Thursday, December 10, 2015

Why You Should Visit the Dentist Regularly

dental checkup calendar with toothbrush
Ever wonder why dentists recommended you be seen every six months, even if your teeth don’t hurt or if you don’t usually have your teeth cleaned that often?  Some believe the reasons are financially driven, and that couldn’t be further from the truth; well sort of (I’ll explain more later).

The truth is, regular dental visits are essential for achieving optimal oral health, including your teeth and gums.  Depending on your treatment needs, you may even need more frequent visits for certain teeth cleanings, possibly every 3 to 4 months.

A Routine Dental Visit

Checking your teeth for cavities is just one part of a routine dental examination.  A dentist (or dental hygienist) will complete the following procedures during your visit:

• Examine the gums
Check for evidence of gum diseaseCheck for loose teethExamine your tongueCheck your biteLooking for visual or radiographic evidence of tooth decayCheck for broken teethCheck for damaged fillingsEvaluate any dental appliance you haveCheck the contacts between your teethA Routine Cleaning

Another important reason for a routine dental visit, is to have your teeth cleaned thoroughly, beyond what a toothbrush or floss can do for you at home.  

If not removed, soft plaque can harden onto your teeth and irritate the gum tissue and possibly lead to periodontal disease.

Food or beverages and tobacco can stain teeth as well and can be removed by polishing your teeth.  A dentist or hygienist will also review important information about proper oral hygiene techniques and answer any questions you may have, general or specific, about your mouth.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Holiday Oral Health Care for Kids

Take the fright out of holiday sweets with these
oral care tips.

With Halloween just behind us, and other holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, etc. on the horizon, this is a good time to consider holiday oral health care tips for our children.  
Illustration of six kids oral healthWith tooth decay being the most common chronic childhood disease, it is so important to teach your child about the harm too much candy can cause on their teeth and gums and what you and they can do to help prevent it.

Every time we eat, bacteria in our mouths interact with food, creating and acidic by-product which can attack enamel. Sugar creates an especially acidic byproduct, which is why sugary/sticky foods and drinks are more likely to create decay. 

This is even more true between meals, because this is when your mouth produces the least amount of saliva to combat and neutralize the acids.

Here are some oral health care tips to combat the effects of sugar:
Save sugary treats for after mealtime: This is when the amount of saliva produced in the mouth is greatest, reducing the effects of acidic attacks.

Consider serving dairy products with treats:  Dairy products such as milk and cheese act as buffers to the acids produced by oral bacteria.

Flossing regularly:  Candy often gets stuck between the teeth, making these areas more susceptible to decay.

Drink lots of water:  Water also acts as a buffer in the oral cavity and can also rinse away some of the sugary contents in the mouth. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Don’t Be Scared of the Dentist!

It is estimated that 8-20% of the population suffers from a crippling fear of the dentist, preventing these individuals from seeking routine dental care.  Whether that anxiety stems from a negative dental visit in the past, or a fear of the unknown, avoiding the dental office can have severe health consequences.  
Scary pumpkinks, bats, trees with headline, Do Dentists Scare You?
Let’s take a look at some of the common fears associated with being in a dental office, and how these fears can be dealt with.

Fear of the unknown-  Many patient are scared to be in a dental chair, for fear of the unknown; what will they be doing to me?!  An initial examination or consultation should always begin with an open-ended conversation between the patient and dentist.  At Beachside Dental, we want to know what is bothering you about your mouth/teeth as well as what oral health goals you may have.  We also want to know about any negative experiences you may have had, so that we can work together to avoid a similar experience.  There should be no secrets about the impending dental treatment or techniques used to complete the work.

Fear of the dental instruments- Dental instruments can look intimidating, not only when used in your mouth, but sometimes just sitting out in the open.  

The truth is, dental instrumentation and technology continues to improve on a seemingly daily basis and at Beachside Dental, we provide our patients with the “latest-and-greatest”.  If you have a question about a particular instrument, it’s your right to know what the tool is and how it works. 

Extreme dental anxiety-  For some, the anxiety associated with a trip to the dentist, even for a simple procedure, may prove to be too much to overcome by conversing with the dental team or knowing more about the procedure/instruments being used.  There are many sedation or relaxation techniques that can be employed in these circumstances, which are safe for the patient and allow for a more pleasant experience.  As a patient, you should consult with the dentist to see if you are a candidate for sedation for dental visits.

At Beachside Dental, Dr. Savidan utilizes the latest technology and techniques in a low stress and comfortable environment.  Our goal is to always provide you with an exceptional dental experience, from your new-patient examination and including any dental treatment you may need.  Give us a call to schedule your examination today, and make your next trip to the dentist a day at the Beach…

Monday, August 10, 2015

Breastfeeding and Oral Health

Did anyone know there is such as thing as “National Breastfeeding Week”?!  
I didn’t, but figured once I heard about it, this month’s blog was a good opportunity to discuss breastfeeding and its effect on the oral health of a baby.

logo for National Breastfeeding Awareness Month
A June 2015 study published in Pediatrics reported that babies who exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months were 72% less likely to have crooked bites (aka. malocclusion).  Dentists and orthodontists are quick to point out though, that other factors such as genetics, thumb-sucking and pacifier use are all just as important when it comes to teeth alignment.

Another benefit of exclusive breastfeeding, is a reduced risk of baby bottle tooth decay.  “Bottle rot” is cause by the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Many times, a baby is put to bed with a bottle containing formula, milk or fruit juice. The upper front teeth are usually the most affected, but other teeth may also be badly decayed.

It’s important to know that babies who breastfeed can also develop cavities.  
A few days after birth, you should begin wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth, daily. Once the first tooth emerges, brush the baby’s teeth twice a day using a children’s toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.

I personally have witnessed the destructive effects of poor oral hygiene and diet on many babies, and I hope this blog has shed some light on an important issue.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office. 

Give us a call today to schedule your toddler’s first dental visit!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

illlustration of tooth with medical cross carry kit for dental emergencies
Dental Emergencies 101

The last thing anybody wants to deal with during their summer vacation is a dental emergency!  In addition to kids being outside more and playing more sports, adults might also find themselves being more active and prone to various dental injuries. 
Below is a list of common dental emergencies and how to deal with them:

What do I do if I knock out a tooth?
    If your child knocks out a “baby tooth”, try to find the tooth and keep it moist while in route to see the dentist.  Chances are a baby tooth will not be re-implanted, but it is helpful for the dentist to see the tooth for themselves.
    If an adult tooth is completely dislodged from the mouth, try to find the tooth and gently rinse the tooth with water or milk while trying not to touch the tooth’s root.  If the tooth is completely intact and clean, you may try to re-implant the tooth yourself before heading to the dental office.  If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.  Contact the dentist, ASAP.

What should I do if I bite my lip or tongue?
If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress. Contact the dentist right away or consider going to the emergency room if there is excessive bleeding or the pain is extreme.

What do I do if I have a bad toothache?
For toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Carefully use dental floss to remove any food stuck between your teeth. Do not place aspirin on your aching tooth or gums as it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, contact your dentist.

What can I add to my emergency kit?
The Save-a-Tooth emergency tooth preservation kit is a great addition to any first aid kit in case you lose a tooth unexpectedly.  It's also good idea to have floss on hand in case something gets caught in your teeth.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Straighten Your Teeth!

I you have that one or two “crooked” teeth that you would like to straighten or have multiple teeth that need realignment, Beachside Dental can help you as a certified ClearCorrect™ provider! 

ClearCorrectis a clear aligner system used to straighten your teeth as an alternative to traditional braces. The custom-made/removable/clear aligners gradually move teeth over time, giving you the straight smile you are looking for.

Some benefits of using ClearCorrect include the fact that the aligners are thin and invisible; most people will not even notice you have them in your mouth!  Secondly, the aligners are removable, meaning you can take them out to eat and brush & floss your teeth throughout the day. 

No more “train-tracks” that prevent you from keeping your teeth clean during orthodontic treatment, and no more risk of having white spots on your teeth when treatment is completed.

Give us a call today to schedule your ClearCorrect™ consultation!

patient testimonial for Dr. Michael Savidan, D.D.S in Santa Barbara, CA
ClearCorrect invisible orthodontic braces, before and after photos

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Brighten Your Smile!

photo of woman's smile before and after teeth whitening
This month’s topic concerns one of the more popular and beneficial dental procedures available to patients; teeth whitening.

Everybody wants a nice/bright smile, and today there are many dental products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours. Some people are satisfied with the improved shine they get from daily brushing and regular professional cleanings.  However, for those who would like to go a step beyond to make their smile look brighter, here are some additional whitening options.

First off, patients should mention their desire to whiten, and the dental team can work with you to figure out which procedures would be most effective. It’s important to know that not all teeth whitening products can correct all types of discoloration. For example, teeth with a yellow tint usually bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less, and teeth with a grey-ish tint may not bleach well at all.   

In addition, front teeth with large bondings or tooth-colored fillings may not be affected by whitening agents, and could stand out in your newly whitened smile. 

If you are a candidate for teeth whitening, there are multiple ways to whiten your smile:

In-office bleaching: This procedure, also known as chairside bleaching, usually requires only one office visit.  Either a protective gel is applied to your gums or a rubber shield is used to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light is sometimes used. In-office bleaching may take between 30-60 minutes.

At-home bleaching:  Teeth whiteners with a peroxide-based agent are used at home to bleach teeth enamel. Options include custom trays in which a small amount of bleaching gel is placed or products where the bleaching solution is embedded into pre-filled disposable trays.  Take-home bleaching products come in different strengths, which can be varied depending on tooth sensitivity or the amount of bleaching desired by the patient.

Whitening toothpastes: All toothpastes contain tiny abrasives that help remove surface stains. "Whitening" toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.

Contact Beachside Dental today to schedule your dental visit and to discuss which teeth whitening option is best for you!
- Dr. Savidan

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month banner and link
Did you know almost 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or throat cancer this year alone? 
Or, that the 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed is just more than 64 percent? When cancer is detected and treated early, treatment-related health problems are reduced.      
The month of April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month and this blog will focus on the causes, symptoms, and home care remedies for those with oral cancer.

Research has identified a number of factors that contribute to the development of oral and throat cancers. Smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers, older than 50, are the most at risk population. In recent news, the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is sexually transmitted, has been associated with cancers of the throat, or oropharyngeal area. HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers are related to the increasing incidence of throat cancers in non-smoking adults. 


Early symptoms of oral or throat cancer may include:
     • a sore/irritated spot that does not heal
     • red or white patches     
     • thickened or rough patches     
     • tenderness or numbness in the mouth or lips     
     • difficulty with chewing, swallowing or talking     
     • a change in your bite

During a dental visit, your dentist can discuss your health history and examine any suspicious signs of oral and/or throat cancer. The screening will consist of a visual inspection of the mouth and palpation of the jaw and neck. Regular visits to your dentist can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early.

Those undergoing treatment for oral cancers can alleviate further problems by:
      • keeping the mouth moist at all times     
      • drink lots of water     
      • chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy     
      • use a saliva substitute

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Alcohol and Your Teeth

Seeing as how St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday know for “festivities” involving alcohol, let’s take a look at the effects of alcoholic beverages on your teeth.  

Woman with green teeth smiling
For this month’s blog topic, we’ll take a look at how alcohol can affect your entire oral cavity, including your gums and teeth.  

Most alcoholic beverages contain a large amount of sugars and acids which are harmful to your mouth.  Acids in these beverages can demineralize/soften your teeth, and when sugars combine with natural bacteria in the mouth they also form an acid that attacks enamel. 

This is especially true when the teeth are constantly exposed to sugars and starches in alcohol without any breaks.

Much like smoking, alcohol can also dry out your mouth. Because saliva is a powerful tool in reducing the incidence of cavities and maintaining a proper pH in your oral cavity, a dry mouth can accelerate the damage caused by the sugar in alcohol.

Heavy drinking can lead to:
  • Irritation of the gums, tongue and other oral tissues
  • Poor healing following a  dental surgery
  • Poor overall dental hygiene habits
  • Increase in tooth decay
  • Increase risk of periodontal (gum) disease

We at Beachside Dental hope everyone has a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day, and enjoys the first month of Spring!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Mouth and Heart Connection

With Valentine’s Day approaching and hearts and cupids seemingly everywhere, let’s take a look at the connection between your mouth and heart.  Unfortunately, many people often ignore the fact that oral health can have a dramatic effect on your overall health.  
Countless scientific studies have show that the relationship between your mouth and your heart is undeniable.

The connection between peridontal disease and heart diseaseIt has been proven that poor oral health can have a direct effect on your cardiovascular system.  For example, people with moderate or advanced periodontal (gum) disease are more likely to suffer from heart disease.  This is important, because 80% of adults have some form of periodontal disease!  

Some researchers have suggested that the bacteria involved in gum disease are able to travel through the bloodstream, attaching to blood vessels and causing clot formation.  
It has also been suggested that the inflammation of the gum tissues in periodontal disease, can also trigger clot formation and potentially be a cause of elevated blood pressure or even a heart attack.

Warning signs of gum disease may include: 

• Red, swollen, tender gums
• Gums that bleed easily
• Gums that are receding
• Chronic bad breath
• Loose teeth

If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to make an appointment with us at  

Beachside Dental, so that we can evaluate your gums, and screen you for any potentially harmful conditions such as heart disease.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Morning Breath ... Is There a "Cure?

This month’s blog concerns a topic I find myself talking about A LOT with patients; morning breath!  What is it?  How do you get it?  How can you prevent it?
Woman with bad breath sticking out tongue which has a sad face on it

   According to the Academy of General Dentistry, over 80 million people suffer from halitosis, aka bad breath.  Several million of these individuals also experience what many refer to as “morning breath”.  Imagine waking up in the morning and leaning over to give someone a kiss, only to be denied.  Morning breath is to blame! 

    In short, morning breath is directly related to the mouth drying out while someone sleeps.  Saliva flow is greatly reduced during prolonged sleep, and when the mouth dries out, odor-causing bacteria are allowed to grow in number.  Those that snore or mouth-breathe at night are even more prone to morning breath. 

    There are other factors that can be involved. Patients who regularly take medications are more prone to having dry mouth.  Smoking not only dries out the mouth, but it also causes an increase in oral temperatures which can then lead to an increased number in odor-causing bacteria.  Patients with allergies might have increased mucus levels, which also leads to a growing number of bacteria that cause bad breath.

    So what can be done?  Good hygiene is key!  Make sure to brush your teeth at least two times daily, for two minutes each time.  Also, make sure to brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper, as many bacteria reside on your tongue.  Flossing is also an important way to remove food that accumulates between teeth and causes bad breath.  Mouthwashes can also be a temporary fix, as they freshen your breath while killing certain bacteria as well.  Just be careful not to use a mouthwash with a high alcohol content, as this might also lead to increased dry mouth.