Protect Your Child’s Teeth With Dental Sealants | Pediatric Dentist in Washington DC

During your visit, our pediatric dentist in 20003 may suggest dental sealants for your child. Sealants are a great way to prevent your child from developing tooth decay.

Why Sealants?

Sealants are essential to preventing tooth decay. They are applied to the back teeth, in the hard to reach places where decay is most likely to take hold.


The further a tooth is in the back of the mouth, the more difficult it is to maintain its health. Sealants are usually recommended for children and teens, but they can be beneficial for adults as well.

Did you know that sealants can prevent up to 80 percent of decay within the first two years alone? Even after four years, they will continue to prevent 50 percent of decay.

On the other hand, children who don’t get sealants are three times as likely to develop tooth decay.

When Should My Child Get Them?

Once your child’s molars start developing between the ages of 6 and 12, you will definitely want to talk to our team about the best way to go about keeping these molars healthy. As soon as the molars come through, dental sealants will be most effective.

By scheduling regular exams with our dentist, we will be able to determine when the best time to apply sealants would be.

What Is Expected With Sealants?
 

First, we will regularly clean your child’s teeth, and then apply a special cleaning gel to their teeth. Next, the gel is cleaned off before the coating of sealant is applied. In seconds, a small blue light is used to harden the sealant.

There is no need to worry about pain when getting sealants, because they are actually one of the simplest and quickest treatments performed in our office.

Should I Have Any Concerns?

There are really no concerns to be had about sealants. There are no side-effects, and allergic reactions are very unlikely.

If you have concerns, be sure to discuss any allergies your child has with our doctor to be sure we are treating your child with proper and safe care.

What Are the Next Steps?
 

It is crucial to schedule regular visits to our office so our doctor can check the status of your child’s oral health. Regular exams and dental cleanings, combined with the application of our long-lasting sealants, is the best way to maintain your child’s smile.

Contact our pediatric dental office in Washington, DC today for more information on maintaining a healthy smile and to discuss any questions you might have about dental sealants.

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003

What Parents Should Know About Teething | Pediatric Dentist in 20003

Teething is a natural occurrence that is necessary for the growth of your child. Although it can be difficult to handle, our pediatric dentist in 20003 has information designed to help you to prepare for this stage in your child’s life.

Common Teething Symptoms
 

There is a lot of misinformation out there about teething, so it is important to understand what exactly to expect. Knowing the correct symptoms will help you to know when you must contact a dentist or doctor for your child.

The symptoms of teething typically include irritability, trouble sleeping, fussiness, drooling excessively, loss of appetite, and chewing on fingers.

Abnormal symptoms would be if your baby has a fever, rash, diarrhea, severe gum swelling, redness, or bleeding. If your baby has any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately to make sure it is not an indication of a larger problem.

Teething Treatment

If your baby is experiencing sore or inflamed gums, it can be quite difficult to calm them down. A solution to soothe their mouth would be trying a chilled pacifier or teething ring. You can also try massaging their gums gently with a clean finger or dampened piece of gauze.

For the safety of your child, do not use topical pain relievers or homeopathic teething gels and tablets. These forms of relief have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA, which means they might be dangerous for young children.

Caring for Your Baby’s New Teeth

Dental care is needed as soon as your baby develops their first tooth. When that first tooth emerges you should gently wipe your baby’s gums with a dampened cloth at least twice a day. Also, once your child develops two teeth that touch, you should begin using floss or an interdental brush daily.

Within 6 months of developing their first tooth, your child should visit the dentist. When telling your child about the dentist, maintain a positive attitude so they feel as comfortable as possible. 

We will check your little one’s teeth and ensure a calm and comfortable first visit. If you and baby are ready, contact our pediatric dental office in Washington, DC to schedule an appointment and to learn more about early childhood tooth development.

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003

Switching Your Baby from Bottles to Sippy Cups | 20003 Pediatric Dentist

Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, at some point you will want your baby to start drinking from a cup. It is not only healthy for your child’s overall development; it is better for their teeth. 

While weaning can be a gradual process, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests putting the bottle away for good by age 18 months.

The Danger of Baby Bottles

Prolonged bottle-drinking can be harmful to your child’s oral health in two ways: First, long-term sucking can cause your child’s palate to narrow, increasing the likelihood they will require orthodontic treatment later on; second, bottles expose a baby’s teeth to sweet liquids over an extended period. Formula, cow’s milk, and juice contain sugars that increase the risk of tooth decay.

To help protect your child’s teeth, our pediatric dentist in 20003 recommends to encourage them to start drinking from a cup by their first birthday. Additionally, you should begin wiping your baby’s first teeth with a damp gauze or washcloth, graduating to a finger brush or baby toothbrush and a rice-sized smear of toothpaste.

The Best Types of Sippy Cups

Look for a cup with a simple spout rather than a “no spill” spout. Those advertised as “no spill” contain a special valve beneath the spout. While it protects against spilling, it also prevents easy sipping. Instead, these cups require your child to suck hard on the spout, essentially replacing one type of nipple with another. This can slow your child’s sippy cup training.

If spills are a concern, look for a cup with a weighted base that helps keep it upright.

Keep the Bottle to Cup Transition Gradual

Be patient as you phase out the bottle in favor of the cup. Once your child can use the cup, limit the bottle to plain water; this makes the bottle less desirable. Provide the bottle less often over time to allow your child time to adjust. Once your child has mastered training cups, start offering a small plastic cup without a lid and phase out the training cup.

Breastfeeding moms can skip the bottle phase altogether and decide how often they want to nurse in tandem with the sippy cup.

Decisions about weaning can be challenging, as every baby is different. Keep in mind, however, that everyone learns to drink from a cup eventually. For more information about bottle to cup transitions or to schedule a pediatric dental appointment for your toddler, contact our pediatric dental office in Washington, DC.

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003

5 Ways to Get Your Child to Care for Their Teeth | Pediatric Dentist Washington DC

For some parents, it can be challenging to get kids to practice at-home oral care unsupervised. However, the long-term benefits of an early start are worth the effort. Here are some tips to help you make oral health a fun part of your kid’s daily routine.

1. Let Them Choose Their Own Supplies

Let your child pick out their own toothbrush. This will help them take ownership in their oral care routine. There are many toothpaste options for children, too. Let them choose their own with guidance from you and our pediatric dentist.

2. Go High-Tech

Use technology to your advantage: Have them choose an app that prompts them to brush for two minutes to music or a video.

3. Brush and Floss Together

Your child will be much more excited about routine care if it’s framed as a group activity. Brush your teeth next to your child. If you have more than one child, have them brush together, ideally with you. A family routine makes the time more enjoyable and helps your child accept oral hygiene as a normal part of life.

4. Educate and Empower

It’s important that your child understands why practicing good oral hygiene is so important. Without using undue scare tactics, teach them about the consequences of neglecting oral health. We, as your pediatric dentist in 20003, can also show them the best ways to brush and floss and we strive to make every dental visit enjoyable.

5. Reward Good Behavior

A little incentive can go a long way. When trying to coax a child to floss and brush on their own, it might be helpful to implement a simple reward system. For example, your child could track their own brushing on a calendar or reward app and trade in a good week for a prize or privilege.

There are a number of strategies you can use to make brushing a fun part of your child’s day, rather than a chore to be endured. You know your child better than anyone, so feel free to experiment and share them with us so we can pass them along to other parents.

Regular professional cleanings and examinations are essential to an effective oral hygiene routine. Contact our pediatric dental team to schedule your child’s next appointment at our pediatric dental office in Washington, DC.

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003

The Best Age to Get Braces | Washington DC Pediatric Dentist

Braces can help create a straight, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Ideally, any corrections to the bite, jaw, or mouth structure should be performed during adolescence while the mouth is still forming. Here is what you need to know before your child begins treatment with braces.

Does My Child Need Braces?

You might be wondering if your child is a good candidate for orthodontics, and that is a decision made in partnership with your dentist. Braces are primarily used to correct improper bites. If you child has an overbite or underbite, braces may be recommended along with another orthodontic appliance to gently shift jaw position. Additionally, braces are used to correct gaps between teeth as well as teeth that are growing in at a crooked angle.

The Importance of Starting Early

Braces are more effective in younger patients because the jaw structure is still malleable. According to the American Dental Association, the majority of orthodontic treatment cases typically begin between the ages of 8 and 14. Your child’s particular course of treatment is going to be dependent on a number of factors including mouth structure and the progress of erupting adult teeth.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic examination at about age 7. At that age, most primary teeth have erupted and issues such as overcrowding and an uneven bite will be apparent. This, of course, does not mean your child will get braces right away. Our pediatric dentist in 20003 can provide referrals for this type of examination. 

Braces Can Improve Your Child’s Life

It may be difficult for a kid to imagine an extended period of time without being able to eat sticky, gummy foods or chew bubblegum; however, for the right candidate, orthodontics provides many benefits to overall health and well-being. By straightening teeth and closing gaps, your child’s gum health will be improved. Braces can prevent dental complications later in life such as the need for more advanced corrective procedures. Your child’s confidence will also be boosted once they see the results of a straight, beautiful smile.

We invite you and your child to discuss the benefits of having braces with our doctor. During your appointment, we will provide a complete examination and make a recommendation for a treatment plan that will work best for your child.

Our caring, professional team can schedule your child’s appointment at our pediatric dental office in Washington, DC as soon as you get in touch.

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003

7 Experiences Every Child Should Have Before Age 7 | Pediatric Dentist in Washington DC

As you have probably come to realize, children grow up quickly — sometimes too quickly. Make sure you savor each precious moment by giving them the gift of shared experiences. These should be meaningful but do not need to be elaborate.

Here are seven things our dental team in Washington, DC suggests doing with your child before they reach age 7.

  1. Read Together Every Night

Reading with your child before bedtime – or any time – is a great way to bond over a fun story. A reading habit will also help your child learn and improve their reading skills, not to mention ignite their imagination.

  1. Make Art Together

Art projects are always a fun family activity. Do a finger painting, draw your outlines on a long piece of butcher block paper and create life-size likenesses. Your child’s art masterpieces will be a lasting memory of the time you shared together.

  1. Watch the Clouds

When the weather turns nice, enjoy a lazy afternoon outside looking up at the sky. What does your child see in the clouds? Encourage their imagination.

  1. Teach Your Child About Honesty

Childhood provides an important time for instilling good habits and a sense of morality in our children. One of the most important lessons you can teach your child is to always be honest.

  1. Experience Snow

Do you live in a cold climate where it snows in the winter? Embrace the snow and go sledding or build a snowman. If you live where it is warm, make sure your child experiences the magic of a fresh winter snow at least once before they grow up.

  1. Create Family Traditions

Create fun traditions that will transcend time. Your child might be too young to recall a single event, but a yearly occurrence is sure to provide a fun memory when your child grows up. Celebrate half-birthdays or start new traditions with a surprise on Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day. Think small, take photos and create a homemade scrapbook.

  1. Bring Your Child in for an Orthodontic Evaluation

It is important for your child to have an orthodontic evaluation by the time they reach 7. By this age, most children will begin to grow their incisors and molars. The jaw is also still at an age where it can be formed and shaped.

As a parent, you can provide your child with a smile that will last through the years. Treasure each moment you share together, and the smiles that go with them.

If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment, or would like to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our dental office in Washington, DC.

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003

When Should a Child’s Baby Teeth Be Removed? | 20003 Pediatric Dentist

An inevitable part of a child’s growth is that time when primary teeth, commonly known as baby teeth, fall out and adult teeth come in. For many children, primary teeth loosen and fall out on their own, but every child is different.

When you bring your child in for an orthodontic evaluation, we take the development of primary teeth into consideration. Here are some things to remember about your child’s teeth.

Is My Childs’ Tooth Development on Track?

Many parents come to us concerned that their child’s primary teeth have not yet fallen out. Remember that each child’s mouth is going to be unique. Typically, your child will lose their first tooth between ages 6 and 8. This usually continues through ages 10 to 13, when the last of their primary teeth are pushed out by the permanent teeth. Many children experience a break between ages 8 and 10, so don’t be alarmed if your child hasn’t lost any teeth for a while.

Reasons to Remove Primary Teeth

Crowding is an issue when a permanent tooth begins to grow next to a baby tooth. We usually recommend removal in this instance, but it is important to note that this does not solve the issue of crowding. Sometimes, palate expansion is a solution for overcrowded teeth.

Our office uses x-rays and scans to keep track of your child’s dental development. These are valuable resources in determining whether tooth extraction is advisable.

 When to Wait

Sometimes, the best course of action is to wait it out. Your child’s baby teeth have an important function in holding the required space needed for permanent teeth to come in. With it comes to missing teeth, our pediatric dentist in 20003 will decide if the space in between needs to be closed. Keeping teeth in place is also good for keeping gums healthy.

What This Means for Orthodontic Treatment

We start any examination with a careful examination of your child’s teeth. We look at how many they have lost and what teeth still must come in. Your child might lose teeth at a slower pace, and this usually is not cause for concern. However, as children reach age 12 and older, we might consider removing baby teeth when planning orthodontic treatment.

If your child is getting their second molars and has yet to lose some of their baby teeth, we might consider extraction. Rest assured we will keep a careful watch, knowing fast-developing young mouths should be examined regularly.

For more information about tooth development, orthodontics and oral care for children, please contact our pediatric dental office in Washington, DC.

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003

How to Help Sick Kids Maintain a Healthy Mouth | Pediatric Dentist Near Me

When your child has a fever, cough or other sickness, it is natural to concentrate on the issue at hand, not worry about oral health at that moment. However, keeping their mouths clean can be even more important during illness. Here are helpful tips for keeping your child’s mouth healthy when they are sick.

Continue Brushing and Flossing

Daily use of a toothbrush and dental floss helps prevent buildup of harmful germs and bacteria in your child’s mouth. A clean mouth helps keep their immune system stay focused on fighting the cold, flu, or whatever ailment is keeping them in bed. If your child’s illness includes vomiting, their teeth are exposed to acids that can weaken teeth. Help them rinse thoroughly and brush their teeth to avoid damage.

Watch Out for Sugary Medicines

There may be truth to the song lyrics, “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” but it’s not helpful advice when it comes to children’s teeth. Some cough drops and syrups contain high amounts of sugar to improve medicinal flavor. The downside is they can leave sugary residue on the teeth. Look for sugar-free options when possible and have your child rinse well after taking any medicine formulated with sugar.

Keep Your Child Hydrated

A sick child needs plenty of water to stay hydrated, soothe a sore throat, and keep sinuses moist. In addition, dry mouth can occur during illness and increase risk of tooth decay. Drinking water helps combat both dry mouth and congestion.

Disinfect Dental Appliances

If your child has a dental appliance, such as a night guard, retainer, or athletic mouth guard, be sure it is cleaned thoroughly between uses. Contact our office for information on the type of cleanser that is appropriate for your child’s device.

Keep Toothbrush Clean

When your child is well again, replace their toothbrush. Even a clean toothbrush may retain some bacteria or germs following use. To help protect your child from reinfection, discard the used toothbrush in favor of a new one, and disinfect it in between with mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly after disinfecting.

Should You Keep a Dental Appointment?

Yes, your child can go to our pediatric dentist in 20003 if they are recovering from sickness, but there are exceptions. If your child has severe congestion, it will be too difficult and possibly distressing to keep their mouth open for an examination. If your child is vomiting, has a fever, or is contagious, it is better to stay home and reschedule the appointment.

For more tips on keeping teeth healthy through an illness, contact our pediatric dental office in Washington, DC.

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003

What are the Different Tooth Development Stages? | Children’s Dentist in Washington DC

Seeing a child’s first tooth erupt provokes mixed emotions in parents. That cute gummy smile will soon give way to a child’s smile. It can be frustrating when teething pain makes babies irritable, yet it is exciting to witness this human milestone. Understanding the different tooth development stages can help you set your child up for a lifetime of good oral health.

Birth to 3 Years Old

Although they eventually fall out, primary teeth, commonly called baby teeth, play an extremely important role in the different tooth development stages. They hold space in the jaws for the upcoming permanent teeth. Baby teeth begin appearing at about six months of age, almost always starting with the lower central (front) incisors. Primary teeth not only enable your child to chew solid foods; they are important for proper speaking and appearance.

3 to 6 Years Old

By the time your child is 3 years old, they will most likely have all 20 of their primary teeth. This is a critical time for oral health. You should demonstrate proper technique and help your child brush their teeth twice a day, and floss daily.

6 to 12 Years Old

Between the ages of 6 and 12 years old, your child will gradually lose all their primary teeth and their first permanent (adult) teeth will move into place. Permanent teeth affect the position and health of the other adult teeth that will grow in later.

12 to 17 Years Old

After the age of 12, your child will likely have most of their adult teeth. Oral hygiene and health becomes critical because these are the teeth they will have for the rest of their life. Stress the importance of avoiding excess sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. If your kid plays sports, insist they wear a mouth guard to protect tooth trauma. If your child appears to have crooked teeth or an odd bite, visit us so we can evaluate them for braces.

17 to 21 Years Old

The last teeth to appear are wisdom teeth. Often, our pediatric dentist in 20003 recommends that these teeth be removed to prevent overcrowding which can lead to many oral health problems later in life.

Teeth are constantly changing throughout childhood. How you take care of your child’s teeth at different tooth development stages impacts their future oral health. Contact our pediatric dental office in Washington, DC today to schedule your child’s first appointment. Their smile is important; let us partner with you to protect it.

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003

Do Pacifiers Hurt Tooth Development? | Washington DC Pediatric Dentist

Since 1900, pacifiers have been one of the most common ways to soothe fussy babies, but they can be a difficult habit to break as children get older. Excessive use can cause improper mouth development, which leads to abnormal tooth growth and additional complications later in life. Here is what you need to know about whether pacifiers hurt tooth development and impact a baby’s smile.

How Pacifiers Affect Teeth

Pacifiers, also called pacis, binkies and dummies, can influence the shape and alignment of a baby’s teeth and jaw. Used excessively and for a long period, they can push the front teeth forward, leading to crooked teeth or overbite. Pacifier use can also change the shape of the roof of the mouth. Using it after the age of six months can lead to a higher risk of otitis media, a common and painful type of ear infection. 

Benefits of Pacifiers

While they may contribute to oral health complications, pacifiers do offer several benefits. The sucking action itself is calming to babies, teaching them to self-soothe and relax. Pacifiers can relieve pain during minor procedures like immunizations and heel sticks, as well as relieve ear pressure during flights. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), pacifier use at night may lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies one to six months of age.

Use Pacifiers in Moderation

The AAP and American Academy of Family Physicians recommend weaning babies from pacifier use at around six months of age. Research shows prolonged use after two years, and definitely after age four, has the most adverse effect on teeth.

Up to 85 percent of children in the western world use a pacifier at some point, and most do not suffer dental problems as a result. Breaking the habit of pacifier use should begin after six months. The process should be gradual to avoid distressing your child. Talk to our office about the many ways you can wean your baby off of the binky. By following our tips and recommendations, your child can experience the calming effect of pacifiers without developing pacifier teeth.

We also recommend that you visit our office for an examination as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts so we can monitor tooth development. It is never too early to start good dental habits in a child’s life. Call and schedule your child’s next appointment with our team in Washington, DC today.

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003