Primary Dental Care Blog

Questions about Dentistry

Are Veneers Right For You? Our Garden Grove Dentists Have the Answer

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If you have any minor dental imperfections that might not require immediate dental treatment but you wouldn’t mind being rid of, porcelain veneers might be right for you. Porcelain veneers are basically a thin layer of porcelain material designed to lay over the surface of your teeth and be shaped to blend with the rest of your smile to give it a flawless, more perfect appearance.

Most frequently, porcelain veneers are used to cover:

  • Teeth that have been discolored or stained
  • Teeth that are uneven or crooked
  • Small chips and cracks

When you get a veneer, our cosmetic dentists will typically remove a small layer of enamel on your tooth to make room for the future porcelain veneer. This happens in one appointment. On a follow-up appointment, the veneer will actually be placed on the tooth. After this, you will take care of your teeth as your normally would, with your veneer lasting for

Traditional porcelain veneers require a thin layer of enamel to be removed from the front of your tooth to make room for the veneer. The veneer fits snugly in place to create the look of a perfect tooth. Your dentist will prepare your teeth in one visit, then you will return to have your veneers placed. Once securely placed you will keep your veneers forever, maintaining your teeth as you normally would with your veneer lasting for as many as twenty years.

The type of veneer that your dentist recommends for your will rely on a number of factors – many of them having to do with the health and coloration of your teeth and enamel. The important thing to remember is that dental veneers won’t stain like your natural teeth will – which can lead to some discoloration problems in some patients. Fortunately, this is easily handled in the dentist’s chair with bleaching.

Have questions about porcelain veneers in Garden Grove? We have answers! If you’re a dental patient in Southern California, get in touch with our knowledgeable dental team today for any questions about perfecting your teeth with veneers. 

What Causes Dental Grinding and How You Can Stop It

Trying to stay looking young? Start with your teeth!

Trying to stay looking young? Start with your teeth!

If dental sensitivity is something that keeps you up at night or gives you headaches, have you wondered yet if you’ve been grinding your teeth? Our dentists in Garden Grove frequently work with patients to correct grinding habits and subsequently protect your teeth for longer.

The thing about grinding is this, it’s not just something that’s going to cause headaches. If you grind or clench your teeth – you make wake up with a headache, but it can also contribute to earaches, sore facial muscles, and problems with the temporomandibular joint – which connects your jaw to the rest of your skull. If you do grind your teeth, the smart idea is to have an easy conversation with your dentist. Remember: the prevention is always easier than the cure.

Unfortunately, we don’t exactly know what causes grinding – otherwise known as bruxism. Many times, it can come about in young children who are experiencing pain or discomfort from ailments like the common cold, allergies, or an ear infection. However, when it comes to adults – habitual grinding has no specific known cause. But it has been known to be loosely tied to sleep problems and dental problems ranging from crooked teeth to an abnormal bite.

In most cases, the typical treatment our dentists at Primary Dental Care in Garden Grove recommend is a custom mouth guard that’s been made of a soft material that fits over your teeth at night. This helps eliminate most of the pressure that comes from grinding and clenching.  In other, less serious cases – simple stress reduction techniques may be your best bet.

 

 

 

“My Teeth Feel Cold”: What Sensitivity Means and How to Fix it

It might be winter in some parts of the country, but if your teeth ever feel cold there might be something else wrong.

Sensitive teeth that feel cold aren’t uncommon. However, the important thing to remember is that there’s a difference between teeth that feel cold and sensitive, and teeth that have decayed or been subject to gum disease.

If your teeth are just sensitive, your best bet will be to talk to your dentist. Our dentists in Garden Grove frequently consult with patients who have sensitive teeth on ways to keep their teeth healthy (and comfortable). What we recommend to you depends on what’s causing your sensitivity.

Mind your enamel…

Enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protect them from the outside world. It takes a while to do, but dental enamel can actually be worn away. When this happens, nerve endings are exposed – which can result in different feelings of sensitivity.

Don’t brush too hard

The good thing is, you can usually stop the sensitivity in its tracks. First, try not to brush too hard. Hold your toothbrush like you would hold your pencil – and brush more carefully. On top of this – make sure you use a soft-bristled tooth brush. A hard toothbrush is not going to help sensitivity.

 

Stop clenching. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, the stress it causes can very frequently contribute to dental sensitivity. Your dentist should be able to see evidence of this at your regular dental exam – and it could be fixed by a retainer. On the positive side, this can also help eliminate other issues – like snoring  and morning headaches.

Cool it with the bleaching. If you’re chasing the dream of sparkling white teeth – do be careful. TOo much bleaching can potentially lead to heightened sensitivity. If this is a problem – talk to your dentist about in-office teeth whitening, it might be a better alternative for sensitive teeth.

What if it’s not just sensitivity?

 

Dental sensitivity is fairly common, but the underlying cause isn’t always as mundane as overbrushing or clenched teeth. Sometimes, it could be tied to an underlying infection or deeper dental problem. For this reason, it’s important to remain aware of any changes to your dental health – and communicate them to your dentist at your regular – bi-annual dentist appointments.

What to do about a chipped tooth: Cosmetic Dentistry Explained

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You’d be incredibly surprised to know how often patients of all ages experience the most common boo boo that teeth often see- a chip. The American Dental Association reports that chipped teeth usually account for a vast majority of dental injuries – and our dentists in Garden Grove aren’t surprised. Because the sheer number of ways a tooth can become chipped is incredibly vast – ranging from sudden impact and temperature stress – to sheer bad luck.

No matter how it happens, the thing about a chipped tooth is that it always seems impossible to not rub it with your tongue. Which can become hard to ignore. And if the chip is particularly bad, it could be noticeable to the naked eye. Fortunately, a chipped tooth is almost always able to be treated successfully.

Treating Small Chips

Many times, when dental chips are at the very edge of your teeth, they can be fixed with a single sitting in the dentist’s chair. With a little polishing, the rough edges can be carefully shaped and polished with a special bonding material to restore the surface. This is both fast, effective, and economical for most fixes.

Are there any downsides? 

Over time, the bonding material used to correct a chipped tooth can become stained (or chipped) over time. This might sometimes require that the bonding material be replaced. Another option that isn’t as prone to this problem is porcelain veneers. While more expensive, a porcelain veneer covers the problem and reinforces the tooth in a much more permanent capacity.

Dealing With Larger Chips

If the chip is considerably large (big enough to find the piece that chipped off), you should do your best to collect the pieces and preserve them if possible. There’s a chance that your dentist might be able to re-attach the piece with the same bonding material that would otherwise be used for polishing a small chip.

If the chewing surface of your tooth (The cusp) is broken, but the roots are still intact our cosmetic dentists in Southern California can often use an onlay to replace part of your tooth’s surface. On the other hand, if the damage to your tooth goes as far as the root – there’s a good chance your tooth needs even more attention. In order to prevent discomfort, pain, or infection further down the road, a root canal could be the smart option. If this is the case, your tooth will be cleaned out filled with a special material, and covered with a dental crown to completely restore the tooth to its original appearance.

 

 

 

Braces for Adults: Worth It?

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If you’re an adult that has healthy teeth but not perfect teeth – you might be wondering if braces (or Invisalign) are right for you. The thing you might not realize however is that braces for adults are about more than just cosmetics.

Even though you might not need braces to prevent a serious issue, braces can actually do much more than correct a cosmetic issue. This is because crooked teeth and other problems – like improper jaw positioning or an “off” bite can cause a number of problems further down the road. This makes braces a smart investment that goes far behind just a great confidence booster.

It’s no secret that braces can rather quickly improve your teeth by making them straighter and more even.  However, braces do more than just straigthen your teeth. And what many patients might not realize is that nearly 7 in 10 dental issues are an overbite! This means that many adults come to rely on braces to fix their bite as they do for correcting alignment.

While the cosmetic reasons for getting braces are often the most compelling for patients, the distinct benefits on the other end of the spectrum make just as big of a difference. Correcting underlying bite and alignment problems with braces can effectively help a variety of symptoms – including:

  • Earaches
  • GERD problems
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Jaw pain and other jaw disorders like TMD
  • Accelerated enamel wear
  • Gum erosion
  • And more…

Are you an adult in Southern California wondering if braces are right for you? Our dentists in Garden Grove can most definitely help. For consultations, advice, and more – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and professional team today.

 

Need a Dental Crown? Here’s a Refresher

Every week, our dentists in Garden Grove help patients overcome a wide variety of problems with dental crowns. But it’s been a while since we’ve talked about what a dental crown actually helps you accomplish.

Dentists typically recommend a dental crown for one (or more) of several reasons. One of the most common reasons for this is that a tooth is too weak and needs some extra support.  In other cases, your tooth might be damaged or severely discolored.

For problems like this, there are a few different kinds of dental crowns available ranging from ceramic and porcelain to stainless steel and resin. However, there are upsides and downsides to each kind. For example, a rear tooth that’s harder to see might be better served by a crown that’s stronger but not necessarily natural looking. This is because the tooth is in the back, and it’s not going to be seen that often. In other cases, a crown that looks as realistic as possible might be the best option.

Generally, the dental crown procedure involves two appointments with the dentist. In the first appointment, your dentist will examine the tooth and determine which kind of dental crown is the best solution for the task at hand. Then, she will file down the tooth to prepare the space for the crown. In some cases a root canal procedure may be required if the tooth is particularly damaged. next, the tooth will usually need to be filled.

Once this is complete, your dentist will make an impression of the tooth and the tooth alongside it so that the molds can be sent to a dental lab and transformed into the permanent crown.

At the end of your first visit, your dentist will usually fit you with a temporary crowd to protect the tooth until the permanent crown is ready to be installed. When this happens, the crown can last between five and fifteen years.

Does your tooth need fixing? A dental crown could be the option you need. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact our dentists in Garden Grove today.

 

Did You Know Your Dentist Can Help Diagnose Diabetes?

Did you know that your dentist might be more apt to diagnose you with diabetes than your family doctor? That’s right. If you think you might be susceptible to diabetes or if diabetes runs in your family, don’t be surprised if your next visit to your dentist involves checking your blood glucose.

Why?

Well – while diabetes manifests in the form of high levels of sugar in your body as well as higher blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney malfunction – it’s not entirely uncommon for your dentist to notice gum disease as an early sign of diabetes.

If you already know you have diabetes, you have to be extra careful. Because periodontal diseases directly impact your gum and bone’s ability to hold your teeth in place.

While you’re dealing with the potentially inconvenient (and diet affecting) symptoms of diabetes, the last thing you want to worry about is your teeth. But because diabetes can impact the health of your teeth – you have to be extra careful to make sure that you are babying them and your gums as much as possible.

Why does diabetes impact gum disease? 

This is a topic our dentists in Garden Grove are very interested in. Unfortunately, there could be a number of factors at play.

Blood Vessels: One of the primary complications causes by diabetes is the thickening of your blood vessels. Because your blood vessels deliver vital nutrients to your gums while also helping to carry away waste – thicker blood vessels tend to slow these vessels down.  This can lead to a slower flow of nutrients combined with a slower expulsion of harmful bacterias.

Bacteria: Bacteri is always something you should be aware of  in your mouth. Unfortunately, when your diabetes if poorly controlled – high levels of glucose in your mouth can provide bacteria a perfect breeding ground to do their dirty work.

Have more questions? We have answers! 

Are you a diabetic experiencing problems with your teeth? Our Orange County dentists can help. Contact us today to learn about new patient specials, 24 hour emergency dentistry, and more.

How to Get Your Children to Appreciate the Dentist

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it numerous times. Starting your child early with a good dental hygiene routine is the best possible way to ensure that they live with healthy teeth for the rest of their live.

Why?

Because good habits are lasting habits, and one of the best habits you can impart to your children is a positive oral hygiene habit. Because with it, they will go through their entire life with the notion that it’s important and healthy to actively and regularly brush their teeth. But what if your children don’t want to brush?

There are a few tips you can follow. But the most important tip: don’t give up. Teaching your children to brush and floss can truly save you thousands of dollars in dental costs. But if you’re struggling, our dentists in Garden Grove have a few simple tips to encourage your children to brush.

 

Start As Early As Possible

The sooner the better. And the sooner your child sees their family dentist, the sooner they get a chance to understand that we’re here to help and that a regular dental check-up doesn’t hurt at all.

Have Your Child Tag Along

If your child has a hard time at the dentist, giving them the opportunity to see you at the dentist can go a long way when it comes to convincing them that brushing, flossing, and all of your dentist’s suggestions are worthwhile.

Keep Your Fears to Yourself

The thing about “fear of the dentist” is that it can easily pass from you to your children. If you have anxiety about going to the dentist – do your best to keep it to yourself. Otherwise, it’s easy to pass these fears on to your child.

Have a question about getting your child to brush, floss, or take better care of their teeth? Our dentists in Garden Grove can help. 

An Automatic Toothbrush? Welcome to 2017 – But Should You Use It? Our Dentists in Garden Grove Weigh In

how to take care of dental bridges

Have you heard of this new automated toothbrush yet?

That’s right – as Geek.com so helpfully explains – it’s an all-new toothbrush that does all the work for you.

The concept behind the contraption is pretty simple (and quite ingenious) – just think of one of those automated vacuum cleaners that dutifully cleans up every corner of your home without you even lifting a finger.

However, when it comes to an automated robot cleaning up your carpets and floors – the concept is just a little bit different. Because if you miss a spot of dirt or debris here or there on your floors, it won’t get any bigger or more dangerous for your home. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for your teeth. When bacteria and decay aren’t properly handled – they spread and get worse. That’s something you don’t want happening.

What the company behind this “automatic” toothbrush claims is that you can save up to 22 hours a year by tossing aside your “analog” toothbrush and adopting this new, high-tech toothbrush of the future.

But you should remember – our dentists in Garden Grove (and probably dentists around the world) are taking this with a grain of salt. Unlike an invention that would eliminate cavities forever or prevent sugar from contributing to dental decay – a toothbrush that does the work for you might not help you as much as you think. How do you know what spots it’s missing? How thorough is it? Do you trust it to do as good a job as you can do yourself? And finally – are you really not going to waste those 22 yearly hours on something else?

Here’s a word to the wise – when it comes to brushing your teeth don’t jump on the latest technology until it’s absolutely proven. And never buy a dental product that hasn’t been tested and approved by the ADA.

Have questions about your teeth? We have answers! If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove area – get in touch today to learn about new patient specials, our 24 hour emergency dental clinic, and more. 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get Your Child to Brush Their Teeth

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As our dentists in Garden Grove will tell just about any patient, the easiest way to keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime is pretty darn simple: take care of them. And while that might seem vague, it’s really not. It’s actually really simple – and it all starts with brushing.

But what do you if you can’t get your kid(s) to brush (we won’t even start on flossing yet)? The thing is – it’s a habit. If you have a 9 or 1 0 year old that won’t brush their teeth, there’s a good chance they didn’t make brushing a habit when they were 9, 8, 7, or 5 years old for that matter.

Fortunately, though – if you have a child that refuses to brush their teeth, you have. And it’s definitely a lot better than being stuck with the numerous dental problems an adult would have after neglecting brushing for so many years.

Our tip: change the entire conversation around oral hygiene in your home. But how?

Try Data

People love tracking their progress with anything. Kids are no different. Take some pictures of your kid’s teeth and show them what they look like over time. Brushing and flossing (combined with a healthy diet) will only make teeth cleaner and brighter, and tracking progress should help give your children a new perspective and a personal stake in their dental health.

Try Positive Reinforcement

Easy right? All it takes is a nice word or two (every once in  a while)

“Your teeth look so shiny!”

“Look at those pearly whites!”

“What amazing teeth you have!”

Positive feedback can encourage your kids to actively want more. In this case, that requires keeping up with their oral hygiene.

Call for help

This doesn’t need to be complicated, and it shouldn’t be a fight. But sometimes – you need to call in the “big guns” and in this case, that means your local family dentist. Sometimes, kids just won’t listen to their parents. We get it! But when it’s not just mom or dad telling them their teeth are going to fall out – a few carefully chosen words (and sometimes even photos) by your dentist can go a long way.