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Each month Dr. Craig Jeong writes an article for the San Dimas Community News and the following link will direct you to read about interesting dental related articles.

 Check out Dr. Craig Jeong's latest article in January's edition of the San Dimas Community Newspaper!

September 2017

Guide to Your First Kiss

By Dr. Craig Jeong

            Disclaimer: I do not get paid, hold stock, or directly benefit from any of these companies. I only benefit in enhancing my own dental health and the health of those around me. There are a lot of reasons to brush, floss, and take care of your teeth and gums. Those reasons include: to prevent inflammation and cavities, to eat freely without pain and worry, and to not have bad breath so your friends will hang out around you and your special friend will kiss you. In movies and shows, there is always the scene where people check their breath before going on a date and they pop a mint if their breath is not up to par. Why not always take care of your teeth and gums so you never have to worry about your breath unless you ate a bowl full of garlic and onions. I have compiled a guide of great products to get you healthy with fresh breath on a daily basis.

            Toothbrush of choice: Electric or soft bristled manual toothbrush.  Soft is better and brushing lightly is key.  Also, a small head toothbrush is better as well because it is easier to reach the back teeth and also any other small crevices. Sonicare and Oral B make great electric toothbrushes. Our patients have their own preference on which they prefer. It’s like Apple vs Android. Electric brushes do the work for you and make the job more efficient at cleaning your teeth.

Toothbrush to avoid: Hard bristled toothbrushes. The days of hard bristled toothbrushes are over. They are too rough and wear your teeth down more. The harder you press against your teeth, the more recession and the more notches form over time.

            Toothpaste of choice: Colgate Total and Sensodyne. Not all toothpaste is created equal. Colgate Total has an active ingredient called Triclosan that helps fight plaque buildup which is the leading cause of bad breath. This is the only toothpaste that I know with Triclosan. Sensodyne is great especially for those with sensitivity. The best active ingredient for sensitivity is Potassium Nitrate which helps those who are sensitive in all their teeth to cold water and ice cream. Both toothpastes have few abrasives and overall are great for your teeth. (The new toothpaste Parodontax is good, but it will stain your teeth).

            Toothpaste to avoid: Crest ProHealth and ALL Whitening toothpastes. Most all Crest products are very abrasive. ALL whitening toothpastes are VERY abrasive. Abrasive toothpaste wears down your teeth and gums in the long term. Studies show that receding gums (where your gums starting running from your teeth) occur from brushing too hard and using abrasive toothpaste. Crest ProHealth can cause sloughing of your gums. We have had a lot of patients where their inner cheek and gums start developing a slimy white layer that you can pull off AND can cause an undesirable taste. If you are experiencing this, go see your dentist and consider changing your toothpaste.  

            Floss of choice: Waxed Floss (string). I personally use string waxed floss (as opposed to flossers which are used with a handle). In reality, all floss is good. I would say use any floss that is easiest for you to use. If you use flossers, please continue to use them! Any floss is better than no floss! Water picks are a great supplement to flossing.  I do not see it as an alternative. I do not have a particular recommendation for a water pik. A lot of patients tell me they use it in the shower which helps prevent water from spraying all over your sink.

            Floss to avoid: Air Floss. Air floss just doesn’t do the same job as floss or a water pik. I don’t see the benefit in investing in one for your health. But please use floss!!

            Mouthwash of choice: ACT mouthwash or Colgate mouthwash. Research has shown that these two mouthwashes have the longest lasting effect at protecting your teeth from cavities and preventing plaque accumulation. This is NOT a floss or brushing alternative.

            Mouthwash to avoid: Any mouthwash with alcohol.  Alcohol will dessicate your mouth. Having dry mouth is a leading cause of cavities. Mouthwash with alcohol will have the opposite effect that it was intended to have especially for those who mouthwash only to clean their teeth.

            Whitening of choice: Custom whitening trays or in house Zoom Whitening. The whitening trays that are made by your dentist are more effective because they adapt to your teeth. They are great for those who have sensitivity and you can always whiten at your own pace. The Zoom Whitening is a quicker fix with instant results. This is something you have done at your dentist’s office and you get whiter teeth in 1-2 hours. Crest White Strips are a good alternative, but it is less effective. It will take much longer to use the strips because they don’t adapt to your teeth as well, and it can also be a mess.

            Whitening to avoid: Charcoal and Whitening toothpaste. There is nothing wrong with using charcoal to whiten except for the taste and the fact that it doesn’t do anything. It’s fun to take pictures, instagram or Snap it to your friends, but that’s about it. Charcoal will give the illusion of whiter teeth because you laugh and stare at your charcoal black teeth and then when it is washed off, everything looks brighter. Whitening toothpastes are less effective at whitening than all that were mentioned above. It also causes damage to your teeth and gums which is why you should avoid all together.

            Mints/gum of choice: Trident and Xylitol mint/gum. Xylitol is a type of sugar that is good for our teeth. It actually prevents our teeth from getting cavities and it doesn’t increase your blood sugar level. The active ingredient in Trident is xylitol. Chewing too much gum, however, is not good for your jaw joint. It can cause jaw problems long term just like runners develop knee problems over time.

            Mints/gum to avoid: Everything that doesn’t have xylitol. Most mints and gum have sugars that will increase the chance of cavities. We treat them like candy.

            Smile. Actually smiling and showing just a little bit of happiness when seeing the one you want to kiss goes a long way. Sometimes people forget to smile because they are nervous or it might feel awkward. But just having one person smile in a somber room can cause everyone in the room to smile. 

August 2017

The Joy and Curse of the Internet

Evolution of Fluoride

            The internet is full of information. Whether this information is true or false is open to your interpretation. Just like there is fake news pouring out over Facebook, there is false information pouring out around Google. But like everything, all information is true to somebody.  In science, theories are tested, experimented, and assumed to be true as fact until it is proven wrong. In the medical world, vaccines are still debated among parents, many who get their information on the internet.  Many children, unfortunately, are still not being vaccinated which potentially puts everyone around that child in harm’s way including the child himself.  In the dental world, there is similar belief in the use and practice of providing fluoride. Fluoridated water is present in about 70% of US cities. Studies show the cities that don’t have fluoridated water have a higher cavity rate among the children.  And there is also a higher cavity rate among people who emigrated from countries who do not provide fluoridated water. Yes, there are socioeconomic and cultural factors that play into the cavity rate, but at the same time there are thousands of scientific research conducted showing the benefits of fluoride on our teeth.

            I am the son of a dentist. Growing up, I always had my fluoride treatment where my teeth were surrounded by fluoride foam for about a minute, and afterward I was not allowed to eat or drink water for 30 minutes after my appointment. Since then, new methods of fluoride application and new studies have arisen that show the benefits of fluoride. For one, the population continues to get older. That means the average age that people pass away increases every year. Also, due to increased knowledge and care, people are keeping all their teeth much, much longer. Our eldest patient is 101 years old and she has her full set of teeth and continues to get her biannual check up and cleaning.

As we age, we become more susceptible to cavities and gum disease. We lose dexterity as we age so it is harder for us to clean our teeth. Many might not have the finger or arm strength to brush well and many are unable to floss as well.  In addition, almost everyone starts showing signs of gum recession, usually starting around age 25. Gum recession occurs when the gums start pulling away from the teeth. Often, you will see more yellow tooth structure which is the root of your teeth. The roots are much more susceptible to cavities than the crowns of your teeth. New studies have shown that fluoride helps not only children, but adults as well. Because of the overwhelming amount of studies that are now present, Via Verde Dental started offering fluoride to all our patients after their cleaning is done. It is called a fluoride varnish that sits on your teeth for 6 hours. In that time you can eat and drink and be merry and don’t have to wait the 30 minutes like we did as children. Those who get cavities easily, have many areas of recession, have lots of root exposure need fluoride the most. Within that 6 hours, fluoride enters the tooth and strengthens it. In addition, it helps prevent any sensitivity that one may be having.

            So after 36 years, we switched to providing fluoride for all our patients. We are always looking for new methods to help improve our health care towards our patients. 

July 2017

The Truth About Your Poop

Farting is a sign of health. Farting, or “tooting” as my young patients call it, is often a “hush hush” subject in public. It shouldn't be “hush hush,” it is natural as everyone needs to be doing it, not only for relief, but for health. I will never forget the day I found out the truth about tooting. I remember in grade school everyone would make fun of each other for tooting and it would always bring out a big commotion. To protect the one who tooted, my teacher would always tell us what the tooting smell particles were made of.  The fart smell molecules are made of tiny particles of your poop. So when we smell farts, we are actually inhaling poop particles.

Research has shown that when you flush your toilet after going #2, millions of poop particles fly out into the bathroom air and settle everywhere. One place that it will settle on is your toothbrush. And where does the toothbrush end up afterward? I'll let you imagine it yourself. Mythbusters even experimented themselves about this matter and they proved it true. Look up on YouTube: “Mythbusters toilet toothbrush” if you are brave enough.

But hold on, instead of making the vow to never brush your teeth and throw your toothbrush away, there are ways to prevent fecal matter and other bacteria from accumulating on your toothbrush. Allow your toothbrush to air dry, don't keep it covered as bacteria thrive in a moist environment. Close the toilet lid before flushing to prevent the fecal aerosols from shooting into the air. NOT brushing your teeth is much worse. Bacteria that is not brushed off your teeth or gums causing inflammation and cavities is much worse than any fecal matter. In addition, do not share your toothbrush. Sharing toothbrushes is similar to your friends or family sneezing in your food before you eat it. Lastly, switch out your toothbrush every 4 to 6 months or when the bristles become frayed (you will usually get your new one from your hygienist during your hygiene appointments.)

Be careful what your leave out in the bathroom. Chances are there is fecal matter settling on top of everything like dust settles around your house.  Lastly, don't forget to floss!

June 2017 Article The Cold Sores in Our Lives

             We all have them. That family member or old friend who pop up at your house to visit for a week or two. It was okay when they visited that first day, but then they quickly overstayed their welcome. Then you just can’t wait for them to leave. They never put down the toilet seat or they watch TV too loudly with a show that you don’t care for. They eat all your food and never wash the dishes.  They may even criticize your habits and routines. Not only do we get cold sores in our lives, but we also receive cold sores on our faces.

            Cold sores on your face occur along the edge of the lip. They always occur at the most inconvenient times, and they are never comfortable. The name that is commonly known is herpes, and the scientific name for it is Herpes Simplex Virus-1 or HSV-1. Do not mistaken HSV-1 for HSV-2. HSV-2 is the virus that is seen more negatively as it is the sexually transmitted disease that occurs below the waist. HSV-1 on the other hand is the herpes that is very common and occurs around your lips. About 90% of all adults have been exposed to HSV-1. For most people, the virus lays dormant, and others may experience a cold sore only once or not at all in their lives. About 50% of adults experience multiple cold sores throughout their lives. People receive cold sores from kissing, sharing a toothbrush, shaver, utensils, or towels. So try to teach your kids and grandkids to not share their food or kiss strangers..

Once you contract a cold sore, the virus usually lays dormant unless something causes its manifestation. There are a number of reasons that cause the manifestation of cold sores. Dry lips, dehydration, receiving a cut or a bruise along the lip can cause it. The best way to prevent the onset of cold sores is to always stay hydrated and moisturized. I drink half my weight in ounces to stay hydrated. For me, I aim to drink at least 80 ounces of water a day.  Face lotion and lip balm is also key to maintain moisture on and around your lips. Lastly, avoid getting in fights or falling on your face, both of which are helpful for many other reasons as well. Cuts and bruises will cause the cold sore to emerge.

In order to get rid of it, antiviral creams and pills are available. Abreva cream works well especially if you are able apply upon the first feeling of it coming. The initial feeling is a tingly or itchy feeling along one spot of your lip. You can always ask your dentist, family care doctor, or dermatologist for recommendations and a prescription. Often times the cold sore will become a blister. Once it is a blister, you want to try your best to not allow the bubble to pop. You want to keep as much lip balm or vaseline as possible and place your antiviral creams as well. If the blister pops, the fluids from it contains the virus that easily infects others. It can be transferred to your kids and grandkids easily and even get into your own eyes which causes many more problems. You have to be careful at this point to not allow it to spread.

            One does not need to be embarrassed about having a cold sore on your face. Yes, it is not the most attractive sight, but more likely than not, the friends and family around you already have it. Also, half the time nobody notices it unless you point it out to them. Like everything else in life, it is all about prevention. Many, especially males young and old, do not like putting on lotion or chapstick. Moisturizers are very important in preventing viruses and diseases. Talk to your kids about partying in college and clubs and the importance of not kissing strangers. Lastly, hydration is always the key for health. Most of our society is not adequately hydrated which causes issues in all aspects of our health.

Dr. Craig Jeong is one of three dentists at Via Verde Dental. He is the son of Dr. Bennett Jeong, and the cousin of Dr. Kimberly Foon. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

(909) 599-8331

1057 Via Verde