Pediatric Dentistry

Believe it or not, a child’s first trip to the dentist can be fun, painless and enjoyable.  A child does not necessarily come into this life with a fear of the dentist.  However, like the rest of us, a young person can fear the unknown.

At our office, we make a special effort to use language that is friendly and easily understood.  We know how to describe any diagnosis or treatment in a non-frightening manner.  We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment you arrive in our waiting room.

Baby’s First Teeth

Between the ages of six and twelve months, your child’s first teeth will begin to appear.  They will continue coming through the gums until about the age of three.  During this time, your child’s gums will likely feel sore.   You can help alleviate this discomfort by rubbing a finger or a cool, damp cloth across the child’s gums. Some children enjoy the feeling of a teething toy or teething ring.

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When the teething process has finished, your child should have a total of twenty primary teeth.  These are shed at various times throughout childhood.  Permanent teeth begin to appear at the age of six and continue growing in until the individual has reached the age of twenty.

An adult has twenty-eight permanent teeth and four wisdom teeth.

Beginning Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits

Examine your child’s teeth every couple of weeks.  Look for signs of decay, such as lines or discoloration in the enamel.  Make sure your child brushes after each time he or she eats or drinks.  Sugary foods and beverages can be especially damaging to young teeth.

We recommend brushing fours times a day for optimum oral health; after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner and before bed.

As soon as that first tooth comes through the baby’s gum, start showing him or her that brushing can be fun.  Brush the one tooth with a small, soft brush and a tiny amount of healthy toothpaste.  (Our office can suggest the best type of toothpaste to use.)

Teach your child to care for his or her own teeth as soon as you can.  Good oral hygiene habits last a lifetime and make a huge impact on the person’s happiness.

If you or your child notices any evidence of decay, such as changes in the color of the tooth enamel or discomfort, contact our office right away and schedule an appointment.  The sooner we can fix the problem the easier and better it will be for the child.

Prevent Tooth Decay with Regular Checkups

A cavity is a hole in the enamel of the tooth.  The biggest cause of cavities is incomplete or improper oral hygiene.  Kids are particularly at risk for cavities due to several factors, not the least of which is, not taking proper care of their teeth and gums.

Regular checkups every six months, added to the dental hygiene routine, is the best way to keep your child’s teeth clean and strong and free of cavities.

Contact our dental office and make an appointment.  We are here to help: (301) 593-7500

Meet Your Dentists

Dr. Brian Handelman DDS
Dr. Brian Handelman DDS

Dr. Brian M. Handelman believes that making the dental experience as comfortable as possible is a key element in empowering each patient to take an active role in their oral health.- Full Biography
Dr. Christine M. Foster DDS
Dr. Christine M. Foster DDS

Dr. Christine Foster has a passion for dentistry with a goal to provide enjoyable, comfortable and calming dentistry to all of his patients. Dr. Foster is excited to continue the tradition of dental excellence in Silver Spring, MD.- Full Biography

What Sets Us Apart?


Dr. Brian Handelman and Dr. Christine Foster are dedicated to maintaining a long tradition of dental excellence in the Silver Spring, MD area. With their experience, our patients are guaranteed to achieve the optimal dental health!

We Are Family

Our patients are not just patients. They are individuals who we love, know and respect. We take the time to get to know each patient personally because you matter to us! We look forward to watching our community and dental family grow through the years.


We understand that not everyone enjoys visiting the dentist, but one visit to our practice will change your mind! We offer patient comforts, like office pillows and blankets, plus our caring team always works with a gentle touch.

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Our friendly staff will work with your schedule.

A few words from our patients:

Dr. Handelman is a consummate professional and Smile Designs has been a wonderful practice for me and my family. The practice and administrators have been excellent over the years, so they are doing something right. I highly recommend the practice.

Steve, Google