How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?

Teeth Whitening Nose RingPopular opinion has many people believing that they only need to visit the dentist when they are in dental pain. But is that really all the dentist is good for?

Your dental health is more important than you may realize. It’s connected to your overall wellbeing and needs just as much attention. Regular dental checkups play a critical role in keeping your smile healthy. Ask yourself these questions to determine how often you should go to the dentist’s.

What’s My Cavity Risk?

For the most part, two visits per year scheduled six months apart are sufficient for keeping teeth healthy. Things change a bit, however, if you’re prone to tooth decay.

A dentist like Dr. Rahman might recommend that you have an extra visit during the year. Regular dental x-rays are especially important when it comes to detecting new cavities. By spotting decay as early as possible, you can benefit from the most conservative treatment option possible.

Think of it this way: how hard is it to visit the dentist for an extra cleaning and checkup and then get a small filling, as needed? Is it really preferable to wait until you have a throbbing toothache to show up and learn that you need antibiotics, pain medication, an emergency root canal, and a new crown?

Do I Have Gum Disease?

If you’ve had or currently developed some form of gum disease, Dr. Rahman will advise you to schedule three or even four visits a year. These appointments will help you control inflammation and ensure clean teeth to promote healing.

These frequent appointments are especially important to track your gums’ response to periodontal treatment.

Is My Oral Hygiene Limited?

Your teeth will benefit from more than two cleanings a year if you aren’t able to clean them thoroughly on your own at home.

Conditions like:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Parkinson’s
  • Arthritis
  • Limited movement in hands/arms

…can limit your ability to brush and floss. Your smile might suffer if it isn’t cleaned thoroughly. Thankfully, we can help you fill in the gap!

To get a more complete idea of your oral health needs, schedule a visit at Vanguard Dental Solutions.

Is an Implant Right for You?

Smiling_Middle_Age_CoupleImplants have become one of the most common tooth replacement options. A single screw acts just like a tooth root, anchoring to the jawbone and supporting a restoration. Why do people love implants so much? Just because implants have so many benefits does that mean you should get one?

Why Choose An Implant

Many replacements for missing teeth are a removable appliance. These can eventually slip out of place, get broken, get lost, and irritate your mouth or damage your other teeth.

Patients are choosing implants today because they want to hold on to a healthy and complete smile for as long as possible. Implants allow them to do so because they:

  • Last a lifetime
  • Don’t rely on other teeth for support
  • Are easy to clean, just like other teeth
  • Preserve the shape of bone in the jaw

With all these benefits, implants should be an ideal restorations for anybody’s smile. But before you jump in, there are a few things you need to consider.

Are Implants Right For Everyone?

Placing the implant is where the “problems” may come in. One of the first considerations is whether you have enough bone to retain the implant. If there’s just not enough supporting structure, the implant won’t stay for very long. Your health also plays a big role. Certain medications, immune health problems, and lifestyle factors can jeopardize the success of implant placement surgery.

Before getting an implant, you’ll have to carefully think about whether your circumstances could compromise the effort. It’s best to talk to your dentist and primary care physician about the risks or concerns.

Your Implant Experience At Vanguard Dental Solutions

If you live in the Alexandria area and want to give implants a try, Dr. Murshed Rahman wants to help you find out how they can benefit you.

A comprehensive examination and diagnostic imaging will give you an idea of what your smile needs. Dr. Rahman will explain to you the risks and benefits in your particular case, giving you all the facts so that you can make an informed choice.

So is an implant right for you? The only way to find out for sure is to call Vanguard Dental Solutions today to schedule a consultation.

Here’s How You Should Be Flossing

 Flossing can be quite the chore if you’re not used to it. With time and practice, you’ll get to the point where you can do it in less than two minutes. The way you floss is very important. Incorrect or infrequent flossing won’t do you much good.

There are many different techniques and materials for cleaning between teeth. For now, here’s how Dr. Murshed Rahman recommends patients use regular floss.

1. Most people do fine with 12 inches or less of floss. Wrap one end around your middle or pointer until you are left with a length of about 2 inches stretched securely between your thumbs and pointer fingers.

2. Keeping the floss taut, gently ease it between tight teeth with a gentle sawing motion. Don’t slam the floss down between teeth as this can cut gums.

3. Once you’re past the point of contact between two teeth, pick a tooth surface and stick to that side. Hug the tooth in a C-shape with the floss.

4. Gently slip floss just below the gum line. Use an up-and-down motion to clean the tooth while the floss is wrapped around it.

5. Without pulling floss completely out from between the teeth, gently move it out of the gums. Switch to the other tooth surface to do the same.

6. Pull the floss tightly between your fingers and firmly snap it up out from between your teeth. If it gets stuck, it’s okay to unwind it from your finger and pull floss all the way through between the teeth.

That’s all there is to it! Unwind the floss on your fingers and rewind it so that you can move on to a fresh spot as needed. Move on to flossing the other teeth until you’ve cleaned every side surface of every tooth.

How are you doing with your flossing? Your smile care routine doesn’t just affect your teeth – it has big implications for your health, too. For oral hygiene tips customized to your unique smile needs, contact Dr. Rahman here at Vanguard Dental Solutions.

4 Foods to Choose for a Stronger Smile

Couple Eating An Al Fresco Meal

At Vanguard Dental Solutions, we want all of our patients to enjoy their brightest and healthiest smile possible.

Dr. Rahman recommends making the following popular food items a regular part of your diet to promote tooth and gum health. These foods are extremely versatile and easy to incorporate into just about any meal.

1. Apples

Fresh apples are high in fiber and water which help to naturally cleanse your teeth. Munching an apple after a meal is a good way to remove food debris and rinse away acidic bacteria.

2. Cheese

If you can tolerate dairy in your diet, then make sure that cheese is a regular part of it. Because it’s high in calcium, it’s a great way to protect your tooth enamel and strengthen the bone around your teeth.

Tangy cheese is a great way to jump-start your saliva jets. An abundant saliva flow is important to keeping your mouth clean, comfortable, and low in acid levels.

Emerging evidence indicates that some compounds in cheese could even help fight the effects of cavity-causing bacteria.

3. Whole Grains

Another excellent source of fiber is whole grain. Whole grain products are

low in refined sugars which would cause spikes in the blood sugar of diabetics. The lower sugar content is also good news because the sugar-loving germs that cause cavities essentially starve when you don’t give them what they crave.

Fiber in cereals, like that found in apples, is another good way to reduce food buildup in the mouth.

4. Strawberries

Strawberries are actually just one example of many foods that are excellent sources of vitamin C. You need this vitamin to promote healthy gums and encourage healing. If your immune system is compromised, then you’ll have a hard time recovering from infections and surgeries. Load up on vitamin C well before any scheduled treatment so that your body has time to prepare.

Don’t Forget the Dental Visits!

Make your tooth-friendly diet a healthy part of your dental care routine. Schedule regular visits to Dr. Rahman to make sure that your teeth and gums stay in great shape. Call us today to plan your visit.

Same Day Crown Treatments

man-dental-examWith your schedule already as busy as it is, you don’t have time to even think about getting a dental crown. Or do you?

When your tooth is in intense pain, you know you need to do something about it fast. A toothache could even mean that you need a dental crown. Fortunately, Dr. Murshed Rahman is ready to deliver quick and lasting relief in the form of same-day dental crowns.

How Do Same Day Crowns Work?

A crown you receive in a single appointment is very much like any other crown.

First, Dr. Rahman numbs your tooth to ease your discomfort and removes the damaged parts, leaving only the healthy structure behind. After your tooth is prepared, he takes an impression or digital scan of your teeth to determine how the new cap should fit. This design is the basis for creating the crown out of porcelain or metal and then it is cemented onto the tooth.

This whole process can generally take a few weeks. That’s because traditional crowns are made in a lab and you need to come back for a final seating of the restoration. In the meantime, you’re outfitted with a temporary crown.

How is this process shortened to a single day?

Dr. Rahman sends the digital scan of your prepared tooth to a computer. There, he can manipulate the image to design a custom restoration. While you wait in the dental chair, this finished pattern zips off to an on-site milling machine. There, the machine hews your new crown out of a solid piece of ceramic material.

Once that’s done, Dr. Rahman will try it in your mouth, make adjustments, cement it, and you’re on your way!

Same Day Crowns in Alexandria

Spare yourself all that time waiting on a finished product from the lab. The next time you suspect you need a crown, schedule a visit to Vanguard Dental Solutions. You’d be surprised at just how easy it is to get a high-quality dental restoration with less time off of work. Contact our team to find out more about same day crown treatments.

Is Your Teen Ready for Invisalign?

Teens and Invisalign

You’ve heard all the hype about Invisalign, and now your teenage son or daughter is asking about having it done. Or, you may be more interested in the clear braces than your child is!

It’s not unusual for parents to be curious about an invisible braces alternative for their teen. Vanguard Dental Solutions has an Invisalign treatment option geared especially towards the teenager in your family.

Why Choose Invisalign?

Invisalign is a system of clear, removable trays that gradually adjust teeth. They work similarly to how classic metal braces do, but without the brackets and wires. Adults and teens alike prefer these “invisible braces” because they confer the ability to:

  • Brush and floss much more easily than with metal braces
  • Eat whatever you want
  • Smile with confidence

Invisalign is great! But is it ideal for your teen?

Factors to Consider

Invisalign is a series of trays that your teen will get changed out as treatment progresses. Each tray has to be worn for around 20 hours or more out of every day. Your teen is responsible for taking the tray in and out, which can result in a few concerns.

If your son or daughter is prone to forgetting things, then there’s a good chance that you’ll need a couple replacement trays along the way. It’s easy to accidentally throw out a tray with the wrapper from a sandwich or misplace it after soccer practice.

Not properly cleaning both teeth and trays on a regular basis could also cause trouble. It’s easy to brush and floss with Invisalign, but if your child isn’t doing well with oral hygiene, then it’s pointless. Plaque trapped inside the tray will only speed up the tooth decay process – also leading to gingivitis or bad breath.

Lastly, your teen needs to be responsible enough to wear the trays for the majority of the day. The system won’t do any good if the trays are never worn.

Is your child ready for Invisalign? Perhaps you just won’t know until you give it a try. Call Vanguard Dental Solutions today to book a consultation.

Why You Need to Stop Putting Off That Filling

Sensitive Tooth

“Oh, it’s just a little cavity, I’ll take care of it at another visit.”
Before you know it, that “next visit” turns into more than one visit! It’s easy for a small dental filling to be trumped by things like car repairs, that family vacation, and time spent rebooting the bank account after a holiday season.

You might even be a little nervous about dental treatment. No matter what your reason is, it’s easy to ignore a small cavity and forget about it. In reality, you don’t want to put it off any longer than you have to!

Here are four reasons why postponing a dental restoration isn’t really a great idea:

1. It Will Get Bigger

Cavities do not go away on their own. While small carious lesions can be “arrested” (stopped) before they work through the enamel, active cavities continue to spread deeper. It’s only a matter of time until they cause bigger problems.

2. They’re Easy to Forget About

Some cavities never hurt. If you put off that filling now, it will only be easier to keep ignoring it and forgetting about it altogether. It’s so much better when you simply pick a date and schedule your filling appointment before it causes an emergency.

3. Treating it Later Costs More Time and Money

Waiting too long to treat your cavity means that it will only need more work by the time you get around to it. What might be a simple one-hour filling today could turn into a full-blown dental crown and multiple visits a year from now. The investment might not feel great right now, but it won’t get any cheaper the longer you wait.

Fillings at Vanguard Dental Solutions
If you have a cavity, Dr. Murshed Rahman will help you treat it when it’s as small as possible. We invite you to schedule your next dental examination with us. Whatever your restoration needs may be, from a filling to a crown, we’re ready to help you find the perfect fit. Call us today to schedule!

Why You Might Be Better Off Without Your Wisdom Teeth

A Beautiful Smile

Some people feel that they don’t need to bother with their teeth unless their teeth are bothering them. But wisdom teeth can actually cause more trouble than you may realize, even if you don’t feel it happening. It’s a good idea to have them examined by a dental professional to determine if they will cause you trouble or not.

The Hidden Dangers of Wisdom Teeth

Also known as the third molars, your wisdom teeth are hard to access and difficult for you to see. Problems with wisdom teeth start small and in ways you can’t even feel. Without your knowing it, what would be a little problem on any other tooth (like a cavity or gum inflammation) can turn into a complex treatment need.

Less to Clean

Let’s face it: fewer teeth means less to clean! Wisdom teeth are not essential to the function or alignment of your bite. Having your wisdom teeth removed won’t adversely affect the health of your other teeth. On the contrary, if third molars aren’t there to collect bacteria, then your mouth becomes much healthier.

Know If Your Wisdom Teeth Will Cause You Trouble

It’s recommended to have your wisdom teeth assessed by around 16 years of age, which is when the teeth finish developing. After this, they can continue to move in the mouth until they erupt or become impacted.
Most dentists advise patients to have their wisdom teeth removed while they are still in their teens and their bodies can heal quickly.

Even if you’re past your teens, there’s no time like the present to have your teeth evaluated. The sooner you find out that they’re compromising your oral health, the sooner you can take action.

Here at Vanguard Dental Solutions, Dr. Murshed Rahman can give your wisdom teeth the attention they need. Come in for some x-rays to find out where your wisdom teeth are and what you should do next.

The Many Benefits Of A Straighter Smile

A Beautiful Smile

When you think about orthodontics, you likely think of the cosmetic improvement that a straighter smile offers. While this is the most common understanding of the purpose of orthodontics, orthodontic treatment offers concrete health benefits that many people have not considered!

Ease those Migraines

Your crooked teeth may be at the heart of your chronic migraines. When your bite is misaligned, routine tasks like chewing exert strain on your craniofacial muscles. The end result can often be jaw discomfort, shoulder and neck pain – and severe headaches! By correcting the placement of your teeth, we can improve your bite, reducing muscle strain and the migraines it can cause.

Improve Your Oral Health

You might be surprised to learn what a negative impact your crooked teeth can have on your overall dental health. Crowded or oddly angled teeth can be difficult to keep clean – which creates a perfect environment for cavity-causing bacteria to grow. This undesirable oral environment can even increase your risk for developing gum disease. It’s a lot easier to keep your mouth clean and healthy when you can floss and brush effectively. Orthodontic treatment makes a healthier mouth a reality for our patients.

Improving Your Bite

When your teeth are crooked, prominent teeth can protrude, making them much more prone to injury from falls or accidents. Letting Dr. Rahman gently guide your teeth into a more aligned position can reduce your risk of accidental tooth breakage or chips. It also corrects your natural bite, which helps prolong the life of your teeth. Uneven teeth, left untreated, can result in premature wear and tear on your tooth enamel.

Enjoy a Better Looking Smile

Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of a healthier, more attractive smile? Vanguard Dental Solutions offers Invisalign clear orthodontics, for a discreet and comfortable smile alignment. Call our Alexandria office today to schedule your consultation!

Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Periodontitis

When you’re expecting your sweet bundle of joy, the last thing on your mind is likely your oral health. Did you know that because of the fluctuating hormones of pregnancy, you’re more likely to suffer from gum disease while pregnant?

As progesterone rises during your pregnancy, your production of prostaglandins also rises. Prostaglandins affect the inflammation of blood vessels, which your gums have in abundance. This increase causes your blood vessels to dilate, making your gums more susceptible to plaque and toxins. The result, for nearly 30% of pregnant women, is periodontal disease.

Peridontal Disease

At the earliest stages, periodontal disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is simply inflammation of the gum tissue which supports your pearly whites. If the infection isn’t treated, it can flourish, eventually leading to gum recession, loose teeth, and eventually tooth and bone loss. If your gums are feeling tender, red, and are bleeding easily when you brush or floss, Dr. Rahman can help.

Your Overall Health Begins With Your Oral Health

It may surprise you, but untreated periodontal disease can put you and your baby at risk. Some complications of gum disease include:

  • Low birth weight – In as many as 18% of low birth weight babies, periodontal disease has been identified as a risk factor.
  • Preterm delivery – It is believed that inflammation triggers a chemical response that can lead to preterm labor. Periodontal disease has been linked to preterm births (before 37 weeks).
  • Pre-eclampsia – This serious pregnancy condition, typified by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, has been associated with periodontal disease. It’s thought to be caused by stress on the blood vessels for both mother and baby.

We Can Help!

Taking the best care of your smile is always important, but especially so, when you’re expecting.  If you’re experiencing gum sensitivity, give Vanguard Dental Solutions a call, and come see us.