How to Eat when It’s Time for Dentures | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

For some it’s inevitable, for others it’s by chance – no matter the reasoning behind it, getting dentures is a fact of life that some have to face. They may be a full set, or simply partials, but dentures aren’t meant to throw your life into upheaval. It’s going to be an adjustment, but after a while, you won’t even notice the change. One of the biggest areas of change will be eating. You will likely be given instructions at the time to help you get going, but here are a few tips to get you through that adjustment period smoothly:

Take it slow. Since the first few days are the toughest, it is best to begin with a liquid diet. Choose purees and other soft foods that will help you learn how to begin to chew. Be careful of hot food and drink – because dentures are insulating your mouth, you won’t be able to judge temperature the same way.

Break it down. When you’re comfortable enough to try more solid foods, it is best to begin by cutting softer foods into tiny pieces. Once chewing, it is best to spread the food out evenly in your mouth to keep your dentures in place. Chew slowly and mindfully.

When the going gets tough. When eating foods like bread or grain cereal, you’ll find that they stick to your dentures. Have a glass of something to help wash these foods down. When it comes to meat, it is best to choose poultry or fish over red meats, but stewed meats will be fine. Sticky or hard foods are best avoided until you are confident in your chewing ability.

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

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

Strews and Ciders: It’s Time for Autumn Eats | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

There is just something about the Autumn that makes the world a happier place. It could be the smell of pumpkin spice everywhere we turn or the chilly weather that makes us want to bundle up and crave a piping hot cup of hot chocolate. Not only that, but the autumn season starts the beginning of the holiday season, which means plenty of photo ops. Unfortunately, a lot of our diet consists of teeth-staining foods. Luckily there are plenty of foods that not only keep us healthy, but also brightens our smile for those holiday selfies:

What is more autumn than apples? The crispiness of the apple is what is doing most of the work for your smile. As you bite into an apple, you are strengthening your gums. And the juiciness of the apple produces saliva, which rinses our mouths of cavity-forming bacteria.

Broccoli is a veggie that is present in lots of warm comfort foods, but it is also Mother Nature’s toothbrush. Munching on these little “brushes” will not only supply your body with iron but gives your teeth a quick scrub. Carrots and celery are the next in this line of veggies, so stews are perfect for our smiles and the season. All great vitamins packed inside, and the high-water content is great for saliva production. And if you think about it, celery is like nature’s floss.

Dairy is chockful of calcium, foods like milk, yogurt and cheese strengthen your teeth and gums. The stronger your teeth enamel is, the whiter & healthier they become.

If you would like more information about healthy foods for your smile, call Dr. Greg J. Herd in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA at 949-858-5147 or visit www.gregherddds.com.

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

Not All Plaques Are an Achievement | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

We all want our smile to be the best it can possibly be, but it isn’t easy. We not only need to brush our teeth daily, but we need to do a good job in order to prevent dental issues from arising. In order to keep it that way, we take some time every day to brush for at least 2 minutes, floss and rinse our teeth with a proper antimocrobial mouthwash. If we aren’t, the result of our poor dental practices is plaque.

The formation of plaque is caused by the lack of thorough brushing and flossing within our daily dental routine. Plaque poses as a huge threat to your teeth because once the plaque hardens, the end result is tartar. And unfortunately, tartar need to be removed through professional teeth cleanings, which means another dental appointment in your future.

During this dental appointment, you can expect to receive a full scheduled hour with a registered dental hygienist, who will use the latest technology to thoroughly clean the surfaces of your teeth in order to prevent a variety of problems including tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, you will not only diminish any plaque buildup in your mouth but will be able to maintain ideal oral health. Along with a professional teeth cleaning, your dental hygienist will take the time to check periodontal measurements, check oral pathology, and perform fluoride treatments.

It is necessary to emphasize the importance of teeth cleanings because brushing and flossing alone will not completely prevent dental problems. Regular checkups are necessary. Not only will you get a deep cleaning, but you will also be able to stop any dental issues from getting worse.

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

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

How to Whiten Your Teeth at Home | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

Everyone of every age strives to have that perfect Hollywood smile. But unfortunately, there are many ways our smiles just miss the mark. One of the simplest dental issues that many of us face, but can remedy, is stained teeth. There are many reasons our teeth have become dingy – our diets, our lifestyle habits, even genetics can lead to yellowed grin.

Fortunately, there are ways to remedy this issue. From dietary chances to professional whitening treatments, you pearlies can return to their original shade of white. In order to maintain this whitened sheen, many are turning to over-the-counter products. In order to choose your preference, let’s break down the various types available:

Trays and gels. The original form of at-home products, these trays involve a “boil and bite” mouthguard filled with carbamide peroxide gel. The results will take some time (at least a few weeks) but may cause some irritation due to the gel’s ingredients.

Whitening strips. If you have a couple of weeks before your big event, you may want to invest in a strips system. Hydrogen peroxide is placed on a polyethylene strip, which is placed directly on the teeth. Just be aware that if you place it on your gums, they may become a bit irritated over time.

Paint-ons. Paint-on whitening pens will take the longest to produce results but is ideal when you need to target a certain tooth. Because it doesn’t have a closed system like the two previous, it takes more time.

Whitening devices. The newest in at-home whitening, but the closest to a professional experience, these high-intensity lights use heat to break down hydrogen peroxide in order to produce more whitening oxygens.

If you would like more information about teeth whitening treatment options, call Dr. Greg J. Herd in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA at 949-858-5147 or visit www.gregherddds.com.

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

No One Needs to Know You Had a Cavity | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

We all know how to prevent cavities – you try to avoid too much sugar, you practice proper dental hygiene techniques on a daily basis and visit your dentist regularly. Unfortunately, there are times when things slip thru the cracks and your dentist reveals you’ve got yourself a cavity. Oh no! Now everyone will know you didn’t take care of your teeth! Not so fast…

In the past, our dental restorations were composed of metallic materials, making your dental fixes obvious to everyone. And since everyone has a selfie ready to go, having metallic fillings aren’t exactly ideal. But thanks to the advanced technology, your fillings can be as natural-looking as your real teeth.

Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small to mid-sized fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth, making them a fantastic option for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.

It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling because composite fillings require the tooth be kept clean and dry while the cavity is being filled. Tooth-colored fillings are now used more often than amalgam or gold fillings, due to their cosmetic look. Need more reason to choose them? Here are the advantages:

  • Eliminates unnatural, traditional metal fillings
  • Diminishes discoloration caused by metal fillings
  • Prevents tooth decay and gum diseases
  • Strengthens your teeth
  • Undetectable to others; matches the exact shade of your teeth

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

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

Why Do I Snore? | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

Everyone wants a good night’s sleep. Nothing feels better than waking up completely refreshed and ready to start the day. If you snore, getting a good night’s sleep isn’t as easy as just closing your eyes. Even worse, if you have a loved one that snores, and it affects your sleep, this may become cause for contention in the morning hours. While snoring doesn’t seem to be a tremendous cause for concern, understanding why you snore can help figure out the best way to treat it. Let’s take a look at possible reasons you may be snoring at night:

Obesity. One of the main causes for snoring could be a weight issue. When carrying around extra weight, the excess weight is putting pressure on your neck and causing an obstruction to your air flow while you sleep, causing you to snore. Losing some of the extra weight will help alleviate this issue.

Allergies. Because the typical medication for allergies is an antihistamine, and it relaxes the muscles in your throat, many allergy sufferers start to snore due to the blocked airway from the relaxed muscles.

Alcohol and sleeping pills. Similar to the allergy sufferers, because alcohol and sleeping pills relax your muscles, taking these before bedtime may cause you to snore.

Anatomy. Sometimes there isn’t anything you can do about your snoring habits – it’s just part of your anatomy. Issues like a deviated septum, enlarged tonsils or even a broken nose can block the air passages needed to breathe freely as you sleep.

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

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

Sometimes Dentures Make Your Gums Sore | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

When it’s time to get dentures, you can expect some changes to come along as you get used to your new smile. Your mouth will begin sore because your gums are still getting used to the dentures, but that pain will begin to subside after a few weeks. Luckily, there are several dental remedies available to help ease the discomfort and pain while your mouth adjusts. The following is a list of pain relievers that can help make this adjustment a whole lot smoother:

Topical gel or cream. One of the quickest way to relieve gum pain is to apply a topical gel or cream. Millions of teething babies can’t be wrong.

Salt water rinse. For the easiest way to reduce inflamed gums pain, remove the dentures, mix ½ to 1 tsp. of salt with a glass of warm water and rinse for about 30 seconds.

Aloe vera. If you find your gums feel a bit irritated, rub some aloe vera on the area to soothe them.

Massage. A quick, gentle massage to your gums will also help when in a pinch.

Over-the-counter pain relievers. Everyone has some type of headache relief available. If you find your gums are beginning to give you headaches, try taking some ibuprofen.

Denture adhesive. Loose dentures will begin to move and disturb other areas of your teeth. Try using a denture adhesive to help them stay in place.

Taking your dentures out at night will help relieve some pain your gums are experiencing as you are adjusting to wearing your dentures all day long. If you find that your dentures may be ill-fitting, contact your dentist as soon as possible.

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

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

Summers Are Sweet, Take Care of Your Teeth | Rancho Santa Margarita Dentist

Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, candy, in some form or fashion, has infused its way into our lives by surrounding us during holidays and fun events in our lives. We love candy so much, June is National Candy Month. The problem is, candy isn’t exactly the best for our teeth because sugar is a cavity’s best friend. The more we eat, the more chances those cavity creeps have to damage our teeth. But there is hope, because not all candy was created equal.

So, in honor of this sweetest of months, let’s take a look at some of the candy that is better for our teeth than others. There’s no reason we can’t celebrate this yummy time of year; just remember to keep up with your daily dental routine:

Dark chocolate. Don’t worry, chocoholics – you have an option to satisfy that craving because dark chocolate is surprisingly good for our teeth. Several studies have shown that chocolate has a compound that actually hardens enamel and fights plaque, making this sweet option even better at fighting cavities than fluoride.

Candy bars with nuts. This may sound odd, but nuts found in candy bars can help break up all the stickiness in the candy bar that clings to our teeth after we’ve finished, making it easy for cavities to form. It also gives us a quick burst of protein and fiber.

Sugarless gum/candy. This one may sound like the most obvious choice, and that’s because it is true. Cavity-causing bacteria love sugar, so if your candy doesn’t have any, no harm. So, choosing a sugarless sweet is great.

If you would like more information about the effects of candy on your teeth, call Dr. Herd in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA at 949-858-5147 or visit www.gregherddds.com.

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