Loading
Testimonials Survey Blog Patient Forms
Dropdown button
Welcome to our blog

El Portal Dental Blog

rss

For the latest news about Dr. Nguyen and El Portal Dental Group, read our newsletter below. You’ll learn about:


How to Look After Your Teeth On the Go
How to Look After Your Teeth On the Go

Did you know there is a connection between poor dental hygiene and your overall health? For instance, if you have gum disease you are at a higher risk of getting heart disease? There is no question that you need to brush, floss, and use mouthwash to keep your teeth healthy, but what if you have a hectic schedule that gives you little or no time for these things or you only think about brushing twice a day? If this applies to you, sink your teeth into these tips on how you can take care of your teeth on the go.

Keep Dental Supplies with You

If you frequently forget to brush, floss, or use mouthwash in the morning, the best thing to do is keep a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash with you. If you work in an office, keep these things in your desk. If you travel frequently, keep them in a small bag inside your purse or backpack. If you always on the go, maybe that is what your glove compartment is for! When you run to the bathroom, take the supplies with you. It only takes a few minutes and if you have the supplies on you, you are more likely to use them!

Floss Twice a Day

Flossing is a crucial part of any dental care routine yet millions of people neglect to do it. Flossing takes less than a minute yet the benefits are tremendous. Flossing not only dislodges plaque and food particles that are trapped deep between the teeth that a toothbrush simply does not have access to, it also builds up gum strength, putting you less at risk for gum disease. Remember the last time you had popcorn at the movies or enjoyed some BBQ ribs? You wished you had floss then, and you probably wish you had it now! So remember to keep floss on you in your go kit, as well as in your nightstand to assure you remember to floss before bed.  

Chew Gum

Chewing gum is a great way to keep your teeth healthy when you have a hectic schedule. It’s easy to get, requires no prep and contains very little calories. Gum is a great way to dislodge food that’s stuck in your teeth. Gums can also help remove stubborn plaque that’s stuck on and between your teeth. Finally, chewing gum increases saliva production in the mouth which protects teeth from tooth decay and is good for tooth enamel.

Eat Healthy Snacks and Lunch

A huge component of dental care is your diet. If you have a busy schedule that doesn’t give you much time to take care of your teeth, improving your diet can help. Foods like citrus fruits, coffee, and sodas are some examples of foods to avoid or limit. They weaken the enamel and end up staining your teeth. Cut down on them and add more water to your routine. Food with natural abrasions include apples and celery; the fiber will gently slough away any excess plaque.

Rinse, Repeat

If you haven’t any time to brush or floss, a good swish of water can remove excess debris as well as residue that could stain your teeth from the likes of coffee or wine. Rinsing also helps after taking certain medications such as asthma inhalers, which leave residue that could result in thrush.  

To ensure your pearly whites are healthy, it’s essential you regularly visit a dentist. At El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California, Dr. Khang Nguyen and his staff would be happy to provide state-of-the-art dental care for you and your family. To make an appointment, call 209-385-1479 today. You can also request an appointment online.


Food Choices and Their Effect on Your Oral Health
Food Choices and Their Effect on Your Oral Health

Food and drink fuels your day. Basic health aside, what and how you eat are also vital factors in your oral health. A healthy diet packed with nutrients can go a long way in helping you maintain good oral health.

 

On the other hand, a bad diet can hurt the health of your teeth and gums. Your smile may be the first to suffer! Unhealthy diets can stain or dim tooth enamel, which can be clearly visible on your front teeth where you eat and drink.

 

An unhealthy diet can also promote tooth decay and cause gum disease, so taking the time to be mindful of what you eat and drink can go a long way towards healthy teeth and gums.

 

Here are a few common things that can hurt your oral health.

 

 

·       Sugar loading

We all have a “sweet tooth” every now and then, but sugary foods and drink can create an unhealthy oral environment. The bacteria present in your mouth loves the sweet stuff and it reacts by releasing acids that promote tooth decay and other problems. The average American consumes up to 15 pounds of sugar a year! We love the stuff, but it doesn’t love us back.

 

 

·       Drinking too much of certain beverages:

Drinking too many soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks can impact your oral health. And you probably know that daily coffee and tea drinking can stain your tooth enamel. Regular cleanings can help if you can’t do without your morning coffee and evening tea. Finally, limit the amount of alcohol you drink; moderation is the key!

 

·       Snacking:

With our hectic, work-centered schedules, we may rely on snacks between meals to keep us going. But, chewy or sticky snacks, and even chewing gum may promote dental decay.

 

There’s another hazard with snacking: We are also unlikely to brush our teeth after an on-the-run snack. This further adds to potential problems down the road when we allow bacteria to collect between our teeth. A good piece of advice is to avoid sugary snacks and try to at least rinse out your mouth with water after snacking.

 

 

Are you more at risk?

 

Certain conditions and medications make keeping oral health more of a challenge:

 

·       Conditions such as diabetes and acid reflux may make keeping your oral health top-notch more of a challenge. Consult your dentist or physician to find out if any of your chronic conditions may also affect your oral health.

 

·       Medications

Ingredients in some prescription and over-the-counter medicines can make you more vulnerable to oral health problems. For example, antihistamines may dry your mouth, which can make you more likely to have oral health problems.

 

Remember, your meds are important! Just keep your dentist up to date about what you take.

 

What you can do:

 

·       Maintain a balanced, healthy diet and eat regular meals. Keep added sugars to a minimum, and avoid processed foods. Instead, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Replace soft drinks with water.

 

·       Brush and clean often! Don’t let hours elapse between a meal and brushing your teeth.

 

·       Keep your dentist up to date with any changes in your health or meds, and most important, go in for your regular dental check-ups.

 

 

Sticking to good dental habits that include regular brushing and flossing, and regular check-ups, can help prepare you for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. For more information about maintaining your dental health, contact El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California at (209) 385-1479. Our dental health experts are here to help you keep your mouth and you’re your smile healthy and bright all year long.

 


Keeping Your Teeth Clean in the New Year
Keeping Your Teeth Clean in the New Year

You may have welcomed 2018 with a bright, shiny and fresh smile, but keeping up with it is going to take some work. Keeping your teeth clean in the new year means you will have to ditch some bad habits and form some new maintenance habits. Remember, though, keeping your teeth clean is about your overall dental health, and not just keeping them white.

Regular brushing

Most of us brush first thing in the morning and at night. It’s the extra daytime brushing that can help prevent the plaque and bacteria buildup in between meals. Did you have breakfast after brushing your teeth this morning? A quick rinse makes a huge difference. Did you have berries as a snack or corn for lunch? Again, regular brushing will prevent build up of the bad stuff. 

Routine hygiene

Another trick to keeping your teeth clean is keeping up with the routine hygiene – yes, even flossing. Flossing and mouthwash might be irritating and time-consuming, but they make a huge difference in killing bacteria. When bacteria build up, it causes cavities – which can be far more irritating and time-consuming later on down the road. 

Buy a new toothbrush

Starting 2018 might also mean that it’s time for a new toothbrush or brush head. After a few months of use, your brush bristles wear down, making them weaker and basically, not as good at their job or scrubbing away plaque. Dentists recommend you get a new toothbrush every 3-4 months, so if its been longer than that: it’s time to trade in.

Avoid bad habits

If you are a smoker or a heavy wine drinker, 2018 is the year to cut it out, or at least cut back! Smoking tobacco not only stains your teeth, but the chemicals in cigarettes open your mouth up to a whole host of other issues - like sores or mouth cancer.

Ditch the dark drinks

This means you, caffeine lovers! Unfortunately, two of your biggest vehicles for caffeine intake – coffee and soda – are dark drinks that stain your teeth. Let’s not forget that both are (or can be) loaded with sugar - the nemesis of healthy teeth. In this new year, look to cut back on these drinks to salvage your pearly whites. 

If you would like to brighten your smile in 2018 and get more tips for overall dental health, contact El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California at (209) 385-1479.  Our dental health experts are here to help you keep your smile healthy and bright all year long.


The Proper Way to Care for Your Dentures
The Proper Way to Care for Your Dentures

Dentures are a great option for those with badly damaged, worn down or missing teeth. Good dentures can dramatically improve your appearance, while enhancing your overall quality of life. With strong, lovely dentures you can smile broadly, enjoy eating all your favorite foods without worry, and speak clearly. Dentures can last a lifetime with the right care. That’s why we created this handy guide to help you understand the proper way to care for your dentures.

Proper Denture Care

Although caring for your dentures is simple, it is also very important. The first thing to know is that even though dentures are incredibly strong and can stand up to the immense pressure of chewing, they can still break if handled roughly. Make sure you always handle your dentures carefully.

Cleaning your dentures is simple. Carefully brush them to remove food particles which can easily stick to the surfaces of dentures. Food particles and plaque can irritate or cause infections in the soft tissues of your mouth. Besides discomfort, excess food particles can begin to become rancid in a matter of hours, causing unpleasant breath, as well as discomfort in your mouth. Be sure to clean dentures your thoroughly after meals. And don’t forget to rinse out and clean the inside of your mouth too.

Always be careful not let your dentures dry out, because this can cause them to warp, making them less comfortable, or even unwearable. When you have removed them, be sure to gently clean them and then place them into a wet solution of denture cleanser, or in water. You can also use a soaking tablet to help clean your dentures and kill harmful bacteria.

Dentures also have micro pores, which can be exploited by microscopic bacteria. Placing them in a cleaning solution can help prevent bacteria from building up on your dentures. Make sure to follow the label instructions carefully so that the solution is just the right balance to protect your dentures. Additionally, do not place dentures in boiling or hot water. This can damage the dentures. Remember to take your dentures out when you sleep, as this helps maintain a healthy mouth.  

At El Portal Dental Group, we are experts in all areas of dentistry - including dentures. If you, or a loved one is in need of exceptional dental care, or to learn more about dentures, please call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today, or schedule an appointment online


Top Five Things to Ask Your Dentist About Veneers
Top Five Things to Ask Your Dentist About Veneers

Cosmetic dentistry has never been more affordable, allowing more and more people to achieve the ideal smile they have always wanted. Even if you have worn down, cracked, chipped, unevenly spaced, or otherwise unappealing teeth, you may be able to achieve stunning results with porcelain veneers. They may not be right for everyone, though. If you are considering getting porcelain veneers, be sure to ask your dentist these five things before making your decision.

At El Portal Dental, our dedicated dentists are experts in all areas of their craft, including restorative and cosmetic dentistry. They understand that an informed patient is an empowered patient. That’s why our dentists take the time to sit down with you, answer all of your questions and create a plan fits your specific needs. (And one that fits within your budget, too!)

Top Five Questions About Porcelain Veneers

1. The first thing you need to know is how veneers fit onto your teeth. In order to permanently bond the veneers to your teeth, a very small amount of dental material will need to be removed. If your teeth are overly sensitive, this procedure may not be right for you. Our dental experts will evaluate your teeth and determine if veneers are a suitable option for you.

2. The next concern you may need to discuss is that porcelain veneers are permanent. The procedure cannot be reversed. Each veneer must be carefully placed an evaluated before bonding. The good news is that veneers are lovely and natural looking because of the way they capture the light. They are durable, customizable, and hide unsightly cracks, blemishes, and gaps in your teeth.

3. Before using veneers, you should ask about any ongoing care. How long do they last? What kind of special care, if any, do they require? Many people, for example, wonder if veneers are stain resistant. They are. Porcelain veneers can stand up to most everyday stain makers like coffee, tea and wine.

4. How long does the process take? Most veneers can be placed in as little as two visits. Your dentist will discuss any potential issues, as well as explain the exact steps required for placement of your new veneers. Some patients do require more preparation than others, such as trimming the teeth down in order fit them perfectly.

5. Lastly, you should ask about any other procedures that might be a better fit than, or could be used in conjunction with, porcelain veneers. The truth is that your needs and smile goals are unique. What works for one patient, may not be right for another. Our skilled and caring dentists can explain the exact reasons they do, or do not, recommend porcelain veneers for you. As caring and highly skilled cosmetic dentists, we work to create positive dental experiences that truly meet your specific needs.

If you, or a loved are interested in porcelain veneers, or to learn more about any other advanced dental procedures, or to make a personalized appointment, please call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today or schedule an appointment online


Your Dental Crown Procedure: What to Expect
Your Dental Crown Procedure: What to Expect

The dental crown procedure is one of the most common procedures practiced by dentists. The biggest reason is that it is often the best way to prevent the total loss of a tooth. If, for instance, it hurts when you bite down, you may have a cracked tooth, which may be able to save the tooth. (If the crack is large enough and extends below the gumline, you may also require a root canal along with the crown to save your tooth. There are several other reasons that a patient may choose to get a dental crown, ranging from aesthetic reasons to medical ones. That’s why we compiled with helpful guide to help you know what to expect from a dental crown procedure.

What is a dental crown?

Put simply, a dental crown is a small custom-made cap that fits over a tooth. Crowns may be made from porcelain, metal, resident, or other materials, depending on the reason for the application. Common reasons for the application of dental crowns are:

·       to cover a cavity that is too big to fill

·       to make a bridge that covers a missing tooth

·       to enhance the appearance of your smile, such as by covering a discolored tooth

How is the dental crown procedure performed?

The process of applying a dental crown is often split up into two visits to the dentist’s office. During the first visit, the dentist will inspect the area which the crown is supposed to cover, in order to make sure that it can support the crown. The dentist may also either file down, fill in the tooth, or shave the tooth down in preparation for the crown. (Anesthetic will be used during this part of the procedure.

After the area has been properly prepared, the dentist will take an impression the tooth which will then be sent off to make the crown itself. The dentist will also note the color, carefully matching it to the exact shade of your own natural teeth for a flawless dental crown.

The corn will be custom milled based on the impression, the material your dentist has selected and the specific shading required. Once this permanent crown is ready, you will be ready for the second half of this process. Your dentist will provide you with a temporary crown to last until you come back in for the final fitting of your new dental crown.

On the next visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown, and put the permanent crown in its place. Overall, used experience very minimal pain associated with this process, though some patients do report an uncomfortable feeling with the temporary crown. It should be noted that this is comfort is often not present with the permanent crown, as the permanent crown was molded especially for your mouth.

If you, or a loved one needs a crown or any other advanced dental care, call Dr. Nguyen to create the most visually pleasing, natural looking and vibrant smile you have always wanted. Call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today or schedule an appointment online.

Toothache? What to Do while Waiting for a Dental Appointment
  • Take a painkiller. Aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) will help to relieve minor pain.
  • Numb the area. Buy an over-the-counter tooth and gum numbing gel to help ease the throbbing for a few hours. These gels are applied directly to the affected area and usually work for several hours.
  • Apply a cold compress. Fill a food storage bag with ice, cover it with a thin cloth or paper towel, and apply it directly to the tooth or the cheek area just outside the tooth. The cold temperature will help ease the pain. Do not apply the ice directly to the tooth. This will increase the pain.
  • Clean your mouth thoroughly by flossing around the tooth, brushing the area, and using a rinse.
  • To help it along, make a rinse with warm water and a spoonful of sea salt. Repeat several times daily until the pain subsides.