Whittier Dentist Blog - St. Mary Family Dental in Whittier

Flossing 101


Flossing 101 Only 5% – 10% of Americans are regular flossers? According to studies done at Emory University by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common gum problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis (an inflammation and/or infection of the Read more

Preventative Dental Care: Beyond the Basics


https://vimeo.com/118348802 You know to brush and floss daily and visit the dentist regularly. Learn what else you can do to keep your teeth and gums looking their best. Come in to St. Mary Dental in Whittier CA to learn Read more

Diet and Your Dental Health


https://vimeo.com/118348441 There are good foods and bad foods but timing can make all the difference in maintaining your dental health. Come and see us at St. Mary Dental in Whittier for a checkup and dental Read more

Flossing 101

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Flossing 101

Only 5% – 10% of Americans are regular flossers? According to studies done at Emory University by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common gum problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis (an inflammation and/or infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth) lead to a 23% – 46% higher rate of death.

If that doesn’t get your attention, are you aware that daily flossing adds an average of 6.3 years to a person’s lifespan? That’s right! According to Michael F. Roizen, MD in his book, Real Age, he writes that “flossing your teeth daily can make your arteries younger…studies show that flossing helps keep your immune system young.”

  • Wrap most of an 18-inch piece of floss around your middle finger on one hand and the same finger on the other hand. Hold the floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers.
  • Guide the floss between the teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.
  • When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
  • Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.

Preventative Dental Care: Beyond the Basics

StMary Cosmetic Dentistry, Oral Health, Preventative Dentistry Comments Off on Preventative Dental Care: Beyond the Basics , ,

You know to brush and floss daily and visit the dentist regularly. Learn what else you can do to keep your teeth and gums looking their best. Come in to St. Mary Dental in Whittier CA to learn more!


Diet and Your Dental Health

StMary Oral Health, Preventative Dentistry Comments Off on Diet and Your Dental Health , ,

There are good foods and bad foods but timing can make all the difference in maintaining your dental health. Come and see us at St. Mary Dental in Whittier for a checkup and dental cleaning!


The Medical-Dental Connection

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The mouth and the body are connected – more than 120 conditions may be detected in the early stages by a dentist.


Caring for Teeth with Braces

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Learn good oral hygiene practices for a bright, healthy smile after your braces are removed.  We offer both conventional braces and invisalign at St. Mary Dental.  Get an appointment with us to learn more!


Avoid Gum Disease with Good Oral Hygiene

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Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases in the world. It’s caused by bacteria that live in the plaque that builds up on your teeth.  Come and see us at St. Mary Dental in Whittier to help avoid gum disease.


Preventive Care for a Healthy Smile

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Brushing and flossing properly can help you maintain your healthy smile.  Come and see us at St. Mary Dental in Whittier to see how we can help!


Dentures in Whittier California

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Regain Your Confidence with Dentures in Whittier

If you’re thinking about getting dentures, you might be asking yourself some questions: “How will they fit? Will they look natural? Will anyone know I’m wearing fake teeth?” You might be concerned about practical matters such as the cost of dentures and whether affordable dentures are within your reach.

Although no one welcomes a partial or full set of replacement teeth, they help you chew, eat and speak normally and without pain. They also keep any existing teeth you have from drifting out of position, which prevents a range of dental problems. Most important, affordable dentures restore your smile and give you the confidence to show off your pearly whites without feeling self-conscious about missing teeth. With proper denture care, your replacement teeth will last for years.

Whittier Denture Basics

Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing; partials are used when one or more natural teeth remain. The cost of dentures will in part be determined by which type you choose:

Complete Dentures — These are either “conventional” or “immediate.” Conventional dentures are made after any remaining teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed (usually two to three months).

Immediate dentures are ready for wear the same day any remaining teeth are removed so you don’t have to spend the healing period toothless. The drawback is that you’ll need more adjustments, since your gums and bones shrink during this period.

Whittier Partial Dentures

There are two types of partials, removable and fixed. A removable partial (or dental bridge) consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. Removable partials are connected by a metal framework that helps keep them in place.
Fixed partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth by placing a dental crown on each tooth surrounding the space and attaching replacement teeth to the crowns. This bridge is then cemented into place.

Common Whittier Denture Concerns

Talk to your dentist so you’ll know what to expect should you decide to seek out affordable dentures. Here are a few basic questions:
What will they feel like? Dentures may feel odd or even uncomfortable for the first few weeks. You may experience some minor irritation and soreness. These things usually get better as your mouth adjusts.

Will they affect the way I talk? Some words may be difficult to pronounce, so practice saying those words out loud for awhile. If your teeth click when you speak, contact your dentist.

Will people know I’m wearing fake teeth? Dentures are designed to resemble your natural teeth. You will be able to speak, chew and look just like someone with natural teeth.

Are replacement teeth expensive? The cost of dentures depends on what you need. A complete set may cost more than partials; dental implants cost more than a dental bridge. If you need a tooth extraction, that factors in to the cost of dentures, too. Affordable dentures provide value for your money; consider the cost of dentures an investment in your future. If you have dental insurance, find out if it covers the cost of obtaining affordable dentures.

What’s involved in denture care? Your dentist will offer tips on denture care. The better you follow your denture care instructions, the longer your replacement teeth will last. Professional denture care in the form of a denture reline may be needed every few years to adjust the fit. If your teeth become too loose over time — which can happen as your mouth’s structure naturally changes — your dentist may suggest a new set.

If you want to learn more about affordable dentures and proper denture care, come in to St. Mary Family Dental in Whittier CA for a free consultation!


Dental Night Guard in Whittier CA

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Night Guard in Whittier CA

Teeth-grinders, heed this: The earlier you catch the damage, the better your prognosis.

Want to know one excellent way to combat the bothersome habit of nighttime bruxism, or teeth grinding? Use of a night guard — every time you sleep. If you think the trouble or expense of a dental night guard isn’t worth it, or you aren’t even entirely sure it’s tooth-grinding behind what seem to be increasingly shorter teeth, headaches, jaw pain and a perturbed sleep partner, it’s probably time to visit your dentist. Based on the amount of damage you may have already done and the symptoms you describe, your dentist can determine whether a night mouth guard is right for you.

Creating Your Dental Night Guard

Once your dentist determines that you’re a good candidate for a night guard, he or she will create one that’s custom-made for your mouth. A professionally made night guard for teeth is composed of soft material and slides over one row of your teeth. Once your dental night guard is in place, you can sleep soundly knowing that even if you do grind your teeth once you’re asleep, your upper and lower teeth will no longer make contact. One example of a prescribed night mouth guard is the Sleep Right® night guard. The Sleep Right night guard is available in three formats: Slim-Comfort, Secure-Comfort and Dura-Comfort. The Sleep Right night guard is known for its comfortable, non-bulky fit.

It’s important to note that a night guard isn’t always covered by dental insurance. Given the out-of-pocket cost of a dental night guard — it can be as much as $900 — you may be tempted to purchase an over-the-counter version. While this type of night mouth guard might temporarily do the trick, it’s not custom-fit to your mouth. The end result is that this store-bought night guard for teeth may be uncomfortable and make it nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep!

If a night guard is recommended for you and you don’t have the funds, discuss your options. Believe it or not, your dentist is on your side! Many dental offices will set up payment plans or work with you to help you to get the dental treatment or dental night guard you need.

Are You a Night-Grinder?

Most people who grind their teeth at night don’t even realize it. If you think you might be a night-grinder, ask yourself some questions. Does it seem that your teeth are fitting together in new and perplexing ways? Are you sure that you don’t have cavities, but you still experience sensitive teeth that look like they’ve been filed down? Does your sleep partner complain that sleeping next to you is akin to the sound of fingernails scraping along a chalkboard?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you could be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism is not an uncommon nighttime phenomena. It may be mild and sporadic or seemingly unending and frequent. And sure, during times of intense duress, some of you may even find yourself grinding away during waking hours. The big difference is that during waking hours, it’s easy to correct behavior as you notice it. But spending every night grinding away in your sleep not knowing there’s a problem and the results could render your teeth useless or you toothless.

The most effective solution for preventing teeth grinding is to wear a night guard for teeth.

Causes and Next Steps Teeth Grinding

Although the causes of tooth-grinding aren’t fully known, stress may be a contributing factor. Other schools of thought chock this condition up to sleeping problems, crooked or missing teeth, or a malocclusion.

What is known is that those who grind or clench their teeth often wake with pain in their facial region and teeth. The teeth of those who grind are prone to damage such as cracks, factures and even tooth erosion of the dentin (the soft area underneath the tooth’s enamel). If you suspect you or someone you love is a tooth-grinder, make an appointment to see a dentist right away. A night guard could be the solution that puts an end to the pain and damage.

Remember, your teeth deserve a rest, and so do you. Whether you’re going through a phase or not, the damage that you may be doing can mean expensive repair work down the road. That’s why it’s always advised to find out whether you need a dental night guard earlier rather than later.


How Long Should I Wait to Eat After Getting My Teeth Cleaned?

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Getting your teeth professionally cleaned in Whittier CA is something you should do at least twice each year. Not only does this ensure that any problems with your teeth are detected and stopped, but it also gives you a remarkably fresh and clean feeling that can last for many hours or even days afterward.

However, you do have to put your teeth to work again in order to eat and remain healthy, and many people wonder how long they must wait after a cleaning before they can safely eat again. The answer varies from person to person because the following items have to be taken into consideration:

Was fluoride placed on the teeth? If not, you can eat as soon as you need to after the cleaning is done. If you did get fluoride treatments, you should wait at least 30 minutes or more after the cleaning before you eat or drink. This ensures that the treatment takes full effect and that the teeth have been able to absorb this beneficial and helpful compound.

What do you plan on eating or drinking? If you had fluoride treatment you need to avoid acidic and abrasive foods that might cause the fluoride to be removed due to scraping or stickiness. Also note that many people experience tooth sensitivity immediately after a cleaning and extremely hot or cold food may cause a very uncomfortable sensation. The gums may also be sensitive (and in some cases they may bleed a bit) and food could cause irritation.

How long do you want that fresh feeling? It may sound silly, but a lot of people hold off on eating for a bit of time (a few hours or so) because they love how unbelievably clean their teeth and gums feel. However, don’t wait too long as it is unhealthy to skip meals.

Getting your teeth cleaned by a dental professional comes with a long list of benefits. They can address some problems, catch things you may not even have detected yet (such as some early decay or gum disease), get the teeth back in good shape, and leave you with a fresh and sparkling mouth. Getting fluoride treatment is also a good idea as it improves the health of the teeth at a time when they need it the most.