Practicing Gratitude

As the weather gets cooler and we start planning our Thanksgiving feast, now is a good opportunity to share some positive messages. A little bit of a push of encouragement during these uncertain times.
While we, as a collective nation, continue to head into the unknown, there is a lot of negativity and regular anxiety spikes based on what we see in the news and read on social media. A little spark of light would be a breath of fresh air right about now!

It is important to make sure we are trying to keep a positive headspace. Keeping tabs on ourselves by checking in with our brains as well as our hearts. I know that sounds funny, but it is true. Sometimes we find ourselves consumed with worry and fear and we need to take that step back and say, “How am I REALLY feeling?”  “Why do I feel this way?” “What can I do to make myself feel better or get out of this rut I seem to be stuck in?”

Myself, I like to make lists. Lists help me organize the chaos I am trying to keep track of and also improves my odds of not forget things. Being able to check things off that list feels SO good.  I know there are tons of outlets out there that are my version of a list. Give it a shot, make sticky notes, log your lists in a diary or notebook, download and app, or ask Siri for help.

If lists aren’t your thing, there’s other outlets to help you quite your mind like yoga, meditation, journaling, even sharing what you’re up against and what’s going on in life with others. I also like to keep a little collection of sayings, phrases, affirmations, that make me smile, or stop and think “Woah… That’s so true! I never thought of that.”

Here are 15 inspirational lines to ponder that we’ve gathered along the way…

  1. “What am I grateful for today?”
  2. “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill
  3. “Stop being so hard on yourself. No one is perfect, but you are human.”
  4. “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl
  5. “Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” – John Wooden
  6. “Who you are inside is what helps you make and do everything in life” – Mr. Rogers
  7. “We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.” – Dr. Henry Link
  8. “Good riddance to decisions that don’t support self-care, self-value, and self-worth.” – Oprah
  9. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
  10. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
  11. “Sometimes later becomes never. Do it now.”
  12. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
  13. “The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.”
  14. “It’s going to be hard, but hard does not mean impossible.”
  15. “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – CS Lewis

Life revolves around perspective. If you can remind yourself of these things, and try and keep a good outlook, you’ll feel much better about taking on all of life’s challenges. If you focus on the negatives, or walk into situations with fear and doubt, disappointment isn’t too far behind. It’s easy to read these things, but actually doing them and putting them into action, THAT is a measure of success. There will always be things we are afraid of. There will always be roadblocks. But remember that humans were designed to struggle. So, with confidence and determination, our greatness emerges.

Try and keep these things in mind going forward. When you find yourself drifting, read the quotes again. As we get closer to Thanksgiving, this is a great time to put some of these things to the test. They are also great topics to discuss with family. Talk about the things you all value in yourself, as well as sharing what you adore about each other. Share your goals, share your hopes. Say something you’re afraid of. Push yourself to connect with those dear to you and have truly meaningful conversations.

Remember YOU are GREAT. Be thankful. Be gracious. Be authentically you.

Chris T. Nhan, DDS

6600 Mercy Court, Suite 250
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

916-965-7188

Halloween 2020

Halloween doesn’t have to be a bummer this year just because we are in a pandemic. First off, remember, everyone’s holiday season is being affected. Just keep an open mind and let’s get creative!

If you’re in an area allowing trick or treating, think of some clever ways to hand out candy safely while maintaining social distancing. For example, have a COVID Candy Toss. Put out a sign that is clearly visible with simple direction. Something like “Knock. Then stand behind the caution tape. Be ready to catch!” Mark out some sort of line that is 6 feet from your front door. Once you answer the door, you can have a candy toss where the kids can catch candy from behind the line. This keeps everyone safe, socially distant, and the candy is flowing!

Another idea is to set up a candy slide. Create a tube set up, think paper towel tubes. You get to drop candy down the tube for trick or treat buckets waiting below to catch the goodies!

If you are in a location that has prohibited trick or treating this year, don’t fret! There are plenty of things that you can do during a night in at home:

1.  Have a pumpkin carving contest with your family! Even if it has to be a Zoom Halloween contest! Lay out the rules, set a time limit and then everyone can share what they have come up with.

2.  Google some ghoulishly delicious recipes! Make it fun! Appetizers, entrees, and desserts. There are loads of Halloween themed selections with a quick Pinterest search, even down to the eyeball fruit punch.

3.  Set up some fun Halloween games! Bob for apples! Make witch slime! Craft up some fun décor!

4.  Have a costume contest! Have more than one costume? Turn it into a Halloween Fashion Show!

If you want a more zombie and chill type night, put on your favorite Halloween movie. Then make a game of it. For example, one of our favorite movies is Hocus Pocus. So, start with a cauldron of candy – all different kinds. Every time Winifred Sanderson says “BoOoOoOk!” blindly grab a piece of candy out of the pot. This will be your at home version of trick or treating. At the end of the movie, see who made out with the best kinds of candies and who got the worms!

If you don’t feel like staying in, but you also aren’t fully comfortable trick or treating (or letting your kids go door-to-door), there are virtual Halloween activities as well as Halloween drive-thru options, and even your classic haunted house. Do a quick online search of the area to see what’s going on in your neck of the woods for some Spooktacular fun!

No matter what you end up doing, have a thrilling time! This is already a year to remember, so add some oomf to your Halloween and make it a POSITIVE memory! Be safe and enjoy that candy in moderation.

Chris T. Nhan, DDS

6600 Mercy Court, Suite 250
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

916-965-7188

Expectations VS Reality: 4 Dental Myths DEBUNKED!

Let’s have a little chat about myths revolving around dental health. Sometimes dental health isn’t treated with a high level of importance. Oftentimes we push it by the wayside. And then we completely forget to reschedule appointments. Hey, we’ve all been there…

Look, staying on top of your dental hygiene and health is necessary for both your mouth and the rest of your body. Believe it or not, your oral health impacts many different areas of your total well being. For example, did you know your oral health can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, blood cell disorders, and bacterial pneumonia? It can also cause complications in pregnant women. We’re not looking to alarm you, those are just the facts. So, of course, things like maintaining a healthy diet and showing up to regularly scheduled dental check-ups are ideal for keeping both your chompers and your body well.

We’ve found that as people gradually lose good brushing and flossing habits, they start to buy into these “quick-fix” myths. So, without further ado! Dental Myths Debunked:

Myth #1 If your mouth doesn’t hurt, you don’t need to go to the dentist.

If your car isn’t rattling do you skip the oil change? There is always the potential for underlying dental issues even when pain and sensitivity aren’t present. Calculus and tartar have no problem building and building with zero pain association. And before you know it – HELLO! gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease! Stick to your 6-month check-ups, which is the standard for routine dental care.

Pro Tip: if you DO have oral pain or a dental problem, call us. On the call, we’ll chat about the discomfort. Then we take into account your dental history and immediate needs. We are all about personalized care for your unique needs.

Myth #2 The harder you brush and floss, the cleaner your teeth and gums will be.

Brushing and flossing rough is NOT good, nor is it recommended… ever. Flossing roughly can create small lesions and cuts in your gums. This can cause discomfort as well as bleeding gums. Healthy gums should not bleed. The same with brushing. You can cause some serious damage including receding gums, by consistently brushing vigorously. Remember that receding gums can get you into some dangerous waters. In severe cases, it does cause tooth loss. This then leads to a whole new gamut of problems.

Pro Tip: Do floss daily, gently sliding the floss in a “C” shape up the sides of your teeth and down to your gums. Brushing your teeth twice a day is the recommended standard. Again, be intentional and gentle. Firm circular motions for 2-minutes gets the job done.

Myth #3 Chewing gum can replace brushing your teeth.

Chewing gum is a good trick for minty fresh breath. Not an acceptable replacement to brushing your teeth. End of story.

Pro Tip: chew sugar-free gum after meals to help loosen food particles until you’re able to brush.

Myth #4 Diet drinks are better for your teeth.

While the sugar content may be lower in diet drinks, they are still very acidic. Acid softens the enamel on teeth leading to demineralization and tooth sensitivity.

Consider that water has a pH level (acidity level) of 7. This is a neutral pH level and does not cause harm. Battery acid’s pH level is 0. This is the worst of the worst. Now consider that diet sodas can have a 2-3 pH level! That is a lot closer to 0 than it is to 7.

Pro Tip: It takes your body about 20 minutes to neutralize your mouth from the acid intake. Your safest bet is always water. Milk is also acceptable.

Consistent and proper dental health care is a must within your daily routine. Avoid cutting corners, and remember… you only have to care for the teeth you’d like to keep! So be diligent. Stick to a daily oral health routine. Strive to eat, healthy. And, be mindful to take immediate action if you’re having dental pain or sensitivity. Call us at 916-965-7188

Chris T. Nhan, DDS

6600 Mercy Court, Suite 250
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

916-965-7188

Pandemic Living: Why Routines Are Important

Never in my lifetime did I think I would be experiencing a worldwide pandemic! The stories we once read in our history books, will now have a new chapter that WE are experiencing. Tensions are high and patience is low. But remember, your children, partner, and even pets, are all feeling and going through this change and new lifestyle. So even though it is really easy to focus solely on our own internal feelings, you aren’t alone. Which is even MORE of a reason to establish a daily routine, for everyone. Starting NOW!

SLEEP

Sleep management is as important, right now, as it was before this pandemic (maybe1.png even more so). Try and stick to your normally occurring schedule. If you normally woke up at 6:00am and started getting ready for bed around 10:00pm – continue to do so. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule will keep your body in balance. At least as much as possible. Everyone’s system is different, and sleep cycles for that matter. But make a solid effort to get your full 8 hours, it is crucial. If this is where you struggle, make it simple! Set an alarm. Set one for when you need to wake up in the morning to get yourself going and set another to let you know it’s time to winddown. Then for those of us that need it, set another to turn off all electronics and really focusing on clearing your mind and falling asleep.

When the world straightens itself back out, your body will thank you. It can be rough to retrain yourself into a “morning person” again. It starts by giving yourself the time in the morning to shower, dress, and mentally prepare to work – or study, or clean out that one closet again.

GET UP AND MOVE AROUND

Everyone’s favorite topic – exercise! Now when I say exercise, I am not saying to get yourself a home gym and work your body into a frenzy. This is more of a “get your body moving” type of thing. When it’s cool out, go for a nice walk with your kid (fur babies included). Or even just by yourself if that works for you. The fresh air is always a good thing, a little vitamin-D, sunshine, and some quiet time for yourself. You’ll get a nice little jaunt, some family bonding time, and a boost to your mental peacefulness.

If you are working from home on a computer, be sure to take your breaks. Whether it is a 10-minute break or your lunchtime, make an effort to mentally clock out as well. Put your phone down and step away from your workstation altogether. You need to be distraction-free and able to clear your mind, even for a short while. Find something that makes you happy. Something that washes a sense of calm over you while you are doing it. Something such as painting? Crocheting? Reading? Whatever it may be and make that your “happy place”. Don’t make it a last resort. Run to it whenever you find stress creeping in.

HYGIENE

Consider this one an unspoken “must”. At some point, we have all pushed our personal hygiene aside here and there. Aim to give yourself enough time to shower either before starting your day or before bed. Not only is it hygienically sound, but it makes you feel better! If you find yourself not really caring what you look like, that’s a good warning sign to step back into the habit of bathing daily. Again – this is not a good rut to be in. When you maintain your hygiene, not just showering, but grooming, brushing your hair, flossing and brushing your teeth, and changing into fresh clothes (even if they are pajamas!). There is a different feeling you get by doing these things compared to just basking in your own aroma. Not to mention, there can be some health-related issues by going too long without taking care of yourself.

HEALTH including Mental Health

Your physical health is one thing, but now I am talking ALL around health, and this 2.pngincludes your mental health.  Do not push this to the side, wistfully promising you will deal with it later. Keep tabs on how you are feeling and be honest with yourself. If you are fearful of medical offices right now, there are plenty of great resources online to reach out to. Shoot your primary care physician an email. Avoid excuses. If something is going on, mentally, a scab that won’t heal, an irregular spot on your skin, get help from a professional. AND – if you are taking daily medications, keep yourself on track. Keep a schedule of daily habits and be sure to set alarms to support you.

EATING

When you are busy and, on the go, it’s easy to just swing through a drive-thru. Then eat as fast as humanly possible all while you are in the car zipping to your next adventure in life. Convenience seems to be our way of life. However, with the pandemic, this is the perfect time to get your eating schedule in check. How do you get structure? It starts with researching healthier at-home options. Then making your grocery list and meal prepping. We find ourselves moving at a slower pace, so plan your meals, and even your snacks. Now is your chance to track what you’ve been consuming daily. See your habits in all their glory and get clear on what you want to change. Give it a go! And, if the grocery store offers too much temptation, try online ordering! 😉

 

If your mind starts drifting back into a rut, snap it back to attention by reminding yourself, you are not alone. This is new for everyone. It can be scary, it can be depressing, and it is just another wave passing for fear of the unknown. We are all going through this together, different paces and a roller coaster of ever-changing emotions. Hang in there. There will be an end to all of this. We are all learning as we go. We WILL get to the light at the other side. Hopefully, happier, healthier and with a wealth of new knowledge.  Be optimistic by being mindful of your thoughts, stay positive by being mindful of what you say, be kind to yourself and others, be well by analyzing and creating your routines!

 

Chris T. Nhan, DDS

6600 Mercy Court, Suite 250
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

916-965-7188

 

Gum Disease: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

No doubt 2020 has made us change our way of life, and yet, our dental care needs remain the same. Your teeth, much like any other key part of your body, need special care. Bacteria and plaque build on and below the surface of your teeth and gums when oral hygiene is neglected. The longer it sits there increases your risk of developing gingivitis, which is the first stage of periodontitis.

Stages of Periodontitis

Gingivitis is where plaque and other by-products irritate the gums. It makes them tender, adv-perio.pngswollen, and much more likely to bleed while brushing. Periodontitis is stage two. Here, the gum tissue starts to deteriorate, detaching from the teeth to form noticeable pockets around the roots. This leaves teeth exposed and susceptible to decay. Finally, advanced periodontitis. Tooth pockets get quite deep as the severe gum recession leads to bone loss. In turn, this causes loose teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss.

Periodontitis is also linked to heart disease. When the bacteria attached to your teeth loosen, it then seeps into your bloodstream. Eventually, it reaches your arteries. There the plaque hardens, restricting blood flow to your heart and other organs.

Health Risks of Periodontitis
• Stroke
• Heart disease
• Lung disease
• Diabetes
• Gastric ulcers
• Osteoporosis
• Preterm babies
Common Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease
• Genetics – it’s hereditary and some of us are just unlucky! While you may be more susceptible to periodontitis, having a good oral hygiene routine helps keep your smile in a healthy state.
• Health – underlying medical conditions like diabetes and Crohn’s disease, as well as lowered immunity from illnesses and treatments often affect gum tissue. New medications should always be discussed with your dentist.
• Bad Habits – chewing on ice, inconsistent brushing, not flossing daily, using tobacco, and even vaping are the most common dental aggravators we encourage you to ditch.
• Stress – hello 2020! In all seriousness, do keep an eye on exactly how much it’s weighing you down. Both high levels and chronic stress leads to poor hygiene habits. Anxiety can also lower your immune system from fighting the gingivitis causing bacteria.
While there’s no at-home cure, thankfully periodontitis is preventable. And in every case, it is treatable! Your dental treatment plan is always based 100% on your unique needs.

 

Chris T. Nhan, DDS

6600 Mercy Court, Suite 250
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

916-965-7188

The journey of a Tooth

Everyone knows the basics of tooth development, they grow in, fall out, grow in back, and sometimes fall out again. What most people don’t know is that there is a system and it starts months before that first little friend pops through the gum line. Teeth begin to develop in the embryonic stage at about 3-6 weeks. There the soft tissue forms and creates small translucent tooth nubs. At 3-4 months hard tissue starts to develop around the tooth and thin translucent roots will start to grow down. By the time of birth, there are 20 fully developed teeth buried under the gums. In some rare cases, babies will be born with partially erupted teeth.

Baby’s teeth will start to erupt between 3-6 months, this stage is commonly called teething. Since every child develops at a different rate it’s hard to say exactly when and what teeth will come in, fall out, and come back in. However, the first tooth to come in is typically the lower central incisor (middle teeth) between 3 and 6 months; and is shortly followed by the second lower central incisor. Next is the upper central incisors and they come in at around 8 and 12 months. Then the upper lateral incisors (next to middle teeth) at 9 and 13 months. After that, the upper 4 molars come in between 13 and 25 months. Next the lower lateral incisors at around 10 and 18 months. Then the lower 4 molars that come in between 14 and 23 months. The last to come in are the upper and lower cuspids (commonly known as canine) come in at around 16 and 23 months. 

Now, when the baby teeth are ready to fall out the brain sends special cells to eat away at the baby tooth root. As this is happening the adult teeth are slowly starting to push the teeth-typesbaby teeth up and out! While your baby teeth typically fall out in the order they erupt in, adult teeth are more sporadic. 

Permanent Teeth Upper:

Central Incisors: 6 to 7 years

Lateral Incisor: 8 to 9 years

Canine: 11 to 12 years

1st and 2nd Premolars: 7 to 11 years

1st and 2nd Molars:  8 to 12 years 

Permanent Teeth Lower:

Central Incisors: 6 to 7 years

Lateral Incisors: 7 to 8 years

Canine: 9 to 10 years

1st and 2nd Premolars: 10 to 12 years

1st and 2nd Molars: 7 to 11 years

Sometimes Permanent teeth can grow in crooked, this can be caused by 

  • thumb sucking
  • pacifier or bottle use
  • tongue thrusting
  • mouth breathing
  • misaligned jaw
  • having a baby tooth knocked out too early

These can cause jaw alignment issues, to fix these problems braces or other teeth alignment equipment may be used.

Once your permanent teeth come in they aren’t supposed to fall out, however, some of these factors can cause you to lose adult teeth:

  • Periodontitis: Commonly known as gum disease is responsible for 70% of tooth loss. It is an infection in your gums that causes redness, irritation, deterioration of the tooth, and finally tooth loss.
  • Cavities: They form when bacteria infection sits for too long and causes tooth decay. If the decay has reached the root a root canal must be done, if that fails the tooth will need to be pulled.
  • Injury: Avoid using your teeth to remove caps, tops or lids, to loosen knots, tear off tags or cut thread, don’t use your teeth to chew ice, open nut shells or chew on popcorn kernels.

If your tooth falls out and is not cracked or broken, immediately put it in cold milk and call your dentist right away. The dentists can sometimes reinsert the tooth. Please do not attempt to put the tooth in yourself, you can cause damage to your gums. This can make it impossible for the dentist to successfully reattach the tooth to the root.

There are a few different ways to repair your smile after the loss of a tooth. Ask your dentist which option is best to replace those missing teeth.

Remember to brush twice a day and floss once to keep those pearly whites clean and healthy.

 

Chris T. Nhan, DDS

6600 Mercy Court, Suite 250
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

916-965-7188

Why, When, What Type, and How to Floss

Did you know that by simply brushing, you’re only getting 50% of the job done? That’s because when you brush the bristles can only reach 60% of your tooth’s surface. That means 20% between your teeth is a hot spot for bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. When you don’t floss it gives the bacteria longer to build up and bind with your teeth creating a firm sticky substance known as plaque. Flossing, however, removes those food particles before they can harden into tartar, also known as calculus, which cannot be removed by regular flossing. After the tartar begins to build up it will take over the surface of the tooth under the gum line. Once there, tartar causes inflammation and irritation that leads to the development of gum disease.

When to Floss

Now that we know why we should floss; do you know why only 4 in 10 Americans floss every day? The largest percent says that it’s too time-consuming but once you get the hang of it, flossing takes just a couple minutes. Since we only floss once a day, it’s recommended to do it before you brush. When you floss after brushing all the loose plaque and bacteria floats around your mouth, giving it the chance to reattach to the tooth’s surface. So, at the very least, rinse your mouth.

How to Floss

We’ve got the basics down, why it’s important to floss, and when we should floss. Can you guess what’s next? That’s right, the correct way to floss. If you are flossing every day and still see a lot of plaque buildup, chances are you’re missing some crevices. When you floss incorrectly it can cause bleeding and damage to your gums and any surrounding dental work. Now before we get into the proper ways to floss, we really need to go over the different types of floss and what they are used for.

Types of Floss

  • Floss can come waxed or unwaxed and everyone can use it! It’s great to get those food particles in tight spaces. Typically, it comes rolled up in a small plastic box. Which makes flossing on the go much easier!Body (1).png
  • Dental Tape: This is similar to regular floss where it comes in either waxed or unwaxed. However, dental tape is much wider than floss and can clean more surface. If you have bigger hands or more space between your teeth, it’s recommended to use this.
  • Floss Picks: Are small plastic flossing sticks that are somewhat shaped like a candy cane. Used in the same way regular floss is, floss picks make it easier for people with less dexterity and they are great for kids!
  • Floss Threader: This is a firm stick with a loop at the end. It is used to thread the floss through dental appliances, which can make some teeth hard to reach. Typically, floss threaders are used with braces or bridges.
  • Interdental Brush: This is a pick with wired or non-wired bristles at the tip. TheseBody (2).png can be used for regular flossing; however, they are also useful in cleaning dental implants and braces.
  • Superfloss: Has a floss threader at one end, regular floss in the middle, and a soft spongy floss at the other end. The thread is used to pull the floss between an appliance then the regular floss is used on the adjacent tooth. The spongy floss is then used to clean around an implant-supported bridge or under a normal bridge.
  • Wooden Plaque Remover: Looks a lot like a toothpick but it has a tapered end with a triangular shape. Set the tapered end in your mouth for a few seconds to soften it. Then place the softened side between your teeth with the flat side on your gums. This is to stimulate blood flow which helps fight gum disease. Gently move the pick in and out to break up any food particles and disturb any forming plaque. This can be used by anyone and is preferable for flossing on the go.
  • Water Flosser: The water flosser is a different type of device known as an oral irrigator. Instead of manually scraping the plaque off, the water pressure does it for you! If you have braces it’s an easy way to make sure you are fully cleaning those pearly whites, however, anyone can use a water flosser.

How Really to Floss

  • Flossing: Pull 18-20 in of floss from the container, then loosely wrap it around both middle fingers. Make sure to leave at least 1-2 in of floss in the middle. Hold the floss taut with your thumb and index fingers and glide it gently up and down the side of your teeth. When you get to the gum line form a C-shape and slide the floss down. Finally, remove the floss and continue with the same method on the rest of your teeth.
  • Flossing with Braces: It’s recommended that you use waxed floss to avoid getting strands stuck in the brackets. Pull 18-24 in of waxed floss out of the container, thread it through the floss threader and carefully pull it through the wire; then continue to floss as normal. You can also use interdental brushes by pushing the bristles in an out 2-3 times for every tooth.
  • Flossing Dental Implants: Since implants can’t decay the plaque will still stick which can cause swelling and implant failure known as Peri-implantitis. This means it is still vital to floss around your implant. Use a non-wired interdental brush to avoid scratching the titanium or porcelain. Gently push it in and out 2-3 times, then continue to floss the rest of your teeth.
  • Flossing a Dental Bridge: Start by pushing the threader end of Superfloss through the space between the bridge and the real tooth. Use the regular floss on the real tooth, then gently slide the super floss under the bridge 2-3 times and repeat on the other side. After, floss the rest of your teeth normally.
  • Flossing Implant-Supported Bridges: Use Superfloss to thread the spongy floss under the bridge, and gently use the spongy side to clean around the titanium implants. You can also use a non-wired interdental brush to clean them.
  • Flossing and Cleaning Implant-Supported Overdentures: Remove the dentures from your mouth, brush the dentures with detergent and place them in water. Then take a one-tuff brush and gently clean around the part of the implant that sits above your gums, commonly known as an abutment.

Flossing is simple, yet so crucial for your dental health. Remember, the floss most dentists recommend is any type that you will use every day!

Chris T. Nhan, DDS

6600 Mercy Court, Suite 250
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

916-965-7188

 

10 Ways to Love Your Teeth

Ah, February, the month of love. Which also happens to be American Heart Month! Did you know that to keep your heart healthy you need healthy gums as well? Your gums are there to hold the roots of your teeth in place. When you don’t properly take care of your teeth and gums by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once, they’re at a higher risk of periodontal disease.

More commonly known as gum disease, its effects vary from redness and swelling, to complete destruction of the tooth’s bone support. Which often ends in tooth loss. The bacteria that cause gum disease can also travel into your bloodstream, causing blood vessel inflammation and damage to your heart. It also leaves tiny blood clots in its wake, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Luckily there are a bunch of things you can do to keep that smile, and heart, safe and healthy!

Here are 10 tips and tricks to keep your mouth, and your heart healthy this Valentine’s Day!

  1. Brush your teeth correctly:  Brushing is extremely important to your oral and brush-floss.pngoverall health. The ADA recommends that you brush gently, in short strokes, and at a 45-degree angle for 2 minutes. This prevents the bristles from removing the enamel that protects your teeth. When brushing the backs of your teeth, it’s best to turn the brush vertically and make multiple short strokes on every tooth.
  2. Know when to toss it: Your toothbrush only needs to stick around for about 3 months, or until the bristles start to fray. When they begin to fray, your brush won’t do its job properly leaving your mouth defenseless against harmful bacteria. Speaking of which, after a while, your toothbrush will start to gather food particles and bacteria that can’t be rinsed away with water. When you don’t replace your brush, all that bacteria gets reintroduced posing a bigger threat to your dental and heart health. This is why it’s important to pay attention to how long you’ve had your brush, notice what condition it’s in, and take action when it’s time for a new one.
  3. Use fluoride toothpaste:  Fluoride, known as natures cavity fighter, is a mineral found in the earth’s core. Before our teeth come in, our body is absorbing fluoride through our nutrients to help build a resistance to tooth decay, this is called a systemic benefit. Once our teeth are in, brushing or using other dental products with fluoride helps rebuild the eroded enamel and reverse the effects of tooth decay. With the risk of tooth decay lowered by using fluoride products, your chances of a heart attack or stroke also decrease.
  4. How to rinse: Contrary to common belief, you are not supposed to rinse your mouth with only water immediately after brushing. When you do this, you are taking all that wonderful fluoride we talked about in #3 and spitting it down the drain. By rinsing right after you brush you aren’t giving the fluoride enough time to attach to your teeth and patch up all that worn-down enamel. It’s best to rinse with water before you spit the foamy left-over toothpaste out. This allows your teeth to absorb the fluoride while rinsing out all the toothpaste.
  5. What to do about sweets: As you may know, sugar is possibly one of the worst things out there for you. Besides its obvious risks of excess sugar, obesity, and diabetes, sugar can have a bad effect on your teeth, gums, and heart. Sugar can increase the triglyceride (fat) in the blood, that fat can then get clogged in your arteries which could result in heart failure. Sugar also puts your teeth and gums at risk of acid attacks. When sugar binds with the bacteria in our mouths it creates acid. This acid can stick to enamel and cause it to erode. It’s best if you eat and drink sugar in small portions; and, if you’re craving something sweet have a bowl of fruit or some dark chocolate. They are both great for your heart and your smile.
  6. Valentine’s candy and ortho appliances: If you have braces, the same candy rules braces-candy.pngstill apply, chewy or sticky candy can get stuck in your brackets. The sugar then reacts with the bacteria in your mouth creating a white film around the brackets. This substance is nearly impossible to clean and can cause extended acid attacks and increases your risk of cavities.
  7. Floss daily: While flossing may be the most tedious part of your dental routine it is also the most important. The bristles on your toothbrush are too wide to get all the yucky plaque that gets stuck between your teeth. When you don’t floss that plaque sits in-between your teeth and hardens. After it has adhered to your tooth it will then make its way down to the root which can cause gum disease and recession.
  8. Cut the Tobacco: Another thing that may be worse for your mouth than sugar is tobacco products. Usage minimizes the amount of blood flow to the gums which can cause and hide signs of gum disease. While using tobacco you are 3 times more likely to develop gum disease, which elevates your risk of heart disease. The nicotine in tobacco reduces saliva flow and causes dry mouth. Both can end in tooth loss due to the lack of moisture in your gums.
  9. Tongues are important: When you forget to brush your tongue all the bacteria that cause bad breath, and plaque that causes cavities just sits there. Even after you have brushed your teeth if you don’t brush your tongue all the bacteria and plaque will attach itself onto your tooth roots and gums. This can lead to gum disease as well.
  10. Checkups: This is the most important part of your dental routine. By visiting your dentist twice a year you are showing your teeth the necessary TLC with a little professional help. Your dentist can clean your teeth, check for cavities, and catch issues in your mouth before they turn into bigger problems

Remember to brush 2x a day and floss at minimum once a day because dental hygiene is a vital part of your overall health. These are only a few tips and tricks, ask us at your next appointment how you can give your teeth some love. Make your heart and teeth happy by scheduling your appointment today!

Chris T. Nhan, DDS

6600 Mercy Court, Suite 250
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

916-965-7188

 

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity & How to Treat it?

With the weather changing many notice that the cold air is causing a sharp pain at the base of a tooth. This could be the result of tooth sensitivity, but what exactly does that mean?

Tooth sensitivity can occur for many reasons

  • Tooth decay AKA cavities
  • Cracked teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Exposed tooth root from receding gums
  • Worn enamel and cementum

The leading cause of tooth sensitivity is the erosion of enamel and cementum. Your enamel is a hard substance that covers the surface of your tooth. Its job is to protect the tooth above the gum line from everyday life. The job of the cementum is quite similar except its responsibility lies beneath the gum line. The cementum covers and protects the roots as well as a more delicate layer of the tooth known as the dentin.

Dentin has small fluid-filled tubes that connect directly to nerve endings underneath the gum line. When the cementum Cementum.pngis eroded, the dentin has a higher exposure to the elements. Which causes pain and sensitivity to hot and cold components that may not have been there before.

Fear not, having sensitive teeth is very common and treatable. The treatment you receive is based on what is causing the sensitivity. Common treatments are:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: After multiple uses, it starts to block the pain linked with sensitive teeth.
  • FluorideThis treatment is applied by your dentist to different parts of your teeth to help strengthen your enamel.
  • Root Canal: If decay is present in the root. Your tooth will be cleaned out and packed with a filling. After that, a crown is set on top to protect the tooth from further damage.
  • Surgical Gum Graft: This is used when root exposure is the cause of sensitivity. Soft tissue is taken from another part of your mouth and used to fill in the gaps. Since there are many types of gum recession, your oral surgeon will recommend which solution is best for your health.

With sensitive teeth it is very important to not neglect your dental hygiene; this can cause your condition to get worse as well as running the risk of developing (or worsening) gum disease. Remember to brush twice a day, floss at least once, and come in for your checkup twice a year. If you are experiencing pain due to tooth sensitivity schedule an appointment for yourself right away!

Chris T. Nhan, DDS

6600 Mercy Court, Suite 250
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

916-965-7188

Teeth Friendly Stocking Stuffers

The holidays are here, a time filled with joy, kinship, laughter, presents, and stockings. As you already know finding cute simple things to fill a stocking isn’t always the easiest. Especially when you’re trying to shop healthy. So, here’s our recommendation for teeth-friendly stocking!

Toothbrush: This is the perfect stocking stuffer for all ages. Toothbrushes come in all types of fun options, which makes them easy to toss in. Soft-bristle toothbrushes are the best because hard bristles can damage your teeth. You can even add some fun by personalizing with stickers!

Floss: This is the easiest stuffer out there! Everyone needs it and there’s lots of options to choose from.

Snacks: Sour, chewy, and acidic candy that are usually placed in stockings can cause Gummy Bears.pngdamage to your teeth. When you introduce that much sugar to your mouth, it binds with the bacteria and creates an acid that erodes your enamel. The safer option is chocolate or chocolate with nuts. Remember to rinse with water right after eating sweets and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing.

Toothpaste: You can never have enough toothpaste. It can be used for so many things besides brushing! Like treating poison ivy, removing gum from hair, removing carpet stains, clean sneakers, and even shine jewelry! They also have novelty toothpaste that comes in pretty much any flavor you can think of. Anyone tried bacon yet? 

Gum sweetened with Xylitol: It’s hard to come across someone who doesn’t enjoy chewing gum. However, most gum has an insane amount of sugar per piece and all that sugar does a lot of damage. Sugar in our mouths is dissolved by the bad bacteria which causes excess plaque to build up and cavities. Chew gum sweetened with Xylitol. Xylitol is as equal in sweetness as sugar and it has a similar flavor, it also fights cavities while you chew! 

Travel-sized oral hygiene kit: It works for all ages, and it’s small enough to stash Toothbrush.pngwherever you need it. Typically, these include a folding toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, mini mouthwash, and a roll of floss.

Toothpaste dispenser: For those with oversized stockings this is the perfect stuffer for parents with little ones! A toothpaste dispenser makes brushing teeth fun, and easy. Just place your toothbrush into the dispenser, and it gives you the exact amount of toothpaste needed. No mess. No-fuss!

Wishing you and your family the happiest of holidays! And regardless of the stuffers, you get this holiday season, remember to brush your teeth twice a day and floss often Ho, Ho, Ho!

Chris T. Nhan, DDS

6600 Mercy Court, Suite 250
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

916-965-7188