Why it’s important to brush your tongue when you brush your teeth

istock 1152179371 1 Brushing the teeth and gums each day will ensure a healthy smile, but are you aware that the tongue should also receive special care? The tongue in the mouth has a rough surface that can be the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive and grow. This bacteria can spread and contribute to the potential for periodontal disease and tooth decay. Also, this bacteria on the tongue can cause patients to experience halitosis, or chronic bad breath. At the practice of Dr. Joseph Cavallo, patients will learn the importance of brushing the tongue with the teeth and gums!

Why should I brush my tongue?

Brushing the tongue is an effective way to remove sugars, acids, and food debris that may stick to the tongue due to its rough surface. It should be brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Patients  should start on the back of the tongue and work their way forward, ensuring they get the sides of the tongue as well.

How often should I brush my tongue?

Another question patients ask about brushing the tongue is how often it should be done. Our team recommends brushing the tongue every time you brush and floss your teeth. It should become part of one’s oral health routine between dental visits. Patients who brush their tongue and still deal with problems such as halitosis may want to ask their dentist about the use of specialized mouthwashes or the use of tongue scrapers. These are tools that may help reduce bad breath while keeping the smile healthy.

What if I still deal with halitosis?

Patients with chronic bad breath may have another underlying condition that requires further evaluation. If you struggle with halitosis even after brushing your tongue and improving your oral hygiene routine, talk to your dentist about alternative solutions.

Call Dr. Joseph Cavallo today!

Woodbridge, VA area patients who are interested in learning more about ways of caring for the smile are welcome to call the practice of Dr. Joseph Cavallo to request a consultation appointment. The practice is located at 12502-A Lake Ridge Drive and can be reached by calling (703) 490-5888. Our facility is always accepting new patients into the facility for comprehensive dental care.

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.

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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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A Good Diet for Strong Teeth

Everyone knows how important hygiene is to healthy teeth. What you may not know is that what you eat is just as important – maybe even more so. As with the rest of our body, what we eat affects our teeth. But what foods are really good for teeth and which ones aren’t? We are here to help you find your way to a healthier smile that lasts a lifetime.

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What Not to Eat

  • Candy and Soda

    • Sugary foods and drinks, such as candy and soda, are the classic bad boys of dental health. The bacteria that cause tooth decay feed on sugar. Candy and soda are particularly pernicious sources of sugar, so unfortunately shouldn’t make it on to any good-diet list.
  • Fruit

    • Unfortunately, most fruit is full of sugar and can also lead to cavities. When it comes right down to it, fruit isn’t generally much better for your teeth than a lollipop.
  • Coffee, Tea, and Wine

    • These foods aren’t really bad for you. In fact, antioxidant-rich tea is often really good for your mouth. Unfortunately, these popular beverages are also leading causes of tooth discoloration. Their dark color and tannins mean that they can easily stain your teeth.

What to Eat

  • Crunchy Foods

    • Chewing on crunchy foods has two benefits. One, it stimulates saliva production, a sign of a healthy mouth. Two, the texture can actually help scrape the teeth clean. Apples are one surprising member of this list; even though they are high in sugar, their texture and water content give them a place on the good side.
  • Vegetables

    • Rather than fruit, give mineral-rich vegetables a try. A proper balance of nutrients and minerals is important for every element of your health. Your mouth is no different. Calcium is important for strong teeth and enamel, vitamin A also strengthens enamel, and B vitamins, particularly folic acid, fight gum inflammation and tooth decay.
  • Water

    • It may seem simple, but drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your mouth. Not only does it boost saliva production, it washes out your mouth to stop sugars sitting on your teeth from causing decay.

Schedule an Appointment

Do you have more questions about how diet can affect your teeth? Our personalized approach and desire to set you at ease means that we will always be happy to answer any questions you might have about how to care for your teeth. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph P. Cavallo in Woodbridge, VA, contact us online or at (703) 493-1203.

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Choosing the Best Dental Products for You

dental hygiene woodbridge va

With all the products on the market these days, choosing the right dental hygiene products for you can be overwhelming. With every brand making the same claims, what’s the best choice? A lot of choosing dental products comes down to personal preference – choose the brand that feels the most effective to you. However, there are a few things you can be sure to look out for in each part of your hygiene routine.


The backbone of any home hygiene regimen is the toothbrush. Look for a soft-bristled brush; soft bristles are enough to clean the teeth without damaging the enamel or gums. A stuff-bristled brush can even cause your gums to recede. Any other features are up to personal preference. There isn’t much evidence that either regular or electronic brushes do a better job of cleaning your teeth. Electric brushes can, however, be easier to use. This can make then a good fit for patients with mobility or motor control issues. Whatever you choose, be sure to replace your brush or brush head about every three months.


The most important thing to look for in your toothpaste is fluoride. Choose one with at least 1000 parts per million of fluoride, and a seal of approval from the American Dental Association. Anything else is really up to your preference. Use whatever toothpaste feels the best to you.


The major deciding factor when choosing a floss is the spacing of your teeth. If you have widely spaced teeth choose a thicker floss. Dental tape may even be a good option for people with gaps between their teeth. If your teeth are very tightly packed, a thinner floss is going to be more comfortable to use. Any other features – waxed or monofilament, flavored, disposable flossers – is just up to what you like and is familiar.


When choosing a mouthwash, again look for fluoride. For most people, an alcohol mouthwash with fluoride is the best choice. The alcohol will kill the bacteria in your mouth, and the fluoride reduces tooth decay.

Questions? Schedule a Consultation

If you have questions about the best products for your mouth, we are happy to help. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph Cavallo to discuss your specific needs. Contact our office online or over the phone at (703) 493-1203 and schedule your consultations today.

How to Deal with Dental Fear

Fear of the dentist is a common complaint among patients of all ages. In many cases, dental anxiety is due to a bad or painful experience at the dentist in the past. Far too often, fear of more pain keeps people from visiting the dentist for years at a time. Unfortunately, avoiding dental visits can allow more serious problems to develop, leading to more pain over the long run. Building good relationships between dentists and patients can help, and Dr. Joseph Cavallo is dedicated to relationship-based dentistry. But sometimes this isn’t enough. Fortunately, there is a solution: sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is just what it sounds like: the patient is sedated during the dental procedure. Sedation can help the patient feel more relaxed, and can also allow Dr. Cavallo to complete more than one procedure during a single visit. This can minimize visits and minimize your anxiety.

Types of Sedation

At the Woodbridge, Virginia office of Dr. Joseph Cavallo, we offer three types of sedative for your dental procedure: oral sedation, nitrous oxide sedation, and intravenous sedation. Our staff will meet with you to discuss your personal medical needs and decide on the type of sedation that will be best for you and your procedure.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is administered in pill form. This form of sedation does not put the patient to sleep; the patient remains awake and responsive, and an adjustable dose means you can receive exactly the level of sedation needed. This allows the patient to relax while also cooperating with the dentist. Most patients who use this sedative method report no memory of the procedure after they recover.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is a very popular option for many kinds of dental procedures and is Dr. Cavallo’s preferred method. This method also allows the patient to remain awake and cooperative throughout the procedure. The benefits of this method are that the gas acts very quickly and also has a fast recovery. The gas is administered through a special mask, and once the mask is removed takes only a few minutes to wear off. Most patients can drive themselves home after treatment with nitrous oxide.

IV Sedation

IV or intravenous sedation is one of the stronger sedatives offered at our Woodbridge, Virginia office. Dr. Cavallo works closely with a local board-certified anesthesiologist, who will visit the office on the day of your treatment and monitor you closely throughout the entirety of your procedure. This heavy sedation is ideal for allowing Dr. Cavallo to complete multiple treatments in one appointment.

Is It Safe?

Many people consider safety their number one concern when it comes to sedation dentistry. The oral sedative dose is typically quite low and has been approved by the American Dental Association. Laughing gas is a minimal and extremely safe option that has been in use for over 150 years. A highly qualified and experienced anesthesiologist will monitor you throughout your IV sedation, for the safest experience possible.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have been avoiding dental visits due to dental anxiety, consider sedation dentistry to get the care you need. Contact the office of Dr. Cavallo DDS, MAGD online or at (703) 493-1203 and ask about sedation dentistry today.

Restore your dental health with sedation dentistry

General Dentist in Woodbridge, VA

Restore your dental health with sedation dentistry in Woodbridge VA Dr. Joseph Cavallo is a highly trained and educated dentist in Woodbridge, Virginia. Dr. Cavallo and our dental team are committed to providing the highest standard of dental care, and patient service to every patient who visits are Woodbridge dental office. Dr. Cavallo dedicates numerous hours every year to continuous education to stay on the forefront of dentistry and learn the latest techniques, methods, and technology in the dentistry field. Dr. Cavallo aims to deliver high-quality dental care to each patient and provide them with the treatment they need to improve their smile.

Our Woodbridge, VA dental office offers a full range of dental services including dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, general dentistry, and restorative dentistry. As a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Cavallo has years of field and clinical experience which uniquely qualifies him to treat a wide range of dental issues. Whether you are in the market for a smile makeover or need a routine dental filling, Dr. Cavallo can work with you to develop a personalized plan that addresses your dental needs.

Patient Testimonials

My experience at Dr. Cavallo’s Office was definitely very positive… Dr. Cavallo took obvious pride in his work, explaining to me his recommendations. My ideal mouth would consist of a few Root Canals, several tooth colored fillings & a six-unit Bridge. His enthusiasm for restoring my mouth & Smile to Dental perfection was infectious. It was this personal and complete touch that has kept me going back to Dr. Cavallo’s office along with his friendly and helpful staff for many years now. My Bridge has stood the test of time. It’s a perfect fit & color. I appreciate Dr. Cavallo’s experience, his ongoing education & attention to detail. -Marie H

Dr. Cavallo has been my dentist for 25 years and I would highly recommend him to anyone. I previously had a bad experience with a dentist and became very uncomfortable with going to the dentist. However, all that changed when I started with Dr. Cavallo. His staff is excellent and would calm me as soon as I walked into the office. They are very friendly and treat you so special. They do not let you wait in the waiting room long (which causes stress to me) and Dr. Cavallo’s chair-side manner is so gentle, that I can hardly tell my mouth has been working on! I now can go to the dentist without fear and may even enjoy visiting with the Dr and his staff! -Michael M.

I have been a patient of Dr. Cavallo’s for 20+ years. It has been a pleasure having Dr. Cavallo as my dentist throughout the years. He has a wonderful team and he cares about his patients and spends time getting to know you. I would highly recommend Dr. Cavallo. A wonderful team and great service! -Rachel B.

Schedule An Appointment

If you are searching for a trusted dentist in Woodbridge, Virginia, visit Dr. Cavallo. Dr. Cavallo can work with you to identify any dental problems and provide the ideal solution for your smile. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call 703.493.1203 or schedule an appointment online.

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Are You Searching for a Woodbridge, VA Dentist?

It is a new year and there is no better way to start of your healthy new year than by visiting a high quality, highly personable dentist. Your oral health is key to living a fulfilling and healthy life.

This month we are taking a closer look at what makes our Woodbridge dentist office the best choice for achieving total oral health. 

Dr. Cavallo and our entire dental care team are committed to treating each patient with personalized attention and superior dental health care. We believe that in providing a supportive, no pressure environment that supports patients education, we allow patients to make informed decisions about their oral health. Dr. Cavallo will always take time to hear your oral health concerns and to understand your cosmetic goals. We work with you to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile of your dreams.

Dr. Cavallo offers years advanced credentials and many years of hands-on clinical experience.  Dedicated to continuing education, Dr. Cavallo holds a Master’s of General Dentistry. He works tirelessly to stay current with all new dental technology providing less invasive, more effective dental treatments.  
Maintain Your Natural Smile With Restorative Dentistry

Dental Treatment Options Woodbridge, VA

Dr. Cavallo offers a full range of general, cosmetic and restorative dental treatments. Our dental office is equipped to address most dental concerns in office, so you can achieve a healthy and beautiful smile all from the comfort of our Woodbridge office without the hassle of needing to visit additional specialists.

Explore the links below to learn more about the dental services we offer:

Visit Dr. Cavallo

Dr. Cavallo welcomes new patients from Woodbridge, and all of Northern, VA.  To request your initial consultation, contact our office or fill out our online request form. We schedule just one appointment at a time, making you our primary focus each time you visit us. We look forward to meeting you, treating you, and having you join our dental care family. 

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Haiti & Patient Education, Improving Oral Health

Thomassique, Haiti is a small rural town on the border of Dominican Republic and Haiti. Thomassique is a traditional Haitian farming town where the majority of the community lives of their own crops. Community members are often seen snacking on sugar cane while taking refuge from the midday sun or taking the long hike to collect drinking water.

Bringing Oral Health To Haiti

In 2006, Medical Missionaries built St. Joseph Clinic, Thomassique’s first permanent medical center. Dr. Cavallo has partnered with Medical Missionaries since 2013 helping to bring resources to a community in need of dental health care. Dr.Cavallo is proud to have served the Haitian town of Thomassique with dental services for over 4 years.
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Having previously traveled with his daughter, a Neuroscience major at Columbia University, Dr. Cavallo always travels with Father John O’Hara a local priest of Banica, DR. Father O’Hara serves as a translator and community advocate with his extensive knowledge of local culture. Dr. Cavallo donates medical supplies, dental instruments, and his time to help enhance the communities dental health.

Patients travel from all over the region to receive dental care from Dr. Cavallo during his stay at the clinic in Thomassique. Many patients receive tooth extractions for severely decayed or damaged teeth. Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the leading dental health concerns facing the residents of Thomassique due to a lack of oral hygiene. Because equipment and supplies are limited, tooth extractions are often the most effective way to relieve a patient from their discomfort and prevent further damage to their teeth and gums.
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This year Dr. Cavallo and Medical Missionaries received a large monetary donation through the Catholic Church. Dr. Cavallo was able to purchase new, portable dental equipment for the Thomassique clinic. This new equipment will enable Dr. Cavallo and the local technicians to provide safer, more effective dental care.
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Dr. Cavallo has begun to develop and implement a new oral hygiene program in the local schools to promote preventative dental care. Through patient education, Dr. Cavallo has helped children, teachers, and parents learn the basics of oral hygiene in efforts to reduce tooth decay and encourage better overall oral health and well being. Dr. Cavallo was able to secure several donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste from dental supply companies to give residents access to high-quality tools to promote oral health.

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What Is The Cause of Chronic Facial Pain?

Do you experience chronic pain or sensitivity in your jaw, neck, or face? Do you wake up with constant headaches? Does your jaw pop or click, making it difficult or painful to eat?

Facial pain can become debilitating, negatively impacting your quality of life. We see a lot of patients at our Woodbridge, VA dentist office who suffer from chronic jaw pain, and many are at their “wit’s end”. For many of these patients, their facial pain has caused them to miss work, skip family gatherings, and often leaves them bedridden with severe headaches.

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What causes chronic face or jaw pain?

TMJ or TMD is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint. The disorder occurs when the joint is damaged, stressed or misused. Nightly teeth grinding, stress, trauma or bite misalignment are common causes of a damaged TMJ.  Many patients experience a combination of factors that lead to painful symptoms of the face and neck.

No two cases of TMD are the same. Dr. Joseph Cavallo is a highly trained and experienced dentist with training in the intricate muscles and function of the masticatory system.  Dr. Cavallo provides every patient experiencing facial pain with a thorough oral health exam and bite analysis. Dr. Cavallo looks at the interconnectedness between the jaw, teeth, and neck. The goal is to pinpoint the cause of malfunction to bring the whole system into alignment, alleviating painful symptoms.

What are the treatment options for TMJ?

Treatment is tailored to the patient and determined based on the cause of their TMJ.  Dr. Cavallo works with patients to build treatment plans that will alleviate pain and prevent future damage to the teeth and gums. Treatment plans may include procedures to restore damaged, missing or misaligned teeth to restore the health and function to the jaw, teeth, and gums. Possible treatments include Invisalign, an oral sleep appliance, restorative dentistry, or other restorative bite correction procedures.

If you struggle with daily pain, feel constantly fatigued, or have headaches every morning, contact our Woodbridge, VA dentist office to learn more about our comprehensive approach to treating TMD.

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