Nothing boosts your confidence like a bright, even smile. Fortunately, thanks to modern cosmetic dentistry, achieving the smile of your dreams is within reach. Here are just some of the benefits of cosmetic treatment for teeth.

 1. Improved self-esteem.

Being able to greet the world with a welcoming smile is a life-changing experience. After cosmetic treatment on your teeth, your days of hiding your teeth or smiling with your mouth closed will be over. You’ll feel more confident in how you approach your day – and you’ll be able to take that confidence into everything you do. 

2. Better dental health.

A crowded, uneven smile can make it harder to maintain good dental hygiene. But with the right cosmetic dental treatment, you can reduce crowding or restore the appearance of damaged teeth, making it easier to brush, floss, and minimize staining. This will help you keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy.

3. A better bite.

Struggling with a poor bite due to uneven or crowded teeth? Cosmetic dental treatment for your teeth may be an option. Through veneers, bonding or implants, you can achieve an even bite that makes chewing and smiling more natural – minimizing wear over time. 

4. A more youthful-looking smile.

An even smile tailored to fit your unique facial features helps provide structure and shape to your face, helping you maintain a fresh, youthful look. By filling gaps and restoring damaged or worn-down teeth, you’ll achieve a bite better suited to your natural appearance – and you’ll notice that your cheeks, mouth, chin and jaw will attain a more harmonious look.

5. Reduced costs later on.

Investing in cosmetic dentistry procedures now can help save money later on. By restoring cracked or worn teeth or damaged gum or bone when you first become aware of the issue, you’ll be able to prevent larger issues with more involved or costly solutions. 

Talk to Optimal Dental about a Cosmetic Treatment for your Teeth.

If whitening, veneers, bonding, straightening or restoration are on your dental wish list, talk to the team at Optimal Dental. We’ll walk you through your cosmetic dentistry treatment options – and help you achieve a brighter, whiter and straighter smile.

A healthy smile isn’t just good for your self esteem. It’s also vital to your overall health. Together with maintaining a healthy diet and good dental hygiene, regular dental checkups are one of the best ways to keep your smile looking and feeling great.  

Here’s why booking a routine dental checkup should be at the top of your to-do list. 

1. It helps prevent dental decay.

Regular brushing and flossing are key to keeping your teeth and gums in good shape. But the clean and polish you get during a routine checkup will help remove any plaque or tartar on teeth and along the gum line – and help you identify problem areas to focus on when brushing.

2. It helps prevent periodontal disease.

Periodontal (gum) disease is a progressive disease that can result in bone loss – and even tooth loss. A routine check-up is a great opportunity to identity periodontitis in its early stages and help take measures to reverse or prevent it. 

3. It can identify other health issues.

Oral health goes beyond your teeth and gums. Your dentist can help spot the signs of other oral health issues such as tongue or mouth cancer – or even day-to-day issues such as stress, which may show up through teeth grinding (bruxism.) Early detection is vital for effective treatment.

4. It can prevent future issues.

A routine checkup is the ideal opportunity to flag possible issues you may experience in future – and help identify a plan to minimize the risk of issues in future. This may involve changing your diet, quitting smoking or drinking, adjusting how you brush and floss, switching up your toothpaste, or even discussing procedures such as wisdom teeth removal or cosmetic dentistry options.

5. It can help save a tooth!

Early intervention can help save your teeth. For example, very minor demineralization can be reversed, avoiding the need for a filling. A small filling can help reduce the risk of a root canal or extraction down the line. By attending your regular dental checkups, you can get the treatment you need when you need it – and prevent future issues from arising. 

6. It keeps your teeth looking great.

A brush and a polish can remove staining, restoring your teeth to their natural color. You can also ask about simple cosmetic procedures such as fluoride treatments or whitening – and give those pearly whites a boost.   

7. It sets a good example.

If you have children in the home, attending your routine checkups is a great way to model good dental hygiene behaviors. They’ll learn that there’s nothing to fear about going to the dentist – and that regular checkups are something to aspire to in order to keep their smiles healthy.

Ready to book your routine dental checkup? There’s no better time than now. Talk to the friendly team at Optimal Dental – and feel confident in your brighter, healthier smile. 

The 5 Facts and Myths about Knocked Out Teeth

Having your teeth knocked out is a dental emergency no one wants to experience. Fortunately, whether you’ve taken a fall or had an unfortunate accident playing sports, there are ways to save a knocked-out tooth. Here’s what to know if you’ve lost a tooth.

Fact: You can save that tooth!

Having a tooth knocked out doesn’t mean a gap-toothed smile forever. If you move quickly, you can actually save the lost tooth. Gently pick up the tooth by its crown (top) and rinse it in water. Avoid touching the root, and don’t wrap your tooth in anything that could dry it out. Then get to an emergency dentist as quickly as you can. 

Myth: Don’t put that tooth back in.

Putting your tooth back into its natural socket is the safest way to store your tooth while you’re waiting for treatment. If you can pop it back in, do so – if the socket is too damaged, you can hold it inside your mouth to keep it moist while you seek emergency dental care. 

Fact: Milk can help!

You might have heard that putting a knocked-out tooth in a glass of milk can help save it. That’s actually true. While the best place to put your tooth is back in its socket, that isn’t always possible. Pop your tooth in a small container of milk (not water) to help preserve it. But remember that time is of the essence when it comes to seeking care.  

Myth: Clean that tooth well.

Rinsing your tooth in water or milk is fine, but avoid using chemicals on your tooth, especially on the sensitive root. You also don’t want to scrub your knocked-out tooth, as this can cause further damage. Similarly, don’t wrap your tooth in tissue or a cloth – this can dry out your tooth.  

Fact: Seek help quickly!

The faster you seek help for your knocked-out tooth, the more likely it is that your tooth can be saved. If you can get to an emergency dentist within half an hour, your tooth’s chances are good – providing you keep the tooth moist in the meantime. If you are experiencing other injuries such as severe bleeding or a concussion, go to the ER first. 

No one wants to experience a knocked-out tooth, but accidents do happen. When playing sports or participating in high-impact activities, wear protective headwear or a mouthguard to help prevent damage to your teeth, jaw or head – but if the worst happens, follow the above tips and immediately contact your emergency dentist for treatment.  

“save a tooth, teeth knocked out”

5 Common Dental Problems and Tooth Diseases

A healthy smile helps us move through the world with confidence. Maintaining good dental hygiene and attending regular check-ups with your dentist can help prevent common dental diseases. The earlier you build those good oral hygiene habits, the less likely it is that you’ll experience tooth disease. 

Here are some of the most common dental problems and tooth diseases – and how you can help prevent them. 

  1. Cavities and tooth decay. More than half of school-aged children and almost all adults have experienced a dental cavity. Cavities occur when bacteria form a plaque on your teeth, eating away at your dental enamel until the tooth is compromised. A healthy diet, fluoridated water, and regular brushing and flossing can help reduce the risk of cavities. 
  2. Cracked or damaged teeth. A fall, contact sports, chewing on something hard, or even grinding your teeth at night can cause teeth to crack or break. A cracked or broken tooth can count as a dental emergency – always contact your dentist if you suspect a cracked tooth. You can also prevent teeth conditions such as these by wearing a mouthguard when playing sports, being mindful when eating popcorn or nuts, or wearing a preventive mouthguard at night to prevent tooth grinding.
  3. Periodontitis. Also known as gum disease, periodontitis is a common dental disease. This disease is caused by the accumulation of bacteria on your teeth and gums. Over time, the bacteria damage the soft tissue of your gums, and even the bone supporting your teeth, potentially resulting in tooth loss. Factors such as smoking, diabetes, certain illnesses and poor oral hygiene can increase your risk for periodontal disease. Brushing, flossing, and attending regular dental checkups will help reduce the risk of periodontitis – or catch it in its early stages when it can be managed. 
  4. Tooth sensitivity. If your teeth hurt when you eat cold or hot food, you are experiencing tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity can happen after dental work, but can also indicate other teeth conditions such as gum disease or compromised fillings. Additionally, some people simply have naturally sensitive teeth. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, talk to your dentist. They will check for underlying issues and may suggest products such as toothpaste and mouthwash designed for sensitive teeth. 
  5. Oral cancer. Oral cancer is less common than other tooth diseases, but still affects millions of people every year. Symptoms include sores and lumps, changes to your bite, and difficulty chewing or eating. Smoking, drinking and HPV are key risk factors for oral cancer. If you are experiencing oral cancer symptoms, talk to your dentist. Many dentists will also screen for oral cancer as part of a routine checkup.

Whether you’re experiencing the signs of dental disease or simply want to prevent them, talk to the team at Optimal today. Our friendly dentists will help you manage existing conditions and help you develop a plan to keep your teeth and gums healthy well into the future. Contact us today to make your appointment!  

Early pediatric care is critical to creating a lifetime of good dental health. Visiting your pediatric dentist for regular check-ups and cleaning can help avoid tooth decay and cavities – and identify any issues early.

Even children as young as one can benefit from a visit to a pediatric dentist – especially if their first teeth have erupted. This first visit, known as a “well baby” visit, is designed to help young children familiarize themselves with a pediatric dentistry setting, and create positive associations with the dentist. During this visit your pediatric dentist will generally provide information about how to keep a child’s teeth healthy and strong.

These recommendations might include:

What to expect from a pediatric dental cleaning

For older children, you can expect more of a traditional dental checkup, although modified in accordance with your child’s comfort level. These visits might include:

It’s vital that your child feels comfortable in the dentist’s chair so that they learn to feel confident while at the dentist, so your visit might be adjusted depending on your child’s needs and behavior. We recommend beginning pediatric dental visits as soon as possible so that your child creates those positive associations – and is able to sit through a full dental check-up. Regular check-ups combined with good at-home dental hygiene habits are the best way to maintain a high level of dental health.  

Book your pediatric dental care appointment today

Oral health issues are some of the most common – and avoidable – health issues faced by young children in the US. Attending regular pediatric dental cleanings and maintaining good dental hygiene and healthy eating habits can help prevent issues now, and later in life. 

If your child is aged 1+, now is the time to book your first pediatric dentistry appointment, or a regular pediatrics dental cleaning for older children. Our expert team will ensure your child feels safe and confident during their consultation and will provide the information and guidance you need to keep your child’s smile healthy and bright!

 

9 Things about Invisalign you Should be Aware of 

Invisalign aligners are a great way to achieve the smile of your dreams. If you’re considering Invisalign braces, here’s what to know.

Invisalign retainers are removable, but ideally you should strive to wear them as much as possible. Take them out only when eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth – and definitely wear them at night. Using your aligners for less time than recommended will slow down (or even reverse) your progress.

Invisalign teeth alignment braces aren’t as obtrusive as traditional wire braces, but you will be able to feel them in your mouth. Expect to have a bit of a lip when you first get your aligners, and don’t be surprised if you feel some pressure or discomfort as your teeth move.

Invisalign retainers are customized to your unique bite and needs. Each set of trays is tailored to you, ensuring that you achieve the straight bite you’ve always longed for as quickly and effectively as possible.

While people with very minor crowding might only wear their retainers for as little as six months, generally treatment takes between one and two years. Keep wearing your retainers as recommended, and your teeth will improve bit by bit!

Unlike traditional braces, with Invisalign you don’t have to worry about food damaging your braces or staining the area around brackets. Simply take out your retainers when eating or drinking anything other than water – but be sure to pop them back in right after (and after you’ve rinsed, brushed and flossed). 

Invisalign makes it easier to brush and floss than traditional braces, but you still need to be vigilant about maintaining good dental hygiene. Eating or drinking while wearing your retainers (a no-no) can trap bacteria around your teeth. Rinse, brush and floss after eating or drinking to reduce the risk of the bacterial build-up that can lead to dental decay.

Invisalign retainers are strong, but they need to be cared for. They’re not designed for biting down on, so make sure you take them out when eating or drinking. Clean your aligners daily with a soft toothbrush to keep them free of buildup and discoloration. This will help protect your aligners – and your teeth! 

Invisalign braces are popular among adults of all ages and can be suitable for teenagers as well. They’re increasingly covered by insurance and can be used to treat mild to moderate cases of crowding. However, they might not be the right choice for very severe cases.

Just like traditional braces, expect to keep wearing your aligners even once your treatment is complete. This will help prevent your teeth from moving back to their original positions. This shifting can be very minor, and you might not notice it until the teeth have visibly moved. But your retainers might feel “tight” after just a few days of not wearing them! Avoid another round of treatment by wearing your retainers for as long as your dentist recommends. 

Ready to achieve the smile you’ve always longed for? Talk to the team at Optimal Dental about Invisalign teeth alignment braces today!

The 3 Ways Your Child’s Dentist Can Help Them Overcome Their Fears

To ensure that your child goes through life with good dental hygiene practices, it’s vital to create positive associations with dental check-ups. Children who are comfortable at the dentist are more likely to attend routine pediatric dentist visits – which means they’re more likely to have good overall dental health.

If your child is nervous about attending their first dental appointment, don’t worry. An experienced pediatric dentist will help them feel safe and relaxed in the dentist’s chair. Here’s how your child’s dentist helps your child overcome their fears.

1 They provide a child-friendly environment

Traditional clinical spaces may be scary for small children who are new to the dentist. That’s why great pediatric dentists make the effort to create a welcoming, kid-friendly environment that helps your child feel at home. Colorful design, a child-friendly waiting area, and treatment rooms full of entertainment and distractions are great ways to put kids at ease. When your child is surrounded by their favorite characters and animals – or distracted by an educational TV show they love – they’ll start to feel that this is a place they “belong”.  

2 They respect your child’s feelings

Early childhood dental visits are about getting your child used to the routine of visiting the dentist. Even showing up and sitting down in the chair is a great start when it comes to baby teeth care. Your pediatric dentist understands that it can take time for children to get used to the idea of visiting the dentist, so they’ll listen to your child and take their cues from the child and their reactions. If your child won’t sit still for a full exam or is uncomfortable in the chair, that’s okay. Your pediatric dentist will gently walk them through a routine visit, stopping if your child is uncomfortable, and offering alternatives such as tooth brushing demonstrations or roleplays. 

3 They use positive reinforcement

Quality baby teeth care is its own reward. When you look after your teeth, they stay healthy – and result in a smile you’re proud of. A critical part of this is attending regular check-ups. A great pediatric dentist will make every appointment a great experience by using positive reinforcement throughout your child’s visit. They might provide stickers or small prizes or offer smiles and verbal affirmations throughout the visit. They might even play games or offer ways to help child and parent get involved in the visit. This will help your child creative positive associations with the dentist – and will encourage repeat visits.

Book an appointment with the “Kid-friendly” dental team at Optimal Dental Center

At Optimal Dental, we know that quality baby teeth care translates into good adult dental health. Our expert pediatric dentists are here to help your child feel comfortable and confident in the dentist’s chair – so that your little one is prepared for a lifetime of healthy smiles. To book your appointment, contact our friendly team today!

 

Braces are a great way to achieve a smile you’re proud of. However, when wearing braces for orthodontic treatment, you must be mindful of maintaining a high level of dental hygiene. Those who don’t may be dismayed to find small white spots under or around the part of the tooth where your braces hardware was attached.

Here’s what to know about white spot decay, and how to prevent it.

What is white spot decay?

The white spots some former braces wearers find on their teeth are caused by demineralization. White spots occur when plaque builds up around the hardware areas, creating a film that can damage the enamel of your tooth. Braces make it harder to brush and floss, making plaque build-up more likely. White spots typically arise when your dental hygiene hasn’t been sufficient. White spots are an early sign of tooth decay. 

Preventing “white spot” decay

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent white spot decay when wearing braces. Your orthodontist might apply a re-mineralizing sealant to your teeth before adhering to your brackets in order to strengthen the enamel under and around your brackets. 

You can also minimize the likelihood of white spots by practicing good dental hygiene. Here’s how.

Treating white spot decay after braces orthodontic treatment

While prevention is better than cure, white spots can be dealt with. Teeth whitening, microabrasion and enamel infiltration may all help reduce the appearance of white spots and help your teeth regain their appropriate color. In severe cases, your dentist might discuss cosmetic bonding or veneers with you.   

Talk to the team at Optimal Dental about achieving a smile you love

At Optimal Dental, we help achieve patients of all ages and backgrounds achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. If you have questions about orthodontic treatment such as braces, or simply about achieving a bright, white smile, talk to our team today. 

Have you been putting off a root canal? Root canals might not be at the top of your favorite things to do, but booking your appointment is important to save your tooth and prevent further damage or infection.

If you’ve been delaying making an appointment for your root canal in Fairfax, VA, here’s what to know.

When is a root canal needed?

A root canal involves removing the infected soft tissue from inside a tooth, then sealing the tooth. Root canals are performed to prevent further damage to your tooth, and to prevent the spread of infection. 

If you delay your root canal, you risk the following:

A root canal is both treatment and prevention. It helps save your damaged tooth, and prevent further damage, infection or potentially life-threatening illness.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

A root canal is needed if you have severely cracked a tooth or if you have a deep cavity that has reached the tooth’s pulp. You will likely be experiencing symptoms including:

If you are experiencing these symptoms, don’t just try to wait them out. Make an appointment with your trusted dentist so that they can assess your tooth and recommend a course of treatment. 

What does a root canal in Fairfax, VA involve?

A root canal is performed in one or two visits, and involves the removal of infected pulp from the tooth, then the placement of a temporary or permanent crown. Depending on the complexity of the root canal, it may be performed by your dentist, or by an endodontist, a root canal specialist. 

While many people are scared of the idea of a root canal, there’s nothing to worry about. You’ll be numbed during treatment, and once your permanent crown is fitted you’ll be able to eat and drink as normal, and without the pain of a damaged tooth. 

Considering a root canal in Reston VA?

If you suspect you need a root canal, act quickly. Contact the team at Optimal Dental today for an assessment. We can determine whether a root canal is needed and refer you to an endodontist in Fairfax or Reston VA who can help restore your smile – and treat your pain. 

What is the Quickest Way to Straighten Teeth?

Longing for a more confident smile, and quickly? There are many teeth straightening options available to give you the dazzling smile you deserve. As an Invisalign dentist in Reston, we’re often asked about the quickest way to straighten teeth. Here’s what you need to know.

How quickly can my teeth be straightened?

The timeframe of your teeth straightening depends on how much your teeth need to be moved and the type of orthodontic treatment you choose. If your case is mild, you can achieve a straight smile in as little as six months. Even people with more severe cases who require a longer treatment duration will show improvement a few months into their treatment. Keep in mind that even after your treatment is completed, you’ll probably need to continue to wear a plate, wire or clear tray retainer to ensure that your teeth maintain their new position.

Quick teeth straightening options

There are several effective options for straightening your teeth. They include:

Have questions about Invisalign in Fairfax VA?

If you’re looking to improve your smile quickly, take a moment to talk to Optimal Dental about your treatment choices. We’ll perform an assessment to determine your needs, and will walk you through the best, most comfortable teeth straightening options for you.

For more information, contact us today!