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All Posts in Category: Los Angeles Dental Care

The Ultimate Guide for Flossing Your Teeth

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The Ultimate Guide for Flossing Your Teeth


Woman flossing teeth smiling using dental flush. Happy girl with perfect teeth and toothy smile. Dental care portrait of beautiful multiracial Asian Caucasian female isolated on white background, 20s.

You probably already know about traditional string floss. But do you know if you are using it correctly? People have been flossing for years. But Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie of Smile in LA says many patients are surprised to hear that they have been flossing the wrong way the entire time. There really is a wrong and right way to floss your teeth. Also, there are more tools for flossing available to you than you may think.

In addition to string floss, floss picks, water flosser, and interdental floss brushes are available to you in your local store! Each tool has it’s advantages and when used together can really optimize your oral health.

Below Dr. Louie provides you with ultimate guide to flossing. You can learn about proper flossing techniques as well as discover what tools are best to use in your oral care routine.


String Floss

String flossing is the most traditional tried-and-true technique to flossing that most individuals practice at home. If you notice light traces of blood on your floss or notice a bit of blood after flossing while brushing your teeth, you may be flossing to hard. Do your best to avoid forcing floss in between teeth. It can snap through all the way up to your gums and cause slight tissue damage. This tissue damage will cause gum sensitivity as well as cause light gum bleeding.

Use the visual below to see the proper technique that should be used while flossing with traditional string floss:

PicsArt_04-19-03.37.06

Floss Picks

Floss picks are essentially toothpicks with a strand of floss at the opposite end. They are used to floss in between teeth as well as pick food out that may get stuck behind wire braces. Since you can’t wrap your finger around the floss on a floss pick, you want to pay attention to how you floss. Do your best to avoid forcing the floss through your teeth. The best technique to use to gentle glide the floss upward back and forth until the floss is able to fit between your teeth comfortably. Guide the floss to rub up along the curvature of teeth along the top all the way until you pull it out repeating the process with each tooth.


Water Flosser

There is a long list of benefits that a water flosser can provide you. Water flossers are able to clean deeper into gum pockets than traditional floss reducing your chances of developing periodontal (gum) disease or gingivitis. This makes it especially beneficial for those who suffer from diabetes who are at greater risk for gum disease and gingival inflammation. Those who floss too hard and as a result suffer from light gum bleeding can also greatly benefit from using a water flosser. A water flosser can also greatly assist those with orthodontic appliances! Especially those with braces who struggle flossing around their wire framing. The way a water flosser works is that it utilizes water pressure to essentially blast away plaque and stuck on food.

Floss Your Teeth


Interdental Brushes

Many people have implemented flossing into their oral health routine, but not enough people have integrated interproximal plaque removal as a part of their oral hygiene habits. Interdental brushes remove plaque that builds in between larger gaps of teeth. Gaps that are too wide for thin traditional floss to clean. Interdental brushes really do combine the best of both worlds – flossing and brushing! To use an interdental brush, you want to first figure out what size brush you need. Do your best to avoid forcing larger interdental brushes into tight places. Never force the interdental brush into your gums. It will cause damage and possible bleeding of gums. The bigger the gap you are trying to clean, then the wider or thicker the interdental brush needed will be. Once you have figured out what size you need, you then simply place the interdental brush in between the gap and slide it back and forth to in a sense brush the sides of the tooth clean removing plaque as you move along. Los Angeles dentist Dr. Louie also advises to invest in an interdental brush that can bend at a 90 degree angle to reach those tough bicuspids and molars.


Utilizing these techniques while flossing every morning and night can greatly benefit your oral hygiene. Be sure to maintain a healthy smile by scheduling your next routine dental visit with Los Angeles dentist Dr. Shervin Louie of Smile in LA. Don’t forget to share this blog post with friends and family to ensure everyone’s oral health is in good standing.

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Benefits of Warm Salt Water and Vitamin C for Gum Health

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Gum Health Los Angeles

For those of you wishing to avoid antibiotics for gum disease, natural remedies may offer relief, depending on the severity of the infection. According to Dr. Shervin Louie, your Los Angeles dentist infections in the gums can form from various reasons ranging from injury to the tissue, and more commonly, to the presence of periodontal gum disease. Because natural remedies may not fully remove a gum infection, a dentist should be consulted if pain, swelling, bleeding or redness persists.


Warm Salt Water

For the early stages of gum infections or irritation, rinsing the mouth with warm salt water may be helpful in preventing the infection from fully forming. According to Dr. Louie, your Los Angeles dentist a graduate and past faculty member of USC, you should dissolve one teaspoon of salt into a 8oz cup of warm water. The water should be as warm as you can stand it. Allow the salt to fully dissolve and rinse the mouth for 2 minutes, twice a day, after breakfast and before bedtime.

Warm Salt Water

 

 


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for overall health of the body, and especially for the gums and teeth. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that fight infection and help to build strong, healthy gums. Vitamin C powder can be topically applied to gums that are irritated or infected. This should be done several times a day and repeated until the infection is gone, according to Dr. Louie.

In addition, grapefruit seed extract, which is high in vitamin C, can be used to treat a gum infection. This product is high in antioxidants and possesses antibiotic properties as well, helping to fight oral disease. A drop or two can be added to the toothbrush when brushing once or twice a day. Alternatively, make a swish with a few drops of grapefruit seed extract in a cup of water and rinse the mouth until the infection is gone.

Lime for Vitamin C

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Oscillating Power Toothbrush Hollywood

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power toothbrushOscillating Power Toothbrush Hollywood brushes–those that rotate in one direction and then the other–removed up to 11% more plaque and reduced bleeding of the gums by up to 17% more than manual or other power toothbrushes, according to results compiled by the Manchester, England-based Cochrane Oral Health Group, which analyzed data from clinical trials conducted over 37 years.

The Cochrane study extracted data from reports on 29 clinical trials involving 2,547 participants in North America, Europe and Israel. Some of the trials dated back to 1964, while others contained data from as recently as 2001.

The trials compared the effectiveness of all forms of manual and six types of power toothbrushes with mechanically moving heads used over one-month and three-month periods.

According to the findings for Evidence-Based Dentistry, only the rotational oscillation toothbrushes proved more effective than manual toothbrushes in reducing plaque and gingivitis. The results did not explain why the rotational oscillation toothbrushes were more effective than power toothbrushes with only circular or side-to-side motion.

While the study does not deal with long-term benefits to dental health, Dr. Shervin Louie your Los Angeles dentist believe that it’s a preventive step. It reduce bacterial plaque that causes disease he said of the rotating oscillating brushes. The motion of power toothbrushes is up to 100 times that of manual brushing.

That still doesn’t mean that every man, woman and child should abandon the toothbrush that they’re currently using.

Someone using the simplest manual toothbrush with good knowledge of how to brush and conscientious brushing can do just as well as somebody using a power toothbrush regardless of the design.

What this review is telling you is that an average person putting in an average effort is going to see a better effect than using other brushes. If you can afford a rotational oscillating power toothbrush and it feels good to you, it offers modest improvement in ability to clean your teeth, then buy one.

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Preparing for a Dental Emergency

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blog pictNo matter how impeccable your oral hygiene is, dental emergencies may happen. This is especially true during the summer months when it is warm outside and you spend a lot of time participating in activities like bike riding, playing football or other outdoor sports. While these activities are fun, they put us at risk of damaging our teeth due to things like falling or getting hit in the face with a ball. Fortunately, when dental emergencies arise, a cosmetic dentist can often save your teeth. It is best to try to avoid dental accidents if at all possible, but when a dental emergency does arise, knowing what to do can make all the difference at being able to save your tooth. Here is what you need to know.

A Tooth that’s Been Knocked Out or Damaged In Some Way

If your face suffers from some kind of impact, you can lose a tooth. This impact can be caused from things like tripping and falling down or a hard hit during a recreational sport. No matter what causes your tooth to be knocked out, you need to take action immediately. Your first step should be to take the tooth that’s been dislodged and rinse it off with water. Put the tooth back into place and contact your Los Angeles dentist. If you aren’t able to put the tooth back into the socket, put it in either a cup of salt water or milk. This will help save your tooth.

When the Soft Tissue Has Been Injured

In addition to your teeth being knocked out or damaged, other areas of your mouth can be injured as well. These areas include your gums, lips, cheeks and tongue. You will notice that these areas are injured if you experience any sort of pain, bleeding or swelling. If any of these symptoms do occur, you need to put warm water in a cup and rinse out your mouth with it. For bleeding, use moistened gauze and apply direct pressure to the area. If you don’t have any gauze on hand you can use a tea bag as well. Bleeding should stop in 30 minutes or less. If it doesn’t, or it tends to get worse, this is a dental emergency. For swelling, you can use a cold compress on the outside of the mouth or cheek.

In conclusion, if your mouth hurts, it’s considered a dental emergency. You should not delay visiting your Los Angeles dentist as the problem can often get worse. The sooner you get into your cosmetic dentist to be seen, the greater chance you have of a better outcome.

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Why Sports and Energy Drinks are Not Good for Your Oral Health

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blog pictAs young people become more and more active, it is also important that they become more cautious. When young people participate in fun activities such as basketball, swimming, football and skateboarding, they are putting themselves at risk of injury. Each year tons of unexpected injuries can lead to lost or damaged teeth. Although many of these injuries can be avoided, it is imperative to take quick action when they do occur. Dr. Louie, dentist in Los Angeles, sets aside specific times to treat this array of dental injuries.

When playing a sport, it is very possible to lose one or multiple teeth. It is very important that if this occurs, patients quickly retrieve the dislodged tooth and put it in water to rinse. It is also very important not to remove any tissue during this process. Those who are injured also have the option of placing the tooth in a small cup of milk or salt water solution until they can get to the dentist. The quicker you get to a cosmetic dentist like Dr. Louie, the greater the chance of saving the tooth.

Many people are surprised to learn that sports drinks along with energy drinks can also cause damage to a person’s teeth. Many studies show that the increase in the use of sports drinks has created a rise in irreversible damage to teeth. Many people began drinking energy drinks hoping to gain extra energy to help them with their athletic performance. They are convinced that these drinks are a great alternative to soda. However, the reality is that these drinks are loaded with acid that cause harm to teeth. When you consume these drinks, you are essentially bathing your teeth in acid.

Educating the public about the downside of consuming sports drinks is an important next step. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), 30 to 50 percent of teenagers in the US consume energy drinks. Of that group, more than 62 percent consume at least one sports drink per day. That means a high percentage of young people are doing damage to their teeth on a daily basis. Many of these kids have no idea the effect a sports drink can have on their health. Many dentists recommend teenagers limit the consumption of these drinks. Also, they recommend chewing sugar-free gum. When they do consume sports drinks, young people should rinse their mouths out with water afterwards.

Protecting your teeth is an important job which should be taken seriously. Taking precautions could ultimately determine just how bright your smile will be.

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Dentist Los Angeles, CA – Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Attack

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Gum-DiseaseGum Disease Contributes to Heart Attack

While several theories currently exist to explain the link between periodontal disease and heart disease, one thing is clear – the health of your mouth directly relates to the health of your body. Like a window to the rest of your body, the health of your mouth can significantly affect your overall health. So when it comes time for your dental appointment don’t skip out. Help protect your heart by taking proper care of your dental health to further prevent the development of gum disease.

Dr. Shervin Louie, dentist Los Angeles, places a strong emphasis on the importance of proper oral health care to protect you from heart attack and even stroke. It has been stated that the oral bacteria can affect the heart when entering the blood stream, attaching to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries and contributing to clot formation, which can obstruct normal blood flow. This obstruction can restrict the amount of nutrients and oxygen required for the heart to function properly, resulting in a heart attack.

Researchers continue to find that those who have periodontal (gum) disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack as those without gum disease. What does this mean for you? Dr. Louie, Los Angeles family dentist, urges you to maintain your regular appointments with his office in order to further prevent the development of gum disease. With routine dental checkups, you can ensure that your mouth is healthy, and, if it isn’t, Dr. Louie can help get you on the right track to further prevent systemic complications such as heart attack or stroke.

If you are at risk for heart disease, Dr. Shervin Louie, Beverly Hills dentist, offers helpful tips to help save your life:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Control any conditions that increase risk
  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Maintain regular visits with his office

If you keep your mouth clean, it is very hard for bacteria that cause periodontal disease to get started. You will even experience fewer fillings, healthier gums, and a brighter smile. So begin now and take the next step towards a healthy smile and body.

For further information on how to properly care for your teeth to prevent gum disease and protect your body from systemic complications, contact Dr. Shervin Louie, your dentist in Beverly Hills.

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Preventing the Accumulation of Plaque and Tartar

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Plaque and Tartar Prevention

Dental plaque is formed by colonizing bacteria and sugars in the foods we eat. According to Dr. Shervin Louie, plaque that is not effectively removed may develop into tartar, a hardened deposit that is also called calculus. Once tartar has developed, you will need to make a visit to our Los Angeles Dentist to have it professionally removed through a process called scaling.

Plaque begins to develop quite quickly after a meal or snack, and the bacteria in our mouths begin to launch an acidic attack against the enamel of our teeth, softening them and making them vulnerable to decay. When the offending plaque is removed through brushing and flossing, our teeth have a chance to harden again through a process called remineralization. If the plaque is allowed to remain, the decay process continues and can worsen, leading to cavities, abscesses, or tooth loss.

Tartar often forms along the gumline, forming an unsightly yellow or brown thickened surface on the teeth. It is cosmetically unattractive, but because it is very porous, it can also encourage the formation of more plaque. More plaque can lead to more decay and more tartar, creating a vicious cycle. According to Dr. Shervin Louie, both tartar and plaque irritate and inflame the gums, creating a high risk for gum disease.

Ultimately, plaque and tartar buildup are two of the biggest risk factors for gum disease and tooth loss, and both are highly preventable through adequate oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. A visit to our Los Angeles dentist every six months ensures a thorough cleaning to remove plaque and tartar you can’t see or reach, as well as a checkup for early signs of other oral health problems

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Los Angeles Dental Care – Link between dental x-rays and brain tumors

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Los Angeles Dental Care

A study recently published in the journal Cancer shows that people who have had dental X-rays are more likely to develop a type of brain tumor called meningioma than those who have not.

This does not prove that dental X-rays cause tumors. But it supports previous research about the connection. But there’s still significant doubt about the existence of any direct relationship between meningioma and dental X-rays, and dental professionals were quick to call for more research, saying the study was less than perfect.

Dr. Louie, your Los Angeles dentist feels that media has hyped up this issue in regards to dental x-rays and brain tumors. Looking at the facts, there is no concrete evidence connecting the two according to him.

Further morethe American Dental Association recommends that dentists be judicious in their use of X-rays. For patients whose teeth are healthy and who are not at increased risk of developing cavities, the ADA suggests children have X-rays about every one to two years; adolescents, every year and a half to three years; and adults, every two to three years.

In a statement, the ADA noted the study’s potential flaws and encouraged further research: “[T]he results rely on the individuals’ memories of having dental x-rays taken years earlier. Studies have shown that the ability to recall information is often imperfect. . . . Also, the study acknowledges that some of the subjects received dental x-rays decades ago when radiation exposure was greater. Radiation rates were higher in the past due to the use of old x-ray technology and slower speed film.”

Our Los Angeles Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Shervin Louie offers one of the latest technological advances in digital x-rays. A sensor is placed in the mouth and a computer generates an image in 5 seconds, as opposed to the general 4- to 6-minute wait time for images taken on dental film. These x-rays may also be enhanced and/or enlarged on the computer.

Not only are these x-rays friendly to the environment, they are much safer than traditional x-rays. Digital x-rays reduce radiation exposure by more than 90 percent.

The office of Dr. Shervin Louie, your Los Angeles Larchmont Village Dentist is equipt with digital x-ray units.

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Dental Fillings Los Angeles: Mercury/Silver(Metal) vs. White (Resin) filling

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Dental Fillings Los Angeles

A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used to restore the function, integrity and morphology of missing tooth structure. Without restoration, bacteria are able to gain access to the interior structure of the tooth, causing further damage. Several filling materials exist, but mercury/silver and white/resin are the two most commonly used. If you have broken or decayed teeth, Dr. Shervin M. Louie has laid out the difference between these two fillings to help you decide which may be right for your situation.

Mercury/Silver fillings have a high metal content that makes them capable of withstanding strong bite forces. These fillings are fairly inexpensive, but because they contain mercury, many people are uncomfortable with their use.

Mercury/Silver fillings are not advised for pregnant women or people with certain health conditions and also increase the risk of sensitivity in the restored tooth. Because retention grooves must be created before placement, more tooth structure is removed than with other types of fillings, which weakens the tooth.

White/Resin fillings, on the other hand, are made of an acrylic and glass composite. White, or composite, fillings are natural looking and harden quickly, allowing patients to eat and drink immediately without having to worry about damaging their new filling. White fillings also bond directly to the tooth, resulting in a overall stronger tooth. White fillings tend to cost more than Mercury/Silver fillings.

Teeth at least should be brushed twice and flossed once daily. If you have a cracked or damaged tooth or are suffering from dental decay, call us and you can speak to Dr. Shervin M. Louie our Los Angeles dentist about which filling material may be best for you.

Dr. Shervin M. Louie provides many dental treatments, including dental implants, dental veneers, Lumineers, Invisalign and many teeth whitening treatments.

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Smile in LA – Little Known Secrets for a Celebrity Smile

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Simple habit modification and diet can lead you to a brighter and better smile. According to Dr. Louie, your Los Angeles dentist, and the American Dental Association (ADA) , below are three tips to gain confidence when making that picture perfect smile of yours.

1. Lower the frequency of eating food that is high in sugar.

Did you know that many foods other than candy promote tooth decay? Bacteria feed on the sugar of candy creating cavity causing acid. Bacteria, however, not only use candy to create acid but can also use any food which contains sugars and other carbohydrates. This includes chocolates, fruits, chips, peanut butter and other foods.

What can you do to protect yourself? Well brushing after meals helps by removing both the bacteria and the left over food particles which the bacteria feast on. If you cannot brush, try washing food down with liquids ensuring that less food remains on teeth. Chewing sugarless gum also helps because this stimulates saliva flow. Saliva acts as a natural plaque fighting substance and fights bad breath.

2. Try to brush your teeth gently.

Nearly two out of three people damage their own teeth by brushing too hard. It takes very little pressure to remove bacteria, food, and plaque. Unfortunately, most people apply three to four times the necessary brushing pressure causing damage to teeth and gums. This damage includes: receding gums, sensitive teeth, notched teeth, and root cavities.

3. Too much coffee.

Coffee is one of the most dangerous threats to your smile. Coffee stains teeth destroying your naturally white smile. Worst yet, because most people sip coffee throughout the day, bacteria are provided with a constant source of sugar from which to produce cavity causing acid.

In addition, coffee can cause small fractures in teeth called crazes. These occur when the teeth are forced to expand and contract as a result of being exposed to hot foods or liquids. These hot and cold cycles occur when we drink hot coffee. Over a prolonged period of time, this will create crazes in the teeth.

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