Are You a Candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way in recent years. Not so long ago, patients wanting a smile transformation had to settle for porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns placed on their teeth, which often looked unnatural and showed a gray edge at the gum line. Thanks to modern dental procedures, you can obtain the smile of your dreams, often in just one or two office visits. The best part is that your smile will look as if it were designed by nature, not your Corona cosmetic dentist!

To determine if you are a candidate for cosmetic enhancement, it helps to first identify what bothers you about your smile. Take the following quiz to determine what imperfections, if any, stand out when you smile in the mirror.

1.    How would you describe the size and shape of your teeth?

Symmetrical and attractive

Too small or too large

Uneven

Pointy or jagged

2.    What color are your teeth?

White

Yellow

Brown

Gray

3.    How are your front teeth positioned?

Straight

Widely spaced

Crooked

Crowded (more…)

Interesting Facts About Tooth Enamel from Your Riverside Dentists

Tooth enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth, takes a lot of abuse on a daily basis, between all the chewing, biting, and grinding that occurs. Other than the fact that it protects your teeth, how much do you really know about enamel? In this post, your Riverside dentists share some interesting facts about this incredible material.

  • Tooth enamel is the second hardest naturally-occurring substance on earth. The first is diamonds.
  • Enamel is not sensitive, but not having enough enamel contributes to tooth sensitivity because the sensitive layer underneath, called dentin, is exposed.
  • Chewing on non-food items, such as ice cubes or pencils, can scratch or chip tooth enamel.
  • Acid reflux and bulimia cause enamel erosion because of the excessive contact between the teeth and stomach acid.
  • Even though Vitamin C is vital for a healthy body, too much of it can destroy tooth enamel. Vitamin C supplements that you can swallow are better for your oral health than chewable pills.
  • Be careful when brushing your teeth. Excessively strong brush strokes wear down enamel.

Protect Your Teeth with Minerals

Fluoride is one of the best minerals for tooth enamel protection. Every day, when you eat sugars or starches, acid forms in your saliva. The acid extracts minerals from your tooth enamel, leaving the enamel soft and vulnerable to bacteria. Fluoride has the awesome ability to attract other minerals to re-mineralize and re-strengthen tooth enamel. So, while you cannot prevent the acids in your mouth from demineralizing teeth, you can prompt re-mineralization. (more…)

Cosmetic Dentistry FAQs from Your Riverside Dentists

An imperfect smile may make you want to hide your smile in public. However, a less than stellar smile can also lead to serious self-esteem issues, which can in turn create more problems, such as strained personal relationships and lagging career success. If a flawed smile hampers your lifestyle, let’s discuss a cosmetic dental treatment plan to improve your confidence and give you a brighter future.

What are the Differences Between Porcelain Veneers and Crowns?

Porcelain veneers are handcrafted shells applied to the front of teeth to correct permanent stains, chips, or spaces. Veneers are durable, stain resistant, and can last up to 20 years with proper care. A crown, on the other hand, covers the entire surface of tooth (above the gum line) and is usually a restorative procedure, rather than purely cosmetic.

What is Cosmetic Dental Bonding?

Bonding involves the application of composite resin, which is a durable, tooth-colored plastic material. This cosmetic procedure addresses gaps between teeth, chips, and permanent stains. Oftentimes, children who chip a tooth need bonding to correct the issue until the affected tooth is full grown. Then, a veneer can be placed. Adults who want to correct imperfections but do not want to get veneers may opt for cosmetic bonding as well. (more…)

What’s Your Dental IQ?

We here at Dental Associates of Moreno Valley are excited that you have chosen us to take care of all your dental needs. Not only will we provide you with quality care and treatment, but we will also educate you on the ways that you can continue that same quality care at home. Test your current dental knowledge with the following quiz and see how well you’ve been doing on your own.

1. Which of these actions will help protect teeth against decay?

a. Avoiding sugary snacks

b. Brushing and flossing

c. Using a fluoridated mouthwash

d. All of the above

The answer is d, all of the above. Eating healthy foods and following a daily oral hygiene routine are very important to the protection of your teeth. Fluoride is a helpful ingredient to have in your oral care products because it strengthens tooth enamel, making the teeth less prone to tooth decay.

2. Which oral problem has been found to put people at risk for diseases such as arthritis?

a. Bad breath

b. Gum disease

c. Dry mouth

d. Yellow teeth

The answer is b, gum disease. Also called periodontal disease, it affects more than just the mouth. In addition to increasing a person’s risk for rheumatoid arthritis, gum disease also increases a pregnant woman’s chance of delivering an underdeveloped baby. (more…)

Dental Specialties in Moreno Valley

At Dental Associates of Moreno Valley, we offer more than general dentistry. Our services also include specialty dental care in the areas of pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, and oral and maxillofacial surgery. We would like our patients to familiarize themselves with these specialties so that they have a more thorough understanding of the dental care that we can provide.

Pediatric Dentistry

This area of dentistry is geared towards the oral health of younger patients, including infants, children, and adolescents. Not only do pediatric dentists have a special understanding of children’s oral development, but they also make sure to communicate with their younger patients in a fun and comfortable manner that puts them at ease.

Orthodontics

The alignment of the teeth and jaw are the main concerns of an orthodontist. Fitting their patients with devices such as braces and retainers, these dental specialists help their patients achieve straight teeth and properly-aligned bites. Orthodontic treatment can also help prevent tooth loss and gum disease because oral care becomes easier to maintain with teeth that are properly aligned. (more…)

Riverside Dental Reviews Worst Habits for Dental Health

Recently we reviewed some basic tips for maintaining your good oral hygiene. This week, Riverside Dental Group is going to point out that what you don’t do is just as important as what you do to maintain a clean and healthy mouth and strong teeth. We develop habits in all areas of our lives as part of our daily routine. Below is a list of common bad habits that are destructive to your oral health and tips to help avoid, or abandon, these habits if you suffer from them.

  • Smoking—The destruction that tobacco brings upon your dental health is no secret. Aside from lung diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer, the harmful chemicals in tobacco can also lead to gum disease and oral cancer. These chemicals can irritate the gums—causing them to recede from the teeth and expose the roots—and interfere with gum tissue cells, making smokers more vulnerable to periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Crunching—It seems natural to chew on the ice cubes left over after you finish a refreshing soda or iced tea, but the rigidity and bitter cold temperatures of ice can damage the structure of your teeth. The pressure can fracture your teeth or cause cracks to form in the enamel, which is the protective layer of your teeth, and lead to more serious dental problems down the road. Popcorn kernels, hard candy, pens and pencils, and the pits of fruits such as peaches, plums, and mangos, are also among the things that you should avoid crunching between your teeth. (more…)

Riverside Dentists Recommend Trying These Healthy Sugar Alternatives

How Sugar Causes Cavities

Sugar is one of the most notorious villains of dental health. When sugar invades your mouth it combines with plaque and saliva to form enamel-eroding acid. Some of the usual offenders for sugar are obvious. Candy and sweet treats are some of the worst foods for your oral health, but did you know that sugar also lurks in unexpected places like refined carbohydrates?

How Carbohydrates Can Contribute to Tooth Decay

Have you ever noticed that white bread in sandwiches or dinner rolls often stick to your teeth? In this chemical reaction, the sugar fermentation from the bread actually softens your tooth enamel temporarily, making them susceptible to tooth decay. Replacing sugar with healthier alternatives is one way you can protect your teeth from acid erosion and cavities while enjoying something sweet.

Xylitol Protects Enamel and Fights Plaque

For sugar replacement that might actually be good for your teeth, our Riverside dentists recommend xylitol. Found in the fibers of fruits and vegetables, xylitol is extracted from berries, oats, mushrooms, and corn husks. Xylitol is non-fermentable, so it will not develop sugar after combining with saliva, unlike some carbohydrates. Even more beneficial for cavity prevention. xylitol helps remineralize enamel. As a result, your teeth have better defenses against bacteria and plaque. In fact, xylitol actually fights against plaque by attracting and starving the harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Stevia Replaces Sugar in Baked Goods

Since xylitol is non-fermentable, this sweet alternative is not recommended for making bread. For baking, our Riverside dentists recommend stevia. A sugar alternative from the sunflower family, stevia is also called sweet leaf or sugar leaf. This sweetener is often used in low-carbohydrate alternatives and may even help reduce hypertension. (more…)

Welcome to the Dental Associates of Corona blog!

Welcome to the Dental Associates of Corona blog! We’re so happy that you’re taking an active interest in your dental health and health care. Over the next few months, the pages of this blog will be filled with everything you ever wanted and needed to know about the health of your teeth and gums, the beauty of your smile, and top-notch dental care in Corona.

Some of the topics you can expect to see discussed on this blog include:

  • Basics of Brushing and Flossing
  • Why Going to the Dentist Every Six Months is so Important
  • Can Cosmetic Dentistry Transform Your Smile?
  • Healthy Eating for a Healthy Smile
  • Who are Your Corona Dentists?
  • Much, Much More (more…)

How Your Mouth Behaves Like An Ecosystem

Not All Oral Bacteria Are Harmful

You may be surprised to find that your mouth has anywhere from 10-50 billion oral bacteria that thrive or die under specific conditions controlled by your oral hygiene, lifestyle habits, and diet. Unique types of bacteria are responsible for oral health issues like tooth decay, halitosis (chronic bad breath), and gum disease. At the same time, positive bacteria help your mouth protect itself against these harmful pathogens.

Smoking Kills Good Bacteria

Microbiologists study how healthy mouths are coated with a thick “forest” of good bacteria which prevents pathogens from touching down on your mouth. Recent research by a professor of periodontology at Ohio State University describes how smokers mouths are toxic to these helpful oral bacteria. In fact, the chemicals from smoking actually cause your body to turn against these positive bacteria, making your mouth a friendlier environment for pathogens that cause gingivitis, bad breath, and cavities. Professor Kumar describes the phenomena like a yard with weeds. An imbalance in the chemical composition of the soil allows weeds to sprout up and choke out healthy plants in the same way that smokers’ mouths destroy good bacteria.

The Ecosystem Inside Your Mouth

The mouth behaves so much like a forest that ecologists are taking an interest in how the 50-75 different species in the mouth cohabitate. According to a recent NPR story, studies show that different types of bacteria congregate in certain areas of the mouth, much the way that different animal species choose specific parts of the forest to live. For example, the bacteria on the back of your tongue may be a different species than the bacteria on the tip of your tongue. (more…)

Common Questions about Gum Disease Treatment

Who is a periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who is certified through advanced course work, experience, and studies in periodontics, one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. Periodontists specialize in treating gum disease  using specific techniques, as well as preventing and diagnosing periodontal disease. Since gum disease is the number one cause of adult tooth loss, periodontists also specialize in one of the most effective tooth replacement techniques, dental implants. At Riverside Dental Associates, we have an experienced periodontist on our team to help you reclaim your oral health from the ravages of periodontal disease.

How can a periodontist help me?

During the first appointment, the periodontist will examine your health records for specific medications, diseases, or hormonal conditions that may contribute to gum disease or hinder successful treatment. Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause are all characterized by hormonal changes that affect the course of periodontal disease. Our Riverside periodontist will also take into account any diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory diseases that you may have had before or after gum disease.

How does a periodontist diagnose gum disease severity?

Our experienced periodontist will determine the severity of your periodontal disease by assessing gum recession, probing periodontal pockets, and taking x-rays to check for bone damage beneath the gum line. As periodontitis progresses, gingival tissue recedes further, the pockets between teeth and gums become deeper, and eventually, the infection reaches the jawbone. (more…)