Dental Health Tips You Might Not Know

Dental TipsThink you know a lot about how to care for your teeth and gums? Sometimes what we think we know isn’t always accurate. Here are three interesting dental health tips your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist wants to share with you.

Citrus Erodes Tooth Enamel Even in Water

Peruse the internet and you’ll find a number of links to posts (like this one from Health) that embrace the benefit of drinking lemon in water for good health. The claims run the gamut from boosting your immune system and offering an antioxidant boost to aiding in constipation and helping with weight loss.

However, as this post from Shape suggests, not everything you hear about lemon and water is beneficial. While it may help with digestion, the citric acid in lemons may aggravate stomach issues. Plus, one lemon isn’t generally enough to detox.

Finally, our main concern: citric acid can lead to erosion of tooth enamel. Although some people feel lemon and water is better than coffee with sugar when it comes to dental health, your Century City cosmetic dentist suggests that you limit your intake of both acidic and sugary food and drink.

Don’t Ignore Receding Gums

Gums play an important role in your mouth. They are a soft tissue that covers the roots and bone. They protect the roots from decay and help hold your teeth in place.

Unfortunately, periodontitis and mouth injury can cause gums to recede. Receding gums can lead to serious long-term problems including sensitivity, pain, decay, and tooth loss.

One of the best ways to protect your gums from damage is through proper dental care. That includes daily brushing and flossing along with regular visits to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist. Additionally, if you play sports, consider wearing a mouth guard.

Get the Right Dental Health Info

A new survey from the U.K. now says that nearly 50 percent of adults admit to not brushing before retiring at night, usually because they’re too tired. Not brushing your teeth before bed leaves your mouth vulnerable to all the bacteria that have built up during your day. It’s the perfect breeding ground for cavities and gum disease.

If that’s not bad enough, a new idea for losing weight recently popped up on the internet. It suggested that one of the best ways to drop pounds is to brush your teeth immediately after dinner. Specifically, “make sure to rush to your bathroom right after your meal and thoroughly brush your teeth for at least five to eight minutes,” the post recommends. This is completely contrary to popular dental health care recommendations.

First, your teeth are their softest right after eating. Brushing immediately afterwards puts them at risk. Instead, wait at least half an hour or chew sugarless gum to help remove harmful sugar and acid. When you do brush, it doesn’t need to be for five to eight minutes. Two to three minutes is plenty.

Knowing how to care for your teeth and gums can be confusing. One of the best ways to get the answers to your oral hygiene questions is to speak with your Century City cosmetic dentist.

3 Common Dental Problems You May Not Know You Have

Common dental problemsIt might surprise you but dental statistics suggest that only about 57 percent of women and 49 percent of men brush their teeth twice a day – the minimum amount recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). Additionally, only about half of all American adults floss on a daily basis.

Given these low percentage rates it makes sense that many people don’t realize they have dental problems. If you’re one of the many who skimp on dental care, here are three issues that your Century City cosmetic dentist warns you may have.

Tooth Grinding (Bruxism) May be Related to Stress

It’s normal to clench your jaw or grind your teeth (bruxism) without being aware of it. In fact, the American Sleep Association suggests that anywhere from 10 percent to 50 percent of adults – depending on family history – may suffer from bruxism.

While the factors that cause bruxism vary from person to person, stress is a factor in nearly one-fifth of all cases. Symptoms of tooth grinding include aches in your head and jaw. Additionally, left untreated it can lead to receding gum lines and fractured teeth, according to the National Institute of Health. Eventually you might wind up experiencing tooth loss.

That’s where your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist can help. If you suffer from missing or damaged teeth due to bruxism or for any other reason, talk to your Century City cosmetic dentist about dental implants.

Most Adults have Tooth Decay (Cavities)

Cavities occur over time and are the result of the natural bacteria that form in your mouth. Oral bacteria thrive on the food and liquids you consume. Neglect to brush and floss properly on a daily basis and it turns to plaque. The acid in plaque erodes your tooth enamel and becomes cavities.

While most adults (92%) have at least one cavity and approximately three decayed or missing permanent teeth, you don’t have to suffer. Your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist offers complete dental care.

Brushing Incorrectly Can Lead to Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity generally occurs due to exposed dentin. Dentin is the tissue that forms the bulk of each tooth and lies beneath the enamel. Receding gums can expose the dentin. Gums recede for a variety of reasons including wear and tear from bruxism, gum disease and excessive plaque buildup, overly aggressive brushing, and use of mouthwash that contains alcohol.

If you find you are sensitive to hot and cold food and drink, speak to your dentist. He will evaluate your situation to help determine a solution.

Don’t let untreated dental problems such as bruxism, cavities, and tooth sensitivity lead to tooth decay or loss. Your Century City cosmetic dentist can design the perfect dental care plan for you.

Unique Ways People Have Used to Whiten Teeth

Whitening teethYou look in the mirror and realize that your smile isn’t quite as shiny and white as it once was. You consider purchasing an over-the-counter tooth whitener or asking your Century City cosmetic dentist about an in-office treatment.

While each of these is a viable option, they’re not the only choices. Here are a few of the unique ways people have used to whiten their teeth.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda Paste

One of the primary ingredients in many conventional tooth-whitening processes is hydrogen peroxide. Additionally, there are several toothpastes available on the market offering baking soda as a cleansing agent. Therefore, it only makes sense that a homemade tooth-whitening trick should include both these ingredients.

People who have tried this method begin with about a quarter teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. They then slowly add baking soda until it becomes a paste, generally no more than one teaspoon. Now brush your teeth as you normally do being careful not to over scrub. The grittiness of the baking soda can damage enamel over time.

Chew on Carrots, Celery, and Apples

Although there are several foods that help naturally whiten teeth, some foods work better than other foods.

For instance, the cellulose in celery, carrots, and apples acts as a natural abrasive and the increase in saliva production that chewing creates helps to wash away food debris. Additionally, some suggest that other vegetables like spinach and broccoli create a film that protects teeth from stains.

The good news is physicians typically encourage patients to eat these foods anyway. So, now you can make both your physician and your Century City cosmetic dentist happy.

Strawberries Stain Your Clothes and Whiten Your Teeth

Believe it or not, there are those who swear that while strawberries may stain your clothing, they do wonders for your teeth. Apparently, they contain an enzyme known as malic acid. Apples contain it as well. However, unlike apples, strawberries also contain antioxidants and vitamin C. Both fight gum inflammation and periodontal disease.

To clean your teeth, start by mashing up a ripe strawberry. Rub it on your teeth with either a clean finger or a spare toothbrush. Let it sit for a few minutes then rinse your mouth thoroughly. Finish up by flossing and brushing as usual.

Whatever you do, remember to limit your consumption of sugar, acidic foods and beverages such as lemons and oranges, and stain-causing foods and beverages such as blueberries, coffee, and red wine.

Ultimately, the best way to keep your smile healthy and youthful is to brush and floss daily, and to visit your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist on a regular basis. Having your teeth cleaned professionally can go a long way in keeping your smile white and bright.

Save Your Teeth and Gums by Flossing Daily

flossTalk to your Century City cosmetic dentist and he’ll tell you that taking care of your teeth and gums must be a lifelong commitment. Otherwise, you could wind up with gum disease, cavities, and even tooth loss.

While dental implants are an extremely successful solution to tooth loss, having your natural teeth is always the wisest choice. One of the best ways to protect your teeth and gums against tooth loss is to floss daily.

Floss Daily to Avoid Tooth Loss

The American Academy of Periodontology warns that periodontal disease is a widespread public health problem among Americans. While periodontal disease is not the only reason people lose their teeth, unhealthy gums can increase your chances of tooth loss. Flossing can reduce the appearance of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease occurs when a layer of oral bacteria called plaque forms on your teeth. It appears as red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Left untreated it can result in tooth loss. Unfortunately, most dental experts agree that brushing alone can’t eliminate all the plaque in your mouth. Primarily because standard toothbrushes cannot reach in-between teeth, where plaque hides and gum disease is common.

To avoid cavities, periodontal disease, and tooth loss, you need to floss daily. When done properly, flossing removes plaque as well as food particles from your teeth and gums. Talk to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist about proper flossing techniques.

Flossing Eliminates Need for Tooth Loss Solutions

Depending on the extent of your tooth loss, there are three typical tooth loss solutions: bridges, dentures, or dental implants. Which solution you and your Century City cosmetic dentist choose depends primarily on preference and individual situation.

Bridges are useful when a single natural tooth is missing. A simple bridge can span the gap between the remaining natural teeth. However, if you have more extensive tooth loss, your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist may suggest dentures.

Another option is dental implants. Whether you need a single tooth or several, dental implants are most like your natural teeth in look and in their ability to prevent jawbone loss. Additionally, dental implants are the best solution when it comes to maintaining your ability to speak and chew properly.

Of course, even better than any of these tooth loss solutions are your natural teeth. Teeth and implants may seem the same, but they’re not. Primarily, your natural tooth has a ligament that attaches the root to the bone and acts to soften impact to the tooth.

In the end, your goal should always be to maintain and retain your natural teeth whenever possible. One of the best ways to save your teeth and gums is to floss at least once daily.

5 Surprising Tooth-Friendly Foods

tooth-friendly-foodsAre you concerned that everything you eat has the potential to cause dental problems? Fear no more.

Yes, citrus can soften enamel, sugar leads to cavities, and nuts or other hard foods can cause tooth damage. However, there is good food that may aid in oral care. Here are five that your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist think might surprise you.

Raisins Act as Cavity Fighters

If you’re looking for a high-energy, low fat snack, raisins not only offer convenience, they are rich in iron and fiber. In fact, just one small box of raisins offers 0.8 milligrams of iron. That’s 8% of what men need and 5 % of what women need daily. When it comes to fiber, raisins provide more than two grams of fiber in just ¼ cup. Overall, raisins can improve digestion and lower your blood pressure.

More importantly, while dental experts generally shun raisins because of their natural sweetness and tendency to stick to teeth, some suggest that they actually may help fight cavities due to plant antioxidants. These phytochemicals “slowed or stopped the growth of two different types of bacteria commonly found in the mouth.”

Cheese Protects Against Tooth Decay

Everyone knows that dairy products are a great source of vitamin D and calcium. These two essential nutrients work together to promote healthy bones and teeth. However, cheese in particular offers even more dental health benefits.

When you eat hard cheese at the end of a meal, it neutralizes the acid and helps to maintain the pH level in your mouth. This, in turn, reduces the chance you’ll have tooth decay.

Leafy-Green Vegetables Activate Saliva, Reduce Cancer Risk

Of course, leafy-green veggies are good for you. They’re high in fiber, promote digestion, and help maintain cholesterol levels. But did you know they may improve your dental health as well?

Research conducted a few years ago showed that women smokers reduced their risk of oral cancer merely by eating green leafy vegetables. In general, researchers suggested that eating a well-balanced, healthy diet was beneficial.

Strawberries Whiten Teeth Naturally

Ask health experts and they’ll tell you that berries of all kinds, including strawberries, are good for you. Specifically, they’ve been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. However, unlike dark berries such as blueberries that are healthy because of their antioxidants but harmful because of their stain-causing properties, strawberries offer a natural enamel whitener.

Strawberries contain a substance called malic acid that acts as a natural tooth whitener. Some people even suggest making a paste with strawberries and applying it to your teeth. You may want to talk with your Century City cosmetic dentist first.

Carrots Help Clean Teeth

Along with being a low-calorie food, carrots are a superior source of vitamin A and the antioxidant beta-carotene. Health experts suggest they improve vision and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and many cancers.

However, a raw carrot also can help you scrub away plaque. Plaque is that filmy bacteria that grows on your teeth and gums. Chomp down on a medium-sized carrots or a handful of minis and you give your teeth a fighting chance.

3 Important Secrets for Protecting Your Mouth from Germs

mouth-germsHave you ever considered if you’re doing everything you can to protect your teeth and gums against oral bacteria and decay. Sure, you brush, floss, and get regular dental checkups. But, have you taken every precaution you can against germs?

Prevent Toothbrush Contamination

Your mouth is home to a wide variety of good and bad microorganisms. When you brush your teeth, toothpaste, germs, and debris easily transfer to your toothbrush. That’s why it’s important to take these steps to prevent toothbrush contamination:

  • Don’t share your toothbrush with anyone
  • Rinse and air dry your toothbrush thoroughly after brushing
  • Store your toothbrush in an upright position
  • Don’t cover your toothbrush or store it in a closed container
  • Avoid cross-contamination by keeping all toothbrushes in your home from touching

Additionally, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush when the bristles become worn, usually every three to four months. Ask your Century City cosmetic dentist if you have any questions about toothbrush care.

Safeguard Your Mouthguard

If you wear a mouthguard because you play sports or grind your teeth while your sleep, consider whether you are taking the right steps to protect your mouth against germs. That means more than rinsing your mouthguard with water. Specifically, the American Dental Association suggests:

  • Rinse your mouthguard or brush it with toothpaste before and after use
  • Occasionally use cool, soapy water to clean your mouthguard
  • Store and carry your mouthguard in a sturdy, vented container
  • Protect your mouthguard against the sun and hot water (i.e. don’t put it in a dishwasher to clean it)
  • Monitor your mouthguard for wear and replace if necessary

Keeping your mouth guard clean should be part of your daily routine to keep microorganisms from finding a home on it. Talk to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist if you play sports or believe you have bruxism.

Keep Your Dentures Kissing Fresh

Anyone who wears dentures likely already knows the importance of keeping them clean. Good denture care helps fight against germs as well as stains. Here’s what the Mayo Clinic suggests denture wearers do to properly care for their dentures:

  • Remove and rinse dentures after you eat to eliminate debris
  • Carefully clean your dentures daily by brushing them with a nonabrasive denture cleaner
  • Thoroughly clean your mouth with a soft toothbrush or clean gauze pad
  • Soak dentures overnight using a mild denture-soaking solution
  • Rinse dentures before placing them in your mouth
  • Avoid using abrasives, whitening or bleaching products, and hot or boiling water on your dentures

Additionally, be sure to visit your Century City cosmetic dentist for regular checkups and cleanings, and be sure to tell your dentist promptly about any problems you may have with your dentures.

Protect your mouth from unnecessary contamination. Learn to care for the tools that help give you a great smile.

3 Ways a Great Smile Can Make You Look Younger

dentist-20150902Weight gain, muscle strength loss, and changes in skin tone are just a few of the things that most of us experience as we age. However, one vital change that many aging people may not pay a mind to is their smile.

A 2012 study confirms the importance of a great smile when it comes to other people’s perception of you. We suggest that if you don’t want others thinking you’re older than you really are you should talk to your Century City cosmetic dentist about these three things and how he can help make your smile look younger.

Teeth Yellow Due to Aging

Teeth yellow as we age for a number of reasons. One is the consumption of dark-colored food and drink, such as berries, coffee, and red wine. However, food in general plays a big role in tooth discoloration, especially if you consume acidic foods such as citrus. By eroding away tooth enamel, the acid allows the enamel to absorb even more of the stain-causing substances.

Additionally, people who use tobacco products, smoking or chewing, put their teeth at risk for staining. Finally, medications may affect the color of your teeth as well.

If your teeth don’t have that pearly white look that you loved when you were younger, talk to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist about tooth whitening.

Gums May Recede with Age

Remember the phrase “long in the tooth?” It comes from the age-old practice of checking a horse’s age by looking at the length of their teeth. Longer teeth meant receding gums. Receding gums meant an older animal.

Gum recession is most common in older people. In fact, in a study of nearly 10,000 people, only 38% of participants in their thirties had some recession, while 90% of those in their eighties had it.

While some people have receding gums due to heredity, one of the biggest reasons for a receding gum line is poor oral hygiene. To reduce your risk, brush and floss daily, and visit your Century City cosmetic dentist regularly.

Face Aging Due to Tooth Loss 

It’s normal for your face to change as you age. Decreased muscle tone, increased wrinkles and dark spots, and dryer skin are all a part of getting older. However, people who have lost several teeth increase their chances of facial collapse, a reaction to the loss of jawbone.

Typically, the roots of your teeth stimulate the jawbone to keep it healthy and strong. Without the stimulation, your body determines you no longer need it and reabsorbs it. Loss of jawbone results in loss of support to your cheeks and jawline. Your face looks shriveled and your cheeks look hollow. You may appear much older than your real age.

While many dentists use dental bridges and dentures as a substitute for tooth loss, your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist knows the ideal solution is dental implants.

Talk to him about any of your concerns and take the time to keep your smile looking fresh and young through regular dental care.

Protect Yourself from Tooth Loss this Summer

dentist-01Tooth loss may occur anytime during the year, especially for active school-age children who play sports. However, summer generally increases the entire family’s outdoor activity level. With more fun comes the potential for an increased risk of tooth loss requiring a special trip to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist.

Protect Active Children and Adults from Tooth Loss

According to statistics, the primary source of tooth and mouth injuries is sports. In fact, 40 percent of dental injuries occur during sports activities. That doesn’t mean you and your children have to sit on the sidelines. However, it does suggest that it’s important to take precautions.

Statistics suggest that children aged seven to ten have the most sports-related injuries at nearly 60 percent. Specifically, baseball, biking, hockey, and basketball produce the most injuries, although the highest number of orofacial injuries for males is generally found in wrestling and basketball; for females, it was basketball and field hockey. The most frequent injuries included lip and tongue lacerations, and jaw fractures.

When your children (or you) play sports, particularly organized sports, be sure they wear the necessary protective gear. Depending on the activity, this may include:

  • A mouth guard to protect teeth and gums;
  • A face cage, like those worn by a baseball catcher; and/or
  • A helmet, when riding a bike, skateboard, or motorbike, or even while playing football. Although it will not protect your mouth, it will protect your head.

Interestingly, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends a mouth guard for youth participating in any organized sports. The American Dental Association, on the other hand, recommends wearing one for more than three dozen sports activities including acrobatics, handball, skydiving, and water polo.

Receiving Treatment for Mouth Injuries

Sometimes it can be difficult to decide whether to visit a dentist after a mouth injury. Health care professionals recommend contacting your primary health care provider or your Century City cosmetic dentist whenever there is:

  • Pain, tenderness, or sensitivity in a tooth
  • A broken, loose, or missing tooth
  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop
  • Pain in the jaw
  • An object stuck anywhere in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • A large cut or hole inside or outside the mouth
  • A potential puncture in the back of the throat
  • Weakness, numbness, blurred vision, or slurred speech
  • A fever or signs of infection

To prevent tooth loss during extended physical activities it’s important to be proactive, take precautions to protect yourself ahead of time. If you’re unsure what protective gear is right for you or your child, talk to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist.

3 Big Mistakes People Make When Brushing Their Teeth

Good oral hygiene should be a no-brainer. After all, as your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist can tell you, anything you use as often as you do your teeth, requires frequent cleaning. Yet, according to statistics, only about half of all adults brush twice and floss once daily.

Regardless of your current daily dental care practices, here are three big mistakes people often make when it comes to caring for their teeth.

Decide it’s Okay Not to Floss

Even if you’re tired at the end of a long day, it’s important to take the time to floss before you go to sleep. Flossing is a major part of getting your teeth and gums clean. Unfortunately, only about 50 percent of all Americans floss on a daily basis.

According to dental experts, flossing “does about 40 percent of the work” needed to remove oral bacteria, especially between your teeth. These bacteria are what lead to cavities and gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease damages your teeth and gums, and eventually your jawbone, destroying your smile.

Brush Their Teeth Incorrectly

One of the biggest mistakes your Century City cosmetic dentist is aware that people make is not watching themselves in the mirror when they brush their teeth. The result is that they don’t really know if they’re brushing correctly. Here are some common mistakes:

  • Brushing too hard. Brushing too hard can damage your tooth enamel, especially if you brush sideways.
  • Holding your toothbrush wrong. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush in small circles, focusing on a few teeth at a time.
  • Forgetting your gums. Bacteria gather at the gum line and causes gum disease, so make sure to clean your gums as you brush your teeth.
  • Missing your back molars. They can be difficult to reach with a toothbrush as well as with floss. However, they’re as susceptible to oral bacteria as the rest of your mouth.

Additionally, be sure to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head, and replace it regularly (every 3 to 4 months).

Forget to Rinse Afterwards

Once you’ve flossed and brushed your teeth, don’t forget to rinse afterwards. Swishing with an alcohol-free, ADA-approved mouth rinse eliminates the harmful debris that you just stirred up.

To rinse properly, vigorously swish a small amount of mouth rinse around in your mouth for about 30 seconds. Then carefully tip you head back and gargle in order to rinse the back of your mouth and your throat. Afterwards, spit the mouth rinse out completely. Take care not to swallow it.

At the end of the day, if you have any questions about how to care for your teeth and gums properly, talk to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist.

The Importance of Wearing Your Best Smile

smileA recent news story about Kanye West explains why he rarely smiles in his photos. Seems he got his hands on a book from the 1800s in which the people in the photos didn’t smile. His explanation was that it wouldn’t “look cool” for paintings of people in an old castle to be smiling. So he adopted the idea of not smiling in an effort to look his coolest.

Interestingly enough, his better half, Kim Khardashian, has her own take on why she keeps her smiles to a minimum. Her concern is that smiles cause wrinkles.

Whatever your reason for not wearing your best smile – missing teeth, yellow teeth, or even wrinkles – your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist there are plenty of reasons why you might want to rethink your position.

People Equate Smiles with Success

If you want to be successful, according to Sam Parker’s book Smile and Move, all you need to do is smile and move. In short, treat people with respect, enjoy what you do, and go beyond expectations – all with a smile.

Parker isn’t the only person who knows that smiles and success go hand in hand. A study of a group of women over a thirty-year period found that those with genuine smiles in their college yearbook photos had “happier marriages and greater well-being.” Additionally, as part of the same study, strangers looking at the photos judged the women who smiled as more positive and competent.

Finally, your Century City cosmetic dentist read a study completed by Invisalign back in 2012 found that very often people make snap judgments about others based on visual cues such as hair, skin, and clothing. In fact, even the “alignment of teeth is a catalyst for assumptions regarding success, popularity, intelligence, and general health.” However, there’s more to smiling than just what others think.

Wearing Your Best Smile has Benefits

Smiling has benefits. Specifically, your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist wants you to know that smiling can improve your life through better health.

According to a study of nearly 170 students published in the journal Psychological Science, smiling appeared to lower heart rates especially after stressful events. That’s not all. Smiling may offer other beneficial effects as well.

University studies have shown that a positive attitude – including smiling – lead to a healthy life. Experts have noted that smiling can help:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Make you look younger
  • Reduce or even relieve pain
  • Retain a positive attitude
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Make other people smile

Overall, smiling is a good thing, something that most people should do more. However, if you find you don’t smile because you’re embarrassed by chipped, cracked, missing, discolored, and crooked teeth, it’s time to talk to your Century City cosmetic dentist about making a change.