Baby Teeth and Babies’ Teeth

 Baby Teeth and Babies’ Teeth

by Dr. Robert Stanaland

Baby teeth are so important! This cannot be stressed enough. Yes, they will be “lost” eventually, but they play a vital role in a child’s jaw development in addition to aiding in proper nutrition and socially.  Here are the answers to several questions we hear a lot.

When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?

As soon as you are aware that any have erupted. Even before teeth come, you can be wiping down your baby’s mouth with a damp cloth after every feeding.

Why are baby teeth so important if they just fall out?

Obviously, children use their teeth to chew food, just like the adults. The baby teeth also act as place holders for the adult teeth, and if they are lost too soon, the adult teeth will have huge problems coming in correctly. Teeth that get decay can cause severe pain and infections. Children miss a lot of school in order to deal with dental problems, and the cost of treating these dental problems far outweighs the cost of preventing them. 

When should I take my child to the dentist?

It is recommended that a child be seen by age one (1) or within six (6) months of their first tooth erupting, but the child should have been in a dental office long before then. Expecting mothers should be seeing their dentist regularly before the child is here, so education begins then.

What else can I do for my kid’s teeth?

Take care of YOUR teeth! See a dentist regularly. If you have established good oral hygiene and diet habits, your children will too. “Bad teeth” are NOT inherited, but bad habits can be passed down to your children.

Dr. Robert Stanaland is a dentist at the Family Health Dental Clinic at
840 West Clements in Odessa, TX. (432) 332-8870

MEDICAL MATTERS: It’s blood pressure 102

MEDICAL MATTERS: It’s blood pressure 102

As seen in the Odessa American “Medical Matters”:

by Dr. Fernando Boccalandro

In my first article I discussed the basics of blood pressure and the definition of normal blood pressures values according to current guidelines. In this second article I will address some practical tips and tricks, to maintain an adequate blood pressure control.

Blood pressure tends to fluctuate due to multiple factors that affect the blood pressure including stress, level of activity, salt intake, fluid intake, etc. For my patients the goal is to keep their average blood pressure within normal levels over time, rather than focus on one, or another individual blood pressure number specifically. Think about the average of the blood pressures as the number to go by.

What are my pearls of wisdom for our readers, after diagnosing and treating hundreds of patients with elevated blood pressure?

  1. Know your numbers:Make sure that you measure and know what your blood pressure is, at least once or twice a year if you do not have hypertension. It is useful to have an automated blood pressure machine at home, especially if you are prescribed blood pressure medications to assure is well controlled. Bring your blood pressure machine to your appointments; to make sure is well calibrated and you blood pressure measurements.
  1. Do your homework:Keeping a diet low in salt (less than 2 grams of sodium a day), a healthy weight, decrease levels of stress and regular moderate exercise (at least 150 minutes weekly), can contribute to lower your blood pressure and will make you feel better. Take your medications as prescribed and do not discontinue your blood pressure medications without discussing it first with your healthcare provider.
  1. Plan for the long term:Hypertension in the majority of patients is a chronic disease, like diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. So plan for a lifetime commitment to monitor and control your blood pressure, it is well worthwhile to prevent any adverse consequences of uncontrolled hypertension.
  1. Get the best team:Successful blood pressure management is teamwork. It is important to involve your family to help you succeed in this lifetime goal if you have elevated blood pressure. And it is very important to be in close contact with your health care professional, to coach and advise you regarding goals and optimization of your blood pressure levels over time.

Don’t let your guard down with high-blood pressure! And please contact your primary care doctor if you have questions or concerns about your heart health.


Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
by Maria Scott, MCHS Community Health Nurse Navigator

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Please take a moment to learn a bit more about prostate cancer as well as the risks, screenings and treatments associated with it.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States, after skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men. Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men than in white men. African-American men with prostate cancer are more likely to die from the disease than white men with prostate cancer.

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a gland found only in males. It makes some of the fluid that is part of semen.

The location of the prostate is below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Because the size of the prostate changes with age, the walnut size found in younger men can be much larger in older men. 

What are the most common prostate problems?

Prostatitis is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland, often causes painful or difficult urination. Although Prostatitis is more common in men over 50 years of age, it can affect men of all ages.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is when the prostate is enlarged but not cancerous. It is very common in older men.

Prostate Cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably.

What are the risk factors?

Age – Prostate cancer is rare in men under the age of 40. The chance of a man having prostate cancer rises rapidly for men over the age of 50. About six of every ten prostate cancer cases are found in men older than 65.

Race/Ethnicity – Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men and in Caribbean men of African ancestry than in men of other races. African-American men are also more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as white men. Prostate cancer occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino men than in non-Hispanic whites.

Family History – The fact that Prostate Cancer seems to run in some families suggests that there may be an inherited or genetic factor in some cases. However, most prostate cancers occur in men without a family history of it.

Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease. (The risk is higher for men who have a brother with the disease than for those who have a father with it.) The risk is much higher for men with several affected relatives, particularly if their relatives were young when the cancer was found.

Can prostate cancer be prevented?

There is no sure way to prevent prostate cancer due to the fact that many risk factors such as age, race, and family history cannot controlled. Additionally, according with the American Cancer Society the effects of body weight, physical activity and diet on prostate cancer risk are not clear. However, in order to lower your risk of prostate cancer, the following things should be considered that might lower your risk:

  • Eating at least 2½ cups of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Being physically active
  • Staying at a healthy weight

What tests can detect prostate cancer early?

Screening is testing to find cancer in people before they have symptoms. For some types of cancer, screening can help find cancers at an early stage, when they are likely to be easier to treat.

Prostate cancer can often be found before symptoms arise by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood. Another way to find prostate cancer is the digital rectal exam (DRE), in which the doctor puts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland.

At this time, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men thinking about getting screened for prostate cancer should make informed decisions based on available information, discussion with their doctor, and their own views on the possible benefits, risks and limits of prostate cancer screening.

The MCH 123 on Prostate Cancer

  1. One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
  2. Get a PSA test beginning at age 50.
  3. Early detention is the key!

Sources: America Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute

I’m too tired to get up!

“I’m too tired to get up!”
by Pediatrician Dr. Kevin Benson

It’s a phrase that many of us parents hear on those school mornings.

It is an age old example of cause and effect, stay up too late and pay for it the next morning. Many adults try to beat the system with caffeinated beverages every AM but those things are not recommended for our kids (and probably aren’t really good for us in the long run either).

How much sleep do my kids need?  The National Sleep Foundation provides the following chart:

Age Recommended May be appropriate Not recommended

0-3 months


14 to 17 hours 11 to 13 hours

18 to 19 hours

Less than 11 hours

More than 19 hours


4-11 months


12 to 15 hours 10 to 11 hours

16 to 18 hours

Less than 10 hours

More than 18 hours


1-2 years


11 to 14 hours 9 to 10 hours

15 to 16 hours

Less than 9 hours

More than 16 hours


3-5 years


10 to 13 hours 8 to 9 hours

14 hours

Less than 8 hours

More than 14 hours

School-aged Children

6-13 years


9 to 11 hours 7 to 8 hours

12 hours

Less than 7 hours

More than 12 hours


14-17 years


8 to 10 hours 7 hours

11 hours

Less than 7 hours

More than 11 hours

Young Adults

18-25 years


7 to 9 hours 6 hours

10 to 11 hours

Less than 6 hours

More than 11 hours

As anyone care see, the recommended hours of sleep are always more than we expect.

Ways to improve sleep (especially with school starting):

  • Start bedtimes earlier. Avoid dramatic changes, if you’ve let the children stay up a little later during the summer, start weaning bedtime back to acceptable times by 15 minutes each night until you are back in the zone which provides adequate sleep.
  • Stop electronics at least an hour before bedtime. TV, video games, texting, etc are stimulating to the brain and make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Establish a bedtime routine. Routines make most of us feel more relaxed and doing the same thing before going to sleep helps us prepare for a more restful night.  Bathing, reading, praying can all be part of a family sleep routine.
  • Eat right! Avoid caffeine and sugar before bed; kids are less likely to “bounce of the walls” without the stimulation of many carbonated beverages and the quick energy boosts of high calorie snacks and desserts.
  • It’s always easier to sleep when you are physically tired.
  • Maintain consistency. Many kids stay up late on weekends and then drag through Mondays and Tuesdays, start to feel better by the hump of Wednesday and then repeat the whole thing again as the weekend comes.  Maintaining bedtimes AND awakening times during the weekend will tend to help those who struggle on those dreaded blue Mondays.

Following these guidelines will make getting back to school a little less stressful for you and your family.

Kevin Benson, M.D., Board Certified in Pediatrics who specializes in:

• Comprehensive Pediatric Care
• Care From Birth to age 18 (Newborns/Infants/Toddlers/Adolescents)
• Allergy & Asthma Care Referrals
• School, Sports, Camp Physicals
• Sick Child Visits
• Routine Wellness Exams
• Health Education
• Immunizations

MCH Family Health Clinic 6030 West University Odessa, TX 79764
Office Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Same Day Appointments Available Call (432) 640-6600 for more information or to make an appointment.

Preventing Tooth Decay at Work

Preventing Tooth Decay at Work
By Dr. Robert Stanaland, Doctor of Dental Surgery at ProCare Family Health Dental Clinic

Regardless of your background, tooth decay, or dental caries, can affect everyone. People are vulnerable during the work day for several reasons. First, they are away from home, which is where their toothbrush and floss are. Secondly, they are busy with work and probably are not aware of their habits that facilitate dental caries. And third, they are not knowledgeable about how dental is caused.

  • Dental caries is caused by oral bacteria that metabolize (digest) a wide variety of sugars. The metabolism lowers the pH of the mouth, causing it to become more acidic.
  • Limit the time you are consuming sweetened foods, particularly liquids. Sipping on sweetened coffee or soft drinks after breakfast or lunch can feed caries-causing bacteria for long periods of time, causing your mouth to be acidic.
  • Brushing your teeth after a meal is not the best strategy to prevent decay. This only allows you to brush away weakened enamel, the outside part of your tooth. (The enamel is weakened by the acids produced by bacteria after meal.)
  • Chewing sugarless gum for 10 minutes after a meal will stimulate saliva production. Saliva is your best defense against tooth decay. It neutralizes acids among other things.
  • If you plan to use a mouth rinse after a meal, use one with fluoride. This helps to make your teeth less vulnerable to decay.

Robert Stanaland, D.D.S. 
Doctor of Dental Surgery
840 West Clements • Odessa, Texas 79763
(432) 640-4860

Keeping Eyes Young

Keeping Eyes Young

by Dr. G. Chase Jackson O.D.

Keeping your eyes young and having great vision for years to come is an ideal sought by the masses. Here are some ways I address these concerns with my patients daily.

Cataracts are an eye condition that will happen to everyone fortunate to live long enough. Many lifestyle choices will determine how soon and how quickly the condition will affect you. If you have cataracts, you may notice decreased vision, glare or halos around lights, reduced night vision, or difficulty driving especially at night.

Whether you have been diagnosed with cataracts or not, there are ways to delay the onset and progression of this condition. Every day, patients of mine are interested in discussing cataracts and how to decrease progression. Allow me to share some highlights from our discussions.

Condition and Symptoms:

Cataracts occur within the lens of the eye. The lens is clear and located directly behind the iris, the colored part of the eye. Over time, this clear lens becomes yellow and rigid causing vision to decrease. When this happens, glasses will be less able to improve vision.

Sun exposure, smoking, more birthdays, and a handful of medical conditions can contribute to cataract occurrence and progression. Generally cataracts progress slowly over many years. But some patients, especially those with diabetes, can experience progression much more quickly.


Now that we know more about cataracts, we can take logical steps to decrease their onset and progression. Avoiding risk factors such as unprotected sun exposure, eye trauma, and smoking, will greatly decrease risk of cataracts. In other words if you wear sunglasses with UV protection, use protective eye wear with sports, and avoid smoking, your risk of acquiring cataracts early will greatly decrease. Doing these things will keep your eyes young and seeing well for extra years to come.

If you have any medical conditions – particularly diabetes, or if you take steroids, it is very important to get your eyes examined. Your eye doctor is able to work closely with your other doctors to ensure your eyes remain healthy along with the rest of your body.

Cataracts do not improve without eye surgery. Following these guidelines will help ensure your eyes provide you great vision without requiring early cataract surgery

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have cataracts, you can make an appointment to see Dr. Jackson by calling 432-640-6600.

Chase Jackson, O.D.
Board Licensed Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and member of the American Optometric Association

Chase Jackson, O.D. is a Board Licensed Optometric Glaucoma Specialist. He received his Doctorate Degree from the Arizona College of Optometry and specializes in primary and secondary eye health care. Moreover, Dr. Jackson is an Adjunct Faculty Professor of Ophthalmology at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. His services include state of the art eye examination, diagnosis, treatment and management of a wide range of eye diseases and pathologies, including:

  • Diabetic Eye Care
    • Glaucoma
    • Macular Degeneration
    • Eye Trauma Management
    • Cataract Surgery co-management
    • Pre/Postoperative Laser Eye Surgery Management
    • BioTissue Corneal Wound Care
    • Eye Exams for all Ages
    • Medical Eye Exams
    • Exams for Glasses and Contact Lenses

Center for Primary Care – West University
6030 West University • Odessa, Texas 79764

Office Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm, Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Phone: (432) 640-6600

Pediatric Water Safety

Pediatric Water Safety Reminder
This summer, keep your children safe by following these guidelines:

  • Always have adult supervision when your child is swimming, regardless of swimming skill.
  • Adults who are supervising children in the pool should not drink alcohol or have excessive distractions.
  • No diving in the shallow end of the pool.
  • Make sure both shallow and deep ends are clearly marked.
  • No running around the pool. This could cause a sudden fall and/or head trauma that could be detrimental to your child.
  • Pools in the backyard should be surrounded by a fence no less than four (4) feet high.
  • The pool fence should have a self-latching gate that opens away from the pool.
  • Backyard pools could also have an alarm system as an extra safety measure.
  • If the pool has a cover, make sure this is completely taken off prior to swimming.
  • Do not keep toys near the pool.
  • A safety ring with a rope is always great to have near the pool.
  • For boating, sailing, or canoeing, your child should always have on a lifejacket.
  • Inflatable pools should be emptied and stored away after each use.

Remember, swimming lessons are beneficial but do not prevent drowning since children can drown in a few inches of water.

Water safety guidelines are not limited to the swimming pool. Other potential areas to watch out for include bath tubs, hot tubs, water fountains and fish ponds.

Be safe and have fun this summer.

Dr. Omosede Evbuomwan
MCH Healthy Kids Clinic
3001 JBS Pkwy, Odessa TX 79762
O: 432-640-6772/F: 432-640-4708
(Accepting new patients)

Pediatric Sun Safety Tips

Pediatric Sun Safety Tips

The best way to prevent a sunburn is to limit sun exposure. The hottest part of the day is usually between 10am and 4pm. Thus, this is when your child’s skin can be affected the most.

Babies 6 months and under:

  • It is best to avoid direct sun exposure.
  • Your baby should wear a brimmed hat, light weight long pants and long sleeved shirt.
  • Apply sunscreen with minimum SPF 15 to baby’s exposed areas such as hands and upper back/neck.

Older children:

  • Your child should wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses when outdoors.
  • Your child’s sunscreen should have minimum SPF 15 that has protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes prior to your child’s outdoor activity.
  • Make sure to reapply sunscreen every 1.5-2 hours. You should also reapply after your child’s swimming session or if your child has been sweating a lot.

If you think your child has a sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area and give acetaminophen for pain (correct dose for age and weight). Contact your pediatrician if you child’s sunburn causes blistering, fever, headaches or chills.

Be safe and have fun this summer.



Dr. Omosede Evbuomwan
MCH Healthy Kids Clinic
3001 JBS Pkwy, Odessa TX 79762
O: 432-640-6772/F: 432-640-4708
(Accepting new patients)

Hello Summer

Hello Summer
by Kevin Benson, M.D., Board Certified in Pediatrics

Summer is upon us once again.  It is a season that most of us look forward to after the cool, dreary world of the Fall, Winter and early Spring. But along with the warmer temperatures and sunny skies come challenges to us parents who are trying to look out for our kids.

Being new to the Permian Basin, my biggest challenge this summer has been keeping my daughter busy. Like many teens, she would prefer to spend her summer days and nights watching television, chatting with friends online (via text, games or other apps) or playing video games like Minecraft. When I ask patients in my practice what they have planned once school lets out, most of them look at me quizzically and respond, “Nothing”.

As any savvy parent knows, nothing is never nothing. (How many of us have heard that crash somewhere in the house, called out to find out what was going on, to which the reply is “nothing”?!)  Kids who are not engaged in positive activities will often find themselves engaged in negative ones.

So what can a busy parent do to combat the popular trend of inactivity and malaise that infects our children from June to August?

  • Think ahead! It’s not too late to scan the local area for day camps (or away camps, if age appropriate and in your budget), sport camps, arts and crafts activities, or maybe even a Vacation Bible School or two.
  • Learn a new skill! You know that cooking show you and your family watch. What would be better than your kids learning to cook for you? Instagramming with Abuela as she shows them how to prepare the family dinner might be the best of both worlds.
  • Learn a new language! Despite the overwhelming nonsense that the app stores feed us, there are some real gems hidden in there. My daughter and I do Duolingo to practice our Spanish … but there are dozens of inexpensive language apps to open up new worlds to our kids. Better than another round of Angry Birds.
  • Practice, practice, practice. The other night, my wife and I were surprised to hear the melodious sound of a guitar wafting through our house. We were shocked to see my daughter had picked up the instrument her grandfather had given her and was playing. She had lessons a few years ago, lost interest and it was collecting dust. But after a fit of boredom, she picked it up again and now had extra time to work on that skill.
  • Involve them in your life. I am amazed at how many adults do not know which end of a screwdriver to hold. I exaggerate of course, but I am happy to know that I am relatively handy around the house. And I owe those skills to my dad, whom I assisted in all sorts of home projects through my childhood. Even though my job usually consisted of holding a flashlight, I learned a lot and got the courage to try new things with that knowledge base. Even though kids don’t appreciate this at the time, involving them in some of the mundane tasks of our lives will help prepare them for the future.
  • Be an inspiration. It’s easy to tell our kids to go out and play while we watch a repeat of “the housewives of Ector County”. It’s difficult to get out and take that family walk around the block with the dogs.

Remember, life is short, kids grow up fast.  Build great memories with your family this summer.

Meet Kevin Benson, M.D., Board Certified in Pediatrics who specializes in:

  • Comprehensive Pediatric Care
  • Care From Birth to age 18 (Newborns/Infants/Toddlers/Adolescents)
  • Allergy & Asthma Care Referrals
  • School, Sports, Camp Physicals
  • Sick Child Visits
  • Routine Wellness Exams
  • Health Education
  • Immunizations

MCH Family Health Clinic 6030 West University Odessa, TX 79764
Office Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Same Day Appointments Available Call (432) 640-6600 for more information or to make an appointment

Get the monkey off your back! How to treat back pain before it becomes chronic pain

Pain may be associated with an injury, a certain medical condition, or structural abnormalities such as a tumor, arthritis, or fracture. Some degrees of pain are normal, like discomfort during the healing process just after surgery or a healing bone fracture. However, chronic pain does not heal and may be present for months and even years.


Did you know?

  • Over 100 million Americans suffer with chronic pain. This is more than the number of Americans with diabetes, coronary arterial disease, stroke and cancer combined!
  • Pain costs America at least $560-$635 billion annually, which is equal to $2,000 for everyone living in America. This includes $297-$336 billion due to lost worker productivity.
  • Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under age 45. More than 26 million Americans between ages of 20 and 64 experience frequent low back pain. 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes.
  • 44 people die each day from prescription drug overdoses.


You have the power to get that monkey off your back and put a stop to chronic pain. Too often, dangerous and addictive medications or risky surgeries are presented to us to treat acute back pain when most may be treated with a more conservative and safe approach.


40-90% of patients will have complete relief of pain within six weeks by using these measures:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Lifestyle adjustments: how you sit, lift, stand, day-to-day movements
  • Exercise just 30 minutes a day!
  • Weight and diet management
  • Spinal epidural and nerve block injection may be useful


For more information on the right exercises, diets and treatments for chronic pain, contact a physician who is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.


Submitted by:

Mandeep Othee, M.D.

Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Board Certified in Pain Medicine