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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...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Call or Text

Communications have evolved over time, back in the day we used to send telegrams (oh, don't admit you remember those, you don't want to date yourself!) when we needed to send a message quick. Or send a letter in the mail when the message was larger and we wanted to explain or describe things properly. And then the telephone came up a while ago and that simplified a lot of things! It was quick, fairly cheap in the beginning and we could instantly take care of anything we needed to communicate. Quickly it became the main system in offices and homes. And then the cell phones came up and it got even simpler and quicker, now we could text when we needed to say something quick. We went full circle to the telegrams, except now the message was instantly in the palms of our hands!
Internet came up and email became the easiest, fastest way to communicate long letter-type messages. Again, full circle, but this time it was almost instant.
The text message is still one of the most popular ways to communicate, especially for the younger generations. It's short, no need to waste time with intros and good byes, it's instant and efficient. Except it doesn't work on land lines. Well, until now, when we have IP phones that also use apps on cell phones (oh, don't admit you know what these are, you don't want to look too nerdy!). That's what Aliso Viejo Dental has been using for a few years now, since we can answer emergency work calls anywhere at night and over the weekend. Also, because of the transcribed voice messages into emails and available in the app too. Oh, and also because of this new feature they introduced recently to be able to send and receive texts from our office's phone! That's right, now you can call OR text us to 949-425-1447, whichever you prefer. No need to use many words, "I need to set up an appt for next Fri" will do. Go ahead, give it a try!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Clean your tongue

Brushing twice a day and flossing are great habits, but we also need to brush our tongue too once in a while to prevent bad breath. You can use use the bristles of your toothbrush or you can try a specialized brush with a built-in tongue cleaner on the back, like the Colgate 360 and others.

Tongue Brushing Techniques: The tongue harbors bacteria and food particles trapped under a thin layer of mucus. Remove this odor-causing buildup by using a small dab of toothpaste and carefully brushing the top of the tongue. Start by reaching to the back of the tongue, and then work toward the front. Make sure you brush the entire surface of the tongue using gentle pressure and finish by rinsing with water.

For a more thorough cleaning, use a tongue scraper, again, use gentle pressure. This tool is usually made of soft, flexible plastic and gently peels the thin mucus-based layer of debris from the tongue. Rinse the scraper under warm water after each swipe of the tongue.

How Often Should You Clean Your Tongue? If you can, each time you brush and floss your teeth finish your dental care routine with a tongue cleaning. Realistically, clean your tongue once every few days. If you have dry mouth or notice a foul taste in your mouth, try cleaning your tongue more often to improve this situation.
If you have any other questions, or you need to make an appointment, please visit us online at AlisoViejoDental.com or call or text us at 949-425-1447.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


For years and year we had photo albums that we could show our friends when they visited. And we had wedding albums and yearbooks and wallet size pictures to remind us of our loved ones. Then we had Picasa (anyone remembers that?) and yahoo pictures and all those online storage places where our friends could log in and see our vacation photos.
And then it all exploded when social media started the revolution, now we could post pictures every day and our friends could see them right away. Remember when we logged in to Facebook on our desktops at home and scrolled through all the posts and looked at all the pics our friends posted and shared?
Those pictures were the proof we were "there", they were proof that we had a great time with our friends, proof that we are happy and enjoying life to the max!
That's why we started taking selfies, because they were instant and reflected our happiness in that moment! That's how Instagram popped up, then SnapChat and all the filters that made us look funny and put a smile on everyone's faces!
Isn't that great? When it comes to posting our own pictures to leave a trail of our digital life for others to enjoy too - it is great!
And it highlights how good, healthy and happy we look, and how blessed we are to live this life! But that puts pressure on some of us to have the perfect smile that everyone else has in their selfies. Fortunately somehow, selfies only need a teeth whitening and a cleaning to look good in pictures, no one will see your gum infections or bleeding, no molar crown missing or molar missing altogether, and we can rarely see the dark amalgam fillings or cavities.
So to be selfie ready a quick teeth whitening would do it, but to have a good oral health (that affects your overall health) please contact Aliso Viejo Dental at 949-425-1447 or visit our website, we would be happy to discuss an affordable treatment plan with you!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Cryptocurrency payments and Bitcoin

It's all the talk about cryptocurrency now, everybody heard something or wants to find out more about it! Bitcoin is the word of the day and a lot of people want to find out more info and want to find how to buy it 3 years ago! (just kidding!)
It all seems like a bubble that we want to stay away from but we feel bad for missing this train too. We also understand that in a form or another, cryptocurrency will eventually settle down and it will be part of our everyday life. We just don't know in which form or when yet.
Those are all legitimate questions and they bug us more and more lately.
But it all got real and close to home when we had 2 Patients last month who wanted to pay for their dental services with Bitcoin! And the frustration was awkward when we didn't know anything about cryptocurrency payments or how they work. Well, since then we got on it and researched this issue, I mean sooner or later we'll have to anyway! There are numerous cryptocurrency forms of payment, and there is one designed specifically for dental payments, called Dentacoin.
Our Bank Of America merchant account doesn't accept bitcoin and understandably so, this market is too volatile and unreliable for payments for now. But there are other platforms like Shopify and Bitpay and others that will eventually become mainstream. And there are a lot of retailers who accept cryptocurrency already, like Microsoft, Overstock.com or Expedia, so this is coming to a store near you soon!
And when it does we'll be ready, until then we accept cash, checks, debit/credit cards, also ApplePay or AndroidPay, and we'll submit your claim to insurance too!
More info on our website at AlisoViejoDental.com

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Let's talk about what everyone is talking about: marijuana will be legal in 2018

It's that time of the year again, when we celebrate a new beginning, a new year and a new start! We all have our resolutions and we promise we'll keep them, and some of will do. Others will just cruise along and enjoy the best time of their life!
But the beginning of 2018 brings something new and special in California, among other things: many people might not think about it or be prepared but recreational marijuana will be legal. It was already legal for medicinal purposes and let's be honest anyone who wanted a prescription got one.
But now it becomes mainstream and we'll see more and more Patients who will use frequently, mostly for recreational purposes, but some for medical reasons too,
What does change from a dental care point of view? Not much and also a lot when it comes to treating every Patient's specific needs. First, some changes might be required in the anesthesia protocol, so Patients should inform the Doctor prior to their appointment if they used marijuana in any form recently and how often.
We already have this implemented in our digital forms, there are questions about alcohol, marijuana and also prescription medications and drugs that your dentist should know about, so we are already prepared for this.
But I guess what is most important here is understanding that there is in Patient's best interest to inform their dentist or any medical provider about any factors that might affect their procedures, and this includes marijuana and it's confidential, talking about this can only help.
For more info please visit our website at AlisoViejoDental.com or call us at 949-425-1447

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Dental care benefits use stays flat

Here is some interesting data: More adults have dental benefit coverage, and fewer adults report cost as a barrier to dental care, yet the number of dental visits tends to stay flat. Percentagewise, the number of adults who said they visited a dentist in the past 12 months stayed flat for several years, which could be "a new normal" for dentistry and apparently no one knows why. We seem to be in this very sluggish, flat dental care use trend despite good insurance coverage and even lower costs, something's not adding up.

Over the past couple of years, the percentage of  adults with dental benefits has actually increased slightly. About 2 out of 3 adults has dental benefit coverage now, new research shows, and the vast majority of those with dental benefits, have private dental insurance. Similarly, fewer adults are reporting cost as a barrier to dental care. Only about a tenth of adults name cost as the reason for not getting the dental care they needed.

So the question is why don't adults benefit of dental care or cosmetic dentistry more?
Well, the conclusions are fairly predictable, and we agree that the industry is changing, people's expectations are changing and we have to be ahead of the curve to meet these demands.

I think most dentist are in a routine to keep their Patients happy enough so they come back for regular cleanings every 4-6 months or so. And they don't tackle issues like teeth whitening, veneers or even implants so they don't scare Patients away. That's why when we get New Patients who tell us that they had regular cleanings for years we can't help but ask: And no one told you that you could get a teeth whitening that would improve your smile dramatically in like half an hour for relatively little cost to you? Well, no wonder this Patient didn't want to go back to their old dentist any more!

Another reason is communication, especially for younger adults: they are simply not used to answer the phone, or listen to messages. If the phone rings and they don't recognize the number - they won't answer and your message will probably go unnoticed. Even if they listen to the message - they are not used to or comfortable enough to call back. They prefer texts, or messages and social media, or requesting an appointment online. If you don't have those in place you probably won't hear back from them again. And even if everything goes great and you are able to get them in for a cleaning - the whole paragraph above applies too, you need to present a plan to actually improve their #smile, that will make a difference in their lives and self confidence. Just a regular cleaning won't cut it!

That's why on our website you had a button to request an appointment for a while now, we use emails and texts a lot and we see a good response from our Patients. Also, we take the time at every visit to explain the benefits of recommended treatments or cosmetic improvements. We have suggestions on our website AlisoViejoDental.com too on how these could improve your life, your confidence, your relations, they way you feel and act, and how you become a better version of yourself eventually!

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!