703-528-3336
1-855-VA-SMILE
1515 Wilson Blvd., Suite 103
Arlington, VA 22209

"Quick, easy and professional." — Chris R.

Monthly Archives: April 2014

How’s Your Nightly Brushing Routine Going?

IT HAPPENS TO THE BEST OF US… Our good intention to go through our nightly oral hygiene ritual before bedtime is there, but once in a while it just doesn’t happen! Not to worry. A rare, occasional slip-up isn’t a problem—but skipping your nighttime brushing and flossing routine as a habit can have negative effects.

Why Brushing And Flossing At Night Is So Important

When we sleep our metabolism slows. Our body reduces the amount of saliva we produce so we’re not always having to swallow all night or gag on our spit! Pretty cool, yes.

But without that moisture our mouths dry out, the tissues start becoming inflamed, and bacteria can proliferate (especially when they have something to feed on, like the cookies the lady in the photo above just ate) causing gingivitis and eventual periodontal disease.

Now, all that is worst-case scenario. However, it doesn’t minimize the importance of developing great habits.

5 Ways To Make Your Nightime Routine Most Effective

1. Brush & Floss Right Before Bed – Use a gentle, soft toothbrush. Spend two full minutes to treat every cranny, nook and surface.

2. Brush You Tongue And Roof – Teeth aren’t the only important things inside our mouths. Your tongue and the roof of your mouth can harbor bacteria. Gently brush them too.

3. Floss, Floss, Floss – Of all the great habits you could develop, making it routine to floss each time you brush is one of the best things you’ll ever do for your smile. Don’t neglect those very, very back teeth either.

4. Don’t Cheat – If your routine happens too early in the evening, you’ll be tempted to cheat… That is, you’ll eat another cookie before retiring to bed! If that happens, better go through your routine once more.

5. Brush The “Right” Way

Great Habits Reap Great Rewards

One of the most important ingredients for great oral health is a great routine. This week, take a moment to re-examine your nightly habits and see if there’s something you can improve! If you have questions, let us know!

Thank you for being our valued patient. We appreciate you.

A Puny Straw Can Pack Powerful Protection

A STRAW? HOW ON EARTH can a straw help protect my smile?! Well, it’s pretty simple, actually. Read on…

Straws Can Help Minimize Exposure

Beverages like iced coffee, sports drinks, fruit juices, energy drinks, and colas contribute to tooth staining, decay and erosion. Sipping them through a straw can help protect your teeth.

Staining

Strongly pigmented beverages—such as berry smoothies and red wine—can stain teeth. A straw can help.

Decay

Your soft drink consumption habits may be apparent by simply looking in your mouth. For some, it’s the back molars that see a lot of decay due to swishing and letting soda pool in their mouths before swallowing. For those who sip on soda throughout the day, decay may be more evident in their front teeth. Straws can help, especially when positioned correctly in your mouth.

Sensitivity

Reducing opportunities for sugar and acid to attack your enamel helps protect it against sensitivity caused by erosion and decay. Straws can also help reduce those jabs of sensitivity caused by cold or hot drinks.

Is Your Straw Positioned Correctly?

Get into the habit of positioning straws at the back of your mouth so that drinks have minimal exposure to teeth. You can further reduce harmful effects by:

  • NOT swishing beverages around in your mouth.
  • NOT continuously sipping on harmful drinks throughout the day.
  • Following your drinks up with water, sugarless gum, or celery. 

Don’t Rely On Straws To Do All The Work

Even fun straws can’t do all the heavy lifting for you…

Practice good eating habits and brush your teeth morning and night, and don’t forget to floss! Keep your regularly scheduled appointments, and if you have questions about staining, decay, or sensitivity give us a call! You can message us on our Facebook page too!

Thanks for being our valued patient!

5 Items To Have On Hand In Case Of A Dental Emergency

OUR TEETH DEAL with a lot when we’re out and about. Basketball games, pie-eating contests, rogue popcorn kernels… it’s a rough life. Usually our teeth are strong enough (or we’re lucky enough) to not suffer any major problems.

However, accidents happen. And fortune favors the prepared, so here are some tips for guarding yourself against dental emergencies.

You’re Less Likely To Suffer A Dental Emergency If You…

  • Wear a mouth guard during sports
  • Keep good, regular care of your teeth and gums
  • Keep your regularly scheduled appointments to check on teeth and dental work

Just In Case, Here Are Five Items To Have On Hand

Keep these items in a little dental emergency kit that you can keep on hand—at home, in you car, and while you travel.

Painkiller: An all-natural topical painkiller that many people find useful is clove oil. Remember, NEVER put aspirin right ON the tooth.
Orthodontic wax: It’s handy even if you don’t have braces. In case of a popped-off filling, you can use wax to cover the gap until you get it repaired.
Floss: This is handy if something uncomfortable gets wedged between teeth.
Gauze: In case of a knocked-out or loose tooth, you can put the tooth back in place, and bite on some gauze to keep it there until you get professional care.
Our contact info: Be ready to contact us. If you’re on vacation, we can give you professional advice and maybe refer you to someone nearby.

Are You Going On A Vacation This Summer?

Remember the tips above. If it’s time for your check-up, visit us before your trip. Nothing ruins a vacation day faster than dental trauma. Pack an emergency dental kit, and then keep it around when you get back from vacation. You never know when it will be handy!

Here Is One Other Person’s Ideas Too

We don’t endorse the content below, but there’s some good info here…

Let us know where you’re going on vacation below! We’d also LOVE to see your photos. You can share them on our Facebook page.

Thanks for being a valued part of our practice. Stay safe, and have fun!

Should You Use An Electric Or Manual Toothbrush?

THE TOOTHBRUSH: One of the most basic, efficient tools of modern society! But as technology continues to progress, patients ask which is best—a manual toothbrush or an electric one?

First of all, it’s important to note that most people can get an effective cleaning using either option. Nevertheless, the Cochrane study evaluating hundreds of electric toothbrushes (ETB) revealed that the ETB’s are more efficient at cleaning teeth, and thus, more effective for the vast majority of people who brush. However, we’ve listed a few features of each below:

Some Perks From The Classic:

A manual toothbrush has been doing a great job for years and will continue to do so.

  • It’s simple, accessible, and cheap (not to mention travel-ready).
  • Changing your brush now and then can be good.
  • In some cases, it may be softer on enamel and gums (depending on the brush and your technique).

Advantages Of An Electric Toothbrush:

  • For those with limited dexterity, (due to arthritis, stroke, limited shoulder and elbow movement) they better ensure great cleaning.
  • Some have unique and interesting features that encourage effective brushing (such as gauging pressure, a timer showing time spent, etc.).

How Electric Toothbrushes Are Made And How They Work

Take a break from whatever you’re stressing about today and learn something fun. Use the info next time you’re at a party to impress your friends:

5 Things MORE Important Than The Type Of Brush:

More important than what kind of toothbrush you have is how you use it! Make sure you’re covering these five factors:

  1. Use soft bristles.
  2. Get a new brush (or brush head) every 4 months or so.
  3. Brush for two minutes a day.
  4. Don’t brush TOO hard; it can hurt your gums.
  5. Be thorough, and get all the corners.

If you have any questions, or you’re wondering what kind of toothbrush is best for you, please contact us. We consider ourselves pretty dialed-in on your dental hygiene, and we’d love to discuss how you can get the very best cleaning at home each day.

Thanks for reading, and for being a valued part of our practice family!

Getting To Better Know Our Amazing Hygienist, Anita

WE RECENTLY REALIZED that we’ve probably wrongly assumed that ALL you know Anita as well as we do! That’s probably not the case.We asked Anita a few questions to help you get to know her a little better.We hope you enjoy them, and if you still have questions about our wonderful hygienist, feel free to ask us questions, or start a little conversation on your next visit.

So, We Asked Anita A Few Fun Questions

So, we asked Anita a few questions to help you get to know her a little better. Those questions are found below—along with her answers. We hope you enjoy them!

Where are you originally from?

Anita was born in southern Poland, in the city Krakow.

Married? Children?

She is married, and has a 5 year old daugher, Alicia.

What made you decide that you wanted to become a dental hygienist?

“I am interested in the connection between oral health and the body’s overall health and wellness.”

Do you have an unusual or interesting hobby?

Anita loves photography and running. In fact if you visit our office you can find some of her art being displayed. Also she has inspired the office to do a 5K this summer to support children with cancer.

What do you enjoy most about being a dental hygienist?

“I love inspiring our clients to improve their health.”

We hope this has helped you get to know Anita a little better. We feel privileged to have her as an awesome team member here in our practice.

Do YOU have a question for Anita?

While you were reading the questions and answers above, did another question for Anita come to mind? If so, please enter it in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to pass it along to Anita for an answer! Also, you can always send a private question or comment to us on our Facebook page.

We look forward to seeing you during your next visit!

While You Bathe In The Sun, What Do Your Teeth Bathe In?

WHEN IT’S WARM OUTSIDE we all enjoy our favorite warm weather foods and beverages! Have you ever considered how some of these affect your smile? You may be surprised. Here’s a short list of foods that can do some damage to your teeth if you’re not thoughtful about it.

Warm Weather Foods To Be Aware Of:

Iced Coffee

Many people not only start the day drinking iced coffee, but continue to sip on it throughout the day. Because your teeth are very porous, coffee can leave significant stains on your teeth. Lightening up your coffee with cream or milk helps a little.

Pickles & Pickled Vegetables

Pickles are typically made with lots of vinegar and sugar—two things that can be harmful to your teeth. The vegetables are healthy but the brine is what can do some real damage.

Sports Drinks

People are a lot more active during warm weather months. Do you turn to sports drinks to stay hydrated? Just be careful. Many are full of sugars and acids.

Diet Soda

These drinks may seem harmless because they don’t have sugar, but they still have a lot of acidity and other harmful substances that can affect your tooth enamel.

Barbecue Sauce

Most barbecue sauces contain lots of sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, and (in some cases) dye which can contribute to damage or stains.

Helpful Tips:

  • Don’t swish around sport or fruit drinks, or hold them in your mouth.
  • After drinking sports drinks, wait an hour before brushing your teeth so you don’t harm the softened enamel.
  • Eat more fresh vegetables such as cucumbers and celery.
  • After eating barbecued foods or foods that stick between teeth, chew sugar free gum and/or rinse your mouth with water.

And Just For Fun…

Check out these summer hacks (especially the ones that encourage all of us to drink more water and eat more fruit)!

Enjoy the warm weather! And, if you have questions about this information, please let us know and let’s visit!

 

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