Protecting the Teeth of America's Youth

b2ap3_thumbnail_mercury-periodic-table.jpgIt can be hard to keep up with emerging technologies and news in the healthcare world. You may be wondering if the dental care you are receiving is safe and modern, so today we’re going to talk about two red flags that may indicate it’s not.

Have you heard of the saying ‘Mad as a hatter’? If you have, you may not know that it started in the 19th century when what is known as mad hatter disease became such a phenomenon that word began to spread all over the world. Hat makers from Russia to England and even the U.S. were experiencing, unbeknownst to them, mercury poisoning because of the chemicals used to treat the hat materials and aid in their forming.

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Does Oil Pulling Whiten Teeth and Eliminate Oral Bacteria?

b2ap3_thumbnail_taj-mahal_20170222-174525_1.jpgResearchers at Princeton University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have discovered that hydroxyapatite, a calcium compound found in teeth and bones, can be used successfully to protect marble structures.

The research team set out to find a way to protect landmarks and other important pieces made of marble from the harsh elements that cause them to crumble and decay over time. Although marble is fairly durable, it’s especially susceptible to damage from exposure to acidic substances. For this reason, pollutants and weathering can have an effect on the ability of these structures to withstand the test of time, especially outdoors.

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Feeling Sleepy? It's More than just Being Tired.

b2ap3_thumbnail_coldsensitivetoothanim.jpgThere are few things more frustrating than having to skip your favorite ice cream or morning latte because of the pain it causes your teeth due to sensitivity. It can leave you desperate for answers and a solution that lets you enjoy your favorite hot or cold treats again. The tricky thing with tooth sensitivity is that it can be caused by a number of things.

The strongest substance in the human body is enamel. This enamel is actually what the outermost layer of your teeth is composed of. Under the enamel lies a layer called the dentin. When the enamel is weakened, the dentin, which contains tiny hollow tubes that stimulate the nerves inside the tooth, can cause sensitivity when exposed to temperature extremes.

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Solutions for Dental Anxiety

b2ap3_thumbnail_cartoon-implant-anim--med.jpgOne of the many things that sets Dr. Abelar apart from other dentists is his investment in technology that allows for the highest level of quality care for his patients. CBCT, cone beam computerized tomography, is a medical imaging device that is designed specifically for the head and jaw and uses x-rays that form the shape of a cone to get a 360-degree view of the patient’s mouth.

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Advice from Dr. Abelar

b2ap3_thumbnail_kid-brushing-teeth-braids.jpgAs children get older and start to take control of their own oral hygiene routine, it’s normal for parents to worry. Making sure they are brushing and flossing for the right amount of time and reaching all the problem areas can be daunting at first. Here are a few tips and tricks to help both you and your children make your dental routine easier and more efficient.

Tip #1: Timer

This can be as simple as a little kitchen timer at the discount store. If you want to get them a special themed timer, tooth shaped hourglass timers are available online in different colors. Time is one concept that is really hard for kids to grasp. Knowing exactly how long two to three minutes is (depending on the rule you live by) can really help.

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A Dental Implant That Protects Teeth From the Inside

b2ap3_thumbnail_narwhal-copy-small.jpgIt’s no secret that kids love animals. Most adults do, too. Finding common interests is a great way to connect with your children over something fun and educational. Here are some fun facts about animals and their teeth you can share with your children. Hopefully, this will help create an opportunity to associate healthy oral care habits with something fun that they will remember.

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The Link Between Teeth and the Taj Mahal

b2ap3_thumbnail_vaccine.jpgGum Disease, also called periodontitis, occurs when bacteria builds up around the teeth and gums. Symptoms include red, swollen and sometimes bleeding gums (especially when flossing), bad breath and even loss of teeth. More than three million people are diagnosed each year with this disease in the United States alone.

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What’s Causing Your Tooth Sensitivity?

b2ap3_thumbnail_scared-child-2.jpgAccording to WebMD, up to 20 percent of Americans report avoiding visits to the dentists due to anxiety and Live Science even ranked dental phobia in its list of top ten phobias. More severe than anxiety, anywhere from five to ten percent suffer from dental phobia and unless in unbearable pain won't step foot in a dental office.

Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS, leading San Diego area restorative and cosmetic dentist says it’s a vicious circle.

"One of the major reasons I find people putting off dental work is because they fear the dentist. Maybe they had a bad experience as a young child. Maybe they had a bad experience as an adult. Perhaps they don’t even know why they fear visiting the dentist. But those are the patients that end up having most of the problems and needing the most serious work because it's been put off for so long."

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Outdated and Potentially Harmful Dental Practices

b2ap3_thumbnail_green-dollar-sign.jpgOne of Dr. Abelar’s favorite stories is about a $5.00 haircut. The story tells of a well- established barber shop that had been providing quality, personal care to the community for years. As the town grew, new business came to town, and a big-chain barber shop opened up across the street offering quicker, cheaper haircuts for $5.00. The local barber loses some of his business to those seeking to save a few dollars, and he begins to worry. He knows his quality of work and the trusted tools he uses cannot be offered for that price and he isn’t interested in compromising. After a few weeks, his once loyal customers suddenly return. They tell him that the new barbers didn’t know exactly how they liked it shaped and cut and it never turned out like they wanted. As their hair grew out, they realized how uneven it was. A few days later the local barber places a sign outside his shop that says "We Fix $5 Haircuts" and his days of worry are gone.

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Cancer Treatment and Oral Health

b2ap3_thumbnail_teeth-whitening-paint-anim.jpgIt’s hard to ignore how you feel about your teeth when you see them every time you look in the mirror. If you’re unhappy with how they look, it can be especially frustrating and disheartening. Discoloration and stains are one of the most popular complaints surrounding smiles all over the nation. The best way to prevent this from happening is to know what causes it.

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The Most Important Spring Cleaning in Your Routine

b2ap3_thumbnail_root-beer-float.jpgAccording to a new study, root beer is the least harmful soda when it comes to your teeth. One of the most prevalent myths surrounding tooth decay is that sugar causes it. While sugar does play a role in the formation of cavities, it’s not the sugar itself that leads to decay.

One of San Diego’s premiere cosmetic and restorative dentists, Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS, says,

"The natural bacteria that everyone has in their mouth feeds on sugar, and the result is acid that produces plaque buildup. Once plaque forms, it begins to wear away at the hard outer surface of the teeth, called enamel, until it reaches the inside of the tooth and patients start to feel pain or sensitivity."

The problem with some soda is that its acidity ranking can be higher than that of battery acid. Battery acid has a pH level of 1.0, while some soft drinks ranked as high as 2.52.

Some believe switching to diet or sugar-free sodas is the solution to saving both their waistlines and their teeth. However, these alternatives come with their own dangers. They contain acids that erode teeth at the same rate as regular sodas. Sports drinks and juices contain sugar and acids that make them problematic as well. However, soft drinks are ten times more erosive than fruit juices.

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Is Flossing for Fools?

b2ap3_thumbnail_classroom-social-anxiety.jpgAccording to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in six American adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. A study done by Tel Aviv University researchers has found that social anxiety increases the risk for teeth grinding which can lead to excessive wear on teeth, fractures and jaw pain. This grinding of the teeth can even cause the jaw to move out of place resulting in a TMJ disorder. In the study, 42% of those suffering from social related phobias and anxiety were found to have moderate to severe dental wear.

Preventing the social anxiety that is potentially causing teeth grinding is one step to taking care of the body and mind. There are many professional treatment options for social anxiety as well as methods you can implement at home.

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The Roots of Dental Phobia

b2ap3_thumbnail_man-brushing.jpgMore than 175 million American are missing at least one tooth, and the numbers are rising each year. Nineteen percent of those 65 and older suffer from edentulism, the medical term for missing all of their teeth. Of those 75 and older, 26 percent experienced complete tooth loss.

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The Value of Cosmetic Dentistry

b2ap3_thumbnail_happy-woman-color-tiles.jpgThe "Priceless" MasterCard commercials from the late 90s remain one of the best campaign concepts of the 20th century. One of the reasons they were so successful is because they helped us understand and sort out how we place value on things without even realizing it.

Now in the Advertising Slogan Hall of Fame, their line "There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard" brought to light the obvious but often forgotten notion that emotional value will always trump financial value.

The investment in not just quality, but superior care for your smile is one of those unique situations that actually merits both emotional and financial value.

Studies have shown that people notice smiles first when meeting someone new. This first impression has an impact in so many areas of someone’s life that are often not considered. We smile at job interviews, on dates, in our profile pictures on social media.

People who are unhappy with their smiles may try to smile only with their lips, or become uncomfortable when meeting new people because they are self-conscious about their smiles. Research shows that individuals who smile less often or smile with their mouths closed are perceived as less-confident, smug and even secretive.

As you can see, your smile is one of the most important things in your day to day life. It can, directly and indirectly, affect your levels of happiness, confidence, and success. Call Dr. Abelar’s office today at 858-866-9692 to discuss how we can help you completely change your life and get that priceless smile you’ve always dreamed of.

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A Visit to the Dentist Could Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers

b2ap3_thumbnail_holiday-woman-2.jpgUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you know that the teeth whitening business has exploded. People have finally realized how easy and relatively inexpensive it is to improve their appearance with something simple and fast.

With the increase in popularity came the overload of available products. There are gels, pastes, strips, trays, lights, rinses, you name it. There are hundreds of brands, retailers that range from boutique to big box and none of this is even taking into consideration the professional options.

People have taken to sites such as Pinterest with home recipes and social media influencers have posted videos that have gone viral of them painting charcoal on their teeth to get them whiter. It has become information overload and trying to decide which methods work and don’t have become a full-time job for some.

Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS and leading San Diego cosmetic dentist says,

"The great thing about in-office professional treatments is that they can be done even on your lunch hour. Thanks to the quality of materials and advanced technology, that one session can do what at-home treatments can take weeks and months to do. And sometimes, no matter how many at-home treatments you try, you just won't be able to achieve that naturally, bright white shade that professional applications can."

As the holiday season approaches, the everyday reasons for wanting a whiter smile are now compounded with some season specific things. This is why November and December are the most popular time of the year to get your teeth professionally whitened.

Pictures

It’s almost impossible to avoid pictures during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Family gatherings, work parties and evenings out with friends celebrating mean pictures are flying from phone to phone and social media platform to social media platform. No one wants to look at their picture and grimace from tooth discoloration.

 

Trips

Whether you’re going to a local festival or heading to the beaches of Bali for the holiday season, research is showing that people are trading their love of material possessions for new experiences. Whether you want to look perfect in case you meet someone on your trip or you just want to look good in the pictures you post when you get back, it’s obvious why so many choose to get their teeth whitened this time of year.

New Year New You

New years resolutions creep up on us and before we know it we’re committed to something we just aren’t sure we can make happen. When friends and family ask what you want for Christmas, a professional teeth whitening may be a great jump-start on your resolutions for a new improved you.

Catching up with Friends and Family

The holidays are prime-time for family reunions and meeting up with old friends you haven’t seen in ages. There’s nothing more nerve wrecking than knowing you’re going to see your old high school sweetheart at a holiday dinner party or that cousin you can’t stand that acts like they’re so much better than you. Many choose teeth whitening this time of year because it gives them a confidence boost to help handle these stressful scenarios.

Although many treatment options are available, research supports that professional in-office whitening solutions work best. Research conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that 82.5% of those surveyed saw a noticeable difference from their professional, in-office whitening treatment.

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Break the Bruxism Habit Today

b2ap3_thumbnail_sad-piggy-bank.jpgIn a world dominated by companies shouting out loud or in print about who has the lowest prices, it can be easy to get caught up in the price wars. There are many situations where the cheapest offering just as good as the name brand or more expensive one. However, the consequences of choosing cost over quality can be pretty serious in some cases. Here are a few areas you should consider quality over cost on:

 

Tattoos

A good rule of thumb is that anything permanent shouldn’t be done by the cheapest service offered. The visibility of tattoos and permanence make this one a double-whammy. A quick internet search for the term "Tattoo Fails" will be all the convincing you need not to go cheap on this one.

Car Repairs

The biggest concern here is safety. How would you feel if you dropped your car off and saw the mechanic looking up an online video on "How to replace the brakes on a 2012 Chevy Malibu"? The amount of time spent driving your vehicle each day adds up to way more than you think. The Association for Safe International Road Travel estimates 1.3 million people die in car accidents every year. Making sure the person who is working on your car knows what they’re doing could literally save your life.

Dental Treatments

Very few people look forward to going to the dentist. Because of this their search for a dentist often ends with the one that is cheapest and easiest to find. But if you don’t like going to the dentist, why would you want to have to go back several times to fix the same thing. This is exactly what happens if you go for the quick, cheap fix.

Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS, leading San Diego dentist says,

"You wouldn’t believe how much of the work I do is actually fixing the work people had done by other dentists offering cheap, corner-cutting procedures. Your mouth is not an area you want to trust to the lowest bidder. In fact, it usually costs more in the long run because you end up needing the same work done multiple times because the quality of the work matched the price."

Mattresses and Shoes

These may seem like two weird things to pair together, but the reasoning for not being cheap when purchasing either is the same. You are going to use them every single day. Your comfort, relative to their use can have an impact on your physical health which in turn can affect your mood. If your back or feet are aching, you will be grumpy, less productive and it could cost you tons of money to treat the sometimes permanent health problems associated with them.

 

Of course, this list could go on-and-on. I think everyone probably has a few stories about how going cheap ended very badly for them. Avoid making those mistakes if you can and think through the things that have lasting impacts on your life. Be sure to stick with quality over cost where your health, safety, and appearance are concerned.

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Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy

b2ap3_thumbnail_holiday-gift.jpgEvery holiday season hours are spent searching for the right gift for family, friends, coworkers and even acquaintances. The sad reality is so many of those perfectly selected knick knacks end up on folding tables at yard sales with a little yellow sticker priced to sell. I bet you can’t even remember half of the things you were given last year, can you?

One of the hottest trends this year is teeth whitening and Dr. Abelar loves helping people look and feel their best. As the coffee and wine culture of this generation continue to evolve with enthusiasm, it seems anyone and everyone is looking for a way to pass that tissue test with bright, white flawless teeth. Not many things can leave you looking and feeling like a new person in less than an hour.

Maybe you’ve seen the light and have ditched those messy strips and as-seen-on-TV solutions that leave much to be desired. This holiday season is the perfect time to share your secret with your closest friends and family members. It can even help you take care of that white elephant gift you keep meaning to pick up for the annual office party or obligatory family get-together. What could go over better at a white elephant gift exchange than literally giving the gift of a whiter smile?

This generation is shifting the focus from material possessions to memorable experiences. This trend applies not only to a more meaningful daily life but to a less cluttered holiday season too. Why not get yourself and a friend a trip to our office for an in-house whitening session for a great alternative to the usual movie and lunch girl’s day?

For more information, give us a call at 858-866-9692 and let us help you cross those names off your Christmas gift list so you can have a relaxing and memorable holiday season.

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Tips for Choosing the Ideal Toothbrush

b2ap3_thumbnail_baby-smile.jpgBringing your child to the dentist by their first birthday is very important for their long-term health. Introducing them to their home dentist, hygienists, office atmosphere and the normality of a professional cleaning helps create a positive association with oral care and encourages healthy habits from the very beginning.

Dr. Abelar believes in creating a lasting relationship with his patients from early childhood to ensure consistent and comprehensive care. Regular cleanings every six months beginning in babyhood allow for Dr. Abelar to get to know your child’s teeth and mouth. This creates an opportunity to notice when something looks off much sooner than jumping from dentist to dentist that may be unfamiliar with the nature of each child’s unique oral structure.

The Center for Disease Control says that 40% of children are suffering from tooth decay by the time they begin Kindergarten. It’s currently the most common chronic childhood disease in the United States.

The misconception that baby teeth are not important is very dangerous and can have lasting negative impacts well into adulthood. Bad habits such as irregular flossing or brushing carry on into adulthood. Infections don’t just hold consequences for the tooth itself. Infections involving baby teeth, especially when left untreated, spread to the roots surrounding the teeth.

Adult teeth mature in the gums underneath the baby teeth until they fall out. This infection in the root can easily disrupt the development of these permanent teeth and even cause damage to their appearance and structure. If a baby tooth falls out or is removed for any reason, the emergence of a healthy adult tooth can be affected. The permanent tooth may come in crooked, at the wrong angle or emerge before it's ready.

The best way to promote healthy habits and a lifetime of good oral health is to bring your children into the office as early as possible and maintain those vital twice a year cleanings. Even if you get behind, our office is only a phone call away. Let us help you keep your whole family healthy and on track today by scheduling an appointment at 858-866-9692.

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US Supreme Court Declines to Comment on Non-Dentist Provided Teeth Whitening Services

Comprehensive oral care at an early age is no longer just something that seems like an obviously good idea. Research and scientific studies are finding alarming evidence that neglecting to take childhood oral health seriously is having lost lasting impacts on the health of children well into their adult years.

Dr. Martin Abelar, San Diego Cosmetic Dentist, says,

"A lot of people think that they baby teeth aren’t important. That’s not good. If you lose a baby tooth early, it affects the development of the jaw and the development of the face, that means, there is less room for teeth down the road when the permanent teeth come in. "

According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 children (20%) aged 5 to 11 have at least one untreated decaying tooth. In 2014, The Amerb2ap3_thumbnail_child-happy-dentist.jpgican Academy of Pediatric Dentistry released their first "State of Little Teeth Report." The report found that early childhood caries (ECC), a disease of rapid tooth decay, is the most common disease young children are facing today.

They list the dangers associated with ECC:

-Pain

-Damage to permanent teeth

-Vulnerable to more oral diseases throughout lifetime

-Life-threatening infections

-Poor sleeping habits

-Challenges in social development

-Impact on speech development

-School performance can be affected

The concern doesn’t end with one visit to the dentist. Simply getting emergency childhood dental care for things like cavities or chipped teeth does not protect children from long-term issues if not maintained. Abelar is finding this misconception concerning.

"One thing I’ve noticed is that people really underestimate the value of family dentistry. It starts with the baby teeth. Every bit of work you do even on the baby teeth has to be maintained properly the patient’s whole life. If baby teeth aren’t maintained properly, things will start to change as they get to adulthood. They will lose the bite, they will loose too much tooth structure, they will lose a tooth altogether. What happens early on in life really makes a difference as to the type of work that’s needed later on in life. "

"The State of Little Teeth Report" found many solutions to combating this tooth decay epidemic that is facing the children of the nation

-early oral health routines

-first dental visits in infancy

-establishing a routine of dental visits every six months or more -‘Home Dentist’: that is a dentist that your family builds and maintains a relationship with

-‘Home Dentist’: that is a dentist that your family builds and maintains a relationship with

Abelar stresses the importance of a close relationship with a dentist that can see a child through all their dental concerns and changes.

"I do a lot of complicated, full mouth reconstruction and complicated full mouth restoration dentistry. And, I’m looking at these patients, and I’m seeing why they need this work. If I had this patient when they were a child and I could maintain them the way they needed to be maintained, we wouldn’t be doing this expensive treatment right now", he says.

Comprehensive dental care from infancy to adulthood is imperative in maintaining overall health. Good habits begin in childhood and can make a lasting impact on the lifestyle and health over the entire lifespan of a child.

 

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The Top 10 Reasons to Get Porcelain Veneers

A study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that 93% of women with sleep apnea have not been clinically diagnosed. As drastic as these numbers are, many experts and health professionals are not surprised.

Many dentists around the nation feel that women are less likely to be diagnosed due to the stereotyped idea of the typical apnea patient. Overweight, middle-aged and male, this patient profile has been ingrained into the minds of medical professionals for years and habits can be hard to break. Another reason for the lower statistics related to diagnoses is that women often experience symptoms that are misdiagnosed as other disorders. Men most frequently present with symptoms witnessed by themselves or others of snoring and gasps or breaks in breathing. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to complain of less specific symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, headaches, depression, restless legs and lack of energy.

A 2008 review of studies published about sleep apnea determined that the number of women affected by this disease is higher than previously thought. 3-7% of men suffer from sleep apnea compared to 2-5% of women. The numbers take a twist when women reach menopause as the percentages become nearly equal in men and women. After menopause women are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than before. Pregnant women and those with polycystic ovary syndrome or endocrine disorders are also more likely to have sleep apnea.

General Risk Factors

Weight

BMI over 25

Neck Size

Men- 17 inches or moreb2ap3_thumbnail_woman-snore.jpg

Women- 16 inches or more

Age

Men- young adulthood through middle age

Women- post-menopausal

Heart

High Blood Pressure (hypertension)

Inherited Traits

Family history of sleep apnea

Obesity

Recessed jaw

 

Diagnosis and Treatment

The most often prescribed treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine which pumps pressurized oxygen into the airway. Many people dislike these machines or are actually ‘CPAP intolerant’ and are searching for alternative ways to treat their sleep apnea.

Dr. Martin Abelar DDS provides us with a step-by-step in the typical diagnosis process for his San Diego dental practice.

Step 1: Consultation and Exam

In this step, the doctor discusses the concerns a patient might have that have brought them in. He also asks questions about their symptoms and gets a family history to help uncover any details that may help in a diagnosis.

Step 2: Take Home Sleep Study

If deemed necessary, the patient will be sent home with a take home sleep study. This allows the doctor to gather data that can help him better understand how the patient is sleeping. The results of this study will be sent to a sleep physician for feedback and interpretation.

Step 3: Create Customized Oral Device

After the results of the study, if a diagnosis is made the doctor will begin to record measurements, take impressions and gather everything necessary to create a custom fitted oral device for treatment.

Step 4: Deliver Oral Device

The doctor will explain how to use the simple device and give any further instructions or advice. All questions will be answered to ensure the patient leaves the office confident in their treatment and care.

In an interview with the Wellness Show, Abelar said.

"One of the more rewarding things that we treat is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea WILL shorten your life. In most cases, an appliance can be made that holds your jaw in such a position that you get oxygen all night. Most people that come to me for sleep apnea, come to me because they don’t want to use the CPAP or they can’t."

Getting screened for sleep apnea is the first step in improving your quality life if suffering from any of these symptoms. Treating sleep apnea has been shown to eliminate daytime sleepiness, improve psychological health, reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, and improve symptoms of hypertension and diabetes.

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