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1515 Wilson Blvd., Suite 103
Arlington, VA 22209

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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Pets Need Their Teeth Brushed Too!

DID YOU KNOW THAT FEBRUARY is Pet Dental Health Month? That’s right! Your pets need their teeth taken care of too! While their teeth don’t require quite as much attention as ours do, your pet’s teeth still need a little tender loving care to keep them healthy.

Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

Brushing our teeth removes plaque and prevents gum disease; the same goes for dogs and cats! Brushing your dog or cat’s teeth three to four times per week can prevent dental disease and extend their life. It can also save them a lot of pain and you a lot of money on veterinary visits!

Use The Right Toothpaste

It’s important not to use regular human toothpaste for your pet. Since dogs and cats can’t spit the toothpaste out, the high fluoride content can really upset their stomachs and can even be toxic. You can find toothpaste specifically made for pets that’s not only safe, but appeals to their taste buds too!

Chew Toys Help Remove Plaque

Just as chewing sugarless gum after you eat helps increase saliva production and remove plaque, chew toys contribute to your pet’s dental health in between brushing sessions. Getting your pet a chew toy or hard bone can strengthen their teeth and gums as well as scrub plaque off of their teeth!

They Need Regular Checkups Just Like We Do

Biannual or annual visits to your veterinarian help keep your pet’s mouth and body healthy. When you come in to the dentist for your biannual visit, we not only clean your teeth, but check for signs of more serious conditions such as periodontal disease and oral cancer. Routine checkups for your pet are just as essential for their health.

A Healthy Mouth Makes A Healthy Pet

Sadly, statistics suggest that over 80 percent of dogs and cats have some degree of dental disease by the time they are three years old. Remember, a healthy mouth means a happy life. That goes for you and Sparky! If you have any questions about YOUR dental health, call us or come in today!

We love our patients (and their pets)!

Top image by Flickr user Guian Bolisay used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Our Hidden Superpower: Smiling!

SMILING AT SOMEONE CAN turn their whole day around. But have you ever thought about the impact the act of smiling has on YOU? Smiling is a hidden superpower that can change our lives for the better if we let it!

Smiling Has Numerous Health Benefits

Did you know that frequent smiling can actually make us healthier? Smiling reduces stress and increases health and mood enhancing hormone levels, such as endorphins. Smiling also helps to lower our blood pressure.

Perhaps even more surprising, smiling can extend our lifespan! A study conducted at Wayne State University in 2010 found that baseball players who smiled in their pictures lived seven years longer on average than those who weren’t smiling in their photos.

Smiling Makes Us Happy

While we generally think of smiling as the result of feeling happy, smiling, even when we don’t feel like it, can actually improve our mood and emotional disposition. In other words, pasting a smile on your face, even if you’re faking it, can make you feel happier!

Here’s why: when we cause our facial muscles to form a smile, our brain’s circuitry of emotion and happiness is activated—whether the smile is genuine or not! A study conducted in the UK found that one smile can provide the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 chocolate bars. What’s more, a smile can be as neurologically stimulating to your brain as receiving $25,000!

Smiling Helps Us Connect With People

One of our most primal instincts as human beings is to smile. Part of the joy of being around a newborn child is seeing them smile! Before they start smiling in the waking hours, they smile involuntarily in their sleep. 3-D ultrasounds show that developing babies even smile in the womb. Simply put, we’ve been smiling since before we were born!

And as it turns out, smiling is absolutely contagious! When we see another smile, it’s pretty hard not to smile ourselves. If you or I observe another person’s smile, mirror neurons will fire in our brain, giving us the sensation that we ourselves are smiling. So, smiling not only makes you feel good, but everyone around you as well!

We Love Your Smile!

Smiling has the power to get you through the good times and the bad! As your trusted dental professionals, we’re here to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile so that it can brighten your life and the lives of others. Remember, when in doubt, smile!

Thank you to our wonderful patients! We appreciate you!

Top image by Flickr user Giorgio Minguzzi used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Managing Tooth Sensitivity

IF THERE’S ONE THING WE can all agree on, it’s that nobody likes sensitive teeth! Tooth sensitivity can cause discomfort during daily tasks such as brushing, flossing, eating, drinking, and even breathing in a cold gush of air!

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, there are measures you can take to relieve pain and treat discomfort.

Start By Visiting Your Dentist

If you are concerned about sensitive teeth, seek a dental professional’s help first. Tooth sensitivity, while common, can also be a sign of something more serious. Your dentist can help identify what the underlying cause of your sensitivity is and prescribe the best treatment option for you and your smile! After an evaluation, your dentist might recommend:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: This type of toothpaste is specially formulated to soothe the nerve endings in the tooth and reduce pain.
  • Bonding agent: This is the material used to stick tooth colored restorations to teeth. It can also be used to seal the dentin surface and protect sensitive areas from outside stimuli.
  • Fluoride: Your dentist may apply fluoride to sensitive areas. This strengthens tooth enamel and treats pain.
  • Limiting acidic foods and drinks: Carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, wine, yogurt, etc. are acidic and, when consumed frequently, can remove small amounts of tooth enamel over time. Drink acidic liquids with straws to avoid contact with teeth.

A Good Oral Hygiene Routine Can Help You Avoid Sensitivity

Proper brushing and flossing can prevent conditions such as gum disease which is known to cause gum recession. When gums recede, part of the tooth root is exposed, leading to sensitivity. Over-brushing or brushing too aggressively can also lead to receding gums and even enamel erosion—both of which cause sensitivity.

When Whitening Your Teeth, Consult With Your Dentist

Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening. To avoid or diminish sensitivity after whitening, consider using a lower concentration of whitening product and reduce the amount of time the bleach is in contact with the teeth.

Always consult with your dentist before whitening as he or she can help determine the best treatment options for you. If you or someone you know has particularly sensitive teeth, there are additional steps we can take to help avoid and relieve the sensitivity caused by whitening.

We Can Help With Tooth Sensitivity

Although sensitivity is common, there are things we can do to help relieve and reduce the discomfort that it causes. No one should have to live with tooth pain. Call us or come in today so we can help you achieve a pain-free smile!

To our wonderful patients, we appreciate you!

Top image by Flickr user Dave Herholz used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Give Your Kids A Jumpstart On Oral Health Care!

YOUR CHILD’S BABY TEETH are just as important as their permanent teeth. Kids may not keep their first teeth forever, but they require just as much diligent care as future permanent teeth.

In fact, maintaining your child’s dental health when they are young will provide health benefits well into adulthood as well as set them on the right track of good oral health habits!

Some Children Don’t Get The Preventive Dental Care They Need

Early childhood caries—more commonly known as a dental cavity—is the number one chronic disease affecting young children. In light of this statistic, you may be surprised to learn that one quarter of children between ages three and 18 don’t visit the dentist at all!

Although common, dental diseases like tooth decay and gum disease are quite preventable, especially when healthy habits are taught during early childhood.

Start Oral Health Regimens Early

Even before your child’s teeth have erupted, an infant’s gums should be wiped down with a wet cloth or gauze after eating to protect from bacteria.

The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist by their first birthday or as soon as their first tooth appears. At this visit, your dentist can teach you more about proper pediatric oral hygiene and check for cavities. As soon as your child turns two, establish a daily brushing routine.

As your child gets older, there are two specific treatments we recommend to prevent tooth decay. These treatments are:

    • Topical Fluoride – By applying fluoride directly to your child’s teeth in higher concentrations than found in toothpaste or water, they will be more protected and resistant to decay.
    • Dental Sealants – These are thin, plastic coatings painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent tooth decay. Even thorough brushing and flossing can’t always get into the depressions and grooves of the molars. Sealants form a protective shield over these vulnerable areas, keeping out plaque and food. Generally, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as they come in.

We Care About Your Children’s Oral Health

Baby teeth set the stage for the permanent teeth to develop and come in correctly. By taking care of them and teaching their children correct habits, parents ensure lifelong dental health for their children. At our practice, we are committed to promoting preventive dental care to ensure lasting health and happiness for you and your children!

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our practice family!

Top image by Flickr user Frédéric de Villamil used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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