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?

 

Why Dental Cleanings Are Always a Good Idea | Northridge Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669Twice a year, we make that appointment to see the dentist. We generally know what to expect. A quick exam, sometimes including an x-ray, a good cleaning and off we go. Unless there is something going on, it’s a pretty painless event. But have you ever wondered why we clean our teeth professionally when we brush and floss on a daily. It actually goes beyond just having clean teeth.

Studies show that over 50 percent of individuals are unaware that they are suffering from some sort of dental problem including gum disease, root canal infection, or tooth decay. Studies have also proved that the number one way individuals find out about their dental problems is by going to the dentist for dental exams and cleanings.

When an individual is experiencing symptoms such as red or swollen gums or tooth sensitivity, they usually avoid these problematic indicators. The only way individuals will truly realize that their symptoms could be serious dental issues is through dental exams. Dental cleanings will allow your dental professional to determine whether or not your gums are in good condition. If not done regularly, there is a chance that you could develop periodontal disease, making dental restorations necessary to repair tooth decay.

But what exactly does a thorough tooth cleaning entail? As far as your cleaning goes, your dentist, or dental hygienist will focus on plaque and tartar build up and work hard to remove it before any extra bacteria builds up. They’ll be thoroughly cleaned and sometimes polished, especially if your teeth are worn down from daily use. You will be flossed, and then your dentist will recommend any cleaning techniques that will suit your teeth.

Once your teeth are shiny and bright, your dentist should emphasize the importance of these dental exams and cleanings because they are measures that ensure your teeth remain healthy and strong. After your examination, your dentist will go over what exactly the condition your teeth are in. They will then tell you about any procedures you might have to undergo. If your teeth are healthy, you will be scheduled for another appointment in six months, and sent on your way with a bag of dental goodies that should help you maintain your oral health until your next visit! All that for taking a little bit of time out of your day to take care of your teeth. Isn’t it worth it?

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.

CSUN Klotz Student Health Center vs. Dental Insurance | Northridge, CA

Man wearing mouthguardBeing a college student means you’re busy. All the time. Between sports, studying, classes, clubs and social functions, finding the time to think about oral hygiene or visit your dentist may be forgotten. Some of the most damaging things a college student can do to their oral health won’t surprise you. They happen to be extremely common among most students.Drinking energy drinks to pull an all-nighter, late night snacking, drinking alcohol and forgetting to brush your teeth are just a few of the bad habits college students encounter as they search for knowledge.

Student health is important. Getting through school is tough enough as it is. And keeping your teeth and gums healthy now will help to ensure you have healthy teeth when you are old and grey. Dr. David Lunt DDS encourages Cal State Northridge Students to remember their oral health and be sure to have regular dental checkups.

The programs and services of the Klotz Student Health Center do not accept insurance for services at their location. Meanwhile, current students are encouraged to have a health insurance policy to cover medical and dental expenses. Unfortunately, in some cases, what you pay out of pocket may be more than what you would pay for dental insurance and a visit to a dentist off campus. Ridiculous, right? Make sure you look at your options carefully!

For the current 2015-2016 school year, Cal State Northridge currently offers CSUN students the opportunity to purchase Anthem Blue Cross DentalNet insurance.  And wouldn’t you know it, we here at Dr. David Lunt’s office happily accept Anthem Blue Cross DentalNet Insurance for patients!
If this doesn’t make you want to take better care of your smile, how about this? The office of Dr. David Lunt is located very close to the CSUN campus. Depending on your mode of transportation, we are either a 1-minute drive or a close 3-minute walk from the campus. We can’t be any closer, right? Yep, we are located near the Plummer Street and Reseda Blvd. intersection. If the close proximity doesn’t make you want to get your teeth checked, I don’t know what will!

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.

Pediatric Dental Care Starts from Birth | Northridge Dentist

thinkstockphotos-178564205

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.

Halloween and Braces: Trick or Treat? | Northridge Dentist

thinkstockphotos-178564205October is National Orthodontic Health Month, and coincidentally, Halloween. (I know…How did that happen?) So in honor of these two fantastic occasions, let’s do a quick run-down of what is going to happen if you throw caution to the wind and celebrate Halloween like all of your friends without braces. Because if you do decide to not look after your braces, the consequences will be more frightening than the holiday itself.

When we get our braces put on, we are warned that there are certain foods we will have to forgo while our braces are fixing our smile. And when it comes to Halloween, these foods are in full force. Popcorn, nuts, gum and all hard, sticky or chewy candies are pure evil on your mouth’s delicate appliances. As a matter of fact, while everything is fine in moderation, candy is the worst on your teeth. They come in lots of different variations.

They can be a hard candy, like a lollypop or a Jolly Rancher, which are a favorite because they last a while if we suck on them. Having the sugar linger around in your mouth as the candy dissolves makes it easier for cavities to form. And if you chomp on them, you can run the risk of breaking off one of your brackets or chipping an actual tooth. Chewy candies, like a gummy bear or a jelly bean, have similar results but have a tendency to get stuck in the crevices of your molars, making a perfect hideout for cavities. Sticky candy, like caramels or chewing gum, are some of the worst treats of all. Not only can they pull off a bracket from your tooth, but they can burrow within your molars as well, making them basically a sweet combination of the two others. There are also candies on the market that are sour than they are sweet and are an absolute favorite with all kids today. The sourness is actually acidic and can break down your tooth’s enamel, making them more prone to decay, so try to limit these candies the most.

There are some alternatives to these candies that will not only be safe on your braces, but won’t make you feel like you’re being left out of the scariest of holidays. Chocolate, soft treats and ice cream are all braces-friendly treats that are quite enjoyable.

So, what do you do to prevent anything from happening to your braces during this spooky time? Try to limit your candy intake. The more you indulge in these sweets, the higher the risk of damaging your appliances. When eating the candy, make them quick snacks, not an all-day treat. The longer you let the sugar linger in your mouth, the easier it is for the sugars to stake inside your mouth. After you have your sweet treat, rinse you mouth out with water. Saliva is your mouth’s natural fighter against cavity-causing bacteria. And lastly, brush and floss at least two times a day. Cavities are no match for good oral hygiene. Happy Halloween!

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.

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.

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.

Did George Washington Have Wooden Teeth? | Northridge Dentist

As soon as we begin to learn some American history in school, we hear this myth. Not only do we believe it, but we revel in the fact that it even happened. But this little factoid does, in fact, do a disservice to our nation’s first president (and his dentists), who, plagued with a variety of tooth ailments early in life, actually sought out the most advanced dental practices of his time. The fun trivia? George Washington had wooden teeth

Washington began losing teeth in his twenties. In 1783, at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, he enlisted the expertise of Jean Pierre Le Moyer, a French naval surgeon who gained a reputation for his pioneering work in tooth implantation. Records show Washington purchased nine teeth from his own slaves in 1784, and documentation strongly suggests the teeth were meant for implantation or to be used in his own dental prosthetics.

Why real human teeth? The 18th century saw a rise in the use of real teeth to replace rotting ones, and with good reason. While ivory and bone were prized for their ability to duplicate human teeth, the solution would be a temporary one. Saliva will eventually break down false teeth made from bone, leaving the wearer with a rotten taste in his mouth and a serious case of halitosis.

By the time Washington became president in 1789, he possessed only a single tooth and needed new dental prosthetics. John Greenwood, considered by many to be the father of modern dentistry, made several sets for him during this time using gold, metal, and hippopotamus ivory—which has a thick enamel coating—to create upper and lower mouth plates connected by gold-wire springs. In one version, both human and cow teeth were secured into the plates using brass screws.

Although they were not wood, Washington’s false teeth sound like they were torture to wear. Springs designed to keep the plates in place pushed Washington’s mouth open, requiring him to remain vigilant just to keep it closed. Washington found them so irritating he often kept his speaking engagements to a minimum. His second inaugural address was the shortest in history at only 135 words.

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.

Back to School and Dental Health | Northridge Dentist

It’s back to school time, the time of year we not only prepare our children to expand their minds, but it’s also time to find out the results of all that summer fun on their teeth. Sugary sweets were running rampant and its target is your child’s teeth. So how does one keep an eye on the oral health of a little human during this time of year? It takes some time and motivation, but it can be done.

Before they start the school year, it’s a great idea to take some time to visit your dental professional to make sure everything is kosher as they start a new school  year. No matter the time of year, they will always ask for sweets. Do your best to keep it to a minimum, like during a meal so they have to finish it in one sitting. If they can’t carry it around with them, 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, so meals is actually a great time to indulge in a sweet treat. Instead of juice or soda, flavor up the water by adding different fruit combinations. Not only will the water taste better, but it may also get everyone into the habit of drinking it more often.

When it comes to the sweet snacks in their lunch, keep the same rule of thumb in mind. They don’t need a bag of candy or other sweets filling their lunchboxes. But if you insist, opt for a singular snack they have to eat at once, like a fun-size candy bar. When it comes to snacks, there are loads of options that not only taste yummy, but also help fight against cavity-causing bacteria. The act of chewing automatically produces saliva production, so handy snacks like popcorn or pretzels are great options when you just want to have something to nosh on. They may not love them the most, but fruits and veggies with high water content, 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. There are so many tasty options to divert their attention away from the junk food, at least for a moment. They are still kids!

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. So start the school year off right by making sure you are trading some healthy options into your family’s lunchboxes. There is too much of a good thing, so take the time and read the labels. Make sure what you’re giving your child isn’t the world’s worst option. Moderation. Back to school time is always a kid’s least favorite time of year…make it as painless as you possibly can.

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 Saliva Can Help Your Oral Health | Northridge Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-80707547We have been taught since we were kids that keeping your smile pretty means you have to brush, floss and rinse every day. In fact, we’ve also been told we should do it after every meal. As a child, it’s incredibly difficult to keep up that tall order. What kid keeps a toothbrush with them? But keeping it to twice a day was a bit more feasible with mom’s constant reminders. What you don’t know is that we are given a natural tooth decaying weapon – saliva.

That’s right. The answer is already inside of your mouth. See, tooth decay is something that happens when bacteria feeds off the sugars we consume through food and drink. This plaque latches on to your teeth and begins to eat through the enamel. Generally, we are under the impression that by brushing our teeth after every meal, there isn’t much time for this oral menace to do a whole lot of damage. But even more than that, when the saliva glands are activated in our mouths, it actually helps rinse off the bacteria naturally.

So what causes us to create saliva? Chewing. Every meal and every snack you eat, every piece of bubble gum you chew is all helping to create the saliva that fights against germs and bad breath. But keep in mind, it takes 20 minutes for sugar to be cleared from your mouth after its consumption. The more often you are chewing on something sugary, the more often you are exposing your teeth to more bacteria, so try to keep the things you consume less sugary and more healthy. Sugar-free gum & candy is great, but so is a simple bottle of water. Keeping a nice balance will not only get those salivary glands working, but will also help out when you don’t have a toothbrush handy.

Unfortunately, there are some conditions that prevent a healthy amount of saliva to produce in our mouths. Certain medications or diseases can also affect the way your body produces saliva. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is more likely to develop conditions like rapid tooth decay, gum disease, cavities or even bad breath. This may be able to be cured naturally by drinking lots of water and chewing on sugar-free gum or candy, but you should have a medical professional give you their opinion, just in case it is preventable.

If you are on the other side of the spectrum, you are producing too much saliva. Overactive glands could be affected by something as simple as taste buds reacting to spicy foods, to something much more serious, like poisoning or stroke. And while it is generally fixable, you may need a doctor to prescribe you something if it is an actual health condition causing the excessive saliva.

Saliva is your mouth’s first line of defense when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy. It is nature’s disinfecting cavity fighter. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your teeth healthy, both at home and when visiting a dental professional. You don’t have to brush your teeth…Just the ones you want to keep!

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.