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Many women choose to breastfeed because of the various, natural benefits that breastfeeding provides. With this decision to breastfeed, comes another decision to take care of their own health since it will directly affect the health of their new baby. When it comes to oral health and breastfeeding, there are a few things that new mothers will want to take into account.

One of the first things new mothers will want to consider is that oral health begins even before breastfeeding. During pregnancy, certain hormonal changes can cause dental changes as well. For example, pregnant women are more at risk for dental diseases, such as periodontitis. This can cause premature birth and low birth weight. Because of this, it is important for expectant mothers to make dental checkups a regular part of their prenatal care.

Once the baby has arrived and the mother is nursing, there are other things she will need to take into consideration. While breastfeeding, she will need to make sure to eat more calories, limit caffeine, eat more protein, and drink enough fluids. Even while breastfeeding, mothers are at a higher risk for dental problems. Because of this, they should limit their sugar intake and make sure to brush and floss as usual.

The mother will also need to worry about the baby’s oral health as well. Although breastmilk is a naturally-occurring substance, there is still the possibility of it causing cavities. Some would also argue that it can be linked to tooth decay, however there is not enough clear evidence to currently support this assertion. Nevertheless, it is imperative to prioritize baby’s oral health while breastfeeding.

Many people believe that baby bottles can also cause tooth decay. This phenomenon is known as “baby bottle mouth” and refers to bottles given at night. It is believed that when babies fall asleep with bottles, the milk pools in their mouth. It is this pooling of liquid that can ultimately lead to tooth decay. This same effect does not happen with breastfeeding, however, since babies have to be actively sucking to obtain milk.

Furthermore, tooth decay does not simply happen as a result of too much milk. It is the combination of stagnant milk and bacteria that contribute to the overall problem. Thus, the mother must also take special care to ensure that bacteria do not spread to the baby. To accomplish this, she will need to avoid any saliva to saliva contact such as sharing spoons, wet kisses, chewing the food for baby, or putting the baby’s pacifier in her mouth.

In addition, she will want to clean the baby’s gums after feedings and before bedtime to ensure that any possible bacteria is removed before it has the chance to reproduce. To clean baby’s gums, simply wet a gauze square or soft washcloth with warm water and gently rub over the gum’s surface. If the baby is resistant, sometimes singing or providing some other kind of distraction can be beneficial.

Taking care of both the mother’s and child’s oral health is essential while breastfeeding. Both must be in good health to ensure that the baby receives the maximum amount of benefits from this natural process.

Once your child is six months of age, their first set of teeth start to appear. By the age of three, they should have a full set of twenty baby teeth. Teeth are at risk of being damaged or decaying as soon as they emerge from the gums, thus teaching oral habits must begin early.

When it comes to children and their teeth, children are not always aware of the importance of their oral health. It is up to the parents to teach them about oral health and good oral habits. While most children are predisposed to having poor oral habits by nature, replacing these habits with healthy habits early on can create a solid foundation of oral health.

Since children are unaware of the damage that can be done to their teeth, they tend to do things that are not beneficial to their oral well-being. These include: chewing on hard objects, grinding and/or clenching their teeth, brushing too hard, biting their nails, sucking on their fingers, and running with things in their mouth. In addition, their nutritional habits such as drinking too much soda, chewing sugar gum, and eating too many sweets can cause problems as well.

While some of these activities may seem harmless at first, they can actually cause long-term dental problems such as tooth damage, tooth decay, tooth loss, and oral soft tissue damage. Chewing on hard objects, grinding and/or clenching teeth, nail-biting, and running with items in their mouth can cause tooth fractures. Excessively sucking on fingers can cause the upper and lower arches of the mouth to develop improperly and could result in “bucked teeth” or “piano teeth”. Finally, brushing too hard can cause the gums to recess and damages the enamel, or protective layer.

Although it may be difficult to explain to a young child why good oral habits are essential, by starting them on good oral habits you will assure that they continue these habits as they grow. It is important to prioritize your child’s dental care from the time their first teeth begin to emerge. Until they can adequately brush on their own, you will need to brush their teeth twice daily with a small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Make sure they do not swallow the toothpaste or buy a child’s toothpaste which is gentler.

You also want to make sure that you help your child through the teething process. Most children begin teething around six months of age and will continue until they’ve developed all their baby teeth. Teething can cause discomfort, irritability, sleep problems, loss of appetite, and excessive drooling. To help alleviate some of the discomfort, you can rub your baby’s gums lightly with your fingertips or provide them with something cool to chew on such as a refrigerated pacifier or teething ring.

Once your child has started to develop teeth, you will also need to take them to get their first dental appointment. Since the risk of tooth decay emerges with their teeth, you want to make sure their teeth are in good shape from the beginning. It is important to make this visit a positive experience so that your child will not develop a fear of the dentist. Usually, the first exam is a simple check of all the teeth and a consultation about future care.

By minimizing your child’s poor oral habits and teaching them good oral habits, you can ensure that your child will continue to use these habits as they grow. It is important to create a foundation of good oral habits that they can build upon for the rest of their lives.

As a child, visiting the dentist can be scary. Most kids hate going to dentist’s office, but they need to do so quite regularly in order to ensure proper health.

To help quell any unwanted occurrences, here are a few tips that you can take with you:

  1. Speak and listen to your child. Communication is very important as going to the dentist may be stressful for a child; it might seem like an obvious statement, but speaking with and listening to your children can be very effective. An important footnote: During the conversation, try to speak in a calm and soothing voice, this is a great way to ease a child’s anxiety.
  2. Without a doubt, the most important step is to go over what the visit will be like. After all, the child is the one going to see the dentist. Ensure that your child is mentally prepared for the experience.
  3. Try to speak highly of the dentist, as this will encourage your child to communicate if they are having any dental issues or pains.
  4. If your child is feeling anxious or afraid, try to understand their concerns. Listen to them and encourage them to be natural an open with the dentist.
  5. Bring something to support your child. Does your child have a favorite toy or stuffed animal? If so, feel free to bring it along for a bit moral and psychological support. When a child has a familiar object at hand, they are able to feel more at ease, even in an unfamiliar environment such as the dentist’s office.
  6. Give your child a prize! As a form of encouragement and acknowledgment for the bravery of your child, rewarding them can make your child feel much better about the whole experience. They will now be able to associate the dentist’s office with fun, positivity and perhaps a little treat. It will definitely reduce their fear of the dentist and might even make them want to come back. Sometimes, dentists even sell treats in their office, but you can always feel free to bring your own.

The dentist’s office can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your child, and if you follow these steps you’re almost sure to make it a great experience!

A major part of dental care is prevention. The best way to prevent any sort of decay or oral health problems is through good oral hygiene. And good oral hygiene is best started at a young age.

The earlier a child learns to take care of their teeth and not fear the dentist, the more likely they are to enjoy a healthy mouth throughout their life. And a healthy mouth leads to a good quality of life.

But why worry about children’s teeth?

In addition to creating good habits, taking care of baby teeth plays an important role in ensuring their adult teeth are healthy. Baby teeth help children learn to speak and process food. They also hold a space for adult teeth. If a child loses baby teeth to decay the surrounding teeth tend to shift, which ultimately crowds adult teeth and leads to issues with their bite and alignment.

This can result in a need for expensive orthodontic work.

There are several components to a good oral hygiene routine for children.


It’s important that children are taught to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. Brushing helps to get rid of plaque build up that ultimately leads to decay. The more often you brush the less food and plaque particles around for bacteria to feed off of. The fewer bacteria the less decay.


While brushing is important for getting the surface of your teeth and tongue, the tight spaces between your teeth and around your gums should be taken care of through flossing once a day. Children should learn to floss around the base of their teeth, between teeth, and at the back where food tends to build up and it’s harder for your toothbrush to reach.

Dentist Appointments

Many people fear the dentist and as a result completely ignore their oral health by skipping visits. When this happens more serious issues tend to come up and require lengthier and more expensive treatments.

By taking your child to the dentist twice a year you’ll get them used to see her and also ensure their teeth are being cleaned professionally on a regular basis. Be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Toyer if your child is in need of a cleaning.


What your child eats plays a huge part in their oral health. Feed them a healthy diet of lean proteins, fruits, and veggies and avoid processed carbs, sugars, and soft drinks. Starting them with a healthy diet early on will keep their teeth healthy and also help to keep their weight in check as they get older.

No one wants to be known as the person with kickin’ breath, but let’s face it: everyone at some point or another will have bad breath. It’s a fact of life. The good news is that you can easily fight bad breath with a few remedies that are tried and true.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is the result of anaerobic bacteria producing a sulphuric by product in the mouth as they eat plaque. These bacteria are always present, however, if a person stays on top of brushing and flossing they are never given an opportunity to over grow. Regular brushing and flossing eliminate the biofilm that coats teeth.

Patients that stay on top of their brushing and flossing, but suffer from dry mouth might find their breath to be offensive. Unfortunately dry mouth, with can be the result of drinking alcohol, smoking, and even some medications, can lead to bad breath because a dry mouth is the perfect place for bacteria to breed.

Finally, a variety of foods are obvious causes of bad breath including dairy, onions, and garlic.

Preventing Bad Breath

While bad breath is a bummer, the good news is there’s lots of things you can do to prevent it. First and most obvious, stick to a strong oral hygiene routine. Brush twice a day, floss once, and get in to see Dr. Toyer for your regular cleanings. Adding baking soda to your hygiene routine a couple of days a week will also help to neutralize acids in your mouth.

If you suffer from bad breath because of dry mouth we recommend you always have water with you to drink and suck on sugar-free hard candies to produce saliva.

What if my bad breath is chronic?

Chronic bad breath is usually a sign that there’s something more going on. One of the most common reasons for chronic bad breath is periodontitis. This disease causes pockets to form around gums. These pockets then collect food particles which bacteria feed off of and produce odor causing by products.

There’s a slew of underlying problems that might not be obvious to you and take a trained professional to diagnose that could be causing bad breath. From undiagnosed dry mouth to various diseases, our staff is trained to get to the root of problems and come up with solutions to solve them.

Make it a point to schedule an appointment with us to get in and learn what could be causing your bad breath. While bad breath is embarrassing and frustrating, it’s not something you need to live with. Dr. Toyer brings years of experience in treating patients for chronic bad breath and prides herself on establishing strong relationships with her patients. This allows her to provide the best treatment possible and offer creative solutions that meet the demands of your lifestyle.



On occasion, we get contacted by parents who are concerned that their children have been grinding their teeth in their sleep. This is something that occurs in approximately 33% of children during their sleep, but 8% of adults also suffer from this condition. Known as bruxism, tooth grinding typically begins when a child first begins to get their teeth, and then again when their permanent teeth begin to arrive. In adults stress and anxiety tend to be major contributors. Bruxism tends to pass in time, but there are some things that should be considered.


Causes Of Bruxism

It’s not entirely clear what causes bruxism, but oral discomfort caused by shifting and realigning teeth are known causes of temporary bruxism, with allergies and other illnesses being known to play a role as well. Issues that cause inner ear pressure to change, such as during a flight, have also been indicated. Persistent bruxism can be a serious concern and can result from fear, anxiety, and stress. While it tends to pass in time, paying attention to your overall health as well as the severity of the condition will determine if intervention is required.


Should I Be Concerned About Bruxism?

As mentioned previously, bruxism is fairly common and generally not a major concern as your child will likely grow out of it, though adults may have ongoing issues. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact the office of April J. Toyer, DDS, your dentist in Woodbridge or Prince William County, VA. Symptoms that indicate that your teeth may require further attention are as follows:

  • Sleep issues including frequent waking or difficulty falling asleep.
  • Sore jaws or jaw pain
  • Recurring headaches
  • Pain or sensitivity in the teeth not caused by other dental issues.
  • Flattening of the teeth or other indicators of wear
  • Soft tissue damage in the oral cavity
  • Audible, ongoing grinding that doesn’t pass with time.


What Can I Do To Ease Minor Bruxism?

If the above symptoms are absent, there are steps you can take to ease your bruxism. The following may help to reduce incidences of teeth grinding:

  • Identify your source of stress and work to reduce it.
  • Ensure you have a proper diet.
  • Dehydration is known to aggravate bruxism, ensure you’re getting enough water.


When Should I Contact My Dentist About Bruxism?

As with any dental concerns, it’s appropriate to contact your dentist as soon as you are aware its an issue. While initially there may not be a medical treatment attempted to aid in easing the bruxism, it helps to make sure your dental professional is aware of the condition and your concerns surrounding it. April Toyer has a long history of providing a comforting experience for her patients, with a focus on total dental care and a family touch. If you’re looking for a dentist in Woodbridge or Prince William County, VA, give our office a call today and set up a consultation for all of your dental concerns.


Pregnancy is an exciting time. You’ve got a new baby on the way, people tend to treat you extra special, and you can eat whatever you want (within reason)! While pregnancy is exciting, it changes your body and requires that you stay on top of its care and maintenance.

One of the most important aspects of having a healthy pregnancy is good dental care. While you might get caught up in prenatal visits and making sure you’re taking the best care of yourself possible, it is important that you make it a point to take care of your oral health.

When should I tell my dentist I am pregnant?

Never hide your pregnancy status from your dentist. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or think you might be pregnant, it’s important that you tell your dentist this so that they can take the necessary precautions to protect both you and the baby.

Depending on whether you’re high risk or suffer from certain conditions, the dentist might decide to withhold certain procedures.

How can pregnancy affect a woman’s mouth?

There are several conditions that can occur during pregnancy. By monitoring your oral health and having a baseline of where you stand, Dr. Toyer will be able to determine what is related to pregnancy.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Normal hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause the chemistry in your mouth to change. This is why some women develop pregnancy gingivitis. This is characterized by swelling and tenderness of the gums. You might also notice that your gums bleed after brushing or flossing. It is crucial that this condition is treated, as it can lead to extensive tooth decay and even tooth loss. Oftentimes the solution is to schedule cleanings more frequently.

Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

Pregnant women tend to be at an increased risk of tooth decay for a variety of reasons. Morning sickness, characterized by throwing up, increases the amount of stomach acid in a person’s mouth and can break down the enamel of a tooth. Most pregnant women tend to consume more carbohydrates, which break down into sugars. This can also lead to decay.

Oftentimes women who lose their normal oral care routine because they don’t feel well, have tender gums, or have a more sensitive gag reflex. It is important that despite these issues you continue your routine as poor oral health can lead to premature birth, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.

Pregnancy Tumors

Most often seen during the second trimester, pregnancy tumors are small growths that often appeal on the gums. They tend to bleed and look like little raspberries. These often disappear after birth, however, can be removed by the dentist if they are something you are concerned about.

If you’re trying to become pregnant or recently became pregnant, contact us. Dr. Toyer is here to help ensure your mouth is as healthy as possible. Schedule an appointment to make sure you’re on the right track and learn more about how you can keep your mouth and overall health in the best condition.

With summer heat at its peak, it’s important that you stay hydrated throughout any activity. Dehydration can lead to fainting, heat stroke, and even death. Every year someone dies because they haven’t hydrated well while performing activities in the summer heat.

Unfortunately, many of the common options available to people wanting to stay hydrated are not healthy. And while staying hydrated should be your goal, you should also try to avoid excess sugar and other additives that could affect your health.


Soda is one of the most common drinks reached for by kids and adults alike. Unfortunately, soda is loaded with sugar and caffeine, both of which can dehydrate you. This is because caffeine is a diuretic. As a result, you might drink a soda and have to urinate more quickly. Over time, you lose more fluid.

Soda doesn’t replace any of the fluids you lose while you sweat. There’s also 39 grams of sugar in a Coke. When you’re drinking soda all day while playing sports you’re ingesting a ton of sugar and essentially bathing your teeth in sugar. Your teeth are more prone to decay when they’re constantly exposed to sugar, along with the carbonation in soda.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks like Gatorade have a lot of sugar, but they also offer you many electrolytes that are lost while you are sweating. These drinks are a good choice if you’re doing more than an hour of work outside. It helps to replace sodium, potassium, and magnesium. It’s important that you pace yourself with these drinks and either water them down or look for a diet version. This is because the sugar these drinks contain is still detrimental to the overall health of your mouth and your waistline.


The best thing you can do for your body when you’re outside working in the heat is to regularly drink water. It’s crucial that you hydrate before, during, and after activities. In fact, it’s recommended that you drink 4-6 ounces every 15 or 20 minutes.

Water straight from the tap will help your body regulate its temperature, help your muscles recover, and reduce fatigue. Additionally, water helps to reduce dry mouth, which is a common cause for bad breath.

When it comes to choosing a drink to hydrate during the summer, we recommend you reach for water or a watered down sports drink. Soda does nothing to help your body recover and is horrible for your oral health.

If you’re curious about how your diet might affect your oral health, contact us. Dr. Toyer is committed to helping her patients enjoy a healthy life through proper oral hygiene, as well as proper nutrition and exercise.

Recent studies claiming that flossing isn’t as important as dentists say it is have been on the news. However, this small bit of studies complete contradicts solid scientific evidence and thousands of studies that say otherwise.

The truth is, flossing is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health – oral and systemic.

Flossing Supports Brushing

Your toothbrush plays an important part in ensuring plaque and odor causing bacteria is kept to a minimum, however, it can’t do everything. That’s why flossing is so important. Flossing complements the efforts of your brushing because it gets into areas where your brush can’t – specifically, between your teeth and at the back of your mouth.

Flossing Protects Your Gums

Excessive plaque buildup around your gums causes gingivitis – the earliest stage of periodontitis. If it isn’t corrected through brushing and flossing this can morph into an ugly disease that causes your bone to disintegrate and teeth to fall out. Flossing helps to remove the plaque around your gums so that you do not develop gingivitis.

Additionally, it removes the tough, stuck food from those areas that mouthwash and brushing cannot.

Save Money

By protecting your mouth from infection and decay you’re making a huge impact on your oral health and wallet. The cost of treating disease and decay is far more than that of a spool of floss or regular dental cleanings. Moreover, the pain, time, and discomfort that goes into more advanced dental procedures call all be avoided if you simply follow a healthy oral hygiene routine that includes flossing.

Prevent Tartar Buildup

One of the most uncomfortable parts of any dental visit is having tartar scraped from your teeth. The sound of the scraping is enough to drive you nuts. But it’s an important part of ensuring your teeth are healthy and that bacterial colonies don’t embed into your dentin. This is another factor of periodontitis.

By regularly flossing your removing bacteria and tartar so that when you go to the dentist you don’t have to go through a longer session of scraping.

Prevent Diseases

Flossing plays a major role in preventing periodontal disease. Because it prevents periodontal disease it also helps to prevent a slew of other diseases linked to periodontal disease. This includes heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes (which is worsened by periodontal disease).

The crucial thing to understand is that flossing isn’t a waste of time. When performed properly it actually saves time and trouble down the road. Additionally, flossing is something that only needs to be done once a day. So you can integrate it into your morning or evening routine, whichever is most convenient.

If you’re looking for a dentist who focuses on preventative care like flossing, brushing, and cleanings, contact our office. Dr. Toyer is committed to teaching patients the best ways to care for their oral hygiene needs, so that they live happy, healthy lives for years to come. From proper brushing techniques to restorations, she is here to guide you through the education and decision-making process.

Impacted wisdom teeth are one of the most common things Dr. Toyer sees in the office. Wisdom teeth don’t always need to be removed, but if they’re malpositioned, cause pain, or are causing other problems, then chances are you need your wisdom teeth removed.

Wisdom tooth removal is a simple outpatient surgical procedure that can be done in less than an hour. You will need someone to drive you to and from the surgery, however, recovery is quick and the benefits far outweigh not getting the teeth removed.

What are impacted wisdom teeth?

Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the teeth at the back of your mouth (wisdom teeth), are inhibited from growing properly. When teeth grow in properly they can erupt and move smoothly into the space that was available for them. Teeth that become impacted can grow sideways, crooked, and oftentimes remain under the bone.

Sometimes a tooth can partially erupt, but this is far from ideal because the small bit of exposed tooth is prone to plaque and bacteria build up. And, an infection or decay in even a small bit of exposed tooth can eventually spread below the surface of your jaw to the rest of the tooth.

Even if your impacted wisdom teeth aren’t causing problems, over time they can intercept other tooth roots, which leads to intense pain and discomfort.

When should I get my wisdom teeth removed?

There isn’t a set age when doctors believe removal is ideal, however, the earlier impacted teeth are discovered, the sooner you can get them removed. This can save issues down the line and, younger bodies tend to heal better than older individuals.

Ultimately, if you’ve reached a more mature age and ever experienced issues, the doctor might not recommend removal.

What is wisdom tooth removal like?

Don’t let the horror stories you’ve heard scare you. When done by an experienced dentist like Dr. Toyer, wisdom tooth removal is nearly painless. You’re under anesthesia and the surgery is usually complete within 45 minutes.

During the surgery, the doctor will open your gums and dig out the impacted tooth. They will then clean the area and suture it closed. Once the surgery is successfully completed the doctor will then wake you up and reverse the anesthesia.

After the surgery, the doctor will pack your mouth and recommend an icing schedule to reduce swelling. The most important thing to remember when recovering from wisdom tooth removal surgery is to avoid chewing hard, crunchy, or tough. Stick to liquids and soft foods like milkshakes, ice cream, and mashed potatoes. Tough foods can cut your stitches, resulting in swelling, and cause infection.

If you’ve been experiencing discomfort and believe wisdom teeth are to blame, give Dr. Toyer a call. Our compassionate team will help diagnose any dental issues you might be facing and create a treatment plan that will work for your needs.

We accept a wide variety of insurances and offer additional payment options to ensure your treatment is affordable for you.

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