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

How to Make Caring For Teeth Fun for Kids?

One of greatest challenges of parenting is teaching your children good habits. Most of the time, kids resist learning them because they’re “necessary,” meaning they “aren’t fun.” And well, who can blame them? Sometimes being remedial just seems like a chore, and who likes chores?

However, even if we don’t like chores, we as adults know that they must be done. On top of that, caring for your family’s oral health is a necessity because it could cost you a lot more money later in life if good hygiene isn’t practiced today. So, while you know you need to have good teeth and gums, but how do you convince your children?

As a busy parent, you’ve got enough problems to worry about. Teaching your child how to brush their teeth doesn’t have to be cumbersome, so here are some fun and creative tips to get the job done.

Brush Your Own Teeth With Them

Children often learn by watching other people around them, so try making tooth brushing time become family time. Not only will you be there to assist your child brushing their teeth, but you also get your cleaning time as well. Don’t be afraid to let them see you flossing and using mouthwash – showing your kids that you care for your own teeth this way will encourage them later on to do the same.

Play Music Or Audiobooks

Search online and you can find many apps, videos, or audio clips that are about 2 to 2.5 minutes long, dedicated to entertaining your children while they brush their teeth. Give the kids something to look forward to when you tell them that this specific music or video is only allowed during teeth cleaning time. There are popular apps for many families like Brush DJ – where you can choose from a collection of 2 minute songs, or Star Teeth – which contains 2 minute animated clips. Alternatively, you can search YouTube for 2 minute videos.

Use Flavored Toothpaste

Make tooth brushing a special treat by giving your children a variety of toothpaste with different flavors. Add some creativity by assigning flavors to certain days, like Monday Minty, Wednesday Watermelon, or Strawberry Saturdays.

Make It A Positive Experience

Many parents struggle with the idea of rewarding mediocrity, that you shouldn’t have to incentivize children for doing what they are supposed to do. However, even if you choose to reward good behavior as children are just starting to learn how to brush their teeth, you can always pull back on the rewards later. Also, motivation doesn’t have to come from the promise of a reward. It can also just be a fun activity that children get to experience with their family. Bonding time is a great reward that goes both ways.

When Should My Child Start Seeing the Dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child should see the dentist right after their first tooth comes in. This is beneficial for both the child and their parent to get them accustomed to seeing a dentist, and gives the dentist a chance to examine the child’s oral condition for any early signs of issues.

Ready to schedule a dental appointment for your family? Book your next appointment online, or call our Long Beach office at 562-434-6414.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn

Posted in Dental Trivia | Leave a comment

What to Expect in a Routine Dental Cleaning with Your Dentist?

A routine dental cleaning isn’t so different from a routine dental exam, since it’s all about ensuring your teeth and gums are healthy. However, while you’ll receive a teeth cleaning during a regular exam visit, a cleaning visit will allow the dental hygienist more time to spend on you and your mouth.

It’s suggested that in addition to your regular dental exams, that you also come in for a regular cleaning about twice a year. If you have a good daily routine for cleaning your teeth at home, you may be able to afford coming in just once a year. However, with new studies coming out about adults today and their abysmal daily care of their teeth, it’s very likely that you and your family should schedule a dental cleaning right away.

So, what goes on during a dental cleaning visit? Even if you’re scared of going to the dentist, like many American adults today, you’ll find that it’s a simple and almost painless experience, and of course, necessary for your overall health — not just oral.

  1. An initial exam
    A dental hygienist will introduce themselves to you, as generally teeth cleaning is performed without a dentist. However, in a physical exam, the hygienist will use a small mirror and visual inspect your teeth and gums to see if there are any dire issues, in which then a dentist will be called in. Once the initial exam is complete, the hygienist will move on to the next step.
  2. Removing plaque and tartar
    Everyone develops plaque, even if you brush your teeth daily. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that can build up on the small crevices between your teeth and gums (hence why flossing is important). If plaque isn’t addressed early, then it becomes tartar, which is essentially a hardened, calcified form of plaque, and it makes your teeth look yellow. Plaque can eventually lead to periodontal diseases and gingivitis if you don’t clean your teeth often.The hygienist will use a metal tool called a scraper, which is used just how it sounds — the tool will scrape away plaque and tartar build up. Tartar is hard to remove with common cleaning tools like toothbrushes and floss.
  3. Polish and cleaning
    Once the hygienist is done scraping away, they’ll use an electric toothbrush that will polish your teeth’s enamel. This procedure should definitely not be done at home, as polishing incorrectly can ruin rather than help your enamel. It’s safer with professional guidance. Polishing will remove any remaining stains, and help your teeth to achieve that pearly whiteness so many of us want!
  4. Flossing
    If you already floss at home, you might think this is something you could skip at a dental cleaning, but having a professional floss your teeth is always a good idea. First, the hygienist might see problem areas that you may not have been able to identify on your own. Second, this helps to remove any remaining debris from the cleaning process earlier. Keep in mind that while you’re getting a flossing procedure during your cleaning, you should still learn how to floss correctly at home.
  5. Rinsing and fluoride treatment
    You know how during a car wash, near the end you’ll get streams of water to rinse off the soap, but then there’s also a last bit of sealant or wax that’s applied at the very end? That’s similar to how this step works. After the hygienist rinses your mouth, clearing it from all the soap and debris, you will get a fluoride treatment, or dental sealant, to help protect your teeth from future build-up. Like almost all sealants, this isn’t going to prevent your teeth from plaque 100%, but it’ll be a great line of defense to help fight against additional bacteria.

After all that is said and done, your hygienist will clean up the work area, and sit down with you about any issues they saw during the cleaning, and discuss a thorough at-home cleaning routine for you to commit to. If you haven’t had a digital x-ray of your teeth in a while, this may be suggested to you. X-rays will look under the hood to identify any potential issues beneath your enamel or gums — essentially, places where the naked eye can’t see.

Ready to make your next cleaning appointment with our Long Beach dental office? Schedule online here or call us at 562-434-6414.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn

Posted in Dental Trivia | Leave a comment

Why You Should See a Dentist Every 6 Months?

Every patient has their own specific needs, but the vast majority of patients benefit most by regular dental exams at every 6 months. Here are the compelling reasons why you should see a dentist twice a year:

Early Detection

Dental issues are progressive in nature and generally preventable. If you’re making regular visits to your dentist, the chances are you won’t have issues with your teeth or gums. If you do happen to have problems, it’s much better to detect them early. The start of tooth decay, if found early, can often be remedied with simple and easy solutions (such as a small filling). However, the longer an issue goes without being treated, the more dramatic measures need to be taken to fix it. Tooth decay can sneak up on you and go completely unnoticed… That’s why it’s important to have regular check-ups, to catch issues you may not even know are present!

Cleanings

Teeth cleanings are a primary reason to visit your dentist regularly. Even if you are dedicated to your oral health and practice careful brushing and flossing, small amounts of plaque and bacteria may often be missed. What starts as soft plaque can mineralize and become hardened fossil-like bacteria in your mouth called tartar. Tartar then irritates your gums and provides hiding places for new bacteria. Bacterial colonies can thrive under tartar deposits because they are sheltered from your toothbrush and self-cleaning saliva. These deposits are difficult to remove on your own, but your dentist has the proper tools to give you a clean start and get rid tartar! Cleanings also include a polishing treatment which keep your teeth shiny and your smile bright.

Hygiene Improvements

A regular exam allows your dentist to see where those tartar build-ups tend to be on your teeth. This gives your dentist the opportunity to share that information with you and suggest ways of brushing or flossing differently that might be able to prevent future builds-ups in the same spot. Your dentist can also share ways for improving your oral hygiene habits at home, which will contribute to better overall oral health.

Improved Quality Of Care

By making regular office visits a habit, you give your dentist the opportunity to see you when there might not be a specific problem. This allows your dentist to become familiar with what is normal for you and a chance to get to know your dental health better. Your quality of care will actually improve because your dentist can make more personalized recommendations for your care and follow ups. Getting familiar with your dentist can also help alleviate anxiety and make the entire experience much better for both patient and doctor.

Are you looking to schedule your next appointment? Call our office today at (562) 434-6414!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn

Posted in Dental Oral Health | Leave a comment

What to Expect at a Routine Dental Checkup?

No matter how great your oral hygiene is, a visit to the dentist for a basic exam should occur regularly. For many patients, simply going twice a year is sufficient, but for those who either have custom dental work or may be at high risk for gum disease, you should consider going to the dentist more frequently.

Much like a physical performed by your general practitioner, a dental checkup helps to bring to light any potential issues with your teeth and gums. Identifying issues before they arise is key to good prevention and could potentially save you a lot of money from expensive surgeries and missed productivity due to dental emergencies. According to the CDC, over 92 million work or school hours are missed annually due to an unplanned or emergency dental issue.

Plus, you’ll get your teeth cleaned before the examination, so you’ll have a fresh and clean mouth when you leave!

Here’s how a typical dental checkup will look:

Signing in at the front desk

When you come into the office, be sure to check in with our receptionist in the front. You’ll have some paperwork to complete, which should only take about 5 minutes. Be sure to also update your contact information, in case you’ve moved recently or have gotten a new phone number.

Meeting your dental assistant or hygienist

After signing in, you’ll be brought into one of the offices to have a chat with one of the Certified Dental Assistants. Before any work is done, the dental staff will want to review your medical history, and they’ll ask you if there have been any changes to your health since your last visit, such as new medications or injuries. This information is important, as it’ll inform your dentist of any potential issues or prescription complications.

Getting your teeth cleaned

At this point, the dental hygienist or dentist will start cleaning your teeth, scraping away loose plaque and tartar and then rinsing it away with a stream of water. This cleaning also provides the dental staff with an opportunity to see any issues on the surface of your teeth, like hard-to-remove plaque or loose teeth.

Examining your teeth

Using a metal probe and a small mirror, the dentist will now closely inspect your teeth and gum for any potential issues. A dental examination will also measure your gingival pockets, which helps to identify the possibility for gum disease. Your dentist will also look for signs of tooth decay or softening, and oral cancer. The doctor will also check your existing restorations like crowns or fillings.

A digital x-ray may also be performed to check what’s underneath the hood, so to speak. This is essential for the detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.

Discussing your current oral health and future plans

Once the dentist gathers all the information that they need, they will then update you on what they found, and if there are any recommended procedures. No one likes to know that they’ll need more dental work, but keep in mind that good oral health is key to good overall health, and preventative measures now will keep at bay major issues in the future.

Your dentist will work with you on the most cost-effective ways to keep up good oral health, including what you can do at home. If another dental office visit is required for a procedure, like a root canal or a filling, and you’re unsure of the costs associated with it, then the staff can work with you to determine the best financing options.

At the dental office of Dr. Stephen Coates in Long Beach, California, we are committed to providing you and your family the best care fit for your unique needs. To schedule your next dental exam,
click here or call us at 562-434-6414.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn

Posted in Dental Oral Health | Leave a comment

Should I Get Professional Teeth Whitening or is Over-the-Counter Good Enough?

If you ask someone, “What’s the one thing you could change about your teeth?” the most likely response you’d receive is having whiter teeth.

Over the course of our lifetime, everyone’s pearly whites darken and discolor. From the foods and drinks we consume, to the minimal care one might take with their teeth, it’s hard to keep them white. Plaque builds up on our teeth, causing them to lose their whiteness.

So, it’s no surprise that there are a myriad of whitening products available on the market. From whitening toothpaste to at-home whitening strips, the options can be overwhelming, and the marketing can be vague. So, what’s the solution for you?

Whitening with Your Local Dentist

It should come as no surprise that the best path to whiter teeth is to work with a professional who deals with this every day. It’s unanimously understood that getting a whitening procedure done with your dentist is the most effective way to get whiter teeth. But is the time and effort worth it, compared to over-the-counter products?

The bleaching agents used at a dentist’s office are professional-grade. This means that they’re more highly concentrated than the ones that are used in over-the-counter whitening products, as professional intervention is required when using stronger tools.

This is another benefit of working with your dentist – supervision and professional guidance. One of the downfalls of using a product without the help of a dental hygienist is that you leave room for error, and you may not be getting the best results from your whitening products. Another potential issue is that some of the dental pain that is a side-effect of whitening can go unsupervised.

Using a Tray with Whitening Gel

Arguably, at-home kits with trays that you place on your teeth are one of the better over-the-counter products you could use. However, the trays still are not custom fit for your teeth. A dentist will be able to develop a custom tray that ensures the stronger whitening gel is evenly applied to your teeth, so you don’t end up with different shades of white at the end.

Getting custom trays are also recommended for people who are still in need of teeth straightening, or have dental work like crowns or caps that need professional supervision.

Beware Products that Over-Promise and Under-Deliver

The problem with retail whitening products is that if you’re not satisfied with the results, there’s really no one that you can hold accountable. The marketing on the packages can be pretty vague, making claims like “10 to 30% whiter teeth!” What does that even mean?

Sometimes, adding a feature like “whitening” gives a toothpaste brand the opportunity to charge more for the product, while only being nominally better than its original product. Even if used on a daily basis, many customers report seeing a lack of results in the whitening of their teeth.

If professional whitening isn’t an option, some dentists suggest that at-home kits with trays and whitening gel, like Crest Whitestrips, might be top-of-the-line in regards to retail products.

Professional Teeth Whitening is the Way to Go

At the end of the day, your doctor knows best. Getting treatment with your dentist not only allows you to get the best product available for whitening, but also offers you some comfort in the process. Your dentist will ensure you get the best results possible, while also mitigating some of the negative side effects of whitening.

Learn more about the teeth whitening services at our Long Beach dental office, and book your appointment with us today, either using our online system or by calling
562-434-6414.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn

Posted in Dental Trivia | Leave a comment

Don’t Live With a Painful, Infected Tooth – Get a Root Canal

No one likes to live with pain. So, when it comes to dealing with an infected tooth, why does it seem like so many patients are scared of a root canal?

Truth is, root canals are relatively harmless procedures that can actually save you a LOT of pain in the future. This endodontic treatment involves removing the infected pulp (which is inside a tooth beneath the enamel), and then filling the tooth to restore it to its normal functions.

The pulp sounds important. Don’t I need it?

The pulp, which is a soft tissue containing nerves, blood vessels, and other connective tissue, is important to the tooth’s growth in a person’s early life. However, once the tooth is matured, it can survive without the pulp, continuing to be nourished by surrounding connected tissue.

How do I know that I need a root canal?

The reasons that patients need this endodontic procedure may vary, but ultimately it all boils down to the fact that the pulp itself is inflamed or infected.

Generally, reasons for this include tooth decay that’s deep and reaches below the enamel, a tooth that’s been worked on too often, a tooth that’s cracked or chipped – the list goes on. During your regular check-ups, your dentist will be able to communicate to you if they believe that you need a root canal.

What can I expect from this procedure?

The average root canal treatment does not take very long at all, and is fairly painless, thanks in part to modern advances in science and technology. The procedure can be broken down into 4 steps:

  1. An x-ray is taken to determine where the infected pulp is, locating it for the procedure.
  2. Local anesthesia is delivered to the affected tooth.
  3. An opening is created, and the infected pulp is then removed.
  4. The exposed roots are filled with gutta-percha material, and the tooth is sealed off!

Simple, right?

Is tooth extraction an option?

Completely removing an infected tooth is definitely an option, but it can also be costly.

If your natural tooth can be saved, it is generally suggested that it is. Maintenance on a natural tooth is much easier than on an implant.  Keeping your natural tooth enhances your smile, your confidence, and your bank account!

Schedule your next appointment with Dr. Stephen Coates to see if you’re in need of a root canal. Just click here to use our online scheduler or call our Long Beach dentistry at
562-434-6414.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn

Posted in Dental Oral Health, General Health findings | Leave a comment

When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Dental Check-up?

When it comes to your child’s health, many people tend to overlook their oral health! It’s pretty easy not to think about the dentist until your child gets their first toothache or cavity. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child sees the dentist after their first tooth comes in, or by the time their first birthday arrives.

Why? Because good health starts with a healthy mouth. As parents, it’s important that we stay informed on today’s best practices for maintaining good oral health for our children.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s estimated that about 20% of children aged 5 to 11 have at least one untreated decaying tooth. Cavities can be the beginning of a whole host of issues later in life. Fortunately, cavities are preventable, especially when a child starts to see a dentist earlier rather than later.

Other benefits to seeing the dentist early in a child’s life include:

  • Learning techniques to prevent cavities and gum disease in children.
  • Assessing the current condition of the child’s oral health.
  • Determining whether a dental sealant is necessary for your child to help prevent cavities.
  • Getting the child used to seeing the dentist (helps to curb future onset of dental anxiety).
  • Helping encourage children to care more about their oral health as they get older.
  • Evaluation for tethered oral tissues that can inhibit a child from eating and speaking well
  • Evaluation of growth pattern and airway development risks

Tooth decay remains one of the most common chronic conditions among children, according to the CDC. This could also be attributed to the fact that it may be financially difficult for families to take their children to the dentist. Children from low-income families are more at risk for periodontal disease and issues.

However, there are many options for people in this situation:

  • Check out org for the latest news and research on dental care for children.
  • Apply for grants like this one from Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children.
  • Go to your local county health clinic or other government-funded programs like WIC.
  • Check with your medical insurance to see if your dependents are covered for dental care.
  • Find low-cost dental insurance for children using a site like gov.

If you still need financial assistance for covering your dental care, you can also inquire with our staff regarding available lending solutions.

Ready to book your appointment? Schedule now online or by calling our team at 562-434-6414.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn

Posted in Dental Oral Health, General Health findings | Leave a comment

The Different Kinds of Floss and Choosing the Best One for You

Did you know that there isn’t just one kind of floss that you can buy and use?

Most people only think to purchase the typical small plastic container of nylon floss – and that is perfectly okay. But there are other types of floss that might not only be more effective, but may also suit your lifestyle better, encouraging you to actually floss daily.

Why flossing is important

Before we get into the tools for flossing, let’s discuss why flossing is necessary.

Study after study has shown the effectiveness of interdental cleaning, and just how healthy teeth and gums can be when patients take the time to floss daily. This particular study examined twins who were given different flossing regimens, and found that the twin who flossed daily had significantly less bacteria that was associated with periodontal disease and reduced plaque.

If flossing can greatly reduce of the risk of gum disease, why wouldn’t you want to do it daily?

Different flossing tools

There are a variety of ways to floss your teeth, and there is no reason why you can’t use more than one type of tool. Traditional nylon yarn floss can be great for traveling, but while at home you may want to enjoy the benefits of an electric irrigation device. People with braces need something different, and children can be especially picky with tools, too.

Waxed & Unwaxed Floss

These nylon yarns are the most popular type of floss because they’re inexpensive and easy to use. They’re great for traveling since they are small, and the benefits are still vastly greater than if you were to not floss at all.

Some people may prefer a waxed floss with a minty flavor to give them a cleaner feeling, or to freshen their breath while traveling without mouthwash. Waxed floss may also be easier for people whose gaps in their teeth are tight.

Dental Tape

For those with wider gaps in their teeth, dental tape is a better option. They are thicker than traditional floss, so it’s better for cleaning in between teeth that are more spaced apart from each other.

Superfloss and Floss Threaders

Different tools with similar purposes, these are perfect for individuals who need more control because of implants or braces. Superfloss is thin yet stiff, allowing you to guide through special dental work, and a floss threader helps you push traditional floss with more accuracy and control.

Floss Picks and Holders

This “Y” shape tool is great for children who have trouble using their fingers to guide floss through their teeth. It’s also great for people who cannot fit their fingers in their mouths for whatever reason.

These holders may be easier to use, but they’re generally not as effective as traditional tools. It’s harder to achieve the “c” motion around a single tooth, which is the preferred method of flossing. But, again, any floss is better than none!

Interdental Brushes and Swabs

Much like dental tape, this tool is great for people who have wider gaps in their teeth that need cleaning. But these tools are also great for cleaning in between braces and bridges from food debris. You can find ones with bristles at the end, similar to the strands of a toothbrush, or ones with a thin sponge.

Be sure to purchase brushes that are coated so that they are not damaging to your braces.

Rubber Tip and Gum Stimulators

It’s not uncommon for people to not feel completely clean just using floss, seeing how traditional floss cleans primarily in between your teeth. A gum stimulator, as you may have seen in your dentist’s office, is a tool that offers better cleaning in your gum lines.

When combined with your regular floss and brushing routine, this tool is generally used last before rinsing to remove any leftover debris and plaque.

Oral Irrigators

This electronic tool sends a stream or pulsating stream of water in a jet-like method into a targeted area of your mouth. This method of flossing can get a little messy, so it’s recommended you use this tool over a sink.

Water jet cleaning may have the same benefits as traditional flossing, like debris and plaque removal, but recent studies have shown additional benefits for folks with a greater risk of gingival diseases. Water flossing was proven to be more effective at reducing bleeding caused by various mouth diseases and reducing bacteria associated with them, too.

Knowing the right ones to purchase

As always, you can work with your dental care team to find the right tools for your situation. But if you’re shopping on your own at a local retailer, be sure to look for the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance on the packaging.

If you need a consultation with a dentist, you can book your appointment with us by contacting us here or calling us today at 562-434-6414.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn

Posted in Dental Oral Health, General Health findings | Leave a comment

How You Can Make Time to Better Care for Your Teeth?

When half of American adults suffer from some varying degree of gum disease, it’s no secret that people struggle with caring for their oral health.

With a busy schedule, it’s hard for many to find the time to go to the dentist and floss in between hectic work lives and commuting to soccer fields for their children. But if you intend to talk, eat, and smile without any issues in the future, then you’ve got to make time now for taking better care of your teeth and gums.

Here are some of our suggestions that may help you find the time you need to care for your teeth properly and effectively…

Use mobile apps for education and setting a routine

Proper care at home usually just starts with getting the right information at your fingertips. But if you also struggle with reminding yourself to carve out time to brush your teeth, then the mobile app Brush DJ might be for you. The core function of the app is to help you make sure you’re brushing for at least two minutes, by not only providing a timer, but also by playing music to make the experience more fun. You can also set daily reminders to brush your teeth and to visit the dentist, and it also has a library of instructional videos for proper methods of cleaning.

Of course, you can always use your default calendar and alarm app on your phone too. If you use a calendar to manage your daily schedule, then find 15-minute openings in your evenings to make time for brushing, flossing and general oral care. You can also use a daily to-do list if you get satisfaction from crossing a task off your list.

Schedule your appointments in advance

Many dental offices allow you to schedule appointments months in advance. The benefit to doing this is to allow you to schedule around your appointment, rather than fitting your appointment into an already-crazy schedule. Select two days out of the coming year for your biannual appointments, talk to your dental team, and add them to your calendar.

Also, while many offices will already do this, you may ask to be reminded of your appointments a week or so in advance. That way, if you have missed it on your calendar, you’ll have a week to rearrange your schedule if you happened to have overbooked that day.

Schedule your appointments at the beginning of the day

If you book your time at the dental office earlier in the day, the likelier you are to make your appointment and then still get what you need done the remainder of the day. Our offices are conveniently open at 7:00am for those early birds!

Get affordable dental insurance

Another reason why people may not make the effort to see a dentist is because they don’t have dental insurance. At the end of 2016, an estimated 77% of the population had some kind of dental health coverage, which is better than in the previous years, but that still means that some 74 million Americans do not have dental insurance.

Even if your employer does not offer dental insurance, or you’re a senior who can’t get it through Medicare, there are still options available to you. There are various marketplaces online and brokers in your city that can help you find the plan to best fit your financial situation and needs. eHealth and Dental for Everyone are great places to start browsing through available plans in your area.

Another way to start your search is by reaching out to a local dental office and talking with them on the insurance plans they accept, and then researching online ways to apply.

Realize that your oral health is of utmost importance

Another factor for why people may not encourage themselves to make time for the dentist, is because they simply don’t prioritize it.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn

Posted in Dental Oral Health, General Health findings | Leave a comment

What is Fluoride Treatment and is it Necessary?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that appears in the water and food we eat, and it’s so omnipresent that you might be led to believe that you’re getting enough of it to enjoy all its wonderful benefit. However, that’s not often not the case!

A fluoride treatment may be necessary for those who are at risk for cavities and tooth decay.

Treatment is simple, and will vary depending on your situation. Some treatments are just topical applications of a gel-like substance on your teeth, and others may be pills or medical-grade fluoride water if your particular case calls for it. Most patients may require just one or two treatments per year.

Who needs fluoride treatments?

Any patient who has had cavities in the past or is at risk for future cavities should consider speaking to their dentist about fluoride treatments. These people may be those who:

  • Are children or young teens
  • Are those with poor oral hygiene
  • Have a family or genetic history of dental issues
  • Live in places where fluoride isn’t common in the water source
  • Have eating disorders or are malnourished
  • Are drug or heavy alcohol abusers
  • Are undergoing radiation around the mouth, or chemotherapy
  • Have no access to dental insurance or ongoing dental care

Everyon’s case is different, so it’s important to talk with your dentist to see if you’re a risk for tooth decay.

Is fluoride safe?

A common misconception that many have about this mineral is that abnormal amounts of it can be cancerous or dangerous to your health. While it’s true that an intensely high exposure to anything can be detrimental, ample research around this topic has proven that fluoride is perfectly safe for human use and that there is no direct link between fluoride and cancer.

In fact, the CDC considers the fluoridation of drinking water to be one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century in the U.S. However, with the use of bottled water on the rise these days, people are drinking less tap water and thus not getting enough fluoride as they used to.

One way to think about fluoride’s benefits is to consider that fluoride is to your teeth as chlorine is to swimming pools. Without chlorine, a whole host of bacteria and possible diseases can grow in the swimming pool’s water. However, with a little bit of chlorine and cleaning, these dangers are greatly reduced. That’s similar to how fluoride works on your teeth – it cleans off the damaging bacteria and helps keep your mouth healthy!

If you’d like to speak to us more about fluoride treatments or if you’re ready to add this to your dental care regimen, please contact us here or call 562-434-6414.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn

Posted in Dental Oral Health, General Health findings | Leave a comment