Tag Archives: saratoga dentist

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

child-228439_1280Like tiny feet and fingers, baby teeth may only be around for a little while, but they are important. Baby teeth help ensure that the permanent teeth come in properly. In addition, little ones need healthy, strong baby teeth to help them chew, speak clearly and show their bright smile.

Temporary as they may be, baby teeth are susceptible to cavities, just like adult teeth. In babies and toddlers, tooth decay is often referred to as ‘baby-bottle tooth decay’ or early childhood caries.

What Causes Baby Bottle Decay?

Early childhood caries is most often seen in the upper front teeth, but can affect any of the teeth. It occurs primarily because of prolonged exposure to liquids containing sugar. Breast milk and formula both contain a form of sugar which can cause cavities.

When a baby is put down to sleep with a bottle, or a bottle is used as a pacifier, it causes prolonged exposure to the sugary liquid inside. In addition, cavity causing bacteria can be passed from mother to baby through saliva- when a mother puts the baby spoon in her mouth, or passes saliva another way, it can introduce cavity causing bacteria into the baby’s mouth.

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Decay

The good news about cavities is that they can be prevented. Babies who get enough fluoride (from fluorinated water) have less chance of developing decay.

Avoid allowing baby to fall asleep with a bottle or to use a bottle at any time other than feeding time. Proper oral hygiene for babies is important, even before their first tooth comes in. Gently clean the gums with a soft cloth after feeding, and move up to a soft child-sized toothbrush with the appearance of the first tooth. The use of a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste is advisable until the age of 3, when a pea sized amount is recommended.
Teaching good dental habits from the start will help your baby develop good dental hygiene as they grow. Always supervise your child’s brushing to make sure teeth are getting clean. As baby grows, encourage the use of a sippy cup by her first birthday.
For more information on protecting your baby’s teeth, contact Park Saratoga Dental.

Fun Fourth of July Facts

fireworks-180553_1280Independence Day is one of the most loved of American holidays.  At Park Saratoga Dental, we wish each and every one of you a fun-filled, safe and exciting Fourth of July.

In the spirit of the holiday, we have compiled some interesting facts about Independence Day that are sure to spark some patriotic conversations.  Thanks to the US Census Bureau for providing these interesting facts.

In July, 1776, the estimated population of our newly independent nation was 2.5 million. On July 4, 2014, the estimated population was 318.4 million!

There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Most of it was written by Thomas Jefferson, who was considered the most eloquent writer on the committee who drafted it.

The total estimated production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2013 was 6.1 billion pounds. There is a good chance that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which produces 1/6 of the nation’s beef. 

$203.6 million represents the value of fireworks imported from China in 2013, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($213.8 million).

Find more interesting Fourth of July Facts at http://census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2014/cb14-ff16.html

Have a safe and happy 4th of July from the team at Park Saratoga Dental!

4 Things You Should Know About Gum Disease

ID-1001617051. Gum disease, clinically known as periodontal disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Periodontal disease is a chronic disease which, to some degree, affects at least 75% of American adults. Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes destruction of the bone and soft tissue which supports the teeth. Symptoms include reddened, swollen gums which bleed easily, gum recession and pocketing and eventually loosening of the teeth. Up to 30% of adults are genetically predisposed to periodontal disease, despite good personal oral hygiene.
2. Gum Disease is a Bacterial Infection
Periodontal disease is caused by a bacterial infection. Plaque and bacteria form on tooth surfaces, and harden into tartar. Regular brushing and flossing helps remove plaque, but only a professional cleaning can remove the hardened tartar.

Left untreated, the bacteria affects the gums, causing them to get irritated, swollen and tender. This is a condition called gingivitis. As the disease advances, it begins to destroy healthy bone and gum tissue, and results in a chronic infection deep in the gums.

Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Signs and symptoms include deep pockets around the gums, bone loss around the tooth roots, tooth abscess and loose teeth.
Untreated bacterial infections can cause serious problems with overall health when they occur elsewhere in the body. An infection in the oral tissues is no different. Periodontal disease is not a “small” infection. In fact, the mass of the oral tissues is about the same as that on your arm, from your elbow to your wrist. If you had an infection which encompassed an area as large as your forearm, you would not ignore it, but seek medical intervention right away.
3. Gum Disease Can Be Treated And Even Reversed
As with any destructive process, the early identification of gingivitis and periodontitis is the key to successful treatment and even reversal. The goal of your dentist is to identify early symptoms and risks for susceptibility to periodontal disease before advanced disease occurs. Earlier stages of periodontal disease can often be treated non-surgically utilizing a targeted and specialized cleaning procedure which removes plaque and tartar from deep gum pockets. This procedure also helps to smooth the surface of the tooth root to remove and inhibit bacterial growth. Often, antibacterial therapy is delivered straight to the source of infection. When non-surgical treatment is successful, careful maintenance, more frequent professional dental cleanings and careful personal oral hygiene help maintain gum health.
4. Gum Disease May Be Linked to Systemic Diseases
Because periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, it makes sense that it can be linked to other chronic inflammatory conditions. Research has shown that oral infections can cause problems in other areas of the body. Chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular (heart) disease and Alzheimer’s disease have been linked to advanced periodontal disease in studies.
Prevent gum disease with good personal dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing is not enough.

Seeing your dentist for a check-up every six months is important for disease prevention and early detection. Your regular dental cleaning removes hardened plaque deposits (tartar) around gums which cannot be removed with brushing and flossing. If you have active periodontal disease, your dentist can recommend special treatment designed to halt the destructive process and in some cases, repair the damage.
See Your Dentist Right Away If:
• Your gums are red and swollen
• Your gums bleed easily
• Your gums are receding
• Your gums are painful or tender
• Your teeth are becoming loose

Schedule an appointment with your Saratoga Dentist.

Straighter Teeth For A Healthy Smile

Invisalign alignerCrooked teeth and a misaligned bite cause cosmetic concerns, but there are many more serious reasons to correct orthodontic problems.

Dental problems that damage teeth and gums often develop in patients with misaligned teeth.  Correcting your bite before serious problems develop can help you keep teeth and gums healthy for life.

Crooked Teeth are Prone to Gum Disease

When your teeth are misaligned, rotated or overlapping, it can be difficult to keep the spaces between them clean.  Flossing between teeth is often difficult or not possible.  In cases like this, plaque and bacteria can take hold in the tight spaces between teeth.  Over time, hardened plaque around the gumline can lead to gum disease.

Gum disease (periodontal disease) damages the gum and bone tissue surrounding the roots of your teeth, and can lead to tooth loss.  As bacteria take hold in the gums, it causes the tissue to become inflammed, swollen and causes the gums to fall away from the tooth roots.  Left untreated, the infection eventually causes destruction of the bone tissue.  As the bone and gum tissue recede, teeth can become loose and eventually lost.

Crooked Teeth Are Prone to Decay

Tooth decay is common in crooked or overlapping teeth.  For the same reasons that misaligned teeth develop gum disease, they are also more prone to tooth decay.

Bacteria feed on sugar, and excrete acids that weaken tooth enamel and cause decay.

Misaligned Teeth Wear Unevenly

Uneven wear of tooth surfaces is another common effect of misaligned teeth.  When your bite out of balance, it can cause uneven pressure and wear down the enamel on tooth surfaces.  Over time, teeth can become damaged.  It is not uncommon for people with a misaligned bite to experience frequent headaches and excess strain on facial muscles that causes “myofacial pain”.

Invisalign Helps Straighten Teeth and Prevent Dental Problems

One simple way to correct orthodontic misalignment is Invisalign treatment.  Invisalign Clear Aligners are custom made to straighten teeth without braces.  Properly aligned teeth are healthier and stronger.  When teeth are straight, it is easier to keep them clean and prevent gum disease, tooth decay and uneven wear.

Advantages of Invisalign include

  • No brackets or wires on teeth
  • No dietary restrictions, simply remove the aligners for meals
  • Easier and more effective dental hygiene
  • Fast results- most patients achieve their desired result within 6-12 months.
  • Aligners are nearly invisible while worn

Ask Your Dentist If Invisalign Is Right For You

Take control of your dental health and wellness and ask your dentist if Invisalign is the right treatment option for you.  Schedule a consultation to learn more about how straightening your teeth now can help prevent serious dental problems later.






Are Sodas Destroying Your Teeth?

We all know a healthy diet is important to maintaining overall health and well-being, but when it comes to your dental health, your diet plays an important role as well.

Avoiding sugary snacks and making sure to brush and floss every day is a good place to start, but what about the things you drink?  Many people are not aware that sodas and fruit juices are a leading cause of tooth decay in adults.

Sodas Are An Acid Bath To Your Teeth

Let’s take closer look at sodas to understand exactly how they can damage your teeth and lead to cavities.

Sodas, even diet sodas are extremely acidic.  Acids in foods and drinks cause damage to your tooth enamel- the hard protective exterior of the tooth structure.  When you drink an acidic soda, fruit juice, flavored water or even sports drinks, the acid bathes your tooth surfaces.  Normally, your saliva will wash away the acids and restore normal psoda factsH in the mouth, but when acidic drinks are consumed too frequently, or sipped on all day, there is no time between acid baths for your body to correct the pH.  Frequent exposure to acids wears on your tooth enamel, causing acid erosion.  Early symptoms may be excess sensitivity to cold or hot food.  As enamel erosion progresses, sensitivity increases as more of the dentin (interior of the tooth) is exposed.  As enamel softens and becomes more porous, pain can increase.

Porous and Softened Enamel Is Susceptible To Tooth Decay

When tooth enamel breaks down, it leaves the tooth susceptible to tooth decay.  As enamel breaks down, teeth lose mineral content.  Enamel erosion can change the surface of the tooth, leaving tiny weak areas for cavity-causing bacteria to take hold.  Simply avoiding sugar is not enough to prevent this damage from occurring.  Drinking water or milk are your best defenses against enamel erosion.

A study in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry concluded that nearly 79% of study participants showed signs of dental erosion.  The most common cause was frequent consumption of sodas and fruit juices.

Avoid Sodas For Dental Health

Avoiding sodas, fruit juices and flavored waters or sports drinks is good advice.  If you cannot kick the habit completely, then watch how you consume these beverages.  Drink a soda or sports drink at once, rather than sip on it slowly.  This will allow your body to correct the pH imbalance that occurs with acidic drinks.  Follow up your acidic beverage with water.  Some studies conclude that brushing immediately after an acidic drink is not a good idea, because enamel softened by the acid can be worn away by brushing.  Instead, rinse well with water and brush later.

Help For Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can be caused by acid erosion.  See your Saratoga dentist for an examination if you have painful, sensitive teeth.  Treatments including fluoride application and preparations that can restore mineral content are available from your dentist.

How Two Hours a Year Can Save You Time and Money on Dental Care

dental healthHalf of American adults avoid going to the dentist unless they are experiencing a painful dental emergency. When many people think about going to the dentist, pangs of dread cause them to postpone an appointment even longer.  The problem with this kind of thinking is that postponement of dental care, especially when there is a problem, actually makes the problem worse, more painful and more expensive to repair.

The truth about dental care is that staying on track with regular dental visits actually prevents many dental problems from occurring in the first place.  In addition, seeing your dentist at least every six months makes it possible to detect problems while they are small, painless and easy to repair.

It is possible for a person with good dental hygiene habits, who sees their dentist regularly, to not experience serious dental problems, toothaches and extensive dental work.   In fact, regular dental care can help prevent serious problems like tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer.

Here are the ways a one-hour dental check-up and professional teeth cleaning can help prevent serious dental problems and have a positive impact on your overall health:

  • Regular dental cleanings remove plaque that cannot be reached by brushing and flossing alone.  This helps prevent tooth decay.
  • Regular dental cleanings are the only way to remove hardened plaque (tartar) which is proven to contribute to cavities and gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.
  • Your dental examination includes an oral cancer screening.  Oral cancer is the 6th most common cancer in the US. Early detection of changes in oral tissue can save lives.
  • Maintaining healthy teeth and gums supports overall health.  Over 120 systemic diseases have oral manifestations that can be identified in the mouth.
  • A study conducted by the University of California, Berkley concluded that women who receive regular dental care reduce their risk of heart disease by a third.
  • Regular dental exams make it possible to detect tooth decay and gum disease early, while treatment or reversal is simple, painless and less expensive

The average dental check-up and teeth cleaning appointment takes about an hour, twice a year.  That’s 2 hours of your time, out of 8,760 hours in a year.  That’s .00023% of a year that you can use to maintain healthy teeth and gums,  improve your smile, support your overall health AND save money on the cost of dental care.

Give your Saratoga dentist, Dr. Kathleen Ban and associates, a call to schedule your appointment today.


How Going to the Dentist More Often Can Save You Money on Dental Care

save money on dentalAlmost half of Americans only go to the dentist when they know they have a dental problem of a toothache. Dental patients who are motivated by pain, rather than prevention pay significantly more for their dental care, even though they go to the dentist less often.

Brushing and Flossing is Not Enough

Good personal oral hygiene is imperative to prevention of dental disease. Brushing and flossing daily will remove plaque and bacteria from the oral cavity, teeth and gums. This reduces the chances that destructive bacteria will take hold and lead to cavities and gum disease.

Even with good dental habits, plaque and bacteria collect at and below the gum line on tooth surfaces, forming hardened tartar. This substance cannot be removed from the teeth with brushing and flossing, and must be removed with a professional dental cleaning. Tartar will build up over time, leading to decay and periodontal disease.

Skipping Your Preventive Dental Care is Expensive

Your dentist recommends a dental check-up and professional cleaning at least every six months, and more frequently if you are prone to tooth decay or gum (periodontal) disease. This is because your dentist knows that regular dental care makes it possible to prevent major dental problems from developing in the first place. In addition, a regular dental exam will give your dentist the opportunity to detect and diagnose the beginning stages of disease processes such as a small cavity or reddened inflamed gum tissue. When diagnosed in their early stages, reversal of the disease process or removal of the decay is much simpler and far less expensive than waiting until it has progressed into a more serious problem.
Most dental insurance plans know that preventive dental care reduces the risk of developing serious dental problems such as advanced decay, periodontitis and tooth abscess. This is why many dental plans cover the cost of preventive dental care at no cost to the patient. For patients without insurance, the cost of regular dental cleanings and check-ups is still far lower than the cost of seeking dental care only in painful situations.

Early Stage Dental Disease Is Not Painful

Waiting until you have a toothache to go to the dentist usually means that you will require restorative treatment in order to repair and preserve your diseased tooth. Most dental problems start off on the microscopic level, and gradually get worse.  A tiny cavity does not hurt, and you probably cannot see it.  By the time you feel discomfort from the decay, it has likely spread to the vital structures within the tooth. If you feel the pangs of a toothache, it is likely that treatment such as a large filling, dental crown or even root canal treatment is necessary to repair it. These types of treatment are much more costly than a small filling. The treatment to repair it is likely more expensive than your dental check-up and cleaning would be, even with the cost of a small filling included.

Regular Check-Ups Save Money Over Time, But They Also Save Your Teeth

Although saving money is great, it is not the only reason to stay current with your regular dental care. When dental problems are prevented or detected early, your teeth stay healthier. Routine dental care makes it possible to prevent the common causes of tooth loss, which are untreated tooth decay and periodontal disease. When you see your dentist at least every six months, you give yourself the gift of healthier teeth that will last you a lifetime.

Make an Appointment at Park Saratoga Dental

The Top 5 Foods That Stain Your Teeth

worst foods for staining teethA bright, white, healthy smile is something people notice about you right away. Whitening dental products are some of the most popular beauty products on the market. In order to get the whitest, brightest smile, safely, we recommend professional teeth whitening. In order to keep teeth their whitest between professional treatments, you might want to avoid these top 5 foods that stain your teeth.
1. Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea leave behind a dark residue that can stain your teeth brown or yellow. Avoiding these beverages can help prevent staining. If you do not want to give up your morning coffee, consider brushing and flossing well after you get your caffeine kick for the day.
2. Red and White Wine
One of the worst offenders when it comes to tooth discoloration is red wine. The deep pigments can give your teeth a darkened or even bluish hue. Did you know that even white wine can promote staining on your teeth? Drinking white wine followed by foods or beverages that are known to cause staining causes teeth to stain more deeply.
3. Sodas and Sports Drinks
The high sugar and acid content in these beverages can not only damage your teeth, but they can promote discoloration and stains. Your body and your teeth will thank you for switching to water instead.
4. Berries
Dark red, blue and purple berries are great for your health, but they can stain your teeth just like wine. If you include deeply pigmented berries as a part of your regular diet, be sure to brush and floss after enjoying them in order to help prevent staining.
5. Sauces and Seasonings
Tomato sauce, soy sauce, and other condiments with deep pigment can stain your teeth. Acidic sauces can actually weaken tooth enamel, making it more porous and more likely to absorb stains.
To prevent stains from foods and beverages, make sure to follow these tips:
• Enjoy stain causing foods in moderation
• Brush and floss after consuming stain promoting foods and drinks
• Use a straw and swallow promptly
• Rinse well with water after eating or drinking
• Get your teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months
• Professionally whiten teeth to get them bright and white. Touch up your treatments with an at-home whitening kit available from your dentist.

To schedule a professional teeth cleaning and in-office dramatic dental whitening at Park Saratoga Dental, contact us today.

Welcome to Park Saratoga Dental’s Blog

Welcsaratoga family dentistryome to our brand new blog!  Dr. Kathleen Ban and the team at Park Saratoga Dental created this page in order to provide you with important dental health information, answers to your dental care questions and exclusive dental care tips and offers.  We are happy to welcome you to our dental practice, and appreciate having the opportunity to serve your dental needs.

Return to our page often to find information about dental procedures such as crowns, porcelain veneers, Invisalign clear aligners and dental implants.  In addition, you will find information about keeping your mouth and body healthy.

Is it time for a dental cleaning?  You are invited to become a patient at Park Saratoga Dental.  Contact us to schedule an appointment.