Posts for category: Oral Health
Are you ready to whiten your teeth but aren't sure if you should visit your Apple Valley, CA, dentist, Dr. Samuel Kim for professional whitening or try a do-it-yourself approach? Before you make a decision, here are a few things you may want to consider.
How long will you need to use an over-the-counter (OTC) whitening product for optimal results? Will you remember to follow the recommended schedule if you need to apply the product for weeks or months?
Professional whitening at the Apple Valley dental office only takes about an hour, and most people only need one treatment to reach their desired results. If you know that you don't have the patience to apply OTC products week after week, professional whitening offers an excellent solution.
At-home whitening kits are also available from the dentist. You'll need to use the custom trays and the whitening gel provided for about a week or two if you choose this option. At-home trays also offer a convenient way to touch up your whitened teeth occasionally.
How much of a change can you expect with OTC whiteners? It can be disappointing to use a product as recommended yet only see minimal improvement in the color of your teeth.
Professional-strength hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in whiteners, targets the source of stains by breaking apart and removing dark pigment in your tooth enamel. These pigments collect in your enamel after you drink coffee or tea, or eat berries or other dark foods.
After your professional whitening treatment, your teeth will be noticeably whiter. In fact, most people experience a three-to eight-shade improvement.
Some OTC products may actually may your teeth look duller. Harsh products wear away your enamel, exposing the yellow dentin layer underneath. Unfortunately, once the enamel's gone, it won't grow back.
Some people find it hard to tolerate the whitening process due to sensitivity. During your professional whitening session, your dentist will apply a protective gel to your gums and use plastic retractors to keep your lips from touching your teeth. Your safety and comfort are the priorities during professional whitening sessions.
Interested? Give us a call
Brighten your smile with professional teeth whitening! Call your dentist in Apple Valley, CA, Dr. Kim, at (760) 247-6007 to schedule your appointment.
Keeping your teeth sparkling white isn't always so easy. Fortunately, the dentists at Apple Valley Dental in Apple Valley, CA, can help you renew your smile with teeth whitening.
How your smile becomes dull
Spilling coffee, cola or red wine on a white tablecloth or shirt tends to leave behind stains, no matter how carefully you clean the fabric. The same thing happens to your teeth when you eat or drink foods that contain dark pigments. Every time you take a bite or sip of one of these foods or beverages, some of the pigments seep into microscopic pores in your tooth enamel, dulling your smile. Using tobacco products also causes stains in tooth enamel.
Foods and beverages that may increase your risk of stains include tea, coffee, wine, soft drinks, berries, ice pops, candy, sports drinks, soy sauce, fruit juice, tomato sauce, and balsamic vinegar.
Whitening helps you keep your smile bright
Brushing your teeth is an excellent way to reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease. Twice-daily brushing can remove surface stains from your teeth but won't get rid of the stain-causing pigments in your enamel. No matter how often you brush, your smile will remain dull if pigments remain lodged in your tooth enamel.
Fortunately, teeth whitening offered in the Apple Valley dental office provides a simple solution. Professional-strength hydrogen peroxide whitening gel penetrates the tiny pores in your enamel and breaks apart the pigments that cause stains. A whitening session only takes about an hour, yet can drastically improve your appearance. Most people notice a three- to eight-shade difference in their smiles after just one whitening appointment. Whitening results usually last several years.
How you can keep your smile bright after whitening
Limiting stain-causing foods can help you avoid new stains. If you can't imagine giving up coffee, tea or cola, drinking these beverages through a straw may reduce staining.
Your dentist can also provide you with a take-home whitening kit. If you notice that your teeth have become a little dull, using the kit will help you touch up your smile.
Are you ready to get rid of your dental stains with teeth whitening? Call the Apple Valley, CA, dentists at Apple Valley Dental at (760) 247-6007 to schedule an appointment.
Why does your tooth hurt so much? At Apple Valley Dental in Helendale, CA, our team of five specialty dentists uncover the reasons for dental pain and effectively treat them. Combining innovation with expertise preserves as much natural tooth structure as possible.
Never wait on dental pain
At Apple Valley Dental in Helendale, CA, your dentists see numerous patients who are experiencing dental discomfort ranging from intermittent sensitivity to extreme toothache pain and everything in between. If you're one of them, please don't wait. Call the office right away so we can make you comfortable, examine and X-ray your teeth and formulate a treatment plan to restore you to full oral health.
The American Association of Endodontists cites several causes for dental pain:
- Sensitivity to heat, cold and pressure due to cracked fillings, exposed roots, dental abscess, decay or thin enamel
- Toothache from decay, infection, teeth clenching (bruxism), traumatic injury or poor dental bite
- Abscess, or infection of pulp in the interior chamber and root canals
- Traumatic injury, causing tooth avulsion, fracture, chips or lateral displacement
- Gum disease, or periodontitis, which degrades the support structures surrounding teeth
Treating dental pain
Common treatments for dental pain include:
- Fillings made of amalgam, composite resin, porcelain or glass ionomer
- Porcelain crowns to cover and protect damaged tooth structure
- Root canal therapy which removes the inflamed pulp, seals the tooth and covers it with a filling or crown
- Tooth scaling and root planing for gum disease
- Extraction for impacted wisdom teeth or hopelessly damaged teeth
- Replacement of old fillings or crowns
- Revision of dental bite with orthodontic treatment (traditional braces or aligners)
- Customized mouth guards for bruxism
- Regular use of a sensitivity toothpaste for exposed roots and thin enamel
- Splinting of mobile or displaced teeth
- Orthodontic correction for malocclusion and jaw joint dysfunction
Of course, your professional team at Apple Valley Dental always recommends consistent brushing and flossing at home, a nutritious diet, plenty of water and preventive exams and hygienic cleanings every six months.
Feel better and be healthy
At Apple Valley Dental, our team excels at the latest in preventive, restorative and cosmetic dental services. Whatever you need, we can provide it on-site at our modern facility in Helendale, CA. Call us at the first sign of a problem: (760) 247-6007.
Dental pain can be extremely uncomfortable, and it's normal to want it diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. However, many dental dilemmas happen suddenly and often after regular business hours, and then you're left wondering how to manage your problem. What you may not know is there is a hierarchy associated with dental problems, meaning that there are certain injuries and other problems that can wait until the next day to be treated by your dentist in Helendale, CA, Dr. Samuel Kim at Apple Valley Dental.
What isn't a dental emergency?
First, let's discuss what doesn't usually qualify as a dental emergency. These mishaps are typically not associated with lasting damage or life-threatening complications and can be managed at home until your Helendale dentist is available.
- A chipped tooth. As long as the chip doesn't cause unrelenting pain, it's probably shallow enough to wait. If there is a sharp edge, it can be covered with a small piece of dental wax.
- A lost filling or crown. Again, as long as you do not have severe pain associated with this common dental problem, it's usually worth it to wait until your Helendale dentist's office opens up. In the meantime, there are materials that you can purchase at any drug store that will cover the affected tooth until you can be treated.
- Tooth sensitivity. This uncomfortable sensation is often due to an untreated cavity. Avoid chewing on the affected side and try to stay away from hot or cold beverages and foods to keep the sensitivity to a minimum.
When should I seek emergency dental treatment?
If you're experiencing one or or more of the following circumstances, and your Helendale dentist's office is not open, you should go to your local medical emergency room at once:
- Bleeding that doesn't stop within a few minutes
- Pain that does not respond to over-the-counter analgesics and interferes with normal activity
- Swelling around your jaw, especially if accompanied by a fever
- A tooth that has been pushed out of place or completely knocked out.
In the case of an avulsed, or knocked-out, tooth, it should be replaced gently into the empty socket if possible. If it doesn't go back into place easily, don't force it. There are tooth preservation kits available at drugstores that contains a solution with minerals and other ingredients to maintain the tooth's viability for several hours after avulsion. It's best to have one or more of these kits available at home for immediate use. In a pinch, a cup of milk can be used.
To schedule an appointment with your Helendale dentist, Dr. Samuel Kim, contact Apple Valley Dental in Helendale, CA, at (760) 247-6007 today.
Every February, the American Dental Association sponsors a campaign called National Children’s Dental Health Month. The purpose of this operation is to raise awareness about how important it is to get an early start on developing good dental hygiene habits — and how this can lead to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. So we thought this might be a good time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about how to do exactly that:
When is it time to start cleaning my baby’s teeth?
As soon as you see one! The earlier your child gets used to a daily dental hygiene routine, the better. Baby teeth that have not fully emerged from beneath the gums can be wiped with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings. A tooth that has grown in completely should be brushed twice daily (once in the morning and once in the evening) with a soft, child-sized tooth brush and a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is an important weapon against tooth decay, but you don’t want your child to swallow too much.
Can babies get cavities?
Absolutely — especially if they are allowed to fall asleep routinely with a bottle filled with anything but water. Milk, formula — even breast milk — all contain sugars that should not be left to pool around your baby’s teeth during sleep, facilitating decay. Juice is an even bigger no-no because it is not only sugary but also acidic.
Can’t I give my child sweets once in a while?
We realize total avoidance of sweets may not be realistic, as beneficial as this would be for your child’s teeth. If you are going to allow your child to have sweets once in a while, better that the treat be given immediately following a meal, and not as a between-meal snack. Soda should really be avoided completely — it’s that bad.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?
The experts say: Get it done in year one. That’s right — even though your child won’t have many teeth by age 1, there’s a lot we can do at that first visit to ensure good oral health now and well into the future. We will do everything possible to make sure your little one has a positive first experience in the dental chair; this helps set the tone for the many important preventive visits yet to come. It’s also a great opportunity for you to ask any specific questions you may have, and receive hands-on instruction on how to care for your child’s teeth and gums.
If you would like more information about children’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Age One Dental Visit.”