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Simple Steps for Consistently Healthy Teeth

Beautiful parents and their daughter are looking at camera and smiling while brushing teeth Every time a new year rolls around, we sense the opportunity to become more of our best selves. Often, people have the goal of becoming healthier or losing weight. Very often, about 80% of the time, the New Year’s resolutions don’t live to see another month, let alone the entire year. According to research, the primary reason so many people “fail” to keep their resolutions is that they are too lofty. Another reason is that they simply feel too challenging. Here, we take the goal of improving oral health and we break it down into three easy steps.

Build Confidence with Cosmetic Dentistry

Our smile is a major part of our self-image. It is, to some degree, our calling card, exhibiting to people around us how we feel and how confident we are with ourselves. According to studies, though, a large portion of the population hides their smiles. We do so because of discoloration. Because a tooth or teeth are crooked. We hide because one tooth stands out from the rest in some way, or because we’ve lost a tooth. There are a myriad of reasons one might hide their smile, and one good reason to address the issue that is causing concern. Cosmetic dentistry treatments aren’t nearly as involved as most people think. Some of the ways that we help patients regain confidence and satisfaction with their teeth include:

  • Clear Correct teeth straightening
  • Teeth whitening
  • Veneers
  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Orthodontic treatment

Correct Dental Problems with Restorative Dentistry

What we do and do not do on a daily basis is the foundation of our health and wellness. When it comes to our smiles, our habits can literally make or break us. Generally, people are pretty good about brushing their teeth before starting their day. Brushing before bed, however, might not be a priority. It may seem unnecessary or simply be forgotten even when intentions are good. At night, we should brush our teeth for two minutes and then spend another couple of minutes flossing. These two habits alone go a long way to prevent unnecessary inflammation and decay. Your smile is worth an extra five minutes a day. And should problems develop, we can correct them quickly with restorative treatments like tooth-colored fillings, crowns, and, in more severe cases, tooth replacement.

Maintain a Healthy Smile with Preventive Dentistry

If you’ve had a history of dental woes, it may not feel possible to avoid them in the future. The truth is, though, that the majority of our most common dental problems are preventable. Here, we look back at those daily habits and how we can improve them. Beyond that, it is necessary to maintain regular dental visits. These appointments involve a thorough examination of the teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken once or twice a year to observe areas that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Preventive dental visits also involve a comprehensive cleaning using vibrating, ultrasonic, or rotating instruments that quickly remove debris and plaque. The dentist or hygienist will also spend time carefully removing tartar that has hardened on teeth. The cleaning wraps up with flossing and recommendations for home care.

Get your new year off to a healthy start! Contact our Granite Bay dental center at 916.800.5001 to schedule your exam and cleaning, cosmetic service, or restorative care.

Should I Get a Bridge or a Dental Implant?

Portrait of serene mature woman in garden Tooth loss can significantly affect appearance as well as chewing function and, as a result, can degrade your sense of self-confidence. Historically, missing teeth have been replaced using a dental bridge. In more extreme cases of oral disease, a dentist may recommend full dentures. Today, we have the option of replacing missing teeth, even a single tooth, using dental implants. Technically, a dental implant functions very differently than a dental bridge. If you are exploring your options for tooth replacement, it is important to understand the difference so you can make the most confident decision for your long-term oral health.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a custom-made fixture that is attached to healthy teeth surrounding the gap. In the gap, a pontic sits on top of the gums. The pontic is an artificial tooth that is fused in between two crowns. It looks and feels natural once it is bonded into place. To fit a dental bridge, the dentist must reduce the two healthy teeth that will anchor the fixture. These teeth are covered with the crowns that hold the pontic and stabilize the bridge as a whole. The primary advantage of a dental bridge is that this treatment has a lower up-front cost than other options. The treatment process typically takes no more than a few weeks, and there are no special requirements in terms of bone density. The disadvantage of a dental bridge is that the force of chewing is not as evenly distributed across the teeth. The two teeth that hold the bridge may carry more strain. It is also important to note that a dental bridge does not address the concerns related to underlying structural problems that can occur after tooth loss. Mainly, the concern is that, without roots beneath the gap, bone loss occurs.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is not a replacement tooth. It is a tiny titanium post that the dentist inserts into the jawbone where the missing tooth’s roots once were. The dental implant serves two purposes. First, it acts as the primary anchor for a replacement tooth. Second, it serves as an alternate root system. When you chew, the force of mastication travels through the crown, through the dental implant, to the bone. This mimics what happens with natural teeth, and is integral to sustaining a healthy jawbone. The primary advantage of dental implant treatment is that the resulting stability for the artificial tooth is nearly 100 percent. It not only looks natural but it feels natural and it also behaves like natural roots would to stimulate ongoing bone regeneration. While crowns and other restorations sometimes need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years, a dental implant is expected to last indefinitely because it gets encased in natural bone. The disadvantage of this treatment, if you could call it that, is that it takes time for the bone to grow around the implant. The final restoration is typically not affixed to the implant until full fusion has occurred, and that can take up to six months. However, due to this fusion, dental implants can be ideal for the replacement of multiple teeth. Dental bridges and dental implants can be used together in this situation.

Your tooth replacement options are better than they’ve ever been. To learn more, schedule a consultation during which you can sit down with Dr. Mahal and get all of your questions answered. Contact our Granite Bay, CA office at 916.800.5001.

Beat Bad Breath with These Tips

bad breath Back in the day, we used to have conversations with people at a relatively close distance. We’re getting back to that, now that we have vaccines and treatments for the COVID-19 virus. Whether you’re still wearing a mask or have a few people with whom you can safely shorten the distance during conversations, your breath may be a source of concern. We all experience bad breath from time to time, but persistent bad breath can be an embarrassing or frustrating problem. Here, we discuss why breath can take a nosedive and what you can do to prevent or correct it. 

The Role of Bacteria in Bad Breath

We don’t see them, but they’re there. The mouth is home to a multitude of microorganisms. The bacteria that live in the mouth consume our “leftovers,” tiny particles of debris from foods and drinks. What consumes must also secrete. In the case of oral bacteria, they secrete an acidic byproduct onto the teeth and gums, and sometimes onto the back of the tongue. You might recognize the accumulation of bacterial waste in the form of morning breath. A foul odor may also persist if bacteria are out of control.

If you’ve been living with bad breath, you don’t have to accept it as your norm. There are several preventive measures you can take.

  • Brush and floss daily. If you’re concerned about the odor on your breath, we assume you are brushing morning and night as your dentist recommends. Where a lot of people miss the mark is in their flossing practice. For some reason, flossing feels like a chore whereas brushing does not. Skipping this last step of daily oral care, though, lets bacteria hide in between teeth and at the gum line. Flossing not only helps fight bad breath but can also reduce your chances of getting gum disease and cavities. 
  • Keep mouthwash handy. You can’t be expected to brush your teeth every time you consume a snack or meal. This actually might be overkill, anyway. However, if bad breath sneaks up on you, having a small bottle of mouthwash handy can be helpful. Just swish and spit. 
  • Drink plenty of water. Hydration is key to oral health. Don’t guzzle water only at certain times of the day; sip on water several times an hour. This way, your mouth does not become a dry haven for bacteria. 

Your Dentist Can Help with Bad Breath

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are integral to optimal oral health, and oral health is essential for good breath. Dr. Mahal offers personalized dental care in a comfortable, friendly office. To schedule a visit, call 916.800.5001.

Teeth Whitening Can Help you Radiate Joy This Holiday Season

iStock 889681798 1 Your smile is a large part of the portrait of your personality. Studies have shown that we tend to assess other humans through their smiles. Teeth that are bright and shining, even if not perfectly straight, send a message of warmth, friendliness, and vitality. Whiter teeth also make the smile look younger. If you don’t see these things in your own smile, perhaps it’s time to gift yourself more brightness. As the holidays approach, we can’t think of a better time for professional teeth whitening

We enjoy helping patients fall in love with their smiles, whether for the first time or all over again. Professional teeth whitening is a convenient and effective way we can do this. Dr. Mahal offers treatments that can be enjoyed right here in the office or in the comfort of your home. Both are effective and both can transform your smile pretty quickly.  If you’re ready to live in your best smile, we’d love to meet with you. Together, we can discover if teeth whitening treatment is ideal for you.

How Teeth Whitening Works

To determine if teeth whitening is the best approach to a better smile, we have to look at what this treatment does. Both in-office and home whitening techniques utilize a bleaching agent to lift discoloration from enamel. The bleaching gel penetrates the uppermost layer of enamel, which has tiny pores just like the skin. This breaks up the tiny particles of debris that have collected in the outer layer of teeth. As the particles are broken up, the natural radiant shade of teeth shines through. Professional treatment can even go beyond the natural shade of white to give the smile a special glow without making it look artificial.

An experienced dentist knows to look beyond the surface. While teeth whitening is a proven and convenient method of reviving the smile, it may not be the best approach for every person. For example, if you have intrinsic stains that are beneath the surface of enamel (usually caused by tetracycline use), teeth whitening will not work. In these instances, Dr. Mahal may suggest veneers. Ultimately, the goal of cosmetic treatments is to improve the appearance of the smile in the most effective manner. When possible, teeth whitening is ideal. Not only does it achieve quick results, but it achieves results that are easy to maintain. With periodic touch-ups, our patients can maintain a radiant smile for decades.

Get your glowing smile. Contact our Granite Bay office at 916.800.5001.

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