Author Archives: Vacendak Dentistry

How an Improved Smile Improves Your Mindset

We talk a lot about why taking care of your teeth is important for your overall health. Well, the quality of your smile also affects your overall state of mind!

You’re less likely to smile when trying to hiding discolorations, cracks or chips that cause insecurities. If you have blemishes preventing you from smiling, it takes a huge negative psychological toll.

Smiling, laughing, and a healthy smile that you can’t hide positively affect your mindset in even more ways! Learn about them below:

Better Mood, Increased Relaxation

When you’re in a bad mood, the last thing you feel like doing is smiling or laughing. But did you know that faking canl improve your mood? Studies show that the act of curling your lips into a smile or letting out a small giggle is enough to trigger your brain into feeling happier!

Try it the next time you are feeling angry or sad and see what happens. The effects are amplified when you turn that smile into a full-blown laugh. Laughing stimulates circulation and helps your muscles relax. Those effects are felt for up to 45 minutes after the laugh ends!

You Become More Approachable

You probably don’t want to be around other people when they are in a bad mood, so why would you expect anyone to want to be around you when you are? Not only will you feel better when you smile and laugh, but you’ll also give the signal to others that you’re an enjoyable person to be around. 

The more you can engage and interact with others, the happier you’ll be. It’s a cycle that’s worth getting into. Smiles and laughter are contagious — whenever you see someone else doing it, you can’t help but do the same. You can thank your mirror neurons for that. Whenever we see someone doing certain behaviors, we feel inclined to do the same.

Sharing a laugh with others also helps you deepen your bond with them and makes you more likely to share information and have a healthy long-term relationship.

Physical Health Benefits

Beyond mental health, smiling and laughing can also help your physical state of being. Laughing works your abdominal muscles and releases endorphins that alleviate pain and boost your immune system.

Studies have even found that smiling and laughing can help decrease your risk for heart disease because they protect the heart and prevent the buildup of fat and cholesterol. These actions can also lower your blood pressure and keep it that way for up to 24 hours.

The Best Perk of All…

Putting all of the scientific research aside, the best reason to do more smiling and laughing is that it makes you feel good. Don’t let the state of your teeth get in the way of that.

Vacendak Dentistry offers an array of services to help you smile look and feel it’s best. Contact us today to get started!

6 Important Benefits of Regular Cleanings

Have your teeth been cleaned by a dentist or hygienist this year? We know it’s difficult to find the perfect time during the pandemic, but it’s still important (if not more so) to maintain regular check-ups for you and your family. 

That’s because professional dental cleanings aren’t just for keeping your smile bright; they have a significant impact on your long-term oral health. Tooth decay, gum disease and several chronic oral issues all take root with insufficient regular habits. Brushing and flossing at home are essential but regular check-ups with your dentist ensures your teeth are thoroughly cleaned and any needed preventative measures are taken. That way, no one in your family ends up with a bigger or riskier issue during this time.

So, here are five reasons professional cleanings are so important

  1. Your dental hygienist removes surface blemishes that you can’t remove with at-home brushing. You’ll be left with a brighter smile while preventing long-term stains. 
  2. Regular teeth cleaning prevents one of the biggest contributors to early tooth loss – gum disease.
  3. In America alone, one person dies from oral cancer every hour. Many of these cancers are curable if detected at an early stage during routine cleanings and exams.
  4. During a dental cleaning, your dentist will detect early signs of problems such as cavities, broken fillings and fractures!
  5. Many dental plans cover cleanings but not more invasive surgeries. You’ll save money on dental expenses in the long run by taking advantage of your policy and scheduling a cleaning today!
  6. Regular check-ups and dental cleanings help prevent and resolve persistent bad breath.

Professional dental cleanings give your dentist or hygienist an opportunity to compare the state of your oral health to that of previous visits. If you’re moving in the wrong direction, immediate intervention prevents bigger problems from occurring. Call the team at Vacendak Dentistry to schedule your dental cleaning and get back on track, today! Please note, even if you don’t need an appointment for several months, it’s a good idea to get on the calendar now, as our COVID restrictions may limit short-term appointment availability.

Top Dental Concerns for Men

Designated as Men’s Health Month (and with Father’s Day), we dedicate June to the fathers and father figures in our lives. That means it’s a great time to encourage the men closest to us to refocus on their health, including their oral health! 

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, men are less likely than women to see their dentist regularly. In addition: 

  •  The average man is less likely to brush his teeth after every meal (20.5% compared with 28.7% for women).
  • The average man is less likely to brush his teeth twice a day (49% compared with 56.8% for women).
  • Men are more likely to have untreated dental decay than women (29% compared with 25% for women, age 35-44)

In fact, research shows that many don’t go to the dentist unless they have a dental emergency. That might be why they’re more likely to suffer from the following chronic dental problems:

Top Dental Concerns for Men:

  • Gum Disease. Men are much more likely than women to develop gum disease, a condition that causes tooth loss and other general health issues such as heart disease, respiratory problems, certain cancers, and poor prostate health. 
  • Oral Cancer. More than 53,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year, with men being twice as likely to have the diagnosis than women and four times more likely to develop oropharyngeal cancer. Fortunately, oral cancer can be treated (and cured) if it’s caught early. One more reason everyone should see their dentist regularly! 
  • Necessary Advanced Dental Treatments. Skipping dental appointments causes major problems to your teeth and over time, eventually requiring advanced dental treatment like root canals, crowns and tooth extraction.  When plaque builds up on teeth over time, it greatly increases the risk of tooth decay. If the decay is not treated, it only goes deeper into the tooth, causing the need for a root canal. If the decay is left untreated for even longer, it may become too damaged to repair, needing removal. 

Practicing good oral hygiene is all about prevention. That’s because professional cleanings remove plaque buildup that regular brushing and flossing at home doesn’t, preventing problems from occurring in the first place. 

So this month,  let him know you care and encourage the man in your life to make an appointment with Vacendak Dentistry! We’re open for appointments, practicing federal and ADA compliance and treating our patients’ health with utmost priority. Don’t forget to wear your mask! 

COVID-19 Update:

UPDATED: Sept. 1, 2020

To Our Wonderful Patients,


We are happy to announce Vacendak Dentistry is open again, with some slight modifications to our processes! We have missed seeing your smiles and appreciated your patience as we all worked through the restrictions on non-emergency cleanings and treatments.

Please know, your health is our highest priority, and in addition to the new check-in and check-out procedures, and our already detailed sanitation processes, we have added several commercial grade air purification systems to our exam and treatment areas to provide the safest possible environment.

Over the coming days we will be calling patients that we were unable to see over the past several weeks to reschedule your appointments. If you have an upcoming appointment scheduled, we will also call to either confirm your appointment, or potentially reschedule, as we make adjustments to limit the number of visitors in the building at one time and allow more time for deep cleaning between patients. We appreciate your understanding as we make these changes.

New Check-In Procedures

  • You will receive a confirmation call two days before your appointment. At that time we’ll have a brief health screening questionnaire.
  • We will require everyone entering the building to wear a mask, and will limit visits to patients only, unless the patient needs extra assistance.
  • When you enter the building, we will have some additional screening questions for you and will provide hand sanitizer to use before you fully enter the lobby. We will also take your temperature.

During your visit you may hear our new air purification systems emitting a loud hum. For everyone’s safety, we will no longer provide headphones or music devices. If you wish to listen to music during your visit, please bring your own device and headphones. We may ask you to sanitize your device upon entering the building. 

Our staff will also be wearing extra protective gear, including clear face protectors during your exam, cleaning and treatment.

New Check-Out Procedures

We are also implementing new check-out procedures to maintain social distancing. At the end of your appointment we will escort you to the check-out area and explain the new procedure.

We know this is a lot of change, and appreciate your flexibility and extra patience as we all work through this challenging environment. Please know that every process, every extra step and every request is being made with your safety in mind, along with the safety of our other patients and staff.

If you have any questions, we will be happy to answer them when we call to schedule or confirm your appointment. In the meantime, if you have a dental emergency, please call and we will get you in for an exam as quickly as possible.

Thanks again for your patience and support,

Drs. Sheila and Daniel Vacendak and the Entire Vacendak Dentistry Team

The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Taking care of your teeth isn’t just about having a white smile, fresh breath and no cavities. Good dental habits are critical to the overall health of your body. Brushing, flossing and keeping up with regular dental appointments not only keep your mouth in good shape but help prevent various diseases and conditions that affect your entire body.

Cardiovascular Disease 
Periodontal disease—or gum disease—is associated with a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Poor brushing and flossing habits allow bacterial infections to form in the gums. The infection then passes into the bloodstream. From there, it affects the heart’s arteries, leading to stroke, hypertension and other heart-related conditions. 

Respiratory Illnesses
Unwanted bacteria in the mouth can contribute to multiple respiratory problems, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. These are caused when bacteria from the mouth are inhaled into the lungs, allowing infection to spread throughout the respiratory system. This is of particular concern for those with lungs already damaged by disease, worsening their conditions.

Diabetes
Gum disease and diabetes have an intertwined relationship. For people with gum disease, germs leak from infected gums into the bloodstream during chewing and tooth brushing. This activates the body’s defense system causing blood sugar levels to rise and increases the likelihood of developing diabetes. For those who have diabetes, gum disease is very common. If left untreated, their symptoms will worsen. Either way, proactive treatment of gum disease is critical for those with and without diabetes for the prevention of future problems. 

Pregnancy Complications
During pregnancy, hormone levels increase, making women more likely to develop oral infections. Left untreated, these infections lead to complications during pregnancy. What’s more, expectant mothers who have gum disease are also at an increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight for their child.


At Vacendak Dentistry we believe in a holistic approach to oral care. We look at more than just your teeth and gums; we look at your overall health. Be proactive in taking care of your health and call us today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule an appointment.

Hygiene Tips for Kissable Lips

Valentine’s Day is your mouth’s moment to shine! From the “Kiss Me” messages on mini candy hearts to romantic songs on the radio, a kiss is probably on your list this year. Before cozying up to your loved one make your mouth extra kissable with a few of our favorite tips: 

  1. Brighten Your Smile

Nothing is more attractive than a bright smile! If you’re looking for a boost in confidence, ask Vacendak Dentistry about our cosmetic whitening options. In-Office treatment with us lasts longer and is safer than the over-the-counter brands you encounter at the drugstore. 

  1. Beware Bad Breath

Bacteria is a major culprit of bad breath. Regular habits like brushing and flossing help to prevent it, but there are healthy solutions if you’re looking for a quick fix. Freshen your breath with ADA approved mouthwashes or sugarless gum. Both can freshen your breath instantly and get saliva flowing-especially after you eat foods with a strong scent. 

  1. Keep Your Hands to Yourself

For many couples, a big relationship step is keeping a toothbrush at each other’s place. Just make sure to only use your own! Sharing a toothbrush means sharing germs. That welcomes new, cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. 

  1. Drinking Water is Sexy 

Not only does staying hydrated give skin a healthy glow, it’s key to keeping your mouth kissable. Drinking water promotes healthy production of oxygen-containing saliva which deters the growth of smelly oral bacteria (bad breath). Make H20 your beverage of choice and you and your loved ones will reap the benefits.

At Vacendak Dentistry, we pride ourselves on providing high quality care for our clients. Whether you’re looking for a tooth whitening treatment or a check-up, we’d love to help you pucker-up with confidence this year! Give us a call at (757) 609-3510 or book an appointment online, today. 

New Year, New Mouth

With the new year here, you’ve probably already decided your New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like us, you may focus on improving your health in the new year. Just don’t forget the importance of improving oral health habits at the same time! Caring for your mouth goes a long way toward overall wellness and is an important element of daily self-care. 

Practicing a consistent and proper routine is not only a worthwhile goal to transform your smile, it’s also easier than many people think! Take advantage of the new year to clean your slate! Here are five easy ways to begin a successful oral health routine, today: 

  1. Conquer Your Fear of the Dentist
    Just like you should consult your doctor before trying a new diet, visiting your dentist is the first step to transforming your oral health. This is your chance to start the year fresh and with personal guidance from a professional! We want to help all our patients succeed, so bring an example of your new daily routine or a list of goals for the year and our office will be your new cheerleaders!
  2. Get the Right Tools
    It’s time to stock up on the right tools to make sure you’re set up for success. Even investing in a new electric toothbrush will encourage you to brush more often! If it’s hard to get to the store for replacements, look at subscription services that ship necessities straight to your door, at exactly the right time. 
  3. Invest in Yourself.
    Is there a certain cosmetic dentistry treatment you keep putting off? 2020 is the year to invest in yourself! Getting the smile you deserve not only transforms your oral health, but your self-esteem and confidence.
  4. Set Reminders
    It only takes around 30 days to form a new habit. So, start treating your daily hygiene like it’s a habit! Make a chart or use a tracking system to countdown the days until your new routine becomes second nature. Setting reminders on your phone or computer is a helpful trick, too.
  5. Drink More Tap Water
    Water is our favorite beverage!  By increasing your daily intake of water, you’ll fast track those new year’s wellness goals. Not only does water help maintain a healthy body, it helps your teeth too. Tap water, specifically, contains optimal amounts of fluoride, which are proven to strengthen teeth and reduce tooth decay in children and adults. Fluoride helps reinforce enamel affected by bacteria and acid. For all those reasons, adding more water to your diet is a win-win!

Drs. Sheila and Daniel Vacendak and the team at Vacendak Dentistry are here to make your dental health care in 2020 a positive experience! Call us today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule an appointment.

Great Gifts For Teeth

If you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffer this year, we have some great ideas. That’s right — Gifts for teeth!

You might not think dental products make good gifts, but they’re actually very helpful! Many of us don’t want to spend the money or don’t have time to replace these items as often as needed. By giving tooth-related gifts, you can take something off the plate of a loved one and help them stay healthy at the same time.

If you have family members who never seem to spend money on themselves, or you’re finally ready to give yourself a gift for your health, here are a few exciting items to try:

  1. An electric toothbrush subscription. Some of the best electric toothbrushes can be awfully pricey, and the replacement heads drive up the cost. However, there are many subscription services that are inexpensive. Take a look at Quip! It’s an affordable plan that ships toothpaste and new brush heads every three months.
  2. A water pick. Water picks aren’t just for braces! A water pick is often the most recommended dental product by professionals outside of the normal dental gear. This makes flossing fun by using a stream of water to dislodge food debris and easily removing the plaque that builds up around gums.
  3. A travel kit. Do you have a family member or friend who is always traveling? We do too! Build or buy them a travel kit with all of the essentials they will need to keep their teeth clean and their breath fresh after a long flight or drive. Include quick fixes like sugar-fee whitening gum and a small bottle of mouthwash! That way, they will never forget to pack their toothbrush when visiting for the holidays! They will always thank you.

Remember, 2020 is almost here. While you may be gifting your friends and family with useful items, it’s also time to start thinking about your own resolutions. If you’re reading to take control of your oral health, Vacendak is here to help! Contact our Chesapeake office today or call us at (757) 609-3510 to schedule a dental visit or to learn more about our practice.

Reasons to Give Thanks for Your Teeth

Reasons to be Thankful for Your Teeth 

November is the month of giving thanks! This year we want to give a special thanks to something we use every day but may never truly appreciate: our teeth! 

We know it may sound silly to give thanks for your pearly whites, but trust us, after we list our  top reasons, you’ll be praising them in no time.

  1. Teeth are one of your most defining features. According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), your smile is one of the first things someone notices about you. The same AACD study concluded that 74 percent of those who took the survey believe an unattractive smile can negatively affect someone’s career. But don’t worry, if you’re not proud of your grin, cosmetic dentistry from Vacendak Dentistry will transform your smile.
  2. They help you communicate. Teeth are an essential part of speaking. Without them, we’d have difficulty pronouncing certain letters and sounds such as ‘f,’ ‘v,’ ‘s,’ ‘th,’ and so many more. Go ahead and give it a try! Can you say a full sentence without touching your teeth with your tongue? It’s pretty challenging. In a previous post, we explore the numerous ways your teeth affect your speech, but you don’t need to know them all to be thankful for these great communicators. 
  3. They give you hints about your health. Your teeth can be indicators of your overall health. For example, very pale gums could be a sign of anemia, and losing teeth could be a symptom of osteoporosis. However, you won’t be able to self-diagnose by looking at your teeth. If you notice anything different, contact your dentist!

The doctors at Vacendak also want to remind our patients just how thankful we are for them! If you haven’t seen us in a while, give us a call at (757) 609-3510 to schedule your checkup before the busy holiday season begins. 

Choosing Mouth-Friendly Candy for Halloween

With Halloween fast approaching many of us are already thinking about candy! If you’ve been brushing twice a day and flossing once a day – you shouldn’t have to worry about the occasional splurge. Nevertheless, minimize possible harm from any sweets, by following a few tips on how to eat candy:

Chocolate
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate is probably your best option. Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate, thereby offering fewer carbohydrates to the bacteria that turn sugar into harmful cavity producing acids. Chocolate also washes off your teeth easier than stickier types of candy.

Sticky and Gummy Candies
These are the worst types of candy to eat. They’re hard to remove and stay on your teeth longer. That gives harmful bacteria more time to stick around and produce acids that breakdown your enamel.

Hard Candies
Hard candies are also problematic. Not only do they stay in your mouth for a long period of time as you suck it down, but they also cause physical damage. Even though it’s just candy, they can fracture teeth if bitten into too early. 

Sour Candies
Sour and sweet is a double whammy. The presence of sugar combined with the acids of a sour treat creates an extra harmful oral environment, accelerating the tooth decay process. 

Popcorn Balls
Popcorn Balls are sticky, sugary and can be hard. They get stuck between your teeth as well. A better version of this snack is just popcorn by itself!

Minimize exposure to sweets, play it smart and have a great Halloween! If you want to learn more about healthy snacks to hand out for Halloween, visit this article on 7 Tooth-Friendly Halloween Treats. 

Make sure to brush your teeth after snacking on any leftover candy, too! Brushing, swishing with water and flossing are the best ways to remove the sugar as quickly as possible. If you want an extra cleaning after the eventful Halloween night, call Vacendak Dentistry and schedule an appointment!