What It Takes to Become a Board-Certified Dentist | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

Embarking on the journey to become a board-certified dentist is a commendable pursuit that requires dedication, education, and a passion for oral health. This transformative path not only elevates your professional status but also ensures a commitment to the highest standards of patient care.

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Unraveling the Differences Between Private and Commercial Dental Practices | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

When it comes to oral health, the choice between a commercial dental practice and a private dental practice is a decision that many individuals face. Each type of practice has its unique set of characteristics, catering to diverse preferences and needs.

Commercial dental practices, often part of larger corporate chains, are characterized by their accessibility and widespread availability. These practices are typically found in bustling commercial areas, making them convenient for individuals seeking dental care in the midst of their busy lives. With extended hours and walk-in appointments, commercial practices prioritize accessibility, aiming to accommodate a broad spectrum of patients.

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The Lighter Side of Medicine: Exploring the Wonders of Laughing Gas | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

Laughter, they say, is the best medicine. But what if you could inhale laughter? Enter nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is a fascinating and widely used anesthetic with a side effect that has everyone smiling – uncontrollable fits of laughter. Let’s take a closer look at this whimsical gas and its surprising role in the world of medicine.

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The Importance of Consistent Oral Hygiene Habits | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

Maintaining optimal oral hygiene is a cornerstone of overall health and well-being. Our mouths are the gateway to our bodies, and the state of our oral health can have a significant impact on various aspects of our lives. Developing and consistently practicing good oral hygiene habits is essential for preventing dental issues, ensuring fresh breath, and promoting overall health.

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Understanding Oral Infections | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

A poor oral care routine can contribute to the onset of oral infections. The steps we need to take to maintain proper hygiene and avoid oral infections is fairly well-known, but how well-known are the infections themselves? Here are a few of the most common oral infections that one may develop over the course of their life.

Gingivitis– Simply put, Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It is the precursor to Periodontitis, the escalation of Gingivitis should it go untreated. Gingivitis is the result of plaque buildup that spreads from the gums to the ligaments that support the teeth.

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Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures You Should Know | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

When we think about cosmetic procedures in general, many think you need to go under the knife to achieve the results you want. Yet, that is far from the case with cosmetic dentistry procedures. While it’s true there are some means of employing cosmetic changes that may require more invasive treatment, many do not. Here are some common cosmetic procedures and what you can expect from treatment.

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Is Mouthwash Effective for Oral Health? | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

Mouthwash is advertised to kill bacteria and give you fresh breath, but that isn’t the whole story. Mouthwash reduces the bacteria in your mouth and reduces the amount of plaque it forms. Regular use helps prevent periodontal disease, and those with fluoride work to reduce cavities when used as directed. 

For many, mouthwash seems like an unnecessary extra step and added cost to their oral care routine. Mouthwash isn’t exactly the first thing a dentist will mention when reviewing your regimen, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Mouthwash, after proper brushing and flossing, can provide peace of mind to individuals who struggle to keep cavities at bay, despite their best efforts.

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Dry Mouth: Causes and Symptoms | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

Dry mouth can be caused by a natural inability for your glands to produce sufficient saliva, medication, aging issues or as a result of radiation therapy. Dry mouth is a condition in which one’s salivary glands produce an insufficient amount of saliva to keep your mouth wet.

Saliva is important because it naturally prevents tooth decay by neutralizing acids, limits bacterial growth, and washing away food particles throughout the day. It also makes the consumption of food easier as enzymes in the saliva aid in the breakdown of food. While dry mouth is an inconvenience, it can also have a notable impact on your general and oral health.

Dry mouth complications:

– Increased plaque

– Mouth sores

– Tooth decay

– Gum disease

– Sores or split skin around the mouth

Common symptoms:

– Dryness or sticky mouth feel

– Bad breath

– Dry or grooved tongue

– Difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing

Due to the variety of causes for dry mouth, it’s important to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor. Your dentist however may be a good resource for suggestions about how to protect your teeth.

At-home remedies:

– Sip water or chew ice chips during the day and during meals

– Chew sugar-free gum

– Over-the-counter saliva substitutes

– Breathe through your nose

– Utilize a humidifier

Dry mouth habits:

  – Consumption of caffeine and alcohol

– The use of tobacco, antihistamines, and decongestants

– Consumption of sugary, acidic, spicy or salty foods

Some suggestions may include a fluoride tray or rinse to prevent cavities. There are also prescription or over-the-counter artificial saliva or moisturizers to lubricate your mouth. These can be effective means of alleviating discomfort in addition to suggestions made by your physician.

If you would like more information, call Dr. Herd in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA at 949-858-5147 or visit www.gregherddds.com.

Dr. Greg J. Herd proudly serves Rancho Santa Margarita and all surrounding areas.

Oral Health: Myths and Misconceptions | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

With so much information about oral care practices online, we felt it was important to demystify some of the most common dental myths and misconceptions we hear and offer advice on how to move forward.

Myth 1. Brush Harder To Clean Better

This action is counter-productive, as excess pressure on your teeth can work to damage enamel rather than support it. Hard brushing also hurts our gums and can lead to a recessed gum lining over time. We recommend taking care to brush gently with a soft-bristle brush.

Myth 2. You Can Clean Your Teeth With Gum

Chewing gum is certainly not a replacement for brushing. Chewing gum can be a great way to combat sugar cravings or a candy habit, but while it makes your breath smell better, it cannot replace the benefits of brushing.

Myth 3. Don’t Brush Baby Teeth

Good oral care practices begin when we are young and proper oral care for a child’s first set of teeth matters. Tooth decay in a baby tooth can lead to complications as an adult, so we recommend a twice-daily brushing routine as soon as the child has teeth.

Myth 4. Sugar Equals Cavities

Sugar itself is not the cause of cavities, though the bacteria that eat the sugar can be. The starches and sugar themselves attract bacteria that thrive on the surface of your teeth and release an acidic compound that promotes tooth decay. Regular brushing and rinsing after eating particular sugary foods will go a long way toward preventing decay.

Myth 5. Sensitivity Means Enamel Loss

We may experience sensitivity for many reasons, and enamel loss doesn’t happen overnight. Tooth grinding, abrasive toothpaste, aggressive brushing, and lack of regular proper oral hygiene all contribute to both sensitivity and a loss of enamel. Should you lose your enamel, however, you will likely experience tooth sensitivity as well.

If you would like more information, call Dr. Herd in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA at 949-858-5147 or visit www.gregherddds.com.

Dr. Greg J. Herd proudly serves Rancho Santa Margarita and all surrounding areas.