• Posted on May 30, 2018 1:24 pm
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
    No comments

    Your smile is often one of your most important assets. And in order to have that perfect smile, you may need dental fillings. These have been around for hundreds of years and have been prescribed by dentists through the ages for a variety of dental conditions. In this article, we’ll talk about the top 6 reasons you may need a dental filling.   1. Dental Fillings for Cavities: This is the main reason why dentists prescribe fillings for their patients. If you have multiple small or large cavities, food may be trapped inside them, resulting in halitosis or foul breath. If you suffer from halitosis it’s a sign that something is wrong with your oral health. Only a dentist will be able to tell if you have cavities that require dental fillings. If you have tooth decay that causes cavity formation, your dentist will drill out the affected portion of your tooth, and apply a dental filling.   2. Dental Fillings for small holes in your teeth: In some instances, a patient may have really small holes in multiple teeth that require dental fillings. These holes may not even be cavities and may cause no discomfort or may result in no symptoms. However, these holes need to be filled, as otherwise food particles may get trapped inside them resulting in eventual tooth decay.   3. Dental Fillings for Fractured Teeth: In certain cases, a fractured tooth might require a white, composite dental filling. Some tooth fractures can be caused by inadequate protection of your mouth during contact sports. Also a slip, fall or an auto accident can also cause a tooth fracture, as can old age, or chewing on something hard like a pen or a pencil. While you should always wear a mouthguard when playing sports, if you do have a fractured tooth you may need a dental filling, which is an effective treatment.   4. Dental Fillings for Discolored Teeth: Discolored and stained teeth can result due to extensive exposure to coffee, wine, soda pop, candy, and other acidic foods and beverages. Teeth grinding, also called bruxism can also cause discolored teeth. Some dentists do apply dental fillings to discolored teeth in an attempt to restore the natural color of your teeth.   5. Dental Fillings after loss of tooth structure: If your tooth is damaged, it may not be able to retain its natural structure. In such an instance, you may need a dental filling for that tooth in order to support that tooth and ensure visual uniformity throughout the mouth.   6. Dental Fillings that replace older dental fillings: While dental fillings typically last for several years, sometimes old dental fillings may need to be replaced with newer ones. Over time, white fillings can become discolored or the bond between the filling and the tooth can break down. Silver fillings may also break down after many years. Your dentist will recommend that you replace older dental fillings with newer ones, if necessary. These are the top 6 reasons why you may need dental fillings. At the Tacoma Dental Group, we specialize in inserting dental fillings for our patients. There are many types of filling materials available, each with their advantages and disadvantages. You can consult with Dr. Lo, who will recommend the best options for restoring your damaged teeth. So, the next time you think you need a dental filling, consult with the Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience tailor-made for your dental condition and complaint. Here’s to restoring your very own, million-dollar smile! For more information on dental fillings, consult Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com or go to our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com for more information.

    Dental care, Dental Implants
  • Posted on April 18, 2017 11:15 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
    No comments
    best and worst crunchy foods

    You may have heard the saying: You are what you eat! This is particularly true when it comes to your teeth. There are certain crunchy foods that are good for your teeth and then, there are others that are not. If you eat the wrong crunchy foods, you stand a good chance of permanently damaging your teeth. While this may sound ominous, it’s true. The best crunchy foods, however, typically contain a lot of water and require a lot of chewing. This helps neutralize the sugar content and the chewing helps release saliva so that the food does not get stuck in the crannies and crevices of your teeth. Good crunchy foods also help wipe away plaque-causing bacteria. Bad crunchy foods, on the other hand, cause obvious as well as covert damage to your teeth. You should keep in mind that fat does not cause cavities, but starches and sugars do. In this article, we’ll talk about the best and worst crunchy foods for your teeth. So, here goes… The Best Crunchy Foods Raw vegetables: Most raw vegetables are fiber-rich. One of these is celery, which has a rough, fibrous texture, due to which it scrubs away food particles and acts as nature’s floss. Other vegetables that are good for your teeth include raw carrots, broccoli, and peppers. These stimulate saliva and are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Raw fruits: Again, these are a great source of fiber. An apple not only keeps the doctor away but also the dentist! It scrubs your tooth surfaces and helps stimulate saliva. Raw pears also help to neutralize acids. Nuts: Many nuts provide vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and Vitamin D, which helps promote healthy teeth. Nuts also require a lot of chewing, which stimulates the production of saliva. Sugarless chewing gum: Chewing sugar-free gum actually helps to clean your teeth. Its sticky texture is great at getting in between teeth and clearing away plaque. The chewing action also promotes the production of saliva and helps clear out acids in the mouth. Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products: Cheese and yogurt are other saliva makers. Cheese contains calcium, and other dairy products contain calcium and phosphates, which help put minerals back in your teeth. Dark Chocolate: Your teeth would be a lot better if you had 70 percent dark chocolate, rather than pretzels and crackers. It may sound unbelievable, but it’s true! This is because dark chocolate has a higher fat content and a lower carbohydrate content as compared to crackers. Cavity-causing bacteria will need to process both the fat and the sugar in dark chocolate, and so, will process the sugar a little more slowly. Dark chocolate also contains some chemicals that may strengthen your enamel. However, the same cannot be said for milk chocolate. The latter does not have as high a fat content as dark chocolate, but it is still better than most other candies. What’s more, manufacturers now make dark chocolate with xylitol instead of sugar. Xylitol may actually prevent cavities on its own. The Worst Crunchy Foods Sticky candies and sweets: Do not eat lollipops, caramels, and cough drops that contain refined sugar. Some studies have shown that chocolate is not as bad for the teeth as other crunchy candies and sweets that stick to your teeth. Starchy foods that can get stuck in your mouth: Soft breads can get stuck in between your teeth. These contribute to the building up of plaque, if not cleared immediately by brushing or flossing. Popcorn: Popcorn can cause microscopic cracks in your enamel. Also, the kernels can get stuck under the gum, causing a painful irritation, which can sometimes result in infection. This is called “Popcorn Gingivitis.” If you have suffered from this, a dental cleaning or periodontal maintenance exam can help. Our dental hygienists at Tacoma Dental Group see this often and will help remove those pesky kernels. Crackers: These are highly processed starch, which in our mouths, turn into sticky goo that gets caught in between our teeth. Bacteria then feed on them and they get converted to plaque. If you absolutely must eat crackers, try whole-grain ones, because they take longer to get converted into sugar. Potato chips and pretzels: Similar to crackers and soft bread, potato chips and pretzels contain starch that gets converted into sugar in your mouth. They tend to linger in the grooves of your teeth, where they are then converted into bacteria. Ice: Many people chew ice and this is very harmful to your teeth. This may damage your enamel in the long run, as ice is frozen water that can cause microscopic cracks in your enamel, causing larger problems over time. We often need to place a Dental Crown over the fractured tooth and I have seen some teeth fracture so badly they ultimately require and extraction. Be wary of chewing ice! Peanut brittle: This puts as much stress on your teeth as chewing ice! With peanut brittle you are chewing hardened sugar, which is not good for your teeth. In fact, if you regularly chew peanut brittle, you may be like many patients at Tacoma Dental Group and end up calling me on a weekend for an Emergency Exam! So, these are some of the best and worst crunchy foods for your teeth. Be careful what you eat, to protect your teeth. All foods are not equal, particularly when it comes to your teeth. If you are not sure which crunchy foods are good for you, visit us at the Tacoma Dental Group for a consultation and get all of your doubts cleared away. Here’s to perfect oral health! For more information on the best and worst crunchy foods for your teeth, as well as other dental issues, contact Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com.

    Dental care, Healthy Foods
  • Posted on October 20, 2016 1:08 pm
    By 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