Dental Hygiene Through the Years | Northridge Dentist

Parents usually provide oral hygiene care until their child is old enough to take responsibility for their daily dental health routine of brushing and flossing. And believe it or not, it is important from the day your child is born. Their teeth have yet to break through their gums, so make sure to begin dental hygiene as soon as possible. Here is a quick reference guide to take you through the first five years:

Baby faces. Clean your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding.

After the first tooth. As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water. If you are considering using toothpaste before your child’s second birthday, ask your dentist first.

Once they turn one. To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean your child off of the breast and bottle by one year of age, and monitor excessive sucking of pacifiers, fingers and thumbs. Never give your child a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a pacifier at nap time or bedtime.

Toddler time. One thing to keep in mind is that little humans love to do things on their own. Because bedtime leaves your child’s mouth with a lower salivary flow and higher susceptibility to cavities, brushing before bed is important. Perhaps let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then just follow-up with the basics until they are flying solo. In fact, the best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by good example, so make dental routines a family affair.

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.

New Year, New Outlook on the Dentist | Northridge Dentist

Oral Health

There are plenty of reasons why lots of people don’t visit the dentist. For some, it’s “dental anxiety”, a fear often caused by feelings of helplessness when sitting in the dental chair, hearing the sound of the dental drill, or both. But, as common as dental anxiety is in its various severities, even more common is the fact that some people just don’t care. The importance of regular trips to the dentist is severely undervalued these days and it’s something that needs to be changed immediately. Now that we are in a new year, why not start it off with a new outlook on the dentist?

One of the key reasons why it’s recommended to visit the dentist regularly is so that they can do a thorough dental examination of your teeth. During this initial checkup appointment, dentists will evaluate the state of your gums, perform examinations on your head and neck to check for anything out of the norm and examine your whole mouth for any signs of diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, jaw problems, periodontal disease and even oral cancer.

Dentists will then proceed to clean your teeth after examining your mouth and face, paying close attention to plaque and tartar. If left untreated, both can cause various dental problems, some of which are hard to reverse. There is also growing evidence that shows that periodontal disease is linked (and may even cause) various other systemic conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, as well as problems with pregnancy. So, visiting the dentist may not be the most exciting task you have, but doing it will avoid it becoming a painful one.

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.

Do I Have Gum Disease? | Northridge Dentist

The stages of periodontal disease

Have you been experiencing persistent bad breath or perhaps notice a loose tooth? Periodontitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth. If left untreated, could lead to tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease. Though, plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease:

  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Changes in the fit of partial dentures

While it seems like gum disease is obviously noticed, it isn’t as easy as one may think. Periodontal disease often goes unnoticed, regardless of the laundry list of signs and symptoms. If you don’t notice any symptoms, you could still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars.

Keeping your gums healthy requires a daily oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day, using a mouthwash, flossing and maintaining a healthy diet. Of course, visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and checkups bi-annually can head of potential larger oral health problems. Prevention is your key to oral health success.

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.

What Should I Pack in School Lunches? | Northridge Dentist

It’s Autumn, the time of year we not only prepare our children to expand their minds, but time to find out the effects of all that summer fun on their teeth. Sugary sweets were running rampant and its target was your child’s teeth. It’s a great time to visit the dentist.

Now that the checkup is complete, how do we keep up their good dental health? Do your best to keep those sugary sweets to a minimum, like during a meal so they finish it in one sitting. This way, sugary bacteria won’t have time to cling on to their teeth to cause cavities. Chewing also produces saliva, which is your mouth’s natural superhero against cavity-causing bacteria.

When it comes to school lunches, there are loads of options that not only taste yummy, but also help fight against cavity-causing bacteria. Snacks like popcorn or pretzels are great options when you just want to have something to nosh on. Fruits and veggies, like pears and celery sticks, are also great at keeping their little mouth’s healthy. Protein is also excellent at getting rid of the acids in your mouth so pack turkey sandwiches, cheese & nuts to your heart’s content.

When you break it down, it all comes down to balance. You don’t want to deprive yourself and your family of the magical food delights, but you also don’t want to deal with a ton of dental bills. Start the school year off right by trading some healthy options into your family’s lunchboxes.

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.

Let Your Dentist Clean Your Teeth | Northridge Dentist

Oral HealthTeeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. They can get into smallest of crevices a normal toothbrush and floss just can’t. But more than a shiny set of pearly whites, dental cleanings also help to prevent many other health problems. Here are just a handful of reasons you should really reconsider neglecting your professional teeth cleaning:

Gum disease is an infection in your gums that breaks down the bone and soft tissue in your mouth that leads to tooth loss. But gum disease has also been proved to cause heart disease, stroke and even a low birth rate. Keeping a bi-yearly dental checkup and cleaning will help to prevent all of these health issues.

When it comes to the detection of oral cancers, you can never be too proactive. And when you get your teeth cleaned, you are screened for oral cancer. Like any health issue, early detection is extremely important and getting your teeth cleaned is an easy way to kill two birds with one dental stone. No matter how often you do it, visiting your dentist regularly helps them keep track of your oral health and any problems you have had in the past or are currently experiencing.

It’s important that you see your dentist every six months and that they give you routine examination and cleaning. Remember, by seeing your dentist on a regular basis and following daily good oral hygiene practices at home, you are more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

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.

Minty Fresh: Why We Use Toothpaste | Northridge Dentist

We all know having a good dental routine on the daily is key to keeping our smile bright and shiny. Brushing, flossing and rinsing are the three actions required, and a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash are the tools we need to get the job done appropriately. But have you ever wondered why we use toothpaste? Sure, we know it’s “tooth soap” and tastes delicious both during and after, but do you know why it’s necessary to the whole process? Toothpaste helps to clean our teeth of plaque and food debris without damaging our delicate enamel. And it’s because toothpaste contains fluoride, which helps to protect enamel.

There are a few variations to toothpaste, and your selection should be based on what you’d like the outcome to be. Some focus on whitening, some also include ingredients to reduce plaque. Because it has these benefits, it is the ideal companion to keeping up our smiles in between dental check-ups, making it a huge part of preventive dental care.

Toothpaste is made up of several ingredients that help to clean your teeth, such as:

Abrasives. Abrasives help remove stains and plaque.

Detergents. This is what makes the toothpaste foam. It helps to dislodge food debris.

Humectants. These give the toothpaste texture and moisture.

Thickeners. Thickeners help the toothpaste stay on your brush and squeeze out of the tube that way it does.

Preservatives, flavoring and coloring. These give toothpaste the look and taste it has.

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.

Everything You Need to Know About Gingivitis | Northridge Dentist

The stages of periodontal disease

Many people suffer from some form of gum disease, or gingivitis. Its most common cause is straightforward: poor oral hygiene. Unlike periodontal disease, which impacts the bone within the gums, gingivitis is inflammation within the gum tissue itself. While oral hygiene deficiencies are the culprit, there are many factors that can increase your risk of developing gingivitis, including:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco make it more difficult for damaged tissue to heal
  • Crooked teeth allow plaque and tartar to accumulate
  • Stress lowers your body’s immune response to the bacteria
  • Mouth breathing allows your gums to dry out, causing inflammation and irritation

Besides red, swollen, bleeding gums, one of the other likely signs of gum disease is chronic bad breath. As the infection within the gums spreads, the bacteria release an odor that is noticeable to others. Beyond traditional oral hygiene, there are a few other things you can do to treat and help prevent gum disease:

  • Drink tea. Green tea contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
  • Hydrogen peroxide mouthwash. It kills bacteria in your mouth.
  • Warm saltwater rinses. A combination of the two, this rinse can both reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, but should not be used every day.
  • Baking soda. Baking soda neutralizes acid within your mouth that can contribute to gum disease

If you have, or believe you have, gum disease, be sure to attend your regular dentist appointments. Treating it early, before the bacteria spread to the bone beneath the teeth, greatly improves your chance of recovery without tooth loss or surgery.

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.

Tooth Abscesses: Not a Laughing Matter | Northridge Dentist

When we develop pain in our mouths, it is something that can turn a nuisance into incredible pain relatively easily. One of the main causes of this is an abscessed tooth. Thankfully, it is something that is completely preventable by following simple oral health steps.

Firstly, an abscessed tooth is an infection at the root of a tooth or between gums caused by decay, trauma to the tooth, gingivitis or other gum diseases. It begins when bacteria infect the core of a tooth, through a cavity or cracked tooth, and progressing until pockets of pus begin to form at the root.  Symptoms include toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold, a bitter taste in mouth, bad breath, swollen glands at the neck or jaw and painful chewing, the severity depending on the patient. Some patients feel excruciating pain right away, while others do not know they have an abscessed tooth until they go in for a routine dental exam.

An abscessed tooth can become very dangerous if left untreated. It can spread infections to other areas of the mouth that may cause loss of teeth, facial disfigurement due to rotting facial bones, while putting your immune system at risk of developing other health problems. If an abscess isn’t treated, it will continue to grow and spread through tissue, causing outward facial swelling called cellulitis, and in rare cases, death.

In order to prevent a tooth abscess, it is important that you follow a daily dental routine to ensure that your mouth remains healthy and your smile bright and clean. If you feel an abscess may be forming, see your dental professional immediately.

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.

What You Need to Know About Family Dental Care | Northridge Dentist

Instilling good habits really is a family affair. And your oral health is important – keeping your teeth and gums healthy is something everyone in your family should be involved in. Taking proper care of your teeth and gums now prevents problems in the future. Here is a general routine that each member of the family should follow:

Babies and Children

  • Clean each new tooth gently with a clean wet washcloth. As your baby grows you can switch to a child’s toothbrush.
  • If younger than two years old, do not use toothpaste.
  • Do not let little ones fall asleep with a bottle to prevent what is called “baby bottle tooth decay.”
  • Take your child to the dentist regularly after their first birthday.

Teenagers

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • If your teenager plays sports be sure they wear a protective mouth guard.
  • Make sure they see the dentist for all regular checkups.

Mom and Dad

  • Brush teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Check with your doctor to ensure medications you are taking won’t damage teeth.
  • Check your mouth regularly for sores, red swollen gums or anything out of the ordinary.
  • See your dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings.

Family dental care is a priority. Make dental appointments for your family to keep your family’s teeth and gums healthy. 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.

How to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy | Northridge Dentist

It may sound like quite the chore, teaching proper dental hygiene to your little one, but it’s really easy to do. After all, the earlier you initiate a daily routine, the more likely your child will continue to have great check-ups.

As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water.  If you are considering using toothpaste before your child’s second birthday, ask your dentist first.

To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean your child off the breast and bottle by their first year and monitor excessive sucking of pacifiers and thumbs. Never give your child a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a pacifier at naptime or bedtime. The sugars in the drink will sit in their mouths as your child sleeps, slowly causing dental issues.

Brushing at night is a great idea to start teaching good dental habits due to lower salivary flow and higher susceptibility to cavities. Perhaps let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then follow up to ensure that all plaque is removed. By about age five, your child should be able to brush his or her own teeth with proper parental instruction.

As a parent, the best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by good example. Allowing your child to watch you brush your teeth teaches the importance of good oral hygiene. In addition, preventative routine dental checkups ensure your child has healthy teeth and gums.

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.