If You Love Coffee, There’s Something You Should Know | Northridge Dentist

There is always a line at your favorite coffee shop, so you know aren’t the only one that needs their cup of joe in the morning. But if this is your caffeine form of choice, you need to be extra careful. Not only does coffee stain your teeth, but it can also contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, while accelerating the progression of periodontal disease.

Firstly, you should know the two forms of periodontal disease. Gingivitis, or an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis, a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. When caught in the beginning gingivitis stage, it can be treated and, hopefully preventable in the future. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat and, due to the gap between the teeth and gums, may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.

Now, coffee affects your mouth in two ways: it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums, and reduces the blood flow to your gums. This does not allow your gums to get all of the necessary oxygen they need to continue functioning properly.

When it comes to gum disease, saliva plays a major role in prevention. It contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee can cause dehydration and reduce the amount of saliva you produce, thus increasing your chances of developing gum disease.

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.

Having Your Teeth Whitened? Try Gum. | Northridge Dentist

459899307What about the teeth whitening process makes our mouths feel sensitive and how can we get it to stop? The remedy to this tooth sensitivity is as simple as popping a piece of chewing gum into your mouth.

Sensitive teeth are caused by the breakdown of tooth enamel. Receding gums are another way your teeth to become sensitive. Dentin exposure can cause your teeth to no longer have the protection our gums and tooth enamel provide, causing the pain. When we have our teeth whitened, we are polishing up that enamel. Worn enamel makes your teeth become increasingly prone to pain when drinking or eating certain foods.

A study was published in the British Dental Journal with three groups receiving in-office teeth whitening. The groups were as follows: patients without chewing gum, patients with sugar-free gum, and patients with sugar-free gum that also included Recaldent, a product that helps strengthen tooth enamel. After the procedure, those patients with gum were asked to begin chewing. Surprisingly enough, those that chewed on a piece of chewing gum had significantly less pain than the group that went without.

But why? Scientists have theorized that perhaps the increased saliva production gave the patient some type of relief. Or perhaps it was a case of “out of sight, out of mind”. What they did find is that the version of chewing gum didn’t make a difference, so make sure to pick up a pack of sugar-free gum on the way to your next teeth whitening appointment.

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.

Athleticism Won’t Save Your Teeth | Northridge Dentist

77295850Sports dentistry is essentially the prevention and treatment of oral and facial injuries. Dental injuries are the most common type of facial injuries for athletes, and the majority of these injuries are actually preventable. In fact, the American Dental Association estimates that athletic mouthguards prevents approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and collegiate football alone. It must be both comfortable and resilient, but it must also be of sufficient thickness to serve the intended purpose. Research stock mouthguards simply have minimal effectiveness in the prevention of both tooth injuries and concussions, especially when compared to custom-fitted mouthguards.

Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding on your mouth protection:

Boil and bite mouthguards. While more economical, mouthguards you find at your local sporting good store are not thick enough and do not provide optimum protection in the prevention of dental injuries and concussions. Even though they represent over 90 percent of the mouthguards purchased today, they can also fit poorly and interfere with speech, breathing and swallowing.

Custom-fit mouthguards. These guards can be more expensive, but they are made to fit the athlete’s mouth with minimal interference to speech, breathing and swallowing. These types of guards can be made to an ideal thickness to prevent dental injuries and concussions.

Performance mouthguard. Designed as much for increased strength, balance and improved athletic performance as it is for tooth protection, these guards utilize repositioning of the bite to better align the athletes head, neck and spine for this increased strength.

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.

December 30th Is National Baking Soda Day | Northridge Dentist

480320367Sure. It seems like a silly thing to celebrate in general, much less give it a yearly celebratory day. But if you really think about it, baking soda has so many everyday uses, maybe we’ve been a bit too harsh deciding that it’s unworthy for a holiday. From cooking to cleaning to removing more stains than your typical stain cleaners, we have been using baking soda in our kitchens, baths and laundry rooms for ages. But there are also dental purposes for baking soda. And because of its whitening qualities, there are many uses for baking soda in our dental routines.

There are ways to stave off cravings while you’re watching your weight. And during this time of year, who isn’t? If you crave sweets, rinse your mouth with one-teaspoon baking soda dissolved in a glass of warm water. Don’t swallow the mixture; spit it out. Your craving should disappear instantly.

And of course, there is baking soda toothpaste. Toothpaste containing sodium bicarbonate has in several studies been shown to have a better whitening and plaque removal effect than toothpastes without it. Not only sold over-the-counter, baking soda toothpaste can be made at home by simply mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with some water until it turns into a paste. Apply it to your toothbrush and brush as usual. You will slowly notice that your teeth will become whiter as you continue to work it into your dental routines. Sodium bicarbonate is also used as an ingredient in some mouthwashes. It has anticaries and abrasive properties that work as a mechanical cleanser on the teeth and gums, neutralizing the production of acid in the mouth, and also acts as an antiseptic to help prevent infections.

But that’s not all. Soak toothbrushes in baking soda and warm water overnight to clean bristles. That’s right. We all know we need to change out our toothbrushes every few months, but it is really nice to know that our mouths can always have a clean brush if we just soak it while we sleep.

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.

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.

The Joy of Having Invisible Braces | Northridge Dentist

individual set for teeth whitening silicone tray syringeSince 1998, there has been an aesthetic alternative to the typical tooth-straightening option. Invisalign are transparent tooth aligners that have revolutionized the orthodontic world. This system can now straighten your teeth without wires and glued brackets, which almost sounds like a miracle. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is clear, removable and the treatment time is generally a third of what wearing traditional braces would be. The downside to this is that they are more expensive and it takes a lot more discipline to maintain the strict regimen of wearing the aligners 22 hours/day and the additional steps it takes to clean.

So, between traditional braces and Invisalign – which do you choose? An orthodontic consultation is definitely in order and a treatment program will be based off of that. Because despite what you may hope, you may not have a choice. While they are fantastic at what they do, the Invisalign system is perfect for minimal to medium dental issues and does not work as well for major ones. Patients with bridgework, certain bite issues or rotational needs are just out of luck. Unfortunately, Invisalign can’t help this situation, but traditional braces are perfect. Alternatively, traditional braces are not ideal for those that lead a rough and tumble life, or have a job that doesn’t allow regular braces. In that instance, you may want to consider the Invisalign system or lingual braces (braces attached to the insides of your teeth) to straighten things out.

Using clear aligners, Invisalign will allow you to achieve your dream smile even if you have misaligned, crooked, or gapped teeth. You are less restricted than with traditional braces, but there is some maintenance involved. In order to ensure that your Invisalign aligners are in good condition, keep the following care tips in mind as you use the Invisalign system:

  • Wear your aligners at all times, except when eating, brushing, and flossing. Failure to wear your aligners will prevent your teeth from becoming straight.
  • Avoid gums and caramels at all times. The chewy material will instantly ruin your aligners.
  • Keep your aligners in a safe place. Avoid placing your aligners in places that are too warm because this could potentially damage your aligners.
  • Clean your aligners often. In order to prevent the formation of bacteria, aligners should be gently cleaning with a tooth brush and soap in cool water.

It will take a while for them to fix your crooked teeth but rest assured the process will only be temporary. And that’s enough to make anyone smile, right?

 

Pediatric Dental Care Starts from Birth | Northridge Dentist

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Halloween is a sweet time of year for your child. Sometimes it is difficult to be a parent when there is sweet treats everywhere your little one turns. But protecting their dental health at home is easy to do. Here are just a few little tips to keep in mind when it seems like keeping their smile bright is an impossible feat, and it starts from infancy. Yes, even little ones without teeth can start becoming accustomed to dental health care. The sooner you get them into a good routine, the easier it will be when this holiday rolls around every year.

Clean your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding. 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 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 naptime or bedtime.

Help a young child brush at night, the most important time to brush, due to lower salivary flow and higher susceptibility to cavities. Perhaps let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then the parent can follow up to ensure that all plaque is removed. Usually by age 5 or so, the child can learn to brush his or her own teeth with proper parental instruction.

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. Have them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Children love to feel like they’re doing adult things and it will help them feel responsible for their teeth.

In addition, preventative routine dental checkups ensure your child has healthy teeth and gums. Don’t wait. Schedule your child’s next pediatric dental visit with Dr. David Lunt at (818) 885-7230 or online at davidluntdds.com.

Dr. David Lunt also proudly serves Northridge, Granada Hills, Reseda, Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Winnetka and surrounding areas.

A Is for Autumn…and Apples | Northridge Dentist

Parents Giving Children Piggyback Ride On Walk In WoodsNow that we are smack dab in the middle of Autumn, I think that it’s time to talk about one of our mouth’s very best friends – the apple. Autumn is apple season and it is key to many of our autumnal celebrations. The kiddies are back to school; you send them with an apple for the teacher. The leaves change from bright, vivid greens to more rust-like, “apple-y” colorations. It is getting chilly and it’s time to break out the cinnamon sticks for our apple cider. Yes, ‘tis the season of the apple and we are here to help you celebrate this tooth-friendly food properly.

Apples aren’t only a fruit used to sweet talk the teachers or keep away the doctors. They also help keep our smiles strong and bright. Apples are naturally full of vitamins A and C, key to keeping our gums nice and healthy. There is also a small amount of acid in the apple that acts as an astringent on your teeth when you bite into it. Just make sure to keep the peel on the apple. It needs the crunchiness of the skin to help clean your teeth. And that is why they are also known as nature’s toothbrush. When you crunch into this delicious fruit, you are releasing an ambush on the bacteria in your mouth plotting your future cavities. As it scrubs your teeth as you chew, the juiciness of the apple causes you to produce saliva. That saliva is your mouth’s natural defense against cavity-causing bacteria. The more saliva you have going on, the less chance the bacteria has to bury itself in your mouth, wreaking havoc on your mouth.

Apples are just good for us, but they also keep an eye on our snacking habits. There is a snacking theory I recently heard that really clicked for me: if you feel like snacking but don’t want an apple, you are just bored. And when I actually thought about it, it’s completely true. An apple is an ideal snack. The fiber makes me fuller than something bad for me, and will have less sugar (and calories) than what I would snack on I had a choice. The apple is not only making me healthy, but also thinner. That’s a snack I can get behind!

Just because the apple is now our favorite go-to snack, please remember that these sweet fruits do have sugar content, so be sure to brush afterwards to make sure you get rid of the loosened plaque left behind by your apple. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, do a quick rinse with some water. The more your mouth is rinsed, the less chance that plaque can become re-attached to your teeth.

So stock up on those amazing apples. Not only are they great at keeping us healthy, they are also great in lots of healthy autumnal recipes!

For more information on oral health care, contact Dr. David Lunt at (818) 885-7230 or visit our website davidluntdds.com.

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

What Are Teeth? | Northridge, Ca Dentist

multiple smilesWe all know the proper care for our teeth, but what IS a tooth? Most of us have 32 teeth – hard, calcified white objects we use to chew, cut, crush, and swallow food.

The visible surface of the tooth is known as enamel. A hard, mineral surface, the enamel is typically light yellow to white in color, but is semi translucent, so the actual color of your tooth is determined by both the enamel and the underlying dentin. Made of a crystalized calcium phosphate known as hydroxyapatite, the enamel is both incredibly strong and incredibly brittle.

While enamel covers to outside of the tooth above the gum line, below the gum line the surface of the tooth is covered in a substance known as cementum. A yellowish substance, it contains less than half of the mineral content as enamel, making it much softer. The primary purpose of cementum is to provide a surface to allow the periodontal ligaments in the gums to hold onto the tooth.

Below the enamel and cementum lies the dentin. Dentin is a combination of mineralized hydroxyapatite, organic material and water, and is both much softer than enamel and much less brittle. However, it’s also more prone to decay, and severe cavities can cause significant dental problems if not treated rapidly.

Finally, within the dentin lies the tooth pulp. The pulp is soft tissue, filled with blood vessels and nerves that provide the tooth with oxygen, nutrients, and also the ability to transmit ‘senses’ such as temperature, pain, and pressure. The pulp also helps to form and repair dentin from within the tooth.

While most people will only see the enamel surface of their teeth, proper dental care will focus on maintaining each layer healthy. By protecting the enamel with proper brushing, and treating cavities formed by decay before they damage the dentin or pulp, dental care will focus on providing a patient with healthy teeth – from pulp to enamel – well into old age.

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

 Accepting patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.