Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

You'll need JavaScript enabled to use this site effectively.

You're using an old verion of Internet Explorer. Our site is better viewed in virtually anything except IE8 or below.

July 20, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner & Drs. Hull & Coleman: Guidelines on Getting Multiple Orthodontic Evaluations

By our Smarty friends at Hull & Coleman Orthodontics.

Hull Coleman Braces

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. ~Phyllis Diller

Deciding where to take your child for orthodontic treatment is a big decision. Your relationship with your orthodontist really is that—a relationship—because most orthodontic treatments last an average of around 18-24 months. So you’re going to be spending a good bit of time in the office you choose, and you’re going to be making a significant financial investment as well. Most importantly, the orthodontist you choose is going to be developing your child’s smile—literally moving every single tooth in their head into the most ideal looking and healthy fitting position possible. That’s a big deal, so you shouldn’t take it lightly.

For all these reasons, many parents choose to get two or more different opinions when selecting where to take their children for orthodontic treatment. Getting multiple opinions can be very helpful and educational, but it can also sometimes be confusing, as you won’t always get the same information or treatment recommendation from every office you see.

If you do decide to take your child to more than one orthodontist for an evaluation, there are a few important factors to consider as you make your decision on where to go:

1) Make sure you see an actual orthodontist for your treatment, and not just a general dentist that does orthodontics on the side. While some general dentists do advertise that they can provide orthodontic treatment, they do not have the specialty training that orthodontists have. Orthodontists are dentists first—but they then spend an additional two to three years in an orthodontic residency focused solely on orthodontic theory and practice, dentofacial orthopedics, dental and facial esthetics, and the biomechanics of tooth movement. Orthodontists are experts in the art and science of moving teeth into their most esthetic and functional positions to deliver a smile that is beautiful and a bite that is as close to ideal as possible. Read More →

July 18, 2017

From the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: Get Set for Kindergarten

July Blog Post Image - Get Set 4 K

By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

You are either reading this article thinking, how dare they bring up going back to school – we are having too much fun this summer to think about school! Or, you are now day dreaming about the not-so-distant future when your children will finally be back in the care of their amazing teachers.

Either way, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library can be your partner in enjoying the summer with your children while preparing them to enter kindergarten. Whether your child is starting school in the fall, or the following year or two, we’ve got you covered.

Break in that new back pack by checking out some books

Kindergarten is a time when your child will begin developing the skills they need to read on their own. Check out this suggested reading list for rising kindergarteners developed by early literacy experts at the Library. This list is sure to keep your child reading for the fun of it all summer long. And check out Tumblebooks, Story Place and the Autism Reference Collection for even more titles and interactive literacy tools.

Remember, reading doesn’t have to be a solo activity – shared reading experiences with a family member are a great bonding and learning activity. And, don’t forget to log your reading for Summer Break! Read More →

July 17, 2017

Expanding The First Tee of Greater Charlotte’s Reach Through Weekly Outreach Programs


By our friends at the First Tee of Greater Charlotte

The mission of The First Tee is to introduce as many young people as possible to not only the game of golf but also its inherent life lessons and core values. The Charlotte chapter has done just that through the expansion of its outreach program. In 2016, The First Tee of Greater Charlotte reached over 120,000 new participants through elementary schools, after school programs, and field trips, making it the second largest outreach program in The First Tee network.

Golf can be an intimidating sport for those who have never picked up a club before, so The First Tee found that by making it simple and fun for children who are not actively seeking to participate is a great way to make it a more attainable reality. This is done three ways; The First Tee National School Program, The First Tee DRIVE Program and Target Outreach events. Participants can either take field trips to our learning center at Dr. Charles L. Sifford Golf Course or we bring the golf course to the participants at local gyms and recreation centers. Read More →

July 14, 2017

Tips for a Lice-Free Summer Camp

By Sheila Fassler, RN – Owner of Pediatric Hair Solutions

Lice Pediatric Hair Solutions Camp

As you prepare to send your child to camp this summer, you should also prepare for the potential of head lice.

Unfortunately, lice enjoy camp as much as your kids do. 97% of head lice cases are spread by head to head contact and the close quarters of summer camp make it the perfect environment for lice to spread.

If your child is going to camp this summer, here are some tips to keep them lice-free:

1. Check the Camp’s Head Lice Policy
Many camps conduct head checks at intake day/drop off. If that’s the case you’ll want to get your child checked for head lice a few days before you bring them to camp. That will give you time for treatment and will prevent your child from missing out on camp activities.

If the camp does not have a head lice policy, it’s a good idea to have your child checked for lice by a professional as soon as they return from camp. Head lice is present in 2% to 4% of school-aged children so chances are good there are kids at your child’s camp with active cases of head lice.

2. Keep Hair Up and Tight
If you have daughters, they should wear their hair in tight buns or braids to prevent lice from spreading. Hair worn in ponytails is generally too loose to prevent the spread of lice. Read More →

From the Smarty Health Corner and Signature Pediatrics: Staying Safe in the Heat

By Smarty Guest Blogger Holly G. Smith, MD FAAP, Signature Pediatrics

The heat and humidity of summer are finally upon us! For most of us, that means we will spend our days in air-conditioned offices and houses, or go to the pool to cool off with the kids. Here in Charlotte, we are used to finding ways to beat the heat. Still, every year some people suffer from heat-related illness, so in these “Dog Days” of summer it is important to review how to keep your children safe in the heat. 1095628.largethree forms of heat-related illness:

1. Heat Cramps

One of the first signs of heat-related illness may be heat cramps. These are generally brief, intense muscle cramps in the legs, arms, or abdomen that may occur during or after vigorous exercise in extreme heat. The sweating that occurs with intense physical activity causes the body to lose salts and fluids. This low level of salts causes the muscles to cramp. Any child with heat cramps should stop physical activity, move to a cool place, and drink plenty of water or a sports drink. They should not resume activity for several hours after the cramps have gone away. Read More →

July 10, 2017

Mosquito Authority offers free treatment to expectant moms

By our Smarty friends at Mosquito Authority

Last season, when the threat of Zika struck a nerve with so many, your friends at Mosquito Authority wanted to fight back. To show that we were serious, we started offering a FREE TREATMENT to expectant mothers. A year later we continue to support the same movement. If you are an expectant mother and have concerns about mosquito-borne illness, please feel free to take advantage of our FREE TREATMENT offer.Mosquito Authority New-Logo-FINAL-JPG

Fine print: Expectant mothers should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites in order to reduce the risk of contracting a mosquito-borne disease like Zika, including but not limited to wearing repellent containing Picaridin or DEET. Eliminating mosquitoes may also help reduce your risk. For more information on Zika and Pregnancy, please visit To redeem this offer, contact Mosquito Authority at 704-999-1808 or

June 23, 2017

From Invisible Fence® Brand: Tips for keeping your dog cool this summer AND Charlotte’s best dog parks

By our Smarty friends at Invisible Fence® Brand. Click here to get $150 off a premium outdoor package.

Let’s put this in perspective: animals like you and me, we’ve got sweat glands for days. Mammals have not one but two types of secretory skin gland. The eccrine gland, the one tasked with heat regulation, is basically all over the place in our bodies—the palm alone boasting something like 370 sweat glands per square centimeter. That’s a lot of cooling power.

Dogs? Well, their “palms” are pretty much the only place they have sweat glands. This fact, come late summer, may well provoke a question in a kind-hearted canine caretaker like yourself: How do I help my dog stay cool?

We posed this question to our friend Cheryl Meyers, DVM, a Seattle-based relief veterinarian and friend of Invisible Fence® Brand. Here’s her 5 principles of hydration for our differently thermoregulated companions.

Calculate your dog’s water/weight ratio. Ok, so most days you don’t need a calculator. You “follow your nose” and manage to keep yourself and your dependents fed and nourished. No sweat. But on a sweltering day loaded down with activities, the scientific method might make the difference between a mild case of dehydration in your dog and a moderate-to-severe one. Luckily, calculating your pet’s water-to-weight ratio is easy. Read More →

June 19, 2017

Take the Library with you on vacation

CML June Blog Post Image

By our Smarty friends at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Summertime is a time to get away, relax and have fun! Planning a road trip, or flying to a tropical locale this summer with your family? Be sure to take Charlotte Mecklenburg Library with you to add to the fun.

Here are just a few ways to enjoy the Library while you travel this summer.

Enjoy some beach reads.

Relax with a good book, whether you are at the beach literally or just in your mind. Check out a copy of one of this season’s notable beach reads, and don’t forget your sunscreen! Read More →

June 15, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: All About Audiologists

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. has nearly 100 healthcare providers with different jobs and titles. What do these titles mean and what care does everyone offer? This is the third in a series explaining who our providers are and what they do to keep you and your family healthy.

What is an Audiologist?

Audiologists are medical professionals – usually doctors – who test, diagnose, and treat hearing loss in babies, children, and adults. They also fit patients with hearing aids or other hearing-enhancing instruments, and diagnose other hearing- and ear-related conditions. At CEENTA they also work closely with the ear, nose, and throat doctors to provide a continuity of care if more serious medical concerns are detected during an audiology exam. Unlike hearing instrument specialists, who primarily do just hearing aid fittings, audiologists also can perform full diagnostic evaluations of a patient’s complete auditory system. This means they can diagnose the cause of hearing loss and determine if it needs medical attention before the patient gets hearing aids.Swanson

How does someone become an Audiologist?

After receiving an undergraduate degree, future audiologists get a master’s degree or doctorate in audiology through a graduate program. In addition to the classroom portion of the degree, the third and/or fourth year of their program involves getting hands-on experience through an externship program. In fact, CEENTA has its own externship, where fourth-year students work with patients in three separate educational tracks. Students rotate through clinics for cochlear implants, pediatric audiology, tinnitus retraining therapy, vestibular testing electrophysiology, diagnostics, hearing aids, and practice management. CEENTA is currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 program, and interested students can email Audiologist Tracy Swanson, AuD, F-AAA, at Read More →

May 30, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and Levine Children’s Hospital: Early Peanut Eaters May Avoid Allergies Later On

This post was originally posted on the Carolinas Healthcare System blog. A big thanks to them for allowing us to post it here for our readers!

It seems like common sense to avoid foods you’re allergic to. But new evidence reveals that sometimes, it might be better to do the exact opposite.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that exposing children to peanuts at a young age could actually prevent the development of a peanut allergy later in life. Researchers fed peanut products to infants between 4 and 11 months old who were at high risk of developing a peanut allergy. Compared to a high-risk group of infants who weren’t fed peanut products, those who ate peanut products were far less likely to be allergic to the food by the time they turned 5.

Dr. Ekta Shah, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System

Dr. Ekta Shah, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System

Ekta Shah, MD, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System, thinks the researchers may be on to something. “We’ve suspected that the late introduction to peanuts is associated with a higher risk,” she says. “This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that the early introduction of an allergenic food can be beneficial.” Read More →

Tell A Friend.

Message to Friend