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Chaparral Village Dental & Orthodontics

27287 Nicolas Road Suite 104, Temecula, CA 92591

951-676-7200

Office blog

Blog

Tough Brushing Tortures Teeth

Posted on July 17, 2016 at 3:24 PM Comments comments (83)

Most dentists don’t go a day without seeing patients who are damaging their teeth and gums by brushing too hard. Some report that as many as two out of three patients brush their teeth too hard. This is a problem. A stiff-bristled toothbrush combined with overzealous brushing teeth can cause serious dental problems over time, including gum disease and tooth sensitivity.

People think that if they brush twice as hard, they will do twice as much good, In fact, overzealous brushing can cause significant damage to the periodontal tissues and bones that support the teeth. If you used the same amount of force and brush the side of your arm, you could take your skin off.  

One way to avoid damaging your teeth and gums is to purchase a "soft" toothbrush featuring rounded bristles which are less abrasive to teeth. You should hold the brush between the thumb and forefinger, not with the fist. When brushing, do not `scrub' the teeth with a horizontal, back-and-forth motion. Instead, start at the gum line and angle the brush at a 45-degree angle. Brush both the teeth and the gums at the same time. Push hard enough to get the bristles under the gumline but not so hard that the bristles flare out. It's also a wise move to limit the amount of toothpaste because it is abrasive.  

The irony is that dentists want people to brush longer, not harder. Children and adults tend to spend less than one minute at a time brushing their teeth, even though removing plaque from the mouth requires at least two to five minutes of brushing at least twice a day. Remember: brush longer, not harder.

Health Watch: How Bottled Water Affects Your Teeth

Posted on May 5, 2016 at 2:21 AM Comments comments (5)
Millions of Americans are embracing a healthy lifestyle and turning to bottled water as part of their diet. Bottled water is often marketed as being better for you, but it may be doing your teeth a disservice. Your bottled water could be missing some elements that promote oral health.

For over 60 years, the United States has been involved in a public health program called community water fluoridation. Many communities throughout the nation added fluoride to their water supply, and the result was a significant decrease in childhood cavities. In fact, community water fluoridation is the single most effective public health measure for tooth decay prevention to date.

The Water Works

Fluoride battles dental cavities by strengthening tooth enamel and remineralizing teeth damaged by acid. Unfortunately, the majority of bottled waters contain little or no fluoride. In fact, fluoride may even be removed from water during the filtration process. Bottling companies and home filtration systems use reverse osmosis or distillation units to remove sediments and impurities from the water. Reverse osmosis is a water purification system that filters out minerals and some chemicals, while distillation uses heat to literally steam water away from impurities. The steam is then cooled and turned back into water.

What's gaining steam in the water industry is the sale of bottled water -- and you'll need to drink plenty of it in order for your teeth to benefit. According to the American Dental Association, fluoridated water should contain 0.7-1.2 milligrams per liter of fluoride for effective cavity protection. While fluoride intake varies according to weight, the ADA states that ingesting 4 mg of fluoride per day is adequate for the average 160 pound person. Since most bottled waters contain less than 0.3 mg per liter of fluoride, you'll need to stock up to get the amount of fluoride recommended by the ADA!

Seniors at Higher Risk for Dental Cavities

Posted on April 3, 2016 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (83)
                                               
You may think that as an adult you don't have to worry about cavities anymore -- but dental cavities aren't just child's play! As we entered the new millennium, it was discovered that seniors were actually getting more dental cavities than children. Today, children and seniors are still the two highest at-risk groups for tooth decay.

Aging puts us at greater risk for dental problems -- the wearing away of tooth enamel, receding gums and loss of jawbone are signs that our mouths are aging along with our bodies.

Your grandparents could probably tell you that, in their youth, most senior citizens had missing teeth. Many lost their teeth to dental disease, and a tooth extraction was a common treatment for dental problems.

With current dental technology, we're relying less on old-fashioned dentistry and more on modern dental procedures to restore our smiles. That's great news to seniors, who are keeping their teeth longer. Now for the bad news -- anyone with natural teeth can get dental cavities. And the longer we have our teeth, the more we expose them to the elements that can cause tooth decay.

The Risk Factors

Unfortunately, geriatric teeth are less able to handle the normal wear and tear of those in younger generations. There are several reasons why seniors may be prone to more dental cavities:

Lack of Fluoride -- Most of our nation's seniors didn't have the benefits of community water fluoridation while growing up. And with the popularity of bottled water today, seniors may still not be getting the fluoride they need. Fluoride strengthens teeth and helps prevent tooth decay.

Arthritis -- Those who suffer from arthritis, or other medical conditions, may have a hard time gripping a toothbrush or floss, making it difficult to practice daily oral hygiene.

Gum Disease -- Over 95% of seniors have receding gums, exposing the roots of teeth and making them vulnerable to the same dental diseases that affect the tooth's crown. Root decay is becoming much more common among seniors.

Dry Mouth -- Dry mouth is often a side effect of medications or health problems often associated with seniors. Saliva is needed to wash away food particles and neutralize the acid that promotes tooth decay. When our mouths are dry, our teeth become more susceptible to cavities.

Diet -- Aging may cause our diet to change. Seniors often lean towards softer foods, which don't always have the nutrients you need for healthy teeth. A diet heavy in carbohydrates and sugar also contributes to dental cavities.

Assisted Living -- Although assisted living centers are designed to help our loved ones get the care they need, oral hygiene may fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, a lack of individual attention may keep seniors from maintaining their smiles.

Finances -- When on a fixed income, oral health care may not be a priority. Some seniors can't afford to pay for dental products or professional dental care.

Look Grandma -- No Dental Cavities!

There are several ways seniors can improve their chances of staying dental cavity-free. A diet low in sugar and high in calcium promotes tooth health. If you aren't getting enough fluoride, try using fluoride toothpastes, mouth rinses or tablets. Drinking water, sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva production and reduces dry mouth.

For seniors with dexterity problems, wrap tape or an elastic bandage around the toothbrush. If a wider grip is needed, you can even try taping a tennis ball, sponge or rubber bicycle grip to the handle. An electric toothbrush may also be helpful for those who cannot maneuver a manual toothbrush easily. And daily flossing should not be forgotten, either -- floss holders and waxed floss may make it easier for seniors to continue their oral hygiene routine.

Because of the special dental needs of seniors, regular dental visits are necessary to maintain their oral health. Dentists use this time to check for the dental problems that affect older patients, including gum disease, root decay and oral cancer. If a senior you know is living in a nursing home, arrange for them to receive oral care and continue with their dental appointments. If transporting them to the dental office is impossible, try finding a dentist who can arrange in-house care at their facility.

Now that you have the chance to keep your teeth for a lifetime, you should take advantage of it. Taking the right steps to maintain your smile will help you remain cavity-free, so you can truly experience what your golden years have to offer!

Even Seniors Get Cavities

Posted on January 18, 2016 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (102)
As we entered the new millennium, it was discovered that seniors were getting more dental cavities than children. Today, children and seniors are still the two highest at-risk groups for tooth decay. Aging puts us at greater risk for dental problems. The wearing away of tooth enamel, receding gums and loss of jawbone are signs that our mouths are aging along with our bodies.  

Fortunately, there are now dental technologies and treatments to keep our smiles intact longer. That's great news for seniors. The bad news is anyone with natural teeth can get dental cavities. And the longer we have our teeth, the more we expose them to the elements that can cause tooth decay. 

Unfortunately, geriatric teeth are less able to handle the normal wear and tear of those in younger generations. There are several reasons why seniors may be prone to more dental cavities: 

·        Difficulty brushing & flossing
·        Not enough fluoride
·        Gum disease
·        Dry mouth
·        Poor diet 

There are several ways seniors can stay cavity-free. A diet low in sugar and high in calcium promotes tooth health. Fluoride toothpastes, mouth rinses or tablets can help. Drinking water, sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva production and reduces dry mouth. 

For seniors with mobility or dexterity problems, wrap tape or an elastic bandage around the toothbrush. If a wider grip is needed, try taping a tennis ball, sponge or rubber bicycle grip to the handle. An electric toothbrush may also be helpful for those who cannot maneuver a manual toothbrush easily. And daily flossing should not be forgotten, either -- floss holders and waxed floss may make it easier for seniors to continue their oral hygiene routine. 

Because of the special dental needs of seniors, regular dental visits are still essential. We use this time to check for the dental problems that affect older patients, including cavities, gum disease, root decay and oral cancer.

Recommendations for male patients

Posted on June 22, 2015 at 1:24 AM Comments comments (184)
Regular check up and cleaning. 
Make sure to come in for checkups at least twice a year. The ADA suggests that the frequency of the regular visits should be tailored by the dentist to accommodate for the patient's current oral health status and health history. In addition, high-risk patients, such as those who smoke or patients with diabetes, may benefit from more frequent visits and cleanings to prevent periodontal disease.

Brush twice, floss once
Reiterate the importance of brushing the teeth two times a day for two minutes. Also remind yourself to floss at least once a day. This simple habit can make a big difference over time. Personally I brush and floss after each meal, and would high recommend every patient to do so. 

Use fluoride
Realize that fluoride isn't just for children; men benefit from using it, too. Nonprescription toothpastes and mouthwash additives that include fluoride have been shown to prevent dental caries. Fluoride works in three ways:

  • It inhibits the loss of healthy minerals found in tooth enamel.
  • It can repair minor tooth decay by remineralizing areas of the tooth enamel that plaque has attacked.
  • It reduces the ability of oral bacteria to produce acid.

Athletes: Wear a mouthguard
Men who play sports have a greater chance of experiencing trauma to their mouth or teeth, but you might not know this. So, please make sure to wear a mouthguard and a helmet (as appropriate) when you are playing contact sports, including baseball, basketball, football, and soccer, or when you're involved in individual sports, such as riding a bike, motorcycle, or horse.

Stop smoking
If you smoke or use smokeless tobacco,try hard to give up the habit because you are at an increased risk of developing oral cancer, gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth decay. Tobacco also contributes to bad breath and stains the teeth.

Be aware of medication side effects
If you are on medications for heart disease, high blood pressure, and even depression, your medication might cause dry mouth, which inhibits your salivary flow and increases the risk for cavities. You can ease your dry mouth by drinking more water, chewing sugarless gum, using an alcohol-free mouth rinse, and avoiding overly salty foods, alcohol, and carbonated beverages. If you follow the tips outlined above, you will be proud to show off your pearly whites on Father's Day, as well as throughout the year.

Please note: The same guidelines apply to women.

Home Remedies for Toothaches

Posted on June 9, 2015 at 2:06 AM Comments comments (123)
Anyone who’s had the bad luck to be waylaid by a toothache knows that few experiences are more miserable. You want relief and you want it now. While home remedies may temporarily ease discomfort, the only way to get lasting toothache relief is to see a dentist.
 
Until you get professional help you may get some temporary relief using these toothache home remedies:
 
Rinse your mouth with warm water. Some toothaches are caused by trapped food particles. Use dental floss to remove anything wedged between teeth. This ensures a clean mouth and provides toothache relief.
 
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Toothaches can often be eased with pain relievers. Consider applying ice to the affected area as an additional toothache remedy.
 
Apply an over-the-counter antiseptic containing benzocaine. This is a tried and true temporary toothache remedy.
 
Avoid very hot or very cold foods. Toothaches lead to sensitive teeth, so treat them gently.
 
Toothaches won't just go away. Your ultimate toothache remedy will come from a dentist. Toothache remedies depend on the source of the problem; an X-ray will usually be used to check for decay or othor dental problems. Then your dentist can perform the appropriate dental treatment, such as a tooth filling, tooth extraction or root canal.
Remember, toothache remedies can't top prevention! The best way to stave off toothaches is to practice good oral hygiene, including regular flossing and brushing. Another great toothache remedy is your dental visit; it helps your dentist prevent and identify problems before they become serious.


Be Careful With Toothpicks

Posted on May 11, 2015 at 3:13 AM Comments comments (363)
Most dentists agree that toothpicks should be used sparingly as a method of teeth cleaning and should never be considered a substitute for brushing teeth and flossing. Fact is they should be used only when a toothbrush or floss is not available, for example, when you are in a restaurant and have food trapped between teeth.
 
Toothpicks that are used overzealously can damage tooth enamel, lacerate gums, and even cause a broken tooth in severe cases. People who have bonding or veneers can chip or break them if they aren't careful. Overly aggressive use of toothpicks can severely wear the roots of teeth, especially in cases where gums have pulled away from the teeth and leave teeth with root surfaces exposed, notably in the elderly.
 
Toothpicks date back to 3,500 BC when the earliest known oral hygiene kit featuring a toothbrush was found at the Ningal Temple in Ur. In China, a curved pendant, made of cast bronze was worn around the neck and used as a toothpick. In 536 BC, the Chinese mandated a law that required the use of the toothpick because their armies suffered from bad breath. In the Old Testament, it is written that "one may take a splinter from the wood lying near him to clean his teeth."
 
Today, most toothpicks in the United States come from "toothpick trees" in Maine. The tree is a white birch which has its trunk cut into thin sheets that are cut again to the thickness and length of toothpicks.
 
Dentists can tell when they have a habitual toothpick user in their dental chair. There are the tell-tale signs of toothpick marks. So use them if you have too, but don't make it a habit. Brush and floss instead.

Cavities FAQs

Posted on March 12, 2015 at 3:12 AM Comments comments (155)
Most of us have had at least one. Some of us have quite a few. So what makes cavities so persistent, keeping more children out of school than any other disease? Usually, the answer is simple: not enough brushing your teeth, flossing and visiting the dentist. Snacking on sweets and slurping sodas doesn't help either. But rather than feel guilty, get informed.  

Q: What's the difference between tooth decay and tooth cavity?
A: Good question! Most people think tooth decay and tooth cavity are the same thing. But they're not. Tooth decay refers to a gradual process during which bacteria in the mouth produce acids that destroy the surfaces of teeth. Over time, tooth decay can erode enamel to the point that a hole, or cavity, forms.  

Q: How do I know if I have cavities?
A: Cavities are one of the first things your dentist looks for during a regular dental exam. X-rays allow your dentist to diagnose whether you have dental cavities and how extensive they are. Sometimes a tooth cavity is visible to the naked eye; if you see black holes in your teeth, those could be signs. Another cavity red flag is a toothache or sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks.  

Q: How do dentists treat dental cavities?
A: Treatment depends on the size of the cavity and the degree of damage. Although many dental cavities are treated with fillings, onlays may be necessary to treat large cavities affecting the cusps of teeth, while cavities affecting the areas in between the cusps may be treated with inlays. In some cases, dental crowns are used to protect a tooth from further tooth cavity damage. Dental sealants are often applied to children's teeth as a preventative measure against cavities.  

Still have questions about cavities or other dental problems? Your dentist will be happy to answer them during your next checkup.

Does Kissing Affect Oral Health?

Posted on August 19, 2013 at 1:22 AM Comments comments (76)
You have a special someone in your life and you want to express it. Just what are the benefits and consequences from kissing as far as oral and systemic health are concerned?

Click Here to read this interesting and very informative article by Dr. Thomas Peltzer, DMD, published on Dental town journal.

Tooth stain

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 3:33 AM Comments comments (394)
Study Finds Teeth Stain More Permanently From Coffee Than Tobacco

A recent study, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, evaluated the stain removal ability of toothbleaching and simulated toothbrushing after coffee and cigarette smoke staining. In addition, researchers determined the enamel susceptibility to restaining.

Using a colorimeter to determine the baseline color of 40 bovine labial enamel surfaces, researchers immersed half of the samples in coffee and exposed the other half to cigarette smoke in a smoking machine, then evaluated the stain removal ability of toothbleaching and simulated toothbrushing after the coffee and cigarette smoke staining.

According to the report, both staining procedures resulted in similar discoloration. “The specimens stained with coffee and cigarette smoke showed a significant reduction in color change after bleaching,” the authors wrote, but only the cigarette smoke-stained samples showed significant color reduction from toothbrushing.

The authors concluded that 6 percent hydrogen peroxide at-home bleaching
removed both coffee and cigarette smoke staining. However, restaining potential was greater for the tooth surfaces stained with coffee than for those stained with cigarette smoke, regardless of the removal method used. Finally, authors wrote, continued frequent consumption of coffee can increase the staining susceptibility of enamel.

See the full report in the Journal of the American Dental Association, vol. 143:5, May 2012.