Mission Viejo Dentist - Dentist in Mission Viejo - Mission Viejo Dental Group

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Tooth Fairy



What Are Cavities?
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When you eat, food passes through your mouth. Here it meets germs or bacteria that live in your mouth. You may have heard the dentist talk about plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria. These bacteria love sugars and starches found in many foods, like soda pop, candy, ice cream, milk, and cakes. When you don't clean your teeth after eating, plaque bacteria use the sugar and starch to produce acids that can destroy the hard surface of the tooth, called enamel. Believe it or not, even some fruits, vegetables and juices can cause cavities if you don't brush your teeth regularly. Over time, these acids break down the white covering of your tooth (called 'enamel'), leaving it weaker and less able to fight off germs and more bacteria. After a while, tooth decay occurs. The more often you eat and the longer foods are in your mouth, the more damage occurs.

If you have a cavity, it first has to be removed from your mouth. After the dentist numbs your mouth using a special medicine called anesthetic, he or she uses different things to remove the cavity. One way is to use a tiny drill that blasts the tooth decay away. After the cavity is removed, the dentist fills the space it left with a filling, which can be silvery or the color of your teeth.

This filling seals the space where the cavity once was, and keeps germs and bacteria from doing damage.




What Causes Bad Breath?
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Bad breath is usually caused by the breakdown of food in your body. The odors from that process are in your mouth and in your bloodstream and pass through your lungs as you breathe out.

Brushing, flossing and mouthwash only hide bad breath. The bad breath goes away after you go to the bathroom. People who diet sometimes have unpleasant breath. If you don't brush and floss every day, pieces of food remain in your mouth, collecting germs, which can cause bad breath.

Bad breath also may be a sign that you have unhealthy gums. Bad breath is also caused by dry mouth, which happens when you don't have enough saliva, or 'spit,' in your mouth. Saliva is necessary to clean your mouth and remove particles that may cause odor. Bad breath may be the sign of a medical problem, such as an infection in your nose, throat, windpipe, or lungs.

If you brush your teeth and floss every day, you can help to ensure that you at least don't get bad breath from leftover food in your mouth. And remember to see your dentist for regular checkups!




Will It Hurt to Go to the Dentist?
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Most of the time, it doesn't hurt at all to go to the dentist.

Visiting the dentist is not an unpleasant experience for most children. If you keep your teeth healthy by brushing and flossing every day, chances are better that you'll only to need to see the dentist to have them cleaned.

Dentists today have all kinds of tools to help you have a fun and pleasant experience while you are having a checkup, or teeth cleaning, or something like a cavity filled. If you need to have a cavity taken out, a filling, or if you have really sensitive teeth (when you drink really hot or cold drinks, it hurts your teeth), the dentist will give you medicine that numbs your mouth and gums. That way, when he puts instruments in your mouth to operate, it won't hurt!




What Happens During a Checkup?
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When you visit the dentist to have your teeth checked, the dentist will ask you to lie back in a big, comfortable chair with a strong light overhead. She'll ask you to open your mouth while she uses a small instrument that feels like a metal toothpick. The dentist will go from one tooth to another, making sure that your teeth and gums are healthy. This procedure doesn't hurt at all.

Sometimes, the dentist will tell you that he needs to take "X-rays" of your mouth. This involves putting little pieces of cardboard in your mouth, which you bite down on. The dentist's assistant usually does this while you're waiting for the dentist to come back. While you're biting down on the paper, the assistant goes to another room to push the button for the big camera next to your mouth. The camera takes a picture using very powerful light called "X-rays." This light allows the camera to see inside your mouth as if your cheek wasn't even there.

X-rays allow the dentist to see inside your teeth, where cavities or other problems may occur that you can't normally see.




Getting a Tooth Pulled
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When you have a bad tooth that is pushing other teeth to the side, or a tooth that has such a bad cavity that it can't be fixed, you may to have the tooth taken out. This is called an extraction.

When you have a tooth pulled, the dentist gives you a special medicine called anesthetic. Once your mouth is numb, the tooth is taken out. This really doesn't hurt, since your mouth is numb. The most you will feel is probably some gentle tugging and wiggling.

When we get older, sometimes teenagers and young adults have to have their "wisdom teeth" pulled out. The wisdom teeth are the large teeth in the very back of your mouth, on both the top and bottom rows. Lots of people have problems with their wisdom teeth growing in the right way; often, wisdom teeth get stuck, or "impacted," and start pushing other teeth. To keep the other teeth from growing in crooked, or causing other problems, the wisdom teeth may need to be pulled.

Don't worry, we really get along just fine without our wisdom teeth.




Numbing Your Mouth
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The dentist uses special medicine called anesthetics to numb your mouth if you have a cavity taken out or a tooth pulled.

The first thing the dentist does is place a small cotton swab dipped in medicine in your mouth, and rubs in the area he needs to operate on. This medicine is called a "local anesthetic," and it numbs the surface of your mouth, or your gums. Sometimes, the dentist may need to give you a shot of more powerful medicine to really put your mouth to sleep. But the shot only stings a little bit because of the other medicine he used on the cotton swab!

This more powerful medicine is usually called Novocain or Lidocaine. The medicine is injected into the inside of your mouth using a very small needle. After a few minutes, a part of your mouth gets tingly, and then numb. Some people feel like they have a fat lip when their mouth has been numbed. Don't worry. Your lip doesn't get fat or swell. This goes away after a while.




What Are X-Rays
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Sometimes, the dentist will tell you that he needs to take "X-rays" of your mouth. This involves putting little pieces of cardboard in your mouth, which you bite down on. The dentist's assistant usually does this while you're waiting for the dentist to come back. While you're biting down on the paper, the assistant goes to another room to push the button a big camera next to your mouth. The camera takes a picture using very powerful light called "X-rays." This light allows the camera to see inside your mouth as if your cheek wasn't even there.

X-rays allow the dentist to see inside your teeth, where cavities or other problems may be happening that you can't normally see.




Why Brush My Teeth?
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Brushing is the best way to get rid of the germs and bacteria, and an invisible sticky material called plaque from your teeth and gums. Getting the bad stuff off your teeth and gums in a timely manner prevents bacteria in the food you eat from turning into harmful, cavity-causing acids.

Here are some tips for brushing your teeth, but make sure and first ask your parents or person taking care of you:
  • Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on your brush and remember to spit it out when you're finished brushing.
  • Use a circular motion to brush only two or three teeth at a time, gradually covering your entire mouth.
  • Place your toothbrush next to your teeth and tilt slightly up or down, gently brushing in a circular motion. Don't brush your teeth by moving your toothbrush up and down. Brush everything inside your mouth your teeth (front, back, sides and tops), gums, the inside of your teeth and the roof of your moth, and, most importantly, your tongue. Your tongue actually hides a lot of germs and bacteria on it that creep into your gums and teeth when you're not looking.
  • Brush your teeth for about three minutes. Try putting your favorite song on the CD player or radio, or ask a big person in your house for a timer.
  • Remember to replace your brush when the bristles begin to spread because a worn toothbrush will not properly clean your teeth.





What Are Sealants?
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Sealants are special materials your dentist puts on your teeth to keep out harmful germs and bacteria. They are a great way to help you avoid getting cavities down the road.

Sealants fill in the little ridges on the chewing part of your teeth to protect and seal the tooth from food and plaque. The application is easy to apply and typically last for several years.

You can have sealants put on your teeth as early as the age of 6.

First, the dentist cleans the surface of your tooth and rinses it to remove all traces of the cleaning material. Then, a special solution or jelly-like material is painted on to your tooth, including the pits and grooves. After 15 seconds, the solution is thoroughly rinsed away with water. After the site is dried, the special sealant material is applied and allowed to harden by using a special powerful light.




Who Needs Braces?
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Lots of kids have problems with their teeth not growing in nice and straight. It doesn't mean something is wrong with you. If you don't do anything about this, your teeth could look very crooked and uneven when you grow up, leaving you with a smile that could scare Frankenstein. Also, you could have problems with your "bite," or the way your teeth hit each other when you close your mouth. This could put pressure on your jaw and give you other kinds of problems later on.

Braces are usually worn between the ages of 10 and 14; this is the period of development in which your head and mouth are still growing and teeth are more flexible, and easier, to straighten.

There are three kinds of braces:

  • Brackets, usually made form metal or plastic, and are bonded, or glued, to your teeth.
  • Lingual braces, which are brackets that attach to the back of your teeth, hidden from view.
  • Bands, which are the old-fashioned type that cover most of your teeth with metal strips that wrap around the teeth.

All types of braces use wires to move the teeth to the desired position.

If you need braces, this is usually what happens: After the dentist examines your mouth, a plaster mold is taken of your teeth, photos of your face and teeth and X-rays of your mouth and head are taken. This is done to make sure that you get just the right kind of braces.

While you are wearing your braces, they'll need to be adjusted by your dentist now and then so that your teeth are growing in the right way. After you get your braces taken off (usually in about two years or less), you probably will need to wear a retainer, which is a lightweight, plastic-like plate the fits in between your rows of teeth. The retainer, which you take out of your mouth when you sleep at night, helps keep your teeth in their new positions.

Are Braces Uncomfortable?

Sometimes, your dentist will need to re-tighten the interconnecting wires of your braces. This causes mild pressure on the brackets or bands to shift teeth or jaws gradually into a desired position. Your teeth and jaws may feel slightly sore after such a visit, but the discomfort doesn't last long.

How Do I Clean My Teeth With Braces On?

If you wear braces, you should try not eating things like sweets, chips and pop. Sugary and starchy foods generate acids and plaque that can cause tooth decay and promote gum disease. Cut healthy, hard foods like carrots or apples into smaller pieces. And by all means, avoid sticky, chewy sweets such as caramel, which can cause wire damage and loosen brackets. Avoid hard and crunchy snacks such as popcorn, nuts and hard candy, because these can break braces.

It is very important to brush your teeth regularly while wearing braces. If you don't, the metal bands could leave permanent stains on the enamel of your teeth. Braces have tiny spaces where food particles and plaque get trapped. Brush carefully after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly and check your teeth in the mirror to make sure they're clean. Floss between braces and under wires with the help of a floss threader. Have your teeth cleaned every six months to keep your gums and teeth healthy.




What If a Tooth Gets Knocked Out During Sports?
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You're in the swimming pool, swimming underwater, and quickly rise to the surface, hitting the hard ledge. Your front tooth falls out, floating to the bottom of the pool.

You're in a fast game of basketball when an opposing player accidentally elbows you in the mouth, knocking your tooth to the floor.

First, don't panic. If you act quickly, you may be able to save your tooth if it gets knocked out.

Follow these simple first-aid steps for a tooth that has been either knocked loose or knocked out:

  • First, gently pick up your lost tooth by the top or "crown" not by the bottom or "root." If you are unable to replace the tooth easily back in its socket, try to put it in a small container filled with low-fat milk, saline (salty) solution, or your own spit.
  • Rinse your mouth with water and put a cold compress or towel with ice on your face near where the tooth came out. This helps to keep the swelling down and makes it easier for the dentist to do his magic.
  • If your tooth is knocked loose (and not out), push it back into its original position and bite down so the tooth does not move.
  • Visit the dentist as soon as possible - the longer your tooth is out of the mouth, the less likely that it will be able to be saved.





What to Eat for Healthy Teeth
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When you eat, food passes through your mouth. Here it meets the germs, or bacteria, that live in your mouth. You may have heard your dentist talk about plaque (pronounced ("PLAK"). Plaque is a sticky invisible layer bacteria that loves to eat the sugars and starches found in many foods. When you don`t clean your teeth after eating, plaque bacteria use the sugar and starch to produce acids that can destroy the hard surface of your tooth, called enamel. After a while, tooth decay occurs. The more often you eat and the longer foods are in your mouth, the greater the potential for decay to occur.

To keep your teeth healthy for a long time, brush and floss daily, and eat these kinds of foods: fruits and vegetables; breads and cereals; milk, cheese, cottage cheese, and meat, fish and eggs.

Starchy foods like breads, crackers, pasta and such snacks as pretzels and potato chips are bad for your teeth. Here are some other foods, some of which may be healthy, but can lead to cavities as you get older:

  • Raisins
  • Pudding
  • Dried fruits
  • Chocolate milk
  • Ice cream
  • Fruit leather
  • Milk shakes
  • Granola bars
  • Cake
  • Gummy bears
  • Cookies
  • Sherbet
  • Candy
  • Popsicles
  • Jam
  • Chocolate bars

Some dentists believe that kids who consume too much soda and not enough juice and milk get more cavities and other serious tooth problems as they get older. Drinking fizzy soda pop actually breaks down the white covering of your teeth called "enamel."

Always remember to rinse your mouths with water after meals, especially during school, in order to leave your teeth free of sugar and acid.




Tongue Piercing Is Not Cool
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WheSome parents allow their children to have small steel balls on the top or bottom of their tongues. To have the little steel balls stay, the tongue has to have a hole in it, much like a pierced ear.

Oral piercing can cause a lot of pain, swelling, infection, drooling, loss of taste, scarring, chipped teeth, and tooth loss. Most dentists discourage oral piercing because of these risks.

How can oral piercing be bad for you? Because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, your tongue may be exposed to more bacteria, causing it to swell and even partly block your windpipe, or airway.


Mission Viejo Dentist - Dentist in Mission Viejo - Mission Viejo Dental Group