How to Prevent Morning Breath

Cartoon of a girl with green breath coming out of her mouth.
Image by Natalia Ovcharenko from Pixabay

After a good night’s sleep, waking up to bad breath, though nothing uncommon, is frustrating. We experience foul breath in the morning because saliva naturally decreases while we’re sleeping and this increases odor-causing bacteria. Poor oral hygiene, snoring at night, breathing through the mouth, and smoking are also some other causes of halitosis. Here are some preventive measures you can take to sustain a less odorous breath.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Since bacteria activity is the cause of bad breath, practicing good oral hygiene is key to warding off bacterial growth. Start with flossing everyday. The food stuck between your teeth can create a breeding ground for bacteria, so it’s important to get into those hard-to-reach areas as well! Brush twice a day, especially once at night, and don’t forget to clean your tongue. The tongue is another hotbed for bacteria, so it’s best to brush your tongue thoroughly with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper for fresher breath.

Drink Water

Breathing or snoring through the mouth while sleeping can cause dry mouth, leading to sour breath. As a result, staying hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day, starting in the morning and before bedtime, can help produce the saliva necessary to combat halitosis. A general rule of thumb according to Harvard Health Publishing is to drink 2-3 cups of water per hour, and more if you’re sweating.

Don’t Miss Your Dental Appointments

Regular checkups and cleanings are important for overall dental health, but they’re also key preventive measures to curb bad breath. A dentist can identify any serious issues that might contribute to bad breath, clean your teeth thoroughly, and provide more personalized tips for eliminating the stink. It’s suggested to visit your dentist twice a year or as recommended.

Preventive Care in Elk Grove, CA

Dr. Ricky Tin and our team at Villa Vista Dental value preventive care, and we’re devoted to bringing unrushed, comprehensive consultations to meet your dental needs. If you’re up for your regular exam or have any concerns you’d like to address, we’d love for you to contact us!

We have some tips for fresher breath in the morning!

How Can I Reduce My Dental Anxiety?

Woman relaxing at the dentist with headphones to help with dental anxiety.

According to a study done in 2017, between 50 and 80% of adults in the country experience some form of dental anxiety. That’s a lot of folks who are worried about visiting the dentist! Do you struggle with dental anxiety? It’s important to know that there are steps you can take to alleviate that feeling. Here are some tips for managing your dental anxiety so you can receive the oral health care that your smile needs.

Use Your Dental Office’s Amenities

Chances are that your dental office has some assortment of patient amenities available. Villa Vista Dental offers a number of extras to help our patients feel at ease. These include soft blankets and pillows that you can cuddle up with to feel more comfortable in the dental chair. Additionally, noise-canceling headphones eliminate the sound of the dental tools in action. We also offer TVs with a variety of shows to watch in the treatment rooms. They can distract you from the dental work you’re getting so you don’t think about feeling anxious. Any combination of these could be used to encourage relaxation. They’re available as a free service to dental patients.

Ask Your Dentist about Dental Sedation

Dental sedation is used to help patients through more intensive procedures like oral surgery. However, it can also be used to keep patients who experience dental anxiety feeling calm and content. Villa Vista Dental offers two types of sedation. The more mild nitrous oxide helps most patients feel relaxed. If another step is needed, we offer oral conscious sedation. These are both safe sedation choices. Not all practices offer sedation, so it’s worth asking your dentist what they have available. Our Elk Grove team always considers what option would be right for your unique situation.

Managing Dental Anxiety in Elk Grove, CA

Want to discuss your dental anxiety in more depth in a private setting? Contact Dr. Ricky Tin at Villa Vista Dental. We are happy to chat with you about what can be done in order for you to receive the dental treatments you need to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.

We can help you manage your dental anxiety!

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Photo of an electric toothbrush next to a regular toothbrush.

Next time you go to the grocery store or your local drugstore, have a look at the dental section. Chances are you’ll see a wide variety of toothbrushes coming from an array of companies and coming in many different designs and colors. So how in the world are you supposed to pick the “right” one?

Too Many Choices?

The fact is, there’s not one perfect toothbrush that’s right for everyone. However, there are some tips you can follow to find a great one.

  • 1. Check Bristle Firmness
  • One thing you’ll want to confirm is whether or not a toothbrush has a soft bristle. Soft bristles are the way to go! If the bristle is too hard, it can cause damage to your teeth and gums, rather than helping you maintain great oral health.

  • 2. Decide on the Right Size & Grip
  • Toothbrushes come in different sizes and with different grips. You want one that will be easy to use depending on your age, mobility, and lifestyle. After all, if you have a toothbrush that’s annoying to hold and manage, then it might prevent you from brushing as often as you need to.

  • 3. Find the ADA Seal of Approval
  • There are some dental products out there that have a seal of approval from the American Dental Association. This means that the professional association vetted the products and found them to be effective.

  • 4. Consider Electric
  • There’s nothing wrong with manual toothbrushes when used correctly, but many people find electric toothbrushes are easier to use and give a better clean. If you can afford it, consider going for an electric toothbrush that does most of the hard work for you. Another advantage of electric toothbrushes is that most have a 2 minute timer so you are sure to brush long enough.

  • 5. Ask Your Dentist
  • When in doubt, ask your dentist. They’re operating in the world of dental tools day in and day out, and they should be up-to-date on the best products out there at that moment. On top of that, they know your dental health history and they can help figure out the specific toothbrush that works for your specific smile needs.

Preventive Dental Care in Elk Grove, CA

The Villa Vista Dental team is here to help you maintain excellent oral health. If it has been six months or more since your last visit, it’s time to give us a call. Brushing with the right toothbrush is awesome but you can’t keep your smile in tip top shape all by yourself! We look forward to seeing you soon for a professional hygiene cleaning and dental exam.

Choose a toothbrush that will make you want to brush!

Why Are Digital X-Rays Better Than the Traditional Film?

Computer screen showing digital X-rays.

During your annual dental appointments, you may get X-rays taken to give your dentist a full picture of your oral health. In the past, dentists used film X-rays to get the job done. But today, many are opting for sleeker, quicker digital X-rays for their patients. Which one is better?

Why Do I Get X-Rays at the Dentist?

When it comes to your dental health, there’s plenty more than what meets the eye. You might have a crack in a tooth, a hard-to-see cavity, or impacted wisdom teeth that might not be growing straight. Or perhaps you might have a tumor or abscess or some sinus issues caused by dental problems. Dr. Ricky Tin can determine these and more by taking full X-rays of your teeth, gums and jaws to get a full picture of your dental health.

What Are Film X-Rays?

Film X-rays are traditional X-rays that are taken with a camera and developed on sheets of film afterwards. Film X-rays expose patients to small amounts of radiation.

What Are Digital X-Rays?

Digital x-rays use X-ray sensors instead of traditional photo film to generate detailed images of a patient’s body. Digital X-rays live on a computer or other device, allowing them to create more detailed, clear images versus film x-rays.

What Is the Difference Between Digital & Film X-Rays?

Digital X-rays produce more detailed, sharper images than film X-rays, allowing your dentist to detect even more from a single image than they could from a film X-ray. They also produce less radiation than film X-rays, making them safer. Plus, they take up less storage space (since they’re completely digital) and don’t require the use of environmentally unsafe chemicals to produce.

Comprehensive Dentistry in Elk Grove, CA

At Villa Vista Dental, we use low radiation digital X-rays to deliver even more powerful, accurate care to our patients! If you’re looking for a dental office that offers top-notch, state-of-the-art technology and comprehensive treatment plans, look no further than Villa Vista Dental! We offer general, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatments for the whole family. Contact us to schedule your visit today and check out our financing page to learn more about our affordable treatment plans!

Digital X-rays are safe and effective!

Why Does the Dentist Use Fluoride?

Patient in the dental chair receiving a fluoride treatment.

There’s an incredible, natural way to prevent decay and bacteria growth on your teeth: fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that can strengthen your teeth and bones every time you brush your teeth or drink tap water. Another way to reap all the benefits fluoride can offer is through fluoride treatments at your dentist’s office, which we offer at Villa Vista Dental!

What Is Fluoride & What Does It Do?

Fluoride is an ionized form of fluorine, a natural mineral. You can find it in water, soil, air, and rocks. Fluoride supports strong bones and teeth because it mineralizes the enamel, or hard outside layer of the teeth. That’s why fluoride is often found in tap water and toothpaste to help ward off bacteria naturally.

Fluoride Treatments in Elk Grove, CA

At Villa Vista Dental, we offer easy fluoride treatments as part of our preventive dental services. It only takes minutes to complete a fluoride treatment, and all you have to do is sit back, relax, and let us apply a fluoride solution to your teeth. Because the solution bonds to your teeth instantly, you don’t need to do any after care or maintenance. In fact, you’re free to eat and drink after a fluoride treatment!

Fluoride treatments should just be one of the many ways you prevent cavities and decay. Nothing beats visiting Dr. Tin twice a year for routine cleanings and examinations along with brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day. Of course, you should also manage your habits (e.g., avoid smoking) and maintain a healthy diet to protect your teeth further.

Affordable Preventive Dentistry at Villa Vista Dental

If you are due for a dental appointment, we offer a range of services to help all smiles in need. Contact us to schedule your appointment today and learn more about our flexible financing options!

Fluoride treatments can prevent cavities!

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth if They’re Almost Always Removed?

Masked dental professionals holding surgical tools are looking down on a patient ready for wisdom tooth extraction.

Most people only think of wisdom teeth in one particular situation – when they need to get them removed. Wisdom teeth are our third set of molars and they don’t erupt until we are near adulthood, around the ages of 17 to 21. This is also where they get their name. By the time they come in, you’re probably (hopefully) a bit wiser.

The Problem with Wisdom Teeth

Generally by the time wisdom teeth come in, an individual who had misaligned teeth has already had braces. Crowding caused by wisdom teeth can move teeth out of alignment. These aren’t the only problems caused by erupting wisdom teeth. Some signs of trouble you might experience are jaw pain, gum tenderness, stiffness opening your mouth all of the way, or infections behind your last tooth. Why do we have these teeth when we usually have to get rid of them the moment they make their grand entrance? That’s a very good question!

Changes in Our Jaw

Over the years, human jaws have gotten smaller. This, in turn, means there may not be enough room in our mouth for all of our teeth. It’s not just about wisdom teeth either. Some people may need to get one or more of their other teeth extracted to prevent crowding. This means that humans used to have room in their jaws for 32 teeth, including four wisdom teeth. Now some people barely have room for 28 teeth.

Changes in Our Diet

The fact that jaws are smaller has been proven by comparing fossil evidence. This is mostly due to the fact that the type of food we eat and how we eat that food has significantly changed over time. We don’t need the extra chewing power provided by wisdom teeth like our ancestors did when most food was tough and hard to chew. Because our diet consists of more soft or processed foods, our jaws are weaker and smaller. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of discussion among scholars.

Wisdom Tooth Removal in Elk Grove, CA

If you suspect that your wisdom teeth aren’t coming in correctly, Villa Vista Dental can help. Our team will take images of your teeth to determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed. If it is determined that it will be best for your oral health to remove them, you can feel confident scheduling your wisdom tooth extraction with Dr. Tin. He has removed many wisdom teeth as part of our restorative services. Our team will provide you with excellent care and thorough aftercare instructions. Contact us for a consultation today!

Our team provides gentle wisdom tooth extraction when needed!

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!

Dos & 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.


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.


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.


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!