diet and healthy teeth woodbridge va

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.

diet and healthy teeth woodbridge va

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.

dental hygiene woodbridge va

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.

Toothbrush

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.

Toothpaste

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.

Floss

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.

Mouthwash

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.

Are Electric Toothbrushes Worth It?

Are Electric Toothbrushes Worth It?

It is often a heavily debated subject when it comes to choosing an electric toothbrush versus a traditional manual toothbrush. It is one of those topics where you need to see all the facts and make the decision based on your personality and lifestyle.

Benefits Of The Electric Tooth

  • More Thorough Cleaning: Most of the time, electric toothbrushes will vibrate and rotate. These combined motions will provide superior cleaning to each tooth versus a traditional toothbrush.
  • Prevent You From Brushing Too Hard: Patients will often brush too hard with a traditional toothbrush potentially damaging your gums and tooth enamel. Electric toothbrushes do most of the work for you, simply apply toothpaste, turn it on, and let the toothbrush do the work for you over each tooth.
  • Help For Patients With Disabilities: Patients who suffer from carpal tunnel, arthritis or other limited mobility issues in their hands, arms or manual dexterity problems can find it very difficult when using a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes often have large handles, which provide a better grip, and again, they do most of the work for you.
  • Timing: Most electric toothbrushes today come with a built-in timer to ensure that you brush your teeth for the proper amount of time. Most patients who use a manual toothbrush do not brush their teeth long enough.

Disadvantages Of The Electric Toothbrush

  • Price: The price of an electric toothbrush may be a setback at first, but they are designed to last a very long time. Also, when it is time to replace your toothbrush, you only need to replace the head of the electric toothbrush. This may be an advantage to some patients as electric toothbrush heads are often sold in packs that can supply you with a fresh toothbrush for several months, maybe even longer if you purchase them from a store like Costco.
  • Charging: Electric toothbrushes need to be charged in order to function properly. That means if you forget to charge it, or even forget to pack your charger on vacation or on business travel, it could mean that you are looking for a store to either purchase a charger or a traditional toothbrush.

Schedule A Consultation

To request a personal consultation with Dr. Joseph Cavallo contact our Woodbridge, VA dentist office, and learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of adding an electric toothbrush to your oral hygiene routine. Schedule a consultation online today.

Do You Suffer From Bad Breath?

 

What Is Bad Breath?

Bad breath, medically called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.

 

Why Does What I Eat Affect My Breath?

Basically, all the food eaten begins to be broken down in your mouth.  If you eat foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing — even mouthwash — merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.

What Health Problems Are Associated With Bad Breath?

Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins to form, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone. Patients with gum disease are at an increased risk of tooth loss.

Dr. Cavallo can help restore missing teeth with dental implants. Implants are one of the most natural looking, long-lasting tooth replacement options available.

What Can I Do To Help Prevent Bad Breath?

  • Brush & Floss Twice Daily
    • Brush your teeth two to three minutes at least twice a day to remove plaque and food debris. It’s very important to brush your teeth before going to bed.
  • Floss Daily
    • Flossing will remove food debris from in between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. If the food debris is not removed, the bacteria will begin to feed on it, causing bad breath.
  • Use A Mouth Rinse
    • Using a fluoride mouthwash will help remove the leftover debris that you miss with brushing and flossing.
  • Do Not Smoke Or Use Tobacco Products
    • If you ever needed another reason to quit, here’s an easy one: smoking contributes to bad breath. Tobacco tends to dry out your mouth and can leave an unpleasant smell that lingers even after brushing your teeth.
  • Visit Dr. Jospeh Cavallo
    • The best way to make sure that you are maintaining good oral hygiene is to visit your dentist regularly. If you have chronic bad breath, you should visit your dentist first, to rule out any dental problems.

Schedule A Consultation

Click here to contact our Woodbridge, VA dentist office to request a personal consultation with Dr. Joseph Cavallo and learn more about how bad breath is linked to your oral and physical health.

Receding Gums

Receding gums is a common dental problem that happens gradually and oftentimes goes unnoticed. When bacteria in the mouth increases, pockets form between the teeth and the gums. This causes the gum line to wear away and expose more of the tooth. Receding gums can lead to tooth decay, bone, teeth and tissue loss.

Symptoms of Receding Gums

If you are exhibiting the following symptoms, you may have developed receding gums.

  • Visible gaps between the teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Swollen, red gums
  • Longer teeth

Causes of Receding Gums

Here are some factors that can cause receding gums:

  • Poor dental hygiene: Not following good dental hygiene practices will cause the bacteria in your mouth to increase. When this happens, the plaque turns into tartar. To avoid this, brush and floss your teeth twice a day and use an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Diabetes: High diabetic levels can cause bacteria to increase in the mouth which can lead to receding gums.
  • Gum disease: Gum disease is the main cause of receding gums. Increased bacteria in the mouth causes inflammation and infections that destroy gum tissue and bone that hold teeth in place.
  • Brushing your teeth too hard: Brushing your teeth too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away causing your gums to recede.
  • Genes: If your family has a history of receding gums, you may be predisposed to gum disease.
  • Hormones: Fluctuating hormone levels such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can cause the gums to be more sensitive making you susceptible to gum recession.
  • Tobacco: Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can damage your gums and cause them to recede.

Treatment

Early diagnosis can slow down and prevent gum loss before too much damage occurs. Dr. Cavallo can treat gum recession through deep cleaning and antibiotics. If there is significant tissue loss you will need gum surgery. If teeth are lost or become misaligned because of gum recession, Dr. Cavallo can offer several dental cosmetic options to replace lost or misaligned teeth.

 

Meet Dr. Cavallo profileDr. Joseph P. Cavallo and the team at Woodbridge VA Dentistry are available to help you choose the best gum recession treatment option that will improve your oral health and restore your smile. Contact us for a consultation.

 

ada gum disease and diabetes

Diabetes: Examining the Oral Body Connection

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

Our Woodbridge, VA dental care team wants to bring light to the impact diabetes can have on oral health. Many patients are unaware of the negative toll diabetes can take on the gums and teeth. While most conditions correlated between diabetes and oral health can be managed with diligent oral hygiene, it is also important to visit the dentist at least twice a year. Dr. Joseph Cavallo may recommend patients with diabetes visit more frequently to help prevent the spread of diabetes-related oral health concerns.

How does diabetes impact my oral health?

Diabetes can compromise the immune system, leaving the body more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections. How does this impact the health of your teeth and gums? The oral cavity is full of bacteria, some are good, while others cause harmful oral diseases like gum disease and thrush. When the bodies immune system is not fighting at full force, the patient becomes more likely to develop gum disease, the number one cause of tooth loss.
ada gum disease and diabetesGum disease is a progressive bacterial infection of the gums. As the bacteria multiply and spread they form deep pockets in the gum and cause inflammation. Over time the gums swell and begin to pull away from the teeth. Teeth can shift, become loose, and even fall out.

According to the ADA (American Dental Associations), patients who have diabetes and keep their blood sugar balanced are less likely to develop gum disease.

Patients with diabetes can typically control the effects of gum disease through proactive oral health care. Brushing and flossing are any patient’s first defense against bacterial infections of the oral cavity. Dr. Cavallo provides comprehensive and personalized dental exams that can help patients catch the spread of disease-causing bacteria or fungus early on in development, allowing for more conservative treatment. Dr. Cavallo and our Woodbridge, VA dental care team can make personal recommendations for patients with diabetes so that they can keep their teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

Contact our Woodbridge, VA dentist office to request a personal consultation with Dr. Jospeh Cavallo and learn more about how diabetes links your oral and physical health.

facts about teeth dr. cavallo

Did You Know? Cool Facts About Your Teeth

Teeth may not be something you think about all the time, but we sure do. Teeth are incredible structures that not only help you eat and speak but allow you to share a beautiful smile that can brighten someone’s day. Teeth are functional, beautiful, and structurally phenomenal. Woodbridge, VA dentist Joseph Cavallo, and our entire dental care team work tirelessly to help our patients maintain and restore their natural teeth for optimal life long oral health.

Woodbridge, VA dentist Joseph Cavallo, and our entire dental care team work tirelessly to help our patients maintain and restore their natural teeth for optimal life long oral health. We provide cosmetic, general, implant and restorative dental treatments for patients of all ages.
facts about teeth dr. cavallo
This month we want to share some fascinating facts about your teeth. 

  1. The tale your teeth tell- Your teeth can tell us more about you than whether or not you brushed today. Teeth can reveal the age of a patient, what their diet consisted of and even where they lived.
  2. Teeth are with you at birth- When a baby is born they already have their first 20 teeth. The “baby” teeth sit below the gum line and break through at about 3 months. As the baby teeth emerge, the body is already forming adult teeth.
  3. Teeth are as unique as fingerprints- Your teeth are completely unique. No two teeth are exactly the same making your teeth as original as you.
  4. Oral Hygiene has been important since the beginning of time- And it still is! While the first toothbrushes on record date back 5,000 B.C, advancements in dental technology have taken us a long way since chewing on twigs and crushed eggshells. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss and a whole bunch of other dental health concerns. Bi-annual dental check ups are now also key in preventing damage and deterioration of your oral health. Dr. Jospeh Cavallo offers personalized and comprehensive dental health exams to help patients maintain their healthiest, most beautiful smile.

Schedule A Consultation

Looking for a Woodbridge, or northern VA dentist? Dr. Cavallo is accepting new patients! Contact our office or request an appointment online. We look forward to meeting the oral health and cosmetic needs.

Halloween candy and your teeth, Woodbridge, VA

Halloween Candy And Your Teeth

The scariest part of Halloween is the damage all that candy does to your teeth! Spooky plaque feeds off sugar, allowing it to rapidly spread and take over your mouth. Plaque buildup can cause gum disease, bad breath, sensitive teeth, and even tooth decay. Remember, plaque build up is like a ghost! Permanent effects of plaque are not immediately noticeable, but over a lifetime can cause serious and complex dental health concerns.

Woodbridge, VA Dentist Dr. Joseph P. Cavallo has some “tricks and treats” for you to moderate your sugar intake this Halloween. By making a few compromises and alterations, you can still have a spook-tacular Halloween, and keep your smile healthy all winter long!

Pick Your Poison: If you can’t resist the ghoulish temptation of the candy, try to drink water instead of soda or sugary juice. Less sugar is always better, and the water will help flush out the sugar.

Plan Your Scare: Eat candy after a meal when saliva production is already increased, helping to move that plaque building sugar instead of lingering around in your mouth. Remember to rinse or brush your teeth after enjoying your sweet treat.

Trick with Treats: Make grapes eyeballs, and carrots zombie fingers! Turn healthy snacks into creepy treats! Always offer healthy alternatives at gatherings and parties, but dress them up for Halloween, kids won’t even realize they are eating healthy!

Avoid Braces Busters: Don’t let sticky and hard candies ruin all that hard work you put into straightening your teeth! If you or your kids have braces, make sure you steer clear of any taffy or sucking candies. Hard candies can get stuck and even break expensive braces. If you have any questions about what you can and can’t enjoy this holiday with your braces make sure to contact Dr. Cavallo.

Family dentist Dr. Cavallo also always recommends maintaining your healthy oral hygiene habits especially as the busy holiday season picks up. Brush and floss twice a day and make sure to come in for your regular dental cleanings and a comprehensive oral health screening. Schedule your appointment today!

Oral health and aging, Woodbridge, VA

Oral Health And Aging

Woodbridge, VA Dentist Dr. Joseph P. Cavallo emphasizes the importance of striving to keep your natural teeth healthy for as long as possible to enjoy the best quality of life. Modern advances in both materials and technology in the dental field have made it possible to retain our natural teeth and a functional smile longer than ever before.

This means that maintaining consistent oral hygiene and routine dental checkups throughout our lifetime play a key role in our overall health and well-being. Keeping your smile healthy by taking advantage of all that modern dentistry can offer will provide you your best quality of life.

There are important considerations for your oral health as you age and Dr. Cavallo offers comprehensive care to address your concerns and help you maintain optimal oral health and meet your cosmetic goals for a natural looking smile.

Later in life, our gums may recede, exposing the root surfaces of our teeth. Gum recession can be caused by a number of factors, including trauma, periodontal disease, vigorous brushing, and genetic predisposition. Root exposure is problematic mainly be-cause root surfaces are covered by a material called cementum, which is much softer than enamel and more susceptible to decay. In addition, certain medications can limit the flow of saliva, which is protective against cavities.

For this reason, older patients must take special care to brush and floss daily and visit the dentist regularly to discuss your medical history and ensure that root cavities do not occur. For patients with dentures, regular dental visits are also important, as a dentist can ensure they are fitting well and enabling you to eat and speak properly. We also ex-amine your mouth for signs of periodontal disease and oral cancer, both highly treatable when caught early.

Cosmetic Dentistry for A Lasting Smile

We understand that aesthetics are also important to our older adult patients and offer cosmetic dental procedures that can keep your smile looking beautiful at any age.

Throughout our lives, our teeth may begin to darken due to staining or may abrade due to certain habits, such as teeth grinding. Teeth whitening and porcelain veneers are both great options for adult and senior patients who desire to improve the look of their smile.

If you have any questions about specific oral health concerns or would like to enhance your smile with cosmetic dentistry, contact Dr. Cavallo in our Woodbridge, VA dentist office.

Toothache pain, Woodbridge, VA

Causes Of Toothaches

Toothache pain, Woodbridge, VA
No matter how careful and thorough you are with maintaining your daily oral care, at some point in your life you will probably experience the pain and discomfort of a toothache. Although a cavity is normally the cause, tooth decay is only one of the several triggering factors of tooth pain or discomfort.

Tooth Sensitivity
If you experience pain when you eat or drink hot or cold food and beverages, it could signal a cavity. It could also be a sign that you have sensitive teeth, either from thinning tooth enamel or receding gums. These are common side effects of aging, lifestyle habits or can be caused by other health concerns. In addition to discussing your concerns with Dr. Joseph P. Cavallo during your next routine preventive care visit, try using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth as this may help ease the symptoms.

Severe Toothaches
If the pain of your toothache is sudden, sharp and stabbing, the cause may be related to a cavity or cracked tooth. However, if you experience a throbbing, constant pain when you bite down on your food, you may have an abscessed tooth or an infection that should be taken care right away. Contact our Woodbridge, VA dentist office as soon as possible to schedule a visit.

Might Not Even Be Your Teeth
A less common cause of a toothache is a sinus infection. If you have pain in the upper teeth on both sides of the jaw, a sinus infection could be the cause. This type of toothache is usually combined with nasal congestion and tenderness around the eyes, forehead and sinuses.

If your ache is more identifiable as jaw pain, it may be caused by a Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Bite problems like TMJ can be triggered by malocclusion, a jaw injury, arthritis, or tooth grinding. Wisdom teeth that have not been removed could also cause jaw pain and toothaches.

Prevent Tooth Pain

Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent a toothache and other common oral health concerns. To reduce your risk for developing decay, gum disease or other common causes of a toothache be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and visit Dr. Cavallo regularly for oral examinations and a professional dental cleaning.

Been away from the dentist? Contact our Woodbridge, VA dentist office to schedule a visit and restore a healthy smile.



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