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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS & Associates
March 26, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

How your dentist in Gaithersburg, MD, can help you enjoy a healthy smile

Are you keeping good oral hygiene habits? If you are not brushing or flossing regularly, your health and your smile are at risk! In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, an unhealthy smile can increase your risk of suffering from heart disease, endocarditis, diabetes, a stroke, and other serious medical conditions.

Fortunately, Dr. Steven L. Rattner of Grove Dental Arts in Gaithersburg, MD, offers comprehensive dental care, including preventive services to help you and your smile stay healthy.

The easiest most important way to maintain a healthy smile is to keep good oral hygiene habits. So, how do you do that? You need to:

  • Brush after meals and before you go to bed; brushing is one of the best ways to remove plaque and bacteria, which cause gum and periodontal disease. You can either use a manual toothbrush or an electric or sonic toothbrush. Brush in a gentle, circular motion, covering every tooth surface and along the gumline. Always use a toothpaste containing fluoride, to help harden tooth enamel.
  • Floss at least once each day; use either waxed or unwaxed floss and wrap around each tooth as you go down in between your teeth. By gently wrapping in a “C” shape around each tooth, you help ensure the floss stays next to the tooth surface and cleans effectively. If you have arthritis or dexterity issues, you can also use floss picks and other tools.
  • Visit your dentist regularly every six to twelve months; Your dentist will perform a thorough dental examination, including taking x-rays to diagnose dental issues while they are still small and easily treatable. Regular checkups help save you and your smile from needless tooth pain. Your dental hygienist can also perform a dental cleaning at this time, as well.

Keeping good oral hygiene habits are important to the health of your smile and the health of your body. To learn more about maintaining a healthy smile, call Dr. Steven L. Rattner of Grove Dental Arts in Gaithersburg, MD, at (301) 987-5527. Call now and protect your smile!

By Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS & Associates
March 23, 2020
Category: Oral Health

There’s really no secret to keeping your child’s teeth healthy — good, daily hygiene habits, regular dental visits and early treatment for emerging problems. It’s a lot easier for those things to happen if your child feels comfortable with dental care and visiting the dentist. Sadly, that’s not always the case: many children develop an unhealthy fear of the dentist because the initial relationship may have been mishandled.

Here, then, are 3 tips that will help you foster a healthy relationship between your child and their dentist.

Visit the dentist before their first birthday. From a health standpoint, dental visits should begin soon after your child’s first teeth emerge (erupt) in the mouth. Visiting the dentist by their first birthday also improves the chances they’ll develop a sufficient level of comfort with the visits, more so than if you waited a year or two longer.

Choose your dentist with your child’s sense of security and comfort in mind. When you’re looking for a dentist to care for your child, think of it as looking for a “new member of the family.” It’s important to find an office environment that’s kid-friendly and staff members that work well with children. Some dentists specialize in pediatric dentistry and many general dentists have additional training in working with children. The key is a dental team that has a good, trust-building rapport with children.

Set an example, both in the home and at the dentist. Children learn quite a bit watching what their caregivers say and how they react in potentially stressful situations. If dental care is important to you personally, it’s more likely to become important to your child. And when you visit the dentist with your child, be sure to project calm and a sense that it’s routine — if you display tenseness or nervousness your child may take that as a sign that visiting the dentist is something to fear.

You want your child to learn that the dentist is their friend who’s there to help them. That lesson should begin early with the right dental team — and by making dental care a priority in your own life.

If you would like more information on dental care for your child, 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 “Taking the Stress out of Dentistry for Kids.”

By Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS & Associates
March 13, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

As a saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention” is no more appropriate than when you have something caught between your teeth. And humans, as inventive and creative as we are, have used a weird assortment of items—usually within arms' reach—to dislodge a pesky bit of food.

According to a recent survey, more than three-fourths of Americans admit to using a number of “tools” to clean between teeth including twigs, nails (the finger and toe variety), business cards or (shudder!) screwdrivers. And it's one thing to do this alone, but among dinner companions and other folk it's a definite faux pas.

Usually, it's smarter and more economical if you can use a particular tool for many different applications. But when it comes to your teeth, you should definitely go with a “unitasker” designed specifically for the job: dental floss. It's not only the safest item you can use to clean your teeth, it's specifically designed for that purpose, especially to remove disease-causing plaque from between teeth.

Of course, the reason many of us use alternate items for cleaning between teeth is that they're the closest ones at hand. You can remedy this by keeping a small spool (or a short length) of dental floss or floss picks handy for those moments you encounter a wedged piece of food. In a pinch, you can use a rounded toothpick (better for your gums than the flat variety).

At home if you find flossing difficult, consider using a water flosser. This handheld device emits a pulsating stream of pressurized water that loosens and flushes away plaque and bits of food remnant. It's ideal for people who have a hard time maneuvering floss or who wear braces, which can block regular floss thread from accessing between teeth as fully as possible.

In any case, use the other “tools” at hand for whatever they're intended. When it comes to what's best for your teeth, use floss to keep the in-between clear and clean.

If you would like more information on best oral hygiene practices, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS & Associates
February 20, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: invisalign  

Find out if Invisalign is the right orthodontic option for you.

It’s amazing how even the smallest misalignments in your smile can throw off everything, from making it more challenging to chew food to negatively affecting your confidence. The remedy? Turning to our Gaithersburg, MD, dentist Dr. Steven Rattner for orthodontic treatment. If you are an adult or teen that wants a straighter smile without colleagues or students noticing then Invisalign may just be the ideal approach.

Choosing Invisalign offers many benefits that other options just can’t, which is why so many people are turning to our Gaithersburg, MD, general dentist to get Invisalign. This clear system is easy to care for and adults may even be able to get results in a shorter amount of time than with traditional orthodontic treatment.

Invisalign may be right for you if you are dealing with mild to moderate,

  • Crookedness
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Crowding
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Open bites


In fact, Invisalign treatment can handle most common malocclusions (“bad bites”) and issues that affect the alignment of your smile. Here are some of the benefits of this orthodontic system that uses clear, custom aligners instead of brackets and wires to straighten teeth.

Nearly invisible treatment

The goal for most of our older patients is to get a straighter smile, but many don’t want braces that are visible to the whole world (and we can’t blame them!). Maybe you want senior photos that don’t feature visible braces or you are a working professional who doesn’t want clients to notice your braces over what you have to say. All of these are reasons to consider getting Invisalign. These clear, custom-made aligners are far more discreet so you can feel confident even when wearing them.

No dietary restrictions

Another benefit to Invisalign is that you don’t have to worry about the foods you eat damaging your braces. These clear aligners are removable, which means that you can take your trays out prior to eating or drinking.

Ease cleaning and care

When getting braces our Gaithersburg, MD, family dentist wants to make sure that you keep your teeth and gums particularly clean to prevent decay from forming. Luckily, Invisalign treatment makes it easy to brush and floss regularly and also to keep aligners clean, too. No need to change your oral routine around to accommodate your braces.

Whether you have questions about Invisalign treatment or you are ready to take the next steps, call Grove Dental Arts in Gaithersburg, MD, today at (301) 987-5527 to schedule a consultation for you or your teenager.

By Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS & Associates
February 12, 2020
Category: Oral Health

When you’re expecting a new baby, there’s a lot to prepare: outfitting the nursery, stocking up on diapers or choosing a pediatrician. It’s also not too early to consider how to protect your new child’s dental development.

From birth through adolescence, a child’s mouth goes through a whirlwind of growth. Hopefully, it all follows a normal track, but detours can arise like tooth decay or bite problems.

Here are 4 things you can do to keep your child’s dental development on track.

Start oral hygiene before teeth. Daily oral hygiene is essential toward helping your child avoid tooth decay. And don’t wait for teeth to come in—begin wiping their gums with a clean, damp cloth right after nursing. When teeth do appear, switch to brushing with just a smear of toothpaste and then add flossing as more teeth come in.

Begin regular dental visits. The American Dental Association recommends pediatric dental visits around the first birthday. The possibility of tooth decay becomes a concern around this time as the primary teeth are steadily erupting. Starting earlier rather than later may also help your child adjust to the routine of dental visits that they’ll most likely carry on as they get older.

Control their sugar consumption. Because sugar is a prime food source for disease-causing bacteria, you should keep your child’s sugar consumption as controlled as possible. For example, don’t put a baby to bed with a bottle filled with a sugary liquid (including juice and breast milk)—the constant presence of the liquid during nap time encourages bacterial growth and acid production.

Get an orthodontic evaluation. While we often associate orthodontic treatment with the teen years, it may be possible to head off bite problems earlier. So, see an orthodontist for a bite evaluation when your child is around age 6. If there are signs of a developing problem, certain techniques could help stop or slow them from getting worse, helping you avoid extensive and expensive treatment later.

With a newborn coming, you and your family have a lot on your plate. Be sure, though, not to forget making plans for keeping their teeth and gums healthy.

If you would like more information on dental care for your child, 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 “Age One Dental Visit.”