6 Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay

Did you know dental caries are the most common chronic disease in childhood?  Over half of 3rd graders in Washington have at least one cavity. Children who experience tooth decay are 3 times more likely to miss school and then often fall behind on their school work.

Here are 6 easy things you can to do protect your child’s teeth!

  1. Brush teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.  If your child is unable to tie their shoes that is a good sign they are unable to brush well without supervision.  Make sure they are getting all surfaces and brushing for 2 minutes.
  2. Avoid sugary drinks.  Juice (even 100% fruit juice) and pop have a lot of sugar which fuels the bacteria causing cavities.  If your child is going to drink these, make sure they drink it all at once and not sip on it throughout the day.  Also, it is best to rinse with water after sugary drinks or food.
  3. Schedule regular dental visits.  To keep your child’s teeth healthy they should see the dentist every 6 months starting from when their first tooth comes in.
  4. Dental Sealants.  Dental sealants are a hard plastic coating which is placed on the chewing surface of teeth by the dentist.  This acts as a barrier protecting the teeth from cavities.   Once your child’s molars come in, talk to your dentist about dental sealants.  Sealants can prevent up to 80% of cavities in children.
  5. Drink water.  Water helps rinse the teeth and removes the sugars that can build up and cause cavities.  This is especially important after eating candy or other sugary foods.  Water is the healthiest drink for your child.
  6. Fluoride supplements.  Spokane does not add fluoride to the water placing all children at high risk for dental caries.  Ask your doctor or dentist for a fluoride supplement to help keep your child’s teeth strong.  Your doctor or dentist can also apply fluoride varnish up to 4 times a year to help keep your child’s teeth strong.
The East Mission Dental Clinic and NHCW ribbon cutting and reception is photographed in Spokane Valley, Wash., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Young Kwak for Community Health Association of Spokane)

What’s Hiding Beneath Those Gums?

Don’t you love seeing a baby’s adorable, gummy smile? Believe it or not,
those tiny teeth are already there, and you need to be thinking about how to keep them healthy. The first step is to take care of your own teeth while you’re pregnant. Make sure you care for your oral health and see a dental provider for a check-up before you deliver. Once the baby is here, take care to wipe her gums after feedings, to not put her down to sleep with a bottle,
and begin brushing her teeth once one appears! For more information about oral health during pregnancy and for your infant, visit Healthychildren.org/tinyteeth.

Cheers to 25 Years! A look back at Maple Street Clinic

Did you know that our Maple Street Clinic didn’t always look like it does today? In 2013 we did a major remodel that involved bringing two buildings together. Here are a few photos of the before:

And a look at after:

We are so happy to be able to provide services to so many folks in North Spokane, this remains one of our most busy clinics to date.

Services We Offer Include:

Medical: CHAS Health provides primary care doctors, pediatrics, women’s healthcare and specialty services including HIV/AIDs care as well as hepatitis C, diabetes and more.

Dental: Our dentists and hygienists offer exams, cleanings and x-rays along with root canals, crowns and fillings.

Pharmacy: Our pharmacy works closely with the health clinics and offer automatic prescription refills, free prescription mail-out and diabetes education.

Behavioral Health: Mental health is important to CHAS Health and vital for a health community. We offer individual and group counseling as well as psychotherapy, psychiatric consultation and medication evaluation to established patients.

Pregnancy & Pediatrics: Many of our clinics specialize in pregnancy support and pediatric services for families.

Student Health: With many colleges and universities in our community, student health is a priority for CHAS Health. We love connecting students to the proper resources for a safe and healthy college experience.

Education: Educating the community helps insure a healthier tomorrow. CHAS Health offers community education classes including diabetes learning sessions, access to dietitians for a healthy lifestyle and smoking cessation.

Virtual Visits: For some medical appointments, patients can meet with their doctor or provider at home using a mobile device or computer.

Enrollment Assistance: CHAS Health patient services coordinators are available to help patients get enrolled in health insurance!

Your Back to School Survival Guide – Importance of Routine

It’s back to school time! With that change brings an entire routine to get used to for both kids and parents. This can be a great time of year to re-establish a family routine to help organize life and keep the chaos to a minimum. This also provides your children with a structure to learn important skills like how to set priorities, meet deadlines, become more independent, and develop habits of self-care.

A few reasons daily routine is important for your child:

  • Routines help establish your child’s body clock for regulating many day-to-day activities including sleep, eating complete meals, regular bowel movements, calm behavior, and easier “wind-down” times at night.  
  • It helps to bond the family together. A predictable routine helps children know what to expect so that they feel safe. They notice the time spent together is important and helps to strengthen shared values, beliefs, and interests.
  • It gives your kids a chance to be excited for future events; for example, dinnertime with the family, Friday movie night, and special one-on-one time with Mom or Dad.
  • Routine establishes positive and healthy habits that children can do on their own.
  • It offers stability during times of change and brings a sense of normalcy to a chaotic world.

Here are some tips to help form your daily routines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Weekday Mornings:

To make the household function well in the morning, everyone needs to know what has to be done to get ready for the day. Try the following:

  • Put as many things in order as possible the night before.
  • Keep wake-up routines cheerful and positive.
  • Be sure your child eats breakfast, even if he or she is not hungry in the morning.
  • Finally, round out each morning by saying goodbye to your young child. A simple hug and a wave as he or she heads out the front door or slides out of the car are extremely important. They will give your child a positive feeling with which to begin the day’s activities.

After School:

During middle childhood (ages 6-12), children need adult supervision. While some parents have their children return each afternoon to an empty home, these “latchkey” kids are more susceptible to misbehavior, risk-taking, and anxiety. For this age group, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child come home to a parent, another adult, or a responsible adolescent.


Dinner should be an important time for your family. As often as possible, all family members should eat together at the dinner table, without the distraction of television or radio. During dinner, the family can share the day’s activities and participate in enjoyable conversation. Everyone should be encouraged to take part, and negative comments and criticism should be discouraged.


On school nights, children need a regular time to go to sleep. Establish nighttime rituals that include storytelling, reading aloud, conversation, and songs. Try to avoid exciting play and activities before bedtime.

New Dental Clinic in North Spokane!

New CHAS Health Dental Clinic in North Spokane

We are excited to announce a new dental clinic in North Spokane! CHAS Health Family Dental opens on August 19 and offers dental services to the whole family.

At CHAS, we offer comprehensive dental services for patients of all ages – from toddlers to adults, we are here for you through all phases of life. Our experienced dentists, hygienists and support staff work closely to coordinate with our medical and pharmacy departments to ensure your visit is timely, efficient and pleasant.

We offer







Root canal therapy

Orthodontic referrals

Nitrous oxide sedation

National Health Center Week

In commemoration of National Health Center Week, CHAS Health is excited to celebrate being “Rooted in Communities.” This is a National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) campaign which emphasizes the fact that plants, people, and communities are not so different from one another in their needs—we all require basic resources to grow.

National Health Center Week (August 4th-10th) is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades. This week we’ll be joining Community Health Centers across the country to highlight the important work to make our communities healthier and happier.

Community Health Centers provide innovative health service delivery to more than 28 million patients! Learn more at nachc.org

Rogers High School Clinic Opening Fall 2019

We are excited to be opening a new clinic in Rogers High School this fall. This exciting grant from Kaiser Permanente will allow us to provide medical and behavioral health services to over 1500 students, plus; staff, parents, and siblings after school hours right on the North Spokane campus.

Health centers in schools have been associated with better attendance and higher grades.

The clinic is slated to open by November 1, and will be funded by Kaiser Permanente for three years, as well as an additional $165,000 raised by neighborhoods in the Rogers High School area.

Fewer than two percent of Washington’s schools have health centers on their campuses.

Pediatric Tips For Summer

As the school days wind down and the thought of summer vacation draws closer, it’s important to have a game plan ready to stay healthy this summer. The warmer months are a wonderful opportunity to explore, play and learn outdoors. We’ve prepared a few tips to help you navigate your children’s health this summer:


Camp brings a ton of kids together for fun, learning, and outdoor time. Make sure you have your needed vaccines ready prior to first day of camp. Vaccinations can help protect against diseases and conditions that pose higher risks in a camp setting. And if your child brings something home with them then the whole family may be at risk. Tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), meningitis, hepatitis a are typically recommended by camps.


If your child hasn’t gotten their annual wellness check, summer is a great time to get this taken care of. Kids are out of school and schedules are a bit more free. At this exam, make sure to get any required vaccinations, asthma checks, epi pens, sports physicals, etc. for the upcoming school year.


It’ll be that time to start thinking about getting back to school already before we know it. While your child is getting prepared for school, it’s also time for you to get prepared. Make sure your school immunization forms and medical records are complete prior to first day of school. In addition, make sure all medications/ADHD  or other plans are prepared for the upcoming school year.

Water safety:

Water-related activities are popular, especially with access to such amazing lakes, rivers, and public swimming pools. Make sure your child has gotten in to swimming lessons to protect young children from drowning. Many area pools offer courses that are surprisingly affordable.

Beat the heat and sun:

Cover up and use sunscreen every time you and your child go outside to prevent burns. During especially hot months, dress light, schedule outdoor activities outside of the hottest times of day, morning and evening. Stay cool with cool showers or baths. Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car – even if the windows are cracked open.

Wear a helmet:

Always protect your noggin while you are on a bike, skateboard, or other personal wheeled transportation. This goes for parents too, be a great example to your children – plus, you never know when an unexpected bump in the road may come from.

Don’t forget the 5-2-1-0 rule:

5 – Try to eat at least 5 fruits, roots, & vegetables a day.

2 – Watch less than 2 hours of screen time.

1 – Play more! Get at least 1 hour of physical activity per day.

0 – Try to cut down sugary drinks to 0. Sugary drinks have little health benefit and a lot of empty calories.

We hope you have a wonderful summer this year! Take the time to build lasting family memories, get outdoors and have fun!