Health Maintenance & Cleanings

Dentist exam of young teen girl teeth.

Five Tips to Improve Oral Health

Dentist exam of young teen girl teeth.

Oral health is essential to preventing dental problems. However, dental issues can also affect other parts of your body. For example, bacteria in the mouth may lead to respiratory and digestive diseases. The good news is that office visits can improve your health and well-being.

What Are Some Signs I Should Improve Oral Health?

  • You have red or swollen gums 
  • You have tender or bleeding gums 
  • You experience worsening breath
  • You have sensitive teeth
  • Your teeth are getting loose
  • You experience pain when chewing food
  • Your bite feels uneven 
  • Your gums are receding 

Five Ways To Improve Oral Health 

The foundation of excellent dental health is prevention. However, it’s not too late to incorporate healthier habits! Start smiling brighter today. 

Brushing

Proper brushing is the first step to good oral health. The ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Also, ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste can help fight cavities. Replacing your toothbrush every three months is a good rule of thumb, or sooner if the bristle is worn. 

Flossing 

Daily flossing is a necessary component of excellent hygiene while removing hard-to-reach plaque. Plaque hardens teeth over time and forms tartar. Only a professional can remove tartar once it develops.

Mouthwash

Using mouthwash daily is another step to improving your smile. When searching for a good mouthwash, the ADA Seal of Acceptance is the gold standard for killing bacteria safely and effectively. 

Diet

A healthy, balanced diet can positively impact your teeth and gums. Limit sugary food items and drinks. Instead, say yes to fibrous fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products. Reducing snacking throughout the day can also help combat tooth decay. 

Cleanings

Last but not least, regular examinations and cleanings are a big piece of improving oral health. Maintaining teeth and gums can help prevent cavities and diseases. Routine x-rays are also suitable for preventing and diagnosing dental problems. 

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

Call us today at 916-800-5001 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mahal. Our practice serves Granite Bay and the surrounding areas of California.

Know the Signs of Tooth Decay

Man in pain holding his cheek with hand, suffering from bad tooth ache Our best health is maintained when we take care of all parts of the body. This includes the smile. Having a healthy smile means you are more likely to love the appearance of this facial feature. It also means that there is less of a chance that you’ll experience dental pain of any kind. Oral health is also integral to general health because a healthy mouth has fewer harmful bacteria creating inflammation and infection in the mouth and beyond. You may take great care of your teeth via daily brushing and flossing. Still, you should know how to recognize the signs of tooth decay so, if you notice them, you can address the issue before a full-fledged cavity forms. We’ll discuss some of the most common signs here.

The signs that a cavity may be forming include:

  • Tooth sensitivity. If you can normally eat hot or cold foods with no discomfort and, suddenly, that ice cream or hot soup causes pain in a tooth, it could be that a cavity is developing.
  • Pressure. Sometimes, when a cavity is just forming, a tooth may not hurt but may feel pressure when biting or chewing.
  • Toothache. This is the symptom we usually associate with cavities. A toothache for a minor cavity may feel like throbbing or aching pain that lasts more than a couple of days.
  • Gum inflammation. Where there is a cavity forming, there are bacteria. Bacteria don’t stay put at all times, they may move from the decayed part of the tooth to the gum line. Here, their acidic byproducts cause redness, swelling, and maybe even some bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth.
  • Spotting or pitting. A brown or dark spot on a tooth may be one of the first indications of a worsening cavity. Where the spot is, eventually a pit will form as the tooth degrades bit-by-bit.

Treating Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common problems treated in dental offices around the world. It is also one of the most preventable dental conditions. If you’re brushing and flossing daily and still struggling with cavities, talk to your dentist. Perhaps there are ways you can improve your oral hygiene practices to make them more efficient. Maybe you can benefit from more frequent professional cleanings or dental sealant treatment. If you are noticing even one of the signs of tooth decay that we’ve mentioned here, don’t hesitate to schedule a dental exam. The earlier that care is provided for a forming cavity, the more conservative it can be and the more tooth structure we can save.

We provide friendly, professional care that seeks to prevent tooth decay. When necessary, Dr. Mahal performs restorative treatment to address this issue as conservatively as possible. Contact our Granite Bay office at 916.800.5001 to schedule your visit today.

I Brush My Teeth Twice a Day and Still Have Cavities. Why?

woman brushing teeth with electric toothbrush We all know that healthy habits pay off in innumerable ways. When we eat well, we reduce our risks for various medical conditions, such as diabetes and high cholesterol. When we brush our teeth as we’re taught by our dentist, we expect to have less of a problem with cavities. This is the general expectation of dentists, hygienists, and their patients. So, when you brush twice a day and still feel a cavity coming on, what gives? We’ll discuss that here.

How Do Cavities Form?

Our teeth are made of various minerals. The mere act of eating can disrupt the mineral content of teeth to some degree. Usually, this is not enough to result in a cavity, provided that we are putting nutritious foods into our bodies. Ideally, the pH in the mouth stays relatively neutral. When the pH leans more to the acidic side, which happens after we eat, the natural mineral content of our teeth declines. Fortunately, it usually takes only about 30 to 60 minutes for the pH to return to its more neutral state. This is key to avoiding cavities. One of the reasons a cavity may form is that the mouth isn’t given sufficient time in between meals, drinks, and snacks to return to its normal pH. To allow the body to engage in its own cavity-preventing activities, it is beneficial to leave hours of space in between meals and snacks and to avoid prolonging these activities. For example, if you drink soda or juice, enjoy the beverage within a few minutes rather than over an hour’s time. Then, wait at least an hour before drinking or eating again (with the exception of water). To make matters worse, when we eat starchy foods and drink sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice, debris from these items may stay in the mouth. Bacteria that live in the mouth consume the sugars and starches and then produce acid that eats away at the outermost layer of enamel that covers teeth. To reduce this effect, sip water frequently throughout the day.

How Can You Help Re-mineralize Your Teeth?

The body naturally works against de-mineralization of the teeth by producing saliva! This fluid acts as a buffer that helps to flush out harmful particles and bacteria. Furthermore, saliva contains some of the minerals that are found in our teeth, such as calcium and phosphate. Often, though, this is not enough to counteract the loss of minerals that occurs due to the types of foods we eat or our genetic predisposition for tooth decay. This is why dentists recommend that their patients use fluoride toothpaste every day. Many cities’ public water supplies have added fluoride, as do the majority of bottled water products. The consumption and use of fluoride fortify the mineral content in saliva, which then helps to build decay-resistant enamel.

Is There a Best Time to Brush Your Teeth?

You’ve most likely heard from your dentist or hygienist that you should brush your teeth twice a day. Some people think that they should brush after every meal. This generally isn’t necessary and may actually be harmful. Dentists typically encourage patients to brush their teeth in the mornings after waking so that the bacteria and plaque that began to accumulate overnight can be washed away. Brushing first thing in the morning also introduces fluoride into the saliva before the first meal of the day, washing teeth in a layer of protective minerals before the acids from breakfast form in the mouth. If you prefer to brush after meals, it is important that you wait at least 30 minutes before doing so. Brushing too soon could remove beneficial minerals right along with the debris from your meal. As an alternative, rinse the mouth with water or chew some sugarless gum to help promote increased saliva. The second time that we should brush our teeth is at night right before bed. This is recommended because it cleanses the mouth before a prolonged period of acid exposure. So, while you can brush any time of day that suits your schedule, the ideal timing is right after waking up and right before going to bed for the night.

Are you struggling with cavities even though you brush twice a day? Contact our Granite Bay dental office at 916.800.5001 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Mahal. Together, you can develop an oral care program that meets your needs.

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.

Contact Us

Request an Appointment

Call Us

Office Hours

Monday: 9 am – 2 pm
Tuesday: 9 am – 5 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 5 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 3 pm
Friday: By appointment only

* All indicated fields must be completed.
Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.

Our Location

6049 Douglas Blvd
Suite 9
Granite Bay, CA 95746

Contact Us

Send us a Message

916.800.5001

Scroll to Top