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3 Foods You Didn’t Expect to Stain Your Teeth

Foods Stain TeethStained, yellow teeth are often a sight many of us feel uncomfortable about or uneasy with. What most of us don’t realize is that stained teeth are often the direct result of the foods and drinks we consume.
 
The most obvious foods on this list are the usual culprits of soda, black tea and other dark teas, red wine, dark fruits such as blueberries, and coffee. Most of these foods and drinks are consumed on a regular basis, making it very difficult to keep your pearly whites.
 

3 Foods You Didn’t Expect to Stain Your Teeth

 
1. Tomato Sauce
 
Did you know that the tomato-based pasta sauces used for cooking are not great for the teeth? Tomatoes are good for you, but sauces are essentially concentrated versions of tomatoes, which are highly acidic. The acidity eats away at your enamel, causing discoloring over time.
 
2. Salad Dressings
 
Many of us consume salads because they’re light & healthy. However, the salad dressings can make or break your salad. Some of them contain a lot of fat, but almost all of them contain a lot of sugar and spices that work against our enamel.
 
3. Apples
 
It would make sense how blueberries, raspberries, and other berries would stain our teeth, but apples? It’s true. Apples have high levels of acidity and sucrose and every bite we take works against our enamel.
 

The Key Takeaway

 
Whether you were already aware of these or not, the key takeaway here is not to avoid these foods, but rather take more initiative to limit them where possible. Take initiative to also brush your teeth following a meal that may have not been enamel friendly, this way the acids, starches, and sugar do not stay on your teeth for long.
 

Looking to Reverse the Stains?

 
Professional in-office teeth whitening can restore your beautiful, white smile and reverse the years of damage accumulated from consumption of teeth-staining foods.

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Follow These Nighttime Oral Care Tips for Healthy Teeth!

Nighttime Oral Care TipsNighttime is regarded – in the wonderful world of dentistry – as one of the most important times of your entire 24-hour day where your mouth should be addressed. The reason why is because a ton of potentially bad things could happen in the 8 hours you spend sleeping. So we’re going to let you in on the best nighttime oral care tips that will allow your mouth to rest comfortably for 8 hours as well.
 

Nighttime Oral Care Tips by Irvine Dentist

 
1. Avoid consuming food 2 hours before you lay to rest
 
This one many people struggle with because it’s hard to resist that urge to stuff your face with ice cream at 10’ o’clock. Trust us, we understand, but we value the health of our teeth so we make disciplined decisions that we know are for the better of our health. Do yourself and your teeth a favor and skip on the ice cream just before bed. You can still eat ice cream, just give yourself 2 hours in advance and you shouldn’t have an issue.
 
2. Brush & floss right before bed
 
We strongly encourage you to make a habit of making brushing & flossing the very last thing you do as part of your day just before you hit the sack. This way you clear your mouth of all the accumulated debris, food particles, etc. that are stuck in between your teeth and rest at the gum line.
 
The issue is when you don’t clear this debris, and then it sits in your mouth all night where bacteria feed on and begin to create decay on your teeth. That’s why it’s vital for you to remove the debris every night so that bacteria have nothing to feed on.
 
3. Top it off with mouth rinse
 
Mouthwash isn’t necessary, but it’s great way to leave your mouth feeling nice and refreshed just before bedtime and the chemicals used in mouthwash can create a barrier of defense on your teeth and gums in the prevention of tooth decay.
 
4. Stay aware of the possibility of teeth grinding
 
This one can be tough because many people who suffer from teeth grinding do so when they are deep asleep and have no idea they are even committing this act. If you spot signs such as slightly worn tooth enamel, abnormal tooth sensitivity, or torn cheek tissue, then you are most likely grinding your teeth at night and will be a good candidate for an oral mouth guard to wear while you sleep.
 
We’ll leave you with an analogy – think of your teeth as plants. Plants need sunlight in order to survive, other they begin to wilt and die off. Teeth are similar in this regard in that they need to be brushed, flossed, and taken care of otherwise they too will decay and if severe enough, die and fall out. Brushing, flossing, and visiting your Irvine dentist are the sunlight that teeth need in order to thrive.

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Don’t Forget: You Should Also Clean Your Tongue!

clean your tongueThere is a lot of emphasis about properly brushing your teeth: using a soft-bristle toothbrush, holding your brush at an angle, and brushing for two-minutes. But before you rinse your mouth, it is important that you clean your tongue for the same reasons you clean your teeth and gums.

 

The mouth is full of harmful bacteria, about 50 percent of which is on your tongue. While bacteria can hide in-between your teeth and in the crevices of your molars, the tongue also has a rough surface comprising ridges and grooves that trap bacteria. Allowing bacteria to build up on your tongue is the biggest cause of bad breath or halitosis, accounting for about 90 percent of cases.

 

If you brush your teeth and forget to clean your tongue as well, the bacteria on your tongue will just transfer to your teeth, leaving you just as vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.

 

What causes a white coated tongue?

A clean and healthy tongue should have a uniform pink color. But if a brown or white film forms on the top, it is a sign of a combination of dead cells, food debris, and bacteria. Fortunately, this condition is not permanent, and proper tongue cleaning or scraping can make your tongue appear healthy again, while reducing the risk of halitosis and other oral health issues.

 

How to clean your tongue

You should clean the entire surface of your tongue, including the underside to ensure that all debris, dead cells, and bacteria are completely removes. Clean starting from the back to the front, making sure to rinse the tool you’re using after each stroke.

 

Most of the germs are concentrated at the back of your tongue where it can be a little hard to reach, especially for those with a strong gag reflex. To make tongue cleaning easier, you can use specialty tools such as:

 

  • A tongue scraper – This tool comprises a soft and flexible plastic (or metal) that gently removes the thin mucus-based film of germs from the surface of your tongue. Start from the back to the front, and remember to rinse after each swipe. Rinse it well after use.

 

  • A tongue brush – This tool has specially-made bristles that make it easy to clean the tongue crevices. The cleaning technique is the same as for a tongue scraper.

 

If you don’t have access to these tongue-cleaning tools, you can still use your regular toothbrush, but you will need to be very gentle to avoid injury.

 

Finally, make cleaning your tongue part of your oral hygiene routine. You can clean your tongue once a day or even twice after brushing. This will give you fresh breath and boost your oral health.

 

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Winter Sports that Require a Mouthguard to Protect Your Teeth

winter sports that require mouthguardThe cold weather should not keep you from going outside and enjoying the range of winter sports and other fun activities available in your region. However, it is important that you protect your mouth from potential impact with hard surfaces, other players, or balls by wearing a mouthguard during practice or competitions.

A mouth guard could prove to be helpful if you participate in any of these winter sports:

    • Basketball – Basketball can get a bit rough with aggressive defending and boxing out. As a high-contact sport, you risk getting injured or losing a tooth in the unfortunate event that the ball or a player’s elbow, knee, or shoulder hits your mouth with great impact.

 

    • Hockey – For a sport where you don’t get any points for slamming into the opponent, this is a very common and enjoyable part of the game that puts every player at risk of all sorts of bodily injury. Both the attacker and opponent risk biting their lip or tongue or injuring their mouth in other ways from the sudden impact. So, it is critical that you wear a mouthguard.

 

    • Skiing/snowboarding – Although this is not a high contact sport, any accident that arises can ruin your smile. You should protect your mouth in the event that crash into another person or obstacle, or even fall on your own.

 

    • Sledding – Just like skiing, sledding can cause injury even though it is not a high-contact activity, ruining your smile. You could fall when sliding down a hill, crash into another sledder, or even crash as try to maneuver or stop. Any part of your body could get injured from the impact, so it is important that you get the necessary protective gear, including a mouth guard.

 

    • Wrestling – With wrestling, you will be in constant contact with your opponent – pushing, rolling, flipping – which dramatically increases the risk of mouth injury. So, you should protect your teeth, gums, tongue, and lips from sudden impact by wearing a mouth guard.

 

Get custom-fitted mouth guards

Mouth guards are designed to fit over the upper teeth to protect them from cracking, chipping, or breaking due to impact to your mouth, face or head. They also protect your mouth from internal injuries like biting your tongue or lips.

You can choose to purchase a ready-made mouth guard that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, or consult your dentist for a custom-made guard that is specially designed for your mouth to provide comfort and superior protection. You will, however, have to part with a little more cash for the extra benefits.

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Filling in the Gaps with Fixed Dental Bridges!

Like the name suggests, dental bridges are used to fill gaps between your teeth. There are a number of alternative restorations for missing teeth, but bridges are usually recommended for areas with insufficient bone structure to support dental implants, of when the patient does not want a permanent tooth installed.
 
Doctor2th is an experienced dental implant dentist in Irvine, CA.
 
Dental bridges usually consist of several (two or more) crowns for the teeth adjacent to the gap on both sides. These teeth provide anchorage for the crown, and are referred to as abutment teeth. The restoration placed between the two are known as false teeth or “pontics”, and can be made from a variety of materials including porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges can also be anchored to implants.
 
Construction of Fixed Bridges
 
Fixed bridges are the most common type of bridge used. The other types are cantilever bridges and resin-bonded bridges. Traditional fixed bridges are similar to individual crowns fixed together in a series. Similarly, the procedure used to fabricate fixed bridges is similar to that of individual crowns, but more extensive. The final product closely imitates the look and feel of natural teeth.
The construction process of fixed bridges involves:
 
1. Diagnosis:
 
Here, the dentist checks the number and health of anchor teeth, including their mobility (looseness), periodontal status, occlusion (bite), cosmetic implications, and other factors. The number of support teeth varies depending on the diagnosis.
 
Teeth affected by periodontal disease and bone loss cannot sufficiently support the extra load created by fixed bridges. As such, additional support teeth may be necessary.
 
2. Preparation and Impressions:
 
Once your dentist determines that dental bridges are right for you, your measured abutment teeth will be prepared. The preparation process typically involves re-contouring the abutment teeth by removing a small section of your enamel to provide enough space for the crown to be placed over them later on.
 
In the same appointment, your dentist may decide to take impressions of your abutment teeth, as well as the gap, to be used as a model from which the pontic, bridge, and crowns will be fabricated by a dental lab.
 
3. Temporization:
 
Temporary fixed bridgework may be fabricated to stabilize the support teeth, promoting effective function and esthetics.
 
4. Evaluation:
 
It is necessary to evaluate bridgework during the different stages of fabrication to allow for detailed verification of correct fit prior to finalizing the esthetic ceramic layer. Furthermore, the ceramic layer may be evaluated for proper occlusion (bite) prior to application of the final color and shading.
 
5. Cementation:
 
This step involves the final assessment of your personalized bridge, removal of the temporary bridge, and placement of the non-removable bridge.
 
Final Note
 
For the first few weeks after installation, you should avoid consuming hard or sticky foods.
Fixed dental bridges usually last for 5 to 15 years, or longer, with good oral hygiene practices and routine check-ups to evaluate how the bridges are melding to your mouth.
 

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Coffee Could Help Improve Your Oral Health!

Tens of millions of Americans can’t imagine going through a normal day without taking at least one cup of coffee. Whether black, creamy, sweet, or strong, there are both positive and negative sentiments about coffee. But of course, it’s better to receive good news than bad news, and there is more and more research pointing to many benefits of moderate coffee consumption, including improved oral health.
 
Here are some new medical reasons to keep enjoying your favorite beverage:
 
1. Coffee helps reduce the risk of oral and throat cancers.
This was the conclusion following one study conducted in Milan, Italy, where researchers compared about 5,000 cases of cancer to 9,000 cancer-free cases, all of which were pooled from nine case-controlled studies involving head and neck cancers.
 
From the data analysis, the researchers found a strong connection between moderate coffee consumption and the reduced incidence of oral and throat cancer. According to the data, the coffee drinkers consumed between 1 and 4 cups a day.
 
2. Coffee reduces the risk of tooth decay and cavities.
Several studies found that coffee roasts, particularly high grade coffees rich in caffeine, contain a high content of polyphenols that inhibit the growth of s. mutans bacteria in the mouth. This reduces the amount of plaque on your teeth, which in turn reduces your risk for tooth decay and cavities.
 
But can coffee be consumed safely for you to gain from these benefits?
 
While studies show that moderate consumption of coffee can improve your oral health, there are a few factors that may limit the beneficial effect of this beverage:
 
● First, a cup of coffee typically contains other ingredients, namely sugar and milk (contains sugar in the form of lactose), which facilitate tooth decay
 
● Second, coffee is itself a highly acidic beverage, which means that it facilitates the demineralization of tooth enamel
 
● Third, coffee penetrates your porous tooth enamel and dentin causing stained teeth (yellowish-brown)
 
Verdict
It is unlikely that coffee lovers will stop drinking coffee because of its harmful effects, especially since proper oral hygiene, including both at-home care and regular dental visits, can effectively reduce the risk of tooth decay and teeth discoloration.
 
In addition, people love coffee for many other reasons, and the dental health benefits are just another plus. The important thing is that you drink your coffee responsibly, as excessive consumption of anything good can be toxic. At least now you know that your favorite beverage could save you from oral cancer.

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3 Foods To Avoid at All Costs with Braces or Orthodontics

braces, orthodontic, orthodontic dentist

Taking care of your orthodontic appliance for 1-2 years may seem like quite a hassle, but it a small price to pay for a dazzling smile and improved confidence. Although braces are strong enough to withstand some degree of abuse, there are certain foods that you must avoid to ensure you don’t compromise their safety and effectiveness.
 

Introducing The Top 3 Foods You Should Avoid At All Costs with Braces or Orthodontics

 

These includes:

 

1. Sticky candy including chewing gum

 
Eating candy can completely devastate your orthodontic treatment. For starters, candy contains sugar that can hide in the nooks and crannies of your teeth, which are already hard to clean with normal brushing and flossing, resulting in tooth decay. Even with sugarless candy, it can get stuck to your braces and cause them to loosen or get damaged as you try to dislodge the gum.

 

2. Corn on the cob

 
While it is a joy to eat corn straight from the cob during summer, you will have to forego this enjoyment until the braces are off. The problem is that biting into the cob can cause the wires and brackets to slacken and get dislodged. The corn can also get stuck in your appliance, increasing the risk for tooth decay. This will not only cause discomfort, but also an extra trip to the orthodontist – who you will already be seeing regularly for checkups.

If you can’t completely avoid corn you can simply remove it from the cob and throw it to the back for your mouth. However, you must also avoid popcorn, because the husks can get stuck in hard to clean areas, contributing to tooth decay.

 

3. Pizza crusts

 
Actually, you need to avoid all hard and crunchy foods, including nuts, pretzels, and hard breads and cookies as well. Every hard crunch increases the risk for the wires and braces cracking and even coming off. These foods can also get caught between the appliance and your teeth where it is harder to clean, making you more prone to decay. Generally, any item that does not bend, including hard cookies should be avoided. To protect your braces, opt for softer breads, buns, etc.

 

Final note

 
Besides maintaining a safe and healthy diet, you should brush and floss regularly to remove food debris that get stuck between the wires and your teeth. Taking good care of your braces through proper diet and hygiene will help you avoid unnecessary trips to the orthodontist to get any damaged wires or popping brackets fixed.

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Study Shows Regular Visits to Dentist May Prevent Pneumonia

regular dentist visits pneumoniaIt is good practice to visit the dentist every six months for professional cleanings and dental checkups, according to dentist in irvine, Doctor2th. In addition to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, new study shows that these visits may also decrease your risk of pneumonia by limiting bacterial buildup in the mouth.
 
An estimated one million Americans suffer from pneumonia every year, 20 percent of whom succumb to the infection and die. While older people and those suffering from conditions like lung disease or AIDS are more likely to get pneumonia, new research shows that anyone can be a victim, especially if you don’t exercise good oral hygiene.
 
According to the research that was based on the analysis of over 26,000 subjects via a national database, people who never attend dental checkups have an 86 percent risk of getting pneumonia compared to those who schedule a dental checkup every six months.
 
In the study conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Division of Infectious Disease, the researchers used data retrieved from the 2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey seeking information on healthcare (including dental care) utilization, patient satisfaction, and costs. In the analysis, they found that 441 people out of a total 26,246 individuals (1.68 percent) had bacterial pneumonia. In addition, 86 percent of the infected people had never gone for a dental checkup.
 

Why poor dental care puts you at risk of getting pneumonia.

Michelle Doll, an assistant professor and lead author of the study, argues that the connection between dental health and pneumonia is well documented, and dental checkups play a vital role in ensuring good dental health.
 
According to Dr. Doll, the human body has 10 times more microbes (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) than human cells either in or on the body – this includes the skin, the mouth, and gastrointestinal system. Not all microbes are bad, and even the harmful ones only cause illness under specific conditions. For instance, harmful bacteria can be accidentally aspirated or inhaled into the lungs resulting in pneumonia.
 
The bacteria responsible for pneumonia include streptococcus, staphylococcus, haemophilus, and anaerobic bacteria. With regular professional dental cleanings, Dr. Doll claims that anyone can successfully reduce the amount of harmful bacteria aspirated, reducing your risk for getting pneumonia.
 
Moreover, the researchers found a close association between oral health and overall health. In this regard, the study concludes that it is essential to integrate proper dental care, which includes attending dental checkups twice a year, into your standard preventive health care routine to reduce the risk of illnesses such pneumonia.
 

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How to Stop Jaw Clicking: When Should I Be Worried?

how to stop jaw clicking remedyYou may have experienced a pop or click sound from your jaw as you eat or yawn. Usually, there is nothing concerning about this sound, but there are some instances when jaw clicking could be indicative of jaw trouble, like temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD).
 
One of the key characteristics of TMD is jaw clicking. But not all pops and clicks mean that you are experiencing problems with your TMJ – temporomandibular joint, says Dr. Rahbar. The TMJ is the joint connecting the side of your face (temporal bone) to your lower jaw. Its primary function is to open and close the jaw.
 
Any clicking sound associated with TMD implies that there is some damage to the bones, cartilage, or ligaments connecting the TMJ; in which case, you should be worried.
 
How to Know When the Noise is TMD-Related
 
The most common kind of jaw clicking occurs when the jaws are at their widest, like when yawning or opening your mouth wide for a big bite. This type of clicking is a form of subluxation, caused by the lower jaw bone passing over a ridge in the upper jaw bone. Dentists argue that this is a normal occurrence resulting from a hyperextended jaw.
 
The other more concerning type of popping occurs when the cartilage-like disc inside the joint is displaced. The clicking occurs somewhat quietly when closing, as the disc slips forward of the lower jaw bone. When you open again, there is a louder crack or pop as the disc repositions itself onto the lower jaw condyle.
 
The second kind of pop can occur when talking, chewing, or just opening your mouth, and is usually loud enough for people around you to hear. Because the ligament controlling the disc is stretched, plus the muscles controlling jaw movement are affected by the dysfunction, you may experience some pain.
 
Remedy for Jaw Clicking
 
Jaw clicking should be definitely addressed, especially if it is painful. If it has never happened before, try reducing your jaw function by switching to a softer diet, or try to relax your jaw if you find yourself clenching. Basically, you will need to identify what your jaw can tolerate and avoid foods that cause your jaw to hurt, at least until it begins to feel more relaxed.
 
If the popping is caused by an injury to the jaw, some dentists recommend that you wait for 2-3 weeks to see if it resolves on its own. But if the clicking is repetitive, it could be indicative of an inflammatory condition or strain to the muscles that may eventually lead to some arthritic joint degeneration, which then limits jaw function and changes your bite.
 
In such cases, you should visit your dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment, possibly with an intraoral appliance (dental splint) to create a buffer for the jaw and teeth to function properly for maximum stability.
 
irvine dentist tmj tmdIf you’re overly concerned about jaw clicking that you can hear & feel and would like further guidance or direction on what exactly may be occurring, then you can schedule an appointment with our Irvine dentist, Dr. Sohrab Rahbar, for more information. Contrary to popular belief, dentists are more familiar with jaw issues than primary care physicians or your general doctor.

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Discerning the Difference Between Dental & Non-Dental Toothaches

irvine dentist open on saturdaysWhenever you experience a toothache or tooth pain, the tooth is usually the source of the pain. But in a small percentage of cases, however, the site of tooth pain is not the specific source. Whether tooth pain originates in a tooth or not, the pain still feels like a toothache; however, it can be a little difficult to determine the cause of non-dental pain.
 
What Patients Will Typically Experience
 
Tooth pain from a non-dental issue can present itself in a number of ways, says Dr. Torbati. In some cases, it can be in the form of a low-grade, bothersome ache, or an excruciating pain that can be described as sharp, shooting, or throbbing. The pain can be chronic or come and go.
 
Non-dental pain is usually experienced in the teeth or surrounding areas such as the soft tissue or bone. Since it is not tied to any specific tooth, the pain can, unexpectedly, shift from one tooth to another or from one side of the mouth to the other.
 
The pain is very similar to a normal toothache, causing many patients to undergo dental treatments in several teeth before the diagnosis is done. It is critical that you approach tooth pain with caution to avoid performing irreversible procedures, such as extraction or root canal before the cause has been properly diagnosed.
 
Potential Causes of Tooth Pain
 
Cavities are the primary causes of dental related toothaches. A cavity causes tooth enamel to wear off, exposing the dentin, which is more sensitive to heat, cold, and other stimuli. Dental toothaches can also be caused by any dental problem, such as gum problems or periodontal disease that causes pain and inflammation in the pulp section and supporting soft and hard tissues. Likely causes of persistent tooth pain include:
 
● Cracked tooth or incomplete tooth fracture
● Periodontal ligament strain caused by clenching, trauma, or bite problems
For such dental pain, the dentist can treat the tooth, gums, or both, and the tooth pain will varnish after the treatment.
 
Tooth pain of a non-dental origin, on the other hand, has many possible causes. To determine the exact source of pain, the dentist must consider several conditions, including those caused by dental problems but remain unnoticed, as well as conditions caused by non-dental problems. Likely problems include:
 
Referred muscle or myofascial pain – dull, aching muscles with localized tender spots that refer pain to other structures, like the teeth
 
● Trigeminal neuralgia – condition affecting the nerve providing sensation to the teeth and face
● Neuropathic pain – damage to nerves transmitting sensation
● Referral headache pain – headaches caused by changes in blood vessels and nerves of the head
● Cardiac toothache – some heart problems, such as acute myocardial infarction or angina pectoris, refer pain to the arm, jaw, and shoulder
● Sinus toothache – issues in the maxillary sinuses and/or paranasal mucosa refer pain to upper teeth
 
To accurately determine the source of tooth pain and treat it properly, you should visit your dentist to perform the necessary diagnostic tests.
 
irvine dentist open on saturdaysIf you are ever experiencing an emergency then you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. Dr. Rahbar is an Irvine dentist open on Saturdays and weekends to address emergencies that happen unexpectedly. If a dental emergency occurs, try to stay calm throughout, save anything that may have fallen out, and schedule an appointment as early as possible.
 

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