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Oral Health Myths Debunked

Oral Health Myths Debunked

It is commonplace for patients to have their own set of beliefs, whether they are from experience, their education or maybe word of mouth. Some beliefs are sometimes ludicrous while others make more sense. Regardless this Irvine sedation dentist knows how easy it is to believe in something, when we feel like it’s credible. Oral health is a department where several people beg to differ on what is good or bad for their chompers. As an Irvine sedation dentist, I feel it is my job to debunk some popular ones, if not for a healthier smile; for knowledge’s sake!

Oral Health Myth #1: We are born with weak teeth

This is absolutely not true. Many patients come in believing that they just have naturally ‘weak teeth,’ that allow them to be more susceptible to tooth decay or disease. However, ‘dentally speaking,’ ‘weak teeth’ means developmental defects for dentists. Of course, there are some effects caused by systemic illness or genetics, however, outside of these factors; lifestyle is the largest contributor to oral health. So much is preventable. That is what’s so great about healthcare.

Oral Health Myth #2: My teeth don’t bother me, so I don’t have to visit the dentist

The reality is that often times we don’t know if there is something wrong until it is too late. Many times gum disease does not prevent itself until it is so far along that drastic treatment must be taken. Furthermore, there are conditions that may not necessarily raise a red flag for you but should be treated. For example, teeth grinding, bleeding gums, teeth sensitivity or teeth flatness.

Oral Health Myth #3: My Gums are bleeding, so I shouldn’t brush so much.

If your gums are bleeding it seems natural to let them be, so they can ‘heal.’ However, gums aren’t like other parts of your body. When gums bleed it is a sign that food and plaque have accumulated and are therefore irritating your mouth. The best thing to do is to brush to remove all possible irritants. Gum bleeding can also be a sign that you are flossing or brushing too vigourously. Gentleness and consistency is key to a perfect smile, remember that!

Oral Health Myth #4: My breath smells, so I’m not brushing properly.

Bad breath can be caused by a number of different factors. This of course includes poor hygiene, but it can also mean that the foods you are eating are causing a pungent odor. Dehydration and illness also plays a role.

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. 

Happy Father's Day

Every June this Irvine dentist, along with millions of others, celebrates a special person in our lives—the person who cheered us on at little league, the one who taught us how to drive and the one who gave us a pat on the back when we needed it most; we celebrate our fathers.

Some people will buy their pop a fancy tie, some fishing gear, or even host a nice barbeque! The manner in which we show our appreciation will differ, but the sentiment will be the same. We appreciate the time, effort and love they have put into this special relationship. To carry this important relationship into the future, it is important to safeguard our fathers’ health; this includes oral health!

This Irvine dentist will give you some tips on how to keep dear old dad healthy through the years.

1) If your dad is a big BBQ fan—well that’s fantastic. Protein is an essential part of our diet and some studies even show that a diet high in protein versus carbohydrates will amount to less plaque. However, the problem with BBQ can be the sauce. Many bastings are high in sugar content, which the bad bacteria in our mouths love. To reduce sugars, try dry rubbing with seasoning or lemon juice. If dad needs that BBQ sauce, make sure he rinses his mouth after eating.

2) Some dads like to go hunting and in effect they like to make some tasty jerky! Jerky is a healthy snack and more nutritious than say a candy bar. However, Jerky can also get stuck in between teeth. Therefore, after snacking remember to floss and rinse thoroughly to prevent decay.

3) Alcohol is a nice way to wind down a celebratory evening. However, it can also be quite acidic and thus cause damage to our enamel. This isn’t to say to skip the beer altogether. Go ahead and enjoy, just try to limit yourself. Your teeth and liver will thank you in the long run!

4) That Lazy Boy you got your pops for Christmas was probably well appreciated, but it probably doesn’t help motivate him to get off the couch! They are just too comfortable, aren’t they? However, ensuring that your dad gets enough exercise is good for the heart, as well as the teeth and gums!

For more tips on oral health, contact your Irvine dentist today at (949) 857-1270!

The Truth About Strawberries

Summer is almost here, which means beach time, long sunny days and of course strawberries—a favorite fruit of this Orange county dentist. Strawberries definitely deserve their fan following, as they are delicious in smoothies, shortcakes, covered in chocolate, and of course all by its natural self. Furthermore, the sensational strawberry is also considered a ‘super-fruit,’ as it is rich in antioxidants and helps protect the heart. They are also low in calories and high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and folic acid! So luckily this Orange county dentist, along with others can feel good about enjoying some strawberries this upcoming season.

However, some is the key word. Like all good things, strawberries must be eaten in moderation. This is because strawberries are highly acidic, and consuming too many can cause tooth erosion. This happens when acid slowly eats away at the enamel of your tooth. Once this enamel is lost, it cannot be recovered. Loss of enamel causes a wide range of dental problems, such as sensitivity, teeth discoloration, cracked teeth and even tooth loss!

This doesn’t mean you should stop eating these wonderful red sweets altogether. It just means you should limit your portions and be smart about it! Here are some tips:

1) Pair them with foods low in sugar and acid content. Examples of these are nuts, bananas, spinach and many diary products. Of course, avoid drinking them with acidic drinks like soda, alcohol and fruit juices.
2) Rinse after eating. The water will help neutralize the acid, while keeping you hydrated during the summer time!
3) Wait at least minutes before brushing. The acid from the strawberries will still be present after eating, so waiting before you brush will help keep your enamel strong.

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

-Martha Ha, Tozzer Dental

Common Teeth Whitening Mistakes

A bright white smile is a common request at the office of this Orange County dentist, and it’s no wonder. Studies done by Kelton of Invasalign have shown that a great smile can have lasting first impressions—a good tool when trying to find a job or date even!

Patients who are in search for their best smile often take measures into their own hands. Many of them are appropriate, such as avoiding staining foods and drinks. However, others can be damaging or a wasted effort.

The following are a list of common teeth whitening mistakes:

1) Avoiding Real Talk with your Orange County dentist
We get it. Coming to the office can be a drag, but it’s a necessary evil to go—at least every 6 months. Many times patients start their own whitening regime without informing their dentist. This can be dangerous because if your teeth are damaged or have holes in them, bleaching products can seep in and hit nerves. This would cause major pain and even damage your teeth.

2) Using Whitening Mouth Wash
Keep your hard earned cash and give tooth-whitening mouthwash a miss. Using a rinse won’t give you the results that you desire and its harsh nature could do more harm than good.

3) Leaving on Whitening Materials too Long
There’s a reason a time limit is suggested when it comes to bleaching your smile. Ignoring directions can lead to splotchy teeth and increased sensitivity.

4) Not Checking for the FDA Seal
Whitening can be costly and because of it many go online for more budget-friendly alternatives. This can be iffy because patients will often buy products or brands that are not FDA-approved, which can ultimately do great damage to your smile!

5) Going too Far
Yes, we all understand that you want the same smile as the hottest starlet on TV, but sometimes trying to get your ivories stark white—will end in loss of a healthy sheen. A good guideline is to match the color of your teeth to the whites of your eyes

For more information on how to get a whiter smile the right way, contact your local Orange County dentist today at 949-857-1270.

-Martha Ha, Tozzer Dental

Avoid "Green Teeth" This St. Patty's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Whether this year's celebrations call for "green eggs and ham" or an illustrious "green beer", be sure to keep a toothbrush close by. This Irvine Dentist warns that the green food coloring found in these festive foods is perfectly safe for your teeth when consumed in small amounts, but after a full day of eating green foods, your teeth may begin to take on a green tint of their own.

Not to worry, you can avoid "green teeth" with these simple steps. First, make sure to brush thoroughly before eating anything green. If there is plaque on your teeth, the dye will stick to that first. Second, brush, floss and use mouthwash before bed. This will remove the green residue left on your teeth and prevent stains.

If all else fails, you can always come in and see this Irvine Dentist for a cleaning! Call the office to make an appointment at (949) 857-1270.

A Valentine's Day Kiss

What do chocolate filled hearts, sweet cards, red roses and bow tie wearing teddy bears have in common? They are main players in thespecial day that Mr. Cupid comes out to play. Yes, Valentine's day! This holiday is romantic for a number of reasons, partially because it usually ends with at least one good romantic kiss--well, if you're lucky.

This Irvine family dentist knows that sharing a kiss is a nice way to show your significant other affection. However, did you know that there are over 500 different types of disease-causing bacteria that can be swapped via a kiss? This is not to deter anyone's romantic plans, but it is to stress the importance of a clean mouth!

Here are two tips to keep your mouth healthy and your Valentine happy:

1) Picking the right meal:
When preparing or picking a meal to eat, steering clear from carb heavy or rich foods will greatly help in controlling the bacteria in your mouth. Choose fresher and lighter meals, it will be better for your mouth and, I imagine, your digestive tract!

2) After meal deal:

Many of us (this Irvine family dentist included) like to treat our extra special dates to a wonderful meal, either it be home cooked or out at a restaurant. Sometimes, wanting to spend every second with our date or being out in public will keep us from brushing teeth after a meal. Therefore, to get kiss ready a mint will replace your oral health routine. There is a better way. Just quickly rinsing your mouth with water a few times, will help get rid of any food particles stuck in the teeth, which bad bacteria love to get a hold of! Rinse and repeat and feel free to pop in that mint!

For more information on healthy habits, contact your local Irvine family dentist today at (949) 857-1270! Until then, have a great Valentine's day.

-Martha Ha, Tozzer Dental

A Bright Smile for Your Valentine

Love is definitely in the air mid month with both young and old couples celebrating their love for each other in the most romantic ways possible. Some will go to swanky restaurants, others may picnic in the park, and some may choose to keep it low key and stay in. Regardless of what one chooses to do (or not do), what most V-day celebrations usually have in common is that the people celebrating are usually smiling ear to ear--it's no different for this Irvine dentist.

With big smiles coming out to shine for this special occasion, it makes sense to want to brighten up ones smile before the big romantic day.
To get a whiter smile there are multiple options available at the office of an Irvine dentist. There are also some things you can do at home to ensure that your teeth are date ready.

At the dental office the most common procedures are:

1) In office bleaching: This cosmetic procedure is quick and easy that takes about one hour to complete. It involves careful application of hydrogen-peroxide gel to the teeth, which is then activated by a special light only available at the dentist.
This whitening system is very comfortable and clean, and what's most great about it is that results can be seen immediately!

2) Customized bleach trays: These bleach trays are made to fit the your mouth! They are to be used at home, which is not only convenient, but also economical if one is wanting to maintain a white smile.
The dentist will create a molding mixture and the place it in a special tray, which will be placed in your mouth. After a quick minute or two, the mold will be taken out and will be sent to the lab for a plastic bleach tray.

Some ways to maintain one's smile at home are to:

1) Avoid staining foods such as: coffee, red wine, tea, sports drinks, sauces, sodas and sweets.
2) Quit smoking--a difficult task, but so worth it. Not only will it make a smile brighter, but it will be good for overall health!
3) Evaluate and update your current oral health routine. Is brushing and flossing a priority for you? If not, it should be! It keeps cavities at bay and helps with staining or discoloration from foods when not brushed away properly.

For more information on how to impress your Valentine's day with a new white smile contact your local Irvine dentist today at (949) 857-1270.

-Martha Ha, Tozzer Dental

Fruits and Veggies Whiten Teeth Naturally!

Here at the office we have countless patients that come in asking about teeth whitening. Between coffee, soft drinks and red wine  it seems almost impossible to keep our pearly whites, well –  white. While in-office and at home whitening procedures are a great way to brighten your smile, it may be what we do in between whitening sessions that matters the most!

A recent USA Today article gave the scoop on certain fruits and veggies that might actually scrub away stains and whiten teeth naturally. According to doctors, squeezing the following foods into your diet may keep your teeth sparkling white all year long.

Apples, green beans, cauliflower and celery

These firm fruits and veggies are like a toothbrush on your teeth when you eat them – scrubbing and polishing your teeth with each bite. They also promote the flow of saliva, which neutralizes acids and protects your teeth.


No need to shy away from the cheese platters this holiday season. The lactic acid found in cheese and other dairy products helps prevent tooth decay and promotes overall oral health.

What’s your favorite whitening trick?