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How to Strengthen Teeth

Posted on: November 7th, 2018
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, it can demineralize over time. Demineralization weakens the enamel and can lead to cavities, chips in the teeth, and tooth sensitivity. Once tooth enamel has worn away, it will not grow back, leading to more pain and cavities. The best way to deal with this is to try hard to prevent it in the first place. To strengthen your teeth, follow these simple steps:

Paper cup of coffee is held by a man in his hand. Coffee makes teeth yellow and sick-img-blog

1. Mind Your Diet

The bacteria that cause cavities feed off of the sugar and starch we eat and, in turn, produces enamel-eroding acid. The acid present in soda (both diet and regular), citrus fruits, pickles, and tomatoes also weaken the enamel.

Try limiting your sugar intake to no more than 13 grams per day. According to an article published in BMC Public Health, limiting your sugar intake will significantly reduce your risk of oral health problems. Refined carbohydrates like bread, pasta, chips, and crackers convert to sugar in your mouth, so it is best to limit or avoid them.

2. Snack Less Often

When your teeth are exposed to sugar and acid constantly, bacteria have a better opportunity to grow. If you cannot significantly limit your sugar and refined carbohydrate intake (which is difficult to do), you should at least limit how often you snack.

3. Use a Straw for Acidic Drinks

Highly acidic drinks include:

  • Soda
  • Lemonade
  • Orange juice
  • Coffee

Drink these beverages through a straw to limit the amount of acid your enamel is exposed to. You should also avoid sipping an acidic drink (like coffee) slowly throughout the day. Instead, drink your beverage with your meal and rinse your mouth with water once you are finished.

4. End Your Meals With Cheese

According to research, the casein and whey protein in many types of cheese can help to reduce enamel demineralization. Chewing on cheese will also stimulate saliva flow, which helps to wash away acid and bacteria. If you’ve packed some string cheese in your lunch today, be sure to eat that last.

5. Use the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste

A rough toothbrush can damage your enamel. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and be mindful about how much pressure you are applying while brushing. Brush in small, circular motions rather than back and forth. Check your toothpaste for the ingredient glycerin, which can cause a film to form over the teeth that block the minerals in your saliva from strengthening your enamel.

6. Use Remineralizing Treatments

Calcium phosphate and fluoride, the ingredients in remineralizing gels, have been scientifically proven to strengthen tooth enamel. Remineralizing gels often come in the form of a pen applicator or in teeth whitening trays that you can apply to your teeth at home.

Dr. Sands Enamel Loss-img-blog

7. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum can help to stimulate saliva production, which washes away bacteria and the acid it creates. However, gum that contains sugar will completely cancel out this effect. Look for sugar-free gum with xylitol, a natural sweetener, listed as one of the first ingredients.

How to Treat Enamel Loss

Once your tooth enamel begins to erode, you may start feeling sensitivity when you eat sweets or foods that are too hot or too cold. You may also start to notice cracks or chips in your teeth. If the erosion is very advanced, you will notice indentations on your teeth (“cupping”).

But what can you do once your enamel has already begun to erode? Because it is not made up of living cells, it cannot repair itself. If the erosion is not too severe, dental bonding can be done to protect the teeth. In more advanced cases, treatments such as porcelain veneers or crowns can be applied to cover the teeth, protecting them and reducing sensitivity as well as making them look healthier.

If you have any concerns about your oral health or are interested in a cosmetic dental procedure, please schedule a consultation by calling (310) 273-0111.


Ease Your Fears With Sedation

Posted on: October 31st, 2018
By: Kevin Sands

Fear of the dentist and dental work is common among both children and adults. This fear causes many patients to avoid the dentist and only go in once they start experiencing physical pain. Unfortunately, by this point, more invasive procedures are often the necessary course of action. And while it’s understandable that going to the dentist may not be your favorite activity, avoiding it is the last thing you want to do.

Beautiful woman lying in dentist chair and waiting for doctor-img-blog

The Dental “Fear”

Dental work is often uncomfortable, there is no getting around that fact. Sitting back with your mouth open wide and the dentist poking around with tools and mirrors is far from a holiday. Combine that with the sound of the drill and the underlying knowledge that something in your mouth isn’t right, and you are undoubtedly left with nerves, stress, and even fear. Dentists understand this, and even though you may be scared, it’s essential to remember that dentistry is meant to fix your dental issues so you don’t have further problems down the line. Unfortunately, avoiding the dentist only makes things worse by causing you to postpone the treatments you need. Once you start putting off your check-ups, you run the risk of needing more invasive procedures. While dental work can be simple, with relatively little discomfort early on, it will only worsen the longer it’s put off. While there is no way to make the physical process of dental work fun, there are ways to ease your fears.

Sedation Options

One of the most difficult parts of dental work is that you are aware of what is happening. You can see everything and you can hear everything. For most people, this causes unneeded stress. Instead of putting yourself through this, and instead of using it as an excuse to avoid the dentist, consider combining your dental work with sedation. Sedation provides additional comfort and safety by easing your anxiety. There are several levels of sedation available to make you physically comfortable and to ease your mind. While some patients find that light sedation, such as the kind provided by inhaled or oral sedation, is enough, others may find that general anesthesia, where you are entirely asleep, is best. No matter what stage of sedation you would prefer, it’s important that you find what you need to make you feel comfortable. There is no reason that you should fear the dentist. After all, they are there to help you, and if combining sedation with your dental visit is what is necessary, then allow sedation to ease your fears.

For more information about the types of sedation that Dr. Sands offers, contact his office by calling 310.273.0111 to set up a consultation.

 


3 Ways to Straighten Your Teeth

Posted on: September 19th, 2018
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Most people choose to straighten their teeth to achieve a more appealing smile and improve their oral health. Even if you had braces as a child, your teeth might have shifted and are probably misaligned, which results in many adults suffering from crooked teeth. While the options for straightening teeth used to be restricted to bracket and wire metal braces, there are now more options available for creating a beautiful smile.

img-blog-Closeup Of Beautiful Happy Smiling Woman With White Smile

Traditional Braces

When we think of braces, we automatically think about the traditional bracket and wire braces of two decades ago. Traditional braces are not what they used to be. Although they are still comprised of brackets and wires, the brackets are much smaller, come in colors for fun or concealment, and use fewer rubber bands to reduce the amount of wounds in the mouth. While these are not the choice of many adults, they are still widely recommended for children and adolescents because treatment can be completed in 12 months.

New Age, Clear Aligners

Invisalign® is the new age, revolutionary way to straighten your teeth. Instead of brackets and wires, clear removable plastic aligners are used to gently move teeth. Digital images are taken to map out treatment needs, and a custom treatment plan is made for each patient to determine how many liners will be needed. Most patients will wear 20 to 30 liners over 12 to 18 months. The liners are worn 20 to 22 hours a day and can be removed for eating and oral hygiene. Because the liners are clear, this is a popular choice for adults who want to maintain a professional appearance or don’t want anyone to know that they are straightening their teeth.

A Complete Makeover

Porcelain veneers are the complete makeover and a quick fix for mild to moderately crooked teeth. They are also used to improve the size and shape of teeth, if needed, to fill in gaps. Veneers are porcelain shells that are fitted over the natural teeth. Impressions are taken and sent off to a dental lab where custom veneers are made. You will then return to have the veneers bonded to the teeth. Removal of a thin layer of enamel is needed to fit the veneers over the existing teeth.

For more information about straightening your teeth or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at 310-273-0111.


The Importance of Replacing Lost Teeth

Posted on: August 14th, 2018
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

As children, every person will sprout 20 primary teeth or baby teeth by the time they are 3 years old. These primary teeth hold a spot for the adult teeth to grow into as the baby teeth fall out. Once an adult, almost every person will have 32 permanent adult teeth. Many people will have lost at least one tooth for various reasons by the time they hit middle age, usually between 45 and 65 years old. A missing tooth can have serious consequences on the overall oral health of a person unwilling to correct the issue of a lost tooth.

Close up on a man smiling while he is missing a tooth

Common Causes of Tooth Loss

In some cases, some people are simply born without the tooth, or maybe an adult tooth did not erupt to replace a baby tooth that fell out. Other times, a tooth is lost due to an accident. But most often, teeth are lost due to gum disease and decay. Untreated gum disease will cause inflammation and gums to recede. In more severe cases, the disease will attack the tissues and ligaments that support the tooth, such as the tooth roots and jawbone.

Effects of a Lost Tooth

Each tooth plays a vital role in the structure of the mouth. Leaving a gap in the teeth when a tooth is lost can disrupt the relationship between other teeth, which creates a negative result.

Ability to Speak

Depending on the placement of the lost tooth, speech can be greatly impacted. A person’s ability to articulate different sounds may be lacking with just one tooth missing.

Change in Bite

When one or more tooth is missing, the remaining teeth in the mouth begin to shift as the bite pressure is displaced when chewing or speaking. As the pressure on the teeth changes to compensate for the missing tooth or teeth, more weight is added to other areas of the mouth causing a shift over time. Sometimes, neighboring teeth will move into the place of the lost tooth.

Gum Disease

The gap left from a lost tooth welcomes plaque and other bacteria to become more easily accessible to the neighboring teeth. Without proper oral hygiene, the surrounding teeth and gums become susceptible to gum disease along with a host of other problems.

Appearance

Missing teeth, especially in the front of the mouth, that are visible when speaking in social environments can significantly affect a person’s willingness to smile and interact with others. Over time, a missing tooth can become an embarrassment and cause self-esteem issues.

Options for Replacing Lost Teeth

Dental Implants

This has become the most popular option when a tooth needs replacing. Dental implants are a permanent, long-lasting solution to a missing tooth. An implant looks and functions as other natural teeth do and does not need to be removed for cleaning like other options. The implant is a tiny titanium post that is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. The bone will grow around the implant, holding it firm. A new tooth is then fitted atop the post.

Fixed Bridges

A dental bridge is commonly used to replace several missing teeth in one area. A bridge consists of false teeth that are fixed to a frame and then attached to the neighboring teeth. Depending on the number of teeth missing, dental implants can be placed and the bridge frame can be attached to the implants instead of neighboring teeth.

Full or Partial Dentures

Dentures are a less popular option, especially for younger people. However, depending on the amount of teeth lost, dentures may be a more feasible option. While they do need to be removed for cleaning, proper fitting dentures will not impede a person’s ability to eat and speak normally.

If you are missing teeth and would like to set up a consultation to discuss options to best fit your needs, contact Dr. Kevin Sands by calling 310.273.0111.


How Smiling Affects Your Health and Happiness

Posted on: July 26th, 2018
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Every person is born with the innate ability to smile. By around two months of age, babies can smile at the people who are closest to them. An individual’s smile can convey several different emotions, such as happiness, gratitude, friendliness, and contentment. However, there is much more to a person’s smile than conveying an emotional state. After many scientific and psychological case studies, it has been proven that an individual’s smile affects their overall health and happiness.

 

Girl Smiling

 

The Science Behind Smiling

There is a lot more to a single smile than most people realize. The act of smiling activates neural messaging in the brain, and when a person smiles, the neurotransmitters that cause a person to feel good are released. These neurotransmitters are dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, and oxytocin. In the world of science, dopamine is known as the feel-good hormone that keeps a person motivated and enjoying life. Endorphins are released during physical activities and allow a person to overcome the pain and stress associated with the activity. Serotonin is what makes an individual feel important, and lastly, oxytocin allows people to build stronger bonds, trust, and relationships with other people. All of these neurotransmitters are key components to allowing a person to feel joy and happiness in themselves, their lives, and the people around them. Smiling is an easy way to increase the levels of these components so that you can become healthier and happier.

Health Benefits of Smiling

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Strengthens immune function
  • Provides pain relief
  • Increases longevity of life

Psychological Benefits of Smiling

  • Improves overall mood
  • Provides stress relief
  • Decreases depression and anxiety

Correcting a Less-Than-Perfect Smile

Many people refrain from smiling because of missing, broken, crooked, and discolored teeth, or even because of bad breath. Having a less-than-perfect smile can rob an individual of their self-esteem, self-confidence, and the many other health benefits that smiling can provide. With the help of a cosmetic dentist, a person can enjoy the benefits of good health and happiness for years and years.

For more information on how to correct your less-than-perfect smile, or for a consultation with cosmetic dentist Dr. Sands, contact our office by calling (310) 273-0111.


Top 3 Most Popular Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

Posted on: June 26th, 2018
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Cosmetic dentistry procedures are becoming more popular than ever. While treatments are elective, most people consider them to be essential to maintaining good oral health and a professional appearance. When asked what a healthy smile looks like, the general public tends to describe teeth that are straight and white in appearance. This is why the most popular treatments correct issues like stains, enamel loss, cracks, and gaps.

Beautiful woman smile

1. Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment because it is easily accessible and relatively inexpensive. Professional teeth whitening is an attractive option to improve the aesthetics of an individual’s smile. The treatment process is incredibly safe and non-invasive techniques are used. While over-the-counter whitening options are cheaper, best results are achieved when performed by a professional cosmetic dentist.

2. Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers are another popular option when teeth whitening is not an option for correcting tooth stains, worn enamel, cracks and chips, or uneven alignment or spacing. An individual’s natural teeth require minimal prepping, and several thin layers of ceramic will replace the original tooth enamel to create a more appealing smile. Because a small amount of the original tooth enamel is removed, porcelain veneers are considered a permanent treatment. As opposed to traditional crowns, with veneers, an individual’s natural teeth remain intact, with only a slight amount of altering. Veneers are easy to care for, requiring regular brushing and flossing.

3. Invisible Braces

Many people want to straighten their teeth without the traditional metal brackets and wires. Invisible braces have become a popular orthodontic solution. While the cost of invisible braces is slightly higher, due to the materials used, most people, especially adults, like not having metal visible so that they can maintain a professional appearance at work. There are various options for invisible braces, but the most commonly used is Invisalign®. Invisalign® corrects teeth alignment by using fitted retainers that an individual wears for a length of time.

Dr. Sands offers teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and Invisalign at his Beverly Hills dental practice. To find out more about these treatments, make an appointment with Dr. Sands by calling (310) 273-0111, or complete our online contact form today.

 


Teeth Whitening Prep for Big Events

Posted on: May 28th, 2018
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Kim Kardashian Teeth Whitening DoctorMany celebrities plan their beauty routines in advance to work around busy schedules, especially for high-profile events where they want to have a glamorous Hollywood look as they walk the red carpet. When making an appearance, a bright, healthy, and beautiful smile can be the first thing someone notices.

Not long has passed since reality television star Kim Kardashian showed off a stunning outfit and radiant smile at this year’s annual Met Gala. Kim went out of her way to thank Dr. Kevin Sands and commend his work, noting on her personal Instagram account that his services are ideal when preparing for any big event.  

“I start planning a month in advance because I’m so busy with the kids and their schedules. I really space out my prep a lot, but always start with cleaning and whitening my teeth at Dr. Kevin Sands.”

— Kim Kardashian  

ZOOM! Teeth Whitening

If you are looking to whiten your teeth and achieve a radiant smile in a short amount of time, Dr. Sands offers his patients ZOOM! Teeth Whitening for a quick and painless treatment.

ZOOM! Teeth Whitening is the preferred treatment for those with a busy schedule since it only takes around an hour to address stained teeth or other tooth discoloration. Once you have undergone an examination to ensure your gums and teeth are healthy, the gums and soft tissues will be coated with a gel for protection, and a layer of ZOOM! Whitening agent will be applied to the front of the teeth. After the laser light is positioned and left on for four 15-minute sessions, your teeth will look and feel great.

To learn more about Dr. Kevin Sands and his teeth whitening options, visit our website to schedule a consultation or call the office at 310-273-0111.


Wisdom Teeth: Friend or Foe?

Posted on: April 23rd, 2018
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Closeup of x ray image of teeth and mouth with all four molars vertically impactedThe mouth goes through major changes over a lifetime. A baby will typically start to erupt his/her first tooth between five and nine months. The last set of teeth to erupt are the third molars, located at the back of the mouth. The third molars, commonly referred to as the wisdom teeth, will usually make an appearance between the ages of 17 and 21. They got the name “wisdom” because they tend to come in when people are at a more mature age. Healthy wisdom teeth that come through correctly help an individual to chew food. On the other hand, if they come through incorrectly, they can become a nuisance.

When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

An individual should see a dentist every six months for regular cleanings. During a regular visit, your dentist will perform X-rays and be able to monitor when and how your wisdom teeth will come in. If the teeth come in incorrectly, pockets can form underneath the tooth, creating an area for bacteria to accumulate. In an area that is already hard to clean, the bacteria can lead to infection and gum disease if not removed. If left untreated for a long period of time, the oral bacteria can travel through the bloodstream and cause infections in other major organs of the body, such as the heart and kidneys.

Furthermore, if there is not enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to properly break the surface of the gums, the teeth may become impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth can harm surrounding teeth, causing damage due to infectious bacteria that can spread to surrounding areas of the mouth. In more serious cases, cysts and tumors can form at the base of the teeth and cause major damage to nerves, teeth, and other tissues in the mouth.

It becomes imperative that the wisdom teeth be removed if they become impacted or come in incorrectly. You and your dentist will develop a treatment plan to decide when you will need to have the teeth removed to prevent infection and damage to other teeth. Wisdom teeth removal is done under sedation—the type of sedation will be determined during your consultation. The procedure to remove the teeth takes about 90 minutes typically. Discomfort and swelling usually occur for up to three days, with healing time taking about one week. However, if the holes are left open, it can take six weeks for the tissue to repair itself. If the holes are stitched, the sutures (usually dissolvable) will dissolve in seven to 10 days.

Can I Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

Some people will not ever develop wisdom teeth. Lucky for them! Additionally, there is a small percentage of people who do get wisdom teeth and have enough room for them to come in correctly. If the teeth are without pain, cavities, or infections and are in an environment with good oral hygiene and healthy gum tissue, then keep them. In this instance, the teeth can be treated like all others. It is important to floss and brush daily and visit your dentist for regular cleanings, so your wisdom teeth can be monitored, and you can ensure overall dental health.

If you think you might need your wisdom teeth removed, you can request an appointment for a consultation with cosmetic dentist Dr. Sands by calling 310-273-0111.

 


Sedation Dentistry to Put You at Ease

Posted on: March 12th, 2018
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Dr. Sands offers sedation dentistry for patients who may be anxious or fearful when visiting the dentist. Sedation dentistry is also an option for those who may have a sensitive gag reflex, a special needs child, or no time for multiple visits to the dentist for more extensive procedures. Sedation allows you to be either completely relaxed or asleep during treatment so that none of these things are a concern. During your initial consultation for a dental procedure, Dr. Sands will help determine if sedation dentistry is right for you.

The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

  • Feel comfortable instead of anxious during treatment
  • Save time with fewer visits for extensive procedures
  • Avoid the fear of needles or potential pain
  • Avoid the sound of drilling or scraping
  • Avoid triggering a sensitive gag reflex
  • Have no memory of the procedure
  • Keeps special needs patients relaxed

How Sedation Dentistry Works

Various options for either light sedation or complete sedation are available to keep you comfortable during your treatment. Dr. Sands will ensure your needs are safely and efficiently met and that all your questions are answered before your procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is sedation?

Sedation keeps patients comfortable and relaxed during their procedure with the help of various medications. You can choose to be either completely asleep or awake, yet relaxed, during treatment.

What type of anesthesia is used?

Oral or intravenous medications, or nitrous oxide (laughing gas), will keep you relaxed, yet responsive, during treatment. If you need deeper sedation, general anesthesia will put you to sleep completely so that you have no recollection of the procedure.

How is sedation administered?

Light sedation is administered with a pill that will help you relax. Laughing gas has the same effect and is inhaled through a breathing mask. If deeper sedation or general anesthesia is desired, medication is administered through an IV under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. With all sedation methods, local anesthesia is applied to numb the area.

How can I prepare for sedation?

You should arrange to have someone drive you to and from your appointment and spend two to four hours with you after your procedure to help you with anything you may need until the effects of the anesthesia wear off.


Porcelain Veneers or Invisalign®?

Posted on: February 13th, 2018
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Are you debating whether you should get porcelain veneers or Invisalign®? If you’re looking to improve your smile, one of these could be an excellent choice for you. Whichever option you choose, you could end up with the straight, beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.

Porcelain Veneers

Check veneer of tooth crown in a dental Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that are permanently affixed to your teeth. They can correct a variety of issues, such as discoloration, cracks, chips, breaks, shape issues, and crookedness. With just two office visits, you can have your teeth fitted with porcelain veneers to improve your smile.

Best for:

  • Color correction
  • Shape correction
  • Disguising cracks, chips, and breaks
  • Quick treatment
  • Minor teeth straightening

Advantages Over Invisalign®:

  • Quick treatment process: Treatment with veneers takes only two office visits to complete. Treatment with Invisalign® can take well over a year and requires regular office visits.
  • Color correction: Veneers can be affixed over discolored teeth. They are also stain-resistant and made to match the surrounding teeth for a seamless smile. Invisalign® does not correct tooth color.
  • Shape correction: Veneers can improve the appearance of unevenly shaped teeth, whereas Invisalign® can only bring teeth into better alignment.
  • Elimination of crookedness and gaps: Veneers can disguise gaps and crooked teeth with just two treatments. Invisalign® can take many months to do the same.
  • Disguising cracks: Veneers can cover cracks, chips, or breaks in teeth, but Invisalign® cannot.
  • Painless treatment: Veneers are a painless treatment, while Invisalign® may cause some discomfort during the teeth shifting process.
  • Versatile uses: Veneers have many versatile uses and can correct tooth color, gaps, crookedness, bite issues, and cracks. Invisalign® has a more limited goal to straighten teeth and eliminate gaps and bite issues.

Invisalign®

Invisalign® is a long-term tooth-straightening process. Using clear, custom-made alignment trays that fit snugly over your teeth, Invisalign® slowly shifts your teeth into place. Each week or two, you swap your trays for a new set so that over time, your teeth continue to shift. Invisalign® permanently straightens teeth with a solution that is far more cosmetically appealing than braces and is good for long-term dental health.

Best for:

  • Dental health
  • Bite correction
  • Teeth straightening

Advantages Over Porcelain Veneers:

  • One-time solution: While the length of treatment can last over a year, Invisalign® is a one-time treatment. Veneers need to be replaced every five to 10 years, which can become expensive and inconvenient over time.
  • Better for enamel: Invisalign® trays do not damage the enamel. Before veneers are cemented to the teeth, treatment requires an irreversible removal of surface enamel that can weaken the teeth.
  • Elimination of crookedness and gaps: Invisalign® straightens the teeth and permanently eliminates gaps so that the teeth fit naturally and snugly in place. Veneers make teeth look straight and gap-free, but the actual teeth are unchanged.
  • Dental health: Invisalign® corrects dental imperfections, while veneers cover them up. By straightening teeth, Invisalign® improves dental health and guards against tooth decay and gum disease. Veneers improve the appearance of the teeth, but any underlying tooth or gum problems will still exist beneath them.
  • Bite: Invisalign® can even correct many significant issues with your dental bite, and this is not always possible with veneers.
  • Color matching: Invisalign® does not adjust tooth color. However, even though porcelain veneers do, veneers do not respond to any subsequent natural discoloration or teeth whitening treatments once they are fitted to the teeth. This means that they may not always match the surrounding teeth over time.
  • Rotated teeth: Invisalign® turns rotated teeth so that they are straight and aligned. Veneers can make many teeth appear straight but are not often recommended for rotated teeth.

Dr. Sands offers both porcelain veneers and Invisalign® at his Beverly Hills dental practice. To find out more about these treatments, request your appointment with Dr. Sands. Call (310) 273-0111 or complete our online contact form to reach us today.


Marketing Truths of the Dental World

Posted on: January 15th, 2018
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Many seemingly harmless oral care products are marketed as beneficial to the health and beauty of your smile. These products are often easy to use, come in unique flavors, and promise fast results, but they can actually be harmful to your teeth over time. Here are a few things the marketing world will not tell you about some of these popular over-the-counter oral care products.

Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips are easily applied to the teeth and can whiten your smile in as few as two weeks. They contain hydrogen peroxide, which works to whiten by penetrating the porous enamel. Oxygen is produced and reacts with the discolored enamel to chemically change it, which results in temporarily whiter teeth. The acidic chemical reaction weakens the outer layer of the enamel and can cause it to erode over time. In some cases, the damage done to the enamel is permanent, and the teeth can become darkened and even more susceptible to staining than they were to begin with.

It is far better to seek teeth whitening from a dental professional. A dentist will check your teeth first to ensure that your discoloration is not the outcome of a more serious concern, such as an abscessed tooth or decay. Whitening under the supervision of a dentist can prevent burns and other potentially serious damage that over-the-counter products can cause.

Whitening Toothpaste

We know that acidic foods and beverages eat away at our enamel, but have you considered the acidity in your whitening toothpaste? The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, and the lower the number, the more acidic the substance. Demineralization and thus enamel erosion can begin to occur at a pH level of 5.5. Some over-the-counter brands of whitening toothpaste have an acidity level as low as 3.76, which can significantly weaken your enamel over time. It is best to use toothpaste that is pH balanced. Since many toothpastes do not typically have the accurate pH level listed on the label, it is best to consult your dentist for his or her best recommendation. If your teeth are already sensitive and your enamel is weak, Dr. Sands can recommend a product that will help restore and strengthen your teeth.

Hard-Bristled Toothbrushes

One might think that a hard-bristled toothbrush would be the perfect tool to get teeth sparkling clean, but it can actually damage the teeth. Toothpaste is already somewhat abrasive, and adding harsh scrubbing with hard bristles can further scrape away enamel. The damage is even worse if the teeth are brushed soon after eating or drinking something acidic. The acid softens the enamel, and hard brushing etches away at the top layers. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush for the best and safest results.

Chewing Gum

Some brands of chewing gum use xylitol instead of sugar as the main ingredient. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is said to prevent cavities and reduce plaque. Many brands promote this advantage, but the negative effects of chewing gum outweigh any benefits. Chewing gum in excess can leave sticky spots on the teeth that attract food and bacteria. It can also potentially pull out fillings and stress the jaw over time. You can freshen your breath occasionally with sugar-free breath mints and increase bacteria-fighting saliva production by staying well-hydrated.

If you are looking for safe, effective whitening treatments or oral care, please visit Dr. Sands. Schedule your appointment today by calling (310) 273-0111.

 


Instantly Improve Your Smile With Porcelain Veneers

Posted on: December 20th, 2017
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Check color of tooth crown in a dental laboratoryIf you had to decide between a quick, easy fix and a complicated, time-consuming solution, which would you prefer? Most people would choose the fast and simple resolution for their problem so that they could correct the situation and move forward. Porcelain veneers are a perfect example of the “quick, easy fix.” Veneers are a dental treatment that can resolve many cosmetic dental issues and improve your smile in just two short visits to the dental office.

How Veneers Can Improve Your Smile

Porcelain veneers can be bonded to your teeth to disguise wear and tear. Teeth that are chipped, cracked, crooked, gapped, worn down, or stained can be fitted with veneers to restore a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Veneers are made to match your smile for a natural look, and they can improve both the beauty and functionality of your teeth. Porcelain veneers can provide many of the same solutions as alternative dental treatments like braces, Invisalign®, and teeth whitening.

A Quick and Simple Solution

Porcelain veneers are fixed to the teeth over just two office visits. During the first visit, your teeth will be prepared (shaved) to receive the veneers, and a mold will be taken of your teeth so the customized veneers can be made to match them perfectly. You will have temporary veneers until your personalized ones are made. At your second appointment, the temporary veneers will be removed, and your customized veneers will be permanently cemented to your teeth to enhance your smile.

Alternative treatments that straighten, repair, or whiten teeth can be time consuming and painful. Teeth straightening with Invisalign® or braces can take well over a year and may cause sensitivity, discomfort, and inconvenience in the meantime. Conversely, veneers can instantly mask gaps and crooked teeth without any pain and even without anesthesia. At-home or in-office teeth whitening treatments may take time to achieve your desired shade, and whitening treatments do not work for all patients. Discoloration due to tooth injury or medications cannot be fixed with whitening, but it can be corrected with porcelain veneers. Unlike many quick fixes, veneers are not temporary; they are a permanent and long-lasting solution for a renewed smile. You can return home with an instantly improved smile that will last you well into the future.


Electric vs. Traditional: Floss and Toothbrushes

Posted on: November 8th, 2017
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

For most of us, dental hygiene is fairly high on our list of priorities. We brush, we floss, and we dread dental checkups, but we go anyways—or at least convince ourselves that we’ll set up the appointment. We all desire that pearly white, healthy smile and want to prevent things like cavities and gum disease, but with so many dental products on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are right for us. Is traditional flossing better than water flossing? Will an electric toothbrush clean better than a traditional one? With every commercial telling us something different, it’s tough to decipher the advertisements and get to the facts.

Flossing

Water Flossing

home water flosser tool for deep clean your teeth and gum feel fresh

Water flossing uses an electric machine to shoot a pressurized stream of water into the mouth, using the water pressure to clean food, bacteria, and plaque from between the teeth and to massage the gums. Since there is no scraping against your gums, water flossing is thought to be easier on them and can more easily get to the back of the mouth where traditional flossing might have trouble. It is easy to use for people with braces or dental work like crowns and bridges and can be softer for those with sensitive gums. The Waterpik® Water Flosser was the first powered interdental cleaner to receive the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. The Waterpik® can be expensive, especially when you compare it to the few dollars of a pack of dental floss; however, it will last longer than the floss, and there are less expensive alternatives to the Waterpik® that work similarly. Water flossing may not remove all plaque from the teeth, and since it is electric, you will also need access to an outlet and plenty of water to fill the machine, which makes it difficult if traveling.

Traditional Floss

Dental hygiene and careFloss has been around since the 1800s and is still considered a gold standard for dental hygiene. The string removes bacteria, plaque, and food particles from between the teeth and the gum line that brushing does not. Dental floss is easy to control and is efficient, portable, and cheap; however, since you are passing a string between your teeth and in the tight crevices, it may be difficult to reach areas in the back of the mouth. It can also cause minor bleeding and gum sensitivity, especially if not done on a regular basis.

Toothbrushes

Electric Toothbrush

Close up of brushing teeth with electric toothbrushElectric toothbrushes have become increasingly popular over the years and for good reasons. Several studies have indicated that certain types of electric toothbrushes may be better at preventing plaque and gum disease than the manual toothbrush, specifically the ones that have a rotational oscillating brush head (meaning that they have bristles that move in one direction and then the other). Electric toothbrushes are easy to use since the brush does all the work, and some even have a built-in timer to let you know when you are finished. This convenience, however, does come with some caveats. Because it is electric, it needs to be charged, which makes traveling with it a chore. It is also much bulkier than a manual toothbrush and is easier to break, especially if dropped. It also costs much more than a manual toothbrush.

Traditional Toothbrush

close up of young man with toothbrush cleaning teeth and looking to mirror at home bathroomAlthough not as fancy, a manual toothbrush still gets the job done. Traditional toothbrushes are reliable products that will thoroughly clean your teeth as long as you brush correctly, meaning twice a day for two minutes each time. They’re cheap, sometimes even free with a trip to your dentist, and offer several varieties including color choices, brush size, and bristle strength, ranging from extra soft to hard. With manual toothbrushes, there is no need to worry about charging or batteries, and it is small enough to fit in a purse. As the word “manual” implies, a traditional toothbrush is more work since you have to provide the brushing movement with good technique to get your teeth clean.

Which Is Better?

This decision boils down to personal preference. What feels better for your mouth? Is it the ease of using a water flosser and an electric toothbrush, or do you prefer the traditional feeling of string floss and a manual toothbrush? Even with constant studies performed, there is still no clear winner. Some studies say that water flossing and electric toothbrushes have a higher percentage of plaque removal and a greater reduction of gingivitis, but truthfully, all of these products will do the job well. The most important thing is consistency. It is recommended to brush and floss your teeth twice a day and attend regular check-ups with your dentist.


October Is National Dental Hygiene Month

Posted on: October 11th, 2017
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

stomatology equipment and dental careAccording to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), October is National Dental Hygiene Month. With the candy-filled holiday of All Hollow’s Eve quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to brush up on the basics and importance of dental hygiene. Dr. Sands, as well as the ADHA, recommends the “daily four” to help everyone remember the key components of oral health.

1. Brush

An easy way to remember the basics of good toothbrushing habits is the “magic number” two. You should brush for two minutes two times a day to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and the buildup of plaque and tartar. Check your toothbrush for frayed bristles, and be sure to replace your toothbrush every few months.

Basic Tooth Brushing Techniques:

  • Place the bristles at a 45-degree angle along the gumline so that they are touching the tooth surface as well as the gums.
  • Gently brush the outer surfaces of two to three teeth at a time using a gentle circular motion, and continue until all outer surfaces are clean.
  • Using the same motion and positioning, clean all inner surfaces of the teeth.
  • Tilt the brush vertically and use the top half of the bristles to clean behind the front teeth; turn it upside down to clean behind the bottom teeth.
  • Use a back-and-forth motion to clean all the biting surfaces of the teeth.
  • Brush your tongue thoroughly to eliminate odor-causing bacteria.

2. Floss

Gingivitis begins at the gumline and between the teeth. Flossing daily will remove the biofilm, tartar, and food particles from this area that can lead to gingivitis and that are sometimes impossible to reach with a toothbrush. It does not matter what type of floss you use or where in your mouth you begin, as long as you floss between each tooth and behind your very back teeth each day.

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association explains the key elements of proper flossing technique in four simple steps:

  1. Wind: Wind 18 inches of floss around middle fingers of each hand. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving a one-inch to two-inch length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth.
  2. Guide: Keep a one-inch to two-inch length of floss taut between the fingers. Use the index fingers to guide the floss between contacts of the lower teeth.
  3. Glide: Gently glide the floss between the teeth by using a zig-zag motion. DO NOT SNAP FLOSS BETWEEN YOUR TEETH. Contour floss around the side of the tooth.
  4. Slide: Slide floss up and down against the side of each tooth and under the gumline. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.

3. Rinse

The teeth contribute to only half of the equation for overall oral health. Clinical studies have proven that rinsing twice daily with an antimicrobial mouthwash can significantly reduce bacteria in the mouth and therefore decrease plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth. Mouthwash will clean areas of the mouth that neither brushing nor flossing can.

4. Chew

This tip is easy for anyone to follow, as long as you consider what you are chewing. Chewing regularly will stimulate the salivary glands, which moistens the mouth to help rinse away bacteria. However, chewing on food and beverages high in sugar or acid very often or throughout the day will encourage bacteria production and decrease oral pH to an unsafe level. Over time, this can cause demineralization that can weaken enamel and lead to decay. Some studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum can provide a slight but noticeable reduction in the presence of plaque. You should always avoid gum that contains sugar, though, since this will have the opposite effect.

As you commit to the “daily four,” you will be sure to see a noticeable improvement in the look and feel of your teeth as well as your overall oral health.


How to Floss Your Teeth With Braces

Posted on: September 19th, 2017
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Man flossing with braces onIf you’ve ever been to the dentist, you know that daily brushing and flossing are important for dental health. However, because flossing with braces can be more difficult and time-consuming than flossing without braces, it’s all too easy to neglect it. You should continue to floss daily throughout your teeth straightening treatment if you want to ensure that your teeth are healthy, beautiful, strong, AND straight when your orthodontic treatment is over. Knowing how to floss with braces will help you tackle it head on and keep up with your oral hygiene.

Choose Your Floss

There are many types of dental floss. It is best to use a thin, wax-coated floss when you have braces. Unwaxed floss tends to be more thread-like and can easily get caught and shredded in your braces. You may also want to invest in a floss threader, which is a small dental tool that will make it easier to thread the floss around your wires.

Steps to Flossing With Braces

  1. Rinse your mouth to loosen any food particles.
  2. Brush your teeth for at least two full minutes, carefully cleaning all around each bracket.
  3. Floss the parts of your teeth that are easily accessed (that don’t require you to thread floss around the wires. Place a string of floss between each tooth and use a sawing motion to remove any loose particles.  
  4. To floss the base of each tooth near the gums, thread the string of floss under the main wire. A floss threader can help you do this more easily.
  5. Pull the floss between the two teeth to the base of the gum line.
  6. Hug the floss to the side of one tooth and gently move it up and down. Then hug the side of the adjacent tooth and do the same.
  7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 with the next pair of teeth. Some teeth may have a larger gap between them while others may be quite snug. Do your best to floss between each pair as carefully as possible.  
  8. Be sure to floss around the outside of your last set of molars as well. Simply hug the floss around the tooth and move it up and down.

Consider an Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes offer much more power and are scientifically proven to be significantly more effective than manual toothbrushes at getting rid of plaque and improving gum health. An electric toothbrush can help get between the brackets and wires to remove bacteria before it becomes a problem.

Choose Invisalign® Instead of Braces

If you haven’t begun your teeth straightening treatment, consider choosing Invisalign® instead of braces. Many patients in need of teeth straightening will qualify for Invisalign®. Invisalign® can straighten your teeth with a better appearance, improved comfort, no dietary restrictions, a more flexible schedule, and greater convenience in maintaining oral health. Your Invisalign® trays can be removed for regular flossing and brushing, so as long as you know how to floss correctly, you will be able to continue doing so throughout your treatment.

If you need help with teeth straightening or other cosmetic procedures, request your consultation with Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Kevin Sands. Dr. Sands will help you achieve the dental appearance you desire with a personalized treatment plan designed especially for you. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Sands, call (310) 273-0111 or contact Dr. Sands online today.


Which Teeth Whitening Procedure Is the Best?

Posted on: August 17th, 2017
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

combination of Porcelain Veneers and Zoom whitening by Dr. SandsIf celebrity smiles are any indicator, Americans admire brilliantly white teeth. Unfortunately, enamel erosion, poor dental hygiene, certain foods and drinks, and smoking can all discolor your teeth. Professional teeth whitening treatments can help you brighten your pearly whites and achieve a dazzling smile. Cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin Sands uses ZOOM! Teeth Whitening because of its incredible effectiveness in providing excellent results that last longer than any other teeth whitening product on the market.

Why ZOOM! Teeth Whitening Is the Best

  • Immediate Results: Many whitening procedures require multiple treatments or even daily applications to achieve noticeable results. After a single ZOOM! Teeth Whitening treatment, your results will be immediately noticeable.
  • Short Treatment: Other time-consuming teeth bleaching treatments may make you question whether this was a good idea in the first place. ZOOM! Teeth Whitening treatments take only one hour and produce immediate results that will quickly reassure you: yes, it was definitely worth it.
  • Painless: Too many teeth whitening treatments aren’t safe for people with sensitive teeth or cause increased sensitivity. ZOOM! Teeth Whitening bleaches the surface of the teeth while doing little to the deeper nerves, and any minor discomfort is easily treated with over-the-counter oral pain medications.
  • Safe: ZOOM! Teeth Whitening is safely administered in our dental office and affects only the outer layers of teeth without damaging any of the deeper nerves. Your gums and soft tissues are covered with a gel coating to protect them so that they are not irritated during the treatment.
  • Dramatically Whiter Teeth: ZOOM! Teeth Whitening can whiten your teeth up to eight shades in a single treatment session. This is two shades whiter than what laser whitening treatments can accomplish.
  • Long-lasting Results: Many teeth whitening procedures are frustrating because, after several treatments or regular at-home use, the results still do not last very long. ZOOM! Teeth Whitening produces results that can last for 12 to 18 months, or even longer with careful dental hygiene habits. This is longer than any other teeth whitening product available on the market.

ZOOM! Teeth Whitening can bleach discolored teeth to give you the radiant, white smile you desire. To schedule your appointment, call our Beverly Hills dental office at (310) 273-0111 or contact us online today.


Invisalign® FAQs

Posted on: July 24th, 2017
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Read on to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Invisalign®.

What is Invisalign®?

Invisalign® is a dental treatment that straightens teeth over a period of time.

How does it work?

Invisalign® uses customized clear trays that are fitted to your teeth. Every two weeks, you switch to a new set of alignment trays to bring your teeth gradually closer into alignment. The trays apply a controlled force that slowly shifts the teeth until they are eventually straight and aligned.

How can Invisalign® improve my smile?

Invisalign® straightens crooked and overcrowded teeth, closes gaps, corrects bite abnormalities, and creates an even, straight smile. It does so with a nearly invisible treatment process over time.

How is Invisalign® better than braces?

Invisalign® trays are more aesthetically appealing than braces because they are virtually invisible. They are also removable, which makes eating and dental hygiene much easier and less restricting compared to braces. The trays are comfortable and smooth, unlike braces that have metal wires and brackets that can irritate your mouth. This treatment also requires less time in the dentist’s chair for adjustments and fewer office visits.

Does Invisalign® hurt?

Invisalign® trays cause only minor discomfort that is to be expected with moving teeth. This discomfort is more of a feeling of pressure than pain and can typically be felt during the first few days of each new set of trays.

What age do I have to be to get Invisalign®?

Invisalign® can be used when all baby teeth have been lost. Patients must also be disciplined enough to wear the trays for 20 to 22 hours per day. Depending on physical and emotional maturity, Invisalign® candidates could be as young as 12 or 13.

What can I eat with Invisalign®?

Since you remove the trays for eating, you can eat anything you like with Invisalign®. Always remove the trays when eating meals or snacks.

What can I drink with Invisalign®?

You can drink anything you like with Invisalign®. Be sure to clean your teeth and aligners soon after consuming sugary drinks so as not to trap sugar between them and damage your teeth.

Woman Putting Invisalign® In Her MouthWhat is Invisalign® made of?

Invisalign® trays are made of a clear thermoplastic material that is BPA-free.

Are Invisalign® trays noticeable?

Invisalign® trays are clear and custom-made for you, which means they are molded to fit precisely over your teeth. As such, they are virtually invisible.

Is Invisalign® good for your teeth?

Invisalign® allows you to achieve straight teeth and maintain optimal oral hygiene through the treatment process. Having straight teeth promotes better dental hygiene, helps prevent tooth decay and plaque buildup, and improves speech and eating function.

Does Invisalign® improve dental health?

During treatment, patients can easily maintain oral hygiene habits for their dental health. By straightening the teeth, Invisalign® promotes better dental health because straight teeth make oral hygiene easier and guard against bacterial buildup and abnormal wear on tooth enamel.

How long does it take to see results with Invisalign®?

One of the major advantages of Invisalign® is that you will see results throughout the treatment process. You may even see initial results by the time you switch to your second set of alignment trays.

How long is treatment with Invisalign®?

Invisalign® treatment takes an average of 12 months for adults. This length can vary more significantly for teens.

How does Invisalign® move teeth?

Invisalign® aligner trays are fitted directly to your teeth and apply a controlled force that causes certain teeth to shift. Your treatment trays are mapped out specifically for your teeth, and you switch to a new set every two weeks or so. Each new set is slightly different from the previous set and pulls your teeth gradually closer into position.

How do I take care of my Invisalign® trays?

A special Invisalign® cleaning system can be used to clean the trays. Brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water can also suffice. Brush your teeth after every meal to prevent food residue from staining your trays. Avoid putting the trays in hot water because it can warp the plastic. If your trays warp or crack, contact your dental practitioner right away to get new trays.

How often do I have to wear Invisalign®?

Invisalign® trays must be worn 20 to 22 hours per day.

Who should not use Invisalign®?

Patients with baby teeth are not good candidates for Invisalign®. Those with severe issues such as large overbites may need more advanced orthodontic procedures. If you are interested in Invisalign®, your best option is to schedule a consultation to determine if this treatment is right for you.

How often do I change my Invisalign® trays?

Your dental practitioner will tell you how often you should exchange your trays. On average, you should switch out your Invisalign® trays approximately every two weeks.

What happens after treatment is completed?

After Invisalign® treatment, you may need to wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original position. Your dentist will determine whether you need a retainer and how often you should wear it.

What if I’ve already had braces?

If you have already had braces and your teeth are still properly aligned, you do not need Invisalign®. If your teeth have shifted since you had braces, Invisalign® can re-straighten your teeth.

How long do Invisalign® results last?

The results of Invisalign® can last indefinitely. With proper use of a retainer, daily oral hygiene, and regular dental visits, you can maintain a straight, beautiful, and healthy smile long term.

 

For more information about Invisalign®, request your consultation with our cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kevin Sands. Call 310.273.0111 or complete our online contact form today.


How to Tell if You Have Gum Disease

Posted on: June 28th, 2017
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Healthy teeth depend on healthy gums. Gum disease is a common condition that ranges from simple inflammation of the gums to significant tissue and bone damage that leads to tooth loss. The following indicators can tell you if you have gum disease. With proper dental hygiene and professional dental treatments, you can manage your gum disease, improve your health, and save your teeth.

How to Recognize Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. It is an inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria. Bacteria, which are all over the human mouth, can build up with mucus and food particles to form plaque. When plaque hardens into tartar, and you do not go in for regular dental cleanings, the tartar can inflame the gums. With gingivitis, the gums are red, swollen, and bleed easily, but the teeth themselves are usually unaffected.

How to Recognize Periodontitis

Teeth infographic. Gum disease stagesPeriodontitis occurs when gingivitis is not treated. Periodontitis is when inflammation occurs around the tooth, and the gums pull away from the teeth. These spaces between the gums and teeth are called pockets and can become infected. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream, leading to an immune response to fight the bacteria. Eventually, the teeth may loosen and must be removed.

Other Symptoms of Gum Disease

You may also have gum disease if you have the following symptoms:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Bleeding from the gums when flossing or brushing
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums (teeth look longer)
  • Loose or sensitive teeth

The Gum Pocket Test

A dental professional can check your gum pockets to determine what form of treatment is necessary. A tiny probe is used to measure the depth of the gum pockets on the sides and middle of each tooth. If these pockets are between one and three millimeters, the gums are healthy. If you have deeper pockets, the gums may feel tender or painful during this probe test. Pockets deeper than four millimeters often require special treatment.

Treating Gum Disease

Dental hygiene is a critical part of maintaining healthy gums. Daily brushing and flossing with regular dental cleanings at your dentist’s office can reverse gingivitis. If you smoke, quitting smoking can help improve gum and tooth health. A deep cleaning treatment called scaling and root planing may be recommended for patients with periodontitis. Scaling is when the tartar is scraped from the tooth both above and below the gum line. Root planing is when the bacteria and rough spots on the tooth root are removed. Medications or mouthwashes may be recommended to limit bacteria. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary, and some teeth may need to be removed.

It is important to pay attention to your gums and obey recommended oral hygiene practices to guard against gum disease. If you suspect you have gum disease, get your teeth inspected by your dentist. With treatment, you can have healthy gums, healthy teeth, and a natural smile you can be proud of.

To schedule a dental appointment with Cosmetic Dentist to the Stars, Dr. Kevin Sands, please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.


Dental Implants vs. Dentures

Posted on: May 31st, 2017
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Image demonstrating a dental implantWhen teeth are permanently lost or pulled, they must be replaced. Not only is this important so that you can continue to chew and speak normally, but it is critical for oral health, facial appearance, and overall well-being. While dental implants and dentures are both considered acceptable methods of tooth restoration, dental implants have many advantages over dentures.

What They Are

Below is a quick explanation of both dental implants and dentures as tooth restoration devices:

  • Dental Implants: A titanium or zirconium implant is fused to the jawbone and serves as the tooth’s root. The implant is capped with a bridge or crown and provides natural-looking tooth replacement.
  • Dentures: A removable piece designed to look like both the teeth and gums is used to replace the teeth and surrounding tissues. A complete set of dentures can be used when all teeth are missing, and partial dentures can be used where there are still some natural teeth remaining.

Why Dental Implants Are Better Than Dentures

Both dental implants and dentures are commonly used in dentistry today. However, dental implants are better than dentures in the following ways.

A Permanent, Durable Solution

Dental implants are a permanent solution. The implant is fused to the jawbone so that it is permanently there like a natural tooth. Dentures are removable devices (not permanent), and they can warp under hot water or break. Dentures may need to be adjusted, repaired, or replaced within just seven years. Dental implants are secure, durable, and built to last a lifetime. Statistics show that dental implants have a 98 percent success rate.

Optimal Function and Performance

Both dental implants and dentures function just like normal teeth. However, dentures may slip or affect speech, which can be embarrassing or uncomfortable. Dental implants are associated with better chewing and speaking ability than dentures because they are embedded in the jaw like normal teeth.

Better Hygiene

Dental implants can be brushed and flossed normally. Dentures, however, must be removed for special cleaning. Not only is this inconvenient, but it leaves more margin for error in cleaning. Since dental implants require no special cleaning routine, they are a better option for dental hygiene.

Prevent Bone Loss and Gum Erosion

Dentures can cause the gums to erode and become flabby. They also offer no protection against jawbone loss. This can ultimately lead to your jawbone warping in shape, which will distort and prematurely age your facial appearance. Dental implants are fused to the jawbone, which prevents bone loss and deterioration of both the jawbone and the gums. You can retain your natural jaw shape and protect your smile with dental implants.

A More Comfortable Experience

Dental implants feel like natural teeth. Most people don’t even notice them once they are inserted. Dentures, on the other hand, can irritate the gums and cause mouth sores from the friction. Dental implants provide a more comfortable experience.

A Natural Smile

Dentures may look fake or unnatural. Conversely, dental implants look completely natural and blend with the surrounding teeth. With a dental implant for your tooth restoration, your smile will be completely restored and aesthetically pleasing.
Due to these advantages, Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin Sands prefers dental implants over dentures for tooth restoration. To learn more about this treatment and to schedule your appointment, call 310.273.0111 or fill out our online contact form today.


How to Stop Grinding Teeth

Posted on: April 28th, 2017
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Man Putting In Mouth GuardDoes your jaw ever feel sore when you wake up in the morning? If so, you could have bruxism. People with bruxism frequently grind or clench their teeth together. Since this can significantly damage the teeth, here are some tips to help you stop grinding your teeth. If bruxism has already led to notable tooth damage, dental bonding or porcelain veneers can restore your smile.

Why Grinding Teeth Is So Bad

Your jaw and mouth muscles help you chew and speak, so it isn’t surprising that they are some of the strongest muscles in your body. Factors such as stress, anxiety, or anger can cause you to clench your jaw from time to time, which means that these incredibly strong muscles are putting excessive force on your teeth. On occasion, this doesn’t cause serious damage, but for people with bruxism, the regular clenching or grinding of teeth can affect not only your dental health but also your overall well-being. Consistent wear can lead to cracks, chips, tooth loss, headaches, earaches, receding gums, inflammation in the jaw, and lockjaw.

Tips to Help You Quit

1. Get a Mouth Guard

Grinding teeth is particularly common at night. Since you can’t control your movements while you’re sleeping, a mouth guard can protect your teeth at night. While this will not prevent teeth grinding, the mouth guard will take the brunt of the force so that your teeth do not have to. A mouth guard can be purchased at a local drug store, but it is better to have one custom made to fit your mouth. Dr. Sands can devise a custom mouth guard for bruxism if you need it.

2. Reduce Stress

Bruxism is often triggered by stress or anxiety. Find ways to reduce stress in your life so that your muscles are less likely to take it out on your teeth. Many people find that practices such as meditation, yoga, or even taking a hot bath can alleviate stress and provide relaxation.

3. Don’t Overwork Your Jaw

Overworking the jaw can increase tension in it, leading to jaw clenching or teeth grinding. Avoid foods that are difficult to chew, such as tough meat or chewy candy, as well as chewing gum.

4. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol can increase the urge to clench your teeth, while caffeine can increase tension and jittery movements such as tooth grinding. Both alcohol and caffeine can increase symptoms of bruxism and should be avoided, especially in the afternoon and evening hours.

5. Get Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Though the two are not guaranteed to coincide, many people with bruxism also have sleep apnea. Getting treatment for sleep apnea (such as with a CPAP machine or mouth guard) can also be effective for preventing teeth grinding.

6. Relax and Massage Your Jaw

Jaw exercises and muscle relaxants can help relax the jaw. Gently massage the jaw, neck, and face to relieve tension, and consider asking a chiropractor or physical therapist for help with some jaw exercises. It can even help to apply a hot, wet washcloth to the sides of your jaw for several minutes at night before bed to relax the muscles.

Dental Treatments for Damaged Teeth

If any tooth damage has occurred due to bruxism, Dr. Sands can use dental bonding or porcelain veneers to restore your teeth. Dental bonding uses a cosmetic resin that is bonded to the tooth, sculpted and molded, then hardened until it matches your enamel. Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that are cemented to your teeth to improve their form, appearance, and function. Both treatments can improve the appearance and function of teeth that have been worn down by teeth grinding.

 
Dr. Kevin Sands can offer additional recommendations for bruxism treatment and prevention of teeth grinding during your personal consultation. To schedule your appointment, please call 310.273.0111 or complete our online contact form today.


3 Ways to Fix A Chipped Tooth

Posted on: January 3rd, 2017
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

drawing of a chipped toothThe majority of people will chip a tooth at some point in their lifetime. Constant wear in a particular spot can weaken enamel until it breaks off. You might also bite down on hard food or be involved in an accident that chips and breaks your teeth. Whatever the cause, there are a few options Dr. Sands offers to repair chipped teeth so you can show off your smile with confidence.

Dental Bonding

Treatment for a chipped tooth will depend on the extent of the damage and whether the chip is visible when you smile. If only a small amount of the enamel is missing or if the chip is on the front teeth, dental bonding can repair the damage in just one office visit.

Also called a “filling,” since it fills the missing enamel with tooth-like composite resin, dental bonding is a quick and painless procedure that does not require numbing medication. The chipped area is etched so that the bonding material will adhere securely. An adhesive material is applied, then the composite resin is shaped on top of it to blend with the natural tooth and restore its shape. Once an ultraviolet light hardens the material, the procedure is complete.

Crowns

Larger chips, chipped teeth that have significant decay, or chips on the molar teeth may require a crown, which is a tooth-shaped cap that covers the tooth root. Crowns are made to be long lasting and are composed of metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin, or ceramic. Dr. Sands can help you determine the choice that best meets your needs with regard to cost, durability, and appearance.

Usually it takes two office visits to install a crown. If needed, a root canal will be performed at the first office visit to build up the structure of the root so it can support the crown. X-rays will be taken, and any excess tooth will be removed. Your dentist will take impressions of the tooth receiving the crown as well as the opposing tooth so that the crown will line up correctly. You will go home with a temporary crown while your permanent one is made. At the second visit, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent one is cemented into place. Your teeth should line up seamlessly and look and function just as well as they did before.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are another option for repairing chips on the front teeth. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that cover the front of the teeth with a thick section that fills the chipped portion of the tooth. A single veneer can be used to repair a chip on one tooth, or the patient may choose to get veneers on all of their front teeth for a total smile restoration. In just two office visits, veneers will not only repair chipped teeth, but they can also disguise gaps, perfect crooked or stained teeth, and improve your bite.

During the first visit, the surface layer of your teeth is removed to make room for the veneer. Your teeth will be color-matched, and molds will be taken so the veneers can be made. Temporary veneers will be placed. At the second visit, the temporary veneers are removed, and the permanent ones are adhered with cement that is made permanent with ultraviolet light.

If you have broken or chipped teeth, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin Sands as soon as possible. He can quickly restore the function and beauty of your smile in as little as one office visit. Call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today for more information.


Updated Nutrition Labels Will Reveal Added Sugars in 2018

Posted on: December 6th, 2016
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Even though sugar is one of the main causes of expanding waistlines and increased dental cavities, it remains one of the most common ingredients in processed food. Even “diet food” like protein bars and sports and “nutrition” drinks can contain more added sugar than the daily allotment suggested by the American Heart Association, which is 37.5 grams for men and 25 grams for women. In the fast-paced, convenience-driven lifestyle of most Americans, we simply do not have the time to research the healthiest products. Thankfully, making informed choices will become much easier in 2018 with an update to the nutrition facts label we have been familiar with for the last 20 years.

fda-gov-food-label-original-vs-new-formatAccording to scientific data and the 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines released by the government, consuming more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugar makes it difficult to properly nourish your body while staying within calorie limits. Consuming too much sugar can also lead to chronic inflammation, which can cause weight gain and eventual diabetes, heart attack, stroke, or heart disease.

Most consumers are aware of the substantial amount of added sugar in products like soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and sweets, but they are surprised to discover how much sugar is hidden in products like salad dressings, pasta sauces, jam, and flavored water. The average American easily exceeds the “recommended” amount of sugar on a daily basis by consuming about 13 percent of daily calories from added sugar in sources like these. With the addition of the “Added Sugars” line to the nutrition facts label, the hope is that consumers will become more aware of their sugar intake and portion sizes so they can make more informed decisions.

Other updates will be made to the nutrition facts label and are based on scientific data, the latest nutrition and public health research, and dietary recommendations from authoritative sources such as the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine, and the World Health Organization.

For the best oral and general health, consumers should also monitor their intake of carbohydrates, which convert to sugar in the body and can have the same negative effects of sugar over time.

To further maintain your oral health and the overall beauty of your smile, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin Sands. Please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today for more information.


The Top 3 Oral Health Problems and How To Prevent Them

Posted on: October 1st, 2016
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

A recent survey by The Health Policy Institute, a research division of the American Dental Association, found that the top three oral health problems facing Americans today are dry mouth, difficulty biting and chewing, and pain.

girl-holding-cheek-expressing-tooth-painDry Mouth

Of the 15,000 survey respondents across all states, the top issue was dry mouth (also called xerostomia), with 33 percent experiencing it either occasionally or very often. Dry mouth can be a side effect of certain medications and some diseases. On occasion, dry mouth is not a concern, but chronic dry mouth can lead to tooth decay.

Drinking more water is the first simple solution to the problem, but if that does not help, talk to your doctor about alternatives for your medications or a possible explanation for your chronic dry mouth.

Difficulty Biting and Chewing

The next most common oral health problem was difficulty biting and chewing, experienced by 31 percent of those surveyed. Interestingly, this problem was more common among younger people and those with lower incomes. It can be caused by any number of dental issues, including crooked, cracked, loose, or decayed teeth.

Prevention involves regular dental hygiene practices, such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and keeping your bi-annual dental cleaning appointments. Some people still experience these issues even when they take preventative measures. Dr. Sands can correct the damage with a number of treatments, including Invisalign®, porcelain veneers, and dental bonding.

Pain

The third biggest oral-health problem was pain in general, experienced by 29 percent of respondents. Since any pain in the mouth can have many causes and solutions, it is best to always consult your dentist for prevention advice and treatment. Ignoring the pain or masking it with pain medication will not solve the underlying problem and could make it worse. It is always best to visit your dentist as soon as possible if you are experience tooth pain.

Dr. Sands can help prevent and correct any of the above problems. Don’t delay your treatment; schedule your appointment today by calling (310) 273-0111, or fill out our online contact form for more information.


Am I Prone to Cavities?

Posted on: September 28th, 2016
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

cavatiesIt is common knowledge that brushing your teeth, flossing daily, and maintaining your dental hygiene appointments will help keep cavities at bay. However, many people, despite their best efforts, may actually be more prone to cavities than those who slack on their oral hygiene. Why all the unfairness?

The True Cause of Cavities

There is no scientific proof to support the claim that regular brushing and flossing will prevent cavities. Tooth decay can be attributed to two things: the consumption of sugar and genetics.

Sugar

Cavities cannot exist without sugar. Bacteria in our mouths feast on sucrose (the chief component of sugar). The bacteria multiply and thrive between our teeth, causing decay in the process, which is more likely to occur if you have existing holes, small cracks, or deep crevices in your teeth. This fact brings us to our second cavity culprit and the answer to our main question: Am I prone to cavities?

Genetics

Some people naturally have deeper crevices in their teeth than others, which creates a more comfortable place for bacteria to burrow into the tooth and cause a cavity. This can be helped with the use of sealant, which Dr. Sands can apply to the grooves of your teeth to provide a protective layer.

You might also be more prone to cavities if you do not produce much saliva. Your saliva contains bicarbonate, calcium, and phosphate, which help repair early tooth decay and neutralize acid that causes plaque. Certain medications can cause your saliva production to dwindle. Smoking, stress, aging, chemotherapy, and autoimmune disorders can also lead to dry mouth, or “cotton mouth.” Your doctor can help you find ways to increase your production of saliva if drinking more water throughout the day does not help.

How Can I Prevent Cavities?

Although brushing and flossing daily is not proven to completely prevent cavities, it can decrease them by up to 20 percent if you use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Reducing your intake of sugar and carbohydrates (which convert into sugar in the mouth) will also significantly reduce your chances of getting a cavity. If the damage is already done, Dr. Sands can repair your cavities with dental bonding.

If you would like Dr. Kevin Sands to help maintain the health and beauty of your smile, please schedule your appointment today by calling (310) 273-0111. You can also fill out our online contact form at your convenience.


Dental Problems: Why It’s Important to Address Them Immediately

Posted on: July 22nd, 2016
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Dental ProblemsA chipped tooth, sore gums, sensitivity, or other types of oral pain and discomfort are no doubt an inconvenience to manage. In hopes of avoiding an extra trip to the dentist, you may think it’s just fine to wait until your next cleaning to get such problems assessed. However, procrastination often makes matters worse, costing you more time, money, pain, and stress in the future.

Here are some common complaints and the treatments that typically correspond. Many of these ailments will not get better on their own.

Common Dental Complaints and Treatments

When these issues are left undiagnosed and untreated, they can lead to worse problems, which can then lead to expensive dental repairs. For example, some people may have “room” for their wisdom teeth, but the area is difficult to clean and can lead to painful gums, irritation, and swelling. If you have any of those symptoms, it is important to have your dentist re-evaluate any advantages of keeping your wisdom teeth. Compared to the chronic or long-lasting infection, discomfort, cavities, gingivitis, and other problems it could cause, wisdom tooth removal will save you both time and money on repeated treatments.

A loose tooth is another important issue to immediately address. A loose tooth is often caused by gingivitis that has eaten away at the underlying bone. The surrounding gums can easily trap bacteria near the gumline, further encouraging bacterial growth and infection. Without treatment, the cycle will continue to repeat itself, further weakening the tooth and causing discomfort and deterioration to the jaw.

While it is important to practice regular dental hygiene and keep all your dental cleaning appointments to prevent problems, some of them are unavoidable. Only a dental professional will be able to pinpoint the seriousness of your pain and alleviate it while preventing future damage and treatment costs. Seeking an evaluation as soon as possible will give you peace of mind, pain relief, and an overall better quality of life with the knowledge that you are doing what is best for your long-term oral health.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands, please call 310.273.0111 or fill out our online contact form today.


How to Take Care of Porcelain Veneers

Posted on: July 13th, 2016
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

shutterstock_29787466Porcelain veneers are one of the most versatile applications to restore your smile. They correct cracked, chipped, crooked, stained, and even gapped front teeth. As such, they are one of the most expensive options for smile restoration, which leaves many patients concerned with how to make their investment last.

The good news is, porcelain veneers closely resemble natural teeth. You don’t have to avoid certain foods or implement any special hygiene routines to maintain their beauty and function. In fact, some might say they are even superior to natural teeth because they are resistant to staining. Although veneers are extremely durable, proper hygiene and a little common sense will go a long way to help them last for several years. Here are a few tips you should follow:

1. Do Not Chew on Hard, Non-Food Items

Like with regular teeth, chewing on hard items like pens or using your teeth as tools can potentially damage your veneers. Cracking or chipping them is rare, but it is possible. Habitually chewing in the same spot or using certain teeth to open packages consistently can also wear them out over time. Ice and hard candy should also be eaten in moderation and infrequently to avoid potential damage. This is true for natural teeth as well.

2. Maintain Regular Dental Hygiene

Veneers can collect plaque and tartar buildup exactly the same way natural teeth do, which is why it is so important to keep up with your dental hygiene. Brush your teeth twice per day, floss daily, and be sure to keep your bi-annual dental cleaning appointment. Only a dental hygienist can remove tartar from your teeth, which is almost guaranteed to build up over time. Keeping your cleaning appointment will prevent worse problems, such as gingivitis and cavities, from occurring.

3. Enjoy Any Type of Food

With your veneers, you can enjoy virtually any food. Wine, coffee, blueberries, and other food and beverage items that can stain your teeth will have no effect on porcelain veneers. This cannot be said for dental bonding, which is usually used to repair chips in the teeth. Although it is cheaper, bonding will often become discolored over time and will not match the rest of the tooth. Porcelain veneers will not stain and always cover the entire front of the tooth to prevent
any inconsistent coloring.

To schedule your consultation for porcelain veneers, call 310.273.0111. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.


Does Teeth Whitening Hurt?

Posted on: June 23rd, 2016
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

Tooth WhiteningLaser teeth whitening is extremely safe when performed by an experienced professional like Dr. Kevin Sands, and precautions can be taken to ensure you have the most comfortable experience possible. However, many people choose over-the-counter teeth whitening over laser teeth whitening because they are afraid of potential pain from the laser. Although this pain can be avoided, people might be hesitant to undergo treatment for a couple of reasons.

With laser teeth whitening like Zoom!®, a laser emits heat to activate the whitening gel. The heat can potentially harm the gums and cause tooth sensitivity if certain precautions are not taken. Also, the gel that is used in laser teeth whitening contains hydrogen peroxide, which is stronger than the active ingredient found in many over-the-counter whitening products, carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide breaks down into hydrogen peroxide after several minutes and can only whiten the teeth after that point. It is used in take-home whitening products because it is less likely to cause gum irritation. Essentially, you will have poorer results with the at-home carbamide treatment because the whitening agent takes a longer time to become active. Other products that do not contain a hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent (like many whitening toothpastes) will only treat surface stains, but there is little to no risk for tooth sensitivity or pain.   

Bleach Whitening With Precautions Tailored to You

Teeth whitening that uses bleach, which includes laser teeth whitening, can cause sensitivity in the early stages of the treatment when the hydrogen peroxide penetrates the enamel. Most potential patients do not know that this sensitivity is usually temporary and will stop after the treatment. Even so, several precautions can be taken to prevent discomfort. If your teeth are particularly sensitive, Dr. Sands will use a lower concentration of whitening gel. He may also wait longer in between laser applications during your session, or he will recommend that you come back to the office another day for a subsequent treatment. He may also apply a desensitizing treatment before your session, or he may prescribe a gel or toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

A Comfortable Whitening Experience With Dr. Kevin Sands

The degree of pain, discomfort, and tooth sensitivity during teeth whitening is dependent on the technique used, the quality of the bleaching product, and the way your teeth respond to treatment. Dr. Sands takes all the necessary precautions to ensure you have the most comfortable experience possible. He uses Zoom!® laser teeth whitening, which is one of the best laser whitening applications on the market. It includes a special buffer that protects the teeth from damage and pain. The entire mouth, including the gums, is also protected from the bleaching materials.

With Dr. Sands’ experience and precision, you can be sure your smile will quickly become whiter and brighter without discomfort. For more information or to schedule a consultation for laser teeth whitening, call 310.273.0111. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.


How Does Emergency Dentistry Work?

Posted on: May 3rd, 2016
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

shutterstock_37233616Picture this: It’s the first day of your summer vacation. The fresh ocean breeze and the sound of the waves find you completely relaxed in a hammock beneath a palm tree. Without a care in the world, you take a sip of the ice-cold beverage in your hand and suck in a piece of ice to munch on. You crunch away until suddenly you hear a loud CRUNCH and instantly experience excruciating pain. You are almost certain you’ve broken your tooth. What do you do?

When you have extreme pain, bleeding, a knocked-out tooth, or a tooth that has been displaced but is still in the gums, it is important to contact your dentist right away.

Most dentists keep time slots in their day open specifically for emergency patients. Just call your dentist, explain the situation, and you should be able to be seen. If your accident occurs at night, visit the emergency room.

What Is a Dental Emergency?

A chipped tooth may be an emergency to some people simply for aesthetic reasons, but if it is not causing you pain, there is no need to rush to the dentist. Your dentist will, of course, understand the urgency of getting your tooth fixed and should be able to schedule an appointment with you as soon as possible. When you call your dentist, the receptionist will ask you a series of questions that will help determine if the situation is truly an emergency and how quickly you need care.

Displaced Teeth

If your teeth are knocked in or are suddenly displaced within the gums, they must be put back into place as soon as possible. If the roots are exposed, the delicate cells on the tooth roots will dry out and die after a certain period of time, resulting in tooth death. To avoid this, push the tooth back into place by holding the crown — never the roots. Once the tooth is pushed back into place, gently bite onto a washcloth until you can see the dentist, which should be as soon as possible.

Knocked-Out Teeth

If you completely knock out a tooth, the solution is similar. If the tooth is clean, put the tooth back into place as soon as you can, being careful to handle only the crown. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it in some cold water or milk. Scrubbing or disinfecting the tooth will damage the delicate cells on the root that allow it to reattach.

Extreme Pain

If you experience sudden, extreme pain, it can be a sign that something needs immediate attention. You may have exposed tooth roots or a crack that can become infected and lead to worse problems if it is not taken care of right away. MOTRIN® or ibuprofen can help manage your pain in the moments before your emergency dental appointment.

Bleeding

Bleeding of the gums or teeth may be cause for emergency care, especially if the bleeding is severe. If you have been cut on your gums or inside your mouth and no teeth are harmed, a visit to the emergency room is suitable. If your teeth have been affected, a dentist can help. If you are not sure, call your doctor or dentist and explain your condition. Gums that consistently bleed may be a sign of gingivitis and should be addressed as soon as possible by a dentist.

What if the Damage Has Been Done?

If your tooth dies and it is still in place, it can still function properly, but it will always appear a darker shade than the other teeth. However, you should not keep a dead tooth in your mouth because the lack of circulation can be a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. Dr. Kevin Sands has options for tooth replacement (such as porcelain veneers and dental implants) that will restore your smile and significantly boost your confidence.

For more information or to schedule a consultation for a smile makeover, call 310.273.0111. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.


Baby Teeth Care

Posted on: April 5th, 2016
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

shutterstock_236032831When you have a baby, most of the time you are not thinking about the future of their teeth. But, did you know that in order to help your child have good oral hygiene later, baby dental care starts before they even grow in their first pearly white? Having a healthy mouth all begins with your child’s gums as a baby.

Taking preventative care of your baby’s oral health will help:

  • Provide proper growth and alignment of the teeth
  • Prevent future problems with chewing or speaking
  • Create overall better dental hygiene into adolescence and adulthood

Even before your child begins to develop his or her first tooth, it is important to keep the mouth clean to stop bacteria from clinging to the gums. This is why it is suggested to wipe your baby’s gums and mouth thoroughly with a wet washcloth at least twice a day, especially after feedings and before bedtime.

Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth

Once your baby starts to grow teeth, you can trade in the washcloth for a toothbrush. Your baby’s toothbrush should have a:

  • Soft brush
  • Small head
  • Large handle

Initially, just water can be used to brush your baby’s teeth. As they grow more teeth, you can slowly use a very small amount of toothpaste (about the size of a grain), and gradually increase the amount to the size of a pea when your child develops into a toddler. Once your child is able to hold the toothbrush properly, you can allow them to brush their own teeth; however, they should be supervised until they are at least six years old and know how to brush safely and effectively.

In addition to teaching your child proper oral hygiene and care, the following factors can affect the overall quality and growth of your child’s teeth:

  • Thumbsucking
  • Pacifier use
  • Bottle use

Although many children will pick up one or more of the above habits, it is important to have them refrain to doing them prevent future problems from occurring. These behavior patterns may lead to tooth decay, change of the roof of the mouth, and misalignment of the teeth. In addition, avoid giving your child sugary drinks, such as fruit juices and sodas.

It is best to only fill your baby’s bottle with:

  • Formula
  • Breast milk
  • Water

During your baby’s first dental visit, which is recommended at age one, you can receive more advice about how to properly provide your baby with healthy dental care.

To learn about how to better care for your child’s teeth, Dr. Sands can provide you with all the information you need. You can schedule an appointment by calling (310) 273-0111 or by filling out our online contact form.


Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?

Posted on: March 10th, 2016
By: Office of Dr. Kevin Studios

shutterstock_215480725Do you find yourself taking a sip of hot coffee or eating ice cream and clenching your teeth in pain? Ouch! Why do some people have teeth that are more sensitive than others? Having sensitive teeth can make it difficult to eat and exercise normal hygiene habits.

The wearing down of teeth and tooth enamel can cause the teeth to be sensitive to hot or cold drinks and foods. Often, this can make brushing and flossing a painful chore and cause difficulties for those who suffer from sensitive teeth.

Problematic tooth pain could be preventing a person from practicing normal healthy habits. By not giving the teeth the attention they need, they will only get worse. Getting rid of the pain associated with sensitive teeth starts with finding the source of the problem. There can be many factors that cause sensitive teeth.

Reasons Why Your Teeth May Be Sensitive

  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • A worn filling
  • Exposed tooth root
  • Gum disease
  • A fractured tooth
  • Worn tooth enamel  

Someone who has healthy teeth will have a layer of enamel that protects the crowns of their teeth. The crown is the exposed part of the tooth above the gum line.

Loss of tooth enamel can be due to:

  • A diet that includes:
    • Soda
    • Other sugary drinks
    • Acidic foods
  • Medication
  • Dry mouth
  • Environmental factors (friction, wear and tear, stress, etc.)
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Genetics

Loss and lack of tooth enamel allows hot, cold, acidic, or sticky foods to reach the nerve cells inside the tooth and cause pain. Often, the only way to correct this is with over-the-counter products or in-office dental treatments

Getting Rid of or Alleviating Tooth Pain:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: Contains compounds that help block transmission from the sensitive tooth to the nerve. Typically, sensitivity will be reduced after several applications.
  • Root canal: Treats the inside of the tooth for patients with severe or persistent sensitivity.
  • Dental bonding: Used to correct a flaw or chip in the tooth that causes sensitivity.
  • Fluoride gel: An in-office technique that involves the application of fluoride gel to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the transmission of sensations.
  • Surgical gum graft: This will protect the root in cases where gum tissue has been lost.

The key to preventing tooth pain and sensitivity is good oral hygiene:

  • Brush and floss twice daily
  • Watch what you eat or drink
  • Have regular dental check-ups

If you have tooth pain, addressing it immediately is important for preventing other medical issues from arising.

Do you have sensitive teeth and want the pain to go away? Dr. Sands can help you get rid of tooth pain. You can schedule an appointment by calling (310) 273-0111 or by filling out our online contact form.


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