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

"I will continue to be a patient of Dr. LaVecchia and team!" — Megan J.

Monthly Archives: September 2014

3 Rules To Follow For A Smile-Healthy Halloween

HERE IT COMES! The season of ghosts, ghouls, witches, and, of course… candy! If you’re savvy about it, there’s no reason for your Halloween fun to come at the expense of your dental health.

Rule 1: A Little Candy All At Once Is Probably Better Than Candy All Day Long

When it comes to your oral health, if you must have some candy, a little “candy-binge” is better than grazing on that Halloween loot all day long (or all month long!). Our mouths are always working to restore optimal pH balance and to utilize our saliva to cleanse our smiles. So enjoy your candy once, and then brush and floss.

Rule 2: Keep Eating Good, Healthy Meals

Continue eating three nutritious, square meals a day. This has two purposes. First, being full of good food will make you less likely to indulge too much in unhealthy candy. Second, eating a little candy with a meal continues to stimulate saliva production, and helps your mouth clean itself and restore a good balance.

Rule 3: There’s Bad Candy… And There’s Worse Candy

Some candies are more harmful than others. The biggest bad candies you need to watch out for are:

  • Sour ones, which are loaded with acid.
  • Chewy ones that stick on and between your teeth for a long time.
  • Hard ones, like suckers, that rest on your teeth for a long periods of time—and can crack or chip teeth.

Chocolate Can Be A Less Harmful Choice

On the other hand, most chocolates, especially dark chocolates, may be better for your teeth than those listed above. Chocolate dissolves quickly and doesn’t linger as long on your teeth.

Contrary to popular belief, not all dentists hand out toothbrushes and floss at Halloween. Over half say that they give out candy. And of those who give out candy, about 80% of them choose to hand out chocolate over other candies.

Don’t Go TOO Crazy Healthy… You Don’t Want This!

If You Have A Little Extra Time…

Of course, there are some fun non-candy options for Halloween treats, too:

Check out some others by clicking here.

Have A Great Holiday!

We hope that you have a great Halloween. If you have any questions, please give us a call. Check out our Facebook page for more Halloween fun.

Thanks for being a part of our practice family. We appreciate you!

Hey Runners! Pay Special Attention To Your Oral Health

ARE YOU A RUNNER? Or, do you know a runner? Here’s an important question to ask… “Does your training include specific consideration for your oral health?” Do those two things sound unrelated? There’re not. Read on!

With Each Extra Training Hour, Decay Risk Goes Up

The rest of your body may be in tip-top shape. But a recent study published in the Scandinavian Journal Of Medicine & Science In Sports found two very specific oral health problem areas for athletes.

1. Dry Mouth Effects

Think about the way your mouth feels when you’re racing or on a training run. You’re likely breathing heavily through your mouth. Your mouth becomes dry as a desert. In addition, because there’s higher susceptibility to dehydration (at some level) you don’t recover from dry mouth as quickly as you would otherwise. Dry mouth creates a danger zone for your teeth.

2. Sport-Related Nutrition Effects

When you’re racing or on training runs, what are you putting into your body, and how are those things affecting your teeth? If you’re like most runners, you’re often consuming:

  • acidic sports drinks, some of which have lots of sugar
  • energy gels or gummies that stick to your dry teeth
  • energy bars that are often loaded with sugar and starch

These kinds of substances inside a dry mouth, coupled with the likelihood that they will sit on your teeth for long periods of time, creates an unfriendly environment for your healthy smile.

This DOES NOT Mean You Should Stop Running!

Of course not! Just be aware! And, here are some helpful suggestions…

Be Cautious About What You’re Eating & Drinking

  • Drink lots of water! Water, not energy drinks are best.
  • If you DO consume energy drinks, rotate them with water. Rinse, rinse, rinse.
  • Drink water BEFORE you get dehydrated, not after.
  • Brush before and after workouts.
  • If you’re consuming gels or other sticky substances, mix in some carrot or celery sticks (scrubber foods).

And, Avoid Embarrassment Too (haha)

Don’t be that awkward runner…

What Are YOU Training For?

Are you an avid runner? Or maybe you’re just jogging a little bit. Talk to us if you’re starting any kind of new workout plan. As you know, we like to keep up with any health-related changes in your life. It helps us keep your mouth healthy. Let us know!

Thanks for being our valued patient and friend.

The Connection Between Gum Disease And Rheumatoid Arthritis

A GROWING BODY OF RESEARCH linking periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis suggests that taking care of our teeth may also be a really good way to take care of our joints. Researchers found that porphyromonas gingivalis, the same bacteria primarily responsible for gum disease, can also be found in the knee joints of patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Oral Health Problems Don’t Remain Isolated In Our Mouths

There are significant links between our oral health and our whole body health. The connection between gum disease and RA isn’t the only evidence studies have found of oral bacteria migrating to other parts of the body. Gum health has also been linked by some researchers to many other systemic conditions including diabetes, heart health, Alzheimer’s, and more.

The Common Thread

RA is an inflammatory immune disorder. Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria in your mouth may release an enzyme which makes the residue of certain proteins in your body appear to be foreign intruders. If you have RA, this can cause your immune system to attack your own body.

What Can You Do?

When monitoring the health of our bodies, a great place to start is with our mouths. The simplest of things can help prevent harmful bacteria from colonizing and spreading throughout the body.

  • Brush once or twice each day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Schedule regular cleanings and exams (remembering that you may need more frequent appointments if you have signs of gum disease).

Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Make Dental Hygiene More Difficult

Do you have RA? Or, does someone you care for (an aging parent, for example) have RA? Don’t forget that it may be harder for people who suffer from RA to do simple things like properly and thoroughly brush teeth. And, flossing can be even harder because of limited hand flexibility.

If you’re in a position where you need to assist someone with RA (or yourself), please let us know! We can help you brainstorm alternate methods for oral health care that will help.

Thanks for your trust in our practice!

Five Ways Your Dentistry Career Will Change The World

AT FIRST GLANCE the title of this post may seem a little ambitious. We admit that. But we’re passionate about what we do and we hope you feel that each time you visit us. And in some small (yet very significant) ways, team members here really do feel like we change the world.

It’s Not About Teeth

Does that sound strange coming from our dental practice? We’re being a tiny bit facetious to illustrate a point. Here are some of the ways you can have a powerful impact for good through the dental profession:

1. You Will Dispel Fears & Stereotypes

Modern dentistry isn’t your grandparent’s dentistry. Never before in history have dental materials and services been so comfortable, so effective, so life changing and accessible to so many as they are today.

2. You Will Build Trusted, Lifelong Friendships

It’s one of the things we love most. When it comes to connecting broadly and deeply with so many people and with our community—while helping patients stay healthy and confident—few careers provide the rich opportunities dentistry provides.

3. You Will Restore Confidence For Many You Serve

There are no greater feelings than the ones that come when you see a patient smile who was embarrassed to smile before. Truly life enhancing. You’ll feel like you’re walking on clouds (alongside your patient).

4. You Will Educate For Better Health (and you may save a life)

Our oral health is inextricably linked to our overall well-being. It’s a privilege and serious responsibility to continually educate about important topics such as oral cancer.

5. You Will Help Sustain Quality Of Life For “Seasoned” Patients

As live expectancies continue to increase, we love helping people keep healthy smiles decades longer. We do that through continuing education, modern technological developments, and thoughtful preventative maintenance.

Do You Know Someone Considering A Dentistry Career?

If so, please pass this blog post along to them regardless of whether they’re considering becoming a hygienist, dentist, dental assistant or dental administrator.

And if that person would like to visit with us, please have them give us a call. We’d be happy to visit with them.

Check Out This Related Video…

This was shared by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) which provides students with information and assistance in reaching their dental career goals. Students in the video share the reasons they’re pursuing dentistry:

Thanks for being part of our practice family. We love what we do because of you!

If you have more questions about this topic, ask below or directly on our Facebook page.

Lozilu’s 5K Women’s Mud Run

JULY 19, 2014 MARKS A memorable day at our office. The LaVecchia team got together and made its way to Frederick, Maryland, to run a 5k; in honor of children with cancer. To be honest the 5k felt more like a marathon of fun, All donations from this event went towards helping kiddos live a better life, while battling cancer.

The idea was given to us by our lovely hygienists, Leni and Anita, both encouraged the office to come together for this wonderful and fun fundraiser. It was an experience that made our team stronger. Since it was a women’s mud run, Dr. LaVecchia was not able to participate in the run, but he followed us throughout the obstacles to capture our ladies smile, and at one point jumped over a fence to get closer images. We definitely enjoyed the experience and can’t wait to be part of another charity. For more information on the event check out http://lozilu.com/
Check out our Facebook page to see more photos from this amazing event. and while you are there please don’t forget to like our page!

You Didn’t Inherit Soft Teeth

IT’S TRUE THAT EVERY ASPECT OF OUR HEALTH IS AFFECTED TO SOME DEGREE BY OUR GENES. And yes, some people just seem to be more predisposed to getting cavities. But it’s probably not a matter of “soft” versus “hard” teeth.

“I Do Everything Right And I Still Get Cavities”

Does this sound like you? If so, you’re the rare exception—and although it isn’t typical, we understand. That’s why it’s SO important that you pay particular attention to the basics.

You Probably ARE Inheriting Your Oral Bacteria

There’s good bacteria and bad bacteria. That unique mix, in your unique mouth, and how your mouth reacts to that mix may be what you’re really inheriting from grandpa. This video talks about oral bacteria mix or imbalance:

BY THE WAY… If you watched the video above, Josh says, “All you have to do is brush.” Hey Josh… We have one criticism of your video. You need to floss too! When you skip flossing, you’re missing up to 35% of your tooth’s surface area!

You May Have Inherited A Tendency Toward Dry Mouth

Are you a mouth breather? Was everyone who attended last summer’s family reunion a mouth breather too? Our saliva is a critical primary defense against tooth decay. Dry mouth may be a problem you need to be aware of and treat.

You May Be Inheriting A Few Eating Habits

Some of us emulate our parents when it comes to the way we eat. That may include a tendency to snack a lot, an affinity for soft drinks, etc., which may be detrimental to our dental health.

You’ve Probably Inherited An Oral Hygiene Mindset

How faithfully do you brush and floss? How consistently do you schedule regular dental checkups? Do you avoid (or even fear) dentists? How aware are you of the connection between your oral health and whole body health? Often, these things are priorities/attitudes passed by parents to children (consciously and sub-consciously).

We Can Help You Troubleshoot

As you know, we love talking about this stuff. So if you’re unsure why you’re more cavity prone than you should be, let’s visit. We can help figure it out and suggest solutions to keep your mouth healthy.

Before We Go… Just For Fun…

As Always, Thanks For The Trust You Place In Our Relationship!

Amenitites

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