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Who’s afraid of the dentist?

August 24th, 2022

Is the sound of a drill enough to make your child flinch or cringe? Does he or she worry about the twice-yearly dental checkup at Frederick Pediatric Dental Associates? Trust us when we say your child is not alone!

To help eliminate that distress, 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 put together five steps to help your child overcome his or her dental anxiety when visiting Frederick Pediatric Dental Associates.

1. Ask your child what they’re most afraid of. Is it the sound of the drill? Do you have needle phobia? Has your child been traumatized by previous dental visits? Have children write down their fears, one by one, and talk about them.

2. Don’t wait. The more frequently your child visits our office, the less work will need to be done at any given visit. Simply having 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 professionally clean your child’s teeth twice a year prevents many, if not most, problems down the road.

3. Bring a distraction such as music to your child’s appointment. Just plug in those earphones, have your child close his or her eyes, and get lost in the music. Listening to tunes can also be a pain killer.

4. Remind your child to unwind. Inhaling slowly and counting to five helps. Encourage children to hold their breath for ten seconds, then exhale slowly to the count of eight, and repeat as needed. It’s easier if they’re not focused on the work going on inside their mouth.

5. Ask us. Before any procedure your child undergoes, we encourage you to 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 or one of our assistants why we’re using the tools we’re using. Ask us what we’re doing during your child’s procedure, what the tool is used for, and how it benefits your child. Also, please ask about anti-anxiety medications we may prescribe to help your child relax during his or her appointment.

Remember, our team at Frederick Pediatric Dental Associates are health care professionals who strive to improve your child’s oral health, and will do all we can to ensure a trauma- and pain-free experience during his or her visit!

We hope these tips help! For more on pediatric dental anxieties, ask us during your next visit to our Frederick office! Or, ask us below or on Facebook!

Clean Toothbrush/Healthy Toothbrush

August 17th, 2022

We’ve all learned a lot about staying healthy lately. As a parent, you give good advice about avoiding germs in public places, cleaning things that get touched a lot like phones and keyboards, and learning the best way to wash hands. These small daily habits can have a big effect on your child’s health.

And since you’re already taking care of your little one by making sure they brush at least twice a day, we have some good advice for small habits which can make their toothbrush even cleaner and brushing even healthier.

Brushing Habits

Don’t let germs hitch a ride on your child’s toothbrush before they even begin brushing! Make sure their hands are clean before they start, and rinse off the toothbrush before they put it in their mouth.

After brushing, be sure your child rinses their brush carefully to get rid of leftover toothpaste and bits of food. Also, clean the toothbrush holder regularly to get rid of germs and bacteria.

And while we’re talking about germs, how about . . .

  • Flushing Habits

Most toothbrushes live in the bathroom, where we also find—the toilet. Every time we flush, invisible bacteria and particles fly through the air. And while that might not make you sick, it’s still pretty gross. Closing the lid before you flush helps keep your family’s toothbrushes—and bathroom—cleaner.

  • Airing? Yes!

Keeping a toothbrush in a dark, wet environment is the perfect way to help bacteria grow. Instead of putting a wet toothbrush in a case, let it air dry standing heads up after use. Give it a shake first for a head start on drying out.

  • Sharing? No

We’re not talking about sharing a brush, which you would never do. We’re talking about sharing space. If your child’s brush touches other brushes in a toothbrush holder, it’s probably sharing germs. Toothbrushes shouldn’t be too close to other toothbrushes, no matter how close you are to the other brush’s owner!

Finally, no matter how well your child takes care of their toothbrush, there comes a time when you should let it go. After three or four months, bristles become frayed and worn out. This means the brush won’t remove plaque as well as it used to. And to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to replace a brush if your child has been sick.

Keeping your child’s teeth and mouth healthy is one very important way to keep their whole body heathy and happy. Talk to 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 at our Frederick office to learn more about simple habits for healthy teeth!

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!