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So you’ve just had a new baby and are enjoying all of the wonderful moments that come with
having a child. Of course one of the ‘wonderful moments’ that lay not too far down the line is
when they start teething. Teething is one of those processes that our parents warned us
about, telling us about the pain and discomfort the poor child goes through, while the parents
start understanding what sleep deprivation is really all about. Understanding a bit about this
process can help prepare you both for the first stages of teething, and for that inevitable day
when your children’s baby teeth fall out and their adult ones start to come in.

How Do My Children’s Teeth Erupt?
When a child reaches six months of age they typically will start going through the teething
process, this is where the children’s first teeth start to erupt through their gums, also known
as deciduous teeth. Typically the first teeth that come through are the incisors, located in the
front and center of the jaw and employed in the cutting up of food. Through the following 2
and a half years, your child will have their new teeth steadily pushing their way up through the
gums until they have their total of 20. Your children’s teeth are an important part of their jaws
formation for their permanent teeth.

Where Do These Teeth Come From?
Baby teeth form from something known as ‘tooth buds’, and these same buds are the ones
that will set their permanent teeth in motion. In most people, there are 32 teeth that form, but
in some cases, third molars will develop, those painful growths we know as Wisdom Teeth
that typically need to be removed due to the complications they cause.

How Their Teeth Loosen And Fall Out
It’s incredibly common for teeth to fall out in the order in which they came in, in part due to the
fact that this is also how permanent teeth tend to form. Teeth become loose when the adult
teeth start forming beneath it and begin pushing against the existing teeth. You’ll usually
know this is happening when your kids come to you excitingly talking about their teeth being
loose. It’s almost instinctual to run their tongue over the loose tooth and otherwise play with
it, and this is likely an adaptation that helps it slowly come out. If you can rotate the tooth,
that means its ready to come out, but it’s important to let the process happen naturally. A
tooth will fall out when the root beneath it has completely died off, if you pull it out early it can
break the root and cause infection.

If you have any questions about the progress of your children’s teeth and what will happen
throughout their early years as the teeth develop, fall out, and are replaced, contact your
dentist. Specialists like Dr. April J. Toyer at Lifetime Dental Care in Woodbridge, VA have
been helping families through these times and setting them on the path to a future with great

You’ve just had a beautiful new child born and, no doubt, are completely overwhelmed by all the things you have to do to shepherd this fledgling into the world with the greatest chance of success.  You’ve got the right diapers, the right pediatrician, all the Baby Einstein Tapes you could find, and a wonderful nursery, what could possibly be left out? How about your baby’s dental care. That’s right, even your infant is in need of visiting the dentist, and Dr. Toyer at the Lifetime Dental Care Pediatric and Adult Dentistry clinic is an expert in the field of pediatric dentistry.  If your child has had a tooth come through in the last six months, or is a year old and hasn’t seen their dentist yet, call and schedule an appointment.

Why Does My Child Need To See The Dentist If They Haven’t Got Teeth?
The development of baby teeth starts before they actually push through the gums, and their growth and health throughout their time with your child has been shown to be important to their long-term health.  As their teeth come in you can work carefully with your pediatric dentist to ensure that they get the full benefit of chewing and digesting their food properly, as well as helping to develop healthy and natural speech patterns.  Your baby’s teeth are important for more than just cosmetic purposes, and starting early ensures they can develop healthy oral care habits throughout their lives.

What Benefits Are There To Having My Child Visit Their Dentist In The First Year?
Let’s start with the psychological benefits.  Dental office jitters are very real phenomena that are experienced by patients of all ages, especially the very young.  The exception to this rule is those who have yet to learn the myth that dentists are something to fear. When you get your child started on a healthy oral care routine that includes regular dentist visits early, you’re setting them up for a lifetime free of dental jitters and a healthy relationship with their oral care and their dentist.  

So When Should My Child See The Dentist For The First Time? How Do I Prepare?
Current wisdom suggests that your child should see their dentist for the first time within a year of being born, or within 6 months of their first tooth erupting.  This ensures that they get an early start on dental care and your dentist has an opportunity to identify any possible concerns in time to help correct them. They also suggest bringing your child with you to an appointment prior to their own so they can see what a dentist visit is like and learn that there’s nothing to fear from your friendly mouth doctor.

If you’re ready to start your child’s dental health adventure, call Dr. April J. Toyer at the Lifetime Dental Care Pediatric and Adult Dentistry Clinic today.  Setting up an appointment is the first step to seeing your child on their way to a future with bright, healthy teeth and a fearless relationship with their dentist.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and starting the day with a healthy breakfast has many benefits. For starters, it helps to get your metabolism flowing which will burn calories and give you adequate amounts of energy for the rest of the day. This is important because after a night of sleeping, your body wakes up starved for calories. Without the proper caloric intake, not only will you feel listless, but you may be prone to overeating later in the day. Breakfast has also been found to improve memory and concentration, lower levels of bad cholesterol, and decrease the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Not only is eating breakfast important, but eating the right kind of breakfast is important too. An ideal breakfast should be both balanced and able to keep you full for at least a few hours after eating. A healthy breakfast should also comprised of three basic elements: carbohydrates, proteins, and fruit, with carbohydrates and protein being the primary components. Fruit is important too, but should be added as a complement to carbohydrates and protein.



Whole grains are the most ideal source of carbohydrates. Oatmeal and whole-grain cereal provide an adequate amount of carbohydrates, however pay attention to the sugar content on the cereal. A good cereal is one that has less than six grams of sugar per serving and at least five grams of fiber. Oatmeal has many dietary benefits including omega-3 fatty acids, folate, potassium, and fiber. Oatmeal mixed with yogurt or peanut butter, or topped with honey, fruit, and nuts provides an easy, delicious, and healthy breakfast option. If you are not into oatmeal or cereal, another good option is whole grain wheat toast topped with cottage cheese, avocado, egg, or almond butter.



In addition to carbohydrates, you will also want to add a source of protein to your breakfast. Protein will ensure that you remain full for an extended period of time, longer than carbs or fat will. This will ultimately prevent you from overeating. Ideal sources of breakfast protein are: eggs, tofu, peanut butter, fish, lean meats, milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is a versatile food that can either be spread on toast or mixed with fruit, and provides twenty-five grams of protein per cup. Eggs are another common breakfast choice, as they have six grams of protein and choline, which promotes brain and liver health.



The final element of a healthy breakfast is the fruit. This requirement can be satisfied with a cup of fruit juice, although whole fruit is recommended because of the fiber content. Bananas are a good choice since they resist starch and keep you feeling full longer. They are also high in potassium and can be easily added to oatmeal or cereal.

Another popular choice are berries due to their many health benefits. Most berries are low in calories while also being high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body improve memory, motor skills, blood pressure, and metabolism. Strawberries also contain high levels of vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber, and raspberries have certain cancer-fighting properties.

Two other common breakfast fruits include cantaloupe and kiwi. Cantaloupe has high levels of both vitamin A and vitamin C, while kiwi has high levels of  vitamin C, potassium, copper, and fiber.


Did you know that gum disease can actually contribute to diabetes and that diabetes can cause gum disease? Recent research has found a definite link between periodontitis, or gum disease, and type 2 diabetes. This link suggests not only that these conditions are related, but that one can be managed to improve the other.

Periodontitis is a form of advanced gum disease that can cause tooth loss. It occurs when bacteria in the mouth are not removed, causing the gums to recede and pockets to form between your teeth which house more bacteria. If not treated, the teeth will start to loosen and eventually be may lost or need to be extracted. Also, the bacteria from periodontitis can circulate through the bloodstream, causing a host of other problems.
One of these problems is that it contributes to type 2 diabetes. Although research is still being done in this area, it has been found that the bacteria involved with periodontitis cause inflammation throughout the entire body. This inflammation directly interferes with the body’s ability to process sugar and can contribute to type 2 diabetes. If the individual already has diabetes, periodontitis will make it more difficult for sugar levels to be regulated since gum infections can cause rises in the blood sugar.

One the other hand, if an individual is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they will need to watch out for periodontitis. Individuals with type 2 diabetes are three to four times more likely to develop periodontal disease. This is especially relevant for those that have trouble managing their sugar levels, since high blood sugar levels can cause blood vessels to thicken making it harder for the body to circulate nutrients and waste products to and from the mouth. This inability to quickly eliminate waste products can negatively affect the body’s ability to fight infections, which lends itself to the development of periodontitis.

In order to help manage both type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease, your dentist and physician will need to work together. A key factor in making this relationship work is your active participation in your oral and overall health. Since it is highly unlikely that your dentist and physician will sit down to discuss your dental and medical needs, it is up to you to make sure that you are providing each with the appropriate information. This means you will need to inform your dentist about your medical condition and you will need to inform your physician of your dental condition.

Your physician will work on approaches aimed at regulating your blood sugar levels, while your dentist will work on keeping your periodontitis under control. Although periodontitis cannot be cured, it can be managed to avoid further damage to the teeth and gums. Once you have been diagnosed with periodontitis, it is important to develop a treatment plan with your dentist and follow this treatment plan, especially if you have type 2 diabetes.

Managing periodontitis usually means daily brushing, flossing, and regular visits to your dentist for a specialized periodontal cleaning. During this cleaning, plaque and tartar containing bacteria are removed from the teeth using special tools. This ensures that bacteria are unable to build up in the mouth and avoids bacteria circulating through the bloodstream.

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.

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