easy way to fix vampire teethWe all have things about our smiles that we don’t quite like – gaps, crookedness, or even some long, pointy canines (the teeth that can resemble vampire fangs). At my dental office in Glen Allen, we can advise you on the best ways to fix all of your dental problems, but in the spirit of the season, we’re going to dedicate this blog to educating you on how your pointy “vampire” teeth can be transformed.

Your canine teeth are found on the top and bottom arches of your mouth and are the ones that look most like dogs’ teeth. The purpose of the canines is to hold, grasp, and tear food. While it’s normal for this type of tooth to have a pointy tip, there are some canines that appear much pointier.

While there is nothing wrong with having a little extra pointiness in your teeth, patients often tell us that they’re self-conscious or get made fun of for their teeth’s fang-like appearance. There is actually a simple and inexpensive option your dentist in Glen Allen can offer to make your canines look more consistent with the rest of your smile and, yes, less pointy.

Tooth reshaping, also known as tooth recontouring, is a treatment that can quickly and easily transform the shape, length, or surface of teeth. This cosmetic dentistry procedure is usually painless since only a small amount of surface enamel is removed to change the shape of the tooth. The tooth reshaping process requires an artistic eye as your dentist will use a sanding instrument to sculpt and whittle away any imperfections to create a brand new tooth shape. This treatment can also be paired with bonding, which uses tooth-colored material to sculpt and reshape a tooth.

Both bonding and tooth recontouring are conservative dental techniques that can successfully transform and improve the appearance of your smile. In addition, not only can they create an entirely new tooth shape, they can also improve the overall health of your mouth. By removing any areas in which plaque and bacteria can thrive, your chance for decay and gum disease is greatly decreased.

If you think tooth reshaping or dental bonding is the right treatment for you, or if you have minor imperfections in your smile that you’d like to have fixed, give my Glen Allen dental office a call today. We’ll discuss your goals and the best treatment for you.

Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond, and Short Pump.

 food that's good for your smileAt my dental office in Glen Allen, we’re not just focused on making sure your mouth is healthy, we’re dedicated to ensuring your whole body is healthy too. One of the key aspects to living a healthy life is choosing the right foods. Not only can healthy food choices help your body be strong and well, eating the right foods can also lead to a happy, healthy mouth.

Some of the basic rules of nutrition still apply when eating with your smile in mind. You should eat well-balanced meals and continue to follow the food pyramid guidelines. Filling your diet with plenty of veggies and fruits, lean meats, whole grains, and dairy keeps your body balanced and healthy, and most of these foods are great for your grin.

Some of the best foods for your smile, and your body, are:

Cheese. Cheese is high in phosphate and calcium and helps balance the acidity levels in the mouth. This can help keep keep bacteria away, which prevents cavities and gum disease.

Celery. Celery is made mostly of water, which is always good for your smile. Chewing on this crispy favorite also produces saliva, which helps neutralize bacteria and keeps cavities away. Additionally, celery can act as an abrasive, cleaning between teeth and massaging gums.

Apples. Like celery, apples contain a lot of water, which dilutes sugars in the mouth, including the ones found in the apples themselves. They also cause saliva flow to increase, again protecting against decay and washing away food particles and bacteria.

Onions. Onions are packed with powerful antibacterial sulfur compounds, making them great for your oral health. They can be consumed cooked or raw, but they pack the biggest benefit when they’re eaten uncooked. Just be careful of the onion breath that tends to follow.

Water. Your dentist in Glen Allen will always encourage you to drink more water. Water isn’t only great for your organs and whole-body health, it’s also beneficial to your mouth. By staying hydrated, your mouth is defended against bacteria.

In addition to eating things that are good for your smile, you should also avoid foods that aren’t so smile-friendly. Stay away from, or limit the amount of, sweets, acidic foods, dried fruits, breads, pretzels, popcorn, and cakes and pies. Not only can these foods provide a great environment for bacteria to thrive, which can lead to tooth decay, some can cause tooth damage or even broken/chipped teeth.

Besides eating right, another way to keep your smile in tip-top shape is to keep your regularly scheduled appointments at my Glen Allen dental office. We’ll make sure that your smile is in its best condition and ensure that there aren’t any problems lurking in your mouth. Give us a call to schedule your appointment today!

Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond, and Short Pump.

how to choose your dentistWhether you’re new to the area or just looking for a new dentist, choosing the right practice for yourself and your family can be an intimidating process. It’s important to know that not all dentists will be a good fit. At my dental office in Glen Allen, we’d like to fill you in on some key questions to ask to make sure you make the right choice for your particular dental needs.

The first step to finding the best dentist in Glen Allen for your family is to do a bit of research. Ask friends and family who they see, think about how close to work or home you’ll want the office to be, and create a list of preliminary practices you’ll want to contact. Then, pick up the phone, make some calls, and start asking questions.

What Should I Expect During My First Visit?

This should be one of the first questions you ask your potential dental office. The answer you receive should always include a consultation or conversation with the dentist so he or she can get to know about your health history, any concerns you may have, and what your oral health goals are. Your first visit should also include a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, an oral cancer check, and any necessary x-rays.

How Does the Dentist Keep Up With New Technology or Training?

Dentists, as well as their staff, typically attend several continuing education courses, seminars, and trade shows to learn new things about dentistry and keep up with the latest technology. Your new dentist should be involved in some ongoing continuing education.

Will My Treatment Plan and Financing Options be Discussed With Me?

You’ll want to be reassured that you’ll be educated on the treatment that’s recommended as well any financing options that are available to you. During your first call, you’ll want to get an explanation that tells you all treatment and all finances will be discussed with you thoroughly before any work is completed.

Once you think you’re ready to make a commitment to one of the dentists you called, it’s a good idea to make an initial appointment and use that visit as a ‘test’ to make sure you’re comfortable, you’re treated well, and that the office is clean.

Of course, if you’d like to visit my Glen Allen dental office, we always welcome you to call. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you to find the best dentist for you.

Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond, and Short Pump.

teeth whiteningDespite the old adage that says you can’t wear white after Labor Day, at my Glen Allen dental office, we think it’s always in style to wear a white smile. While habits and time itself can take a toll on your grin and make your pearly whites less than bright, there are some things you can try in order to get, and keep, your smile its ideal shade of white.

One of the best ways to get your smile bright and white is with a professional whitening from your Glen Allen dentist. After all, these whitening treatments are stronger than what you can get in the store and the trays are often custom-fit to your teeth. A tight fit means there’s is less chance of the whitening solution reaching your gums and causing damage, and it can also help lead to an even white across all teeth. But a professional whitening is only one step you can take in creating a long-lasting white smile.

After you get your teeth nice and white, it’s important that you strive to keep them that way. Some of the most common causes of a dull smile are found in what we eat. Just by avoiding the smile-fading foods and opting for less damaging choices, your whitening treatment will be sure to last longer.


Foods That Cause Staining:

  • Coffee/Tea
  • Soda
  • Red Wine
  • Blueberries
  • Tomato Sauce
Foods That Prevent Staining:

  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower


In addition to choosing more smile-friendly options, you can also help keep your teeth white by drinking any soda, tea, or coffee through a straw as it will help keep the ingredients away from your teeth; avoiding smoking; and always brushing and flossing.

As always, one of the best ways to keep your smile not only white but also healthy and strong is to maintain regular visits to my dental office in Glen Allen. Routine visits help catch any problems before they become worse, and we can even provide you with a little whitening boost if you need it at that time.

Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond, and Short Pump.

Top Reasons We Avoid The DentistVisiting the dentist is never at the top of anyone’s fun list; and we’ll be honest, sometimes it hurts our feelings. There are some top reasons people avoid going to the dentist, but no matter what your reason for not keeping your appointments at my dental office in Glen Allen, we’ll be happy to reassure you that you’re coming to the right place and that we’re here to help you.

Dental Phobia

Some people are scared of spiders, others of clowns or snakes. There are even people with an incredibly real fear of the dentist. Dentophobia, or fear of dentists, plagues an estimated 75% of the population and ranges from mild to severe. This fear can result in some scary health concerns too. Since those with a high level of fear completely avoid the dentist, they’re never checked for oral cancer, gum disease, or potential problems that can lead to whole-body issues like heart disease, strokes, and many other dangerous and scary complications.

Worry About Pain

When we talk about treatment options at my Glen Allen dental office, we’re always asked, “Is it going to hurt?” The short answer is that modern dentistry and advancements in technology have made it easier to manage pain. Of course, the more detailed answer is found in the way we treat our patients. All of our care is designed to make you comfortable and relaxed, and our technology makes your treatments easy and virtually pain free. If you are still worried that your treatment will hurt, just talk to us about it. We’ll discuss the procedure in detail and get you completely comfortable before we begin.

The Sounds

Some of the most up-to-date technology allows for easier, pain-free treatments. But they can still sound scary. Whether we’re filling a cavity or preparing you for a crown, the noise of the drill and other tools can be loud and instill fear. The fear is often escalated when an instrument is in your mouth as it sounds even louder than if you hear it outside of your mouth. While the tools may sound like they’re surely going to hurt, we can promise you that they won’t.

There are many reasons people avoid the dentist, and we’ve only touched on a few. But even if your reason for avoiding a visit to my dental office in Glen Allen isn’t listed, please know that we’re hear to listen and we definitely won’t judge. Our goal is to make seeing us comfortable so we can work together to get and keep your smile healthy.

Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond, and Short Pump.

2 things your dentist wants you to knowWe talk a lot during your visits to my Glen Allen dental office – about your kids, your job, your spouse, and your teeth – but sometimes we have even more to say and not enough time to say it! So I’ve decided to put the most important things we want our patients to know right here.

Your Mouth is the Window to Your Body

While your eyes may be the window to your soul, your mouth is the window to your whole body. There is a very strong connection between your oral health and your systemic health, or whole body health. In fact, disease in your mouth puts you at greater risk for heart disease, stroke, and disease of your brain, liver, pancreas and so much more. On the other hand, a healthy mouth is linked to a longer, healthier life. This is why keeping up with your appointments at my dental office in Glen Allen is so important.

Stop Blaming Your Bad Breath on the Garlic

Bad breath can result from an especially garlicky bowl of pasta or pizza, but bad breath that’s consistent could be the result of a dental problem like gum disease, dry mouth, or a poor hygiene routine. If any of those are the reason for your bad breath, mouthwash, mints, gum, and other breath freshening techniques only temporarily mask the problem while the true issue is still lingering in your mouth, potentially causing damage and serious concerns. Proper brushing and flossing can help beat bad breath but if it doesn’t go away, it’s important to call us as soon as you can.

Ignoring a Dental Problem Will Not Cause it to Go Away

Issues in your mouth will not go away if they’re not taken care of. Cavities will get bigger, your bite will not correct itself, and your gum disease surely won’t go away on its own. All of these problems, plus plenty of others, will only get worse if not treated. That cavity could get so big that it needs a root canal; your bite could result in problems with your temporomandibular (jaw) joint; and gum disease can lead to some really scary problems like tooth loss, heart attacks, and even dementia. It’s also important to remember that just because nothing hurts, doesn’t mean that nothing is wrong. That’s where we come in and check your mouth for any potential problems at each and every visit.

We’ve only covered three really important facts in this blog, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t more to know. If you have any questions, or need to schedule your regular checkup or more in depth treatment, give my Glen Allen dental office today.

Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond, Short Pump, and surrounding areas.

It’s warm out. And when it’s warm, we tend to switch the type of food and drinks we consume. But have you ever thought that what may be good tasting may not be making your smile happy? There are many common summer treats that, while tasting fantastic, are causing damage to your smile. Everyone at my dental office in Glen Allen wants to educate you on what some smart summer snacks are and which ones to avoid.

What to Eat

Soak In the Sun, Not Smile-Damaging SnacksSome good choices for summer snacking can include proteins, veggies, and cheese. Proteins, like nuts and turkey, are great at fighting acid and tooth decay while cheese is packed with calcium that not only protects bones, but teeth as well. Veggies are a great alternative to some sugar-dense fruits and many, like celery, contain a lot of water which helps to rinse bacteria from the mouth. When it comes to drink choices, we can’t stress enough the importance of water.

What to Avoid

  • Soda, sweet tea, and sports drinks – These beverages are full of acid and sugar and can eat away at your tooth enamel and lead to decay. Choose a smarter option like water and if you have to drink a sports drink or soda, drink it with a straw to limit exposure to the teeth and drink sparingly.
  • Iced coffee – When the weather is warmer, coffee drinkers tend to shift to a more climate-friendly morning picker upper. The problem is that this caffeine favorite is rarely just enjoyed in the morning, but rather sipped throughout the day. This increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to the sugar and acid, causing more damage and even staining your should-be pearly whites.


  • Pickles and pickled foods – Like sugar, acid is also dangerous for your smile and these foods are packed with both smile-damaging ingredients. Take it easy on these and opt for a raw veggie instead.
  • Starch-loaded snacks – Snacks like potato chips and white bread are high in starch, and starchy foods like these can often get stuck in the grooves of teeth. Once they’re stuck, they can then feed the bacteria and plaque in the mouth, making it a great place for cavities to form.


While you’re enjoying the summer sun, make sure that you’re choosing snacks that not only hit the spot, but are healthy for both your body and your smile. At my Glen Allen dental office, we encourage you to make healthy decisions about the treats you buy next time you’re at the grocery store. Your teeth, and your dentist, will thank you for it.

Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond and Short Pump.

sleep apneaSnoring can be annoying, especially if you share a bed or room with a snorer. Your sleep gets interrupted, you become tired of using earplugs, and you may even go sleep in a different room. But snoring can not only put a dent in your relationship, it can also be a sign of something serious. At my dental office in Glen Allen, we like to educate our patients on the dangers of snoring.

Snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea, a dangerous breathing disorder that attacks sufferers while they’re asleep, causing them to stop breathing several times during the night, sometimes for a minute or longer. Sleep apnea is a dangerous problem that can lead or contribute to serious health problems.

Sleep apnea has been linked to:

  • Strokes
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • And much more

In sufferers of sleep apnea, when breathing stops for extended periods of time during sleep, their bodies aren’t able to get an adequate supply of oxygen to vital organs. What this means is that the body isn’t getting what it needs to stay healthy and functioning at its best. It’s also very common for people with sleep apnea to be chronically tired, which can lead to accidents on the job, at home, and in the car. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dental sleep Medicine, drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving and can cause at least 100,000 accidents each year; many fatal.

At my Glen Allen dental office, we strongly encourage anyone who snores, sleeps with a snorer, or who has signs of sleep apnea to get checked as soon as possible. Some of the other common symptoms associated with sleep apnea include feeling as if you never get enough sleep, waking up choking or gasping for breath, unintentionally falling asleep during the day, and chronic fatigue.

Once you’re able to get an official diagnosis, there are a few treatment options to explore. Treatment for sleep apnea can include a CPAP, a mask that’s worn during the night and forces air into your mouth, a mouthpiece that’s designed to keep your airway open; or a combination of both. Whatever treatment is appropriate, it’s important to start it right away. It can not only save your relationship, it can also save your life.

Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond and Short Pump.

dental urban legendsNothing bugs us more than when people make up stories to try and scare others. We’ve all heard of urban legends, and some of us may have even fallen victim to believing them. What concerns all of us at my Glen Allen dental office are the legends that cause misconceptions about dentistry and the fact that, if believed, could cause people to avoid dental care.

One of the most common dental urban legends out there is one that says root canals are super painful when, in fact, they’re really not a big deal. Those who have had a root canal often say that there was little or no pain involved in the procedure. Where the misconception of pain comes into play is before the procedure even happens. Root canals are needed when there is an infection or deep decay and, as a result, a lot of pain. What your Glen Allen dentist wants you to know is that a root canal is a way to relieve the pain, not cause it.

Another tale that’s well-know is that baby teeth aren’t important. Many people think that if a baby tooth falls out prematurely, or gets a cavity, that it’s not a big deal. In fact, baby teeth are important, as they hold the place for your permanent teeth. If they fall out too soon, or if they become infected or decayed, the natural eruption and placement of your permanent teeth could be altered, leading to greater dental problems down the road.

Lastly – and this one is really important – is the belief that if gums bleed, it’s not a big deal. At my dental office in Glen Allen, we try to educate our patients on the fact that bleeding gums are a sign that something is not right. Healthy gums don’t bleed unless you’re brushing or flossing too roughly. Bleeding gums often mean that you have developed gum disease or even gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis could lead to periodontitis and eventually loss of teeth.

Don’t let common dental urban legends keep you from a strong and healthy smile. If you hear of a dental story that you think may not be true, just call my Glen Allen dental office. We’ll be sure to set the story straight, relieve any fear you may have, and get your smile strong and healthy.

Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond and Short Pump.


dental emergency during vacationYou’ve finally made it to your destination. You’re ready to relax, and your vacation has officially started. All of a sudden, it happens. An unexpected dental problem pops up from nowhere and threatens to ruin your hard-earned time off. But don’t worry, tips from my dental office in Glen Allen can help get you back to smiling – and back to that hammock.

A dental emergency can mean anything from a chipped tooth to a lost filling, a knocked out tooth to a toothache. But just because a problem in your mouth occurs when you’re not at home doesn’t mean that you can’t fully enjoy your vacation. There are several ways you can resolve or ease a variety of dental problems even when you’re away from your Glen Allen dentist.

Dental Problem: Broken/Chipped Tooth

How to Help It: Rinse your mouth and any tooth pieces with warm water. If you’re bleeding, use a piece of gauze and apply pressure to the area until the bleeding stops. A cold compress can help reduce pain a swelling. Simply hold it to the outside of the mouth.

Dental Problem: Lost Filling

How to Help It: Using either a piece of sugarless gum (one with sugar will cause pain!) or a dental cement that you can find at a drugstore, fill the cavity until you can get to a dentist.

Dental Problem: Knocked Out Tooth

How to Help It: If you can find the tooth, do not touch the roots! Hold it by the part that’s usually exposed in your mouth to keep damage minimal. Rinse the tooth with warm water and try to put the tooth back in place. If you can’t get it back in, put the tooth in some milk (it’s best for preserving the tooth) and find a local dentist. It’s important to get the tooth back into the socket within an hour in order to save it.

While these tips can help you get back to your vacation, perhaps the best way to avoid a dental problem while out of town is to get a checkup before you leave. At my Glen Allen dental office, we will make sure your mouth is in its best shape and that there aren’t any potential dangers just waiting pop up as soon as you lay down your beach towel. You can also help protect your teeth by avoiding dangerous snacks like popcorn, sticky candy, and chewing ice.

If you’re planning a vacation, schedule a pre-trip appointment at my dental office in Glen Allen.

Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond and Short Pump.