Water is Essential to a Healthy Smile!

water essential oral healthThere is no argument about the numerous benefits of proper hydration for your health, skin, and general wellbeing. Drinking water is also important for your oral health, in combination with regular brushing and flossing, good nutrition, regular dental visits, and good lifestyle habits.

Benefits of Drinking Water for Your Oral Health

 1. Rinses sugars and acids from your mouth.

Acidic and sugary foods promote the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth and the demineralization of tooth enamel, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars from the items you consume and convert them to lactic acid. The consumption of acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus further increases the acid content in your mouth.
The longer the acids remain in your mouth, the more your tooth enamel is eroded. Drinking water after meals and drinks helps to flush sugars away and dilutes the acids in your mouth to minimize any damage before you have a chance to brush and floss your teeth.

2. Combats dry mouth.

Saliva plays a vital role in your mouth, and when the supply runs low, sipping water can help prevent a dry mouth and maintain some of the functions of saliva, which include:
● Balancing the pH level in your mouth by diluting the acids formed in the mouth that may erode tooth enamel causing tooth decay
● Washing away food debris in your mouth
● Facilitating swallowing of food and drinks
● Maintaining strong teeth by washing them with calcium, fluoride, and phosphate
● Inhibiting the growth of bacteria that may lead to chronic bad breath or halitosis
Drinking water can help reduce some of the risks of diminished saliva secretion as you work on a more permanent solution, or just to augment the functions of saliva.

3. Prevents tooth staining.

There are many foods and drinks that can discolor your teeth, including candy, berries, deep-colored sauces, tea, coffee, and wine. If you don’t rinse your mouth with water after consuming these foods and drinks, you allow them to penetrate your porous tooth enamel and dentin, resulting in stained teeth. Experts recommend that you swish water in your mouth after consuming any food or drink to flush away anything that may cause staining.
Lastly, it is worth noting that drinking fluoridated water can help strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay. Water fluoridation is regulated by the government as a preventive measure for tooth decay. It is an important accomplishment that has been identified by the US CDC as one of the health achievements of the 20th century. That said, you should discuss with your dentist whether you need to supplement your fluoride intake depending on the state of your teeth.

Why Alcohol is Damaging to Your Oral Health

alcohol damaging oral healthModerate alcohol consumption is largely considered a part of healthy living, but alcohol is also associated with a number of health conditions affecting your blood sugar, the brain, and the liver.
Alcohol also affects your oral health, says Dr. Molayem. In fact, research shows that people suffering from alcohol dependency usually have higher plaque buildup on their teeth, plus they are three times more likely to face permanent tooth loss.
How Alcohol Damages Your Oral Health
Sugar content and acidity.
Alcoholic drinks are dangerous because they contain the two most harmful substances to your teeth: sugar and acid. So, even non-sugary alcoholic drinks are still dangerous.
The amount of sugar you take, as well as the duration of time you allow it to stay in your mouth can adversely affect your dental health, increasing the risk for tooth decay. This is because harmful bacteria in your mouth convert the sugar into acids that erode tooth enamel.
The problem with alcoholic drinks is that you can keep sipping for hours, maintaining a high level of sugar content in your mouth for hours. The situation gets worse if you don’t rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth before going to bed, and maintain this cycle several days a week.
Some alcoholic drinks contain more sugar than others. Drinks like cocktails could be worse, because they combine high levels of sugar and acidity. The resulting tooth erosion (demineralization) can be much higher than mineral buildup (mineralization), resulting in tooth decay.
According to the American Dental Association, dehydration is one of the most forgotten side effects of alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol causes less saliva production, which means that you don’t have enough fluid to keep the mouth clean and remove food debris, bacteria, acids, and sugar from your teeth and gums.
Without enough saliva to fight off demineralization, the acid and sugar in alcohol can do a lot more harm to your teeth. So, it is important to alternate drinks with water, not only to fight a hangover, but also for your dental health.
Some deep hued alcoholic drinks, such as red wine and sangria not only change the color of your teeth temporarily, but also contribute to long-lasting discoloration and overall teeth dullness, which affects your smile. Regular brushing, preferably with a whitening toothpaste or hydrogen peroxide can help keep your teeth white.
How to Prevent Oral Health Issues Caused by Alcohol
Heavy alcohol consumption has also been linked with a 30 percent chance of oral cancer, due to the serious damage to soft tissues in your mouth.
The best way to prevent oral issues caused by alcohol is by preventing the drink altogether. Otherwise, opt for sugar-free alcoholic drinks so you only have to deal with the acidity; drink plenty of water when indulging in alcohol; and brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Give yourself about 30 minutes after the last drink before brushing.

Study Finds Wisdom Teeth Removal Opioids Go Unused Every Year

wisdom tooth removal opioids unused
According to research done at the Perelman School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, more than 50 percent of opioids on a prescription after surgical tooth removal, such as the extraction of affected wisdom teeth, go unused by the patients.
Considering the number of people in the US who need a tooth extraction* every year, this translates to over 100 million unused opioids that lead to the possibility of misuse or abuse by patients, their family, or their friends.
*Mint Dentistry offers Wisdom Tooth Removal in Woodland Hills!
The Study
The researchers examined the use of prescription opioid for a group of 79 patients following tooth impaction treatment, and the impact of providing informational material about an internal drug disposal agenda and small financial incentives on the willingness of patients to properly get rid of their unused drugs. They also tested a messaging platform for its effectiveness in collecting data on soreness or pain and the corresponding use of prescription medications.
During enrollment, the participants were each issued with a debit card with a $10 deposit. Surveys to check pain intensity and the use of medication were delivered through text message daily for the initial seven days after treatment, and again on the 14th and 21st day after surgery.
To incentivize the participants, they were given an additional $3 credit on their debit card after each survey, up to a maximum of $27. At the end of the follow-up interview about their condition, the patients were given an extra $10.
According to the survey, the patients experienced the most pain with an average score of 5/10 just 24 hours after surgery while taking medication. The day after, 51 percent of the patients reported a significantly lower pain score of between 0/10 and 3/10. By day 5, nearly 80 percent has a low pain score.
After the procedure, 94 percent of the patients received an opioid prescription to manage pain; 82% also received a NSAID – a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug; while 78 percent were prescribed an antibiotic. Generally, 93 percent of the patients without post-surgical anomalies were prescribed a total of 28 pills.
By the end of three weeks only 5 patients has used all their opioid pills, while the rest had used only 13 pills, leaving over 1,000 discarded pills. From the study, it was apparent that most patients were experiencing minimal pain within five days, yet they still had more than 50 percent of their prescribed opioid pills left.
According to the study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, it is possible that the availability of prescription disposal kiosks in pharmacies, as well as small financial incentives may help facilitate the proper disposal of opioids by over 20 percent. Moreover, combining prescription-strength drugs, like ibuprofen with acetaminophen, was observed to provide more substantial pain relief and minimal adverse effects compared to opioid-containing drugs.
woodland hills dentist special offers
If you haven’t already, then be sure to view our Limited-Time Special Offers in Woodland Hills! Special offers include teeth whitening (very popular), new patient specials, dentures, dental implants, & more!

4 Tips When Planning a Dental Tourism Trip Abroad

tips dental tourism trip aheadFor centuries, people have sought medical care across geographical boundaries, with wealthy people in the Middle Ages trekking far from home to access therapeutic spas. Today, it is still common for people to travel great distances for different kinds of therapy, including dental work.
There are many reasons why you would choose to seek dental treatment outside the US; perhaps to lower costs or to see a renowned specialist. In the United States and other developed countries, dental care can be extremely expensive, especially if you want extensive cosmetic or reconstructive work. Unfortunately, only the most basic dental care is covered by health insurance plans, which makes dental tourism a favorable option for many.
When preparing to seek dental treatment outside the country, you should consider the following:
1. Different Standards
The standards for dental care are not the same across the globe. In the US, dental professionals must complete an accredited program and pass the exams to be certified practitioners. The requirements may be the same or different in other countries. So, before you choose a dentist, find out the requirements for certification, as well as any indicators of safety and good workmanship.
2. Communication Barrier
Most dental patients looking for dental care outside the country usually prefer to visit a range of countries, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Hungary, and Thailand. Considering that these are not English-speaking countries, it is important that you find out how you will communicate with your dental team and other people during your stay in the foreign country.
It is particularly important that your medical team be able to understand your medical records. So, find a provider you can speak a common language, or simply arrange for translation.
3. Recuperation Blues
Although it is exciting to visit another country for treatment in that it feels like a vacation, many people prefer to recuperate in a familiar environment after a major procedure. To avoid any discomfort you may feel during the recovery period, try to figure out any challenges or inconveniences you may have while there and prepare for them.
4. Follow Up Care
When scheduling dental treatment outside the country, you should take into consideration how conveniently you can access follow-up care. If you don’t plan to stay in the foreign country until you have fully recovered, arrange with a local provider to see you for any follow-up concerns.
Final Note
Dental tourism can be both exciting and scary, because travelling is also expensive, and you need things to work out the first time. So, these points should help you better prepare for the trip, and don’t forget to find out how payments will be made in the foreign country.

Help! I Chipped My Tooth. What Should I Do?

chipped tooth what should I do

A chipped tooth that was treated by Mint Dentistry.

When it comes to dental injuries, especially when the damage is in the form of a chipped tooth after some sort of trauma or biting down on something hard, you instinctively rush to the dentist to get the damage assessed.
Here are some possible causes of a chipped tooth:
● Falling and hitting your mouth
● Suffering trauma to the face from an accident or sports injury
● Biting on a hard item or bone or food
● Cavities that weaken the tooth structure and make it vulnerable to impact
But is it a big deal? And/or when would it become a big deal?
Perhaps it is not as big an event as losing the tooth, and the chip may not be that big to affect your bite or smile, but the fact remains that you have lost valuable tooth structure, and possibly started a series of additional chips and cracks or some other kind of damage that is not apparent.
The best option when you have a chipped tooth is to visit your dentist for an evaluation, and perhaps an x-ray, to identify the extent of the damage and choose an appropriate remedy.
When it’s No Big Deal.
If the chip was a minor break to the surface of the tooth and did not affect the nerves, roots, or gums, then it is not a big deal. Depending on the extent of damage, your dentist can recommend a quick, easy, and affordable cosmetic remedy like bonding or filling.
When there’s Serious Damage.
If you experience sensitivity or pain from the chipped tooth when you chew or take something very hot or cold, it means that the damage was severe enough to expose the nerves housed at the core of the tooth.
A chip that occurs on any of the pointed chewing surfaces of the molars is known as a broken cusp. It is usually not painful, but should still be checked by a dental professional.
Intermittent Emergency Care for a Chipped Tooth
If your tooth is chipped, you should make an appointment to see your Woodland Hills 24-hour emergency dentists as soon as possible. But for first aid care:
● Rinse your mouth with some warm water
● If the injury causes bleeding, use a gauze to apply pressure to the site
● If you can’t see a dentist the same day, cover the chipped tooth with dental cement to protect the remaining portion until in the meantime
Professional care for chipped tooth depends on the extent of damage. For small chips, the dentist may simply smooth and polish the site to remove sharp edges. For larger chips that are not sensitive, the dentist may recommend a crown, filling, or cap over the damaged tooth to restore its normal function and appearance. But for large chips that expose the nerves, you may need endodontic treatment or tooth extraction followed by an implant or bridge.

Woodland Hills Dentist Special Offers for Fall 2016!

woodland hills dentist special offersIn case you haven’t seen them yet, Mint Dentistry is running awesome special offers that won’t last forever! These limited-time Woodland Hills dentist special offers give patients a chance to save BIG this Fall. All of our Fall special offers may be viewed below. Please call us @ (818) 716-0297 if you have any further questions.

Woodland Hills Dentist Special Offers – Fall 2016

1. ZOOM! Whitening for Two – only $599!
For only $599, you and a loved one* can experience the power of ZOOM! professional teeth whitening, capable of removing even the toughest stains in under an hour of time. That’s much better than constantly paying for whitening gels, strips, mouthwashes, and toothpaste that show no significant results.
*offer is valid for any TWO individuals.
2. Implant-Supported Dentures Discounted!
A complete, full set of Implant-Supported Dentures start at $8,500 for only a limited time. Implant supported dentures are the currently one of the best ways to replace a full set of teeth. This is a great deal offered by your implant dentists of Woodland Hills.
3. Professionally Teeth Cleaning for ONLY $90 (new or cash patients only)!
We’re discounting our dental cleaning for a limited time. For $90, no insurance necessary, you will receive a professional dental cleaning, an oral examination, and dental X-Rays. Again, this offer is for NEW or CASH patients only.
4. Straighten Your Teeth with Invisalign®
Our Invisalign invisible braces start at only $3,600! This is a competitive price for a treatment that is very popular among adults in straightening your teeth for an aesthetically pleasing appearance that often results in a HUGE boost to your self-esteem. You’d be surprised the many benefits that occurs from smiling often.
5. Braces Removal & Hawley Retainer Discounted
For those with traditional metal braces, we have a special for you. We will carefully remove your braces and replace them with a Hawley retainer for only $650. Retainers are necessary for maintaining the results gained from braces treatment. Our orthodontist will cover everything you need to know following your braces treatment.
Claim your special offer today by scheduling an appointment with our dentists.

Salivary Gland Cancer – What You Need to Know

salivary gland cancer
The thought of having cancer is scary for everyone. Cancer occurs when abnormal cells in a certain part of the body begin to grow out of control. When this unusual cell growth occurs in one of the glands that make saliva, it is known as salivary gland cancer. Compared to other types of cancer, salivary gland cancer is very rare, affecting less than one percent of cancer patients in the US.
There are several different salivary glands under the tongue, under the jawbone, and on the sides of the face just before the ears, and any of them can be affected by different types of cancer and non-cancerous (benign) tumors.
About Our Salivary Glands
The role of the salivary glands is to produce saliva. Saliva acts as a lubricant for the mouth and throat. It contains enzymes that initiate the process of food digestion, and also contains antibodies that help fight infections of the throat and mouth. The main types of salivary glands are:
1. The major salivary glands
There are three sets on each side of the face, and include:
● The parotid glands – These are the largest salivary glands located just in front of the ears. About 70 percent of salivary gland tumors start here, most of which are benign (though most malignant tumors also start here).
● The submandibular glands – These are smaller and located below the jaw. They are responsible for secreting saliva under the tongue, and account for 10-20 percent of salivary gland tumors.
● The sublingual glands – These are the smallest and located below either side of the tongue, under the floor of the mouth. Tumors hardly start here.
2. Minor salivary glands
There are several hundred minor salivary glands that are too minute to be visible without a microscope. They are located inside and around the mouth (lips, tongue, cheeks, nose, sinuses, larynx) and hardly have cancers. But if they occur, they are more likely to be malignant.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
The standard symptoms of salivary gland cancer include:
● Numbness or paralysis of the facial muscles
● Swelling under the chin or around the jawbone
● Persistent pain in the face, neck, or chin
Salivary gland cancer can be detected during a normal dental checkup. During the cancer exam, your doctor will examine you and feel for lumps in your mouth, neck, and throat. In some cases, the doctor may take images of your head. If abnormal tissue is found, a small piece will be removed (biopsy) to check for cancer cells under a microscope.
Treatment for Salivary Gland Cancer
Depending on the location of the cancer and how far it has spread, your doctor may recommend surgery to cut out the affected tissue; radiation therapy to kill and shrink the cancer cells; or chemotherapy, which involves the use of strong drugs to kill cancer cells.

Latest News: UK Study Finds Promising Results in Chewing Sugar-Free Gum

uk chewing gum dental studyThe United Kingdom (U.K.) has recently further added to the positive results already found regarding the act of chewing sugar-free gum and its effect on tooth decay. The researchers were able to find positive correlations between chewing sugar-free gum and the prevention of tooth decay.
What Did They Find?
The recent study included only 12-year old children in the U.K. Just some background information: The National Health Service in England backed this research in an attempt to find feasible ways of saving money. Knowing that children suffer particularly from high rates of tooth decay, it made a lot of sense to combat this growing issue, while also helping the nation save money.
The study found that the National Health Service in England could save up to 8.2 million pounds every year IF all 12-year old children across the entirety of England chewed sugar-free gum after eating and drinking. This is an interesting way to report results.
We aren’t exactly sure how these numbers were calculated and came about, but the one thing we do know are that these results serve as convincing evidence that chewing sugar-free gum most certainly plays at least a small role in the prevention of tooth decay.
Many studies have already shown the effectiveness of Xylitol (often found in gum) on the prevention of tooth decay, but this takes it a step further claiming sugar-free gum aids & not just gum containing Xylitol.
So… Should I Start Chewing Sugar-Free Gum Now?
According to these results, yes we do feel inclined to recommend chewing sugar-free gum after meals as another tool to aid in preventing tooth decay. The reason this makes sense are because when you chew gum, you stimulate saliva production in the mouth and saliva is one of the best ways to combat all of the bacteria floating around ready to eat away at our enamel (especially when we consume sugars).
However, we want to stress that you should not view chewing sugar-free gum as a replacement to brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis. Brushing and flossing should be considered the most important prevention tools against tooth decay. Chewing sugar-free gum should be viewed as a supplemental tool, much like mouthwash or mouth rinses are.
We also want to encourage you to only purchase sugar-free gum that contains the ADA seal of approval. This ensures that the gum is compliant with the standards set out by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Beating Bad Breath – Home Remedies

bad breath home remediesBad breath can make such a huge difference at times – whether you’re in the middle of a date, trying to impress during a job interview, or out with friends, bad breath is never wanted and will often leave negative first impressions… mainly because our sense of smell has an ability to leave a lasting impact on us.
With that said, we wanted to direct your attention to some fundamental changes you could perform at home as a way to prevent the issue from re-occurring. Most often, you may experience a case of intermittent bad breath from certain foods such as spices, garlic, and raw onions. The only suggestion we have there is to be careful of what you eat before going to important events. Otherwise, refer to our helpful guide below.
Home Remedies to Improve Bad Breath
Briefly touched upon above, our diet and the foods and drinks we consume play an integral role in managing bad breath. This is because both the acids created in our stomach and the decay resulting from rotten tooth enamel will both contribute greatly to bad breath. Make sure you are eating lean meats, whole grains, nuts, fruits (don’t overdo it on fruits as they contain a lot of sugar), as well many vegetables. If your diet consists of a majority of these items then you will benefit in many weighs beyond just preventing bad breath.
Believe it or not, sometimes people who constantly experience bad breath are simply dehydrated all of the time without realizing. It may sound crazy, but the society we live in is very fast paced and some of us get caught in it living very busy lives and forgetting basic human necessities such as drinking water often. If you notice bad breath re-occurring, try drinking more water every day.
We Aren’t Chewing Enough
How much we chew our food will determine how much work our stomach will have to perform in breaking it down. The more it’s chewed, the less work performed. When our stomachs are forced to break down large solid pieces of food, this will create more gas that must escape one way or another. This would inevitably cause bad breath as a result.
Making Better Use of Brushing & Flossing
Brushing and flossing are of very great importance in maintaining oral hygiene. Periodontal disease and tooth decay could cause bad breath as a symptom. If you notice bad breath, but also realize you haven’t really been brushing or flossing – then we strongly urge you to develop a consistent routine. You will be benefits in many ways and your mouth will thank you.
Make Sure to Monitor The Issue
Please keep in mind that bad breath that does not improve at all in over 24 hours should receive professional attention. Bad breath could point to something more serious. By monitoring the issue, you’ll see if any improvement is being made or that maybe it’s time to see a professional.

5 Common Toothbrush Mistakes You Should Avoid

common toothbrush mistakesHow many times have you heard you dentist tell you one of two things during your dental checkup:
“Floss more!”
“Brush more!”
Probably every single dental visit, though we hope not. Point is, most of us have trouble or issues with brushing or flossing. Some of us brush religiously, but we still have issues leaving us to wonder why that is the case. Perhaps it’s because you are guilty of one of these 5 common toothbrush mistakes.

5 Toothbrush Mistakes We Often Commit

1. Not Spending Enough Time
Look, brushing for about 30 seconds and then saying “I’m done!” unfortunately does not count towards a successful take. That 30 seconds will benefit you, but it’s certainly not enough time to fully clean off the debris that have accumulated from an entire day’s worth of food and drinks. Two minutes is the absolute minimum standard. If you feel this is the issue, start utilizing a timer to help.
2. Rinsing Mouth with Water
Rinsing the mouth with water after a thorough brushing basically cuts all the work you just performed in half, this is because it rinses out the toothpaste that you want to let sit in the mouth for at least 30 minutes uninterrupted for the best results.
3. Not Replacing Your Toothbrush
Fortunately replacing a manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush head is not the most wallet draining expense, yet many of us have issues replacing our toothbrush. A good rule of thumb to follow is to replace it every 3 months – without question.
4. Brushing Back and Forth as Opposed to a Circular Motion
There is such a thing as proper brushing form. You should be brushing in a circular motion at all times, not a back and forth motion that may miss the key areas which are at the gumline.
5. You Leave Your Toothbrush in the Bathroom
This may sound crazy, but believe it or not storing your toothbrush in the bathroom is not recommended. When we flush a toilet, it is believed that our human feces is openly spread into the air (microscopic particles) that may land on your toothbrush. Gross, right? Either brush your teeth in a different room such as the kitchen or find a way to store it.
If you find you’re guilty of any of these 5 common toothbrush mistakes, then we urge you to change the habit and perhaps you’ll be surprised on your next scheduled appointment with your dentist!