Magnolia Dental

Your Child’s First Visit

Sometimes we’re not sure when our baby’s first visit to the dentist should be or what to expect once we get there. Here are some important things to know:

Why should I bring my child to the dentist if their teeth are just going to fall out?
What you may not know is that baby teeth, or “primary teeth”, are just as important as adult teeth, or “permanent teeth”. Healthy and strong baby teeth not only help your child chew, but they also help your child talk. In addition to that, baby teeth hold spaces in your child’s jaw for their permanent teeth, which are busy growing under their gums.

When should I bring my child to the dentist for the first time?
We want to see your child when his or her first tooth erupts, but no later than your child’s first birthday. Typically, the front two and lower teeth begin to come in when your child is between 6 months and a year old. In addition to that, we hope to meet with you for the first time for a simple checkup rather than an emergency. If you wait until there is a dental emergency, your child may then associate anxiety with dental visits.

Why do we have to visit the dentist at such a young age?
Even if there is no dental emergency, it is important to bring your child in before their first birthday for preventative care. We will show you how to properly clean your child’s teeth, discuss with you their dietary and fluoride needs, and also recommend dental hygiene products. Another great reason to bring your child in at such a young age is so that you can form a good relationship with us and we can learn your family’s needs early on.

Here are some tips for a positive experience:
• Schedule an appointment in the morning, when children tend to be more rested and cooperative.
• Don’t let your child know you’re feeling anxious about their first visit too. Always stay positive!
• Don’t ever bribe your child to go to the dentist or use it at punishment. This will lead them to associate the dentist with a negative feeling.
• Make it an enjoyable outing!

Any questions about your first visit? Please give us a call today!

3 Tips for Teaching Kids About Cavities

Talking to your kids about cavities is very important. But, as with anything else with children, it’s also important to keep it fun. When you make it fun for your kids, they will be more likely to brush and floss without the usual battle. Are you wondering how you can talk to your kids about cavities and good oral hygiene without losing their interest?

We are here to help with some tips for breaking it down so that your kids can better understand the importance of oral hygiene:

1. Use the right words.
Try using words like “sugar bugs” and “mouth monsters” to describe the bacterial villains that cause tooth decay. Pretend it’s a game and tell them that it’s time to battle the monsters. This is especially useful for getting kids to floss–tell them that the only way to win against the sugar bugs is to floss in between the teeth!

2. Make the bathroom visually fun and friendly.
Use brightly colored brushes, walls, towels and a reward system to make hygiene time more appealing and kid friendly. Let them pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste so they are excited to use them. You can even allow them to put the toothpaste on the brush themselves once they are old enough to spit reliably. And, for extra fun, play some music while they brush–find a favorite song that is 2 minutes long (the recommended time for brushing) and brush away.

3. Use charts to show information.
Create charts, posters and homemade pictures in the bathroom that teach them good oral hygiene from early on. Have them decorate the chart by drawing sugar bugs and personalizing it with their own touch.

These are just a few of the many ideas we have to teach your kids the important of proper oral hygiene and how to fight cavities. For more information, please contact our office at Mitchellville Office Phone Number 301-485-KIND.

Gum Disease in Children

Healthy gums are important for a healthy mouth and body, so we want you to pay a lot of attention to them! While we all know that children are resilient (and they get two sets of teeth), their teeth (baby and permanent) still need the same care and attention that is required by adult teeth.

Plaque and Gums
It’s important to keep plaque under control, because if left untreated it can make your child’s gums swollen, and they can bleed when touched. This can be the start of gingivitis–otherwise known as gum disease. It is common and can be improved with frequent brushing, flossing and regular cleanings in our office.

Gingivitis in Children
Unfortunately, gingivitis does happen to children–it is characterized by swollen, red gum tissue that bleeds easily. Gingivitis is preventable and treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and professional dental care. However–if left untreated, it can advance to more serious forms of periodontal disease, even in children and teens.

Aggressive Periodontitis
Aggressive periodontitis can affect young people and children who are otherwise healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis is found mostly in teenagers and young adults–usually found around the first molars and incisors. Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin at puberty and involves the entire mouth. It’s identified by inflammation of the gum and heavy accumulation of plaque and calculus.

Signs of gingivitis to watch for:

Bleeding
Bleeding gums during tooth brushing, flossing or any other time.

Puffiness
Swollen, bright-red gums.

Recession
Gums that are receding from the teeth, sometimes exposing the roots (this is actually a sign of more serious periodontal disease).

Bad Breath
Consistent bad breath that does not clear up with brushing and flossing.

Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of gum problems in children. The most important preventative step against periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits with your child.

Establish Good Oral Hygiene
For newborns, wipe their gums with a wet cloth. Once teeth start to erupt, parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush to clean children’s teeth for them (make sure they spit, not swallow)! Start flossing when gaps form as teeth grow in.

Be A Good Role Model
Practice good oral hygiene habits yourself!

Schedule Regular Dental Check-Ups
Family check-ups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings are all important.

Check Your Child’s Mouth
Keep a close eye out for bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, and bad breath.

Here at Magnolia Dental we want to make sure we are with you every step of the way as your child grows. Call us at Mitchellville Office Phone Number 301-485-KIND to schedule your child’s dental appointment today!

Cavity Protection Tips for Kids

cavity tips for kidsLet’s face it. It’s fairly easy and rather common for children to develop cavities due to the abundance of sugary foods and beverages in our society. When it comes to cavities, knowing how to prevent them can save time, money and pain in the dental chair. Thus, we’ve put together the ultimate list of tips to help your kids keep the cavities at bay!

1. Start good habits early by encouraging brushing, flossing and rinsing – twice daily!

2. Avoid sweet drinks such as soda, fruit juices and sports drinks. Swap them out for water instead – an easy way to cut back on their sugar intake.

3. Refrain from high sugar content foods such as sticky candy (taffy and caramel) and gummy snacks/vitamins. These treats can be tough to remove and can erode enamel, eventually causing cavities and tooth decay.

4. Limit starchy foods such as potato chips and crackers which can get stuck in small areas of tooth surfaces, ultimately leading to acid-eroding plaque in the mouth if proper brushing does not occur. Be careful of breads and pastas too, as these foods provide sugar to bacteria that feed on it and cause tooth decay.

5. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste for children age two and up. Bonus tip: don’t rinse, just spit! The excess fluoride will stay on their teeth, adding extra protection.

6. Detect cavities early by making routine visits to your child’s dentist. We recommend scheduling check-ups every six months!

Following these six tips can help your child maintain great overall oral health, in addition to preventing any unwanted cavities. For questions, please give our office a call @ Mitchellville Office Phone Number 301-485-KIND!

6 Essential Oils for Healthy Gums and Teeth!

essential oilsLet’s face it; Essential oils are all the rage these days. Known for their unique healing and therapeutic benefits, essential oils have been used for centuries dating all the way back to 2000 BC. In recent years, the rise of essential oils has taken health care to an entirely new perspective, for uses like aromatherapy, ingestion and personal care. The following oils are the top essential oils for healthy, beautiful, gums and teeth!

#1: Clove is especially essential for oral health. Clinical research indicates that clove oil can relieve tooth pain and bad breath, as well as help reduce gum disease! Clove oil also has the natural ability to restrict the development of bacteria and can help fight mouth and throat infections.

#2: Thyme belongs to the mint family and therefore is often used in mouthwashes and elixirs to give flavor and freshness for oral health treatments. It contains natural chemicals that help defend from tooth decay, gingivitis and general oral infections.

#3: Oregano is a powerful antioxidant known to contain anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce bacterial and fungal infections. Oregano oil is also known to help boost the immune system and may be used in combination with coconut oil for oil pulling treatments!

#4: Tea Tree is a natural remedy for bad breath and contains ingredients that diminish plaque. This oil is a perfect ingredient for a DIY toothpaste or mouthwash because of its ability to kill off bacteria, diminish tooth decay and relieve bleeding gums! *Please note that tea tree should NOT be used for internal use other than for a mouthwash or tooth paste – you must spit it out after use and rinse with water.

#5: Peppermint is known for its cooling and numbing elements which can effectively soothe tooth and muscle aches. Research has found that peppermint oil is exceptionally powerful for fighting oral pathogens and killing common bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease.

#6: Cinnamon is antibacterial, anti fungal and antiseptic – which makes it an effective cleanser for every oral health care need, such as relief for a sore throat! Cinnamon oil also contains one of the greatest antimicrobial properties that protect against bacteria accountable for tooth decay.

If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, give us a call at Mitchellville Office Phone Number 301-485-KIND today!

Winter Oral Health Tips

winter oral health tips Winter is here and with it, comes the drastic change of weather! The cold temperatures are fun in theory, but what about the toll it takes on your oral health? Often times cold weather brings on a variety of pesky problems, like dry skin and irritated throats. But, the problems don’t stop there. In fact, your oral health is also affected by the change of weather. That’s why this season, we put together the ultimate guide on how to keep your oral health in perfect condition this winter season!

Tip #1 – Tooth Sensitivity: Many find that they experience increased tooth sensitivity to cold temperatures. This can not only come from foods, but the chilly air outside too! If you find that you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, there are tons of tricks you can do to help avoid discomfort. These include using a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth, or even rising out your mouth with salt water!

Tip #2 – Cold Sores: Cold sores can appear for a variety of reasons, including cold weather and a weakened immune system. To prevent a cold sore breakout, start by keeping your hands off of your mouth area! If you do feel a cold sore coming on, immediately apply a topical treatment to the area to stop the infection in its tracks.

Tip #3 – Chapped Lips: Chapped lips is one of the most common ailments of the winter season. To avoid painful cracked lips this season, invest in a good lip salve with SPF+ to keep them protected. In addition, it’s important to mention that your body moisturizes from the inside out, so remember to keep up with your daily water intake to help to keep your lips moisturized!

Tip #4 – Cavity Care: Let’s face it, the best part of the winter season is all the delicious foods! It’s fine to give into temptation and indulge in sweet treats, but just be sure to properly brush and floss afterwards to avoid cavities! In addition, always remember to drink plenty of water to help rinse away food particles and bacteria from your mouth! Incorporating dental friendly foods into your winter diet to help with cavity prevention will also benefit you! Foods such as crunchy fruits and vegetables, cheese and other foods high in calcium, are all perfect for keeping your teeth and gums healthy this winter!

Taking care of your oral health is important. That’s why we want to ensure that your oral health is in tip top shape this season! If you would like to schedule an appointment with our office, give us a call at Mitchellville Office Phone Number 301-485-KIND! In the mean time, stay warm out there!

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