Category Archives: Uncategorized

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! 

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. 

Encouraging Age-Appropriate Dental Habits at Home

Proper at-home dental care is an important childhood lesson. Teaching children when they are young helps maintain the healthy habits into adulthood. In deciding what to show them and when, try to go slow. Many kids don’t know how to hold a toothbrush, much less correctly brush or floss without supervision. By teaching age-appropriate skills and staying involved, you make sure that children develop proper techniques over time.  

As with any childhood lesson, it isn’t easy knowing when to let kids do it themselves or if you should step in, so here are some of our favorite tips for every age:  

 Ages 6 and Under 

Until they have a firm grip on the toothbrush, keep brushing for them. Explain what you’re doing and why. Eventually, your young child might want to do the brushing themselves but stay close. Kids in this age range don’t have the fine motor skills needed for a thorough job. Young mouths change quickly, so children at 6 will brush the same way they did at 2 or 3 and miss new teeth. It’s up to guardians to help reach those teeth as they pop in. The best course of action is letting your child begin on their own and helping out when needed. For  flossing, get them started as soon as two teeth are touching.  

 Ages 7-12 

By now, children know what to do, but they might not want to do it! Many tasks become a battle during this age, so they’ll need active encouragement to take on their brushing and flossing responsibilities and do it correctly. Set a timer to help demonstrate what two minutes of brushing feels like and be aware that you may need to stick around so they don’t cut corners.  

 Ages 12-18 

Research shows that cavities are more likely to appear in early adulthood. That’s because many teenagers go years without a cavity and never grasp the consequences of missing a night of brushing. As a result, their oral hygiene takes a back seat. Don’t let your teen’s habits fall to the wayside. Now that they’re older and their bones weaker, getting cavities is easy. If you notice them slipping, try asking their dentist to remind them of the long-term effects of poor oral hygiene.  

 The best preventative habit to instill in your children is a twice-yearly visit to the dentist. By maintaining this schedule throughout their lives, it becomes second nature when they go off on their own. Contact us today to schedule their next appointment!


Are Veneers Right For You? 

Looking at models in magazines and actors on TV may lead you to believe one thing about teeth: That people naturally have a bright white and straight smile. But that isn’t the case. Often, the perfected grins you see on everyone from movie stars to moms, are the result of cosmetic dental surgery.

If you are unhappy with your smile, you’re not alone. Studies show that over 80% of people think their teeth look bad in photographs and will avoid showing their teeth when they smile. However, thanks to modern cosmetic dentistry, there are easy solutions to getting the look you crave, particularly veneers.

Veneers are one of the most popular procedures to correct cosmetic tooth deficiencies. This minimally invasive procedure corrects small problems like uneven size, color and alignment. Made of wafer-thin, tooth-colored material (porcelain or resin), they cover the front surface of teeth and improve appearance. The result is a bright white smile that patients desire.

How do you know if veneers are the right choice for you? Here are a few major factors that dentists look at when you ask about the possibility of veneers:

1. Healthy Teeth 
Veneers need to attach to healthy teeth – period! It isn’t advisable to place veneers on teeth that show signs of decay or gum disease. Veneers can last twenty years, and when placed on unhealthy teeth, the tooth continues to decay underneath the porcelain cover, leading to bigger problems brewing under the surface. Your dentist will suggest fixing these problems first before they fit veneers.

2. Absence of Bruxism (Tooth Grinding) 
Bruxism or grinding/clenching is a widespread problem which many people knowingly or unknowingly suffer from. Although veneers are durable, they aren’t as strong as our natural teeth. As a result, the amount of force exerted when a person grinds or clenches will damage the coating. In many cases, curbing bruxism is possible with a combination of night guards and relaxation techniques. If you experience clenching, your dentist may recommend treatment first.

3. Good Alignment 
Veneers can fix teeth that are unevenly spaced or slightly crooked, but aren’t beneficial for patients with severely misaligned teeth. The positioning of the jaw in these cases means that excessive pressure is put on the veneers when the wearer bears down. In many cases it can crack, chip, or break the porcelain or resin. Correcting misaligned teeth is done by orthodontic procedures, such as braces.

If you’re not happy with your current smile and you believe that you’re a good candidate for porcelain veneers, then visit our practice and talk to us about your options. Contact us at Vacendak Dentistry 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.

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.

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.