Top 5 Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth | Vienna Family Dentist

When it comes to your oral health, what you should eat is just as important as what you shouldn’t. By limiting certain types of foods and focusing on others, you can set yourself up for a lifetime with a healthy smile. Here is a list of foods from our dentist in 22181 you should strive to eat, and others to consume with moderation.

Best Foods for Your Teeth

Cheese and other dairy products. Dairy is high in calcium and protein, which strengthen tooth enamel. Cheese, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are all great sources.

High-fiber foods. Fiber keeps saliva flowing, which helps to get rid of bacteria and fight decay. Leafy greens, beans, and many fresh fruits contain high amounts of fiber.

Water. Water should be your main drink of choice. It helps rinse food particles or sugars away and keeps saliva levels high.

Sugar-free gum. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), sugar-free gum can protect your teeth by increasing saliva flow. Chewing a stick after a meal can also help clean any food particles that remain.

Lean protein. Foods like eggs, fish, chicken, and various red meats contain phosphorus, which is necessary for your body to fully absorb calcium.

Worst Foods for Your Teeth

Acidic foods. The acids found in citrus fruits, wine, and candy can wear down the calcium buildup in your teeth and create opportunities for tooth erosion.

Sodas. Soft drinks contain high levels of sugar and acidity which are both equally destructive to your teeth.

Sports drinks. While sports drinks may help you rehydrate during physical activity, they also contain a lot of sugar. We recommend limiting sports drink consumption and switching to water.

Alcohol. Alcohol is known to dry out your mouth, which prevents saliva from doing its job. Alcohol can also stain your teeth.

Sticky or sugary candies. Sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay and is commonly found in candy. Limit how much candy you eat and drink water afterwards to wash away any remaining sugars.

By watching what you eat or drink, you can protect your oral health. Minimize your consumption of problematic foods and aim for those that will benefit your teeth. In addition, regular cleanings and exams will help keep your smile bright and healthy. Contact our dental office in Vienna, VA today to schedule your next appointment.

Vienna Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Phone: (703) 281-0902
2563 Chain Bridge Rd.
Vienna, VA 22181

How to Maintain Your Oral Health While on Vacation | Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

Keeping up with your dental hygiene and oral health can be easy during your work-week, but being on vacation can complicate things. Follow our advice to ensure your smile stays bright while you enjoy your vacation.

Plan Ahead

Make sure you pack everything you will need, such as a toothbrush, floss, and travel-sized mouthwash. Your toothbrush should have a cover or a separate bag, so that it can dry and avoid contamination between uses. Buying supplies while on vacation can be a hassle, so hit the store before you skip town. If you are in need of dental care such as a root canal or a filling, it is better to have treatment done ahead of time to avoid any emergency care away from home.

Set a Routine

At home, routines for oral hygiene are easy to follow. On vacation, however, your time management might be hectic or sporadic. Our dentist in 22181 recommends to set a routine to ensure you brush twice a day and floss at least once, and stick to it as best you can.

Watch your Diet

Enjoying delicious cuisine while on vacation can be a fantastic experience – just make sure to do so in moderation. Avoid too many sugary or acidic drinks and foods, which can cause damage to the enamel of your teeth. Cocktails are a great example of this. In addition, bring healthy snacks along with you. These can save money while on-the-go, and are easy on your teeth. Try to bring a water bottle or canteen to rinse your mouth when possible, which helps prevent decay and plaque growth.

You can maintain your oral health on vacation without any stress if you plan for it. Bring the right tools, set a routine, watch what you eat, and your optimal oral health will remain. If you need treatment or a cleaning prior to your trip, contact our dental office in Vienna, VA.

Vienna Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Phone: (703) 281-0902
2563 Chain Bridge Rd.
Vienna, VA 22181

Cracked Teeth and How to Avoid Them | Vienna Cosmetic Dentist

A cracked tooth can affect the appearance of your smile and hinder the function of your teeth. Depending on the severity, you may experience discomfort or find it difficult to chew comfortably. Thankfully, damage to your teeth can be avoided by knowing what causes it. Below we have gathered the most common reasons for a tooth to crack and how to avoid it from happening.

Chewing Hard Foods

While healthy teeth are strong, they are not indestructible. Try to avoid or limit chewing on hard foods such as nuts, ice, or popcorn kernels, as these can cause cracks in your teeth.

Grinding Your Teeth at Night

Teeth grinding (known as bruxism) is a common occurrence and can happen without your knowledge. Most teeth grinding happens in your sleep and can gradually damage your enamel, causing stress fractures or what are known as craze lines. Combat this issue by wearing a night guard, which acts as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth and protects them from wear.

Natural Aging

As you age, so do your teeth. While you can’t avoid aging, you can help limit the effects it has on your oral health. Cracked teeth are commonly found in people over the age of 50 due to a lifetime of daily use. Because of this, it is important to practice strong oral hygiene habits and visit our dentist in 22181 on a regular basis.

Trauma to the Mouth

Traumatic dental injuries can occur during vehicle or sport collisions. Often, these accidents are unavoidable and can cause damage to your teeth. While playing contact sports, we encourage you to wear a mouth guard to lower your chances of cracking a tooth.

Cracked teeth, especially when left untreated, are one of the leading causes of tooth loss. There are ways to avoid these injuries that will help keep your teeth strong and safe. Sometimes, a cracked or chipped tooth is unavoidable. In this case, our team at Redwood Dental can help restore your teeth back to full health.

For more information or to schedule your next appointment, contact our dental office in Vienna, VA today.

Vienna Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Phone: (703) 281-0902
2563 Chain Bridge Rd.
Vienna, VA 22181

5 Mistakes You Might Be Making While You Brush | Family Dentist Vienna VA

Brushing your teeth can feel like a no-brainer after decades of practice, but are you aware of the mistakes surrounding home care that you might be making? Keep your oral hygiene top-notch by reading our quick list and see how you fare.

  1. Timing – Our dentist in 22181 says to make sure you don’t brush immediately after consuming sugary or acidic drinks. You can demineralize the enamel on your teeth by doing this. Rinse your mouth with water, then wait for 30 minutes to an hour before you brush.
  2. Borrowing a Brush – Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to toothbrushes. When you share toothbrushes with somebody, you can spread illness and germs through oral contact. Make sure to get your own toothbrush, and label it or keep it separate to ensure you don’t get them confused.
  3. Distance from the Toilet – Flushing a toilet can spread bacteria through the air. Make sure to place your toothbrush as far as possible from your toilet, or put a cover on your brush to protect it from contamination.
  4. Rinsing after Brushing – Most toothpastes contain fluoride, which can help strengthen the enamel in your teeth. It takes time to work, however, so make sure you don’t rinse your mouth right away after brushing. This can wash away the fluoride before it can do its job.
  5. Brushing Too Much – When you brush too frequently, you run the risk of wearing down the enamel on your teeth. Focus on brushing all facets of your teeth instead of how vigorously you can brush.

There is more to brushing your teeth than you might think. These tips can help keep you aware of mistakes you might be making. Remember, daily brushing and flossing are only the foundation for optimal oral health – professional dental care is important, as well. For more advice or to schedule your next visit, contact our dental office in Vienna, VA.

Vienna Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Phone: (703) 281-0902
2563 Chain Bridge Rd.
Vienna, VA 22181

How to Keep a Healthy Tongue | Vienna Dentist

When it comes to oral health, protecting your teeth and gums are often the focus. However, did you know that your tongue needs proper care as well? Your tongue is responsible for many essential functions like swallowing, tasting, and talking, but it can harbor bacteria that harms your oral health. Learn how to keep your tongue healthy by following these four treatment tips recommended by our dentist in 22181.

Practice Optimal Oral Hygiene

Brushing and flossing twice a day will protect your mouth from pesky bacteria, but make sure to brush your tongue as well. As an alternative, try using a tongue scraper once a day. Tongue scrapers will scrape away any build up that has formed on your tongue.

Drink Plenty of Water

If you are dehydrated, it’s possible for your tongue to lose moisture and become uncomfortable. Drinking water ensures your hydration and will wash away food particles and bacteria from the surface of your tongue. Proper hydration can also prevent bad breath.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Your tongue is a muscle, and what you eat can affect its health. Fill your diet with foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, calcium, lean protein, and fiber. Avoid eating processed foods and treats that are filled with sugar.

Visit our Dental Office

By visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a routine dental cleanings and examinations, you can protect your tongue, teeth, and the rest of your mouth. During these visits, we will thoroughly check all aspects of your oral health. We will then work with you to create an oral health plan that is tailored to your needs.

Don’t let your oral health slip by neglecting proper care for your tongue! Put these four tips into practice so you can enjoy a bright and healthy smile. Contact our dental office in Vienna, VA today to learn more about proper oral care or to schedule your next appointment.

Vienna Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Phone: (703) 281-0902
2563 Chain Bridge Rd.
Vienna, VA 22181

Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks | Dentist in Vienna VA

Many sports drinks contain electrolytes which can be helpful to maintain energy levels when engaging in physical activities. You may believe that sports drinks are healthy but the truth of the matter is, they are not healthy. Energy drinks are those like Monster and Rockstar. Sports drinks and energy drinks are also seen as a tasty alternative to water when it comes to staying hydrated. It is important to know the negative effects and damage that these drinks do to your teeth. Our dentist in 22181 can help.

Up to 62 percent of children of the same age drink at least one sports drink per day and between 30 and 50 percent of teenagers in the United States drink these types of beverages regularly. With these numbers being so high it is important to take notice on the negative effects these drinks can have on teeth. The danger to both children and adults in sports drinks and energy drinks comes not only from the sugar content but also from the acidity. These types of drinks contain a significant amount of acid that they begin destroying the teeth of the person drinking them in as little as five days.

There is a lot of damage being done to your oral health when consuming sports drinks and energy drinks. Energy and sports drinks can damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. These drinks erodes or thin out the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Athletes drink these beverages to remain hydrated and sip them frequently during exercise. This increases the time that teeth are exposed to the acidity and high sugar content of sports drinks, leaving them vulnerable to decay.

While sports drinks and energy drinks can be an alternative to water, there are ways to promote great oral health. The best way to promote oral health is to keep yourself hydrated with water to prevent negative effects that sports and energy drinks bring. If you feel that you must use sports drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterwards and do not brush your teeth right after you have consumed a sports drink. Also, read the ingredient labels before you consume drinks. Avoid high amounts of acid and sugar, especially if you already have teeth problems. Getting healthy is great for your body and your mouth, but sports and energy drinks are not a necessary part of well-being. There are many alternatives, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you. One must maintain oral health to make sure to have a lasting smile. Talk to your dentist about preventative care for your oral health. Contact our dental office in Vienna, VA for for information.

Vienna Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Phone: (703) 281-0902
2563 Chain Bridge Rd.
Vienna, VA 22181

I Chipped a Tooth! What Can I Do? | Vienna Family Dentist

It usually starts pretty innocently. You’re biting into your favorite hard candy and suddenly you realize that there’s one little hard piece in your mouth you can’t seem to dissolve. You check it out and fear overcomes you when you see it’s a little chipped piece of a tooth.

Enamel may be one of the hardest substances in the body but like most things in life, it has its limit. Whether you are chewing on ice or grinding your teeth at night, there’s always a chance of putting your teeth at risk. If you have chipped your tooth, there’s no need to panic. Here are a few things we can do to restore your beautiful smile:

Tooth Bonding

Tooth bonding has many structural uses, and it can be very helpful for repairing chipped teeth. Tooth bonding is a simple procedure that doesn’t require any numbing. The bonding materials and porcelain used are natural in color and can be designed to perfectly match your teeth. Your smile will look good as new, and people will have a hard time noticing you ever chipped a tooth to begin with.

Dental Crown

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that helps protect your teeth, while at the same time improving its appearance. An AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) dentist will likely use a tooth colored crown made out of porcelain or zirconia to look identical to your teeth. Crowns will also provide the durability and strength your teeth need to withstand daily use. You may only need a partial crown if our dentist sees that the chip doesn’t affect the entire tooth.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain laminate veneers are made up of several thin layers of ceramic used to repair chipped teeth. They will be bonded to the teeth to replace the original enamel of the tooth with a special adhesive. Dental veneers are a fantastic way to get your tooth to look whole and healthy again.

If you have a chipped tooth and would like more information on these methods, or to schedule a consultation, contact our dental office in Vienna, VA today.

Vienna Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Phone: (703) 281-0902
2563 Chain Bridge Rd.
Vienna, VA 22181

Root Canals – Debunking the Myths | Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

The internet is fraught with myths about everything. In this “information age” you might think it would be easy to find the truth, but that’s not always the case. Dentistry is no different. It’s no surprise that dental myths are abundant, especially in regard to some of the more intimidating procedures. However, advancements in dental technology have made it possible to receive the advanced care you need with little to no discomfort. Here are some common myths you might hear about root canals debunked. Contact our dental office to learn more.

Myth 1: Root canals are painful.

Long ago, this might have been the case. However, modern advancements in the techniques and technology available to dentists have made this procedure quick and relatively painless. In fact, the damaged tissue often causes more day-to-day pain and discomfort than the procedure itself will!

Myth 2: Root canals can cause illness.

In the 20th century there was a popular misconception that a root canal could put you at risk of developing illness or an infection. Not only has this been definitively disproven, but root canals have actually been shown to help prevent illness. According to a study published in a journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery), root canals can lower your risk of certain cancers by up to 45%.

Myth 3: Extraction is a better option.

When possible, it’s always preferable to keep your natural teeth. In addition to the inconvenience of dealing with a missing tooth, removing teeth can cause the surrounding ones to loosen and shift over time, possibly necessitating more procedures in the future. The success rate of a root canal treatment is extremely high and the tooth itself, with proper care, can last for a lifetime.

Don’t let misinformation about dental care stop you from receiving the treatments you need. Contact our dental office in Vienna, VA today to schedule an appointment and set the record straight on root canals.

Vienna Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Phone: (703) 281-0902
2563 Chain Bridge Rd.
Vienna, VA 22181

How Long Does a Temporary Crown Last? | Vienna VA Dentist

If you have recently seen Dr. Shivani Maharaja for root canal therapy, you likely have a temporary crown placed over the tooth until the permanent crown is molded and created for your unique mouth. While some patients are eager to get through the entire process, some patients may be less eager to return for additional, necessary dental work and wondering how long they can get away with wearing the temporary crown. 

So, how long can you wear the temporary crown? Well, the answer is, “It depends.” The permanent crown is typically placed within a few weeks to a month after dental procedures. The tooth and soft tissue are given time to heal, and the lab needs time to manufacture the one-of-a-kind crown. Placing the final crown may be delayed if Dr. Shivavi Maharaja has recommended other dental procedures. Ideally, the permanent crown should be placed as soon as possible.

What Happens if the Temporary Crown Has Been in Longer than a Few Weeks?

The longer the temporary crown is in your mouth, the more likely the crown is to significantly wear. This can cause a shift in tooth position and occlusion. Dr. Shivani Maharaja will advise you on how long your temporary crown can last based on placement and your oral habits.

Remember, even if you can get away with leaving a temporary crown longer than the recommended time frame, it doesn’t mean you should. Call Dr. Shivani Maharaja at (703) 281-0902 if you have a question about your crown, or to schedule an appointment for your root canal therapy.

Vienna Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Phone: (703) 281-0902
2563 Chain Bridge Rd.
Vienna, VA 22181

What Kind of Technology Do Endodontists Use? | Dentist in Vienna

First, What Does an Endodontist Do?

Unlike general dentists, endodontists do not clean teeth—they focus solely on diagnosing and treating the infection with the dental pulp. Endodontists are the experts for pulp inflammation, infection, and root canal treatments. In addition to the four years of undergraduate and four years of dental school required, endodontists undergo an additional two to three years of training in specialized programs preparing them in their field. The advanced training Dr. Shivani Maharaja received prepared her to work in the microscopic environment inside the teeth. 

Endodontic Technology

Endodontists utilize NASA technology and state-of-the-art tools to work inside the teeth. 

Operating microscopes. Endodontists utilize magnification and fiber optic illumination to view and work inside the tooth’s tiny interior. They also can use a small video camera attached to the operating microscope to record images of your tooth.

Ultrasonics. Endodontists use high-frequency ultrasonic instruments to irrigate root canal spaces and remove debris to help clean and prepare during endodontic procedures.

Nickel-titanium. Endodontists use nickel titanium technology used by NASA in satellites to ensure flexibility and memory of instruments, ensuring more precise and efficient movements. More precise movements mean better results and less risk for the patient.

Dental dam. At first glance, the dental dam may not seem impressive, but this thin square sheet—usually made of latex or nitrile—is imperative for cleaning the affected tooth and keeping it clean and dry during dental procedures. Dr. Shivani Maharaja uses the dental dam to prevent microorganisms found in saliva from contaminating the site, and it helps keep filling materials dry during placement and curing. A dental dam can also help some patients feel more relaxed and comfortable during endodontic procedures since it creates a layer of separation from the drill and other tools and may help them feel more disassociated from the procedure. While some patients may find comfort in using the dental dam, some may feel claustrophobic or vulnerable with reduced access to the care provider. Dr. Shivani Maharaja will regularly check in with you to ensure your comfort.

If you are concerned about infection, call Dr. Shivani Maharaja at (703) 281-0902 to schedule an in-office visit.

Vienna Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Phone: (703) 281-0902
2563 Chain Bridge Rd.
Vienna, VA 22181