We know that you’re already working hard to keep your smile clean and healthy day to day. However, even the most diligent dental patients can sometimes use a refresher on proper at-home dental care. Our San Francisco dentists have put together this quick article with some tips on how to keep your smile as clean as possible. We hope that you find this useful in assessing your own oral hygiene routine!

In order to build a strong foundation for your oral hygiene routine you need to be brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing your smile once a day. Your dentist will let you know if you need to beef up this routine at all.

The best times to brush your teeth are in the morning, to clear away plaque that has accumulated in the night, and right before bed, to clean bacteria that built up during the day. Aim to floss your smile at night, right before your brush your teeth.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re brushing your teeth:

  1. You want to clean your smile for two minutes continuously every time you brush
  2. You should apply light pressure as you brush, so as to avoid causing enamel or gum tissue damage
  3. Use small circular motions to buff the plaque off of your enamel surfaces
  4. Make sure that you’re using a type of toothbrush that is healthy for your tooth—for most people, this means using a soft-bristled brush

If you are following this general oral hygiene routine, but you feel like it’s difficult to maintain a fresh smile, talk to your dentist about ways to augment and optimize your routine. Your dental team may recommend that you incorporate a mouth rinse into your oral hygiene plan, or they may suggest certain tools—like Waterpiks—that can help you eliminate more plaque.

Our San Francisco dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need about how to care for your smile at home—give us a call to get started! 

The name “wisdom teeth” puts a positive spin on third molars. However, in reality, these teeth can quickly become problematic for dental patients. That is why our San Francisco wisdom teeth dentists recommend that patients undergo oral health assessments before wisdom teeth have a chance to do damage.

Wisdom teeth are the final molars to emerge in a patient’s mouth. They generally don’t come in until the patient is in his or her late teens or early twenties.

The reality is that few people have enough space along their jaw lines to allow wisdom teeth to fully emerge. So, instead, wisdom teeth get stuck in the bone, or they start to come in at odd and uncomfortable angles. Additionally, wisdom teeth can put pressure on your other teeth, causing your smile to become misaligned.

Our dental team has also seen, time and time again, how wisdom teeth can become prime spots for dental bacteria and plaque to accumulate. It is very difficult for patients to keep their wisdom teeth clean day to day, because the teeth are so hard to reach. As a result, patients with problematic wisdom teeth often develop hard-to-treat cavities as well as gum disease.

As your wisdom teeth first emerge, you may notice that you feel a sensation of tightness or sensitivity in the back of your jaw. Some patients also find that they develop persistent bad breath; this occurs because bacteria are colonizing around the patient’s wisdom teeth or within damaged gum tissue in the back of the smile.

Many patients will benefit from having their wisdom teeth removed before these types of problems pop up. The best way to get started is to call our San Francisco dentist to schedule a personal consultation. We’re here to give you all of the information you need to achieve an maintain a healthy smile for years to come.

There are a number of different things that can go wrong with a person’s tooth, but the final stop when it comes to many tooth pain issues is a root canal. Frankly, it’s a procedure that has such a bad reputation that it’s understandable why so many people would be afraid of it, but here at Dr. Robert Walley’s office we make sure the procedure is as quick and painless as possible. Nobody wants to get a root canal, but when the time does come, it’s nice to know that a professional exists to minimize the anxiety people usually associate with the procedure.

The question, then, is how do you know when it’s time to get a root canal? Obviously individual patients won’t make those decisions by themselves, but there are a few warning signs that suggest it could be time to schedule a visit with your dentist. If you experience the following symptoms, it could be a sign that you are in need of a root canal:

#1 Persistent, Shooting Pain

According to the American Association of Endodontists, the most common symptom that may indicate the need for a root canal is tooth pain. While cartoons might make it seem as though all toothaches are full-body experiences, the truth is that this pain could be anywhere from mild to severe, and it could lessen or grow more severe over the course of the day. It if is persistent, though, we recommend making an appointment with your dentist to find out what the problem really is.

#2 Food Temperature Sensitivity 

Another common symptom is sensitivity to hot and/or cold food and drinks. If you experience shooting pain every time you eat hot food or take a cool drink of water, there is a possibility that your nerves are exposed and you will need a root canal. If you no longer can enjoy your morning cup of coffee or tea because of a lingering dull ache, that could be a sign that you need to be seen as soon as possible.

#3 Swelling Around the Gums

Finally, patients suffering from an infection of the tooth may see some swelling around the gums. That swelling, which also can come with some redness, signifies that something is wrong underneath the surface, and when it comes to the mouth that usually means an issue with the root and exposed nerves. Any type of swelling, especially in conjunction with temperature sensitivity and pain, could signal a need for this dental procedure.

We know you don’t want to get a root canal. Nobody ever does. However, the earlier we catch these types of symptoms the less painful the experience is going to be. Sometimes, a simple filling is enough, but if left alone too long, these little problems can transform into big problems that require a big solution. The good news is that Dr. Walley is quite skilled at this procedure, so if it is something you need, at least you know there’s someone you can count on to extract the root with expert ease.



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