Overcoming Dental Anxiety

MANY OF US, even though we know that going to the dentist is a safe, normal, and important part of life, don’t find it particularly fun to lie flat on our backs while someone pokes around our teeth and gums. For some, though, the very thought of visiting the dentist fills them with anxiety, and it could even be a full-blown phobia. That’s why we’d like to put our focus on helping our patients overcome their dental anxieties and fears.

Dental Anxiety Stats

Fear of going to the dentist is fairly common, with an estimated nine to 15 percent of Americans completely avoiding visiting the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That means up to 40 million Americans are taking a serious gamble with their dental health. Putting off a basic twice-a-year cleaning out of fear leaves patients much more susceptible to tooth decay and painful infection. It’s always better to view dental care as preventative, not just reactive.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentist

If you’re worried about going to the dentist, that might be because history and pop culture have given you the wrong idea. Before WWII made anesthetics the norm, dental procedures were uncomfortable, to say the least, but the field has come a long way since then. Modern dental offices maintain a high standard of comfort and care for patients.

Advice For Overcoming Dental Anxiety

(NOTE TO OUR CLIENTS: Use this section to offer tips and suggestions to your patients to help reduce their dental anxiety. What do you and your team do to help patients feel at ease? What can patients do before they arrive? Are there informative pamphlets or other materials they could access? Do you have examples of patients you’ve successfully helped to overcome their dental anxiety? What was most helpful for those patients?)

We Will Work With You!

Your care and comfort are our top priorities. If you or someone in your family struggles with dental anxiety and it’s interfering with getting needed dental care, we’d love to schedule a time for you to come to our practice so that you can get used to the facility and get to know our team. We can answer any questions you may have.

We hope to see you soon!

Picasso Smiles Cosmetic and Implant Center

10842 Washington Blvd 

Culver City, CA 90232

424-361-5218

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Top image by Flickr user Lachlan Hardy used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

4 Ways Smiling Improves Our Health!

WE’VE ALL HEARD the old cliché that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, so you should smile to conserve energy! That’s actually false. It takes a minimum of ten muscles to smile but only a minimum of six to frown, so the expression should really be “smile to burn calories!” But smiling will do much more for your health than just giving your face a workout.

Here’s four ways smiling benefits our health.

#1: Reduces Pain

Smiling releases endorphins, which are our bodies’ feel-good hormones. They serve as natural painkillers with no side-effects. What’s particularly interesting about this is that it’s the smile itself that releases the endorphins, not the attitude behind it.

Our brains are so hard-wired to associate smiling with joy that even a fake smile will get you the chemical benefits. So whenever you get injured, it really is a good idea to grin and bear it!

 

#2: Relieves Stress

Another thing the endorphins released by smiling do for you is help relieve stress. A study in 2012 tested how quickly subjects’ heart rates could go back to normal after performing a stressful task. One group was instructed to hold a pencil between their teeth (which forces a smile) and the other was instructed to hold the pencil between their lips (which forces a neutral expression). The subjects with the biggest smiles recovered the fastest.

This goes back to the way our brains react to smiles. We don’t just smile when we’re happy; smiling can actually make us happy, which means you really can “fake it till you make it” when it comes to smiling!

#3: Boosts Our Immune System

Relieving tension and stress by smiling can have a profound cumulative impact on your health. It can make you more resilient against illness and it can even reduce your chances of getting cancer by lowering the number of stress-induced mutations your cells go through.

#4: Increases Longevity

Smiling doesn’t just make you look younger and more attractive; it can also add years to your lifespan. Taking advantage of every opportunity to smile (and then some) could make you live up to seven years longer!

Let Those Smiles Shine!

As adults, we average a paltry 20 smiles per day, while children will light up with a smile 400 times in that same day! Imagine the health benefits we could rack up if we could start smiling like we did when we were kids? Some people keep their smiles to themselves because they aren’t happy with the way their teeth look, but we can help you get and keep a smile you’ll be proud to show off.

Our biggest reason to smile? Our patients!

Picasso Smiles Dental 

915-857-6453  Eastside

915-587-6453  Westside

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Easy Ways To Improve Your Dental Health

WE’VE ALL HEARD that if we want healthy teeth, we should brush twice a day, floss once a day, and schedule regular dental cleaning appointments twice a year. Definitely keep doing those things, but if you want to step up your oral health game, here are a few easy ways to do that.

Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly

One of the simplest ways you can improve your dental health and hygiene is to replace your toothbrush on a regular basis. Vigorous brushing will make the bristles fray and reduce the brush’s cleaning ability, but that’s not the only reason toothbrushes should be replaced often.

A lot of the bacteria we brush off our teeth stays on the bristles of our toothbrushes. Proper storage–meaning storing the toothbrush upright and letting it dry out between uses–can keep a toothbrush from getting smelly and nasty too fast, but it’s still important to replace your toothbrush at least every 3-4 months.

Use A Tongue-Scraper

Brushing your teeth twice daily is a no-brainer, but don’t forget your tongue! The same bacteria and gunk that flourishes on teeth can hide on your tongue too. Using a tongue scraper or just running your toothbrush over your tongue will leave your mouth feeling much fresher than if you only focus on your teeth and gums.

Don’t Brush Too Hard

Sometimes it seems like we need to really work at those teeth when we brush, to get absolutely all of the food particles and plaque out. However, if we brush too hard, we risk scraping away at the tooth enamel, which is your teeth’s first line of defense against decay. Brush gently or use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damaging your teeth.

Eat Teeth-Friendly Foods

Many foods are bad for your teeth. Sugar and carbs feed the harmful bacteria living in your mouth and acidic drinks erode tooth enamel. Avoiding some of these foods will help, but there are also plenty of foods you can eat that are actually good for your teeth.

Adding more cheese, yogurt, leafy greens, apples, carrots, celery, and almonds to your diet will make your teeth happy, whether by scrubbing them as you eat, fighting bad bacteria, treating gum disease, neutralizing your mouth’s pH, or remineralizing your enamel.

We’d Love To See How Your Teeth Are Doing!

If it’s been a while since your last dental exam, we’d love to see how your teeth are doing, and we’ll be excited to see how adopting these simple habits will affect your

oral health by the time we see you again!

We Love Our Patients!

Picasso Smiles Cosmetic and Implant Center

10842 Washington Blvd 

Culver City, CA 90232

424-361-5218

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Top image by Flickr user rumpleteaser used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

How to Maintain Whitened Teeth

While we at Picasso Smiles Dental are proud of all of the dental treatments we offer. Teeth whitening is especially popular at our Culver City office. Our teeth whitening treatment is sure to get your teeth several shades whiter and give you a brighter smile. However, after the treatment is over, you’re now going to want to maintain your newly-whitened teeth. In order to help do so, we’ve provided a few simple tips for you.

Use a Whitening Toothpaste

If keeping your teeth white is your priority, the first thing you’ll want to do is start using a whitening toothpaste. These toothpastes work by gently polishing your teeth and removing stains on your teeth that may have accumulated throughout the day. It’s an easy addition to your schedule and it can provide your teeth with an extra boost of whitening.

Stay Away from Staining Drinks

One of the main reasons why our teeth become stained or discolored over time is because of the food and beverages that we consume. Constantly drinking harmful beverages will eventually lead to your teeth losing their bright appearance. Some of these staining drinks that we recommend avoiding include coffee, tea, soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks. If you’re going to have any of these drinks though, try to consume them with a straw. By using a straw, the drink will bypass your teeth and avoid staining them.

Don’t Use Tobacco

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to too many people, but tobacco doesn’t only harm your body – it can harm your teeth as well. Smoking and tobacco usage can discolor your teeth, but that’s not the only damage it can cause your mouth. It can cause tongue discoloration, gum disease, and even oral cancer. For the sake of your white teeth and the rest of your body as well, you’ll want to stay away from this bad habit.

Visit Your Culver City Teeth Whitening Experts

If you’re interested in teeth whitening treatment near Culver City , we encourage you to give us a call at (424) 361-5218 or fill out our online appointment request form. We’re looking forward to giving you a brighter and whiter smile!

A Dentist’s Warning Against Sports Drinks

Now that summer is soon going to be upon us, your teeth will be facing a new threat – only this time, it’ll be in the form of cool, refreshing, deliciousness! In the summer, many people will be out spending their time in the sun playing sports or doing some other type of physical activity. In order to replace the water and electrolytes that the body sweats out, a person may consume an energizing sports drink. However, doing this may do more damage than you realize – especially to your teeth. As your trusted El Paso dentists, we at Picasso Smiles Dental are here to tell you about what makes them so harmful and why you should consider drinking something else instead.

Why Sports Drinks Are So Harmful

Sports drinks are harmful because of two main reasons. The first is because they contain sugar. It probably doesn’t come as any surprise that a sugary drink will cause dental problems; it’s commonly known that too much sugar can cause tooth decay. Harmful bacteria in the mouth will actually feed on the sugars that you eat and produce acid, which will eat away at the tooth enamel and cause cavities.

The main reason why sports drinks are so harmful is because they contain high levels of acidity. The acidic level of a sports drink is at a significant enough level that it can start destroying tooth enamel in less than a week! By stripping away your tooth enamel, your teeth will be more prone to cavities and become more sensitive.

So What Should You Do?

While the best thing to do would be to not consume any sports drinks, we understand that some people will still want to drink them occasionally. In those instances, we offer some suggestions to minimize the potential damage that these acidic drinks can do:

  • Rinse your mouth out after consuming a sports drink. This will keep the harmful acid from resting on your teeth.
  • Chew a piece of sugar-free gum afterward to neutralize the acid.
  • Use a straw to drink them, if possible. This will cause the sports drink to bypass your teeth and limit the harm it can do.
  • Consume it all in one sitting. While it seems like it would be more harmful, it’s actually much worse to sip a drink throughout a long period of time.
  • Wait an hour to brush your teeth after you drink something acidic. The acid will soften your tooth enamel and brushing right after that will wear your enamel down.

Protect Your Dental Health & Visit Your El Paso Dentist

If you’re looking for an El Paso dentist to maintain optimal oral health, you can give us a call at (915) 58-SMILE for our Westside office or (915) 85-SMILE for our Eastside office. We provide a range of treatment options in order to address any dental need you have. We can’t wait to hear from you!

The Advantages of Clear Braces

At Picasso Smiles Dental, we’re always striving to be on the cutting-edge of technology so that we can provide the most convenient and efficient treatments. One of these state-of-the-art services that we offer in our Culver City office is our orthodontic treatment of Invisalign, also known as clear braces. Orthodontic treatment is beneficial because straight teeth can give a patient a whole host of benefits that can include:

  • Making teeth easier to clean.
  • Making teeth and gums healthier.
  • Improving your overall health.
  • Giving a boost in confidence.

While orthodontic treatment clearly has its advantages, we’d like to tell you about why you should consider clear braces when you’re looking to straighten your teeth.

Clear Braces Offer a Discreet Orthodontic Treatment

As you could probably tell by the name, clear braces are a set of aligners that are practically invisible, offering a patient a virtually discreet orthodontic treatment. Unlike traditional braces that use apparent metal brackets and wires to shift a patient’s teeth, clear braces use clear, plastic aligners to straighten a smile.

The Aligners Are Removable

Another huge benefit of clear braces is that you can remove the aligners. The orthodontic treatment will work as long as you wear the aligners for about 22 hours a day. This means that you’re able to take the aligners out for any necessary occasions.

You Can Eat Whatever You Want

One of these occasions where you’ll be taking out your aligners is right before you eat. With traditional braces, you have to avoid hard and sticky foods because of the damage that they can to do the brackets and wires. With clear braces, because you’ll be taking out your aligners before you eat, you won’t have to eliminate any of the foods that you love.

Cleaning Is Simple

When you wear traditional braces, you’ll often struggle to clean your teeth. Braces contain many crevices that can trap food particles and other bacteria. Getting your brush in to clean them can be tricky. However, with clear braces, you just remove your aligners and brush like you always do. It’s as simple as that!

They’re Very Durable

Traditional braces can occasionally break, meaning that you’ll have to come in for orthodontic appointments to fix them. With clear braces, the aligners are very durable and will rarely get damaged, meaning that you won’t have to come in for additional orthodontic appointments to fix them.

Contact Your Culver City Invisalign Providers Today

If you’re interested in our clear braces treatment of Invisalign, please feel free to give us a call at (424) 361-5218. Alternatively, you can fill out our online appointment request form. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our treatments or our practice. We look forward to hearing from you!

Sedation Dentistry & Its Uses

At Picasso Smiles Dental, we strive to make every appointment a pleasant experience, and our dentists have developed a large repertoire of knowledge and skills for helping those with dental phobia have a good time at their dental appointments. Still, though, for some, it’s unavoidable to have some anxiety or fear about going to the dentist’s office – especially if there’s a big procedure coming up. In these cases, we may recommend sedation dentistry: a simple, routine, and completely safe way to help you be more comfortable during a dental procedure.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Simply put, sedation dentistry is the process of using a mild sedative while a patient has a dental procedure. It’s been approved by the American Dental Association as a safe, effective way to help people through dental appointments, and we use it routinely to help our nervous patients have a pleasant experience during dental procedures. The sedatives we use are mild, and you maintain consciousness throughout the procedure – it’s simply a mild sedation to ease any anxiety you may have.

The Sedation Dentistry Process

Using sedation during a dental procedure doesn’t affect the process too much, but there are a few things to keep in mind. If you are considered a candidate for sedation, we’ll administer the medicine orally. Once the sedative kicks in, we’ll perform the procedure, usually supplementing the sedative with nitrous oxide and a local numbing agent to ensure you feels no pain. After the procedure is over, the sedatives will wear off quickly and you will be back to normal.

Post-Treatment Care

After a sedation dentistry procedure, we’d recommend arranging for someone else to drive you home after your appointment. These drugs leave the system quickly, but it’s a good idea to have someone stay with you until you’ve fully recovered.

Contact Your Culver City, CA Sedation Dentists

Overall, sedation dentistry can be an excellent option for helping patients relieve any fear or anxiety they may have about a dental appointment. If you’d like to talk about the benefits of sedation dentistry or find out more about how it can help you or your child, we’re always happy to speak with you. Feel free to give us a call at (424) 361-5218 with any questions, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment, you can request one online using our easy online form. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we hope to see you at our Culver City, CA office soon!

Tips To Soothe Your Teething Child

TEETHING CAN BE an uncomfortable process for both your little one and those who care for them.

We know our patients want to help soothe their babies as best they can through this time, so today we’re going to share our thoughts on teething and how you can help them through this process.

Each Child’s Teething Timeline Is Different

Although this is different for every child, you can expect your baby to begin teething between six and 12 months old—some teeth may appear as early as 3 months or even as late as 14 months, however. Whenever they begin to sprout their first teeth, it’s important to remember good oral care begins long before their pearly whites make an appearance.

Caring for your infant’s smile before their first teeth erupt is important because bacteria in the mouth can leave behind plaque that damage their incoming teeth. You can prevent plaque from adhering to your child’s gums by gently wiping them with a soft, moist washcloth or piece of gauze. We recommend doing this at least twice a day, especially after feeding your baby and before putting them to bed.

Keep An Eye Out For Teething Symptoms

Teething brings about a variety of signs and symptoms, but here are some of the most common that infants experience:

  • Fussiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Bumps in the gums

If your child begins to develop a persistent fever, diarrhea, or a rash in addition to these symptoms, however, contact their pediatrician.

Watch the video below to learn a bit more about teething symptoms and how long they should last.

 

Soothe Your Child’s Discomfort With These Tips

Cutting new teeth may not be the most pleasant experience for your little one, but there are plenty of ways to help soothe their discomfort.

Massaging their gums, for instance, counters the pressure from their incoming teeth and in turn eases teething pain. You can try using a clean finger, a small cold spoon, or a moist gauze pad or washcloth to see which your child most prefers.

Teething rings and toys are another useful tool in the teething process. Chewing on these provides the same pain relief as massaging by countering that pressure in the gums. Refrigerating (not freezing!) these toys before they chew will provide an additional cooling sensation to help soothe your child’s soreness.

Be sure to avoid numbing agents. They may seem like a good idea to ease the discomfort of incoming teeth, but the FDA has issued a warning about the potential harmful effects of numbing agents containing benzocaine and lidocaine. Teething is a normal part of development that can be treated without the aid of prescription or over-the-counter medications. If you have any questions about how this applies to your child’s unique situation, give us a call or contact your pediatrician.

We’re Here Every Step Of The Way

The first few months of a child’s life is full of excitement and lots of changes! We understand that along with those changes come a lot of questions about how to best care for your growing baby. If you would like more information about how to care for your child while they’re teething, or if you have any other questions about their developing oral health, give us a call or make an appointment today!

Thank you for trusting us with your growing family! We love our patients.

              Picasso Smiles Cosmetic and Implant Center

1816 N Zaragoza Rd #103                     255 Shadow Mountain #H

El Paso, Texas 79936                             El Paso, Texas 79912

915-857-6453 east side                          915-587-6453 west side

 

 

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Top image by Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Oral Health & Weight Loss Go Hand In Hand

A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is the best prevention for illness and chronic disease. It can also be just as effective as any medicine a doctor could prescribe. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, or simply live more healthily, the good choices you’re making not only do wonders for your body and overall health, but they also have a beneficial impact on your smile!

Congratulations On Making Better Food Choices

Oral health depends on more than how many times a day you brush your teeth, it also depends on your diet! As you choose healthier foods for your body, you are also choosing better foods for your teeth.

If you’re trading chips and fruit snacks in for healthier snacks like cheese, veggies and nuts, you’ve made the right choice! A diet low in sugar and processed foods can help you trim your waistline, fend off illness and prevent cavities.

Check out the video below to learn more about where added sugar could be hiding in your diet!

We See You’re Drinking More Water… Great Job!

Perhaps before you made your goal to live a more healthy lifestyle, you would reach for your favorite soda rather than water at mealtime. Did you know that one in four Americans get at least 200 calories a day from sugary drinks like soda? Not only can frequent soda consumption lead to weight gain, it also contributes to tooth decay!

Eliminating soda from your diet, or at least consuming it in moderation, is a good way to cut back on calories and cavities. And now that you’re starting to drink more water, you’re probably realizing how good it makes you feel, especially since it is calorie-free!

Keep Up The Good Work With Regular Exercise

By maintaining a healthy weight, you are protecting yourself from health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, to name a few. As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, these diseases often go hand in hand with periodontal, or gum disease. In fact, 91 percent of patients with heart disease and 22 percent of those with diabetes have gum disease.

So keep up the good work! Regular exercise does wonders for your body’s health and your smile reaps the benefits too!

One Last Tip For Our Wonderful Patients

It is widely known that almost nothing tastes good after you brush your teeth. So we recommend that you let good oral hygiene help you stem cravings!

If you’re experiencing a craving and want to avoid it, brush your teeth! Or even pop a piece of sugar-free gum into your mouth. Not only will this help your craving pass, but you’ll be less inclined to eat after making your mouth minty fresh! Added bonus? Your pearly whites stay squeaky clean. Oh and did we mention that two minutes of brushing burns around 5 calories? It’s not much, but it’s something!

Do you have any other questions about your dental health or a topic you’d like us to write about? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for being such wonderful patients!

 

Picasso Smiles Cosmetic and Implant Center

10842 Washington Blvd 

Culver City, CA 90232

424-361-5218

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Your El Paso Dentists’ Guide to Fluoride

At Picasso Smiles Dental, it’s our goal to give every patient in and around El Paso, TX the opportunity to attain a healthy smile. As your trusted El Paso dentist, we’re glad to offer a number of different dental treatments that are dedicated toward achieving that goal. One of the most effective treatments that we offer for strengthening a patient’s teeth is the application of fluoride.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps prevent cavities by making a person’s tooth enamel more resistant to acid attacks that can cause tooth decay. Even the healthiest of teeth will lose minerals on a regular basis through demineralization. It’s the job of fluoride to restore minerals and vitamins back to these teeth. While fluoride is highly effective when used properly, it’s actually also possible to overexpose yourself to it, meaning that it’s practical to have a dentist help determine whether you need more or less fluoride.

Common Sources of Fluoride

Some of the most common things that contain fluoride are:

  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Tap water
  • Tea
  • Various everyday foods

If you don’t think you or your child is getting enough fluoride through the aforementioned methods, you’re still in luck. As your El Paso dentist and specialty pediatric dentist, we’re proud to offer fluoride treatment as one of our many different pediatric dentistry treatments.

Contact Your El Paso Children’s Dentist Today!

If you happen to be interested in our fluoride treatment, we encourage you to fill out our online appointment request form or contact us at one of our two convenient locations in Westside El Paso or Eastside El Paso. If you have any questions for your El Paso pediatric dentist, please feel free to call us and let us know. We can’t wait to hear from you and help give you a healthier smile!