When you are ready to take your smile to the next level, it may be time to take a look at your diet. The food and drinks that we consume affect our smiles—both in appearance and health. Our San Francisco dentists have put together this short overview of the ways in which popular foods and drinks affect your smile.

The first thing to keep in mind is that water is the number one most beneficial drink when it comes to oral health. When you drink water, you rinse away harmful plaque and dental debris, while simultaneously promotion saliva production.

  • Both coffee and tea are likely to stain dental enamel over time
  • Sodas and energy drinks are laden with sugar; because oral bacteria feed on sugars, and need them to grow, these types of beverages can wreak havoc on your smile
  • Fruit juices are often quite sugary as well, and they are also acidic. When your teeth are exposed to acid, the enamel becomes temporarily softened, and more vulnerable. Take special care not to brush your teeth for 20 to 30 minutes after acid exposure, so as not to inadvertently erode enamel.

There are also a number of foods that can contribute to discoloration and acid damage;

  • Sugary treats, and refined carbohydrates, give oral bacteria a boost
  • Deeply colored sauces can lead to dental staining
  • Chocolate is both sugary and discoloring
  • Citrus fruits are highly acidic, and thus weaken dental enamel for about 20 to 30 minutes directly following exposure

Protecting your smile only get easier as you gather more information about how dental damage develops in the first place. To learn more about the mechanics of dental health, please reach out to our San Francisco dentists. You can also schedule a personal consultation in order to get personalized recommendations. 

One day, you look in the mirror, and you just don’t recognize the teeth you see smiling back at you. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone; it is very common for adult patients to seek treatment with vague complaints that their smiles simply look older, and less healthy, than they used to.

That’s where our San Francisco dentists come in. We help our patients refresh and rejuvenate their smiles for optimal aesthetic results. Here are some of the commonly experienced dental problems that can make your smile look older than it really is:

  • Thin Dental Enamel

Enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth; it is designed to protect the more vulnerable inner tooth layers from irritants and infections. Over time, enamel can wear away due to chronic pressure, say, from dental grinding, or due to acid exposure. As enamel becomes thinner, it is more susceptible to cracking and chipping. Additionally, thin enamel allows the yellow dentin under it to show through, so the tooth as a whole starts to look duller and darker.

  • Dental Discoloration

Environmental stains can make your teeth look older and less healthy than they really are. Certain foods and drinks, like coffee, tea, red wine, red sauces, berries, and sodas all leave color deposits on the smile after repeated exposure. Tobacco products are perhaps the biggest culprits when it comes to environmental stains. Diligent daily dental care will help to minimize stains, but there are also professional treatments you can use to refresh your smile. Professional dental whitening formulations, dental bonding, and aesthetic veneers can all brighten the appearance of your smile.

Your smile should make you feel confident and happy; our San Francisco cosmetic dentists are here to help you achieve that smile. Reach out to our team by giving our office a call, or by using the Contact Us page on our site to submit a question for our dentist!


It isn’t unusual for an adult to feel a few aches pains or some occasional tooth sensitivity, especially as they grow older and their teeth work under the effects of normal wear and tear, but sometimes those aches and pains can feel so much worse than “normal aches and pains.” In fact, there are a handful of dental emergencies that warrant an immediate phone call to the office of Dr. Robert Walley.

To remove any doubt as to whether or not you should make that emergency dentist appointment, the following are dental emergencies worth having checked out immediately:

#1 Broken or Knocked-Out Tooth

The most obvious emergency dentist visit typically comes as a result of teeth getting knocked out or chipped, especially when trauma is causing the kind of pain that makes it nearly impossible to focus on anything else. Losing a tooth will create quite a bit of blood, but if you get to the dentist quickly enough, it may be possible to save the tooth. The longer you wait, the more invasive and expensive the fix can be.

#2 Loose or Missing Crown

Losing a filling or a crown is the type of thing most dental patients notice immediately, not only because the tooth feels odd with that filling or crown gone, but also because losing them can lead to some significant pain. Putting off refilling or re-crowning the tooth could mean a root canal if not handled in a timely manner, which is why an emergency dental visit may be necessary.

#3 Excruciating Tooth Pain

Intense tooth pain can be a result of the aforementioned issues, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes your teeth ache so badly, the pain rushes through your body with every bite. If you’ve got that kind of tooth pain and aren’t sure where it’s coming from, you really should get in to see your dentist immediately.

#4 Abscesses Have Formed

An abscess is a terribly painful infection most commonly found on the root of a tooth. The most common causes of these are serious gum disease or a cavity that has been left untreated, so it often happens that these patients haven’t been to the dentist in a long time, anyway. If you’ve got an abscess, though, it’s time to get in as quickly as you can.

#5 Abnormal Swelling in Jaw and/or Mouth

Sometimes swelling in your jaw or mouth doesn’t appear directly connected to any one tooth, but any sort of swelling (especially when accompanied by pain) could be related to some underlying infection. If it’s gotten to the point where that infection is causing swelling on that level, it definitely is time for an emergency dentist visit.

Emergency Dental Services in San Francisco

Put simply, emergency dental visits don’t just occur because of a toothache. If you feel as though a significant issue is causing problems in your mouth, it’s always best to call Dr. Walley’s office immediately. Whether it’s an emergency or not, we can get you the help you need to return your smile to its glory and hopefully remove any excess pain you may be dealing with because of a serious dental problem.



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