Most people have heard of fluoride and associate the powerful mineral with a trip to the dentist’s office. However, many don’t understand what fluoride is, where it can be found, and how it benefits our teeth. Here is a quick overview of how a simple mineral with significant cavity-fighting powers can benefit our teeth as well as our overall health!
What is Fluoride?
The American Dental Association identifies fluoride as a natural mineral that helps to prevent cavities. While the mineral occurs naturally in several foods, it’s commonly used as a staple ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash. Its ability to strengthen tooth enamel makes it an important part of oral health.
How Can Fluoride Benefit My Teeth?
Cavities are one of the most common dental problems, and consistently providing your teeth with an adequate amount of fluoride is one of the best ways to prevent cavities. Cavities occur because of weakened enamel. However, fluoride’s ability to strengthen enamel greatly improves overall oral health and fights the corrosion of teeth.
Fluoride’s cavity-fighting powers benefit both children and adults. The mineral’s systemic benefit sets teeth up for success before they break through the gums by strengthening the new teeth and making it easier for them to resist decay once they come through the gums, and fluoride’s topical benefit strengthens teeth that have begun to weaken over time.
What are Some Common Sources of Fluoride?
As a natural mineral, fluoride occurs in several of the foods we consume. Some foods and drinks rich in the mineral include:
- Most water sources also contain significant natural fluoride
Other sources include:
- Most types of toothpaste and mouthwash
- Professional fluoride treatments
- Fluoride supplements–generally recommended for children whose water sources do not provide adequate fluoride
At Cherrywood Dental Associates, we care about educating our patients on the most effective ways to care for their teeth. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment!
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.
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.
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 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!
Sleep apnea is a serious condition where a person doesn’t breathe properly while they slumber. This results in periods of not breathing at all, which is not only unhealthy for the brain or heart but unhealthy on a person’s oral health.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, you need to let your dentist know. Here are some ways sleep apnea affects your oral health.
Many people who have sleep apnea also grind their teeth in their sleep. This is the result of the stress on the body as it struggles to restore oxygen levels.
When you’re a chronic tooth grinder, you wear down your tooth enamel by chipping, cracking, or actively breaking your teeth. You also put your jaw at risk with the constant pressure you put on these bones.
Acid reflux can be common in some people who have sleep apnea, particularly patients who are overweight. During rest, the stomach acids for digesting foods comes into the back of the throat and enters the mouth, eroding the dental tissue as a result. People with serious acid reflux often show signs of tooth damage on the backs of teeth where the acids are most prevalent.
Clenching the teeth tightly during sleep can cause the teeth to align poorly, which results in jaw pain, difficulty chewing, or even a locking jaw effect during waking hours.
Luckily, there are things your dentist can do to help keep your mouth healthy even if you are a chronic sleep apnea sufferer. Special mouth guards can be prescribed to help protect your teeth against grinding and clenching activities. Prescription toothpaste and remineralization treatments can also be done to help restore tooth enamel damaged by acid reflux.
If you have sleep apnea, notify your dentist. Even if you don’t feel you have any dental issues related to your sleeping condition, your teeth should be examined and given special care. Our dental team at Cherrywood Dental Associates are here to serve you; contact us today for a consultation.
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!
Teething can be challenging for babies and parents, but there are several ways that parents can make teething easier on their babies. At Cherrywood Dental Associates, we make it a priority to provide new parents with an overview of what to expect from teething to provide their children with excellent dental care from the appearance of their first teeth!
When Do Babies Start Teething?
Most babies begin teething when they are between six and twelve months old. However, because babies are born with all twenty of their primary teeth, it is possible for babies’ teeth to begin to grow in before they are six months old. On average, the earliest you might notice the first signs of teething is when your baby is about four months old. Front teeth typically come in first, and the bottom front teeth are often the first to appear. Canine teeth follow the front teeth, and molars typically come in last.
There are several signs of teething that parents may notice before teeth come through the gums. Some teething symptoms that are considered to be normal include:
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble sleeping
Other symptoms, such as a rash or fever, may occur. However, these are not considered to be normal, and parents should consult a pediatrician if their teething baby has a persistent rash or fever.
Treatments for Teething
As a parent, it can be difficult to see babies experience the discomfort of teething, but there are several at-home remedies that parents can use to ease the teething symptoms. One of the best ways to soothe teething is to give your baby something cold to chew on, such as a wet washcloth, teething ring, or another teething toy, which can help to ease painful gums. Children’s Tylenol or ibuprofen can also be used if your baby is especially fussy, but medications should be used sparingly.
At Cherrywood Dental Associates, we care about helping you set your children’s teeth up for success by caring for their oral health from the appearance of the monumental first tooth. Contact us today to learn more about teething or to schedule your child’s first appointment!
Over time, the protective coating on your teeth, also known as enamel tends to begin to wear off. There are a variety of factors that contribute to the wearing of your enamel including the diet choices that you make to the drinks that you choose to consume. Habits such as grinding your teeth can also further add to enamel loss. Once enamel gets lost, it cannot get brought back.
However, there are alternatives to restoring your smile, even if you cannot have your full enamel restored. These options include both veneers and lumineers, which can be put over your teeth to help restore your smile.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are porcelain pieces that were made to act similarly to enamel in the sense that it’s a fragile layer (about 0.02mm thick) that goes over your teeth. Veneers will instantly give you a brighter, whiter smile that reflects the light in all of the correct places. Your veneers get custom-made so that they match the color of your regular teeth as closely as possible.
Veneers have become a typical way to help do anything from brightening up your existing teeth to helping to repair chipped teeth that you wish to have looked more natural when you smile. While your teeth do have to be shaved down to help make up the difference in thickness between veneers and your regular teeth, the process is generally done with little to no Novocaine and is relatively painless.
What is the Difference Between Veneers and Lumineers?
Lumineers, just like veneers, are a fragile layer of porcelain that goes over the tooth to protect it and give it a newfound whiteness. However, lumineers are incredibly strong and are made to be durable and last the upwards of 20 years, or even more, assuming they are well-maintained. Their transparent material helps them look completely natural, and most people will not even notice that you are wearing these over your natural teeth.
These coverings also require no preparing of the teeth beforehand. If you ever decide you don’t like them or need them replaced after a couple of decades, that’s no issue as we can return them without any additional hassle to you.
To put either veneers or lumineers, you happen to find yourself looking at a pretty basic process. There’s no preparation to the teeth before the veneers are put on.
However, if you are interested in other forms of veneers, it’s common that your teeth will need shaving into the correct shape before the veneers can get placed over your natural teeth. Different types of veneers require two appointments, one to shave the teeth down (to make room for the thickness of the veneers) and at the second appointment, the veneers get applied and stuck to your teeth with a special liquid gel so that a strong bond develops between both the tooth and the veneer that will get placed on it.
Longevity & Care
As long as you take care of your new veneers just like you would your regular teeth, veneers can last for decades and potentially the rest of your life. They were designed to endure the wear and use of your daily routines and can become as equally durable as your regular teeth. You still need to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and maintain a good brushing and flossing routine at home while also eating a healthy, balanced diet and avoiding unhealthy beverages that stain teeth or are loaded with sugar.
In these cases, veneers can make a significant long-term “fix” to chipped, stained, or otherwise damaged teeth.
At Cherrywood Dental Associates we are happy to help you determine if veneers are the right way to help you brighten up your smile. Please contact us via telephone at (703) 565-5078 for our Woodbridge, Virginia location or 301-982-3300 for our Greenbelt, Maryland location so that we can help you set up a consultation to get your veneers fitted today.
If you’re like most people, you try to eat nutritious foods to keep your body healthy. But, did you know that your food and drink choices can actually have a major impact on your teeth? In addition to staining and discoloration, the foods and drinks you consume can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Fortunately, with a few minor diet changes, you can help ensure healthy teeth and gums.
What Foods Are Good for My Teeth?
Apples, celery, and carrots are not only great for your body, but they also help promote good oral health. These high-fiber foods help stimulate the salivary glands, which help guard against cavities. Dairy products like cheese, milk, and plain yogurt contain calcium, vitamin D, and phosphates, which are also good for your teeth.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Any foods that contain high amounts of sugar are not good for your teeth. Especially when it comes to sticky foods like candy, it can be difficult to ensure your teeth are completely free of sugar, even after brushing. Chips, bread, and pasta are all as equally harmful to your teeth as candy because, when broken down, these foods turn to sugar. These sugars invite harmful bacteria, which then leads to cavities.
What Drinks Are Good for My Teeth?
You probably already know the many health benefits associated with drinking plenty of water. However, to help keep your teeth strong and healthy, make sure your drinking water includes fluoride. Both green and black teas can also help guard against tooth decay and gum disease.
What Drinks Should I Avoid?
Carbonated soft drinks and fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar that contribute to the harmful growth of bacteria. Harsh chemicals found in carbonated beverages, like soda, can wear away the enamel on your teeth, thus leaving your teeth exposed and susceptible to decay.
Making the right food and drink choices can have a significant impact on the health of your teeth and gums. At Cherrywood Dental Associates, we have the knowledge and expertise to help keep your mouth healthy. Contact us to schedule your comprehensive exam today.
Are you constantly worried about how your breath smells to others? If so, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, there may be some very specific reasons for your bad breath that only a professional can determine. Whether you’ve been battling bad breath for years or just recently noticed a concerning change, scheduling an appointment with your dentist is the best way to get solutions. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do right now to help eliminate bad breath at home.
Hydration Is Key
One of the easiest ways to fight bad breath is to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. When your mouth gets too dry, the lack of saliva can cause the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Especially when you first wake up after sleeping, drinking water is a great way to kick start those salivary glands and help increase moisture in your mouth.
Good Oral Hygiene Makes a Difference
Practicing proper oral hygiene is another great way to help maintain fresh breath. Although brushing and flossing twice a day is recommended and helps to prevent cavities, it takes more than that to keep bad breath at bay. Since the majority of the bacteria that causes bad breath lives on your tongue, you need to clean your tongue with a tongue and cheek cleaner or with your toothbrush. Using an alcohol-free mouth rinse after brushing is also helpful and helps reduce the risk of bad breath.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet Helps Too
You likely already know that consuming foods with a strong taste or smell can contribute to bad breath. Acidic foods like vinegar or sugar create odor-causing bacteria in the mouth, which causes halitosis. For fresher breath, try sticking to proteins and grains. These foods can help increase saliva production and may help reduce your bad breath.
Whether you experience temporary bouts of bad breath from time-to-time or you’re suffering from constant bad breath no matter what you do, we’re here to help. At Cherrywood Dental Associates, we want to help you maintain healthy oral habits that promote good breath. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!
If you suffer from facial pain and migraines, the problem might come from your jaw. Your joints (TMJ) are the joints and attached muscles that allow you to open and close your mouth. Without them, you couldn’t talk, chew, or swallow. Problems that affect these joints include attached ligaments, muscles, and even your jaw. TMJ disorders can result in pain in the ear, jaw, and one or both TMJ. Aching facial pain may be experienced as well. TMJ disorders can even cause pain and difficulty when chewing or locking of the joint which makes it difficult to open or close your mouth.
There are several different causes for TMJ disorders, including:
- Dislocation or injury
- Problems with tooth and jaw alignment
- Teeth grinding
Bruxism is defined as a condition in which you clench, grind, or gnash your teeth. It is common for patients to be completely unaware of the problem of whether bruxism occurs during sleep or wakeful hours. Mild bruxism may be temporary and not even require treatment. Severe bruxism can have a serious impact on your health. Some of the symptoms include:
- Sleep disruption
- Grinding loud enough to wake your partner
- Worn tooth enamel or damaged teeth
- Tired or tight jaw muscles
- Locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
- Ear or face pain
How Tension Affects Your Teeth
Tension is the number one reason people grind their teeth. Other reasons include sleep disorders, side-effects of certain medications, and uneven bite. Bruxism causes pain and can also cause serious damage to your teeth. Grinding your teeth can cause them to wear down faster. When enamel wears away, teeth are more sensitive, and actually, grow weaker and more prone to cracks. Without treatment, bruxism can cause tooth loss and even gum inflammation or receding gums.
Treatment for bruxism and TMJ can help ease your pain. Visiting your dentist when pain begins will help you get diagnosed quickly and find the treatment that is best for you. Treatment for jaw pain depends on the cause and severity of your condition. Your treatment plan may use a combination of office and at-home techniques. Some treatments for TMJ disorders include:
- Avoid stress.
- Try a night guard.
- Seek orthodontic treatment.
- Consider Botox.
- Perform exercises that stretch your jaw.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
At Cherrywood Dental Associates we get to know each patient on a personal level to provide gentle caring services that you can count on. If you suffer from jaw pain, headaches, or tooth damage from grinding your teeth, contact us today for a free consultation and get your pain-free sparkling smile back.
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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...