• Posted on February 15, 2019 6:28 am
    By Tacoma
    Tacoma
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    Tooth Enamel

    We all want to preserve the gifts we naturally have, and our smile with 32 pearls is no exception. Our teeth are made of up various layers known as the enamel, dentin and pulp. Human teeth are subjected to numerous pressures and forces throughout the day. These mainly occur while chewing, biting on hard food, and having sweets, cold or hot food. The enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth, which shields the tooth from the external environment. For the wellness of your teeth, it is essential to preserve it. Here are some important facts and functions of the tooth enamel Enamel cannot regrow The tooth enamel is made during the early phase of life, while we are still embryos. Once the enamel is formed during these stages, it cannot be regrown. This is mainly because enamel does not possess active or living cells. Thus, utmost care should be taken to preserve the enamel. Acts as a protective shield The enamel forms a jacket around the more delicate parts of tooth, which are known as  dentin and pulp. It protects the tooth against heat, cold, external forces and thermal shocks.  Enamel is stronger than your bones and can help the tooth withstand all biting pressures, without getting chipped. Fights tooth sensitivity Dentin is a part of tooth that has abundant nerve supply and is very sensitive to hot or cold food items. Enamel, however, lacks sensation and protects the more sensitive dentin. Healthy enamel will make teeth less vulnerable to tooth sensitivity. Fights acids Acid found in food and drinks is the leading cause of damage to tooth enamel. Many acidic food and drinks make up our everyday diet, like fruits, fruit juices, coffee and wine. Acid is also produced as  digestive juices, which are secreted in the mouth when we chew food. These can weaken tooth enamel over time through  a process called acid erosion. Erosion of tooth enamel is common in at least one in three adults. It is in your best interest to protect your tooth enamel from erosion. Keeps teeth white Enamel, is the reason our teeth look pearly white. If the enamel wears off or gets chipped, the inner layer of dentin will become partially or completely visible, making your teeth look yellowish in colour. So, enamel is necessary to keep your smile sparkly white. In order to preserve your tooth enamel, you should be well aware of the tooth protectors and the damagers. Tooth damagers Sodas and acidic drinks Keep the intake of acidic drinks like sodas, citrus fruits and juices as low as possible. You can also opt for low acid orange juices. Too many sweets.  Bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar, and they make acid that can eat away at enamel. It is even more damaging when teeth are not cleaned regularly. Sour foods  Sour foods contain plenty of acids, so  it is best to avoid them. This will keep enamel erosion or wear at bay. Dry mouth Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by washing away bacteria and leftover food in your mouth. It also dilutes acids to an acceptable level. Tooth protectors As tooth enamel is irreplaceable, it is best to preserve it. Here are some ways you can protect it... When you are having acidic drinks make sure you have them with meals. This will reduce the frequency of acid exposure. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water right after you eat or drink something acidic. Make sure you use a straw for fruit juices or sodas, without swishing them in the mouth. This will help the acid bypass the tooth enamel. Go for sugar free gums. This will lower the amount of acid in your mouth. If you  have a dry mouth, make sure  to consume plenty of water during the day. Try to finish your meals with a glass of milk or a piece of cheese. This will counteract the effect of acids. Use toothpastes and mouthwash  containing fluoride. This will maintain a positive mineral balance in your  tooth enamel. Opt for a soft bristled toothbrush, rather than a hard one. Receive treatment for  your gastric disorders. Lastly, get a regular dental check-up and maintain dental care to keep your teeth healthy. If you are thinking of getting a dental check-up  done, consult with the Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience, specific to your dental condition. Preserve your natural smile by availing the best dental solutions. For more information on enamel wear and sensitivity problems, consult Dr. Ron Lo at (253)-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com  You can also visit our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com/  for more information.

    Uncategorized
  • Posted on August 10, 2017 2:04 pm
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    Healthy Cooking for the Sweet Tooth.

    Contrary to popular belief, ignoring your sugar cravings may make it worse. So, on those days that you need and want to satisfy your sweet tooth, indulge in alternatives that will not only satisfy those sugar cravings, but are also a healthier alternative to sugar-laden foods. What’s more, these healthier alternatives aren’t bad for your teeth either. Many of my patients ask me about alternatives to sugary foods. There are several and they won’t add extra fat to your body, nor will they result in cavities in your teeth. In this article, we’ll talk about some foods that are good for both your teeth and your waistline. Greek Yogurt Parfait: If you’re craving for a creamy, yogurt-type treat, try combining non-fat Greek yogurt with a high-fiber fruit like raspberries or blueberries. Top it off with a sprinkle of ground nuts or flaxseeds for a crunchy texture. This parfait is lower in calories and sugar than other desserts and the nuts and flaxseeds are a good plant source of omega-3 fats. Fiber Bars: These are available in flavors such as strawberry, apricot, raspberry, and boysenberry. Each has about 8 grams of sugar and only 60 calories. It also has 6 grams of fiber that helps slow the secretion of sugars, which can prevent your body from storing fat. Natural Energy Bars: Try to avoid candy bars. Try Natural Energy Bars instead. They are sweetened with small amounts of real sugar plus sugar alcohols. They give you a feeling of indulging your sweet tooth without blowing your diet. Frozen Grapes with 8 to 12 Almonds: Fruit is full of fructose, a high-potency sugar, which makes it good for your body. Grapes are higher in sugar and lower in fiber than other fruits, and so they are to be recommended if you want to wean off candy. You can accompany frozen grapes with a sprinkling of almonds to prevent your blood sugar from spiking. Low-sugar Cereal: Instead of a high-sugar cereal, try a low-sugar cereal like Kashi Go Lean Original Cereal. The latter packs 13 grams of protein, 10 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of sugar per serving. This will indulge your sweet tooth without giving you that sugar rush. Dark Chocolate: You can indulge in a piece of dark chocolate if that sweet craving won’t go away. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, making it a better choice than milk chocolate. Natural, Unprocessed Nut Butters: You can use these natural, unprocessed nut butters, like natural peanut butter on a celery stick the next time you are craving a salty-sweet combo. If celery isn’t something you want to eat, try a few apple slices. Popsicle: A popsicle takes a relatively long time to eat and an individually wrapped popsicle is good portion control. Eating a popsicle made out of all-natural fruit juice is better than one made of high-fructose corn syrup. So, try out these alternatives for a healthy feeling and to avoid that inevitable sugar rush. You can experiment with different recipes and try out different healthy ingredients to indulge your sweet tooth. None of these suggested options have the sticky consistency that causes the longer deleterious effects to your teeth. At the Tacoma Dental Group, we treat patients holistically, and practice preventive dental care. If you want to discuss your diet and how it affects your teeth, we can help work with you to ensure greater oral health. Don’t wait any longer. Try out these food ideas to not only indulge your sweet tooth, but also ensure an overall healthy diet for optimal body functioning and healthy teeth and gums. Here’s to healthy eating! For more information on how you can schedule an appointment for a thorough dental check-up and consultation, contact Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com.

    Dental care, Dental Implants, Healthy Foods
  • Posted on January 5, 2017 10:33 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    Dental trauma is emotionally upsetting to everyone, especially when it occurs to their front teeth. It may surprise you to learn that every year, around five million teeth are knocked out. Depending on the degree of damage, your endodontist or a dentist will need to do a root canal to help maintain the tooth in the mouth long-term. A root canal is done if the tooth’s surrounding nerves and tissues are irreparable. A knocked-out tooth is also called as an avulsed tooth, and is one of the most serious dental emergencies for permanent/secondary teeth. Now, What Can You Do? The adage “Time and tide wait for none” is apt for this condition, so act quickly to fix the damage. Get the dentist right away within 30-60 minutes of the incident. Both adult and a baby tooth can be saved. As prevention is better than cure, in this article, I will share with you the ideas that will prevent further damage to the avulsed tooth and also how to react and save your precious tooth. How To Save Your Teeth? Always try to save the real tooth if there is any piece missing or broken. The root of a damaged tooth must be handled with the utmost care without being touched directly as it’s the most sensitive part and can get damaged easily. Better pick the tooth from the top called as the crown (chewing edge) which does not connect to the gum. Hold the crown (chewing edge) of the tooth and rinse it in milk or water if dirty. (Preferably use milk). Dry Tooth Is Dead Tooth. 1. The tooth should always be kept moist, so don’t wipe it off with any fabric. Don’t brush the tooth. Or use any kind of chemical on it. Keep the tooth submerged in a glass of milk or place it your mouth properly by supporting it with the help of gum and cheek. Since children will likely swallow the tooth, it is recommended that the tooth be placed in a cup submerged in milk or salt water, preferably with a lid. 2. Ideally, to fix/re-implant, the dentist should be called immediately after the accident. For a baby tooth, don’t replace it as it may be very close to the permanent tooth. Replacement may actually damage the permanent tooth, so an x-ray is taken prior to re-implantation. 3. Prior to seeing the dentist, keep the tooth moist or try placing it in its socket correctly without any pressure. (In many cases it will fit in the socket easily). How Will Your Dentist Address It? Make sure you call a dentist with good reviews like or you can always contact me. When the dentist arrives, they will take an x-ray the area and exam the site. They will determine if the tooth can be saved and make all attempts to reposition the tooth into the original site. After this, a root canal may be performed on you depending on the damage and certain external factors. Often, the dentist will use a splint to support the avulsed tooth with the help of soft wire and/or combined material. Normally this wire will remain for about one week. How Soon Does It Get Repaired? More damage means more time required for its rejuvenation. So, if the tooth/bone is intact, your tooth will take three to four weeks. If not, then it takes nearly 2 months to get reattached. When Should You Revisit Your Dentist? Within twelve to twenty-four weeks, your dentist will re-examine the tooth. If all goes well, then the tooth is infection free, and you will return to your normal check-ups. The relationship between you and your dentist goes on for two to three years for your tooth to ensure its health. So, now you are well informed about “what to do if you have a tooth knocked out?” And in case you have any further doubts about it, feel free to consult me. For more information on what to do in case you have a tooth knocked out or for other dental problems, or a dental consultation, contact Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com.

    Dental care
  • Posted on November 18, 2016 11:40 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
    No comments

    When I see a patient with a missing tooth, they are often embarrassed, concerned, and confused about the options that are available to them. Most people want an aesthetic smile with all their teeth intact. However, some feel this is not possible since they have been missing the tooth for so long and they have just become accustomed to it. Studies show that at least 78% of Americans have at least one cavity by age 17. So, the chances that you will have a missing tooth during your lifetime are considerable. While most patients fear missing a front (anterior) teeth, missing a back tooth is also problematic. These posterior teeth have an important role in chewing. Besides this, they also affect the overall bite and help ease some of the excessive pressure on the front teeth created by chewing. So, it is best to address all missing teeth, whether anterior or posterior, straightaway. In this article, we’ll talk about the various options you have if you are missing a tooth, no matter the length of time it has been gone. Option # 1: Opt for a dental implant: With an implant, the dentist places a titanium post/screw into the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. After they determine that this post has fused to the bone, they place a crown on that post. With dental implants, an advantage is that you activate the jaw bone by chewing on that surface. This builds stronger bone in the site of the implant and (with proper care) this can last a lifetime similar to any other natural tooth in your mouth. Option # 2: Opt for traditional bridgework: In traditional bridgework, the teeth on either side of the gap are prepared by removing part of the surface of the teeth to place a multiple set of fixed teeth that are similar to a bridge over water. A possible problem with a fixed bridge is that if either of the two anchor teeth are compromised, you lose the entire bridge. This is the advantage of an implant. Another possible issue is that it is difficult to clean under the bridge. You cannot easily floss the area around a bridge. One of the advantages of a bridge is that you will have a full chewing surface in less time that an implant. Option # 3: Opt for Partial Denture: There are several styles of removable partial dentures with several different names. As this partial denture can be removed from the mouth, you can clean it. This kind of partial denture needs to fit well for it to be effective. If not fitted properly it could come loose while chewing. It can be an economical option but may be traumatic to the adjacent teeth. Option # 4: Do nothing: Certain conservative dentists recommend that you do nothing in case of a missing tooth. However, having a missing tooth over time can cause trouble. This is because teeth are placeholders for one another. If a tooth is missing for a prolonged time, other teeth that are adjacent to or opposite from it, may shift and change your bite. Another problem with doing nothing is that you will no longer be able to stress the jaw bone at the location of the missing tooth. This results in an increased risk of losing bone density at that site. So, now you know at least a few of your options when it comes to missing a tooth. If you have a missing tooth come see me for a consultation and we can discuss the best option for you! For more information on what to do in case you have a missing tooth, or for other dental problems, or a dental consultation, contact Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com.

    Dental Implants
  • Posted on October 20, 2016 1:08 pm
    By Tacoma
    Tacoma
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    Many times I see parents who are worried about the condition of their children’s baby teeth. These teeth may be decayed and the parents want me to just remove the teeth rather than restore them. However, baby teeth are there for a reason… Baby teeth help children chew food more easily and properly. They also help children speak more clearly and quickly. Baby teeth hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums and above all, they ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles. This is why I usually recommend that when possible, we restore, not extract baby teeth. Also, it is important to take proper care of your children’s baby teeth. How so? Well, I thought I would discuss that in this article Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth: Within a few days after birth, clean your baby’s mouth with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. This is important, because as soon as teeth appear, decay can also appear. A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months or age, though this varies from child to child. Take your child to visit the dentist early: The American Dental Association (ADA) advises that parents take their children to visit the dentist preferably within 6 months of the arrival of the first tooth and no later than their first birthday. Dentists, such as myself, will conduct a “well-baby check-up” and will check for any signs of tooth decay or other problems. Your dentist will also explain the proper way of brushing your child’s teeth. Ensure your child’s good oral health: Since baby teeth ultimately fall out, most parents believe that they don’t matter. However, it is extremely important to have good oral health in the child’s early years, because it is vital to the child’s overall well-being, among other things. Healthy primary teeth are important for the child’s physical, emotional and social development. Do not pull baby teeth as they hold spaces for permanent teeth: Typically, under the healthiest of circumstance, baby teeth remain in the mouth until that particular permanent tooth is ready to erupt through the gums. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, it may result in major spatial problems for permanent teeth, unless specific action is taken. Insert space maintainers if your child loses his or her baby teeth early: If a child loses his or her baby teeth too early, your dentist (I always do) may insert space maintainers to fill the place of the primary tooth until the permanent tooth becomes ready to erupt. These space maintainers could be removable or fixed. Baby teeth are very important to the development of the jawbones and muscles. If no intervention occurs between the baby teeth falling out too early, and the permanent teeth erupting, it may lead to multiple problems. So, now you know a little bit more about why baby teeth are so important and how, you as a parent, can take care of them. Do consult your dentist regularly from the time that your child is an infant to prevent any problems later on, especially when it comes to your child’s baby teeth. Here’s to great childhood dental hygiene and the care of your child’s baby teeth…always! For more information on how you can care for your child’s baby teeth, or for a dental appointment, contact Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551

    Dental care