Why Your Smile Deserves An AACD Dentist

YOUR SMILE IS AN expression of who you are. It is that special thing that greets a friend, celebrates all of life’s joyful moments, and makes someone’s day that much brighter. We know how important your smile is to you and those around you. That’s why Dr. Annie Yu  is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), so we can always provide the best and most up-to-date care to our patients!

What Is The AACD?

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is an international organization dedicated to advancing dental excellence in the art and science of cosmetic dentistry. Their mission is to educate dental professionals on the latest technology and techniques in cosmetic dentistry as well as encourage the highest standards of ethical conduct and patient care.

Did you know that any dentist can claim to be a cosmetic dentist, no matter their experience or skill level? Because Dr. Yu  is an AACD member, you can trust that the cosmetic dental procedures performed at our practice meet the highest standards of quality, ethics and aesthetics.

We Go The Extra Mile For Our Patients

Our number one priority is our patients’ safety and satisfaction. We’re always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that we are providing the best care to every single person that comes into our office!

As an AACD member, Dr. Yu is constantly improving her skills and learning how to better serve you. Why? Because you deserve the smile of your dreams, and we’re here to make that dream a reality!

Thank you for choosing our practice!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

What Are Your Favorite Thanksgiving Foods? Here Are Ours!

THANKSGIVING IS just around the corner! Not only is it a time to share good company, it’s a time to share good food!

It’s Time To Share Our Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes!

Each family has their own signature dish they serve this time of year. Today, we’d like to share some of our team member’s favorites:

From Vermelle:

“My favorite Thanksgiving food is macaroni & cheese and candied sweet potatoes.”

I have a simple yet special apple cobbler recipe that my family really likes which consists of red delicious apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, croissant rolls…mmm, mmm!”

From Dr. Yu:

“Whenever I think of Thanksgiving, I always think of turkey, but to be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan.   I think my favorite dish is probably dessert, pumpkin pie.”

“My favorite Thanksgiving memory was over 10 years ago when entire family met at my parents’ home and had this huge Thanksgiving feast, full of asian dishes, a small turkey (for tradition), and the main dish, steamed lobsters.  I remember my mother asking me what I wanted for Thanksgiving dinner that year, and I half-jokingly said, “lobsters!”  I definitely didn’t think she’d go as far as she did…I remember we took a family dinner photo and on each person’s plate was a full lobster. “

Do you have a favorite holiday recipe? Feel free to share it with us on our Facebook page or in the comments below!

Have A Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food, it’s about expressing gratitude. We’re so grateful for each of you—our valued patients and friends. Because of you, we’re excited to come into work each day. Thank you for your kindness and the trust you place in our practice.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Our Team’s Favorite Smile-Friendly Snacks

EVERYONE KNOWS that snack time is one of the best times of the day! Getting a tasty treat in the middle of the workday or grabbing a snack after school can be just the pick-me-up you need to tackle the rest of your day with a smile.

But before you reach for the chips or chocolates, we have a few smile-friendly suggestions! Today we want to share our team’s favorite snacks that protect your teeth and benefit your smile.

Our Smile-Friendly Snack Picks

From Vermelle:   My favorite snacks are popcorn & pears !”
From Dr. Yu:  “Oooh, Vermelle had some good ones!  I also love popcorn, especially Simply Pop…very addicting.  Then I also like fruits, like blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, cherries, watermelon, mangos, etc.    Because they’re easy to prepare, edamame (soybean pods) and seaweed (nori) strips are also some of my go-to snack choices!”

In addition to trying out our favorite snacks, keep these tips in mind when planning snacks that benefit your oral health:

Eat More Of These

Leafy Greens: Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens have calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, and magnesium; all essential for healthy teeth and gums.
Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt: Dairy is a delicious source of calcium, which supports strong bones and teeth.
Kiwi, Oranges, And Other Vitamin-C-Rich Foods: Vitamin C boosts your body’s ability to fight infection that causes gum disease.

Eat Less Of These

Soda And Energy Drinks: These acidic, sugary drinks attack and gradually deteriorate your protective tooth enamel.
Sticky Candy, Gummies, And Dried Fruit: These foods stick in your teeth and continue to bathe your teeth in sugar for hours after eating.
Highly Processed Carbs: This includes crackers, white bread, and pastries, which feed decay-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Keep In Touch To Learn More!

Now that we’ve shared our favorite healthy snacks, we want to hear from YOU! If you have any healthy recipes you make make at home, share them in the comments below or on our Facebook page! We’d love to see what kinds of creative snack ideas you’ve come up with.

Thank you for CHEW-sing our practice!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

What To Expect At Your Next Regular Dental Checkup

VISITING YOUR DENTIST regularly (for most people it’s every six months) is an important part of maintaining your oral health. Not only does it keep your smile clean, but it can help you keep an eye on your overall health too!

For some, it may have been a while since your last visit or you or a loved one may be apprehensive about visiting the dentist. Knowing what to expect can help relieve much of this anxiety, so today we want to explain the basics of what happens during your typical bi-annual cleaning and how you can prepare for your next appointment!

Gather Necessary Information Beforehand

Discussing your family history may not be the first thing you think of when scheduling your dental appointment, but being familiar with your family’s medical history allows us to better care for your oral and overall health.

Like many other conditions such as heart disease and certain forms of cancer, periodontal disease has strong genetic ties that can run in your family. Knowing your family’s medical history can help your dentist keep an eye out for oral health issues such as gum disease or other conditions which present symptoms in the mouth, such as diabetes.

Aside from gathering any relevant personal or family medical information, be sure to to review your dental insurance benefits as you prepare for your appointment. Knowing your level of coverage will help you understand what costs will be associated with your care. If you have any questions about using your dental insurance for your regular dental checkups or for orthodontic treatment in our practice or if you would like information about paying for care without insurance, give us a call!

What Happens During Your Appointment?

Although this varies from patient to patient based on their individual needs, your first dental check-up with us is one of the most thorough check-ups you’ll likely ever experience.  Given it’s our first time meeting, you can imagine it takes more time for us to get better acquainted–gathering data includes obtaining a thorough medical and dental history, your habits, home care routine, but also taking digital photos and xrays of your teeth, including evaluating your gums, bone, muscles, joints, your bite, soft tissues, etc.  Based on your desires and complexity of your concerns, some patients require further discussion and investigation, in which another appointment may be need and more data may need to be collected (models, impressions, etc.).  Typically however, Dr. Yu will be able to go over all of her findings with you and together find a treatment plan that suits your needs the best.  Given enough time is remaining, Dr. Yu will not only give you her recommendation on what type of hygiene visit you’ll need (routine 6 month cleaning, deep cleanings, etc.) but often will be able to complete or at least start your hygiene/cleaning part of your visit.  We put a lot of value on this initial visit–it is time and attention our patients are definitely not accustomed to expecting when coming to see the dentist.  Our attention to detail has definitely become our signature and it’s represented in this visit.

Dental X-Rays

How frequently you need dental X-rays relies largely on your medical and dental history, your age, and your current oral health. New-patient examinations often require X-rays  and photographs as well.

If required, dental X-rays are generally taken at the beginning of your dental appointment. Dental X-rays allow us to detect and diagnose tooth decay between teeth, on hard-to-reach surfaces, and under existing dental work. X-rays can even be helpful in identifying dental and orthodontic issues that exist beneath the gum line.

Comprehensive Exam

Your dentist will perform a comprehensive oral examination to ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape. They will:

  • examine your teeth for signs of decay
  • check for gum swelling and redness, and measure the depth of your gingival pockets to check for signs of periodontal disease
  • test how your top and bottom teeth come together and check for signs of teeth grinding or other potential orthodontic issues
  • examine your neck, lymph glands, and oral cavity for signs of oral cancer

Based on your exam, they’ll discuss any necessary treatment recommendations and offer helpful tips on how to improve your oral hygiene before your next appointment.

Dental Cleaning

Once it’s time for your cleaning, your dentist or hygienist uses a small metal instrument known as a scaler and/or an ultrasonic instrument to scrape off tartar above and below the gum line and in between teeth. Next, they polish your teeth using a polishing tool and a lightly abrasive paste to deep clean your pearly whites and remove any tartar left behind after the previous step. Last but not least, they’ll finish your cleaning with a thorough flossing.

Check out the video below for more information on the importance of regular dental exams!


What Should You Do After Your Appointment?

Whether your next regular dental appointment is in 6 months or even sooner, be sure to maintain a good oral hygiene routine and follow any additional instructions provided by your dentist. If you have any questions about what to expect from your next dental appointment or an orthodontic consultation in our office, let us know!

We love our patients!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Lights, Camera, Action: It’s Movie Time!

THE SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER SEASON will soon be upon us! With so many great movies coming out this year, we decided we wanted to share some of our team’s all-time favorites!

Our Team’s Top Movie Picks!

We love movies in our practice, so we asked our team members to share what their favorite movie was and why. Here’s what they said:


Favorite Childhood Movie:   ALL Nightmare of Elm Street movies
Why:   “I love scary movies!  I have this childhood fascination with Freddy Kreuger and anything scary!”

Favorite Comedy:   Bridesmaid
Why:  “I just loved the storyline and how the dynamics of a close friendship evolves and changes with each life stage.  Plus I just love Melissa McCarthy…she’s so funny in everything she does!”

Dr. Yu

Favorite Childhood Movie:   Bloodsport
Why:  “Believe it or not this is one of my favorite movies from my childhood.  I’m definitely a product of 2 older brothers who were into martial arts…and back then Jean-Claude Van Damme was super popular!  It’s embarrassing to admit but I can still quote most of this movie. “

Favorite Drama:   Law Abiding Citizen
Why:  “I love how the writers were able to create a storyline that allowed the audience to relate with Gerard Butler’s character, a grieving husband whose wife and daughter were murdered.  Being quite clever, Butler’s character quickly shifts from victim to villain as he avenges his family’s murder by murdering (quite brutally) everyone he felt took part in the process, including the judge and legal team.  It definitely pulled on my heart-strings while also had me teetering on who I empathized and rooted for throughout the entire movie.”


Speaking of great movies, check out the video below to see whether or not you’ve been correctly quoting these iconic films!

What’s Your Favorite Movie?

Now that we’ve shared some of our favorites, we want to hear from you too! Whether you enjoy goofy comedies, gripping suspense films, or insightful documentaries, we’d love to hear what your favorite movies are. Who knows, maybe one of them will become one of our new favorites! Leave your movie picks in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

Thanks for being our star patients!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Paying For Dental Care: A Guide To Your Options

WE DON’T SIMPLY clean teeth and fill cavities at our practice—we educate our patients! From the moment you walk through our door to the moment you schedule your next appointment, we’re prepared to guide you through each step of your visit.

One topic we are often asked about is paying for your dental care. Cleaning your teeth doesn’t have to clean out your wallet, so today we want to provide you with all of the information you need to know when you’re scheduling your next appointment.

We Have Payment Options To Suit Your Needs

We accept cash, check, and most credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover).  We also accept CareCredit, a 3rd party company that can offer little to no-interest options.  Please note however, CareCredit’s terms for the approved line of credit is specific to each dental office.   To avoid any confusion, it’s always best to speak to your dental provider before using your CareCredit card.

Dental Insurance

We are in-network with most PPO plans, specifically:

  1.  GEHA Connection Dental PPO
  2.  Cigna PPO
  3.  Aetna PPO
  4.  United Concordia PPO
  5.  Guardian PPO
  6.  Delta Dental Premier PPO
  7.  SunLife Financial PPO

**As each plan is different, it is always advisable to first call your dental provider’s office so they can help you confirm their relationship with your insurance plan.

In-network status simply means the dentist is contracted at specific discounted rates (*each office may be contracted differently and at different rates) in return for being listed as a preferred provider with that insurance company.  Contrary to common belief, despite having in-network status, dental offices actually have no influence nor control over the details of your insurance plan.  Each insurance plan differs regarding their terms and coverage (i.e. not all GEHA plans are the same, as not all Aetna plans are the same, etc.).

For patients with other insurances that we are not contracted with — often times you can still maximize your benefits; just as long as your plan allows you to go “out-of-network.”  Based on the specifics of your policy, the reimburse may be a different percentages.  At Avant Dentistry, we will always file your dental insurance claim for you (often electronically because it’s faster); our fees are due at time of service, and your insurance plan would reimburse you directly based upon your plan.  Having this flexibility allows you to choose your dentist based on reputation, and not strictly based on what your insurance plan will allow.

Bright, Healthy Smiles Are Priceless

Whichever option you choose, we are committed to providing our patients with quality, personalized care. If you have any questions about payment for your oral health care or if you’re curious about specific treatment pricing for yourself or someone you care about, feel free to give us a call. We’d love to help you receive the care you need at the price that fits your budget.

Thank you for continuing to place your trust our practice.




The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Washingtonian’s Top Dentist 2017

It’s official!!!  Washingtonian’s Top Dentist list has been published, and we feel so honored to have been listed amongst the elite in the area!

Just as the Washingtonian publishes Washington’s Top Doctors, local dentists are also surveyed to vote amongst their peers who they would recommend to treat their family and friends in all the dental specialities.  To be nominated by so many peers is truly a honor!

Check out Washingtonian’s latest March issue (p.112) !!!   To see the feature on Dr. Yu, flip to p. 141!


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New Year, New Resolutions!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of our wonderful patients, fans, and friends!

Here at Avant Dentistry, we’re excited for 2017 and we wanted to take a moment to share our new year’s resolutions with you. Also, we’d love to hear YOUR resolutions too!

Here Are Some Of OUR Resolutions


Like most years, my greatest New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and be healthier.  My biggest motivation are my children–not only so I may continue to provide and take care of them, but also to be a positive role model for them so they may also learn to live healthier lifestyles.   In addition to trying to eat healthier, I also plan on introducing some extra cardiovascular efforts like using the stairs on the metro versus using the escalator, and during my lunch break going for a quick walk around the neighborhood.

Dr. Yu:

Hmmm, my New Year’s resolutions…here are a few that come to mind:

  1.  Drink simpler coffee drinks.  I’ve always been a sucker for “frou-frou” drinks…caramel macchiatos, creme brulee lattes, and the like.  They’re just sooo tasty, which usually means they also carry a higher sugar content, aka a lot of wasted calories.  Since I’m also a foodie, I’d much rather save those calories for some delicious food and actual dessert 😉
  2. Since the Michelin guide came to Washington, DC this past fall, there are a number of awarded restaurants I’ve been dying to try.  So the plan is to try as many of them as I can…which is even more motivation to cut out those “frou frou” drinks 😉
  3. Improve my posture.  Neck and back problems are pretty common among dentists.  And recently, I’ve definitely noticed my posture has declined over the past years, and I’m hoping to counteract the effects by increasing my core strength with simple core strength exercises, pilates, and barre classes.
  4. Complete my Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD), something less than 1% of all dentist ever achieve!
  5. We lost a lot of wonderful people too soon in 2016 – in addition to the well-known celebrities which we will definitely miss, we also lost some close friends and colleagues.  We never know when it will be our time; so I’m simply reminded to embrace life, appreciate the people we have in our lives (and tell them often), and just be thankful!

Need a bit of help keeping your New Year’s resolution? Check out the video below!

Now Share YOUR Resolutions With Us!

So, now that you know OUR resolutions, what are YOURS? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Happy New Year!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

We’ve been ANIMATED!!! Check out our new video!

We were looking for a fun & unique way to illustrate how Avant Dentistry is different than any another dental office.  And we thought what better way than an animated video!  It was a fun process, for sure; still cannot believe we got it down to 90-seconds!

We’re really proud of how it turned out!  We’d love to hear what you think?!?!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Ready For Winter Fun? Our Team Is!

WHETHER YOU LIVE IN a winter wonderland or enjoy warm weather and sunshine year-round, every region has something unique to offer during the winter months.

Today, Avant Dentistry’s team would like to share what some of our favorite ways to pass the time this time of year!

Our Team’s Favorite Winter Activities

From Vermelle:

“I have so many wintery favorites….I love seeing all the festive lights and listening to Christmas carols–it definitely puts my entire family in the mood for the Christmas holiday!  But my all-time favorite activity this time of year is decorating, especially baking (cookies) with my kids 🙂 ”

From Dr. Yu:

“Winter-time to me means skiing (hopefully somewhere out west)!  Skiing with my brothers is one of my favorite childhood past-times, and I am so fortunate that I get to continue that tradition with them, and now with my little nephews!  Christmas time is my favorite time of year…I love everything about it:  the decorations, the lights, the music, the cool brisk air, bundling up in warm scarves and gloves, drinking hot chocolate, singing (mostly harmonizing) Christmas carols, baking Christmas gingerbread cookies, watching feel-good Christmas movies, wrapping Christmas gifts (and spoiling my nephews rotten of course!), then watching their excitement on Christmas morning, cooking dinner with my family, and if I’m super lucky, Christmas is topped off with pretty, light and fluffy snow 😉 “

Upcoming Events

Still looking for gift ideas for that “hard to shop for person”?!?!  Everyone loves the gift of a whiter smile!  We are running our $99 Whitening Special for 10 sets of professional strength disposable trays!  They make great stocking stuffers too! May your holidays (and smile!) always be bright!

We are soon (start of 2017) to launch an in-office Photobooth campaign, which appeals to our team’s fun side!  For the cherry on top, everyone that participates is entered into a raffle to win Apple’s newest iPad mini 2!!!   How to enter???       4 Simple steps:

  1.  Take a photo in our office photobooth (optional props provided)
  2.  Post it on your Facebook
  3.  Tag our office, and
  4.  Just make sure your post is “public,” so we can be sure to enter you into the raffle.

Easy, right?!!? We’ll announce the winner on Facebook!  Join us in the fun…. bring on 2017!!!

We love winter as much as these fuzzy little guys!

What Are YOUR Favorite Activities This Time Of Year?

We’ve had a lot of fun sharing our favorite winter activities, now we want to hear from you! Share your favorite ways to pass the time this time of year in the comments below or let us know on social media!

Thank you for making this the most wonderful time of the year!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.