Gateway Dental

44330 Premier Plaza

Suite #140

Ashburn, VA 20147

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Tips for a Bright, White Smile! - January 24, 2017

Whether you have your teeth professionally whitened at the dentist’s office or prefer at-home techniques, there’s no denying the confidence boost that comes from a white smile. This month, our dental team is sharing their top tips for achieving a bright, white smile:

  1. Brush after eating or drinking
    We know drinks like coffee and red wine can stain the teeth, but we also know it’s hard to not to ever drink them; so be on the safe side and brush after drinking, especially if the drink is a darker color. With foods like red pasta sauce, gravy, and anything acidic, it is also crucial to brush after you eat. If you can get in the habit of brushing after eating or drinking regardless of color, your teeth will thank you for it.
  2. Brush with baking soda and peroxide
    Be careful not to overdo it! We recommend brushing with baking soda and peroxide once a week. You can do this after you brush your teeth with toothpaste, and it will remove stains and whiten teeth.
  3. Gargle or brush with apple cider vinegar
    It has been proven that apple cider vinegar can also remove stains and whiten teeth. You will need to do this consistently to see results, but also be careful, because vinegar is an acid and can remove the enamel on your teeth. We recommend brushing with regular toothpaste after using apple cider vinegar to protect your teeth.
  4. Eat foods like apples, celery, and broccoli
    These foods will help to remove stains by exfoliating the teeth before the stains can form.

Why Invisalign? -

While there are many teeth-straightening options out there, Invisalign offers many conveniences and advantages that others cannot. While regular braces have been the go-to option for many years, anyone who remembers their childhood with braces will recall the cons that come with them. Unlike regular braces, Invisalign allows you to not only eat whatever foods you would like, but you can remove the device as needed. For example, if you are about to give a presentation in front of your colleagues, and would feel more comfortable without the retainers in, simply remove them. It’s as easy as that! Also, compared to the sharp metal of regular braces, Invisalign uses comfortable plastic that helps ease the discomfort that often comes with traditional braces on your teeth.

Some others opt for veneers to achieve that perfect smile. While veneers are a great option for some, veneers are designed to simply cover up the imperfections, compared to Invisalign, which fixes the problematic areas. If you are on the fence about whether veneers or Invisalign is the right option for you, be sure to consult with our dentists, and we will be sure to help in making the right decision.

Invisalign is the answer for anyone who feels like they may have missed their window as a child to get braces. If you are thinking that having braces wouldn’t fit into your life, rest easy, because Invisalign is exactly what the name implies – INVISIBLE! Enjoy straighter teeth, without disrupting your day to day life.



Navigate Halloween Season Without the Scare for your Smile!- October 4, 2016

Let’s face it, it’s that time of year again. Pumpkin spice flavored everything, addictive candy corn, gooey caramel apples…. but it doesn’t have to be all bad news for our smiles. There’s no need to beat ourselves up for reaching inside our kids’ candy bags… check out these quick and easy do’s and dont’s for navigating the upcoming candy season:

DO’s:

  • Be aware of what kind of candy you’re ingesting. Stick to dark chocolate instead of milk or white chocolate as it boasts a lower sugar content and leaves less “bad bacteria” traces in your mouth.
  • Try sugar free options when you can (like chewing gum). Most of the time, your kid or you won’t even taste the difference!
  • Have your dessert first. Despite going against everything our own mothers taught us, eating a meal right afterwards actually helps your mouth break down the sugar molecules better. By actively triggering the release of more saliva to wash down food, cavities are prevented by eroding the sources of bacteria that cause them.
  • Drink a glass of water with sweets to help wash down leftover sugary particles and residue from that Snicker’s bar.

DONT’s:

  • There’s no need to spending a lot of extra money on additional teeth cleaning products. Your standard attention to oral health and regular dentist visits will see you through.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t completely dodge those candy corn or Reese’s from your child’s candy bag. While we’re never going to say sugar is great for the health of your teeth and gums, you just simply need to be aware of how important it is to maintain a great oral health routine. Balance in everything!
  • Don’t trust those sugary gummy bears. Don’t let those deceivingly cute and innocent things fool you. Try to avoid gummy, sticky or chewy candy, because the stickier a candy is, the worse it is for your gums and teeth. Try to avoid lollipops or caramel-type candy too, as these also invite a higher bacteria build-up in the mouth.

There’s beauty in balance in all aspects of life, including your diet. Simply be mindful of what you’re putting into your mouth and body. No need to grin and bear it any longer!




Back to School, Back to Routines… Daily Oral Hygiene Tips for Healthier Teeth and Gums - September 2, 2016

It’s back to school time! Children and teens are waking up and getting ready for a day full of learning and extracurricular activities. With the daily routines of back to school upon us, now is as good a time as any to incorporate a new daily oral hygiene regiment into your day.

The dentists at Gateway Dental have 5 easy tips to help you keep a healthy oral hygiene routine each and every day!

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day and be thorough
    It is easiest to remember to brush, if you brush in the morning as soon as you wake up, and also if it is the last thing you do before your head hits the pillow at night. Remember to brush for a minimum of 2 minutes. Be sure to brush all 4 sides of your teeth, front, back, and sides; as well as all 4 quadrants of your mouth. If you dedicate 30 seconds to each quadrant, 2 minutes will be here before you know it.
  2. Floss Daily
    Brushing is not enough to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Flossing gets in-between the teeth better than a toothbrush can, and reaches those food particles a toothbrush might miss. When flossing, hold the floss at an angle and don’t floss too soft or too hard. Remember, flossing should not be painful. You can floss at any time in the day, so do it when you feel you have the most time. Some prefer to do it in the morning or after lunch, since they feel too tired to take the extra time at night. It really is a personal preference, and as long as you are doing it daily, time of day is not important.
  3. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash
    Rinse with a mouthwash after you brush and floss. Pour the amount of mouthwash the manufacturer recommends, and rinse for about 30-60 seconds. After about 60 seconds, you may choose to gargle the solution or you can spit it out. You may use a fluoride mouthwash if your dentist recommends.
  4. Don’t forget to clean your tongue
    Our tongues can store bacteria and food particles that lead to bad breath. While you are brushing your teeth, also be sure to brush your tongue. While you are flossing, you can scrape your tongue with the floss or you can use a tongue scraper.
  5. Eat foods that help keep teeth and gums healthy
    If you recall our past blog article, “Best Foods for Healthy Teeth & Gums,” there are a number of foods that help with daily oral hygiene. Among those are almonds, apples, and celery to just name a few. Read the full article to see our top food choices.



Forgetting to Floss? 4 Facts You Need to Know! -

When it comes to the health of your teeth and gums, flossing is the superhero that takes your dental care routine to the next level. Brushing alone neglects critical hard to reach areas of the mouth, including the spaces between the teeth, and small gaps along the gum line that are especially vulnerable to dental problems. Food particles can get lodged between teeth gaps leading to plaque buildup, staining and discoloration of teeth and cavities.

Why is flossing so important?

  • Flossing prevents tartar build-up
    One tartar (plague build-up that forms along the gum line) has taken root, it requires professional attention to be removed. Excessive tartar build up can lead to gingivitis, a gum disease that causes bleeding and inflammation. Its first symptom is slight bleeding when brushing – and if ignored, can lead to more severe gum diseases. Flossing allows you to get rid of plague that causes tartar while it’s still pliable, sticky and soft. Since plaque does not advance into tartar unless it remains undisturbed for a long period, regular flossing keeps its build-up at bay.
  • Flossing boosts the effectiveness of brushing
    While brushing your teeth after every meal, or twice a day, is paramount towards maintaining good oral hygiene, you may not get optimal cleaning if you skip flossing. A toothbrush has soft bristles that only removes plague within the easily reachable areas. Therefore, it often does not clean under the gums and between the teeth adequately. Though toothpaste that contains fluoride reduces the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth, you must floss daily to remove plaque in tight spaces between teeth. The dental practitioners at Gateway Dental of Ashburn, Virginia recommend flossing before you brush to make brushing more effective. With less or no plaque between your teeth or under the gums, the fluoride toothpaste can get and act on more areas of your mouth.
  • Flossing saves you money
    It certainly pays to take precautions such as observing the right oral health practices to reduce medical expenses! Forgetting to floss can be costly in the long run when increased cavities that result too damaging dental problems take root. Dental procedures such as root canals are quite expensive and can result in veneers or crowns that also affect the cost of dental care significantly. The cost-effective tools that guarantee oral health are a box of floss and a toothbrush!
  • Flossing prevents cavities and protects gums
    At the root of every tooth are bones of the upper and lower jaws. The jaw anchors teeth by their roots; the roots and bones are covered by a sensitive and soft tissue of the gums. The meeting point between teeth and gums is where flossing plays the most crucial role. Tiny food particles get lodged at this meeting point to form plague that later advances to tartar. Excessive tartar causes serious gum diseases like gingivitis that may later advance to periodontitis if not addressed. Moreover, failure to floss regularly can cause tooth decay or cavities. Floss gets in between gums and teeth to remove stubborn food particles.

Proper oral hygiene begins with you! Concerned about the health of your teeth and gums? Contact the professionals at Gateway Dental of Ashburn, Virginia at 703-726-0333 or visit to book your appointment.



Best Foods for Healthy Teeth & Gums -

It’s no secret that regular brushing, flossing and rinsing can keep you oral hygiene in check. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to add in some reinforcements! Below are our top foods that help fight bacteria, leaving you with a healthy smile!


Almonds
Almonds are an amazing source of calcium and protein, and have the added benefit of being low in sugar. Enjoy them by themselves, or add into your salad for so,e extra crunch!

Apples
The long, slow crunching action of eating an apple helps to shake off the plaque that clings to your teeth and gums. Insider tip: if possible, rinse with water or mouthwash afterwards to eliminate fruit acids.

Green Tea
The catechins in green tea fight inflammation and can also help to control bacterial infections. Recent studies have also found that regular sipping can be attributed to a reduced occurrence of periodontal disease and less tooth loss later in life.

Dairy
Milk, cheese and yogurt are packed with both protein and bone-fortifying calcium, which helps to neutralize acids produced by plaque bacteria.

Celery
Like apples, celery acts like a toothbrush, washing away food particles and bacteria. And bonus, It’s a great source of vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that are essential for gum health.

Leafy Greens
Greens are packed with fiber, which requires extra chewing to break down. The extra saliva produced helps to neutralize the bacteria in your mouth.




Ouch! Ease the Pain of Sensitive Teeth -

Do your teeth scream a little (or a lot) when you drink a hot latte or a cold milkshake? If so, you likely have sensitive teeth, which occur when the enamel that protect our teeth gets thinner or when gum recession exposes the underlying surface. The good news? You can ease the ouch of extra sensitive teeth with a simple protocol:

Understand the “why” behind your sensitive teeth.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), tooth sensitivity is usually triggered when eating hot or cold foods and can be caused by: gum disease; worn fillings or fractured teeth; tooth decay and exposure of roots at the gumline; aggressive toothbrushing; and/or wearing away of the enamel that protects the nerves of each tooth.

Steer clear of acidic foods.
If you consume soda, coffee and citrus fruits regularly, you’ll want to cut back on these acidic foods or avoid them altogether as they can spur the erosion of your tooth enamel. If you can’t bear to part with your daily Coke, be sure to sip it through a straw to limit contact between the carbonated stuff and your teeth. And while it may sound counterintuitive, don’t brush right after eating or drinking acid foods. Acid quickly softens your enamel and may make your teeth even more sensitive if brushed too quickly; instead, drink a glass of milk to help neutralize the acid.

Swap your toothbrush and toothpaste.
Using a hard-bristled toothbrush is a no-no for sensitive teeth. Look for one with soft bristles and brush your teeth gently in a back and forth motion. Desensitizing toothpastes contain ingredients that block off the nerve-enriched tubules in the exposed dentin, which will help protect the dentin and keep you from cringing when you eat a popsicle. Use regularly for at least a month for maximum benefit.

Book your dental appointment.
If you suspect tooth decay, disease or infection, it’s time to call your dentist. Remember, any of these more serious causes of sensitivity can quickly lead to major dental problems, so don’t put off seeing a professional. Your dentist may apply fluoride to the sensitive areas of your teeth to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain. If your tooth root has lost gum tissue, a surgical gum graft can protect exposed roots and reduce sensitivity. And if your sensitive teeth are causing severe pain, your dentist may recommend a root canal, which is considered the most successful technique for eliminating tooth sensitivity.

Are your sensitive teeth getting the best of you? Your dental health providers at Gateway are here to help so book your appointment today!


Be Sweet to your Smile - February 2, 2016

Great oral health begins and ends with YOU. Keep your teeth and mouth healthy for a lifetime with these simple steps to decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems.

Don’t take your teeth for granted. Most of us just assume our teeth will last as long as we do. But unless you invest in proper dental care, major problems can arise that lead to permanent damage and eventually loss of teeth. Step one: prioritize the health of your teeth!

Brush with purpose. Even if your teeth feel clean, plaque caused by bacteria builds up every day, which makes brushing regularly uber important. A thorough two-minutes, twice a day, is the gold standard. Don’t just go through the motions – methodically brush each quadrant of your mouth, giving equal time to each area. Consider an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer for extra brushing power. And remember, brushing harder isn’t better. Use a soft toothbrush and gentle circles when brushing close to the gum line to avoid causing receding gums.

Get over your flossing phobia. Flossing may seem like one more chore to add to your day, but it’s an essential to-do for reducing gum disease and preventing tooth decay. Without flossing, the sticky plaque that builds up on your teeth just sits there (ick!). Ideally you want to floss after eating, but flossing at any time of day is beneficial. Always floss with care – hold floss at an angle and glide it gently along two sides of each tooth. If conventional string floss leaves you frustrated, use floss picks.
Adopt a dental friendly diet. Minimizing sugar and processed snack foods is just as good for your teeth as it is for your waistline. Cut back on acidic foods and drinks, which can wear down your teeth’s protective enamel. And just say no to soda, a surefire way to bring on tooth decay.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Make drinking lots of water a priority, especially if you suffer from dry mouth. In addition to washing away food residue, saliva has antibacterial properties, neutralizes acids that erode enamel and helps repair teeth. If you’ve got dry mouth, a problem that increases as we age, consider trying a dry-mouth rinse.


See your dentist twice a year.
Even if your at-home oral hygiene is perfect, you still need to see a professional twice a year. Your dentist can see things you can’t see, including the inside of your teeth. Book your appointments every six months for a professional cleaning and exam to ensure your teeth have a healthy and long-lasting future!





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