Don’t Let Dental Implants Hold You Back From a Straighter Smile

A close-up of a beautiful young woman's smile.

Invisalign has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional or conventional orthodontic treatment. While ceramic or metal braces can give you straighter teeth, Invisalign can discreetly achieve the same goal.


Those who are considering Invisalign naturally have many questions. If you have found yourself in the position of having had a dental implant but are now interested in Invisalign, you are likely wondering if you’re still a candidate.


While every case is different, in general, you can still be considered a candidate for Invisalign regardless of having a dental implant. Invisalign can also be used after someone has had bridges, crowns or fillings too.


Invisalign and Dental Implants

A dental implant is permanent. The shape, position, and angle of the implant will never change for the rest of your life. That being said, the teeth positioned around a dental implant can be repositioned and adjusted in other ways. It is certainly preferable to get Invisalign first and proceed with a dental implant after teeth are in their final location. This is because dental implants are fixed to the bone. While it is usually not ideal, it is certainly possible to get a dental implant before your teeth are moved into their desired position.

Why Missing Teeth Matter

More than 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and that number is increasing every day. Missing a tooth doesn’t just leave a gap in your mouth. It can lead to bone loss and also make other aligned teeth shift. Shifting teeth can lead to a misaligned bite, cause wrinkles over time, and can make your remaining teeth crooked.

Dental Implants Before Invisalign

If you already have a dental implant from years prior, you are likely still a candidate for Invisalign. Your treatment plan will focus on addressing the teeth surrounding the dental implant to straighten your overall smile.

Dental Implants After Invisalign

Most dentists will likely suggest getting Invisalign before having a dental implant placed if possible because it makes your treatment more simple overall. Having Invisalign first also gives your dentist or orthodontist more flexibility when establishing your treatment plan.


It’s preferable for you to have a dental implant placed after Invisalign because:


  • Dental implants are rigid
  • As your teeth shift, the implants can damage them because Invisalign is unable to move the dental implants along with the rest of your teeth
  • In some cases, orthodontic treatment is needed to ensure there is enough room for a dental implant to be placed appropriately

Straightening Your Teeth With Invisalign

Choosing to use the Invisalign system will put you on the direct path towards achieving a straighter, more attractive smile. Not only this, but you will be able to do so without letting on to others that you’re even going through orthodontic treatment. Invisalign consists of clear, plastic aligners, and you will wear each aligner for approximately two weeks. These aligners are barely noticeable to others, and many patients find their treatment to be a comfortable experience.


Are You Ready For a Straighter Smile?

The entire Invisalign treatment is ideal for correcting minor issues with crooked, widely spaced, and overcrowded teeth. Treatment times vary, but the average duration for most adults is 12 months. Straighter teeth are easier to clean which will lead to a healthier smile and improved dental health.

Don’t let dental implants stand in your way of achieving a straighter, healthier smile. Contact Cherrywood Dental Associates today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how Invisalign can perfectly complement your dental implants.


Replace Your Dentures With This Permanent, Natural-Looking Solution

woman smiling with blue background

If you are missing one or more teeth due to decay, injury, disease, or due to aging, you may be a candidate for TeethXpress. Many patients who have conventional dentures share common struggles of dentures being uncomfortable or not staying in place.


TeethXpress offers a way to keep dentures secure and allows you to go about your daily life with complete confidence.



New Teeth In One Day With TeethXpress

With TeethXpress, your new fixed-in teeth will be completely stable, will look as natural as your own teeth once did, and they will not slip or irritate your gums. The advanced technology used allows for the TeethXpress system to give patients a secure solution with the same chewing power as natural teeth.


Cherrywood Dental can typically perform any needed extractions, place all of your implants and provide you with a set of new replacement teeth all in a single day.


How TeethXpress Works

With past denture technology, many patients with severe bone loss in their jaw were not eligible for implant-supported replacement teeth since implants rely on a certain amount of bone present in order for them to be stable. The TeethXpress system uses specially designed implants that come in a variety of sizes and shapes.


TeethXpress is a system that secures a denture to your jaw using dental implants. TeethXpress is similar to “all-on-four” or “teeth-in-a-day” systems; However, this unique system utilizes more implants than other methods to secure your denture to your jaw bone. TeethXpress can offer you secure, natural looking teeth in one day without the complications of other similar products.


Permanent Denture Advantages

No Food Restrictions. TeethXpress allows for you to have nearly the same chewing power as natural teeth, allowing you to eat the foods you want and require for maintaining proper nutrition without having to do any blending or cutting into tiny pieces.


Eliminates Painful Chewing or Mouth Sores. Securely fixing your denture to implants means your dentist can be “anchored” to your jawbone. Chewing will become easy and comfortable, and painful mouth sores from loose-fitting dentures will become a thing of the past.


No False Palate. Your TeethXpress system will not have the false palate that blocks your senses of taste and your perception of hot and cold. Eating and drinking will not only be more pleasurable, but it will be safer too.


Preserves Your Jawbone. Your jawbone requires stimulation from chewing and biting to force pressure on your tooth roots. Bone loss occurs when teeth are missing, and stimulation is absent. Implant supports allow for the same type of pressure to be exerted with your dentures as it would with natural tooth roots to prevent further bone loss.


Restore Your Confidence

Traditional dentures rarely stay in place. You may begin to notice that your denture that once fit well now constantly slips and requires costly and timely visits to the dentist for an adjustment. This is a very common issue with denture patients because wearing dentures forces the bone in your jaw to shrink. Eventually, the shrinkage will be so extreme that your original denture will no longer fit, and you will be forced to replace it.


TeethXpress offers a way to keep dentures secure and gives you the confidence you deserve throughout your day. Not only will you be able to have beautiful, natural-looking teeth, but they will also function like natural teeth. The TeethXpress solution helps patients regain their confidence by allowing them to eat, speak, and live confidently without fear of slipping dentures.



Tired of Your Loose Denture?

If you currently have a denture or you are missing many teeth, TeethXpress may be the solution for which you have been searching. TeethXpress can eliminate typical denture issues, and the system enables your dentures to function just like natural teeth.


Regain your confidence in your smile with TeethXpress and Cherrywood Dental Associates. Call today to schedule a consultation appointment and to learn whether you would be an excellent candidate for this unique replacement option.



Experiencing Gum Pain? Follow These Steps For Quick Relief

closeup of toothpaste on toothbrush


Chances are if you are reading this, you are in search of a quick solution for the gum pain you are experiencing. Swollen gums can be a sign of a severe oral condition; however, you might be able to treat painful gums at home with one of these at-home solutions.


What Causes Gum Pain?

Experiencing painful gums when you eat, drink, brush or floss your teeth may lead you to quickly wonder what is causing the discomfort. Sore or bleeding gums can be caused by improper brushing or flossing techniques, the use of tobacco products, certain hormonal changes, or it can even be a sign of gum disease. If not properly cared for, early gum disease can progress to other serious oral health issues.


Gum pain is most commonly related to:


  • Sinus infections
  • Canker sores
  • Cuts or abrasions
  • Gum disease


If you are experiencing chronic gum pain and sensitivity, we recommend making an appointment with your dentist to diagnose the cause of your discomfort.


Salt Water Rinse

A salt water rinse is a great home remedy to help aid painful gums. The salt in the water prevents the growth of bacteria and helps to eliminate any bacteria that is currently growing in your mouth.


Step 1: Add ½ teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water.

Step 2: Rinse your mouth twice daily until the gum pain and swelling subsides. Do not swallow the salt water rinse.


Hot or Cold Compress

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to relieve painful gums is by applying compresses on your gums to ease the pain. Either hot or cold compresses will suffice, or a combination of the two.


Step 1: Soak a clean cloth in warm water, wringing out any excess liquid.

Step 2: Press the cloth against your cheek over the affected sore gums for five minutes.

Step 3: Wrap an ice pack in a thin towel. Hold the cold compress against your face for three minutes, or until your swollen gums become slightly numb.

Step 4: Repeat 2-3 more times daily for best results and quick relief.


Hydrogen Peroxide

Soothe sore gum pain and reduce inflammation with hydrogen peroxide. This method is great for killing germs and fighting many other oral health issues.


Step 1: Mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide.

Step 2: Swish the peroxide solution in your mouth for 20 seconds.

Step 3: Do not swallow the solution, and rinse your mouth out with warm water after spitting.


Steeped Tea Bag

Select a tea that has astringent properties such as green tea, black tea, or hibiscus tea. You can also select a tea that is rich in anti-inflammatory properties such as chamomile or ginger. Tea bags are a great way to soothe painful gums.


Step 1: Soak a tea bag in boiling water for at least five minutes.

Step 2: Let the tea bag cool slightly for 1-2 minutes, so it is not boiling hot to the touch.

Step 3: Apply the tea bag to the affected gum tissue.


Turmeric Paste

Turmeric is another natural ingredient that contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Use to help reduce swelling and inflammation; turmeric can also be used as a pain reliever.


Step 1: Mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little water to create a paste.

Step 2: Apply paste to sore gums with a clean finger.

Step 3: Leave the paste on the sore gums for five minutes.

Step 4: Massage tender gum tissue lightly for one minute with paste

Step 5: Rinse your mouth with warm water. Do not swallow paste.


When To See a Dentist


If your gums bleed or cause you pain for more than a week, it’s recommended to be seen by a dentist. Red, swollen gum tissue that bleeds easily is a common indication of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis and ultimately lead to tooth loss.

Keep your gums healthy and prevent gum disease by scheduling regular cleanings and exams with Cherrywood Dental Associates. Together, we will keep your gums in great health!



5 Reasons Your Spring Athlete Should Be Wearing a Mouthguard

dental guard for sleep


As the weather warms up, a new sports season begins. When gathering all of the equipment necessary for your child to participate in the upcoming sports season, there is one major piece of equipment that should not be left off of your list: a mouthguard. Regardless of if your teen wears braces or not, your child should be wearing one.


According to the American Dental Association, 75% of injuries to high school athletes occur when mouthguards were not worn leading to more than 200,000 oral injuries. Here are five important reasons why your spring athlete should be wearing a mouthguard.



The Front Teeth Are The Most At Risk

Your front teeth naturally stick out slightly further than the rest of your teeth when you bite. This leaves your front teeth particularly susceptible to receiving injury and trauma to the face. With a mouthguard, you can rest assured that your upper teeth, lips, tongue, and cheek lining are all protected while playing a sport, contact or not.


Even Non-Contact Sports Need Mouthguards

We always make the recommendation to parents that you implement a mouth guard as a standard piece of equipment to your little athlete from an early age. It is essential to wear a mouthguard while playing any contact sport such as football, field hockey, or wrestling and many of these school sports require mouthguards in order to play. However, you may be surprised to learn that non-contact sports can lead to dental injuries too. Even solo sports including gymnastics, tennis, and figure skating can lead to damaged teeth if they are not protected.


There Is An Option For Every Athlete

You will likely come across a variety of options when it comes to selecting a mouthguard. Most mouthguards can all be classified into three different categories.


Boil and Bite. These mouthguards are typically sold at any sporting goods store. In order to create a proper fit, you will first put them into boiling water and then bite into them while the plastic is moldable to form the shape of your mouth. When selecting this type of mouthguard, it’s vital to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance to ensure these materials are safe for your teeth.


Ready to Wear. Stock mouthguards are inexpensive and come ready to wear. That said, they often do not fit very well as they are purchased pre-formed. Particularly bulky, this type of mouthguard can also inhibit your breathing and talking while wearing.


Custom. When it comes to keeping your teeth safe and adequately cared for, the best option is a custom-made mouthguard. Cherrywood Dental Associates will simply take an impression of your teeth, which is then used to create a mouthguard made especially for you. While this option can be the most expensive choice, they are also built to protect your smile. Investing in this type of custom mouthguard now can save a significant amount of money in dental repairs should you get injured.


Mouthguards Are a Must For Orthodontic Patients

A custom-made mouthguard is particularly vital for those with braces and other orthodontic appliances. Mouthguards will be able to protect your brackets and wires, as well as your cheeks and lips, should a collision to the face occur. Braces patients will need a mouthguard that protects both the upper and lower teeth.



If You Take Proper Care of Your Mouthguard, It Will Take Proper Care of You


Investing in a custom-fit mouthguard is one of the best ways you can ensure your child’s teeth are protected while they’re playing the sport that they love. Take care of your investment and your mouthguard by:


  • Keeping your mouthguard clean while it’s not in use by rinsing it or brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste after wearing
  • Clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water regularly
  • Bring your mouthguard to regular dental checkups to ensure a proper fit
  • Use a sturdy, ventilated container when not in use
  • Keep out of the sun
  • Store in a safe place away from tempted pets
  • Replace your mouthguard if it is showing signs of wear and tear

Keeping your teeth safe is our top priority! To get a custom-made mouthguard for your spring Woodbridge athlete, contact Cherrywood Dental Associates today to schedule an appointment!



5 Reasons To Replace Your Old Metal Fillings

closeup of molar with amalgam filling

If you are between the ages of 24 to 65, the chances are good that you have had a cavity. Another likelihood is that your filling was made of grey metal amalgam. At one point, metal fillings were your only option if you had a cavity that needed to be filled. If your silver fillings show when you smile or laugh, you’ve likely dreamed of having them replaced with tooth-colored composite fillings.

Could it be time for you to finally replace your metal fillings? Here are five reasons why you should!

Your Filling is Reaching the End of its Lifespan

An amalgam filling is packed into an area of your tooth, much like filling in a pothole, whereas a tooth-colored composite filling is bonded to your teeth. The lifespan of an amalgam filling is about ten years on average. Over time, these fillings will begin to wear away, exposing areas where bacteria can sneak in and start to cause tooth decay. When this happens, it will likely go unnoticed as it will not be something you can visually see.

If your filling wears out, allowing for decay to get into the tooth, you may end up needing to have a crown instead of having the filling replaced. To avoid this, have your fillings checked regularly by your dentist to see if they need to be replaced or if there are any leaks.

Amalgam Contains Mercury

While on-going research and debate continue regarding the potential dangers of amalgam, peace of mind may be a swaying factor in making the decision to have your fillings replaced. Around 50% of an amalgam filling is made up of mercury, which can potentially be a health risk to some patients.

For more information, click here to view the FDA’s official statement on amalgam fillings.

Temperature Changes May Be Causing You Issues

Metal expands and contracts with temperature changes. Since an amalgam filling is made up of around 50% mercury, which is a metal, it adjusts to the temperature changes in your mouth. When you drink something hot, the amalgam filling will expand and place a lot of increased pressure on your tooth. This expanding and contracting can eventually lead to cracks and fractures in your tooth. Similarly, when you eat something cold, such as ice cream, metal fillings contract, creating a gap around the filling and your tooth. This type of ongoing expansions and contractions are known to weaken your tooth over time.

Composite Fillings Strengthen Your Tooth

Tooth-colored composite fillings not only fill the cavity in your tooth, but they are also designed to bond directly to your tooth. The filling and the tooth then work together, not against each other, to strengthen the tooth. When a tooth with a filling gives under force, the amalgam does not because of its solid state. This creates an uneven distribution of force that can damage the non-filling areas of your tooth, creating cracks and fractures.

Composite Fillings Are More Visually Appealing

One of the most significant benefits to having your metal fillings replaced is that tooth-colored composite fillings can’t be seen. When you smile or laugh, amalgam fillings are noticeable and shows everyone that you have had a cavity (or two!) that needed to be repaired. Composite fillings are made to match the look of your teeth, meaning they are virtually invisible. No one will be able to detect the number of fillings you have had but you and your dentist.

Get Educated Before Making a Decision

Should you switch out your old amalgam fillings? That is a personal decision which comes down to how you feel about aesthetics, comfort, functionality and your peace of mind. If you are ready to say farewell to those silver spots in your smile, call Cherrywood Dental Associates today. We will examine your existing fillings and help you determine a replacement plan.


Do Wisdom Teeth Always Come In? The Answer May Surprise You

dentist hand with orthodontic tool show wisdom teeth toothache

Having your wisdom teeth extracted has become somewhat of a rite-of-passage into adulthood for many. The wisdom teeth, or third molars, typically begin to develop in the preteen years and erupt sometime before the age of 25. In fact, that’s how these molars earned their nickname, as this is the time of life when young people are said to become wiser.

However, if your 25th birthday has come and gone and your wisdom teeth are still with you, you may be wondering if it will ever be necessary to have them removed.

Not Everyone Has Wisdom Teeth

Today, as many as 35% of people, according to expert estimates, never develop the third molars known as wisdom teeth. Some scientists believe that the third molars may eventually disappear entirely from human anatomy.

Our early ancestors used all 32 adult teeth to their advantage when chewing through leaves, roots and raw meat. The human skull structure has changed over time, with the jaw evolving to become narrower, resulting in third molars.

Wisdom Teeth Can Erupt Later In Life

Your third molars are likely to come in sometime between the ages of 17 to 25. If you have celebrated past your 25th birthday, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your wisdom teeth won’t erupt later in your life. For some patients, these teeth can emerge much later in life.

Scientists have yet to be able to explain why this happens, but a third molar can arrive years or even decades after the typical time frame. Many dentists and oral surgeons have had patients in their 50’s, or even older whose third molars are just beginning to erupt.

Your Molars Could Be Impacted

If your wisdom teeth haven’t appeared by your early 20’s, they could come in later in your life, or they may never appear at all. That being said, the most likely cause of your no-show molars is that they are impacted. In other words, your jaw doesn’t have enough room for them to erupt, so the teeth become trapped below the gumline.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons says that 9 out of 10 people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. When a tooth is unable to come in, it may grow at an angle and cause damage to the nearby and healthy teeth.

Impacted wisdom teeth should be removed as soon as possible to avoid these and other serious dental complications. Most professionals recommend that all young adults have a wisdom tooth exam and evaluation to determine the status of these potentially severe risk factors.

Extraction For Older Patients

Waiting to have your wisdom teeth removed until later in life can complicate your experience:

  • As the wisdom teeth develop, they grow a more extensive root system. Your Oral Surgeon may need more time and may have to perform a more invasive procedure to remove these teeth.
  • Younger patients tend to have fewer risks with any surgical procedure.
  • Similarly, young people tend to heal more quickly from surgery and may have a more flexible schedule for their recovery. As an older adult caring for a family or as a working professional, you may find it more challenging to fit wisdom teeth removal into your schedule.
  • Patients should give themselves the opportunity to have the most comfortable recovery possible. Young adults usually have a built-in support system—AKA, their parents—that can help them just after and in the days following surgery. This might be harder for adults.

For a professional consultation and evaluation of your oral health, look to Cherrywood Dental Associates. We have the knowledge and experience needed to help you make the best decision possible on the current status of your wisdom teeth.

The One Resolution to Make in 2019 – Drink More Water!

young woman drinking water after training

January is the perfect month for establishing new routines and goals for a healthy new year. Whether your resolutions are to exercise more, lose weight, or live a healthier overall lifestyle, drinking more water can help! Drinking water has more benefits than you might think.

Grab a glass of water, and read on to find out why this is one resolution you should make and keep.

Water Improves Physical and Mental Performance

One of the most common resolutions many adults make is to exercise more and to be more active. Water is essential for optimizing your physical performance and to keep your body hydrated during both intense and gentle exercise. Not only does water keep your body physically sound, but drinking more water can also help you to stay mentally strong during a workout. Avoid dehydration, which can lead to reduced motivation and fatigue by keeping your body hydrated.

Aids With Weight Loss and Digestion

Drinking more water can help regulate your digestive system and prevent constipation and other digestive issues. Additionally, water can boost weight loss results by revving your metabolism and making you feel full for an extended period.

Drinking water can also boost your body’s ability to burn fat. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water increases metabolic rate by 30% in healthy men and women. The boost occurred within 10 minutes after drinking. Mild dehydration will slow down your metabolism by as much as 3% so drink up!

Prevents Cavities and Tooth Decay

Strengthens your teeth.

Drinking water with fluoride, nicknamed nature’s cavity fighter, is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to prevent cavities.

Keeps your mouth clean.

Consuming beverages like juice, soda, or sports drinks can leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away your enamel. Many of these drinks also contain harmful acids to make them taste less sweet. These acids cause just as much damage as sugar and erode away your enamel.

Water cleans your mouth with every drink you take. It washes away left behind food and sugar that leads to cavities. Drinking water throughout the day rather than soda and sports drinks will help to keep your teeth cavity-free.

Fights dry mouth.

Saliva is your body’s natural defense against tooth decay. Much like water, it washes away left behind food, helps you be able to swallow, and keeps your teeth strong by washing them with calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. A lack of saliva leads to a condition called dry mouth, which puts you at risk for developing tooth decay.

Maintains Your Overall Well-Being

Our bodies are made of 60% water, and staying hydrated helps your system distribute healthy nutrients to keep your body functioning. There are many benefits to drinking more water for your overall health including:

Cleansing. Cleansing your system regularly and hitting the reset button after an indulgent holiday season starts with water. A key ingredient in many detox recipes, drinking more water can help you flush toxins out of the body.

Temperature. Your body temperature needs to be within the ideal range to help it function properly.

Tissues. Your body’s tissues and organs also need sufficient water for lubrication and protecting sensitive tissues from a lack of moisture.

Make Your Resolution a Reality

Your daily activities can easily distract you from establishing a new habit of drinking more water. Integrate water into your routine and increase your daily water intake by:

  • Setting a timer to remind you to hydrate
  • Integrate water into your daily routine
  • Always drink a glass before meals and snacks
  • Bring water with you everywhere you go

Cherrywood Dental Associates is hopeful that together we can make 2019 your most hydrated year yet. Schedule your first checkup of the year and ask us about our favorite simple tricks to drink more water.

Save Money at the Dentist With This One Rule

dental equipment laid on the table

The best way to save money on dental care is by going to the dentist. That may sound a bit counterproductive, but regular dental care not only protects your teeth, but it also saves you money. With both at home care and regular office appointments, the very best investment you can make in your health and financial well-being is preventative care.

Keep your teeth and mouth healthy by following these tips.

Get Regular Checkups and Cleanings

When the household budget gets tight, optional expenses are the first to be cut. However, the one thing that rings even more true is that dental cleanings and checkups are not optional expenses as you might initially think. Dental decay is almost entirely preventable with regular professional care. Spending money on preventative dental checkups and cleanings will save you significantly more money in the long run.

Two cleanings and exams per year are often recommended. At roughly $200-$300 per visit, these services are typically free or heavily discounted if you have dental insurance or a dental savings plan. If you do not have dental insurance, the cost to get your teeth cleaned may seem rather expensive until you consider the cost of not taking preventative action.

Prevention is Always Best

When it comes to your health, prevention is always the best model. Regular dentist visits every six months will save you in the long run. Treatments for more substantial issues, such as crowns, root canals, and implants, can typically be prevented by taking proper care of your teeth.

Prevent Gum Disease

In the earliest stages of gum disease, gingivitis is curable. Regular dentist visits will help to prevent gingivitis, so you are never left to face the cancer-like disease. It’s much more useful to prevent issues rather than treat them.

Correct Brushing Technique Matters

Taking great care of your teeth and oral health at home is critical to staying healthy and saving money at the dentist. Many patients are surprised to learn that vigorous brushing is more likely to cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease than a gentler approach. Tooth enamel can be damaged by forceful brushing. It’s especially important to protect your tooth enamel from chips and cracks because the body is unable to repair it if it becomes damaged.

The proper brushing technique is to:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

Of course, brushing your teeth is only a part of a complete dental care routine. You should also make sure to:

  • Floss your teeth daily, once a day. Tooth decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  • Eat a balanced diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.


Cleanings Are Typically Covered

In general, dental insurance policies typically cover the cost of preventative care. This coverage commonly pays 100 percent of the cost of routine preventative and diagnostic care, such as checkups and cleanings. By not using your bi-annual cleanings, you are paying for a service you are not taking advantage of, and also increasing your risk of needing major treatments that are not covered in the future.

Seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams is about more than just having a beautiful smile. Regular dental visits in combination with proper oral hygiene habits at home can and will save you money. Preventing disease is cheaper than treating it, and Cherrywood Dental Associates wants to help save you time and money any way we can. Call today to schedule your first cleaning and exam of the new year.


Don’t Try This At Home! The Dangers of At-Home Plaque Scrapers

woman sticking out her tongue

Each year more oral health product manufacturers introduce dental instruments to the consumer market that promote the do-it-yourself approach. One of these recently popular tools is a dental scaler, also called a plaque scraper.

The one thing these products are not advertising: improper use of these products can easily harm your gums and teeth.

How Dental Cleaning Tools Work

During your checkup and professional cleaning at a dental office, the dental care professionals will use small dental tools to scrape off the tartar from your teeth. These small tools are pointed at one end. Some are curved to reach around the rounded surfaces of your teeth. During dental scaling, the plaque is removed from the tooth surface and underneath the gum line.

Removing plaque is vital to the cleaning process. When plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth, it can cause issues such as gum disease and tooth decay. The bacteria found in plaque release acids as they feed. These acids break down your tooth enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to cavities and decay. Dental cleanings are great to use if you’re also considering dental fillings as well.

The Dangers of DIY Scraping

While plaque needs to be removed to care for your teeth properly, it should never be attempted at home. Plaque scraping should always be performed by a dental professional, a dental hygienist or a dentist.

  • Gum Recession. Because plaque scrapers are sharp, improper use can damage the delicate gum tissue. Trauma to the gum tissue of any kind is not only painful, but it can also lead to gum recession.
  • Tooth Sensitivity. If your affected gum tissue lowers and exposes the roots of the teeth, you will begin to experience extreme tooth sensitivity.
  • Infection. Improper use of plaque scrapers can result in infection. Tartar can be accidentally pushed under the gum line, leading to gum issues and infection.
  • Other Mouth Injuries. Plaque scrapers are incredibly sharp. These tools are specialized medical tools, and it takes extensive training to learn how to use them safely and correctly. Improper use could result in injuries to your cheeks, tongue, or other soft tissues inside your mouth.

Managing Plaque At Home

While it is not recommended to use a plaque scaler at home, there are many ways to keep your teeth healthy in between professional dental cleanings.

  • Floss. Using dental floss to clean between your teeth once a day is the best way to ensure you are thoroughly cleaning every surface inside your mouth.
  • Brush. Regularly brush your teeth using a steady and calm motion for two minutes, twice a day. Brushing your teeth about 30 minutes after each meal will help to reduce the amount of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth.
  • Plaque Specific Toothpaste. Using a fluoride toothpaste or a tartar control specific toothpaste will help to repair any damage to your teeth. Fluoride works to protect your enamel against acid and decay.
  • Eat Raw Vegetables. The simple act of chewing raw vegetables can help to clean your teeth when brushing is not available.
  • Mouthrinse. Using mouthwash can help to clean your teeth in the hard-to-reach spaces inside your mouth.
  • Invest in an Electric Toothbrush. Sonic vibrations from an electric toothbrush allow for a superior clean because of their ability to perform a secondary cleansing action for removing plaque easily.

Managing Plaque Professionally

If you are concerned about plaque buildup on your teeth, visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can examine your mouth to determine if you have plaque, tartar or other dental problems that need to be addressed. If necessary, plaque can be removed safely by a trained and licensed dental hygienist. If you’re worried about plaque buildup, be sure to schedule an appointment with Cherrywood Dental Associates today.

10 Last Minute Tooth-Inspired Stocking Stuffers

colorful christmas stockings hanging on fireplace with healthy treats inside

Looking for a few last-minute ideas to fill the stockings you have hung with care? Here are a few great last-minute gift ideas. Getting your family excited about taking proper care of their oral hygiene is half the battle, so add these ideas to your gift list and make dental hygiene fun again.

A Fancy New Toothbrush

Everyone loves a new toothbrush. For the holidays, pick one that will get your kids excited about brushing their teeth and into the holiday spirit. Instead of their usual pink or blue toothbrush, opt for a unique option that gets them excited about oral hygiene. The toothbrush aisle is full of character brushes, brushes that light up and even brushes that play music while you clean your teeth! Be sure to choose a soft-bristled toothbrush with the appropriately sized head for smaller mouths.

A Tooth Timer

If brushing for a full two minutes is a challenge for your kids, consider getting a small timer to keep in the bathroom. Brushing for a full two minutes can seem like a long time when the concept of time is still a work-in-progress. A tooth timer can ensure your kids are brushing for long enough and will make brushing into a game.

Wacky Toothpaste Flavors

Kids don’t always share the minty-fresh toothpaste preferences that adults care for. Try finding exciting new flavors for their dental stocking stuffers. Toothpaste now comes in a variety of flavors including watermelon, citrus, cinnamon, ginger, strawberry, and more. Changing up the toothpaste flavor daily or even weekly can give your child something to look forward to while brushing their teeth. When it comes to kids, a little extra motivation can go a long way towards keeping up healthy habits.

Children’s Books

Reading is essential for the development of any child, so why not encourage your child to keep up good habits with a dentist-related children’s book? You can choose from titles that educate children on proper oral hygiene habits or find a book that teaches them about their overall health.

Sugar-Free Chewing Gum With Xylitol

Chewing sugar-free Xylitol gum can help in the production of saliva which washes away trapped food particles from your teeth. Gum containing Xylitol has been proven to help reduce cavities, making it a must-have stocking stuffer for the entire family.


Yes, chocolate can be good for your teeth! With the recent findings, it’s now more true than ever, that chocolate is a superfood for your teeth. While it should still be enjoyed in moderation, chocolate is far better for your teeth than other candy options that are sticky, gooey, or chewy.

Sports Mouthguard

Does your child play sports? If so, consider getting a mouthguard for Christmas, so their teeth are adequately protected. Even if they already have one, a new color or style can get kids excited about staying in the habit of wearing one.

Toothbrush Holder

Is your child often sleeping over at their friends’ houses or spending time at sleepaway camp? A colorful toothbrush travel case will make it easy for your child to remember to pack their toothbrush wherever they go. As a bonus, a toothbrush holder will keep their toothbrush clean and bacteria free.

Lip Balm

The ideal gift that can be used by anyone regardless of age, lip balm makes for the perfect stocking stuffer. During winter, our lips are one part of our body that is always exposed to the cold weather, so it’s vital to maintain their moisture.

Reusable Straws

Using a straw is a great way to protect your teeth, especially when sipping on drinks that may be acidic or prone to staining your teeth. One of the main reasons that using a straw will benefit your teeth is simply because it reduces the amount of contact between beverages and your teeth. Reusable silicone straws are the perfect gift for the entire family to make drinking beverages more fun.

Scheduling Your Post-Holiday Exams

Give your child the gift of good oral hygiene with fun, but practical dental stocking stuffers. These colorful, lively gifts will make routine habits like brushing and flossing seem much more fun. After the holiday season is finished, be sure to schedule your first dental exams of 2019 with Cherrywood Dental Associates.

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Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist

Dr. Barzgar was very professional and gentle. When I first came to his office to see Dr. Barzgar I had a major trust issue between dentist and patient from my past experiences. Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist, whose priority is making sure his...

L. Howard

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Cherrywood Dental Associates- Woodbridge, VA review summary

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4  4
Cherrywood Dental Associates- Woodbridge, VA
Rated 4.9/5 based on 50 reviews
Cherrywood Dental Associates- Woodbridge, VA
13895 Hedgewood Dr Ste 237 Woodbridge VA 22193
$$ (703) 565-5078