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We’ve all heard of them, wisdom teeth, these problematic 4th molars that grow in when we reach a certain age and then have to be removed. The question is, of course, if these teeth almost always have to be removed then why do we even have them? The answer has to do with the evolution of the human species and the change in our diet from hard foods that require a lot of chewing to process properly to softer foods that no longer require such efficient grinding. But that’s just the start of our journey.

Wisdom Teeth – The 4th (and sometimes more) Molars
The first thing to know is that not everyone gets wisdom teeth, and of those who do they don’t generally make their appearance known until the age of 17 at the earliest. Humans used to have a diet that consisted almost entirely of nuts, leaves, roots, and meat that required us to have a much more robust set of teeth to handle it properly. While we have almost entirely moved beyond the need for wisdom teeth, there are still some people who develop these vestigial teeth and have to have them removed to ease discomfort and protect the jaw from the damage they can cause.

What Problems Do Wisdom Teeth Cause?
Since the mouth no longer really has room for these extraneous molars, there are all sorts of problems that can arise from their development. Most of these are caused by a simple lack of room and can include crooked teeth (from being shoved out of alignment by the wisdom teeth), crowded teeth (from just too many teeth) to wisdom teeth that come in sideways and apply pressure to the existing teeth, possibly even breaking them. This pressure and compromising of the mouth’s structure can also lead to jaw pain, a higher instance of tooth decay, and even cysts and tumors that grow in under the gums.

What Can Be Done About Wisdom Teeth?
The best thing that can be done for wisdom teeth is to have them surgically removed. Most dentists will keep a careful eye on your oral structure to determine if you have wisdom teeth developing and what needs to be done to address them if there are. With careful observation and due diligence, your dentist can ensure that no harm comes to the rest of your teeth by removing these new ones when they begin to cause problems. In some patients, there is more than one additional set of wisdom teeth, with two sets, three, or even four not being unheard of (though rare).

If you suspect you may be suffering from complications involving wisdom teeth pick up your phone and call Dr. April J. Toyer at Lifetime Dental Care in Woodbridge, VA. She and her team of experts are there to help families like yours enjoy fantastic dental health while address concerns like wisdom teeth. Don’t let your smile be impacted by unwanted teeth, pick up your phone and give them a call for an appointment and consultation today!

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
teeth!

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.

 

Carbohydrates:

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.

 

Proteins:

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.

 

Fruits:

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.

Brushing

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.

Flossing

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.

Diet

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

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.

Water

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.

As a parent, your goal is to keep your child healthy. For all children, good health starts with good oral health. Many of today’s most common adult diseases can be traced back to poor oral health. The plaque that causes heart disease is the very same plaque that is found in your teeth. Diabetes, stroke, and a slew of other life-threatening illnesses all have a connection to poor oral health.

But why is taking care of those baby teeth so important? Simply put baby teeth ensure your child’s adult teeth come in properly spaced and that he or she maintains a healthy bite and jaw alignment. Losing these teeth too early will inhibit his or her dental growth and development.

Before proper brushing and flossing come into play, what we eat plays the single largest role in how healthy your mouth is. By providing your child with healthy snack options you’re not only giving them a solid foundation for good oral health but also teaching them habits they will carry into adulthood.

Here are five healthy snack options you can easily provide to your child throughout the day or send with them to school.

Ham and Cheese Kabobs

This simple snack takes minutes to make and can be prepared ahead of time, so your kids can grab it as an after school snack or you can quickly put it in a storage container to take in the car with you while running errands.

Banana Bites with Peanut Butter

If your child loves peanut butter and banana sandwiches, try cutting out the extra carbs from the bread and simply putting the peanut butter directly on the banana. This treat is great in the summertime if the banana is frozen, as it has the texture of frozen yogurt.
Chicken Kabobs with Ranch Sauce
This classic is easy to make ahead and is fun to eat because it’s on skewers. Be sure to remove the chicken from the skewers for younger kids. To make simply marinate chicken in your favorite BBQ sauce, skewer, and grill. Then grab some ranch dressing for the side and you’ll get a tasty, savory snack that’s full of protein. Try to pick a BBQ sauce that is as low in sugar as possible or make your own, as sauces are where manufacturers tend to secretly pack a lot of extra sugars.

Sweet Potato Fries

Easy to make and easy to store, you can make large batches of sweet potato fries and freeze for future use. Sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index because they’re complex carbs. It’s still important to limit this treat, as it’s easy to go overboard. Portioning each serving individually is the best way to do so.

Hummus and Carrots

This tangy treat is a favorite of kids and offers protein from the hummus (ground chickpeas) and extra vitamins from the carrots. Hummus can be made from scratch or bought at your local grocer’s deli aisle. And no need to buy those tiny snack carrots. Buy a big bag of carrots and simply slice them up.
Homemade Trail Mix
Super easy to make ahead and send for lunch or take on road trips, homemade trail mix is likely to become a staple in your home. To make mix your favorite nuts (if you have a nut allergy try popcorn), along with some dried fruit and a bit of semi sweet chocolate morsels. Because you’re including the chocolate morsels don’t go overboard on the dried fruit, as that can drive the sugar content up.

Strengthen your Child’s Teeth Through a Healthy Diet

August 28, 2014

Children with healthy teeth are more likely to grow into adults with healthy smiles.  Your child’s diet not only affects their overall health, but their oral health as well. Foods and drinks that contain sugars of any type can contribute to tooth decay.  Most items found in your local grocery store will contain nutrition facts and sugar contents on the label. Many of your child’s favorite items may have a low sugar alternative.

diet1

Healthy Choices for your child

Introducing yogurt, cheese or other milk products with meals or as a snack can be a great alternative to carbohydrates.  Food and drink items containing dairy can help increase pH levels in the oral cavity, which can help decrease the acids produced by cavity causing bacteria. The Calcium and vitamin D available in dairy products can also aid in enamel protection. Fruits and vegetables such as, strawberries and apples, that contain vitamin C can strengthen gum tissue and can act as a natural plaque removing abrasive when extensive chewing is required.

Tips to Prevent Decay

If possible regulate the amount of sticky sugary foods and candies your child consumes such as taffies, caramels, raisins and gummies. These items get stuck in the grooves of your teeth and may sit there until brushed out. Sugary food items are better served with meals, than as a snack in between meals. This allows for the increased saliva needed for digestion to help rinse these sugars away. The action of chewing gum containing xylitol can also increase salivary flow and can be a natural abrasive to naturally rinse away food particles.

Juices with high sugar contents should also be limited for 4-6 oz. per day. Try diluting your child’s juice to decrease the sugar content.  Although sodas and juices that are high in sugar should be limited, introducing water in the oral cavity can help to neutralize the pH and decrease the harmful effects.   Water is also the liquid of choice for babies at bedtime instead milk, formula, juice, or soda. It is important for infants and children to start an oral care routine twice a day, as well as attend their regular six month dental checkups.  These habits along with a healthy diet can help lead your child to a lifetime of good oral health.

What is With this Bad Breath?

July 26, 2014

For those of you who have felt the embarrassment of halitosis (bad breath), you know that it is something that it can alter the way you speak, affect your self-confidence and even affect your relationships.  While every individual is different,  there are several major causes of halitosis that affect most people.  Gums and mints may temporally mask the issue, however if these underlying conditions still remain your breath will soon return to it’s original state.What is With this Bad Breath?

  • Remove bacteria off of your tongue:  If you stick out your tongue and look in the mirror you may find a whitish film that contains plaque and bacteria that is stuck in the grooves of your tongue.  Scraping your tongue with a professional tongue scraper twice a day can drastically decrease the levels of these odor-causing bacteria.
  • Watch what you eat: Foods such as onions and garlic can also contribute to bad breath.  Even after brushing these foods get into your digestive track and can release odors all over your body.  A natural remedy is integrating parsley into your meal, every time you consume one of these items.
  • Improve Oral hygiene:  Bacteria can also grow all over your teeth and other oral tissues.  Food stuck in between your teeth can remain throughout the day and rot overnight if not flossed out.   Make sure to brush at least twice a day for two minutes and floss at night.  An oral rinse may also help decrease the bacterial load in your mouth. Those containing Chlorine Dioxide can help eliminating bad breath by attacking the sulfur compounds that exacerbate bad breath.
  • Drink plenty of water:  A medical condition known as “xerostomia” or dry mouth can cause plaque and food particles to further stick to your oral surfaces.  The saliva is a natural cleanser of the mouth. Decreased saliva can alter your ability to fight cavities and may contribute to your bad breath.
  • Avoid Crash Dieting: There are chemicals in our bodies called “ketones” which are made by the breakdown of fat that release an odor with each breath.  Crash dieting increases the amount of ketones your body produces.
  • Treat Medical conditions: Diabetes, Ketosis, and acid reflux are common causes of bad breath. Please be sure to visit your physician if you have any of these conditions and persistent malodor. Some medications such as antidepressants, asthma medications, blood pressure treatments, diuretics and antihistamines may cause dry mouth, decreasing natural cleansability.
  • Stop Smoking: Stoping the smoking habit is the only cure.  Smoking can also cause gum disease which can further lead to bad breath.
  • Treat Tooth Decay: Untreated decay not only cause an order from the rotting or dying tooth, but also these holes can be food traps as well.  Once food gets stuck in a cavity normal brushing may not remove the debris.  Visit our office today to find out if your cavities are contributing to your bad breath.

Preventing Dental Injuries During your Child’s Active Summer

June 19, 2014

If you have an extremely active child you may have seen one or two falls in their day. Although it is true that active kids and teens are more prone to dental and other injuries, there are several precautions that can be taken to prevent or manage these occurrences.

Kids riding bikes

How To Prevent Dental Injuries?

Infants should not run with a bottle, sippy cup or other objects in their mouth.  Children should be discouraged from climbing or jumping from high surfaces such as a tabletop or bed in the home and definitely not left unattended. Getting your baby or toddler to eat can sometimes be a challenge.  If food is forced into the mouth with a bottle or spoon it is possible to cause damage to the soft developing oral tissues in the mouth.  Foods with pointy surfaces such as chips can also cause injury to these tissues if not chewed carefully.

For older children, mouth guards should be worn while participating in sports.  These can be picked up at your local drug store or your dentist can make a custom fit mouth guard. Kids should wear a helmet during active sports such as football, or high-speed activities such as skateboarding or bike riding. Children and adults should be careful wearing socks without grips on hardwood floor as these surfaces can often be slippery and lack of traction can cause a possible injury.

What To Do If You Child Has A Dental Injury?

Dizziness, vomiting, bleeding from the nose or ears, lapse of memory, disorientation, or signs of fatigue may be an indication that a concussion has occurred.  Patients with significant head, neck or facial trauma should be immediately taken to the emergency room to be evaluated. If your child has extensive bleeding to the lip, gums or cheek area use gauze or a paper towel to apply pressure until the bleeding stops.   A cold compress or ice cubes can be placed on the affected area to reduce swelling and relieve pain in some cases. If a tooth is fractured, check to see if blood is coming from the inside of the tooth.  This may indicate nerve exposure and you will need to see your dentist as soon as possible.   If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out it should be reimplanted within one hour. If possible rinse off the tooth with clean water or milk and place it back into the socket. Make sure you only touch the crown (visible part) of the tooth and not the root. If you are unable to reimplant due to pain or blockage store the tooth in milk or cheeks and bring it to the dental office as soon as possible.  Your local dentist should evaluate dental injury without significant head or neck trauma.  Make sure your child has a dental home facilitate easy of evaluation during a potentially difficult and traumatic time for you and your child.

Bottled Water Vs. Tap Water

May 17, 2014

Staying well hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your oral and overall health. Although bottled water is commonly perceived as being the “cleaner” alternative to tap, it is missing one vital component, fluoride.   Many experts attribute the recent rise in cavities to be linked to the surge of bottle water consumption.   In an effort to decrease the risk for dental cavities the vast majority of public water systems have added a salt formed from the combination of fluorine, soil and rock minerals, otherwise known as fluoride.  Fluoridation does not affect the taste, smell or appearance of the drinking water.

Childdrinking

 


What are the Benefits of Tap Water? 

   Fluoride can slow the rate at which tooth enamel demineralizes and also encourage remineralization of an area that has the early stages (white spots) of a cavity.  According to the American Dental Association, “studies prove water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing tooth decay by 20 – 40%, even in an era with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, such as fluoride toothpaste.” “Fluoridation is one public health program that actually saves money. An individual can have a lifetime of fluoridated water for less than the cost of one dental filling.”  Tap water also contains calcium and magnesium.  There have been studies that show that communities that have tap water containing higher levels of calcium and magnesium have lower death rates since they can help protect against heart disturbances.

Is Tap Water Safe?

   Although water fluoridation is safe and beneficial for our oral health, over exposure to fluoride can cause dental fluorosis. Fluorosis in most cases is generally mild, but may cause some whitish spots on the permanent teeth.  For infants who are on formula that already contains fluoride, parents should take caution when reconstituting with fluorinated water.  Talk to your pediatrician before altering the diet for your infant. Fluoride toothpaste and rinses should also not be consumed, since it contains a dangerous level of fluoride if ingested in large amounts.
    If you are on well water or are unsure of the fluoride levels in your community you may consider getting your water tested.  Every water supply is different and it is important to be informed about the water in your community.  If you have concerns about water quality and  live in the Prince William County, VA area please contact the Service Authority of Prince William County.  For those individuals concerned with impurities in their tap water, there are a variety of filtration systems on the market. Chlorine is a product that is added to water during the filtration process that helps get rid of bacteria.  Refrigerating your tap water overnight and using a water filtration system such as Brita, can help rid of that chlorinated taste and give your tap water the crisp clean taste you expect from bottled water.  You find that there is no fluoride in your community water please stop by our office and we will determine if your child may be in need of a fluoride supplement.


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