Does taking a sip from your favorite hot tea cause you to shudder in pain? Does the thought of flossing make your teeth hurt? Then you’re likely suffering from sensitive teeth.

Don’t worry, lots of people suffer from sensitive teeth. The triggers can vary widely, from alcohol-based mouth rinses to a puff of cold air. Some people’s teeth are more sensitive than others. This could be because of thinner enamel, nighttime teeth grinding, among many other causes.

Want to help reduce your tooth sensitivity? Try out these three tips.

Unclench Your Teeth

Be it while you sleep or during a stressful situation, teeth grinding wears away at your enamel. Take a proactive approach at solving the stress factors in your life for stress-grinding, and consider getting a custom mouth guard for nighttime grinding.

Don’t Brush Too Hard

It’s common to think the harder you brush the cleaner your teeth will be. But really, hard brushing can be rough on your enamel and gum line. Also, use a toothbrush that’s labeled “soft.” Medium and hard toothbrushes can push your gum line down and cause further sensitivity.

Beware of Acidic Drinks and Foods

Yummy candy, sugary drinks, and other high-sugar carbs might be delicious snacks, but their acidity might be worsening your teeth sensitivity. Make a plan to avoid these foods and instead opt for fruits and vegetables, plain yogurt, milk, or cheese.

If your sensitivity is extreme or continues even after you’ve tried these tips, book an appointment. Dr. Fernandez will be happy to review your situation and point you in the right direction.

Drinking is a cornerstone of many people’s social circles. But before you pour a glass, consider how alcohol impacts your teeth.

Dehydration

Drinks high in alcohol content tend to dry out your mouth. The saliva that helps remove bacteria and plaque from the surface of your teeth is no longer there to do its job. If you’ll be drinking alcohol, be sure to also drink plenty of water to keep your mouth (and the rest of your body) hydrated.

Sugar, Sugar Everywhere

Sugar can lead to tooth decay. So it’s no surprise that alcoholic drinks high in sugar can damage your teeth—after all, sugar is like rocket fuel for bacteria in your mouth. The more you give the bacteria, the more quickly it can multiple and thrive. Try opting for a low-sugar drink, such as a dry brut champagne or check out this list of wines for a low-sugar diet.

Stains

Red wine may taste good, but it’s not so good on your teeth. You can quickly see the staining effects by the trademark “red wine smile” on someone whose teeth have turned red from a glass of wine. Is beer better? Only marginally. Like wine, beer is acidic, which makes your teeth more likely to be stained by the malts and barley found in darker beers.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Do you have a smile darkened by alcohol? We offer teeth whitening, as well as a host of other services to bring out your best smile.

Here at Fernandez Family Dentistry, we put our patients first. That’s why we accept most insurance plans (except for dental HMO plans). If you have questions about your particular plan, feel free to give our office a call at 757-497-4825. Our office is conveniently located near the Mount Trashmore Office Park. For a map and detailed directions, click here.

Everyone knows smoking is bad for your health, but did you know it can cause major dental issues as well?

Smoking and Dental Problems

A long-term smoker’s smile is often riddled with yellowness and even dark spots between teeth. The many carcinogens (a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue) in cigarettes can cause major discoloration and lead to tooth decay. Smoking also inhibits the body’s natural restorative processes, making it more time-consuming to recover from surgeries and can create further complications, especially with procedures involving dental work. One study suggests that more than 1/3 of smokers have at least three dental issues. That’s 4x the rate of non-smokers.

The Link to Gum Disease

Studies have shown smokers are at significant risk for gum or periodontal disease. Bacterial plaque—a leading factor in gum disease—is built up more frequently in mouths of smokers. The lack of oxygen in the bloodstream makes it difficult to heal the infected areas.

When you have a cavity, you may wonder if you can save the tooth. There are ways to help prevent further damage, but the best way to ensure the cavity doesn’t continue its path of destruction is to book an appointment and get it filled by a dentist. In the meantime, here are three ways to help keep a cavity from getting worse.

Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks

Millions of bacteria live in your mouth. When your tooth enamel decays, some of these bacteria can eat away at the tooth until a hole is formed (i.e. a cavity). Sugar fuels bacteria, thus giving them energy to keep going with their dirty work. If you have to indulge, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water immediately after.

Brush with Great Care

Brushing is essential for a healthy smile. To keep the cavity clean and prevent it from worsening, focus in on the cavity to be certain you remove every possible food particle. Keep your pressure light so as not to strip away at the hole.

Stay Hydrated

An overly dry mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. Drink water throughout the day (even more water if you consume caffeinated drinks, which can further dehydrate you) to keep bacteria at bay. Your smile will thank you. (Your body will thank you, too.)

Time to Fill Your Cavity?

Does your cavity cause you pain? Are you worried it’s getting worse? Book an appointment with us online or give us a call at 757-497-4825. Dr. Fernandez will give you the filling you need to keep your cavity at bay in a relaxing, family-friendly environment.

With treatment times up to 2x faster, Invisalign® gets you into your new smile in no time. But what exactly is the best age for Invisalign®? The simple answer: There’s no set-in-stone age. Rather, there are certain conditions that must be met. And those are:

  1. All baby teeth must be gone
  2. First molars and permanent incisors must have come through
  3. There can be no significant tooth decay or damage
  4. The aligners must be worn 22 hours or more every day—the candidate must be mature enough to comply with this treatment

Patients as young as 11 or 12 have received Invisalign®. The majority of teen treatments are in the 12-16 age range.

If you’re an adult looking to get your old smile back, it’s never too late for Invisalign®. If you’re uncertain of whether you’d be a good candidate, just book an appointment and we’d be happy to review your individual needs.

Will Invisalign® Disrupt My Life?

You don’t have to worry about your life being interrupted—whether you’re having lunch with friends or playing your favorite sport, Invisalign® won’t slow you down. Just simply remove the aligners and you’re ready to go. Foods that prove challenging with braces are no worries with Invisalign®. Popcorn at the movies? Corn on the cob? Enjoy all of your favorite foods without the mess and worry.

Thanks to precise molding, Invisalign® is better fitting than other aligners on the market and works with greater predictability and control. This means a snug, comfortable fit that’s tailored to your teeth.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of Invisalign®, feel free to book an appointment or give us a call at 757-497-4825.

We all want healthier teeth. After all, our smile says a lot about who we are. Be the best version of yourself with these 5 tips for healthier teeth.

Brush Twice…Every Day

Brushing before bed helps clear out the food and drinks you’ve consumed throughout the day, while a good morning brush cleans out the night’s bacteria and freshens up that “morning breath.” Each has its own benefits, and combined they can help prevent cavities and give you your best smile.

Floss More

We admit, flossing can be hard. The trick is to incorporate it into your routine. Want to know how? Check out these three tricks to flossing every day.

Chew an Apple

Not only is fruit a great substitute for sugary drinks (which we talk about in-depth in this blog post) it also helps clean your teeth while providing Vitamin C to kill bacteria. An added bonus: it also helps fix bad breath.

Stop Smoking. Now.

The many carcinogens (a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue) in cigarettes can cause major discoloration and lead to tooth decay. Smoking also inhibits the body’s natural restorative processes, making it more time-consuming to recover from surgeries and can create further complications, especially with procedures involving dental work. Learn more about the effects of smoking here.

See Your Dentist for Regular Check-Ups

To keep your smile at its best, be sure to visit a dentist twice a year. Get your appointment on the books today by scheduling online or giving us a call at 757-497-4825.

Though sugary drinks may be delicious, they come at a steep cost. Not only can they lead to obesity, long-term consumption can cause health issues and, of course, tooth decay. Here are a couple drinks to beware of that may have more sugar than you thought.

Whole Fruit is Better Than Fruit Juice

Fruit juices may sound like a great option, but they’re dense with sugar. Next time you reach for the fruit juice, be sure to check out the nutrition facts on the label. You’ll be shocked to discover the amount of sugar—sometimes they contain even more than popular sugary drinks, like Coke. Whole fruits, on the other hand, have less sugar and also other key nutrients such as fiber.

Here at Fernandez Family Dentistry, we put our patients first. That’s why we accept most insurance plans (except for dental HMO plans). If you have questions about your particular plan, feel free to give our office a call at 757-497-4825.

Insurance We Accept

Some of the larger plans we accept include:

  • Aetna PPO
  • Anthem BCBS
  • Assurant
  • Cigna
  • Delta Dental
  • Dominion Dental
  • Guardian
  • Humana
  • MetLife
  • Principal
  • United Concordia

Payment Options

As part of our mission of convenience, we accept a wide variety of payments, including:

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Discover

Since your toothbrush can’t reach everywhere in your mouth (especially between your teeth), you need to floss to keep up proper oral hygiene. Yet so many of us either choose not to floss or simply forget to do it. Here are three tricks to floss every day.

Floss in the Shower

By attaching the act of flossing to a habit you already have, you’re more likely to meld the two habits together. This kicks out the worries associated with forming a new habit from scratch, which, as we all know, can be quite difficult. 

Create a Craving

In the book The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg explains that a cornerstone of forming a new habit is creating a craving, which is at the heart of all habits. The reward of flossing is better breath and a healthier mouth today, and a solid foundation for the future of your oral health. Remind yourself of this reward, and your brain will have further drive to create a craving to floss every day. 

What Are Veneers

For a quick way to a beautiful smile, many people turn to veneers. But what exactly are veneers and why do people get them? To answer those questions and more, we take a deep dive into veneers.

Why Do People Get Veneers?

Used mainly to correct small misalignments, close gaps, or cover stained teeth, veneers are generally less intrusive than braces or crowns. Particular cases for veneers include (but aren’t limited to) injury, covering discolored fillings, issues with a root canal procedure, or unwanted spacing between teeth.

Veneers are constructed from porcelain or resin composite materials and placed on the front teeth. The procedure requires little to no anesthesia and lasts for many years.

How Do You Care for Veneers?

To avoid possible staining, be sure to brush right after consuming coffee, beets, wine, or other stain-inducing items.

Are you a tooth grinder? Then a custom mouth guard is a must. Be sure to get it created after your veneers have been placed, so the guard will fit snugly around your teeth. The same advice goes if you play contact sports—protect your new smile with a custom-made mouth guard. 

If you happen to chew on pens or your nails, now’s the perfect time to stop. Continuing these habits with veneers can lead to long-term damage. Be sure to make an effort to drop these habits to ensure the longevity of your beautiful new smile.

Are veneers the right choice for you? Book an appointment today and Dr. Fernandez will be happy to review your circumstance and point you in the right direction.

Whether it’s morning breath, coffee breath, or anything in between, bad breath is something everyone deals with at one time or another. But what causes bad breath and how can we fix it?

The Causes of Bad Breath

From your gumline to under your tongue, your mouth is filled with millions of bacteria. Poor oral hygiene can result is these bacteria not only surviving, but thriving.

Bad breath can also be a symptom of a larger underlying issue, including bronchitis or pneumonia, or an infection in your tonsils, throat, or nasal cavity. Thrush (an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth) is also a potential cause of bad breath.

The cause can be varied. But if you’re in good health, then there are a few ways you can fix bad breath.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Dentist

If you’re suffering from bad breath, a great place to start is with your dentist. After all, they’ve seen it all and can offer you tailored advice. (And if you’re in the Virginia Beach area, schedule an appointment with Dr. Fernandez!)