For Babies and Children

First Dental Appointment

pediatric dentist in Del Ray Alexandria

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. Primary teeth typically begin growing in around 6 months of age.

The idea of such early dental visits is still surprising to many new parents. However, national studies have shown that preschool-aged children are getting more cavities. More than 1 in 4 children in the United States has had at least one cavity by the age of 4. Many kids get cavities as early as age 2.

To prevent early childhood cavities, parents first have to find out their child’s risk of developing cavities. They also need to learn how to manage diet, hygiene and fluoride to prevent problems but cavities aren’t all that parents need to learn about their child’s dental health. The age 1 dental visit lets parents discuss:

  • How to care for an infant's or toddler's mouth
  • Proper use of fluoride
  • Oral habits, including finger and thumb sucking
  • Ways to prevent accidents that could damage the face and teeth
  • Teething and milestones of development
  • The link between diet and oral health

After this first visit, we can suggest a schedule of follow-up visits. In the past, dentists typically called for visits every six months. Now, the schedule may vary according to your child’s needs and risks. As your child grows, the dental team can help you learn how to prevent common oral problems.

Early Childhood Orthodontics

Ortho-Tain® offers doctors and patients the most advanced orthodontic treatment available today to straighten teeth without braces. More than 2 million satisfied clients ranging from children to adults, have used Ortho-Tain® to straighten their teeth without braces quickly and invisibly!

What will our advanced orthodontics do for you?

Straighten teeth with Nite-Guide® for the 5-7 year olds in months, with passive nighttime wear while sleeping, guiding the growth of permanent teeth into alignment. Occlus-o-Guide® for the 8-12 year old treatment lasts 4-10 months. Adult Ortho-T® appliances show results in 1-12 months.

Gently straighten teeth without braces and the discomfort of wires and bands. Allows you to enjoy everyday activities, your favorite meals, and maintain excellent oral health. Correct overbite, overjet, rotation, crowding, spacing, and align the joints for TMJ treatment. Provide a healthy, attractive smile that naturally resists relapse for years to come! Put advanced orthodontics affordably in your reach at about 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of braces or even the cost of Invisalign. Enhance the smiles of adults, the mixed dentition age group (between 8-12), and children as young as age 5. Shorten treatment time of traditional braces, retain and maintain correction, prevent snoring with a Snore-Cure® appliance, and protect enamel during sleep.

When considering your family’s remember each orthodontic appliance was made to perform the three benefits all orthodontists work to achieve. The first objective is of course, making teeth look nice. The second objective is to provide correct function, aligning the bite and either avoiding or addressing TMJ problems. This goal is equally as important as the first, because so many patients have more than just superficial issues that would prevent them from being a candidate of other invisible aligners. Third, even the best solution for orthodontics must also take into consideration how healthy the overall dentition of the patient will be, for the rest of their lives. The proper treatment should prevent any relapse in the retention.

Hopefully, the orthodontic option you choose will improve your overall oral health, treating your whole body not just your teeth. Ortho-Tain® products straighten your teeth and also realigns your profile in order to treat the total body.

Watch the videos and read more about Ortho-Tain here.

Children Mouth Breathing

Is your child a mouth breather?

Does he/she have chapped lips, dry mouth, inflamed gum, bloating, snoring, bad breath, anxiety, and/or sleep apnea?

Did you know mouth breathing leads to narrowed jaws, crowded teeth, long face, weak chin, frequent colds and orthodontic relapse?

Dr. Salartash believes in early correction and alignment with non-extraction orthodontics. As form follows function, beautiful smiles originate from proper alignment and function. The best time for skeletal and dental evaluation is at age 6. If your child suffers from teeth grinding and sleep apnea, he or she needs to be evaluated immediately. Timing is Everything! We need to take advantage of the time before puberty growth spurts.

As a parent, you do not want them to become adults with chronic headaches, neck and back pain, TMJ and complicated dental problems that are the life-long result of un-recognized and untreated cranial-dental-facial distortions!

Pay attention to the following signs of cranial-dental-facial deficiencies:

  • Allergies, mouth breathing, dry lips
  • Earaches, recurrent ear infections or stuffiness
  • Frequent colds, inflamed tonsils
  • Broken nose or head trauma from falls or accidents
  • Attention deficit or hyperactivity
  • Prolonged struggle in birth canal
  • Early years: colicky, spit-ups with feeding


  • Forward Head (ear hole ahead of shoulder point in profile)
  • Uneven ears or eyes
  • Narrow nostrils, deviated nose
  • Small (weak) chin
  • Slumped posture
  • Dry or parched lips
  • Deep chin cleft
  • “Gummy” smile
  • Overly long “horse” face
  • Overly broad flat face
  • “Fish mouth” lips in profile
  • Teeth grinding before age 6
  • Thumb sucking persisting
  • Open bite (space between upper and lower front teeth for thumb or tongue)
  • Crowded or crooked front teeth, upper or lower
  • Deep bite (upper front teeth overlaps more than half of lower front teeth)
  • Cross bite (when lower teeth are positioned outside the upper teeth)
  • Midlines difference between upper and lower front teeth
  • Premature loss of baby teeth without space maintainer care
  • Clicking or popping jaw joints

Early recognition and intervention carries the following life-long benefits:

  • Avoiding extraction of permanent teeth or jaw surgery
  • Getting quality sleep and feeling energetic
  • Growing into full potential
  • Preventing cranial-dental-TMJ problems and associated costs
  • Living a healthy and enjoyable life with far fewer health complications

Frenectomy of the Lip

frenectomy in Del Ray Alexandria

A frenectomy should be done within two or three days of Baby being at home if she or he is in need. A labial frenectomy is a form of frenectomy performed on the lip. The labial frenulum often attaches to the center of the upper lip and between the upper two front teeth. This can cause a large gap and gum recession by pulling the gums off the bone. A labial frenectomy removes the labial frenulum. Orthodontic patients often have this procedure done to assist with closing a front tooth gap. When a denture patient’s lips move, the frenulum pulls and loosens the denture which can be uncomfortable. This surgery is often done to help dentures fit better. The removal of the frenulum is a simple procedure and does not cause any adverse effects to the lip and mouth.

Tongue-Tie, Abnormal Swallowing or Sucking

Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition present at birth that restricts the tongue’s range of motion. With tongue-tie, an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. A person who has tongue-tie might have difficulty sticking out his or her tongue. Tongue-tie can also affect the way a child eats, speaks and swallows, as well as interfere with breast-feeding.

Sometimes tongue-tie may not cause problems. Some cases may require a simple surgical procedure for correction. Signs and symptoms of tongue-tie include:

  • Difficulty lifting the tongue to the upper teeth or moving the tongue from side to side
  • Trouble sticking out the tongue past the lower front teeth
  • A tongue that appears notched or heart shaped when stuck out

When to see us:

  • Your baby has signs of tongue-tie that cause problems, such as having trouble breast-feeding
  • A speech-language pathologist thinks your child’s speech is affected by tongue-tie
  • Your older child complains of tongue problems that interfere with eating, speaking or reaching the back teeth
  • You’re bothered by your own symptoms of tongue-tie. Tongue-tie can affect a baby’s oral development, as well as the way he or she eats, speaks and swallows.For example, tongue-tie can lead to:
  • Breast-feeding problems. Breast-feeding requires a baby to keep his or her tongue over the lower gum while sucking. If unable to move the tongue or keep it in the right position, the baby might chew instead of suck on the nipple. This can cause significant nipple pain and interfere with a baby’s ability to get breast milk. Ultimately, poor breast-feeding can lead to inadequate nutrition and failure to thrive.
  • Speech difficulties. Tongue-tie can interfere with the ability to make certain sounds — such as “t,” “d,” “z,” “s,” “th” and “l.” It can be especially challenging to roll an “r.”
  • Poor oral hygiene. For an older child or adult, tongue-tie can make it difficult to sweep food debris from the teeth. This can contribute to tooth decay and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). Tongue-tie can also lead to the formation of a gap or space between the two bottom front teeth.
  • Challenges with other oral activities. Tongue-tie can interfere with activities such as licking an ice cream cone, licking the lips, kissing or playing a wind instrument.