Halloween Candy Buy Back in 2005 wanted to put the candy he collected to good use.* Service men and women do a lot to keep our country safe, so what better way to show support for the troops by sending care packages full of candy? It’s a way to make their lives a little bit better and let them know that we’re thinking of them here at home. Service men and women also hand out candy to local children. This helps them create relationships with local kids to form friendships and trust, which is a good way to ensure a safer environment for the service men and women.

When is it and where can you get cash for your candy?

This year, we will be holding a Halloween Candy Buy Back event at Dr. McVey’s office on Wednesday, November 1. The address is 2501 Campus Dr Suite 100, Garden City, KS. Kids from the area can bring in their candy anytime between 8 AM and 5 PM. We’ll weigh the candy, and for every 1 lb, we’ll pay $1. (There is a limit of 5 lbs per child.) We’ll also supply paper and writing supplies so that anyone can write a letter to the troops. Operation Shoe Box will be sending the candy from all the Halloween Candy Buy Back events from the country overseas.

According to halloweencandybuyback, the combined weight of collected candy over the years amounts to over 130 tons. We could say that that’s more than a success! Come and help us make this a year a success by bringing in candy while showing your gratitude to our service men and women. You won’t regret it.

*Information from the “About” page at halloweencandybuyback.com

Hunger is No Laughing Matter

Hunger is No Laughing Matter

Hunger in Dental School

The summer session of my freshman year… in dental school I ran out of money. I had money in a savings account back home, but in those analog, pre-digital days it took a lot more than a click of a button to transfer money. I had to call home and request a check be mailed to me. The details have gotten fuzzy over the years, but something held that check up for over two weeks. During those two weeks the only thing I had in my apartment was a very small bag of dried peas. Literally the only food I had. No bread. No milk. No eggs. No flour. Nothing but that small bag of dried peas. I stretched those peas out as best I could. I remember being so hungry it was difficult to think of anything else.

Hoping for Help

I remember going to church on Sunday morning and hoping against hope that someone would invite me to lunch. No one did. I never told anyone of my hunger. Too proud or too stupid, I’m not sure which. I doubt any of my classmates even knew of my struggle. The longer it took for the check to arrive, the more desperate I became. When the money finally arrived, a giddy and profound sense of relief washed over me. The first thing I did was go get a good meal. Somehow I made it through and even managed to do well in my classes, but not without consequences. I got quite sick and lethargic after that session of summer classes and it took me the rest of the summer to recover.

We’re Fighting Hunger and How You Can Help

If you have never experienced real hunger, it may be difficult to understand. If you have, then you know very well what I’m talking about. Nearly every thought is consumed with wondering where the next meal will come from. Desperation begins to set in. It becomes difficult to think or do much of anything as your energy level plummets. I would wish that no one ever experience that kind of hunger. I am very excited about supporting the Red Nose Day campaign to end childhood hunger. There are kids right here in Garden City that are hungry, and summer is a very uncertain time for them as there are not school lunch programs to depend on. There are kids around the globe that go to bed hungry every night. That’s not right. If you and I can make even a little difference, shouldn’t we? Please, I implore you, join us in the fight against hunger.

This week, our office will be donating $1 to the non-profit Comic Relief to fight child poverty and hunger for every selfie posted on Facebook with this added: #rednose17gc. Or you can visit rednoseday.org to learn more about how you can help fight children experiencing hunger.

Thank you so much for reading this week’s blog.

Top image by Unsplash user Madi Robison used under the Unsplash License. Image modified from original.

Brush Up on Some Toothbrush History

Brush Up on Some Toothbrush History

WITH ALL THE AMAZING technology we see today, it’s easy to overlook the small wonders of the world-like the toothbrush! This small, but the remarkable invention is the staple of our oral hygiene and health. Join us on a journey through time as we explore the way the toothbrush has changed across the ages!

Ancient Civilizations Used Sticks to Clean Their Teeth

Today, we understand the importance oral hygiene plays in our overall health. But even over 5,000 years ago people recognized the need for some type of oral care. Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations around 3500-3000 B.C. made “toothbrushes” by fraying the end of sticks and chewing on them!

Later, the Chinese made similar chewing sticks from aromatic tree twigs that were meant to freshen breath. People didn’t just use sticks, however. Bird feathers, animal bones and even porcupine quills were used to pick at food debris in the teeth.

The First Toothbrushes Were Made with Pig Hair

The first mention of an actual brush to clean teeth appears in Chinese writings around the 13th century. Bamboo or animal bone was used as the handle of the toothbrush and pig hair formed the bristles. Toothbrushes weren’t widely used or produced, however, until a couple hundred years later.

Around the year 1780, an Englishman named William Addis was sitting in his prison cell thinking of better ways to clean our teeth than rubbing them with a rag full of soot and salt (yuck!). He carved a handle out of animal bone, made some holes at the top and tied swine bristles to it. When he got out of prison, he turned toothbrush production into a business and made a fortune!

The Modern Toothbrush Continues to Evolve Today

As appetizing as pig hair sounds, aren’t you glad toothbrushes nowadays are made with nylon bristles? Nylon was invented in 1938 and by the 1950s, toothbrushes began to look and feel more like they do today. More technological advances made it possible to develop toothbrushes even further, and the electric toothbrush made its way to the United States in 1960.

People are still looking to drive toothbrush technology forward. New apps are being created all the time to make toothbrushing easier and more enjoyable. It even looks like built-in cameras may be in the future of toothbrushes!
The Toothbrush: One of Man’s Greatest Inventions?

The idea of the toothbrush was simple, but there’s no doubt it has greatly contributed to our oral and overall health. In fact, when a group of people were asked which invention they could not live without, the toothbrush beat out the car, computer, cell phone and microwave!

How your toothbrush is made

So, don’t take your toothbrush for granted. Use it twice daily for a full two minutes!

Your pearly whites will thank you.

Here’s to your health!



Life is so full of ups and downs, challenges and celebrations, opportunities to express courage or cowardice. This weekend my family and I travelled to Denver, Colorado where my oldest daughter was honored with the award for courage by the Colorado chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Needless to say, I’m a pretty proud Papa! And I’m inspired to be more courageous in my life by my own daughter’s example.

Anna is 29 and a single mom of two (my grand-kids are the greatest joys in my life!). She was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at 5 years of age. CF is a progressive, life-shortening genetic disorder that causes respiratory and digestive complications. Every day of her life Anna does breathing treatments and takes medications to keep her airways clear. She also takes medication so she can absorb the nutrients in the foods she eats. Several times a year Anna is hospitalized for 2 to 3 weeks at a time. During these hospitalizations she is on IV antibiotics and receives intensive respiratory therapy to clear her lungs and airways. In fact, Anna was just released from a 2 week hospital stay on Thursday before the award banquet on Friday!


In spite of the challenges that come with cystic fibrosis and being a single mom, Anna is going back to school to pursue a career as a patient advocate and healthcare navigator for other cystic fibrosis patients. She has worked tirelessly at developing a patient advocacy group at National Jewish Hospital in Denver and is the patients’ voice on the quality improvement board at National Jewish. She is a pretty amazing person. I realize there may be some bias involved, but my opinion was validated at the award ceremony.

What a celebration we had! Anna was honored and gave a great speech. Many young business people from the community were honored as well for their work fundraising for a cure for cystic fibrosis. It was kind of a big deal! After the meal and ceremonies, there was dancing and celebrating. We all had a blast, but our granddaughter, Lily, was the Belle of the Ball! She loves to dance and somehow always managed to be in the middle of the action.


Goethe said, “What you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

This blog wasn’t particularly dental, but life and health are our ultimate goal. Health is about relationships and choices and living life in a way that is really living. We do what we can to support you and help you live a healthy life. Live with courage!

Thanks for reading my blog! If you have any questions or comments, please click on the “Contact Us” button at the top. And feel free to share this with friends and family as well.

And here’s To Your Health!


It’s that time again!

It’s that time again!

School is starting back up. All of us are going through our back-to-school shopping lists and gearing up our kids for the upcoming school year.

I always looked forward to the start of school with a mixture of dread and excitement.  Big Chief tablets! A new box of crayons! New clothes! Recess!! Getting to see my friends again! Homework (ugh!)



There’s a younger version of me in this photo from high school. Wonder if you can spot me? I love looking at old school photos and remembering the people I grew up with and the fun times we had together. 

Don’t Forget Your Regular Dental Checkups

We love back to school season, not least of all because it means that many of our patients are coming in for their before-school-starts checkups. This season is a great time to make sure that your kids are going back to class healthy, alert, and ready to learn.

If it’s time for your child’s checkup, give us a call! We’d love to see you.

Do you have school memories of your own to share? Click on “Contact Us” above to leave your comment.

  Here’s a fun back-to-school video if you need a chuckle!