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


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.


Are You Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth Correctly?
Are You Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth Correctly?

You may wonder if the energy and effort it takes to brush your toddler’s teeth is worth it; after all, they’re going to loose them anyway. However, brushing and flossing your child’s teeth is one of the most important things you can do to prevent tooth decay and cavities, both now and in the future.

Cavities can cause your toddler to loose teeth prematurely, and early loss of baby teeth can have big consequences. Temporary teeth are not just needed to chew food – they influence the way a child learns to talk. Also, baby teeth hold a place for the permanent teeth. When a tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth under it can shift, causing spacing issues when the permanent teeth arrive. These issues could lead to more costly procedures for straightening and alignment.

Brushing your toddler’s teeth twice a day will help form a habit that your child will carry with them into adulthood. It is important to make sure their teeth are being brushed properly and that they learn how to brush them well.

Step 1: Use a Child-Sized Toothbrush.

It may not seem necessary, but smaller toothbrushes prevent discomfort and make it easier to reach the back teeth in your child’s mouth. The bristles should have a rounded edge and be varied in length. Don’t forget, toothbrushes should be changed once every three months or when the bristles start to spread (this can happen sooner with toddlers who like to bite the brush). We offer small toothbrushes to fit your child’s mouth perfectly and will send one home with them after each cleaning. 

Step 2: Add the Appropriate Amount of Toothpaste.

The amount of toothpaste you should use depends on the age of your child. Those younger than 3 should use an amount about the size of a grain of rice. Children 4 and up can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Step 3: Brush Each Surface.

Hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle and brush the outer surfaces of the teeth by using short back and forth strokes. To brush the inside surface of the teeth, hold the toothbrush as vertically as possible and brush up and down. Don’t forget to brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth, as well as their tongue. Brushing the tongue helps to eliminate harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.

Step 4: Rinse and Spit.

Try to avoid spitting while in the middle of brushing, since this can remove toothpaste before you have a chance to get it onto all of their teeth. Once you are finished with every surface, they can rinse and spit.

EXTRA TIP: Many parents find it easier to stand behind their child while brushing. This allows for more natural movement, as if you were brushing your own teeth.

Oral health is extremely important, and getting your children into the routine of brushing their teeth properly as well as regular dental exams sets them up for a lifetime of healthy habits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your child see a dentist after their first tooth, or by their first birthday to help get a jumpstart on proper oral care. El Portal Dental Group offers state-of-the-art professional dental treatment for your child, as well as the rest of your family. Call us today at (209) 385-1479, or use our convenient online appointment scheduler.



Good Foods vs Bad Foods for Oral Health
Good Foods vs Bad Foods for Oral Health

A healthy smile doesn’t just look good, it’s good for you. Oral health plays a significant role in your overall health; in fact, researchers have found that people with oral diseases, such as tooth decay and periodontal disease, have a higher likelihood of  developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

So what can you do to improve your oral health and prevent this from happening?

Eat More: Fruit and Vegetables

Vegetables and fruit aren’t just good for your body; they are good for your teeth too. Fruits and vegetables are high in water and fiber to help balance sugar content. They help clean your teeth and stimulate saliva production, which washes away harmful food particles.

Many fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, which has been shown to help prevent gum disease. Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach are an excellent choice for oral health, as they contain important bone-strengthening minerals including calcium and phosphorus, helping to protect tooth enamel.

Eat Less: Sugary Foods, Including Candy

Eating refined sugar in food of any form promotes tooth decay and gum disease, as sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth that produce tooth-destroying acid. The longer sugar is left on your teeth after you eat it, the greater your risk for cavities and other dental problems.

Eat More: Dairy Products

Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and plain yogurt are high in calcium and phosphorus to help prevent tooth loss. These types of foods also contain a protein which can prevent tooth decay from acid-producing bacteria. Recent research has shown that dairy products can reduce tooth decay in addition to preventing it.

Eat Less: Starchy Foods

Starch can get trapped in between your teeth, becoming difficult to remove which in turn encourages cavities and gum disease. Consumption of high-starch foods such as white bread, cake, and chips should be reduced to protect your teeth.

Eat More: Proteins, Nuts, and Seeds

Proteins like meat (including poultry and fish), nuts, and seeds contain phosphorus to help protect your tooth enamel, and many of them also contain calcium to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Too much protein is not good for your body, so don’t overdo it.

Eat Less: Acidic Foods (and Drinks)

Foods with a high acid content, such as pickles, processed deli meats, and soda can be even more harmful than sugar. While occasionally indulging is not likely to cause any harmful effects, long-term daily consumption of acidic foods can destroy tooth enamel.

Of course, good oral health also includes regular professional dental checkups. Take control of your health by eating right and keeping regular dental appointments. Our team at El Portal Dental Group would love to help you reach your health goals – call us at (209)385-1479 or request an appointment online today.


5 Reasons to Be Thankful for Your Teeth
FIVE REASONS TO BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR TEETH

It’s easy to take things that we use everyday for granted.  When was the last time you thought about what your teeth do for you?  Whether you think about it or not, your teeth do some pretty amazing things for you that you probably don’t even notice.  Here are some of the reasons why you would be thankful for your teeth.

1.  Your teeth help you chew Turkey

2.  Your teeth make you attractive 

3.  Your teeth help you speak

4.  Your teeth affect the shape of your face

5. Your teeth give your jawbones strong


Remember if you take care of your teeth, they will take care you for a lifetime!