How often should I replace my toothbrush?

We use our toothbrushes several times a day, but when was the last time you changed your toothbrush out for a new one? Most men and women throw out food that has expired and restock certain medications after a certain period of time. However, many patients forget about the tooth we use to maintain our oral health, and how often they should be replaced.

When should I change out my toothbrush?

The American Dental Association, or ADA, recommends patients change their toothbrush every three months. This is because a toothbrush experiences normal wear and tear, just like anything else we use every day. When the toothbrush is worn or frayed, it is no longer effectively removing plaque, tartar, sugars, and acids from the surfaces of the teeth and gums. Most patients will notice dramatic changes in their toothbrushes around the three month mark, which is a great indication that the toothbrush should be replaced with a new one.

Additionally, patients should also consider the need to change out a toothbrush due to the spread of germs. Bacteria can hide within the bristles of the toothbrush. When you have had a recent cold, flu, or other condition and you do not replace your toothbrush, you are putting yourself at risk of reinfection. In other situations, the physical appearance of the toothbrush will be an indication to change it. A toothbrush that has frayed and broken bristles will need replacement sooner rather than later.

What will happen if I do not replace my toothbrush often?

It’s no surprise that bacteria, mold, and fungus can build up on a toothbrush over time, especially since they are stored in a moist room such as a bathroom. Patients put themselves at risk of developing cavities and disease when their toothbrush is no longer effective, and may also reinfect themselves with an illness or with mold that can make you sick.

Do you want to educate yourself further on dental health?

Contact Dr. Joseph Cavallo and his team today to discuss the advantages of caring for your smile! The practice is conveniently located at 12505-A Lake Ridge Drive in Woodbridge, Virginia and can be reached to request an appointment at (703) 490-5888.

Understanding dry mouth

While it’s common for individuals to deal with dry mouth every now and then, particularly when they are under a lot of stress or nervous, it is not normal to experience dry mouth all the time. In addition to being uncomfortable and bothersome, it can also lead to other dental health problems. Dry mouth, known medically as xerostomia, can be extremely problematic if it occurs as a chronic condition without treatment. It is essential that patients understand that dry mouth can have many different causes, and is not a natural part of aging. Dry mouth can occur when saliva glands do not function properly, and may develop when patients are dealing with:

  • Increased levels of stress
  • Prescription medications
  • Cancer treatments including chemotherapy and radiation
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Regular cigarette smoking

When there is not enough saliva in the mouth, patients will often experience:

  • Cracked, dry lips
  • Dry, sticky feeling in the mouth
  • Difficulty in speaking, tasting, swallowing, or even chewing
  • A dry throat
  • Infections in the mouth (periodontal disease)
  • Mouth sores

Saliva is so important, because it helps in keeping the mouth wet and comfortable. It makes it possible to chew and swallow. But it also plays a role in a healthy mouth. Saliva protects the teeth from cavities and also prevents infection, including periodontal disease, from forming by controlling the levels of bacteria in the mouth.

Treatment for dry mouth

If patients have chronic dry mouth, it is important that they work with a professional to find a solution. Medications that list dry mouth as a side effect might be changed or reduced in dosage. Patients might be dealing with dehydration, so sipping water or other appropriate drinks throughout the day can help. Patients should avoid sodas, tea, and coffee which can work against them. Additionally, some patients find that chewing on sugarless gum helps stimulate the flow of saliva and keeps the mouth moisturized. Speaking with a professional is one way to learn more about treatment options that might assist you.

Are you dealing with dry mouth on a daily basis?

It may be time to talk to your dental health provider and discuss ways to treat your condition. Call Dr. Joseph Cavallo and his team in Woodbridge, VA at (703) 490-5888 to request an appointment. The office, conveniently located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive, is available for new and current patients.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Replacing missing teeth is easy with the help of the right dentist. When patients have experienced tooth loss or extraction, they need to work with a dental provider such as Dr. Joseph Cavallo of Woodbridge, VA to decide the solution most appropriate for their unique situation. Oftentimes, our team may recommend the use of dental implants to replace one or more teeth.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are considered the “gold standard” in tooth replacement. These restorations are titanium posts that Dr. Joseph Cavallo places into the jawbone to provide the proper foundation for a dental crown, a dental bridge, or a full denture.

What are the advantages of using dental implants?

Dental implants have several benefits for our patients to consider. Dental implants:

  • Provide unsurpassed strength and stability
  • Are biocompatible with the body
  • Maintain natural bone structure and reduce bone resorption
  • Are solid and stable to restore as desired by the patient
  • Last a lifetime with proper care
  • Stabilize full dentures, allowing denture-wearers to worry less about their dentures

Who is a candidate for dental implants?

Dental implants are known for maintaining natural bone of the jaw through osseointegration after placement. However, patients still need to have enough bone to successfully place the implant before restoration. X-rays are taken of the patient to ensure the dental implant procedure will be successful for them. Patients who have experienced dental resorption may want to consider the advantages of undergoing bone grafting first to prepare the smile for the placement of a dental implant in the future.

How many teeth can a dental implant replace?

This depends greatly on the restoration patients are considering. For example, a single tooth can be replaced with a dental implant covered by a crown. Multiple teeth may be replaced by using the implant to support one or both ends of a dental bridge, or using a full denture to replace the entire arch of teeth.

Discover the advantages of using dental implants to enhance your smile!

Dr. Joseph Cavallo and his team are here to assist patients in learning more about dental implants and other restorative solutions available in his facility. Call (703) 490-5888 today and speak to our front office team to schedule your appointment. We are conveniently located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive and assist patients in and around the area of Woodbridge, Virginia.

When do you need deep dental cleanings?

Dentists often agree that deep dental cleanings performed at the dental office is one of the best ways to not only treat patients who have chronic gum disease issues, but to act as a preventive to ensure the smile is protected against damage from both disease and decay. However, this cleaning, referred to as scaling and root planing, is often recommended for patients who have been diagnosed with conditions such as gingivitis or periodontal disease. This particular treatment allows the dentist to remove the plaque and bacteria from below the gumline to prevent bone loss, treat disease, and protect the smile overall.

What are the signs that I may require a deep dental cleaning?

Traditional cleanings help in removing plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the visible surfaces of the teeth and gums, but scaling and root planing is much more thorough. Because of this, it is often recommended to patients who have:

  • Pockets between the gums and teeth that are deeper than 4 millimeters
  • X-rays show proof of bone loss
  • Patients have inflammation of the gums that have continued for long periods of time

In situations such as this, Dr. Joseph Cavallo of Woodbridge, VA may recommend patients consider the added benefits of a more thorough, deeper dental cleaning for their smile.

How often should my teeth be cleaned?

All patients who visit their dentist every six months for a cleaning and evaluation will benefit from having their teeth cleaned by our dental hygienists. Once this is done, the patients can have a thorough examination done by Dr. Joseph Cavallo, which gives him the chance to look for signs of symptoms of decay or disease. Deep dental cleanings, such as scaling and root planing, may be done instead during recall visits, especially if the patient has been dealing with disease for an extended period of time.

Ready to learn more about dental cleanings?

Contact Dr. Joseph Cavallo and his team in Woodbridge, VA to discuss the need for cleanings and other preventive care solutions for the smile. His practice is located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive and is accepting new patients. Call (703) 490-5888 today to request an appointment and get started taking charge of your oral health with cleanings and routine examinations!

Enjoy your dental visit with the integration of sedation dentistry

It is not uncommon for Dr. Joseph Cavallo of Woodbridge, VA to work with patients who have a fear of the dentist’s chair. Adults and children alike my experience dental anxiety. However, by integration sedation into a patient’s treatment, most individuals can reduce and even eliminate their anxieties to undergo the necessary treatments.

Understanding sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a method of dentistry during which the patient is properly sedated for optimum comfort. The sedation method chosen by a patient may vary from individual to individual based on the severity of their anxieties and the procedures being performed. Below are the types of sedation available with Dr. Joseph Cavallo:

  • Nitrous oxide – nitrous oxide is an odorless gas that is administered into the body through the nose. A nose mask is worn by the patient while the proper amounts of nitrous oxide are provided. Nitrous oxide is also known as “laughing gas” and is perfect for patients with mild anxieties undergoing fast and routine procedures.
  • Oral conscious sedation – another option is that of oral conscious sedation. This sedative is a prescribed medication that is taken orally by the patient approximately one hour prior to their appointment. Transportation needs to be arranged as patients cannot drive while under oral conscious sedation. Patients are relaxed throughout their procedure and then rest off the medication when they return home. Most patients have little to no recollection of their dental visit, while their dental work can be completed.
  • IV sedation – patients with severe anxieties or those who are undergoing extensive procedures may want to ask about IV sedation. Sedatives are administered through a needle into the bloodstream. This method of sedation is extremely strong, and many patients will fall asleep for their treatment. We encourage this for procedures such as the placement of dental implants, or for patients undergoing several treatments at once.

Schedule a visit with Dr. Joseph Cavallo today!

Patients in the Woodbridge, VA area who are ready to work with a dentist who provides sedation dentistry are welcome to book an appointment at our practice by calling (703) 490-5888. Our facility is located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive and accepts new patients.

Professional teeth whitening is a phone call away!

A bright, beautiful smile is often associated with oral health and wellness. While the smile is an individual’s first impression to others, it may be imperfect or stained. Thanks to continued advances in cosmetic dentistry, patients can visit their dentist for professional-grade whitening services.

What sets professional products apart from over-the-counter alternatives?

You may have seen a wide range of whitening products at the local drugstore. These over-the-counter products may include treatments such as whitening pens, strips, or trays. While these may be effective for patients seeking minimal whitening, they may not be the best choice for those who want a dramatic improvement. Instead, patients who want to brighten their smile up to eight shades whiter within a few weeks are encouraged to ask our team about our professional whitening options.

Dr. Joseph Cavallo believes that the best method of brightening the smile is with professional-grade whitening trays and bleaching gel. Our practice takes impressions of the patient’s smile to create a mold for the fabrication of trays for both the top and bottom dental arches. These trays fit snug over the patient’s teeth to ensure proper coverage when the whitening gel is administered into these trays. Patients use the whitening gel and trays every day for several weeks to gradually brighten the natural tooth enamel.

How can I maintain my results?

Professional-grade whitening can provide amazing results—but how do you keep them? Dr. Joseph Cavallo encourages patients to:

· Avoid food and drink that can stain the teeth, or swish water after consuming to reduce staining
· Maintain routine dental visits at the practice for cleanings and evaluations
· Use their whitening trays every few months as a touch-up treatment
· Take good care of the smile with brushing and flossing after every meal

Schedule an appointment today to discuss professional teeth whitening

Dr. Joseph Cavallo of Woodbridge, VA is here to help men and women with a wide selection of cosmetic services. If you have been considering brightening the smile with teeth whitening solutions, we welcome you to book a consultation visit with our team to discuss treatment. The office is located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive and can be reached at (703) 490-5888.

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What Are Dental Implants?

For patients looking to replace missing teeth, dental implants are likely the least familiar restorative option. Many of us probably have a parent or grandparent who used a dental bridge or dentures, but dental implants are a bit more uncommon. Because they look and feel like natural teeth, Dr. Joseph recommends dental implants whenever possible.

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The Parts of a Dental Implant

Dental implants consist of three parts. The first is a titanium post that is secured permanently into the jaw. It replicates the role of the tooth root. The second is an abutment, a sort of collar which sits just below the gum line and helps secure the false tooth to the post. The final part is a custom porcelain crown designed to blend seamlessly with your other teeth.

Single Tooth Implants vs. All On Four

Some patients may think that the number of teeth they are missing makes them ineligible for dental implants. In fact, implants can be used to replace any number of teeth. Single tooth dental implants are just what they sound like: an implant supporting a single crown. Even one missing tooth can lead to bone loss, so replacement is important. All-on-four implants use a few implants to support a full row of teeth.

What to Expect

First, the post will be placed then the gums given approximately 3-6 months to heal. A temporary crown may be placed to aid function during healing. Once your gums have healed, Dr. Cavallo will place the abutment and final crown, bridge, or denture. Dr. Cavallo can provide every part of your treatment under one roof, making our office a convenient choice for your dental implant needs.

Schedule an Appointment

Questions? Dr. Cavallow offers free patient education seminars to answer questions about dental implants. Contact us to ask about the next seminar date. You can also schedule a consultation to discuss your own eligibility. To schedule, contact our Woodbridge, VA office on our website or at (703) 490-5888.

All about porcelain veneers

Cosmetic dentistry encompasses many different solutions for the smile. When patients are interested in disguising imperfections near the front of the smile, they may want to ask Dr. Joseph Cavallo of Woodbridge, VA about porcelain veneers.

How veneers can improve the smile

Porcelain veneers are restorations used for patients who are interested in covering up imperfections on the anterior, or front, teeth. These imperfections may include:

  • Gaps between teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Chipped/cracked/broken teeth
  • Unusually short teeth
  • Permanently stained teeth

When these imperfections are present, patients can utilize these thin shells of ceramic to cover their appearance and address the overall look of the teeth. Porcelain veneers are custom-made for patients so they match the shape, color, and size of the rest of the teeth in the smile that are left uncovered. This ensures a natural appearance and beauty.

What can I expect from porcelain veneers?

Veneers discretely cover the teeth in the front of the smile that are imperfect, and can do so in a permanent way. In fact, many patients who take care of their veneers after placement will enjoy them for sometimes a decade or longer. These restorations are strong, durable, and long-lasting when patients take care of their oral health and wellness between routine dental visits. During these visits, our team can evaluate the health of the tooth underneath and monitor for problems such as periodontal disease or tooth decay. The porcelain veneer does not protect against poor oral health problems, so continued evaluation is needed every six months. If problems arise, they can be addressed early enough to ensure successful intervention and to reduce the need to remove the porcelain veneer from the tooth.

Am I a candidate for porcelain veneers?

Patients who take good care of their smile and are interested in a long-term cosmetic solution to imperfect teeth may be considered a viable candidate for this and other cosmetic and restorative options available with Dr. Joseph Cavallo.

Are you interested in porcelain veneers?

Enhance your smile with cosmetic dentistry solutions available with Dr. Joseph Cavallo. Our team is located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive in Woodbridge, VA, and can be reached by phone at (703) 490-5888. We accept new patients into our practice who are ready for comprehensive dental care solutions for their smiles!

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What Are Dental Crowns?

If you have never had a dental crown, you’re probably a bit unsure of what they actually are. In fact, if you have had a crown, you may still have some of the same questions. Dental crowns are one of the most common restorative dental procedures, designed to look and feel like a natural tooth to maintain long-term dental health.

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What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are a sort of cap that goes over a damaged tooth, replacing it with a strong chewing surface. Depending on the patient, Dr. Cavallo offers metal, porcelain, composite, or combined material crowns. Porcelain and composite in particular are designed to be almost indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

How Do They Work?

The old tooth will be prepared by stabilizing the damage then shaping the tooth to fit the crown. The crown will be custom made to fit your mouth and maintain good alignment. Your custom-fit crown will then be cemented permanently into place for years of use.

What Do They Treat?

One of the most common reasons for dental crowns is tooth decay. Patients may also receive a crown after cracking a tooth or due to excessive wear. The goal of a dental crown is always to restore a healthy natural bite, so they can be used in any instance where the bite has been permanently altered. In some instances, crowns may also be used to replace a tooth that has been permanently discolored, due to injury or some other cause.

Schedule a Consultation

Do you have a dental concern that might be treated by a crown? Contact the office of Dr. Joseph P. Cavallo in Woodbridge, VA. To schedule a consultation and discuss your treatment options, contact us on our website or at (703) 493-1203.

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How To Improve Your Gum Health

When it comes to taking care of your smile, it is important to not forget about your gums. Just because you take good care of your teeth and you have a bright smile, that does not mean that you have healthy gums. Gum disease can develop at any age, so it is essential to take the proper steps to improve your gum health and reduce your risk of gum disease. In this post, we will discuss some of the best ways to achieve healthier gums.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an oral health condition that begins when plaque develops in the areas above and below the gum line. This sticky substance is full of bacteria that can cause an infection to spread in the gum tissue and the bone structure surrounding the teeth.

The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis can lead to a host of symptoms, including:

However, if gingivitis is not addressed, it can lead to a more advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis can affect the health of the bones that are supporting the teeth. Also, it can cause damage to the gums and connective tissues in the mouth, which can lead to shifting teeth, tooth loss, and difficulty chewing.

Gum disease is preventable with proper care and daily maintenance. Try to follow these key tips to maintain healthy gums.

1. Floss Your Teeth

Try to floss at least once a day. Flossing helps remove plaque and debris from between the teeth. While brushing can be a great way to keep the teeth clean, floss can reach the places in the mouth that your toothbrush can not reach.

2. Receive Routine Dental Cleanings

A professional dental cleaning can help remove tartar. Tartar develops when plaque is not properly removed, and it can only be removed by a dental professional. Dental cleanings are typically performed in conjunction with your routine dental exam, which is designed to identify any signs of complex dental problems, including gingivitis and late-stage gum disease.

3. Quit Smoking

Smoking can be a contributing factor to gum disease. Tobacco use can affect your body’s ability to fight off infection and heal. So patients who smoke have a harder time fighting off gum disease and healing from it. Try finding ways to quit smoking. If you are having a difficult time, be sure to speak with a medical professional.

Schedule A Gum Disease Screening in Woodbridge, VA

Have you visited the dentist recently? You may want to schedule a gum disease screening with Woodbridge, VA dentist Dr. Joseph P. Cavallo. To schedule your appointment, call [new_patient_phone_span], or request an appointment online.

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