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Dental Infections

May 12th, 2021

Dr. Zoe Huang, Dr. Zoryana Brodsky, Dr. Stephan Yoon, Dr. Mandy Leung, and Dr. Enejan Hanamova and our team at Live & Smile Dental & Orthodontics will tell you that dental infections can be very serious; sometimes, they develop into a life-threatening situation. Cavities are caused by acid-generating microorganisms that deposit themselves on teeth surfaces. Over time, acid erodes tooth enamel, compromising tooth strength. The major culprit or cause of cavities is sweets, but even diet soda plays a substantial role in tooth erosion, largely because the phosphoric acid it contains alters the oral pH. Cavities can pave the way for other, more serious infections to develop.

Types of infections

Pulpitis

Pulpitis is an inflammation of the tooth pulp. It typically occurs when cavities get deep enough to allow infection to reach the pulp. When this happens, bacteria travel through the pit or fissure that the cavity created. It can also develop from a fractured tooth. The symptoms may include moderate pain that comes and goes. Pain may intensify when cold liquids touch the pulp.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a consequence of chronic gingivitis, which occurs when the supportive bone structure of the tooth erodes, causing the periodontal tooth ligament to detach from the tooth. Kids between the ages of 12 and 17 and adults over age 30 are most likely to develop this disease. In severe cases of periodontitis, a periodontal abscess may form. Symptoms of the infection typically include redness, sensitivity to touch, and swelling.

Pericoronitis

Pericoronitis is an infection that occurs when food particles and other microorganisms get trapped under gum flaps. It typically happens when impacted wisdom teeth erupt. Pain at the site of the infection is a common symptom. You should try to prevent food particles from lodging in the gingivitis flaps.

Dental abscesses

A dental abscess is one of the most serious dental infections anyone can get. It begins at the base of the tooth, but without treatment can spread rapidly. When the abscess is more severe, the bacteria spread, often very rapidly, and cause severe facial swelling, pain, and discomfort.

The best way to minimize the risk of developing a dental infection is by practicing good oral hygiene, making sure that food or other particles aren’t trapped between the teeth for too long, flossing, using oral rinses that bear the ADA seal of approval, and seeing the dentist regularly. If or when there are any symptoms of infection, even if the only symptom is pain, be sure to visit the dentist. Early intervention may prevent the infection from escalating into something far more severe, painful, and costly to treat.

To learn more about dental infections, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Zoe Huang, Dr. Zoryana Brodsky, Dr. Stephan Yoon, Dr. Mandy Leung, and Dr. Enejan Hanamova, please give us a call at our convenient Dublin, CA office!

Mouthguard Protection

May 5th, 2021

Let’s talk about mouthguards.

We could talk about how important wearing a mouthguard is when you lead an active life. If you play sports, ride bikes, skateboard, or participate in many other kinds of exercise, mouthguards protect your teeth, mouth tissue, and jaws from accidents. 

Or we could talk about how wearing a mouthguard while you’re wearing braces has extra benefits. Besides its normal protection, your guard helps protect your brackets and wires from damaging contact, and your delicate mouth tissue from impact with your braces.

But we’re not going to talk about any of these important topics today. Instead of looking at how your mouthguard protects you, today we’re going to look at how you can protect your mouthguard.

If you want your guard to last longer, work better, and stay (and smell!) cleaner, some basic tips make all the difference.

  • Keep your guard clean.

This can’t be stressed enough. Without a good cleaning routine, your guard can become discolored, develop an unpleasant odor, and even cause illness. Not very appealing, right? Happily, keeping your mouthguard clean isn’t difficult.

When you wear your guard, the same plaque that is present in your mouth makes itself at home in your appliance. And when your guard is in its case, that dark, moist environment makes it a perfect breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

As soon as you take your mouthguard out, rinse it off. Brush with a soft toothbrush to remove all the plaque, saliva, or food debris that might be lingering in your appliance. (If you are on the playing field, in the park, or at some other inconvenient location, rinse it and brush as soon as you can.) Toothpaste can help get your guard its cleanest, but can be too abrasive for some appliances.

Once you’ve cleaned it, let your guard air dry in a clean spot for about 30 minutes. Air drying helps prevent bacterial growth. After your guard has dried, return it to its case.

Once a week, you might need to give your mouthguard a good soak in a mouthwash or other dental cleaning solution.

Since cleaning instructions can be different depending on which type of mouthguard you have, be sure to follow our instructions if you have a custom guard, or clean as directed by the manufacturer if you have a store guard.

  • Keep it safe.

When your mouthguard isn’t in your mouth, it should be in its case. Floating loose in your locker or tumbling around in your gym bag puts your guard at risk for breakage and bacteria.

And don’t forget to clean your case thoroughly every few days and air dry it as well. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, mold, and other unwelcome guests can collect in your case, too.

  • Keep it only as long as it’s in good condition.

You can purchase mouthguards from sporting or drug stores, or Dr. Zoe Huang, Dr. Zoryana Brodsky, Dr. Stephan Yoon, Dr. Mandy Leung, and Dr. Enejan Hanamova can make you a mouthguard designed to fit your teeth and braces perfectly. These appliances are made to be strong and durable, but they’re not indestructible. Over time they can wear down or become damaged, especially if you treat them carelessly.

Bacteria can lurk in dents and cracks, and you can cut your mouth on rough, sharp, or broken edges. But if your mouthguard isn’t fitting properly, don’t resort to self-help! Trying to repair, reshape, or trim your appliance yourself is not a good idea, because it might affect its fit and protective ability.

Any sign that your guard isn’t fitting properly or shows signs of wear and tear could mean it’s time for a replacement. You can replace a store model, or see Dr. Zoe Huang, Dr. Zoryana Brodsky, Dr. Stephan Yoon, Dr. Mandy Leung, and Dr. Enejan Hanamova about replacing or repairing your custom guard. A mouthguard that doesn’t fit, doesn’t keep you safe.

Take care of your guard, and it will take care of you. The reward for the small amount of time and effort you put into caring for your mouthguard is braces that will last through your treatment at our Dublin, CA office and a smile that will last you for a lifetime. Those are benefits we can talk about all day!

Best Tips to Make Your Teeth Look Whiter

April 28th, 2021

Your teeth were once naturally white and bright. Wouldn't it be great to keep them that way all of your life? Unfortunately, everyday living can dim our smiles. Food, coffee, some juices, and soft drinks can stain your teeth. Poor brushing and flossing can also leave tooth stains. Injuries to teeth or gums can cause some yellowing as well, and in some cases, medicines can discolor teeth.

So, you may need some extra help to maintain or restore your teeth's natural beauty. Here are some of the best ways to whiten your teeth:

1. Reduce additional staining by drinking with a straw or cutting back on coffee and soft drinks.

2. Brush and floss every day.

3. Try a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash.

4. Visit our office for teeth cleaning and an exam every six months.

We can also help you whiten your teeth with in-office professional teeth whitening at our Dublin, CA office. These whitening products are much more effective than whiteners you can buy at the store and are completely safe. Since they're stronger, application by a member of our team is essential to achieve the best results.

Some teeth can resist bleaching. If that's the case, we can try several techniques:

  • Deep bleaching that applies whitening agents over several visits.
  • Veneers and bonds that cover existing stains with a whiter, brighter surface.
  • Laser whitening that uses light to clean stubborn stains off teeth.

Take Care!

You may come across “bleaching stations” in shopping malls or at fairs. Avoid using these as the so-called whitening techniques can irritate your teeth and gums, leaving them highly sensitive to pain. Note too, that the operators of these whitening stands will make customers apply the bleach themselves, to avoid charges of practicing without a license. That should serve as a red flag and a caution to seek trained professionals, like Dr. Zoe Huang, Dr. Zoryana Brodsky, Dr. Stephan Yoon, Dr. Mandy Leung, and Dr. Enejan Hanamova, instead.

A Year of the New Normal

April 22nd, 2021

It’s officially over a year of living through the COVID-19 pandemic and having our day-to-day life drastically altered. Our office faced many unexpected challenges last year but thankfully we were able to quickly adapt to life under the “New Normal”. Join us on today’s blog as Dr. Huang discusses how she and her team overcame setbacks and stayed positive through it all!

The biggest challenge we faced was the staff and patients' initial anxiety of coming back to the office. To ease this worry, our team implemented many new safety protocols. Throughout the reopening process the team was able to stay positive and work together efficiently. From this, we've seen stronger teamwork, dedication, and support from everyone. Since the reopening, we've successfully implemented many safety protocols to keep both our staff and patients safe. We're proud to say we haven’t had any positive cases among the team so far. We have safely treated patients since May 2020.

We do have a rigorous screening process for both staff and patients to rule out any positive cases coming through the door. Some of our new safety procedures include adopting paperless administration, patients waiting in their car until their appointment time, temperature measuring, and hand sanitizing upon entering. For appointments we’ve implemented pre-procedure rinse, use of intra-oral and extra-oral suctions, and air disinfection with air filter and hydrochloric acid. Please see our previous blog for more details.

All patients are informed and kept up-to-date on the new process of checking in and the screening questionnaires. We ask all patients to check their temperature the day before. For additionally information about patient pre-screening we’ve put together a video for you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLtNayCC_Ng&ab_channel=Live%26SmileDental%26Orthodontics

Through all these unexpected challenges COVID-19 presented us we learned to brainstorm quickly, network, and be supportive of one another during such an unprecedented time. Lately, we are more focused on office culture and fostering a positive and supportive working environment. During these times of uncertainty, we try to approach each situation as an opportunity to grow, to learn, and to thrive. Challenges and difficulties are our opportunities to reflect, recharge, and restart.

During such a strange and anxious time, It's very important to manage stress and practice self-care. We encourage the team to take breaks to drink water, take deep breaths, or walk around in the sun during the work day. After work, the team is advised to have a regular sleep and exercise schedule, take time to relax, enjoy their hobbies, spend time with family and friends.

Though the pandemic holds so much fear and uncertainty for us, there are many positive things we’ve learned from the pandemic and we recognize that we truly have so much to be grateful for! We can be happy and grateful regardless of our outward situations. We feel blessed to have a wonderful team working together to help our patients live a better life with a healthier and more beautiful smile. The pandemic taught us to slow down, reflect on our priorities, focus on health and relationships, etc.

We hope everyone has a safe and fun spring season! We can’t wait to see you in our office again soon.

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Monday9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
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SundayClosed

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