Why Aren’t My Teeth White?

b2ap3_thumbnail_smiling-patient.jpgIt’s safe to say that few people look forward coming to the dentist. But for some, the idea of a visit to the dentist creates such fear and anxiety, that they may not go at all until they find themselves in severe pain. As a dental professional, Dr. Abelar understands these feelings and offers options for his patients that experience anxiety.

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If You Love Root Beer, You're In Luck!

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Social Anxiety and Teeth Grinding

b2ap3_thumbnail_childrens-teeth.jpgThe state of children’s oral health in the United States is no less concerning today than it was in the past. Early childhood caries, also more generally called cavities, is the most common chronic disease affecting children today. The upper front teeth are most frequently affected, but all teeth are vulnerable to decay.

In the first three years of a child’s life, 20 baby teeth will break through the gum's surface where they have been located since birth, and become imperative to their ability to chew and speak. Unfortunately, it’s very common for those baby teeth to be left alone until the child reaches toddlerhood or even until their first dental exam. What many don’t realize, is that tooth decay in babies is a real possibility and with just a few simple practices can be prevented. Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS, one of Southern California’s premiere dentists believes healthy baby teeth are the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health.

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Implant Technology

b2ap3_thumbnail_misaligned-jaw.jpgApril has been National Stress Awareness Month for twenty-five years. It might seem like stress is all mental, but it can affect you physically in serious ways. Stress can cause headaches, depression, insomnia, upset stomach, mouth sores, low energy, dry mouth and clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth.

Surprisingly, stress is often noticed first at dental appointments. This is because many of the physical symptoms of stress are manifested in the mouth or jaw.

Have you ever found yourself clenching your teeth when stress or anxious? When this happens, you’re likely placing hundreds of pounds of pressure on your teeth. Not only can grinding and clenching weaken and eventually fracture teeth, but it can also damage the joint that controls your jaw. The medical term for grinding and clenching the teeth is called bruxism. One of the reasons it often goes undiagnosed is because many people experience bruxism almost exclusively when sleeping and may not know they’re doing it.

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Outdated and Potentially Harmful Dental Practices

b2ap3_thumbnail_mercury-periodic-table.jpgIt can be hard to keep up with emerging technologies and news in the healthcare world. You may be wondering if the dental care you are receiving is safe and modern, so today we’re going to talk about two red flags that may indicate it’s not.

Have you heard of the saying ‘Mad as a hatter’? If you have, you may not know that it started in the 19th century when what is known as mad hatter disease became such a phenomenon that word began to spread all over the world. Hat makers from Russia to England and even the U.S. were experiencing, unbeknownst to them, mercury poisoning because of the chemicals used to treat the hat materials and aid in their forming.

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Does Oil Pulling Whiten Teeth and Eliminate Oral Bacteria?

b2ap3_thumbnail_taj-mahal_20170222-174525_1.jpgResearchers at Princeton University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have discovered that hydroxyapatite, a calcium compound found in teeth and bones, can be used successfully to protect marble structures.

The research team set out to find a way to protect landmarks and other important pieces made of marble from the harsh elements that cause them to crumble and decay over time. Although marble is fairly durable, it’s especially susceptible to damage from exposure to acidic substances. For this reason, pollutants and weathering can have an effect on the ability of these structures to withstand the test of time, especially outdoors.

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Feeling Sleepy? It's More than just Being Tired.

b2ap3_thumbnail_coldsensitivetoothanim.jpgThere are few things more frustrating than having to skip your favorite ice cream or morning latte because of the pain it causes your teeth due to sensitivity. It can leave you desperate for answers and a solution that lets you enjoy your favorite hot or cold treats again. The tricky thing with tooth sensitivity is that it can be caused by a number of things.

The strongest substance in the human body is enamel. This enamel is actually what the outermost layer of your teeth is composed of. Under the enamel lies a layer called the dentin. When the enamel is weakened, the dentin, which contains tiny hollow tubes that stimulate the nerves inside the tooth, can cause sensitivity when exposed to temperature extremes.

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Solutions for Dental Anxiety

b2ap3_thumbnail_cartoon-implant-anim--med.jpgOne of the many things that sets Dr. Abelar apart from other dentists is his investment in technology that allows for the highest level of quality care for his patients. CBCT, cone beam computerized tomography, is a medical imaging device that is designed specifically for the head and jaw and uses x-rays that form the shape of a cone to get a 360-degree view of the patient’s mouth.

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Advice from Dr. Abelar

b2ap3_thumbnail_kid-brushing-teeth-braids.jpgAs children get older and start to take control of their own oral hygiene routine, it’s normal for parents to worry. Making sure they are brushing and flossing for the right amount of time and reaching all the problem areas can be daunting at first. Here are a few tips and tricks to help both you and your children make your dental routine easier and more efficient.

Tip #1: Timer

This can be as simple as a little kitchen timer at the discount store. If you want to get them a special themed timer, tooth shaped hourglass timers are available online in different colors. Time is one concept that is really hard for kids to grasp. Knowing exactly how long two to three minutes is (depending on the rule you live by) can really help.

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10 Fun Facts About Animal Teeth

b2ap3_thumbnail_narwhal-copy-small.jpgIt’s no secret that kids love animals. Most adults do, too. Finding common interests is a great way to connect with your children over something fun and educational. Here are some fun facts about animals and their teeth you can share with your children. Hopefully, this will help create an opportunity to associate healthy oral care habits with something fun that they will remember.

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The Link Between Teeth and the Taj Mahal

b2ap3_thumbnail_vaccine.jpgGum Disease, also called periodontitis, occurs when bacteria builds up around the teeth and gums. Symptoms include red, swollen and sometimes bleeding gums (especially when flossing), bad breath and even loss of teeth. More than three million people are diagnosed each year with this disease in the United States alone.

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What’s Causing Your Tooth Sensitivity?

b2ap3_thumbnail_scared-child-2.jpgAccording to WebMD, up to 20 percent of Americans report avoiding visits to the dentists due to anxiety and Live Science even ranked dental phobia in its list of top ten phobias. More severe than anxiety, anywhere from five to ten percent suffer from dental phobia and unless in unbearable pain won't step foot in a dental office.

Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS, leading San Diego area restorative and cosmetic dentist says it’s a vicious circle.

"One of the major reasons I find people putting off dental work is because they fear the dentist. Maybe they had a bad experience as a young child. Maybe they had a bad experience as an adult. Perhaps they don’t even know why they fear visiting the dentist. But those are the patients that end up having most of the problems and needing the most serious work because it's been put off for so long."

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Dollar Store Dentistry

b2ap3_thumbnail_green-dollar-sign.jpgOne of Dr. Abelar’s favorite stories is about a $5.00 haircut. The story tells of a well- established barber shop that had been providing quality, personal care to the community for years. As the town grew, new business came to town, and a big-chain barber shop opened up across the street offering quicker, cheaper haircuts for $5.00. The local barber loses some of his business to those seeking to save a few dollars, and he begins to worry. He knows his quality of work and the trusted tools he uses cannot be offered for that price and he isn’t interested in compromising. After a few weeks, his once loyal customers suddenly return. They tell him that the new barbers didn’t know exactly how they liked it shaped and cut and it never turned out like they wanted. As their hair grew out, they realized how uneven it was. A few days later the local barber places a sign outside his shop that says "We Fix $5 Haircuts" and his days of worry are gone.

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Cancer Treatment and Oral Health

b2ap3_thumbnail_teeth-whitening-paint-anim.jpgIt’s hard to ignore how you feel about your teeth when you see them every time you look in the mirror. If you’re unhappy with how they look, it can be especially frustrating and disheartening. Discoloration and stains are one of the most popular complaints surrounding smiles all over the nation. The best way to prevent this from happening is to know what causes it.

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The Most Important Spring Cleaning in Your Routine

b2ap3_thumbnail_root-beer-float.jpgAccording to a new study, root beer is the least harmful soda when it comes to your teeth. One of the most prevalent myths surrounding tooth decay is that sugar causes it. While sugar does play a role in the formation of cavities, it’s not the sugar itself that leads to decay.

One of San Diego’s premiere cosmetic and restorative dentists, Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS, says,

"The natural bacteria that everyone has in their mouth feeds on sugar, and the result is acid that produces plaque buildup. Once plaque forms, it begins to wear away at the hard outer surface of the teeth, called enamel, until it reaches the inside of the tooth and patients start to feel pain or sensitivity."

The problem with some soda is that its acidity ranking can be higher than that of battery acid. Battery acid has a pH level of 1.0, while some soft drinks ranked as high as 2.52.

Some believe switching to diet or sugar-free sodas is the solution to saving both their waistlines and their teeth. However, these alternatives come with their own dangers. They contain acids that erode teeth at the same rate as regular sodas. Sports drinks and juices contain sugar and acids that make them problematic as well. However, soft drinks are ten times more erosive than fruit juices.

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Is Flossing for Fools?

b2ap3_thumbnail_classroom-social-anxiety.jpgAccording to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in six American adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. A study done by Tel Aviv University researchers has found that social anxiety increases the risk for teeth grinding which can lead to excessive wear on teeth, fractures and jaw pain. This grinding of the teeth can even cause the jaw to move out of place resulting in a TMJ disorder. In the study, 42% of those suffering from social related phobias and anxiety were found to have moderate to severe dental wear.

Preventing the social anxiety that is potentially causing teeth grinding is one step to taking care of the body and mind. There are many professional treatment options for social anxiety as well as methods you can implement at home.

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The Roots of Dental Phobia

b2ap3_thumbnail_man-brushing.jpgMore than 175 million American are missing at least one tooth, and the numbers are rising each year. Nineteen percent of those 65 and older suffer from edentulism, the medical term for missing all of their teeth. Of those 75 and older, 26 percent experienced complete tooth loss.

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The Value of Cosmetic Dentistry

b2ap3_thumbnail_happy-woman-color-tiles.jpgThe "Priceless" MasterCard commercials from the late 90s remain one of the best campaign concepts of the 20th century. One of the reasons they were so successful is because they helped us understand and sort out how we place value on things without even realizing it.

Now in the Advertising Slogan Hall of Fame, their line "There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard" brought to light the obvious but often forgotten notion that emotional value will always trump financial value.

The investment in not just quality, but superior care for your smile is one of those unique situations that actually merits both emotional and financial value.

Studies have shown that people notice smiles first when meeting someone new. This first impression has an impact in so many areas of someone’s life that are often not considered. We smile at job interviews, on dates, in our profile pictures on social media.

People who are unhappy with their smiles may try to smile only with their lips, or become uncomfortable when meeting new people because they are self-conscious about their smiles. Research shows that individuals who smile less often or smile with their mouths closed are perceived as less-confident, smug and even secretive.

As you can see, your smile is one of the most important things in your day to day life. It can, directly and indirectly, affect your levels of happiness, confidence, and success. Call Dr. Abelar’s office today at 858-866-9692 to discuss how we can help you completely change your life and get that priceless smile you’ve always dreamed of.

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For Many, a White Christmas Starts in Their Mouth

b2ap3_thumbnail_holiday-woman-2.jpgUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you know that the teeth whitening business has exploded. People have finally realized how easy and relatively inexpensive it is to improve their appearance with something simple and fast.

With the increase in popularity came the overload of available products. There are gels, pastes, strips, trays, lights, rinses, you name it. There are hundreds of brands, retailers that range from boutique to big box and none of this is even taking into consideration the professional options.

People have taken to sites such as Pinterest with home recipes and social media influencers have posted videos that have gone viral of them painting charcoal on their teeth to get them whiter. It has become information overload and trying to decide which methods work and don’t have become a full-time job for some.

Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS and leading San Diego cosmetic dentist says,

"The great thing about in-office professional treatments is that they can be done even on your lunch hour. Thanks to the quality of materials and advanced technology, that one session can do what at-home treatments can take weeks and months to do. And sometimes, no matter how many at-home treatments you try, you just won't be able to achieve that naturally, bright white shade that professional applications can."

As the holiday season approaches, the everyday reasons for wanting a whiter smile are now compounded with some season specific things. This is why November and December are the most popular time of the year to get your teeth professionally whitened.

Pictures

It’s almost impossible to avoid pictures during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Family gatherings, work parties and evenings out with friends celebrating mean pictures are flying from phone to phone and social media platform to social media platform. No one wants to look at their picture and grimace from tooth discoloration.

 

Trips

Whether you’re going to a local festival or heading to the beaches of Bali for the holiday season, research is showing that people are trading their love of material possessions for new experiences. Whether you want to look perfect in case you meet someone on your trip or you just want to look good in the pictures you post when you get back, it’s obvious why so many choose to get their teeth whitened this time of year.

New Year New You

New years resolutions creep up on us and before we know it we’re committed to something we just aren’t sure we can make happen. When friends and family ask what you want for Christmas, a professional teeth whitening may be a great jump-start on your resolutions for a new improved you.

Catching up with Friends and Family

The holidays are prime-time for family reunions and meeting up with old friends you haven’t seen in ages. There’s nothing more nerve wrecking than knowing you’re going to see your old high school sweetheart at a holiday dinner party or that cousin you can’t stand that acts like they’re so much better than you. Many choose teeth whitening this time of year because it gives them a confidence boost to help handle these stressful scenarios.

Although many treatment options are available, research supports that professional in-office whitening solutions work best. Research conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that 82.5% of those surveyed saw a noticeable difference from their professional, in-office whitening treatment.

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Break the Bruxism Habit Today

b2ap3_thumbnail_sad-piggy-bank.jpgIn a world dominated by companies shouting out loud or in print about who has the lowest prices, it can be easy to get caught up in the price wars. There are many situations where the cheapest offering just as good as the name brand or more expensive one. However, the consequences of choosing cost over quality can be pretty serious in some cases. Here are a few areas you should consider quality over cost on:

 

Tattoos

A good rule of thumb is that anything permanent shouldn’t be done by the cheapest service offered. The visibility of tattoos and permanence make this one a double-whammy. A quick internet search for the term "Tattoo Fails" will be all the convincing you need not to go cheap on this one.

Car Repairs

The biggest concern here is safety. How would you feel if you dropped your car off and saw the mechanic looking up an online video on "How to replace the brakes on a 2012 Chevy Malibu"? The amount of time spent driving your vehicle each day adds up to way more than you think. The Association for Safe International Road Travel estimates 1.3 million people die in car accidents every year. Making sure the person who is working on your car knows what they’re doing could literally save your life.

Dental Treatments

Very few people look forward to going to the dentist. Because of this their search for a dentist often ends with the one that is cheapest and easiest to find. But if you don’t like going to the dentist, why would you want to have to go back several times to fix the same thing. This is exactly what happens if you go for the quick, cheap fix.

Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS, leading San Diego dentist says,

"You wouldn’t believe how much of the work I do is actually fixing the work people had done by other dentists offering cheap, corner-cutting procedures. Your mouth is not an area you want to trust to the lowest bidder. In fact, it usually costs more in the long run because you end up needing the same work done multiple times because the quality of the work matched the price."

Mattresses and Shoes

These may seem like two weird things to pair together, but the reasoning for not being cheap when purchasing either is the same. You are going to use them every single day. Your comfort, relative to their use can have an impact on your physical health which in turn can affect your mood. If your back or feet are aching, you will be grumpy, less productive and it could cost you tons of money to treat the sometimes permanent health problems associated with them.

 

Of course, this list could go on-and-on. I think everyone probably has a few stories about how going cheap ended very badly for them. Avoid making those mistakes if you can and think through the things that have lasting impacts on your life. Be sure to stick with quality over cost where your health, safety, and appearance are concerned.

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