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 | 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 Pediatric Dentist | How to Make your Child Comfortable While Visiting the Dentist

Our patients love visiting our office. We make it a priority to make sure every child feels safe and comfortable when visiting us. We focus on keeping your children educated and happy with their oral health. Below are a few tips on how to make your child comfortable while visiting the dentist.

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | How to Make your Child Comfortable While Visiting the Dentist

Be open about it at home

Sometimes children are uncomfortable with the dentist simply because it is unfamiliar territory. We encourage you to openly talk with your children about the dentist and the benefits of visiting us. We have also seen that educating your children on their teeth can spark their curiosity. You can even “play dentist” with your children at home where you take turns examining each other’s mouths.

Visit the dentist regularly

With unfamiliarity of something there almost always comes fear. You can ease these fears with regular visits to the dentist, so it becomes part of your children’s routines. We recommend regular visits to our office every six months to one year for you and your children. This will not only ensure your child will become more familiar and comfortable with the dentist, but also that they are receiving the best oral care possible.

Make oral health fun

Brushing together as a family can encourage your children to take care of their teeth and make it a regular part of their daily routines. This will encourage them to want to visit the dentist to show off the hard work they put in to their oral health. You can also implement other fun activities such as brushing to music, letting them pick out a toothbrush, or using fun flavors of toothpaste.

We hope these ideas will help your children become more familiar with the dentist. We are excited to meet you and your children and know that any visit you make to our office will be fun, safe, and comfortable for everyone involved. If you have any more questions, please contact our office or schedule a visit today.

Pediatric Dentist 22601 | Plaque: Your Teeth’s Number One Enemy

When buying a toothbrush, toothpaste, or coming in to our office, you often hear the word “plaque” associated with the health of your teeth. Plaque is one of the main reasons why it is so important to keep up with a daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing two times each day for at least two minutes, and flossing regularly as well. Here’s what you need to know about plaque and what it can do to your smile. 

What is Plaque? 

If you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while, you might feel a film-like, sticky buildup on your teeth. This is plaque, a bacteria layer that grips onto your teeth. There isn’t anything you can do to stop plaque from forming, but brushing and flossing as well as keeping up with regular dental visits are your best defenses for cleaning plaque off your teeth. 

What Plaque Does to Your Teeth & Mouth 

Without regular brushing and cleaning, plaque builds up and multiplies. As plaque is left untreated, it hardens to form tartar (also known as calculus). Plaque also leads to decay, as it produces an acid that damages your teeth. When you come into our office for a dental examination, we thoroughly clean your teeth to ensure that any buildup is taken care of. Tartar can cause staining on your teeth if left untreated. Plaque is the leading cause of gingivitis, causing your gums to swell and become red or bloody. 

What You Can Do 

The most important steps of keeping plaque in check is to stick to a daily brushing routine. This means brushing twice each day, for two minutes each time, and flossing at least once daily. Plaque occurs naturally, and when you come into our office for a complete examination, we work with you to clean off any buildup. Maintaining regular visits to our office is one way to ensure tartar buildup is minimized and managed. It is particularly important that you are brushing your teeth all the way to the gum, because the gum line is an area that is prone to plaque buildup. Brush gently, as vigorous brushing will only do more damage than good, especially to your gums. 

Sticking to your daily brushing and flossing routine will help keep your teeth free of plaque buildup. Make sure you are brushing in the morning and before bed. If you don’t brush before bed, bacteria and plaque will build up throughout the night. Schedule a visit to our office so our experienced, professional dental team can clean your teeth, giving you a smile you can be proud of. 

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

Orthodontist in Winchester | 4 Ways to Achieve Optimal Oral Health

Keeping up optimal oral health takes more than brushing and flossing. Maintaining oral hygiene demands a bit of work, but it is worth it in the long run. Here are four ways you can improve your dental health right now. 

  1. Replace your toothbrush more often. When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? A month ago? Six months? Most people don’t swap out a new brush often enough, which can lead to reduced brush effectiveness. Change your brush at least every three months. Be sure to switch after having an infection like the cold or flu to prevent reinfection. 
  2. Lay off the fizzy drinks. The acids present in soda wear away enamel, weakening your teeth and leaving them vulnerable to decay. In fact, people who drink three or more glasses of soda per day experience about 62% more tooth decay than those who choose another beverage like water. 
  3. Opt for chocolate. Everyone loves a sweet treat now and then, but did you know that certain candies are better for your teeth than others? The American Dental Association reports dark chocolate is the healthiest option, as it is soft and washes off your teeth easier than other candies. Hard, sticky, and sour goodies should be avoided, because they can stick to your teeth and even cause chips or cracks if you bite down too hard. 
  4. Visit your dentist. Trips to our office should occur at least twice a year—not just when you have a toothache. We offer preventative care, vital education, and important cleanings, which are all part of maintaining excellent oral health.  

We are pleased to offer a variety of solutions to keep your smile healthy. We are also able to customize a health plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment today. 

Dentist in Winchester | 7 Ways to Get Your Calcium Dairy-Free

Dentist in Winchester

Calcium is an important mineral for building strong, healthy teeth, but not everyone can tolerate the lactose found in dairy. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. About 65% of people have reduced ability to process lactose past infancy.

If you have difficulty with lactose but want to ensure you are getting the calcium you need, consider one of these non-dairy sources of natural calcium.

  1. Canned seafood, such as sardines and salmon, can be a good source of calcium. These inexpensive options actually contain more calcium than their fresh counterparts. Canned seafood contains small, soft, edible bones that are generally unnoticeable but can be a great way to add calcium to a salad or other dish.
  2. Calcium-fortified juices are available in both orange and cranberry varieties. These juices taste the same as non-fortified options, but contain a substantial amount of calcium. Check the label to ensure it is a calcium-fortified juice.
  3. Soy, rice, and almond milks offer added calcium and can be used as a milk substitute for many dishes. Experiment with different varieties to determine which flavor you like the most for each use. Try one of these milk alternatives on cereal or use in a cooked dish in place of regular milk. Soy, rice, and almond milks are available in a variety of flavors, including plain, sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla, and other options.
  4. Beans are a calcium-rich food. Black-eyed peas and baked beans are particularly high in calcium.
  5. Green vegetables are a good source of natural calcium. Collard, mustard, turnip, and dandelion greens, Chinese cabbage, spinach, kale, okra, and broccoli are all great choices for adding calcium to your diet.
  6. Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, or Brazil nuts are strong sources of calcium. Flaxseeds and sunflower seeds are a great snack or salad additive with calcium. Almond butter, cashew butter, and pumpkin seed butter are a fun and calcium-rich alternative to peanut butter.
  7. Breakfast cereals are highly fortified with several vitamins and minerals, including calcium. Old-fashioned rolled oatmeal adds calcium to your breakfast as well.

Calcium is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. If you have trouble with dairy, don’t let that stop you from consuming your recommended amount of daily calcium.

For more information that can improve your oral health, contact our office.

Pediatric Dentist 22601 | Pacifiers and Teeth Development

Pediatric Dentist 22601

One of the best ways to calm fussy babies is by giving them a pacifier. However, as babies grow this can be a difficult habit to break. The use of pacifiers can cause improper mouth development which leads to abnormal tooth growth and additional complications later in life. Here’s what you need to know about the impact pacifiers have on your baby’s smile.  

Negative Effects of Pacifiers 

Physical development is crucial for children’s overall health in the first few years of their life. What you do now can affect them for their entire life. Pacifiers can influence the shape and alignment of your child’s teeth and jaw. It can move the front teeth forward and you may notice your child developing crooked teeth or bite problems. The front teeth may also not meet when their mouth is closed and there can be changes in the shape of the roof of their mouth. 

Positive Effects of Pacifiers 

While they may contribute to oral health complications, pacifiers do offer several benefits for parents and children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) babies up to one year of age who are offered a pacifier at night have a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  

What You Should Do 

Since pacifiers can be beneficial for other health reasons, you should speak with us about how to wean your baby off of pacifiers. We also recommend that you visit our office for an examination as soon as your child’s first tooth develops.   

Breaking the habit of pacifier use can be difficult, but there are various ways you can wean your child off a pacifier. By following our tips and recommendations, your child can experience the calming effect of pacifiers without developing pacifier teeth. 

Call and schedule your child’s next appointment with our team today.