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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
August 19, 2021
Category: Oral Health

Over the years, your teeth can develop unappealing stains. Preventing dental stains is possible but if you already have them, teeth whitening in Arlington, VA, with your dentist, Dr. Bruce Hanley, can brighten your smile.

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking isn't just good for your teeth, your overall health benefits too. Smoking is a major cause of tooth discolorations and this habit can quickly turn your smile dull and yellow. However, the disastrous effects of smoking on your oral tissues don't stop at teeth stains. Smoking can also damage your taste buds, cause oral cancer, increase your risk of gum disease, and stain your tongue.

Clean Your Teeth After Specific Food and Drinks

Some of your favorite foods and drinks can cause teeth stains. Rinsing your mouth with water or brushing your teeth right after taking such foods can reduce its staining effect on your teeth. Usually, if the food or drink can stain your hands, they're likely to leave a stain on your teeth too. Some foods and drinks that can stain your teeth include:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Blueberries
  • Curry
  • Pasta sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Cranberry juice
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Food coloring

Use a Straw

Giving up your favorite pigmented drinks entirely might not be practical. However, using a straw might help. When you use a straw to take pigmented drinks, you limit their contact with your teeth and reduce their chances of staining your teeth. Reducing your consumption of acidic drinks is also great for your oral health even after you get teeth whitening in Arlington, VA.

Regular Dental Cleanings

If you're not cleaning your teeth at least twice each year at your dentist's office, you're missing out on a brighter smile. During your dental cleaning, your dentist cleans up plaque and tartar that could be causing your dull smile. Your dentist can also clean up surface stains so that your smile remains brilliant.

Preventing teeth stains can help you improve your self-esteem. However, if you still get tooth discolorations, you can reach out to your dentist, Dr. Hanley, for teeth whitening in Arlington, VA, by calling (703) 524-7100.

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
April 09, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants   dentures  

Which tooth replacement option is right for you? Know the pros and cons.

In the past, there weren’t a whole lot of options if you were missing one or more permanent teeth. Today, our Arlington, VA, dentist Dr. Bruce Hanley offers everything from dentures to dental implants, which can be tailored and customized to you and your smile. Of course, if you’re not sure which option is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. We break down the differences between implants and dentures to help make the decision-making process a little easier for you.

What are dentures?

Dentures are removable devices that hold one or more artificial teeth. There are two kinds of dentures, partial and complete. As the names suggest, partial dentures are used when you still have some natural teeth left and complete dentures are used in cases where there are no natural teeth.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants consist of two parts, a small screw and a dental crown. During a minor surgery, a small screw is inserted into the jawbone. Then it is given time to heal and fuse with the bones and surrounding tissue. This creates a strong base that mimics a natural tooth’s root. Once the healing period is over, your dentist will fit the implant with an artificial tooth that is designed to match the rest of your smile.

Which tooth replacement option is right for you?

From these descriptions alone, you can tell that both treatment options are vastly different, but you may still be wondering which one will work best with your smile. There are many deciding factors, but here are some of the most important ones:

The health of your smile: If you are dealing with weak or unhealthy gums, dental implants may not be a good match. This is particularly true for those dealing with severe gum disease that’s not been treated. Since gum disease often leads to tooth loss, it can cause dental implants to fail. It’s important that you are maintaining healthy gums and natural teeth before you have a restoration placed.

Plus, if you’re dealing with weakened gums, it can delay or cause complications during the healing process. This same logic holds true for those with jaws problems. If you have gum or jaw problems, dentures may be a better alternative.

The number of teeth you’re missing: If you are only missing a couple of teeth and your mouth is healthy, a dental implant is a popular choice for replacing these teeth. If you have good oral hygiene, your dental implants are meant to last a lifetime. 

The cost of treatment in Arlington, VA: While dental implants will cost more than dentures will upfront, maintenance and care costs will be low, so it’s considered a long-term investment in your oral health. If you are concerned about cost and want to keep expenses low, dentures are a great, cost-effective solution for replacing missing teeth. We would be happy to discuss costs and finances with you to help you get the tooth replacement option you want without worrying about the expense.

You could also have the best of both with implant-supported dentures. Call Dr. Hanley’s practice at (703) 524-7100 to schedule a consultation with our Arlington, VA, dental team. We would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your options.

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
January 26, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants are a modern and long-lasting treatment for restoring missing teeth. They are more secure than traditional treatments, although they require a greater initial investment of time to achieve this longevity. To learn more about how dental implants can improve your smile get in contact with Dr. Bruce Hanley in Arlington, VA.

They Won't Impact Adjacent Teeth

Dental bridges continue to be a very popular and effective treatment for restoring a missing tooth. They use the teeth neighboring the gap to support your replacement tooth. Dental implants on the other hand are supported by a titanium post, the implant, onto which the new crown is attached. So there is no need to alter neighboring teeth in any way.

They Will Last a Long Time

The implant becomes permanently bonded onto the bone through a process called osseointegration, which is the lengthiest part of the treatment but it's also what allows it to last for a very long time. Only the crown may need to eventually be replaced, but with proper care, they can last over a decade, or more.

They Look and Perform Like Your Natural Teeth

Your new dental crown will give your smile back its natural appearance while returning to your tooth its function. Because the implanted titanium post works in a very similar way to the root of a natural tooth, you can expect to use your new tooth as you would any other.

They Can Restore Your Entire Smile

Implant-supported dentures can help to replace multiple teeth with full or partial dentures. Just as they sound, they are dentures that are supported by dental implants, but without the usual complaints associated with the dental appliance. Such as that of shifting when you eat or speak as it's attached securely onto the implants. With the added benefit that you do not require an implant for every tooth restored.

Dental Implants in Arlington, VA

Come into the office today to discuss with your dentist your expectations for the treatment and to find out if you're a candidate, and what can be done to make you into one. Schedule your appointment today with Dr. Hanley in Arlington, VA, by dialing (703) 524-7100.

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
August 25, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

Tips for Preventing Gum Disease

As the understanding of gum disease has grown, medical experts now know that it can increase your risk of many major health conditions including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. So it’s vital that you protect your gums to maintain good oral and general health. Dr. Bruce Hanley is a dentist at Bruce Hanley and Associates in Arlington, VA. He provides general and cosmetic dental services and can help you protect your gums from disease. Here are some tips for preventing gum disease.

  • Maintain good oral hygiene practices: Good oral health starts at home. Regular brushing alone is not enough to protect your gums from periodontal disease. To provide the best protection, you should also floss at least once each day to reduce the build-up of plaque between your teeth. Using an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing can further reduce your risk of gum disease.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Avoiding sugary foods and beverages can limit your risk of tooth decay and damage to your gums. Increasing your vitamin C intake can also help prevent gum disease because it can help to prevent your gums from swelling, bleeding, and receding. Staying hydrated can also produce saliva that can fight off bacteria on your teeth and gums.
  • Get regular dental check-ups: This allows Dr. Hanley to recognize the early warning signs of gum disease so he can stop it in its tracks before it gets out of control.
  • Quit smoking: Using tobacco products is harmful to your gum tissue and should be avoided.

If you live in or around Arlington, VA, and you would like to find out more about protecting your gums from disease, call Dr. Hanley today at (703) 524-7100 to schedule an appointment.

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
April 09, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Care Routine  

No one enjoys going to the dentist, but the importance of oral health should not be underestimated. Right now, people in the U.S. are not taking their teeth seriously enough. In 2018, less than 50 percent of Americans visited a dental clinic. Regular dental visits are an important part of a good oral care routine. Dr. Bruce Hanley is a dental practitioner located in Arlington, VA. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruce Hanley, DDS, and Associates today.

Good Oral Care Routine

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy not only makes it easier for you to eat, but it is also important for your overall health. Brush and floss your teeth twice daily. Use an antibacterial mouthwash to further reduce the build-up of plaque-forming bacteria. You should make visits to your dentist twice every year. Regular check-ups and professional cleaning will ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy. If you experience any of the oral warning signs discussed below, you should make an appointment with your Arlington, VA, dentist as soon as possible.

Bleeding or Swollen Gums

If your gums are very red, you may be suffering from periodontal disease. When bacterial plaque builds up on your teeth, it results in inflamed and bleeding gums and tooth decay. Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth as you eat and drink substances containing starches or sugars. This bacteria gradually release acids. Because plaque is sticky, it holds the acid against your teeth. Over time, it will attack the enamel and cause tooth decay. Periodontal disease has also been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis.

Persistent Bad Breath

If you can’t seem to get rid of bad breath, it means you’re slacking on your oral hygiene or it could be an indication of a health problem. When your dentist assesses the situation, he will determine if your halitosis is caused by gum disease. A dental appointment is needed right away.

Tooth or Jaw Pain

Grinding your teeth is one of the most common causes of jaw pain. You may even grind without realizing it while you sleep. It can lead to dental problems. To prevent this from happening you can wear a mouth guard at night. Jaw pain may also be attributed to abscess, gum disease, or dental cavities.

Increased Sensitivity

Sudden, unexplained sensitivity to heat or cold could indicate a bacterial infection and you should visit your dentist at once. This type of abscess occurs in the tooth or gum next to a tooth that is decayed. Other symptoms of an abscess include fever, acute toothache, facial swelling and tender lymph nodes in your neck and below your jawline.


If you’re a resident of Arlington, VA, and need dental care, call Dr. Bruce Hanley today at (703) 524-7100. Bruce Hanley, DDS, and Associates are here to help.