Marv Thomas, DDS

Marv Thomas, DDS is a member of many dental assocations including the American Dental Association.

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The Dental Spa

12351 Dillingham Square
Woodbridge, VA 22192
(703) 580-8288


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Posts for: May, 2018

By The Dental Spa
May 23, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Braces   Invisalign  

Patients struggle with a wide range of orthodontic issues that can make them insecure about their teeth, and also interfere with how they eat or speak. If you’re wondering if braces can help you, the answer is most likely yes. But a dentist at The Dental Spa in Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA must examine you to determine which braces are best for your specific situation. 

Braces Can Help You
Braces are dental devices that can completely transform the shape, position, orientation, and general look of your teeth. They don’t just help straighten out your smile for a better appearance, they also help resolve bite issues and even TMJ (jaw pain) disorder in some cases. Braces can also change the shape of your jawline, giving you a more favorable overall facial appearance. This is why dentists usually recommend that young children have orthodontic treatment as soon as they are the right age. It can make a major difference in the way that they look, chew, talk, and feel about themselves in the future.

The Most Common Types of Braces
There are several different types of braces offered at The Dental Spa in Woodbridge. The one that is right for your smile will depend on the specific orthodontic issues you have. Metal braces are common for major dental imperfections, like large gaps, “extra teeth” on the gumline, and overlapping of the teeth. Some people prefer the less obvious look of ceramic or lingual braces. Patients who have relatively minor orthodontic problems may qualify for Invisalign invisible braces.

Bettering Your Smile with Braces
Don’t underestimate the short and long-term value of improving your smile with braces. It provides significant cosmetic and functional advantages for your smile that will be beneficial to you for decades. A straighter smile can give your self-esteem, confidence, social life, and even future career prospects a boost.

Come in for an Orthodontic Consultation
The only way to find out for sure if braces could help you is to have a dentist take a close look at your teeth. You might learn that you are a candidate for Invisalign, which may only require you to wear clear trays for six to 12 months. Call (703) 580-8288 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marv Thomas in Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA.

By The Dental Spa
May 22, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental injury  

Famed educator Maria Montessori once said, “Play is the work of the child”—and most kids take their “work” very seriously. But their avid enthusiasm might also raise the risk of blunt force injuries, particularly to the mouth.

While you should certainly take steps to protect their mouth (like a custom-made guard for contact sports), you can’t completely erase the risk. You should know, therefore, what to do in case of a mouth injury.

The lips, tongue, and other soft oral tissues often get the brunt of any contact injury, ranging from minor bruising and swelling to severe cuts that require medical attention. First, clean the area as thoroughly as possible to remove trapped dirt or debris in the wound. If bleeding occurs, apply continuous gentle pressure with a clean cloth or gauze for 10-15 minutes until it stops, and cold compresses for any swelling. If the wound looks deep or severe, take them to an emergency room.

Blunt force can also impact teeth in a variety of ways. If part of a tooth chips, attempt to find the pieces and see a dentist as soon as possible—they may be able to bond the pieces back to the tooth. If a tooth gets moved out of place, call your dentist immediately or go to an emergency room after hours.

If a permanent tooth gets completely knocked out, find it and rinse off any debris with clean water. Then, place it gently back into its socket, or alternatively between the child’s cheek and gum or in a glass of cold milk. You’ll need to see a dentist as soon as possible to have the tooth replanted. With this kind of injury, time is of the essence.

A hard impact can also fracture the jawbone, which may be suspected if the face appears distorted or the teeth can’t make contact with each other when the jaws are shut. Control any bleeding, apply cold compresses or mild pain relievers to ease any pain or swelling, and go to an emergency room immediately.

A traumatic injury can heighten everyone’s emotions, including yours. You can avoid your emotions turning into panic, though, by following these common sense guidelines to help your child get through this unfortunate event.

If you would like more information on handling children’s dental problems, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


Wearing braces is all about the future: you undergo many months of treatment to gain a lifetime of better mouth function and a more attractive smile.

In the meantime, though, you'll have to deal with a few new realities during treatment: restrictions on foods, limitations with mouth function, and (perhaps) embarrassment over your new “metallic” smile.

There's one reality, though, that trumps all others in importance: your risk for developing dental disease increases significantly during orthodontic treatment. The brackets and wires of your braces make it more difficult to remove bacterial plaque, the main cause of dental disease, which allows places for disease-causing bacteria to thrive. To combat this, you'll need to step up your hygiene efforts to remove daily plaque.

One sign your efforts might not be getting the job done is red, swollen or bleeding gums. Although gums can swell in reaction to the braces themselves, it's often because plaque-induced periodontal (gum) disease has infected the gum tissues.

Gum disease is an aggressive infection. If it isn't stopped it can damage the gums and underlying bone that support your teeth — damage that could eventually lead to tooth loss. To stop it, we must remove plaque from all tooth and gum surfaces, even below the gum line. In some advanced cases it may even be necessary to remove the braces to better treat the disease.

That's why preventing gum disease through effective hygiene is so important. Besides continuing routine visits with your family dentist, you should also brush and floss every day to remove plaque. Be sure you're brushing above and below the braces. It may be helpful to use an interproximal brush specifically designed to maneuver around these tight spaces. You can also use a floss threader or a water irrigator to make the job of flossing easier.

If you do notice gum redness, swelling or bleeding, don't delay — call your dentist at once. An examination will determine if you have gum disease and to what degree, which will guide treatment. The sooner this happens, the less the impact on your dental health and your orthodontic treatment.

If you would like more information on dental care while wearing braces, 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 “Gum Swelling During Orthodontics.”

By The Dental Spa
May 03, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Your daily routine and lifestyle are very important to the health of your teeth and gums.oral hygiene

If you don’t give your teeth and gums the proper care they need they you may be faced with vicious bad breath, cavities, gum disease or other more serious issues like tooth loss. Before you begin to panic, you should know that these problems can often be prevented if you give your mouth the care it deserves. Our Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA, dentist Dr. Marv Thomas offers up these useful tips for ensuring that your teeth and gums remain healthy.

Brush Up on At-Home Care

While caring for your smile isn’t difficult it can be if you don’t know the best techniques and methods for good oral hygiene. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to brushing and flossing:

  • Technique is everything when it comes to brushing and flossing. Remember to direct your toothbrush head at a 45-degree angle towards the gums. Brush teeth in a circular motion and then turn the brush head vertically to brush the back surfaces of your teeth.
  • Brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and again before bedtime. Set a timer for two minutes, as this is the minimum amount of time you should be spending on brushing your teeth each time.
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Both areas harbor bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Remember that your toothbrush won’t last forever. A toothbrush head should be replaced every three to four months, or immediately following an illness.
  • Always use fluoride toothpaste, as fluoride can remineralize enamel and protect against decay. Look for the ADA seal of approval when choosing your toothpaste.
  • While you can floss anytime of day or night, it’s preferable to floss at night right before you brush your teeth. That way you can dislodge plaque and food from between teeth to ensure that fluoride toothpaste can get into those tight spaces between teeth and offer a more thorough clean.

Don’t Forget About Professional Care

Even if you’ve never had any dental problems and aren’t experiencing symptoms it’s still important that you visit our Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA, general dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and exams. Not only will these cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup to keep teeth clean and free from decay but we can also detect problems early on when they are much simpler and easier to treat.

Do you have questions about your oral routine? Is it time to schedule your routine dental cleaning? Whatever the case might be, our Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA dental team here at The Dental Spa is ready to answer your questions and address your concerns while also providing you with the dental care you need.


You brush and floss every day to rid your teeth and gums of disease-causing plaque. But while “showing up” is most of the battle, the effectiveness of your technique will win the war.

So, how good are you at removing plaque? One quick way to find out is the “tongue test”—simply rub your tongue along your teeth: they should feel smooth and “squeaky” clean. Surfaces that feel rough and gritty probably still contain plaque.

For a more thorough evaluation, your dental hygienist may use a product during your regular dental visit called a plaque disclosing agent. It’s a solution applied to your teeth that dyes any bacterial plaque present on tooth surfaces a certain color while leaving clean surfaces un-dyed. The disclosing agent shows you where you’re effectively removing plaque and where you’re not.

These products aren’t exclusive to the dental office—you can use something similar at home if you’d like to know how well you’re doing with your hygiene before your next visit. You can find them over-the-counter as tablets, swabs or solutions. You may even find some that have two dye colors, one that reveals older plaque deposits and the other newer plaque.

You simply follow the product’s directions by first brushing and flossing as usual, then chewing the tablet, daubing the swab on all tooth and gum surfaces, or swishing the solution in your mouth like mouthwash for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. You can then use a mirror to observe any dye staining. Pay attention to patterns: for example, dyed plaque scalloping along the gum line means you’ll need to work your brush a little more in those areas.

The dye could color your gums, lips and tongue as well as your teeth, but it only lasts a few hours. And while plaque disclosing agents are FDA-approved for oral use, you should still check the ingredients for any to which you may be allergic.

All in all, a plaque disclosing agent is a good way to occasionally check the effectiveness of your plaque removal efforts. By improving your technique you may further lower your risk of dental disease.

If you would like more information on learning how effective your oral hygiene really is, 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 “Plaque Disclosing Agents.”

Questions or Comments?
We encourage you to contact us whenever you have an interest or concern about our services.

Phone (703) 580-8288