Foods that Cause Tooth Decay | Bell Dentist

When it comes to tooth decay, it’s important to know the main culprit – acid. Acid is what eats away at our enamel and causes cavities. Acid can enter our mouths in one of two ways: either directly through what we eat (citrus fruits, for example), or as a byproduct when oral bacteria consume the sugars that we eat.

Ultimately, a simple way to identify foods that cause tooth decay is to ask whether it’s acidic or sweet/starchy. Acidic foods include things like citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, kombucha and sour candy. Sweet/starchy foods include things like candy, soda or sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit, bread, cereal, pasta and crackers.

The longer these things interact with your teeth, the greater the chance for tooth decay to occur. For example, sipping on soda throughout the day, or chewing a gooey caramel treat, increases the amount of sugar that coat your teeth. Bacteria love to feast on this sugar, creating an acidic environment and putting your teeth at risk for decay.

To help protect your teeth against tooth decay:

  • Reduce your consumption of sweets and refined starches
  • Enjoy acidic foods in moderation or as part of a meal
  • Decrease or eliminate your consumption of soda or sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Swish with water after meals and snacks
  • Maintain good oral hygiene to brush away plaque buildup (floss at least once a day and brush twice a day)

And, as always, make sure to visit us regularly so we can remove tartar buildup and assess for early signs of decay.

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

What to Do When You Cracked a Tooth | Bell Dentist

Ouch! Did you chomp on something your tooth didn’t like? Or get hit in the mouth with a hockey puck?

If you think you may have a cracked tooth, or if you’re holding a piece of your tooth in your hand, follow these steps!

1. Give us a call to schedule an appointment 323-312-0500 or click here. Let us know about your emergency and we will make our best effort to see you right away.

2. If there are tooth fragments that have fallen out, preserve them in a clean container with a moist solution (cold milk, water, saliva), and bring them in to your appointment.

3. Apply a cold pack to your jaw to lessen any pain and swelling.

4. If bleeding, bite down on a gauze pad until bleeding stops.

It is possible to have a cracked tooth and not know it. If you have any pain when biting down, or when eating something hot or cold, it’s best to get it checked out.

In order to prevent further damage to the tooth or an infection, it’s very important to correct a cracked tooth immediately.

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Effects of Soda on Your Teeth | Bell Dentist

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!

If you would like to find out more about the effects of soda on your teeth, contact Dr. Ahmadi at 323-312-0500 to schedule a consultation or visit www.dentalimplantcare.com for additional information.

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

How Apples Are Good for Your Teeth | Bell Dentist

People have been asserting that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” since the 19th century. While it may not necessarily be true that those who eat apples never have to see a doctor, apples certainly have great health benefits for our bodies! Did you know they can even be good for our teeth? Let’s take a look at what the research says…

It’s widely thought that chewing a crisp, fresh apple can help brush away plaque on our teeth. We’re not too sure on this one, as some studies show a higher plaque content on teeth after eating an apple. At the same time, there is evidence to suggest some polyphenols in apples can lower the ability of cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to teeth. Further, some studies have shown that the antioxidants in apples can help prevent periodontal disease.

Apples even contain a (very) small amount of fluoride. This is worth noting, as fluoride is so important in helping prevent cavities.

Lastly, the act of chewing an apple stimulates saliva production. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria. Remember, though, apples contain sugar and acid so it’s best not to go overboard with them.

You can even swish with water after eating one to wash away some of the sugar left behind. As the science continues to look into how apples affect our teeth, one thing we know is true: regular dental visits, along with daily tooth brushing and flossing, is your best defense against tooth decay!

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Should I Brush Before I Floss? | Bell Dentist

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!

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

What Causes Tooth Discoloration? | Bell Dentist

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 Implant and Dental 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, Too

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

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies | Bell Dentist

Let’s say you sprained an ankle. What are your first steps? Most of us probably would say something along the lines of plop down on the nearest couch, ice the ankle, elevate it, add some compression, and see a doctor if it’s a bad sprain.

But what about a dental emergency, like a broken tooth? What’s your first step? Don’t be surprised if you don’t know. Most of us aren’t that familiar with the recommendations. But after this post, you’ll be the go-to source if it happens.

So, what exactly is a dental emergency? A dental emergency is any event that warrants immediate care to save a tooth, stop bleeding from the mouth, or relieve tooth or mouth pain. Some of the most common examples we see at Dental & Implant Care Center include a cracked or knocked-out tooth or a toothache.

Tips for Treating Common Dental Emergencies

We see our fair share of dental emergencies here in Bell and we’re equipped to handle them all. If you or a family member experience any of these, call us as soon as possible, and we’ll let you know if you’ll need to see one of our dentists.

Knocked-out tooth. For adults, place the tooth in the socket without touching the root; if that’s not possible, place the tooth between your check and gums, in milk, or in ADA-approved tooth-preservation solution. It’s crucial to keep the tooth wet. For children with baby teeth, come to our office as soon as possible; do not try to place the tooth in the socket.

Cracked tooth. Rinse your mouth and place an ice pack on your face to reduce the swelling. Wrap the tooth up in wet gauze or a towel and bring it to the office.

Toothache. Use warm water to rinse your mouth, and gently floss to remove any food. If you note any facial swelling (which may signal infection), come to our office or your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Bitten tongue or lip. Clean the area with a cloth or rinse your mouth with water. Apply an ice pack to the area. If the bleeding doesn’t slow, come to our office or go to the ER.

Tips for Preventing Emergencies

Taking the right measures can keep your teeth safe. Here are a few easy precautions you and your family can take each day:

  • Use scissors or a tool, rather than your teeth, to open or cut items
  • Wear a mouthguard when playing high-impact sports, like football, basketball, and soccer
  • Wear a helmet when using a bike, scooter, or skateboard
  • Never chew hard foods, like ice and hard candy
  • Help young children keep toys and small items out of their mouths

Need more information? Give us a call or send us an email. Everyone at Dental & Implant Care Center is happy to answer any questions you have!

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

The Why, When, How and Where of Tongue Scraping | Bell Dentist

Imagine it’s still winter … you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf, and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!

We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!

WHAT is a tongue scraper?

A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from your tongue. They have been in use since ancient times and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.

WHY use a tongue scraper?

The residue on your tongue includes things like the cavity-inducing Streptococcus mutans bacterium, fungi, rotting food (that’s not good), and what’s referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds.” In other words, sulfur – that “rotting egg smell.” Talk about ew! So, as you can see, there are several reasons why you’d want to get rid of this gunk in your mouth. Let’s tackle them one by one:

  • Get rid of bad breath. ‘Nuff said!
  • Reduce your risk of periodontal disease and cavities. Bad bacteria contribute to plaque and tartar on teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities. Bacteria build-up can also lead to inflammation of gum tissue (gingivitis). If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which means a more expensive dental visit (plus other unwanted consequences!).
  • Heart disease prevention. While the debate is still up in the air, some studies suggest there could be a correlation between gum disease and heart disease.

HOW does one use a tongue scraper?

In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat. Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center!

Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works? The next time you’re in ask Dr. Ahmadi for a quick tutorial!

WHERE do I buy one?

Your first choice is, believe it or not, your dentist. They may even have a sample they could provide to you at no cost. Tongue scrapers are relatively inexpensive and can also be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Keeping Halitosis at Bay | Bell Dentist

As a social society, we rely a lot on face-to-face conversation. We were safe during the pandemic – we had a mask on that would block any off-putting odors. We all want to have fresh breath, but if we don’t have a toothbrush handy, how do we accomplish that throughout the day? Below are five easy ways to keep your breath fresh all day and avoid awkward social situations:

Stay hydrated. Drinking water helps speed up the process of cleaning harmful bacteria and debris from between your teeth by rinsing your mouth out after meals and snacks.

Cut down on coffee. It may be tasty, but coffee is a huge culprit of dragon breath.

Quit tobacco habits. Smoking gives people horrible breath and loads of health issues. There are various reasons to quit tobacco products.

Sober up. Alcohol can lead to a dry mouth and too much can make your breath reek for up to ten hours after you finish drinking.

Chew sugarless gum. Chewing a stick 20 minutes after a meal can help with produce saliva. Gum that’s 100% xylitol-sweetened can even help reduce cavities.

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.

Why a Dental Crown Could Change Your Life | Bell Dentist

If your tooth is in danger of breaking a dental crown procedure may be the right solution for you. A breaking or damaged tooth indicates that there is a significant amount of decay that causes the tooth to become frail. In order to restore your tooth to its natural strength, a dental crown will be used to improve the longevity and durability of your tooth, as well as any discoloration. This dental crown will not only improve your oral health but give you a confident and radiant smile. Below are just a few of the benefits:

  • Undergoing a cosmetic dental crown procedure can improve the look of broken or cracked teeth. If you are suffering from a loss of teeth, dental crowns are the solution to replace any missing teeth.
  • Dental crowns look extremely natural because the porcelain and composite resin crowns match the exact shade of your natural teeth. With dental crowns, you will not be able to tell the difference from your crowns and natural teeth.
  • Dental crowns are stain resistant. This is because dental crowns are made from porcelain, a material that is not prone to discoloration.
  • With durable materials used for your dental crowns, dental crowns can last up to 15 years. With dental crowns, patients can go about their daily routines without constantly worrying about their dental crowns falling out of place.
  • Dental crowns are restorative and preventive measures that improve missing or damaged teeth. Dental crowns also drastically decrease the amount of bacteria build-up that can lead to the loss of more teeth.

If you are embarrassed of your missing or damaged teeth, dental crowns are the perfect solution to build your confidence. It may be time to make that dental appointment…

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

Dr. Mike Ahmadi proudly serves Bell and all surrounding areas.