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.

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

When Your TMJ Symptoms Are Overwhelming | Bell Dentist

No one like to have a toothache. For some reason, it feels like pain in our mouths is worse than any other type of pain. Your head is throbbing, your jaw is aching – and nothing seems to help ease the pain. It’s time to make an appointment with your dentist in order to figure out the issue. Not only can the pain exist in a larger area than a single tooth, but it can cause issues when trying to eat, sleep or other day-to-day activities. Thankfully, TMJ disorder is a condition that is temporary and can be alleviated without surgery. 

Individuals suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, experience many symptoms such as discomfort and pain in areas surrounding the face or jaw. For some it’s a tenderness in the jaw area while some find pain around the ear, others will have difficulty eating or may experience locking of the jaw joint, which makes it tough to open and close the mouth. There are a series of remedies recommended in order to alleviate tension found in those areas. You’ll find that the remedies are simple and can easily done anywhere. Some of these include:

  • Facial exercises such as stretching, relaxing, or massaging the muscles found around the jaw.
  • Evading actions such as yawning, singing, or excessive chewing.
  • Learning new stress relieving techniques, including but not limited to meditation, breathing exercises, or personal stress relievers. There are loads of options online you can experience in order to find what best suits your needs.
  • Formulating an exercise plan in order to increase your pain tolerance.

If you would like to find out more about TMJ disorder, 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.

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.

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.