You’ve seen the memes, you’ve likely heard the one-liners. For many people, coffee is an important – even vital – part of waking up and starting the day, thanks to that warm jolt of caffeine. In fact, here in the United States, an estimated 64 percent of the population drinks at least one cup of joe a day, and, according to the National Coffee Association, that number is growing.
Maybe not here in San Diego, but elsewhere in the country, winter means cold. But just because it's warm in Southern California doesn’t mean you won’t encounter a chill on spring break or your next vacation - and that chill can harm your body in ways you may not realize. That’s because when we get cold sometimes we experience the involuntary phenomenon of chattering teeth. So, what’s up with that? Why do our teeth chatter - and what does chattering teeth mean for your oral health?
You may have seen them before – those telltale white spots on the teeth. They’re called demineralization spots, and they appear when the tooth’s enamel begins to dissolve. Though demineralization spots are bad news, the good news is they are a very early stage of tooth decay, meaning there’s still time to correct them before it’s too late. Here’s what you should do if you see demineralization spots on your teeth.
With upwards of 10 percent of Americans suffering from odontophobia, or fear of the dentist, getting patients into the dental chair can be like, well, pulling teeth. But for every excuse there is about why a dental-phobic person can’t go to the dentist, there are many, much more valid reasons they should. If you’re thinking about backing out of your next exam, remember these important facts about why going to your regular exam is so important.
The winter holidays are here, and that means friends, family and photo ops. But what happens when your smile isn’t quite as dazzling as the bright lights and tinsel of the season? You may not have the time or budget for a full-mouth reconstruction before the new year, but there’s still plenty you can do to make your teeth look whiter and healthier on a tight schedule - and budget!
We all want a whiter, brighter smile, and thanks to a multitude of products on the market, it’s now easier and more affordable than ever. But how much is too much when it comes to a white, healthy smile? Is it possible for teeth to be "too white," and are all those over-the-counter whitening products really safe
What’s not to love about Halloween? Money spent on a costume that gets worn one time. Walking around your neighborhood past bedtime on a school night. Excessive amounts of candy that will likely cause its fair share of battles – and cavities. Sure, that’s a pretty sardonic look at one of childhood’s most beloved traditions, but the truth is, for some families, Halloween can be a real nightmare! This year, don’t let the Halloween battles of years past put a damper on your fun. Here are some practical tips that will make getting your kids to loosen their grip on Halloween treats as easy as taking candy from a baby.
There are very few dental procedures that inspire as much fear as a root canal. A root canal is a procedure that removes dead or dying tissue and bacteria from the inside of a tooth. This happens when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected following an injury or severe untreated cavity.
The root canal procedure itself is somewhat complicated, but it's routine enough that most dentists perform them frequently. To do this, a dentist or endodontist must first numb the tooth. Then, they must drill into the tooth and, using a small tool, remove the infected tooth pulp. The remaining structure of the tooth is then irrigated and treated with an antimicrobial treatment. The tooth is then dried and filled with a substance called gutta percha. The dentist may next place a temporary crown on the tooth, to be replaced by a permanent crown within several weeks.
You’ve bought the new backpacks, replaced last year’s paper and pencils, and you’ve even taken care of the back-to-school haircuts. But if it still feels like you’re forgetting something important, when was the last time you checked up on your child’s oral health? Here are some oral health updates that you should consider before sending your children back to school this year.
With children of all ages heading back to school, some parents are no doubt breathing a collective sigh of relief, while some are trying to be brave and not cry as they bid farewell to their kids in this new chapter in their lives. But whether your child is heading off to school for the first time or leaving the nest for good, now is the perfect time to focus on someone who probably hasn’t gotten a lot of attention lately: you.
When most kids think of summer vacation, they think of staying up late, sleeping in and endless hours of outdoor play. What they probably aren’t thinking much about - but you should be thinking about - are exams. No, not math tests and chemistry finals, but dental exams! The end of summer is a great time to schedule your child’s annual or semi-annual dental exam and cleaning. In fact, a recent study by Delta Dental found that 31 percent of school-aged children have missed at least one full day of school to deal with a dental problem.
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.
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?
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.
There’s no shortage of controversial topics on the news most evenings, but there’s at least one topic that shouldn’t be as controversial as it seems. It’s the great debate many towns across America are facing these days: to fluoridate or not to fluoridate the water - that, as they say, is the question. So, who’s right: The anti-fluoride activists who claim that fluoridating the water supply can cause everything from low IQ to cancer, or the medical community who say fluoridating the water helps reduce dental caries (cavities)? Decide for yourself.
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.
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.
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.