Woodbridge, VA
A Custom Sports Mouth Guard Can Protect Your Child's Teeth

A Custom Sports Mouth Guard Can Protect Your Child’s Teeth

Every spring, thousands of children fill the local fields and parks for team sports. Unfortunately, some will finish the season with a damaged or missing tooth due to lack of sufficient protection for their teeth during contact play.

Woodbridge dentist Dr. Cavallo has recently helped a Northern Virginia lacrosse team have some fun with team colored, custom fit sports mouth guards. Not only are these custom fit mouth guards more comfortable, they are more fun to wear when they feel like a part of the team uniform!

ThinkstockPhotos-78617746A custom sports mouth guard is made using impressions from your child’s teeth and will fit snugly and comfortably in their mouth, making it easier to speak, hydrate and wear during play. Over the counter options are not only bulky and less comfortable, they are not as protective as a custom fit option. In addition, the wearer typically has to bite down on the mouth guard to keep it in place which has been found to affect performance on the field in more competitive athletes.

Getting fit for a custom sports mouth guard is quick and painless. Dr. Cavallo will take an impression of your teeth that will be used to mold the mouth guard, and will ensure a proper fit with any necessary adjustments. Young athletes will be more likely to keep this type of mouth guard in their mouth because of the comfortable fit, reducing the risk of injury to teeth or dental appliances such as braces.

World Oral Health Day banner

Today is World Oral Health Day!

banner_185x400Celebrate World Oral Health Day 2015!

Woodbridge dentist Dr. Cavallo reminds his patients that oral health care is an integral part of overall health care. Poor oral health has been linked to an increased risk of systemic disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke. The state of your oral health can also have an impact on daily quality of life!

For many people around the globe, dental care to maintain good oral health is almost unattainable. Lack of both access and funds to receive minimal dental services such as a teeth cleaning is often out of reach, putting millions at risk for not only major dental problems but related health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

On Friday, March 20th, 2015, take a moment to consider your own oral health: when was the last time you had a routine dental cleaning and exam? If it has been a while, call our Woodbridge dentist office and schedule an appointment to restore your oral health. Also consider how fortunate we are to have easy access to excellent dental health care that can both maintain and improve our smiles and provide us with an excellent quality of life.

Dr. Cavallo would like to take this opportunity to offer some daily oral hygiene tips to maintain healthy teeth and gums between visits:

  • Brush and floss daily with a soft bristled toothbrush: follow the 2 X 2 rule for brushing (brush twice for two minutes)
  • Rinse the mouth with water after snacks and meals to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria that remain on the teeth and gum surfaces
  • Reduce sugary foods and beverages: this will not only reduce the risk of tooth cavities, but provide overall health benefits as well

It is also important to visit Dr. Cavallo twice a year for a professional dental cleaning and thorough examination. Not only does this keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, it enables Dr. Cavallo and his staff to spot potential oral health problems in the early stages and offer conservative treatment options.

Gum health is important for good oral health

Gum health is important for good oral health

Healthy gums are the foundation for dental health and also play a role in overall well being. Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of systemic and cardiovascular health issues, including diabetes and stroke.

Gum disease is one of the most common dental health issues today, with over 75% of adults having some form of the disease at some point in their lives.

Known as the “silent disease, many do not realize that they have gum disease until they visit Woodbridge dentist Dr. Cavallo for a regular visit or come in for an emergency visit due to a more serious problem. In advanced stages, gum disease can even lead to tooth loss.

Stages of Gum Disease

Gingivitis: this is the earliest stage of gum disease and when it is the most treatable. Gingivitis may be characterized by sensitive or bleeding gums because the soft tissue has become somewhat inflamed due to the presence of harmful bacteria.

Periodontitis: the later form of gum disease, periodontitis develops when gum disease has advanced enough to cause substantial irritation and swelling, creating pockets around the teeth where bacteria can get in and affect the tooth structure, often leading to loose or lost teeth.

Dr. Cavallo offers periodontal therapy to treat gum disease and restore oral health. For patients with gingivitis, or the earliest signs of gum disease, a thorough cleaning may be sufficient. In some cases a procedure called scaling and root planing, an intense cleaning and scraping of the deeper recesses of the gums, is required to remove plaque and prevent further damage.

For patients who have more advanced gum disease such as periodontitis, Dr. Cavallo may recommend a more complex procedure such as surgery on the affected tissue.

Restoring gum health is important in order to keep the teeth strong and healthy- maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home is also an part of keeping gum disease from developing or returning.

your mouth is at risk if you are living with diabetes

Living With Diabetes? Your Mouth is at Risk

National Diabetes MonthNovember is dedicated to bringing awareness to a disease that affects nearly 30 million Americans – diabetes. Diabetes may cause problems throughout your entire body from your eyes, nerves, and kidneys, to your heart and even your mouth. My dental practice in Woodbridge wants to increase awareness of how diabetes can contribute to oral health concerns.

One of the most dangerous oral health issues associated with diabetes is the development of gum disease. Those battling diabetes are at increased risk for gum disease since they’re more susceptible to bacteria and have a limited ability to fight off this bacteria. This is especially true when a diabetic’s blood sugar is difficult to control. When diabetes is not monitored and controlled, the glucose level in saliva increases, helping bacteria in the mouth multiply and thrive. This makes keeping up with your appointments with your Woodbridge dentist and brushing and flossing everyday extremely important.

Like diabetes, gum disease may cause concerns and serious whole-body issues. Gum disease can lead to heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and many other problems. Gum disease can make diabetes even more difficult to control since it affects blood glucose levels. If you have diabetes, maintaining proper oral hygiene is not only important for a healthy mouth, but for a healthy body as well.

There are several levels of severity to gum disease. The earlier stage is known as gingivitis which may be treated, thereby reducing risk for other problems, if caught early. However, if gum disease is left to fester, periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, can develop.

If a patient develops periodontitis, the gums actually pull away from the teeth creating pockets. Bacteria collect and fester in these pockets. The longer the bacteria is in the pockets, the deeper they become and infection can set in, causing more serious problems. This infection will eat away at the bone that holds your teeth in place and can result in loose teeth, teeth that shift, or even lost teeth.

Gum disease is only one of the oral health concerns associated with diabetes. While it may be one of the most serious issues, the other problems are just as severe and are well worth noting. Some of the other issues linked to diabetes include:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Fungal Infections
  • Taste Impairment

Infection and Delayed HealingOne of the best ways to ensure that your diabetes isn’t negatively affecting your oral health is to control your blood sugar. It won’t hurt to keep your regularly scheduled appointments at my Woodbridge dental office where we can help catch any problems in your mouth before they become big issues. Preventive, at-home care is also extremely important, so make sure you’re brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Finally, remember to mention any changes in your condition or medication to us at your appointments. The more we know, the more we can help keep your mouth and your whole body healthy.

Serving patients in Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, and Manassas. Give us a call at [new_patient_phone], or request an appointment online today.

Woodbridge Virginia dentist oral health tips

Woodbridge Dentist Names Best Foods for Oral Health

Woodbridge VA Dentist Oral Health TipsOne of the best ways you can get, and keep, your mouth healthy is to eat a well-balanced diet and choose smile-healthy foods. At my dental office in Woodbridge, we’d like to educate you about how the foods you eat can contribute to great oral health and your overall well being.

When you eat, your mouth goes through changes, starting the minute you take that first bite. While you’re eating, bacteria convert sugars and carbs into acids. It’s these acids that can cause some serious tooth damage. Acids attack the enamel and can lead to cavities. Not only that, the more often you snack throughout the day, the more acid is produced and the more your mouth is exposed to the danger of further decay.

Eat This for Dental Health

Some of the best foods for your mouth are the same ones that are good for your body. The basic food pyramid can give you some great guidelines to follow to ensure you’re getting the right amount of dairy, protein, and vegetables everyday for your overall wellness. However, when thinking about smile-friendly foods, there are few your dentist in Woodbridge would like to highlight.

The rules of foods for a healthy mouth are easy to follow and are pretty straightforward. Some of the best food choices include cheese, chicken or other lean meats, and nuts. High in calcium and phosphorus, these foods can both protect tooth enamel and give teeth what they need to remineralize and become stronger.

Additional food choices that are great for your mouth are crunchy fruits and vegetables. Celery, apples, and pears, for example, have high water content and can stimulate the flow of saliva. Foods containing a lot of water tend to lessen the effects of sugars and carbs in the mouth, and the production of saliva helps wash away particles and fight against acid – both useful in protecting teeth against decay.

Avoid These Foods for Dental Health

Eating acidic food like citrus fruit, tomatoes, and lemons can add to the damage-causing acid. While you don’t have to avoid these tart favorites, they should be enjoyed as part of a larger meal as opposed to being consumed alone. Pairing acidic foods with larger meals helps minimize the amount of acid that actually reaches your teeth and can decrease the damage that acid causes.

Other poor food choices include the obvious culprits like candy, cookies, cakes, pies, pretzels, and dried fruits. With large amounts of sugar, these foods can fuel bacteria which will lead to tooth decay.

What Else Can You Do?

In addition to following a diet of smile-friendly foods, regular visits to my Woodbridge dental office can not only help keep your mouth healthy, they can help keep your whole body healthy too. With more and more systemic health problems like diabetes and heart disease being linked to oral health, keeping your regularly scheduled appointments is even more important. At these checkups, we’ll not only make sure your mouth is healthy, we’ll also make sure your body isn’t in any danger from oral health problems.

Serving patients in Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, and Manassas.

How to Pick a Northern Virginia Dentist

A Guide to Finding the Right Dentist in Woodbridge

How to Pick a Northern Virginia DentistFinding the right dentist can be a difficult process. With so many practices in your neighborhood, all offering similar services, how do you know which dentist to choose? At my Woodbridge dental practice, we’d like to help make your search a little easier by providing you with a guide on how to find the best dentist in Woodbridge for you.

Ask Friends for a Dentist Referral

When starting your search for the right dentist, begin by asking around. Friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers are great resources to refer to. Find out what they like about their dentists, what type of dentistry the doctors do, and whether or not they’re located conveniently to home or work. Utilizing your acquaintances is great first step in making a list of dental offices you want to look into further.

Call Local Dentist Offices

Once you have your list of prospective dentists, get on the phone and start making some calls. During conversations with each practice, you’ll want to ask certain questions to give you some insight into the practice philosophy, treatment offered, and overall feel of the office. Some of the basic questions you’ll want to ask are:

“What is the dentist’s level of training?”
“What type of amenities does the practice offer to make treatment more comfortable?”
“What should I expect during my first visit?”

Schedule Visit with a Woodbridge Dentist

Your phone calls should give you a thorough understanding of each practice’s personality, level of training, and whether they are a good fit for you. The calls should also help you whittle down your list. Once you have an idea which office is right for you, it’s wise to schedule a consultation. During your visit, note things like cleanliness, friendliness, time-sensitivity, and thoroughness. After these consultations, you should be ready to officially select your dentist, or know that you need to keep looking.

If you’re in need of a new dentist, I invite you to call my dental office in Woodbridge. We’ll answer any questions you may have and provide you with any information that will help make your decision easier. Serving patients in Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, and Manassas.

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