Author Archives: Vacendak Dentistry

Dental Equipment. Colorful toothbrushes in mug and dental floss on light blue background. Copy space, studio shot.

A Guide to Tooth Tools

Which tooth tools do you need? What tooth tools are a helpful addition to your routine but not important for overall oral health? With so many new products hitting the market to become your best healthy self, deciding what is important and what is extra can be tough. Here is our guide to tooth tools to help you choose the right products:

  1. Toothbrush and toothpaste. Yes! You absolutely need a toothbrush. Whether its electric, or a recycled bamboo toothbrush, this is the most basic thing you’ll need for a healthy smile. Consult your dentist if you want to explore different toothpaste options – sometimes special formulated toothpastes may not be the best choice for your teeth! Use our toothbrush guide (link) if you need help deciding which is right for you!
  2. Floss. We know not everyone has a great flossing routine, but it’s an important habit to pick up before adding any other steps to your oral health. Flossing keeps your breath fresh and prevents plague buildup! Keep some in your office or purse just in case you forget in the morning.
  3. Mouthwash. Though still one of the most common tooth tools, mouthwash isn’t completely necessary to keep your mouth clean and healthy. However, this is a great extra step to add to your routine! A good, antibacterial mouthwash can assist in fighting gum disease.
  4. Tongue scraper. If you’re someone who forgets to brush your tongue or feels uncomfortable doing so, this device is great for removing bacteria from the surface. It is also one of the best ways to prevent bad breath!

Remember, no amount of brushing and tooth tools can replace your regularly scheduled cleaning. Your dental checkup is important for your overall oral health! Call Vacendak Dentistry at (757) 609-3510 to schedule one.

Tooth-friendly Summer Snacks

Group of homemade mixed berry yogurt popsicles on a rustic wood background

For kids, the start of summer is the most exciting time of the year – It means school is out and it’s time for fun and adventure. However, for parents and dentists, it can be a sugary nightmare. Summer is defined mainly by outdoor fun, but is accompanied by sugary snacks: ice cream, popsicles, fruit drinks, movie theatre candy and more.

Thankfully, with a little creativity, you can create your own tasty summer treats without all of the processed sugar! Here are our favorite tooth-friendly summer snacks that are just as sweet:

  1. Banana ice cream. Yes, we just said that ice cream was a sugary treat, but this ice cream is all natural and just as satisfying! Made with just frozen bananas resulting in a texture similar to ice cream, this snack is so good your kids won’t know the difference.
  2. Homemade popsicles: Store-bought popsicles can be full of added sugar, and making them at home is amazingly simple! You’ll just need a popsicle mold, and can customize them with your child’s favorite natural juices, or even add coconut milk to make them creamy.
  3. Frozen fruit: Easier than a popsicle, but still just as tasty and refreshing, frozen fruit cures a sweet tooth on a hot day. Give your child a bowl of the frozen fruit of their choice, making sure the pieces are big enough to prevent a choking hazard.
  4. Smoothies: Fruit drinks and sodas sound great when water just won’t quench your thirst, but they have tons of added sugar. Smoothies are the perfect sweet, cold drink after a day in the sun, and can even mask the flavor of added spinach for an extra healthy kick.
  5. Fruit kabobs: Fruit is an obvious choice when it comes to summer snacks, but creating a kabob station (using popsicle sticks and the fruits of your choice) and letting your child build their own adds a layer of fun and creativity to an ordinary snack.

Remember, replacing sugar with tooth-friendly snacks doesn’t mean you can avoid the dentist all together! Call or contact Vacendak Dentistry now to schedule a dentist appointment.

What to Do About Chipped Teeth

Spring sports and activities are here, which means that the risk of getting hit and chipping a tooth is increasing by the day! However, even those who don’t participate in soccer or baseball can end up with chipped teeth, especially If your enamel is weak. Whether it’s because you didn’t make that left field catch in time, or you slipped in the kitchen in just the wrong spot, a chipped tooth can be painful and annoying to deal with.

The first thing you should do after you’ve injured a tooth is assess the damage. Is it just a minor chip, or is it a crack down the middle? Is it painless, sensitive to the touch, or does it hurt constantly? The best thing you can do for a damaged tooth is consult your dentist, but these factors will determine the severity of the damage and how quickly you should make an appointment.

For any damage that is painful or sensitive, call us as soon as possible (757-609-3570) – cracks and breaks can become worse over time, and addressing them early on will prevent even more pain and complicated procedures. Minor chips can be painful if they are sharp against your tongue, but there is no need to rush right over to the office. Schedule an appointment and one of our doctors can perform tooth bonding to correct the issue!

If you experience a broken or cracked tooth after office hours, treat the problem like you would any other wound until help is available. Rinse with warm water, apply pressure to bleeding areas, and consider pain reliever and icing on any painful areas.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options to fix your damaged tooth and help it appear like-new! Call or contact Vacendak Dentistry today to learn more about the cosmetic procedures we offer and to schedule a consultation.

Understanding Gingivitis

Gingivitis sounds scary, but it is actually one of the most common dental conditions among children and adults! Unless you’re actively looking for signs of gingivitis, most of the time gum disease will go unnoticed until seen by a dental professional, because the symptoms are so mild.

However, just because the symptoms aren’t painful doesn’t mean that gingivitis should go untreated. When ignored, gingivitis can worsen into later stages of gum disease, including Periodontitis and Advanced Periodontitis. Treating gingivitis early on will prevent these later stages that can often cause loose and damaged teeth.

So, how you do you know if you have gingivitis? The best method for determining if you have the early stages of gum disease is by scheduling and attending your regular 6-month checkups. During your visit, your dentist will be able to alert you at the first signs of gingivitis! You can also look for signs and symptoms on your own, including red, tender gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, consistent bad breath, and receding gum lines. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to schedule a visit.

If you are diagnosed with gingivitis, your dentist will want to clean any built-up plaque, and will have the best treatment recommendations based on how advanced it is. If you need a reminder, though, here is what we recommend for treating early signs and prevent future build-ups:

  • Review the proper brushing techniques and make sure you apply them – every single time! It is a good idea to invest in an electric toothbrush for a more detailed cleaning.
  • Don’t forget to floss! Flossing is essential for getting rid of plaque in hard-to-reach areas.
  • Rinse with an anti-bacterial mouthwash for a complete, thorough routine.

If you are concerned you may have gingivitis or need to schedule your routine checkup, give us a call at (757) 609-3510 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.

Fall in Love with Your Smile

February is the month of love, centered around Valentine’s Day and loved ones. This year, however, we want to focus on loving yourself – and your smile! Smiles are important for first impressions, making someone happy, and even for your job, but they are also known for their affect on self-confidence!

Those who aren’t happy with the way their smile looks are less likely to show it off and more likely to stay quiet in conversations in order to hide their teeth. This may not seem like that big of a deal, but being happy with the way you look one of the biggest factors for self-confidence and can ultimately affect your ability to feel comfortable in social situations, photos, job interviews and meetings (and of course your health). After all, smiles ARE contagious, and smiling in a social situation can life your mood and the mood of everyone around you, creating a lasting impression and a fond memory.

Why spend time worrying about how your smile looks when you can focus on what is in front of you and live in the moment? Whether you are concerned about stained, chipped or crooked teeth, the doctors at Vacendak Dentistry can help you have healthier teeth so you can fall in love with your smile. We offer services for both general and cosmetic dentistry, including teeth whitening, veneers, Invisalign, cosmetic fillings, bonding and contouring, all done safely and effectively to restore the natural beauty of teeth and help you reach your smile goals.

Doctors Sheila and Daniel Vacendak and the team at Vacendak Dentistry are here to make your dental health care a positive experience! We are conveniently located in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake and serve patients all across Hampton Roads. Call us today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule an appointment.

Start Fresh in 2018

Building healthy habits takes time, and is often difficult when our old routine is embedded from years of practice. This is one reason New Year’s resolutions are so popular – we use the new year as an official marker to completely change our health and fitness routines. January is a great time to start fresh in areas of our lives we wish to improve on, including oral health!

So how can you revamp your dental routine to “start fresh?” Start by talking with your dentist or researching online to find out what a complete dental routine should entail for you. Ask about proper brushing and flossing technique, and products you should be adding. Be sure you have the right items on hand and are well-stocked with toothpaste, floss, and whatever other special items you may need based on your dentist’s recommendations.

The planning portion of a resolution is the easiest part. The next step is a little tougher and where most people fall short: following through. If you want a complete fresh start, schedule a cleaning for a blank slate to work with. From there, identify what steps in your routine you’ve had trouble with in the past and find solutions to keep up with them in 2018.

Do you have trouble remembering to floss? Put a sticky note on the mirror in the bathroom you brush your teeth in. Are you forgetting to brush your teeth for a full two minutes each time? Put a timer on your bathroom counter to ensure you get a full brushing each time. Do you keep missing your 6-month checkups? Make sure to mark your appointment and set reminders on all of your calendars so you don’t schedule other events on the same day.

Starting fresh with a better, more complete dental routine will create good habits that stick and healthier teeth long-term! If you’re ready to find out how you can improve your oral health this year, give us a call at (757) 609-3510 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.

The Effects of Stress on Teeth

The holiday season can be the most stressful time of the year for many people, particularly those busy wrapping up projects before the new year at work and organizing family travel and gatherings. We all know that stress can have certain effects on our health, and take measures to relax, but did you know that stress can also be harmful for your teeth?

If you wake up and find that you have pain in your face or jaw, frequent headaches and earaches, you may be seeing the results of stress! Stress is suspected to contribute to bruxism, which is the clenching or grinding of teeth. This may not seem like a big deal, but over time it can lead to a number of other issues including Temporomandibular (TMD) disorders, increased tooth sensitivity and broken teeth. Taking care of the problem early will save you time and money at the dentist!

So, what should you do if you suspect that you are clenching or grinding your teeth? Scheduling an appointment your dentist is the first step. Our doctors can examine your teeth and determine if you have been clenching or grinding your teeth, and help you find the best solution! We can even fit you with a custom-made mouth guard to wear at night to prevent future teeth-grinding. If you have already experienced the effects of bruxism, we can help you correct the damage.

Other ways you can combat oral health problems occurring from stress are by looking for the sources. Reduce caffeine consumption, be sure you are getting adequate hours of sleep per night and remember to take time for yourself to relax this holiday season!

Drs. Sheila and Daniel Vacendak and the team at Vacendak Dentistry are here to make your dental health care a positive experience! We are conveniently located in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake and serve patients all across Hampton Roads. Call us today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule an appointment.

Foods That Can Stain Teeth

Teeth whitening has been extremely popular for some time now, with more and more people looking for ways to keep their smile from yellowing. Having white teeth can brighten up any smile, and there are tricks ranging from drugstore whitening strips to swishing coconut oil that have been suggested to whiten teeth.

While paying attention to your dental routine and using good brushing methods are the most important parts of keeping your teeth white, there are also ways you can prevent stains. For instance, there are many foods and beverages that can lead to discoloration over time that you can cut back. Here are a few teeth-staining foods and beverages to look out for:

  • Coffee, tea and soda: Your favorite morning beverages are actually some of the biggest culprits of staining teeth. This is because of their high acidity and dark color, and the frequency with which people consume them.
  • Tomato sauce: Similar to coffee, this food’s acidity levels and color can lead to staining.
  • Berries: If you’ve ever dropped a berry on your clothing, you know how much they can stain. Berries have high amounts of pigmentation that can stain your teeth as well!
  • Red wine: “Wine mouth” is real, and it can happen to your teeth as well. Made of the same tannins that are in coffee and tea, red wine has the potential to leave behind a purple-gray color on teeth.

Though these foods and beverages can potentially stain your teeth, there is no reason to cut them out completely. Paying attention to the frequency at which you consume these items can help, as well as taking measures to protect your teeth, such as consuming leafy greens and apples, which are foods that can leave a protective layer or aid in cleaning.

If you are looking for a longer-term solution to keep your teeth white, you should also consider having them professionally whitened. Vacendak Dentistry uses safe and effective methods for teeth whitening that will help your smile glow for years to come! Contact us today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule an appointment.

Take The Scare Out Of Your Dental Routine

October is here and though we have the spookiest holiday of the year coming up, nothing is scarier than a dental routine that isn’t helping your teeth. A routine that misses steps or isn’t getting the reach you need can create a nightmare check-up and frightening long-term problems. Check out these tips to be sure your teeth don’t end up like Frankenstein’s!

  • Make sure you have the right toothbrush for you, and good brushing technique. If you are a hard brusher, a toothbrush with tough bristles can be damaging to your gums. If you have gingivitis or plague build-up, opt for an electric brush for a detailed cleaning.
  • Brush your teeth for two minutes. Did you know that most people brush their teeth for only around 40 seconds? Getting to the full two minutes will ensure you’ve reached every spot!
  • Brush three times a day. We know this can be difficult to remember with a busy schedule, but brushing after each meal helps to rid of food debris and prevent plague build-up. It also helps freshen breath after eating! Keep an extra toothbrush at work for an after-lunch cleaning.
  • Don’t skip the floss – flossing is one of the best allies against gum disease and tooth decay, and should be done at least once a day. For best results, use 18-24 inches of floss and slide the floss between teeth in a “C” shape and move it up and down gently, repeating for each tooth.
  • See your dentist every six months for a checkup. Don’t wait until you’re having issues with your teeth to see the dentist. Your dentist will likely catch any problems early on, helping you prevent further damage and save money!

Get excited about your oral health! Maintaining it doesn’t have to be a chore. The doctors at Vacendak Dentistry can help. We are conveniently located near the Kempsville area of Chesapeake and are accepting new patients. Call us now at (757) 609-3510 or contact the office online. We accept most dental insurance plans.

Your Toothbrush Shopping Guide

Toothbrushes typically need to be replaced every three months, and it can be pretty intimidating staring at the wall of options available in most grocery stores. Each package claims different benefits: a tongue scrubber, a smaller bristle head, extra soft bristles…the list goes on. Without your dentist on speed dial, the plethora of options can stir confusion. Should you buy an electric toothbrush or a manual? Should you pick extra soft bristles or hard bristles?

Lucky for you we’ve created this handy guide to help you with this decision. Follow along and find out which option is best for you!

1.     Do your gums contain a lot of plaque or gingivitis?

a)    Yes – Go for an electric toothbrush! The oscillating motion helps remove plaque that is tough to reach with a manual toothbrush. Continue to question 3.
b)    No – Go to Question 2.

2.     Do you have sensitive gums and teeth?

a)    Yes – Pick a toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent any pain while brushing. Continue to question 3.
b)    No – Any bristle type will work, but soft bristles are always the best option, especially if you’re a hard brusher. Continue to question 3.

3.     Do you often have bad breath?

a)    Yes – Look for a brush with a tongue scrubber on the back or if using an electric toothbrush, one that specializes in tongue cleaning. This is more effective than just brushing your tongue and will remove more build-up that can cause bad breath. Continue to question 4.
b)    No – You’re all set! Now get brushing and continue to question 4.

4.     Bonus Question: Have you been to the dentist for a cleaning in the past 6 months?

a)    Yes – Great! Make sure you have your next appointment scheduled and call us at (757) 609-3510 if you don’t.
b)    No – Make an appointment! Your dental checkup is important for your overall oral health. Call us at (757) 379-2297 to schedule one.