Call for an appointment: Long Beach, CA (562)434-6414

Items to Keep Handy For Better Oral Health

There’s always an emphasis on physical health and mental health, and while both of those are vital to your overall wellbeing, make sure you don’t forget oral health! Keep reading in order to find out a dental hygienist’s expert recommendations for items you need to have on hand in order to protect your oral health.

Dental Floss

Make dental floss a priority! Carrying a small spool doesn’t take up much space in your purse or desk, and you can use it to pick debris out of the spaces in your teeth. Keeping your teeth flossed protects you from decay and a plethora of other health issues. If you aren’t a fan of regular dental floss, floss picks are another handy option.


Always carry a mirror, especially when you go out to eat. This will help you check in on your teeth, especially if you suspect that there is a piece of food stuck in your teeth. Mirrors help assist you with flossing as well. (Even more convenient, most phones can be used as a mirror with a camera app!)

Healthy Snacks and Beverages

Try to avoid sugar in order to preserve those pearly whites. Sodas and other acidic beverages can wear down your tooth enamel, and will make your teeth prone to forming cavities. Some of the best kinds of snacks are whole foods such as fruit, seeds, and beef jerky.

Sugar-Free Gum or Mints

Using sugar-free gum can help freshen up your breath! Xylitol, an ingredient found in most sugar-free gum, helps protect your teeth enamel.

Travel Toothpaste and Toothbrush

The best way to improve your oral health is to brush! By carrying a tube of travel toothpaste and a small toothbrush, you will be able to brush your teeth throughout the day, even if you aren’t at home at your bathroom sink.

While all of these items are wonderful to have, they can’t always improve your oral health. We recommend scheduling an appointment through this link in order to check on your teeth. Happy brushing!

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What You Need to Know About Root Canal Therapy

Endodontic therapy is commonly referred to as a root canal. But the root canal is actually the hollow section within a tooth containing nerve tissue, blood vessels, and other cells or pulp. The pulp provides nourishment and moisture to the surrounding material. It senses hot and cold temperatures as pain. Above the root sits the tooth’s crown, and the root attaches the tooth to the jawbone.

What is Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is the treatment to save a tooth that has been affected by decay or infection. The pulp, nerves, bacteria, and decay are removed from the tooth. The space left behind is filled with medicated dental materials that restore the tooth.

Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?

A few common signs and symptoms will alert you to the need for root canal therapy.

Consult your dentist if you notice:

  • A gum abscess
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Tooth pain
  • Swelling or tenderness

There are also a few common causes of root canal damage, including:

  • Decay due to cavity
  • Repeated dental procedures on a tooth
  • An injury, chip, or crack to the tooth

Diagnosis usually involves an X-ray to confirm root canal damage.

When is Root Canal Therapy the Best Option?

When the pulp is injured or infected, the tissue will die. Infection weakens the jawbone and breaks it down, and surrounding ligaments loosen. The infection will soon spread throughout the mouth, causing even more problems.

It’s best to handle your injured or infected root canal as quickly as possible. Root canal therapy is the optimal treatment to save a tooth that would eventually have to be removed. This is because extractions are more costly and cause problems for the teeth surrounding the extracted tooth.

How is Root Canal Therapy Performed?

Dr. Coates or an endodontist can perform root canal treatment. Numbing medication is applied to the gum near the impacted tooth. After the tooth has been numbed, a rubber dam is placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.

An access opening is made on top of the tooth, and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening – one at a time – to remove the pulp, nerve tissue, and any bacteria and tooth decay present. The tooth is then thoroughly cleaned and sealed with a permanent or temporary filling if additional appointments are needed.

A week later, at the next appointment, the roots and inside cavity of the tooth are filled and sealed with special dental materials. A filling is placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth. Next, a crown should be placed on the tooth to provide protection.

After root canal therapy, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed. Over-the-counter pain medications should alleviate the pain. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment. It’s essential to follow all after-care instructions provided by Dr. Coates.

Preventing Root Damage

Prevention is key in avoiding root canal damage. Dr. Coates recommends that you:

  • Brush your teeth upon waking, at bedtime, and one other time each day using fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss between teeth, removing plaque each day
  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings
  • Minimize intake of sugary drinks and snacks
  • Replace your toothbrush regularly
  • Ask Dr. Coates about dental sealants

Dr. Coates is Here to Help

Once you’ve undergone root canal therapy, results will last best when you properly care for your teeth. There may be a need for retreatment in case of new infections or injury.

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Coates for more information about root canal therapy today! You can also give our Long Beach office a call at 562-434-6414.

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Tips to Overcome Your Child’s Fear of the Dentist

For kids, and even some adults, the sights and sounds of the dentist office can be scary. These fears could be born from previous dental experiences, anxiety disorders, or just not knowing what to expect. Many people avoid seeing the dentist for preventative care resulting in poor oral health. Parents often dread the thought of taking their child for those necessary visits due to their fears. Luckily, there are some things that can be done to alleviate those fears.

Normalize the Practice of Visiting the Dentist Early and In a Positive Manner

Get your child in to see the dentist as early as possible, preferably before there is a problem. Start when your child reaches the age of 1 or when the first tooth breaks through, whichever is earlier. Be positive when discussing dental procedures and visits – theirs or your own.

Speak Up

If your child is one of these apprehensive patients, it is important that you let your dentist know and that you ask about what assistance is available to help them get through their visit. From your first contact with the dental practice, let them know about any fears and gauge their response. If they trivialize or don’t take your concerns seriously, find another practice. Remember that you are your child’s advocate.

Be Prepared for a Little Pushback

Your being present with your child is often the only thing they will need to get through their dental appointments. But you should keep in mind that there will probably be some level of anxiety and pushback from your child, and that your dental office professionals are used to that. They will be able to suggest the best ways that you can help during the visit.

Offer Something Other than Sweets as a Reward

Your child’s dentist will discuss avoiding sugars and eating healthy, so don’t contradict this with promises of ice cream and candy for good behavior.

Express the Importance of Oral Health

Share with your child why dental visits and proper at-home care is so important. Advise them that their dentist is there to partner with them to ensure they have strong and beautiful teeth throughout their lives.

If you have any questions about how we can help your child be more comfortable in the office, or if you’d like to schedule your child’s next appointment, call us at 562-434-6414 or click here to make your request online!

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Why We Like Electric Toothbrushes

Beautiful, healthy smiles are our ultimate goal. Caring for your teeth at home plays a key role in achieving this goal. This starts with eating balanced meals, reducing snacks, and thoroughly cleaning your teeth. But what’s the best way to clean your teeth at home?

Electric toothbrushes are growing in popularity, and our patients often ask, “Should I be using an electric toothbrush?” Dr. Coates shares the results of studies on the subject, the benefits of electric toothbrushes over manual toothbrushes, and how to properly care for your teeth no matter which you choose.

Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

A new study suggests that electric toothbrushes are more effective at cleaning teeth and gums than manual toothbrushes. According to the 11-year study, electric toothbrushes deliver healthier gums, reduced tooth decay, and longer life for teeth. This is especially true for the type of electric toothbrushes with oscillating heads.

A 2014 Cochrane Collaboration study favored electric toothbrushes over manual ones because they do a better job of eliminating plaque. 56 clinical trials, including participants of more than 5,000 adults and children, showed an 11% reduction in plaque in the first 3 months, with a 21% reduction after this time. The rate of gingivitis in this group was reduced by 6% in the first 3 months, with 11% after 3 months.

The reason behind the better performance of electric toothbrushes could boil down to the effectiveness of the toothbrush and the timers that ensure users brush for the recommended time of 2 minutes.

Consumer marketing analysis firm Mintel found that only 36% of adults say that they use an electric toothbrush. They are most popular in older age groups with higher incomes. The cost of an electric toothbrush often keeps them loyal to their manual versions, with manual toothbrushes costing less than $10 and electric toothbrushes ranging between $20 and $250. Fortunately, they are becoming more affordable each year. Dental professionals agree that the cost is worth it.

Dentists warn that it’s important to remember that the brush is doing all the work when using an electric toothbrush. Just don’t apply pressure when using the brush to avoid harmful effects.

Whether you choose a manual or electric toothbrush, know that tapered or angled bristle brush heads are more effective at plaque reduction. Soft bristles are always the best choice to reduce the risk of gum and enamel damage.

The Importance of Proper Oral Care

With both manual and electric toothbrushes, the most important thing is that you have a good routine for your oral health. Dr. Coates recommends brushing for at least 2 minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once each day. This eliminates the bacteria that cause plaque and prevents tooth decay and gum disease.

Caring for Your Teeth at Home

Visiting your dentists for regular visits and cleanings is essential, but when you’re at home, it’s best to:

  • Hold your toothbrush at a 45º angle to get between the teeth and gums to reach harmful bacteria.
  • Gently brush using a small circular motion.
  • Focus on brushing 2 teeth at a time and working around your mouth.
  • Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth.
  • Touch every surface of each tooth and the surface of your tongue.
  • Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three to four months.
  • Floss daily to clean between the teeth and under the gumline.
  • Rinse with water after brushing and after meals if you’re unable to brush.

For more details on the best method of cleaning your teeth at home, check out Dr. Coates’s guide here.

Team Up with Dr. Coates for a Healthy Smile

Both manual and electric toothbrushes will keep your mouth healthy with a good oral health routine. Dr. Coates is happy to discuss both options with you during your consultation. Just remember that to prevent or decrease the risk of cavities and tooth decay, maintain your oral health with regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, daily flossing, healthy eating, and visiting with us regularly!

Call the Long Beach dental office of Stephen Coates, DDS, at 562-434-6414 or schedule your appointment online.

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The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Respiratory Disease

Recent research studies have discovered a concerning link between periodontal disease and respiratory disease. Researchers conclude that periodontal disease worsens respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – and it could even play a role in contracting pneumonia, bronchitis, and emphysema.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that arises from bacterial infection. The bacteria in plaque colonize gingival tissue, prompting an inflammatory response that causes the body to destroy gum and bone tissue. This leads to teeth seeming to lengthen as the gums recede with disease progression. Eventually, this erosion of the bone tissue results in a less stable base, causing loosening or shifting of the teeth and tooth loss.

Connections Between Periodontal and Respiratory Disease

Many respiratory diseases have been linked to periodontal disease, including pneumonia, COPD, and bronchitis. Bacterial respiratory infections commonly occur with the inhalation of fine droplets from the mouth into the lungs.

Why These Conditions Are Related

While the link may seem improbable, researchers have amassed an abundance of evidence to support their conclusions, including:

  • Bacterial Spread – Oral bacterium that causes periodontal disease can be drawn into the lower respiratory tract and colonize the lungs, causing pneumonia and the worsening of severe respiratory conditions like COPD.
  • Low Immunity – Those with chronic or persistent respiratory issues also suffer from low immunity, allowing oral bacteria to embed above and below the gum line without resistance from the body’s immune system. This speeds the progression of periodontal disease and increases the risk of developing emphysema, pneumonia, and COPD.
  • Modifiable Factors – Smoking is considered the leading cause of COPD and other chronic respiratory illnesses. Additionally, tobacco damages the gingiva and impacts the health of the oral cavity. It also slows healing, causes enlarged gum pockets, and hastens attachment loss.
  • Inflammation – Periodontal disease causes inflammation and the irritation of oral tissue, possibly due to oral bacteria inflaming the lung lining. This limits the amount of air passing to and from the lungs.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When respiratory and periodontal disease are both diagnosed in one individual, it is essential for Dr. Coates and your physician to partner to control both conditions. Depending on the specific condition of the teeth, gums, and jaw, there are many options available, both surgical and non-surgical. Dr. Coates can assess the extent of inflammation and tissue loss and treat bacterial infection quickly.

Non-surgical procedures by Dr. Coates and our dental hygienist include scaling and root plaining, as well as a new therapy called Perio Protect™. Before and after periodontal treatment, our dental team will recommend proper home care and oral maintenance, and will prescribe prescription mouthwashes to deter further bacteria colonization.

Whichever treatment is deemed appropriate, the benefits of controlling periodontal disease are two-fold. First, reduction of oral discomfort and healthier gums. Second, reduced occurrences of respiratory infections associated with COPD and other common respiratory conditions.

Let Us Be a Part of Your Healthcare Team

Proper oral care benefits your overall health and well-being. As researchers have concluded, periodontal disease contributes to respiratory illnesses, which is not to be taken lightly. It’s important to have the best dental professional in your corner and visit them regularly to identify the early signs of periodontal disease.

For more about the connection between periodontal disease and respiratory disease and screening and treatment options, make your appointment with Dr. Coates today. You can also give our Long Beach office a call with any questions or concerns at 562-434-6414.

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5 Ways to Help Kids Brush Teeth

Kids have tons to deal with – school, after-school activities, homework, and family time. Along the way, they are also learning to take responsibility for themselves and their self-care. This includes learning about oral hygiene and taking care of their teeth; this is where you come in!

It’s up to you to guide them and provide the best advice for keeping their teeth healthy. Here, Dr. Coates offers five ways to help kids brush their teeth and form a lifelong oral care routine.

Make it Fun!

Of course, you know that they need to brush their teeth for two minutes twice each day. But setting a timer and keeping watch won’t encourage them to keep up the practice when you walk away. Add a little fun to the routine with music, a dance party, or a challenge. Play a two-minute YouTube video or read them a two-minute story. Creativity will help to fight the monotony.

Incorporate it Into Their Routine

No matter how busy or tiring the day has been or how late you may be running in the morning, help your kids stick to their oral care routine. Show them that it is also a part of your daily routine so that they can learn from your example.

Offer a Reward

Find out what motivates your child and provide a reward with every brushing session. Take a look at those pearly whites when they’re done and offer a “great job”!

Use Their Favorite Characters

Many of your kids’ favorite characters have videos, books, and episodes about oral hygiene. Take the time to view them together and apply what you’ve learned. Get a toothbrush for their favorite toy. Show them how to brush their teeth using their toy friend, but remind them that everyone has their own toothbrush and shouldn’t share.

Take Them Shopping

Make your child part of the process and allow them to choose their toothbrush, toothpaste, rinse cup, and floss. Just make sure their chosen items have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

The Importance of Proper Oral Care

Properly taking care of your child’s teeth and passing on good habits can prevent many issues, including:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Halitosis

Proper Brushing and Flossing

Your child’s teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. Ideally, they should also be brushed after each meal. Choose a small toothbrush with soft, rounded-end bristles and replace it every three months.

One could also argue that flossing is even more important than brushing, as it is the only way to remove plaque between the teeth. Teach your child to floss before brushing at least once each day and ideally after every meal. Use this guide to help your child brush and floss the right way.

Make us a Part of Your Team!

Our team is happy to partner with you to reinforce the importance of proper oral healthcare. On their next visit, we can offer instructions and tips. If you have any questions about proper brushing and flossing, Dr. Coates and our dental hygienist are here to help! To schedule your child’s next appointment, call us at 562-434-6414 or click here to make your request online!

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What is Swimmer’s Mouth?

Summer is in full swing, and part of summer fun is frolicking in the pool. While swimming can keep you healthy and cool on hot summer days, it can also affect your oral health. The chlorine in pools, effective for killing bacteria, is actually harmful to your teeth!

Dr. Coates shares how chlorine can threaten your oral health and discusses things you can do to protect your smile…

Chlorine in Pool Water

Chlorine kills waterborne diseases that can harm us and our loved ones. Used in pools and hot tubs, it’s the first line of defense against germs that can cause serious illnesses and symptoms like diarrhea, skin conditions, ear discomfort, coughing, congestion, and eye pain. But while it’s useful, it can also negatively impact the enamel on your teeth.

How Chlorine Affects Oral Health

The pH levels in chlorinated pools and hot tubs lead to enamel erosion when you swim regularly throughout the season. This is especially true if the pool is over-chlorinated. You may not notice the amount of chlorine in your pool, but there may be an issue with the chlorine levels if you see that your teeth have become discolored, the edges of your front teeth appear transparent, or you feel extreme tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods or beverages after swimming in chlorinated water.

Improper pH levels can lead to:

  • Tooth enamel damage – The acidic chlorine can accumulate on your teeth, leading to swimmer’s calculus. This condition makes your teeth look yellow, and increases erosion of the enamel.
  • Tooth sensitivity – Sensitivity isn’t far behind when the enamel begins to erode from your teeth. This protective layer keeps stimuli away from the nerve inside the tooth. When your enamel isn’t doing its job, a painful sensation occurs.
  • Increased risk of oral injuries – Swimming is a sport, and oral injuries can happen while playing any sport. This is especially true for children who tend to be a little rougher when playing in the pool.
  • Dental appliance loss or damage – While swimming, dental appliances get lost or damaged as they fall from the mouth. Usually, they are never found or discovered when someone has stepped on them. This is why it’s best to keep removable dental appliances in protective cases when in the pool.

Preventing Swimmer’s Mouth

Keep your teeth healthy by following these safety tips for preventing swimmer’s mouth:

  • Monitor chlorine levels – Too much chlorine can increase the acidity of the water, causing a host of health issues and deteriorating your enamel. If you have a pool at your home, you can protect your teeth by managing the chlorine you use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that a pool’s pH level should remain between 7.2 and 7.8, and a free chlorine concentration of at least one part per million. For hot tubs, the free chlorine concentration should be at least three parts per million.
    • pH strips are available to test your pool water before enjoying a dip. Consult a pool maintenance professional if you’re not sure about managing chlorine levels.
    • If you’re swimming in pools away from home, take note of the condition of the pool lining, ladders, and railings. If you see excessive erosion, the chlorine level is probably too high. It’s best to limit your time in the pool or find another place to swim.
  • Practice poolside safety – Staying safe in and around the pool reduces the risk of oral injuries. Ensure that everyone in your party knows not to run around the pool surface, wear protective sports mouth guards, and move dental appliances into protective cases before getting into the pool.
  • Increased risk of oral injuries – Swimming is a sport, and oral injuries can happen while playing any sport. This is especially true for children who tend to be a little rougher when playing in the pool.
  • Maintain your dental care – Getting regular dental exams allows your dentist to monitor your oral health. Your dental team will check for decay and damage to your teeth or restorations, and can keep your mouth healthy. Regular cleanings will keep your teeth free from excess plaque, tartar, and swimmer’s calculus.

Keep Your Mouth Healthy All Year Long with Dr. Stephen Coates

Following these tips when swimming in chlorine and limiting your time in chlorinated water can help you reduce the risk of enamel erosion. Practice good oral hygiene habits to ward off any harmful effects of chlorine. Brush twice a day, floss once each day, and see your dentist regularly.
Our dental team in Long Beach, CA, is here to help you prevent and treat swimmer’s mouth. Call us today at 562-434-6414 or schedule your appointment online.

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Tips for Managing Your Family’s Oral Health During Summertime

Summers are full of fun, frolicking in the sun, and memory-making moments. But this is no time to neglect your oral health. Dr. Coates shares how to prevent dental problems and keep a healthy smile during the summer by following seven simple tips!

Tip One – Keep Your Routine

You may find your kids sleeping in when they don’t have to rush to beat the school bell. But it’s essential that they get up, have a healthy breakfast, and brush and floss their teeth. And on those nights when the kids get to bed after midnight, we must remind them to brush before they retire for the night.

Ensure that your kids brush twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Direct them to floss at least once a day to get into those spaces between their teeth.

Tip Two – Go Easy on the Sweet Treats

On hot summer days, it’s easy to reach for juices and soft drinks to cool off. But it’s important to limit how much of these they enjoy. Water is better for hydration, and it doesn’t harm their pearly whites. Milk with meals is also a healthy choice.

Make sure you make healthy snacks available and encourage them to eat a healthy meal when they are hungry. There is nothing wrong with the occasional snack, but we often find that our children journey to the fridge and pantry several times a day on the hunt for snacks. When they partake in sweet snacks, make sure they brush right after.

Tip Three – Your Teeth Aren’t Tools

Your teeth are for chewing food, not for opening bottles and other items. Doing that can chip or break a tooth. Not only is this extremely painful for your child, but it can also be very costly for you.

Tip Four – Invest in a Mouthguard

When your kids participate in summer sports, protect their teeth with a mouthguard. These helpful devices help to prevent expensive sports injuries. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Coates before summer to have your child fitted for a custom mouthguard for the best protection.

Tip Five – Spread on the Lip Balm

Use sunscreen, stay hydrated, and wear sunglasses to protect yourself from the heat and sun. And don’t forget the SPF 15 or higher lip balm to protect your lips from UV rays.

Tip Six – Build a Relationship with Your Dentist

If you and your family don’t have a regular dentist, it’s never too late to get one. It’s important to be consistent with your dental checkups. When you see the same dentist regularly, they can identify changes in your mouth. Seeing the same hygienist, dentist, and office staff can also help kids get comfortable with the process.

Tip Seven – Schedule Your Back-to-School Dental Visit Early

When you begin thinking about back-to-school shopping, remember that a clean and sparkly smile will help your kids put their best foot forward. Getting their dental checkup during the summer is the best way to avoid missing time from school. Before school starts, families rush to get their kids in for dental appointments. Make sure that you book your dental checkup and cleaning appointment early.

Dr. Stephen Coates would love to be your family dentist. Our Long Beach practice is committed to your oral health, working every day to restore, enhance, and maintain the natural beauty of our patient’s smiles. Our staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and welcoming. Schedule your appointment by calling us at 562-434-6414 or requesting your appointment online.

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8 Dental Father’s Day Gift Ideas

June is approaching, which means it’s time to celebrate your father! For Father’s Day, consider getting dad something that can help him improve his dental health and make his smile a little brighter! The team from the Office of Dr. Stephen A. Coates, DDS, shares eight gift ideas for dad!

Electric Toothbrush

Here’s a new power tool to add to dad’s collection. Since keeping teeth clean with a manual toothbrush can be quite a task, get him an electric toothbrush. Clinically proven to reduce stains and fight gum disease, they’re more efficient, hitting about 40k strokes a minute. Dad can increase blood circulation and eliminate bacteria build-up on his gums with an electric toothbrush.

Mouthwash Dispenser

If your dad is still doing the old pour and gargle thing with the bottle cap of his mouthwash, simplify his life with a convenient way to rinse his mouth. An automatic or manual mouthwash dispenser looks great on the bathroom counter, and there are even wall-mounted versions.

Water Flossers

If dad is looking for a deeper clean along his gumlines, then water flossers may be a great gift idea. Water flossers are available as portable devices and send powerful sprays of water into the mouth to clean the gums and between the teeth.

Dental Care Travel Kit

If dad’s a frequent traveler or avid camper, a dental care travel kit includes all the necessary equipment to clean his teeth. Some come with a manual toothbrush and cap, travel-sized toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss. These essentials come in a weatherproof travel bag to make it easy to take care of the mouth on the go!


A mouthguard is a perfect gift if your dad likes to spend time on the basketball court or ice rink. Set an appointment with Dr. Coates to have him fitted with a customized version. No matter how rough the game gets, you can protect Dad’s pearly whites for less than $100.

Toothbrush Holder

Whether dad has a manual or electric toothbrush, a toothbrush holder sporting his favorite team or hobby will be a unique gift for Father’s Day!

Noise Canceling Headphones

If you’re used to playing the music too loud, give dad the gift of relief – noise-canceling headphones. When dad is in a noisy setting or sitting in the dentist’s chair, he can listen to his style of music, podcasts, or audiobook.

Professional Teeth Whitening

The best gift idea isn’t something you would put in a gift bag, but it’s even better! Professional teeth whitening is great for those who drink coffee every day, smoke, or have issues with teeth discoloration for other reasons. While you can pick up teeth whitening products at the drug store, they won’t deliver the results that a professional dentist can.

Let Dr. Stephen Coates Help Make Father’s Day Perfect!

Start early and get the perfect gift for Father’s Day! Make him really smile and help him keep it bright with these 8 Dental Gifts for Father’s Day! For help choosing the right gift or to schedule Dad’s appointment, contact your Long Beach Dentist, Dr. Stephen Coates, DDS, by calling 562-434-6414 or by using this appointment form here.

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Why Does it Seem Like You Have Bad Breath All the Time?

Bad breath can be very bothersome. When you have bad breath in business and social settings, it can turn people away. As the condition is called, Halitosis may be caused by inadequate oral care habits, dietary issues, or even serious medical conditions like gum disease and untreated wounds in the mouth.

Here Dr. Stephen Coates shares more about bad breath, how to prevent it, and how to treat it when it’s getting you down.

What Causes Halitosis

Bad breath can be caused by several reasons, including:

  • Bacteria: Bacteria live in the mouth and find an agreeable environment to grow due to the moisture and warmth found there. The bacteria feed on food left in your mouth after eating, leaving waste behind.
  • Dry Mouth: When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, it doesn’t get as clean as it should. The saliva helps wash out the mouth. Medications, salivary gland issues, or mouth breathing can cause dry mouth.
  • Gum Disease: Advanced and even mild gum disease caused by plaque can cause persistent bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
  • Leftover Debris: Debris that gets trapped in between the pockets of the teeth can also begin to decay and start to smell. Ill-fitting dentures, cavities, and broken fillings can also leave openings that trap food and bacteria.
  • Tobacco Use: Not only does smoking cause lung cancer, but it also causes stains on your teeth, makes your breath smell bad, and impairs your ability to taste the food you eat.
  • Medical Conditions: Infections in the mouth can cause Halitosis. Sinus issues, reflux, diabetes, liver, oral yeast infections, and kidney disease can also cause your breath to smell bad.
  • Poor Oral Care Habits: Not taking care of your teeth properly can cause decay, plaque, and bacteria to build up and cause a foul odor.

Bad Breath Prevention

Prevention is key, so you must adopt good oral health habits like brushing and flossing twice a day, visiting your dentist for cleanings twice a year, and managing dental problems early on.

Bad Breath Treatment

Treating bad breath often comes down to treating the condition causing it. Antibiotics for infections, adjusting dentures, repairing filings, treating gum disease, or changing medications could help solve the issue of your bad breath. Other times treating bad breath boils down to taking care of your teeth by:

  • Brushing: Ensure that you are not only brushing twice daily but also that you are thoroughly cleaning between your teeth and floss to rid your mouth of bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Use Mouthwash: Mouthwash can kill bacteria and neutralize bad breath temporarily.
  • Clean Your Dentures: Take out removable dentures each night, clean them well, and store them properly until you need them again in the morning.
  • Encourage Saliva Production: Eat healthy foods, chew them well, try sugar-free gum and candies, and ask your dentist for artificial saliva.
  • Commit to Quitting: It’s time to quit smoking for your oral health and the health of the rest of your body.
  • Keep Up With Regular Dental Appointments: It’s important, and recommended by the American Dental Association, to visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and exams.

To keep bad breath at bay, make an appointment with Dr. Coates and keep up with regular checkups. Our Long Beach, CA dental team is waiting to discuss your symptoms and determine the right approach to treat your bad breath. Call us today at 562-434-6414, or visit us online to schedule your appointment.

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