Within the next month, we’ll be swamped with so many holiday plans, we won’t know which dinner to go to! Sometimes, the right answer is to go to all of them, and while your friends and family may appreciate seeing you during this wonderful time of the year, your smile may not be so grateful. This month, your dentist in Chevy Chase wants to share some helpful tips on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy during all these holiday meals.

 

Everything in Moderation

During at least one of these dinners, you may see your favorite holiday food, whether it’s mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie, but it’s important not to over-indulge on these things. Your teeth will not be used to this kind of treatment, so your smile is likely to get a little bit weaker with the addition of sugar and starch wearing down your enamel and building up bacteria in hard-to-reach places. Be sure to always floss once you’re finished with these meals and never skip out on brushing your teeth at the end of the day!

 

Pass on the Candies

While this may be difficult, your teeth will thank you. You’ll be having multiple hearty meals, certainly way more than usual, and adding candies on top of that, whether hard or chewy, will weaken your smile and put you at a higher risk for cavities. Don’t let your sweet tooth help encourage tooth decay!

 

Load Up on Veggies

We know these holiday meals are all about the major proteins and some delicious starches, but don’t forget about all the great vegetables that wonderfully compliment these plates. We highly encourage you to fill your plate with an assortment of your favorite vegetables that are packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals. Here’s another helpful tip: red and orange vegetables, like peppers, are high in vitamin C, which are good for your gums, while leafy green vegetables, like spinach and broccoli, are great sources of calcium, which helps strengthen your enamel.

 

Looking for more smile-friendly ways to make the most out of your holiday meals? Don’t hesitate to call your dentist in Chevy Chase today at (301) 654-7760 and we’ll be happy to give you the right tips for your smile. And don’t forget to schedule an appointment, too! We know how busy this time of year can be, so be sure to take care of your teeth and gums in between.

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Way to Protect Your Teeth on Halloween

Ways to Save Your Smile on Halloween with Your Dentist in Chevy Chase

 

Parents around the nation may be worried about the amount of candy that they’ll have to keep away from their children come Halloween night, but there is a positive side to this spooky and sweet holiday. Instead of doing your best to hide the enormous amounts of candy away from your kids, your dentist in Chevy Chase encourages parents to teach their family about the dangers of too many treats, how to prevent cavities, and why it’s important to make healthy choices when it comes to their smile.

 

Make Sure to Brush Your Teeth, No Matter What
Keeping your routine of brushing every morning and night is essential for a strong and healthy smile. When it comes to Halloween, this routine is more important than ever. No matter if you or your children have had one piece of candy or twenty pieces, remember to brush your teeth by the end of the night to help prevent cavities and tooth decay.

 

Flossing is a necessary step, as well! Sticky candy can easily get stuck between your teeth, so help your children properly clean their smile after a fun night of trick-or-treating.

 

Be Realistic about the Amount of Candy Collected
While the goal of Halloween night is to collect as much candy as possible, we urge you to sit down with your children and let them know that they won’t be eating all of it, and certainly not on the night they bring it home. This may come as a surprise, but there are some candies and sweets that are easier and better for your teeth than others, so when it comes to sorting their rewards, teach your children what candies are better and why.

 

Sometimes, your children can even collect far too much candy than you know what to do with. There are plenty of options to donate your candy to food drives and other beneficial companies, so others around the nation – maybe even around the world – can satisfy their sweet tooth, too.

 

Swap Candy for Other Rewards
Your kids may be upset that they won’t be able to enjoy all their candies, but if you can exchange it for a small gift or toy, they may not be so sad after all! Try different and fun alternatives that your children can enjoy so they don’t feel like they missed out by over-indulging on candy.

 

Don’t let Halloween be the spookiest time of the year when it comes to dental health. If you’re looking for other helpful tips to protect your family’s teeth and gums, call your dentist in Chevy Chase today at (301) 654-7760 to schedule an appointment or consultation.

Common Dental Injuries in Sports

As the weather changes, kids, teens, and adults alike are shifting into a new season of sports. Our athletes participating in football, field hockey, soccer, and other potentially aggressive contact sports are all at risk for several kinds of injuries, including dental. According to the American Dental Assistants Association, 5 million Americans lose teeth in sports-related injuries every year.

 

Your Chevy Chase family dentist wants to share the kinds of tooth injuries that athletes can suffer from and the complications connected to them. No matter the sport, it’s always important to wear the necessary protective gear that can help avoid any traumatic injuries.

 

Chipped and/or Cracked Teeth
When a player sustains an abrupt blow to the face, they’re extremely likely to suffer from a cracked or fractured tooth. This can vary in levels of severity, but the pain is very real! If an athlete doesn’t wear a mouthguard or any other protective gear used to shield the facial area, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that they’re 60 times more likely to damage their teeth. This damage can also turn into long-term issues, all which can be avoided with the right safety gear.

 

With a cracked tooth, some of the symptoms you may suffer from include:

  • Sharp tooth pain when you bite down on something, although it dissipates after
  • Dull, aching tooth pain that comes and goes, but isn’t constantly present
  • Pain and difficulty eating and drinking, especially with extremely cold/hot foods

 

Fractured Roots of Your Tooth
Tooth injuries aren’t only limited to the visible part of your smile. Damage can be done to the inside of your teeth where the roots reside. If a crack in your tooth exposes the inside of your tooth, any sort of bacteria or food particles can worm their way inside and force you to deal with a lot of pain. In this area, infections can grow and spread faster than you may realize. Saving your tooth with a root canal treatment may be the next step in protecting your smile.

 

Tooth Being Knocked Out (or Knocked In)
There are some famous hockey players with smiles to remember – mostly because they could be missing one of their front teeth! The aggressive contact of many sports can cause a tooth to be knocked out, but it’s also possible for a tooth to be shoved back into the jawbone area instead.

 

The chances of a tooth being knocked in, also known as tooth intrusion, have a low likelihood, but it’s still an extreme dental injury involving your permanent teeth that should be considered. While the chances are low, it’s still more likely to happen to children since the area that holds the tooth sockets don’t have the same strength as an adult’s.

 

Sports-related dental injuries have the potential to cause long-term dental problems, no matter what age, so your Chevy Chase family dentist strongly advises all athletes to wear the proper protective gear like mouthguards and helmets with facial protection. If you have any questions about finding the best gear to save your smile for a particular sport, don’t hesitate to call us today at (301) 654-7760 and we’ll be happy to help.

Brushing Habits to Break

Brushing your teeth has become a staple in your routine since you were a child, working every day to maintain a strong and healthy smile. Your dentist in Chevy Chase understands that there are some habits you can easily fall into, especially ones that you may not even notice are harmful! Thankfully, that’s what we’re here for. Below, we’ll break down some brushing habits that could be doing more damage to your teeth than good.

 

Keeping Your Toothbrush for Too Long

Even though your toothbrush doesn’t look any different after three months use, we still recommend getting a brand new one. The bristles will start to fray and break with months and months of use, which is one of the most notable signs that you’ll need to switch your brush. With a brand-new toothbrush, your teeth will be getting the best possible scrub to get rid of the food particles and bacterial build-up.

 

Not Brushing for Two Minutes

By brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, you’re ensured to reach and properly clean the intricate, small spaces of your mouth. We know that two minutes seems like a long time, so we recommend keeping a timer on hand if you think you’re not meeting this time. The average time that people brush their teeth for is around 45 seconds, which isn’t nearly long enough, so be sure to slow it down – and don’t forget to brush your tongue, too!

 

Using a Brush with Rough Bristles

It’s a common misconception that rough toothbrush bristles will give you a better cleaning. While scrubbing hard on some surfaces will get the dirt out, that isn’t the case for your smile. The surface of your teeth, called your enamel, is very sensitive and if it’s weakened or damaged by rough bristles, you could experience dental sensitivity and have a tough time enjoying hot or cold food and drinks. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush on your teeth and gums during your dental routine.

 

Are there any other teeth-brushing tips that you’re looking for to get the healthiest smile? Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist in Chevy Chase by giving us a call at (301) 654-7760 today. Make sure to schedule your next cleaning, too!

Prepare Your Smile for Vacation

When you begin planning a vacation, it’s hard to focus on what needs to be done before you head off for ultimate relaxation. Before you go, we believe that having a peace of mind about your smile is important, so you can fully enjoy your trip without worrying about cavities, tooth pain, and any other dental issues. Below, your dentist in Chevy Chase discusses helpful travel tips to make sure that you have a wonderful vacation with a healthy and strong smile.

 

Make an Appointment before You Leave

Prevention is the first step that patients of all ages should take to protect their smile. We know that your mind is drifting away into vacation mode, but we want to care for your teeth to the best of our ability, so you don’t have to worry about a thing before you go! With our thorough exam, we’ll be able to spot any issues you could be experiencing and work to solve them.

 

Know how to Handle an Emergency

There’s no such thing as being too prepared! Let us know about your vacation and talk to us about what to do if you experience a dental emergency. Sometimes, it can be tough to know what’s an emergency and what isn’t, so ask about the best way to contact us and how to treat certain situations to see what can wait and what needs to be addressed.

 

Properly Care for Your Dental Tools

Air drying your toothbrush is the safest way to keep your brush at home, but what do you do on vacation? When packing your toothbrush, make sure to protect it with a resealable bag, but don’t keep it in there the entire time. If you keep the toothbrush in the bag, the moisture of your bristles invites bacteria and can get you sick, which is something you certainly don’t want to happen on your time off!

 

Get Back on Track When You Get Home

It can be hard to get back into the swing of things after a nice, relaxing vacation, but we encourage you to do so. Sometimes after indulging in too many sweets while you’re enjoying yourself on a break, your dental routine can fall off. When going back to work and getting back on schedule, make sure to include flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day, every day.

 

First and foremost, it’s important to make an appointment with your dentist in Chevy Chase. Give our office a call at (301) 654-7760 and we’ll help you schedule the best date and time for your visit (hopefully before you’re off on vacation)!

Men’s Oral Health Awareness

See how Your Chevy Chase Dentist Shares Awareness about Men’s Oral Health

Oral and dental health is important for men and women alike, but there are differences between them that can put one or the other at a higher risk for certain issues like cavities, gum disease, and other common dental problems. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, men are more likely to neglect oral health issues that they’re experiencing, which makes them more likely to suffer from these difficult occurrences. For Men’s Health Month this June, your Chevy Chase dentist will explain the challenges that men can face and what the next best step is.

 

Taking the First Leap and Going to the Dentist

It can seem inconvenient or simply unnecessary to go to the dentist, which will stop patients of all ages from visiting our office for months, maybe even years at a time. Unfortunately, skipping this crucial step to your health will result in furthering any problems that you may not currently know about.

 

Many oral and dental health issues aren’t noticeable to the naked eye, which is why you always have x-rays completed during your routine visits. If there’s something underneath the line of sight that you can’t recognize, the problem will only get worse and can cause pain, infection, and potential tooth loss. While these appointments are typically harmless, it can be nerve-wracking to take this step – many patients haven’t gone to the dentist in a very long time and they would rather avoid unwelcome news if they can, even though it won’t solve any problems.

 

Gum Disease Strikes before You Know It and Needs to be Addressed

One of the most common, but preventable diseases that people of all ages face is periodontitis, also known as gum disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, nearly 57% of men have some form of infection in their gums. Because of this, men are more likely to suffer from other overall health issues, including heart disease, prostate issues, and more.

 

Inflammation is the main cause of both gum disease, as well as the connection to the other health problems. When inflammation occurs in the gums, it can damage your blood vessels if bacteria gets into the bloodstream. By brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and maintaining a balanced diet, men are more likely to live a longer, healthier life.

 

Although June is coming to an end, your Chevy Chase dentist wants male patients of all ages to understand the importance of oral and dental health and how we’re able to help. Give our office a call today at (301) 654-7760 and we’ll be able to schedule your appointment on the best date and time that works for you.

Maintain Dental Care on Vacation

Helpful Ways to Maintain a Healthy Smile on Vacation from Your Chevy Chase Dentist

When you’re getting ready for a vacation, you have countless things on your mind – the places you’ll go, the people you’ll see, the food you’ll eat – that you don’t always remember the important items to pack like your trusty toothbrush, your favorite toothpaste, and a container of floss. Maintaining proper oral and dental hygiene when you’re traveling and on vacation can be tough to remember in between the fun activities and adventures, but your Chevy Chase dentist wants to give you the best tips to remember that your oral hygiene isn’t on vacation, even if you are!

 

Indulging in Snacks? Don’t Forget to Floss!

One of people’s favorite parts of vacation is all the different foods, drinks, and treats that they’ll be enjoying that they otherwise don’t get to when they’re at home. Unfortunately, since your teeth aren’t so used to the new meals, you could be dealing with more sugar than you might have expected.

 

On your trip, try to carry around a small, travel-sized container of floss so you’re able to clean your teeth in between your meals. It’s better than doing nothing, which allows the bacteria to build-up and stick around for much longer than necessary. Your teeth will be grateful, and your smile will stay strong!

 

Don’t Let Your Morning and Nighttime Routine get Interrupted

It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of fun you’re having on vacation that you can forget to brush and floss before falling asleep from exhaustion. Make sure that, as you’re packing for your big trip, you pack a case that’s designated for your morning and nighttime routine for brushing and flossing your teeth.

 

With the help of this case, every time you go to the bathroom in the morning and night, you won’t forget to care for your smile. Getting ready for your day with a healthy, minty grin and ending the night with a satisfying brush before going to bed will make you AND your smile happier than you know!

 

We understand that vacations are important for you and your family to take a much-needed break from work, but we want to make sure that your oral hygiene isn’t taking that same, extended break. If you’re looking for more helpful tips, or you want to schedule an appointment before you take off this summer, give your Chevy Chase dentist a call today at (301) 654-7760 for a cleaning and thorough exam.