Which Toothpaste is Right for You

Which Toothpaste is Right for You?

Do you ever find yourself staring at the overwhelming toothpaste display wondering why there are so many choices and what the differences are? You may be stuck on the fact that toothpastes are seen in paste, gel, and powder form, or the idea that baking soda can aid in dental health. A word of advice- fluoride is your best friend! When choosing toothpaste, fluoride is the most important ingredient due to its effectiveness in preventing tooth decay, strengthening enamel, and lowering the risk of cavities. In addition to fluoride, here are some other toothpaste options that may be of interest:

  • Whitening

    Depending on personal preferences, a whitening toothpaste may be of interest. Whitening toothpastes polish teeth to create that glowing Hollywood smile everyone dreams of. Professional whitening treatments can be costly; therefore purchasing whitening toothpaste could be a money saving opportunity. If you enjoy your daily espresso, but worry about the stains that could be left on your teeth, whitening toothpastes may be a good option for you.

  • Sensitive Teeth

    If you tend to experience pain when your teeth are introduced to hot or cold temperatures, then a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth may be the right choice. These types of toothpaste contain numbing components that allow for less painful brushing. The active ingredients strontium chloride and potassium nitrate allow for the desensitizing of nerves inside of teeth. Do not be frightened by these ingredients or the idea of desensitizing your teeth because it will not harm you in any way, it simply allows you to live more comfortably. Over time, repeated use will allow for stronger teeth, allowing you to enjoy hot soup on a rainy day or an ice cold drink by the pool.

  • Baking Soda

    Do not be alarmed when you stumble upon toothpaste made with baking soda. The benefits of using toothpaste with baking soda include stain removal, fresher breath, and plaque removal. The abrasiveness of baking soda allows for the breaking of bacterial colonies and particles that cause stains. Toothpaste with baking soda may be a less expensive alternative to a brighter smile. If you find your gums slightly inflamed, baking soda toothpaste has been known to reverse the inflammation, leaving you more comfortable. An alternative ingredient to baking soda is hydrogen peroxide. Similar to baking soda, hydrogen peroxide is known to aid in the whitening of teeth, leaving you with another way to save money.

If you are on a budget, bargain brand toothpastes are effective, as long as they have fluoride. With proper brushing and flossing, you can still look like a movie star, even if you do not purchase expensive whitening kits. Be sure to compare the ingredients in the bargain brand to those of the more expensive toothpaste, in order to make sure you are getting what you need out of your purchase.

The last piece of advice for choosing a toothpaste is to make sure it has an American Dental Association seal of approval. This seal ensures the safety and effectiveness of the product, easing any uncertainties you may have about the ingredients or brand. If you still find yourself staring at the mind-boggling toothpaste display, do not hesitate to contact your dentist for further advice.

Why is Flossing Important?

Why is Flossing Important?

Growing up, did you find yourself annoyed at the constant nagging by your dentist about flossing? Did the thought of going to the dentist bring feelings of terror and nightmares about cavities and root canals? You may have thought that brushing your teeth twice a day was enough to create a luminous smile and combat cavities, but little did you know that forming the habit of flossing every day would greatly advance your dental hygiene. Flossing has many benefits beyond simply getting rid of leftover food particles between your teeth.

Have you ever been on a date with someone who you could not sit next to because of their breath? Did you feel that you were that person? You may not be aware that flossing can lower the risk of bad breath by removing food particles and plaque buildup that cause the displeasing smell. Regular flossing will leave you with healthier gums and fresher breath!

While toothbrushes are able to clean most of the tooth’s surface, flossing allows for a more in depth clean. The bristles on the toothbrush are not able to fully remove plaque built up on your gums and in between your teeth. The thin strand of floss is able to clean around your teeth and dig deeper in your gums to ensure more plaque and bacteria are removed. Neglecting to floss will let plaque build a home in your mouth, and will potentially causing you a multitude of dental problems.

If you feel like flossing takes too much time out of your morning routine, you may be a candidate for disposable floss picks. These allow you to floss on the go, giving you no excuse to skip this important step to perfect dental hygiene. Another benefit of flossing is that it assists in the prevention of gum disease. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss, so if you feel that you have formed a connection with all 32 of your teeth, you may want to add flossing to your daily routine!

Finally, flossing will save you money! If you want to avoid costly procedures such as root canals and tooth extractions, routine dental visits are crucial. These visits will go a lot smoother if you have proper routines to ensure adequate dental hygiene. Taking preventative measures will decrease the risk of gum disease and other complications, therefore saving you money on dental care in the long run. Isn’t it amazing to think that buying a dollar roll of floss could save you a significant amount of dental work?

If you do not want your childhood fears to come true, make sure you are flossing!

​Although flossing may seem like a hassle, it is important to form this habit before you find yourself battling gum disease or other infections. If you begin to notice bleeding gums or any unusual pain while flossing, do not hesitate to contact your dentist for advice on how to modify your dental routine.

tips for a healthy mouth

March 2015 Newsletter

The March 2015 Newsletter is now available! Click here to view full size. Read more

The Impact of Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking

The Impact of Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking

Most children give up pacifiers and thumb sucking on their own sometime between the ages of 2 and 4, but in some cases, parents may have to intervene to help persuade them to give up the habit.

Both habits tend to help babies relax by offering them an extra sense of security. If given the choice between thumb sucking or pacifiers, however, many dentists prefer that children have pacifiers because their use can be more easily controlled by the parents. There is also the option of orthodontic pacifiers that are designed to help reduce the risk of dental problems.

Potential Problems

Once the baby’s teeth start to come in, the chances of dental complications increases significantly. Examples of these problems include:

  • The constant sucking causes pressure that can affect jaw alignment.
  • Bottom teeth can be pressed inward while upper teeth can be pushed outward.
  • Bite problems such as a crossbite can develop.

Breaking the Habit

If your child does not break the thumb sucking or pacifier habit on his own, the following tips may be helpful:

  • Gradually decreasing the amount of time your child uses a pacifier each day can be less traumatic than suddenly taking it away completely.
  • Develop a reward system to praise your child for times when he stops sucking on his thumb or pacifier.
  • If your child is turning to thumb sucking as a soothing aid when he is upset, try to find a replacement such as soothing words or a stuffed animal to hug.

If your child is having a hard time breaking his pacifier or thumb sucking habit, Dr. David Chotiner and the Coastal Dental Arts team would be happy to help do what we can to try to prevent some of the previously mentioned dental problems from occurring.

Dental Implants

Why You Should Consider Dental Implants

Dental implants offer a stable, long-term solution for missing teeth. They provide a much more natural feel than traditional dentures or bridges do, and they can even help stimulate healthy bone growth in the jaw.

Why should you consider a dental implant?

Even a single missing tooth can have significant effects on your smile. A missing front tooth can alter the appearance of your smile, but even if the missing tooth is in the back of your mouth, the extra space can cause other teeth to shift. If treatment is delayed for too long, bone loss can occur.

Missing teeth can also affect your speech and the way you chew. A bridge is one option for tooth replacement, however in order to do so, two adjacent teeth must be ground down and then have crowns placed over them. This is clearly not ideal for teeth that are otherwise healthy. With a dental implant, however, no modifications need to be made to other teeth. Dental implants may need minor adjustments on occasion, but they can last a lifetime if they are properly cared for.

Who is a good candidate?

Almost anyone can make a good candidate for dental implants as long as you have healthy gums and good bone structure. They tend to be a good option for patients missing multiple teeth as well. Those who might not make good candidates include individuals with ongoing dental issues such as bruxism or systemic diseases such as diabetes. Smoking can also affect your chances of being a good candidate.

Since dental implants involve surgery, the cost may be higher than other tooth replacement options such as a bridge, however some insurance companies can help cover the expense.

If you would like to learn more about dental implants, call Coastal Dental Arts at 619-858-8080 to schedule a consultation. Click Here for more information.

February 2015 Newsletter

February 2015 Newsletter

The February 2015 Newsletter is now available! Click here to view full size. Read more

teeth grinding

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is something that people often do without being aware of it. If this happens only occasionally, there may not be any permanent harm done, but unfortunately the more often it occurs, the higher the odds are of real damage taking place.

Teeth grinding can occur when you are very focused on what you’re doing or if you’re very upset, however the most common time when teeth grinding takes place is when you are asleep. This could be a result of a stressful day or bad dream, but no matter the cause, it can be tricky to tell if you’re grinding your teeth at night since, well, you’re asleep! If you tend to wake up with jaw soreness, however, this tends to be a good indicator that you were clenching and/or grinding your teeth during the night. Headaches can be another symptom to be on the lookout for. In more severe cases, bruxism can actually lead to broken or chipped teeth.

For those grinding during the day, the best thing to do is try to catch yourself in the act. If you do catch yourself grinding, it may be helpful find some water to sip on occasionally to serve as a helpful reminder to stop.

If you have any suspicion that you might be grinding your teeth, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist. The dentist will be able to examine your teeth for any damage and can provide you with a mouth guard to wear at night. A mouth guard will prevent the teeth from clenching and grinding together and help to relieve pressure on the jaw.

dry mouth remedies

Dry Mouth Remedies

Whether it is a result of stress, dehydration, or periodontal disease, dry mouth is a condition that can be extremely aggravating and has left a number of people searching for the best remedies.

It’s important to note that not only does a dry mouth cause symptoms such as insufficient saliva production, bad breath, and difficulty swallowing, it also can lead to long-term damage. Without enough saliva, the gum tissues of the mouth can become more susceptible to infection and the teeth can become more susceptible to cavities.

Dehydration

Even though most of us have all heard we should be drinking at least eight glasses of water each day, it’s surprising how few people actually do this on a regular basis. If your water intake is lacking, this is the first remedy you should try to help your dry mouth- stay hydrated!

Medication

A number of medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, list dry mouth as a side effect. This tends to be particularly true for many antihistamines, pain killers, and blood pressure medications. If this could be the cause of your dry mouth, talk to your doctor about alternatives that do not cause this side effect.

Stress/Anxiety

Giving a speech in front of a crowd full of people can understandably be a nerve-wracking experience. A common side effect of this type of anxiety is dry mouth. In this case, calming yourself down with some deep breathing can be helpful. Another quick-fix option is to chew some sugar-free gum or candy to increase saliva production.

Additional options that are available include oral rinses and prescription medication to help increase saliva production. Be sure to consult your dentist in order to choose the best option for you.

Call Coastal Dental Arts at (619) 858-8080 to schedule an appointment.

Are Your Kids Brushing Their Teeth Properly?

Are Your Kids Brushing Their Teeth Properly?

It’s no secret that motivating kids to brush their teeth at all can be quite a chore, much less trying to make sure they are getting the job done properly!

Many parents wonder- “when is the right time to start allowing our children to brush their own teeth?” Some say a good guideline for this question tends to be once they are able to tie their own shoes. Tying shoelaces is an indicator that their motor skills are developed enough to properly brush their own teeth.

Unfortunately, many youngsters are not too happy about allowing a parent to brush their teeth once they reach a certain age. So, what should be done to to ensure their oral hygiene is up to par? While there’s no perfect solution, here are some tips to help encourage your child to brush his/her teeth effectively:

  1. Use a timer. Not brushing long enough is one of the most common issues for kids brushing and adults alike. Setting a timer takes the guesswork out of wondering when to stop brushing. Two minutes should be the goal.
  2. There’s an app for that! Thanks to some innovative technology, there are now apps to help encourage kids brushing their teeth like this one from Oral-B and Disney!
  3. Use an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush will help maximize your child’s brushing routine by removing more plaque than a standard toothbrush would. Plus, many children’s toothbrushes come in fun designs and even play music to make the whole process a lot more fun!
  4. Bring in the professionals. If everything you’ve tried seems to be failing, it sometimes helps for the little ones to hear motivation from someone other than a parent. In this case, that someone is the dentist. Additionally, it’s important for them to have their regularly scheduled cleaning appointments.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s brushing routine, don’t hesitate to call Coastal Dental Arts at 619-858-8080.

impacted wisdom teeth

Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to emerge in our mouths. For some, this may occur during the teenage years, but for others it may not happen until they reach their twenties. If these teeth have enough room and are able to grow in a proper position, they can be beneficial to the mouth. Unfortunately though, more often than not, wisdom teeth end up doing more harm than good. Read more