Thursday, February 16, 2017

National Children's Dental Health Month Tips!

In honor of National Children's Dental Health Month, here are some helpful tips to keep your child's teeth cavity-free and healthy!

1) When Do Teeth Erupt?
Your child's teeth will begin to show up around 6 months and will normally have a full set by the age of 3.  Your child will have 20 "baby teeth".

2) When Do I Schedule Their First Dental Visit?
You child's first visit to the dentist should occur when their first tooth appears, and no later than their first birthday.  Even though your child may not have many teeth yet, it's a good idea to acclimate them to the dentist and for the dental team to review helpful home-care tips with parents.
Your dentist may also apply a fluoride varnish, to help prevent decay.

3) When Do I Start Brushing Their Teeth and How Much Toothpaste Do I Use?
Parents should start brushing their child's teeth twice per day, as soon as teeth appear.  Make sure to use a soft-bristle toothbrush with an appropriate size head to fit in their mouths.  Use a portion of children's toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, until they are 3 years old.  After age 3, you can use a pea-sized amount of children's toothpaste.

4) How Do I Prevent Baby Bottle Decay?
It seems simple enough to avoid, but unfortunately many young children suffer from baby bottle decay.  These types of cavities can be devastating and progress rather quickly, and usually occur on the upper front teeth.  Frequent or prolonged exposure to drinks that contain sugar are usually responsible. Do not put your child to bed with a bottle in their mouth, or use a bottle as a pacifier.  If your child falls asleep after using their bottle, try to gently wipe the inside of their mouths with a wet washcloth.

5) What Are Dental Sealants?
One very effective treatment a dentist can offer to prevent cavities in children are dental sealants.  Once the first adult molars have appeared, your child can have a thin protective coating applied to the chewing surface of these teeth.  Children without sealants have 3x more cavities than children with sealants and according to the Centers for Disease Control and ADA’s Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year Oral Health Resolutions!

The start of a new year is the perfect time to focus on improving your oral health and following through with any goals you have to improve your smile.  In addition to making regular trips to the dentist, here are some other "dental resolutions" that are easy to achieve and will lead to a brighter smile in 2017!

Routine Dental Visits

Routine dental visits are the easiest way to improve your health, to prevent oral diseases and to diagnose existing dental abnormalities. A "check-up" every 6 months is recommended so that your dentist can effectively monitor the condition of your oral cavity and so that they can create an appropriate treatment plan to meet your goals and needs.

Toothbrushing/Flossing Habits

"2x2" is the catchphrase that describes the ideal toothbrushing regimen,  For successful bacterial plaque removal, you must brush at least twice a day using an appropriately sized, soft-bristle, manual or electric toothbrush and a recommended toothpaste. It is also important to floss at least once daily in order to remove plaque and food that accumulates between your teeth throughout the day. By committing to a good toothbrushing/flossing routine, you can prevent gingivitis (gum disease) or periodontal disease (bone loss), tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath).

Healthier Food/Beverage Choices

Making healthier food and beverage choices can go a long way in achieving optimum oral health. Diets high in carbohydrate or sugar intake and beverages high in acid or sugars can severely damage the protective outer layer of your teeth (enamel).  Try substituting your diet with healthier options.

Tobacco Cessation

Quitting smoking or smokeless tobacco use is not easy, but the benefits on your oral and overall health are undeniable. There are many online sources, smoking cessation groups, progress-tracking apps and support from friends and family to assist you with tobacco cessation.  Your dentist can provide you with more information on tobacco cessation as well as the harmful effects of tobacco use on your mouth.

Cosmetic Dentistry

If you are cavity-free and in good oral health, there is always room for improvement in the new year.  Have you considered braces to straighten your teeth or correct your bite?  Have you thought about teeth bleaching in order to whiten your teeth and/or to remove embarrassing stains?  Why not consider getting old or defective fillings replaced with more esthetic materials.  Have you considered the dental benefits of Botox or dermal fillers to refresh your face and smile? 
Give us a call at Beachside Dental to schedule your first dental visit of 2017!  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Holiday Oral Health Tips!

As 2016 comes to an end, Beachside Dental would like to thank all of our patients for their business and support throughout this year.  We truly feel fortunate to be embraced by the Mesa community and to be able to provide quality oral health care to the residents of Santa Barbara County.  As our "gift" to you, here are some oral health tips for the holiday season...

Stocking Stuffers: 
Instead of stuffing your stockings with candy canes and other sugary treats known to cause tooth decay, consider other items that are less harmful to your teeth.  You might even consider including toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss.

Beware of Candy Canes:
A favorite holiday treat is the candy cane, and not many people realize the harmful effects this sweet can have.  Sucking on a candy cane over a long period of time exposes your teeth to prolonged periods of sugar "attack" on your enamel.  Many people can't fight the temptation of biting/chewing on candy canes and run the risk of fracturing your teeth when you do so.

Holiday Songs While You Brush:
You should be brushing your teeth for two minutes in the morning and evening, but many people fall short of the proper amount of time.  Try humming your favorite Christmas tune to help you spend a longer amount of time on your brushing.

Avoid Using Your Teeth as a Tool:
When wrapping or opening presents, many people make the mistake of using their teeth as a tool.  Even using your teeth to "cut" tape or ribbons can cause significant damage and possibly lead to teeth fracturing.  Use scissors!  :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Dental Therapeutic Treatments for TMJ/Headaches

Do you or someone you know suffer from migraine or tension headaches?  Have you experienced TMJ related facial pain?  Depending on the type of headache and facial pain, there is now a solution your dentist can provide! 
Botox/Xeomin Injections
While typically associated with facial esthetics, botulinum toxin (Botox®) and incobotulinumtoxinA (Xeomin®) have both become important in their clinical uses for treatment of facial pain and teeth grinding.  Several studies have shown patients who received these injections experienced significant improvement in pain level, function, ability to open their mouth and levels of tenderness to the touch. At Beachside Dental, Dr. Savidan can determine if you are a candidate for this treatment.

What is Botox/Xeomin and How Does It Work?

Botox® is the trade name for botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin in the form of a purified protein.  Xeomin® is made of a protein purified from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The mechanism of action for these products is really quite simple; botulinum toxins block nerve activity in the muscles, causing a temporary reduction in muscle activity.  As a result, the action of the muscles is greatly decreased, reducing wrinkles or lines on your face as well as reducing the pain you may be suffering from related to the TMJ or other muscles. 

What Areas of the Face Are Treated?

The areas typically treated with botulinum toxins are the forehead, between the eyes (glabellar region), around the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet), around the lips (smokers lines or gummy smiles) and the masseter muscle located by the jawline.

What To Expect?
Receiving botulinum toxin takes only a few minutes and there’s no need for anesthesia or down time. The injections are made using a very fine needle and are virtually painless.
The esthetic results of botulinum toxin injections include decreased wrinkles and lines in your face and a slimming result along the jawline.  The dental therapeutic benefits are described above and pertain to the decreased activity of problematic muscles.
Generally, results are noticed within two to ten days. To reduce the possibility of bruising/swelling, it is recommended to avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours and aspirin/anti-inflammatory medications for a period of two weeks prior to the procedure. As always, consult your physician before stopping any medications.  The effects of botulinum toxins last approximately three to four months, at which time the patient will require re-treatment.  Over time, overall muscle activity will decrease meaning that the results of the injections are cumulative as the muscles become trained to relax, requiring less frequent injections.
To achieve a successful outcome, it is important for your dentist to use the correct injection technique, as well as follow the appropriate dosage guidelines. 

Dr. Savidan is a certified member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics (AAFE) and is credentialed to perform botulinum toxin injections for purposes of dental therapeutics.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Scary Halloween Candy!

Halloween is right around the corner, and children everywhere are dusting off their favorite pumpkin pails or pillow cases in anticipation of the candy they will collect.  Interestingly enough, nearly 88% of parents admit to eating some of the candy their little "ghouls" and "goblins" bring home.  No matter your age, if you are going to indulge in candy this Halloween, here are some things to remember...

1. Sugar-free candy/gum containing xylitol
Sugar-free candy or gum containing an ingredient called xylitol may actually protect teeth by reducing acid-producing bacteria in the mouth.  Xylitol also increases saliva flow, which rinses away excess sugars and acids.

2. Powdery candy (such as sugar straws)
Powdery candy is definitely loaded with lots of sugar, but it dissolves quickly and doesn’t stick to the teeth.  Sticky/chewy candy is much harder to remove from the surfaces of teeth.
3. Chocolate 
Chocolate dissolves rather quickly in the mouth and can be eaten quickly, decreasing the amount of time sugar stays in contact with teeth. Chocolates with caramel and/or nuts are more harmful for teeth than the plain variety.

4. Hard candy 
Hard candy is bad for teeth because it tends to be sucked for an extended period of time, meaning the sugar stays in contact with teeth longer. Biting down on hard candy can also chip or break teeth.

5. Chewy candy
Chewy or sticky candy is probably the most damaging because of high sugar contact and prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth.  Our saliva also has a much harder time breaking down this type of candy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Do I Need a "Deep Cleaning"?

When you brush your teeth, have you noticed that your gums bleed?  Has someone told you that your breath doesn't smell very fresh?  Maybe you've been getting food stuck between your teeth when eating, or maybe you experience sensitivity when drinking hot or cold liquids.  If any of these scenarios pertain to you, there is a good chance you have "gum disease".  The condition known as periodontitis affects 47% of adults 30+ years old in the United States. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the active disease in their mouths, and end up suffering the serious consequences when they do not seek treatment from a dental professional.

Gum disease starts when a sticky film of bacteria called plaque, attaches to your teeth, causing your gums to become inflamed.  This inflammation is known as gingivitis, and if left untreated, spaces or "pockets" will form between your teeth and the gums. Plaque then gets trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular toothbrushing. As the inflammation in your gums progresses, a more serious form of disease known as periodontitis occurs.  Whereas gingivitis can be reversed with regular hygiene visits, periodontitis is more of a chronic disease which if left untreated, can cause irreversible damaged to your mouth.

So...what's the difference between a "regular cleaning" and "deep cleaning"????
A regular cleaning or prophylaxis, focuses on cleaning the areas of your teeth at or above the gum-line.  This is an appropriate treatment for patients with zero to moderate plaque accumulation, and normally performed on patients who see a dentist regularly for their cleanings.
Patients with a diagnosis of periodontal disease need to have a "deep cleaning" to actively treat their infection.  This type of special cleaning consists of two techniques: 1) Scaling occurs when your dentist removes all the plaque and tartar (calculus) deposits above and below the gum-line, making sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. 2) Root planing involves smoothing out your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic for your comfort. A tooth that has been scaled and root planed  free of tartar buildup has a better chance of allowing the gum tissues to heal and reattach to it. As a result, some deep gum pockets can be reduced after a deep cleaning.

When performing your oral examinations at Beachside Dental, Dr. Savidan will provide you with an honest assesment of your periodontal condition.  With the best interests of the patient in mind, we don't "up-sell" treatment that is unnecessary.  However, we will recommend any treatment which we feel is necessary for achieving your optimum oral health.  Please feel free to discuss your periodontal treatment needs with Dr. Savidan and our friendly staff!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Back-To-School Dental Tips

With the start of the school year fast approaching, your student is probably stocked up on supplies and sports equipment but do they have a healthy mouth and the tools to maintain oral health?

According to the American Dental Association, a dental examination is as important as immunizations and booster shots and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations. 

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that tooth decay affects U.S. children more than any other chronic infectious disease and 19 percent of children ages 2 to 19 years old have untreated tooth decay. Dental pain or disease can lead to difficulties eating, speaking, playing and learning, not to mention hours of missed school.

Your child's back-to-school dental checklist should include:

    • Regular dental examinations to diagnose/treat or prevent dental problems.       The dentist may suggest fluoride treatments or sealants to prevent decay           and can diagnose and treat dental problems to save your child from losing         valuable time at school.

    • Regular brushing and flossing is vital.  Your child should brush their teeth            twice a day and floss once daily.  Toothbrushes should be changed every            three to four month, or after an illness. 
    • Eating healthy lunches and snacks. Recommendations for your child's sack          lunches include grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt or fruit. If              your child eats in the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food                  choices with them before the first day of school. The amount of sugary              foods and soft drinks should be very limited.

Give us a call today to schedule your child’s back-to-school dental examination!