Tips to Avoid Dental Cavities

Family brushing their teeth together in front of the bathroom mirror.

From cavities to gum disease, many common dental issues can be avoided with preventive care. Today, we want to provide you with some information about how cavities develop along with some tips to avoid dental cavities. With this new knowledge, you’ll put yourself on the path for a lifetime of oral health.

What Is a Cavity?

Dental cavities are damage in your tooth enamel that gradually develop into tiny holes, or cavities, if left untreated. If cavities aren’t addressed, they keep growing into the sensitive inner layers of your tooth. This can result in toothache, infection, and even tooth loss.

What Causes Cavities?

There are several things that can contribute to cavity development: oral bacteria, a diet high in sugar, and poor oral hygiene. As the bacteria in your mouth feeds on sugar that you eat, it produces acid. Over time, this acid wears away on tooth enamel. Without good dental cleaning habits, this can result in cavities.

What Are Tips to Avoid Dental Cavities?

Now for some good news: cavities are often preventable. Here are some tips for keeping your smile free from cavities.

1. At-Home Oral Hygiene

The best thing you can do to protect your pearly whites is to have an at-home oral hygiene routine. This means brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time and flossing each day.

2. A Healthy Diet

Another way to avoid cavities is to limit your sugar intake. If oral bacteria have less sugar to feed on, they’ll produce less acid. Combined with regular brushing and flossing, this can keep your teeth cavity-free.

3. Regular Dental Checkups

Our final tip to avoid dental cavities is to keep up with your dental checkups. At Villa Vista Dental, we recommend that our patients receive a professional cleaning every six months or so. This allows our team to spot and treat any potential cavities or other issues before they become a more serious problem.

Cavity Prevention in Elk Grove, CA

Dr. Tin is a big proponent of preventive care! We offer many preventive treatments that can keep your smile healthy including dental sealants, fluoride treatments, custom mouthguards and oral cancer screenings. To ask our team any questions about these services or to schedule your next appointment, call our office today!

Preventive exams will help keep your smile cavity-free!


Do’s & Don’ts for a Hollywood Smile

Young professional woman with a beautiful smile.

Most people aren’t born with perfect smiles, and that includes celebrities, too! If you’ve been comparing your smile to those that you see on the red carpet, you shouldn’t! Most celebrities have received high-end dental work to achieve their red-carpet-ready smiles. Want to get a smile that shines just as bright as the Hollywood stars? Here’s what you need to know about cosmetic dentistry!

Cosmetic Dentistry Don’ts

There are many at-home remedies and over-the-counter products that claim to improve your smile’s appearance, especially whitening products! You can even buy cheap veneers and clear aligner trays online! Some of these products can do permanent damage to your teeth. Getting an expert dental opinion and examination is the best route when altering your smile’s appearance. Your dentist will be able to determine if teeth whitening or other cosmetic dental treatments are the right option for your smile and oral health. Whether you’re considering a product from the store or something you read about online, the best rule of thumb is to ALWAYS consult with your dentist before trying or buying!

Cosmetic Dentistry Do’s

First and foremost, find a trustworthy, skilled dentist who offers a variety of cosmetic dental treatments! Your smile can completely change your overall look, so finding a competent, experienced dentist for cosmetic dentistry treatments is crucial! You want to ensure your dentist can help bring your dream smile to life and give you a smile you feel confident behind. Once you find a dentist you love, take the time to work with them to explore your cosmetic treatment options to determine the perfect route for your smile makeover.

Common Cosmetic Procedures

There are many different dental treatments that can be used to enhance your smile. The most common are teeth whitening, teeth straightening and dental veneers. Dental veneers can be used to correct the look of just one or two teeth, but they can also be used to totally transform an entire smile. Dental crowns can also be used to correct the size, shape or color of a tooth. Dr. Tin and the team at Villa Vista Dental offer all of these services and more. During your consultation, we can explore the many options available to give you a beautiful smile that fits your budget.

Schedule Your Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation in Elk Grove, CA

Ready to transform your smile? At Villa Vista Dental, we believe everyone deserves to have a smile they feel great about. If you’re looking for a high-quality dental practice in the Elk Grove area, our Villa Vista Dental team is ready and equipped to take care of your cosmetic dentistry needs! Please contact our office to schedule your consultation!

Dr. Tin provides many cosmetic dental treatments to enhance your smile!


Foods to Avoid After a Teeth Whitening Procedure

Cartoon of a man surrounded by foods that can stain your teeth
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Professional teeth whitening is a great way to brighten your smile. After a teeth whitening procedure, you want the effects to last for as long as possible. To ensure that you enjoy the benefits of your whiter smile, we’ve put together this list of foods to avoid, at least initially. In general, your teeth are most sensitive for the first few days after the whitening procedure.

Wine

This one should come as no surprise: for the best effects, avoid drinking wine right after teeth whitening. Both red wine and white wine can cause issues. The acidity and pigment in red wine can cause stains, while white wine can break down enamel.

Coffee & Tea

Avoiding coffee after your teeth whitening procedure should also be a no-brainer. Coffee is chock full of tannins. Over time, tannins build up and can darken your teeth. Tea can also contain tannins, so do your best to avoid it too. If you can’t function without coffee or tea, we recommend drinking through a straw to help minimize contact with your teeth.

Soda

Sodas are high in sugar and they also have colorants, therefore they can cause problems with teeth. Because your teeth will be more porous than usual after your whitening procedure, it will make them more susceptible to stains and damage.

Candy

Like sodas, candy is high in refined sugar. Even in the best of times, candy consumption can increase your risk for decay, discoloration, and enamel erosion. Avoid candy for at least a few days after your teeth whitening to avoid damaging your sensitive teeth.

Dark Fruits

This one is trickier, since fruit consumption is generally healthy. However, steer clear of dark-colored fruits right after your teeth whitening treatment. Otherwise, the pigments could stain your teeth and the acid could contribute to enamel erosion.

Drink Water

Right after a teeth whitening procedure, you should drink plenty of water and turn to healthy foods that are low in acidity and stain-causing pigments. And if you can’t avoid consuming something stain causing, drink water and rinse your mouth afterwards. The water will dilute the acids and stain-causing substances and clean off your teeth.

Bright & Healthy Smiles in Elk Grove, CA

Villa Vista Dental has a full suite of services to help you maintain optimal oral health. We offer preventive care to keep your smile healthy, like regular exams, hygiene cleanings, and protective mouthguards. We also offer a wide range of restorative services if you need a little repair. Cosmetic services like teeth whitening and dental veneers can give your smile a powerful boost. To ask our team any questions about our treatments or to schedule your next consultation, call our office today!

Keep your smile bright after professional teeth whitening!


What To Know Before Whitening Your Teeth

Smiling man shows off his white teeth.

Thinking about whitening your teeth? It can be an amazing way to get rid of some of those stains that are making your smile less bright than you want it to be. Read on to learn what you need to know before whitening your teeth.

Opt for Professional Whitening

If you want to see results, you’re going to want to talk to Dr. Tin and the Villa Vista Dental team about professional teeth whitening. While drugstore products can make a difference, they just aren’t strong enough to lighten your smile by multiple shades. And whatever you do, skip the internet-aided do-it-yourself options. You’ll only run the risk of damaging your teeth.

Expect Some Sensitivity

While professional teeth whitening procedures are both effective and safe, many patients do experience some discomfort in the form of sensitivity. The good news is that the pain is temporary, and you can try to prevent it by switching to a toothpaste designed especially for sensitive teeth.

Teeth Whitening is Not Permanent

Unfortunately the beautiful effects of teeth whitening aren’t going to be a permanent solution. If that’s what you’re looking for, you are going to want to check out veneers. However, results from professional whitening procedures can last up to a few years, and there are things you can do to prolong the results. Avoid stain causing foods and beverages like red wine, and be sure to keep up with a diligent oral health care routine. While you can repeat your whitening procedure eventually, you need to talk to us about how soon you can do so. Overdoing it could harm your teeth.

Teeth Whitening in Elk Grove, CA

When you whiten your teeth with us here at Villa Vista Dental, you can do it in just one visit, or even at home! To learn more about our ZOOM!® One-Visit Whitening or take-home whitening trays, give our office a call and we’ll schedule a consultation.

Brighten your smile with professional teeth whitening!


Caring for Your Teeth While Pregnant

Pregnant woman rests on her side.

Pregnancy changes the body in more ways than just appearance. Pregnancy can also rapidly change oral health! Did you know that some women may be more prone to periodontal disease and cavities during pregnancy due to constantly changing hormones? If you didn’t, read to learn how you can best care for your teeth while pregnant.

Brush Twice & Floss Once

While hormone changes during pregnancy can easily lead to exhaustion, stay consistent in your oral hygiene routine! Brush twice a day and be sure to floss at least once a day. If you skip brushing and flossing, plaque and bacteria build up slowly and can result in decay or an increased risk of periodontal disease.

Rinse Your Mouth After Morning Sickness

Morning sickness may or may not be experienced during pregnancy. However, morning sickness can place expecting mothers at risk for cavities and decay. If you experience morning sickness, the American Dental Association recommends rinsing with a teaspoon of baking soda and water to help stop stomach acid from attacking your teeth.

Select Nutritious Snacks

Eating habits can change during pregnancy, and each pregnancy may present an expecting mother with a new craving. With frequent snacking, teeth are in constant contact with acid in food. Making a conscious effort to eat nutritious snacks like fruits, yogurt, and vegetables with less sugar can be healthy for you, your baby, and your smile!

Family Dentistry in Elk Grove

Regular visits to Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove during your pregnancy will allow us to help you maintain optimal oral health. Routine exams are critical in helping to find and treat dental problems early. Dr. Tin and our team at Villa Vista Dental are happy to provide comprehensive dental care, including exams, to the Elk Grove community. Whether you need dental care for yourself or for the entire family, our skilled team would be happy to help you achieve the best oral health. Contact our friendly team to schedule your appointment for a healthy smile!

We can help you maintain excellent oral health during pregnancy.


Trying To Land a New Job? Cosmetic Dentistry Can Help!

A group of men and women dressed in upscale office attire standing in a group.

Are you in the job market and trying to make a great impression? Did you know that smiles are often one of the first things people notice when they meet? We want you to be able to put your best smile forward, every time. At Villa Vista Dental, we’re passionate about offering patients a variety of cosmetic dental treatments at our Elk Grove, CA office.

Advanced, Same-Day Crowns

If you have a damaged, uneven, chipped, or discolored tooth, a crown is a great option to repair its appearance and functionality! Thanks to advancements in restorative dentistry, some dental crowns can now be fabricated and placed in a single visit. CEREC® same-day crowns are state-of-the-art, high-quality dental crowns that will help you regain a healthy, beautiful smile.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Are your teeth yellow and dull? One of the fastest ways to boost your smile’s appearance is with professional teeth whitening. Whitening your teeth can really boost your confidence at your job interview! There are a variety of professional whitening options to choose from, such as in-office whitening treatments and take-home whitening trays. No matter which option you choose, you will be able to enjoy a dazzling smile in no time at all!

Porcelain Veneers

You can enhance your smile quickly with dental veneers because the thin sheets of porcelain are applied to the face of your existing teeth. Veneers are a beautiful way to correct smile imperfections like small gaps, chips, discoloration or misshapen teeth. You can have the veneer applied to just one problematic tooth, or you can go for an entire smile transformation.

Six Month Smiles®

Want to straighten teeth but don’t want to wear braces for years? Six Month Smiles is an expedited teeth straightening solution for patients with mild to moderate alignment issues. If you’re looking for faster teeth straightening results, Six Month Smiles may be the perfect solution for you! It won’t happen overnight, but results still come quickly!

ClearCorrect™ Clear Aligners

Another great orthodontic treatment that will enhance your smile’s appearance is ClearCorrect. This orthodontic treatment uses a series of clear aligners to straighten teeth. It is also not a treatment that will result in a new smile immediately, but the sooner you start the process, the sooner you’ll have that straighter smile you’ve always wanted. And because it’s a discreet way to straighten your teeth, you will be able to continue to smile with confidence when trying to land a new job!

Start Your Smile Transformation

Are you ready to achieve your dream smile and knock your job interviews out of the park? We’ve got you covered! Our team at Villa Vista Dental would love to be your go-to dentist for all of your cosmetic dentistry needs. Please contact us to schedule your appointment!

Our cosmetic services can help you make a great first impression!


Use Your Dental Benefits Before the End of the Year!

A computer screen showing information about dental insurance.

We’re in the final stretch of 2021. There’s probably a lot on your to-do list with the holidays fast approaching. Amid all the hustle and bustle, we want to give you an important reminder. Make sure to use your dental benefits before the year ends!

You Either Use Them or Lose Them

Dental insurance generally runs on a year-to-year basis. Any dental benefits you have paid for that haven’t been used by the end of the calendar year will most likely expire. That means that after meeting your deductible, all those “dental dollars” you’ve already earned with your monthly insurance payments will go down the drain.

Use Your Dental Insurance Benefits for Preventive Services

Wondering how to use up your dental benefits before you lose them? The first thing we advise patients to do is to check and see whether or not they’ve gotten all their dental cleanings for the year. Most insurance plans cover two every year, and it always feels great to get a professional cleaning done.

Use Your Dental Insurance Benefits for Restorative Services

We know it can be easy to delay getting dental treatment because of the higher cost of major procedures. This is a good time to discuss with Dr. Tin about finally getting that restorative treatment you’ve been delaying. If you’ve met your deductible, it might make financial sense. In some cases, we can split up the treatments so that part of the procedure is covered by this year’s dental benefits, and the rest can be scheduled in 2022 when your insurance benefits renew.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Elk Grove

If the ins and outs of dental insurance are leaving you feeling confused, don’t worry—the Villa Vista Dental team is there for you! Contact our knowledgeable team and we will be happy to answer any financial questions you might have. We’re also ready to get your end-of-year appointments scheduled before things get even busier.

Use your dental insurance benefits before they expire!


Types of Orthodontic Treatment

Young woman in front of a white brick wall is smiling and holding a ClearCorrect clear aligner.

While you might feel unlucky in the smile department, you are lucky in terms of how many options you have these days for orthodontic treatment. Villa Vista Dental offers two different orthodontic procedures that are designed to fix issues like crowding and gaps. Both are especially good for patients who want straight teeth but don’t want to spend several years wearing metal braces.

Accelerated Braces

Six Month Smiles® are a type of accelerated braces. The technology is similar to traditional metal braces since there are brackets and wires involved. The difference is that the procedure focuses primarily on the teeth that are visible when you smile. This allows the treatment to be completed much quicker.

Clear Aligner Therapy

Clear aligner therapy is quite different from traditional metal braces. The brand we offer is called ClearCorrect®. With this type of orthodontic treatment, teeth straightening is achieved through a series of clear aligners. The aligners are designed to fit snugly over your teeth. As you move gradually through each set of new aligners, your teeth are gently pushed into the correct direction. The aligners should be worn at least 22 hours a day to keep your treatment on track.

Advantages of Clear Aligners

Clear aligners take away many of the negatives associated with traditional methods of orthodontic treatment. For one thing, the aligners are nearly invisible so it isn’t obvious that you are straightening your teeth. The plastic of the aligner feels smooth against your mouth so they are more comfortable to wear than metal brackets. Another big plus is that you take them out when you eat and clean your teeth. This means no big changes to diet are necessary. It’s also easy to maintain good oral hygiene. No threading floss around brackets or worrying about pieces of lettuce stuck in your braces. You can brush and floss as usual.

Orthodontic Options in Elk Grove, CA

Are you interested in getting orthodontic treatment? If you need help deciding between the different options available, we invite you to book a consultation at Villa Vista Dental. We provide modern orthodontic services at our Elk Grove practice and we’re happy to help. We offer flexible financing options to make your treatment more budget-friendly.

Get straight teeth, faster, with clear aligners or accelerated braces.


Why You Shouldn’t Fear a Root Canal

Man with his hand to his cheek because of tooth pain.

If you’ve been experiencing painful toothaches accompanied by extreme sensitivity when your teeth are exposed to different temperatures, you might be suffering from an infected tooth root. When an infection spreads down to your tooth roots, the life of the tooth is threatened. Is it possible to save the tooth? That’s where root canal therapy comes in! Root canals play a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy smile.

Why Get a Root Canal?

Root canals have a reputation for being painful, long procedures. Actually, the truth is that they’re not that much different from any other restorative treatment, like getting a cavity filled. A root canal is designed to remove infected tissue from the tooth root and salvage any of the tooth’s natural healthy tissue. Infections typically spread to the root because of an untreated cavity or decay that is caused by poor oral hygiene or trauma.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

Your body will send some signs to alert you when it is invaded by infection. Here are some of the typical signs that indicate you have an infected tooth root.

  • Severe toothache that throbs when you bite down
  • Sensitivity to hot & cold temperatures
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Painful, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Bad taste in mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Chips or cracks in teeth
  • Wiggly tooth
  • Gumline abscess

Procedure for Root Canal Therapy

Before you get root canal therapy, Dr. Ricky Tin will take x-rays of your tooth to identify the extent of the infection in your tooth. Our team will then carefully numb the area around your tooth to help make your procedure pain free. During the procedure, we will dry the area around your tooth and drill a small hole into it to access the infected tissue. Next Dr. Tin will flush out all of the infected tissue, replacing it with a substance called gutta percha before sealing up the tooth. Depending on the extent of the damage to your tooth, we may close out the procedure with either a filling or a crown. If a crown is needed, we offer Cerec Same Day crowns.

Caring for Your Tooth After a Root Canal

It’s common to feel pain or sensitivity around your tooth after root canal therapy, and you can use over-the-counter pain medication to help with it. Our team will give you thorough aftercare instructions to help you heal faster. Once your tooth is healed, you can proceed with your regular dental care regimen. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly twice a day to prevent infection and visit Villa Vista Dental twice a year to prevent or treat cavities in their early stages.

Affordable Root Canal Therapy in Elk Grove, CA

If you are experiencing symptoms of a root canal infection, contact our office to schedule a consultation right away. We promise you that the pain of an ongoing infection and subsequent tooth extraction are far worse than root canal therapy! Villa Vista Dental proudly offers a variety of financing options to make our services affordable. Our staff is always willing to help answer any questions you might have about your visit, so don’t hesitate to give us a call. We look forward to seeing you!

Root canals eliminate pain & save your tooth!


What Your Tooth Pain May Be Telling You

Dark haired woman with her fingers to her cheek because of tooth pain.

Living life to the fullest with tooth pain can be very difficult. Things like speaking, chewing, and even yawning can cause sharp pain. If you’re currently experiencing tooth pain, Villa Vista Dental will help you find a solution so you can become pain free. Read on to learn about some of the common causes of tooth pain.

Reasons You May Be Experiencing Tooth Pain

The first step to combatting tooth pain is to identify the underlying cause. There are many factors that may be causing your tooth pain. Dr. Tin will seek to discover what is causing your tooth pain before determining a treatment plan that best suits your situation. Here are some of the most common reasons for tooth pain.

  • Cavities
  • Decay causes the dental pulp inside the tooth to become swollen so that it puts pressure on the tooth’s nerve.

  • Cracked or Broken Tooth
  • Dental trauma can damage or expose the tooth’s nerve, causing pain and discomfort.

  • Enamel Erosion
  • Enamel is the protective outer layer of teeth. When enamel is lost it exposes the sensitive dentin layer underneath.

  • Gum Recession
  • Gum recession exposes the tooth’s roots. This can cause extreme sensitivity when brushing or eating hot and cold foods.

  • Periodontal (Gum) Disease
  • Gum disease causes soft tissue inflammation and can lead to tooth decay.

  • Teeth Grinding
  • Grinding wears down teeth over time and can expose sensitive nerves.

  • Whitening Treatment
  • After a whitening treatment, you may experience temporary tooth sensitivity.

Schedule Your Tooth Pain Consultation

Are you suffering from chronic tooth pain? The sooner you seek treatment the better. Tooth pain can indicate a serious underlying dental issue. The longer you wait, the more severe the dental problem may become, eventually resulting in a dental emergency. At Villa Vista Dental, Dr. Ricky Tin and our knowledgeable team have years of experience diagnosing and treating dental pain. Our mission is to help patients regain a healthy, pain-free smile. Please contact our office to schedule your dental consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

Come see us to eliminate your tooth pain!