Washington DC Pediatric Dentist | How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health

Washington DC Pediatric Dentist | How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health

During pregnancy, it is essential that you don’t neglect your oral health. A fluctuation in hormones can cause drastic changes in your mouth. Oral health complications have been linked to increased risk in other significant overall health issues. Here are the most common oral health problems, how they can affect your pregnancy, and how to prevent them.

Oral Health Problems During Pregnancy

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, only 22 to 34 percent of women in the United States visit a dentist during pregnancy. Regular visits to our office while expecting can allow us to detect potential issues early. Gingivitis is the biggest concern during pregnancy. The buildup of plaque is more likely to cause an expecting mother to have red, swollen, and painful gums that bleed. If the gums become even more swollen and irritated, it can cause non-cancerous pregnancy tumors. If oral health problems are left untreated they can lead to serious diseases.

Ways to Prevent Gum Problems

The best way to decrease any risk of getting gingivitis is to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Make sure you brush the full tooth, all the way to the gums. Flossing your teeth regularly will also keep your gums healthy. Seeing your dentist more frequently for cleanings will reduce plaque and minimize any problems.

How Bad Oral Health Can Affect Your Baby

The Academy of General Dentistry suggests a link between gingivitis and having a preterm or low-birthweight baby. If an expecting mother has gingivitis, it can cause bacteria to enter in the bloodstream and travel to the uterus. The bacteria triggers chemicals that may induce early labor.

Maintaining good oral health is important in combating problems during pregnancy. Gingivitis is the most common concern that can be managed with the help of your dentist. Without proper treatment, gingivitis can lead to other health issues that not only affect you, but also your pregnancy. Keep yourself and your child safe by having a consultation with your dentist before or during your pregnancy. We also recommend that you bring your new baby to the dentist as soon as their first tooth grows in so they can get started on the path to a healthy life.

Contact our dental team today to schedule an appointment.

Family Dentist 20003 | 5 Ways Medication May Be Affecting Your Child’s Oral Health

Family Dentist 20003

According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 20% of children take prescription medication regularly. There has been a steady, noticeable increase in the number of children using medication prescribed by their doctor. Several types of medication can impact your child’s oral health. When you visit our office for your child’s regular examination, please tell our team about any medications your child uses so we can better adapt our treatment approach. 

We’ve compiled a list of 5 common ways medication can affect your child’s oral health. 

1. Dry Mouth 

Dry mouth is a condition where the mouth produces a reduced level of saliva. Several medications can inhibit the mouth’s saliva production. Saliva is important, especially to children’s young teeth, as it helps to neutralize damaging acids. When left untreated, dry mouth can lead to higher rates of tooth decay. 

2.  Gum Tissue Enlargement 

Certain medications can lead to your child’s gum tissue becoming enlarged or overgrown. Extra attention is needed to avoid gum inflammation. In these instances, our team will recommend special care instructions to help your child maintain healthy gums.  

3. Tooth Decay 

Most medications will not directly cause tooth decay. However, there are medications that use sugar, particularly for flavor. Think of the great-tasting liquid medicines available for kids, or candy-like throat lozenges. Over time, sugar can contribute to tooth decay as it feeds decay-causing bacteria. Our team recommends opting for sugar-free versions of medications when available. It is also advisable to have your child take their medication with a meal and a drink, to wash away sugary compounds. 

4. Bleeding 

Medications can reduce the ability for blood to clot. If your child is going to undergo oral surgery, or even may be ready to lose a tooth, an increase in bleeding may occur. We ask that you notify our team of any medications your child is taking prior to scheduling treatment. This will allow our team to provide a high level of care for your child. 

5. Soft Tissue Reactions 

Certain medications can lead to oral inflammations, discoloration, or even the appearance of oral sores. Contact us if your child is experiencing any of these symptoms. We can work with you and your child to create an oral hygiene plan to alleviate these side-effects. 

It is essential that our team is aware of any medications your child is taking. This allows us to plan our treatments and recommendations accordingly. If you notice any changes in your child’s oral health, contact our team. Our goal is to work with you and your child to establish a lifetime of healthy habits and optimal oral health. 

For questions regarding medication and your child’s oral health, contact our office.  

Pediatric Dentist Washington, DC | Periodontal Disease in Children

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the gums that can impact the teeth and jawbone if left unchecked. About half of all children suffer from periodontal disease. Fortunately, if identified and treated early, its effects can be managed and even reversed to allow your child to return to optimal oral health through adolescence and beyond. 

There are several factors that can lead to the onset of periodontal disease in children. Poor oral hygiene and untreated plaque are the most common, but diet, diabetes, hormonal changes, and even genetic predisposition can increase your child’s risk. 

Your child should be screened for periodontal disease if their gums are: 

  • Sore 
  • Swollen 
  • Red 
  • Bleeding from brushing and/or flossing 

If left unchecked, periodontal disease can cause your child’s gums to pull away from the teeth, affecting the structure of the bone beneath and potentially impacting their jaw alignment and bite. Over time, bone and tooth loss can occur. 

Periodontal disease is preventable and highly treatable. Regular cleaning and exam appointments will help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy. Teach your child about the importance of daily oral hygiene. If periodontal disease has begun, our doctor can help. Contact our office for your child’s periodontal screening today. 

Dentist in 20003 | What’s in Your Child’s Mouth?

Your child’s mouth contains hundreds of bacteria. Before your child reaches for the toothbrush and mouthwash, understand that not all bacteria are bad. Here’s what you need to know about the bacteria that makes its home in your child’s mouth. 

Bacteria Basics 

More than 700 different oral bacteria species have been detected. Most people usually have less than 10% of these different strains in their mouth at one time. Different strains have different purposes. Bacteria that are harmless and help digest food are known as probiotics. Other types of bacteria help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy. The troublemakers are those that contribute to decay and periodontal disease. 

The Dangers of Bacteria 

Bacteria constantly grow and multiply in your child’s mouth. According to Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine, certain bacteria species can double their population in 20 minutes if conditions are right. They feed on starches and sugars that are the byproduct of the food and drinks your child consumes throughout the day. Certain bacteria types produce an acid while they feed. This acid erodes your child’s tooth enamel, leaving their teeth susceptible to decay. 

Maintain a Healthy Mouth 

The best way to manage the bacteria in your child’s mouth is to maintain excellent oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice each day for two full minutes and flossing regularly is the best way to keep bacteria in check. You may want to consider an antibacterial mouthwash. Another key element to maintaining optimal oral health is sticking to a healthy diet. By avoiding or cutting back on foods and drinks that contain high amounts of sugars, acids, and starches, you can reduce the multiplication of bacteria that feed on these byproducts. 

Not all bacteria are out to harm your child’s teeth. Bacteria can be incredibly helpful in maintaining your child’s overall health. To help protect your child’s mouth and teeth against the bad bacteria strains, keep them following their oral hygiene routine. During your next visit to our office, we will provide a thorough cleaning and check for decay. We will also screen for any signs of other oral diseases. 

For more information on keeping your child’s mouth healthy, please contact our team. 

Pediatric Dentist 20003 | Gear Up – Protect Your Child’s Teeth

Pediatric Dentist 20003

Losing 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. 

Washington DC Pediatric Dentist | 5 Building Blocks for Optimal Infant Oral Health

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that tooth decay is the single largest ailment impacting children. In fact, tooth decay is more widespread than illnesses such as asthma. As a parent, you can help establish habits that will lead to a lifetime of optimal oral health for your child. Essential oral health care practices start during infancy. Don’t wait for your child’s teeth to begin erupting before considering their oral health.  

1. Clean Gums, Healthy Smile 

Before your infant has teeth, it is important that you clean their gums. This can be done by using a clean, damp cloth and gently wiping your child’s gum line. This cleans off any residue from food and drink. When left uncleaned, your child may be at risk for developing gum disease. Our team suggests cleaning your child’s gums at least twice a day. 

2. Introduce Toothpaste 

Many parents find it helpful to introduce the flavor of toothpaste to infants after establishing a routine of cleaning their gums. Consult our team before using any toothpaste on your child’s gums. A small amount of toothpaste may be rubbed on your child’s gums. The amount of toothpaste used should be significantly less than what you might put on your own toothbrush. 

3. When Teeth Erupt, Brush 

Once your child’s first tooth erupts, it is time to begin brushing. We recommend selecting a soft-bristled toothbrush made for infants. A pea-sized amount of child-friendly toothpaste should be used. Gently brush your child’s tooth, and be sure not to neglect their gums. Continue to gently clean their gums. 

4. Visit Us 

When your child’s first tooth erupts, it’s time to visit our team. Their first dental examination should be scheduled once you notice the appearance of their first tooth. Children should receive at least two regular dental examinations each year, or more if they are at a higher risk for oral health complications. 

5. Instill Proper Brushing Habits 

Help your child learn how to brush their teeth. Children learn by imitating. You can try brushing alongside your child to supervise their progress. Children should brush twice each day, for a minimum of two full minutes. Each child develops at his or her own rate, but on average, children can begin brushing their own teeth, with parental supervision, at age 5.  

Proper oral health practices are vital for infants and children. Your role as a parent is to shape your child’s habits to set them on a path for a healthy smile that will last a lifetime. Don’t wait for your child’s first tooth to erupt before considering their oral health.  

Schedule an appointment with our team today. 

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry Email: reception@capitolhillpediatric.dentist Phone: 202-849-3292 Url: https://capitolhillpediatric.dentist/ 650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220 Washington, DC 20003

Washington DC Pediatric Dentist | Is Your Child Using the Right Toothbrush?

Nothing fills your heart more than seeing your child smile. But what toothbrush is best for your 3 month old? What about when they turn 3 years old? With so many different choices it can be overwhelming to decide which toothbrush is best for your child at different stages of their life. That’s why we put together a brief description with your child’s changing oral health needs and what type of toothbrush will suit them. 

General Guideline 

Regardless of your child’s age, the toothbrush that they use should easily fit into their mouth and be easy to grip. Toothbrushes with soft bristles won’t irritate their gums and long handles will help them to move the brush in their mouth. 

Babies 

Many parents choose to use a damp cloth but you can begin to clean your child’s teeth with a toothbrush before their teeth come in! Using a toothbrush designed for babies allows you to clean their teeth while getting them used to brushing. These toothbrushes have a very small head, which allow you to comfortably brush baby’s gums.   

Toddlers 

Around the age of two, your toddler will begin to take an interest in brushing their teeth. This is an important age to teach how to brush teeth and to get your child into the routine of brushing twice a day. Toddler toothbrushes have a small head and a long handle, allowing easy gripping for the child. There are also powered toothbrushes that children can use at this age, which can make brushing a bit more fun! 

Ages Five to Eight 

At this age, your child is becoming more independent when it comes to dental health but will still need supervision while brushing. Many of the toothbrushes have fun characters on them and have a slimmer handle than a toddler brush. Choosing a favorite cartoon character may help your child maintain their interest in brushing 

Eight and Up 

No longer needing supervision while brushing, children eight and up have very similar toothbrushes to adults. The only difference in the toothbrush is a slightly smaller head and longer handle. Although manual toothbrushes clean just as effectively, powered toothbrushes can help those who may have issues using a manual toothbrush efficiently.  

Toothbrushes alone won’t guarantee your child’s oral health! Make sure to instill a regular brushing and flossing routine to keep your child smiling. Contact our office for any other questions regarding your child’s dental health. 

Washington DC Pediatric Dentist | The One Piece of Gear Every Athlete Needs

20003 Pediatric Dentist

An injury to your mouth can be a painful, expensive experience. For athletes, mouth and tooth injuries are a very real risk. Mouthguards are an excellent tool for protecting your mouth from injury and harm. Our team can help you find a solution that protects your teeth while you play.

Why Wear a Mouthguard?

Mouthguards protect your teeth. For athletes, injuries to the mouth can cause cracked teeth, or even worse, missing teeth. Additionally, your mouth is mostly made up of soft tissues, such as your tongue, inside cheeks, and lips. These areas can become injured or pierced when playing sports. Mouthguards help defend your mouth and teeth against such injuries.

Do All Athletes Need a Mouthguard?

Yes. High-contact sports such as hockey, wrestling, football, and boxing pose the greatest risk for mouth injuries. However, all athletes can benefit from being cautious. Gymnasts should consider wearing one to protect their mouth in the event of a fall. Baseball and basketball players should protect themselves from being injured by a ball or collision with another player. Mouthguards should be treated as a necessary piece of your athletic gear, no matter which sport you play.

Which Mouthguard Is the Most Effective?

Our team can help you during your next visit to our office. There are many options available, ranging from store-bought to custom-fitted mouthguards. We will work with you to determine which type of mouthguard is best for you. It is important that any guard fits properly.

If you are currently receiving orthodontic treatment, we may recommend a special type of  mouthguard. Braces can puncture your mouth if impacted, particularly during sports. Our team will help you find a solution that works.

Prevention is the best solution to oral sports injuries. Contact our office and ask about finding a mouthguard that is right for you.

650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220, Washington, DC 20003

20003 Pediatric Dentist | Ow! Your Guide to Canker Sores

Washington DC Pediatric Dentist

A canker sore can make eating, drinking, and talking difficult and even painful. Maintaining your oral health by brushing and flossing may also be difficult with a sore in your mouth, but keeping up with your daily oral hygiene routine is an important step in the healing process. We’ve put together a short guide to everything you need to know about canker sores.

What do they look like?

Canker sores are usually small, round reddish sores. You’ll find them on the soft tissues of your mouth, such as your tongue, the sides of your mouth, and at the base of your gums. Occasionally, a sore might have a yellow or white colored center.

What causes them?

Among the most common causes of canker sores are injuries. This can happen from biting your lip or cheek, an injury from sports, or even vigorous brushing. Certain people are sensitive to toothpastes containing sodium lauryl sulfate, leading to sores. Foods may also cause canker sores in certain people. Chocolate, eggs, nuts, and spicy foods have been known to cause the sores. At times, a diet that is deficient in vitamin B-12 or zinc is the culprit.

What can I do?

Your best defense is to keep your mouth healthy. This means keeping up with your twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. With a mouth sore, it may be tempting to avoid the area when brushing your teeth. This can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria. Aid the healing process by keeping your mouth clean and healthy. You may also try a mouthwash formulated for mouth sores. When in doubt, or if pain persists, talk to our team.

Brush thoroughly but gently around sores. Most canker sores heal within a week. If you find you are regularly getting sores, or they are taking longer than one week to heal, schedule a visit to our office. We will assess your oral health and provide you with our expert advice.

For more information about oral health or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office. We look forward to seeing you.

650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220, Washington, DC 20003

Pediatric Dentist in Washington DC | Oh No! My Child Chipped a Tooth!

20003 Dentist

The unfortunate truth is that accidents happen whether it be a sports injury, a fall of their bike, or simply tripping.  While most chipped teeth are not serious, if the damage is beyond the tooth’s enamel layer, there is a risk of infection and tooth loss.  Some children seem to be accident-prone, so it’s important to know what to do just in case:

Before your dental appointment:

       Rinse the mouth well with warm water.

       If there is bleeding, apply pressure with a piece of gauze until the bleeding stops.

       Take an over-the-counter pain medication, if needed.

       The tooth may have sharp areas that can damage the tongue or cheeks, so use a piece of sugarless gum or dental wax on the affected area to protect soft tissues.

       If your child must eat, they should consume only liquids or soft foods.

       And, most importantly: reassure your child that everything is going to be okay!

Possible treatment options may include:

       Smoothing: Not every chip requires extensive work.  We may just polish or smooth out rough edges.

       Fillings: Typically used for more severe chips or on molars. This will help keep the chip from getting worse, and also help the tooth feel better in the mouth.

       Crown: A ‘cap’ for the tooth to help prevent further damage, and restore the tooth to normal function, especially if it is in the front of the mouth.

       Root canal: Usually reserved for more serious or vertical breaks in the tooth, especially if it’s one of your child’s adult teeth.  A root canal therapy is performed when the pulp of a tooth that is either damaged or infected, and is usually accompanied by a crown.

       Tooth removal: In severe cases the tooth may need to be removed.  We use this as a last resort when the tooth structure has been severely compromised, such as when cavities have weakened the tooth from the inside out, resulting in the crack.

Chipped and cracked teeth are scary for anyone, especially a child.  We encourage patients to wear a mouthguard, especially if they participate in a contact sport.  Please contact our office immediately if you feel anything is wrong. Thankfully, most chipped teeth are minor and easy to fix!

For more information or to schedule your appointment, contact our office today!  We’ll be happy to help you!

We are accepting new patients.

https://www.orangecitydentist.com/blog/think-fast-what-to-do-if-you-chip-your-tooth/

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/dental-emergencies-and-sports-safety/fractured-and-broken-teeth

650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220, Washington, DC 20003