What Is the ADA Patient’s Bill of Rights?

Whether you’re starting at a new dentist (welcome!) or a longtime patient, it's vitally important as a patient that you know your rights. That’s why organizations like the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and, yes, even the American Dental Association have their own "Patient’s Bill of Rights" to show patients what they can – and should – expect when being treated by a clinician.

Continue reading
  5 Hits
5 Hits

Does ‘Oil Pulling’ Really Work?

A question we hear a lot around here is, "Should I be oil pulling?" Well, the answer to that may come as a surprise to some.

Before we get into the good and bad of oil pulling, let's discuss what exactly it is. Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic practice that has been done for centuries to draw toxins from the body. Recently, it has become popular in mainstream culture as a way to whiten teeth and clean the mouth. The idea is you put coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes a day, and voila - instantly whiter smile! But does it work?

Continue reading
  6 Hits
6 Hits

Today’s Gum Treatments Are More Comfortable Than Ever

If you’ve ever experienced the painful effects of periodontal disease, you probably know that sometimes the treatment can be just as agonizing as the illness itself. Or at least that’s how it used to be, anyway. Today, with the help of laser technologies like the kind used in laser-assisted new attachment procedure (or LANAP), treating periodontal disease doesn’t have to be painful anymore.

Continue reading
  43 Hits
43 Hits

Brush Up on Back-to-School Oral Health

As the summer starts to wind down and our focus starts to shift from beach days to backpacks and binders, it’s also a valuable time to remember our kids’ oral health. Whether you’re sending your student off to college or just starting his journey in kindergarten, incorporating a dental exam into your child’s back-to-school preparation is essential. Here’s your back-to-school oral health checklist.

Continue reading
  53 Hits
53 Hits

Wise Investment or Waste of Money?

Self-brushing toothbrushes. Waterpiks. UV teeth-whitening lights. With so many oral health innovations on the marketing – and so many more coming out each year - it can be overwhelming to consumers to know which products work, and which ones just aren't worth the investment. After all, why spend $200 on a whitening kit if it’s no more effective than your $4 whitening toothpaste? Here, we'll go over some of the more popular at-home products to help you decide which ones to buy.

Continue reading
  559 Hits
559 Hits

Don’t Try This at Home: Leave This Repair to the Experts

There’s a certain sense of accomplishment you can only get from completing a do-it-yourself (or DIY) project – especially if that project is something you’ve never tried before. But sometimes in life there are DIY projects that you really shouldn’t do yourself, not just because they’re too difficult, but also because they can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Such is the case with many at-home dental treatments. While some may promise results that rival a professional job, the risks involved make them not worth the effort. Here’s one dental treatment you should definitely not try at home.

Continue reading
  912 Hits
912 Hits

Life Hack: Caring for Teeth with Braces

It’s no secret that orthodontic treatment can be a major investment. Even if your insurance plan covers them partially, there is often a lifetime max that may or may not allow you to treat other members of the family later. Suffice it to say, when you get braces, it’s in your own best interest to take care of your teeth. After all, you wouldn’t buy a Ferrari and then never change the oil, right? What’s the point of investing all that money in your teeth only to neglect caring for them while they’re being treated?

That being said, caring for teeth with braces can be extremely difficult. All those wires and brackets, expanders, rubber bands - even clear aligners have their own set of challenges. So how do you care for your teeth with all these obstacles in the way? Sure, there are tried-and-true methods, but they take time and can be difficult - and that’s just for adults. If you have teens or children with braces, you can pretty much guarantee they’re not taking care of their braces as carefully as they should be. If you’re doing the braces-cleaning labor for your kids, that’s great - but even guardians can use a helping hand, right?

Thankfully, there are some hacks that simplify care for your orthodontics. Try these methods for a faster - but no less effective - orthodontic cleaning experience.

Continue reading
  2125 Hits
2125 Hits

What Happens When Adult Teeth Don’t Come In?

Growing up, there are many things we can usually rely on in life. We will most likely get taller, our bodies will get stronger, and our baby, or primary, teeth will fall out and be replaced by adult, or permanent, teeth. But sometimes, things don’t go according to plan. We may not get very tall or have muscles like The Rock, and sometimes we don’t get all our adult teeth like we should. For some people, the baby tooth that’s keeping the place for the MIA adult tooth never falls out, so at least there isn't an empty space where a tooth should be. But just because there’s a tooth in that spot doesn’t mean it should stay there. If you’re an adult with a not-so-grown-up baby tooth hanging around in your mouth, here’s why you should consider having it removed.

Continue reading
  80 Hits
80 Hits

Skip the Tooth Jewelry Trend, Please!

It wasn’t too long ago that you couldn’t turn on the TV or open an entertainment magazine without seeing the form of tooth-jewelry known as a grill. If you don’t remember that unfortunate time in oral-health history, grills are those silver or gold plates that fit over the front teeth that are often decorated with jewels. Grills can be removable or permanently adhered to the teeth- and are often considered a status symbol. But grills have their downside, too. Aside from looking aesthetically unattractive to many, the American Dental Association has warned that permanent grills can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Removable grills carry a much lower risk but can still damage the teeth- especially if they don’t fit properly. Thankfully, the grill trend has mostly died down, but a new way to ‘bling out’ the teeth is on the rise, and users should proceed with caution.

Continue reading
  3393 Hits
3393 Hits

What Makes Some Veneers Better Than Others?

Porcelain veneers can make a big difference in changing the look and feel of your teeth - but not all veneers are created equally. While you may think that any veneer is better than no veneer, this isn’t always true. After all, if you’re making the investment in your smile, doesn’t it make sense to do the job right the first time? Don’t settle for mediocre or bad veneers if you don’t have to!

Curious about what sets a good veneer apart from a bad veneer? Here’s what you should know before taking the plunge into porcelain veneers.

Continue reading
  1035 Hits
1035 Hits

Botox From the Dentist?

You may never have known about it, but across America, there’s a controversy that’s been brewing for years involving a very popular cosmetic filler. That’s because, depending on where you live, your dentist may be able to inject you with the cosmetic filler Botox - and not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.

Here in California, dentists cannot inject patients with Botox for cosmetic purposes. Many other states have the same law. This was done to protect patients from practitioners who may not have the skills and training to administer Botox. However, dentists arguably know the muscles and nerves around the mouth and face better than any other type of doctor, including plastic surgeons.

The good news is that your dentist can inject you with Botox for medical purposes! In fact, you may never have realized it, but Botox can be used to help alleviate the pain from some very common dental issues.

Continue reading
  980 Hits
980 Hits

How to Handle Dental Faux Pas

 

It’s a scenario we’ve probably all encountered at least once before, and if you haven’t yet, chances are you will eventually: the dental faux pas. Boss got broccoli stuck in his teeth? Co-worker with offensive breath? New boyfriend’s mother has lipstick on her teeth? How do you tell someone you aren’t exactly BFFs with that they’ve got a dental hygiene problem without making the situation worse?

Continue reading
  428 Hits
428 Hits

Don’t Wait Too Long to Start Children’s Orthodontic Treatment

 

A question many parents ask when they bring their child to the dentist is, "When should I have my child evaluated for braces?" Many parents notice as their child’s baby teeth fall out and their permanent teeth begin growing in that those permanent teeth aren’t growing in as straight and evenly spaced as the baby teeth. This naturally causes some crowding, and even some alarm. Thankfully, there’s no reason to panic. Orthodontics doesn’t have to be scary or complicated. Here’s what you should know about planning an orthodontic treatment for your child.

Continue reading
  1856 Hits
1856 Hits

What’s the Difference Between These Dental Professionals?

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_288954563.jpgYou may have noticed that some dentists have different letters at the end of their names. For example, Dr. Abelar’s title is "Martin P. Abelar, DDS." You may have also noticed other dentists who have the letters DMD at the end of their name. So, what’s the difference between DDS and DMD? And while we’re on the subject, what’s the difference between a dentist, periodontist, orthodontist and maxillofacial surgeon? Or between a dental hygienist and a dental assistant? Is one more qualified than the other? Here’s the lowdown on the differences in titles and abbreviations in dentistry.

Continue reading
  157 Hits
157 Hits

Dental Safety Gear Explained

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_587430104.jpgIf you’ve ever set foot inside a dental practice, chances are you’ve noticed a few things that set the dental office staff apart from the patients. We’re not just talking about the fact that they are performing your exam - they are also dressed differently than patients. So, what’s the deal with the garb? Why does your dental staff wear certain articles of clothing and protective gear?

Continue reading
  848 Hits
848 Hits

Drinking for Better Teeth?

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_160629524.jpgWith spring here and everyone heading back outside to enjoy the beautiful weather, it’s of paramount importance to stay hydrated. In fact, it's absolutely vital to our survival, since much of our bodies are made up of water. Did you know that 80 percent of our blood is made of water, and that 85 percent of our brain is water? Even 70 percent of our muscle tissue is water! So staying hydrated is absolutely crucial to our survival.

Of course, not everyone loves water. It’s not fizzy or flavored, not colored, and it doesn’t really do much to boost your energy level like a cup of coffee would. Thankfully for those of us who cannot exist on water alone, there are a bevy of beverage options to choose from out there. But you may be left wondering which of these options are actually good for our teeth - and which of them are really bad. Here’s the lowdown on some surprisingly good (and maybe surprisingly bad!) drink options for our oral health.

Continue reading
  1577 Hits
1577 Hits

How Much Pain Is Normal with New Braces?

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_486598651.jpgBraces are one of those necessary evils that nobody particularly wants but almost nobody regrets getting once they come off. The good news is that they usually work really well - and they don’t stay on forever (despite how it feels sometimes!). The bad news is that, unfortunately, they aren’t always the most comfortable or easy-to-clean oral appliances. If you’re hesitant about getting braces because of a fear of potential discomfort, check out this blog about what to expect when you get braces.

Continue reading
  1171 Hits
1171 Hits

Bacteria Gum Could Help Improve Oral Health

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_3156379.jpgStreptococcus salivarius. It sounds like a bad guy from a Harry Potter book - and in the right conditions, it really is a bad guy to the harmful bacteria in your mouth. But when used to fight that harmful bacteria, Streptococcus salivarius (or S. salivarius) can be extremely beneficial to your overall oral health. That’s because S. salivarius is what is known as a probiotic bacterium, a good bacterium that destroys other, bad bacteria - namely the kind responsible for everything from cavities to bad breath.

Continue reading
  414 Hits
414 Hits

Love Red Wine? Here’s One More Reason to Raise a Glass

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_486675022.jpgIf you follow health news, chances are you’ve probably already heard of something called a polyphenol. Polyphenols are compounds that contain multiple phenolic hydroxyl groups, or any compound that contains six-membered aromatic rings that are directly bonded to a hydroxyl group. While this probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to the average person, the important takeaway is that polyphenols are good for you. They have been found to do everything from acting as an antioxidant, which can reduce and prevent health issues including heart disease and diabetes, to acting as a prebiotic, which can increase the number of good bacteria in your gut, aiding in digestion, weight management and even disease prevention.

Continue reading
  508 Hits
508 Hits

Common Questions About Dental Implants

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_294243569.jpgWhether you are already missing teeth or you are facing the loss of a permanent tooth, an increasingly popular solution is the installation of dental implants. A dental implant is a permanent prosthetic tooth (crown) that secures via a metal post that is implanted into the jaw. When properly installed, the crown looks and feels just like a natural tooth. But in order to achieve a flawless installation, there are some steps you should take before you even lose the tooth your crown is replacing. If you’re considering dental implants, here are some facts you should consider.

Continue reading
  324 Hits
324 Hits