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

Elizabeth City, NC Pediatric Dentist | Oh No! My Child Chipped a Tooth!

Elizabeth City Pediatric 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.

When should my child visit then dentist and what will happen?

As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to schedule a dental visit. The ADA recommends that the first dental visit take place within six months after the first tooth appears, but no later than a child’s first birthday. Don’t wait for them to start school or until there’s an emergency. Get your child comfortable today with good mouth healthy habits.

Although the first visit is mainly for the dentist to examine your child’s mouth and to check growth and development, it’s also about your child being comfortable. To make the visit positive:

•Consider making a morning appointment when children tend to be rested and cooperative.

•Keep any anxiety or concerns you have to yourself. Children can pick up on your emotions, so emphasize the positive.

•Never use a dental visit as a punishment or threat.

•Never bribe your child.

•Talk with your child about visiting the dentist.

During this visit, you can expect the dentist to:

•Inspect for oral injuries, cavities or other problems.

•Let you know if your child is at risk of developing tooth decay.

•Clean your child’s teeth and provide tips for daily care.

•Discuss teething, pacifier use, or finger/thumbsucking habits.

•Discuss treatment, if needed, and schedule the next check-up

What does a pediatric dentist do?

Pediatric dental offices are colorful, fun, and child-friendly. Dental phobias are often rooted in childhood, so it is essential that the child feel comfortable, safe, and trusting of the dentist from the outset.

The pediatric dentist focuses on several different forms of oral care:

Prevention – Tooth decay is the most prevalent childhood ailment. Fortunately, it is almost completely preventable. Aside from providing advice and guidance relating to home care, the pediatric dentist can apply sealants and fluoride treatments to protect tooth enamel and minimize the risk of cavities.

Early detection – Examinations, X-rays, and computer modeling allow the pediatric dentist to predict future oral problems. Examples include malocclusion (bad bite), attrition due to grinding (bruxism), and jaw irregularities. In some cases, optimal outcomes are best achieved by starting treatment early.

Treatment – Pediatric dentists offer a wide range of treatments. Aside from preventative treatments (fluoride and sealant applications), the pediatric dentist also performs pulp therapy and treats oral trauma. If primary teeth are lost too soon, space maintainers may be provided to ensure the teeth do not become misaligned.

Education – Education is a major part of any pediatric practice. Not only can the pediatric dentist help the child understand the importance of daily oral care, but parents can also get advice on toothpaste selection, diet, thumb-sucking cessation, and a wide range of related topics.

Updates – Pediatric dentists are well informed about the latest advances in the dentistry field. For example, Xylitol (a naturally occurring sugar substitute) has recently been shown to protect young teeth against cavities, tooth decay, and harmful bacteria. Children who do not see the dentist regularly may miss out on both beneficial information and information about new diagnostic procedures.