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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 The evidence they found was slim, because the few studies that were done used outdated methods or were too short to make any real conclusions.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.

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!


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.