We are still accepting appointments for Freedom Day USA Saturday, October 5th-a day of free dental care for our Veterans in need. We will provide general dental services as a thank you for our Veterans for all they have done for us. For more information and a video on our previous Freedom Day event visit the About Us tab on our website and click on Freedom Day! Please feel free to pass along the word to any Veterans or veterans groups you know of! Appointments are required as well as proof of service- CALL NOW to schedule your appointment 703-650-9320
Freedom Day USA is a day of free dental care for our Veterans who do not have access to dental care. Saturday, October 5th we will be providing free dental exams, cleanings, oral cancer screenings, fillings and extractions. Veterans are asked to call our office to schedule and appointment. Proof of service via a DD214 or retired military ID is required for services. We look forward to serving our Veterans!
Like so many areas of life, this straddles the line between truth and myth. Extreme temperatures can in fact crack your teeth; but they probably won’t. A healthy adult tooth can usually stand up just fine against varying temperature changes within the mouth.
If you should crack a tooth (for any reason), don’t delay coming to see us. Early detection and treatment can ensure a nerve isn’t eventually exposed. That’s some point you really want to avoid if at all possible.
If you have any other dental questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We love to set the record straight when it comes to debunking dental myths.
Our office will once again be participating in Freedom Day USA- a day of free dental care for our Veterans. Saturday, October 5th from 8am – 4pm we will be providing free cleanings, exams, oral cancer screenings, fillings and extractions for our Veterans who do not have access to dental care. Veterans are asked to call and make an appointment for this event. We will also have treats generously donated by the following local business’
~ Firehook Bakery
~ Alexandria Pastry Shop
~ Alexandria Cupcake
~ TJ Stone’s
Veterans are asked to call our office to schedule their appointment for October 5th at 703-548-8584
Have you started to notice some things changing in your mouth as you get older? Here are some common dental concerns as we age….
Keeping up with your good oral hygiene habits and continuing regular dental visits will keep your natural teeth for as long as possible.
Cavities aren’t just a problem for your sugared up grandchildren.
Patients over 60 tend to experience cavities around older fillings or at the root of their teeth. With age the root of your tooth often softens and becomes exposed. Additionally, medical conditions like arthritis or Parkinson’s can make brushing or flossing difficult, leading to increased tooth decay, as well as issues with your gums.
While gum disease affects patients at all ages, there are additional concerning factors for seniors. Poorly fitting dentures and bridges, inadequate diet, use of tobacco products, chronic conditions, and certain medications can all lead to ongoing gum disease.
If you have a history of tobacco or alcohol use, you’ll benefit from oral cancer screenings. As with any cancer, the earlier oral cancer is caught, the better the chances for a favorable outcome. You don’t even have to ask, we examine your mouth for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions as part of every routine dental visit, as well as conducting your yearly Velscope exam which shows us any underlying tissue issues.
You may notice that a previous gap in your teeth has narrowed or disappeared. Or that food is getting stuck in new places.
As you age, your teeth start to shift. This can make cleaning difficult, which leads to decay. Seeing us more often will help keep decay from becoming dangerous.
Oral hygiene tips
The most important hygiene tips at any age are to: Brush twice a day for two minutes, and floss at least once a day and continue with your regular visits to our office!
The Case for Cheese
Simply put, dairy products are one of the best dietary sources of calcium in terms of bioavailability--or the ability of your body to intake nutrients from the food.
Calcium plays a primary role in the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, and is important for blood clotting, wound-healing, and maintaining normal blood pressure. Also, pairing calcium-rich foods with sources of vitamin D helps the small intestine to absorb calcium.
Like we said, cheese packs a big nutritional punch. Two ounces of many kinds of cheese can contain 40-50 percent of your daily calcium requirement, and a single serving can provide 20 percent of the average daily requirement of Vitamin D. Cheese contains vitamin A, vitamin B-12, riboflavin, phosphorus, selenium, and sodium. Sheep and goat’s milk cheeses have higher levels of vitamin A, while cow’s milk cheese has more beta-carotene.In fact, a study in the clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry reports that consuming cheese and other dairy products may prevent dental cavities. Eating cheese raises the mouth’s pH levels, which lowers the chance of developing cavities. Cheese also sticks to tooth enamel for further protection from acid.
If you’re looking to add more calcium in your diet, the National Dairy Council recommends Swiss, Cheddar, ricotta, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Gouda, queso blanco, Mexican blend, and Colby. Half of a cup of part-skim ricotta cheese provides 337 mg of calcium, which is about one-third of the daily-recommended calcium intake for adults ages 19 to 50!
- Calcium: Calcium helps to build strong bones, and since your teeth are made of the same substance as bones, they also need calcium to stand up to the food you eat. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are loaded with calcium. Hard cheeses in particular are great for your teeth because they also counteract acidic foods and help to protect your teeth’s enamel. Leafy greens such as kale, bok choy, and Brussel sprouts are also good sources of calcium.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is crucial for healthy gums, which in turn are crucial for healthy teeth. Your gums keep your teeth firmly rooted and provide the support necessary to keep your teeth alive and happy. Sweet potatoes and peppers are both a solid source of vitamin C, as well as citrus fruits. However, fruits are also acidic foods, so eating too many of them can soften the enamel on your teeth.
- Vitamin D: Your mouth needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium, which is crucial to a healthy smile. The best foods for vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, and fish. However, if you spend enough time in the sun on a daily basis, your body will naturally produce this essential vitamin.
- Crunchy Food: Crunch fruits and vegetables are great for your teeth because they scrub while you chew. They can remove plaque-causing bacteria, as well as jump-start saliva production which washes bacteria away. Celery, carrots, apples, and pears are all good examples of crunch food that helps keep your teeth healthy.
There are many diseases and conditions that have symptoms that occur in the mouth, and if you know a little about what they are it can help you to make better decisions about your health.
Bad Breath: If you brush your teeth, floss, and use mouth wash regularly but still have stinky breath it could be a symptom of a more serious condition. Indigestion and a few stomach disorders can cause halitosis, a.k.a. bad breath, but the scariest is liver disease. The good news is that bad breath is often an early symptom of liver disease, and if it is properly diagnosed you stand a better chance of getting healthy. If you are suffering from constant bad breath lets discuss this at your next visit.
Dry Mouth: There are many causes of dry mouth. If a person runs a lot, is dehydrated, smokes, or drinks too much alcohol they could experience dry mouth. However, it is also and early indicator of diabetes. In diabetics’ mouths the salivary glands thicken and slow down, and when this happens a host of new symptoms will begin to appear such as an increased risk of gum infections. If you think you are suffering from these symptoms be sure to contact your general practitioner.
Bleeding Gums: If your gums bleed after brushing your teeth or flossing, it could be a sign of gingivitis. The best way to prevent gingivitis is to simply brush and floss regularly. If you do get gingivitis, be sure to seek treatment for it. If left unchecked it can develop into periodontitis, which is a full blown infection of the tissues and bones that support your teeth. Your teeth will eventually become loose and begin to fall out.
Canker Sores: When a person is constantly developing canker sores in their mouth it could mean they have allergies they are unaware of. We also have a laser treatment to help with your canker sores so ask us at your next visit.
Aluminum Taste: If your mouth constantly tastes like you have been licking an aluminum can it is a give-away that you are not getting enough zinc in your diet. Make sure you eat foods high in zinc, such as beef, spinach, nuts, and mushrooms.
We have many patients ask if they have to stop chewing gum. If you can’t quite give up your love for bubble gum here are some things to keep in mind. And, as always, if you suffer from TMJ issues we never recommend gum chewing as it inflames your jaw muscles.
Which gums should I choose?The best place to start is with whether or not the gum you want has sugar. If it does, it will do more harm than good to your teeth. There are not exceptions. If it is sugar free, the next thing you should look for is the American Dental Association seal of approval. Products only get this seal after they undergo a basic level of scientific scrutiny, so as a consumer you can be sure that your gum does not contain anything that will harm your teeth. However, there are several areas, such as remineralization or the neutralization of acids, for which gum can earn the seal for, so if you are worried about on specific area then you should do a little more research into your chosen brand to see exactly why it earned the ADA seal of approval.
The good effects
When you chew you mouth naturally produces saliva, which is one of the most important factors in keeping your teeth healthy. Saliva is the body’s way of naturally controlling bacteria that are growing on your teeth, and the more of it you have the better off you will be.
Gum has also been shown to trap a small, but significant, number of bacteria as it comes in contact with your teeth. This means that when you spit-out your gum, it will be taking several million bacteria along for the rid.
So chewing can replace brushing and flossing?
Unfortunately, chewing gum alone is not nearly enough to protect your teeth, even if you pick sugar free gum. You still need to brush at least two times a day and make sure to floss at least once. However, popping a piece of dental gum after a meal is a great way to help clean up any of those leftover bits of food that like to hang around and cause trouble.
A recent study suggests “treating chronic gum inflammation might help people with diabetes control their disease.” The study of 264 people with type 2 diabetes and periodontitis found that “over the course of a year, patients who got intensive periodontal treatment from dentists saw improvements not just in their blood glucose levels but in the health of their kidneys and blood vessels, too.” Study leader Dr. Francesco D’Aiuto said, “While more research is needed to explore the exact mechanisms” by which treating periodontitis can help people with diabetes, “a reduction of systemic inflammation…is the most plausible link.” The findings were published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
As always, we firmly believe that oral health is systematic to the rest of your health. For those of you with diabetes we would love to discuss further with you how we can help you maintain great oral health. Call our office now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mullaney.