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 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 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 Pediatric Dentist | Can Teething Affect More Than My Child’s Mouth?

It is a common belief that teething causes secondary symptoms such as a runny nose, irritability, high fever, or problems with sleeping. However, studies have shown that these types of concerns are caused by health issues unrelated to teething. Here are some of the things to expect during teething, and some that are often attributed to teething, but are better discussed with your child’s doctor.

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | Can Teething Affect More Than My Child’s Mouth?

A Teething Breakdown

Teething generally begins around 6-12 months of age, and can 24 months or more to complete. Each tooth eruption lasts about a week – 4 days before the tooth breaks through, followed by 3 days of healing. During these episodes, it is common to see some minor symptoms. Your child may experience a low-grade fever (around 99.0°F), excessive drooling, chewing obsession, gum irritation and discomfort, and/or a slight facial rash during tooth eruption. These symptoms are all normal and should pass within a few days.

What Teething Doesn’t Cause

While teething may cause the mild reactions listed above, more serious symptoms like those below, are not related to teething:

·         Runny Nose

·         High Fever

·         Vomiting

·         Digestive issues (Diarrhea, cramping)

·         Coughing

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms for an extended time, consult your child’s doctor.

Your child should have a dental visit within the first 6 months of tooth eruption. It is important to have examinations done early, so you can start them on a path of life-long oral health. If your child is teething, our team is more than happy to help. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Winchester Dentist | How Candy Threatens Your Child’s Smile

Dentist in Winchester

Dentist in WinchesterHow often does your child eat candy? According to a study conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, children under 12 consume an average of 49 pounds of sugar in one year. While candy is not the sole source of sugar in a child’s diet, the impacts of sugary candy treats are particularly harmful to teeth. Here’s what you need to know about candy and how it might be damaging your child’s smile.

The Impact of Sugar on Teeth

The real culprit in candy is the high sugar content. Certain types of bacteria that are present in your mouth can feed on sugar. These destructive bacteria then create acid that wears away tooth enamel. When enamel is weakened, your risk of developing decay increases. Your mouth is effective at neutralizing acids and aiding minerals that strengthen enamel if the amount of sugars and acids is not excessive. Your mouth can only do so much, which makes it essential to limit your sugar intake and maintain a regular and thorough oral hygiene routine.

Watch Out for Sticky, Sugary Candies

Not all candies are made equal. For a general rule of thumb, the sticker the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. Sticky candies leave sugary residue on your teeth long after you are done eating. This gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to start demineralizing enamel. Watch out for sticky candies like gum drops and taffy.

Suckers, lollipops, and hard sucking candies are troublesome because they are in your mouth for an extended period of time. Like sticky candies, this allows for more time for harmful bacteria to get to work by weakening your teeth. You can also chip or crack a tooth if you bite too hard.

Other problematic candies include those that are gummy and coated in sugar. Think of gummy worms or another sour covered, chewy critter. Not only are they high in sugar content, but they also typically contain harmful acids that contribute to a loss of enamel.

Steps for Preventing Decay

You can help your child by limiting their candy and sugar intake. In some instances, this can be tricky and even out of your control when your child is at school or a friend’s house. What you can do is instill good oral hygiene habits in your child. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes twice each day. You can make brushing fun. Sing a song together for the two minutes, and allow them to choose a fun toothbrush and toothpaste flavor.

Candy is a fun treat. You don’t have to take it away from your child altogether, but limit their exposure to such treats and educate them about the impacts candy can have on their teeth. When left untreated, decay can spread leading to pain and infection. Maintaining a schedule of regular visits to our office is essential. More than just a cleaning, we will provide a thorough examination to check for decay.

If you haven’t already scheduled your child’s next appointment, please contact our office.

 

Winchester Pediatric Dentist | Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

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.

1705 Amherst Street, Suite 201
Winchester, VA 22601

Phone:

(540) 667-KIDS (5437)

Pediatric Dentist in Winchester | Holiday Treats and Your Teeth

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

Between Halloween and Christmas, there are numerous tasty treats and foods to enjoy. For many people, food is the highlight of the holiday season. However, certain foods and candies are particularly damaging to your teeth. If you want to keep your smile looking healthy into the new year, here are some tips.

Candy Canes

Candy canes make for a tasty treat, but they are best left as decorations instead. Candy canes contain large amounts of sugar which can contribute to tooth decay. Also, if you bite into a candy cane you could chip a tooth. Our team suggests hard candies might be something for you to avoid this holiday season.

Gumdrops & Chewy Candies

If you are still working through your Halloween stash of candy, it might be a good idea to avoid chewy candies like gumdrops. These candies are known for sticking to your teeth. Excessive chewing can also lead to TMJ pain for some. We recommend leaving the Dots and Jujubes for decorating your gingerbread house instead.

Hot Chocolate

Warming up with a mug of hot chocolate makes a gloomy winter afternoon much more enjoyable. But hot chocolate is not particularly friendly to your teeth. Like coffee, the beverage can cause staining. Hot chocolate also contains excessive amounts of sugar, especially if you add marshmallows, which can contribute to tooth decay. If you insist on drinking hot chocolate, consider drinking water shortly afterwards to wash away some of the cocoa. We suggest brushing your teeth after drinking beverages such as coffee or hot chocolate.

Fruitcake

Another common holiday food to avoid this time of year is fruitcake. The sticky, sugary cake can lead to tooth decay. If you are someone who has had some dental work done in the past, such as crowns and fillings, fruitcake is your enemy.

Eggnog

You might want to consider a drink other than eggnog. Like most other foods on this list, the sugar content is something to avoid. The alcohol in it can lead to dry mouth, which is a particularly ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

We are all going to indulge this holiday season. Schedule a visit to our office after the holidays for a thorough cleaning and examination.

The holidays offer much in terms of tasty foods and sweet treats. But just because you might have some time off from work doesn’t mean you should take time off from your daily oral hygiene routine. Continue good practices such as flossing and brushing twice-daily. Avoid sweet, sugary treats, and if you have crowns or fillings, avoid things that might loosen them. Following these simple steps will keep your smile looking bright well past the holiday season.

For more tips on keeping your teeth healthy, or to schedule a visit, contact our office.

1705 Amherst Street, Suite 201
Winchester, VA 22601

Phone:

(540) 667-KIDS (5437)

22601 Pediatric Dentist | Help Your Child Avoid Dental Fear

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

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.

1705 Amherst Street, Suite 201
Winchester, VA 22601

Phone:

(540) 667-KIDS (5437)

Pediatric Dentist in Winchester | Say Cheese!

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

It has long been known that dairy products contain high amounts of calcium, which is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. However, not all dairy works in the same ways. Did you know that a recent study has found that cheese can actually help protect teeth against cavities?

How does cheese prevent cavities?

Eating cheese helps stimulate the production of saliva in your child’s mouth, which washes away sugars, acids, and bacteria on their teeth. Additionally, cheese is a great source of both calcium and phosphorous, which can help strengthen tooth enamel. What’s more, the scientists who performed the study found that some of the other compounds found in cheese seem to adhere to tooth enamel, further protecting the teeth from acids in the mouth.

Are all cheeses the same?

No, some cheeses are healthier for your family than others. To get the greatest benefit from your child’s cheese intake, stick with real cheese varieties, rather than processed cheeses. American cheese, cheese dips, and pre-packaged cheese products, such as those found in jars or spray cans, have added sugars to enhance their flavor. These sugars can be harmful to teeth, rather than protecting them. In addition, these types of cheese products contain a significantly reduced amount of actual cheese content. These processed cheeses can even wear down tooth enamel, increasing risk of decay.

What kinds of cheese should I give my child?

There are hundreds of types of real cheese available, which are packed with calcium and great for tooth protection. If your child enjoys aged cheeses, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey jack are all tasty options. If he or she prefers softer cheeses, Mozzarella, Brie, or Camembert may be a great way to make your child smile. Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and other similar cheeses have much to offer for a child with a more expansive palate.

What if we’re on a low-fat diet?

Good news! The fat content of your cheese choices do not affect its ability to protect your child’s teeth. The low-fat or non-fat versions of your child’s favorite varieties of cheese contain just as much calcium, phosphorous, and other tooth-protecting compounds as the full-fat varieties.

With so many great options to choose from, consider offering your child cheese instead of sugary or starchy options for a snack or end of meal treat. Cheese tastes great and is healthy for your child and their teeth. For more ideas for healthy snacking, contact our pediatric dental office.

1705 Amherst Street, Suite 201
Winchester, VA 22601

Phone:

(540) 667-KIDS (5437)