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.

Back To School

Going back to school means many different things for kids, parents, and teachers. Now that it is August, it’s time to think about any dental visits you might need before the busy school season starts!

Parents: We know you want your kids to have a great smile for their annual school pictures. These are the images that relatives will receive and that you and your children will look back on when they grow up, and showing off those teeth in a genuine smile will create fond memories. We also know that your schedule is about to be packed with work, homework help and after-school extracurricular activities. Taking your child or yourself to the dentist is probably the last thing on your mind during school season, so this month is the best time to go!

Teachers: Though it seems easy enough to take a few hours or the day off to go to the dentist, we know it isn’t that simple. If something unexpected comes up that requires a more thorough procedure, you might end up needing more time off than you had planned for. Getting to know your students at the beginning of the school year is important, and every missed day counts. If you haven’t had your routine checkup in a while, August is the perfect time!

 

Back to school season is also a great time to get back into daily dental routines! Later summer nights and vacation time can often distract us from our usual brushing and flossing practices, and starting early in the school season can get us back into healthy cleaning habits. Check out some of our other blog posts for tips and tricks about getting your kids into good dental habits and routines.

Start the school year off strong with a clean and healthy smile! Call Vacendak Dentistry today to schedule an appointment or fill out the form.

 

Mid-Year Check In!

We are about half-way through the year and by this time, most people have abandoned their New Year’s resolutions. If you’re one of those people, you’re not alone. The good news is that you still have about 6 months to make good on those resolutions and improve your daily habits. Whether you want to lose a few pounds, be better about staying in touch with friends, or…drum roll pleasefloss daily, now is a good time as any to start!

Here are some tips for establishing and maintaining good habits (dental and otherwise):

  • Start small. Have you ever heard the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”? Don’t get too hung up on looking a month or a year ahead. Simply do the thing you need to do on a daily (or hourly) basis to accomplish the goal.
  • Be consistent. If following a better dental hygiene routine is your aim, set a specific time of day and/or night to brush and floss and try to stick with that time. Set an alarm on your phone and don’t ignore it. This tactic is especially important for establishing a healthy sleep routine.
  • Plan for obstacles. Particularly in the summertime, travel can get in the way of sticking to healthy habits. In relation to dental hygiene, it’s smart to keep an “emergency” travel kit handy and separate from your main toothbrush and other dental appliances. Going out of town is not an excuse to forgo flossing!
  • Reward yourself. When you set goals, don’t forget to set rewards as well! For example, say your goal is to floss every day for a month. When you make it to that milestone, promise yourself the gift of an electric toothbrush (or something equally exciting).

Do you feel like your habits keep you in control of your dental health? If not, it may be time to visit the dentist for a checkup. The team of professionals at Vacendak Dentistry can help set your mind at ease and give you the tools you need to feel good about your oral health and routine. Call us today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule an appointment.

 

 

How to Get the Most Out of a Dental Visit

While we here at Vacendak Dentistry try our best to make going to the dentist a pleasant experience for our patients, we understand that it can still feel like a chore. Many people see dental visits as necessary evils. If you are one of those people who hates the dentist but loves the peace of mind that comes with a healthy mouth, you may be wondering what you can do to get all you can out of the appointment (so as not to have to return early thanks to a toothache or worse). Here are some tips.

  • Practice good oral hygiene outside of the dentist’s office. Taking care of your teeth on a daily basis by brushing and flossing allows the hygienist to give the most thorough cleaning possible without pain or extra time in the chair. It also makes it more likely that you’ll receive a clean bill of health from the dentist.
  • Ask questions. If you’ve been experiencing bleeding gums, persistent tooth pain, or other oral irregularities, don’t be afraid to let your dentist know and ask about the source! If things in your mouth are looking great, be sure to ask what you can do to keep it that way. Good dental health requires a conversation between you and your healthcare professional That is why it is so important to choose a dentist that takes more than five minutes per appointment to get to know you and your oral health.
  • Take the time for in-office preventive care. Biannual dental checkups are meant to help maintain optimal health and get ahead of any potential problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. In addition to routine cleaning, each checkup should include a complete examination of all dental work like crowns and appliances, an oral cancer screening, and periodic x-rays. These measures make it less likely that you will experience painful and costly issues in the future.

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.

Why Are Dental X-Rays Necessary?

Dental care is “whole body” care. The health of your teeth and jaw impact your overall health, so dentists do everything we can to prevent and diagnose potential issues before they become obvious and painful. Dental X-Rays are one tool we use to give the best possible care.

There is only so much a dentist or hygienist can see with their eyes alone when examining a mouth. X-rays allow us to see the “unseeable” and use that information to proactively treat the mouth. Some of the things X-rays enable us to do include:

  • Detect cavities
  • Find and predict gum disease
  • Diagnose jaw issues
  • Check the health of the bones around teeth
  • Make sure the roots of teeth are healthy
  • See teeth that are coming in but have yet to erupt

X-rays are an important part of any dental treatment plan for people of all ages. We like to take pictures of all parts of the mouth, though not necessarily all during one routine exam. Bitewing X-rays show the tops of teeth and indicate early signs of dental decay. Periapical X-rays show the entire tooth from crown to supporting bone. Panoramic X-rays are taken from the outside of the mouth and provide a full view of the oral cavity.

How Often Do I Need X-Rays?

When visiting a new dentist you can expect them to order a full set of X-rays in order to provide a complete view of your oral health. After that, the dentist probably won’t need new images at every routine appointment and will instead make an individualized schedule based on your age/needs.

Are Dental X-rays Safe?

In short, yes. Today’s digital imaging technology minimizes radiation exposure. That, combined with the use of leaded covers for the abdomen and neck, make any worry about radiation negligible. This also assumes that you are in good health and not pregnant or breastfeeding. Your dentist will adjust if your medical history requires.

Know What to Expect

If you or your child have never had dental X-rays before (or if it’s been a while), don’t hesitate to ask your dentist to walk you through their reasoning for administering them and what the process will be like. At the end of the day, X-rays help the dentist provide personalized care and help you have a better sense of the parts of your mouth you can’t see!

Vacendak Dentistry uses the latest digital imaging equipment to prevent and diagnose dental issues. Call us today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule an appointment.