Four Reasons to Consider a Teeth Whitening Treatment Now

Teeth whitening can be an effective way to bring back the natural white color of your teeth.

It works best when discoloration is external — caused by foods and smoking, instead of genetic factors or an illness — and slight.

In a teeth whitening treatment, there are several ways to brighten your teeth to a shade lighter without removing the tooth surface.

They are broadly classified into two categories:

In-office Teeth Whitening:

It is another name for professional tooth whitening at a dental office. It is likely the most preferred method for three reasons:

(a) It is effective.

It is not unusual for dentists to guarantee improvement before treatment.

On top of it, improvements can last for years; it all depends on how well you take care of your teeth.

(b) It is safer.

The chances of accidental damage to the enamel are close to zero.

Even if an issue springs up, your dentist is the most qualified person to handle it.

Most dentists carry out tooth sensitivity tests before treatment.

(c) It is fast.

You may not need more than one visit to notice the difference. Under ideal conditions, dentists can brighten your teeth up to 10 shades in less than 60 minutes.

In-home Teeth Whitening:

There are many over-the-counter tooth whitening toothpastes that are increasingly becoming popular because they are less costly and easier to use.

Whitening strips are a second popular method used in in-home teeth whitening treatments.

Other popular methods include paint-on tooth gels, mouth rays with gels, and whitening gums.

Though a number of commercially available products are safe to use, it is best to speak to a dentist if you have oral concerns.

Your dentist can help you choose a safe, comfortable, and effective at-home treatment.

Benefits:

There are undeniable benefits of white teeth, irrespective of whether you have brightened them at home or consulted a dentist.

Here are four of them:

Social Capital:

White teeth can help with social capital.

A survey by the American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) mentions that nearly everyone — 99.7 percent adults — in the U.S. believes that a beautiful smile, of which white teeth are the most important part, is a social asset.

It is like your reputation in your community or your credit score with a credit agency.

Career:

A shade less than three quarters — 74 percent — of people in the U.S. feel that an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s career.

It is not hard to imagine a scenario, where yellow teeth can cost you a job.

Faced with the choice of two applicants who are equal in all respects but smile, whom do you think the interviewer is more likely to hire?

Dating Life:

Another revelation from the AACD survey was that 96 percent adults in the U.S. think a prettier smile can make you more attractive to members of the opposite sex.

A child’s deciduous (first) teeth are whiter than an adult’s.

White teeth in an adult exude youthfulness, thereby making the person more appealing to others.

Oral Health:

People who pay for a teeth whitening treatment tend to take better care of their teeth, just to keep them looking good for long.

Regular brushing, flossing, and trips to the dentist become a part of their dental hygiene. This work improves overall oral health.

These are the main benefits of whitened teeth. If you want to know more, contact us immediately. We offer a qualified dental team for teeth whitening treatment. You can contact us by calling (858) 755-8993 for our San Diego office or (619) 656-6785 for our Chula Vista location.

Seven Ways You Can Treat Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal (gum) disease that makes the gums turn red, become swollen, and more prone to bleeding.

Usually, there is little or no discomfort and the condition can be reversed with proper oral hygiene and dental treatment.

Though the disease is curable and mild, you cannot overlook it.

Untreated, gingivitis can turn into more destructive forms of periodontal disease and leads to illnesses such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disorders.

It is vital to consult the dentist when you first experience symptoms.

Most Effective Method for Gingivitis Treatment: Consult Your Dentist!

See your dentist immediately if you suspect that you have gingivitis.

Your dentist will most likely clean your mouth to remove tartar, which is a breeding ground for bacteria, and suggest a new fluoride-rich toothpaste along with a proper oral hygiene routine.

You may have to visit your dentist frequently for a short period, but you can count on getting rid of the disease.

Other methods to treat gingivitis can be divided into two parts: Oral hygiene and homemade treatments.

Oral Hygiene:

The oral hygiene methods described here will help you reverse gingivitis and reduce the chances of it appearing again.

1. Avoid Sweet and Sticky Foods:

Stay away from candies and other sugar products.

If you absolutely have eat them, then make sure you eat them sparingly.

This is particularly important if you have children with gingivitis. It is vital to drill into them that sweets cannot be an all-day affair.

What is true of sugar products is also true of sticky foods, such as pizzas. Sugary and sticky foods stick to your gums and become a breeding ground for bacteria.

2. Brush Properly and Use Floss:

Another way to control gingivitis is to brush with care.

An effective method for cleaning your gum line is to hold your brush at an angle of 45 degrees and move it in a circular motion.

This technique cleans the area where your teeth meets the gums. Brushing is necessary, but it is not sufficient.

To remove the impurities hidden somewhere between your teeth, you can use floss. Flossing at least once a day is a way to stymie the spread of gingivitis.

3. Use an Antiseptic Mouthwash:

Antiseptic mouthwash fights bacteria in those places that cannot be reached by your toothbrush or floss.

You can kill many bacteria in your mouth and stop the spread of gingivitis if you use a mouthwash solution for at least 30 seconds after each brush.

Homemade Treatments for Gingivitis:

The three methods mentioned below are popular home-based treatments:

1. Salt gargle:

Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water and gargle. Repeat this procedure for several days.

2. Lemon juice mouthwash:

Squeeze an entire lemon into a glass of lukewarm water and rinse your mouth with it. Do this two times a day, right after you brush.

3. Chew a clove:

Chewing a clove can reduce the pain from swollen gums.

Though this article touches upon several ways to treat your gingivitis, speaking to your dentist is the safest and most effective method.

If you notice symptoms of gingivitis in you or your children, contact us immediately. We offer a highly-experienced and qualified dental team in gingivitis treatment.

You can contact us by calling (858) 755-8993 for our San Diego office or (619) 656-6785 for our Chula Vista location.

Your Dentist May Be Ripping You Off

In March 2015, a U.S. District Court ordered a Knox County dentist to return $500,000 to a patient. The Rockport dentist had prescribed the patient unnecessary procedures.

The lawsuit from Tennessee is not a one-off incident. It may be part of a worrying trend. “I believe I’ve noticed an increase in the skill of what I call ‘creative diagnosis’,” wrote Jeffrey Camm, DMD, on the American Dental Association (ADA) website in 2013. In dental circles, “creative diagnosis” is the euphemism for “unnecessary treatment.”

Acrophobia-inducing student loans, rise of large dental chains, reduced reimbursements, and diminishing coverage for some procedures are prompting some dentists to partake in creative diagnosis. This is troubling.

If you brush and floss everyday, you will most likely not need any dental work, other than two basic cleanings twice a year.

But dentists cannot increase their income through basic cleanings. So some practitioners try to sell you procedures that you do not need.

It can be difficult for you to know when your dentist is genuinely thinking about you and when profit is dictating his or her mind because, like most individuals, you may not know much about dentistry. But other dentists do.

Your Dentist May Be Ripping You Off

One way to reduce your chances of being ripped off is to consult a second dentist when you notice any of these red flags:

Red Flag 1: Your fillings need to be ripped out and replaced.

It is an old trick.

If you go to a new dentist, he or she may tell you that your mouth needs a ton of work. Frequently, it means replacing your existing fillings with new ones. Unless you are in pain and your fillings are decayed, it is unlikely that you will need them replaced all at once.

Red Flag 2: We offer free cleanings.

Some dental practices offer deals, such as a free cleaning or a free whitening. Often the intention behind such offers is to get you in the door.

Once inside, you are bombarded with expensive treatment plans that you may or may not need. Their marketing can be quite convincing.

In the long run, you will find it cheaper to pay for cleaning or whitening at a practice that does not offer over-the-top deals than rushing to cash in an attractive offer.

Red Flag 3: You need expensive fluoride toothpastes.

Fluoride toothpastes are unnecessary for most adults because drinking water and over-the-counter toothpastes contain enough fluoride to prevent cavities.

In most instances, it is unethical to sell costly fluoride toothpastes to a patient who does not have a ton of cavities.

Red Flag 4: You need veneers.

Selling veneers is lucrative. Many dentists try to push them on their patients.

Do not let yourself get talked into spending thousands of dollars for what is a purely cosmetic treatment.

If your teeth are in good shape, you will find that whitening is a less expensive option. Veneers are recommended only for patients whose teeth look awful.

Red Flag 5: You cannot see X-rays.

Your X-rays are your property. The law requires your dentist to turn them over to you so that you can see them or show them to another dentist.

Do not be lax if you are not comfortable with the treatment. Demand your X-rays and visit a second dentist. It can save you a ton of money.

Though the dental community in the U.S. is not in agreement over if creative diagnosis is a becoming more prevalent, almost everyone accepts that unnecessary treatment is a real problem.

It is unrealistic to expect any positive changes any time soon. If you are a patient, you can consult Dr. Safarian, DMD, for a second opinion if you are uncomfortable with your dentist’s treatment.

Dr. Safarian is the Official Dentist of the San Diego Sockers, a member of the American Dental Association, a LVI Fellow, and a critic of creative diagnosis. He firmly believes that patients should only receive the treatment they need; nothing more, nothing less.

You can arrange your free consultation with Dr. Safarian by calling (858) 755-8993 for his San Diego office or (619) 656-6785 for his Chula Vista office.

Food Heals Cavities, or Maybe Not!

This is the million-dollar question. There are a ton of websites, books, and magazines where you will find detailed diet plans claiming to cure your cavities naturally.

You will also see glowing reviews of people who tried those foods and found their cavities cured.

While reading them, you may think that an inexpensive and painless answer to a disease that affects one in five Americans has been found and decide to explore further.

But just when you dig deeper you hit the wall. You find that there is little research on if foods can reverse cavities and dentists remain suspicious of any claims from natural healers.

Food does not heal cavities:

There is as much scientific support for cavity-healing foods as there is for the existence of UFOs.

Just as placing aspirin next to your tooth can not help with a toothache—though the acid in the pill can burn your gum tissues and cause a painful abscess—eating non-sticky and non-sugary foods will not undo the damage from cavities.

You will have to consult your dentist who can suggest scientific treatments, such as filling, and what foods to avoid to prevent your dental condition from getting worse.

But food can prevent cavities and stop them from getting worse.

Though foods do not heal cavities, if you are careful to select what you eat, you can prevent cavities.

Avoid sticky foods:

Sticky foods remain on your teeth after chewing.

The bacteria in the mouth decompose them. If a food is acidic—sugary foods usually are—decomposition kicks start a reaction between the enamel (a hard, transparent layer that surrounds the teeth) and the acid from the food.

The enamel can dissolve if the acid attacks are frequent, leaving the soft surface of teeth exposed. Once your teeth are in the open, without the protection of enamel, they are more likely to develop cavities.

Stay way from carbohydrate-rich diets:

Carbohydrates are essentially sugars (sucrose, fructose, and lactose).

They contain bacteria that consume minerals in the mouth and subsequently cause cavities.

They are found in popular foods such as candies, sodas, and milk products. Taking them in moderation is an effective way to reduce the risk of cavities.

Carbohydrate-moderate diets and non-sticky foods can also stop cavities from getting worse, but for treatment, you need to visit the dentist.

Treatment:

Fillings:

Fillings are a common way to treat cavities.

A dentist fills out the affected part of a tooth and fills the hole caused by the cavity to prevent further decay. The filling may consist of amalgam, porcelain, gold, or composite resin.

Crowns:

If the cavity is large, the dentist may put on a crown, usually made of porcelain or gold, to prevent your tooth from breaking.

Extraction:

In extreme cases, your tooth may have to be extracted.

In any case, it is best to see your dentist because he or she is the right person to figure out your individual health needs to determine the best course of treatment.

Dr. Safarian is a highly experienced dental practitioner of general dentistry, dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, and cavities.

He is a graduate of the Tufts School of Dental Medicine and practices in San Diego and Chula Vista. He can treat you dental cavities. If you are suffering with cavities, book your appointment with Irresistible Smiles today!

Wait Before You Fly! Dental Treatment Abroad Can Cost More

A 50-year-old Chinese woman flew to South Korea in January. She wanted to try a new look.

The plastic surgery, for which she likely paid between $4,550 and $9,100, did not go well. But she never complained.

Shortly after the surgery, she was declared brain dead by South Korea’s Association of Plastic Surgeons.

The woman, whose name is still unknown, was one of the 31,000 people who visit South Korea on medical visas each year.

Though widely covered, the unnamed Chinese woman’s story is not the only case of a botched surgery abroad.

Sarah Healy flew to Southeast Asia in 2013 for a root canal treatment. She paid $2,400 for four crowns, a fraction of the amount of what she would have had to pay in her native Australia.

She was happy, and she had reason; she was able to see a new country and saved thousands of dollars on her dental procedure.

But the good times did not last long. Healy complained of an infection in her mouth six months after the surgery.

Her doctor, Ean Ong in Australia, found a problem with the crowns. Healy ended up spending thousands of dollars more to remove the crowns to stop the infection. She has yet to get the crowns replaced.

These cases and others show some of the risks patients have to accept when they go abroad for medical treatment.

Patients in the US are particularly vulnerable because the U.S. is the world’s second largest source of medical tourists.

It sends patients to nearly every corner of the world and contributes immensely to the $6 trillion (2011, World Travel and Tourism Council) medical tourism industry.

Though there are advantages to going to Asia or Latin America for treatment, there are also some inherent risks.

Communication

Brazil, South Korea, Singapore, India, and Thailand are five popular destinations for American dental patients.

English is not the predominant language in any of these countries.

Though hospital staff members catering to Americans tend to speak passable English, there is a great chance for misunderstanding due to linguistic differences.

In comparison, a patient visiting a dentist in the U.S. can be sure his or her problem will be understood.

Safety Standards

Hygiene and safety standards are not uniform across countries. In countries like India, it is not unusual for a dentist to see ten times as many patients as in the U.S. per day.

This can be a cause of concern for patients looking for individual attention. Even medical equipment varies.

While American clinics and hospitals maintain certain standards, there is no world authority to implement them in Asia or Latin America. A patient chooses a hospital at his or her own risk.

A third big problem is the willingness of foreign dentists to stand behind their work.

Dentists in the US tend to stand behind their work to prevent damage to their professional reputation. They usually take the safest course, even if it takes longer.

In contrast, there is no reason to believe these standards will be followed in other countries.

If something goes wrong, the legal course for compensation is not clear. Healy’s case is a warning. She still cannot claim compensation for the poor dental procedure she received in Asia.

Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist Once & For All

There are few things scarier than lying helplessly on a couch and a stranger putting their fingers into your mouth. This fear does not merely stem from watching horror movies.

In the early days of dentistry in the U.S., the town barber was also the dentist.

In those days, dental treatment was basic and the tools were simple.

A shot of liquor was used as the anesthetic and a bunch of crude tools, known as tooth keys, were used as dental instruments.

High-speed dental hand pieces, dental lasers, digital imaging, X-rays, and other high-tech dental materials that you take for granted today are not even 60 years old.

Why do you fear your dentist?

Though modern dentistry has come a long way from the days when barbers plucked teeth, dental anxiety has not completely vanished.

There are three main reasons you still fear your dentist:

You do not Know what to Expect!

At the root of your anxiety is the fear of the unknown.

If you have not visited a dentist for years, it is natural to be nervous about the meet.

Fortunately, you can overcome this fear easily.

How to overcome the fear of the unknown?

Find a dentist whom you can trust.

When an experienced dentist receives a patient, he or she does not jump straight into dental procedures.

Instead, he or she sits with the patient and helps them overcome their fears through open communication.

The patient comes to trust the dentist and their fear disappears when they see the dentist is sensitive to their needs.

Dental Equipment Gives You Nightmares:

For many individuals, the scariest part of a visit to the dentist is the fear of dental equipment.

They feel terrible when they imagine those sharp, alien-looking metal tools stuck into their mouth. The fear is particularly strong in children.

How to overcome the fear of dental equipment?

A dentist can help patients overcome the fear of dental equipment by letting them hold the tools first.

This simple exercise eliminates much of their anxiety and the rest can be handled by the dentist through conversation.

You are scared of things that have little to do with dentistry.

Some people are claustrophobic. They cannot withstand a dentist operating on them in a closed room and they confuse their fear of closed spaces with the fear of dentists.

How to recognize your hidden fears and overcome them?

Speak to your dentist. An understanding dentist will get to know you first, recognize your fears, and then avoid triggers during the therapy.

What can you do if your child is afraid of the dentist?

Dealing with a child who does not want to visit the dentist is a different matter than conquering your own fears.

Here are six tips on how to take the fear out of your child’s mind:

1. Children pick on their parents’ anxieties. Do not appear afraid.

2. Schedule the first appointment with the dentist immediately after the arrival of the first tooth.

3. Try to book an appointment in morning because children tend to be more relaxed then.

4. Try to combine your child’s dental visit with an outing.

5. Read a dental book to your children. It will help them grow familiar with their new environment in a dental office.

6. Explain the importance of good dental and gum care to your children.

Usually the fear of the dentist stems from a lack of knowledge of what is going to happen, fear of dental equipment, and hidden fears that have nothing to do with dentistry.

An experienced and friendly dentist can help you overcome these fears.

Dr. Safarian is a highly experienced and friendly dentist in San Diego. He can help you and your children overcome your fear of dental treatment. To book an appointment with him, call us at (858) 755-8993 for our San Diego office or (619) 656-6785 for our Chula Vista office.