Sterling Family Dentistry Blog
Sterling Dentist serving Ashburn, Herndon, Reston, & Loudoun, VA
Your tongue is an amazing muscle that is often not given the credit it deserves. Your family dentist in Sterling, VA has put together some fun facts about the tongue to help you appreciate its role more.
The Tongue Measures About Four Inches Long
That is from the back of the tongue to the front. Inside your mouth, you have the posterior tongue which sits toward the back of the throat. The anterior tongue is the part that is visible, but it only accounts for about two-thirds of its length.
You Have up to 10,000 Taste Buds
The tongue can consist of up to 10,000 taste buds. These buds play a crucial role in what you taste. They each house the receptors needed to determine the flavor of your food. Without them, everything would be quite bland.
Your Tongue is Needed for Mouth Cleaning and Digestion
Your tongue begins the entire digestion process with the chewing and swallowing of your food. Not only that, but your tongue helps to keep parts of your mouth clean by helping to create saliva.
Bacteria can Live on the Tongue
Bacteria tend to collect on the tongue which leads to bad breath. In addition, that bacteria leads to gum disease and tooth decay. That’s why it’s important you brush your tongue when you are doing your daily oral care routine.
The Tongue has Eight Muscles
There are four muscles on the tongue that aren’t attached to bones. This helps them to change the shape of your tongue. Then, there are another four muscles that are attached to a bone. These help you to change the position of your tongue. With all these muscles working together, you can move your tongue as needed. This also helps you to speak.
Tongues Contain Important Cells
Your tongue contains defense cells that are located at the base. These work to guard your body against germs that enter the body through your mouth.
Though your tongue appears to be small and unimportant, it is a vital part of how your body operates. It’s imperative to our sense of taste as well as our ability to eat and speak. Let’s not take our tongues for granted and make sure they get the attention they need to remain healthy too.
If you have any questions for your family dentist in Sterling, VA, or would like to schedule your next appointment, please call our office today at 703.444.3412.
Many people enjoying consuming an adult beverage occasionally and for the most part, it feels good to let loose with friends and family to have a good time. Unfortunately, it isn’t necessarily the best for your teeth. Here are some helpful tips from your dentist in Sterling VA on what you need to know about the effect alcohol has on your mouth, teeth, and gums.
Alcohol Dries the Mouth
Water is the best hydration for your mouth. It increases the saliva production and reduces the inhabitance of cavity-causing acids and bacteria. On the opposite end of the spectrum, alcohol dries out the mouth leaving it vulnerable to decay.
Not only is alcohol acidic, but the drying effect creates a low pH habitat for bacteria to live in. On top of that, sipping alcohol just keeps our mouths in this low pH level for hours at a time.
Just like coffee, wine is known for staining the teeth. This is caused by the acidity which allows the color to stick to the teeth. In wine, there are also substances called tannins, which bind to the tooth’s enamel to help trap the color of the wine to the teeth.
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Consumption
If you drink alcohol regularly or more frequently than most people, you set yourself up for some serious risks. First, you face a higher instance of oral cancer. This is especially true if you combine your drinking with smoking. The combined effect of alcohol and smoking enable the agents, which gives the disease easier access to the oral tissues.
Steps to Protect Your Teeth
It is possible to reduce the staining by eating some food while you drink. You might also want to include some sugarless gum after you’ve finished drinking. This increases the saliva production in the mouth and enables your pH levels to return to normal. It’s also wise to wait to brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after drinking. If you brush immediately, you risk spreading the acid around on the enamel and causing further abrasion.
As with all things in life, moderation is the key to a healthy body and healthy mouth. It’s okay to indulge in the things you enjoy but do it wisely, for the sake of your smile. Choosing healthy habits along with practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to protect your mouth from the dangerous consequences of alcohol consumption. Continue to choose the healthy habits by scheduling an appointment with your dentist in Sterling VA, Dr. Kavianpour. Call our office today at (703) 444-3412 to schedule your appointment with our front desk staff.
While sedation makes many dental procedures easier, there are things you will need to do to prepare. Here's a list of common pre-sedation instructions. Remember to always talk with your cosmetic dentist in Sterling, VA beforehand for any additional directions they may have.
Food and Drink
It's important that you follow food and drink restriction guidelines to prevent possibly catastrophic complications. Typically, it is advised to eat no food for 6 hours prior to the appointment, and to drink no liquids for two hours prior, and only clear liquids (such as water, Gatorade, apple juice and soda) up to that point.
You will want to wear clothes that are loose and comfortable. Since you will have an IV, your arm needs to be easily bared, so no tight long sleeve shirts. If it's cold out, dress in layers that can be removed when you're in the dentist's office. Don't wear anything tight and restrictive like belts or shape wear. Wear flat shoes so that you don't stumble after the procedure. And bring an extra set of clothes and undergarments, in case there are any accidents.
Makeup and Nail Polish
The color of your skin and your nails are an important signal in the unlikely case that something doesn't go as planned. Please don't wear makeup to your procedure, and remove any nail polish or artificial nails.
Some of the tools used in procedures produce a mild electric current. While this won't cause severe damage, there's a possibility that metal jewelry might conduct the charge and cause a burn, so dentists recommend all jewelry be removed.
Go over your medications with your dentist. Chances are they will tell you to take them as usual. If you need to take one with food, take it with a spoonful of applesauce.
Post Procedure Arrangements
You will need to arrange for a responsible adult friend or family member to pick you up after the procedure. You will also probably want to arrange to miss work that day.
Remember to always ask your cosmetic dentist in Sterling, VA if you have any questions at all! It is their primary mission to make sure your sedation experience is a successful one.
Brighter Smile Family Dentistry and Orthodontics can be reached at 703.444.3412, call today to schedule your next appointment.
During the Holiday season, it can be challenging to ensure that your children are properly taking care of their teeth. Between the sweets, candy and lack of time to brush, dental health can suffer. Here are some ways to encourage your children to practice good oral hygiene, courtesy of your Sterling, VA dentist..
Give Fun Stocking Stuffers
There are plenty of stocking stuffers that will help keep your children on a regular dental care routine. Consider splurging on a fun toothbrush in their favorite characters. There are also plenty of flavored toothpaste that makes kids happy while still bearing the ADA approved seal.
Make Brushing Fun
With all the enjoyable activities that come with Christmas, brushing teeth can seem a little boring. Put on some fun music and brush while humming Christmas carols together. You could also choose to read them their favorite stories while they brush their teeth.
Bring Santa into the Routine
Santa Claus can make the kids do some pretty amazing things. Remind your children that he knows when they’ve been naughty. To get on the nice list they will have to brush and floss those teeth.
Explain the Truth about Sugar
This time of year is filled with sugar and goodies. Remind children that an occasional treat is okay but excessive amounts of sugar will damage the teeth. Offer them plenty of vegetables and fruits as a healthier option.
Avoid the Peppermints
Christmas is a great time to enjoy little, hard candies but they are often the worst on little teeth. Sucking on this candy allows pure sugar to sit on the teeth for long periods of time. They could opt for sugar-free peppermint gum instead if they are old enough. This will help to clean the teeth and remove debris.
This is a great time to bring your children in for a checkup if they haven’t had one in the last six months. Your Steling, VA dentist can help to reaffirm the tips you are trying to teach. Help your child brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. Between this and flossing, you are setting them up for healthy smiles.
Tartar is a plaque that becomes hardened to the teeth. It is often called calculus and tends to form underneath the gumline where it can irritate the tissue. When tartar is present, there is a higher chance of cavities and gum disease forming. Tartar is a porous substance, so it will absorb stains easily.
How Do I Know if I Have Tartar Buildup?
Many people struggle to know if there is plaque buildup on the teeth because it is colorless. Tartar, on the other hand, is easy to see as long as it is above the gumline. Tartar tends to be yellow or brown in color and can be seen on the teeth or gums. The only definitive way to know if you are suffering from a tartar buildup is to see your dentist for an exam.
Because tartar is porous, being a coffee or tea drinker, or a smoker, makes it even more important to prevent tartar buildup. Otherwise, your teeth will end up a darker shade of brown as a result of the usage.
Preventing Tartar Buildup
Proper oral hygiene is the only way to prevent the buildup of tartar in your mouth. Take the following steps to help keep tartar at a bay in your mouth.
- Brush your teeth properly twice a day with tartar control toothpaste
- Consider using an electronic or powered toothbrush
- Floss once a day to reduce tartar and plaque buildup
- Use a tartar control mouth rinse
- Visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning
- Eat a healthy diet
If you are a coffee or tea drinker, or you smoke, you’ll find that it is even more important to prevent tartar buildup. If you are a smoker, now would be a great time to quit! It will benefit your teeth and your overall well-being.
Once tartar has built up on your teeth, the only way to remove it is through your dentist or dental hygienist. Scaling is the process they use to clean the teeth from tartar. It involves special instruments that can reach the tartar on your teeth and beneath the gumline. Contact your dentist in Sterling, VA if you are concerned about tartar buildup on your teeth.
If your dentist would not eat it, chances are, you should not either. They avoid or limit certain types of foods and drinks because it simply is bad for their oral hygiene. Some foods and drinks, if consumed often enough, can degrade your oral health, even if you have great oral hygiene.
What Foods to Avoid
Any fruit with natural acid in them are potential hazards. Tomatoes, oranges, and lemons are just a few that will have a higher sugar and acid content. Now, that is not to say these fruits are not extremely good for you, but your teeth do take a beating when consumed a lot. If you take care to brush, floss, and rinse away the citrus and sugar, then the acid will not have enough time to damage your teeth. Obviously, very hard foods you should try and avoid. Hard candies have been keeping dentists in business for a lot of years. It is easy to break or chip a tooth on one. Also, take care to know the temperature of your food before you consume it. If you take a drink of your cold beverage, it will cool your teeth down considerably. If you then take a bite of something piping hot, the temperature change will be too great, and you could crack a tooth. Teeth have been known to crack even when fluctuating from body temperature to hot or cold.
What Drinks to Avoid
Drinks, especially soda, have the highest sugar content of almost any other consumable item. They are loaded with cups of sugar per 12 fl. Oz. If you find yourself drinking soda every day, you should think about how hard that is on your teeth. The fizzy drinks are delicious, but that fizziness is something that tends to wear down the enamel over time, causing cavities and tooth decay. For adults, energy drinks fit into the same category as a soda does. Your dentist probably tries to avoid citrus juices too. Orange juice is a drink that can have an adverse effect on your teeth if they are left unprotected.
Knowing what level of sugar, citrus, and other enamel aggravators are will help you figure out a diet that is healthy for your entire body, including your mouth.
If you have any questions for your Sterling, VA dentist, please call our office today at 703.444.3412.
Tooth decay is a disease that causes damage to the structure of the teeth. When it is left untreated, it can lead to pain, tooth loss and even death in rare circumstances. It is a situation that should be avoided at any cost. Preventing tooth decay is far easier than treating it after the cavities have begun.
How Does the Dental System Work?
The mouth is a living ecosystem with a delicate balance. The teeth have an outer covering of non-living enamel. This is the hardest substance found on the human body. The enamel protects the inner part of the tooth called the dentin. This is a living substance and is comparable to the consistency of a bone.
Saliva continually bathes the teeth and is an important function in a healthy mouth. While the mouth is loaded with more bacteria than you can imagine, the saliva helps to keep it all in balance. When your teeth have plaque on them, the bacteria are more likely to stick to the tooth and begin the decaying process.
Once the decay starts, you will need professional treatments to fix the teeth. This can become costly and expensive depending on how bad the decay has become.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Prevention is always a better option than treatment. It is less expensive and will not cause you any pain. To take care of your own mouth, there are steps you can take to prevent tooth decay.
- Be sure to visit your dentist in Sterling, VA twice a year for cleaning and evaluation
- Brush at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily to remove dirt and debris from between the teeth
- Use a fluoride rinse to wash away debris from the mouth
- Stay hydrated to help improve the production of saliva
- Avoid sugary drinks and food
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Discuss preventative options such as sealants and topical fluoride if your teeth are at risk for decay
Your dentist in Sterling, VA can offer more tips and techniques that might help you to avoid cavities. Be sure to consult them with any other questions or concerns you might have regarding your dental care. You can reach Brighter Smile Family Dentistry & Orthodontics at 703-444-3412 to schedule your appointment.
If your child has Invisalign Teen braces, that is great! They are on their way to a bright, wonderful smile that will improve social and professional interactions for a long time to come. But, with the Invisalign Teen tray being removable, that can sometimes be a problem.
Your teen takes their aligner trays out for dinner… then forgets to put it back in for several days… This can be unfavorable because the Invisalign Teen trays need to be in place for 20 hours a day in order to work. Leaving them out for an extended period of time will delay the straightening process and lengthen the treatment.
As a parent, there are a few things you can do to help your child (teen) keep their aligner schedule on track.
Require They Keep a Time-Tracking Journal
Have your teen keep a time-tracking journal where your need notes every time they take out their aligner trays, for how long, and why. Have them add up the time at the end of each day. This will show them that with meals typically taking up about an hour on average, there is really only 30-45 minutes of wiggle room.
Once they can see a pattern of how difficult it can be to hit the 20 hours daily, they will start figuring out ways to make sure they maximize the time they can have the aligner trays out.
Rather than checking your teen’s work every day, simply ask them to be honest with you. Then, when it is time to move into the next aligner tray (2 weeks) if they have always answered that they had the tray in for 20 hours, their blue dot indicator should have faded to clear.
If you ever find that the blue dot is still blue, that means they haven’t worn the tray for 20 hours a day (and potentially not been honest). At this point, you may find it relevant to check their journal weekly or daily.
Set up a system for your teen where they get a reward each time their blue dot indicator has faded to clear. You don’t need to invest too much, possibly nothing at all. Here are some ideas for rewards:
- Small monetary reward ($10 - $20)
- Personalized gift (something they like)
- Permission to go out somewhere (sleepover, party, etc.)
- Their favorite meal (homemade or going out)
You will find if create this journal/reward system before they get Invisalign, you will have a much easier time getting them to wear their aligner trays and their retainers in the future. If you or a family member is interested in learning more about
Invisalign in Sterling, VA, call 703.444.3412 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kavianpour.
If you or someone you know is wearing braces to help with the alignment of teeth, you are aware that proper brushing can become quite challenging. All of the bands and wires can make it extremely difficult to reach with the toothbrush and flossing can be even more difficult to do. With the help of your orthodontist, you can discover the best ways to keep your smile healthy during this time of wearing dental braces.
Tools You May Need for Proper Oral Hygiene:
- Floss threader
- Interdental toothbrush (proxabrush)
- Water pick or oral irrigator
- Pick or toothpick
Brushing Your Teeth
First begin your routine by brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled brush, much in the same manner as you did without braces. You still want to make sure you reach all the back teeth as well as the front. To clean better under the wires, you might want to try using an interdental brush, this looks like a pipe cleaner on a stick and will aid you in reaching those tough areas.
Flossing with Braces
It can be difficult to maintain regular flossing when the wires seem to prevent you from getting the floss between your teeth. Talk to your dentist about a floss threader, a handy tool where you can thread the floss, much like a sewing needle, through the hole and then proceed to floss in between your teeth.
Other Helpful Tools
If you find that it is still difficult in the first months of wearing your braces, between close wires and misaligned teeth, you may need to search for other tools to help maintain a healthy oral cavity.
The feeling that something is stuck within your teeth and a wire can be very uncomfortable and a toothpick or water pick may be just what you need to dislodge the food item. Practice cleaning your teeth with these tools may take some time, but daily use will aid in your ability to maintain a proper oral care routine.
Talk with Dr. Kavianpour, your dentist in Sterling, VA, about the proper way to care for your teeth for the duration of braces and remember that regular checkups are key to making this process a smooth one.
There are a lot of precautions a pregnant woman must take while she is bringing a baby to term. Going to the dentist while you are pregnant is nothing to fear and is not only safe but is also recommended.
Why is it Necessary?
When a woman is pregnant, her hormone levels have increased and can cause the gums to swell. As a result, bleeding of gums can become a factor and food can become trapped within the swollen gums, increasing the risk of gum disease.
By continuing to visit your Sterling VA dentist, oral infections can be avoided so that they don’t lead to pre-term birth.
What Treatments Can a Pregnant Woman Receive?
All dental work can be done on a pregnant woman, just make sure to let the dentist know that you are with a child before any work has commenced. You and your dentist will discuss if the procedure needs to be done immediately, or if it can wait until after the birth of the baby.
The best time to work on dental issues of a pregnant woman is before the beginning of the third trimester when it becomes difficult for the woman to lie on her back for long periods of time.
Medications During Pregnancy and Precautions:
- Lidocaine – Can cross the placenta after it is administered
- Anesthesia – Can be administered, but preferred in low doses
- Antibiotics – Such as penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin are safe for pregnant woman and can be prescribed for post-procedure
X-rays should be avoided during the pregnancy and can be scheduled after the birth of the baby. That being said, they are believed to be safe and if an emergency arises where they become necessary they can be done with proper shielding.
It is important to talk with your Sterling VA dentist if you have a visit during any of the trimesters of your pregnancy. If possible, your visit can become postponed to after the birth of your child. Make sure that you don’t forget about the importance of regular visits to your dentist. Maintain a balanced diet, and remember to take proper care of your oral health during the entire duration of your pregnancy.