Elizabeth City NC Pediatric Dentist | When Should My Child Get Braces?

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’s what you need to know before your child begins treatment with braces.

Why Get Braces?

Braces are used to correct improper bites. If you child has an overbite or underbite, braces may be recommended along with another orthodontic appliance to shift the jaw. Additionally, braces are used to correct gaps between teeth as well as teeth that are growing in a crooked position.

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.

Braces Can Improve Your Child’s Life

It may be difficult for your child to imagine an extended period of time without being able to eat sticky, gummy foods or chew bubblegum, however there are numerous benefits to your child’s overall health and well-being that can be achieved with braces. 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 team. During your appointment, we will provide a complete examination and make a recommendation for a treatment plan that will work best for your child.

To schedule your child’s next visit to our office, please contact our friendly team.

Elizabeth City NC Pediatric Dentist | 7 Things to Do with Your Child Before Age 7

As you have likely come to realize, children grow up quickly. Make sure you are savoring each moment you have with your child. Here are seven things we suggest doing with your child before they reach age 7.

1. Make an Artistic Masterpiece

Art projects are always a fun activity. Create art together. Do a finger painting, or draw and color together. Your child’s art masterpieces will be a lasting memory of the time you shared together.

2. 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 before they grow up.

3. Establish Traditions

Create fun traditions that will transcend time. Your child might be too young to remember one event, but a yearly occurrence is sure to provide for 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. It’s often life’s little moments that are cherished most.

4. Read Together Each Day

Reading with your child each night is a great way to bond together over a fun story. Reading will also help your child learn and improve their reading skills, not to mention engage their ever-active imaginations.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Bring Your Child in for an Orthodontic Evaluation

It is important for your child to have an orthodontic evaluation by the time they reach age 7. By this time, most children will begin to grow their molars and incisors. 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. Embrace 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 us.

Elizabeth City NC Pediatric Dentist | Baby Teeth – Should My Child’s Teeth Be Removed?

Making sure your child’s mouth develops properly is important. Part of a growing mouth will mean your child’s baby teeth will come out. For many kids, baby 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 into consideration your child’s baby teeth. Here are some things to remember about your child’s teeth.

Is My Child on Track?

Sometimes we see parents in our office who are concerned that their child’s baby teeth have not fallen out. Each child’s mouth is going to be different. Typically, between the ages of 6 and 8, your child will lose their first teeth. This usually continues through ages 10 to 13 when the last of their baby teeth come out. Many kids experience a break between ages 8 and 10, so don’t be alarmed if your child hasn’t lost any teeth for a while.

What This Means for Orthodontic Treatment

We start any examination with a basic inventory 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 any concern. However, as kids reach age 12 and beyond 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 likely will consider removal.

Why They Need to be Removed

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. Usually expansion is a solution for crowding.

In our office, we use x-rays and scans to track your child’s mouth. These are a valuable resource in helping figure out the best time to have teeth removed. We can see what is coming in and decide to remove a baby tooth if it will cause complications to the new permanent tooth.

Why They Shouldn’t be Removed

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 missing teeth, our doctor will decide if the space between needs to be closed. Keeping teeth in place is also good for keeping your gums healthy.

Our doctor will decide if removal is needed based on your child’s teeth. Your child should be receiving regular examinations. Their fast-changing mouths need to be looked at frequently to ensure their teeth will grow properly in the future.

For more questions about orthodontics, or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office.

Elizabeth City NC Dentist | Healthy Teeth for Sick Kids

Elizabeth City NC Dentist | Healthy Teeth for Sick Kids

When you are focused on a child with a fever, cough, or vomiting, it can be easy to question getting them out of the sickbed to brush their teeth. However, keeping mouths clean and teeth healthy can be even more important during illness. Here are some useful tips for protecting your child’s oral health when they’re sick.

Brush and floss

Brushing and flossing helps prevent build-up of harmful germs and bacteria in your child’s mouth. This helps keep their immune system focused on fighting the cold or flu virus. 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.

Hydrate

When your child is sick, they need 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 dry mouth and congestion.

Watch out for sugars

Cough drops and cough syrups can contain high amounts of sugar to improve the medicine flavor. However, this can leave sugary residue on the teeth. Look for sugar-free options when possible and rinse well after any medicine with sugar.

Disinfect dental appliances

If your child has a dental appliance, such as a retainer, athletic mouth guard, or night 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.

Follow-up

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.

For more tips on keeping teeth healthy through an illness, contact our office.

Elizabeth City NC Pediatric Dentist | Teeth Stages

A child’s first tooth growing in can be a bittersweet moment for parents. It can be frustrating when babies become irritable. It can also be exciting because this marks another stage in a child’s life. Understanding the stages of oral development can help you promote optimal oral health for your child.

Elizabeth City NC Pediatric Dentist | Teeth Stages

Birth to 3 Years Old

The primary (baby) teeth that will appear in the first 3 years of your child’s life aid in development. Primary teeth are key for chewing, speaking, and appearance. They also hold space in the jaws for upcoming adult teeth. Even though they fall out, baby teeth are extremely important.

3 to 6 Years Old

By the time your child is 3 years old, they will most likely have all 20 primary teeth. Your child should be brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing daily.

6 to 12 Years Old

Between the ages of 6 to 12 years old, your child will gradually lose all of 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 12 years old, your child will likely have most of their adult teeth. Oral health becomes critical because these are their teeth for life. Avoid excessive sugar which can lead to tooth decay, wear mouth guards while playing sports, and visit us if your child appears to have crooked teeth.

17 to 21 Years Old

The last teeth to appear are wisdom teeth. Often times, we recommend that these teeth be removed to prevent overcrowding which can lead to many oral health problems. This tends to occur between the ages of 17 to 30.

Teeth are constantly changing throughout childhood. How you take care of your child’s teeth now, can impact their oral health in the future.

Call us to schedule your child’s first appointment today.

A child’s first tooth growing in can be a bittersweet moment for parents. It can be frustrating when babies become irritable. It can also be exciting because this marks another stage in a child’s life. Understanding the stages of oral development can help you promote optimal oral health for your child.

Birth to 3 Years Old

The primary (baby) teeth that will appear in the first 3 years of your child’s life aid in development. Primary teeth are key for chewing, speaking, and appearance. They also hold space in the jaws for upcoming adult teeth. Even though they fall out, baby teeth are extremely important.

3 to 6 Years Old

By the time your child is 3 years old, they will most likely have all 20 primary teeth. Your child should be brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing daily.

6 to 12 Years Old

Between the ages of 6 to 12 years old, your child will gradually lose all of 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 12 years old, your child will likely have most of their adult teeth. Oral health becomes critical because these are their teeth for life. Avoid excessive sugar which can lead to tooth decay, wear mouth guards while playing sports, and visit us if your child appears to have crooked teeth.

17 to 21 Years Old

The last teeth to appear are wisdom teeth. Often times, we recommend that these teeth be removed to prevent overcrowding which can lead to many oral health problems. This tends to occur between the ages of 17 to 30.

Teeth are constantly changing throughout childhood. How you take care of your child’s teeth now, can impact their oral health in the future.

Contact us to schedule your child’s first appointment today.

Pediatric Dentist 27909 | Pacifiers and Teeth Development

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

Negative Effects of Pacifiers 

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

Positive Effects of Pacifiers 

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

What You Should Do 

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

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

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

Pediatric Dentist 23322 | Healthy Teeth for Sick Kids

 When you are focused on a child with a fever, cough, or vomiting, it can be easy to question getting them out of the sickbed to brush their teeth. However, keeping mouths clean and teeth healthy can be even more important during illness. Here are some useful tips for protecting your child’s oral health when they’re sick. 

Brush and floss 

Brushing and flossing helps prevent build-up of harmful germs and bacteria in your child’s mouth. This helps keep their immune system focused on fighting the cold or flu virus. 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. 

Hydrate 

When your child is sick, they need 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 dry mouth and congestion. 

Watch out for sugars 

Cough drops and cough syrups can contain high amounts of sugar to improve the medicine flavor. However, this can leave sugary residue on the teeth. Look for sugar-free options when possible and rinse well after any medicine with sugar. 

Disinfect dental appliances 

If your child has a dental appliance, such as a retainer, athletic mouth guard, or night 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. 

Follow-up 

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. 

For more tips on keeping teeth healthy through an illness, contact our office. 

Pediatric Dentist 27909 | Teeth Stages

Pediatric Dentist 27909

A child’s first tooth growing in can be a bittersweet moment for parents. It can be frustrating when babies become irritable. It can also be exciting because this marks another stage in a child’s life. Understanding the stages of oral development can help you promote optimal oral health for your child.  

Birth to 3 Years Old 

The primary (baby) teeth that will appear in the first 3 years of your child’s life aid in development. Primary teeth are key for chewing, speaking, and appearance. They also hold space in the jaws for upcoming adult teeth. Even though they fall out, baby teeth are extremely important.  

3 to 6 Years Old 

By the time your child is 3 years old, they will most likely have all 20 primary teeth. Your child should be brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing daily. 

6 to 12 Years Old 

Between the ages of 6 to 12 years old, your child will gradually lose all of 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 12 years old, your child will likely have most of their adult teeth. Oral health becomes critical because these are their teeth for life. Avoid excessive sugar which can lead to tooth decay, wear mouth guards while playing sports, and visit us if your child appears to have crooked teeth.  

17 to 21 Years Old 

The last teeth to appear are wisdom teeth. Often times, we recommend that these teeth be removed to prevent overcrowding which can lead to many oral health problems. This tends to occur between the ages of 17 to 30.  

Teeth are constantly changing throughout childhood. How you take care of your child’s teeth now, can impact their oral health in the future.  

Call us to schedule your child’s first appointment today.  

Elizabeth City 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. 

Pediatric Dentist in Chesapeake | The One Piece of Gear Every Athlete Needs

23322 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.

350 Johnstown Road, Ste. C, Chesapeake, VA 23322