By Dr. Howard
December 17, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Children's Teeth  

Your dentist in 20024 shares how to properly care for your child’s baby teeth.

By about the six-month marker, you child will start developing those cute little baby teeth. By the time your child is three, he or she will most likely have all 20 baby teeth, saying goodbye to those snaggle-toothed smiles. While baby teeth are certainly not forever, it Babydoesn’t make them any less vital to your child’s oral health.

What is the importance of baby teeth?

  • They help children chew food easily
  • They help children speak
  • They hold the space for where permanent teeth will eventually grow in

Also, baby teeth are just as likely to develop cavities as permanent teeth, so it’s important to keep them healthy to avoid premature tooth loss in your child.

What happens if my child loses a baby tooth too early?

The most common issue that occurs is that permanent teeth will begin to take over the empty space left behind by the baby tooth, which will make it more challenging for the other permanent teeth to find room in your child’s mouth when they erupt. This can often lead to serious overcrowding and crooked smiles, which will later need to be fixed by orthodontics.

What can I do to keep my child’s baby teeth healthy?

Adopting good oral hygiene is key to maintaining your child’s healthy smile. The minute your child is born, you should be focused on his or her oral hygiene, even if there are no teeth present.

Also, schedule your child’s first dental visit after the first tooth erupts (or no later than your child’s first birthday). The first dental appointment is crucial to maintaining good oral health. At your child’s visit we can pinpoint problem areas and decay early on before it causes tooth loss.

How do I clean my baby’s teeth?

At-home cleanings should begin right away. After feedings, use a damp cloth to wipe your baby’s gums. You may also opt for a toothbrush that’s designed specially for babies.

When the first baby teeth erupt, you will want to brush them with a toothbrush and a very tiny amount of non-fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to brush not just your child’s teeth but also the gum line. Brushings should happen twice a day, just like with adults.

If it’s time for your child’s first dental appointment in 20024, call us right away to schedule a visit for your little one. The sooner you can make the dentist a regular part of your child’s life, the better!

By Patrick Howard, D.D.S.
September 25, 2014
Category: Oral Health

Oral Health

To keep teeth pretty looking and pretty healthy, there are some basic dental practices your family needs to follow. You probably already know that teeth need to be brushed twice a day and flossed at least once a day. But you don’t want to forget some friendly dental advice to make your oral hygiene routine better. Check it out below!

Tips for Oral Hygiene in the Morning and Night

When you wake up in the morning, you need to consider your oral hygiene routine. Do you brush and floss before breakfast? Or are you the person that runs the toothbrush over your teeth for a second before running out the door? In our professional opinion, we recommend that you take care of your teeth after you eat a healthy breakfast. It’s more beneficial to eat as soon as you get up because your metabolism is running fast, and it’ll kick-start your day. Plus, eating and then getting ready lets your tooth enamel remineralize before you brush. 
In recent years, research has suggested that acidic foods and beverages once consumed can soften the tooth enamel. If you brush and floss right after eating, softened enamel may be damaged. You don’t want to damage the enamel because it’s your first line of defense against cavity-causing plaque bacteria.

Pack a Tooth-Friendly Lunch

It’s tempting to rush through a drive through during a short lunch hour, but fast food restaurants are notorious for having meals high in sugars and acidity levels that aren’t good for your teeth and overall health. Our tips for eating healthy are to:
  • Make a grocery list with healthy and filling items
  • Buy groceries on a full stomach, so you aren’t tempted to buy junk food and sugary snacks
  • Make your lunch the night before so you have time to pack a balanced lunch
  • Create a weekly meal plan to keep your family on track and on time
Our best tip—check to make sure your family’s dental appointments are updated! You don’t want to go more than six months without a checkup—decay could already be present.

Contact Us for a Dental Checkup 

We hope our patients are going the extra mile for their teeth because it will be the best thing in the long run. If you want to regain your basic dental habits, start with a checkup. We can tell you what your teeth need on a daily basis. To schedule an appointment, please call our dental practice in the 20024 area of Washington
Are you a patient of Patrick Howard, D.D.S.? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences below!
By Dr. Howard
May 20, 2014
Category: Dental Implants
Tags: Untagged
Dental implants have proven to be an extremely successful method when replacing a missing tooth or teeth. In fact, implantsdental implants have a success rate of over 95%! Dr. Patrick Howard is trained and certified to help you get that smile you’ve always wanted, and dental implants just might be an option for you.
When considering dental implants, it’s important to know how they work and how they are placed in your mouth. Implants are inserted directly into your jawbone where the missing tooth was through a small surgical procedure. The implant will need time to heal before a final crown is put on. The implant fuses to the bone around it during the healing phase.
Am I a Good Candidate?
Patients who are missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth are ideal candidates for dental implants. Listed below are some different options to look at to see which procedure is right for you.
  • Single Tooth Replacement - This option is best for patients who are missing a single tooth, and only need one implant. The implant is inserted into the bone and replaces the root part of the tooth. A crown is placed on top to make it look and feel like a normal tooth.
  • Multiple Teeth Replacement - If you have more than one tooth missing, this might be an option for you. If you have multiple teeth next to one another that are missing, implant teeth will be a support for the crown in between.
  • All Teeth Replacement - If you have been using dentures and want a more comfortable and effective mouth, you should consider replacing all teeth. Dr. Howard can attach your removable dentures onto the implants. This puts pressure into the bone structures, rather than the surface as regular dentures do. This means no more slipping and annoying sounds.
Only Dr. Howard will be able to fully explain the options and treatment of dental implants. If you live in the Washington, DC area, and feel you ready for that perfect smile and an easier life, contact us today!
By Dr. Howard
April 18, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dentist  
So often there are patients that have at least two or three cavities. You don’t want more than you have now.
Are you tired of playing hide and seek with your cavities? 
While you may be more adamant about brushing and flossing, you probably still worry that a cavity can appear out of nowhere. To calm your uncertainty, regular dental checkups can reveal whether or not cavities are afoot.
We are sure you have heard of fluoride. It’s commonly found in toothpaste and mouthwash. Since many households have fluoridated water and dental products, their tooth’s enamel has gotten stronger, which is a good thing.
However, Instead of beginning dental caries surfacing on the tooth’s surface, stronger enamel has resulted in dental caries appearing underneath the surface.
This has made precise diagnose of early dental caries very problematic for most dentists.
At Dr. Howard’s dentist office (20024 area code), detecting cavities has become more accurate and beneficial for the patients. It’s all thanks to the DIAGONOdent.
It is a laser device that detects caries before they can be seen with the naked eye.
How does the DIAGNOdent work?
It’s pretty simple, like the wave of a wand. All you need to do is sit back and let us prep your tooth:
  • Clean tooth’s surface
  • Dry tooth
  • Scan tooth with DIAGNOdent
This tool scans the laser fluorescence within the inner tooth. If high fluorescence is detected, a cavity may be there. It’s a painless examination, and involves no probing or scratching. And early detection can save you the toothache. What’s not to love about it?
Are you taking good care of your teeth and gums? Why don’t you come in for a checkup to make sure! Call our office of dentistry (20024 area code) at (202) 863-0688.
By Dr. Howard
January 03, 2014
Category: Extractions
Tags: Root Canals  
While we love to reminisce about the past, we are all thankful for the things we have now in the present—innovative technology and modern medicine. In dentistry, there have been many new techniques and technology utilized to preserve and treat dental issues. In the past, extraction was the go-to procedure to treat an abscessed tooth caused by severe tooth decay or dental trauma. Nowadays, many dentists and endodontists choose to treat an infected tooth with a root canal procedure.
Past: Tooth Extraction
Once bacteria spreads to the pulp, it needs to be stopped. The traditional solution was to pull the tooth. A tooth extraction can stop the infection from spreading to surrounding teeth and other areas of the mouth; however, once a tooth is pulled, you then have to consider the next process—finding a tooth replacement. You don’t want to leave a space open in the mouth. The jawbone will start to resorb, and your gum tissue will be fully exposed to bacteria.
Present: Root Canal Therapy
In the past, a root canal therapy has been labeled as the “alternative” treatment. Now, a root canal is a leading dental service and should be considered the go-to procedure to preserve the natural tooth. In Washington D.C. (area code 20024), root canals trump an extraction, and Dr. Patrick Howard, area 20024 dentist, recommends a root canal over an extraction.
For a root canal, Dr. Howard takes X-ray images of a tooth to locate the infection and see where it has spread. Afterwards, Dr. Howard removes the infected pulp, bacteria and debris. A dry and clean inner tooth is sealed. All you need to do is come back in for a checkup. The pain and infection is gone, and the tooth remains in place. No need for a replacement tooth or more dental visits. From past to present, the dentistry field is taking great strides to improve patient comfort and satisfaction. Not every tooth can be saved with root canal therapy, which is why a traditional method may be recommended.
To schedule a root canal in 20024, call Dr. Howard’s office at (202) 863-0688. Would you prefer an extraction or root canal? Let us know in the comments!

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Washington, DC Dentist
Patrick Howard, D.D.S.
501 School Street SW Suite 350 
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 863-0688