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The health and looks of your teeth and the perceived social status

Besides your regular cleaning, what is the most common reason you go to the dentist? Tooth hurting? Well, it's a good time to make an ap...

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Halloween is always scary for Dentists!

Sugar-free chewing gum
instead of candy for Halloween
Halloween means candy, all kinds of sweets and more sugar loaded treats (besides the fun stuff and the dressing up in sometimes funny costumes and parties!)
Everyone gives out candy, businesses and offices have trays and bowls full of attractive sweets, for kids and adults alike.
Dental offices have struggled with this since forever, because it's at least odd if not unethical to offer candy and sweets since they are perceived as the main cause of why you are in a dental office in the first place!
We've seen and done all kinds of programs - from candy buy-back and donating to troops - all laudable but they still won't fix the problem of not offering candy while everyone else does!
Well, until now! This year the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and Wrigley teamed up in a campaign to educate everyone about a proper oral hygiene routine during October, which is #NationalDentalHygieneMonth,. Their guidelines recommend 4 steps: “Brush. Floss. Rinse. Chew.” – with chew meaning a piece of sugar-free gum after eating, which can help clean your teeth and improve your oral health.
Chewing gum containing xylitol instead of sugar provide similar sweetness but doesn’t have the same tooth-decaying properties, so sugar-free gum is a healthier choice. But the main benefit of sugar-free gum comes simply from the act of chewing.
Chewing gum for as little as 20 minutes after eating increases the production of saliva. This helps neutralize plaque acid, wash away food debris and remineralize tooth enamel. It also helps removing food particles and bacteria associated with bad breath.
Chewing gum is only part of the routine for a good oral health, we also need to brush for at least two minutes twice a day, floss daily, and rinse using Dr Brite mouthwash (our Patients get free samples after their appointments).
So when you come in our office in October you can indulge in free chewing gum instead of candy! We encourage you to form a habit of keeping some sugar-free gum with you, floss sticks and mouth rinse and use them after meals.
And keep your routine cleaning appointments too, call us at 949-425-1447 to schedule an appointment or request one online anytime!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Your healthcare and FSA benefits might expire at the end of the year! Again!

Yes, it's that time of the year again! When every dental office reminds everyone that their healthcare and their Flexible Spending Account FSA benefits might expire at the end of the year! It's a cliché and it could become annoying as it pops up on -insert your favorite social media account here - when you scroll up on your new iPhone X! Yet it's amazing how many people leave money on the table, even after all the emails, calls and texts that pretty much every medical or dental office sends out! And probably that's why they try everything else out there to get the message out! It's a lose-lose situation, when it could actually be a win-win!

Most of the excuses we hear involve the lack of time to take care of this, which is completely understandable in today's fast pace life. Most people don't have time to check their dental or medical insurance for remaining funds. We can't argue with that but we have a solution for it: email or call us and we'll check it for you! Chances are that we can do it while we have you on the phone, there is software today that can retrieve your benefits in real time, and we have it! Worst case scenario - and that's not that bad really - we'll have to call you back with an answer or email you the details.

The other excuse we hear a lot is - I can't take time off from work. Well, you most likely have sick days available, that's what they are for! For when you are sick and when you have a doctor appointment. You can plan the dentist appointment in advance and request a  few sick hours to take care of it. Your employer should understand that you want to take care of your health or improve your smile and that makes you a happier, more productive, less grumpy employee in return! Can they say no to all that? If you work in Aliso Viejo we are conveniently located in the Town Center, most likely a 5 minutes drive from anywhere.

The last excuse we'll mention here is - I don't have any problems, no tooth hurting, why would I go to the dentist? Oh boy, how much time do you have to talk about this? We'll make it short, in a nutshell: most Patients have proposed or recommended treatments that are not a priority and end up down the line in the list. But that doesn't mean they are not necessary, they also contribute to a #BrighterSmile, and besides, they might be covered by free money from your insurance! So why not take advantage now before it gets busy towards the end of the year?

Monday, September 4, 2017

Paperless office


Since dental (and medical) office upgraded from paper charts (you might be too young to remember those huge cabinets filled with folders and papers, some offices still use those, believe it or not!) to computer software - everything got easier, searchable, automated, digitally manageable. Well, almost everything, since some forms and papers were hard to almost impossible to replace, the right technology wasn't there yet. Since the tablets became mainstream the developers started incorporating them into the dental software, but it was a slow, hard process. It wasn't until very recently that this process became seamless and actually effective, and even today only a few offer this option for their dental software.

Yes. you know what comes up here, Aliso Viejo Dental is on the edge of technology and we pride ourselves to integrate any improvement in the dental treatments and processes, tools and procedures. And dental software too! That's why our office has all our forms (well, most of them right now and we are working on the rest of them) on a touch screen tablet that automatically populates your profile with all the dental and medical conditions, allergies or previous procedures. So there is no room for mistakes or omissions, everything is in your account and critical conditions pop up on our screen when needed (like your allergy to latex or the fact that you don't like our blueberry flavored gloves!). Everything is HIPAA compliant, and "military grade encryption", they love to throw these terms around!

Well, it works for us! There are no papers to print and scan, time wasted to manually enter the information in the system, then time to shred the papers! Also, we can send you a secure link to fill in the forms from home in advance on your tablet, phone or any computer to save time at your first visit in the office.
Everything is very fast, all the forms are typed in, boxes checked, and electronically signed in a quick move, and you are ready and on your way to improve your #smile!
We also use our tablets for applying for CareCredit, that makes the process fast and easy, you can even do it while seated in the chair!

We still have to print some papers, for internal use and some generated to be signed by the Patients, but we are working on this, in the meantime we are only using recycled paper in our office, so no trees are harmed in this process! So we are truly a "chartless" office and also a "paperless" office too!
When you are ready to start the improvement process to a #BrighterSmile please contact us at http://www.alisoviejodental.com/contact.html anytime or call 949-425-1447.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Questions to ask your dentist about dental amalgam waste

"Dental amalgam waste is a significant contributor of mercury discharges to municipal wastewater treatment facilities," up to 40% according to the multiple sources.
According to a recent EPA ruling, starting on July 14, 2017 new dental offices will be required to install an amalgam separator, while existing dental offices will have until 2020 to comply. Needless to say, Aliso Viejo Dental has one installed for almost 2 years now, effectively stopping toxic waste in amalgam traps that are collected monthly and recycled together with sharps and other biohazard materials, typically disposed by dental offices.
We don't use amalgam/mercury in our office at all, the only waste comes from safely removing old ones, in a process that protects the Patients and the staff from vapors or debris (yes, some other dental offices still offer amalgam/mercury fillings for their Patients!).
When you go to your dentist next time, please ask those questions:
 
1. Do you currently have an amalgam separator and traps installed in your office?
They might still have some 3 years to comply, but that is a long time and a lot of mercury going into your city's sewage system.
 
2. When you remove mercury fillings, what is done to protect me and the staff from mercury vapor? During dental procedures involving placing or removing mercury fillings, the amount of mercury vapor released drastically exceeds OSHA limits.
 
3. Do you still place "silver" mercury fillings? If the reason is price and insurance coverage think about the small extra price you would rather pay for composite, tooth colored fillings instead.
 
If you still have questions or need to safely remove your old amalgam fillings by a S.M.A.R.T certified dentist please contact us at 949-425-1447 or visit our website at AlisoViejoDental.com

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Wellness

There is an increasing interest into an active process of making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life and of becoming aware, rather than treating sickness. Preventing is easier and cheaper, not to mention better for you and as a life choice than treating an illness after it occurs. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of changing and growth and staying away from getting sick in the first place.

Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is an important part of living a higher quality life. Everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. The other side of the coin is true too, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions, it’s an ongoing cycle. We need to achieve optimal wellness in order to minimize stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions and relations.

There are at least 8 dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, social, intellectual, and occupational and they are all interrelated.
Although a Dentist can influence your Emotional wellness (a beautiful smile will help you with better relationships) or Occupational wellness (statistically people with better oral health and teeth are perceived as smarter and get better jobs easier), probably the most help you'll get with your Physical Wellness.

Understanding the relationship between your oral health and your overall health is very important in order to develop a balanced physical wellness.
Applying a few principles of good health and knowledge will affect your behavior patterns towards a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few easy steps to take to maintain an optimal level of physical wellness:
  • Engage in some physical activity every 30 minutes, even if it's just to get up and go get a glass of water or walk outside for a minute, seating for too long is bad. Try to workout everyday too.
  • Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator and park farther to give yourself a chance to walk more.
  • Use better nutrition, natural, fresh ingredients as much as possible to boost your immune system. Also, try to control your meal portions.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule and get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Maintain your good health by keeping a good oral hygiene with regular checkups an cleanings, daily flossing and brushing. Ask us if you need more advice, a good oral hygiene helps with your overall health.
  • Avoid toxic food, ingredients, containers or situations and procedures, chose a natural, non-toxic environment whenever possible.
There is more to do, but this is a good start, please contact us for more information.

Monday, May 8, 2017

"I already have a Dentist!"

Attended a couple of venues last week where we had a booth and had a great opportunity to talk to a lot of people! We handed out info and coupons, gave more information to interested potential Patients and explained how we practice dentistry differently than most other Dentists. We explained this because the most common excuse we heard for not taking our free brochure, tooth brush/paste promo bag or coupon we handed out was "Thank you, but I already have a Dentist".
Well, most people do and some follow their 6 months Hygiene schedule almost religiously. But unless a tooth hurts or something is bothering them - they never have any improvements for their smiles - like, ever! The Dentist should recommend any necessary treatment or even possible cosmetic improvements available, or health concerns so at least the Patient is aware of them, if there is no immediate threat. You as a Patient might decide which procedures and when you want to start, and the Dentist will help you prioritize them. But going to the Dentist every 6 months just so they can charge your insurance for a cleaning without improving your smile doesn't make much sense!
That's why every time I heard the "I already have a Dentist" answer I came back with one of the following questions, depending on which was more suitable for that person:

 - And they never recommended teeth whitening? (this is probably the easiest, least expensive way to improve your smile, that's why we always offer this option when appropriate)
 - And they never offered Invisalign treatment to straighten your teeth? It's a great way for adults to wear invisible braces and get straight teeth in a few months most of the time.
 - And they never explained that you can get Veneers on the chipped or misaligned front teeth? These are fairly inexpensive and the improvement is huge!
 - And they never offered to Safely remove the ugly, dark silver/mercury amalgam on your molars and replace it with composite, tooth colored fillings?
 - And they never told you that you can have a Smile Design to overhaul your whole mouth, get all the treatment you need and even some cosmetic work done in a day using Conscious Sedation so you don't feel or remember anything? So you can improve your smile, improve the way others see you, get better first impressions, better friendships, better relationships, a better job, a better life and ultimately a better you?
Yes, not all Dentists are the same, some are doing everything the same way they did it 20 years ago, and some care about you and your overall health and the benefits you can get from a healthy, beautiful smile! We also offer complementary oral cancer screenings, contact us at Aliso Viejo Dental and we'll explain all these and more in detail, please call us at 949-485-1447 today!

Friday, April 28, 2017

SOKA International Festival

No matter how many of our Patients come from cities far away, or after they move, there is always a local component to every Dental office. You are part of your local community after all and we are lucky to belong to Aliso Viejo, one of the nicest, safest, most vibrant communities in Orange County! The people here are involved in local activities and they care about daily events. And there is a lot going on all the time, a lot of our local residents are excited about the new additions to the Town Center - the new 5Below store that just opened and the new 9Round gym that is going to open soon! (we are still waiting on the Urban Plates and Pieology that are due this summer).
There is also the annual Taste of Aliso Niguel fundraising event that benefits ANHS, but we see it as an evening of fun, good food, drinks and a good chance to get to know local restaurants and businesses better and meet locals.
But probably the most exciting local annual event is the SOKA International Festival that locals  love! This is a big event that involves the students from the local SOKA University, local businesses, city officials, lots of crafts and arts, and performers! This brings AlisoViejans together like nothing else because of the multitude of ethnic food options, local businesses promotions and opportunities to get in touch with people from a diverse background.
We'll have a booth at the SOKA International Festival as we did in the last few years, we are a proud Friend  banner sponsor of the festival and we love to meet local people!
The attendance is FREE (you only pay for parking per car, so is a good idea to carpool or walk if you live close) and the food and the items for sale are usually at discounted or promotional prices. We'll offer free Oral Cancer screenings using our ViziLitePRO tool for anyone interested!
We are looking forward to seeing you next Saturday May 6th at the SOKA International Festival, look for our booth near the Founders Hall and the main stage!
http://www.alisoviejodental.com/

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Free Oral Cancer Screenings

So what's new in your office lately? Well in our office we got a ViziLitePro device for Oral Cancer Screenings and a DryShield Isolation System, that's all!
We are proud to offer complimentary oral cancer screenings to all our Patients, it only takes less than a minute anyway, but it can save your life!

Oral cancer is a growing concern among Patients because of its prevalence and because of the dangers it brings. Fortunately the screening is fast and easy when using the latest technology, ViziLite PRO shows any lesions in less than a minute and at Aliso Viejo Dental, Dr. Preda can help you maintain a healthy, cancer-free mouth.

By using our ViziLitePRO screening system, we can provide you with comfortable, quick oral cancer screenings, and they are included in your routine exam, as a New Patient or when you come back for cleanings or treatment. Some insurance plans are starting to catch up and cover the oral cancer screenings, but even if they don't we'll offer this complimentary service at no cost, our Patients' oral and overall health is as important to us as it is to you!
Request an appointment with Aliso Viejo Dental now or call us at 949-425-1447 to schedule a free Oral Cancer screening.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Do you have Dental Phobia or Dental Anxiety?




“When confronted with fear of the dentist chair, our minds run wild by conjuring the most terrifying
experiences. By staying in the present moment, we can avoid conjuring these worst case scenarios, and instead remain in a calm and centered place.” — Dr. Fern White, Australian Dentist


The fear or anxiety of going to the dentist is more common than you think. A lot of people postpone as much as they can or just hate going to the dentist and get chills when they book an appointment, so if you experience this - you are not alone. People with dental phobia often put off routine care for years or even decades, they'll even put up with gum infections, pain, or even broken and unsightly teeth.


But chances are that your old bad experience will never happen again, here's why:
First of all, dentistry has changed a lot in the last few years, so whatever bad experience you might have had in the past - it might not be an issue any more. We use Lasers now even for Hygiene procedures, they require less or no anesthesia and you are healing faster, so ask if your procedure can be done using a Laser tool when booking your appointment.


Then, your experience in a dental office might be different today altogether than it was a few years go. Now we have wifi so you can play your favorite game or watch your favorite videos in the reception area or in the chair before we start, or in any breaks, we can pause for a moment sometimes if you want to.
Or you can immerse in your favorite music - use your phone or we can play Pandora or Spotify on one of our tablets, we even give you earphones to use and keep! In between the music and the dark, Laser protective glasses - you might even forget you are in a dental chair!
The "Laughing gas" helps too, or a service animal (yes, we allow these too!)
But for other cases when phobia or uncontrollable anxiety can't be overcame - there is always Sedation Dentistry! You take a pill and we control your level of sedation and you won't remember anything about any procedure you might not like, as if it never happened!


And never feel ashamed of maybe not flossing enough, we've seen it all and we don't judge anyone, we are here to help and turn your oral health around towards improving our Smile!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Healthy Eats For The Sports Game Party

OK, you are probably wondering why did we post this BEFORE yesterday when all the BIG GAME parties happened?
Well, because we didn't want to kill the buzz for the sports enthusiasts out there, most likely their smile was the last thing on their mind last night. Also, there is a time to care for your oral health and brush and floss (like, all the time!) and there is a time to have fun and enjoy one of the biggest reasons to celebrate!
Fortunately, there are plenty of snacks ideas that are actually good for your teeth and your health overall.


Raw Veggies with Hummus or Guacamole is one of them. Depending on your available time or cooking skills you can make the guac or just buy some that is freshly made with natural ingredients. Also buy some raw vegetables like carrots, celery, peppers, or cucumbers, they go great with both hummus or guacamole and you can skip the chips. These vegetables also help clean your teeth while you are eating.


(Almost) 7-layer Dip - who says it has to be exactly 7 layers? Use whatever you like, try Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, jalapenos, (any not re-fried) beans, and sprinkle diced olives, cucumbers, peppers, al little bit of corn or anything that you find it makes this dish more appetizing to you and your health conscious friends.


Fruit Salad - serving a fruit salad for a sports party not only provides a healthier dish for people watching their weight, but also gives people with allergies or dietary restrictions a safe zone to enjoy nourishing fruits. This easy-to- make dish helps your smile too! Apples can help decrease plaque and promote fresh breath, other fruits like oranges and kiwi are vitamin C powerhouses, which promote
excellent gum health. Enjoy a bowl of fruit salad during the game for gum and teeth health.


Call us at 949-425-1447 for more info or visit us at http://www.AlisoViejoDental.com/

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sugar is bad for your overall health

You are probably in shock right now about this title LOL! Who are we kidding, everyone knows that sugar is bad for you, but few people know HOW bad, or that added sugar is present in pretty much everything we eat or drink. It's common knowledge that sodas contain a lot of sugar and we should stay away from them, but did you know there is almost as much sugar in "freshly squeezed" Tropicana or Minute Maid orange juice? Yeah, keep reading! Most orange juice comes from Brazil, not Florida, and even “not from concentrate” orange juice is heated, stripped of flavor, stored for up to a year, and then re-flavored and sugar added before it is packaged and sold!


You probably heard your Dentist saying that sugar is bad for your teeth, but surprisingly sugar does not directly cause tooth decay. It's the acid caused by bacteria in your mouth after sugar intake that eventually leads to tooth decay. And this process occurs due to plaque - a sticky film of bacteria covering your teeth and gums, so it takes a while. And if you brush and floss regularly you can minimize the effects drastically!


When sugar comes in contact with the plaque on your teeth it produces the acid and causes a small hole in your enamel. When you don’t brush or floss your teeth regularly, this hole grows bigger and develops into a cavity that causes tooth decay. The sooner you treat the cavity the better since it's smaller, the longer you leave it untreated - it grows bigger and deeper. A small cavity might only need a filling, which is a simple, inexpensive procedure, and it might even be covered by your insurance. The bigger it gets - the harder and costlier it gets, and it might need additional procedures, gum treatment or, goodness gracious, a root canal, you don't want to get there!
Excessive sugar consumption affects your overall health in many ways because it could cause:
  • Type II diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Cavities
Can we prevent the sugar intake? Of course, it starts with replacing soda with water, get that salad with the dressing on the side and don't eat most of it, and try to eat simple, less processed foods.


At least try to prevent the dental problems caused by too much sugar:
Sipping a sugary drink for hours is more harmful for your teeth than eating a cake for 5 minutes.
Try to limit foods and beverages that contain added sugars.
Avoid sugary or sticky foods – candies, cakes, cookies and sugary drinks or sugar added foods.
Brush and floss your teeth twice a day.
Go for regular dental cleanings to prevent plaque formation, in fact make an appointment right now with Aliso Viejo Dental!