What’s First: Brushing Or Flossing?

A question people often find themselves asking their dentist is, “What comes first: brushing or flossing?” Here at Picasso Smiles in Culver City, CA, our world-class dentists and oral hygienists have weighed in on the correct steps to take during your daily oral care routine. While brushing and flossing are the perfect combination for healthy teeth and gums, it’s best to start off your morning by flossing first, brushing second, and using mouthwash last!

First Thing’s First: Flossing

At Picasso Smiles, our staff advises that your start your oral health care routine by flossing! Adequately flossing helps to remove the sticky bacteria and plaque that builds up on the inside surfaces of your teeth and gums, preventing gingivitis and premature gum recession. Cleaning between the teeth daily with floss removes food debris in places that your toothbrush just cannot reach! People who have difficulty handling string dental floss may prefer to use another kind of interdental cleaner, such as special brushes, floss picks, or sticks. If you use interdental cleaners, ask a member of our dental team about how to use them properly to avoid injuring your gums.

Brush It Off!

After flossing, gently brush your teeth and gums with a soft to medium hardness toothbrush, as it helps to remove the bacteria that causes decay on the outside surfaces of your teeth, as well as aids in preventing gum disease. Pick out a toothbrush that feels comfortable in your hand and in your mouth, and use it twice a day. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums, moving the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes, brushing the outer tooth surfaces and the inner tooth surfaces.

Wash It Out!

Finally, when you finish flossing and brushing, use an antibacterial mouthwash to really seal the deal! Mouthwash kills 99% of bad breath germs, has a 21% greater gingivitis reduction than merely brushing and flossing alone, and was shown in a clinical study to reduce 52% more plaque than just brushing and flossing alone.

Get In Touch With Your Culver City, CA Dentists At Picasso Smiles!

By implementing this regimen into your daily oral healthcare routine, you’ll see the benefits of good oral hygiene in no time! Adequate flossing, brushing, and mouth washing are crucial steps to ensuring your teeth and gums are as healthy as they can be. On top of your at-home oral care routine, make sure to visit your dentists at Picasso Smiles in Culver City, CA every six months to keep your teeth in great shape for the long haul! For more information on the benefits of our oral hygiene regimen, feel free to get in touch with one of our staff members today!

How to Enjoy Halloween While Also Keeping Your Oral Health in Mind

At Picasso Smiles in Culver City, CA, our dentists and oral hygienists know how tough it can be to find tooth-friendly candy for your kids, especially with Halloween right around the corner! Nothing says fall more than spooky pumpkins, scary costumes, and jack-o-lanterns full of delicious candy…but unfortunately, some of the candy your children will get trick-or-treating might not be great their oral health!

Hard candies and sticky sweets contain enormous amounts of sugar that can cake onto and in between your children’s teeth, making it difficult for them to properly floss and brush all of that cavity-causing sugar away! At Picasso Smiles, it’s our mission to ensure that you and your children have a great Halloween this year, so our team has compiled a list of tooth-friendly Halloween candy that we guarantee your kids will enjoy, as well as a few tips on candy consuming best practices.

Trick-Or-Treat: 7 Types Of Tooth-Friendly Halloween Candy

If your kids are chocolate lovers, you are in luck! Soft, milk-chocolate candies with easy-to-eat ingredients are by far the safest of all Halloween treats. Additionally, your children will most likely receive fun-sized portions of these chocolate bars, helping them cut back on their sugar intake and chewing time compared to king-sized candy. Some of our favorite chocolatey, yet tooth-friendly sweet treats include:

  • Kit Kats
  • 3 Musketeers
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • York Peppermint Patties
  • Junior Mints
  • Hershey Bars
  • Hershey Kisses

Sweet Halloween Treats Your Children Should Avoid

Sneaky Halloween treats, such as chewy, gooey, and hard candies can get stuck in your children’s teeth or braces. These candies will put your children’s teeth at risk for harmful plaque and cavity-causing bacteria, so you’ll want to make sure they avoid these scary treats as much as possible:

  • Bubble gum
  • Candy Corn
  • Caramel apples, or any other caramel candies
  • Gummy Bears, or any other chewy candies
  • Jawbreakers, or any other hard candies
  • Jelly Beans
  • Licorice

When Your Children Should Enjoy Their Halloween Candy

Regardless of how badly your children want to munch on their candy all day, it’s best for them to enjoy their sweet treats right before eating a healthy snack. About 90% of all foods that contain sugars or starches enable bacteria in dental plaque to produce acids. This bacterial acid can sit on the teeth and gums for 20 minutes or longer! By allowing your child a healthy snack after they indulge in their candies, it will help to wash out or brush off the unwanted sugars and bacterial acids in between and around the teeth.

Contact Your Culver City, CA Dentists At Picasso Smiles!

By following these simple tips and tricks, your children will be able to enjoy halloween to max while keeping their teeth and gums as healthy as possible. For more information on tooth-friendly halloween treats, feel free to contact us today! On behalf of our entire staff at Picasso Smiles in Culver City, CA, we hope you and your children have a delightful halloween this year!

Tips For Choosing A Cosmetic Dentist

Recently a Yelper asked our community the below question, and we thought why not share our response in today’s blog post:

“I need a cosmetic dentist who is extremely versed in cosmetic veneers, recommendations?”

Dear Kelly,

We understand the sensitive nature of your inquiry. The thought of finding the right West Los Angeles dentist to whom you can trust your smile to is admittedly a very big decision. You want it done once, and you want it done right.

The skill of producing a true-to-life smile, involves much more than knowledge, and experience. Cosmetic veneers done right demand a seasoned doctor who also:

  • Gives the highest level of attention to detail.
  • Judiciously reshapes the teeth based upon a waxed-up smile that was decided together with him and the patient in advance. (This allows for ultraconservative reshaping of teeth.)
  • Can accurately transfer the delicate details of his work to the laboratory
  • Will shade match using a digital scanner (which eliminates the often unfortunate eyeballing the correct shade tab) and allows the lab to create a gradient of shades as we find in nature.
  • Has excellent photographic communication between him and his Ceramist to allow for the shape and anatomy of veneers to reflect the patient’s facial skeletal and tonal characteristics.
  • Works with a skilled & experienced Ceramist with whom he can work seamlessly.
  • Proper Bonding.
    • Once all the above is completed properly (appointment #1) the longevity of the veneers depend very heavily on the bonding procedure (appointment #2).
    • Many factors play a role in proper bonding techniques. Creating a bondable surface of porcelain to teeth is a step that is often left for the lab to do. This introduces a very serious problem because as soon as the veneers come in contact with teeth and saliva (during the try-in stage,) the porcelain surface is contaminated and bond strength to the teeth drops significantly.
    • Ample knowledge of adhesive chemistry (of teeth and ceramic) is a must. This should not be a quick one-hour appointment.
  • Work under magnification and proper lighting
  • Finally, and perhaps the most important element is TIME. Ample time must be dedicated to incorporate all the aforementioned elements and more.

Dr. Shayesteh has earned the reputation of treating only one patient at a time. This way the patient receives 100% of his tender attention. Such Aesthetic enhancement can only be done right, under the above circumstances. Dr. Shayesteh works very hard to produce Crème de la crème dentistry, as his patients deserve no less.

The total approximate time that Dr. Shayesteh typically spends on such cases range between four to five hours.

We welcome you to visit him at our Culver City dental practice for a personalized aesthetic consultation.

Sincerely,
Picasso Smiles Team

Dr. Shayesteh continually updates his credentials and continuing education.

Dental Emergencies & How To Handle Them

At Picasso Smiles in Culver City, CA, our experienced dentists and staff know how painful a dental emergency can be, and we are here to help! Accidents happen all the time, but knowing exactly what you should do in the case of a severe dental emergency is crucial to the overall well-being of your mouth and your teeth. Ignoring any pain or discomfort can lead to worse problems down the road, including dangerous infections spreading or possible nerve damage.

When To Call Your Culver City, CA Dentists

As a general rule of thumb, if you are experiencing any mouth or tooth pain whatsoever, consider it a dental emergency! Even the smallest of injuries can affect the living tissues inside your teeth and gums. Any obvious damage to your teeth, such as a chip or a crack, should also be considered an emergency. The same rule is true of a lost filling or crown! Even if you don’t have any symptoms, a tooth with a lost filling or crown has lost its support, and could easily become damaged. Pieces could break off or crumble, and you would need more extensive dental treatment.Your expert dentists at Picasso Smiles can ensure that your dental injury will be treated rapidly, providing preventative care so your smile stays healthy for the long haul.

State-Of-The-Art Dental Dental Emergency Treatments At Picasso Smiles

With years of in-depth dental emergency experience and world-class dental technology, our dentists at Picasso Smiles have a plethora of options when treating dental injuries. With technologically advanced methods of pain management and ways to restore your teeth, you can rest easy knowing that you will be in good hands. Your teeth can be repaired with synthetic materials that are strong and look as good as your natural teeth. Your Culver City, CA dentists have the training and advanced knowledge to identify the root of your problem and find an accurate solution, guaranteeing an immediate reduction in pain in just a few minutes of your treatment!

Common types of dental emergencies include:

  • Knocked-Out Tooth
  • Loose Tooth
  • Chipped, Cracked, or Fractured Tooth
  • Tissue Injury & Facial Pain
  • Severe Infection or Abscess

Contact Picasso Smiles In Culver City, CA For All Of Your Dental Emergencies!

Any injury to your teeth or your gums should not ever be ignored! Nerves or blood vessels could be severely damaged, and there could also be a serious risk of an infection. It is very important to always seek treatment at Picasso Smiles in Culver City, CA right away for any dental injury you may have, regardless of how small you think it is.

Getting injured teeth repaired and treated as soon as possible is the best thing you could do for your overall oral health! If you are experiencing any tooth pain or discomfort, give us a call at (424) 361-5218 immediately to begin your treatment as soon as possible. To book an appointment online, feel free to fill out our easy online form. We look forward to helping treat all of your dental emergencies!

Does Coffee Really Stain Your Teeth?

If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you’re probably no stranger to the idea that coffee stains your teeth. But if you haven’t seen the effect on your teeth for yourself, you may start to wonder if it’s just a rumor or doesn’t have as drastic of an effect that you were led to believe. So does coffee really stain your teeth?

The answer is short and simple: yes. It happens very gradually, but coffee does contribute to making those pearly whites look a bit more yellow over time.

What In Coffee Causes Teeth Stains?

The stains from drinking coffee isn’t entirely the coffee’s fault, since the actual structure of your teeth comes into play as well. While your teeth look like they’re solid on the outside, they are actually porous, with tiny ridges and pits in them that you can’t see with the naked eye. These areas are also where things like food particles, bacteria, and plaque are caught on your teeth before you clear them away when you brush your teeth. With coffee, it has a pigment that gives it that dark black or brown coloration, and this pigment can also get caught in those same pits and ridges, becoming embedded in the teeth and manifesting as discoloration. While the stains may be on the surface of the teeth to start out, they can become permanent if not removed.

How To Prevent Coffee Stains On Your Teeth

If you want to avoid that “coffee smile” and keep your teeth looking more white than yellow, here are a few options you have in either preventing or fixing those teeth stains!

Option 1: Reducing Your Coffee Intake

One of the easiest ways that you can prevent staining on your teeth is by cutting back on the amount of coffee that you drink on a regular basis. If you’re really gung ho about keeping your teeth white, you can even choose to avoid drinking coffee altogether. This method boils down to one simple fact: the less coffee you drink, the less your teeth get exposed to pigment and staining. Just don’t make your alternative drinking tea, since tea is even worse when it comes to teeth stains.

Option 2: Drink More Water Or Plan Your Coffee Breaks

The pigment that sticks to your teeth is just like any other food particle or bacteria from other foods and drinks, which means it can be cleared away fairly easily by brushing your teeth, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. By timing when you take your coffee breaks around a meal for example, you can soon after follow up that cup of coffee with your normal oral hygiene routine to make sure those stains never have a chance to settle. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will also help, since the water will wash away a decent amount of pigment and food particles.

Option 3: Professional Cleaning & Whitening

Having a consistent oral hygiene routine at home is essential, but so is going to your regularly scheduled appointments with us at Picasso Smiles for a deeper cleaning. Even with brushing, flossing, and rinsing religiously, you can still end up with some minor plaque buildup that we will clear away to leave you with a perfectly clean smile.

If you already have some noticeable coffee stains on your teeth, a regular cleaning may not be enough, but our professional teeth whitening treatment will certainly do the trick. We utilize the Zoom! teeth whitening system which uses a high-strength hydrogen peroxide whitening gel that, when activated with a special laser, penetrates your tooth enamel to lift deep stains and get rid of discoloration.

Keep Your Smile Radiant With Picasso Smiles!

If you have any questions about preventing or fixing coffee stains on your teeth, other foods that can stain your teeth, or our teeth whitening service, just contact your local El Paso dentist office and we’ll be more than happy to help you. If you want a whiter, brighter smile, just schedule an appointment with us here at our dental office in El Paso, TX. We look forward to meeting you, and helping you achieve a smile that’s free of stains!

Woman with blonde hair looks at the camera

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.

Young handsome man leaning against grey wall with arms crossed. Cheerful man laughing and looking at camera with a big grin. Portrait of a happy young man standing with crossed arms over grey background.

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!