Get Straight Teeth without Traditional Braces | Bell Dentist

We’re all familiar with braces – metal fastened to teeth in our adolescent years to straighten our crooked permanent teeth. It was a source of ridicule that made growing up torture. But if you didn’t get braces as a kid, you now need to balance a desire for a corrected smile against the desire not to have visible metal braces. The American Association of Orthodontics indicates that approximately 25% of people wearing braces are adults, which means a lot of patients are currently being treated. But you don’t see them that often, so how? Clear braces known as Invisalign.

Invisalign is a series of treatments where customized, clear plastic aligners are worn for a specific period of time, slowly and slightly correcting the patient’s bite as the patient completes the specified time with each aligner. There are no brackets or wires, reducing all of the extra care that comes with traditional braces.

The aligners should be worn 20-22 hours each day. They can be removed while you eat and brush your teeth, but are generally worn while awake and asleep. Because the aligners are removed while you eat, you’re free to eat virtually anything you’d normally eat – there are no concerns about getting food stuck in the wires of traditional braces.

Nearly all bite issues can be corrected with Invisalign, though some dentists will recommend against Invisalign in certain cases where Invisalign may be significantly more costly and difficult than traditional orthodontic treatments. To determine if you’re an Invisalign candidate, schedule an appointment soon for a full evaluation.

If you would like to find out more about Invisalign, contact Dr. Mike Ahmadi at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

How Did I Develop TMJ Disorder? | Bell Dentist

Have you noticed you’ve been experiencing jaw pain when you wake up lately? If nothing has happened to you physically, but you still have jaw pain and headaches, you may begin to consider taking a trip to the dentist. Unfortunately, you may be developing TMJ disorder.

But what is TMJ disorder? It isn’t a term many of us are familiar with. TMJ disorders are problems with the jaw joint. A problem with the muscles or joints in your jaw can lead to headaches, ear pain, bite problems, jaw pain and much more. There are several conditions that can end up causing TMJ:

Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching. Sufferers of bruxism often wake up with jaw or ear pain. This is due to wear on the cartilage lining of the temporomandibular joint.

Gum chewing or nail biting. Using your teeth as tools is going to eventually damage your teeth, but when it begins to affect your TMJ, it may be time to break this terrible habit.

Malocclusion, or the misalignment of teeth. Some people find it hard to chew on a certain side of their teeth due to misalignment, so they habitually chew on the other side causing excess stress on that side of the jaw.

Previous jaw fractures or injury. Some of the symptoms of TMJ are headache, ear pain, dizziness and ringing in the ear. If you have any of these symptoms and feel you may have a TMJ disorder, contact your dental professional for a consultation. They may be able to evaluate your symptoms in order to help alleviate your pain and get you feeling your best.

If you would like to find out more about TMJ disorder, contact Dr. Mohammad Ahmadi at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Deciding Between Bonding and Veneers | Bell Dentist

We all want a great smile, but there aren’t many of us that can naturally pull it off. When we decide it’s time to get the smile we’ve always wanted, it’s time to pay a visit to our dental professional. Together you will design a dental treatment plan you both can agree upon and the process begins. But with all these options, it can become a bit overwhelming, especially when treatment options are very similar. For the sake of clarifying any questions, let’s take a moment to break down two – dental bonding and porcelain veneers.

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. When the process is complete the tooth is then polished. Bonding is great for 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. 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 would like to find out more about dental bonding and veneers, contact Dr. Mohammad Ahmadi at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Why Does My Breath Smell Bad? | Bell Dentist

It’s quite possibly one of the more embarrassing issues someone could point out to you. So much so, we go to various lengths to prevent it from happening. It’s common and natural, but still a bit shocking to realize. Yes, it’s time to talk about halitosis, or what is commonly called bad breath.

Because there are so many ways one can develop bad breath, so let’s break down the options:

Bacteria. When your mouth isn’t moist enough to produce saliva, bacteria will breed inside your mouth. The longer that bacteria are stagnate, the more chance they have to multiply and give off toxins and stinky odors.

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, causing bad breath.

Foods. There are definitely plenty of delicious foods in our diet that can cause our breath to smell. Onion, garlic, and fish are just a few examples of foul-smelling breath culprits.

Stomach issues. Sometimes gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD or an ulcer, can cause bad breath when burping. If you are on a low-carb diet, like keto, which causes a fat-burning state in the body that produces dragon breath.

Bad habits. One of the obvious bad habits we have is with tobacco. Any type of smoking (cigarettes, cigars & pipes), and especially chewing tobacco can leave you with a really nasty taste – and smell – in your mouth. 

Medications. Lastly, there are some medications that can cause dry mouth, leading to a case of halitosis. If this is an issue for you, talk to your dental professional for prevention tips.

If you would like to find out more about bad breath, contact Dr. Mohammad Ahmadi at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Is It Possible to Get Rid of Plaque? | Bell Dentist

We all want our smile to be the best it can possibly be, but in order to keep it that way, we take some time every day to brush, floss and rinse our teeth. Taking this moment will not only you’re your smile clean and bright but will also prevent future dental issues from arising. Unfortunately, if we aren’t diligent, the result will develop into plaque.

The formation of plaque is caused by the lack of thorough brushing and flossing within our daily dental routine. Plaque poses as a huge threat to your teeth because once the plaque hardens, the end result is tartar. Unfortunately, tartar cannot be removed with brushing or flossing, but can be removed through professional teeth cleanings, which means another dental appointment in your future.

During this dental appointment, you can expect to receive a full scheduled hour with a registered dental hygienist, who will use the latest technology to thoroughly clean the surfaces of your teeth in order to prevent a variety of problems including tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, you will not only diminish any plaque buildup in your mouth but will be able to maintain ideal oral health. Along with a professional teeth cleaning, your dental hygienist will take the time to check periodontal measurements, check oral pathology, and perform fluoride treatments.

It is necessary to emphasize the importance of professional teeth cleanings because brushing and flossing alone will not completely prevent dental problems. As much as you may try to avoid it, visiting the dentist on a regular basis is a must. Only they can truly ensure you’re keeping your smile the healthiest it can be.

If you would like to find out more about plaque, contact Dr. Mohammad Ahmadi at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Ever look at a photo of yourself from only a few years ago and ask yourself, “Huh, were my teeth looked a bit brighter back then?” We definitely do.

Coffee and red wine usually get the blame for teeth discoloration, but several other causes may be the culprit.

Common Reasons for Tooth Discoloration

• Spotty Dental Routine We’re definitely a little biased at Dental and Implant Care Center. But if you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque can harden into tartar, leaving a yellow-brown color along your gums.

• Diet Some of the foods we hold dearest to our heart, at least at Dental and Implant Care Center — like coffee on a Monday morning or an apple on a crisp, cool day — can stain our teeth. Besides coffee and red wine, a few of the top offenders include tea, berries, grapes, tomato and soy sauces, soda, dark juices, and white wine.

• Tobacco Use Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause a slew of health issues, the least worrisome of which is yellow teeth. That said, it’s one of the most common aesthetic complaints among tobacco users. • Too Much Fluoride Fluoride is a good thing, but like all good things, too much of it isn’t recommended. Consuming too much of it, like in tap water or through dental care products (like mouthwash), can leave streaks across or a brown outline on your teeth.

• Enamel Decay Enamel is that hard shell that protects the inside of your tooth. But if it decays or doesn’t fully develop, you may see a variety of stains and changes, including pits, white spots, or yellow-brown streaks. If you suspect decay, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.

What Helps Prevent Stains Pardon our sounding like a broken record, but generally, the one great way to prevent teeth discoloration is to take exquisite care of your teeth and your health. Here are some of our favorite measures you can take right away to keep your teeth bright:

• Brush after eating or drinking

• Floss daily

• Pass on the sugary foods and drinks

• Add calcium to your diet

• Nix any tobacco use

We Can Help! If you need some help adding more sparkle to your smile, we’re here for you. We offer a number of whitening services. Give us a call to learn more or to schedule your appointment!

Understanding the Five Stages of Tooth Decay

Did you know there are five distinct stages of tooth decay? And, that in the first stage of decay, you can actually take steps to reverse the progression of the disease? Indeed, it’s true. In the first stage of decay, whether you’re a child or an adult, the application of fluoride via fluoride treatments, your toothpaste and even the local water supply can stop a cavity from penetrating through the enamel and reaching its second stage. Even the saliva in your mouth and the foods you eat help to re-mineralize a tooth in jeopardy. But that’s just the first stage! What about the rest? Understanding how a cavity progresses can assist you in preventing each successive stage from occurring in your children. There’s always a lot going on in that little mouth!

Stage One: White Spots

In stage one, the tooth begins to show signs of strain from the attack of sugars and acids, and white spots will begin to materialize just below the surface of the enamel. These white spots are representative of the demineralization of the tooth and can be easy to miss because they’re likely to occur on your child’s molars. A dental exam, of course, is designed to catch such cavities! Can you see why regular visits to the dentist are recommended? As mentioned previously, at this stage, the cavity can be repaired without the need to excavate the tooth.

Stage Two: Enamel Decay

Stage two marks the beginning of the end for the surface enamel that is being attacked. Initially, the tooth erodes from the underside outward, so the outer enamel will still be intact for the first half of this second stage. Once the cavity breaks through the surface of the enamel, there is no turning back, and your child will need to have the cavity corrected with a filling.

Stage Three: Dentin Decay

If a cavity in your child’s mouth were to progress beyond stage two without you knowing, you’d tend become aware of it when it started to hit stage three because it would probably start to cause some pain. At this level, the cavity begins to eat away at the second level of tooth material that lies beneath the enamel: the dentin. A filling can still be used to stop the onslaught of bacteria assaulting the tooth in order to prevent the cavity from reaching the tooth’s most critical component: the pulp.

Stage Four: Involvement of The Pulp

Once the cavity reaches the pulp, it’s going to hurt. A lot. So if you’ve unfortunately missed all the signs to this point, a screaming child or moaning teenager will certainly let you know there is a big problem. Stage four is serious, and a root canal is the only option of treatment at this stage, save for a complete extraction.

Stage Five: Abscess Formation

In the fifth and final stage of a cavity, the infection has reached the tip of the root and exited the tip of the tooth’s structure. This in turn infects the surrounding tissues and possibly the bone structure. Swelling would be commonplace and pain severe. In children (as well as adults) an abscess can be fatal if not dealt with immediately. Root canal or extraction would be the order of the day should decay reach this stage.  Need to see us? Give a call at (323) 312-0500 or make a online appointment here!

As you can see, cavities don’t happen overnight. In the early stages, regular visits can stall and reverse the progression of these dastardly little devils, so it really does pay to visit the dentist at pre-selected intervals. You can keep your kids far from stage five their whole lives, and if a little bit of prodding to get them to the dentist accomplishes that, you can rest easy despite the griping.

Effects of Soda on Your Teeth

Ever seen those videos where someone puts a baby tooth in a glass of soda and watches it decay? Well, the effect of soda in an actual mouth is a bit different. You have your saliva to help wash away the sugar, you eat other things throughout the day, and brush at least twice a day to remove debris or plaque. Nevertheless, soda is not something we recommend you consume more often than a once-in-awhile treat. Here’s why:

Sugar

Soda has an extremely high sugar content. The bacteria that cause tooth decay feed off of sugar and excrete acid, which is what causes tooth decay. The more sugar our teeth have to interact with, the more prone to decay they will be.

Acid

Think diet soda is a better alternative? Even though it contains zero sugar, it can still contain acids such as phosphoric acid or citric acid. Acid eats away at a tooth’s enamel and leaves it prone to decay.

Colors

Caramel color, Yellow 5, etc. Any type of artificial coloring can cause tooth-staining. If you prefer your teeth sparkling white, it’s best to stay away from soda.

Instead of soda, we recommend spicing up your daily beverages with other alternatives. How about some sparkling water or plain water infused with fresh fruit? When you do drink soda, make sure to rinse with water afterwards. And, as always, keep up with regular brushing and flossing to protect those precious teeth!

How To Quickly Treat Cold Sores

Got a Cold Sore? Here’s How to Treat It Quickly

Ugh. A cold sore appears a couple days before a party where you’ll be photographed as much as the Royal Couple. That smile that we’ve been working on together just went from hero to zero, right?

Not necessarily. Finding which cold sore treatment works best for you can help speed along its healing. And that’s why we’re here.

Maybe It Isn’t a Cold Sore, Right?

Let’s clear the air about what a cold sore is and isn’t.

Cold sores are contagious blisters that usually appear on your lips or around your mouth. Caused by a virus, cold sores usually start with a tingling sensation, evolve into numerous tiny, painful blisters, and later crust over.

Canker sores, on the other hand, aren’t contagious, but they still sting. Unlike cold sores, they usually appear as white oval lesions inside your mouth, especially near or on your gums.

Remedies for Cold Sores

The key to treating a cold sore is acting fast. As soon as the first symptom appears, consider these steps to move the healing process along quickly:

• Apply Ice to the Cold Sore

At the first sign, grab an ice cube, wrap it in a paper towel, place it where you feel the cold sore coming on, and let it melt. Back-to-back applications can reduce the pain.

• Switch to a Cold-Sore-Fighting Diet

You can boost your immune system’s fight against this viral nuisance with the right foods. Fill your plate with cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower, and avoid foods with arginine, a cold-sore-triggering amino acid found in nuts, chocolate, and oats.

• Dial Down the Stress

One of the most common causes of cold sores is, surprise, surprise, stress. Minimizing stress these days can get so complicated that it causes more stress, right? But try giving yourself some time for the restorative, restful activities that drop your heart rate and raise your smile.

• Reach for Aloe Vera or Even an Over-The-Counter Cream

Both natural and medicinal creams have shown promise as cold sore remedies. Some studies suggest that aloe vera can help the fever blister heal, and over-the-counter creams, like docosanol, also tout their ability to knock the sore out of cold sores. Prefer the medicinal route? Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before using it.

• Relieve Pain with Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen

Some cold sores can get really painful. For those intense ones, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may provide well-needed relief. Just be sure that your healthcare provider’s on-board with that type of over-the-counter med.

• Our office can also help rid you of that pesky cold sore. Contact us at (323) 312-0500 if any questions!

There you have it. You’re on the fast track to treating that cold sore quickly and living your best life at the party.

Don’t forget to smile!

Should I Brush Before Flossing?

The age-old question – should you floss before you brush or after? If you asked any one of our team members, you just might get a different answer on this one!

Before you report them for not knowing their stuff, each response can be right! As long as you’re doing a thorough job, we don’t care when you floss!

The Case for Flossing Before Brushing

Theoretically, flossing first dislodges the gunk between your teeth, letting the fluoride in your toothpaste reach those crevices better.

Also, behavioral scientists say since most people don’t like to floss, it’s better to get the least-pleasant half of your dental routine out of the way first – you’ll be less likely to skip it. Once you have a minty, fresh mouth from brushing, you might be less inclined to feel the need to floss afterward.

The Case for Flossing After Brushing

Some say flossing last is better because it clears your mouth from extra food and debris that could otherwise be carried by the floss into the very spaces you’re trying to clean out.

Plus, it might be more pleasant to put those flossing hands into a clean mouth versus an unbrushed one.

Bottom Line

Floss when it works for you. But make it a habit! Choose the same time every day, floss once a day, and floss thoroughly.

And don’t forget to use the right flossing method: for each new set of teeth, use a new section of floss, and hug each side of the tooth by dragging the floss upward in the shape of a “C.”

Want us to show you how? Just ask!