Santa Monica Family Dentist

Should You Brush Right After Eating? | Dentist Near Me

Enamel is the guardian of your teeth and the hardest material in the body. It’s the first defense against harmful bacteria which may lead to tooth decay. When you eat certain foods, it creates bacteria which attack your tooth enamel. Carbohydrates and sugary foods are examples of these foods. Brushing directly after eating can be harmful to your enamel. 

Why this is a problem 

When eating or drinking, the pH balance in your mouth changes. After each bite of acidic food, the pH balance moves towards a level which causes demineralization. The new acidity softens the enamel which can cause bacteria to get into the teeth. Brushing right after you eat may damage your enamel. This is important because enamel protects your teeth from damage.   

Steps you can take to protect your enamel: 

If you’ve had anything acidic, don’t brush for at least 30 minutes.  

Fruits with citric acid are one example. If you are planning ingesting acidic foods or drinks, you can brush beforehand. 

A glass of water will help remove the acid. Follow this by chewing sugarless gum. These steps help create saliva which will help bring back the necessary pH balance needed for a healthy smile. 

Try to avoid soda as prolonged phosphoric acid can cause permanent damage. 

Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important habit for optimal oral health.  

Have you ever been told you should brush your teeth right after eating? While this may sound like the right habit to adapt, this practice could be detrimental to the health of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating may be a better option to keep enamel strong. Visit our office for an exam and we can give you for tips for healthy, strong teeth. Call our office today.  

Santa Monica Family Dentist

Biting Off More than You Can Chew? | Santa Monica CA Dentist

Santa Monica CA Dentist

It is not uncommon for many of us to grab a bite to eat in a hurry. Americans have grown accustomed to bigger food portions at restaurants, but our mouths have not. Trying to fit that oversized sandwich or apple in your mouth might be worse for you than you have ever imagined. Below are some reasons why this could be detrimental for your oral health and what you can do about it.  

 

Why This Is a Problem 

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), taking bites that are too big for you to chew can not only cause jaw and teeth issues, it can also cause digestive problems. Discomfort, swelling and difficulty eating may result from opening your jaw too wide. Taking large bites may also result in food not being chewed thoroughly, which can lead to weight gain and digestive issues.  

 

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) 

Constantly opening your jaw too wide becomes an even larger problem for people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull bones enabling movement during chewing. People with TMD, usually have a restriction with how wide they can open their jaws. Taking large bites of food, especially hard foods like apples, can aggravate this condition making pain and jaw clicking worse.  

 

What You Can Do 

If you have food that is too large to chew or starts to cause jaw discomfort, try cutting your food into smaller portions. This makes food easier to eat with less hassle. Also consider eating softer foods that won’t harm your teeth or irritate your jaw.  

 

Tip: Avoid chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, hard candies, and opening nuts with your teeth. This can lead to a chipped tooth! 

Contact Drake Dental of Santa Monica today to schedule an exam and cleaning with our Santa Monica CA dentist.

Santa Monica Family Dentist

Filling in the Gaps: Your Options for Missing Teeth | Santa Monica CA Dentist

Santa Monica CA Dentist

If you’re self-conscious about your smile due to missing teeth, modern dentistry offers a variety of tooth replacement options that look and feel like natural teeth. Here are three of the most common solutions to replace missing teeth:

Dentures

Dentures are ideal for those missing many or all of their teeth. Our team will take an impression of your mouth and send it to a lab to create customized dentures that fit your mouth perfectly. Regular cleaning with a non-abrasive cleanser is necessary to keep your dentures in good condition.

Bridges

Dental bridges are a partial denture solution for one or more missing teeth. They anchor to your existing teeth to prevent shifting and are designed to match the look of your natural teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants offer a long-lasting solution for missing teeth. They can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Our team will evaluate your gum tissue and bone support to ensure that the implant has a strong foundation. Additional preparations, such as a bone graft, may be necessary for some patients.

Replacing missing teeth is important for preventing gum deterioration, teeth shifting, and improving speech and comfort. Our Santa Monica dentist can help you decide on the best tooth replacement solution based on your individual needs. Don’t let missing teeth hold you back from a confident smile. Contact Drake Dental of Santa Monica today to schedule a consultation.

Santa Monica Family Dentist

An Important Reminder About Your Next Dental Appointment | Dentist in 90401

At times, life can seem to move quickly. Between work, school, sports, and social events, it can seem there is little time left for you and your health. It’s imperative for a healthy mouth and body to always have your next dental appointment scheduled and to prioritize this care. Our team will work with you to find the most convenient day and time for you. If you need to reschedule, we will do our best to accommodate you. Advanced notice of a change is greatly appreciated, whenever possible. Missed appointments without notice are harmful to our practice, as we’ve reserved your appointment time exclusively for you.  

Missed dental appointments can lead to worsened oral and overall health. Whether receiving preventive or restorative care, if left without professional treatment, plaque and decay will progress and the state of your oral health will likely decline. Some of our patients are predisposed to more frequent oral health issues. Many times, these guests prefer more frequent office visits. Please know this is an option for you as well. Investing in one extra cleaning each year can often prevent more costly concerns. 

We know it can be tempting to skip your dental appointment. Perhaps you’d rather be relaxing at home or you’ve had a last-minute obligation arise. Please make every effort to prioritize your healthy smile, as it significantly contributes to your overall health.  

Please know we’re here for you. If you have any questions about our care or practice philosophy, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Santa Monica Family Dentist

12 Reasons to See Your Dentist | Drake Dental

Don’t wait until you’re in pain to see your dentist! Most people make time to clean out the house, car, garage, or closets at least twice a year. Why not include your oral health on your “to do” list? 

Schedule an Appointment Now!  

Regular professional cleaning and examinations are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. These routine visits are your first line of defense against tooth decay, periodontal disease, oral cancers, and more. Early identification and treatment of any oral illness improves outcomes and allows for less-invasive treatment options. Don’t wait until it hurts! 

Why Do We Avoid Going? 

The HDI institute, in a study done with the American Dental Association, lists some of the main reasons we sometimes delay going to the dentist. Cost, low perceived need, time, and anxiety are the most common causes. However, if we allow these concerns to interfere with oral care, we may allow more serious issues to develop. 

When Should We See the Dentist? 

The ADA or American Dental Society recommends maintaining twice yearly visits for cleaning and examinations. In addition, they advise making an appointment for any of the following concerns:  

  1. Pain in your mouth, teeth, or face 
  1. Injury to your mouth, teeth, or face 
  1. Conditions that can affect oral health, such as diabetes 
  1. Pregnancy 
  1. Jaw pain or stiffness 
  1. Bleeding, swelling, or redness in your gums  
  1. Recent dental treatment, such as fillings, crowns, implants, or root canal 
  1. Pain or difficulty eating or drinking  
  1. Chronic dry mouth 
  1. Smoking or tobacco use 
  1. Sores in your mouth that are not healing 
  1. You have questions or concerns about your oral health or hygiene 

Our team is here to help you achieve and maintain your best oral health. To schedule your next appointment, please contact our office.

Santa Monica Family Dentist

What to Know About E-Cigarettes and Your Oral Health | Family Dentist Santa Monica

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The hazards surrounding vaping are not entirely clear. More research is needed in this area, but a recent study indicates that e-cigarette vapors could be damaging to your mouth. Here’s what you need to know.  

The Vapor Ingredients 

Electronic cigarettes are not regulated in the same way tobacco cigarettes are, meaning that their contents can be inaccurately labeled without any oversight. Contents that e-juice usually contains include nicotine, glycerin, chemical flavoring, and propylene glycol. Some of these substances are safe in food, such as chemical flavors, but the effects of inhaling them is not well researched. Heating these chemicals can form dangerous carcinogens such as formaldehyde. E-cigarettes might also include tiny metals and particles that you inhale while smoking. 

What This Means for Your Oral Health 

A recent study from UCLA found that vapors from an e-cigarette can kill the cells in your oral cavity, or the area of your mouth beyond your teeth and gums. The study placed oral cells in an environment where electronic cigarette smoke was produced for 24 hours, in a machine simulating how a person would smoke. During the test, 85% of the cells died. According to the lead author of the study, they plan to move forward to test the impacts in humans. 

These cells are your mouth’s defense by helping to release antioxidants. As the cells die off or become less effective, your mouth becomes more vulnerable to oral diseases.  

Another study by the University of Rochester Medical Center concluded e-cigarettes are just as bad for your gums as tobacco cigarettes are. Nicotine, which both types of cigarettes contain, is a known factor in contributing to gum disease.  

Steps You Can Take 

Since the e-juice industry is largely unregulated, it is best to avoid smoking electronic cigarettes. The carcinogenic contents pose serious risks to your health, especially to your mouth. Your mouth relies on the functions of these important cells to defend itself against dangerous bacteria and other substances. Without your mouth’s natural defense system, you open yourself up to oral disease.  

Make sure you are regularly visiting our office, especially if you are a smoker of either tobacco cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes. Our experienced dental team will perform a complete oral examination during your visit to check for signs of oral disease. Being proactive is your best defense against combating oral disease

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact us.

Santa Monica Family Dentist

Plaque: Your Teeth’s Number One Enemy | Dentist Santa Monica

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When buying a toothbrush, toothpaste, or coming into our office, you often hear the word “plaque” associated with the health of your teeth. Plaque is one of the main reasons why it is so important to keep up with a daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing two times each day for at least two minutes, and flossing regularly as well. Here’s what you need to know about plaque and what it can do to your smile.

What is Plaque?

If you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while, you might feel a film-like, sticky buildup on your teeth. This is plaque, a bacteria layer that grips onto your teeth. There isn’t anything you can do to stop plaque from forming, but brushing and flossing as well as keeping up with regular dental visits are your best defenses for cleaning plaque off your teeth.

What Plaque Does to Your Teeth & Mouth

Without regular brushing and cleaning, plaque builds up and multiplies. As plaque is left untreated, it hardens to form tartar (also known as calculus). Plaque also leads to decay, as it produces an acid that damages your teeth. When you come into our office for a dental examination, we thoroughly clean your teeth to ensure that any buildup is taken care of. Tartar can cause staining on your teeth if left untreated. Plaque is the leading cause of gingivitis, causing your gums to swell and become red or bloody.

What You Can Do

The most important steps of keeping plaque in check is to stick to a daily brushing routine. This means brushing twice each day, for two minutes each time, and flossing at least once daily. Plaque occurs naturally, and when you come into our office for a complete examination, we work with you to clean off any buildup. Maintaining regular visits to our office is one way to ensure tartar buildup is minimized and managed. It is particularly important that you are brushing your teeth all the way to the gum, because the gum line is an area that is prone to plaque buildup. Brush gently, as vigorous brushing will only do more damage than good, especially to your gums.

Sticking to your daily brushing and flossing routine will help keep your teeth free of plaque buildup. Make sure you are brushing in the morning and before bed. If you don’t brush before bed, bacteria and plaque will build up throughout the night. Schedule a visit to our office so our experienced, professional dental team can clean your teeth, giving you a smile you can be proud of.

For more tips on keeping your teeth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.

Santa Monica Family Dentist

Tooth Decay – Something You Need to Know About | Dentist in 90401

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Painful, infected teeth are not a pleasant experience, but they are common symptoms of tooth decay. The good news however is that tooth decay is preventable. Your best defense against decay is a daily oral hygiene routine, as well as regular visits to our office. It can be helpful to know more about tooth decay and what causes it so that you are better equipped with the knowledge to prevent it. 

More Than Just Sugar 

Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay. Sugar build-up and deposits on your teeth lead to the erosion of the tooth. While it is important to be mindful of the sugary products you are consuming, sugar is not the only culprit in causing tooth decay. Acids can also damage your teeth. Foods that are high in acidic content can speed up the process of decay. Our dentist in 90401 suggests you avoid drinks and candies with high sugar or acid content. If you find yourself consuming such things, make sure to keep up with your daily oral hygiene routine. 

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recommends avoiding snacks between meals, limiting sugary drinks and fruit juices, and not eating or drinking before bedtime after brushing.  

You Can’t Always Tell 

Decay doesn’t always have noticeable signs. When discomfort is felt, it could be a sign the decay has spread beyond one tooth. In other words, by the time you do feel it decay is far along. This can be prevented by regular visits to our office. Our doctor can help identify potential issues early and you will receive the best possible treatments for your teeth. 

Teeth with Fillings Still Need to Be Cared for Properly 

Previous fillings do not mean that your teeth are free of decay forever. It is essential you maintain proper daily care of your teeth. It is possible to develop decay around existing fillings, so be sure you are taking extra care especially around fillings. If you feel your existing fillings are giving you trouble, schedule an appointment to see us. 

Tooth Decay Not Just a Kids Thing 

All age groups are equally at risk of developing tooth decay.  Parents should keep an eye on their children’s sugary snacks and treats, but this advice holds true for everyone. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable because of certain medications can damage their teeth. It is essential that all age groups are receiving twice-yearly dental examinations

Tooth decay is a common dental issue. However, with the right knowledge you can prevent damage to your teeth. Watch your diet and make sure you limit sugary candies and snacks. Remember, you won’t always be able to see or feel decay, so contact our office to schedule a regular visit. 

For more helpful tips on preventing decay, or to schedule an appointment, contact our Santa Monica, CA dental office.

 

Drake Dental of Santa Monica
Phone: (310) 451-5348
1243 Seventh St., Suite A
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Santa Monica Family Dentist

The One Piece of Gear Every Athlete Needs | 90401 Dentist

90401 dentist

An injury to your mouth can be a painful, expensive experience. For athletes, mouth and tooth injuries are a very real risk. Mouth guards are an excellent tool for protecting your mouth from injury and harm. Our dentist in Santa Monica can help you find a solution that protects your teeth while you play. 

Why Wear a Mouth guard? 

Mouth guards protect your teeth. For athletes, injuries to the mouth can cause cracked teeth, or even worse, missing teeth. Additionally, your mouth is mostly made up of soft tissues, such as your tongue, inside cheeks, and lips. These areas can become injured or pierced when playing sports. Mouth guards help defend your mouth and teeth against such injuries.  

Do All Athletes Need a Mouth guard? 

Yes. High-contact sports such as hockey, wrestling, football, and boxing pose the greatest risk for mouth injuries. However, all athletes can benefit from being cautious. Gymnasts should consider wearing one to protect their mouth in the event of a fall. Baseball and basketball players should protect themselves from being injured by a ball or collision with another player. Mouth guards should be treated as a necessary piece of your athletic gear, no matter which sport you play. 

Which Mouth guard Is the Most Effective? 

Our team can help you during your next visit to our office. There are many options available, ranging from store-bought to custom-fitted mouth guards. We will work with you to determine which type of mouthguard is best for you. It is important that any guard fits properly.  

If you are currently receiving orthodontic treatment, we may recommend a special type of  mouth guard. Braces can puncture your mouth if impacted, particularly during sports. Our team will help you find a solution that works. 

Prevention is the best solution to oral sports injuries. Contact our dental office in Santa Monica, CA and ask about finding a mouth guard that is right for you.  For questions or to schedule an appointment, please contact us.

Santa Monica Family Dentist

What to Expect from Dental Bridges | Family Dentist Santa Monica CA

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If you are missing one or more teeth, our dentist in 90401 may recommend a dental bridge. To help you understand what to expect, we’ve assembled a short guide to bridges. 

The Purpose of a Bridge 

Tooth loss can occur due to periodontal disease, injury, extraction, and other causes. When a space is left, your remaining teeth can begin to shift, leading to changes in your bite. This may also leave your gums more susceptible to damage and disease. A dental bridge may be recommended to fill the gap left by one or more missing teeth. This device may be removable or fixed, and includes one or more replacement teeth, which are anchored to neighboring teeth for stability. A dental bridge can help keep your teeth and gums healthy, covered, and functioning properly. 

What to Expect 

Bridges usually require two visits. During your first visit, we will prepare the surrounding teeth and take an impression that will be used to accurately fabricate the dental bridge to fit your mouth. We may provide a temporary bridge to protect your teeth and gums from damage during the fabrication process. 

During your second visit, we will fit your custom-made bridge into place. At this time, we will make any needed adjustments to ensure a proper fit and full comfort. We will also discuss a plan for future visits to ensure your bridge continues to fit properly. 

Caring for Your Bridge 

Keep your bridge clean and in good repair by brushing twice each day and flossing daily. If you remove your bridge for sleep, keep it in water or use a denture cleaning solution. For more information on proper bridge care, ask our team. 

Bridges restore your mouth and your teeth to their normal function. If you are missing teeth, schedule an appointment with us. We will provide an examination and determine if you are a candidate for a dental bridge 

To schedule an appointment with our dentist, to contact our Santa Monica, CA dental office.

Visit Our Santa Monica Dental Office

Drake Dental

1243 Seventh St. Suite A
Santa Monica, CA 90401

(310) 451-5348
Infodrakedental@gmail.com

Providing Dental Care For the Communities of:

Santa Monica
Venice
Marina Del Rey
Pacific Palisades
All of West Los Angeles

Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Contact Our Office

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Santa Monica Family Dentist

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“Dr. Drake is AWESOME! He thoroughly explained the entire procedure and made me feel very comfortable and relaxed. His office staff is friendly and very helpful, as well.”

Lori H. Santa Monica, CA Dental Patient

Dr. Drake is so awesome! I was terrified of the dentist & he made me feel so comfortable. He truly has your best interest at heart & will recommend what’s best. Plus, each and every person in the office has been so nice & pleasant! I would definitely recommend!

Michelle K.

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Changing Your Spots: White Areas on Teeth | Dentist Santa Monica, CA

September 15, 2023

White spots on your teeth can be irritating and affect how you feel about your smile. The good news, however, is that they are preventable and rarely cause for concern. Here are things you should know about what causes white spots, how to prevent them, and what options are available should you already have them.  […]