Avoiding Common Pediatric Dental Problems | Pediatric Dentist in 20003


Keeping your child’s teeth healthy goes beyond brushing them regularly. While regular brushing and flossing are essential for a healthy mouth, there are some common pediatric dental problems that brushing alone can not solve. You can take steps to make sure that your child’s teeth are healthy and strong so that your next visit to the pediatric dentist is a breeze. If your child has any of these common dental problems, ask your pediatric dentist about preventative measures. 

Use fluoride to strengthen weakened enamel.

Enamel is the hard, protective layer that covers healthy teeth. Tooth enamel protects teeth from bacteria and acids that cause tooth decay, and it also prevents sensitivity to temperature and sweetness.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that prevents tooth decay. Fluoride hardens the enamel of growing teeth in children whose teeth aren’t fully developed. Additionally, fluoride contributes to the hardening of enamel on adult teeth, which have already emerged.

There are a variety of fluoride treatment options available to your child, including fluoride toothpastes, mouth rinses, and professional fluoride applications. The topical treatments help to strengthen the enamel of existing teeth.

Fluoride treatments are an excellent way to prevent tooth decay and other common pediatric dental problems.

Remove any plaque or tartar buildup.

You should not substitute regular brushing for professional cleanings, even if your child is a pro at brushing their teeth. Plaque and tartar buildup can’t be removed by regular brushing alone, so dental cleanings can help prevent common pediatric dental problems like cavities or more serious issues like abscessed teeth.

Prevent cavities with a healthy diet.

Cavities caused by tooth decay are a common pediatric dental problem. If your child consumes the wrong foods, their diet can play a major role in causing tooth decay. Parents should take note of what foods can cause tooth problems and try to cut them out of children’s diets.

When it comes to tooth decay, sugar is the number one culprit, so limit your child’s sugar intake wherever you can. Sugar becomes a food source for bacteria when it gets on your child’s teeth. Sugar is converted into acids by bacteria, leading to decay and cavities in the teeth.

Sticky, sugary foods, such as fruit snacks and dried fruit, should be avoided. Sugars from these foods stick to teeth, giving bacteria plenty of time to feed on them. You should also avoid starchy snacks made from refined carbohydrates. As these starches break down, they form a sticky, sugary paste that bacteria feed on.

Brushing and flossing after eating can reduce your child’s risk of tooth decay and the need for dental treatment in the future.

Dental sealants prevent tooth decay.

Around the age of six, your child’s permanent teeth begin to emerge. There are various pits and fissures on the surface of these adult teeth, which provide a breeding ground for bacteria that cause cavities. Children often struggle to brush well enough to clean out the crevices in their teeth, making cavities incredibly common.

Dental sealants are plastic-like coatings that cover your child’s chewing surfaces. Specifically, they work best on teeth with large chewing surfaces, such as molars. When applied to your child’s permanent teeth, dental sealants prevent food from getting stuck in the crevices and thereby help prevent tooth decay. It is impossible for saliva, bacteria, and food particles to penetrate dental sealants.

When properly cared for, dental sealants can last for up to ten years. All the while, they will be diligently working to prevent common pediatric dental problems and to ensure that your child’s teeth remain in good health.

Regular dental checkups are one of the best ways to prevent common pediatric dental problems. Our pediatric dentist will examine their teeth to ensure that there are no early signs of tooth decay or other problems. To schedule an appointment, please contact our pediatric dental office.

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

Why Baby Teeth Are Actually More Important Than You Might Think | Washington DC Pediatric Dentist

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While most people know that baby teeth are temporary, many do not realize how important they are for the health and development of your child. Baby teeth act as placeholders for permanent teeth, and they also help your child learn to speak and chew properly. Additionally, baby teeth help your child’s jaw develop properly and can impact the alignment of permanent teeth.

For all of these reasons, it is important to take care of your child’s baby teeth and to see a dentist regularly. You should also make sure to teach your child good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, so that their teeth will be healthy and strong.

The functions of baby teeth

Most people are aware that baby teeth eventually fall out to be replaced by adult teeth. However, few people know the important role that baby teeth play in the proper development of the mouth and jaw. Although they are temporary, baby teeth are essential for future oral health.

Baby teeth are important for a number of reasons. They help the mouth develop properly, they aid in speech development, and they promote proper chewing and eating habits. Baby teeth also hold space in the jaw for adult teeth, which helps prevent crowding and misalignment of the teeth.

So, although baby teeth eventually fall out, they serve a vital purpose during early childhood development.

The link between baby teeth and adult teeth

You may have heard the old wives’ tale that if you take good care of your baby teeth, your adult teeth will be strong and healthy. But is there any truth to this claim?

It turns out that there is a link between baby teeth and adult teeth. Baby teeth act as placeholders for adult teeth, and if baby teeth are lost too early, it can affect the alignment of adult teeth. Additionally, baby teeth help to form the jawbone, which provides support for adult teeth. Therefore, it’s important to take care of baby teeth so that adult teeth can be healthy and strong.

Why is good oral hygiene important for baby teeth?

Good oral hygiene is important for baby teeth for several reasons. 

  • First, baby teeth are important for the proper development of adult teeth. If baby teeth are not properly cared for, they can become infected and cause problems for the adult teeth as they come in. 
  • Second, baby teeth are important for proper development of the jaw and for proper speech development. If baby teeth are not cared for, it can cause problems with the alignment of the adult teeth and with speech development. 
  • Finally, baby teeth are important for aesthetics. Baby teeth that are not cared for can become discolored and can cause problems with the appearance of the child’s smile.

All of these reasons underscore the importance of taking care of baby teeth and teaching children good oral hygiene habits from an early age. Proper oral hygiene includes brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing once a day, and eating a balanced diet.

Baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth. They not only help guide adult teeth into their proper positions, but they also play an important role in a child’s development. If you have any concerns about your child’s teeth, please contact Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry to schedule an appointment with our Pediatric dentist in Washington DC.

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

Healthy Dietary Choices For Your Child’s Oral Health | Washington DC Pediatric Dentist

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Our children’s oral health can be affected by many factors. Among these factors are their DNA, brushing and flossing habits, dental visits, diet, breathing, and other habits. As our children grow their diets and eating habits evolve. Let’s explore healthy dietary choices to keep in mind when making those new meal plans. 

Foods and beverages to include 


  • Apples- We know they are helpful for our overall health but did you know that due to their texture they help remove plaque from teeth and the gumline?
  • Broccoli and leafy greens- During pregnancy women are told to pack on the folic acid for their baby’s development. These foods continue to provide folic acid for healthy teeth and gums.
  • Carrots- For decades we have been taught that carrots are beneficial for our eyesight but they contain high levels of vitamin A which contributes to strong enamel. 
  • Celery- When eating raw celery the strings that we sometimes find annoying actually act as a natural string of floss and contain plenty of water to aid in rinsing away food debris.
  • Eggs- Eggs are packed with health benefits and are lesser known for contributing to healthy tooth enamel because of their high levels of phosphorous.
  • Greek yogurt and yogurt- Greek yogurt and yogurt are valuable sources of probiotics to maintain good oral bacteria and protein and calcium for healthy teeth. 


  • Milk- We have always been taught that milk builds strong bones but it also builds strong teeth with its healthy amounts of calcium and phosphorus.  
  • Water- Drinking water aids in removing sugar and food debris from your child’s mouth to help in preventing tooth decay.
  • Water with fluoride- Fluoride is effective for the prevention of tooth decay when consumed in proper amounts. Check with your local water services to learn if your drinking water contains fluoride. If not, you can purchase water with added fluoride in the infants section of your grocery store. If you are using a baby formula it is recommended to verify you are using one with added fluoride.

Foods and beverages to reduce or avoid 

  • Acidic foods and beverages- It is necessary for your child to have a healthy intake of fruits. These fruits contain high acidic content that is damaging to tooth enamel and requires your child to brush and floss after eating. Sodas are not only packed with sugars, but they also have high acidity levels and should be avoided.
  • Carbohydrates- Carbohydrates convert into sugar which is the leading cause of diet-related tooth decay.  
  • Chewy or sticky candy- All candy should be eaten in moderation. These types of candy are especially bad for teeth since they are not easily rinsed from teeth. After eating chewy or sticky treats, your child should thoroughly brush and floss their teeth. 
  • Chewy vitamins- Since most parents don’t categorize gummy and chewy vitamins as candy they tend to slip past the radar when it comes to protecting children’s teeth. 
  • Sugary foods and beverages- Be aware of the hidden sugars. Sports drinks can contain more sugar than some sodas. 

While some factors of our children’s oral health are out of our hands, making wise dietary decisions for our children is not. Above we have explored why some healthy dietary options are key to building and maintaining strong teeth for our children. We also explored why we need to avoid or at least limit other dietary options. Developing healthy diet choices, a proper at-home oral hygiene routine, and visiting your child’s pediatric dentist routinely are decision factors that are in our hands. To learn more about how you and your child can develop and maintain healthy dietary choices contact Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry to schedule an appointment with our Washington DC pediatric dentist

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

Building Your Baby’s Smile On a Healthy Foundation | Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry


Did you know that your parents’ oral hygiene routine for you as an infant or the habits you had as a small child could have had an effect on your smile even as an adult? Here, we will discover ways you can give your child a healthy foundation for their smile by creating healthy habits.   

  1. Nighttime feeding 

Before your infant even has any teeth, use a clean, warm, damp cloth or finger brush to cleanse your infant’s tongue and gums after each feeding. Once your little one has their first tooth erupting it is especially important to wipe clean their tongue, gums, and teeth after a nighttime feeding. This is because the sugary film of unswallowed breast milk or formula compromises the enamel and increases the probability of decay. 

  1. Weaning from nighttime feeding 

When your infant is 6 months old they can begin learning to sleep through the night without feedings, this is commonly referred to as night weaning. By this age, they are probably eating higher amounts of solid foods thus reducing their need for breast milk or formula throughout the night. As your infant night weans, and you provide them with enough solid food before they drift off into dreamland, they may still be awoken during the night, but usually for another reason.   

  1. Prolonged thumb sucking & pacifier use

Avoiding the use of a pacifier altogether takes yet another weaning off the list. If you find you must use a pacifier or your baby sucks their thumb it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to wean them of this by their third birthday. The face, jaw, and tooth positions of your child are developing, and prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use can cause speech issues and improper mouth and facial development. It is imperative to wean your child from thumbsucking and pacifier use as early as possible.

  1. Sugary and acidic foods or drinks

Sugary and acidic foods and drinks such as fruits, fruit juices, sodas, sports drinks, and carbohydrates cause bacteria growth in your child’s mouth. This bacteria is what damages the tooth’s enamel and leads to decay. The healthiest option is to avoid the unnecessary use of as many sugary and acidic foods and drinks as possible. The fact remains that a healthy amount of fruit is essential to a well-balanced diet, which is why brushing after eating fruits or drinking fruit juices is a must.

  1. Dental visits

When your infant gets their first tooth the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you schedule their initial visit with a pediatric dentist. Introducing your infant to a pediatric dentist and maintaining their regular dental appointments will start familiarizing them with the atmosphere, the dental professionals, and what to expect. The dental professionals within a pediatric dental practice are uniquely equipped and trained to care for infants and young children. 

Maintaining a regular oral hygiene routine at home is a great way to instill a lifelong oral hygiene routine in your child. Pediatric dental professionals can monitor your routine and offer suggestions on your infant’s oral needs as they grow. Contact our office to schedule your infant’s initial visit with our pediatric dentist and we can provide you with more information about creating a healthy oral hygiene foundation. 

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

Hypodontia…Your Child’s Missing Teeth Should Not Be a Problem | Children’s Dentistry in Washington DC 2003


When children lose their baby teeth, it’s a rite of passage, but what happens when a permanent tooth doesn’t develop? A condition known as hypodontia is fairly common and treatable. When your child’s pediatric dentist mentions that your child is missing a tooth or teeth, you probably want to know what it means for his or her smile.

What is hypodontia?

The term “hypodontia,” also known as “tooth agenesis,” refers to a congenital condition where an individual is born without teeth. Depending on which teeth are missing, a child may experience instability in the surrounding teeth, malocclusion, insufficient bone growth, difficulties chewing, and articulation issues. The child’s self-esteem may also suffer if the missing tooth or teeth affect their smile.

Missing primary teeth can often indicate missing permanent teeth, but hypodontia typically refers to missing adult teeth. Third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, are the most commonly missing teeth. Females are more likely than males to be born with congenitally missing teeth, but approximately 20% of adults are missing one or more teeth.

Hypodontia: How is it diagnosed?

Your child’s pediatric dentist will be able to determine if your child is missing any teeth. A child’s X-rays will usually reveal gaps where permanent teeth should be, even if his or her mouth is still full of primary teeth. 

What Are the Causes of Hypodontia?

Congenitally missing teeth, in general, are caused by a trait inherited from the parents and usually affect one or two teeth. Some genetic conditions or early exposure to infections, trauma, or drugs have also been linked to hypodontia.

When a child is missing more than two teeth, they should be evaluated for a condition known as ectodermal dysplasia. The condition is rare but can result in several missing teeth, and existing teeth may be misshapen with a cone-like appearance. Symptoms may not be noticeable until a child’s teeth have formed. Ectodermal dysplasia can also affect the hair, nails, skin, and glands.

Treatment Options For Hypodontia

Since hypodontia can cause long-term problems, it’s important to have your child evaluated by a dentist to determine if treatment is necessary. Depending on the number and location of missing teeth, there are several ways to treat hypodontia. 

  • In addition to closing gaps, braces can give your child’s teeth stability.
  • Partial bridges can replace missing teeth and provide stability to the surrounding teeth.
  • When several teeth are missing or misshapen, alternative tooth replacement may be necessary.
  • Missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants.
  • Children with misshapen teeth due to ectodermal dysplasia may benefit from dental crowns in some cases.

If your child doesn’t have wisdom teeth, they are unlikely to need treatment. Considering many people need their third molars extracted, your child may be able to avoid some discomfort if they don’t have those teeth!

Our pediatric dental office wants your child to have a healthy smile that will last a lifetime. We invite you to schedule an appointment if you’re concerned about your child’s oral health.

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

Concerned About White Spots on Your Child’s Teeth? Pediatric Dentist 20003


Have you noticed white spots on your child’s teeth? Numerous factors can lead to white spots or discoloration on the teeth. Among these are illnesses and infections, vitamin deficiencies, excessive fluoride, and even trauma to the teeth. In many instances, these white spots are not harmful to their teeth, but they can make your child feel self-conscious. Our pediatric dentist can examine any white spots or discoloration on your child’s teeth to determine how best to improve their appearance.

Demineralization or decalcification

Demineralization, or decalcification, is the result of excessive and long-term bacterial buildup in the mouth. The bacteria attack the enamel, causing it to deteriorate. When the enamel wears away, white or brown spots may appear on the teeth. This type of discoloration can lead to cavities, so your child’s pediatric dentist will need to check their teeth at each dental appointment.

Enamel that is demineralizing or decalcifying is typically monitored. Other than brushing and flossing more frequently, if there is no decay present, no treatment is required. Children should brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day to prevent excess bacteria buildup. Should a cavity form in the discolored area, restoring the tooth will be recommended. 

Enamel Hypoplasia

Teeth can develop white or brown spots as a result of enamel hypoplasia. The symptoms usually appear in childhood, but they can also appear in adults. Numerous factors contribute to this condition, including inadequate nutrition, high fevers from illness, smoking during pregnancy, and premature birth. Some medications and trauma to the teeth can also cause enamel hypoplasia. Children with enamel hypoplasia are at an increased risk of decay in areas with white spots, so it is recommended to carefully watch those areas.

Treatment options

Unless enamel hypoplasia is causing areas of tooth decay, it does not need to be treated. For children who are self-conscious about their appearance, teeth whitening, microabrasion, which involves removing a thin layer of discolored enamel, and veneers, which are thin wafers bonded over the affected teeth, can help reduce the visibility of the spots.


Fluorosis is common in children, but if left untreated, it may still be visible in adulthood. Fluorosis is caused by excessive fluoride exposure. Fluoride strengthens teeth, but too much of it can cause white, brown, or yellow spots. Most commonly, this occurs when fluoride is ingested from fluoridated water, fluoride-containing vitamin supplements, and toothpaste.

Fluorosis Treatment

Treatment options for fluorosis are similar to those for enamel hypoplasia, which include microabrasion, bleaching if the stains are yellow or brown, or having a porcelain veneer adhered to the surface of the tooth to hide the staining and discoloration.

Our pediatric dentist can examine your child’s teeth to determine the cause of tooth discoloration and recommend a treatment plan. Your child may only require a dental cleaning if their teeth are simply stained. In some situations, we may be able to improve the appearance of your child’s smile with teeth whitening, microabrasion, and, in some situations, porcelain veneers if they have fluorosis or enamel hypoplasia. If your child has decalcified areas on their tooth enamel, our pediatric dentist can suggest ways to improve their at-home oral hygiene routine and monitor the areas for signs of tooth decay.

Please contact our pediatric dental office to schedule an appointment.

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

Don’t Wait to Treat Your Child’s Abscessed Tooth | Pediatric Dentist in Washington DC


Children may complain of a toothache, a bad taste in their mouth, or a bump on their gums. These symptoms may indicate that your child has an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is a dental emergency, but fortunately, it is completely treatable and preventable.

What is an abscessed tooth?

An abscessed tooth occurs when the dental pulp and its surrounding tissues become infected. When tooth decay is left untreated, bacteria can spread to the inside and outside of the tooth, which can result in an abscess. If it occurs in small children, it should be treated right away because their immune systems have not yet fully developed, which can make it difficult to fight the infection. An abscessed tooth can become very dangerous if left untreated, as the bacterial infection can spread to the jaw, head, or throughout the body, causing an illness called sepsis that can be deadly.

Signs and symptoms:

Some children may not feel any discomfort, but a dental abscess can be extremely painful for others, with visible symptoms such as swelling and redness, as well as a fever. There may also be swelling around the neck or jaw. Additionally, parents may notice darkening or discoloration of infected teeth or bad breath in their children. The gums may also develop a white pimple-like nodule, or lymph nodes may swell. 

During times when children are not eating or drinking anything, they may complain of throbbing pain, difficulty chewing in that area, pus draining from the area, and a bad or bitter taste in their mouths. Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing or swallowing, as well as new sensitivity to hot or cold foods, are less common. When children have abscessed teeth, their appetite may be diminished, eventually resulting in weight loss.

Diagnosing an abscessed tooth 

Infections that reach the pulp chamber of the tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels, are called abscesses. As pus (white blood cells, bacteria, and tissue debris) accumulates, it spreads throughout the surrounding area.

Often, we can tell if a child has an abscessed tooth just by looking at it. Other times, an x-ray may be necessary to determine if the child has an abscessed tooth. Using x-rays, we can see areas not visible to the naked eye and find out if your child has an abscessed tooth. They also allow us to determine the extent of the abscess. Our pediatric dentist can use digital radiography, which exposes children to less radiation than conventional radiography.

How does an abscessed tooth develop?

An abscessed tooth is most commonly caused by an untreated cavity, although other dental problems can also cause an abscessed tooth. In addition to poor dental hygiene, a high intake of sugary snacks and/or beverages, and trauma to the tooth as a result of injury (which can chip the enamel or cause other damage) can all lead to an abscess in a child’s tooth. The inner pulp of the tooth, which consists of blood vessels, tissues, and nerves, can become infected if it is cracked or if it is affected by gum disease.

Pediatric dental care for abscessed teeth

Once diagnosed, an abscess on a baby tooth will be handled differently than one on a permanent tooth. 

Extraction of the tooth and drainage of the abscess is likely to be necessary for baby teeth. Some pediatric dentists may offer pulp and crown therapy, also called pulpectomy, pulpotomy, nerve treatment, pulp therapy, or “baby root canal therapy.” By treating the nerve, you can save the tooth and preserve its nerve structure. After this treatment is completed, a restorative crown is placed on the tooth to hold it in place until the permanent tooth emerges. Treatment depends on the severity of the abscess. In severe cases, the tooth may need to be removed.

To save permanent teeth, root canal therapy and a crown are usually required, followed by antibiotics to kill the infection. When dental infections are potentially life-threatening, surgical treatment may be recommended.

What can be done to prevent an abscessed tooth?

Since untreated cavities are the main cause of abscessed teeth, proper oral hygiene is essential to prevent them. Parents should encourage their children to follow oral hygiene regimens.

This regimen usually involves:

  • Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste (Note: Parents should replace old toothbrushes with new ones every 3-4 months). 
  • flossing daily
  • Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet that includes less sugar and healthier sweet foods
  • Sugary snacks, between-meal snacks, juice, and sugary drinks should only be consumed on special occasions.
  • Replace sugary snacks with raw vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, or seeds.
  • Be sure to visit your pediatric dentist for a six-month checkup, along with any recommended cleanings, x-rays, and other exams and treatments. If your child’s dentist notices a cavity, make sure you keep the appointment so the cavity can be repaired right away.

After discussing the basics of abscessed teeth, you should have a better idea of what causes them and how they are diagnosed, as well as prevention and treatment options. Please contact our pediatric dental office to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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

7 Common Myths About Baby Teeth | Washington DC Pediatric Dentist


With kids, their smiles are constantly evolving and developing. There are a lot of changes between the time the first tooth erupts and the moment the last permanent tooth makes its debut. Children’s smiles have so much going on that it is no wonder several myths have emerged about children’s teeth. As pediatric dental specialists, we’re setting the record straight by debunking some of the most common myths about baby teeth.

Baby teeth are not important because they fall out anyway.

Although it is inevitable for kids to lose their baby teeth, and they will eventually be replaced by permanent ones, the primary teeth serve a variety of important functions.

Primary teeth, or baby teeth, serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth to erupt. Premature loss due to an injury or decay can lead to the other teeth shifting. As a result, the permanent tooth below may not come in straight or become impacted, where the tooth is unable to fully erupt. In addition, shifting teeth may cause crowded teeth and other orthodontic issues that could require lengthy treatment.

Aside from conserving real estate, baby teeth also play a role in a child’s oral and facial development and enable them to chew properly. Because teeth help produce certain sounds, they also aid in speech development.

In all of these cases, if a baby tooth falls out too early, you should see your pediatric dentist. A dental space maintainer can help prevent teeth from shifting and alignment problems. Additionally, decayed baby teeth need to be treated through tooth-colored fillings or other methods. By doing so, you can strengthen the natural tooth and ensure it remains in place until the time comes for it to fall out naturally.

Children should be given as much fluoride as possible to prevent cavities.

Fluoride is extremely important in strengthening kids’ teeth and preventing cavities. It can even reverse tooth decay in its earliest stages by remineralizing weak spots in the enamel, contrary to what myths claim about baby teeth being intolerant of decay. Additionally, when kids get enough fluoride while their teeth are still growing, it will be incorporated into their permanent teeth, which will have long-term benefits. The naturally occurring mineral is safe, but many kids don’t get enough of it, especially those who only drink bottled water or live somewhere where the municipal water doesn’t contain fluoride.

It is possible, though, to have too much fluoride. Too much fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis. Permanent teeth may become discolored due to fluorosis. In mild cases, the condition can be present as white spots on teeth or as lacy white markings. In severe cases, it can cause dark yellow or brown stains and pitting. The good news is that we can remove white spots on teeth caused by fluorosis using a special technique. However, avoiding the problem in the first place is always the best option.

Babies should wait until all their teeth are erupted before visiting the dentist.

A baby’s first dental appointment should be scheduled by age one. The reason for this is that kids can get cavities as soon as their first tooth erupts. A pediatric dentist will check your baby’s teeth and gums, help you develop a good homecare routine, ensure that your child’s oral and dental development is on track, and answer any questions you have about habits like thumb sucking or pacifier use. Additionally, starting dental visits early allows kids to become accustomed to the sight and sound of the dentist’s office, as well as build a rapport with the doctor and office staff. Having them feel comfortable will make future visits much easier and stress-free for both of you.

Children are capable of brushing their teeth.

Until they are older, children lack the fine motor skills necessary to effectively brush and floss their teeth. According to a study published in the Journal of Periodontal Research, five-year-olds brush only 25% of their teeth’s surfaces. Parents should brush and floss their children’s teeth. You can have preschoolers brush their teeth, but you might follow up with a once-over to ensure that they didn’t miss anything. You should supervise kids’ brushing and flossing until they are around seven or eight years old.

The same dentist I see can see my child.

Of course, families can take their children to whichever dentist they choose, and there are probably several general dentistry practices that do a great job treating children. There are, however, very real benefits to seeing a pediatric dentist. In addition to dental school, pediatric dental specialists complete two years of additional training in a residency program where they learn about children’s dental needs as well as ways to put children at ease so they can receive the care they need.

Pediatric dental practices are also designed for little ones. Among all the kid-centered amenities, many pediatric dental offices offer child-themed rooms, prizes, games, and sometimes show movies. Children enjoy visiting and are receptive to the dentist, setting them up for a lifetime of excellent oral health.

Children shouldn’t have dental x-rays.

The benefits of conventional dental x-rays far outweigh any small risks. Many pediatric dental practices now offer digital x-rays. Digital x-rays expose kids to up to 90% less radiation than conventional dental x-rays. Small sensors are placed in your child’s mouth and the dental assistant takes an x-ray right there. There are no uncomfortable bitewings. We use shielding to protect the body from unnecessary radiation, which is minimal. X-rays allow us to see in between teeth, inside of the teeth, and below the gum line, which are not visible to the naked eye. Early detection allows for easier, less invasive treatment and keeps your child’s smile healthy and bright.

Now that you know the truth concerning these common myths about baby teeth, are you looking for an experienced pediatric dentist to help take your child’s oral health to the next level? Contact our pediatric dental office today to schedule an appointment.

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

My Kids Knocked Out Their Tooth! Now What? | Pediatric Dentist Washington DC


Ahhh, childhood. It’s fun and games until someone loses a tooth. Kids can be active indoors and outdoors all year round. Sports, skating parks, bounce house parties, climbing trees, jumping off swings, and even playing PE at school can all cause your child to knock their teeth loose or even knock them out! Dental health is strongly influenced by your child’s family history. Make sure your child visits their pediatric dentist right away if they have experienced trauma to any of their teeth. When disaster strikes, how should you respond?

Check for serious injuries.

To knock a tooth loose (or out), you usually have to deal with a powerful blow to the head, and when it comes to head trauma, the tooth is usually the least of your worries. Symptoms of severe head trauma include:

  • Intense bleeding in the ears or nose
  • Loss of memory
  • Blackouts
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • misaligned jaws
  • Sleepiness
  • A severe headache or earache.
  • Feeling nauseated or vomiting
  • Double or blurred vision

Call 911 or rush to the emergency room if you observe any of these symptoms. Since severe head trauma tends to get worse before it gets better due to brain swelling, it’s best not to take any chances. Check to see if your child bit himself during the impact. Bite wounds to the tongue, cheeks, and jaw can all require stitches if they’re severe enough. Stitches are typically recommended if the wound is wide enough to not be able to pinch the edges together and if bleeding does not stop after ten minutes of applying pressure.

If your child does not have any of the serious injuries listed above, you can focus on a loose or missing tooth.

What should you do if your child’s tooth has been knocked out completely, is loose, or has been hit hard?

Make an appointment with your child’s dentist immediately. A tooth that has been knocked loose or knocked out completely must be treated as soon as possible. Any patient who has been struck in the mouth should see a pediatric dentist. Your child’s tooth will have a higher chance of successfully being saved or repositioned if you act immediately.

When your child falls and hits their mouth, and their baby teeth are loose, what should you do?

Make sure your child sees their pediatric dentist as soon as possible. X-rays show whether there is damage to the root and nerves of a tooth or the underlying permanent tooth. The dentist might also need to realign the tooth if it has been knocked out of place so that other teeth (especially permanent teeth) do not erupt in the wrong position.

If the tooth is not crooked and your dentist isn’t concerned about the injury, it’s best to keep your child on a diet of soft foods for a few days so the tooth can re-implant itself. Cold foods can also reduce inflammation. You’re allowed to put your kid on an ice cream diet (yes, we’re permitting you).

What if the baby tooth is completely knocked out?

Most of the time, losing a baby tooth is no big deal. Ask your pediatric dentist what he or she recommends. If the permanent tooth is not fully developed at the time the baby tooth falls out, your child might have a slight gap in their smile for a bit longer than their peers. Some pediatric dentists may offer options for replacement if there are esthetic concerns. It is important to have your child evaluated by their pediatric dentist to ensure that there are no issues with their permanent teeth. 

A loose permanent tooth due to trauma

If your child damages a permanent tooth, the consequences are much more serious. Have your child seen by a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. If the tooth is loose, crooked, or dangling from the socket, it is an emergency, and the patient needs to be seen immediately. Even if the teeth are still straight and only slightly loose, it is important to have them evaluated by a dentist within an hour. Be sure to follow the dentist’s instructions if he or she prescribes a liquid or soft food diet for your child. This will help the tooth heal and reattach.

What if the permanent tooth is completely knocked out?

You should take your child to the dentist right away. Locate the missing tooth if possible. Avoid damaging the sensitive nerve endings at the root of the tooth when handling it. If it is necessary to rinse the tooth, rinse it with saliva or milk. Water will not help to preserve the tooth. If your child is old enough to not swallow it, the tooth should be carefully reinserted into the socket and held in place with a paper compact until you can get it to the dentist. Otherwise, place it in a cup of milk or saliva. If you see the dentist within thirty minutes of the accident, you have a good chance of having the original tooth reimplanted in your child’s mouth. The original tooth may need to be replaced with a dental implant if you cannot get your child to the dentist within an hour of the accident. 

Children lose teeth all the time, so it is a good idea to be prepared. Losing a tooth may only mean a visit from the tooth fairy. It may also mean a trip to the ER. In the event of a loose or missing tooth, the best thing you can do as a parent is to remain calm, rule out any serious injuries, and contact your dentist immediately. By acting promptly, your child’s pediatric dentist will have them smiling again in no time.

To schedule an appointment for your child, please contact our pediatric dental office. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about early tooth loss caused by trauma.

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

Is a Fluoride Treatment for My Child Necessary? | Pediatric Dentist in Washington DC

20003 Pediatric Dentist

A healthy smile is important to both you and your child. Each time your child visits our pediatric dental office, our dentist will check their teeth and discuss their dental habits. Additionally, we can determine whether your child is getting enough fluoride, which is found in most toothpaste and mouth rinses available at grocery stores. Fluoride can help your child develop strong, healthy teeth, which will benefit them throughout their life.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a chemical compound composed of fluorine, an element found in nature. Fluoride is found in drinking water and can strengthen teeth in their developing stages. When fluoride is applied appropriately, it strengthens tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay. Many dental products contain fluoride for this purpose.

What are the benefits of a fluoride treatment for children?

Fluoride helps maintain a bright and healthy smile! Fluoride can reduce your child’s risk of tooth decay when used regularly. Additionally, a decreased cavity risk means fewer extractions and less pain and discomfort associated with tooth decay.

How Does Fluoride Help Prevent Cavities in Children?

Fluoride contains minerals that can slow down or even stop tooth decay. It strengthens the enamel of teeth and reduces the risk of cavities. Fluoride can reduce the threat of tooth decay by remineralizing the exposed surface of the tooth. By using fluoride, maintaining good oral hygiene, and eating a healthy diet, you can reduce decay and help your child maintain a beautiful smile.

What is Topical Fluoride?

Topical fluoride is a type of fluoride treatment that is applied directly to your child’s teeth by a dental professional. Your child’s dentist or dental hygienist will apply fluoride to their teeth during their bi-annual appointment. The application is quick and easy, and it only takes a few minutes.

Is fluoride safe for my child?

When it comes to preventing tooth decay in children, fluoride is safe and effective and helps keep teeth strong and healthy. The use of fluoride products at home should be monitored by the parents and kept away from young children. Fluoride does not pose a threat unless it is used in extreme and excessive amounts. Consult your child’s pediatric dentist if you have concerns about fluoride use.

How is fluoride applied?

Fluoride is applied directly to your child’s teeth with a soft brush. Your child’s pediatric dentist will inform you of any aftercare restrictions and how you may introduce more fluoride into your child’s dental hygiene routine if necessary.

What are the side effects of fluoride?

Fluoride is only dangerous when used in excessive amounts. A high level of fluoride exposure can cause dental fluorosis or skeletal fluorosis. Dental fluorosis occurs when a child is exposed to excessive amounts of fluoride, resulting in white streaks or spots on their teeth. Using fluoride excessively over many years can cause skeletal fluorosis, which can affect bones and joints. Your child’s pediatric dentist in 20003 will monitor the amount of fluoride used in the office and look for any signs of dental fluorosis.

Please contact our Capitol Hill Washington, DC pediatric dental office if you have any concerns or questions regarding the use of fluoride. We will be more than happy to schedule an appointment.

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