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Simple Tips to Make Eating Easy for New Denture Wearers

Getting dentures can be a major adjustment, no matter who you are. But you got them to make your life easier – so why does it seem like they only make things more difficult? Take heart! While wearing dentures does take some adjustment, once you get used to them they really can get you back to a place where you’re enjoying all of the same things you used to.

Sharing great meals and equally great conversation are two of the primary things that one would hope their dentures could bring back to their life.  Unfortunately, both activities can be a bit difficult with dentures at first. Follow these helpful tips to make your period of adjustment shorter and easier.

The First Few Days

As  a denture dentist dedicated to providing high quality affordable dentures, even our patients discover that eating feels a bit odd at first. The first and most important step in getting used to your dentures and making the most of them is to simply accept the fact that chewing is going to be a bit different. Fortunately, once you get the hang of it – it will simply become second nature. Don’t forget: it takes patience.

Choose Soft Foods (At First)

In the beginning, it’s best to choose foods that are softer and easier to chew and swallow. But that doesn’t mean you have to east mashed potatoes for weeks on end. Things like fish, eggs, cooked veggies, oatmeal, yogurt, and ice-cream are all delicious and easy to chew.

Take Smaller Bites

In addition to eating softer foods, also try to make sure that you’re eating by taking smaller bites. This will help you avoid biting too hard with your front teeth, while also helping you fine-tune the new movements you’ll be making to chew different foods.

Avoid Chewy Foods

Chewy foods should really stay off your menu for the time being until you’ve really gotten a handle on how your new teeth function. No need to take unnecessary risks or to get frustrated this early on by choosing foods that are difficult for even your natural teeth to handle

After a Few Weeks (or a Few Months): Branch Out

Contrary to what many believe, dentures don’t mean that you always have to eat soft foods. After a few weeks (or months), you will find that it feels much more natural to chew with your dentures. Once you feel like you’ve got the knack for it, try to start introducing more difficult foods, like tougher meats (steak and chicken), firm veggies, and different kinds of fruits that might have taken a bit more work when you first got your dentures (apples, pears, etc).

Once you start introducing these foods, also introducing an ADA recommended denture adhesive can give your dentures the extra hold needed to really give you the confidence you need. But in the beginning, try not to rely on adhesives too much – because you should really be learning how to chew with your dentures without leaning on an adhesive too much at first.

Have questions about your new dentures? Or maybe you’re looking for a great denture dentist in the Downey, CA area? We’re here to help!

A Smoother Transition: The Role of Immediate Dentures

When it comes to replacing teeth, there are quite a few different combinations of treatment that can get you to the end result you’re ultimately looking for. However, one frequent question that comes up from patients who recently experienced a tooth extraction has to do with the use of a temporary denture.

Whether you’ve recently had teeth extracted and bone grafts placed for the purpose of future dental implants or you’ve had teeth extracted to make way for dentures – there’s a good chance you’re facing a period of healing as your mouth adjusts to recent changes. This is largely because bone heals slower than the skin  of your gums. In many  cases, however, an immediate denture can be placed to fill the space left while you wait for a more permanent solution.

Even for patients who have had teeth extracted in the back of their mouth, the absence of teeth can make it difficult to eat and speak. As an experienced denture dentist in Downey, CA – we have placed countless immediate dentures to help new denture wearers transition from extraction all the way to the final placement of their dentures.

The Benefits of Immediate Dentures

Immediate dentures offer a number of advantages for patients – the first being that you’ll never be seen without your teeth. On top of this, an immediate denture placed on the day of your tooth extraction can help act as a “filler” to protect the delicate tissues in your mouth and prevent excessive bleeding. You can even think of an immediate denture almost like a band-aid. On top of this, an immediate denture placed by our experienced denture dentists will help you adjust your speech and eating early, making the transition period much easier. This means no learning how to speak without teeth and no steep learning curve when it comes to eating.  Finally, placing an immediate denture during the healing process will also help prevent any facial distortion that can sometimes happen when the teeth are removed.

How Long Does It Take?

Around four visits to your denture specialist will provide enough time for necessary surgery and to prepare the denture. Many times, your back teeth will be removed up to 8 weeks before the immediate denture is fabricated to allow for those extraction sites to mend before the immediate denture is created. This ultimately contributes to a better fit. During the fabrication process, your dentist will take bite impressions of your back teeth, which will be used on the day of your immediate denture placement when the selected teeth are removed an the immediate denture is “immediately” inserted.

Do you have questions about dentures? Our denture specialists in Downey, CA have provided dentures to patients with virtually every need. From patients who experienced accidents that required removal of their teeth to patients simply looking for affordable dentures that look and feel great. My Downey Family Dentist can help.

How to Find a Dentist for Your Bridgework

Getting a tooth replaced is never something any patient will generally look forward to. However, for some  – it’s simply a fact of live. Whether your teeth have grown weak over time or you encountered some sort of accident that’s lead to the need to replace a tooth (or more). In many cases, the most popular method for replacing a tooth that’s been injured or damage over time – or suddenly – is a dental bridge.

But how do you find a dentist for a dental bridge?

Start by considering their experience. A dentist that’s installed many many dental bridges will have the aptitude and experience to devise a solution for even some of the trickiest replacements.

While you might be concerned about how long the procedure takes and how much it costs, don’t let those two factors sway you too much when it comes time to find a dentist for your tooth replacement procedure. After all, you’re going to have to live with your replacement tooth for years to come. Better to do your homework now. Most of all, by taking the time to find a dental bridge expert that works for you, you meet your long-term needs for eating, speaking, smiling, laughing, and enjoying your life like you did before you had a reason to replace a tooth.

Experience

Has your dental bridge dentist installed a number of different bridges in different locations throughout the mouth? Can you see pictures? Many times, understanding that your care provider has accomplished a similar procedure to the one you would need with stunning results is all the assurance you need to move forward with confidence.

Technology

What technologies does your dentist use to provide a dental bridge? Can he or she provide same-day dental bridges? Or will you need a temporary dental bridge while a permanent bridge is designed? There are pros and cons to both alternatives – speak with your dentist to learn what will work best for your smile.

Price

Replacing a tooth isn’t always cheap. However, a dental bridge can often be much more affordable than a dental implant, and in some cases, it can be just as effective – especially depending on the location of the tooth that’s being replaced and the condition of the surrounding teeth.

 

Preparing for Your Root Canal Treatment

As any root canal doctor will tell you, patients of all ages – especially those that have never had root canal treatment – are generally more than a little apprehensive about the procedure.

But Why?

Well, it could be the bloody and painful reputation that root canal treatment has. Or, it could be the massive drill used to slowly cut its way into your tooth – it’s buzzing and whirring sound sending chills down your spine. Or, that could all be one big fabrication.

While root canal treatment might have been painful and uncomfortable many years ago, modern technology and dental science have come leaps and bounds to the point where endodontic therapy isn’t much different than getting a cavity filled. In fact, most patients report that it “wasn’t bad at all.” Sure, you might need to spend a little bit of time in the dentist’s chair – but a little music, anesthesia, and even maybe a little sedation makes the process easy.

So, if what you thought you knew about root canals isn’t true – what can you really expect? Read on to learn!

What to Expect from Root Canal Treatment

During your root canal treatment, your root canal doctor – otherwise known as an endodontist – will first give you a healthy dose of local anesthesia. In fact, in many cases your dentist will even give you a small amount more than you would expect from other procedures due to the fact that the root canal treatment actually removes the nerve from your tooth. This will eliminate the pain associated with the treatment, and allow you to simply sit back and think about literally anything else. If the sound of the drill bothers you, you can even wear a pair of headphones to drown out the sound of the procedure with your favorite tunes.

After X-rays are taken to help the dentist pinpoint the exact location of the affected tissue, a rubber dam will be placed over your mouth and other teeth for a few different reasons. First, it isolates the tooth being treated. Second, it will prevent you from swallowing any medication your endodontist uses. And finally, it will prevent bacteria from elsewhere in your mouth from making it inside the access hole made to carefully and methodically clean out the dental pulp and remove the infected tissue with specialized tools called files.

Once this is complete, your dentist will generally fill the cavity with a medicated gel to ensure that all of the bacteria is taken care of. This is followed by a temporary filling, that will eventually be replaced with a permanent filling and, depending on the severity of the damage to your tooth, a dental crown to top it all off.

Should you worry about root canal treatment or put it off because it might be painful? No! There is absolutely nothing to fear when it comes to endodontic treatment, and the end-result is a healthy tooth you don’t have to replace and the elimination of infection from your body. 

Interested in learning more about root canal treatment? Read some of our previous posts about root canals, including:

 

So You’re Getting a Dental Bridge….

Dental bridges are one of the most common dental appliances known to man. They are used for a wide variety of reasons, and in some cases they are the absolute best tooth replacement for a given situation. As a dental team that’s been providing dental bridges in Downey, CA for many years we understand very well how effective they can be when it comes to replacing teeth with remarkable results.

Some erroneously believe that a dental bridge is somehow inferior to a solution like a dental implant, and that’s where one important piece of advice comes into play: every patient is different. In fact, Martha Stewart – homemaker extraordinaire and household name across the country – helped prove that even the country’s most famous personalities often choose dental bridgework for replacing teeth that have been damaged by accidents, time, or improper care. How did she do it? Well, Buzzfeed reports that she live-tweeted the entire procedure!

martha-stewart-bridge
Martha Stewart’s dentist, installing the dental bridge to replace a broken tooth

So what does this prove? Not only does it prove that getting a dental bridge is a very real solution for patients of every kind, but it also goes to show that replacing a tooth with a dental bridge is a painless and rather interesting process. So, if you were hoping to learn what to expect when you’re getting a dental bridge – you can at the very least go into the procedure knowing that, while it can take a little time, it won’t hurt.

In addition to demonstrating that the process is rather painless, Stewart also helps shine light on another great benefit inherent with dental bridges – that they can be easily matched to the color of your existing teeth.

bleaching-bridge
A dental bridge can easily be bleached to adjust the color to your natural teeth

After your dental bridge has been secured to the adjacent teeth (outlined in our previous post: An Introduction to Dental Bridges) one of the final steps is to match it to your existing teeth. After this is accomplished, it can often be incredibly difficult to even notice that you’ve had a tooth replaced.

The Moral of the Story

There’s no telling which method is best when it comes to replacing a missing or damaged tooth. While some patients prefer implants due to their almost lifelike quality, other patients prefer dental bridges because the procedure is much faster and easier. While dental bridges do require a bit of extra care and diligence, for most patients ease is the name of the game and the process is both painless and effective.

Do you need to replace a tooth? As a leading dentist in the Downey, CA area  we’ve installed countless dental bridges for patients young and old. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Are You Experiencing Tooth Pain During Pregnancy? You’re Not Alone

Are you pregnant? If so, after the books are bought, the bedrooms are planned, and the littlest of little shoes are gawked at. You might be wise to find a dentist nearby.

For most, pregnancy is the promise of joy to come. Little feet, running through the house, tiny laughter, and memories for years to come. Indeed, it can be quite the special time for a mother. Of course, it isn’t without it’s downfalls. From the frequent trips to the bathroom to the insatiable cravings, any mother will agree that pregnancy isn’t always a walk in the park. But what many mothers don’t expect is the impact it can have on your teeth.

When you become pregnant, it’s no secret that your body’s hormones go into overdrive and the systems working together to keep you healthy work double time to keep the tiny life inside you healthy as well. Because of this, your body can become particularly sensitive to bacteria – including the bacteria in your mouth. On top of this, increased blood flow throughout your body to transport vital nutrients to your baby can also influence your gums to become extra tender and sensitive.

From Sensitivity to Pregnancy Gingivitis 

At the very least, it’s not uncommon for pregnant women to experience a heightened degree of dental sensitivity, which can often be remedied with a softer toothbrush and toothpaste designed to combat dental sensitivity.

At the other end of the spectrum, there is the issue of pregnancy gingivitis that can often send many pregnant women to their computers to frantically search for a “dentist near me“.  In fact, studies have shown that nearly 40% of women experience pregnancy gingivitis. Again, this is due to hormones. Because of increases in the levels of progesterone in your body, bacteria that leads to gingivitis can grow at a faster rate. When combines with your body’s already increased sensitivity to bacteria – your mouth is ripe for gingivitis. This makes diligent oral care extremely important. Unfortunately, it also means that the sugar in the sweets you’re craving will play an even more active role when it comes to feeding the bacteria itching to go to work on your teeth and gums.

How do I know I have Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnancy gingivitis is no different than regular gingivitis, pregnancy just makes it that much easier to happen. However, you will generally notice gum inflammation and tenderness between your 2nd  and 8th month. Keep your eye out for gums that are tender, swollen, and redder in appearance. If your gums bleed while you brush, it’s often a sign you should find a dentist quickly in order to get the problem under control.

Why It’s Important to Treat Gingivitis During Pregnancy

Studies have shown that a large percentage of women with periodontal disease have also been shown to give birth prematurely, and at a lower birthweight than average. By seeking periodontal therapy, the chances of preterm birth and low birthweight are significantly reduced.

Being comfortable during pregnancy is a large part of staying happy and stress free, and remaining gingivitis free ensures a proper birth weight and time frame.  Are you experiencing irritating tooth or gum sensitivity? If you’re in the Downey, CA area, we can help! Schedule an appointment today or give us a call to get the attention you need for a healthier, more comfortable pregnancy. 

 

Why Your Dentures Hurt, and What You Can Do

Whether you’ve had dentures for days or years, there’s a good chance that you know that they can get a little uncomfortable. What many denture wearers forget though, is that this doesn’t have to be the case.

For years, dentures have been optimized and improved to become nearly unidentifiable as the dental “appliances” they are. But it isn’t just their appearance that’s gotten better, their fit and function has too. But that doesn’t mean that every patient has an easy time. Considering how drastic the change is to your mouth and the underlying structures of your teeth – it’s no surprise that getting dentures comes with a bit of an adjustment period and a learning curve.

As a denture dentist in Downey, California – we’ve helped countless patients get through this period of adjustment and get on with their lives with confidence. For years, we’ve seen the problems denture wearers face and the truth is – whether you’ve spent a serious amount on your dentures or your opted for a more affordable denture option – the problems you’ll experience are often no different. In most cases, it comes down to fit and how well your gums adjust.

Some of the most common denture problems include:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty eating
  • Your dentures are slipping and moving around in your mouth
  • Mouth infections and sores

The Solution(s)

When it comes to solving some of these problems, beyond ensuring your dentures fit well (which is usually up to your denture dentist), making sure your mouth is clean is paramount. But while the above “problems” can indeed be chronic in a denture that fits poorly or a mouth that isn’t taken care of – they are often to be expected in the period of adjustment after you’ve gotten your dentures. So what can you do about them?

Salt Water Rinses

A salt water rinse won’t just help cleanse your gums, but it will also help them better adjust to the presence of your dentures. If you’re experiencing soreness or even actual sores on your gums – a saltwater rinse can help a great deal with relief and healing.

Adjust the Fit

As your gums and jawbone gets slowly changes as a result of your teeth being extracted, your dentures might not fit as well as they first did. When this occurs, it’s important that you see your denture dentist to get your denture fit adjusted (or even get your dentures replaced). Do not try to do this yourself!

Your dentist can also adjust your dentures to account for pressure points if you frequently experience the same sore spots.

Over the Counter Anti-Inflammatory Medicine

OTC medications like ibuprofen can help a great deal when it comes to swelling and soreness caused by dentures.

Adhesives

While your dentures shouldn’t require an adhesive to fit well, an adhesive can go a long way when it comes to preventing slippage, reducing soreness, and improving your confidence when it comes to speaking and eating (especially with the lower dentures). Never use an adhesive as a fix for a set of dentures that doesn’t fit well, and always be sure to use only a small amount of adhesive.

Have questions about dentures? As one of the Downey, CA  area’s leading denture dentists – we’ve seen it all!

Why Do My Teeth Hurt? Common Problems, and When You Need to Find a Dentist

Whether you just bit down on a delicious snack to discover some not-so-delicious tooth pain, or you’ve been dealing with minor dental pain for weeks on end, it’s not uncommon for dental patients of all ages to deal with pain and discomfort.

For those patients, one of the most important facts to remember is that while pain and discomfort is common and not always serious, it’s not how your teeth are supposed to feel.

Any sign of pain or discomfort should be a signal that you need to find a nearby dentist rather quickly in order to get to the bottom of the cause before it turns into a more serious (and expensive) problem.

Have you ever thought, “Maybe it’s time I find a dentist near me.”?  If you have, don’t ignore your instincts. Read below to learn about some of the most common causes, and if you’re a patient in the Downey, CA area – don’t hesitate to reach out (Improving your teeth is our specialty!).

Tooth Sensitivity

If you feel a sharp pain or tingle when you’re eating cold, hot, or even sweet foods it could mean that you have a cavity. However, this isn’t always the case. It could also mean that you have sensitive teeth — which can be either genetic or can occur for a number of reasons ranging from receding gums to enamel erosion. To minimize the severity of sensitive teeth, always use a soft-toothbrush (read our blog post: What are Hard-Bristle Tooth Brushes Worth Anyhow?) and try a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. In some cases, this can completely resolve the issue!

Throbbing Pain

If the pain in your tooth doesn’t go away, or is throbbing, there’s a chance you have a dental abscess.  A dental abscess is an infection inside your tooth that’s caused when the soft inner tissue of your tooth (the pulp) becomes inflamed and infected. When this goes untreated, an abscess will form – which will often attempt to drain into your gums. If you have a dental abscess, there’s a good chance your doctor will recommend root canal treatment to save the tooth and restore it to proper health.

 

Sharp Tooth Pain

Sometimes, patients come to us after experiencing a deep, sharp, stinging pain. In most cases, this isn’t due to sensitivity. If the pain is particularly pronounced -especially when biting down, there’s a good chance you have either a cracked tooth or a cavity.

 

Is it Even Your Tooth?

Sometimes, dental pain might not even be your teeth! For some patients, this is great news because it means that the solution is just a doctor’s visit and a simple prescription away. While not as common as real dental issues, another significant source of tooth pain can be a sinus infection. If the upper teeth on either side of your face are painful, it could be your sinuses. This is usually paired with congestion, tenderness, and cold or flu-like symptoms.

 

Are you experiencing dental pain? Our dental office in Downey, California is staffed by  some of the areas best dentists and dental hygienists. Whether you’re an existing patient or you’re looking for a new dentist in Downey, we’ere here to help!  

So you Just Took Your Dentures Home…

Dentures have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Of course, it should also be mentioned that they’ve come quite a long way since then.

While dentures used to be marvels of modern manufacturing comprised of ivory from elephants and hippopotamuses, today they’re quite a bit different. The modern denture is a high-tech combination of acrylics, composites, and metal – all formed into an apparatus that comfortably and effectively replaces a few or all of your teeth. Fortunately for patients today, affordable dentures that also look great are a reality.

Despite how advanced your dentures are and how thorough your denture dentist was throughout the process – you might be sitting at home, your brand new dentures on your counter, wondering how on earth you’re supposed to adjust to these things. To make the process a little easier, follow this simple guide:

Day 1: Start off simple with soft foods like pudding, ice-cream, and mashed potato. Focus on foods that are easy for your gums to handle, while not requiring much force from your teeth. Most of all, remember that this is only the beginning. Don’t push yourself.

The First Two Weeks: During your first two weeks your mouth will just be getting use to your new dentures, and there’s a good chance you’ll be experiencing some extra salivation. This is because your mouth still perceives something “foreign”. If you begin to experience sore spots anywhere in your mouth, a saltwater rinse can go a long way when it comes to easing the pain. If sore spots don’t begin to go away, your dentist might be able to provide you with a product that will help.

Three to Four Weeks: After about your third week, you’ll begin to feel much more confident when it comes to both eating and speaking. Your period of adjustment is beginning to feel a bit easier, and you might even be thinking to yourself, “I’m beginning to get a handle on these things!”. Once this confidence sets in, your prosthodontist (denture dentist for short) might suggest perfecting the fit of your dentures with some minor adjustments. Or, if your denture fits well but you’re still looking for an added bit of confidence, he or she might also recommend a denture adhesive. In small amounts, a denture adhesive can help secure your teeth to make the transition from soft to harder foods a bit easier.

Over one Month: With over a month in dentures, there’s a good chance your adjustment will be well on its way. There’s also a good chance that you’ll soon be enjoying your favorite foods and activities like you were before you got dentures. After this point, it’s important to visit your denture dentist regularly to ensure that your body continues adjusting to your dentures.

Are you experiencing pain or discomfort with your dentures? If you’ve recently had teeth extracted, there’s a chance that your adjustment period could be longer. However, if pain, soreness, or a feeling of instability persists – your dentist can make adjustments that can in-turn make your life quite a bit easier.

Have questions about your dentures? We can help!

 

Why You Need a Root Canal Doctor

Before we begin to talk about root canals, understand one thing: a root canal is actually quite simple.

But then again, what kind of root canal are we talking about? First, there’s the actual root canal: a cavity filled with nerves and “pulp” on the inside of your tooth.

Then, there’s the “root canal”. The name that most patients use for Endodontic Therapy, the treatment used to clear out the bacteria or infection in a tooth in order to save it.

While many patients go-into the procedure (or even the prospect of it) thinking that endodontic treatment is a serious and complicated procedure, many wouldn’t hesitate to tell you that root canal treatment really isn’t that bad after all is said and done. This is especially considering the alternative of having to instead find a dentist specialized in dental bridges near you.

But one of  the many variables that some patients fail to consider is who to see for root canal treatment. While all general dentists have received training in root canal therapy, only a small amount of dentists are specialized endodontists, or root canal doctors.

An endodontist completes between two and four years of additional schooling and training that’s entirely focused on treating the inside of your teeth for pain and infection.  For many cases, root canal treatment from your general family dentist is perfectly acceptable. However, in more difficult or hard to treat situations, your dentist might call-in the expertise of the endodontist to achieve the best possible end-result.

When any kind of dentist uses their training and experience to perform root canal therapy, they precisely clean out infection and bacteria that have worked their way into your teeth from a crack, cavity, or other damage. When performed successfully, root canal therapy is incredibly capable of completely saving a tooth. For that very reason, you can think about the endodontist as a true tooth saver.

What to expect during your first root canal

When you get root canal treatment, you an expect the procedure to be relatively quick and simple. In many cases, patients report the procedure as being similar to getting a tooth drilled and filled for a cavity.

Root canal treatment typically takes two visits. On the first visit:

  • Local anesthetic will be used to ensure the procedure isn’t painful. In some cases, you may also choose to be sedated during the procedure.
  • Your dentist will isolate your damaged tooth from saliva with a rubber dam
  • Your dentist will drill an opening into your tooth’s crown. Through this hole, the pulp will be removed, the root cleaned, and all traces of bacteria cleaned out of the tooth.
  • A temporary filling will be placed to keep bacteria and saliva out, and an antibiotic may be prescribed to help ensure no new bacteria takes hold.

On the second visit:

 

  • Your dentist will remove the temporary filling and permanently seal the tooth – securing it from bacteria and further infection. In most cases, you will then be recommended to get a crown on the affected tooth.

Are you experiencing sudden tooth pain? To learn more about root canal treatment or schedule a consultation – contact the dental team at My Downey Family Dentist.