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.

It’s Time to Extract Your Tooth | Bell Dentist

There is nothing more nerve-wracking than needed a tooth extracted. We expect to have our teeth for a lifetime, so when we need to have one removed, it’s for something that we’ve done. Some common reasons that extraction is necessary include severe tooth decay or infection, gum disease (where the supporting bone is compromised), fractured teeth, treating impacted wisdom teeth, even cosmetic removal.

While there are many different reasons for extraction, virtually all extractions fall into one of two classes: simple and surgical. Simple extractions typically involve local anesthetic, and instruments are used to gain leverage and physically loosen and pull the tooth from the patient’s mouth. Surgical extractions, as their name implies, is typically conducted by an oral surgeon under anesthesia, and may involve teeth that are fully beneath the gum tissue, or teeth that require cutting tissue or bone for other reasons.

Both surgical and simple extractions require healing – your dentist or oral surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to minimize the chance of infection and will pack the socket with gauze to eliminate the chance of food particles becoming embedded in the opening formerly occupied by the removed tooth.

If your dentist recommends extraction, you should ask whether the extraction will be a simple extraction or if it will require surgery, and you should discuss the need for antibiotics and expected healing time. While extraction is fairly common and well understood, there are some potential complications (including infection, bleeding, swelling, and nerve injury). Address any concerns with your dentist so you fully understand the risks and alternatives before consenting to the procedure.

If you would like to find out more about Invisalign, 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.

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.