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The Top 10 Things to Avoid to Keep Your Teeth Bright

September 8th, 2016

WE OFTEN TAKE STEPS to achieve that sparkling white smile when we brush in the morning and before we go to bed. The truth is, what we consume throughout the day is often the largest contributor to whether or not our smile will light up a room.

Although there are several causes for tooth discoloration, we can separate them into three basic categories: intrinsic, extrinsic, and age-related discoloration. Here’s how each affects your teeth, and what you can do to ensure a life full of bright, healthy smiles.

Food And Drink Are Large Contributors To Surface Stains

Extrinsic tooth discoloration occurs when the enamel—the outer layer of the tooth—becomes stained. These stains are caused by pigments, acidic content, and other chemical factors (natural or artificial) present in things we enjoy eating and drinking. If it can stain a white t-shirt, it'll stain your teeth too.

The top ten culprits for tooth discoloration include:

  1. Wine
  2. Coffee
  3. Tea
  4. Cola
  5. Sports drinks
  6. Hard Candy
  7. Berries
  8. Tomato Sauce
  9. Curry
  10. Chocolate

Most of these items won’t have an immediate affect on the color of your teeth, but over time, they can begin to wear away and cling to enamel causing unsightly stains. Try to consume these in moderation and always remember to drink plenty of water and brush your teeth after meals.

Trauma Can Discolor Teeth From The Inside Out

Intrinsic tooth discoloration occurs when the inner structure of the tooth—the dentin—begins to darken or develop a yellow tint. This type of discoloration can develop because of a trauma sustained to the tooth. Sometimes when a tooth sustains trauma during childhood, it can damage the developing permanent tooth beneath it, affecting the tooths color. If a trauma is sustained during adulthood, internal bleeding can potentially discolor the damaged tooth.

Other causes include uses of medication at certain stages of life or being born with a rare condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta which can cause gray, amber, or purple discolorations. If you have questions about intrinsic discoloration, come in and see us and we can help answer your questions.

Your Smile Can Change Color With Age

Age-related tooth discoloration is a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The dentin inside our teeth naturally yellows as we age. Enamel on the outside of teeth also thins as we get older, allowing the yellow pigment of the dentin to show through. A lifetime of consuming certain foods or smoking cigarettes will also contribute to deep-set stains on the enamel’s surface.

We Can Help Brighten Your Smile

We know just how important it is to provide our patients with bright, healthy smiles. That's why we offer a Whitening for Life program for all of our patients.

How the Whitening for Life Program Works
For one low enrollment fee, we will create a custom-fit whitening tray in office and give you a set of bleaching gels to get your started. You wear the trays for several nights while you sleep until you reached the desired brightness. To maintain your radiant smile, you receive a new bleaching gel every 6-months at your regular exams and cleanings.*

Get Started Today & Save!
Membership fees are regularly $300 but for a limited time you can enjoy the confidence of a healthy bright smile - for life - for just $150! The first 7 patients who start this program before Friday, September 30 will receive this special 50% discount. You must call (650) 273-4309 and mention this offer when scheduling your free Whitening for Life consultation.

*Rules & conditions apply. Call for details.

The Truth About Those Flossing Headlines: Dentists vs Reporters

August 18th, 2016

Recent headlines have popped up in the news making it sound like you don't have to floss anymore. You may have felt shocked, confused, relieved or maybe even ecstatic after years of being guilted into flossing. But before you toss your floss and the confetti to celebrate, know what you're actually throwing away. As your dental health providers, we want to make sure you're not misled by these headlines.

How Did This Become News?
In short, the Associated Press (AP) noticed a US government agency dropped flossing from its dietary report last year, and took it to imply that flossing is no longer recommended.  They looked closer at past research, and according to the AP, there have been no reliable scientific studies devoted to the efficacy of flossing. The evidence they found was slim, because the few studies that were done used outdated methods or were too short to make any real conclusions. When they pressed the government to provide scientific evidence, they were not able to provide any.

Does that Mean Flossing Doesn't Work?
Far from it. A lack of good scientific research doesn't prove something is ineffective. Dr. Matthew Mesina from the ADA described the hole in this logic best when she said: "Nobody's done a study to say that using a parachute jumping out of an airplane is safer than not using a parachute. I'm still going to use a parachute, because we just know that that's going to work." Flossing is not a priority for research funding simply because it's been commonly understood to work.

Why Is There No Scientific Evidence to Support Flossing?
Cost, time and common sense. It is estimated that it would cost the government tens of millions of dollars for a decades-long study of flossing. That is money that would be better spent on other pressing health concerns facing our nation. Aside from financial reasons,  there are also ethical and practical issues to consider. Is it morally sound to prevent test subject from flossing at the very high and known risk of developing gum disease and tooth loss? How do we make sure those assigned to floss do so every day in their homes for years on end? If we already know it works, why spend all these resources?

But What's the Worst That Could Happen?
Losing your teeth for one. As dental health professionals, we already know firsthand what happens when you don't floss.  Although we may politely nod when you claim you floss your teeth every day, your mouth betrays you. Brushing removes plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, from only 60% of the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing cleans the rest - the spaces in between and below the gum line. We can immediately see significant stains and tartar buildup as well redness from the inflammation of gums. Overtime this puts you at high risk of developing gum disease. Symptoms include gum bleeding, bad breath, gum recession and eventually tooth loss.

Is It Really Worth It?
Absolutely. Don't let bad journalism put your smile in danger. Flossing is a low-cost and low-risk way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. The ADA, Surgeon General and CDC reiterated that they continue to recommend it. Rest assured that the few minutes you spend every day to floss will help keep your breath fresh, gums healthy and teeth intact  - and that's worth holding on to.

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.

Say Yes to The Filling: Why Saying No Will Cost You More

April 20th, 2016

If you're ever been tempted to postpone a filling to try to save time and money, you could be doing just the opposite.

Consider this:

Decay Leads To More Decay... Until It’s Stopped

When decay erodes part of your tooth, fillings help us seal off and protect the vulnerable area. We place fillings because once a tooth starts to get decay, it’s almost certain the decay will only progress.

  • A cavity indicates that the area is decay-prone, whether that’s due to chewing habits, cleaning habits, or the bacterial climate.
  • Cavities can create crevices in your mouth that trap plaque and food particles, encouraging further decay.
  • The tooth’s outer enamel layer is much stronger than the inner, dentin layer. If decay breaches the enamel, it can progress dramatically, leading to severe pain and permanent tooth damage.

Be Proactive In Your Dental Care

Save time and money by fixing the problem while it’s still small. What a filling could have easily fixed could end up needing a crown or worse - a root canal. Don’t postpone getting a filling if it’s recommended. Protect your oral health by being proactive.

Fillings Need To Be Maintained, And Sometimes Refreshed

Occasionally, we may recommend that you replace a filling. The materials used in fillings can break down and weaken over time, which can lead to further decay and damage. During a replacement, we make sure that there’s no decay under the filling, and that the area is not compromised.

How We Help You Get Treatment Today

To help you get the dental care you need, we are open 6 days out of the week and have affordable payments options. Scheduling an appointment is easy when you have a team of dentists available nearly every day. If you need a same day, next day or even a Saturday appointment, we're here for you!

We know that saying yes, can be financially difficult. We try to be as flexible as possible by accepting most credit cards and dental insurances, as well as helping you secure financing through CareCredit or Lending Club. With healthcare financing, you can break down your treatment into smaller more affordable monthly payments so you can accept treatment now.

Apply for Financing for a Chance to Win a $100 Credit!

New applicants for CareCredit or Lending Club can enter our raffle for a chance to win a $100 in-office credit. If you get approved for $1,000 or more and start treatment by May 15, 2016, we will enter you into our drawing. Call (650) 262-6136 to discuss all your payment options and we will set you up with the best plan. Don't forget to mention you saw this blog!

Image by Flickr user MOVED! used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image modified from original.