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Posts for: December, 2021

Cosmetic dentistry is a particular branch of dentistry that focuses on improving the appearance of patients’ smiles. A wide range of services is available for addressing different types of concerns, including gaps between teeth. In Woodbridge, VA, cosmetic dentistry is offered at Occoquan Smiles. Our experienced team of dentists can recommend specific procedures for closing the gaps in your smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry Services for Fixing Gaps

We have several methods for fixing gaps between teeth at our general and cosmetic dentistry office in Woodbridge, VA. Some procedures and services that can close gaps in the smile include:

Dental Bonding: Small gaps between teeth are filled with a tooth-colored resin material that permanently bonds to the teeth. After applying the resin, a special curing light is used to harden it. Once dry, the resin blends in with the rest of your smile, and the gap will be gone. Dental bonding can also be used to repair teeth that are chipped or cracked.

Porcelain Veneers: Wafer-thin laminate covers that are bonded to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers can be used to conceal small gaps between teeth. They can also conceal other types of imperfections, such as stains or discolorations.

Crowns: A dental crown is a hollow tooth-like cap that is placed over a tooth to improve its appearance. In some cases, placing a crown over a tooth can fix a small gap. Crowns can also improve the appearance of teeth that are crooked, misshapen, or discolored. Additionally, crowns can strengthen and protect damaged teeth, as well as restore function in teeth too weak to bite and chew food.

Invisalign Clear Aligners: Another option for fixing gaps between teeth is Invisalign clear aligners. Custom clear aligner trays are worn over the teeth and gently exert pressure on them so they gradually move into the desired position over time.

Other Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Can Help

In addition to fixing gaps between teeth, cosmetic dentistry can address many other problems with your smile. Some of the cosmetic issues that can be improved with the right treatment or procedure include:

  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Dull, stained, or discolored teeth
  • Crowded/overlapping teeth
  • Odd or misshaped teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • A gummy smile

Cosmetic dentistry can fix gaps between your teeth, as well as many other smile concerns. Our skilled dentists can recommend certain services and procedures to help you achieve the smile you desire. For cosmetic dentistry in Woodbridge, VA, call Occoquan Smiles at (703) 490-9094.

By Occoquan Smiles
December 14, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dry mouth  

We all experience that unpleasant "cotton-mouth" feeling now and again. But what if it happens all the time? Chronic dry mouth is more than unpleasant—it could be a medical condition that threatens your oral health.

Chronic dry mouth is a sign you don't have enough saliva present. That's a problem because we need saliva to keep our teeth and gums healthy by neutralizing the oral acid that erodes tooth enamel. Saliva also supplies antibodies to fight infection.

A saliva deficiency could be the result of lifestyle habits like drinking alcohol or smoking, metabolic diseases or treatments like chemotherapy or radiation. More commonly, though, it's a side effect from a medication you're taking.

Given the heightened risk it causes to your teeth and gums, what can you do to alleviate chronic dry mouth?

Review your medications. If you're taking prescribed medications, talk with your pharmacist or doctor about possible oral side effects associated with any of them. If so, it may be possible to switch to an alternative medication without the dry mouth side effect.

Don't use tobacco. Regardless of whether you smoke, dip or chew, tobacco use can interfere with saliva production. Kicking the habit not only improves saliva flow, it may further reduce your risk for oral diseases, especially oral cancer.

Drink more water. Saliva is mainly composed of water—so, be sure your body has plenty of it to facilitate saliva production. It's a good idea to sip extra water throughout the day, and especially before and after you take medication.

Practice oral hygiene. As a general rule, brushing and flossing every day is pivotal in preventing dental disease—but it's especially important with dry mouth. Be sure, then, to brush twice and floss once every day. You should also see your dentist at least every six months for dental cleanings and checkups.

Chronic dry mouth could be setting you up for future dental disease. But taking steps to alleviate it while practicing daily dental care could help you avoid that unhappy outcome.

If you would like more information on alleviating chronic dry mouth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “10 Tips for Dealing With Dry Mouth.”


Instagram, America's humongous digital photo and video album, is chock-full of the silly, mundane, and poignant moments of people's everyday lives. That includes celebrities: Tom Hanks buying a used car; Ryan Reynolds sporting tiny sunglasses; Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran taking a hike. And then there's former Olympic alpine skier, Lindsey Vonn—posting a video of her recent dental visit.

Winner of several World Cup competitions and the first woman to gain the gold for downhill racing at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vonn broke her two front teeth during a—you guessed it—skiing competition a few years ago. This past September, she went to the dentist to update her restoration and gave her followers a fascinating firsthand look at dental bonding, a technique for repairing a chipped or broken tooth.

Although dental bonding has been around for decades, it's taken a leap forward in the last few years because of improvements in bonding material. A mixture of plastic and glass components, composite resins can produce a strong and durable result when bonded to teeth. To begin the technique, the tooth's surface is prepared so that the composite resin can better adhere. Along with an adhesive agent, the bonding material is applied as a paste, which makes it easier to shape and sculpt for the most realistic look. This is usually done layer by layer, with each individual layer hardened with a curing light.

The technique allows us not only to achieve the right tooth shape, but also to incorporate your natural tooth color. We can tint the composite resin as we work so that your restored tooth blends seamlessly with the rest of your natural teeth. The result: A “new” tooth that's both beautiful and natural-looking.

What's more, dental bonding is more affordable than veneers or crowns and can often be done in a single visit. You will, however, need to exercise care with your new restoration. Although highly durable, it can be damaged if you bite into something hard. You'll also need to watch foods and beverages like tea or coffee that can stain the dental material.

Even so, we can help you regain the smile you once had before you took your teeth skiing—Lindsey Vonn-style—or whatever you were doing that resulted in a “whoopsie.” All it takes is a call for an appointment to start you on the path to a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information about cosmetic dental enhancements, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”