Posts for: August, 2016

August 23, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Children are notorious for being picky and stubborn when it comes to their oral health. However, making brushing fun can change their brushingoutlook on keeping their smile healthy and help establish an effective oral health routine. Learn some easy tips on teaching your child to brush with your dentists at Gibberman Dental in Alexandria, VA.

Tips on Teaching Your Child to Brush

  • Make Brushing Fun: Children have enormous imaginations. Using a game like “playing dentist” can help teach your child the proper techniques for brushing. Use a toy or stuffed animal to show your child the proper way to brush. Then, have them try it on themselves. Alternatively, make up a game to play during brushing time to keep them interested and help build the excitement level while brushing and visiting the dentist. Additionally, try using kid-friendly toothpaste with fun and tasty flavors like bubblegum or strawberry.
  • Set a Good Example: Children learn from what they see. If mommy and daddy have great oral care routines, it sets a good example for their children. Be sure to brush twice daily and floss at least once, including your child in your oral care routine. Set a good example by remaining committed to your oral hygiene and setting a solid routine.
  • Establish an Effective Routine: Daily routines help children establish self-discipline and get into good habits early. Brushing around the same times every day or after certain activities can help your child establish good oral hygiene habits which will last a lifetime.

Pediatric Dental Examinations and Cleanings in Alexandria, VA
The eruption of a child’s first tooth is a good sign they should see their dentist for their first examination and cleaning. However, since not all children’s teeth erupt at the same time, the general rule is that a child should see their dentist by the age of one. This allows your dentist to aid in establishing good oral hygiene routines and monitor your child’s dental milestones to ensure they reach them normally. Regular dental appointments and cleanings keep your child’s teeth clean and healthy and give your dentist the chance to administer the necessary dental care for any issues which may occur.

For more information on teaching your child to brush, please contact Dr. Paul Gibberman, Dr. Lauren B. Gibberman, and Dr. Bindu Vemaraju at Gibberman Dental in Alexandria, VA. Call 703-823-6616 to schedule your child’s dental examination today!


Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.

“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavi­ties. How did this happen?

Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.

While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.  Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.

This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”

Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:

  • Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
  • Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.

Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.

“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”

If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”


Root canal treatments are an essential part of dental care — countless teeth with deep decay would be lost each year without it. Now, this traditional dental care procedure is advancing to a new level of precision through lasers.

Root canal treatments have a simple goal: access a tooth's infected pulp and root canals, clean out the infected tissue and fill the empty pulp chamber and canals with a special filling. Once filled, the access is sealed and a porcelain crown later placed for additional protection against re-infection.

In the traditional procedure, we perform these steps manually with a dental drill and hand instruments. We may also need to remove a good portion of tooth structure, both healthy and infected tissue. A laser, on the other hand, is a highly focused beam of light with the ability to interact with healthy and infected tissues differently: destroying infected tissue while having no effect on nearby healthy tissue. The end result: we may be able to remove less healthy tissue with lasers than with the conventional procedure.

Lasers are also helpful with softening and precisely molding the filling material within each canal's particular shape. And, early reports seem to indicate a higher degree of comfort for patients (less drill noise and need for anesthesia), less bleeding and faster recovery times than the conventional approach.

But as a tool for root canal treatments, lasers do have a couple of disadvantages. While light travels in a straight line, root canals are rarely straight — conventional instruments with curved designs usually accommodate odd canal shapes better than a laser. Lasers can also raise temperatures within a tooth that can damage healthy tissue, both within the pulp and outward into the dentin.

Still, lasers for root canal treatments appear promising with some dentists using a combination of lasers and manual techniques to garner benefits from both approaches. While you won't see lasers replacing the traditional root canal treatment anytime soon, the future looks bright for more efficient ways to treat deep tooth decay.

If you would like more information on your options for root canal therapy, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.