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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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5 Ways Electric Toothbrushes Treat Bad Breath

electric toothbrush bad breath benefitsThere are a number of possible root causes for bad breath, or halitosis, though one of the most common factors is the state of your oral environment. More specifically, bad breath is an indicator of food and plaque that have become wedged in nooks and crannies between your teeth and at the gum-line.
Good oral hygiene is key to preventing bad breath. Dentists recommend that you floss and brush after every meal to get rid of the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. Unfortunately, the combination of poor brushing technique and brushing for the wrong length of time prevents many people from adequately removing bacteria and plaque in hard to reach areas – in deep molar crevasses, between teeth, and within taste buds.
If you can’t seem to get rid of bad breath with standard brushing, you should consider switching to an electric toothbrush for the following reasons:
1. Longer, more thorough cleaning
Dental professionals recommend that you brush twice a day with each session lasting for two minutes. Electric brushes come with built-in two-minute timers that pulse every 30 seconds to let you know when to switch quadrants of the mouth. This ensures that you brush your teeth for the right length of time.
2. More movements
Electric toothbrushes are claimed to deliver tens of thousands of movements per minute, while a standard toothbrush is only capable of 300 to 600 movements within the same amount of time. The increased movements provide superior plaque removal, eliminating harmful bacteria from your mouth.
3. Superior technology
Electric toothbrushes are designed with a head that rotates, oscillates, and pulsates during brushing to break up and remove a lot more plaque than a standard manual brush. The combination of timed motions and equal pressure help to clean both sides of the mouth with the same amount of diligence, where a right handed person could favor the left side of the mouth and vice versa.
4. Unique brush head
The design for electric brushes is inspired by dental tools, to produce small, round brush heads with soft bristles that easily surround each tooth individually to get deep between the teeth and remove plaque in hard to reach areas.
5. Special modes
Many electric toothbrushes are designed with a massage mode or gum care mode that stimulates gums to remove even more plaque, as well as a tongue-cleaning mode to clean the tongue where most of the bacteria responsible for bad breath live.
Final Note
If you suffer from halitosis, it is important that you visit your dental hygienist for tips on protecting against bad breath, and for a recommendation on the best electric toothbrush to use.

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The Natural Antibiotics in Our Mouth

saliva mouth natural antibioticConsidering the diligence required to maintain a healthy mouth, it appears that the mouth is one of the dirtiest parts of the body. It is also said to be laden with bacteria, yet wounds that occur in the mouth tend to heal the fastest, plus they don’t seem to get infected. How can this be?
Indeed, how the mouth can be so full of bacteria without inhibiting other parts of the body is a mystery that a professor of dental research at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Aaron Weinberg, sought to unravel for many years. During his research, Dr. Weinberg notices that there are certain bacteria in the mouth that stimulate the production of hBDs – human beta defensins – in cells lining the mouth.
Dr. Weinberg isolated an agent from bacteria that activated the release of beneficial hBDs. These hBDs act as natural antibiotics, protecting the mouth from disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and fungi and maintaining healthy tissues.
Relationship Between hBDs, Saliva, and the Oral Environment
The mouth is a unique environment, with the oral mucosa serving as the interface between internal and external environments, as well as a shield to prevent a range of microbial organisms that thrive in the warm and moist environment from escaping.
The mouth is the only place where hard tissues (teeth) erupt through the epithelial surface in the gums. Teeth are surrounded with periodontal epithelium, a substance that is specialized to form a seal and attachment around each tooth. When this tissue is compromised, especially due to poor hygiene resulting in the buildup of plaque on the tooth surface, it leads to gum disease.
To maintain a healthy mouth and prevent disease in this complex environment, the mouth relies on antimicrobial peptides, which include several salivary antimicrobial peptides, the defensins (hBDs) expressed in neutrophils and the epithelium, and the cathelicidin, expressed in both epithelium and neutrophils.
It is these peptides that work together to provide the innate immune response in the mouth, though saliva, epithelia, and the leukocytes also contribute to maintaining the health of the mouth.
Further Research on the hBDs
After realizing the important role of hBDs in the mouth, Dr. Weinberg set out to develop ways to use the agent to fight disease by stimulating the natural defenses of the mucous membranes in the mouth and other parts of the body.
For instance, administering the agent via an injection might protect against the spread of STDs; or putting it in toothpastes could prevent gum disease; or coating a bandage with it could facilitate speedy healing.
If his research is successful, it will be a major breakthrough with these natural antibiotics paving the way for natural disease fighting.

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Let’s Talk the Basics: What Is Good Oral Hygiene?

good oral hygiene tipsEveryone wants a beautiful smile and a mouth that smells fresh, which is why you should exercise good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene entails a number of practices that:
● Keep your teeth clean and free of any debris
● Keep your gums looking pink with no pain or bleeding when you brush/floss
● Give you fresh breath
A healthy mouth is also one that is free of any pain or infection, with no untreated tooth decay. A healthy mouth should be moist with enough saliva, and no signs of ulcers, lumps, or unusual color on/under the tongue, gums, or cheeks.
How To Improve Your Oral Hygiene
A healthy mouth allows you to eat what you like; supports your cheeks and lips for good face structure, contributes to good speech, and enhances your appearance. Oral hygiene seeks to maintain existing teeth and gums in a functional and comfortable state. It comprises both at-home care and dental office care. The former includes:
● Flossing daily and brushing twice a day using a soft brush and a fluoride toothpaste
● Practicing good brushing technique: you should hold the toothbrush at a slight angle, such that the bristles are aimed toward the gumline. Then, gently brush using short back-and-forth motions. Clean the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces of the teeth, and don’t forget to brush the tongue, as well.
● Using an interdental brush to clean between the teeth
● Rinsing your mouth with mouthwashes as advised by your dental hygienist to prevent decay and gum disease
● Avoiding sugary and acidic foods and drinks, including carbonated drinks and citrus fruits since they damage tooth enamel
● Getting fissure sealants for your children to help prevent tooth decay
To maintain good oral hygiene, it is important to visit your dentist on a regular basis. During a dental visit, your dentist or oral hygienist will not only perform professional cleaning to remove tartar (plaque buildup) that may cause gum disease, but also monitor your health. Your dentist can educate you on good oral hygiene techniques so you target areas that may require special attention during daily cleaning.
Additionally, some dental problems don’t show any symptoms until they are in their advanced stages. Fortunately, dental checkups can allow for early diagnosis of gum disease, tooth decay, and even different types of oral cancer. Treating conditions in their early stages is less painful, less worrisome, and less expensive compared to if you allowed them to advance.

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Welcome to My Irvine Dental Blog!

irvine dentistThank you for visiting my Irvine dental blog! My dental blog of course will be focused on anything related to dentistry:
• Dental home care tips for better oral hygiene
• The latest and greatest dentistry news
• How to improve your oral hygiene
• Any upcoming dental events
• & more!
Irvine Dentist Committed to Improving Your Smile
Whether you’re in my office or out of my office, you’ll come to understand that I place a large emphasis on being committed to improving your smile. After all, that’s probably the main reason anyone sees a dentist, right? Whether you’re correcting an imperfection, considering braces to straighten teeth, or trying to get rid of bothersome symptoms (i.e. toothache), chances are the motive behind it all is to make sure our oral health is intact – which leads to happy smiles!
As a cosmetic dentist in Irvine, it is very important to me that my patients receive a smile that – well – they can smile about! Currently some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures offered are:

Stay Tuned for Frequent Updates!
It is my full intention to keep my Irvine dental blog updated as frequently as possible. In the meantime, feel free to see what I’m up to on social media – which will be updated on a consistent basis.
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