Ryan M. Buckwalter, DDS, FICOI
Thomas M. Starkey, DDS (ReTIRED)

1420 Greenbrier Place
Charlottesville, VA 22901

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Top Foods & Drinks that Can Stain Your Teeth

While it is important to obtain a pearly white smile to keep your teeth in the best shape possible, maintaining great oral health can be challenging especially if our favorite foods are known to cause stains. Certain types of foods and beverages can allow stains to form on our enamel causing them to appear yellow and not as healthy. If your teeth are not as white as you would like them to be, consider a cosmetic dentistry smile makeover with a professional dentist!


At Hillcrest Dental, we support our clients’ mindfulness toward maintaining their dental health with quality Albemarle County cosmetic dentistry services. Cosmetic dentistry is available for those who would like to obtain a brighter smile, which will give them the confidence they need to lead a more successful life. Keep your smile in great health and avoid or limit this list of food and drink items below that can easily stain your teeth:

Common Beverages That Cause Stains on Your Teeth


  • Coffee


You may prevent coffee from staining your teeth by adding milk to lighten the color and sweeten its bitterness. However, keep in mind that drinking this highly acidic beverage regularly will result in stains on your teeth.


  • Tea


Although tea may seem like a milder alternative to coffee, tea contains a large amount of tannins, or chemical compounds that are mostly found in plants, which can cause staining on tooth enamel.


  • Soda


Aside from being substantially unhealthy for you in general, sodas or carbonated drinks are also increasingly bad for your teeth as its ingredients such as artificial sugars and acids will decay your tooth enamel. This makes it easier for them to stain, as well as further degrade your dental health.


  • Wine


When it comes to teeth stains, red wines commonly take the blame. However, white wine can be even more damaging to your oral health since it has a much higher acidity than red wine. We also advise against drinking both in a single sitting as the white wine would promote decay of the soft enamel, thus allowing red wine to easily dull and discolor your teeth.

Common Foods That Cause Stains on Your Teeth


  • Soy sauce


As soy sauce is a darkly-colored liquid with a high concentration of sodium, it will likely stain your teeth. Be sure to cut down on the amount you consume during a meal.  


  • Blueberries


While enormously healthy and tasty, eating blueberries also produces dark stains on your teeth. However, simply rinse your mouth with water after you eat them, so you can keep your smile clean.


  • Balsamic Vinegar


Much like soy sauce, balsamic vinegar’s rich, dark color as well as its high acidic content, means that it will weaken enamel and leave stains on your teeth. Putting a light portion of it in your salad can help prevent any discoloration from developing.


  • Tomato Sauce


Tomatoes are also highly acidic and can cause rather unappealing red-orange stains on your teeth, so be sure to thoroughly rinse, floss, and brush your teeth after a delicious pasta dinner.

Obtain A Bright Smile with Professional Cosmetic Dentistry in Albemarle County

Always be attentive with what you consume whenever you think about your dental health.  Our best advice: brush and floss your teeth regularly each day to avoid those bothersome stains, as well as any other dental issues such as toothaches, cavities, tooth fractures, and weak gums. Since 1953, Hillcrest Dental has been serving the most effective and personalized dental care to our close group of patients and clients. We are always happy to help you achieve the smile you deserve and provide services that suit your needs most.

To ensure that your teeth and gums are in the best of health, schedule a cosmetic dentistry service consultation at Hillcrest Dental! Book an appointment with our team, contact us at 434-973-2224.

New Year, New You! Things Your Dental Hygienist Wants You To Know

Dental hygiene is an important part of your overall health and making stellar dental care one of your resolutions for 2019 will lead to a great year and great future. Hillcrest Dental wants to make sure you remember a few important things about maintaining all your important dental health this coming year.

Daily Brushing

Brushing your teeth is the standard way to improve dental hygiene. It’s something most kids are taught to do every day in the morning and at night. As you eat, bits of food can get caught on and in between your teeth causing the bacteria in your mouth to break it down turning it into plaque. This plaque can cause serious long-term damage to your teeth if not properly dealt with. Brushing your teeth prevents a wide range of dental issues such as the following:

  • Bad Breath
  • Dental Cavities
  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum Disease

Even going just a few days without brushing your teeth can lead to many serious hygienic issues. It is important to remember to brush your teeth at least twice daily, once when you wake up, and again before going to sleep.


Flossing is another very important and an often neglected part of your dental hygiene routine. Food can get stuck in between your teeth, a place where your brush cannot reach, making brushing not enough to properly clean your teeth. Forgetting to floss can lead to the same issues as forgetting to brush as the areas between your teeth and along the gum lines are some of the most sensitive areas of your mouth.

Oral Rinsing

You’ve probably noticed a trend with each hygiene tip so far, being more and more thorough. Brushing and flossing isn’t a complete solution to proper dental hygiene. Even after brushing, there can be as much as a billion bacteria cells on the surface of each tooth. While routine brushing and flossing can remove the food particles remaining in your mouth, mouthwash can help further reduce the bacteria on your teeth, as well as wash any lingering food particles away that may have been missed. After brushing and flossing, you should rinse your mouth with mouthwash for about 30 seconds, then avoid eating any food for the next 3o minutes.

Choose Hillcrest Dental Near Blue Ridge, VA For Great Care This New Year!

Keeping up proper dental hygiene can pay off for years to come by improving your overall health and saving you money on future dental work. Don’t sour your 2019 with improper dental care. Start the new year right by choosing Hillcrest Dental for any and all dental concerns. At Hillcrest Dental, we provide many quality dental services ranging from general dental care to oral surgery. We understand that dental emergencies happen to individuals of all ages, which is why we provide emergency dental services to residents who reside in cities around the Charlottesville area as well!

When it comes to the health of your teeth, don’t wait till next year! Contact us at (434)-973-2224 to set up your dental appointment today or fill out a form and request an appointment!

How to Protect Your Teeth From Cavities

The holiday season is full of food, friends, family and fun. You will probably have multiple feasts during this time of celebration with a multitude of food and sweets. While you may not be very focused on clean eating, you should still be wary about the possible dental problems you may face during the holidays such as cavities. There are many ways to avoid these, and our team of professional family dentists at Hillcrest Dental in Albemarle County, VA is there for you if one creeps up on you.


Here are some smart ways you can avoid cavities this holiday season!

1. Eat Sugary Foods with Your Meals

As you will be eating a lot during this holiday season, watching what you eat can help prevent dental problems. Saliva production increases while you eat your meals, which help wash away unwanted food particles and balances out production of acid in your mouth. This way when you eat sugary foods with your meals to prevent cavities, you will still be able to enjoy holiday sweets.

2. Avoid Sticky Candy

Food debris that remains in your teeth can combine with saliva, bacteria, and acid to form plaque, which leads to cavities if unattended to. Sticky sweets like gummies, taffy, or even dried fruit will stay in your teeth longer. This will increase your chances for cavities to form, so stay away from those as much as possible to avoid a dentist trip.

3. Watch Your Hard Candy Intake

The holiday season is for enjoying quality time with family and taking a break from all the craziness in your life. The last thing you want, especially during the holidays, is a chipped tooth or cavity, resulting in a long visit with the dentist. Watch your consumption of hard candy, so you can avoid any unpleasant dental problems.

4. Limit Alcohol

Many of the adult drinks during the holidays are very sugary, such as eggnog and the many delicious celebratory cocktails. Be careful of how many sugary beverages you drink, even if they’re non alcoholic. Alcohol can also dry out your mouth, so limit your intake as much as possible.


5. Be Aware of Starchy Desserts

Similar to sticky sweets, starchy foods can also get strapped in your teeth if you don’t pay attention. It’s important to make sure you floss after eating during the holidays to remove the food particles that can lead to plaque buildup and cavities. This is especially important if you tend to eat large amounts of starchy food during these holiday feasts.

6. Water and Gum

Another way you can wash out unwanted particles from your mouth is simply by drinking more water or by chewing sugarless gum. Doing this is a way to continue increasing your saliva production in between meals, so you can avoid tooth decay.

Hillcrest Dental: There for You Through all Your Holiday Dental Needs

Preventing cavities can be easy if you watch what you consume and brush your teeth regularly. Hillcrest Dental ensures you keep smiling through the holidays with our professional general dentistry services and highly experienced dentists. With free consultations for cosmetic dentistry services in Albemarle County, our dedicated team will be able to personally serve all your needs. Contact us at (434) 973-2224 to schedule an appointment before this holiday season arrives and don’t forget to floss!

Four Oral Hygiene Tips for the Holidays

It’s that time of the year again! The holidays have arrived and what comes with the holidays? Continuing a healthy dental care routine, of course! We know it’s a time everyone looks forward to as we have been waiting for those special desserts and drinks that we love so much. However, we must be careful in regards to portion sizes and types of foods and drinks we consume.


Hillcrest Dental professionals are highly-trained to understand your dental situation and provide the proper dental health care services you need to maintain a healthy smile. Our team is dedicated to providing the best general dentistry services to residents around the Charlottesville, VA area. We know everyone’s pearly whites need care year-round, so while you are thinking about what you would like to eat or drink, keep in mind how it might affect your teeth. To help you with this task, we have compiled a list of tips so that you can enjoy your holidays and still have a great dental visit!

1. Make Use of Travel Items

Whenever you are traveling away from home, pack a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and mouthwash with you. We recommend packing those items first as most people tend to pack their toothbrush last. This way, if you pack the toothbrush you use daily, you’ll still need it the day that you have to travel so it will end up in your suitcase last. If you have travel items, you don’t have to worry about forgetting your toothbrush or skipping your daily dental routine.

2. Avoid Sugar and Eat in Moderation!

Consuming an excessive amount of sugary foods is harmful to your teeth. We know it’s the holidays and that there will definitely be desserts — we’re not stopping you from devouring that delicious pie — but you should be aware of what you’re eating. If you are going to be eating sugary, chewy, sticky, or hard foods, you should eat them in moderation. You wouldn’t want to interrupt your holiday vacation for emergency dental services because of this. If it’s hard to say no, we recommend looking at what foods you plan to eat and visit the dentist right after the holidays have passed. Maybe even trying to make a few substitutions to your desserts such as carrots and cheese. Cheese helps with balancing acid from drinks while carrots help strengthen your tooth enamel.

3. Drink Water Often

Not only does water help our skin and bodies, but our teeth can experience the benefits from it too! While it’s easy to drink sodas and sugary juices, they aren’t the best for our teeth as it can leave stains on them. The acid from those drinks can also slowly break down the enamel on our teeth. If you do eat of drink anything sweet or acidic, it’s best in moderation. Drinking water more often will help reduce the risk of cavities, staining, and bad breath.

4. Go to the Dentist Regularly

Visiting your general family dentistry routinely is a task that usually needs constant reminders. There are many people who do not see the dentist unless they are already experiencing a lot of pain, at which point there is often major dental damage already done. Seeing the dentist regularly will ensure that any tooth and gum issues are taken care of. If you go a while without seeing a dentist for a checkup, it’s more likely that small problems will go unnoticed and become worse down the road. While emergency dental services are an option, we want to help you avoid that by providing general dental care services to keep your mouth healthy!

Make Plans to Visit Hillcrest Dental Near Blue Ridge, VA This Holiday Season!

Don’t let a dental emergency interrupt your holiday fun. At Hillcrest Dental, we provide many quality dental services ranging from general dental care to oral surgery. We understand that dental emergencies happen to individuals of all ages, which is why we provide emergency dental  services to residents who reside in cities around the Charlottesville area as well!


When it comes to the health of your teeth, don’t delay! Contact us at (434)-973-2224 to set up your dental appointment today or fill out a form and request an appointment!


Dentistry From The Heart is an outreach program passionate about reaching patients with oral health needs, giving them smile makeovers including: exams, cleanings, fillings, etc. is just the beginning.

A day could begin with people waiting in line as early as 12:10am, eager to meet a doctor as soon as the facility doors open – knowing that it would also open the doors to better health and restored teeth.


It was a first come, first serve basis, however, when anyone sat in the chair, they were first and foremost.

Among the 257 patients treated, some found themselves reconnected with each other and their volunteers, one remarking, “It’s sort of like a family…everyone’s so nice.” A post-procedure interview with another individual who had four free dental procedures shared, “Y’all are nicer, more gentle and overall better than any dental work I’ve had to pay for in the past. I love you guys! I’m getting back in line now to get a filing!”

During one year, thanks to Dr. Ryan Buckwalter and all the doctors who volunteered their time, they were able to perform over 913 dental services. With people coming as from as far as New Jersey and many locals, all left with a big, healthy smile!

3rd Annual Dentistry From the Heart Event Serves 261 Members of Our Community

Dentistry From the Heart for Those Who Need It

  • "I am very pleased with how my appointment went yesterday. Everyone was really friendly. They explained everything to me about the procedure and stayed late to assure I was comfortable with the work I had done. Dr Ryan Buckwalter and his assistants were awesome. I highly recommend them for any dental work. Thank you."

    Donnette M.

  • "I was having toothache pain in my lower jaw. I called the next day to make an appointment and was given an appointment time for the very next day. I saw Dr. Ryan, who is knowledgeable, caring and has great people skills with his patients. I made another appointment to come back and have the work done."

    Denise K.

  • “Dr. Buckwalter and his assistant did a wonderful job with our 8 year old today. While they were busy talking teeth, my 3 year old was enjoying his new lip balm and balloon! Finished up with a treat from Starbucks with our gift card. So glad our kiddos don’t fear the dentist. More like they want to keep stopping in."

    Logan D.

  • “Unbelievable experience with Dr. Ryan Buckwalter. Night and Day difference from my last dental experience with another dentist. I no longer fear the dentist!”

    David S.