Be Mine

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Valentine’s Day brings to mind images of hearts, flowers, and loads of pink. But we’re not here to talk about that. We’re all about the kiss –– and more specifically, a clean, sparkling mouth. How to get it? Brush twice daily for two minutes each time, floss, rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash, and chew sugar-free gum in a pinch. For more on Valentine’s Day healthy mouth tips go here.  

Wishing you a happy one. 

Merry

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Preventing Sports Related Dental Injuries

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Did you know that one third of dental injuries are sports related? It’s true. So how can you protect your teeth and mouth in contact sports? The answer is a custom fit sportsguard/mouthguard, which can help you to avoid injury and in turn, dental visits. Sportsguards not only protect your teeth, but your tongue, lips, face and jaw too. A 2014 study in an issue of General Dentistry showed that a custom-made, properly fitted, pressure-laminated mouthguard may also reduce the incidence of sports-related concussions.

Mouthguards are used in sports including football, basketball, lacrosse, water polo, and ice hockey among others. For more information on custom-fit sportsguards please call our office at 949 640 0300. 

Dr. Kimberly’s Top Five

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When it comes to teeth, ever wonder what your dentist’s favorites are? Check out the whats and the whys of Dr. K’s top five below.

1) Sonicare toothbrush: Why? It’s a superior clean, removing plaque and keeping both teeth and gums healthy. No regular toothbrush can compete. She brushes with it twice daily for 2 minutes each time (and after lunch with a regular toothbrush). 

2) Listerine Soft Mint: Why? It reduces plaque, bacteria, and keeps your breath fresh. She rinses with it twice a day. 

3) Opalescence toothpaste: Why? It’s an anti-cavity, surface stain removing toothpaste that tastes as good as it works. She uses it daily.  

4) Opalescence teeth whitening gel: Why? Because it’s the best teeth whitener around. She uses it to touch up whitening after a cleaning.

5) Cocofloss: Why? It’s softer and easier to manage than regular floss and the flavors are fairly delicious. She uses it daily. 

Stealth Stainers

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If someone asked you to name the worst teeth-staining foods and drinks out there you’d probably say coffee, tea, and red wine. And you’d be right. But there are other stealth stainers that might surprise you. Like what?

- LEMONADE: due to its high acidity, lemonade erodes enamel and leaves teeth vulnerable to staining. 

- BERRIES: both blue and black, berries may scream summer but they also scream stains. 

- WHITE WINE: yes, white wine –– it’s acidic and opens your teeth up to staining by other foods. 

- POPSICLES: brightly colored and sugar filled, popsicles are a double dose of bad for your teeth.

- POOLS: who knew? The chemicals used in pools can give your teeth a brown hue. 

- BALSAMIC VINEGAR: its dark color and high acidity make it one of the worst offenders. 

- MARINARA SAUCE: acidic and tomato red, this sauce clings to both pasta and your teeth.

- COLA: brown, fizzy, acidic and pure sugar –– need we say more? 

So what can you do? Indulge in your favorites, but aim for moderation. And make sure to rinse your mouth with water (to remove the acidity) before you brush your teeth.

The Importance of Flossing

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Just in case you’re thinking that flossing is so yesterday, it’s not. Flossing helps to prevent cavities and gum disease and is an essential part of your daily dental routine. 

According to the American Dental Association, “Brushing is very important but you can’t get the bristles in between the teeth. Floss pulls bacteria and plaque and food that smells bad.” The ADA recommends brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.

And to make flossing even easier, we’ve discovered a new floss we love called Cocofloss –– a super cleansing, high performance dental floss that’s soft, effective, and easy to use. They call it floss paradise. We call it smart.

Whatever floss you choose, make sure it’s a daily part of your routine. Your teeth and gums will thank you. 

bad, bad, and bad

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Bad habits are hard to break but when it comes to teeth, here are six you should consider leaving behind.

1) NAIL BITING

The problem: nail biting can chip and wear teeth.

The solution: identify triggers, reduce stress, try to find something to keep your fingers busy, commit to stop.

2) BRUSHING TOO HARD

The problem: brushing too hard can irritate gums and damage teeth through abrasion

The solution: brushing for two minutes twice a day is best — use a soft toothbrush and don’t apply too much pressure.

3) GRINDING

The problem: grinding can cause chipped or cracked teeth in addition to joint pain and muscle pain.

The solution: a mouthguard for nighttime, relaxation exercises.

4) CHEWING ICE CUBES

The problem: broken or chipped teeth.

The solution: just say no.

5) CONSTANT SNACKING

The problem: snacking all day — especially on sugary foods — puts you at higher risk for cavities.

The solution: if you need to snack, try to stay away from sugar. And follow the snack with a glass of water to rinse away leftover food.

6) USING YOUR TEETH AS TOOLS

The problem: using your teeth as scissors, pliers, etc. which can chip, break, or wear teeth.

The solution: take the time to get the right tool –– not your teeth –– to get the job done.

Family Dentistry

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Good dental health is a family affair — with nobody left behind. Meet Ace, our new sharp-toothed lab puppy with a thing for chewing on shoes –– and anything else he can get in his nine week old puppy jaws. He’s naughty but nice. We’re smitten.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Not for Teeth

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Apple cider vinegar has been all over the news lately — with claimed health benefits ranging from supporting weight loss to lowering blood pressure to improving diabetes. It has also been claimed to whiten teeth. So does it?

We can’t speak to all the claims, but when it comes to teeth, apple cider vinegar is actually a bad idea. According to Dr. Kimberly Johnson, “Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and can cause severe erosion of enamel –– which leads to weak enamel, sensitivity, and an increased risk of cavities.”

A way around this is to make sure you never drink it straight but rather, dilute it with at least ten parts water. Questions? Give us a call at 949 640 0300, we’re always happy to talk teeth.

The Worst of the Worst

pumpkinHalloween means candy, there’s really no escaping it. But if you can avoid the worst of the worst, why not? So we’ve compiled a list of the worst offenders. Following are our top five.

Sour candy. Why? Sour candy is actually worse than sweet candy because it has a double punch of sugar AND citric acid, which sticks to your teeth. It also has a high acidity content, and breaks down tooth enamel.

Gummies. Gummy anything is just bad. Why? Simple. They stick to your teeth and hang out there for an extended period of time.

Hard candy. Why? Sucking on hard candy (including lollipops) increases the time it’s in your mouth. Even worse, chewing them can break or crack teeth or damage dental work.

Caramels/taffy. Why? Again, just plain sticky and they end up hanging out in your mouth too long, getting stuck in grooves and cracks, not to mention possibly yanking out a filling.

Pixie Stix. Why? Although they dissolve quickly, they actually contain nothing but sugar, providing bacteria with an enormous feast.