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.

Winchester VA Dentist | Help Your Child Avoid Dental Fear

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should see a dentist at least once every six months. Depending on your child’s individual oral health needs, they may need to see the dentist more frequently. Our dentist will advise you on how often your child should be seen.

In our office, we love to help children learn how to keep their teeth healthy and beautiful. Unfortunately, some children can develop fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist, even before they’ve ever been to one. We have found that the very best way to combat dental fear is to stop it before it starts. Here are some of our most effective tips for preventing your child from suffering from dental fear:

Start young. Your child should be having regular dental checkups starting by age one or within 6 months of their first tooth growing in. When checkups start from a young age, it is easy for your child’s dentist and hygienist to build positive memories with your child and ward off anxiety.

Stay simple. We like to tell young children that the dentist will check their smile and count their teeth, and that the hygienist will clean their teeth and teach them how to care for their teeth better. Too much detail about treatments and examination can be overwhelming and cause stress about the unknown.

Keep it positive. When you explain to your child that they are going to the dentist, don’t start detailing the things that could be negative. Instead, just explain that the dentist helps to keep their teeth healthy. If and when we need to treat your child further, our team is trained and experienced in explaining treatment without causing fear.

Set an example. The leading cause of dental fear in children is their parents’ dental fear. Make sure you are following your own recommended schedule for preventive care and treatment. When your child sees you being positive about dental care, they will feel more confident about their own dental appointments.

Parents have the greatest influence in their child’s perception of dental care. Show your child that their oral health is important and that the dentist is there to help keep their teeth healthy and beautiful.

For more tips or to schedule your child’s appointment, contact our office.

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | Healthy Transitions: Trading Bottles for Cups

Helping your child switch from bottles to cups can be challenging. Babies may become emotionally attached to their bottles as a source of comfort as well as nutrition.

However, bottles can also become dangerous to your child’s teeth over time. Continuing to use a bottle too long can cause your child’s palate to narrow. This can lead to an increased need for orthodontic treatment as they grow.

Bottles also expose a baby’s teeth to liquids over an extended period of time. Liquids such as milk, formula, and juice contain sugars that can increase the risk of tooth decay. To help protect your child’s teeth, you should encourage your child to start drinking from a cup by their first birthday.

It is important to consider your choice of training cup. There are many and varied options of child training cups available. Here are some things to consider when selecting cups for your child.

Keep the goal in mind when choosing a style of training cup for your child.

Cups advertised as “no spill” often contain a special valve beneath the spout. This valve does protect against easy spilling, but also prevents sipping. Instead, these cups require your child to suck on the spout, essentially replacing one type of bottle with another. This can slow your child’s training on cup usage. In some cases, these valves may even require a high level of suction, making them frustrating to use.

Look for a cup with a simple spout rather than a “no spill” spout.

These cups are easy for your child to use and help them learn to sip. Cups with handles can be easier for small hands to learn to hold. If spills are a concern, look for a cup with a weighted base that can help it self-right.

Remember that transitions occur in stages.

Phase out the bottle in favor of the cup, don’t try to change all at once. Once your child can use the cup, limit the bottle to water. This can help make the bottle less desired. Provide the bottle less often over time to allow your child time to adjust. Once your child has mastered training cups, start offering a small plastic cup without a lid. When they can use this new cup, phase out the training cup.

For more information about bottle to cup transitions or to schedule an appointment, contact our office.

Winchester VA Dentist | Effective Prevention for Healthier Smiles

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children and adolescents. About ¼ of children and more than half of teens currently have this illness. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 90% of adults over age 20 have some amount of tooth-root decay. However, tooth decay is highly preventable. By providing effective dental care during childhood, better long-term oral health may be achieved.

Here are some practices that can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues at every age:

Hygiene

Brush teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled brush. Clean your tongue gently with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel. Children should use only toothpastes designed for kids’ use. Replace toothbrushes every 2-3 months.

Clean between teeth daily. Use dental floss or another interdental cleaner. Talk to your hygienist for a recommendation and instructions for effective use.

Diet

Eat healthy foods and limit sugary and acidic foods. Drink plenty of water.

Sealants

A recent study on the effectiveness of sealants was published jointly by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). They found that sealants can prevent up to 80% of tooth decay in permanent molars when used for children and teens. Adults may see similar benefits from use, as well. Additionally, no adverse effects have been reported with use of sealants on patients of any age. Talk to our dentist about whether dental sealants may help you prevent tooth decay.

Fluoride

Fluoridation of public water has been listed by the CDC as one of the great achievements in public health in the 20th century. Studies have shown tooth decay in children who have fluoridated water sources is reduced by up to 40%. If you have concerns about tooth enamel weakness or if you live in an area without fluoridated water, ask our dentist whether supplemental fluoride may be right for you.

Dental Care

Visit our office for a professional cleaning and thorough exam at least twice each year, or as instructed. Seek treatment right away if issues are identified.

Effective preventive care saves time and money and can help ensure a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. For more information about tooth decay prevention, contact our office.

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | To Floss or Not to Floss?

By now, you have likely seen news reports questioning whether flossing is necessary for your oral health.

We want to answer your question right away with an absolute YES. Cleaning between your teeth is an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums.

Whether you use traditional string dental floss, a water flosser, an interdental (between teeth) brush, or other form of interdental cleaning, it is important that you clean between your teeth correctly and on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, in the quest for catchy headlines, many news agencies have been providing a great deal of incomplete and inaccurate information.

Here’s the truth: Plaque and bacteria can be prevented from building up between teeth when flossing is done correctly on a daily basis.

Why does that matter? Build-up of plaque and bacteria between teeth is one of the leading causes of periodontal disease, a condition which not only affects your mouth, teeth, and gums, but has been linked to complications with diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other systemic health issues.

The next time you visit our office, ask your hygienist to show you the most effective way to clean between your teeth. For more information on flossing and interdental cleaning or to schedule an appointment, please contact us.