As is the case with most celebs today, Beyonce is no stranger to sharing on social media… but she really got our attention with a video she recently posted on instagram. The clip shows the superstar songstress — along with her adorable three-year old daughter Blue Ivy — flossing their teeth! In the background, a vocalist (sounding remarkably like her husband Jay-Z) repeats the phrase “flossin’…flossin’…” as mom and daughter appear to take care of their dental hygiene in time with the beat: https://instagram.com/p/073CF1vw07/?taken-by=beyonce
We’re happy that this clip highlights the importance of helping kids get an early start on good oral hygiene. And, according to authorities like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, age 3 is about the right time for kids to begin getting involved in the care of their own teeth.
Of course, parents should start paying attention to their kids’ oral hygiene long before age three. In fact, as soon as baby’s tiny teeth make their first appearance, the teeth and gums can be cleaned with a soft brush or cloth and a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Around age 3, kids will develop the ability to spit out toothpaste. That’s when you can increase the amount of toothpaste a little, and start explaining to them how you clean all around the teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth. Depending on your child’s dexterity, age 3 might be a good time to let them have a try at brushing by themselves.
Ready to help your kids take the first steps to a lifetime of good dental checkups? Place a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush, and gently guide them as they clean in front, in back, on all surfaces of each tooth. At first, it’s a good idea to take turns brushing. That way, you can be sure they’re learning the right techniques and keeping their teeth plaque-free, while making the experience challenging and fun.
Most kids will need parental supervision and help with brushing until around age 6. As they develop better hand-eye coordination and the ability to follow through with the cleaning regimen, they can be left on their own more. But even the best may need some “brushing up” on their tooth-cleaning techniques from time to time.
What about flossing? While it’s an essential part of good oral hygiene, it does take a little more dexterity to do it properly. Flossing the gaps between teeth should be started when the teeth begin growing close to one another. Depending on how a child’s teeth are spaced, perhaps only the back ones will need to be flossed at first. Even after they learn to brush, kids may still need help flossing — but a floss holder (like the one Beyonce is using in the clip) can make the job a lot easier.
If you would like more information about maintaining your children’s oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children” and “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”
Learn more about the repercussions of sleep apnea and how your dentist might be able to help.
Have you recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea? Are you doing research to figure out just how serious sleep apnea is? While this sleep disorder is common, it can cause some severe long-term complications for your health. Our Herndon and Leesburg, VA, dentist, Dr. Amirreza Rafaat, is here to provide you with the insight you are you looking for about how sleep apnea can affect you and what your treatment options are.
What problems can sleep apnea cause?
This sleep disorder that causes someone to stop breathing throughout the night does a whole lot more than just cause a bad night’s sleep. In fact, it can increase your chances for developing certain health issues such as:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Acid reflux
Also, because you aren’t getting the proper sleep you need every night, your body and mind aren’t functioning as well as they should. You may feel as if you are dragging yourself out of bed each morning. You may find it difficult to focus on your work and become less productive. You may become more anxious and irritable to those around you. You may even increase your chances of getting into a car accident since sleep apnea also causes daytime exhaustion.
What can be done to treat sleep apnea?
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea but you haven’t been diagnosed, then you need step is to turn to a sleep specialist. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your sleep doctor may have recommended CPAP therapy for preventing the airways from collapsing as you sleep. Of course, CPAP equipment requires you to wear a facemask every night. You may find the treatment cumbersome or uncomfortable, and you may even have difficulty sleeping because of it. If this is the case, it’s time you talked to our Herndon and Leesburg general dentist.
What can my dentist do to treat my sleep apnea?
If you are dealing with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea then we may be able to help you. Oral appliance therapy uses a special, custom-made oral device that fits into your mouth like a mouthguard. What it does is slightly position the jaws forward, preventing your tongue and tissues in the back of your throat from collapsing and obstructing the airways. By keeping the airways open we can help you get a better night’s rest.
Dr. Amirreza Rafaat offers two convenient locations in which to get dental care. No matter whether you turn to Lansdowne Smile Design in Leesburg, VA or Herndon Smile Design in Herndon, VA, we can help you manage your sleep apnea symptoms.
Primary (baby) teeth might not last long, but their impact can last a lifetime. Their first set of teeth not only allows young children to eat solid foods, but also guide permanent teeth to form and erupt in the proper position.
Unfortunately, primary teeth aren't immune to tooth decay. If the decay is extensive, the tooth may not last as long as it should. Its absence will increase the chances the permanent teeth won't come in correctly, which could create a poor bite (malocclusion) that's costly to correct.
If a primary tooth is already missing, we can try to prevent a malocclusion by installing a “space appliance.” This keeps nearby teeth from drifting into the empty space intended for the permanent tooth. The best approach, though, is to try to save a primary tooth from premature loss.
We can often do this in much the same way as we would with a permanent tooth — by removing decayed material and filling the prepared space. We can also perform preventive applications like topical fluoride or sealants that strengthen or protect the tooth.
It becomes more complicated, though, if the pulp, the interior of the tooth, becomes decayed. The preferred treatment for this in a permanent adult tooth is a root canal treatment. But with a primary tooth we must also consider the permanent tooth forming below it in the jaw and its proximity to the primary tooth. We need to adapt our treatment for the least likely damage to the permanent tooth.
For example, it may be best to remove as much decayed structure as possible without entering the pulp and then apply an antibacterial agent to the area, a procedure known as an indirect pulp treatment. We might also remove only parts of the pulp, if we determine the rest of the pulp tissue appears healthy. We would then dress the wound and seal the tooth from further infection.
Whatever procedure we use will depend on the extent of decay. As we said before, our number one concern is the permanent tooth beneath the primary. By focusing on the health of both we can help make sure the permanent one comes in the right way.
If you would like more information on caring for children's primary teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Treatment for Children's Teeth.”
Not everyone can deal with the hassle and time required to wear traditional braces for straighter teeth. That’s why Invisalign was developed—it is an alternative to braces that is more comfortable and convenient for busy teens and adults. Find out more about the various advantages of choosing Invisalign for your orthodontic treatment at Lansdowne Smile Design in Leesburg, VA.
Invisalign: A Modern Orthodontic Solution
The Invisalign solution was created in the late 1990s and became a preferred way to fix the positioning of the teeth at the turn of the century. Instead of brackets, wires and rubber bands, this treatment uses clear aligner trays that have been molded to fit your smile. Your teeth eventually shift to conform to the tray. As your teeth move, different aligners are prescribed to continue the shifting process until you complete the treatment plan.
The “clear” advantage of Invisalign is that they are virtually invisible when you’re wearing them. When you smile for pictures or in the company of others, they are barely visible to the average eye. You also have the freedom to remove the aligner at will and as needed (metal braces can only be taken off by your orthodontist). One other benefit of Invisalign is that they work relatively quickly—many treatments last between six to nine months (regular braces can take two or three years).
Maintaining Your New Smile
After your teeth are straightened out with Invisalign, care is required to maintain their new position. When your Leesburg dentist tells you that your treatment process is complete, your final aligner will become your permanent retainer. You’ll need to wear it every night when sleeping, so keep it on your nightstand. It’s also important to see your dentist for required checkup appointments and regular cleanings to prevent gum disease.
Invisalign Treatment Starts with a Phone Call
The road to a straighter, more aesthetically pleasing smile starts with a simple phone call to Lansdowne Smile Design in Leesburg, VA. Call (703) 724-4220 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Amirreza Rafaat.
What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.
"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."
But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.
"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."
What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.
Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.
To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.
Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?
"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.
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