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Fluoride, poisonous?

The use of fluoride is a constantly talked about topic, particularly when it comes to the practice of water fluoridation. This Irvine sedation dentist will tell you Fluoride can be a wonderful thing in terms of remineralization of your enamel. I offer fluoride treatments in the office. However, incorporating fluoride into water is a controversial issue that gets countries talking.

Fluoride was first introduced in the USA in the 1940s after the discovery that fluoride helps strengthen teeth and oral health. This is the reason why many types of toothpaste incorporate this element, and why dental organizations like the ADA believe drinking water with Fluoride can help teeth—the same way toothpaste does. Following the World Health Organization’s 1969 endorsement countries around the world began fluoridating their drinking water.

However, Fluoride’s popularity began to wane from the 70s to the 90s when some European countries, such as Germany, Sweden and Finland, reversed their stance on the practice of fluoridation. Exact reasons were not given, but sources proclaimed not enough benefits were found or that it wasn’t worth the risk of poisoning. Who knows what the real reasons were?! The only thing that this Irvine sedation dentist can you tell you is that fluoride can indeed be poisonous. However, we have to keep in mind a lot of things we potentially ingest has the same or similar risk. For example: alcohol, mercury in fish (sushi , anyone?), and even magnesium in antacids. Overdosing is possible and in some areas of the US, there are instances of poisoning. Some effects include weakening of bones and corrosion of teeth. On the other hand, it can bring plenty of benefits. The bottom line is there needs to be a balance and general awareness of fluoride ingestion…therefore, the debate continues. For more information on the risks of Fluoride, ask your Irvine sedation dentist today!

Yeast: Not Just for Baking Bread

Yeast: Not Just for Baking Bread

 What do scones, wine, crusty loaves of bread, and cheese have in common? Well, besides the fact that this Irvine sedation dentist loves all these delicious treats, they all require yeast! From this short but sweet list, we can see that yeast is an essential ingredient to many wanted goods in our lives, but is there such thing as too much of a good thing?

 This Irvine sedation dentist thinks so! Too much of yeast is not something we want, especially when it comes to oral health. Yeast can overgrow in the mouth and cause conditions like oral thrush, which we definitely do not want. So, as much as yeast is great for our carbohydrates, they aren’t something we should try to grow in our mouths. Already knew this? Well, let’s see how yeast-savvy you are by taking the quiz below.

 1)   What kingdom is yeast apart of?

a)    protists b) fungi c) monera

 2)   What kind of yeast is most commonly the cause of oral thrush?

a) candida albicans b) candida albacore c) candida expelliarmus

            3) The same type of yeast that causes oral thrush also causes…

                  a) diabetes  b) cancer  c) diaper rash

 4)   Oral thrush lesions look like:

a)    cotton balls b) chigger bites c) cottage cheese

 5)   Risk factors for oral thrush are

a)    eating yogurt and cheese excessively b) dust c) smoking

 6)   Why are diabetes more likely to get oral thrush

a)    because they use corticosteroids b) because they are immunocompromised c) because they have extra sugar in saliva

7)   What is a serious side effect of antifungal medication

a)    liver damage b) sickle cell anemia c) HIV

 8)   What is NOT a treatment for Oral thrush?

a) nystatin b) bezoar c) fluconazole


1)   B

2)   A

3)   C

4)   C

5)   C

6)   C

7)   A

8)   B


For more information on oral thrush and yeast and oral health, contact your Irvine sedation dentist today.

Warm regards,

 Martha Ha, D.D.S.

Phone: 319-621-4114

Whitening Strips and your Teeth

Living in proximity to the stars can result in a lot of people being inspired by the bright white smiles of Hollywood stars. In fact this Orange county dentist can attest to the demand of whitening procedures. However, not everyone gets their whitening done at the dentist. In fact, at home teeth-whitening products are crowding the markets, as they are appealing for their convenience, price and easy use. 

Most whitening strips are small pieces of flexible plastic that can be molded to the surfaces of your teeth. The strips are coated with a treatment of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that breakdown surface stains. Now what’s the difference between whitening done at home and whitening done in the office? According to the American Dental Association both methods are mostly safe and effective.

With that said, the ADA recommends consulting a professional (your Orange county dentist will do) in order to avoid and prevent problems with teeth or gums. Also, the ADA acknowledges that whitening products can cause irritation, which is further aggravated by cheap chemicals that some products may use. The best way to avoid this is by consulting a professional and purchasing products from a trusted professional or brand.

For more information contact your local Orange county dentist today at (949) 857-1270. 

Does Your Gum Get ADA Approval?

Chewing gum can be an ingrained habit for many of us Americans. It helps keep our breath fresh, it staves off hunger and it’s just plain old fun to chew—at least for this Orange county dentist. Despite gum seeming like a modern day invention, it actually has roots since the ‘ancient times’—in various forms, of course.

The Greeks chewed something called mastiche, a sap from the mastic tree. While, the ancient Mayans liked to chew on the sap of the sapodilla tree, called tsicite. Native Americans from the New England area even chewed sap from the spruce tree—a habit they passed on to the European settlers. Now a day, gum isn’t usually made of sap from a tree. Instead the base is a blend of synthetic materials, like resins and waxes.

What’s even more exciting about chewing gum is that it has been demonstrated that it can protect teeth, so it’s not just a sweet treat! This, of course, only applies to gums that contain the American Dental Association’s seal. So, what does chewing gum actually do? Let this Orange county dentist tell you!

The act of chewing increases saliva flow in the mouth, which is especially helpful after eating. This increased flow of saliva helps neutralize and wash away acids that break down tooth enamel and causes decay. Increased saliva flow has also been shown to carry more calcium and phosphate to strengthen the enamel, with clinical studies showing that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes, after a meal, to be helpful in preventing tooth decay.

Again not all types of gum are applicable. It must be sugar free and contain the ADA’s seal of approval. For more information on what chewing gums are appropriate, contact your Orange county dentist today at (949) 857-1270.