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South San Francisco Dental Care

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

The Latest Trick to Get Your Kids to See the Dentist

November 15th, 2016

Taking your kids to the dentist can be a drag - literally - as you pull them in the car and up into the chair. You know  got a new ace up our sleeves. Meet Dr. Amanda Tsoi, our new in-house pediatric dentist. She's mastered the not-so-black arts of getting even the most nervous kids to leave the office smiling. Your kids will be levitating right into the chair for their next appointment. No smoke and mirrors here. Just pure magic and a genuine love for what she does.

Want to know where Dr. Tsoi picked up these tricks? Read up on her credentials here.

Don't forget! Your dental insurance benefits including any funds left in your health savings account may expire at the end of the year. Schedule your family's next appointments now before all of our open appointment slots and your money vanishes into thin air.

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.

So You Think You Can Brush

March 30th, 2016

YOU MAY BRISTLE at the suggestion you could be brushing your teeth incorrectly. You've brushed so often you could probably do it in your sleep. And yet it’s easy to fall into a routine of bad habits if we’re not careful! Developing correct brushing techniques and sticking to them is crucial to the health and appearance of your smile.

Toothbrushing DO’s

  1. Use the right technique. Tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line and brush using small circles. This method is the most gentle and effective way to remove plaque!
  2. Brush for the correct amount of time. Proper brushing takes at least two minutes! To make sure you brush for the right amount of time, use a stopwatch or listen to your favorite song while brushing. When deciding how much time to spend brushing your teeth, the important thing to remember is that it’s not about a prescribed amount of time, it’s about cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth.
  3. Brush morning and night. Brushing your teeth should be an absolutely essential part of your daily and nightly routine. It’s also important to avoid midnight snacking! Sleeping directly after eating significantly raises your risk for cavities.
  4. Replace your brush. The ADA recommends buying a new toothbrush every 3-4 months. Over time, the bristles of the toothbrush wear down and become less effective at removing plaque and bacteria. It’s also important to swap out your toothbrush after being sick, otherwise the germs from your illness may reinfect you.

Toothbrushing DON’Ts

  1. Don’t put yourself at risk for gum recession. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and refrain from aggressive brushing. Brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush or using excessive force while brushing can slowly cause gums to recede, exposing the root of the tooth and leading to sensitivity. Not fun!
  2. Don’t brush immediately after eating. Wait at least 30 minutes after you’ve eaten to brush your teeth. When you eat, bacteria produce acid that temporarily weakens the enamel. Brushing too soon after eating, especially acidic foods, can damage the enamel in its weakened state. After eating, it’s best to rinse your mouth out with water or chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production. These measures will help to wash away bacteria without damaging your teeth!
  3. Don’t ignore the rest of your mouth. Especially your tongue! Did you know that 90 percent of bad breath is due to a dirty tongue? That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly brush the tongue or use a tongue scraper.
  4. Don’t underestimate the importance of visiting your dentist. No matter how well you brush, biannual visits to your dentist are imperative to keeping your smile radiant and healthy! Professional cleanings and checkups are the easiest way to avoid dental problems in the future.

Little Things Can Make A Big Difference!

What you do everyday has an effect on the health and beauty of your smile. We hope these little tips will make a big difference in your oral hygiene routine!

SPECIAL OFFER

Want to win a $25 Starbucks Card? You must have your next hygiene cleaning scheduled, and enter by Friday, April 8th to qualify. You can request your next hygiene cleaning, when you enter our raffle. Click here to enter the raffle.

February is Children's Dental Health Month

February 23rd, 2016

THE CDC REPORTS that 1 in 5 children (between ages 5 and 11) in the US have untreated tooth decay. Not only should tooth decay be treated in regular dental appointments, it should be prevented! Tooth decay is 100 percent preventable with effective personal care and regular dental cleanings.

In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, we’re spreading the word about children’s dental health.

YOU Can Help Little Ones Have Healthier Smiles!

  1. Encourage them to brush for two full minutes. Pick a song about two minutes long and sing it to them during brushing time.
  2. Set reminders to brush twice a day. Brushing after breakfast and just before bed are the best times for preventing bacteria growth from food.
  3. Show them flossing is fun, not harmful. Be gentle at first when doing it for them. A bad experience can stop them from flossing on their own.
  4. Be persistent. Don’t let fussy children off the hook. Be motivating! Kids may gladly brush for a sticker or star if you make it an activity.
  5. Set their first dental appointment before age 1. Having positive dental experiences early will make dental visits easier and less frightening when older.

SPECIAL OFFERS FOR KIDS

For a limited time, we're offering a complimentary exam & x-ray or an kid's electric toothbrush kit with paid exam & x-rays for first time patients.

If your child is already a current patient, you can receive 10% off your child's next cleaning if you schedule by April 30th. Limited to the first 5 callers only. Simply call 650-273-4309 and mention this offer when you schedule. Offers expire April 30th. Call today!

Help Us Spread The Word!

Share this message with your friends and family, and especially with the children in your life. If you have any questions about children’s dental health, don’t hesitate to ask us!

United Family Day Raffle

October 21st, 2015

On Sunday, October 11th, we spent the day with United Airlines at their 10th annual Family Day Fair to show our appreciation to our patients. Visitors to our booth spun for prizes and entered our raffle to win 20 movie tickets and more. Scroll below for the results from our United Family Day Raffle!

20 Movie Tickets Winner
Liz Tang

Teeth Whitening Kit Winner
Tim Sor

Electric Toothbrush Kit Winners (3)
Benito Del Rosario
Paul Gozzip
Henry Tsang

Selfie-Stick (3)
Karl Hemming
Chris Pace
Tsang Chung

United Family Day Special Offer Winners
Complimentary New Patient Exam & X-rays* ($225)
and 10% Off General Dental Care
Winners: All United Airlines Employees, Family & Friends!

To Claim Your Prize
Please contact Chris at (650) 209-6096 or rewards@ssfsmile.com,
if we have not been able to contact you. You have 30 days to confirm your prizes or new winners will be announced.

Special Offers Expire December 31, 2015!
Call (650) 209-6096 or schedule online today to claim your special offers.
*New patients only.




Mahalo! Patient Appreciation Event

July 2nd, 2015

Mahalo!

Patient Appreciation Party

Sunday, August 9th

Raffles, Bowling and Food!

Lei out your best strike, and win some tiki-rific prizes at our bowling luau, Mahalo!

How To Get Tickets

Due to popular demand, we will be raffling off tickets to select patients. To be added to our guest list,  your account must be in good standing and your contact information updated. Call (650) 273-6973 today to update your contact info!

Mother's Day Raffle

May 5th, 2015

SHE MAY HAVE TAUGHT YOU how to count, how to share your toys, and how to brush your teeth. And although each of our family dynamics vary greatly, one thing is certain… There’s really no way that we can adequately pay back our moms for the gift of life.

Mother’s Day Is A Chance To Say, “Thanks, Mom”

Show her some love by entering her in our raffle for a bouquet that will be delivered on Mother's Day. Nominate your mom for this gift by clicking here. Enter her name by Wednesday, May 6th!

Contest Rules: Only nominees made by current patients of South San Francisco Dental Care will be entered into the raffle. Accounts must be in good standing. Winner will be notified on Thursday, May 7th.

Dr. Al's Mission Trip to Thailand

March 9th, 2015

When my college roommate, now a pharmacist, invited me on a medical missions trip to northern Thailand, I had some initial reservations. I knew the medical and dental needs were great and access to care was difficult and sometimes non-existent for the people we would be treating, but I was fearful of "jungle dentistry" as some of the more seasoned missionaries on my team jokingly called it. And jungle dentistry it was! No x-rays, no suction, no adjustable, cushioned dental chair. After much consideration and prayer, I decided to go for it.

Fortunately there was another dentist joining our team, Dr. Philip, so I wasn't completely on my own, but unfortunately, all the supplies Dr. Philip brought were confiscated by customs when the rest of the team arrived in Chiang Mai. By the grace of God, me and my friend had done some traveling before the missions trip and came through a different airport so all the supplies I brought were allowed through. This presented a bit of a challenge nonetheless as Dr. Philip and I had coordinated what we were bringing to minimize redundancy in our instruments. Thankfully, Dr. Sun and Isabel had helped me gather my supplies and encouraged me to bring a few extra things so we had enough tools to get the job done and plenty of the important stuff - local anesthetics! Dr. Choi also generously donated all the supplies I was able to bring for future use in light of the difficulties we faced at customs this year.

We set up our primitive clinic - a single table for all our instruments and cold sterile area and a raised table for the patients to lay on - in two locations. One was at an orphanage in Chiang Saen (about 5 hours from Chiang Mai) and the other at a local church in Huay Jor. Over the course of our time there we were able to see 97 patients ranging in age from 4 to 71 and extracted 116 root tips, broken teeth, and wisdom teeth. Most of our patients were from the most impoverished people groups of Laos, the Khmu, where there is minimal access to dental care due to geographical and financial hardships. For most, this annual mission trip is the only dental care they will receive. One patient broke my heart - a nine year old girl, the youngest of 12 children, came to have her two permanent front teeth extracted because they were broken and infected. We were able to remove the infected teeth but without access to further dental care, she will likely go around without two front teeth for the rest of her life.

Sincere thank you to Dr. Choi, our associates and our office staff for covering for me while I was gone and enabling me to take the opportunity to go on this trip!