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Am I Prone to Cavities?

Posted on: September 28th, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands

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: Dr. Kevin Sands

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: Dr. Kevin Sands

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: Dr. Kevin Sands

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: Dr. Kevin Sands

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: Dr. Kevin Sands

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: Dr. Kevin Sands

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.


The Kevin Sands Dentistry Difference

Posted on: February 25th, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands

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.


How Often Should I Visit My Dentist?

Posted on: January 17th, 2016
By: Dr. Kevin Sands

shutterstock_133538873Another 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:

  • Smokers
  • Pregnant women
  • Diabetics
  • 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
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Premature birth
  • Diabetes

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.


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