• Aesthetic Dentistry - Martin P. Abelar DDS, San Diego, CA
    Aesthetic Dentistry - Martin P. Abelar DDS, San Diego, CA
    Aesthetic Dentistry - Martin P. Abelar DDS, San Diego, CA
    Aesthetic Dentistry - Martin P. Abelar DDS, San Diego, CA
    Aesthetic Dentistry - Martin P. Abelar DDS, San Diego, CA

Dr. Abelar's Blog

b2ap3_thumbnail_girl-bubblepop.jpg People chew gum for a variety of reasons. Some do it to focus when they’re feeling anxious or stressed, others chew gum to freshen their breath or get rid of a bad taste in their mouth after eating. What if chewing gum not only freshened breath but also helped prevent decay?

A new study conducted by the Institute of Empirical Health Economics found that those who already chew gum could help save $4.1 billion on dental expenses worldwide by chewing just one extra piece of sugar-free gum each day. Even the American Dental Association says that after a meal, chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes can help prevent decay.

unicorn-ice-cream.jpgIt was hard to miss the impact Starbucks’ limited-time Unicorn Frappuccino had on social media over the last few weeks. Surprisingly, critics argued not so much over the taste of the beverage but about its sugar content. Mixed in with all the vividly colored pictures of people trying out the new highly-anticipated drink, were graphics detailing just how much sugar the sweet treat contained. One of the most shared claims was that it had the equivalent to up to 3 or 4 Snickers candy bars in just one drink.

So, how much sugar was really in it?

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The evolution of the internet has been an amazing thing for people who seek to learn new skills. Videos abound on every subject you can imagine. It’s never been easier to learn to repair a small problem with your car or fix a leaky faucet. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can quickly turn bad.

A dangerous new trend has found its way around the internet in the form of Do-it-yourself dentistry. Video tutorials recorded by amateurs with no medical experience or education claim to teach people how to do everything from pull teeth to straighten them.

It may have become even more popular when the television show Extreme Cheapskates, which aired on TLC, featured an episode devoted to people too "cheap" to go to the dentist. In the segment, a woman needs her tooth pulled but doesn’t want to spend the $185 that the dentist quoted. So, she has her husband watch some videos online and perform the procedure himself.

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It’s hard to find a loving, kind example of a dentist in movies and television. Most are portrayed as terrifying or cold and sterile. Does this depiction of the profession mirror our culture’s feelings about going to the dentist, or does it create more fear and anxiety than already exists?

It’s hard to tell but according to research from the CDC only 62 percent of adults aged 18-64 visited the dentist in 2014. In fact, they found that of the adults aged 20-44, 27.4 percent had untreated cavities. 1

If people aren’t avoiding the dentist because of what they see on television, then why are close to 40 percent of Americans not going in at least once a year for professional care? Cost is one reason. Dental insurance can be complicated and costly. One study found that if your mouth has a healthy year, your dental insurance probably caused you to lose around $200. 2 Obviously, that’s not always the case and dental insurance can be a huge relief if major work is needed such as a root canal.

b2ap3_thumbnail_spring-cleaning.jpgAround March and April each year, people around the nation begin thinking about cleaning and airing out the house after winter. After a few months of basic cleaning, it starts to feel like it’s time for a deep cleaning. Those hard to reach places like the baseboards and windows are in desperate need of a wipe down and the floors and bathrooms could use a deeper clean than normal for all those easy to miss spots.

The same holds true for your mouth. Throughout the year, we clean them daily and hopefully twice a day, but there’s no way to reach every single nook and cranny with just a toothbrush and floss. That’s where your biannual professional dental cleaning comes in. It’s important to keep up with these appointments because a thorough cleaning helps prevent plaque build-up and keeps things looking and feeling great.

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