Foaming At The Mouth: Are You Brushing Right?

La Mesa affordable family dentist

In today’s post, let’s look at some information about brushing. One key to activating the value of toothpaste is creating foam when normally brushing.

Working up a good foam is accomplished by pre-wetting the toothbrush, then attacking at a 45 rather than a 90-degree angle. The foaming aids in dislodging food debris from nooks and crannies in the mouth. Go ahead and swish it around at the completion of brushing to pick up any stragglers. The abrasives in toothpaste are designed to polish the teeth without damaging the enamel.

Because of the abrasives, soft toothbrushes are ideal for proper brushing. Harder bristles can put the enamel and gum line at risk. When the gum line recedes from aggressive brushing (or any other cause) a patient may notice tooth pain, increased build-up and decay, tooth structure weakening, and in extreme cases, tooth loss.

The fluoride in the toothpaste promotes remineralization when the paste has been rubbed around on all surfaces of all teeth in the entire mouth. This takes time so be sure you brush for at least 2-3 minutes.

Additionally, remember that flossing is critical and rounds out the 5 minutes each day to give you healthy, pain-free chewing for years and years to come.

To recap:

  • Wet a soft bristle toothbrush
  • Use fluoridated toothpaste
  • Brush at a 45-degree angle
  • Brush gently for 2-3 minutes
  • Cover every surface of every tooth
  • Swish around in the mouth before spitting out
  • Floss gently around each tooth and don’t overlook the back surface of the rear molars
  • Rinse out debris

This article is brought to you by Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, outstanding dental practice in La Mesa. We are committed to dental education and confident smiles for all.

Dr, Jeff Gray has been serving La Mesa area families since 1986. We are located at 8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102 in La Mesa. Contact us at 619-337-7700.

Ask us about our dental payment options, accepted insurance companies, and the general and cosmetic procedures we offer. And brush well until we see you, it will be worth every foamy second!

We Bring Smiles To Life

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 6935

Two Hints For When You’re Too Tired To Brush

Alpine gentle dentist

Too tired to touch a toothbrush. We’ve all been there.

Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa and Dr, Jeff Gray are committed to helping patients throughout the Santee, Alpine, and El Cajon neighborhoods to maintain balanced hygiene and to correct imperfections that can lead to inhibited confidence and self-assurance.

On our blog today we are offering two fabulously smart ideas for overcoming exhaustion in favor of brushing and flossing late at night.

Idea #1 Drag Your Tongue Along Your Teeth
After a long thankless day as you are lying there in bed and realize you forgot to brush, drag your tongue over your teeth a few times while mentally reviewing how plaque and tartar form. Within 48 hours they can start the dirty work of eating away at the teeth. Then jump up and give your mouth just 2 minutes of a gentle, thorough cleaning. It’s that easy.

Idea #2 Scrutinize the Food You Eat
Another convenient and uncomplicated approach is to pay attention to what’s going into your mouth throughout the day. The higher the sugar content the sooner the teeth will need a brushing to avoid harm. Swish with water after coffee, tea, or soda if brushing isn’t going to happen soon. Chewing sticky candy leaves debris all over the mouth as do bread and crackers. Keep this in mind and commit to taking care of the particles as soon as possible.

Shredded meat can remain lodged between teeth for days if you don’t pull it out with floss. Plan to floss or brush after eating if possible. With each particular type of food, learn to assess the effect it could have on your smile. Make the decision to brush before you are tired. By simply visualizing and committing, you reduce the likelihood of hemming and hawing later when you’re yawning and fading and have to choose between settling into bed and spending 2 minutes cleaning your teeth.

We know a long day of work or play can yield a worn-out body. Likewise, we know consistent brushing will reduce buildup and help prevent decay and gum disease. And we know that sometimes cavities need filling, chipped teeth need fixing, crooked teeth need straightening, and wisdom teeth need extraction.

Some smile problems can be prevented and some just can’t. We are happy to help with sedation dentistry, implants, gum disease treatment, TMJ treatment, or Invisalign. Come see our comfortable office at 8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102 in La Mesa, California 91942 and we’ll help with any dental issues we can.

Cosmetic dentistry enhances a smile in several ways – straightness, coloration, conformity, and natural feel. Cosmetic dentistry helps our valued patients talk clearly, smile freely, and eat comfortably. A consultation with Dr, Gray can open your eyes to the unique possibilities for your beautiful smile. Contact us at 619-337-7700 for an appointment or visit our website https://www.dentalimplants-sandiego.com.

If we each do our part to keep your smile healthy and beautiful, then all of us can sleep at night.

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 6830

When It’s Better Not To Brush

enamel erosion San Diego

Though thin and partially translucent, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and has the important job of preserving teeth from constant use and the continual assault of chemicals in food and drink. Enamel also guards tooth nerves against hot and cold food and beverages. That’s why enamel loss often causes tooth sensitivity.

Cuts heal. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. The body’s ability to heal itself is truly extraordinary. But tooth enamel is different. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

The team at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry encourages our patients to safeguard their tooth enamel for a lifetime of dental health.

This may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes it is better NOT to brush immediately after eating. Specifically, after eating acidic items. The acid weakens the enamel which can be further weakened by brushing. Waiting 60 minutes will allow the acid to dilute. Rinsing immediately after eating acidic foods is useful, however, because it washes away some food particles and speeds up the dilution of the acid.

Some people don’t realize that dry mouth can cause or exacerbate enamel erosion. The calcium and phosphate in saliva safeguards your enamel. When there is little saliva, the enamel is left exposed. Chewing stimulates saliva production but constant snacking is not the solution for dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum and sipping water frequently can stimulate saliva production between meals without increasing the risk of or upping your calorie intake.

Additionally, tooth grinding wears enamel away. If you are one of the many La Mesa residents who grind their teeth at night, it’s critical to get a mouthguard right away. People who grind their teeth are at high risk for enamel erosion and tooth decay that can follow. Athletes should also safeguard their teeth on the playing field with a mouthguard. For more specifics, talk to Dr, Jeff Gray at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry about custom mouthguards.

If you sip soda, tea, or coffee all day, we suggest you switch to water to halt any enamel erosion that has already taken place. It may be a hard change to make – but if you are successful – your teeth will thank you for it.

Using teeth as tools can damage enamel, as well. Take a moment to fetch scissors before tearing a package or ripping duct tape with your teeth. Do you really want to take a chance on chipping a tooth just to open a package of lunchmeat?

Chewing ice and hard candy can also damage enamel. If you simply must have sugar, soft candy is best as long as it is not left to sit on your teeth for a long period of time. If your molars are packed with gummy candy, it can lead to cavities that erode enamel just as effectively as chipping it with hard candy. Many of the old-school hard candies we enjoyed as kids now come in soft versions. Enjoy them sparingly because constant sugar is bad for teeth. Period.

If you have already experienced enamel erosion or other dental issues, Dr, Jeff Gray can help you guard what is left. To schedule an extensive examination, contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in La Mesa at 619-337-7700!

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 6920

How Can I Help My Teen Prepare For Braces?

orthodontist La Mesa

Orthodontic treatment using conventional metal braces, invisible braces, or clear aligners is a process that can take up to two years to complete. It is important that your teen prepares for a lengthy and sometimes uncomfortable process if they opt for braces. Choosing the right form of orthodontic treatment is an important initial process that you can help your teen with.

Of course, a healthy smile and straight, beautiful teeth are worth it in the end!

However, whichever type of braces your teen chooses, it will require a period of adjustment.

If your teenager is looking for orthodontic treatment to straighten or align their teeth, call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry in  La Mesa for a consultation to discuss orthodontic treatment options.

It is fairly common for teens, parents, and their dentists to choose traditional metal braces. They are often the least expensive option and can correct severe problems that some other systems can’t.

There are a number of things to consider. Diet is a biggie. Your adolescent will need to learn to avoid the following:

  • Gum
  • Popcorn
  • Sticky or hard candies
  • Hard foods
  • Whole apples or other hard fruits or vegetables
    • Apples and other hard or raw foods are okay to eat if they are sliced or cut up into smaller pieces

Getting used to the tools

More often than not, teens with standard metal braces will have to use rubber bands at some point to adjust and align the jaw properly. It is a good idea to stock up on rubber bands when your adolescent is told to use them.

  • Stock up on wax
  • Look into purchasing smaller cleaning tools for your teen’s braces
  • Learning to pack and keep a to-go bag with your tools

It is helpful to keep a small bag or kit with the needed tools for correct tooth care. Some items that should be kept in such a kit are:

  • Floss
  • A toothbrush
  • Rubber bands (if your dentist or orthodontist prescribes them)
  • Dental wax to cover any metal pieces of the braces that are sticking out or irritating the gums

Remember to remain positive and be patient with the process. It can be uncomfortable for your child at times. It takes time and effort to treat the teeth properly and with the best care while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8396

What is an Orthodontic Pacifier?

what is the best kind of pacifier La Mesa

Infants are born with a natural sucking reflex, and it is common for this reflex to evolve into a comforting behavior. Pacifiers can soothe a crying infant. However, parents often worry that a pacifier is harmful to a baby’s teeth. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents that pacifiers are generally safe for babies under two years of age.

After age three, pacifiers can cause or complicate an overbite, open bite, or crossbite. These conditions can affect chewing, speech, and appearance. If that’s the case, orthodontics may be necessary.

Pacifier use in younger babies can have a plus side, as they may decrease the chance of cavities by keeping the baby from using the bottle or breast for non-nutritive sucking. Using a bottle while sleeping can cause “baby bottle cavities”.

The baby supply aisles in La Mesa stores can be overwhelming for parents choosing a pacifier.

There are numerous styles and shapes. Some are no-nonsense and others are more elaborate and even look like a toy. Your baby can sport a bushy mustache or duck lips.

Pacifiers are typically fabricated with either latex or silicone.

The two main categories of pacifiers are orthodontic and traditional. Orthodontic pacifiers are specifically designed to prevent the misalignment of teeth.

What is the advantage of an orthodontic shaped pacifier?

From a dental point of view, the best-shaped pacifier is flat and exerts minimal pressure on the baby’s mouth. Orthodontic pacifiers have a rounded top and a flat bottom. They are designed to avoid tooth troubles later in a baby’s life. They do this by supporting the shape of a baby’s developing palate and jaw. Studies have shown that orthodontic pacifiers cause less open bite or overbite issues than traditional round pacifiers.

The characteristics of an orthodontic pacifier

An extra flat shaft cuts down on pressure on the teeth and jaw. An integrated dental step reduces the distance between the upper and lower front teeth. An orthodontic pacifier creates extra space for the natural movement of the tongue. The specific design of an orthodontic pacifier may safeguard against dental dilemmas later in a baby’s life.

Keep in mind that an orthodontic pacifier isn’t guaranteed to eliminate dental problems. Seek the ongoing guidance of a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist is an essential member of your baby’s healthcare team.

When your youngster needs to be comforted and feeding or rocking doesn’t seem to do the trick, a pacifier can be a lifesaver. Just remember to pick one that is best for your baby’s developing teeth. And wean your infant from the pacifier around the age of two.

A pediatric dentist is an essential member of your child’s healthcare team

Jeff Gray of Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry directs parents on pediatric dental issues from birth through adolescence. Make sure you bring your baby in for their first exam around one year and schedule visits at least twice a year.

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8317

What’s the Difference Between Silver Fillings and White Fillings?

white fillings La Mesa

In today’s post, we discuss fillings.

What is a composite filling?

Composite fillings are fabricated with a mixture of glass or quartz and resin which results in a natural tooth-colored material. They are extremely durable when bonded to the tooth with adhesive.

What is an amalgam filling?

Amalgam fillings are also called “silver fillings” though they aren’t 100% silver. Dental amalgam is about 50% mercury with some silver, tin, and copper. Mercury creates a durable compound with the other metals. This type of filling has been used to fill cavities in teeth since 1895.

Are amalgam fillings dangerous?

Some people claim that mercury fillings are linked to chronic disease. In fact, some dentists (known as “holistic” or “mercury-free”) have founded practices around replacing amalgam fillings with composite fillings. However, many respected medical and scientific associations have long indicated that amalgam fillings are safe. This includes the American Dental Association, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Mayo Clinic, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

This is from the International Journal of Dentistry:

1) Mercury released from dental amalgam restorations does not contribute to systemic disease or systemic toxicological effects

2) Allergic reactions to mercury from dental amalgam restorations have been demonstrated, but these are extremely rare

3) Available scientific data do not justify the discontinuation of dental amalgam use from clinical practice or the replacement with other single-tooth restorative dental materials

(Source: Uçar Y, Brantley WA. Section 5. Conclusions:  Biocompatibility of Dental Amalgams. Int J Dent 2011;2011:981595. doi:10.1155/2011/981595. Accessed April 5, 2016.)

Do you have a youngster with amalgam fillings and are concerned about safety? Schedule a consultation with Dr, Gray to discuss your worries.

Is a composite filling the same as a white filling?

Yes, informally. The term “white filling” has become a descriptive term. Composite fillings are made to match perfectly with the patient’s tooth color. Compared to amalgam fillings–which don’t match the color of teeth–they are whitish, white with a slight yellow tint, or white with a slight gray tint depending on the color of the tooth.

What’s the difference between composite fillings and amalgam fillings?

As discussed previously, these fillings are fabricated using different materials. Composite fillings have the characteristic of blending seamlessly with the tooth. In some settings–such as a large cavity in a molar–an amalgam filling may be considered. Keep in mind that a composite filling has proved to be a solid restoration.

Are amalgam fillings still used?

Despite the popularity of tooth-colored fillings, some San Diego dentists still find amalgam fillings most appropriate for some situations. Unfortunately, some dental insurance providers and state Medicaid plans don’t cover composite fillings.

Do you have more questions about fillings?

Call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry at the number below!

 

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8293

Healthy Living Starts With A Smile

general dentistry La Mesa

What comes to mind when you hear the term “healthy living?” A dinner plate with a grilled chicken breast and steamed vegetables? The sound of your feet rhythmically hitting the ground on your favorite jogging pathway? A cholesterol test indicating that your arteries are looking good? If you picture a white, healthy smile or a dental X-ray showing no tooth decay, we salute you.

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we urge everyone with a smile (that includes you!) to include oral health in your definition of “healthy living.”

When done right and consistently, brushing and flossing are a crucial component of everyday oral hygiene. Brushing should be done at least twice a day. We recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush to guard your gums. Brush your teeth in small, circular motions for 2-3 minutes and make sure you reach all the surfaces.

Flossing should be done once a day and is required for reaching the areas where a toothbrush cannot. A wide variety of floss can be found at La Mesa stores, so experiment until you find one you like.

I’m Dr, Jeff Gray of Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. As a healthcare provider, I am passionate about helping each of my patients reap the benefits of oral health and avoid tooth woes that can compromise their all-around health.

And just as some healthcare providers deliver cosmetic procedures, I also offer services that improve the aesthetics of your smile. Ask us about porcelain veneers, dental implants, invisible braces, white fillings, inlays/onlays, and same-day teeth whitening. For more information, call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry today at 619-337-7700 or visit https://www.dentalimplants-sandiego.com.

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 7321

Gum Disease And Tooth Loss

gum disease treatment La Mesa

Do you know that the most frequent cause of tooth loss among adults is gum disease? Severe gum disease is called periodontitis. Regular check-ups with your dentist are critical, but there are warning signs for gum disease that everyone should be looking for.

Signs of Gum Disease

  • Gums that bleed frequently
  • Gums that are tender, swollen, or very red, or gums that have visible pus in between them when they are pushed
  • A bite that changes suddenly so that your teeth don’t seem to fit together correctly
  • Receding gums
  • A bad taste in the mouth or chronic bad breath
  • Loose or separating teeth

If you are experiencing these symptoms, talk to your dentist today. Since plaque causes gum disease, removing plaque through regular flossing is the key to healthy gums.

Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry treats all forms of gum disease. We take pride in caring for our patients and we want them to have healthy, beautiful smiles that they can be proud of. Our practice specializes in:

gum disease treatment
Invisalign
sedation dentistry
TMJ treatment

Have You Lost Teeth To Gum Disease?

Contact us at 619-337-7700 and a member of our friendly staff can make an appointment for you.

During your consultation, you can speak with Dr, Gray about tooth restoration with dental implants.

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 6724

Gently Now (Protect Your Gums When You Brush)

cosmetic dentistry La Mesa

Everyone wants nice, pearly whites so, naturally, we should brush our teeth more, right? The only issue with that is many individuals brush their teeth too aggressively, leading to receding gums.  You don’t want that.

Gum recession is when your gum line exposes more of your teeth, or in severe cases, your tooth root. It leads to a pocket of space between your teeth and gum line.  Decay-causing bacteria can grow and fester in that pocket. This leads to serious issues down the line. Even tooth loss.

Longer or Harder?

A common fallacy we hear occasionally at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry is the idea that if you want to brighten your teeth, you should scrub them really hard.

The best way to get pearly whites (and prevent cavities) is to brush longer, not harder. Gently brush your teeth until they’re squeaky clean. Run your tongue over them. Doesn’t that feel great?

When you are finished brushing, it’s time to floss. Be sure to get the floss down into the pocket between the gum and teeth.

Why?

Brushing longer and not harder is the key. When you brush your teeth quickly, you may not be getting all the fragments of food off. You don’t want the fragments of food to turn into plaque.

If you truly desire whiter teeth, make certain you brush your teeth in slow, circular motion for as close to five minutes as you can. Methodically go over each tooth on every surface. Plus your tongue. If five minutes is impossible, make sure you brush for at least two minutes. Set a timer on your phone. Play your favorite two-minute song.

Use a whitening toothpaste with fluoride. That way, you get all the recent gunk off and your teeth get a little bit whiter each time you brush. And the fluoride helps your teeth remineralize after eating or drinking enamel-weakening acidic foods and beverages.

Let’s Review

If you’re not careful, the way you brush your teeth can lead to gum recession. Gum recession can (and most likely will) cause a space to form between your teeth and gum line. This pocket collects bacteria. Bacteria cause cavities. Plus, if the gums continue to recede, the tooth can become loose.

Next, we discussed the proper motion and duration to brush your teeth. Finally, we went over the reasoning behind why all the aforementioned things are so important. Remember, you want a slow, circular motion for two to five minutes.

What If You Already Have Gum Recession?

Come talk to us at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry. We can talk about your options for reversing it.

What If You Want Your Teeth Whiter Than Whitening Toothpaste Can Make Them?

Whitening toothpaste can make your teeth a shade or two lighter. Professional in-office teeth whitening can make your teeth several shades whiter. In one visit, you can have a stunning white smile.

 

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8128

Not Your Mother’s Jewelry: 5 Reasons Tongue Piercings Are Dangerous

lip piercings La Mesa

Let’s get right to it; while tongue, cheek, and lip piercings are “so in” right now, here’s five reasons to keep piercings where they belong—in your ears:

  1. Excessive drooling—YIKES!
  2. Chipped teeth
  3. Infection (some even in places you wouldn’t think can get infected)
  4. Hypersensitivity to metal
  5. Nerve damage

Drooling

Lip and tongue piercings may make you look cool and edgy. They may express your personality and creativity. But they can cause repeated drooling. That may not be the look you’re going for.

Broken Teeth

Another important reason to keep piercings away from your mouth, lips, and tongue, is because having any metal in your mouth can chip your teeth. This can happen while eating, drinking, or sleeping. Or even while playing with said piercing.

Do you already have a tooth that’s broken? Repair these cracks early before more damage ensues.

Small cracks in a tooth can be filled or crowned. But often patients with piercings come in with more serious issues. These may require a root canal or tooth extraction.

Infection

Beware of infection. When it comes to oral piercings, you have to really watch the pierced area. Your mouth is a bacterial zoo, so to speak. Upon piercing anything in your mouth, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream. Neglecting correct brushing habits can lead to infection. As well as touching the piercing with dirty hands.

Hypersensitivity or Allergic Reaction to Metal

Many people love body jewelry. But too much of a good thing (like metal) can be bad. Having metal piercings can lead to hypersensitivity to any metal in your mouth, such as silverware. This is problematic for most people. (Stock up on plastic utensils!)

There is also the risk of an allergic reaction at the piercing site. If you have a sensitivity to certain metals, you can get your piercing in a metal you aren’t allergic to. But you are still in danger of the other risks discussed here.

Nerve Damage

Finally, there’s the risk of permanent nerve damage. If the previous dangers don’t dissuade you, this one should. Experiencing a numb tongue is usually temporary. But in extreme cases, like if you can’t stop playing with the piercing, it can become permanent.

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942

 

ArticleID 8156