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 tag: orthodontics

By The Dental Spa
November 20, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Braces   orthodontics  

Wearing braces takes time, but if all goes well the changes to your smile will be well worth it. In the meantime, though, you’ll have to contend with one particular difficulty—keeping your teeth clean of disease-causing, bacterial plaque.

Don’t worry, though—while keeping dental disease at bay with braces can be challenging, it is doable. Here are 4 tips for minimizing your chances of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease during orthodontic treatment.

Eat less sugar. Like any living organism, bacteria must eat—and they’re especially amenable to sugar. The more they have access to this favorite food source, the more they multiply—and the greater your risk of tooth decay or gum disease. Eating fewer sugary foods and snacks and more dental-friendly ones helps restrict bacteria populations in your mouth.

Brush thoroughly. Brushing with braces can be difficult, especially in areas blocked by orthodontic hardware. You need to be sure you brush all tooth and gum surfaces around your braces, including above and below the wire running through the brackets. A soft multi-tufted microline bristle brush is a good choice for getting into these hard to reach places. Brushing around braces takes more time, but it’s essential for effective plaque removal.

Use flossing tools. Flossing is important for removing plaque from between teeth—but, unfortunately, it might be even more difficult to perform with braces than brushing. If using string floss proves too daunting consider using a floss threader or a similar device that might be easier to maneuver. You can also use a water irrigator, a hand-held device that sprays water under pressure to loosen and flush away between-teeth plaque.

Keep up regular dental visits. While you’re seeing your orthodontist regularly for adjustments, you should also see your general dentist at least every six months or more. Besides dental cleaning, your dentist also monitors for signs of disease and can prescribe preventive measures like antibacterial mouth rinses. Of course, if you see abnormalities, like white spots on your teeth or red, puffy or bleeding gums, contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner a problem can be addressed the less impact it may have on your orthodontic treatment and overall oral health.

If you would like more information on caring for teeth and gums 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 “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”


Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.

He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”

Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.

There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.

The Science Behind the Magic

There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.

The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.

How’s that for a disappearing act?!

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By The Dental Spa
June 15, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Braces   orthodontics  

Throughout the years, braces have come to be known as a rite of passage for middle and high schoolers. However, orthodontic care can bracesbenefit individuals of all ages, including both teens and adults. But how can you tell if you need braces? While the answer can be hard to find, your dentist can help you determine if orthodontic care is the best treatment for you. Learn more about orthodontics with Dr. Marv Thomas at The Dental Spa of Virginia with two locations: Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA.

What is an orthodontist? 
An orthodontist is a dentist who has undergone extended training and education in the field of orthodontics. Orthodontics include treating issues related to irregularities of the teeth and jaw. Orthodontists hold a doctorate degree in dentistry and have completed three to five-year internships or fellowships. After becoming licensed as a dentist, orthodontists must undergo additional licensing examinations to hold the title of an orthodontist.

How can orthodontic care help me? 
Orthodontic care includes straightening the teeth and correcting issues with the bite to provide a beautiful, functional smile. Some of the most common reasons dentists recommend braces include:

  • misaligned or “crooked” teeth
  • overcrowding (overlapping teeth)
  • under crowding (gapped teeth)
  • overbite
  • underbite
  • crossbite
  • open bite

Do I need braces? 
While your orthodontist is your best source of information as far as determining whether or not you require orthodontic care, you can often tell if you need braces on your own. If you want a straighter smile, have gaps, have overlapping teeth, or if your teeth do not line up correctly, you can benefit from orthodontic care. Malocclusion, often referred to as a “bad bite”, is another reason dentists recommend braces. When you close your mouth, your upper jaw should fit over your upper jaw. If the jaw is misaligned and too far forward or backward or if the upper jaw sits to one side of the lower jaw, you may have malocclusion and need braces.

Braces in Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA 
If you think you could benefit from orthodontic care, ask your dentist about braces at your next dental examination and cleaning. For more information on braces or orthodontics, please contact Dr. Thomas at The Dental Spa of Virginia with two locations in Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA. Call (703) 580-1443 to schedule your appointment at Woodbridge, VA, and (703) 580-8288 to schedule your appointment at Lake Ridge, VA, today!

By The Dental Spa
March 20, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Braces   Invisalign   orthodontics  

Find out the many benefits of getting Invisalign in Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA.invisalign

When it comes to choosing the orthodontic treatment that’s right for you, our Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA, dentist, Dr. Marv Thomas, knows that there are so many different options that it can feel daunting. If you are an adult who has always wanted that perfect smile but is suffering from gaps between teeth or a crooked, uneven smile, it’s time you found out more about what Invisalign could do to help.

Cosmetic Appeal

Wearing metal braces, as you might imagine, can be rather embarrassing, particularly if you are in school or out in the working world. You don’t want people around you to suddenly make a big deal about you getting braces. Well, now you don’t have to. You can get the smile you want without others noticing. Instead of metal, Invisalign uses a set of customized clear aligners. They look similar to mouthguards except the thin, precise design of the aligners make them fit snugly over the teeth so people won’t notice.

Comfortable to Wear

Wearing these clear aligners instead can certainly take the discomfort out of having braces. Since each aligner is carefully crafted just for you, you won’t have to worry about uncomfortable, painful treatment.

No Potential Damage

While your aligners aren’t impervious to stains or other damage, it always puts a parent’s mind at ease to find out that aligners are much safer than wearing wires, which—if damaged—could puncture your gums or tongue. Especially if your adolescent is an athlete who participates in contact sports, choosing Invisalign over traditional braces will negate the chances of damaged braces or scratched mouths.

Easy on Your Lifestyle

There is no doubt about it—braces can certainly cramp your style. If the idea of spending a lot of time meticulously flossing and brushing between precarious wires and brackets has you anxious, then it might be time to talk to your Lake Ridge and Woodbridge general dentists about Invisalign. Since Invisalign aligners are removable, you can take them out right before eating or before caring for your smile. This way, you don’t have to change your oral routine or your diet.

Are you ready to turn to Invisalign to get your dream smile? If so, The Dental Spa in Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA, is ready to help. Call us today to schedule your no-risk consultation.

By The Dental Spa
October 06, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Braces   orthodontics  

Once you get your braces you obviously want to do whatever you possibly can to keep them free of damage. Since damaged braces will bracesprevent them from working, it’s important that you take proper precautions for the health of your smile and your braces. Our Woodbridge, VA dentist, Dr. Marv Thomas, is here to tell you it’s important that you know how to care for your braces if you want to maintain a healthy smile throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Your Oral Routine

If you’ve never really valued the importance of brushing and flossing, it’s time you did now that you have braces. Now it’s even more important that you care for your teeth and gums the right way to prevent decay or gum disease from affecting your smile. After all, with wires and brackets to try and maneuver around it’s now easier to miss plaque and food particles that are trapped between teeth.

As our Woodbridge general dentist has probably already mentioned, it’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day but better to brush after every meal so food is less likely to be trapped between braces throughout the day.

Flossing is also crucial, as it’s the best way to remove plaque and food stuck between teeth. While flossing may seem nearly impossible with traditional braces, opt for threader floss, which is ideal for braces wearers who need to get around braces to clean in between teeth.

Your Diet

We will also provide you with a list of foods that you’ll want to stay away from throughout your dental treatment. Any foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy should be off limits. This includes things like gum, popcorn, pretzels or gummy bears. And if you are a nail biter or pen chewer, these habits are ones you will want to break before you break your braces.

Keeping Braces Damage-Free

Besides following the tips mentioned above, if you are playing a sport you may be worried about the safety of your braces. Fortunately, you’ll be happy to hear that you can continue to play sports throughout your orthodontic treatment but you have to take safety precautions. You should always wear a mouth guard to prevent damage during a game or even practice. A custom-made mouth guard from your dentist is often the best option for protecting your teeth.

The Dental Spa is happy to provide not only braces but also a comprehensive list of dental services to the Woodbridge, VA area. Whether you want to find out which braces are right for you or you have questions about the braces you have now, it’s never too late to turn to our dental professionals.

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

Phone (703) 580-8288