Despite 2020 feeling as though it's been going on forEVER, fall is officially here. Ever since he lived in Michigan, fall has been my husband's favorite season. He loves that fall comes with brilliant red and orange leaves, a drop in humidity (Midwest summers are no joke!), and a noticeable weather difference...and he appreciates the chill in the air (although we haven't had too much of it in Sunnyvale and the rest of California). And while he's not the biggest fan of pumpkin spiced lattes (he drinks his coffee black), he LOVES anything apple spice flavored. Going to the apple orchards is a *thing* that one does in Michigan during the fall. I admittedly never picked apples, but I definitely sipped on apple cider and indulged in the donuts.
I took this picture during my last autumn in Michigan before moving to Sunnyvale. My little iPhone camera couldn't capture the full brilliance of the leaves.
As students in Sunnyvale are transitioning back to school and employees are bracing for the stress of year-end, here's a quick refresher on a dentist's tips for healthy teeth as we transition into the fall and cooler months.
If you aren't regularly seeing a dentist, use the fall as a guide for regular check-ups and cleanings with your Sunnyvale dentist.
Many of our patients like to come every March/September for their dental visits. Others coordinate dental visits with their birthdays (and also half-birthdays). If you can't remember to visit your dentist regularly, make it easy for yourself - schedule visits in the fall (and spring) to remember.
Coordinate visiting your Sunnyvale dentist with a reminder to replace your toothbrush.
I recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3 months. Some of our patients switch at the beginning of each quarter. As we are starting a new season, replace your toothbrush! And then make it a habit to replace your toothbrush as each season changes. While we're at it...
Brush and floss your teeth twice a day.
We recommend brushing twice a day (for two minutes each time) and flossing daily, making sure to wiggle the floss underneath your gums and "hug" your teeth to get them clean. If you're unsure of your at-home oral hygiene regimen, or if you'd like feedback or pointers, visit us in Sunnyvale to review our oral hygiene tips. Our team is great at educating and showing patients how to brush and floss your teeth.
Sunnyvale dentist hack: incorporate fluoride in your routine.
'Tis the season to indulge in apple donuts and apple cider. Soon enough, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the gluttony and sweets that accompany those holidays will be here. This is a great time to incorporate fluoride in your regimen. I personally brush with a prescription-strength toothpaste every night, but ACT Mouthrinse is a great option for people looking for an over-the-counter option to increase their fluoride exposure. Fluoride will help strengthen your teeth, protect them from cavities, and decrease sensitivity.
Use the appliances (such as nightguards or retainers) your Sunnyvale dentist recommends.
We've been seeing an increase in patients who are fracturing their teeth, causing them to need root canals, crowns, or even implants. Please, protect your teeth. I'd much rather have a patient chew (and break) a plastic nightguard than have them break their own tooth. Many of our patients' spouses have been hearing our patients grind their teeth and have been encouraging them to visit our office.
If you're looking to get a few questions answered about your smile, or if you're looking for some encouragement on how to improve your oral hygiene, schedule your visit in our office today!
Patients who visit our Sunnyvale office every 6 months for their preventive dental care understand the benefits and importance of routine dental visits. Preventive dental care allows us to check in with you regularly to maintain your oral health, and it helps you avoid dental pain and the extra expenses that may occur. Your health is our priority. Let's explore how Mint Dental Care can help you improve your health with preventive dentistry.
Preventive dentistry stops serious dental problems.
Routine dental visits allow us to check in with you and your concerns. All our patients receive oral cancer screenings during their examinations. Radiographs are taken at regular intervals to check for cavities and gum disease. Visiting the dentist every six months allows us to detect and treat small changes in your oral health before they become bigger problems.
Preventive dentistry saves you from pain.
I can't think of one person who likes being in pain. In fact, most of us actively seek to avoid pain. We'd do just about anything to avoid hurting. Maintaining routine, preventive dental appointments is the easiest way to avoid dental pain! Preventive dentistry allows us to address any issues you may have, treat cavities when they are small, and address gum problems before you get a toothache, a dental abscess, or worse.
Preventive dentistry saves you money.
When we catch dental issues when they are smaller, the treatment - and associated costs - is often much less than if you had a more complicated dental issue. As with other things in life, the more complicated your dental issue is, the more it will cost you. Many dental insurance plans cover a majority of your treatment for fillings. Your copay will be much less than if you had more complicated dental treatment.
Preventive dentistry is covered by your insurance company.
Most insurance companies cover routine check-ups, radiographs, and cleanings twice a year. A growing number of employers near our office in Sunnyvale understand the importance of preventive dentistry and allow their employees 3-4 exams and cleanings per year. Insurance companies usually cover the full cost of these preventive dentistry appointments because they want you to be proactive in maintaining your oral health! Insurance companies would rather pay for you to prevent and avoid problems than pay the higher cost for you to fix problems after they occur.
Experience the benefits of preventive dentistry in our Sunnyvale office for yourself.
In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing your teeth daily, you should be visiting our Sunnyvale dentist for regular exams and cleanings. This will allow us to find any issues you may have when they are small; thus helping you avoid pain and more expensive dental procedures.
As we inch closer to year end, don't lose out on the opportunity to maximize the benefits that you have paid for throughout the year. Many insurance plans and FSA funds run on a calendar year plan, where your benefits expire on December 31st. These benefits are considered "use it or lose it". If you're unsure of your plan benefits, contact our office so that we can help you understand how many preventive exams and cleanings your insurance company covers each year.
It is now easier than ever to schedule your appointments online for preventive dental care. Let us help you take care of your smile. Preventive dentistry will allow us to help you save your teeth and your money.
Do you clench and grind your teeth? Are your teeth sensitive?
We've received quite a few phone calls from emergency patients these past few weeks. An overwhelming majority of our calls have the same issues - patients have been fracturing their teeth. Furthermore, they notice their jaws hurt and their teeth are sore when they wake up in the mornings.
As we’re entering our seventh (!!!) week of sheltering in place in Sunnyvale, I’m noticing that a lot of our patients are under high amounts of stress. Many of them are grinding or clenching their teeth (many times without realizing it). The term we use when referring to teeth grinding is bruxism.
Bruxism is a term for the involuntary and unconscious clenching and grinding of your teeth that occurs either when you are awake or asleep. It is often associated with stress, fatigue, anxiety, or caffeine/alcohol use during the day. Most people who exhibit this behavior are completely unaware of it.
Common effects of bruxism include:
As dentists, we are able to diagnose and discover if you have bruxism through a visual exam. There will be noticeable wear patterns on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. As we’ve seen recently, there may also be damage in the form of chipped or fractured teeth.
If you are a patient who is experiencing bruxism or the symptoms from it, we can make you a custom fitted night guard. These night guards are worn on your upper teeth when you sleep and work by redistributing the unwanted forces from clenching and grinding. Early intervention will lead to longevity of your teeth and oral health. Prevention costs less than treatment.
Across Sunnyvale and the Bay Area, we’ve been sheltering in place, and I’ll admit - this is new for me! For some of our patients in Sunnyvale, it’s business as usual, except they've been working from home rather than the office. Others, including ourselves, have had to make major changes to their routines. I’ve loved reading everyone’s tips on how to use this time to keep routine schedules and to do meaningful things, and I wanted to chime in with tips of my own.
As we do our part to #flattenthecurve, many patients have reached out to ask - what can they do at home to avoid dental emergencies?
We are here for you, your families, and our Sunnyvale community during these unexpected times. We remain as reachable and committed to you and your oral health as before - we are available via email and text (in addition to traditional phone calls). We are also available for teledentistry consultations to help you with your concerns. If you have any questions, please reach out to our office.
Good luck sheltering in place, and stay healthy. We’ll see you soon!
I LOVE boba. We're so lucky to be in Sunnyvale - we're surrounded by delicious boba stores! I’m also a dentist. And as a general dentist, I get a lot of funny looks when people realize I love boba...and these funny looks are quickly followed with “but how do you not have any cavities if you love boba so much?” I’m proactive about my oral health, and I practice 5 easy tips to keep my teeth healthy.
Here are the tips I share with patients:
Try these five small changes so that you can have your boba and healthy teeth, too. After I have this conversation with patients, they ask the same question you’re probably wondering as you read this: “How do you even get cavities?” Stay tuned; that's coming soon!
As your local general dentist, my goal is to get your smile to its best, healthiest state - and then help you maintain it. Email us and let me know how I can help you, whether that's answering your burning dental-related questions on this blog or helping you get to the best boba in Sunnyvale!