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.

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.

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.

Bonding vs.Veneers: Which Is My Best Bet?| Northridge Dentist

dental-implantIs your smile everything you want it to be? If you would like to change your smile cosmetic dentist Dr. David Lunt, DDS can help you. Dr. Lunt offers many cosmetic dentistry procedures including the most popular, bonding and porcelain veneers.

But what is the difference between the two?

Both bonding and porcelain veneers have similarities. They both are used to cover dental imperfections. However, the procedures are quite different.

Dental bonding uses a smooth tooth colored solution which is applied to teeth. It covers stains, and fills in small chips and gaps. After the dental bonding solution has been applied and shaped a specialized dental light is used to harden the bonding material. Once the bonding solution is dried and cured additional layers may be applied depending on your situation. When the process is complete the tooth is then polished. Bonding is used on patients who need one or two teeth corrected.

Porcelain veneers are fabricated from a solid piece of porcelain. They fit over the front and underside of your tooth covering the entire surface of visible tooth. Veneers can be fitted to lengthen or widen teeth to close gaps or fill in chips. Porcelain veneers are generally used for patients who have several cosmetic problems or want their entire set of front facing teeth made over. Modern porcelain veneers tend to last many years, are easy to care for (normal brushing and flossing is fine, no special care is required), provide a very natural appearance, and offer a stronger alternative to other cosmetic options.

While veneers and bonding are cosmetic procedures used to treat similar problems, veneers may be a better alternative in cases where the patient wants to adjust the size or shape of the tooth.

If you are unhappy with your smile and would like more information on bonding or porcelain veneers call Dr. David Lunt, DDS at 818-885-7230. Learn more about Dr. Lunt and his practice by visiting his website at www.davidluntdds.com.

Dr. Lunt is proud to accept patients from Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura, and all surrounding areas.

Vacations Are No Reason to Say ‘Bon Voyage!’ to Your Dental Health | Northridge Dentist

480865629If there is any word that goes hand in hand with the word summertime, that word would be vacation. The weather is glorious and the kiddies are off school; it’s time to make a mad dash out of the house for a few days. The destination doesn’t really matter. All that matters are making a few memories with the ones you love most during this deliciously delightful time of year. So we pack a few things and off we go…off to spend a few days being carefree. The world is our oyster!

But before you hit the road, take a few moments to prepare for an emergency we never really think about: an oral one. Vacations are all about fun, and the last thing we want to think about is our teeth. Tis the season for ice cream & other amazing summertime treats. From BBQs to travel plans, summertime is definitely a time of year we throw caution to the wind and devour anything that tickles our fancy. Be cognizant of the amount of sugars you intake (carbs and alcohol are also sugars!), also drink lots of water to stay hydrated and keep saliva production active. The more saliva you produce, the more protection you’re giving your mouth from cavity-forming bacteria and bad breath. And while it can easily to slip your mind, make sure you pack your dental kit in with your things. Practicing your oral hygiene daily is a top priority when tasting all the delicious goodies at your disposal. No one wants to come home to a mouth full of cavities after a wonderful time away.

If you are more of an active vacationer, you know that keeping protected from the sun is a must, but did you know your lips are even more sensitive to the sun’s rays? Keep some type of lip balm handy for those outdoor adventures. Being active also leads to a lot more accidental mishaps, so be aware of your surroundings at all times. Cracking a tooth on a swimming pool or some other dental emergency could spoil the fun if you aren’t careful. Carrying a dental first aid kit is a pretty smart idea if you are planning to spend lots of time outdoors. It’s also a great idea to have a local dental contact handy in case something major happens and immediate action is necessary. Being proactive on a vacation saves a lot of stress, and isn’t that exactly what you’re there to do?

When you get back from your lovely holiday, make an appointment with your dentist for a quick check-up and cleaning if you didn’t get a chance do it before. Having someone take a look at your teeth after a vacation is always a good idea. Have a great summer!

If you’re considering a vacation and would like to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. David Lunt, DDS at 818-885-7230 or visit www.davidluntdds.com for additional information regarding dental care while on vacation.

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

Three Possible Solutions For Your Missing Teeth | Northridge Dentist

missing teeth

Missing teeth are not as dire as other dental problems. After all, you can just leave the gaps be and live on with your life. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to chew nor smile as well as before if more than a couple of teeth are missing, you can just go on without them. However, for adults who don’t want to live their rest of their lives with an incomplete smile, dental medicine offers a couple of solutions – three, in fact.

1. Dentures

Lots of people do not like dentures because they have a reputation for looking obvious. However, if done well enough, dentures can easily blend well with the rest of your teeth. Not only that, they’re also a more affordable option, which is why they’re the most common dental solution for missing teeth.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive compared to other options
  • Maintenance is easy
  • Easy to repair

Disadvantages:

  • May irritate the gums of the other teeth, leading to a condition called “gum stripping”.
  • Very prone to breaking if not maintained.
  • The fitting surface will have to be regularly reshaped to fit the growth of your jaw as you grow older.
  • There is the possibility of the dentures falling off anytime without warning.

2. Bridges

Dental bridges are another possible option for those who want to have their missing teeth replaced. They’re usually constructed by placing a dental crown on the gap once it’s been prepared and then suspending a new bridge in between the said crowns.

Dental bridges are known to last for years and even decades, making them an excellent choice for replacing missing teeth.

Pros:

  • Very reliable
  • They look much better compared to dentures
  • Will last for a very long time

Cons:

  • Initial costs, replacement and maintenance can be quite expensive.
  • The gums under the false tooth may form a space underneath after many years, creating an unnatural look and a very unhygienic food trap.
  • There’s a higher chance of decay around the area of the crown, which can cause problems for your other teeth.

3. Dental Implants

Most dentists today prefer this method as it doesn’t involve destroying any part of the remaining natural teeth. To put simply, a dental implant is just a titanium replacement and can easily be placed in the socket from where your tooth was extracted from. Though, dentists can also create a new socket if necessary.

Implants may be a bit new compared to the other two on this list, but they’re slowly becoming the most common choice among dentists and patients alike.

Dental implants can easily replace anything from one missing tooth to a full set of pearly whites.

PROS:

  • The safest option of the three.
  • The best looking because the titanium replacement will be made to look exactly like the remaining natural teeth.
  • Very low maintenance, doesn’t need to be replaced and are known to last longer than bridges.

CONS:

  • More costly compared to the other two procedures listed here.

Regardless of which of the three you think is best for you, always consult your local dentist first as they will be the ones to discuss with you the best possible option for your particular case.

Make an appointment today with David Lunt DDS to discuss the options available to you for your missing teeth. Call 818-885-7230 or visit the website at davidluntdds.com.

Proudly serving Northridge, Granada Hills, Reseda, Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Winnetka and all surrounding areas.

Recognizing Periodontal Disease | Northridge, Ca Dentist

176997237Have 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 and may end — if not properly treated — with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth(Source: webmd.com).

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.

Factors such as:

  • 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

Even with all these symptoms and warning signs, periodontal disease often goes unnoticed. 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 Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

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

The Proper Tools for Oral Health | Northridge, Ca Dentist

479931319Most of us know that at home oral care is a key factor in your overall oral health. Have you ever thought that you might not be using the correct tool(s) for the job? Your dentist will tell you that one of the most important factors in oral health is regular brushing, rinsing and flossing. While most floss is fairly similar, a trip to your local store will show you dozens of types of toothbrushes. But which one is right for you, or better yet, which one should you be using? There’s soft, medium or firm, manual or electric, which one is best?

When deciding between disposable manual toothbrushes and electric, the decision is typically one of personal preference. Used properly, both are able to clean your teeth and protect against gum disease. Some clinical studies have shown that rotating and oscillating electric brushes (which both rotate in a circle and move back and forth) are slightly better at cleaning teeth than a manual brush. While electric toothbrushes may be slightly more effective, they also tend to be significantly more expensive. If you tend to be a vigorous brusher, using an electric toothbrush may allow you to let the electric motor do the work, and spare your gums from the extra manual brushing.

When deciding between the various brush options, one of the most difficult decisions tends to be soft, medium, or hard bristles. For most people, choosing a soft bristle toothbrush is the safest option – if you brush too hard, a medium or firm bristled toothbrush may damage either the enamel on your teeth, or the gum tissue. Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Rounded bristles will help keep teeth and gums safe.

You should always choose a toothbrush with the American Dental Association Seal of Approval. Brushes with this seal, whether disposable or replacements for electric toothbrushes, have been tested to ensure that they’re safe, that they won’t lose bristles during operation, and that they will effectively reduce plaque with proper use.

You can’t overestimate the importance of good oral hygiene — not only for dental health, but for your overall wellbeing. If you have questions about the which brush to use, or if you feel unsure about whether or not you’re using it properly, contact your dentist – they’ll be happy to give you recommendations, and show you how to properly brush with your chosen toothbrush.

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.

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

Replacing Old Fillings | Northridge, Ca Dentist

459899307Are your old, unattractive, silver fillings making you feel self-conscious about your smile? Modern dentistry is now using more tooth-like materials (composite resins and porcelains) that are both safe and predictable. The most important feature, for many people, is that they look like real, natural teeth. In the past, teeth were filled with a mixture—or amalgam—of different metals. Today that is changing as more natural-looking and metal-free fillings are becoming the preferred approach.

Many patients are suffering from the same dilemma and feel like there is nothing they can do, however, thanks to the advanced technology utilized by Dr. Lunt you can achieve your dream smile with tooth colored fillings.

Dr. Lunt explains the advantages:

• Tooth colored fillings eliminate unnatural, metal fillings
• Tooth colored fillings diminish discoloration caused by metal fillings
• Tooth colored fillings prevent tooth decay and gum diseases
• Tooth colored fillings strengthen your teeth
• Tooth colored fillings are undetectable and match the exact shade of your teeth

Aesthetics are the main advantage of composites, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.

When it comes to selecting the best material for you and your particular teeth, consultation with your dentist is key. Strength, esthetics, cost and longevity of dental filling materials may vary greatly in different situations and for different patients. Some of the considerations your dentist takes into account when recommending a particular filling material for your teeth are the current condition of the teeth, the size of the area to be restored, the location of the teeth involved and the forces (chewing, shearing, grinding, etc.) being placed on the teeth during chewing and other normal movements of your jaw.

Talk to Dr. Lunt today about restoring your smile with tooth colored fillings!

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.

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

The Benefits of an Oral Rinse | Northridge, Ca Dentist

Did you know that rinsing daily with certain mouthwashes can improve your oral health? We’re talking whitening your teeth, helping to prevent gum disease and fighting plaque! Of course mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing and should be used in conjunction with good oral health habits.

Mouthwash can cut back the level of bacteria in your mouth. Research shows that adding a rinse with mouthwash to your oral care routine can in fact improve the overall cleanliness of your mouth and help keep gum inflammation at bay.

What are the benefits of rinsing daily with an oral rinse?

1)     Freshens breath – First and most obviously, mouthwash temporarily reduces bad breath. Mouthwash kills bacteria associated with causing bad breath leaving you with minty fresh breath.

2)     Prevents Plaque build-up – Various mouthwashes help prevent plaque build up on your gums, in-between teeth, and on the surface of your teeth. Although it prevents the build up of plague, it cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth. So remember to always brush and floss before plaque becomes a problem.

3)     Removes particles – Most people use mouthwash only after brushing. This is a perfectly fine practice, but used before before brushing to rinse out loose particles in your mouth will make the brushing and flossing more effective.

4)     Stop cavities from forming – Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride can prevent cavities and strengthen your enamel. Remember, not all mouthwashes contain fluoride. Be sure to check the label on your mouthwash before purchasing(Source: webmd.com).

Mouthwash can do more than just give your breath a boost. Mouthwash can help keep your gums and teeth healthy—but only if you use them properly. The benefits from using a mouthwash depend largely on the type of product used. Mouthwash can be classified as cosmetic or therapeutic. Rinsing with a cosmetic mouthwash will loosen bits of food from your teeth, lessen bacteria in your mouth, temporarily reduce bad breath and leave a refreshing taste in your mouth. But these products can’t make any greater claim than that.

We all love that minty fresh feeling you get after rinsing with mouthwash! Remember mouthwash is considered an add-on, not a replacement for brushing and flossing. It only takes a moment to rinse but the positive impact on your oral health is much greater. With rinsing daily you can successfully navigate around dental problems.

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.

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