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All Posts in Category: Dental Care

Are You Brushing Your Teeth Differently?

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Woman flossing teeth

When patients are asked about their brushing habits, the common response is how hard can it be? Most patients are actually surprised to hear that oral discomfort and other conditions can indeed be the result of incorrect teeth brushing methods. One of the most valuable parts of your appearance is your smile, if you brush it differently than others, are you really sure that your teeth are getting thoroughly cleaned? 

Here are several teeth brushing techniques that your dentist recommends.

Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

Not all toothbrushes are made the same when it comes to quality and material. Do not select your toothbrush by its color and design. Find a toothbrush that has soft bristles that will not be too irritating to your teeth and gums. There are toothbrushes which feature the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval, this can help you determine the brushes that meet official quality standards. 

Brush at a 45-Degree Angle 

When brushing your teeth early, aim your brush at a 45-degree angle inside your mouth. This angle is particularly effective because the toothbrush can clean your gum line. Without the proper cleaning styles performed each day, gum disease or infections can occur. 

Use Shorter and More Rounded Strokes 

Cartoons and shows may exaggerate teeth brushing as a simple left and right motion. However, this technique is not as sufficient as using a more circular motion in cleaning your teeth. Instead of brushing aggressively, use a softer circular motion that is more akin to massaging your teeth, rather than scrubbing them. 

Take the Necessary Time to Clean 

The dentist recommends brushing for at least two minutes per session, twice per day. You can take more time as well, which will help you thoroughly clean your teeth. 

For additional information on good teeth cleaning or brushing habits, contact the office of Dr. Shervin M. Louie today.

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What Kind of Dental Crowns Are Best for You?

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Choosing what type of dental crown is right is a tough choice to make. After all, it’s going to be in your mouth and if it’s not perfect, it will affect the way you look, the way you talk, the way you chew, and will affect your other teeth. So how do you make such a critical decision that could affect so much? What are your choices?


One of the key considerations will be color because not everybody loves the idea of looking like a bad Bond villain with a discolored front tooth. For front teeth, porcelain and ceramics fused with metal will be most commonly used as they are relatively easy to blend the color with your own teeth. This will mean nobody will even know that one of them is a crown. If you want to be bold and have either a metal or gold front tooth, this is possible too, but obviously, this is a big decision to make because it is not subtle and will show every time you smile or speak.


Crowns come in all different types of materials and not every material is suitable for every placement. Metal alloys and gold crowns are the strongest crowns. They don’t wear down, they don’t chip or break. If you grind your teeth, this would be an excellent choice as they have the best resistance to wear. Metal and alloys stay so smooth, they don’t aggravate the teeth next to them. This would make them the ideal material to place everywhere, but due to the color they do tend to only be used for back teeth where their strength suits them.

Porcelain and porcelain infused with metal base are tough too, but they can chip and break. If used for back teeth, they are a little more likely to become damaged if you grind your teeth. Porcelain can also become a little rough. If this occurs, then the teeth that are next to them can quickly become roughed and sensitive.


Every crown requires the tooth that it is going to be cemented onto is prepared and filed for a good fix. Some require more of the natural tooth to be taken away than others. A metal alloy requires the least natural tooth to be removed, which is obviously better for the mouth in general. If a crown ever comes out, it is rare that it doesn’t cause some damage to the remaining tooth, so to have more left behind is good.


The final thing to consider is price. Each type of crown has a different cost associated with it so you should talk to your cosmetic dentist about pricing and payment schemes for all dental crowns and pick the best fit for you and your budget.

Choosing the right dental crowns is a big undertaking. Hopefully this article has helped you understand what the factors are in getting the right fit.

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What to Expect from Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction

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A wisdom tooth extraction is a type of dental surgery that is either performed by your dentist or an oral surgeon. The purpose of the surgery is to remove one or more of your wisdom teeth, which are the third set of adult molars in the back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth usually appear in your late teens or early twenties. If your dentist recommends getting them removed, here is what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.

Preparing Before the Surgery

Wisdom tooth extraction is a fairly common procedure, so you will be able to go home after it is over. Since you will be given anesthesia, have a friend accompany you to the dentist’s office so they can drive you home. You should also ask your dentist if you need to fast before the surgery and if so for how long. Also, let your dentist know of any medications that you take so they can check to see if it is okay to take them before surgery. Feel free to ask your dentist any questions about the procedure, so you have a full understanding of what will happen.

During the Procedure

Anesthesia is used to eliminate pain during the procedure. If you are given a local anesthetic, you will stay awake during the procedure but aside from some pressure, you will not feel any pain. If you are given sedation or general anesthesia, you will be given either an intravenous line in your arm or breathe in medication that you make you fall asleep. You are monitored by a surgical team and when you wake up, the procedure will be finished. During the procedure, the dentist cuts into your gums to expose the wisdom teeth. The teeth are then removed and the cut is stitched up. Gauze is placed in your mouth to control bleeding.

Recovery after Surgery

Once the procedure is over, you will take some time to recover either in the chair you had the procedure in or another room. Once you go back home, take it easy for the rest of the day. You can go back to a normal schedule the following day, but avoid strenuous activities for about a week. Eat soft foods for a few days and take over-the-counter medications that contain acetaminophen for pain relief. Do not brush your teeth or spit for about a day after the surgery as it may loosen the blood clot at the incision site. In order to clean your mouth after meals, you can rinse your mouth with warm salt water. If you experience any symptoms such as fever or numbness, contact your dentist immediately.

In Conclusion

Every year, about five million people get their wisdom teeth removed. While it is a common procedure, it is important to prepare yourself before you arrive for the surgery. Make sure to listen to your dentist’s instructions to ensure a smooth procedure and recovery time.

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Reducing Anxiety Ahead of Dental Visits

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Does the thought of going to the dentist make you a little anxious? You’re in good company since a third of Americans don’t see one regularly largely for that reason. The good news is that Dr. Shervin M. Louie and the office staff will do everything possible to make you feel completely comfortable when you visit.

You can get to know us in advance by going to www.smileinla.com. Read Dr. Louie’s impressive biography, which includes being in private practice since 1996. He also received an award for 10 years of service as a clinical professor at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in 2006. Dr. Victoria Naiman has the distinction of having a degree in dental hygiene and dentistry. You may also enjoy reading about all of our friendly and well-trained staff members.

You can listen to our patients talk about their positive experiences with us in the video testimonials right here.

Anxious about the possibility of pain during a dental procedure? We use the latest technology, such as lasers, techniques, and medications to be sure your experience will always be painless. For example, we use topical anesthetics to numb the area where we will administer an injection. We ask you to confirm when you are ready or to let us know if you feel any discomfort. And we can provide complete sedation, as needed.

Wondering how we can help you? The more you know, the more you will not only feel less anxious about coming to see us. You will realize we will be an important way to improve how you look and feel, as well as helping you to avoid unnecessary complications and pain. Browse our website for a description of our services, which include cosmetic dentistry, treatment of gum disease, Invisalign to straighten teeth, and dental implants to replace lost teeth or those that need to be extracted.

Worried about being able to afford quality care? We have a variety of ways to help you finance the highest quality dental care.

Concerned about whether it is safe to come in during this time of the COVID-19 crisis? Our office has always followed strict disinfection and cleaning strategies. As we explain here, we are following the guidelines from the American Dental Association to be sure all patients feel safe. These include the staff wearing masks and disposable gowns, screening patients to be sure they do not have symptoms of illness, and scheduling appointments so there is social distancing in the waiting room. You will be safer here than almost anywhere else. 

We can promise that when you leave our office, you will feel a new confidence in the future of your oral health.

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Porcelain Veneers Add More Radiance to Your Smile

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A highly sought cosmetic dentistry solution, porcelain veneers are developed to treat a multitude of cosmetic concerns at the same time. With its benefits in concealing chips, cracks, gaps, tooth discoloration, and mild forms of misalignment, porcelain veneers provide flexible advantages to an aesthetically improved smile. If you have to cover your teeth when you smile or laugh, then porcelain veneers can help you reassert a sense of pride in your smile. 

A porcelain veneer can be tailored to match the natural color and shade of your surrounding original teeth. These improvements can provide the look of a healthy smile that does not have to be hidden on social occasions. With this advanced cosmetic treatment, you can transform the aesthetics and presentation of your teeth. 

Our dental veneers are created from durable porcelain material that is precisely molded to provide the best fit and appearance. These restorations are affixed to the visible portion of the affected tooth with a strong bonding agent, your porcelain veneers can create beautiful results that with proper care and maintenance, can last for decades. 

For additional information about porcelain veneers, the procedure, or to schedule an appointment, contact our team today.

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Risks of Oral Cancer

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Many dentists are constantly looking to recognize and understand the causes of oral cancer., but the issue is complex. There are five commonly identified factors that may place patients at greater risk of developing these conditions. Here are five of them below

Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that is associated with about 9,000 cases of head and neck cancer (specifically those occurring at the back of the tongue, in or around the tonsils) diagnosed each year in the United States.

According to the American Cancer Society, male patients have a twice as high probability of being diagnosed with oral cancer than women. In addition, they have a death rate that is twice as higher as women. These figures are attributed to the higher rates of alcohol and tobacco use among men. In addition, higher HPV rates among young men have been a reference as a factor.

Whether smoked or chewed, tobacco has a dramatic effect on the risks of oral cancer. Pipe smokers also have a higher risk of developing cancer on their lips. In addition, even smokeless tobacco can lead to cancer of the cheeks, gums, and lips.

According to the American Cancer Society, 7 of 10 oral cancer patients have a history of alcohol use, and heavy drinking. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) characterizes heavy drinking as having an average of two drinks a day or more. These rates were observed to be higher in men than in women.

Infrequent Dental Visits and Check-Ups
One of the earliest options for treatment and defense against oral cancer is early detection. Every time you visit the dentist, you can assess your tongue, teeth, gums, and every other surface in the mouth. Your dentist is not only checking for plaque buildup and cavities, but also for early signs of oral cancer. If left untreated, oral cancer can spread to other parts of the body and become more difficult and costly to manage.

These are just five of the most prominent risk factors associated with oral cancer. Nearly all of these factors stem from lifestyle choices. Patients who choose to over-consume alcohol or smoke are recommended to schedule regular dental check-ups to find early signs of this condition. To schedule one now, contact our dental team today.

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Reinforcing Your Immune System in a Pandemic

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With the coronavirus wreaking havoc in every corner of the globe, we’re forced to remain isolated at home and brace for the worst case scenario. Until a vaccine is developed, our only internal line of defense against COVID-19 is our immune systems. The degree of symptoms vary from person to person with the most common symptoms being a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It’s good to prepare your immune system just in case you’re infected, so here are a few tips on ensuring your immune system is pandemic battle ready:

1. Reduce Stress

We understand it’s hard not to stress out as we’re forced into social isolation, the economy has entered a recession, and none of us have a timeline of when things will go back to normal. However, stress releases hormones that affect your immune system and can make it less effective should you get infected. There are many ways to reduce stress: try meditation, exercise regularly, and take breaks to clear your mind.

2. Reduce inflammation

There are many foods that can cause inflammation in your body, such as sugar, processed meat, and alcohol. It’s good to avoid these foods so that your immune system’s resources can be diverted to fighting disease rather than food-related inflammation.

3. Exercise

Exercising three times a week can do wonders for boosting the immune system. Spending 30 minutes jogging at a moderate pace is a good approach. If you go too hard during each workout, then this can stress the body and have a negative effect, so keep exercise moderate and not strenuous.

4. Avoid toxins

Toxins such as mycotoxin from mold are brutal on the immune system. Other toxins can also be found in pesticides, chlorinated water, aromatic air fresheners, and general air pollution. Try and avoid these as much as possible so that they don’t heavily tax your immune system.

5. Rest

Finally, get adequate rest. Nothing hinders an immune system more than poor sleep and exhaustion. Times are stressful, but try to keep work-life balance in check as you work from home, and sleep on a consistent eight hour schedule.

Following these tips can ensure your immune system is in the best position to withstand any infection, including the current coronavirus. Stay healthy and safe.

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Keeping Your Smile Healthy for 2020

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It’s a new year! With 2020, there is this newfound excitement of working on yourself and living a healthier and happier life. While doing so, you can’t ignore having the perfect smile for all the memories you’ll make this year. In order to keep your smile healthy for 2020, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps:

1. Keep Brushing And Flossing

One of the most important steps that you need to implement to ensure a strict and effective home regimen for your oral health. This includes brushing and flossing your teeth two times a day, every day for at least two minutes per session. You also need to be aware of the right technique for home oral health.

  • Brush all the teeth every time, and be consistent when brushing across each tooth.
  • Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle gently against the gum line.
  • Brush from the base of the tooth up to the chewing surface.
  • Use short, round strokes for the front and the back of teeth.
  • Use short, sweeping strokes for the chewing surfaces.
  • Brush the tongue and roof of the mouth from back to front.
  • Replace toothbrushes every few months, or after any illness.
  • Floss every night before bed. 

2. Visit A Dentist Regularly

For this new year, make sure you’re visiting a dentist on a regular basis. Remember that preventive dentistry is much better (and less painful) than corrective dentistry. The best part is that you only need to see your dentist twice a year. If you wish to visit them more, you are free to do so. By visiting your cosmetic dentist regularly, you will be able to prevent any major dental conditions and your dentist will be able to maintain the required hygiene standards. If there are any existing conditions, your dentist will be able to identify them on time and help with the steps ahead.

3. Focus On A Healthy Diet

Diet is often ignored when it comes to oral health. However, food plays a crucial role in giving you the perfect smile for 2020. Food items like milk and other dairy products provide calcium that strengthens your teeth while whole grains and portions of pasta provide abundant nutrients to keep teeth and gums healthy. By maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, you are ensuring 360-degree wellness for your body and even your oral health.

By following these simple steps, you’ll keep your smile intact and healthy well into 2020.

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Why Professional Teeth Whitening Works Over OTC Options

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Pearly whites are highly sought after when it comes to having a picture-perfect smile. For may reasons, teeth often don’t have the whiteness or the luster. The cause of this ranges from tobacco use, coffee and wine stains, bad oral hygiene, etc. 

While yellow teeth aren’t harmful, they can affect one’s self-confidence and self-esteem. For those who want to do something about it, teeth whitening is a safe and effective option. There are two ways one can approach the treatment, either through a professional or with OTC teeth cleaning kits. While both of these methods are safe and effective, there’s a good reason to prefer a professional treatment over using OTC products.

1. It’s personalized

When opting for a professional treatment, dentists have the ability to analyze the severity (or lack thereof) of the discoloration. This allows them to recommend the right treatment and methods to get the best results possible. Everyone is different and their requirements differ too. Over the counter kits are standardized kits that are mass-marketed and thus won’t be able to cater to an individual’s needs and requirements.

2. It’s much safer

Dental bleaching although effective can have its side effects, especially if one has conditions that they aren’t aware of. While at-home kits are generally safe to use, they are also done in an unregulated environment. A small misstep can cause damage to the teeth. 

When done professionally, teeth whitening is done in a controlled environment by professionals that have years of experience under their belt. This makes the procedure safer. There are also various safety measures that are put into place to protect sensitive areas such as gums from the process.

3. The results are better

The biggest disadvantage of an at-home kit is that the results are highly unpredictable. The results often differ from person to person. Even with regular use, the shade change is not fixed and can vary. With professional treatments, there is a lack of a surprise element. The tools, equipment, and procedure used during the process guarantee a particular level of increase in the shade of the teeth. 

In Conclusion

Teeth whitening is a way to feel happy and confident and everyone deserves to experience this. Professional teeth cleaning is a way to assure that one receives the best of care, treatment and advice before, during and after the procedure, thus making the experience a lot safer and more effective in the long run.

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Recognizing Signs that You Have Periodontal Disease

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Recognizing Signs that You Have Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is basically gum disease. 

Before the inflammation of the gum tissues surrounding the teeth morphs into periodontal disease, it’s known as gingivitis. 

However, not all cases of gingivitis progress to periodontal disease.

Signs of periodontal disease

  • Swollen gums
  • Red or purplish gums
  • Gums recede when pulled back
  • The gums are tender to the touch and bleed easily
  • Loose teeth because of the gums
  • Misaligned bite because teeth don’t fit together properly
  • Pus between the teeth

The above symptoms are typical for the three types of periodontal disease, with a few variations.

Chronic periodontal disease

This type of gum disease is prevalent in adults and is caused by the buildup of plaque. 

The disease permeates the gums progressively with the above symptoms occurring in phases over long periods of time. This type of periodontal disease is primarily as a result of poor oral hygiene.

Aggressive periodontal disease

When gum disease starts in childhood or puberty, it’s usually a hereditary condition that runs in the family. 

Unfortunately, aggressive periodontitis progresses rapidly and the time between the onset of the symptoms and actual tooth loss is very short and can have adverse effects when left untreated. 

This aggressive form of gum disease affects a small population.

Necrotizing periodontal disease

This gum disease is the most devastating form of the condition according to periodontists

The effects of necrotizing periodontitis include the death of the tissues, ligaments, and destruction of the bones around the teeth. 

These effects are caused by a lack of blood supply to the tooth, which results in very severe infection. This type of infection occurs in people with a suppressed immune system like people undergoing chemotherapy, HIV infected patients, and even severely malnourished individuals.

Periodontal disease can be avoided most of the time by focusing on sound oral health and having regular dental check-ups.

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