01Dec

As the holidays roll around each year, it seems like our lives, like clockwork, become full of delicious sweets and treats. And, while these indulgences certainly make the season more festive, they can take a real toll on our smiles over time. That is why our Toluca Lake dentists are here to share some tips on how you can care for your smile during the holidays. Let’s get started!

Stay Aware Of Problem Ingredients

This time of year, for many of us, is filled with sugary treats like cookies, candies, and yummy beverages. All of these things help to make the holidays special! But did you know that they also make it easier for oral bacteria to infect your teeth and oral tissues?

Sticky sugary treats can be especially harmful. These goodies can get stuck in those hard-to-reach places between your teeth, and provide a continual fuel source for oral bacteria.

Rinse Your Smile

Now is the time to get into the habit of rinsing your smile throughout the day, and especially after consuming a sugary or acidic treat. You don’t want to allow food particles to sit on your smile for long periods of time. Plus, rinsing with water jump-starts saliva production, and saliva is your body’s natural way of freshening breath and re-mineralizing teeth.

Make A Plan To Indulge

Our Toluca Lake dentists understand that for many of us it just isn’t feasible to completely cut out sugary and acidic treats. The good news is that there are still steps you can take to protect your smile, like…

  • Being choosy about which treats you consume
  • Pre-planning a time to eat or drink holiday goodies (rather than grazing all day)
  • Refraining from brushing your teeth for 20 to 30 minutes after acid exposure
  • Choosing not to chomp on peppermints, hard candies, ice, and cough drops

By making a few healthy choices, you can make it much more difficult for oral bacteria to thrive and infiltrate your smile.

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to our Toluca Lake dentists to learn more about caring for your smile at home, or to schedule a personal consultation! 

17Nov

Tooth pain and sensitivity can make it difficult for you to get through your daily routine. Suddenly, simple things like drinking a hot cup of coffee or cleaning your smile seem impossible. Our Toluca Lake dentists understand this, which is why we work hard to offer effective treatment options for tooth pain and sensitivity. Keep reading to learn more about why dental sensitivity develops, and what you can do about it…

Insufficient Enamel

Dental enamel is the strongest, most resilient layer of a tooth, but it isn’t indestructible. Over time, enamel becomes thinner. This happens due to regular wear and tear, and can be exacerbated by bruxism, frequent consumption of acidic substances, and, of course, harmful oral bacteria.

Dental Damage

It is also possible to experience dental pain or sensitivity due to a specific spot of infection or dental trauma. This “weak spot” becomes a direct route for bacteria and irritants to enter the dental pulp.

Unhealthy Gum Tissue

When gum disease is left untreated it can become more severe, and turn into periodontal disease. At this point, your gum tissue is so compromised that it starts losing elasticity, as well as the ability to repair itself. The unfortunate consequence is that your gums will start to pull away from your teeth, potentially leaving sensitive dental nerves exposed.

Effectively dealing with dental sensitivity is all about pinpointing the root cause of your pain, and treating the problem at its source. Here are some ways to manage and overcome sensitive teeth…

Lessen Pain Response

Using a numbing topical agent, or a toothpaste/mouth rinse designed to lessen sensitivity is a quick and easy way to feel better. While this type of treatment doesn’t necessarily improve the overall health of your smile, it can help you stay comfortable in the short-term.  

Support Thick Enamel

Remember: the thicker and stronger your enamel is, the better it will be able to protect your dentin and dental pulp. Along with following your dentist-recommended oral hygiene routine, you may benefit from topical fluoride applications.

Fortify & Cover Weak Spots

If you are already dealing with porous or compromised dental enamel, our team may recommend that you undergo restorative dental treatment to build up insufficient enamel with materials like porcelain or composite resin. These materials perform the job of natural enamel, and they are not as susceptible to breaking down.

Prompt treatment is essential for addressing sensitivity-causing problems before they become more severe. Give our Toluca Lake dentists a call to get started! 

27Oct

Many of us are doing our best to care for our respective smiles, but we may be working with outdated or incomplete information. That’s why our Toluca Lake dentists have put together this short article, debunking some common dental myths. Let’s get started!

Myth 1: Brushing More Is Always Better

We all know that brushing your smile is crucial to maintain oral health. However, that does not necessarily mean that it is always better to brush as much as possible. Brushing too often and too vigorously can actually cause your dental enamel to thin and your gum tissue to recede. You want to make sure that you are not brushing your teeth right after you eat or drink something acidic, as acid exposure temporarily softens enamel. The best plan for most patients is to brush your smile in the morning and before bed, and to rinse your smile to refresh your mouth during the day.

Myth 2: Stop Flossing If Your Gums Bleed

It can be jarring to spot blood when you are cleaning your smile, and your first instinct may be to stop brushing or flossing until your oral tissues heal. However, if your gums are bleeding it could be a sign of gum disease; in this case, it is critical that you continue to brush and floss your smile as recommended by your dentist. As you clear bacteria from your mouth, your oral tissues will be able to heal.

Myth 3: Treat Bad Breath With Mints And Gum

You may think of malodorous breath as a bit of a trivial oral health issue—after all, can’t you just freshen your breath with mints or gum during the day? Mints and gum do deliver immediate results in masking unpleasant breath, however, they do not address the underlying cause of bad breath—bacterial build-up. And, if you are using mints or gum that contain sugar, you could be inadvertently compounding the problem.

We hope that this information empowers you to make healthy choices for your smile day to day. Remember you can always schedule a consultation with our Toluca Lake dentists to get some personalized guidance!