Sterling Family Dentistry Blog

Sterling Dentist serving Ashburn, Herndon, Reston, & Loudoun, VA

November 06, 2017

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.

Conclusion

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.

tags: Sterling VA Dentist
October 17, 2017

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.

tags: Dentist in Sterling VA
September 12, 2017

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.

 

tags: Sterling VA Dentist
August 15, 2017

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.

tags: Dentist in Sterling VA
July 19, 2017

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.

Reward Them

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.

tags: Invisalign Sterling VA
June 21, 2017

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:

  • Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • 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. 

tags: Dentist in Sterling VA
June 09, 2017

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

Other Precautions

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.

May 24, 2017

Dental Sedation is a common procedure that has often sparked controversy. We know that it can be hard to determine the fact from fiction. Here are four of the most common misconceptions that surround dental sedation.

 

Misconceptions

 

  1. Any Dentist Can Administer Dental Sedation.

Only certified sedation dentists can administer the sedative. Staff members are trained to track a patient’s vital signs to spot any hazardous activity, but they will not administer the sedative.

 

  1. Dental Sedation is Unsafe

All invasive procedures pose risks. In modern dentistry, sedation techniques and comprehensive safety protocols have been developed to combat these risks.  Dental professionals exercise great caution. They are well trained and certified to perform sedation.

 

  1. There is Only One Type of Sedation

There are four kinds of dental sedation.

  • General Anesthesia
  • Inhalation of Nitrous Oxide
  • Intravenous Sedatives
  • Oral Sedatives

They have varying degrees and are administered to patients depending on their

medical conditions, pain threshold, and anxiety levels.

 

  1. Dental Sedation is Only Used For Complicated Procedures

General anesthesia is administered exclusively for patients who are about to undergo a major dental operation such as periodontal work and root canals. However, dentists also provide other forms of dental sedation to induce a relaxing sensation before a minor procedure is performed. Children and adults with high anxiety levels may find nitrous oxide inhalation and oral sedatives helpful in these situations.

 

If you have any questions or want to learn more, feel free to give your dentist in Sterling VA a call at (703) 444-3412.

May 12, 2017

Anyone who enters the oral healthcare aisle at the store can immediately feel overwhelmed with all the different selections of toothbrushes. Commercials on television display electric toothbrushes as being the best innovation for your teeth over the manual kind. Let’s examine the two different types to help you make the best decision for your personal oral hygiene.

Manual Toothbrushes

Manual toothbrushes used to come in a rectangular shape, with no angles, and with no added bristles or rubber to the sides that help in overall oral care. Today, they have different sized bristles, cheek and tongue cleaners, soft grip handles and for some youth brushes they have lights that indicate a countdown so the children know for how long they should brush their teeth.

Electric Toothbrushes

Electric brushes seem to have all the bells and whistles, they claim to brush at high-level strokes-per-minute and some can even gauge the pressure that you are putting against your teeth. Inconclusive research does not dictate whether one or the other is better for your oral care, so it is best to understand if you are brushing your teeth correctly, then it doesn’t matter which form you use. What also matters is, which brush is going to get your brushing your teeth properly in the first place?

Proper Brushing Technique

  • Holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, place the head of bristle tips against your gumline. Move the bristles in small circular motions.
  • Always keeping the toothbrush head angled, polish all the individual teeth, maintaining contact with your gumline.
  • Repeat the process on the insides of your teeth.
  • With the front teeth, you may want to tilt the brush vertically to obtain better access.
  • Apply the same, small, circular motions on the back teeth where you chew your food.
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue as this helps remove unwanted bacteria and helps maintain fresh breath.

Remember to always discuss with your dentist, or oral hygienist, the proper way to care for your teeth. Proper technique will include brushing your teeth for about two minutes and should be followed by flossing and take place twice a day.

If you still feel unsure about what is right for you, discuss it with your Sterling VA dentist at your next appointment. Call us today to schedule your visit at (703) 444-3412.

March 28, 2017

Dental braces are devices used to straighten misaligned or crooked teeth. While general dentists can perform basic alignments of teeth and orthodontics, it may require an orthodontist to fix abnormalities on the teeth. Hence, it is important for you to see our dentist regarding Invisalign in Sterling VA to correct problems with your teeth. Unfortunately, there is a growing trend of people fixing their own teeth using paper clips or rubber bands. The trend of using do-it-yourself (DIY) braces has been frowned upon by orthodontists for a good reason.

Start of the trend

The trend started in Asia where people consider braces and retainers as a status symbol. Since many cannot afford it, they normally use fake braces sold in open-air markets. The trend has reached the United States where the wearing of braces used to be avoided at all costs. Concerns were raised by parents and dental professionals about the trend and are now trying to educate the youth on the dangers of using these DIY braces.

Infection or tooth loss

One danger of using DIY braces is it will increase the risk of oral infection. When rubber bands are used, they have the tendency to reach the base of the teeth and may even go under the gum line. When this happens, it may result in a severe infection or root damage. It may even lead to permanent tooth loss.

Permanent damage

When the rubber band goes under the gum, it may get stuck there. In this situation, there is a big tendency for the tooth to protrude and for the root to be damaged. Once the root is damaged, it may be irreparable. This happened to one man who used a rubber band to fix a gap in between his teeth. He is now wearing veneers after losing a tooth.

While DIY braces allow you to save on the cost of going to a dentist or orthodontist, you may never know that the DIY braces you used will permanently damage your teeth. Thus, you will end up spending more than what you anticipated to restore the smile you once had.

If you're interested in correcting your dental alignment, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Kavianpour if you want to learn more about Invisalign in Sterling VA. These invisible aligners can give you the smile that you're looking for without having to worry about braces and wires. Call our office at (703) 444-3412 today to schedule a consultation about Invisalign.

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