The Holidays and Your Teeth | Northridge Dentist

sb10066697t-001With all of the holiday parties and festivities comes all those goodies and sweets! Although it can be hard to limit ourselves to ‘just a few’, there are some things you can do to make sure you’re protecting your teeth. If your overall dental health is good and you practice good oral hygiene, you can probably safely indulge in some holiday treats as long as you do so in moderation. We did some research so you can enjoy the holiday season, treat yourself, but still keep that beautiful smile. Below are a few things to keep in mind…

  • Don’t eat constantly throughout the day. Waiting a couple hours between eating will allow saliva to neutralize acid and repair tooth enamel.
  • Try to avoid sticky treats (taffy), extremely hard (peanut brittle),  or chewy (caramel). These types of treats can break your teeth, pull out fillings and interfere with crowns.
  • If available, stick to soft treats, ones that melt in your mouth (peanut butter cups, chocolate kisses, thinly sliced fruit, etc.), and brush and floss after eating them.  A teeth-whitening toothpaste wouldn’t hurt if you’re indulging in lots of caffeinated beverages.
  • If you can, sip with a straw, it can help minimize the acids direct contact with your teeth.
  • Once you finish your holiday cocktail, keep yourself from chewing on the ice, it can damage the tooth enamel (as well as braces).
  • Don’t always ‘rush to brush’…brushing your teeth immediately after eating highly acidic foods can accelerate acid wear. Wait an hour or so before brushing to let some of the acid wear off. You may also want to consider a specially formulated, low-abrasion toothpaste that helps re-harden enamel.
  • Try chewing sugar-free gum following a meal, it can activate saliva and help wash away debris.
  • Swish water around in your mouth for 15-20 seconds after eating anything acidic. You can stop the acid attack on your teeth and stimulate the production of saliva, nature’s original neutralizer, works better than mouthwash because it won’t dry out your mouth.

We know the holiday season can be a crazy and stressful time. Make sure that you’re eating healthy, exercising and taking care of yourself…it’s amazing what stress can do to your body. Also, make sure to keep up on your 6 month cleanings. Your teeth, and your mouth, will thank you.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Worried About Bad Breath? Northridge, CA

untitledAs a dental hygienist, the most common question I hear from my patients is, “How do I get rid of my bad breath?”  or “How do I prevent bad breath?”  Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by different things, such as:

1.  Bacteria.  Bacteria is the most common reason for bad breath.  Bacteria breed inside your mouth. These micro organisms lurk between your teeth and cover your tongue. When bacteria stagnate, they multiply and give off toxins and stinky odors.

2.  Tonsils.  The deep holes in your tonsils, called crypts, are a common cause of halitosis. If your tonsils are too wide and pitted, a cheese-like smelly substance collects in these holes. These nuggets sometimes smell, and may cause bad breath.

3.  Certain foods.  Foods such as onion, garlic, and fish can cause bad breath — even hours after you brush your teeth.

4.  Tummy Problems.  Sometimes GI problems such as GERD or an ulcer can cause bad breath when you burp and gas is released. Also blame low-carb diets, which cause ketosis, a fat-burning state in the body that produces dragon breath.

5.  Bad Habits.  Any type of smoking (cigarettes, cigars, pipe) or chewing tobacco can leave you with a really nasty taste — and smell — in your mouth.

Now that we know what causes bad breath, here are some suggestions to help you achieve kissably fresh breath:

1.  Brush your teeth — and tongue — twice a day to banish bad breath. While you’re brushing your teeth, brush your tongue – especially the back of the tongue. Brushing your tongue will remove smelly bacteria that cause bad breath.

2.  Floss once a day for fresh breath. Flossing is must-do. Flossing gets out hidden food particles and removes plaque. Flossing also helps prevent periodontal disease — another common cause of bad breath.

3.  Drink lots of water to avert bad breath. Lack of fluids can lead to dry mouth and cause bad breath. Dry mouth or reduced saliva can be the result of not drinking enough liquids, mouth breathing, or medications like antihistamines.

4.  Check your sinuses; infections cause bad breath. Bad breath is often a clue to an underlying sinus infection.  Post-nasal drip is most noticeable after sleeping at night, which is why many people rush to brush their teeth first thing in the morning.

5.  Chew gum with xylitol to banish bad breath. Chewing gum makes you salivate if your mouth is dry and causing bad breath. Saliva is what washes away the bacteria in your mouth.

6.  See your dentist. At least every six months, see Dr. David Lunt for teeth cleaning and an oral exam. Dr. David Lunt can check your mouth and teeth for open cavities and gum disease that cause bad breath.

If these tips don’t work to stop your bad breath, see Dr. David Lunt. Occasionally bad breath is a sign of a more serious problem, such as an infection, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, or kidney or liver disease.

For more information on bad breath and how to treat it, contact Dr. David Lunt at (818) 885-7230 or visit our website.

Dr. David Lunt also proudly serves Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura, CSUN, Cal State Northridge, and all surrounding areas.

Congratulations to our Newest Winner!

PictureCongratulations to our patient, Nisi, for being the winner of our quarterly drawing for a new Sonicare Toothbrush!  Thank you for being such a great patient and for entrusting us with your dental health needs. 

Do you want to be our next winner?  Call Luisa at 818-885-7230 for details on how to enter for our next drawing in June.

Congratulations to our Newest Winner! Northridge, Ca

Congratulations Brian W. for being our newest winner of the Sonicare toothbrush!  We enjoy having you as a patient and look forward to many more years of keeping those pearly whites healthy and squeaky clean.  IMAG0030

 

To find out how to be entered into our next drawing contact our office manager, Luisa, at    (818) 885-7230.

Foods for Healthier Teeth, Northridge CA

Fruit and VeggiesCheese
Cheese is low in sugar and acid and high in calcium, making it a good choice. But it also contains casein, a protein found in milk that is particularly useful for fortifying the tooth’s surface.
Sugar Free Gum
Xylitol is a sugar replacement, which is found in many sugar-free gums and mints, is helpful because it prevents harmful bacteria in plaque from metabolizing sugar, thus generating harmful acids that degrade tooth enamel.
Celery
Most raw, fresh veggies are good for teeth because their fibrous nature requires chewing, which causes an abundance of saliva. Celery is a particular winner because it breaks down into fibrous strands that naturally clean the teeth.
Tap Water
Most communities have fluoride added to the drinking water. That’s because fluoride remineralizes teeth, reversing damage caused by acids, which strip away the enamel layer, or “demineralize” it.
So, if you live in a community with tap water that is already fluoridated, drink up!
Pears
Fresh fruit is another good option because, like veggies, its fibrous nature stimulates saliva production. Pears, in particular, are a good pick.
Skip the dried fruit when it comes to teeth: the concentrated, sticky and sugary nature of dried fruits make them tooth enamel killers.
Yogurt
Another healthful provider of casein, yogurt also contains calcium and phosphates that remineralize the teeth.
Sesame Oil
Sesame seeds are thought to reduce plaque and help remineralize tooth enamel. 
 

Tobacco Use and Quitting! Northridge, Ca

Everyone knows smoking is bad for your health, so it comes with no surprise that cigarettes and chewing tobacco are harmful to your oral health as well. For one, tobacco products can cause bad breath, but that’s only the beginning…

Other possible oral health impacts of smoking and all tobacco products include:

  • stained teeth and tongue
  • dulled sense of taste and smellNo_smoking_symbol_svg
  • slow healing after a tooth extraction or other surgery
  • difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
  • gum disease (gingivitis and periodontal disease)
  • oral cancer

As a Dental Hygienist, I am excited when I hear that one of my patients is trying to quit or has already quit smoking or chewing tobacco.  Quitting is the only way to decrease your risk of these oral health and other tobacco-related health problems. It is amazing the difference that I can see in my patients who are former smokers.  Their breath smells better, there is less staining, and their gums bleed less.  These improvements can and have been seen in just a matter of months! 

The addictive quality of nicotine can make quitting especially difficult. That’s why it’s important to have a plan and a support network.  Be held accountable and tell people to help you stick to your plan. Write down your reasons for quitting and post it around the house and at work if you need daily reminders.  Not one person is the same, and therefore not everyone will use the same plan when trying to quit tobacco.  Find what works for you.  Exercising, chewing gum and keeping yourself busy can help you quit. You can also talk to your doctor to see if the medications available would help you to stop using tobacco.   

Bottom line: Being tobacco-free is healthier for you and for those around you. Make a plan to quit, stick to it and start living a healthier life.

For more information and free resources on how to quit, visit Smokefree.gov.

 

Dr. David Lunt and team are committed to ensuring your optimal oral health and well-being.  Contact Dr. David Lunt at (818) 885-7230 or visit our website.

Dr. David Lunt also proudly serves Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura, CSUN, Cal State Northridge, and surrounding areas.

 

Our New Winner! Northridge, Ca

winner! # 1Congratulations Christina M. for being our winner in our quarterly drawing for a FREE professional Sonicare Toothbrush!

 

Find out how you can be the next winner by contacting Luisa at (818) 885-7230.

 

Dr. David Lunt and team are committed to ensuring your optimal oral health and well-being.  Schedule an appointment today for a comprehensive exam and start on the road to a healthier, beautiful smile.  Contact Dr. David Lunt at (818) 885-7230 or visit our website.

Dr. David Lunt also proudly serves Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura, CSUN, Cal State Northridge, and surrounding areas.

Patient Referral Program Northridge, Ca

We’ve built our practice upon service to our patients, and our ongoing success is dependent on continually exceeding our patients’ expectations. Based on this philosophy, we strive to keep our patients happy and healthy. Referrals from existing patients represent a good portion of our office’s new patients. Entrusting the care of a friend or loved one to our office is the greatest compliment we receive as health care professionals. Our Patient Referral Program is out of our desire to say thank you to our existing patients who help to ensure our future success

The program is simple and works like this:

  1. A new patient mentions your name when they schedule their first appointment.
  2. Our office tracks referrals from every patient in our practice.
  3. Every referral earns you 2 free movie tickets.

Upon referring three (3) new patients, you receive your choice of one of the following:

Complimentary Teeth Whitening

-Or-

Complimentary FlexCare Sonicare Electric Toothbrush

For more information on this benefit, contact Dr. David Lunt and make an appointment at (818) 885-7230 or visit our website.

Dr. David Lunt also proudly serves Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura, and surrounding areas.

Dental Hygiene is Important for Your Whole Body, Not Just Your Smile. Northridge, Ca

Dental cavities and tooth decay is one of the most common medical conditions experienced by Americans and the single most common disease of childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than19 percent of children have untreated cavities and approximately 41 percent of children have decay in their “baby teeth.” This is a health statistic that has not improved since the 1970s and recent studies are indicting a new rise in cavities in children.

Cavities are the result of gradual tooth decay caused by the build-up of plaque and breakdown of protective enamel. Bacteria are normally present in the mouth; however, as they digest sugar and starches they produce acid, which weakens the enamel. Additionally, the bacteria and its acid mixes with food debris and saliva to form a sticky biofilm called plaque. Plaque that is not removed hardens into tarter, which can result in inflammation and gingivitis. The acid within the plaque can continue to dissolve the enamel and eventually cause pits and holes, called cavities. Initially cavities are painless, but they open the tooth up to infections, eventually exposure the nerve resulting in pain. The internal structures of the tooth can also be destroyed, ultimately causing the loss of the tooth. While this might not seem important in “baby teeth” as they are going to be lost anyway, infection can cause damage to the growing teeth and subsequent treatments can be painful and expensive.

Overall, oral hygiene is an essential component of one’s health. At a recent American Heart Association research meeting, researchers shared findings that professional dental care can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. The team tracked more than 100,000 people for an average of 7 years in Taiwan. They found that those who had their teeth professionally cleaned at least once every two years were 24 percent less likely to have a heart attack and 13 percent less likely to have a stroke. The authors argued that regular dentist visits and oral hygiene reduces the growth of inflammation-causing bacterial. Bacteria like Porphyromonas ginigivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum proliferate on unclean teeth causing periodontal disease. However, these bacteria can also cause inflammation of the vessels, with studies showing that these bacteria are associated with elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for blood vessel inflammation.

To reduce the rates of dental caries, the U.S. Public Health Service began adding fluoride to drinking water in the 1950s, with widespread adaptation by 1960s. Fluoride interferes with the demineralization of enamel, the tooth’s natural defense against cavities. The CDC considered fluoridation of water to be one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century with studies showing an 18-40 percent reduction in childhood cavities. This reduction was even seen in children who had access to regular dental care and fluorinated toothpaste. Today, we are seeing a resurgence of cavities in children. One proposed mechanism relates to the increased popularity of bottled water, which does not regularly contain fluoride. A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that up to 24 percent of children are exclusively drinking bottle water. This study did not take into account the many more who consume filtered water as many home filtration systems remove all or some fluoride.

Dental health should begin in childhood as even babies are susceptible to cavities. Most children get their first tooth around 6 or 7 months of age and dental care should begin promptly thereafter with a visit to the dentist, as well as, regular tooth brushing. One major risk for early childhood cavities is prolong consumption of sugary liquids, particularly allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle of juice or milk. The extended contact with sugar increases the rate of tooth decay, having the potential to destroy the child’s entire set of teeth.

Additionally, it is important to have your children drink tap water as this is an easy and free way to provide them with the appropriate amount of fluoride to protect their teeth. Avoiding sticky foods and frequent snacks are other strategies to ward off cavities. Instilling these routines in childhood promotes their continuation into adult life and with more studies showing broad health benefits from dental hygiene it is essential.

This article was written by Dr. David B. Samadi is the Vice Chairman of the Department of Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. This article was published on March 28, 2012 on FoxNews.com.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/28/dental-hygiene-important-for-whole-body-not-just-your-smile/

Call us at Dr. David P. Lunt, DDS, inc. to schedule your next pediatric dental checkup and cleaning today!  (818)885-7230

Dr. Lunt also proudly serves Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura, and surrounding areas.