Thursday, October 31, 2013

Livermore Dentist - Halloween Can Be Scary, Especially for Kids’ Teeth- Smiles By Design in Livermore


Your kids may be ready to indulge in sweet treats this Halloween, but don't let the holiday turn into an oral health nightmare. To keep your children's smiles safe from creepy cavities this season and all year-round, consider these tips from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

Don't Get Stuck

"Sticky, chewy candies are cavity-causing culprits," says AGD spokesperson Connie White, DDS, FAGD. "Gummies, taffy, caramel—they all get stuck in the pits and grooves of teeth, where it's nearly impossible for saliva to wash them away. The longer that candy remains stuck in the teeth, the higher the risk of developing cavities." Encourage children to brush their teeth following candy consumption. If a toothbrush isn't handy, says Dr. White, give them a glass of water to help swish away the sugars. 

If the candy is sour, however, hold off on the brushing. Sour candy is likely acidic, so it's best to wait at least 30 minutes to an hour before brushing. The action of brushing can actually spread the acid onto more tooth surfaces, increasing its erosive action on tooth enamel.

 Eat, Then Treat
On Halloween night, allow children to enjoy a few pieces of candy, but only after they've eaten a nutritious meal.
"Chewing during a meal stimulates saliva, which has protective enzymes and minerals to cleanse the teeth and protect against cavities," says AGD spokesperson Mark Malterud, DDS, MAGD. "Plus, eating before treating will give kids nice full tummies, tummies that might have a little less room for candy." 
Do Your Part
When trick-or-treaters visit your home, pass out teeth-friendly treats. For example, sugar-free lollipops, hard candies, and chewing gum are better options than their sugary alternatives. 
"Sugar-free gum actually can help prevent cavities," says Dr. Malterud. "Not only does it dislodge food particles from between the teeth, but it also increases saliva to help wash away the sugars."
Brushing Basics
"No matter what season it is, kids should be brushing their teeth for two minutes twice a day and flossing once a day," advises Dr. White. "It's especially important to brush before bedtime. Otherwise, sugars will linger on the teeth all night long, increasing their risk of cavities."

Monday, October 28, 2013

Livermore Dentist - High Tech Toothbrush Promises to Clean Your Teeth in 6 Seconds, Maybe Mess Up Your Face- Smiles By Design in Livermore

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 12.22.28 PM

Think of all the time you’d save if brushing your teeth only took six seconds. Seriously, just think of all the things you could do with those spare moments. Take up taxidermy? Sure. Learn Latin? Why not.
Say hello to Blizzident, the futuristic toothbrush that, yes, promises to clean your teeth perfectly in six seconds flat. It’s basically a bizarre little contraption that you bite down on, and then it does the rest of the work. The Blizzident website explains:
All Blizzident-bristles are tailored to your own teeth. They are placed on the surface of your teeth in a 45 degree angle. They are also aligned exactly along your gumline in a 45 degree angle.
Additionally there are interdental bristles between all your teeth.
Pretty cool in theory, right? But the contraption looks kind of scary, like one of the mean, aggressive fish from Finding Nemo. Do you really want that in and around your mouth? What if it accidentally brushes your face?
Blizzident currently costs $300 and lasts for a year. If you’re interested in looking like a robotic piranha with super clean teeth, check out the below Blizzident video:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Livermore Dentist - Red Wine or White? Teeth a Fright - Smiles By Design in Livermore

Down a couple of glasses of red at a party and you’ll see those stains right away. But spend the evening sipping white and you (not to mention, your friends) will notice stains later on.

Monika Jones, 28, loves red wine. What she doesn’t love is the “monster mouth” it gives her.
“I’ve found that red wine not only stains my teeth — it turns the inner part of my lips a dark magenta after just two glasses,” says Jones, a Seattle writer. “My friends call it ‘monster mouth.’”
In an effort to avoid monster mouth (and stained teeth), Jones recently switched from red to white and cut back on her coffee.
But is this actually the right choice?  After all, if you stick with white, you could miss out on the heart-healthy benefits of red. On the other hand, going for the full grape gusto means you risk walking around with red-tinged “Twilight” teeth.
What’s a health conscious (and somewhat vain) vino drinker to do?
Setting the stage for stains A new study indicates you might want to decide when you’d rather have stained teeth. Now — or later?
“Red wine is an amazing staining material, but white wine makes the teeth more susceptible to staining,” says Dr. Mark Wolff, a professor at the New York University College of Dentistry.
“When you drink an acidic beverage, you wind up in a scenario where you etch the outer surface of the tooth slightly, making it more susceptible to chemicals that have pigment in them.”
In other words, down a couple of glasses of red at a party and you’ll see those stains right away. But spend the evening sipping white and you (not to mention, your friends) will notice stains later on. (On the upside, you may all be too snockered to notice as the evening wears on.)
In a study presented at the annual meeting of the International Association for Dental Research, Wolff and his colleagues soaked one set of cow teeth (a close match to human teeth) in water and another set in white wine. Then they immersed both sets in black tea and compared stains. The wine-soaked teeth had “significantly darker stains” thanks to the way white wine set the stage for staining.
As a result, white wine drinkers can wind up with stains nearly as intense as red wine drinkers simply by following a glass or two of Chardonnay with tea, coffee or cola, says Wolff.
Killer combos Chasing white wine with a glass or two of red is another sure-fire stain-maker, perhaps even powerful enough to spawn a new motto ala “Beer before liquor, never been sicker.” Red after white and your smile will be a fright?               
But that’s not the only thing that can give a white wine drinker dark teeth.
“We’ve looked at blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, sodas, teas and sports drinks,” he says. “White wine and anything that’s deeply pigmented will cause stains.”
And yes, that also includes those glistening bowls of holiday cranberries.
As a result of the study, Wolff says he doesn’t tell people to avoid wine, but instead suggests they pay attention to their combinations. Also on his list of things to watch for: dental overkill.
“Drink in moderation and when you’re done, rinse with water,” he says. “Don’t run to the bathroom and brush right after.”
“That can cause aggressive wear,” he says. “You want to let your saliva get to the teeth and remineralize them. It rehardens the tooth and gets rid of the areas that are etched in [by the acidic wine]. When you’re done drinking, rinse with water and then brush with a good whitening toothpaste when you get home.” 

Of course, there’s more to wine than acid and tannins and colorants that stain the teeth. There are also all those studies touting various health benefits, as well as the risks of drinking too much.
A recent study at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, for instance, concluded that red wine and white wine are equal in terms of breast cancer risk. Other studies claim mild-to-moderate red wine drinking may lower lung cancer risk, protect the prostate and reduce heart damage. A new study out of Italy even found a relationship between moderate intake of red wine and better sexual health in women.
“I think there’s convincing evidence for reduced risk of heart disease, reduced risk of diabetes and reduced risk of overall mortality [for red wine drinkers],” says Dr. Eric Rimm, associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. “But people who have one to two [alcoholic] drinks a day have those benefits regardless of the beverage they’re consuming.”
Rimm says his research — and that of many others — suggests the health benefits stem from the ethanol, which is present in red wine, white wine, beer and spirits.
“There’s some suggestion that red wine may be more beneficial than other beverages, but there are an equal number of studies suggesting the opposite,” he says. “It would be a shame for people to give up their white wine because they think only red wine is beneficial.”
Happy medium? What’s a holiday drinker to do? Stick with white but skip the cranberry cheesecake and coffee? Stay with red (and its instant stains) but take comfort in the raft of heart-healthy studies? Forego alcohol altogether and stay refreshed (and risk-free) with hot spiced cider?
Monika Jones says she’s leaning towards the middle.
“There are just too many studies,” she says. “One day it’s a pro and the next a con. I decided it’s just a matter of moderation. And lately, I’ve been thinking of rosé.”
by Diane Mapes


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tracy Dentist - Mom's kiss can spead cavities to baby - Smiles by Design in Livermore

Image: Baby at dentist
NBC News Channel
Numerous studies have shown that cavity-causing bacteria can pass from person to person through the transfer of saliva, such as sharing utensils, blowing on food, and yes, even kissing that sweet little bundle of joy on the mouth.
When Rachel Sarah took her daughter in for her first dental checkup a few years ago, she got a surprise. Not only did her 24-month-old have two cavities in her baby teeth, the pediatric dentist suggested she might have “caught” them from her mom.
“The dentist handed me this piece of paper that talked about saliva transfer,” said Sarah, a 37-year-old writer from San Francisco. “It said not to share cups or utensils or food and said, ‘No kissing your kid on the lips.’ I was shocked; I’d been taking a bite of food and then giving her a bite since she started eating. I told the dentist I’d never heard of this and he said these were new findings.”
As it turns out, studies about the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria from mom to baby have been published for 30 years. The primary culprit is Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria that can pass from person to person through the transfer of saliva, such as sharing utensils, blowing on food, and yes, even kissing that sweet little bundle of joy on the mouth.
According to a 2008 study in Pediatric Dentistry, “strong evidence demonstrated that mothers are a primary source of MS [mutans streptococci] colonization of their children; a few investigations showed other potential sources … notably fathers.”
“There have been many, many studies,” said Dr. Jane Soxman, a pediatric dentist from Allison Park, Pa. “It’s well-documented. You can’t blame it all on kissing a child on the lips — that’s one of several different factors that would have to be working together. But the main thing to know is that tooth decay is a bacterial infection and you can spread it from one person to another during the window of infectivity, which is during infancy and especially during the time of tooth eruption. That’s when the teeth are most vulnerable. It’s as if you had a bad cold and were kissing your child, you would spread the cold virus.”
Only parents (or caregivers) with active tooth decay can spread the Streptococcus mutans bacteria through the transfer of saliva. And Soxman stressed that the transmission of bacteria-laden saliva is just one piece of the puzzle. Tooth decay is caused by a combination of factors, including the transfer of infectious saliva, genetics, oral hygiene, and feeding practices, such as letting your baby constantly suck on a sippy cup full of juice or milk or other sugar-laden liquid. (Bacteria uses the sugar to produce acid, which breaks down enamel.) Baby teeth are particularly vulnerable to decay.
“When teeth first come into the mouth, when they first erupt, the enamel is very soft,” said Soxman. “They’re brand new virgin surfaces and are very susceptible.”
by Diane Mapes

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pleasanton Dentist - Eat and drink your way to a whiter, healthier smile - Smiles by Design in Livermore

Image: Actress Scarlett Johansson arrives at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles
Danny Moloshok  /  Reuters
Eat your way to teeth like Scarlett Johansson's.
Stars like Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson need killer smiles for their livelihood, but for us mere mortals, a whiter, brighter smile can do wonders for our appearance and self-confidence. Plus, surveys reveal that one of the first things that people notice about others is their smile, and as that old saw goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Dr. Timothy Chase, a 15-year veteran of cosmetic dentistry in New York City says white teeth and healthy gums can take 10 years off your appearance. And while professional dental products work best for whitening,  what you eat and don’t eat can play a huge role in how white your teeth are.  It seems certain fruits, vegetables and other foods can aid in your quest for whiter teeth. Here’s what you should know about the white smile diet:
The crunch factor
Apples, cauliflower, celery and carrots work to whiten because they function as an abrasive scrub for teeth. These foods are nature’s toothbrush. They also stimulate the production of saliva, which helps keep plaque from forming. Stain sticks to plaque.

Orange ya glad?
The acid in oranges and pineapples may whiten and brighten the surface of the teeth. The acid also contains enzymes that kill bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath. “Saliva is the body’s wonder fluid,” says Chase, and eating juicy citrus increases saliva production that washes away foods that stain like coffee, soda and red wine.
Strawberry patch
Strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid that can whiten teeth. Munch berries several times a week to naturally whiten chompers.
Pass the cheese, please
Dairy products such as yogurt, milk and hard cheeses like cheddar contain lactic acid, which may help protect teeth against decay.  Researchers think proteins in yogurt may bind to teeth and prevent them from attack by harmful acids that cause cavities. Dairy is also loaded with calcium, which guards and strengthens bone that holds teeth in place. Plus, chewing hard cheese creates saliva that helps remove food particles that stain.
Nix these
You can also try to avoid stain-causing foods.  Any food that causes a stubborn laundry stain can discolor teeth, too.  If you look at a tooth under a microscope, it looks like a kitchen sponge with many little nooks, crannies and holes. When stain-causing foods and beverages get stuck in those nooks and crannies, especially over time, dark stains develop. While we hear a lot about coffee, tea and red wine, soda is actually one of the worst offenders. It not only contains acids that open up those nooks but then stains them with cola color.
While you're at it, be sure to go easy on other teeth-staining food and drink, such as coffee, tea, blueberries, red wine, soy sauce and tobacco.
“It only takes seven minutes for destruction to start, but you can stop it by rinsing with plain water for seven seconds until you can brush and remove plaque,” says Dr. Joe Kravitz, a Washington D.C. dentist and author of “Dirty Mouth.”  If you can’t get to a toothbrush or drink water, chew sugarless gum to remove stain food causing particles.
by Jennifer Nelson

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pleasanton Dentist - Milk may help reduce tooth decay caused by sugary foods - Smiles by Design in Livermore

Drinking milk after eating sweet foods can reduce the damage sugar can do to your teeth, say researchers in the July issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.
When you eat food with sugar in it, bacteria in the plaque on your teeth produce acids that attack your teeth and can cause decay (also known as “caries”). Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Dentistry conducted a study to see if drinking milk, apple juice or water after eating a sugary cereal would affect the acidity of dental plaque.
Twenty adult participants visited the study site at University of Illinois at Chicago once per week for six weeks. Based on a computer-generated random order, participants completed different study test search week. At their weekly visits, they either rinsed with a control solution (sugar or sorbitol) or they ate sugary cereal followed by drinking whole milk, apple juice, tap water or nothing at all.
Researchers then measured the levels of acid in the plaque on the participants’ teeth at intervals up to 30 minutes for the cereal only, sucrose and sorbitol groups and up to 35 minutes for the cereal followed by milk, apple juice or ware groups.
They found that found that drinking milk after eating cereal helped lower plaque acid levels the most, followed by water, cereal only and apple juice.
“When discussing the cariogenicity of foods and beverages with patients, dentists and other health care professionals should emphasize that the order of ingesting sugary and nonsugary foods is important and may affect their oral health,” stated the researchers in their article.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tracy Dentist - Stress, anxiety can lead to teeth grinding - Smiles by Design in Livermore

Take a deep breath and relax. Stress and anxiety may bring some unwanted oral health concerns, such as teeth grinding—and you may not even be aware of it.
Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is when you clench your teeth, or slide your teeth back-and-forth over each other. Often, it occurs unconsciously while you sleep.
Although it’s not considered a dangerous disorder, it can put pressure on the jaw muscles and tissues, and wear down your teeth, according to the National Institutes of Health. It may lead to jaw pain, headaches and earaches, and permanent damage to the teeth.
While there are various causes to teeth grinding, daily stress may be the biggest trigger for most people. Symptoms include sensitivity in the teeth, sore jaw and insomnia.
To treat teeth grinding, the NIH recommends reducing your daily stress and learning various relaxation techniques, such as meditation. Relaxing your face and jaw muscles throughout the day—to make a habit out of it—can also help.
Often, avoiding hard foods such as candies and nuts, drinking plenty of water, and massaging the muscles of the neck, shoulders and face can help relieve or reduce any pain.
However, there are other possible causes of teeth grinding. These include: sleep disorders; an abnormal bite; misaligned teeth; and in children, irritation in the mouth and allergies. In such cases, dentists may provide you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. Dentists may also recommend a muscle relaxant to be used before going to bed.