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Monthly Archives: December 2010

What to Eat for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Your smile is often the first thing people see upon meeting you, which is why it is so important to maintain a healthy, bright smile. Those who visit my Beverly Hills orthodontics practice often inquire about the steps to a beautiful smile. Along with regular visits to the dentist for cleanings, it is important to be conscious of what you eat and drink.

In order to prevent cavities, the most important thing you can do is to cut down on sugar and acidic foods, because these can often lead to the decay of the enamel on teeth, which is the protective barrier that helps keep them healthy. Intake of candy, cakes, pies, breads, muffins, potato chips, French fries, bananas, and raisins should all be reduced. Their high amounts of sugar and tendency to stick to the teeth cause decay faster and can lead to serious dental health issues. Also, sipping on juice, sodas, and other sugary drinks can be dangerous for your teeth’s health. Instead, increase your intake of chicken, cheese, milk, apples, pears, and unsweetened tea. These help fortify the teeth; food and liquids with a high water content help wash away other culprits.

If your sweet tooth can’t be satisfied with these foods, try to stick to sugar substitutes such as Splenda or Equal. Although some things make claims of “no sugar added” or “sugar free” on their labeling, they may still contain natural sugars. For this reason, it is best to drink water afterwards in order to wash away sugar.

Please feel free to schedule a dental appointment at my Beverly Hills practice to learn more regarding your oral health.

Dental Health and Sensitive Teeth

A common complaint that patients express is tooth sensitivity, which can be triggered by hot or cold sensations, sweet or sour foods and drinks, and at times when breathing cold air. In order to determine the cause, it is important to meet with a qualified and experienced orthodontist to undergo an examination. Typically, sensitivity is caused by the exposure of dentin, the underlying tissues of the teeth, when the gums begin to recede. When the dental tubules are exposed to heat, cold, or other stimuli, the tooth nerve is directly reached and causes pain.

The following are other possible cause for sensitivity:

  • Brushing too hard
  • Tooth decay near the gum line
  • Recession of the gums and gum disease (gingivitis)
  • Cracked teeth
  • Teeth grinding
  • Tooth whitening products or toothpaste with baking soda and peroxide
  • Age
  • Plaque build-up
  • Mouthwash use
  • Acidic foods
  • Recent routine dental procedures

When you visit my Beverly Hills practice, I can thoroughly examine your teeth and recommend the best course of treatment. Because every patient has a unique dental structure and cause for sensitivity, every patient has a personalized treatment plan created.

Please be sure to contact my office to schedule an appointment regarding your dental health issues.

Chew Away – Gum Can be Good for Teeth

Starting at a young age, many individuals enjoy chewing gum – fruit flavored, minty, or cinnamon. Although it may not be a good idea to excessively chew gum (TMJ may occur or be aggravated), a recent study shows that sugar-free gum could help in preventing cavities and other dental health issues. When chewing gum, the mouth produces more saliva, which contains minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride, which are known to wash away cavity causing culprits.

These minerals help neutralize and strengthen tooth enamel, while reducing the build-up of plaque and acid. According to the report, there may be some dental health benefits to chewing sugar-free gum for approximately 20 minutes after a meal. Also, chewing gum may help dislodge food particles that become stuck to the teeth and could lead to decay. Gum containing the sugar substitute xylitol has been shown to help prevent cavities, a plus for those of you who chew gum on a regular basis. However, if you suffer from jaw pain, neck, and/or TMJ, it is important that you not chew gum too frequently. The extra activity in chewing may cause further pain or damage to the affected area.

If you would like more information regarding your dental health and learn of other steps to help fight cavities, be sure to schedule an appointment at my Beverly Hills orthodontics practice.

Top Five Actions that Will Speed Up Orthodontic Treatment

No matter how old you may be, wearing braces is mostly a nuisance. Some patients are lucky enough to only need them for a few months, while others suffer through pain for several years. Below are the Top Five tips on what to do in order to help speed up your orthodontic treatment.

  • Maintain regular, professional cleanings
  • Use a power toothbrush
  • Refrain from eating foods that can break or bend wires and appliances
  • Always wear prescribed rubber bands
  • Don’t miss routine orthodontic check-ups

By following these tips, as well as all instructions provided by your orthodontics professional, you may anticipate a smooth and possibly shorter treatment time.  It is my goal to help you achieve a beautiful, Hollywood smile, which is why I am dedicated to patient education throughout the entire procedure. The better informed and prepared you are regarding your treatment, the more successful your results will be in the end.

If you are in need of an orthodontics provider in Beverly Hills, please feel free to browse my website to learn more regarding your options. You may schedule an appointment to discuss your treatment and have all your questions/concerns addressed.

Smoking Can Cause Dental Implants to Fail

Are you looking to undergo dental implant surgery? If so, then you must be sure to follow all pre- and post-treatment instructions in order to ensure a healthy recovery. One of the most important steps to follow is to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to the treatment and two to three weeks after the procedure. Those who visit my Beverly Hills practice can discuss the proper steps to take when recovering from dental implants.

Smoking can interfere with proper healing by decreasing blood flow to the tissues that are healing after the implants are put in place. This can then hinder bonding of the implant to the jawbone, which in turn can cause the implant to be rejected. Rejection of the implant can prolong the process of achieve a natural-looking appearance. Depending on the extent of complications, the implants must either be replaced or permanently removed. Infections and other obstacles can be easily avoided by refraining from smoking for a period of time. In addition, other tobacco products should not be used before and after the procedure. These can also cause problems with the healing process. To ensure a healthy recovery and long-lasting results, it is best to permanently quit smoking.

Further information can be gained by browsing my website. Los Angeles dental implants patients may schedule an appointment to further discuss their options.

Myths About Dental Implants

Individuals who have missing teeth and must use removable dentures often seek more permanent alternatives – dental implants. However, in response to false claims by others, these men and women may fear undergoing this treatment.

Some of the most common myths about dental implants are:

Myth: Dental implant surgery is very painful.

Fact: Patients are numbed in the treatment area throughout their procedure and the recovery has been known to cause little to no pain.

Myth: Dental implants are too expensive.

Fact: With various financing plans available, cost is no longer holding patients back from achieving a beautiful smile.

Myth: Dental implants are just permanent dentures.

Fact: Implants are integrated into the dental structure, which means they won’t move or need to be removed to clean.

Myth: “Since implants must integrate with the bone, my weak bone structure disqualifies me…”

Fact: Weak bone structures can be re-enforced prior to treatment in order ensure proper integration.

Myth: Because they are not real teeth, I do not need to brush my implants.

Fact: Proper dental hygiene is important in order to avoid infections and/or complications with surrounding teeth.

Myth: Dental implants are not a popular in this country.

Fact: Dental implants are becoming an increasing popular procedure in the United States; approximately three million patients have received dental implants.

Myth: Smokers and drinkers cannot receive implants.

Fact: Patients who smoke and/or drink will be asked to refrain from doing so for a period of time in order to ensure proper healing, but will not be disqualified from receiving dental implants.

Myth: Elderly patients are not qualified candidates for implants.

Fact: So long as the patient is in good health, there is no age limit for patients who wish to under dental implant surgery.

Those interested in dental implants in Los Angeles may learn more by browsing my website. An appointment may be scheduled during this time.

Tel: (310) 273-0111

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Contact Dr. Sands

Request an appointment for a complimentary consultation with cosmetic dentist Dr. Sands, or feel free to call our Los Angeles (north of Orange County) office at (310) 273-0111 for more information.