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Fluoride Use in Adolescents

August 10th, 2022

Fluoride is a mineral that plays an essential role in oral health. In fact, the significant reduction in American tooth decay in recent decades can be attributed to a greater availability of fluoride in public water supplies, toothpaste, and other resources. When it comes in contact with the teeth, fluoride helps protect the enamel from acid and plaque bacteria. In some cases, it can even reverse tooth decay in its earliest stages.

Despite the benefits of fluoride, tooth decay is still common, especially among teenagers. The Centers for Disease Control reports that cavities can be found in more than half of young teens and two-thirds of older teens over age 16. Many of those teens are deficient in fluoride, either due to a lack of public water fluoridation or the use of bottled water. So how can parents ensure their teens are getting the fluoride they need to facilitate strong, healthy teeth?

Monitor Fluoride Exposure

Dr. T.P. Sivakumar, Dr. Savithri Sivakumar, Dr. Emily Little, Dr. Kevin Banks, Dr. Sruthi Paimagham, Dr. Sagar Patel, Dr. Nikki Fischbach and Dr. Wendy Daulat and our team at Frederick Pediatric Dental Associates recommend you start by measuring your teen’s fluoride exposure. Make sure you purchase fluoridated toothpaste for your household, and find out if your tap water is fluoridated. If your teen primarily consumes bottled water, examine the bottle to determine whether fluoride has been added. The majority of bottled waters are not supplemented with fluoride, but those that are will be clearly labeled.

Fluoride Supplementation

Dr. T.P. Sivakumar, Dr. Savithri Sivakumar, Dr. Emily Little, Dr. Kevin Banks, Dr. Sruthi Paimagham, Dr. Sagar Patel, Dr. Nikki Fischbach and Dr. Wendy Daulat may recommend topical fluoride treatments at routine dental exams. These treatments are painless for your teen and may help establish stronger enamel that is more resistant to plaque and tooth decay. If you have a public water supply that is non-fluoridated, we may recommend fluoride supplementation between visits. These can be administered as drops, tablets, or vitamins.

Keep in mind that fluoride is most important for children and teens under the age of 16. Be proactive about your teen’s oral health by speaking with us about your family’s fluoride needs at your next dental visit.

For more information about fluoride, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. T.P. Sivakumar, Dr. Savithri Sivakumar, Dr. Emily Little, Dr. Kevin Banks, Dr. Sruthi Paimagham, Dr. Sagar Patel, Dr. Nikki Fischbach and Dr. Wendy Daulat, please give us a call at our convenient Frederick office!

What is a water pick and do I need one?

August 3rd, 2022

Water picks, sometimes called “oral irrigators,” make an excellent addition to your regular home care regimen of brushing and flossing. Especially helpful to those who suffer from periodontal disease and those patients of ours undergoing orthodontic treatment with full-bracketed braces, water picks use powerful tiny bursts of water to dislodge food scraps, bacteria, and other debris nestled in the crevices of your mouth. Children undergoing orthodontic treatment may find using a water pick is beneficial if their toothbrush bristles tend to get caught on their wires or brackets.

When you use a water pick, you’re not only dislodging any particles or debris and bacteria you might have missed when brushing, you are also gently massaging the gums, which helps promote blood flow in the gums and keeps them healthy. While water picks are an excellent addition to your daily fight against gingivitis and other periodontal diseases, they are incapable of fully removing plaque, which is why Dr. T.P. Sivakumar, Dr. Savithri Sivakumar, Dr. Emily Little, Dr. Kevin Banks, Dr. Sruthi Paimagham, Dr. Sagar Patel, Dr. Nikki Fischbach and Dr. Wendy Daulat and our team at Frederick Pediatric Dental Associates want to remind you to keep brushing and flossing every day.

If you have sensitive teeth or gums and find it uncomfortable to floss daily, water picks are a good alternative to reduce discomfort while effectively cleaning between teeth. Diabetics sometimes prefer water picks to flossing because they don't cause bleeding of the gums, which can be a problem with floss. If you have a permanent bridge, crowns, or other dental restoration, you may find that a water pick helps you keep the area around the restorations clean.

So how do you choose the right water pick?

Water picks are available for home or portable use. The home versions tend to be larger and use standard electrical outlets, while portable models use batteries. Aside from the size difference, they work in the same manner, both using pulsating water streams. A more crucial difference between water picks is the ability to adjust the pressure. Most home models will let you choose from several pressure settings, depending on how sensitive your teeth and gums are. Most portable models have only one pressure setting. If you want to use mouthwash or a dental rinse in your water pick, check the label first; some models suggest using water only.

Please give us a call at our Frederick office if you have any questions about water picks, or ask Dr. T.P. Sivakumar, Dr. Savithri Sivakumar, Dr. Emily Little, Dr. Kevin Banks, Dr. Sruthi Paimagham, Dr. Sagar Patel, Dr. Nikki Fischbach and Dr. Wendy Daulat during your next visit!

Dental Emergencies in Children

July 27th, 2022

Unfortunately, dental emergencies can sometimes be unavoidable among young children. The good news is Dr. T.P. Sivakumar, Dr. Savithri Sivakumar, Dr. Emily Little, Dr. Kevin Banks, Dr. Sruthi Paimagham, Dr. Sagar Patel, Dr. Nikki Fischbach and Dr. Wendy Daulat can help you prepare in case you and your child find yourselves in any of the following situations.

Teething

Starting at about four months and lasting up to three years, your son or daughter may experience teething pain. It’s common for teething children to grow irritable and become prone to drooling due to tender gums. Give your child a cold teething ring or rub his or her gums with your finger to help relieve the discomfort.

Loss of Teeth

If a baby tooth is knocked out in an accident, bring your child to our Frederick office to make sure damage hasn’t occurred in the mouth. Permanent teeth can sometimes grow in before baby teeth have fallen out. In this situation, Dr. T.P. Sivakumar, Dr. Savithri Sivakumar, Dr. Emily Little, Dr. Kevin Banks, Dr. Sruthi Paimagham, Dr. Sagar Patel, Dr. Nikki Fischbach and Dr. Wendy Daulat should examine your child to make sure teeth are growing in properly. This can prevent serious issues from arising later in adulthood.

Gum Issues

Bleeding gums could mean several things. They may be an early sign of periodontal disease, which results from poor oral hygiene. Gums may also bleed if a youngster is brushing too hard or has suffered an injury to the gum tissue.

Rinse your child’s mouth with warm salt water and apply pressure to the area if bleeding continues. Don’t hesitate to contact our Frederick office if you are concerned so we can schedule an appointment.

As a parent, you can provide the best education for your children on proper oral hygiene habits. If you some coaching, ask Dr. T.P. Sivakumar, Dr. Savithri Sivakumar, Dr. Emily Little, Dr. Kevin Banks, Dr. Sruthi Paimagham, Dr. Sagar Patel, Dr. Nikki Fischbach and Dr. Wendy Daulat for tips during your next appointment.

Five Nutrition Tips for Healthy Kids' Smiles

July 20th, 2022

If your child could have it his way, chances are he would eat Lucky Charms for breakfast, a peanut butter and fluff sandwich for lunch, and chicken fingers slathered in ketchup for dinner.

Kids will be kids, and maintaining a healthy diet is often the farthest thing from their minds. Do you remember the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, that folksy wisdom can be applied to oral health, too. Think of it like this: an apple a day keeps the dentist at bay. Here are five nutrition tips Dr. T.P. Sivakumar, Dr. Savithri Sivakumar, Dr. Emily Little, Dr. Kevin Banks, Dr. Sruthi Paimagham, Dr. Sagar Patel, Dr. Nikki Fischbach and Dr. Wendy Daulat and our team at Frederick Pediatric Dental Associates wanted to pass along that will give your child a healthy, bright smile.

  1. Eat a well-balanced diet of fruits and vegetables. We weren't joking about the apple. An apple naturally scrubs and cleans your teeth. The nutrients and antioxidants in vegetables are good for the entire body.
  2. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calcium is a mineral needed by the body for healthy bones and teeth, and proper function of the heart, muscles, and nerves. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are good sources of calcium. Dark leafy vegetables and calcium-fortified foods like orange juice and tofu are also healthy options.
  3. Keep snacking to a minimum. Sticky and gummy snacks can increase a child’s risk of tooth decay. Unless a child brushes after every snack (and what child does?), sticky snacks can easily get lodged between the teeth.
  4. Limit soda intake. Drinking large amounts of soda has been linked to childhood obesity. Soda is loaded with sugars and acids, and these ingredients also damage the teeth. Soft drinks have long been one of the most prominent sources of tooth decay. Have your child drink water throughout the day or juice that’s low in sugar concentrate.
  5. Chew sugarless gum. After all those fruits and vegetables, sooner or later your child is going to want a treat. Chewing gum stimulates saliva, which in turn helps keep teeth clean and bacteria-free. Sugarless gum contains xylitol. The combination of excess saliva and xylitol reduces plaque, fights cavities, and prevents the growth of oral bacteria.

For more information on keeping your child’s smile looking its very best, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. T.P. Sivakumar, Dr. Savithri Sivakumar, Dr. Emily Little, Dr. Kevin Banks, Dr. Sruthi Paimagham, Dr. Sagar Patel, Dr. Nikki Fischbach and Dr. Wendy Daulat, please give us a call at our convenient Frederick office!