Posted on: September 28th, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
It 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.
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?
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.
Posted on: July 22nd, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
A 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.
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.
Posted on: July 13th, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Porcelain 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.
Posted on: June 23rd, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Laser 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.
Posted on: May 3rd, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Picture 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Posted on: April 5th, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
When 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:
- 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:
- Breast milk
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.
Posted on: March 10th, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Do 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:
- Other sugary drinks
- Acidic foods
- Dry mouth
- Environmental factors (friction, wear and tear, stress, etc.)
- Acid reflux disease
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.
Posted on: February 25th, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
A bright, beautiful, and healthy smile is often the goal when a person makes a trip to the dentist. It is no surprise that the teeth, as the center of the face, can affect the overall facial profile.
An attractive smile is what everyone wants to achieve, so why not get it done in style? At the office of Dr. Kevin Sands, every patient can expect VIP treatment. We offer cutting-edge dental equipment in a relaxing and comfortable environment. You can have all of your dental needs addressed with Dr. Sands’ one-of-a-kind service.
The “Rolls Royce” of Dentistry
Known as the “premier dentist to the stars,” Dr. Sands is a groundbreaking dental artist; he creates beautiful smiles on famous faces in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. For more than 15 years, he has provided patients with picture-perfect smiles. As one of the most sought-after dentists in the world, Kevin Sands has had patients travel from all over the globe to experience the Kevin Sands dentistry difference.
State-of-the-Art Equipment and Waiting Rooms
At the dental office of Dr. Sands, patients can expect comfort and style, making their experience like no other. With state-of-the-art massaging dental chairs, digital imaging equipment, and flat screen televisions in every room, patients can receive overall dental care in a professional and relaxing environment.
Our waiting rooms were made to provide patients with a relaxing experience. The walls, decor, and custom-made couches are designed to create a calming atmosphere for patients.
If you’re ready to walk down our red carpet, you can have all of your dental needs addressed at what we like to call “The Spa of Dentistry.”
Patients can take advantage of all of the services Dr. Sands offers, including:
Dr. Sands and his highly skilled staff can create a custom dental plan that will make you want to smile. He offers overall dental care, including cosmetic dentistry, and employs a number of techniques to help patients receive results that are not only beautiful but also reflect who they are.
Have all of your dentistry needs met in style! If you are ready to experience the Kevin Sands difference, contact our office to schedule an appointment. You can schedule a consultation by calling (310) 273-0111 or by filling out our online contact form.
Posted on: January 17th, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Another year, another dental checkup. The average person is sitting in the dentist’s chair annually. However, what some people may not know is that a yearly cleaning and dental checkup may not be enough. The frequency of dentist visits necessary will differ based upon a person’s habits and health history.
Oral Health and Overall Health
The mouth is an entry way into the body; oral problems can lead to other serious issues or diseases involving the heart, brain, bones, and blood pressure. This is why it is important to have healthy hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing daily and seeing the dentist at least every six months.
Anyone who is prone to certain risks and diseases should be getting routine dental checkups every three to four months.
Some High-Risk Patients May Include:
- Pregnant women
- Gum disease patients
- Patients who have a weak immune response to bacterial infections
- Patients who get cavities or plaque build-up often
These patients are at high risk for future problems such as gingivitis (inflammation of the gums, a form of gum disease), which can lead to:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Premature birth
All it takes are regular checkups at the dental office and healthy hygiene habits to prevent some serious health issues.
When Should I Call My Dentist?
The frequency of dental visits needed to keep you and your mouth healthy will change throughout your lifetime depending on your habits, age, stress, and illnesses. Your dentist can recommend the ideal frequency of dental visits for you.
Any noticeable changes in the mouth should be checked out by a dental professional. In a dental emergency, it is important for a patient to seek immediate attention. Patients should make an appointment if they have a toothache, teeth that have fallen out, mouth pain, or a chipped tooth.
A bright, beautiful smile could improve a person’s look cosmetically and also be the gateway to better health overall.
If you are due for a checkup, Dr. Sands can help improve your oral hygiene. Contact his office to schedule a consultation by calling (310) 273-0111 or by filling out our online contact form.
Posted on: December 17th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
For some people, the thought of going to the dentist sends their heart racing and their hands trembling with anxiety. Some are so anxious about dental procedures that they completely avoid the dentist at all costs. Dr. Kevin Sands is a highly skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist, and he does everything within his power to make every patient as comfortable as possible. Nonetheless, for those who become overly anxious about the thought of going to the dentist, sedation dentistry allows patients to take care of their teeth with a stress-free experience.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry helps patients to be fully relaxed throughout dental procedures so that visits to the dentist are worry-free and pain-free. Medications including nitrous oxide, ketamine, Halcion, propofol, and midazolam help to calm, relax, or put you to sleep. The medication that is right for you will be determined based on your level of anxiety. Patients can receive inhaled sedation by breathing normally, oral sedation by swallowing a pill, IV sedation through a vein, or inhaled or IV sedation so that they are completely unconscious during the procedure.
Making Your Dental Visit Pain-Free and Worry-Free
Sedation dentistry facilitates a painless and carefree dental visit so that patients are more comfortable with the procedure. The benefits of sedation dentistry are a huge blessing for patients who have always felt anxious about going to the dentist or who have developed anxiety because of previous dental pain, dental issues, or a bad experience with a former dentist. Dental anxiety can be strong and may make it difficult for patients to want to visit the dentist, but with sedation dentistry, patients can feel more relaxed or even sleep through the entire experience. Avoiding the dentist because of anxiety can lead to dental issues such as gum disease, cavities, and infections. Without regular dental visits, these problems continue unchecked until more costly, painful, and difficult procedures are needed to correct them. Due to sedation dentistry, anxious and uncomfortable patients can keep their teeth healthy with stress-free dental visits.
To have a worry-free and stress-free dental experience, schedule your dental appointment with Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin Sands. Call our office at (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form to request an appointment today.
Posted on: November 12th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
“Brush your teeth” and “floss more often” are the two phrases that most people expect to hear when they sit in the dentist’s chair. Yet, while some people have poor oral hygiene habits and rarely get cavities, others take excellent care of their teeth and still get cavities and gum disease. Good oral hygiene care is still the most critical factor in having good teeth, but there is indeed a genetic element to having bad teeth.
Genetic Factors for Bad Teeth
Much like the color of your eyes, the makeup of your teeth and gums is inherited. Children who inherit their father’s large jaw but their mother’s small teeth will likely have large gaps between their teeth. Those who inherit a small jaw and large teeth will likely have overcrowded, crooked teeth. Simple genetic factors such as tooth shape, tooth size, and jaw size all affect how crooked or straight your teeth may be. Additionally, you may inherit teeth with softer enamel that are more vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria. Gum disease is yet another hereditary factor. Other genetic factors have a more indirect effect: a preference for sugary foods, heartburn or acid reflux, and behavioral tendencies can all be inherited and lead to poor oral hygiene habits that ultimately harm your teeth.
Oral Hygiene and Behavioral Factors for Bad Teeth
While there is a distinct genetic component to having bad teeth, oral hygiene is the far greater predictor of tooth health. Oral hygiene habits, diet, and behavioral factors established at a young age are key predictors of having either bad teeth or healthy teeth. Neglecting dental care for very young children well before permanent teeth come in (and even before all baby teeth have grown) can lead to tooth problems. During tooth development, a lack of calcium in the diet can lead to weak teeth that are more vulnerable to cavities. Bad habits such as sucking on pen caps, chewing on straws, prolonged thumb-sucking, or using your teeth to open packages can cause crooked teeth as well as tooth chips and cracks. Avoiding six-month or yearly dental appointments prevents your dentist from being able to catch warning signs early on, when the problems are easier to manage. Partaking of nicotine and tobacco products can cause gum disease, tissue damage, and tooth decay. Most of all, excess consumption of sugary or acidic foods and drinks can wear down tooth enamel.
Despite the hereditary factors, good oral hygiene habits remain the greatest predictor of having healthy teeth. Follow your dentist’s advice and remember to brush and floss regularly, use fluoride, avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks, avoid smoking, and take care of your teeth so that they can last you a lifetime.
To receive more expert dental advice and improve the health and appearance of your teeth, schedule your consultation with Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin Sands. Call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form to request an appointment for a complimentary consultation today.
Posted on: October 30th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
If you’re like most people, you probably think that brushing and flossing are just for keeping those pearly whites healthy and beautiful. However, did you know that your oral health can affect the health of the rest of your body? Your mouth is an entryway into your body, so problems in your mouth can easily allow bacteria and other harmful germs to travel into your body and cause problems. So, while good oral hygiene can help keep your body healthy, not taking care of your teeth can have negative effects on your body.
Oral problems commonly lead to problems associated with the following body systems:
- Blood pressure
Gum Disease and Body Diseases
Bacterial growth in your mouth as a result of poor oral hygiene usually leads to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which often leads to gum disease as the bacteria in plaque builds up. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease (periodontitis), is a chronic inflammatory condition that can have detrimental effects on the body. Gingivitis and gum disease allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream and lead to inflammation and diseases in the body. Gum disease is associated with multiple body issues and diseases, including heart disease, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, premature birth, and diabetes. Diabetes also has a reciprocal relationship with gum disease; treatment of diabetes improves the condition of the mouth, and treatment of gum disease reduces the need for insulin.
Good Oral Hygiene Practices
To prevent poor oral health and the negative effects it can have on the body, it is important to practice good oral hygiene. You should brush twice daily and floss at least once a day, preferably before bedtime, in addition to visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. There are also many benefits of chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating and drinking.
If you’re having an issue with your teeth, Dr. Kevin Sands offers a variety of services to help you maintain or improve your oral health, including porcelain veneers, Invisalign®, Zoom!® teeth whitening, dental implants, sedation dentistry, and dental bonding.
If you would like to improve the appearance and health of your teeth, Dr. Kevin Sands can help. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sands, please call (310) 273-0111 today. You may also fill out our online contact form for more information.
Posted on: October 1st, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Many people who have tried to juice for several days in a row have probably learned of ways to make their vegetable juice taste better. Juice that is primarily green (meaning that all the vegetables used are green vegetables) is typically very “earthy” in flavor, which can be difficult to get used to. A popular way to make green juice a little more palatable is to add items that are either sweet or tart, such as lemons, apples, carrots, or grapes. These flavors can work together to dull the potent taste of a green-only juice and make your pursuit of a healthier body all the more enjoyable. This sounds like a win-win situation, right?
One drawback to adding fruit to your green juice is that you are also adding quite a bit of concentrated sugar. The sugar in fruit juice can more easily stick to your teeth and fill in all the little crevices in your mouth where bacteria are prone to fester. These bacteria convert the sugar to acid, which can easily erode your tooth enamel or irritate your gums and cause infection. Although juicers should beware of this effect, they should not lose hope. Below are a few ways to prevent the damage that can occur from fruit juices.
How to Prevent Tooth Enamel Damage that Can Result from Juicing
- Juice only vegetables. Avoiding fruit juice altogether completely avoids the risk of tooth decay caused by sugar. However, this may be difficult for many people.
- Drink your juice quickly or through a straw. Swishing the juice in your mouth or taking a while to swallow gives the sugar more of a chance to stick to your teeth.
- Wash down your juice with a glass of water. This will eliminate most of the residue that easily sticks to your teeth.
- Brush your teeth, but not immediately after drinking your juice. The sugar from the juice will convert to acid, which temporarily softens tooth enamel. You do not want to brush your teeth at this point because brushing soft enamel can wear it away and cause tooth sensitivity.
- Skip juicing and eat whole fruits and vegetables. While this option causes you to miss out on the many benefits of juicing, it may be worth it if your juice cleanse is significantly impacting your healthy smile.
Even people who religiously brush their teeth and watch their sugar intake can suffer from gum disease or tooth decay. Dr. Sands offers many options, like porcelain veneers, dental bonding, or Zoom!® teeth whitening, to return your smile to its original health and beauty.
To schedule a consultation with Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Kevin Sands, please call 310-273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.
Posted on: August 28th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile is mostly about how you care for your teeth. If you want to protect your teeth and maintain a Hollywood-worthy smile, it’s important to do what your dentist tells you. Proper dental care is critical for your teeth’s health, for your body’s health, and even for your social status. Hollywood’s stars typically have the straightest, whitest, and most beautiful teeth you’ve ever seen, and there are two reasons for that. First, they take care of their teeth. Second, when they need extra help, they know to take advantage of cosmetic dentistry. Whether you’re on the red carpet in Hollywood or the red carpet of your personal life, here’s how to make your pearly whites shine so that you can look your absolute best.
Here’s a list of DOs and DON’Ts to keep your teeth healthy:
- DO brush at least twice daily. Spend two full minutes twice a day brushing for optimal tooth cleanliness. Brushing is especially important after eating sugary foods because the sugar sits on your teeth and eats away at the enamel, eventually causing cavities.
- DON’T brush too hard. Using abrasive toothbrushes or brushing too hard can scratch the enamel on your teeth, which can wear down over time. Brushing too hard can also damage your gums, and weak gums lead to weaker teeth and a weaker smile.
- DO floss once a day. Twice a day is even better. Brushing your teeth is not enough because food particles can remain stuck between the teeth. You may choose to floss right after brushing or right before, but definitely be sure to do it.
- DO go to the dentist regularly. Regular teeth cleanings and checkups are essential to maintaining proper dental health.
- DON’T put objects like pens or pencils in your mouth. Not only is it a bad habit, but it’s also hard on your teeth and can damage them.
- DON’T clench your jaw or grind your teeth. Forcing your teeth to scrape against each other like that is really bad for them. Doing this enough will eventually cause your teeth to chip and crack. A custom-made mouthguard can protect your teeth from grinding at night.
- DON’T chew ice or bite your nails. Both can crack, chip, or otherwise damage your teeth.
- DON’T drink coffee, tea, or soda. Avoiding these beverages may be difficult, but these drinks hurt your teeth! Not only can they discolor your teeth, but they also wear down the enamel. If you choose to drink one of these teeth-staining drinks, drink it through a straw to minimize your teeth’s exposure.
- DON’T use your teeth as a tool. Opening packages with your teeth, holding items with your teeth, or ripping anything with your teeth can cause all kinds of damage and ruin your smile.
If you’re doing everything you can to protect your teeth and you still need extra correction, you may wish to consider cosmetic dentistry. Invisalign® can straighten your teeth the modern way and porcelain veneers can protect and cover damaged teeth. Call us today at (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your complimentary consultation with Cosmetic Dentist to the Stars, Dr. Kevin Sands.
Posted on: August 14th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Everyone wants to have a dazzling, bright smile, but damaged or deformed teeth can prevent your smile from displaying its full potential. Even worse is that these teeth issues may keep you from smiling so as not to reveal the unpleasant appearance of your teeth to the world. For patients who would like to improve or restore a brighter, more attractive smile, Dr. Sands offers dental bonding. In just one visit with Dr. Sands, he can restore beautiful, healthy teeth with a natural appearance. With such a quick and easy procedure, who wouldn’t want their dentist to bond with their teeth?
Dental bonding can correct the following issues:
- Misshapen teeth
- Decayed teeth
Step 1: Preparation
Before starting the bonding process, a composite resin color is chosen that closely matches the color of your teeth. To prepare the tooth, Dr. Sands roughens the area that needs to be repaired by etching the surface. If tooth decay is the issue, Dr. Sands fills the cavity with a tooth-colored composite resin.
Step 2: Primers, Bonding, and Shaping
Once the tooth is prepared, Dr. Sands applies a treatment of primers and gel that adheres the bonding material to the tooth. Then he applies the tooth-colored composite resin bonding and molds it into the desired shape.
Step 3: Setting, Shaping, and Polishing
Once the bonding resin is molded and smoothed, Dr. Sands uses an ultraviolet light or laser to harden and set the material. He then performs any additional shaping if necessary, and applies a polish that matches the shine of the rest of your teeth.
Although dental bonding is a great restorative procedure for correcting damaged, discolored, or misarranged teeth, the plastic bonding is not as strong as tooth enamel and is more susceptible to future damage. For a long-lasting solution to chips and gaps in the teeth, consider porcelain veneers.
If you would like to restore confidence in your smile, schedule your consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands. Call our Beverly Hills practice at (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.
Posted on: June 20th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
While it is an accepted fact in the dental community, many people often question whether chewing gum is good for their oral health. Doubters can rest easy knowing that scientific evidence and numerous studies have shown that munching on sugarless gum is beneficial for your chompers.
How Does Chewing Sugarless Gum Help?
One major way gum helps is by increasing the production of saliva in the mouth, which:
- Reduces dry mouth
- Helps neutralize acids
- Remineralizes enamel
- Washes away food particles
When you eat or drink, your teeth are exposed to acid that is produced when the bacteria in your mouth break down the sugar and carbohydrates. This acid can erode the enamel of your teeth over time and cause tooth decay. Gum stimulates your mouth’s production of saliva, which neutralizes this acid. Saliva also helps prevent cavities by dissolving sugars that might be lodged in spaces between the teeth, therefore limiting the growth of bacteria colonies and subsequent acid. Additionally, the mechanism of chewing can help dislodge food particles and break up plaque.
Why Sugar-Free Gum?
Violet Beauregarde may have been onto something, but her obsessive gum chewing doesn’t necessarily mean she can have free range on all the sugary candy in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Although chewing gum is beneficial, chewing sugary gum negates those benefits by increasing the presence of sugar in your mouth. It’s important to limit your sugar consumption (even in the form of gum) because bacteria in the mouth feed off sugar and produce decay-causing acids.
Sugar-free gums that have the American Dental Association® (ADA) Seal of Acceptance are sweetened with sweeteners that do not cause cavities, such as aspartame, sorbitol, or mannitol. The following sugar-free gums have the ADA Seal and have been shown to meet ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness:
- Dentyne® Ice™ Sugarless Gum
- ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES Sugar Free Chewing Gum
- Stride Sugarless Gum
- Trident® Sugarless Gum
- Wrigley’s 5® Sugarfree Gum
- Wrigley’s Extra® Sugarfree Gum
- Wrigley’s Orbit® for Kids Sugarfree Gum
- Wrigley’s Orbit® Sugarfree Gum
Dentists and the ADA recommend chewing gum for 20 minutes after eating and drinking.
While sugar-free gum is beneficial, chewing gum does not replace brushing and flossing. It is important to remember to maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once per day.
If you already have cavities or dental issues, Dr. Sands can help. To schedule a consultation, please call (310) 273-0111 today. You may also fill out our online contact form for more information.
Posted on: May 28th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Popular Cosmetic Dental Procedures in Beverly Hills, CA
A great smile is one of the best ways to show off physical attractiveness to others. However, a variety factors such as crooked or missing teeth or tooth discoloration could be preventing you from putting your best smile forward. Fortunately, our Beverly Hills practice offers a wide range of cosmetic dental procedures that will noticeably improve your smile and your self-confidence.
Teeth whitening is the most desired dental treatment around, and for good reason. With our state-of-the-art Zoom!® whitening system, your teeth can get up to eight shades whiter in just one visit. The procedure generally takes less than an hour to perform and involves applying a bleaching solution and a specialized light to your teeth.
Even if you already have a decent smile, you may have one or more teeth that are slightly crooked or chipped. Dental bonding effectively treats these problems by applying a clay-like material to the tooth and hardening it with a specialized light to provide permanent results.
Porcelain veneers are very popular among people with heavy tooth discoloration or staining. Using a porcelain composite that looks identical to the size and shape of your real tooth, veneers produce beautiful, natural-looking results.
Hailed as the modern alternative to braces, you no longer need to wear metal wires and rubber bands on your teeth. Invisalign® improves your smile through a series of nearly invisible plastic trays that are customized to fit the contours of your teeth.
As a highly respected cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kevin B. Sands D. D. S. strives to provide each and every one of his patients with the best results possible. As a dentist for some of Hollywood’s most elite celebrities, Dr. Sands looks forward to seeing you soon!
To schedule your consultation with Dr. Sands, call our Beverly Hills practice at (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.
Posted on: May 18th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
How to Look Younger with Zoom! Whitening
Want to look years younger in just an hour? An influential factor in projecting an attractive and youthful appearance is a nice smile. Yellow or stained teeth can greatly age your smile and your overall appearance. While you may already use toothpaste and strips that contain whitening boosters, the effects tend to be only temporary. This is why Dr. Kevin Sands offers Zoom!® whitening at his Beverly Hills practice.
Zoom!® Teeth Whitening
The Zoom!® system is designed to make your teeth noticeably (up to eight shades) whiter! Unlike many other whitening treatments that can irritate the gums and take multiple treatments to complete, Zoom!® whitening causes minimal irritation and takes only ONE, hour-long treatment. Each procedure is simply performed by applying a bleaching solution to the teeth, which are then exposed to a specialized Zoom!® light.
How Long Do the Results Last?
Your newly brightened smile will typically last anywhere between 12 and 18 months. However, to ensure the longest-lasting results, you should maintain proper oral hygiene and refrain from activities that can stain the teeth, such as drinking red wine and smoking.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands at his state-of-the-art practice, feel free to call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today. As a highly experienced and respected cosmetic dentist, Dr. Sands looks forward to meeting you soon and helping you achieve a noticeably whiter smile.
Posted on: April 16th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
During many office visits, it is common to feel like you are just ANOTHER patient to your doctor. Dr. Kevin Sands wants to change that. He believes that every patient walking through his door should receive the most personalized and attentive care possible. He hopes every patient he sees feels like they matter because they do. For this reason, Dr. Sands offers services and treatments that will leave you feeling like a VIP.
High-Speed Curing Lights
No one wants to waste the day away waiting for fillings to set. Dr. Sands uses high-speed curing lights that cut your in-chair time down by speeding up the process of curing your dental fillings.
Dr. Sands understands that for many people, dental visits can be extremely stressful and filled with anxiety. In order to make your visits as relaxing as possible, he offers nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide calms the body down, helping people feel less anxious without needing sedation to put them to sleep.
Digital imaging is used to better detect and diagnose diseases of the mouth. It can detect cavities, tooth development, and bone health. Early detection of oral irregularities can save time and money. Digital imaging is also quicker, making your visits shorter and more efficient.
Laser Care for Gum Disease
Your teeth are only as healthy as the gums supporting them. Laser care can painlessly treat gum disease and restore a healthy mouth.
Office visits can be tedious and often boring. We have flat screen TVs and DVDs for your enjoyment. This should help the time fly and make your dental visits less of a chore and more of a positive experience.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands and feel like a VIP. Your teeth aren’t the only thing that deserve priority treatment – you do as well! Call us today at 310.273.0111 or fill out our online contact form here.
Posted on: February 19th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Afraid of the Dentist?
If you’re fearful of dental visits, don’t worry; it’s more common than you think. In fact, research done by a Harvard study shows that 13 to 24 percent of all people have a phobia of the dentist. However, to help you ensure that you maintain a healthy mouth and a great smile, it’s important that you regularly see a dental professional, like Dr. Kevin Sands.
To ease your fears about your next dental visit, we’ve provided some tips below.
Consuming a healthy, well-balanced meal at least an hour before your office visit can actually help keep you calm. Be sure to avoid sugary foods and caffeine, as these can make you more jittery and anxious.
Listen to Music
While sitting in the waiting room, listening to music can put you in a relaxed mood rather than sitting in silence and anxiously waiting to be seen by your dental professional. Various studies have shown that classical music has the most soothing effect.
Communication is key in any situation, especially when someone is working on your mouth. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what the procedure entails as well as the length of time the treatment is expected to take.
Find a Professional You Can Trust
While some dentists are dedicated to their craft, there are many who simply have more skill and experience than others. Aside from being masterful at his craft in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Kevin Sands strives to provide each and every one of his patients with a comfortable experience and the excellent results they desire. His unique approach takes your gender, lifestyle, and ethnicity into account to give you the best smile possible.
As a highly-respected dentist, Dr. Kevin Sands looks forward to seeing you soon! To schedule a consultation at his state-of-the-art Beverly Hills practice, call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form to get started today.
Posted on: February 17th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
How Porcelain Veneers Can Improve Your Teeth
Your smile speaks volumes about you. A wide, full smile usually tells others that you are open and friendly. A pursed, straight-line smile typically indicates that you are shy and closed off. Healthy, clean teeth are the mark of someone put together and organized. Have you stopped and taken a second to consider what your smile is saying about you? If it’s not very positive, chances are that your teeth are to blame.
Common Causes of Unsightly Teeth
Your morning coffee and that glass of wine at dinner, while making you extremely happy, are staining your teeth. Discolored teeth can age you and make you appear unattractive. It is important to maintain a regular cleaning routine to keep your pearly whites, well, white.
Only pro hockey players can pull off chipped or broken teeth, and that’s because they have the amazing story to explain it away. For the everyday person, chipped and broken teeth create an unbalanced smile. Tooth decay can cause your teeth to become weak and break easily. So, even if your tooth loss is due to an accident, people may take it as a sign that you don’t have the best oral hygiene. Talk about embarrassing.
Gapped and crooked teeth throw off the uniformity of a smile. In regards to beauty, balance and symmetry are very important for creating an appearance that is attractive to the eye. Gaps and crookedness that create an asymmetrical look can affect how appealing your smile is.
When Brushing Just Isn’t Cutting It
It can’t be stressed enough that a daily, thorough oral regimen will help by leaps and bounds in providing you with an attractive smile. Healthy teeth are the most important part of a smile. But even if your teeth are healthy, they may not be aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes it’s impossible to fight discoloration and the fact that you are sporting a huge front gap. Brushing certainly isn’t going to bring back a chipped tooth, and it can be embarrassing living with unattractive teeth. Luckily, you don’t have to. You can reclaim your beautiful smile with the help of porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers are thin, shell-like sheets that cover the outside of damaged teeth. They require little alteration of the existing tooth structure and become very strong once bonded. Veneers can last over 15 years with good detail care.
Benefits of Porcelain Veneers
- Make teeth appear whiter
- Obscure crooked and gapped teeth
- Are customized to match existing tooth color and shape
- Are non-porous and resistant to staining
- Have minimal pain associated with the application procedure
If your teeth could use a little improvement to give you a gorgeous smile, see how porcelain veneers can help you. Set up your consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands to discuss your options today! Call 310.273.011 or fill out our online contact form here.
Posted on: January 7th, 2015
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
The majority of people do not realize that a smile conveys so much more than just mood. A smile can communicate your happiness and sociability, but it also shows your teeth. In addition to having a huge effect on the overall appearance of your smile, your teeth reveal a lot about who you are, the (good and bad) habits you have, and your way of living.
By not closing your mouth, you might be disclosing a lot. Continue reading to discover some of the things your teeth can tell about you.
Age and Gender
Younger people have more rounded teeth, especially those in front, while adult teeth are generally more square. Humans lose approximately one to five millimeters in the length of their central incisors (two front teeth) during their lifetime, so older people have shorter front teeth compared to the more rectangular ones of their youth. The lateral incisors (next to the central incisors) of women are slightly shorter and more rounded, while men’s lateral incisors are more square and almost the same length as their central incisors.
The cuspids, or “canines,” can sometimes signify a person’s behavior, with larger, more prominent and pointed ones indicating a more aggressive personality and smaller rounded or flattened ones implying more passive personality traits. Some people with intense anger, anxiety, or frustration habitually clench and grind their teeth (bruxism), which can sometimes display visible wear along the teeth edges.
Stained and decaying teeth generally convey an unhealthy lifestyle, although this is not always the case. While the common culprits for not-so-pearly whites are soda, candy, and wine, healthy alternatives like tea and berries can also stain the teeth and cause decay. Following a good dental hygiene regimen that includes brushing and flossing regularly will help prevent decay and stains from developing so you can project a more healthy appearance.
If your teeth do not convey the most healthy dental identity, Dr. Kevin Sands can help you attain teeth that will make your smile radiant. Please call 310-273-0111 or fill out our online contact form for more information.
Posted on: December 17th, 2014
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
A good smile is one of the most important aspects of projecting an attractive appearance. While some are satisfied with the current condition of their teeth, others are not. With cosmetic dentistry, problems like discolored, crooked, or even missing teeth can be corrected. At his Beverly Hills practice, Dr. Kevin Sands offers patients of all ages a wide variety of treatments and procedures to help them achieve a natural-looking smile that is unique to them.
What if we told you that you could have perfect teeth and a fantastic smile in less than two weeks? Porcelain veneers can achieve this. Through a simple process of bonding perfectly shaped porcelain directly to your teeth, a perfect smile is just a consultation away.
For patients who are looking for an alternative to dentures, dental implants are extremely effective. Made of strong titanium, these implants are fused with the jawbone and capped off to provide permanent teeth replacement.
Teeth whitening has become all the rage over the last few years, and with the dramatic improvement that noticeably whiter teeth can provide to a person’s appearance, it’s easy to see why. At his state-of-the-art office, Dr. Kevin Sands offers the most powerful whitening treatment, Zoom!®. In a one-hour office visit, patients can obtain a smile that is up to eight shades whiter than before.
While braces remain a popular option for many people, Invisalign® offers patients a more desirable alternative for straightening their teeth. By wearing molded clear trays that are barely detectable to the human eye, Invisalign® permanently straightens the teeth over time.
As a highly experienced cosmetic dentist to the stars, Dr. Sands knows the beauty of a genuine smile. He can help restore lost teeth, straighten crooked teeth, whiten teeth, and correct any other aesthetic or oral health concerns you may have. In case you need one more reason to smile, please schedule an appointment by calling (310) 273-0111 or filling out our online contact form today.
Posted on: November 28th, 2014
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
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. To strengthen your teeth, simply follow these seven steps:
1. Mind your diet
The bacteria that cause cavities feed off of the sugar and starch we eat and produce enamel-eroding acid. The acid present in soda (both diet and regular), citrus fruits, pickles, and tomatoes also weakens the enamel.
Try to limit your sugar intake to no more than 13 grams per day. According to an article published in BMC Public Health, limiting your sugar intake to this amount will significantly reduce your risk of oral health concerns. Remember that 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 consistently, bacteria have a better opportunity to fester. If you cannot significantly limit your sugar and refined carbohydrate intake (which is certainly difficult to do), limit how often you snack.
3. Use a straw for acidic drinks
Soda, lemonade, orange juice, and coffee are all highly acidic. Drink these beverages through a straw to limit your enamel’s exposure to the acid. You should also avoid sipping an acidic drink 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 cheeses 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 get a soft-bristled toothbrush and be mindful about how much pressure you are applying while brushing. Check your toothpaste for the ingredient Glycerin, which can interfere with strengthening your teeth. It can cause a film over the teeth that blocks 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 a pen or in teeth-whitening trays that you can apply to your teeth at home.
7. Chew sugar-free gum
Chewing sugar-free gum can help to stimulate saliva, 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 the first ingredient.
If you have any concerns about your oral health or are interested in a cosmetic dental procedure, please schedule a consultation with celebrity cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin B. Sands. Please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.
Posted on: November 21st, 2014
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
“Have you been flossing?”
This is a question you’ve probably been asked many times at your regular dental visits, and for good reasons. Flossing is very important to maintaining oral health because it removes plaque and bacteria that a toothbrush cannot reach. This is common knowledge, yet so few people floss on a regular basis. Common excuses for not flossing are, “It hurts when I floss,” “My teeth are too close together,” and “I never get food stuck in my teeth.” The reality is, if you are flossing correctly and using the right kind of floss, these excuses will no longer apply!
If your excuse for not flossing is, “I never get food stuck in my teeth,” you might not understand the main objective of flossing. While flossing does remove noticeably annoying food particles that get caught between your teeth, the main purpose of flossing is to scrape away the thin film of bacteria that collects on the teeth during the day. Between the teeth and the gums is a small pocket that easily traps bacteria and is difficult to reach with a toothbrush. As you scrape the floss down the side of each tooth and gently down into the gum pocket, you remove a film of bacteria that would otherwise linger and eventually cause plaque buildup.
How to Floss
If it hurts to floss, you may have gingivitis, or you may simply not be flossing correctly. Here is how to floss the right way:
- Insert the floss between two teeth.
- Slowly place the floss beneath the gum line at the base of one tooth.
- Curve the floss around the tooth, and scrape it along the edge of the tooth.
- Repeat step 3 in the same space between those teeth, but scrape the floss against the neighboring tooth, making sure to go all the way to the base of the tooth beneath the gum line.
- Repeat steps 1 through 4 between each two teeth using a clean section of floss each time. This prevents transferring bacteria to neighboring teeth.
The Right Floss
If your teeth are very close together or if you have braces, flossing might be a little more challenging. Try waxed floss, glide floss, or use a threader that is made to get around the brackets of braces. If your floss shreds, you might have a problem with your dental work, or you could have a cavity. A visit to your dentist can help to identify the problem.
If you are interested in general or cosmetic dental services offered by Dr. Kevin B. Sands, please schedule your appointment today. Call 310-273-0111 or fill out our online contact form for more information.
Posted on: November 5th, 2014
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
The term “low carb” means different things to different dieting communities. Some choose the Paleo way to low carb, focusing on a diet rich in meat and void of any grains, dairy, or sugar. Atkins followers who are in the “induction” phase choose to limit their carbs to just 20 grams per day – also without sugar – that triggers ketosis in the body. Still others choose to limit their carb intake moderately by simply eliminating grains, flour, and bread. All of these low carb approaches to weight loss have been proven successful in that department, but what kind of effect do they have on our oral health?
Good for your teeth and gums
We all know that sugar promotes disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. Carbohydrates provide the bacteria with the fuel they need to produce acid in the mouth, which causes demineralization and leads to decay and caries. By limiting consumption of both sugar and carbohydrates, the essential factors for creating acid erosion on the teeth are limited. This means that most low carb diets will lead to a much healthier mouth overall by preventing tartar build-up, cavities, and frequent visits to the dentist.
Bad for your breath
The Atkins diet promotes a two-week induction phase in which followers limit their carbs to only 20 grams per day. This begins the process of ketosis, which tells your body to burn fat for fuel instead of what it naturally chooses to burn first — carbohydrates. Some people can achieve a state of ketosis with more than 20 grams of carbs per day. While ketosis provides the benefit of rapid weight loss, it also leads to halitosis (chronic bad breath). The reason for this is because one of the ketones produced during this state cannot be used by the body, so it is excreted in the urine and exhaled by the lungs as waste. While the resulting chronic bad breath causes no harm to your oral health, it can be especially annoying when you’re in close quarters with others. Drinking plenty of water will help to dilute the concentration of ketones to help weaken the stench. You can also help disguise it by chewing sugarless gum or sucking on mints that contain xylitol. Increasing your carbohydrate intake and exiting the state of ketosis may be the best option for you if your halitosis is too difficult to manage.
If you have any concerns about your oral health or are interested cosmetic dentistry with Dr. Kevin B. Sands, please schedule an appointment by calling (310) 273-0111 or by filling out our online contact form today.
Posted on: October 27th, 2014
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
With Halloween right around the corner, you’ve probably been reminded of Jimmy Fallon’s Youtube challenge, “I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy.” Maybe you’ve also heard about the “candy tax” where parents keep a certain percentage of their child’s Halloween candy for themselves. It’s become obvious that many adults feel entitled to a piece of the sweet candy goodness of the holiday, and some of them will pull any trick in order to get it. The problem is, most candy collected by the typical trick-or-treater is FILLED with sugar, and too much sugar can wreak havoc on a beautiful, healthy smile. Sugar provides the energy needed for bacteria to multiply, fester, and eventually cause gum disease and tooth decay. Sound spooky? We thought so! To help, we’re sharing a few tricks that will keep your teeth healthy – and your kids happy – this Halloween.
The Little Treat
According to the National Confectioners Association, 72 percent of all candy purchased for Halloween last year consisted of milk chocolate. The typical milk chocolate bar contains 30 percent cacao, 20 percent milk solids, and 49 percent sugar. That’s right; HALF of the typical milk chocolate bar is pure sugar! Fortunately, the majority of chocolate Halloween candy comes in “fun size,” which is about one-fourth the size of a regular chocolate bar. The sugar content in these little devilishly delicious bites is obviously much lower overall than that of a full chocolate bar, but just a few of them can add up quickly. Limit yourself to just one or two fun-size treats per day to avoid sugar overload.
The Treat and Cheat
Another way to steer clear of too much sugar is to enjoy your fill and immediately wash the sugar away. If you brush your teeth thoroughly after enjoying your (or your child’s) Halloween candy, there is less of a chance for bacteria to multiply. If you don’t have time to brush, rinsing your mouth with water will help to get rid of some of the lingering sugar. Flossing will also help to remove sugar that can stick to the teeth below the gum line.
The Substitute Treat
Although milk chocolate contains a percentage of the healthy ingredient cacao, which is high in antioxidants, the high sugar content in milk chocolate cancels out any of its health benefits. Dark chocolate that is 70 percent cacao may taste more bitter, but it has a lot less sugar to harm the teeth and can serve as a great candy alternative. If the bitter taste of dark chocolate is too difficult to get used to, you can substitute sugar-laden candy for sugar-free, or choose a candy alternative like trail mix.
Whether you need a general assessment or a total smile makeover, treat your teeth this Halloween to the services provided by celebrity cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin B. Sands. Please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule an appointment.
Posted on: September 29th, 2014
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Happy National Coffee Day!
What better way to celebrate National Coffee Day than with some great news about coffee? Recent research has shown that caffeinated coffee offers many benefits for oral health, including less plaque and bacteria in the mouth as well as the potential to stave off serious health risks like oral cancer.
Coffee May Help Prevent Bacteria
A study by the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro found that the robusta coffee bean grown in Vietnam and Brazil helped to eliminate bacteria on the teeth as well as prevent the formation of plaque. Using bacteria from saliva, researchers cultivated plaque on donated fragments of primary teeth. Once the teeth were exposed to an extract of the robusta bean, the bacteria cells appeared to have burst, thereby lowering the risk of excessive plaque accumulation. Less plaque translates to a lower risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health concerns. While this is great news for us avid coffee drinkers, unfortunately, regular coffee consumption can still stain the teeth. (Could this be why teeth whitening is so popular?)
Coffee May Protect against Oral Cancer
A study conducted by the American Cancer Society in 2012 found that polyphenols in coffee may also help protect against the development or progression of oral cancer. This study associated the consumption of more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day with a 49 percent lower risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer death. While it is less common in the United States, oral/pharyngeal cancer ranks among the top ten cancers in the world. Since coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide, it may give us all one more good reason to enjoy our daily cup of joe.
The Bad News:
Before we all start celebrating, there is just one more caveat to regular coffee consumption besides teeth staining: coffee sweetened with milk or sugar can potentially counter the benefits. Milk contains both sugar and carbohydrates, which erode the enamel and increase bacterial production.
The Good News:
If you can’t get accustomed to the bitterness of black coffee, you can still enjoy the benefits by swapping milk for heavy whipping cream (which contains no carbs and a very low amount of sugar) and by swapping sugar for a sugar-free sweetener like stevia or Truvia®. Any staining that occurs over time can be easily and immediately corrected at Dr. Sands’ office with Zoom!® in-office laser teeth whitening.
If you would like to correct yellow or stained teeth, celebrate National Coffee Day by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Kevin B. Sands. As a cosmetic dentist to the stars, Dr. Sands is a top choice for creating the most beautiful and healthy smiles in Beverly Hills. Please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.
Posted on: September 25th, 2014
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
Since metal braces are distinctly more popular among teenagers, many adults view Invisalign® as the clear choice for correcting their crooked or crowded teeth. Invisalign® patients can go about their regular activities as they speak, smile, and laugh without anyone noticing they are straightening their teeth at the same time.
How does Invisalign work?
Gradually, over several months, a series of clear trays customized to fit your teeth will gently shift them into the proper alignment. You must wear the trays 22 hours per day, removing them only to clean them or to eat. The length of treatment with Invisalign® varies among patients, but most adults will see final results after one year, and teenagers see results within one to two years. Throughout the process, Invisalign® patients will not have to deal with the extra maintenance, diet restrictions, or uncomfortable mouthful of metal associated with braces.
The cost of Invisalign® is usually comparable to the cost of metal braces unless significant correction is needed. Significant correction could include improving a severe overbite, rotating a tooth, or moving the teeth vertically. In some cases, metal braces are a better option. After assessing your teeth, Dr. Sands will determine the treatment that will best meet your needs and inform you of the estimated cost.
The thin Invisalign® trays fit smoothly and comfortably over the teeth. There is no risk of gum irritation or mouth sores that can often result from metal wires or brackets.
Since Invisalign® is completely removable and not worn while you eat, there are no diet restrictions. With braces, you should be prepared to avoid eating popcorn, chips, apples, corn on the cob, chewy candy, and many other favorite foods and snacks.
If you are interested in Invisalign®, please schedule a consultation to see if this treatment is right for you. Please call Dr. Kevin Sands’ Beverly Hills practice at (310) 27-0111 or fill out our online contact form to learn more.
Posted on: September 16th, 2014
By: Dr. Kevin Sands
The muscles we use for chewing and speaking are some of the strongest muscles in our body. Four muscles in particular make it possible to speak, close our mouth, chew, and move our mandible (lower jaw) from side to side. When our mouth isn’t practicing any of these normal functions, the upper and lower teeth should rest comfortably together for the majority of the time.
Sometimes, anxiety, anger, or sheer determination might cause us to clench our jaw or grit our teeth. While this is fine on occasion, habitual teeth clenching can lead to problems with the teeth, jaw, or overall health in the future.
What happens when I grit my teeth?
Most people who clench their teeth also grind their teeth. The term “bruxism” refers to both actions. While consistently clenching the jaw can cause some stress to the teeth, grinding the teeth together can lead to worse problems like cracks, chips, and loose teeth.
It is very common for people to experience bruxism while they are asleep, having no idea that they are damaging their smile. Dr. Sands can easily tell if bruxism has been occurring when he examines your mouth at a routine dental visit. If any damage has occurred, he may recommend dental bonding or a much stronger alternative like porcelain veneers to keep up with the consistent damage. He can also customize a mouthguard to be worn at night to help protect your teeth.
What other damage can teeth clenching cause?
Since one of the muscles responsible for bruxism, the temporal fossa, extends all the way into the skull, its overuse can be a cause of recurrent headaches and earaches. “Lockjaw” is also a side effect of bruxism because of the muscle spasms and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) inflammation it can cause.
How do I cure bruxism?
Reducing stress and avoiding food that can be hard to chew, such as toffee, caramel, or steak, will help to relax the overworked jaw muscles. You should also avoid chewing gum and opening your mouth very wide on a consistent basis. Dr. Sands can provide further recommendations for treatment for bruxism during your consultation.
If you are experiencing bruxism or its side effects, Dr. Kevin B. Sands can assess your mouth and provide his recommendation for treatment. To schedule an appointment, please call us today at (310) 27-0111 or fill out our online contact form.