22601 Pediatric Dentist | Establishing Healthy Oral Health Habits in Children

By establishing a proper oral health routine at a young age, children can more easily maintain a healthy smile throughout adolescence and adulthood. The following will outline ways to introduce these healthy habits.

Introduce Healthy Habits Early

It is recommended by the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) that children should see a dentist by their first birthday or when their first tooth has erupted- whichever occurs first. This will allow your child to establish professional dental care as a part of their optimal oral healthcare routine. Visiting the dentist should be an enjoyable experience for your child. Creating early positive dental experiences can reduce the likelihood of your child suffering from dental phobia (odontophobia) later in life.

In addition to modeling the importance of professional oral healthcare to your children, it’s important to show proper at-home habits. Brushing and flossing in front of your child will show them it’s a normal, daily activity. Teaching your child about the consequences of inadequate home care can also help to motivate the adoption of healthy oral hygiene habits.

Make Proper Oral Hygiene Habits Fun

Celebrate the eruption of your child’s new teeth. Take a special trip to the store with your child to pick out their first toothbrush. Get them excited about keeping their teeth healthy.

Do your best to make brushing fun by playing a special song while your child is brushing. Getting your child to look forward to this time together can make this seemingly mundane task into a celebrated daily activity.

If brushing is simply not fun for your child, consider rewarding or celebrating your child for partaking in the behaviors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. If your child is motivated by stickers or points on a rewards chart, be sure to include brushing as one of the good deeds celebrated.

Establishing healthy oral health habits in children is vital to their overall health. Whether at-home care is a game, special time together or a chore to check off the list, make sure your child is receiving proper oral hygiene care at home from a young age to prevent further intervention later.

Welcome to Our Pediatric Dental Office

If you’d like to meet our Winchester pediatric team for an enjoyable pediatric dental experience for your child, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We’re confident you and your child will love our compassionate, fun environment.

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester
Phone: (540) 667-5437
Url: http://valleysmilesva.com
1705 Amherst St #201
Winchester, VA 22601

Children’s Dentist Winchester | Should My Child’s Permanent Teeth Be Coming in Yet?

Losing baby teeth is a significant rite of passage for young children, and it can be exciting for kids with hopes that the tooth fairy pays them a visit. But this rite of passage is important for parents, too. As a pediatric dental office, one of the common questions we hear from parents is regarding the proper timing for permanent teeth to fully appear. While every child is different, the average timeframe for an adult tooth to replace a baby tooth is about 6 months. In some instances this timeframe can be longer, for a number of reasons. Learn more about a few of the more common reasons some teeth take more time to come in.     

  • Teeth Spacing: Occasionally, baby teeth can come in too close together. Close spacing can cause issues when a baby tooth is lost and the new tooth is coming in. There may not be enough space for the new tooth to properly grow in. When this happens, the tooth may take longer to come in.  
  • Impacted Teeth: An impacted tooth is normally caused when a baby tooth is lost prematurely, such as a tooth being knocked out. The emerging tooth can get lodged inside the bone, preventing it from emerging. This can also happen with a tooth that is partially exposed, creating a partially impacted tooth. 
  • Incorrect Growth: Children’s teeth, more commonly than not, have a non-uniform appearance. In some instances, baby teeth can be misplaced which causes the adult teeth to come down in the wrong location. 

Sometimes new teeth struggle to erupt with no apparent cause. If you feel your child may be experiencing one of these permanent teeth growth issues, consult our pediatric dentist, Dr. Gaurav Agarwal. We can determine if there is a cause and take the correct steps to start to improve the situation. If there is an issue with adult tooth eruption, the sooner it’s addressed the better. 

It’s important to regularly schedule dental cleanings and examinations for your children. During these visits with our pediatric dentist, we’ll monitor your child’s smile as it continues to transition. This allows our dentist to be more interceptive with any issues that may arise, making any treatments easier to manage as your child continues to grow. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, contact our office Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester today.

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester
Phone: (540) 667-5437
Url: http://valleysmilesva.com
1705 Amherst St #201
Winchester, VA 22601

Pediatric Dentist in Winchester | Why Every Child Deserves Great Dentistry

If our children are the future, we have a responsibility to ensure the next generation has the tools and skills they need to succeed. Without question, proper education, quality healthcare, and good oral health habits are at the foundation of this effort. Unfortunately for some, dental care can sometimes fall by the wayside when it comes to healthcare priorities. All the more reason why pediatric dental care is an essential part of making sure every child has access to the great dentistry services they deserve.

Maximize Overall Health

It may not be well known, but oral health has a large and direct role in overall health. If a child doesn’t receive quality dental care, it can cause problems not only with their dental health, but in other areas of their overall wellbeing. It’s important to know dental health and overall health go hand-in-hand. As with adults, routine dental cleanings and oral examinations should be scheduled about every six months. 

Prevent Future Dental Problems

Preventive dentistry, including routine dental cleanings and oral examinations, are the foundation for quality dentistry. Regularly scheduled visits to the dentist will ensure a child’s oral health is monitored and maintained. As children grow up they experience many changes related to oral health. Pediatric dentists are trained to monitor your child’s developing dental health, including the eruption of baby teeth and the growth of permanent teeth. Getting ahead of problems like crowding or decay can protect and preserve your child’s precious smile.

Education on Good Oral Habits

Education is important for a child’s development. Education related to dentistry can help start any child on the right path to maintaining their oral health. Sharing techniques for brushing or even explaining why we brush can give kids the informational foundation they need for maintaining their oral health. Pediatric dentists can only do so much during regularly scheduled visits to maintain oral health. Empowering children to start and keep a good oral hygiene routine will continue to benefit them throughout their lives. 

There’s nothing more beautiful than a child’s smile. Granting children access to quality pediatric dentistry from a young age will help set a trend for them to follow as they grow into adulthood. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, contact our pediatric dental office today.

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester

Phone: (540) 667-5437

Url: http://valleysmilesva.com

1705 Amherst St #201 Winchester, VA 22601

 

Pediatric Dentist Winchester | 3 Reasons Your Child Needs a Pediatric Dentist

Helping children establish a foundation of quality oral health care at a young age is very important. Part of this foundation is built upon the professional dental care your child receives. That’s why choosing to use a professional pediatric dentist is a great way to set your child up for a lifetime of good oral health habits. Here are a few reasons why speciality pediatric dental care has benefits for both you and your child.

  1. Specialty Training. Pediatric dentists are not only dentists that focus on younger patients. Additional training is required for those who wish to go into pediatric dentistry. Dentists looking to focus on pediatrics must successfully obtain their degree before focusing on obtaining a pediatric dental license. The average residency time needed to specialize in pediatric dentistry is between 2-3 years. Having the additional years of training helps separate pediatric dentists from other dentists when it comes to treatment protocols, and this training helps them deliver the best possible care and comfort to your child.
  1. A Child-Friendly Office. It’s non uncommon for young children to have fear about going to the dentist, viewing it as a “scary” place. Pediatric dental offices do their best to put this stigma to rest. Often painted in fun color schemes, the offices are designed to look inviting. Often, waiting areas have child-centric activities such as toys, games, books, or even children’s programming on TV,  Combining the office with a professional pediatric dental staff can put you and your child’s mind at ease. Our Winchester dental staff can not only provide quality care but can help by telling jokes or even offering a small prize like a sticker once treatment is completed. The office environment can only help so much, but having the right pediatric dental team can turn a good experience into a great one. 
  1. Teaching Your Child to Care for Their Teeth. Visiting a pediatric dentist for a cleaning and dental examination is very important, but being able to teach kids to take care of their teeth is also essential. Pediatric dental staff members take the time to help educate kids with steps like showing them how to properly brush and floss their teeth. This makes your job of reinforcing good habits at home that much easier. 

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, contact our Winchester dental office today. Our dental team is here to provide your child with the best dental care and to help your child learn and understand the importance of proper oral hygiene.

Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester

Phone: (540) 667-5437

Url: http://valleysmilesva.com

1705 Amherst St #201 Winchester, VA 22601

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | Should I Be Concerned About A Thumb Sucking Habit?

Thumb sucking is one of the most recognizable behaviors found in children. Sucking is a natural reflex and infants and young children may use thumbs, fingers, pacifiers, and other objects on which to suck. It may make them feel secure and happy, or provide a sense of security at difficult periods. Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may even encourage sleep. Studies have proposed that as many as 90% of children have engaged in this type of activity in their lives. We have even seen that thumb sucking can begin in the mother’s womb during pregnancy. It’s natural, safe, and can be quite helpful to parents, as their baby learns to soothe themselves from time to time.

Whether this oral fixation is satisfied with a thumb or the commonly used pacifier, most children discontinue this practice before long. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states that most children stop thumb sucking on their own between the ages of 2 and 4.

Once your baby’s first set of teeth are in and thumb sucking persists, there is a chance that this habit could push the teeth slightly forward. Fortunately, this will in no way affect the placement of the adult teeth or add to the cost of your child’s future dental bills. Thumb sucking, even in toddlers, is considered normal. It does not mean there is anything wrong with your child and that they should feel embarrassed or ashamed. Even the most persistent thumb sucker ordinarily stops on their own by the time toddlerhood has ended.

Thumb sucking infrequently continues past the age of four. This is usually found to be the result of too much attention or negative reinforcement given to the habit in previous years. Beyond this age, thumb sucking can begin to impact the alignment of the adult teeth, so it is best your child shed the habit sooner rather than later.

How do you help them with this? Don’t reprimand them because of it, don’t remove the thumb from their mouth and don’t mention it. This is where their growing awareness and social cues come in handy. As your child begins to notice that the kids around them aren’t sucking their thumbs anymore, they won’t want to either. They will also start to discover other skills or items to give them comfort and security. Peer pressure becomes a much greater deterrent than a parent’s disapproval.

What Can I Do to Support my Child Through Thumb Sucking?

  • Insecurity often causes anxiety in children and this may lead to thumb sucking. Instead of reprimanding them, try to focus on what is making them feel anxious.
  • Parents who provide comfort and positive reinforcement to their children will see a less likelihood of thumb sucking.
  • Take note of the times your child tends to suck on their thumb and create diversions during these occasions.
  • Ask your child’s dentist to speak with them about the impact thumb sucking will have on their mouths.
  • Place a band-aid or a sock on your child’s thumb as a reminder to avoid putting their thumb or fingers in their mouth.

Thumb sucking can be a troublesome habit for parents, mostly when it feels like your child is the only one still engaging in the behavior. Permitting your child to find other ways of comforting themselves is more helpful to them in the end. If you have any other questions on how to improve your child’s oral health, please give our Winchester pediatric dental office a call. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, visit 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 | Why Baby Teeth Are Just as Important as Permanent Teeth

Your child’s primary teeth (commonly called “baby teeth”) are pretty interesting, and we’re not just saying that because we’re pediatric dentists. In most mouths, there are 20 primary teeth in total. They are already present in your child’s jaw at the time of birth and they will usually begin to appear between the ages of 6-12 months.

Usually referred to as teething, this process can be an important and exciting stage in you and your child’s life. We probably all have at least one story of a lost baby tooth. However, despite their cultural significance, many fail to see the health-related importance of these teeth. One question we get quite frequently is, “If my child’s baby teeth are just going to fall out anyway, is it even worth taking care of them?”

While it may seem like caring for your child’s baby teeth isn’t all that important, nothing could be further from the truth. Called “Nature’s Braces” by some dentists, baby teeth are incredibly important to a child’s overall health and development.

When baby teeth are lost too early, due to decay or some other factor, the gaps left behind can cause major issues in the development of your child’s permanent teeth. As permanent teeth start to come in, they can drift into the empty space left behind by a missing primary tooth, making it difficult for other teeth to come in straight. The end result is often a crooked and misaligned smile that requires expensive orthodontic care in the future.

Additionally, baby teeth are necessary to help your child in everything from chewing and speaking to smiling with confidence.

Primary teeth are important to more than just the tooth fairy and are critical to your child’s development. To make sure they stay healthy and do their job, help your child brush their teeth at least twice a day and participate in all the other aspects of a great oral hygiene routine.

As a part of that routine, make sure that you continue to schedule regular dental appointments for your child at our Winchester pediatric dental office. We are specialists in providing excellent, kid-focused dental care in a warm and welcoming environment. Contact Valley Pediatric Dentistry of Winchester to set up your next appointment today. 

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

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