I Hate Flossing! Part I

A former flossing procrastinator turn floss advocate; why to floss, how to floss, and the dangers of not flossing.

sacramento dentist_flossing

Specks of food on the bathroom mirror, the gums are bleeding and it hurts, those dang molars are hard to get to, your hands can’t fit in your mouth, the list goes on. Tell me I didn’t list at least one reason why you don’t floss.

Here’s a little note: people go to college for years to learn how to prevent, diagnose, and treat people who don’t floss! Yes, they are called dental hygienists and dentists.

Imagine showering but never once washing behind your ears, under your armpits, in between your toes, and even, ahem, the private areas. Kinda gross, right? That’s what it’s like when you don’t floss. Your toothbrush cannot get in between each tooth and under the gum line to get the food that has collected there. Now think about how long that food stays between your teeth before it can naturally be dissolved. You don’t know how long it will take because you don’t even know that there is food in your teeth. But there is!

I bet you are thinking that flossing does not apply to you because you go to the dentist every six months and have been since you can remember and you cannot recall the last time that you got a cavity. I know this excuse because my husband uses it every day. And he’s right; he goes to the dentist every six months for a cleaning and hasn’t had a cavity since high school.

But look back at those cleanings that you received. Was the hygienist having a hard time getting the floss between your teeth? Did you have bleeding gums? Did she overload your goodie bag with floss samples followed by a stern reminder that you won’t be so lucky at the next cleaning? Yeah… that’s because while right now your gums feel fine they can take a drastic turn.

A very painful and expensive alternative to daily flossing is a deep cleaning. Yay! Doesn’t that sound like fun!? Hardly. A deep cleaning can be extremely invasive and in some cases down-right uncomfortable. A deep cleaning is something that has to be done because there is plaque underneath the gum line. Cases range from small to severe but either way the hygienist scrapes the plaque off the root of tooth. Ouch.  I think I’ll pass.

You must choose to jump in with both feet and commit to flossing. While the dentist recommends twice a day most people just can’t do it. So, I propose that if you can only do it once a day then you must do it at night. That way your teeth are clean when you go to bed and bacteria doesn’t have a chance to grow when you are sleeping with gunk in between your teeth.

Flossing for me was painful at first and if I go a week without flossing my gums will be a little sore after I floss again. But I have the knowledge of what can happen to my teeth and pocketbook if I choose not to floss and really I’d rather save myself the trouble and just floss. I leave floss all over the house, on my nightstand, on the coffee table, by the computer, and I use it whenever I’m lounging around. I suggest you follow this advice for TEETH’s sake!

“Dirty Mouth? Clean It Up!”

What is good oral hygiene? The mouth should look and smell healthy, meaning that your teeth are free of debris (feel like flossing?), gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss, and bad breath is not a common problem for you. Bleeding gums and constant bad breath? Time to make a dentist appointment! Good oral hygiene allows you to smile and be confident. It is good for your overall well-being.

While it is unlikely that poor oral hygiene is the sole cause for the related conditions below, poor oral hygiene combined with the other risk factors can be a dangerous combination. Gum disease has been linked to heart attacks, clogged arteries, diabetes, and premature births.

Severe forms of gum disease have been linked to heart disease, clogged arteries, strokes, too. Gum disease has also been known to cause premature birth in pregnant women. Have diabetes? Your body’s inability to control your blood sugar and fight infections leaves your gums undefended against disease. Those with diabetes  tend to lose their teeth much quicker due to increased bone loss caused by erratic blood sugar levels. And tooth loss is often prevalent in those with HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease.1

It does make you wonder why taking care of our mouth is so low on the totem pole of things to do. The bacteria in your mouth is usually harmless when brushed and flossed away. But, when inflamed gums begin to bleed, then passage into the blood stream is provided for more than 700 kinds of bacteria.2  Scary, right? Once the bacteria is in the blood stream there is potential that they can stick to the walls of your arteries which is why poor oral hygiene is linked most often with cardiovascular diseases. Aggressive antibiotic drug treatments can potentially reverse the effects that poor oral hygiene has on your health.

To protect yourself in between dental check-ups you should brush and floss twice a day, schedule regular dental check-ups, and replace your toothbrush every four months. Dr. Truong strongly suggests the use of an electric toothbrush. It is an investment that your teeth will thank you for later in life. The end result, however, will remain the same for those that choose to put the cleanliness of their mouth on the back burner. Regardless of how healthy you are, if you don’t take care of your teeth, you are at risk for some nasty diseases.

1. http://www.mayoclinic.com 2. http://www.healthnewsrack.com

“I had a root canal, what now?”

By: Hoang Truong DDS

Patients usually require a post and crown following a root canal treatment. Why ? A root canal treated tooth is hollow and brittle so that post/core build retention and support and a crown is needed to hold everything together.

Some patients receive root canals but do not follow through with receiving the post and crown. This can lead to an infected or fractured tooth. When that happens the tooth either needs to be extracted because it is beyond repair or another root canal must be performed which can be costly and will only weaken the tooth further.

Is a root canal painful? A root canal procedure is no more painful than getting a filling. The difference is that it takes longer to perform a root canal and the cost is 10 times more. However, if the tooth has a chronic infection the body’s metabolism increases to fight the infection. When the metabolism is going through the roof a person’s anesthetic has the potential to wear off very quickly and getting numb is difficult. Only then should a person have pain during a root canal procedure. Lots of noise comes from the drills and files in the dental chair but no one should experience pain.

Sacramento Kids Receive Free Dental

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (February 7, 2012) –  February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and on Feb. 4, seven Sacramento dentists gave free dental care to 50 pre-screened children at Carrington College as a part of the “Smile 4 Kids” program. The event was hosted by the Sacramento District Dental Society. The event was created in conjunction with the American Dental Association’s “Give Kids a Smile” annual campaign which aims to treat children who fall between the cracks in healthcare and who could not otherwise receive dental treatment.

 Hoang Truong, D.D.S. in Natomas is passionate about dentistry and helping those in need. On February 4 she donated her Saturday to provide free dentistry through the “Smile for Kids” program. Dr. Truong treated six children in desperate need of dental care.

 This is Truong’s fourth year to participate in “Smiles for Kids” and tenth time to participate in programs which aim to donate free dental work to those in need. Through Loma Linda’s School of Dentistry Truong donated free dentistry to orphans in Belize, Guatemala, and Vietnam.

Born in Vietnam Dr. Truong moved to West Sacramento in 1989. She attended Riverside High School in West Sacramento. Dr. Truong is still giving back to her alma mater by serving an assistant tennis coach. Dr. Truong owns Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry on West El Camino Avenue, Sacramento, California. Readers may inquire about Dr. Truong at http://www.gatewaydentalsmiles.com.

Best Sacramento Dentist, Dentist Sacramento

“The Tooth Keeper” participating in Smiles 4 Kids day at Carrington College.

ABOUT GATEWAY DENTAL

Gateway Dental is a comprehensive family dentistry in South Natomas. Gateway Dental’s services include preventative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, endodontics, periodontics, teeth whitening, and dentures. Gateway Dental is one of two practicing oral sedation dentistry’s in Natomas. Dr. Truong has been practicing since 2006 and received her dental degree from Loma Linda University. She has owned Gateway Dental with her husband since 2008. It is located on 2550 West El Camino Avenue, Suite 9, Sacramento, Calif. 95833. You may call (916) 649-0249. Gateway Dental is a Natomas Chamber of Commerce member.

 

Contact: Kristen Vice/Cell: (916) 622-6184/kristenvice@live.com/www.GatewayDentalSmiles.com

Root Canals + 7 Tips to Prevent Them

Contrary to popular belief regular flossing and brushing cannot prevent a root canal. Why? A root canal can happen from having an infection or decay that is so large that the pulp nerve of the tooth becomes exposed. Once decay has reached the nerve you will experience pain.

“I don’t need a root canal, Doc, I don’t have any pain!” It is not uncommon for decay to be present in the tooth and for a person to have little to no pain. Once the pulp is exposed that is when extreme pain occurs that you can feel all the way up to your brain. It is these factors that make early  prevention so important for your teeth and your pocket. Fillings cost about $200-$300 but a root canal costs ten times more. You can expect to pay $2000-$2500 per root canal. So how do you prevent having to get a root canal?

 

  1. Maintain a regular and consistent dental regimen with flossing and brushing to avoid getting cavities in the teeth you still have. Brushing and flossing twice a day is recommended but if you can only floss once do it before bed.
  2. See your dentist regularly so that cavities can be caught early.
  3. Get your cavities filled promptly. Bigger cavities means bigger fillings. Don’t put it off because they can grow quickly and in the absence of pain you won’t know how big it is getting.
  4. Receive a fluoride treatment from your dental hygienist when you go in for your cleanings. Most people opt not to receive fluoride because of the $15-$20 out-of-pocket cost or rinse too quickly after receiving the treatment. They are doing their teeth an injustice! Fluoride helps mineralize the weak areas in your teeth and is essential to preventing cavities (which can lead to a root canal)
  5. Eat a balanced diet and include vitamin c, dairy and fish. Visit this website for more information and studies regarding your nutrition and tooth decay. http://nourishedmagazine.com.au/blog/articles/forgotten-tooth-decay-cure-heal-your-cavities-and-prevent-root-canals
  6. Avoid amalgam fillings which have the tendency to pull away from the tooth and create pockets for bacteria to enter and multiply. The use of amalgam is controversial but the tooth expands and shrinks when exposed to changing temperatures.
  7. Eat foods that help to clean your teeth. Cheese and celery are foods that are proven to help clean teeth.

Like these tips and want to contact us to make an appointment? Visit us online at http://www.GatewayDentalSmiles.com

Fix Yellow Teeth

Is professional teeth whitening for me?

It wasn’t long ago that professional teeth whitening or teeth bleaching seemed unattainable to regular people. We often speak to patients who are so embarrassed by their smile stained with layers of soda, coffee, and tobacco. Whether you choose for the more effective professional whitening or the whitening products at the pharmacy the real truth is that it works! Almost everyone can see substantial improvement from 4 to 8 shades whiter with this cosmetic treatment. You can find our latest teeth whitening special here.

Teeth Whitening Options

  • In-Office Teeth Whitening: the major benefit of in-office whitening is that in a short period of time you can see massive results. A typical visit lasts just 2 hours. Gums are painted with a rubber dam for protection against bleach and then the teeth are bleached in 20 minute intervals. All patients and their teeth are different. Some will require an additional visit or will be instructed to continue bleaching at home with a take-home whitening system from the dentist. A typical teeth whitening treatment costs $650, on average.
  •  Professional Take-Home Teeth Whitening Systems: Dentists can make custom bleaching trays for patients that resemble an athletic mouth guard. They are just as effective as in-office teeth bleaching but take longer to see results because they contain a lower concentration of peroxide. They can be purchased from your dentist for $100-$400.
  •  Over-the-counter whitening: The strips, one-size-fits-all trays, and bleaching pens that you purchase at the store are the most affordable and arguably the most convenient forms of whitening. They contain a lower concentration of peroxide than found in the take-home trays from the dentist. These methods usually only whiten the front teeth whereas the other options whiten all the teeth. Over-the-counter teeth whitening products cost between $20-$100.
Cosmetic Dentist Sacramento

Teeth Whitening Sacramento

Teeth Whitening Risks

Gum irritation, Technicolor teeth, and sensitivity are all a possible side effects of in-office teeth whitening. For in-office bleaching more than half of patients feel some sort of gum irritation. It can last up to a few days or until the bleach stops working. Technicolor teeth results from fillings, bridges, and veneers that do not change color during the bleaching process. They stay the same color while the surrounding natural teeth whiten. It is also likely that patients will experience sensitivity. This occurs most often during in-office bleaching because the potency of the bleach is much higher. Sensitivity usually last for a day but can last up to a month.

You should call your Sacramento Dentist for a consultation to see if you are a bleaching candidate as all patients and their teeth vary. The dentist will conduct a comprehensive examination and discuss hygiene with you to determine which method is for you. You may find more information about teeth whitening at http://www.yourdentistryguide.com/teeth-whitening/

Best Sacramento Dentist!

Cosmetic Dentist Sacramento

Dr. Hoang Truong

Welcome to Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry of Sacramento. Home of Dr. Hoang Truong, The Best Sacramento Dentist, and her extraordinary staff!

Our Services Include:

Cosmetic Dentistry (i.e., veneers, bridges, inlays/onlays)
Sedation Dentistry
Teeth Whitening
Extractions
Root Canal (endodontics)

 

Dr. Truong is a family dentist with a comprehensive dental facility based in Sacramento. Our care is patient-focused. No pushy sales people just good dentistry. Dr. Truong educates and trains herself and her staff rigorously to provide her patients with the very best care as well as cutting-edge technology. Dr. Truong and the Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry staff follows strict safety procedures.

Why is Dr. Truong so great? She has the smallest hands in Sacramento! Small hands means maximum comfort for her patients.