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Are These DIY Teeth Whitening Trends Harmful?

October 12th, 2017

TRENDS IMPACT JUST about every aspect of life, from slang and fashion to which toys are collectibles this year and which fad diet everyone’s aunt is doing.
Most trends are harmless symptoms of an ever-evolving society and culture, but when they affect the ways we take care of ourselves, they can become serious. In recent years, do-it-yourself teeth whitening has been a “trendy” topic and  bloggers and influencers have flooded our feeds touting the latest remedies. We take a closer look at a few of the more popular methods and use science to see if some are risking the health of your teeth without delivering the promise of a whiter smile.

Charcoal Versus Tooth Enamel
As counterintuitive as it seems to rub black powder on your teeth and expect them to become whiter, the rationale behind the idea makes sense. Charcoal is extremely porous and absorbent, and has been used even in hospitals to safely neutralize toxins. In theory, it could do the same for your teeth.

However, charcoal isn’t just porous, it’s also abrasive. Even as it absorbs harmful compounds from your mouth and disrupts bacterial populations, it could also be scraping away your enamel, doing more harm than good. If you enamel things, more of the underlying and darker dentin shows through and could make your smile look more yellow. Until we know more about the effects of charcoal on teeth, it’s safer to give that home remedy a pass.

Lemon Juice: Dissolving Stains Or Dissolving Teeth?
The enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in your body, but it is extremely susceptible to erosion by acid. Your saliva keeps the pH in your mouth balanced to protect your enamel, but any time you eat or drink something acidic, that pH is disrupted and your teeth are vulnerable. Using lemon juice on your teeth in hopes of whitening them is, therefore, likely to cause a lot of enamel erosion, and once that enamel is gone, it’s gone for good.

Oil Pulling: An Ancient Folk Remedy
Oil pulling involves swishing oil (typically coconut, sunflower, sesame, or olive oil) around in one’s mouth for up to twenty minutes. Proponents of oil pulling claim it has numerous health benefits, including teeth whitening, but the American Dental association doesn’t recommend it because there is no scientific evidence to back up these claims.

Eating Strawberries And Bananas
Strawberries do contain some citric acid, but they also contain malic acid (particularly when ripe), which actually can give your teeth a whiter appearance. Bananas contain potassium, magnesium, and manganese, all of which promote healthier teeth and can help remove surface stains. So these two do-it-yourself teeth whiteners may actually provide some benefit! Both fruits still contain sugar, however, so you should still brush your teeth with dentist approved toothpaste after eating them

Stick To The Science
Trends like charcoal toothpaste and lemon juice mouthwash will come and (hopefully) go, and occasionally we’ll discover remedies that do have benefits, like strawberries and bananas, but the best benefits to our teeth will always come from dentist-approved methods. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day, avoid sugary drinks and snacks, and schedule regular dental appointments. If all of these good habits aren’t keeping your teeth white enough, we do have a safe, professional teeth whitening solution.

Our Whitening for Life Program
You may turn to these home remedies to save some cash, but if you end up damaging your teeth without getting results, it's really not worth the risk. To bring back the shine in your smile, we have a Whitening for Life program for our patients.  For a one time fee, you receive teeth whitening for as long as you are a patient. With your membership, you receive a whitening kit that includes.

  • Custom-made tray to hold bleaching gel  to your teeth comfortably
  • Safe and effective bleaching solutions that strengthens while it whitens your teeth
  • Professional Formula Scientifically Proven to Whiten Teeth
  • Receive new bleaching gels at every 6 months at your regular cleaning for as long as you're a patient.

For a limited time, the first 10 new patients can receive a free Whitening for Life membership ($400 value) after their first exam and cleaning. This special offers will expires November 30, 2017.  To sign-up for this special offer, click here.

 

Mouthguards: Not Just for Pros

September 8th, 2017

 

IT'S ALL FUN AND GAMES until an unexpected kick, elbow or fall happens. Sports-related dental injuries happen all the time up and make up 40 percent of all dental injuries. Wearing a custom mouthguard can help keep your play safe and drastically reduce your chance of injury!

Not wearing a mouthguard makes you 60 times more likely to sustain an injury to the face and mouth. Wearing a mouthguard during recreational as well as competitive sports activities decreases both the frequency and severity of injury.

A fractured, chipped or knocked-out tooth isn’t the only thing a mouthguard safeguards against. Did you know that wearing a mouthguard can also help prevent more serious injuries such as concussions, jaw fractures, and neck injuries? Not to mention the protection it provides for the soft tissues of the mouth like the tongue, lips and cheeks. This is especially true for those of you with braces. Not only are your braces an investment you should protect, but those metal brackets can be especially damaging to your mouth if you’re hit by a stray ball or elbow. On top of that, if your braces are damaged, there may be a delay in your orthodontic treatment.

Custom Mouthguards Provide More Comfort And Protection

When it comes to purchasing a mouthguard, you have a couple different options. A custom-fit mouthguard made specifically for you by a dental professional is the most effective and comfortable choice. We can even specially customize your mouthguard for the specific sport you play. Custom mouthguards are:

  • Less likely to be displaced during the action because of their custom fit.
  • Durable and tear-resistant. Custom mouthguards last longer due to the higher quality of materials used to construct them.
  • More fitted and less bulky. This adds to the overall comfort and makes talking, breathing and swallowing easier.

Your Smile Is Worth Protecting

Customized specifically for your smile, the mouthguards we make in our practice provide superior safety and genuine comfort.Your smile is worth protecting. Talk to us today about your own custom mouthguard! To schedule a consult, call (650) 871-1400 or schedule online today!

Baby Teeth Myths Debunked

June 20th, 2017

YOU MIGHT THINK that baby teeth don’t matter because “they’re just going to fall out anyway,” but think again!

There are a lot of myths about baby teeth out there that need to be stopped, so we’re going to set the record straight: here’s a list of the top four baby teeth myths, BUSTED!

Myth #1: Baby Teeth Aren’t Important

Although baby teeth eventually fall out, they are extremely important to a child’s developing oral health. Not only do they hold the space for permanent teeth to grow in straight (preventing crowding and crooked teeth), they also help the face structure develop properly and ensure that young children can eat and receive plenty of nutrition.

Myth #2: Cavities In Baby Teeth Don’t Matter

You might have heard that babies can’t get cavities at all, or that if they do have them, it’s not a big deal. Both rumors are untrue; not only are cavities painful, they can cause swelling and even infection. In addition, children who have cavities in their baby teeth are three times more likely to develop cavities in their adult teeth. If you think your child may be developing a cavity, marked by discoloration or a small crack, call us right away!

TIP: Don’t let your child fall asleep with a bottle! Juice and milk are full of bacteria-feeding sugars which cause cavities.

Myth #3: You Don’t Need To Brush or Floss Baby Teeth

You should begin “brushing” your children’s teeth even before their first tooth grows in! Just use a soft, wet cloth or bit of gauze to rub their gums to help reduce bacteria and prevent future cavities. Once teeth come in, help get your children in the habit of brushing twice daily with a smear of toothpaste and flossing regularly.

Myth #4: Young Children Don’t Need To See A Dentist

There is a common misconception that children shouldn’t visit the dentist before the age of three, or before they have their full set of 20 primary teeth. The ADA states that children should visit the dentist by the time they get their first tooth, or at least by the age of one.Early check-ups can identify cavities and help prevent and assess other problems.

Bonus Myth? We Don't Have a Pediatric Dentist

You now have a reliable source of pediatric dentistry with our in-house pedodontist, Dr. Amanda Tsoi. An accomplished dentist and professor, Dr. Tsoi knows how to keep your kids smiles happy and healthy. Call (650) 262-6136 to schedule their first exam & x-ray today. Mention this post and it'll be complimentary! Save $225. Offer expires August 31, 2017.

Thank you for being a part of our practice family.

Popping 6 Myths About Gum Disease

March 28th, 2017

With nearly half of American adults suffering from gum disease*, we felt it was important to pop some myths that tend to stick around. Patient education is central to our practice, because the more educated you are about dental health issues, the better you'll be able to prevent them and seek treatment as early as possible. When the risks include permanent tooth loss, you definitely want to stop gum disease before it get out of control. The following are the most common misunderstandings about gum disease:

Myth #1: Bleeding Gums Are Normal

This is probably one of the most perpetuated dental health myths. The truth is, bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease. Gums swell, bleed and become tender when plaque accumulates on the teeth and around the gum line. Keep your gums healthy by removing plaque and food debris with daily brushing and flossing.

Myth #2: People Get Gum Disease Because They Don’t Clean Their Teeth

While poor oral hygiene definitely contributes to the development of gum disease, there can be many other factors involved. Tobacco use, stress, a bad diet, genetics, and certain illnesses such as diabetes can all increase your risk of developing gum disease. And as we’ve explained before, even being pregnant makes you more susceptible!

We also don’t want our patients to think that if they are cavity-free they couldn’t possibly have gum disease. Gum disease is painless in its beginning stages and many people don’t know they have it. That’s why proper oral hygiene and twice-yearly visits to your dentist are essential for your oral health, even if you don’t have a cavity!

Myth #3: Gum Disease Is Irreversible

What we really want our patients to understand is that gum disease is reversible in its earliest stage: gingivitis! The earlier gingivitis is caught, the easier it is to eliminate it before it advances to full-blown periodontitis. Finding out you have gingivitis can be worrisome but here’s the good news: good oral hygiene habits and professional cleanings can, in most cases, rid you of gingivitis and stop gum disease in its tracks.

Your hygienist and dentist can monitor your gum health at your regular cleanings and  exams. The reason it's important to come in at least every 6 months !

Myth #4: Only Adults Can Get Gum Disease

Gum disease is much more prevalent in adults, but that doesn’t mean that our children are invulnerable. Children can be more susceptible to gum disease if they are genetically predisposed or have certain illnesses such as autoimmune disorders or diabetes. Even puberty, with all its hormonal changes, can put your child more at risk. Their best defense against any dental disease–gum disease and tooth decay included–is to take care of their teeth at home and visit the dentist on a regular basis.

Myth #5: Everyone With Diabetes Has Gum Disease

If you have diabetes, developing gum disease is not inevitable, although you are certainly at a higher risk. Now more than ever you’ll need a good relationship with and frequent visits to your dentist. A rigorous oral hygiene regimen as well as frequent cleanings can help stave off the onset of gum disease. Proper blood glucose control can also help you lower your risk.

Myth #6: Treating Advanced Gum Disease is Difficult

The latest  treatment for moderate and severe gum disease  is faster, gentler and more convenient today. Many people often avoided  treating advanced gum disease because it required  invasive treatments and long recovery periods. Our in-house periodontist specializes in the latest gum treatments that require no scalpels or stitches that you recover from in days instead of weeks. If you or someone you know is dealing with gum disease, call us today to schedule a consult to go over your treatment options.

Gum Disease Myths… Busted!

Now that you know more about gum disease, keep up the good work avoiding it! Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Thanks for reading!

*https://www.perio.org/consumer/cdc-study.htm

5 Incredible Benefits of Implants You May Not Know

June 7th, 2016

IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED TOOTH LOSS, you are not alone. In fact, more than 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth, while 178 million are missing at least one tooth. Here’s the good news: there are solutions for you.

Dental Implants Function Much Like Natural Teeth

While there are other tooth replacement options, dental implants have many advantages over other treatments. They are called “implants” because an artificial tooth root is placed, or implanted, in your jawbone. It is then covered by a natural-looking tooth replacement. Implants are the only tooth replacement option that incorporate an artificial root, allowing them to function much like natural teeth.

There Are Many Benefits to Choosing Implants

Here are five major benefits to consider when deciding between dental implants and other tooth restoration options:

#1: Dental Implants Can Last a Lifetime

Unlike dentures, you don’t need to take them out to eat or clean and there’s no need to reapply them with adhesive. Implants also provide a permanent solution to tooth loss–they are built to last a lifetime if they are well taken care of. Not all implants are created equal. At South San Francisco Dental Care, we only chose quality materials backed by manufacturer warranties. We also provide a lifetime warranty for your dental implants.

#2 Implants Help You Stay Looking Younger.
When you lose teeth the jawbone deteriorates, causing your face to appear sunken over time. Before we can place an implant, we will need to determine if you have enough jawbone to support an implant. If not, we will perform what is called a ridge augmentation to build up your jawbone. Once placed, implants act as an artificial tooth root, stimulating the jawbone and promoting bone growth. This helps maintain the natural shape of your face and jaw.

#3: Implants look, feel and function like your natural teeth.

Dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth so you can look and feel your best. They also function like real teeth, meaning you can bite naturally and eat the foods you love without hesitation. Implants also don’t interfere with speech like some other replacement options.

#4: Brush & Floss Just Like Your Natural Teeth.

You can take care of your teeth as usual, flossing once a day and brushing twice daily. With implants, it’s easy to maintain that bright, beautiful smile!

#5: Leave your natural teeth unaltered.

Some treatment options, like a dental bridge, require grinding down other healthy teeth to support the bridge.  Implants replace lost teeth but do not require any alteration of your existing healthy teeth.

Special Dental Implant Offer $260 Value
You should never let tooth loss keep you from a healthy, beautiful smile. If you have experienced tooth loss, schedule a complimentary dental implant consultation (with treatment acceptance) with our periodontist and save $160.

For a limited time, you can also get a free electric toothbrush kit($100 Value), if you are one of the first 7 callers who schedule their complimentary implant consultation before Thursday, June 30 and start treatment. You must call (650) 273-4309 and mention this offer when scheduling.