Winchester Pediatric Dentist | Choosing the Right Toothpaste For Your Child

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the United States. For reference, about 20% of kids aged 5-11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Additionally, a study conducted by the University of Southern California found that roughly ⅓ of elementary school absences were caused by dental problems.

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist

The best way to help your child avoid becoming a part of these statistics is to make sure they have a great oral hygiene routine that saves their teeth from decay. Part of that routine involves choosing the right toothpaste for the job.

Enjoyable Flavors

Perhaps the one of the easier decisions to make when it comes to your child’s toothpaste is flavor and fun colors. Brushing twice a day, every day is not going to be as easy for your child to accomplish if they do not like the flavor of their toothpaste. Let them decide which flavors they like and choose their own toothpaste when possible. Sometimes, mint and similar flavors will be too “spicy” or intense for your child’s mouth.

Consider berry or bubblegum flavored alternatives that kids can enjoy. Sometimes these flavors come in entertaining colors and packages that can also help get your child excited about their dental health.

Avoid Abrasives

Some toothpastes include mild abrasives that can help remove surface stains and debris from teeth. Unfortunately, these abrasives can also damage your child’s sensitive tooth enamel.

To avoid this problem, stay away from whitening toothpastes. You should also consult with our pediatric dental office about which abrasives to avoid and which toothpastes we recommend as safe.

Look for the ADA Seal of Approval

The American Dental Association is one of the leading professional dental associations in the country. Their strict testing procedures on many brands and types of toothpastes ensure that the product is high quality, safe for use and is effective. This important Seal of Approval is easily seen on many boxes and can help you narrow down your options quickly.

If you help your child keep up with their daily routine, you are helping protect them from potential tooth decay in the future. However, if your child is complaining of sensitive or painful teeth, it may be time to visit our Winchester pediatric dentist for an evaluation. Our pediatric dental team will examine your child’s mouth for signs of tooth decay or other oral health issues and create a treatment plan that can restore their smile to it’s full health. Contact Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester today.

 

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester
Phone: (540) 667-5437
1705 Amherst St #201
Winchester, VA 22601

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | What to Do About Your Child’s Teeth Grinding Habit

Have you heard your child making an unidentifiable noise in their sleep? The sound you could be hearing is the sound of your child child grinding their teeth together. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a problem primarily common among adults but can happen in young children as well. In some cases, children as young as a year old can have the nightly habit. While childhood teeth grinding usually isn’t very problematic, it is still something you should mention to our pediatric dental team. Learn more on the causes of bruxism and what to do if your child grinds their teeth. 

What Are the Causes?

There are a few common causes of bruxism in young children. Teeth shifting or teething, replacing pacifier use, and ear infections can be the cause of a child’s teeth grinding. One other area that can be a big cause of bruxism is stress. Like adults, the effects of stress can manifest in physical ways in children. Changes in routine such as eating or sleeping habits, or even problems at school can play a role in this.

What should I Do?

Luckily bruxism usually fades in children with the addition of their permanent teeth. However, if the habit continues, or teeth are being worn down quickly, schedule an appointment at our pediatric dental office. We will evaluate your child’s mouth to see what kind of damage is being done, and help you decide whether further action needs to be taken.

Working to eliminate any additional stress can also help ease the causes of bruxism. Maintaining a consistent schedule for your child, specifically around bedtime, is very important.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester today.

 

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester
Phone: (540) 667-5437
1705 Amherst St #201
Winchester, VA 22601

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | Simple Tips to Prepare Your Child for Braces

If your child is a candidate for braces, chances are both of you have a least a few questions and potential concerns. Young children and even teens may feel a combination of apprehension and excitement as they begin their journey towards a straighter smile. Here’s what you can do to help them prepare for orthodontic treatment:

1. Include them in discussions about treatment options.

Orthodontia is no longer a one-size-fits-all solution. Talk to your orthodontist about all of your child’s potential treatment options and include your child in the conversation. While metal braces are the most popular choice for children and teens, there may be other methods that are equally effective and affordable.

2. Describe what to expect during treatment.

Ask our office to help you anticipate common questions. Plan to be as candid as possible and honest when it comes to discomfort – braces take some getting used to, but assure your child that any potential discomfort will ease with time. Also emphasize the commitment needed to keep their teeth clean during treatment; brushing and flossing will take longer with braces, but the time investment is well worth it.

3. Stock up on soft foods.

Your child’s teeth may feel sensitive for the first few days after getting their braces fitted. Keep them comfortable by stocking up on softer foods that will make eating easier. Rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, soups, yogurt, and pudding are all great choices.

4. Invest in orthodontic wax.

Your child may experience some mouth soreness as they get used to the brackets on their braces. Orthodontic wax offers a thin layer of protection between the brackets and their tender gums. Show your child how to use it so they can keep it handy in their backpack for use at school and during extracurricular activities.

5. Focus on the benefits.

Explaining the benefits of braces to your child will reinforce the importance of adhering to their treatment plan. Children are often impatient and want immediate gratification, so remind them that while a year or two may seem like forever, the pay-off will be a beautiful, self-confident smile they can be proud of for years to come.

If you and your child are embarking on your first orthodontic journey together, our Winchester pediatric dentist here to help. Contact Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester for additional tips to set your child up for treatment success.

 

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester
Phone: (540) 667-5437
1705 Amherst St #201
Winchester, VA 22601

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | Ease Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

Your dentist can provide the best services in town and have all the latest technology, but none of it will mean anything if your child is filled with fear every time they hear the word dentist. It’s important to us that all our patients, no matter their age, feel comfortable and confident while visiting us. However, when it comes to you children, we can’t do it alone. Your children are very perceptive of how you are feeling and will look to you for cues on how to feel about us. Here are some of our recommendations for you to help us make your child feel safe while at the dentist.

Easy Peesy

The best advice we can offer parents is to not make a big deal out of your child’s dental appointments. If your child sees or hears any anxiety in you they will feel the same way about things. Try treating the dentist as something as normal as going to the grocery store. Often, children are much more receptive and resilient than we sometimes realize. One way to ensure that the dentist becomes normalized is to start your child off early. Schedule an appointment for your child as soon as they get their first tooth. If the child has consistently good experiences early on, the future anxiety simply won’t be there.

Meet and Greet

Consider scheduling a short 5 minute appointment for your dentist and your child to establish a relationship. If your child can see the dentist as a friend first, they will be more likely to trust them to work on their mouth. Help foster this trust by discussing the dentist one on one with your child as a fun yet calm environment. The worst thing you can do is to use the dentist as a punishment. For instance, threatening your children with “If you don’t brush your teeth you’ll have to go to the dentist” make them associate the dentist with fear, punishment and pain.

Better Seen Than Heard

When you accompany your child to the dentist, your involvement may change depending upon the level of anxiety you both are feeling.Our experienced team as found that a great option is to assure your child that you’ll be close by the entire time. Depending on the situation, you may consider not being in the room as your child’s teeth are being cleaned. If you have any fear or anxiety about the situation, your child will pick up on it and it would be better for you not to be there. Additionally, your presence can distract both the doctor and your child. For some children however, your presence may be extremely helpful. Ultimately, you know your child’s needs best. It is well known by all dentists that the outcome of treatments in directly dependent upon the compliance of the patient. Help make sure your child’s trips to the dentist are as beneficial and painless as possible. Make sure to contact Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.   

 

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester
Phone: (540) 667-5437
1705 Amherst St #201
Winchester, VA 22601

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | 6 Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay in Children

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Oral health is important at every stage in life. Just because your children are going to lose their primary (baby) teeth eventually doesn’t mean that we can ignore the importance of dental care. Tooth decay can be painful and uncomfortable to treat. To protect your child’s smile, it is vital to understand optimal preventive care.

  1. Explain the important of routine dental care to your children and turn brushing and flossing into something fun that they look forward to each day.
  • Schedule routine appointments to our office for cleanings and dental exams. Your child should start seeing a dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges. Make sure to continue visiting us twice a year for optimal oral health.
  • Include crisp and fibrous foods into your child’s diet. Fruits and vegetables high in water content help keep your child’s mouth hydrated. Foods such as apples increase saliva which inhibit bacteria from sticking to their teeth.
  • Avoid food and drinks that are high in sugar. Soda, juice and candy are all treats that most children love to eat. However, these can be detrimental to your child’s teeth and overall health.
  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent tooth decay. Water flushes bacteria and acid away from teeth. Encourage your children to drink water especially after eating.
  • Ask us about dental sealants for your children. Sealants can add a layer of protection to your child’s teeth where bacteria build up to prevent damage.

Tooth decay starts out as a small problem, but left untreated can lead to serious oral health issues. By adding a few minor habits into your daily routine, your child’s oral health can change for the better. Simple changes in diet and routine can keep cavities at bay.

Contact Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester today to schedule an appointment for your child with our Winchester Pediatric Dentist.

 

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester
Phone: (540) 667-5437
1705 Amherst St #201
Winchester, VA 22601

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | How Probiotics Improve Oral Health

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Probiotics are typically advertised as being helpful for digestion. However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease.

Reducing Gingivitis

A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry has found that probiotics can reduce gum bleeding in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis. In the trial, children were given either a placebo or two different combinations of probiotics. At the three-week mark, it was discovered that children who took probiotics had significant improvements in their gingival status.

Combating Periodontitis

Periodontitis is another oral disease that probiotics have been shown to fight. Periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that separate teeth from the gums creating pockets that can become infected. Probiotics can fight harmful bacteria and lessen the inflammation to help heal the mouth.

Fighting Cavities

Another finding from the trial of the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry showed that children who took probiotics also saw a significant decrease in plaque. The reduction of plaque leads to less decay. Probiotics fight the plaque and occupy the spaces on the teeth where bad bacteria thrive.

Minimizing Bad Breath

Another benefit of probiotics is the effect they have on bad breath. Bad breath is usually caused by volatile sulfur compound bacteria releasing odor-causing gases. Because probiotics are healthy bacteria, it is believed that they can eliminate the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy bacteria balance in your mouth.

The benefits of probiotics are not just limited to the digestive health. Researchers continue to conduct studies to discover new ways probiotics contribute to a healthy mouth and body. Contact Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester for more information on oral health or to schedule a visit with our Winchester VA pediatric dentist today.

 

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester
Phone: (540) 667-5437
1705 Amherst St #201
Winchester, VA 22601

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | Childhood Obesity and Periodontal Disease

A recent study made a concerning connection between children who are obese and their risk of developing gingivitis. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is especially important for young people. Gum issues that are detected early and treated are usually reversible. Here’s what you need to know from the study.

Understanding Gingivitis

Gingivitis can sometimes go unnoticed. It is a mild type of periodontal disease. The longer it remains untreated, gum disease becomes more severe. Gingivitis can cause swollen gums, bloody gums, and bad breath. Gums begin to recede when infected, eventually leading to tooth loss.

What the Study Found

The study examined 90 children. Nearly 99% of those classified as obese had gingivitis of some degree. For children classified as overweight, 85% were found to have gingivitis. Previous studies have found similar correlations in adults.

Steps You Can Take

If your child is overweight, it is imperative you help them keep up with their oral health. Instill good daily habits. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes, two times each day. Encourage the use of dental floss and a mouthwash that fights gingivitis. Keep up with a regular routine of periodontal examinations in our Winchester Pediatric dental office. We can help to detect problems early and will recommend treatment options if needed.

While the sample size of this study was small, the results are still important to consider. Obesity in adults has been linked to increasing the risk of developing gum problems, making these results less surprising but nonetheless imperative. If your child is overweight, talk with their doctor to develop an appropriate weight-loss plan. Include our team to provide your child with a comprehensive periodontal examination. When left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more severe complications. The key to fighting gum disease is to detect it early and take preventive measures through your child’s daily oral hygiene routine.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit to our Winchester Pediatric Dental office, please contact Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester.

 

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester
Phone: (540) 667-5437
1705 Amherst St #201
Winchester, VA 22601

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | Is Your Child Using the Right Toothbrush?

Nothing fills your heart more than seeing your child smile. But what toothbrush is best for your 3 month old? What about when they turn 3 years old? With so many different choices it can be overwhelming to decide which toothbrush is best for your child at different stages of their life. That’s why we put together a brief description with your child’s changing oral health needs and what type of toothbrush will suit them.

General Guideline

Regardless of your child’s age, the toothbrush that they use should easily fit into their mouth and be easy to grip. Toothbrushes with soft bristles won’t irritate their gums and long handles will help them to move the brush in their mouth.

Babies

Many parents choose to use a damp cloth but you can begin to clean your child’s teeth with a toothbrush before their teeth come in. Using a toothbrush designed for babies allows you to clean their teeth while getting them used to brushing. These toothbrushes are very small, which allow you to comfortably brush baby’s gums. 

Toddlers

Around the age of two, your toddler will begin to take an interest in brushing their teeth. This is an important age to teach how to brush teeth and to get your child into the routine of brushing twice a day. Toddler toothbrushes are small with a longer handle, allowing easy gripping for the child. There are also powered toothbrushes that children can use at this age, which can make brushing a bit more fun. Make sure to brush your child’s teeth, ensuring all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.

Ages Five to Eight

At this age, your child is becoming more independent when it comes to oral health but will still need supervision while brushing. Many of the toothbrushes have fun characters on them and have a slimmer handle than a toddler brush. Choosing a favorite cartoon character may help your children maintain their interest in brushing.

Eight and Up

No longer needing supervision while brushing, children eight and up have very similar toothbrushes to adults. The only difference in the toothbrush is that it is smaller in size with a longer handle. Although manual toothbrushes clean just as effectively, powered toothbrushes can help those who may have issues using a manual toothbrushes properly..

Toothbrushes alone won’t guarantee your child’s oral health. Make sure to instill a regular brushing and flossing routine to keep your child’s smile healthy.

Contact Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester today to schedule your child’s next exam and cleaning.

 

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester
Phone: (540) 667-5437
1705 Amherst St #201
Winchester, VA 22601

Pediatric Dentist in Winchester VA | Are Your Drinks Attacking Your Teeth?

Pediatric Dentist in Winchester VA

If carbonated soft drinks are part of your normal daily routine, you may be causing serious damage to your teeth. Recent studies have found soft drinks to be among the most potent dietary causes of tooth decay. Soft drinks have also been implicated in increases of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other serious health conditions. Before you shop for beverages this week, consider a few things you should know about soft drinks.

Most soft drinks contain substantial amounts of sugars, which interact with the bacteria in your mouth. This interaction produces a form of acid that can damage your teeth for about 20 minutes. Each time you take a drink, you reset that time window. If you consume throughout the day, you are essentially bathing your teeth in that beverage for hours.

Most soft drinks contain acids, as well. Even sugar-free varieties contain acids that can weaken the enamel on your teeth. Colas and citrus-flavored soft drinks tend to have the highest levels of acid. Over time, this weakening of tooth enamel has a cumulative effect. This can lead to decay and even tooth loss if not addressed in early stages.

Obviously, the best solution is to stop consuming carbonated soft drinks. However, it can be a difficult habit to break. Here are some tips to help reduce your risks of tooth damage from these beverages:

  • Drink in moderation. Too much sugar and acid will eventually cause damage.
  • Try sparkling water. This provides the fizzy sensation without all the sugar and acid.
  • Drink more water. You will crave soft drinks less when you are fully hydrated.
  • Don’t sip. The longer you spend drinking, the more time sugars and acids are reacting with your teeth.
  • Use a straw. This can help keep the sugars and acids away from your teeth.
  • Rinse with water after drinking to dilute acids and sugars.
  • Don’t brush immediately. Wait at least 30 minutes for acids to be neutralized by saliva before brushing.
  • Practice good dental hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings and exams.

Carbonated soft drinks can be harmful to your oral and overall health. Be mindful of how often you consume them and consider reducing or stopping your use of these dangerous beverages.

For more oral health tips or to schedule an appointment, contact our Winchester dental office.

Valley Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (540) 667-KIDS
Fax: (205) 637-3104
1705 Amherst Street, Suite 201
Winchester, VA 22601

Winchester VA Dentist | Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?

When it comes to your child’s health and well-being, you want to be sure they are receiving the best possible care. Studies have shown that oral health is linked to overall health. It is important to have an experienced team that can work with your child to ensure a lifetime of optimal oral health. There are numerous advantages to choosing a pediatric dentist for your child including specialized training, a compassionate standard of care, and a welcoming environment.

Specialized Training

A pediatric dentist is specifically trained to help children. We understand children’s oral health and the dental issues many children face. Children’s dental health differs from that of adults. Our team has received special training to track the development of your child’s teeth. We can also help identify potential issues early. In these situations, we may refer you to one of our trusted colleagues such as an orthodontist or oral surgeon who works with children. We can help keep your child on track for a lifetime of optimal oral health.

Compassionate Care

It takes a special team to provide compassionate care for children. Pediatric dentistry is something our team is passionate about. We chose to work with kids because we love children. Our team finds tremendous fulfillment in building a relationship on trust with both you and your child. We understand the issues such as fear and anxiety that some children have regarding dental care. Our team is fully prepared for these situations, as we prioritize your child’s comfort and trust.

A Fun, Welcoming Environment

Our office was designed with your child’s comfort in mind. We understand the importance of nurturing a child’s curiosity and hope you and your child will find our office environment to be fun, educational, and welcoming. Our goal is to create a space that your child enjoys visiting.

When you chose our team for your child’s dental care, you receive the benefit of working with a team of dedicated professionals who understand children. We are experienced in communicating with young patients and their parents. Additionally, we are committed to improving your child’s oral health. Our goal is to educate your child on the importance of creating habits that promote oral hygiene.

We invite you and your child to visit our office and meet our team. Please contact us for more information.