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Why Your Heart Loves Your Family Dentist

So, you’ve taken all the appropriate measures to ensure your heart is healthy, but did you know having a healthy mouth can contribute to your healthy heart as well?  So taking that trip to the family dentist is about more than just your teeth. Having unhealthy gums and teeth could potentially lead to heart disease.  

4 Tips for Using Books to Help your Kids Love to Brush

A common myth surrounding early oral health is that baby teeth are not as important as permanent adult teeth. However, oral health is the gateway to long-term health. Helping your kids love to brush their teeth as soon as their first tooth emerges will set them up for a lifetime of good oral health habits.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, books are a great way to promote early oral health. While you and your child read together, you are teaching them about brushing, good habits, and literacy. It’s a great combination!

It’s a great idea, right? But how do you make it a habit? And how can you help your kids love to brush by using books? Here are our 4 tips to get you started!

  • Find the perfect books! There are many great children’s books available. One favorite is Brush Your Teeth, Please (2013) by Leslie McGuire. This pop-up book presents different animals brushing their teeth. Kids use tooth brushes inside to practice on the animals while you read together. Ready Set Brush (2008) by Sesame Street is another great pop-up book option. Kids recognize Elmo and other characters they already trust. If Elmo brushes his teeth, clearly your kids should brush their teeth, too!


  • Make reading and brushing a routine! Children thrive on routines, so make reading and brushing part of that bedtime and morning ritual. First, brush your teeth together. Then, let them pick their favorite book to read before either shutting off the lights and going to bed or going about the rest of your morning. It’s important that you do this together, as that is what supports the importance of both brushing and reading.


  • Have a special toothbrush for their stuffed animal! Does your child have a bear, doll, or other stuffed animal they carry everywhere? If so, use that to your advantage. Have your child brush their “teeth” as part of play and routines. Doing so will help them practice the proper motions while also having fun.


  • Bring books to your dentist’s office! Since early oral health care is important, helping your child grow accustomed to visiting the dentist’s office should start early. Bring your child’s favorite brushing book along on your visit and read it in the waiting room. Doing so will help them understand their upcoming appointment and create normalcy around the visit.


Are you ready to get started? Head to your local library or bookstore as a family to find your perfect brushing book today. There is no better time to support your child’s early oral health than right now.


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Eating for Good Oral Health: The Best and the Worst Foods for Your Teeth

We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth. Too much sugar leads to tooth decay and more time in the dentist’s chair than we’d like. But sugar isn’t the only culprit when it comes to damaging our teeth and gums. A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains is not only good for our bodies, it is also great for our oral health! In fact, according to the ADA, one of the first areas in your body to suffer from a poor diet is your teeth.

Yellow teeth? Here’s what you can do.

A lot of people these days are looking for ways to get a brighter, whiter smile. It’s important when considering different teeth-whitening methods, to meet with your dentist to find the root cause of your yellow teeth. This way you can make sure that your teeth-whitening regimen is effective, and you’re not covering up a bigger issue.

Causes of Yellow Teeth

  1. Enamel erosion – The dentin layer underneath the enamel is naturally yellowish in color. That’s why the thinner your enamel gets, the more yellow your teeth will appear.
  2. Acids in certain food and beverages – Soda is a common acidic beverage that wears away your teeth’s protective enamel coating. If you’re a regular soda drinker, it’s a good bet that your teeth are turning yellow because of it. Cola is especially harmful.
  3. Certain dental conditions
  4. Staining from food and beverages – Examples of food and beverages that can stain teeth are black tea, coffee, red wine, bright fruits and veggies, curry and sugary sweets.
  5. Tobacco use.

What can you do?

Some of the things listed above are good for you, and cutting them out of your life just isn’t an option. Start developing the habit of drinking water after consuming a type of food or beverage that is likely to stain your teeth. This helps rinse away some of the residue and slow the staining.

In some cases, it may be wise to cut back on some of the things discoloring your teeth. Cutting sweets out of your diet or reducing your soda intake can have enormous health benefits beyond the cosmetic benefits to your teeth.

Why see a dentist?

It’s important to see a dentist before trying to remedy yellow teeth on your own because there may be a more serious issue causing the discoloration than just your diet. Yellow teeth can be a symptom of a number of different dental problems, and it’s important not to merely remedy the symptom, covering up evidence of a bigger issue. A dentist can make sure you’re in good oral health, and prescribe an appropriate and effective treatment.


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Having Straight Teeth is About More Than Just Your Smile

Having straight teeth is often viewed as a luxury or something you desire but can’t have. This is especially the case if you are an adult who didn’t benefit from braces as a kid. While many people think having straight teeth only affects their smile, the alignment of your teeth is a big factor in your dental health as well.

Emergency Dental Care – Steps to Take When You Lose a Tooth

We all take precautions when it comes to our teeth. We brush in the morning and evening, we wear mouth guards when we play risky sports, and we go to the dentist twice a year. But sometimes, accidents happen. If you find yourself sitting on the ground with your head ringing and a tooth completely knocked out of your mouth, don’t panic. It’s possible to save your tooth, and your smile.

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Emergency Dental Care – 4 Steps to Take When You Lose a Tooth

Step 1: Retrieve Your Tooth (Carefully)

The first thing you need to do is retrieve your tooth. While the circumstance can seem scary or surreal, make sure you pick your tooth up carefully and only touch the crown (the chewing part of the tooth). You want to avoid touching the root as much as possible because that part needs to stay healthy and whole to get your tooth back where it belongs.

Step 2: Clean The Tooth (Gently)

In a perfect world, your tooth would fall out onto a clean pillow. Most of the time, though, it falls into the dirt or onto the concrete. So once you have your tooth in hand, make sure you wash it gently. Don’t scrub it, and don’t use any chemicals. Just rinse it gently under cold water until the dirt and grit that were clinging to it are gone.

Lastly, don’t wrap your tooth in a tissue or cloth. That isn’t going to help because you need to make sure your tooth, and the tissue, stay moist.

Step 3: Put Your Tooth Back in The Socket (If You Can)

As soon as your tooth is clean, you should try to put it back in the socket. Simply press it back where it belongs with your fingers, or hold it in place, and bite down slowly. The less time the tooth spends out of your mouth, the better off you’ll be.

If you can’t get your tooth back in its socket, a glass of cold milk will do in a pinch. Do not put your tooth in regular tap water, because the water will be too harsh on your tooth and the roots attached to it.

Step 4: Get To A Dental Professional (Within 30 Minutes or Less)

Once you have your tooth, you need to get to a dental emergency room. If you can get there within 30 minutes or so of the accident, there’s a good chance the dentist will be able to save your tooth, and your smile. Of course, even if you can’t make that close deadline, that’s no reason not to try. If you take the proper steps, it’s possible to save a tooth that’s been out of your mouth for an hour or more.


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Getting a Perfect Smile for Your Wedding Day

Planning your wedding is a whirlwind of decisions, last minute preparations and agonizing over little details. You want your big day to be perfect. In all your planning and dreaming and scouring of Pinterest, you’ve probably come across some tips for getting the perfect smile for your wedding day.

To cultivate a perfect smile for your wedding day, you’re mostly looking for short-term solutions to enhance your smile. After all, you probably don’t have years to plan your wedding. Here are some things you can do to make sure you have the perfect smile on your wedding day.

For a Perfect Smile, Protect Those Lips!

You definitely don’t want chapped lips on your wedding day. In the weeks leading up to your big day, make sure you protect your lips:

  • Use a lip balm with a high sun protection factor (SPF)—Nothing is worse than sunburned lips
  • Stay hydrated—When your whole body is hydrated, your lips will have a much easier time staying moist
  • Avoid licking your lips—When your lips start to feel dry, apply lip balm

The folks over at The Knot also recommend exfoliating your lips after you get out of the shower and applying a moisturizer before bed time.

Teeth Whitening

Meet with your dentist to go over teeth whitening methods that will give you a brighter smile for your wedding day. Many methods are available, especially if you look into your options six months or more in advance. Your dentist will help identify the best method for your mouth and will also make sure you have no underlying problems with your teeth. Some of these whitening options include:

  • Whitening strips
  • Whitening trays
  • Paint-on teeth whitening

Take Care of Your Skin

A healthy complexion is a big part of a perfect smile, but healthy, clean skin doesn’t happen overnight. Get into a good skin-care regimen long before your wedding day. Starting early also gives you ample time to make sure your skin isn’t sensitive to any new products. Don’t try something new a week before your wedding day; you could have an unexpected allergic reaction.

If you start now, you’re sure to have a perfect smile ready for your big day. Get started by meeting with your dentist to go over your options for teeth-whitening and get started right away!


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Dentistry for Children – Keeping Little Mouths Healthy

You can your little ones on the path to good dental habits begins before they even have teeth. Why would you think about dental health before your baby has a single tooth? Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean their teeth aren’t there. Teeth begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy, and by the time your baby is born, he or she will have 20 primary or “baby” teeth, and some of will already be fully developed in his jaw!

It Starts with the Gums

Even before your baby starts teething, get into the habit of running a clean, damp washcloth over her gums to clear away harmful bacteria.

Caring for Tiny Choppers

Once your baby’s teeth start coming in, brush them with an infant toothbrush. Use water and a tiny bit (about the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste. (Use a brand that has the ADA seal of approval.) Using a tiny amount is best in case she swallows any saliva while you’re brushing. Brush gently on the inside and outside of each tooth.

As soon as your baby’s teeth touch, you can add flossing in between them to the routine.

Starting around age two, let them brush their teeth themselves, under your supervision. Remind them to spit frequently to avoid swallowing toothpaste. Once they reach age three, let them use a bit more toothpaste — a dab about the size of a pea. Keep supervising the brushing process until they’re around six years old. You want to make sure they have the coordination to do a good job brushing and that they don’t swallow any toothpaste.

Establish Good Feeding Habits

Even a baby can develop tooth decay if he or she goes to sleep with a bottle every night. Sugars from milk or juice that stay on baby’s teeth overnight can eat away at the enamel and cause a condition known as “bottle mouth”. Pitted or discolored front teeth are signs of the condition, and, if severe enough, it can cause cavities and make it necessary to have their front baby teeth pulled out. (Their permanent teeth will replace them eventually.)

Letting your baby or toddler suck on a bottle all day can also do damage, so try to establish regular eating and bottle times rather than letting them have their bottle whenever they want it. Try to switch them to a “sippy” cup by the time they’re six months of age, even if you have to hold it until they develop the motor skills to hold it themselves.

Their First Visit with the Dentist

The ADA recommends that children see a dentist by the time they reach their first birthday. The dentist will likely let you hold your baby on your lap while she does an exam, and will go over proper brushing and flossing techniques with you.

This first visit is important for a couple of reasons:

  1. It gets your child acquainted with going to the dentist so they’ll feel more comfortable during future visits.
  2. Potential problems can be spotted early and fluoride treatments can start even before your baby has all his or her primary teeth.

Prevent Cavities

Limit sugary treats and juices, which can cause cavities. If you establish good habits early, your kids will have an easier time keeping them later on. Taking care of their teeth will become part of their daily routine, thanks to your early diligence!


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A New Method for Oral Surgery

If you need oral surgery and you don’t have the time or aren’t comfortable with the idea of being fully sedated, conscious sedation may be just what you need. Moderate (conscious) Sedation, also known as MCS, falls in between a local anesthetic like Novocaine, and general anesthesia, which puts you to “sleep” for a surgical procedure.

A Time-Saving Procedure

Technically speaking, MCS is a “drug induced depression of consciousness”, which is a fancy way of saying that you’re neither fully awake nor fully asleep. The method uses a combination of medicine to help you relax (a sedative) and a medicine to block pain (an anesthetic). You’ll probably stay awake, but may or may not be able to speak. MCS lets you recover more quickly and be back to your everyday activities sooner after your procedure.

Conscious sedation dentistry also saves time because you can respond to the oral surgeon’s directions during the procedure. It’s great for commuters in Fredericksburg and the DC area who are short on time because you can get more than one procedure done in a session.

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How It’s Administered and How You’ll Feel

Your dentist will usually give you a shot, although the medicine can also be administered through an IV. You’ll begin to feel relaxed and even drowsy in a very short time after receiving the injection. Your breathing will slow down and your blood pressure may go down a little, too. You may fall asleep, but it’s such a light sleep that if someone asks you a question, you’ll “wake up” and respond without difficulty.

After the Oral Surgery

As the sedation wears off, you might feel sleepy, have a headache, or be a little queasy. This should pass quickly. Afterwards, take it easy. Avoid driving and skip the evening cocktail or glass of wine with dinner for that day. By the next day, you should be feeling like yourself again, and be ready for new adventures!


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What can you do about missing teeth?

Missing teeth can cause a number of inconveniences and issues if not treated. Chewing can be difficult, other teeth may begin to shift because of the open gap, and the adjacent teeth can become more susceptible to cavities and other problems. So what can you do?