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!


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 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!


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!


Types of Dental Cleanings

Cartoon showing little elves helping with a deep teeth cleaning.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Did you know that there’s more than one type of dental cleaning? You may not think twice about it if you regularly visit the dentist for a standard cleaning. However, there are more specialized types of dental cleanings to take care of specific problems. Here’s a quick rundown of the main types of dental cleanings.

Prophylaxis Cleanings

The name sounds fancy, but this is actually the standard teeth cleaning and most likely what you’re getting when you go in for your check-up. During a prophylaxis cleaning, any plaque or tartar that has built up on your teeth is removed. Tartar forms when plaque has hardened, and it can only be removed by a dental professional with special tools. No matter how well you care for your teeth at home, you can’t remove all of the plaque that builds up over time. Basically, this is the kind of cleaning you get if you have a generally healthy mouth.

Scaling & Root Planing

Sometimes referred to as a deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is used to treat gum disease. The “scaling” portion is when plaque and tartar are removed from not just the surface of the teeth, but also from the pockets under your gum line. The “root planing” portion is when your tooth roots are essentially smoothed out, making it easier for the gums to reattach. Since this type of cleaning is more intensive, it is often performed with local anesthetic.

Debridement

A debridement or gross debridement cleaning is used for people who have never visited the dentist, who haven’t visited the dentist in quite some time, or who have struggled to maintain a healthy oral care routine. Performed with a special electrical tool, this kind of cleaning can remove a heavy build-up of plaque and tartar.

Dental Cleanings in Elk Grove, CA

Speaking of dental cleanings, is it time for yours? Book your appointment at Villa Vista Dental by calling us or clicking the contact link below. In addition to routine exams and cleanings, we also offer a wide variety of other dental services. Whatever your smile needs may be, we’re here for you.

Twice a year dental cleanings keep your smile in great shape!


Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

3 cartoon electric toothbrushes on a stage competing for "best toothbrush".
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Proper brushing is vital to your oral health. When you brush at least twice a day, you remove the sticky plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay. Is it better to use an electric toothbrush or a regular manual one? Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove, CA provides a look at some key features and how the toothbrushes compare to each other.

Ease of Use

Electric toothbrushes do more of the work for you. Thanks to a battery-powered motor, the toothbrush head moves quickly. All you need to do is guide the brush around your teeth. Electric brushes are especially useful for people who have limited mobility, like someone with arthritis. With a manual brush, you’re responsible for moving the brush head over each tooth.

Cleaning Power

Research shows that, in general, electric toothbrushes remove more plaque. Most electric brushes also offer a variety of cleaning modes like a deep clean mode, sensitive mode, gum care mode, and so on. A timer on the brush ensures you clean as long as recommended by dentists. This doesn’t mean that manual brushes are ineffective. Proper brushing technique and brushing for two minutes with a manual toothbrush gets your teeth clean. It just takes more attention.

Price

Electric toothbrushes are always more expensive than manual brushes. Some are significantly pricier. You also have to keep buying replacement heads, which can cost more than a manual toothbrush. A possible benefit is that if your oral health significantly improves with an electric toothbrush, you save money on other dental costs like cavity fillings. If your oral health is already great with a manual toothbrush, an electric one may not be worth the cost.

Final Call?

So, what’s the verdict on electric vs. manual toothbrushes? When it comes to ease of use and cleaning power, electric toothbrushes win. On price, manual toothbrushes are better. Manual toothbrushes can also clean just as well as electric brushes if used properly. Whatever you choose to brush with at home, getting regular cleanings and exams at Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove is important, too. If you have any questions or want to book an appointment with Dr. Tin, please contact us today!

Need help deciding if an electric toothbrush is worth the expense?


Coffee Alternatives to Keep Your Teeth White

A coffee pot on a counter with window in the background and a steaming mug of yerba coffee alternative in the foreground
Image by Erica Ramirez from Pixabay

As dental professionals, we have a love/hate relationship with coffee. Yes, a cup of coffee can give you the energy you need to jump start your day. On the other hand, coffee is notorious for staining teeth. To help protect your pearly whites and your productivity, our Villa Vista Dental team has come up with some coffee alternatives to keep your teeth white.

Searching for a Coffee Alternative? There’s a Long List to Choose From!

White tea, yerba mate, and rooibos are great coffee alternatives that won’t stain your teeth. White tea comes from the same plant as green tea, but is minimally processed to preserve its health benefits. As an added bonus, research shows that white tea may also prevent cavities and gum disease!

Yerba mate is a naturally caffeinated coffee alternative from South America. It is full of antioxidants and pleasant to sip on without worrying about staining your teeth. Rooibos is another great alternative to coffee. Steep a nice cup of rooibos and enjoy the nutty flavor with peace of mind that your teeth are protected.

Even if you don’t care for tea, there are countless other coffee alternatives that can put a pep in your step during the morning. Former coffee drinkers swear by golden milk, lemon water, kombucha, and even apple cider vinegar as excellent substitutes for morning coffee.

But If You Must Drink Coffee…

If you truly can’t do without your morning coffee, there are some things you can do to mitigate its staining power. After you drink your coffee, follow it with some water to rinse your mouth. Some research shows that using a straw can also help minimize stains. No matter what, keep up with your regular at-home hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time and flossing each day will help protect your pearly whites and your smile.

Preventive Care in Elk Grove, CA

Let Villa Vista Dental help you keep your smile in great shape with regular preventive care visits and professional cleanings. And if your teeth are already a little stained and need whitening, we can help with that too! To ask our team any questions about caring for your oral health or to schedule your next appointment, call our office today!

Schedule an appointment for preventive care at Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove, CA.


How to Strengthen Tooth Enamel

Brunette woman with strong enamel, glasses, and gray shirt smiles in a downtown of a busy city

Did you know that the enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in your body? It’s true! Consisting mostly of minerals, it covers the outer layer of each tooth. Strong enamel acts as a shield for the sensitive inner layers of your teeth from decay, infection, and foods and beverages that are very hot or very cold. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to maintain and even strengthen your teeth enamel.

1. Consume an Enamel-Friendly Diet

Eat a diet high in whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and dairy products with tooth-strengthening calcium and phosphate. In particular, cheese, nuts, and celery are foods that promote or maintain saliva, which remineralizes enamel. Additionally, limit your consumption of acidic foods and beverages. Drinks like carbonated sodas, citrus fruits, and wine can gradually remove small amounts of tooth enamel. If you do drink acidic liquids, use a straw to reduce the fluid’s contact with your teeth and drink water afterwards to wash any residue away.

2. Maintain a Daily Oral Hygiene Routine

Brushing your teeth too hard can wear down the enamel and create sensitive spots. The dentist-recommended routine is to brush gently for two minutes, twice per day, and use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Floss between your teeth at least once a day with string floss or a water flosser.

3. Use a Fluoridated Toothpaste

Fluoride has a remineralizing effect, which helps strengthen enamel, so be sure to choose a fluoridated toothpaste. Most municipal water supplies in the United States also contain fluoride, so merely drinking tap water can help strengthen your enamel, too. In addition, consult with our team to determine if you need a professional fluoride treatment. Although some skeptics question the safety of fluoride, it has been deemed safe by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Dental Association, the World Health Organization, and more than 100 other health organizations around the world.

Do You Have Sensitive Teeth?

If your teeth are sensitive to ordinary eating, drinking, and brushing, you probably already have some enamel damage. Fortunately, desensitizing toothpastes are readily available, which contain ingredients that help block painful sensations from sensitivity. A reduction in tooth sensitivity should be noticeable after using a desensitizing toothpaste several times.

If you have additional questions about tooth enamel, contact Villa Vista Dental to set up an appointment with Dr. Tin today!