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 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!


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.


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!


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!


Don’t Avoid Your Dental Cleaning Due to COVID

Cartoon of a family of four standing next to an oversized tooth and toothbrush.

Are you one of those people who has put off their dental care due to the pandemic? We understand the conundrum, but we are here to assure you that you can safely visit Villa Vista Dental. The last thing we want is for your teeth to suffer. Read on to hear how we’re keeping our patients safe while keeping their teeth healthy.

COVID-19 Protocols at Our Practice

There’s nothing more important to us than the health of our patients and our staff. As such, we have developed a plan to service our patient’s smiles safely and effectively during this time. We are currently following any and all CDC guidelines and tracking them as they evolve and change. This includes social distancing, sanitizing, and any other protocols that help to make our office safe and comfortable for everyone in it! Additional time has been scheduled between appointments and a Covid-19 questionnaire has been implemented to ensure that everything runs smoothly and exposure to illness is avoided. Comprehensive information about our COVID-19 protocols is available on our website, and you can always call our office with your questions!

The Importance of Routine Dental Care

It’s so important that you keep up with your dental care now that our offices are back up and running. With regular dental care we can catch issues early and prevent them from becoming something much worse. If you keep up with your visits every six months and continue with a good oral care routine at home, you will likely keep your smile beautiful and healthy for years to come.

Dental Health & Wellness in Elk Grove, CA

We believe that dental care is about more than just the health of your smile. We’re here to keep our patients’ smiles looking great and their whole health in check. Villa Vista Dental takes a comprehensive approach to dental health. We look forward to seeing our regular customers back in our office. And as always, new patients are welcome. Make an appointment by calling us directly or clicking the contact link.

Don’t put off getting the dental care you need!