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: March 2016

How To Make The Most Of Your Dental Visits

FOR THE AVERAGE PERSON, you only see your dentist twice a year. While you may think going to the dentist simply requires you to show up and open wide, it’s important to take advantage of each and every dental visit!

We want to answer your questions and address your concerns. Here are some easy tips that will help you maximize your time with the dentist and make the most out of your biannual visits.

Make A Checklist Of Questions And Concerns

It’s easy to forget about all the questions you’ve had about your oral health over the past couple of months when you’re sitting in the dental chair. Writing a checklist or note beforehand of things you’d like to ask us or talk to us about can help you remember! For example, have you experienced bleeding while brushing or any new pain or sensitivity? Are there any wounds in your mouth that haven’t healed normally? Let us know–we’re here to help!

You May Even Have A Fun Question Like This!

Keep Us Updated

You’ve probably heard of something called the mouth-body connection. It simply means that your oral health and overall health are strongly connected. This is why it is important that your dentist knows your complete medical history.

Alert your dentist if you are pregnant or have been diagnosed with diabetes or other illnesses since your last visit. Inform them of any new medications you are taking. Certain illnesses and medications can increase your risk of dental problems and disease. The more your dentist knows about your health, the more personalized your care will be.

Connect With Us On Social Media

We use social media to connect with our patients and facilitate one-on-one relationships with them! Since we only see some of you every six months, our social media tools–like our blog and Facebook page–help us stay in touch.

We try to provide you with relevant and easily accessible information on our social media platforms so you can be informed about both your dental health and our services. Like us on Facebook to learn more and feel free to comment or leave us a private message. Your relationship is important to us!

Thank You!

We can’t say it enough… Thank you, valued patients and friends! We love seeing you healthy and happy!

Top image by Flickr user Antonio García-Melgares Hernández 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.

10 Fun Dental Facts You Probably Didn’t Know!

THE TRUTH IS, our teeth are amazing! Without them we wouldn’t be able to speak, eat, sing, or smile properly. We’d like to celebrate our teeth by sharing some interesting dental facts you may not have known!

Here Are 10 Fun Dental Facts

  1. If you’ve been using floss daily, by the end of the year the total length will be the perimeter of a baseball diamond! Is your floss going to make it to home plate?
  2. Because birds lack teeth, many swallow stones or grits to aid in breaking up hard foods.
  3. On average, women smile 62 times a day and men only eight times a day. Step it up, guys!
  4. The average American spends 38.5 total days brushing their teeth in their lifetime.
  5. Only 40 percent of young people age six to 19 have had cavities in their life. That’s down from 50 percent a decade ago!
  6. In the middle ages, people thought that a dog’s tooth boiled in wine made an excellent mouth rinse to prevent tooth decay. Tasty!
  7. The Egyptian Plover, also known as the crocodile bird, is famous for flying into crocodile mouths and cleaning their teeth.
  8. Prior to the 1850s, ‘toothpastes’ were usually powders and contained soap and chalk.
  9. An obscure law in Vermont states that it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of their husband. Crazy!
  10. Different animals have different amounts of teeth; armadillos have 104, pigs have 44, and humans have 32.

Another cool fact: the narwhal’s tusk Is actually a tooth!

How Many Of These Facts Have You Heard Before?

It’s always fun to learn about the obscure facts and crazy history that make up our tooth trivia! Do you know any other cool dental facts? Comment below or on our Facebook page! And remember, take care of your teeth. They do so much for you!

We are grateful for our awesome patients!

Top image by Flickr user la vaca vegetariana 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.

Back To Basics: The DO’s And DON’Ts Of Toothbrushing

BRUSHING OUR TEETH is something we do everyday. And yet it’s easy to fall into a routine of bad habits if we’re not careful! Developing correct brushing techniques and sticking to them is crucial to the health and appearance of your smile.

Toothbrushing DO’s

  1. Use the right technique
    Tilt the brush at a 45 degree angle against the gum line and brush using small circles. This method is the most gentle and effective way to remove plaque!
  2. Brush for the correct amount of time
    Proper brushing takes at least two minutes! To make sure you brush for the right amount of time, use a stopwatch or listen to your favorite song while brushing. When deciding how much time to spend brushing your teeth, the important thing to remember is that it’s not about a prescribed amount of time, it’s about cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth.
  3. Brush morning and night
    Brushing your teeth should be an absolutely essential part of your daily and nightly routine. It’s also important to avoid midnight snacking! Sleeping directly after eating significantly raises your risk for cavities.
  4. Replace your brush
    The ADA recommends buying a new toothbrush every three to four months. Over time, the bristles of the toothbrush wear down and become less effective at removing plaque and bacteria. It’s also important to swap out your toothbrush after being sick, otherwise the germs from your illness may reinfect you.

Toothbrushing DON’Ts

  1. Don’t put yourself at risk for gum recession
    Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and refrain from aggressive brushing. Brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush or using excessive force while brushing can slowly cause gums to recede, exposing the root of the tooth and leading to sensitivity. Not fun!
  2. Don’t brush immediately after eating
    Wait at least 30 minutes after you’ve eaten to brush your teeth. When you eat, bacteria produce acid that temporarily weakens the enamel. Brushing too soon after eating, especially acidic foods, can damage the enamel in its weakened state. After eating, it’s best to rinse your mouth out with water or chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production. These measures will help to wash away bacteria without damaging your teeth!
  3. Don’t ignore the rest of your mouth
    Especially your tongue! Did you know that 90 percent of bad breath is due to a dirty tongue? That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly brush the tongue or use a tongue scraper.
  4. Don’t underestimate the importance of visiting your dentist
    No matter how well you brush, biannual visits to your dentist are imperative to keeping your smile radiant and healthy! Professional cleanings and checkups are the easiest way to avoid dental problems in the future.

Little Things Can Make A Big Difference!

What you do everyday has an effect on the health and beauty of your smile. We hope these little tips will make a big difference in your oral hygiene routine!

Our patients mean the world to us!

Top image by Flickr user Arek Olek 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.

What Is A Frenectomy?

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD of a person being “tongue-tied” or “lip-tied”? As dental professionals, we care about the health of your mouth as a whole, not just your teeth. When a tongue- or lip-tie is present, some problems may arise that we can help with!

Why Do Lip- And Tongue-Ties Occur?

A lip- or tongue-tie occurs when a thin tissue in the mouth called a frenum is overgrown. There are two kinds of frena in the mouth, labial (lip) frena and the lingual (tongue) frenum. The labial frena can be found in the center of the lips, connecting the inside of your upper and lower lips to the gum tissue. You can see the tongue frenum by looking in the mirror and lifting your tongue up to touch the roof of your mouth.

The purpose of the frenum is to limit certain muscle movements to prevent tissue damage. When the frenum tissue is excessive, however, it has the potential to do more harm than good.

What Problems Can Arise As The Result Of A Tongue-Tie?

A tongue-tie restricts the tongue and prevents it from moving freely. Tongue-ties may be moderate, resulting in only small inconveniences like not being able to lick an ice cream cone. In some cases, however, they cause severe impairments such as:

  • Difficulty nursing as an infant and eating later in life
  • Speech impediments
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Periodontal issues, such as receding gums
  • Tongue thrust and bite misalignment

What Issues Can A Lip-Tie Cause?

A lip-tie refers to a frenum that attaches too far down on the gum. The possible complications of a lip-tie are somewhat similar to those who are tongue-tied. An overgrown labial frenum can:

  • Cause pain and discomfort
  • Make it difficult for children to keep their teeth clean
  • Complicate nursing
  • Lead to periodontal issues, such as receding gums
  • Result in misaligned teeth and bite (usually gap teeth)

A Frenectomy Helps Alleviate Tongue- and Lip-Ties

A frenectomy is a simple procedure that can be performed by dental professionals where excess tissue on the frenum is removed. Before performing a frenectomy, several factors are taken into account, including the possibility that the condition may correct itself over time.

We’re Here To Answer Your Questions

If you’re concerned about a possible lip-tie or tongue-tie in yourself or your child, schedule an appointment with us today. We’d be more than happy to answer your questions and together, we’ll determine the best way to move forward!

Thank you for trusting us with your oral health concerns!

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.

Tooth Fairy Traditions

THE TOOTH FAIRY is one of many childhood fantasy figures we remember fondly. We lost our baby teeth, stuck them under our pillow, and the mysterious tooth fairy would swap our teeth out for money! What could be better?

The tooth fairy isn’t quite the same for everyone though! The legend of the tooth fairy has changed over the years and even varies widely around the world. Let’s learn a little bit more about other tooth fairy traditions!

The Tooth Fairy Legend Began With Ancient Superstitions

Before the tooth fairy went looking under our pillow for baby teeth, she used to look in the ground! In early Europe, burying or burning baby teeth was a precaution taken against witches. It was believed that if a witch got a hold of one of your teeth, they could have complete power over you!

Along with a fear of witches, children were instructed to burn their teeth so that they could have a peaceful afterlife. It was believed that if a tooth wasn’t incinerated, the person would be doomed to spend eternity searching for them.

The Vikings didn’t want to destroy baby teeth, however. They even paid for them! In Norse culture, children’s teeth were believed to bring good luck in battle, so many warriors had necklaces made of children’s fallen out teeth!

Before A Fairy, There Was A Mouse

More recently we’ve seen the development of monetary gifts as a reward for a lost tooth. But not all tooth fairies are pixies with wings… In many Latin countries the tooth fairy is a mouse named Raton Perez! He also retrieves the teeth from under a pillow and leaves money or a gift in return.

How Our Modern Tooth Fairy Came To Be

As with many American traditions, the tooth fairy has roots in European folklore. Instead of burying our teeth in the ground, we “bury” our teeth under our pillow! It is said that our modern conception of the tooth fairy came about in the early 1900s. With the help of Walt Disney’s beloved fairy characters, the idea of a tooth fairy gained popularity and became what it is today!

The Tooth Fairy Plays An Important Role For Children

The legend of the tooth fairy is likely still so prevalent because it helps comfort children when they lose their teeth, an experience that can be traumatic for some. The tooth fairy helps them see this big step as a positive experience and a sign that they are growing up!

As your trusted dental professionals, we want what is best for you and your kids. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s teeth, call or come into our office!

Thank you for all that you do!

Top image by Flickr user Shardayyy 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.
Amenitites

Convenient Appointments

Our early morning and evening appointments let you fit dental visits around work and school.

Scheduling

Insurance & Financing

Our flexible payment options help all of our patients afford the quality dental care they deserve.

Facebook Like

We Like You!

Please “like” us back to follow us on Facebook for special offers, news, and events.

New Patient Forms

New Patient Forms

We invite you to download our forms. Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to open them.

Load