Battle Royale: Dentist vs. Orthodontist | San Leandro Dentist

Most people often mistake dentists for orthodontists and sometimes, it’s the other way around. And, while it’s true that both professionals work in the same field, their specialization and expertise set them widely apart from each other. But what’s the difference, and how do you choose which is best for you?

Both professionals have very similar educational backgrounds. Both have a bachelor’s degree, attended dental school and complete a four-year doctoral program. To become an orthodontist, a dentist must serve a two or three-year residency, then board-certified. Dentists add DDS (doctor of dental surgery) or DMD (doctor of dental medicine) to their names, but orthodontists add an additional MS, which stands for master of science.

So, who do you need?

For minor issues, a dentist will be more than enough. Dentists can diagnose, treat and manage your overall oral health by performing dental checkups, cleanings, x-rays and other services. Dentists may also offer orthodontic services if they completed additional coursework, otherwise, they will refer you to another Castro Valley specialist.

Now, should your teeth need realignment, the dentist will refer you to an orthodontist. Orthodontists specialize in the use of non-surgical procedures to correct the alignment of your teeth and jaws. They can diagnose, prevent and treat various problems, such as overbites, underbites, gaps and overcrowded teeth.

If you feel like there’s something wrong with your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist so that it can be taken care of immediately – by them, or by a recommended orthodontist.

Contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today. Or visit www.cddentists.com for additional information.

Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.

Are You Taking Good Care of Your Teeth? | Castro Valley Dentist

oral hygiene month

We all know it’s important to take care of our teeth if we want to keep our smile. But are you doing enough? There are times we aren’t taught the proper way to do something, even if it’s important. With that in mind, here are a few reminders about taking care of those pretty, little pearly whites of yours:

Brush for two minutes, at least twice a day. Many people brush their teeth, but not all brush theirs long enough. When cleaning your teeth, you don’t need to time yourself, but you do want to make sure that you reach every part of your mouth, including your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Floss every day. If you want to keep your mouth healthy, you need to clean every part of it. But brushing alone can’t do that. When you floss, you are removing all the particles that may be stuck between your teeth, as well as the others that your brush can’t reach.

Chew gum. There are times you may not always excuse yourself to brush your teeth. In these cases, count on a sugar-free chewing gum to do the trick. The gum helps stimulate the production of saliva, which is your body’s natural defense against tooth decay.

If you have children, teach them to do the same as well. Building such habits at a very young age is crucial to making sure that they know how to take care of their teeth growing up.

Contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today. Or visit www.cddentists.com for additional information.

Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.

Straight Teeth Are More Important than You Think | San Leandro Dentist

Smile imperfections are natural. In fact, it’s more natural to have an imperfection than it is to not have one. Braces, veneers, dental implants – these dental options are great options to fix our smile. And it’s important to get these imperfections fixed – because it will eventually affect your health.

Straight teeth make it easier to chew up your food properly, aiding in proper digestion. Crooked or crowded teeth make chewing difficult because the misalignment causes your bite to be irregular. It is also easier to get food trapped in the crevices. Cleaning is difficult because it is tough moving around your teeth, making your mouth susceptible to dental issues in the future. In addition, tooth imperfections can cause speech impediments, like lisps. These issues not only affect the way you speak, but can also affect your confidence throughout life so taking care of the situation is important.

Dental imperfections not only affect your appearance, but they can also do further damage to your mouth. Protruding teeth are more prone to chipping and breaking. If you lead an active lifestyle, it may be difficult to find a proper mouth guard.

Straight teeth will not only look great, but they will also help by boosting your confidence and self-esteem. After all, the prettier your smile is, the more you want show it off. You’re happy, so you treat yourself well. You treat yourself better, your overall health will improve. So, make an appointment with your Castro Valley dentist to discuss a treatment plan. The pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today. Or visit www.cddentists.com for additional information.

Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.

Which Style of Braces Is Best for You? | San Leandro Dentist

thinkstockphotos-506176152Not everyone in San Leandro is born with perfectly aligned teeth. If you’re having problems with your teeth, your orthodontist may recommend that you get braces. These are four types of braces available:

Traditional braces. Traditional, stainless steel braces are the most inexpensive. A thin wire helps put pressure on the teeth and slowly move them to the desired place. The main drawback to metal braces is their visibility, but they’re also known to cause irritation in the gums and cheeks during the first few weeks of wearing them.

Ceramic braces. Ceramic braces are made to blend in with your teeth, but at a much higher cost. They’re held in place by either clear elastic ties or white metal ties, depending on the patient’s choice. Built to withstand stain, however, the ties are a different story and can easily become discolored.

Lingual braces. Lingual braces are completely out of conventional sight. These braces are tucked behind the teeth and cost much more than metal or ceramic. Aside from the cost, they’re not ideal for most cases. These types of braces can also get in the way of the tongue, which may cause speech problems and/or injuries.

Invisible braces. Invisalign, or invisible braces, are not like your conventional braces – you’re required to wear custom-fitted aligners 20 hours a day, removing them only when you’re eating or brushing your teeth. The biggest drawback is that it’s easy to lose the trays and replacing them can be quite costly.

Contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today. Or visit www.cddentists.com for additional information.

Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.

How to Improve the Health of Your Gums | San Leandro Dentist

The stages of periodontal diseaseAs an adult, you’ve probably learned how important it is to take proper care of your teeth. For starters, how often do you think about not just taking care of your teeth and gums, but actually improving their health? Your gums are an important part of your smile and it’s important to take proper care of them.

Sure, you’ve heard of gum disease, but do you really know what it is? For starters, it’s an annoying bacterial infection usually caused by plaque buildup and it affects every area surrounding your teeth. And if left unchecked, eventually leading to tooth loss, making it the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Also, it’s important that you know that because gum disease doesn’t cause pain early on, most people don’t know that they have an issue. Get to know the different signs and symptoms of early gum disease:

  • Halitosis
  • Bleeding and/or swollen gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gums

It’s important that gum disease is caught early on; if not, it advances to what’s known as periodontitis, a condition dangerous because it can cause periodontal pockets, swollen gum and/or bone tissue and even tooth loss. Even worse, recent studies show a direct link between periodontitis and complications in the brain, heart and lungs.

Improving gum health is done by practicing good oral hygiene at home, including brushing teeth for two minutes each time for twice a day and flossing at least once daily. Rinsing with mouthwash helps rid your mouth of the bacteria and plaque that brushing and flossing wasn’t able to remove.

Contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today. Or visit www.cddentists.com for additional information.

Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.

Dental Sealants Can Improve Your Child’s Dental Health | Castro Valley Dentist

thinkstockphotos-452386909A daily thorough brushing and flossing are two of the most important things one can do to help remove food particles and plaque from their mouth and teeth. Unfortunately, this dental routine can’t reach all the grooves and depressions of the teeth. Even with fluoride use to fight off decay, the grooves and pitted areas still remain prone to plaque and bacteria buildup. This is where dental sealants come in, as they add an extra layer of protection for the teeth found in the far back of our mouths. When it comes to our San Leandro children, experts recommend that the primary biting teeth, or the molars, be the ones to be sealed. While every tooth is susceptible to cavities, the molars are simply much harder to reach by brushing or flossing, especially for young brushers.

Dental sealants are plastic materials placed on the molars and premolars to seal out bacteria and acids that may result to cavities and tooth decay. When used in conjunction with a strict oral care routine that includes brushing twice a day, flossing at least once, a healthy diet and regular checkups, as well as professional cleanings, dental sealants help provide total dental protection. But what does the procedure involve?

Placing dental sealants is usually a painless procedure and doesn’t require the use of anesthesia or drilling. This means that the procedure should go relatively easy for children, even when their parents are not with them. However, if your child feels uneasy or uncomfortable, it may be a better for you to stay with them in the dentist’s office throughout the whole procedure.

The application of dental sealant typically involves the following steps:

Preparation. The surface of the tooth is polished and cleaned to remove plaque, as well as food debris. Then, the tooth is isolated, dried and the surface etched, rinsed off and then dried once again.

Application. The dental sealant material is then applied to the surface of the tooth using a brush. A self-curing light is then used to make sure that the sealant is properly bonded to the tooth surface.

Evaluation. The dental sealant is then checked and evaluated. It’s then left to harden and once it becomes a hard plastic coating, the tooth can be used for chewing again.

After the procedure, the sealants can be left alone and your child can go on normally like nothing happened. What’s better is that your child and especially you can rest easy knowing that you’ve helped make sure that your child won’t have to worry much about cavities and dental decay anymore.

Contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today. Or visit www.cddentists.com for additional information.

Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy During the Holiday Season | San Leandro Dentist

sb10066697t-001The holiday season has to be one of busiest times of year here in Castro Valley. Between decorating your home, shopping for gifts and attending holiday parties, we are so busy that it’s easy for some of our day-to-day things to fall to the wayside. One thing that is easily forgotten but really needs to be kept in check is our dental health. We are surrounded by foods that aren’t exactly the best for us, so it’s easy for things to go awry during this time of year. It’s tough not to indulge – there are so many tasty treats surrounding us. It’s a true test of wills, so keep things in moderation. If we take extra good care of our teeth during this delicious season, the less of a chance we will have a bad report when we visit the dentist after the parties have ended. So keep a few things in mind to ensure your dental health stays in tact as you enjoy all the tasty treats:

Be sugar conscious. There are so many traditions we have that involve sugary foods, it’s easy to lose track of our intake. There’s no reason to stay away, just keep things in moderation. Once you do enjoy yourself, take the time to brush and floss.

Keep your routine. It’s important to remember to brush and floss your teeth, even when there is fun to be had. Your little humans may put up a fight, but it will definitely be worth it when the dentist gives you and your family a clean bill of health.

Enjoy the “good” foods. Staple holiday foods, like cranberries and cheese, are actually good for your teeth. Just remember, overindulging can have negative consequences. Cranberries contain a lot of acid that can eat away at your teeth so don’t overdo it. Too much dairy can also have negative effects.

Use your teeth as teeth. Using your teeth for opening bottles or opening packages is never a good idea. Not only will you damage your teeth, but you can actually pull whole teeth out right by the root using them as bottle openers or scissors. Use a bottle opener.

Once the holidays are done, make yourself an appointment to see your dentist. It’s a good idea to have your smile checked to make sure your holiday plans didn’t cause any issues.

Contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today. Or visit www.cddentists.com for additional information.

Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.

The Orthodontist: Why You Need to Visit One | Castro Valley Dentist

thinkstockphotos-506176152The first thing you correlate the word orthodontist to is braces. They are, after all, the one that we visited for years to get our teeth straightened. The orthodontist is the go-to dental practitioner for the proper application of cosmetic and dental braces. But that’s not all. There are other reasons your San Leandro orthodontist comes in handy. More than a straighter and much brighter smile, though, there are plenty of reasons why you should go and visit an orthodontist. Here are the top five reasons you need to contact the office to set up an appointment:

Prevention and/or screening. Between the ages of 6 to 12, our primary teeth are replaced by permanent successors. It’s important to visit your orthodontist to have the growth of our jaws and eruption of the teeth monitored. There are reasons things can go awry while coming in so getting timely treatment will reduce the need for future treatments that may not make us the happiest.

Cosmetics. When your teeth are clustered together because there’s not enough space, it is what is known as teeth crowding. This makes brushing and flossing difficult, which may lead to gum problems in the future. Having this checked early on by a professional prevents the onset of oral complications. Aesthetically, the abnormal protrusion of teeth just doesn’t look good. More importantly, though, these teeth are apt to chipping and trauma. But don’t worry – “buck teeth” can easily be corrected, especially if treatment starts during the prepubertal growth spurt.

Abnormal biting pattern. There are three types of abnormal biting patterns. The first is the deep bite, where there is an excessive vertical overlap between your upper and lower teeth. If there’s no overlap, then it’s called an open bite. If the overlap is your lower teeth over the upper teeth, then it’s called a cross bite. To know what kind of abnormal biting pattern you have and its proper treatment, visit an orthodontist ASAP.

Preventive orthodontics. From thumb sucking to teeth grinding, there are many parafunctional habits that an orthodontist has to deal with because these bad habits can lead to problems in the future, especially if it occurs over a long period of time. Children too will benefit from a visit to an orthodontist as early as 8 years old to check for any early warning signs of improper growth of teeth and prevent it from growing any worse. An orthodontist can help you control, and eventually break away from, such destructive dental habits.

Overall health. Ultimately, the reasons why you’ll want to visit an orthodontist is to improve your self-esteem and overall health. Because our smile is one of the first things people notice about us, having a less than stellar smile will prevent you from wanting to show it off. The orthodontist can easily correct problems such as misalignment, crowding or protruded teeth so you are ready to take on the world happily.

If you are in need of an orthodontist, contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today. Or visit www.cddentists.com for additional information.

Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.

A Parent’s Guide to Pediatric Dental Care | San Leandro Dentist

istock_000020358353_smallMany Castro Valley parents believe that the best time to establish good dental hygiene habits is right when their child’s first tooth appears. And even then, they fall out after a while so they can’t be that important, right? In actuality, the best time to start taking care of your child’s teeth is the moment that your child is born. Well, not the EXACT moment, but you get the idea. Because even without teeth, bacteria can and will build up. To prevent this from happening, the routine is simple – wipe your baby’s gums with a soft damp cloth after every feeding. Once your child’s teeth develop and break through the gums, it’s time to start brushing. Do it twice a day. Use a soft children’s toothbrush and minimal to no non-fluoride toothpaste. As they reach preschool-age, feel free to start using fluoride toothpaste. You may also want to increase the amount of toothpaste to about the size of a pea. It may sound strange, but there is a good reason for it being so minimal. Little humans have a tendency to swallow the toothpaste, instead of spitting it out. And too much fluoride toothpaste can leave permanent stains on the teeth.

Cavities are the resulting holes formed by the acid from the bacteria or germs in your mouth when they’ve consumed too much sugar from your food. It’s also very common in children, but you can keep cavities from happening in your child’s teeth if you establish good oral care early on. Keep sugar to small regulated treats. We all know kids love sugar – try to keep their favorites as something special, not something expected. But that’s not all; there are other circumstances, like being born with low birth weight or premature, ongoing treatment for any special health care needs, brown areas and white spots on the teeth and infrequent trips to the dentist can all lead to the development of cavities.

To stop this from happening, start teaching your family good dental hygiene habits. Everyone needs to be involved in order to get the habit to stick. Other family members can pass on cavity-causing bacteria to both children and babies, so every family member has to make an effort to take care of their teeth properly.

When it comes to baby’s first dental visit, most dental practitioners agree that parents should take their children in for an appointment as soon as their first tooth pops out, but no longer than the child’s first birthday. Doing this makes it easier for the dentist to look for any early signs and symptoms of problems with the child’s teeth and teach you important information about your child’s diet, the use of the right bottles, brushing, etc. Having a good artillery of information will only benefit your child’s smile as they grow. Being a parent is tough as it is. Make it as easy as possible with the help of your family dentist.

If your child is ready for their first dental visit, contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today. Or visit www.cddentists.com for additional information.

Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.

How Dental Implants Save Your Smile…and Your Bones | Castro Valley Dentist

dental implants castro valleyNot only does a missing tooth cause you to feel a bit self-conscious to smile in San Leandro, but if left untreated, it also can affect the way you eat or speak. But did you know that having a missing tooth for a long period of time can also affect your bone growth?

Bone is, in fact, a living organism. It is a tissue that reabsorbs and regenerates itself throughout its life cycle. When it comes to your mouth, bones that are older dissolve and get absorbed by our bodies in a process called resorption. New bone then replaces the reabsorbed bone in the jaw when stimulated by chewing. When a tooth is lost, there is no chewing activity going on so there is nothing to let the new bone that it needs to grow to cover for the old ones. No chewing, no new bones, and this eventually leads to overall bone mass shrinkage. An untreated tooth actually loses a quarter of bone foundation after only one year. Gum recession, speech problems and issues eating are just a few of the outcomes leaving a missing tooth untreated. And without bone regeneration, your physical appearance will likely suffer as well. The more teeth lost, the less distance there is to keep your jaw bone structure intact, ultimately shrinking the lower half of your face.

One solution to this is the dental implant. Not only is the dental implant made out of bone-friendly “osseophilic” titanium, but bone has such an affinity to it that it will soon attach itself to the implant post, thereby securing bone stimulation every time you chew. It’s almost like your jaw bones won’t notice that you were ever missing a tooth. No more bone loss!

Dental implants are still a relatively new work in progress, having only been available for about 3 decades, but the results have been outstanding in comparison to their denture predecessors. Not only can they stand the test of time much better than the denture (some lasting the patient’s lifespan), but have been able to improve the patient’s livelihood exponentially. Not only do they not have the stigma of wearing dentures, but they can eat more foods they weren’t able to before and aren’t as self-conscious as they were worrying about what their teeth are going to do. So if you are in need of a tooth replacement, make sure you ask your dental professional about your implant options.

If you are in need of dental implants, contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today. Or visit www.cddentists.com for additional information.

Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.