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Dental Care 101: Should You Invest in an Electronic Toothbrush?

November 22, 2014

494297595There’s a reason that there is so much buzz nowadays about the benefits of electronic toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes are rechargeable and c oscillate, vibrate, rotate or use sonic technology to better clean your teeth. Electric toothbrushes also come with special modes for sensitive teeth, gum massage and whitening. Some may feature pressure sensors that let you know if you’re brushing too hard, or feature digital reminders to replace your brush head. You should try using an electronic toothbrush to experience the benefits. But remember it’s just as important to see a dentist regularly for deep cleanings to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for you dental care needs. Westside Dental Associates serves kids and adults throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

6 Dental Care Benefits of the Electronic Toothbrush

  • Speed– The bristles of swirl rapidly over the teeth, brushing away more plaque and food particles and covering surfaces more effectively than manual brushing.
  • Convenience- The brush does most of the work. Patients with medical conditions that affect their hands or wrists, such as missing or paralyzed fingers, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, or similar conditions should opt for an electronic brush as eel.
  • Deep Cleaning- The bristles move fast and clean deeply to reach all of the cracks, curves, and crevices that extract food particles and store harmful bacteria. The motion of the brush supplies the pressure and power needed to scrub away at any layers of plaque.
  • Stain Removal- Smoking and the frequent consumption of drinks like coffee, tea and soda can cause discoloration and staining of the teeth. The extra scouring power of an electronic toothbrush can aid in removing these types of stains.
  • Fresh Breath- Halitosis is caused by bacteria or plaque in the hidden recesses of the mouth. Electric brushes have the power to remove bacteria hidden far into the mouth, on top of and underneath the tongue and the back area of the mouth around the molars.
  • Proven Results- Researchers have found that electronic toothbrush users actually experience an 11% reduction in plaque and a 6% reduction in gingivitis compared to manual brush users.

Dental Care and Deep Cleaning Appointments in Los Angeles, CA

An electric toothbrush would be a great gift to give or receive this holiday season, but remember that there is no substitute for regular dental cleanings and check-ups to maintain your oral health. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for your next dental check-up or deep cleaning. Westside Dental Associates serves families throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

Pediatric Dentistry: What is Dental Fluorosis?

November 15, 2014

120104044Check any tube of toothpaste on the market today, and you will see that fluoride is at the top of the list of ingredients. That’s because fluoride can prevent cavities and even reverse early tooth decay. But studies have shown that if young children are given too much fluoride they can develop severe tooth discoloration, known as fluorosis. The problem is that many years ago, we recognized the benefits of fluoride so we set minimum fluoride requirements in public water sources. It’s estimated that the fluoride in our tap water has reduced cavities by as much as 40%. Today however, we also include fluoride in all dental care products including toothpaste, floss and mouthwash. It turns out that too much fluoride during early childhood, when permanent teeth are forming under the gums but haven’t erupted, can cause young children to develop fluorosis.  Once permanent teeth have erupted, fluorosis cannot be developed. If you have noticed tiny white spots, streaks or severe discoloration with a blotchy brown or pitted appearance in your child’s teeth, it’s time to have them checked for fluorosis. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for your pediatric dentistry needs. Westside Dental Associates serves families throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

Los Angeles Pediatric Dentistry: Risks of Fluorosis in Children

Your child may be at risk for developing fluorosis if they are:

  • Getting fluoride in drinking water
  • Using too much toothpaste and then swallowing it rather than spitting it out
  • Taking too much of a fluoride supplement
  • Using a fluoride supplement when the water they’re drinking already contains sufficient amounts of fluoride

Fluorosis Treatment for Pediatric Dentistry in Los Angeles, CA

Only a dentist can determine if your child’s tooth discoloration can be attributed to fluorosis. If it is determined that your child has discoloration due to fluorosis, there are many dental treatments available. Treatment options include simple techniques like microabrasion, bleaching, veneers or full crowns. The risk of developing fluorosis is just one more reason to make sure your child visits the dentist for a check-up every six months. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for a pediatric dentistry dental check-up. Westside Dental Associates serves kids and adults throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

Are Your Dental Fillings Causing Problems?

November 10, 2014

119950032If you have ever had dental cavities that required dental fillings, you know may have noticed a temporary increase in sensitivity or discomfort after your treatment. This is perfectly normal. However, it is not normal to experience discomfort, sensitivity or pain lasting more than a couple of weeks after your treatment. You can make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for your pain and sensitivity concerns. Westside Dental Associates serves patients throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

Common Problems with Dental Fillings

  • Tooth Sensitivity– Tooth may be sensitive to pressure, air, sugary foods or hot and cold. Usually, the sensitivity resolves on its own within a few weeks. If it doesn’t you should see a dentist immediately.
  • Pain- Pain when biting, chewing, toothache like throbbing or pain in surrounding teeth may occur. If this pain persists you may need further treatment on the tooth, including root canal therapy.
  • Allergic Reaction- Allergic reactions to amalgam (silver) dental fillings are rare but possible. If you have a medical or family history of allergies to metals, other restorative materials can be used for the filling.
  • Deterioration- The pressure from chewing, grinding, or clenching can cause your dental fillings to wear away, chip or crack over time. If you suspect that your dental filling has broken you should make an appointment immediately because decay that is left untreated can progress to infect the dental pulp and cause an abscessed tooth.

Dental Fillings in Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Latner is an experienced and compassionate dentist that can treat or correct any dental issue. Don’t put up with discomfort or sensitivity concerns unnecessarily. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for the relief you deserve. Westside Dental Associates serves families throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding communities including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

October 29, 2014

187921993Over 30,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. It is more common among men than women, and risk factors include excessive tobacco use, alcohol use and sun exposure. About 20 -30% of head and neck cancers have been linked to HPV (human papillomavirus) infections. HPV involves a type of oral cancer that attacks the back of the tongue and the tonsils. Oral cancer can form anywhere in or around the mouth, on the lips, inside the cheeks, on the gums, on the tongue, on the roof of the mouth, or on the surfaces underneath the tongue. As with any cancer, early detection is vital. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for your oral cancer screening. Westside Dental Associates serves patients throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

Oral Cancer Warning Signs

If you are experiencing any of the following you should make an appointment for an oral cancer screening immediately:

  • Mouth sore that lasts more than a few weeks
  • A lump or mass in the mouth or on the neck
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • White, red, or white-and-red patches in the mouth that don’t go away
  • Pain while swallowing, chewing or talking
  • Persistent earaches
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty wearing dentures

Oral Cancer Screenings in Los Angeles, CA

Checking for oral cancer is a part of the routine semi-annual dental checkup. An oral cancer diagnosis involves a physical exam, a CT scan, and a biopsy. Successful treatment outcomes depend upon how early it is detected. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for your routine oral cancer screening. Westside Dental Associates serve patients throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

How Effective Are Toothache Pain Home Remedies?

October 22, 2014

462459381If you have ever had a toothache, you know that it is one of the worst kinds of pain you can experience. If you have a severe toothache, it is a dental emergency and you should get to a dentist as soon as possible. However, you may find yourself in a situation where you can’t see a dentist immediately. If this is the case you may be tempted to try anything that can stop or even dull the pain temporarily. We found some home remedies that may help relieve the pain while you wait to see the dentist. It’s important to keep in mind that the best way to deal with a toothache is to prevent it from happening by taking good care of your teeth in the first place. You can prevent painful toothaches by making an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today. Dr. Latner helps patients keep their teeth healthy and pain-free everyday, and he can help you too. Westside Dental Associates serves patients throughout West LA, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista and nearby cities.

Toothache Pain Home Remedies

  • Clove Oil- Soak a cotton ball with a mixture made of two to three drops of clove oil and ¼ teaspoon of olive oil. Put the cotton ball in your mouth near the tooth that hurts and bite down to keep it in place.
  • Cough Drops- Cough drops usually contain a small amount of anesthetic (menthol or benzocaine) which could help relieve minor tooth pain. Pop one or two in your mouth and suck on them. Also try applying a dab of Vick’s VapoRub on the outside of your cheek where your tooth hurts.
  • Floss- The root of your toothache could be food that’s trapped between your teeth. In this case, try flossing, rinsing with mouthwash, or using inter-dental brushes.
  • Tea- Try applying a hot tea bag directly to the tooth. Tea contains tannic acid, which reduces swelling. Also try a cucumber slice placed on the tooth or a cotton ball soaked in brandy.

Toothache Pain Relief and Treatment in Los Angeles, CA

While these remedies may provide some temporary relief, it’s still important to see a dentist as soon as possible as a toothache can be a symptom of more serious dental problems. Rather than waiting around for a toothache, be proactive with your dental health and make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today. Dr. Latner can help you prevent toothaches and gum disease. Westside Dental Associates serves patients throughout West Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista and nearby cities.

Pediatric Dental Care: Healthy Halloween Advice

October 15, 2014

57612597It’s that time of year again. Halloween is upon us, and if you have kids at home, you could soon be fighting off waves of sugar-induced energy and excitement. While you want your kids to enjoy the holiday, you may have concerns about how Halloween affects their dental health. Consider our advice and then make an appointment with Dr. Latner as Westside Dental Associates. Dr. Latner specializes in both adult and pediatric dental care. Dr. Latner helps families keep their healthy smiles year round throughout Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista and the surrounding communities.

Pediatric Dental Care: How to Fight Cavities on Halloween

  • Treats to Avoid- You are the first line of defense for your kid’s dental care. Steer your children clear of especially sugary treats like gummy bears. They contain the equivalent of four teaspoons of pure sugar per serving. Also try to keep them from eating hard candies like gobstoppers. These candies take so long to dissolve that the extra long exposure to your child’s teeth can be damaging. Sticky candies like Starburst and Tootsie Rolls are particularly bad for teeth as well because they are not only sugary but starchy and can easily get stuck between teeth and in hard to reach places.
  • Healthy Treat Ideas
    • Dark Chocolate Covered Apples
    • Veggie Skeleton
    • Spiders on a Log ( Plastic Spiders and Peanut Butter on Celery Sticks)
    • Pumpkin Dippers (Pumpkin Shaped Carrots on a Stick With Hummus)
    • Pumpkin Cupcakes (Pumpkin Oat Muffins with Cream Cheese Icing)
    • White Chocolate Pretzel Webs

Pediatric Dental Care in Los Angeles, CA

There are many healthy substitutions for the sugary treats kids love at this time of year. You can make this Halloween, and every Halloween after, healthier by offering up fun and healthy snacks instead. Just remember that staying on top of your kid’s dental care also means making sure they see a dentist twice a year. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner as Westside Dental Associates. Dr. Latner can help you preserve your child’s good dental health. Westside Dental Associates serves families throughout West Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista and the surrounding cities.

Dental Care at Night

October 10, 2014

166620328Taking good care of your teeth and gums is a 24/7 endeavor. You may already know that dentists recommend brushing in the morning and before you go to sleep at night, but you may not be aware of other steps you should be taking at night to protect your oral health. Get informed and then make an appointment to see Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates. Dr. Latner specializes in preventative and restorative dental care for patients throughout West Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista and the surrounding communities.

Nightly Dental Care Routine

Having a good dental care routine at night is important to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. At night we don’t swallow and our mouths can dry out, creating the perfect environment for bacterial growth. If we forget to brush and floss before bed, the bacteria will have plenty of food particles at their disposal to turn into tooth eroding acid. You can stop this from happening by remembering to brush, floss and rinse with antiseptic mouthwash every night before you go to sleep. If you have a history of tooth decay and gum disease, or are at higher risks for developing those concerns, you may also need to brush and floss after dinner to decrease the likelihood of their development.

Dental Care at Night for Bruxism

Another problem you may have at night is a condition called bruxism, more commonly referred to as “teeth grinding”. Bruxism occurs in people with a bite misalignment and crooked or missing teeth. You may not even be aware of the condition except for a dull throbbing and persistent headache or toothache that won’t go away. Excessive bruxism can cause chronic dental care problems such as tooth loss and painful disorders of the jaw like TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). The good news is that teeth grinding can be easily treated with a custom-fitted nightguard from our Dr. Latner.

Quality Dental Care in Los Angeles, CA

Prevention is the key to a healthy smile. If you are proactive in your dental care, you will save a lot of time and money on dental treatments for conditions that can be prevented with a comprehensive dental care routine. The most important step you can take is to make an appointment to see Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates. Dr. Latner wants to partner with you to maintain your good oral health. Dr. Latner proudly serves patients throughout West Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista and the surrounding communities.

Are Genetic Dental Problems a Myth?

September 29, 2014

177035393The answer to this question is both yes and no. Genetic dental problems are no myth. Scientists have found that genetic factors cause about 60% of the risk for tooth decay. While tooth decay isn’t an actual gene in the body, your genes do determine factors that are directly related to your ability to avoid tooth decay. Dr. Latner is an experienced Los Angeles area dentist that can help you find a treatment plan to fix your dental problems if you find yourself on the losing end of genetic tooth decay risk factors.

Genetics Can Increase the Risk of Developing Dental Problems

You can’t blame your parents for all of your dental problems, but you can blame them for passing on a few risk factors. Scientists have identified five genetically determined factors that affect your body’s ability to combat tooth decay.

  • Sweet Preference- The stronger your genetic preference for all things sweet and sugary, the more likely you are to overindulge, which will increase your risk for tooth decay.
  • Enamel Strength- If you have inherited soft enamel, it will be easier for bacteria to find a home there, which can lead to more cavities.
  • Tasting Ability- Some people possess the ability to perceive a wider variety of flavors than others. Though research has not yet discovered why this is the case, studies have revealed links between taste ability and cavities. The greater measure of your ability to taste a variety of flavors, the less likely you are to have tooth decay.
  • Saliva Strength- Saliva plays a big role in the proper metabolization of nutrients like calcium and potassium. Genetics make some people better at this metabolization process than others.
  • Microbiome- Your body’s immune system response to these communities of bacteria in the mouth can affect your ability to fight off tooth decay.

Dr. Latner Can Help Los Angeles, CA Patients Fight Genetic Risk Factors for Dental Problems

The remaining 40% risk of tooth decay can be attributed to environmental factors. These include your diet, dental hygiene habits, smoking habits, access to dental care, culture, and some socio-economic factors. The most widespread environmental factor increasing the risk of tooth decay is the consumption of sugary drinks. Although tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in the world, an important factor to decrease your risk of tooth decay is to get regular dental check-ups from an experienced dentist. Dr. Latner has been helping his patients fight tooth decay and perfect their smiles for many years. You can contact Dr. Latner today to fight back against tooth decay and protect your healthy smile. He proudly serves all Los Angeles, CA communities including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista and West LA.

Three Cheers for Laser Dentistry!

September 22, 2014

160047568Dentistry has come a very long way in a relatively short time period. Advancements in Laser Dentistry have made many routine dental treatments less invasive and have significantly cut down on the time required for treatment and healing. By eliminating the need for incisions, certain laser dentistry procedures do not require anesthesia. Laser dentistry also minimizes bleeding because the high-energy light beams aid in the clotting of exposed blood vessels, thereby inhibiting blood loss. Lasers are useful for patients who are fearful of dental work, don’t like anesthesia, or don’t like the sound of the drill. Dr. Latner utilizes laser technology in his practice to aid in the comfort of his patients throughout Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

Laser Dentistry is less invasive and yields better results than drills and needles.  It helps to minimize the spread of bacterial infections because the high-energy beam sterilizes the area being worked on. Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized and wounds heal faster as tissues are easily regenerated. Dental lasers may also be used to seal tubules (located on the root of the tooth) that are responsible for hot and cold tooth sensitivity. There are two basic kinds of dental lasers.

Laser Dentistry: Soft Tissue Lasers

Soft tissue lasers help with the healing process after surgeries and during soft tissue procedures.  Soft tissue lasers can be used to reshape gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure, improve the appearance of a gummy smile and for crown lengthening procedures. A soft tissue laser can also be used to perform a frenectomy, which is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue tied, babies who are unable to breast feed adequately due to limited tongue movement, and to eliminate speech impediments. Soft tissue lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of soft tissue folds often caused by ill-fitting dentures.

Laser Dentistry: Hard Tissue Lasers

Hard tissue lasers also offer many advantages to the dental patient. Cavity detector lasers detect small amounts of decay inside the tooth. This is decay that visual exams and x-rays will not be able to find. Cavity detecting lasers, such as Dr. Latner’s Diagnodent system, consists of a small light probe that scans the teeth with harmless pulses of laser light. When the pulse reaches decay inside a tooth, the decay emits a fluorescent light.  This light bounces back to the sensors and is translated into a digital readout.  In general the higher the number the greater amount of decay. This laser accurately finds decay in its earliest stages. For dental fillings, some lasers may eliminate the need for a local anesthetic injection and the traditional turbine dental drill. Lasers used in dental filling procedures are capable of killing bacteria located in a cavity, potentially leading to improved long term tooth restorations. However, dental lasers are not appropriate for the replacement of amalgam fillings, onlays or crowns.

Laser Dentistry for Los Angeles, CA Patients

Laser Dentistry allows your dentist to detect cavities, remove bacteria, perform speech impediment surgery, crown lengthening, gum contouring and treat periodontal disease while minimizing your treatment time and discomfort. Contact Dr. Latner to find out how laser dentistry could aid in your dental treatment. Dr. Latner serves patients in and around Los Angeles, CA including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

Pediatric Dentistry and Sports

September 15, 2014

76649015No matter how old your children are, protecting their teeth is a top priority. Injuries to teeth have the potential to affect your child for the rest of his or her life. The key to protecting their beautiful smiles is prevention. You should start bringing your child to regular dentist appointments as early as age two. As they grow and become more active in activities like soccer, football, karate and cheerleading, it becomes necessary to protect their teeth from sports injuries as well. If you’re thinking about allowing your child or teen to participate in contact sports, contact Dr. Latner for an appointment today. Dr. Latner serves families in Los Angeles, CA Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

Pediatric Dentistry and Custom Mouthguards

The first step to ensure your child is protected while participating in any contact sport is to take them to the dentist to be fitted for a custom mouthguard. While almost all sports organizations require children to wear mouthguards, there is no strict quality standard for the mouthguards themselves. This means that your child may not be adequately protected from injury.

You have three choices in mouthguards. The cheapest option is the stock mouthguards sold in sporting goods stores. They are not customizable and rarely fit well. This lack of protection could cause your child serious injuries if they were to be hit near the jaw bone or back teeth. The next best option is the “boil and bite” mouthguards which are somewhat more customizable. However, they may still be unable to protect the back teeth, or stay in place. If your child must clench the mouthguard to keep it in place, their ability to speak or breathe correctly could be hindered. A custom mouthguard made specifically for use in sports and recreational activities is the single most effective option.

Pediatric to Adolescent Dentistry

As your child grows into a teenager, his dental needs will grow and change as well. While encouraging your teen’s healthy dental habits — like brushing and flossing regularly — is important, you also need to make them aware of the unhealthy habits that will affect their oral health. For example, the sugar and acidic flavorings in soda can cause their tooth enamel to erode and can cause the development of cavities. Experimenting with tobacco products can, among other things, cause their teeth to turn yellow or brownish shades and can eventually lead to oral cancers. Developing eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia can also cause permanent damage to the mouth, gums and throat. At this stage in their development, parents must be proactive in making sure that their teens develop good oral health habits.

Trusted Pediatric Dentistry in Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Latner can be a trusted resource for every stage of your child’s healthy smile development. Bringing your child in for visits early and often will foster a positive attitude towards visiting the dentist that will keep their teeth healthy for the rest of their lives. Contact us today to schedule your child’s next appointment. Dr. Latner serves children and adults throughout Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

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