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 | Simple Tips to Prepare Your Child for Braces

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

1. Include them in discussions about treatment options.

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

2. Describe what to expect during treatment.

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

3. Stock up on soft foods.

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

4. Invest in orthodontic wax.

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

5. Focus on the benefits.

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

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

 

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

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

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

Easy Peesy

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

Meet and Greet

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

Better Seen Than Heard

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

 

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

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | How Chocolate Affects the Health of Your Teeth

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | How Chocolate Affects the Health of Your Teeth

Did you know that chocolate might not be as bad for your teeth as people may have thought? You can now eat your favorite treat without feeling guilty. Studies have shown that there are benefits to eating chocolate, however, not all chocolate is created equal. It is important to note that these benefits apply to dark chocolate, not milk chocolate or white chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.

A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:

  • 11 grams of fiber
  • 67% Iron
  • 58% Magnesium
  • 89% Copper
  • 98% Manganese
  • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium

Here are more advantages to eating dark chocolate and how to maintain good oral health while doing so.

Chocolate and Your Teeth

Chocolate is a candy that dissolves quickly in your mouth, resulting in less time on your teeth. It does less damage than a chewy or sticky candy because the sugar doesn’t cling to your teeth as long.

Chocolate and Your Health

Cocoa and dark chocolate are also a powerful source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease, cancer, and other conditions. The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.

Chocolate Benefits

Eating chocolate can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. A study also showed that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.

Remember to eat responsibly as too much sugary food can be harmful, regardless of the benefits. Eating dark chocolate and brushing your teeth after will reduce the negative effects of chocolate.

While you can indulge on your favorite chocolate treat occasionally, be sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Brush at least twice each day for two minutes, and floss regularly. To schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our team.

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | Can You Inherit Oral Health Issues?

Winchester VA Pediatric Dentist | Can You Inherit Oral Health Issues?

Most serious oral health issues can be prevented by maintaining an effective routine of dental hygiene and in-office care. However, you could be at higher risk for some oral illnesses due to hereditary factors. Awareness and proper treatment can help minimize these risks. Here are a few of the most common oral health concerns that are affected by genetics.

Tooth decay – One of the most common oral issues, some tooth decay has been linked to a genetic deficiency of a protein called DEFB1. If your parents experienced an unusually high rate of tooth decay, then you may want to be more vigilant regarding your own dental care.

Oral cancer – Certain genetic factors can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Our doctor recommends annual oral cancer screening for early identification and treatment. In addition, certain lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption, can help reduce your risk of oral cancer.

Periodontal disease – Recent research has found that some forms of gum disease may be linked to mutations in genes that affect immunity and inflammatory response.

Misaligned or supernumerary (extra) teeth – Genetics can play a role in having misaligned or even extra teeth. The size of your jaw is determined mostly through heredity, and is the most common reason for an overbite, underbite, or dental crowding.

Canker sores – In most cases, canker sores are an isolated reaction to fatigue, stress, or menstrual cycles. However, there are certain inherited diseases that count canker sores among their symptoms. Crohn’s disease and Celiac sprue are two such conditions.

While you may not be able to avoid hereditary oral health issues entirely, we can help minimize or even reverse their effects with proper treatment and care. If you suffer from any of these inherited conditions, contact our office for an oral health evaluation. We can help.

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 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.

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.

 

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)

Winchester Pediatric Dentist | Gear Up – Protect Your Child’s Teeth

Pediatric Dentist in Winchester

Pediatric Dentist in WinchesterLosing a tooth can make simple tasks difficult. A missing tooth can impact the way you smile, eat, and talk. If your child plays sports, they are at a higher risk for losing a tooth. It is important for them to visit us to discuss potential protective solutions. Mouth guards are a useful tool for keeping your child’s teeth healthy. Here’s what you need to know.

What do Mouthguards Do?

Mouthguards help protect the teeth. They are a line of defense in situations where an injury may occur. In addition to protecting teeth, they help cushion the tongue, jaw, and lips from injury. Usually, a mouthguard protects the top row of teeth because they protrude out further than the bottom set.

Who Should Wear a Mouthguard?

If your child plays sports, particularly high-contact sports, they should wear a mouthguard. Hockey, football, wrestling, and boxing can all present situations where teeth may become injured. Think of a mouthguard as a necessary component to your child’s set of equipment. It may also be helpful for non-contact sports players to wear a mouthguard. Even baseball players and gymnasts can benefit from using one to protect against an oral injury.

Custom vs. Store-Bought

Ideally, your child should wear a custom-fitted mouthguard. There are options available at stores, but these often do not fit well. Having a mouthguard that fits comfortably and does not impeded talking or breathing is important. At your child’s next visit, ask us about fitting your child for a mouthguard. If your child wears braces, we can help you find a solution that keeps their teeth safe during orthodontic treatment.

Your child’s teeth deserve to be protected. Imagine how difficult it would be to talk, eat, drink, or smile with a missing tooth. Young athletes put their mouths at risk each time they practice or compete. Make sure they have the right gear to stay safe.

For questions about your child’s dental care or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.