Author Archives: Francis Nguyen

All Offices Are Open for Dental Services

Dear Patients:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call your office and they will gladly assist you.  

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Cosmetic and Dental Implant Center

All Offices Closed due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Due to the concerns about COVID-19 (Coronavirus), all of our offices are currently closed until the shelter-at-home order is lifted. We are planning to re-open all locations as soon as we are allowed to. During this period, we are still able to see current and new patients for any emergencies by appointment only.

If you have a dental emergency, please contact the doctors at the following phone numbers based on the office location you are going to.

Huntington Beach and Placentia – Dr. Trinh Nguyen – (714) 725-2342

Brea and Cypress – Dr. Tuan Nguyen – (714) 360-4328

POSTPONED – 2020 Patient Appreciation Picnic

Dear Patients,

Due to the recent events concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are unfortunately postponing our annual Patient Appreciation Picnic scheduled for Sun, April 5th, out of an abundance of caution.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We are sad but we believe this is the best decision for our patients and community at this time.

We are still looking forward to having a Patient Appreciation Picnic this summer, we will announce a new date when the current situation has resolved.

We wish you all well,

Cosmetic and Dental Implant Center / Cypress Smiles Dentistry

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention

Dear Patients,

As concerns for the coronavirus grows, we want you to know that we are taking this matter seriously.  We abide by all CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and ADA (American Dental Association) guidelines for sterilization. Patient operatories (rooms) will continue to be disinfected between every patient as we have always done.  In addition, we are disinfecting the patient lobby and restrooms at least every 2 hrs.  High patient contact surfaces like pens, stylus, iPads and remotes controls will be disinfect after each use.  To combat misinformation, below are basic recommendations from the CDC.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Take steps to protect yourself

Illustration: washing hands with soap and water

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Illustration: Woman quarantined to her home

Avoid close contact

Take steps to protect others

man in bed

Stay home if you’re sick

woman covering their mouth when coughing

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
man wearing a mask

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick:  You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
cleaning a counter

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

To disinfect:
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.

Options include:

  • Diluting your household bleach.
    To make a bleach solution, mix:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
      OR
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

  • Alcohol solutions.
    Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
  • Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.
    Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7 pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

5 Healthy Oral Habits to Start Today

As we embark on a new year, let’s make 2015 the year that we vow to take better care of our teeth — and actually follow through on it. Unlike most resolutions we might make, taking better care of our mouth is not that difficult. It just requires a few really simple changes and relatively inexpensive “tools”.

Healthy Oral Habit #1 – Drink more water

This is usually a no-brainer when it comes to losing weight and being healthier overall, but there’s more to water than promoting digestive regularity and hydration. Water is also one of the easiest ways of keeping bacteria from forming on your teeth because it rinses food particles, and thus any bacteria lingering in your mouth away. It doesn’t replace the need to brush or floss, but it is part of an overall, thorough mouth-cleaning regimen.

Healthy Oral Habit #2 – Flossing

I’m sure we’re all tired of hearing our hygienist tell us how important it is to floss. The problem is, if our dentist and hygienist keep telling us to do it, why do we tell ourselves, “Oh, it’s not that important, I can get away without it.” By the way, it’s no secret to your dentist or hygienist that you haven’t been flossing. They can tell. Truth is, if you’re brushing only, you’re only getting your mouth 60 to 75 percent clean. The rest of the food particles and cavity-causing bacteria are in between teeth and potentially beneath the gumline where toothbrushes can’t reach and only dental floss can go. Most spools of dental floss can be purchased for less than $3 — a really small investment that can make a lifetime of difference.

Healthy Oral Habit #3 – Use teeth ONLY for chewing food

Our teeth are really strong. The enamel is actually stronger than bone, but that doesn’t mean our teeth are indestructible. Your teeth and mouth structures were designed for chewing food only, not crunching on ice cubes, fruit pits, popcorn kernels, pencils, pens, finger nails or anything else you might put in your mouth. Your teeth and mouth were also not designed to be used to open packages, parcels and plastic clothing tag ties. All these things can not only damage our teeth, but they can also do irreparable damage to your jaw joints, muscles and tendons.

Healthy Oral Habit #4 – Change your toothbrush at least every three to four months

If you don’t remember the last time you changed your toothbrush, it’s probably time. The general rule of thumb is at least every three to four months. Some toothbrushes even indicate when it’s time to buy a new one. If the bristles on your toothbrush start to “splay” — that is, they start spreading apart and don’t look like they did when you bought it, it’s time for a new one even if you haven’t used it for three months yet. It may also be a sign that you’re brushing too hard. Also, it’s a good idea to change your toothbrush after an illness. You can leave behind cold, flu and other germs on your toothbrush and you certainly don’t want to be putting that back in your mouth.

Healthy Oral Habit #5 – Eat more teeth friendly fruits and vegetables

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What you’re looking for is fleshy fruit such as apples, strawberries and pears. These three in particular are natural toothbrushes, and strawberries have teeth whitening properties. Crunchy vegetables such as celery and carrots help clean teeth and stimulate gums. Broccoli and brussel sprouts have good doses of calcium and iron. Both these nutrients are crucial for healthy teeth and bones. You can follow up these veggies with some fruit. The vitamin C in the fruit helps your body absorb the iron, but stay away from citrus fruit since the acid can actually harm your enamel.

Five easy healthy oral habits to get you started on the year you finally take control of your oral health. Of course, these habits won’t do it on their own. You will also need to visit Choice Dental and Implant Center for regular check ups and instructions on proper flossing and brushing techniques, and any other questions or concerns you might have.

Realistic Resolutions for your Dental Health in 2015

As we just entered the New Year, it’s time to set our sights on new achievements, accomplishment or improvements. There’s something in everyone’s life that can be improved–most likely, more than one something. For some, it’s losing weight, eating healthier or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

How about some dental health resolutions this year? Many of us overlook the importance of oral health and how it can impact how people see us and how we see ourselves. Taking better care of your mouth is really not that hard and the results can be life changing.

Flossing

Flossing is one of those things that everyone knows we should do, but we still think our mouth is just fine without it. In fact, statistics show that only 12% of people in developed countries floss every day. Flossing is essential to preventing cavities from forming in hard-to-reach and hard-to-treat areas between teeth, as well as preventing gum disease. “Flossing does about 40% of the work required to remove sticky bacteria, or plaque, from your teeth.” (WebMD) This means that if you’re brushing only, your teeth are only 60% clean. When you have a shower, do you clean only 60% of your body? Your teeth deserve the same thorough cleaning.

Regular dental checkups

Many people make the mistake of thinking that they don’t really need to see a dentist until there’s something wrong. Kinda like not seeing a doctor for annual physicals because if you don’t feel there’s anything wrong, there’s nothing to worry about. Any dentist will tell you that most dental problems are present when there aren’t any symptoms. By the time symptoms appear, the situation is pretty far advanced and will likely require more invasive, extensive and expensive dental treatment, than if it had been prevented with regular cleanings and check-ups, or caught and treated earlier. It’s only twice a year, and it will be worth it in the long run.

Brushing your tongue

Like flossing, many people don’t realize how important this simple thing is to maintaining your overall oral health. One of the principal causes of bad breath is bacteria in the mouth and that bacteria is not only on your teeth, but also on your tongue. Bacteria feeds on plaque and plaque can develop on your tongue just as well as your teeth. Our tongues are covered in hundreds of tiny, moist ridges which are prime breeding grounds for bacteria.

Drinking lots of water

Drinking water is not only critical for keeping you hydrated, but also for rinsing food particles and bacteria away from the surface of your teeth. Drinking water is particularly important after you’ve eaten something sweet, starchy or sticky and there’s no toothbrush around. Actually, it’s better to rinse with water immediately after eating or drinking something sweet, starchy, or sticky because brushing right away can actually further damage your enamel. So, rinse with water first, wait 20 to 30 minutes, and then brush.

Eating crisp, fleshy fruits and vegetables

2015

Most of us know that fruits and vegetables are necessary for a healthy diet. What most of us don’t know is that fruits and veggies are also necessary for dental health. Chewing fleshy apples, watermelons, and pears increase salivation and in the case of apples, act as a natural toothbrush. Carrots, celery and root vegetables and other firm veggies stimulate the gum while the water content also helps clean teeth. Leafy greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals that your body needs to keep your teeth, bones, and gums healthy.

See? That wasn’t so hard, was it? Such simple resolutions that can make a world of difference in your oral health in 2015.

Gluten and Your Teeth: Are they Related?

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac is an autoimmune disease that affects 1 to 4 percent of the U.S. population. Not only does celiac disease shorten the lifespan of those affected, it also increases your risk of developing other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Cancer incidence also increases with celiac disease. (living-gluten-free.com)

Approximately 90 percent of all people with celiac disease have tooth enamel defects.

Gluten and the Autoimmune Body

Those with celiac disease can’t digest and process gluten properly–this is called gluten intolerance. When gluten-intolerant people still continue to eat gluten, they experience bone-related issues such as:

  • osteoporosis and osteopenia (porosity of the bones);

  • bone loss throughout the body and in the mouth particularly lower jaw

  • loss or thinning of tooth enamel.

Celiacs also experience abscesses and other root problems, tooth decay and fractured, broken, loose or missing teeth.

Tooth enamel defects in particular, can be used as an indicator to dentists and physicians that a person has celiac disease meaning gluten intolerance can also be identified in children. It is not uncommon for a person to be told of the possibility of them having celiac disease by a dentist following an oral examination. The dentist is often the one to make the first recommendation that a patient see a gastroenterologist.

How does gluten affect the teeth?

When celiacs eat gluten, the body’s immune system reacts against one of the main proteins responsible for production of enamel. This can happen in-utero as well. This lack of enamel or poor quality of enamel can leave a person with celiac disease more prone to cavities, excessive tooth wear and tear, and the eventual premature destruction or loss of teeth.

Because of the effect on tooth enamel, celiacs experience tooth decay and other tooth-related problems far more than non-celiacs even if they have practiced good oral hygiene habits and see a dentist regularly.  

Regular check-ups involve looking for:

  • tooth discoloration such as white, yellow, or brown spots on the teeth

  • poor enamel formation including pitting or banding of teeth, and mottled or translucent-looking teeth.

These imperfections are symmetrical and most commonly affect the incisors and molars. They are common defects in people with celiac disease, although not all tooth enamel defects are caused by celiac disease.

Other Oral Conditions Linked to Gluten-intolerance

Studies have shown that gluten-intolerance and even gluten sensitivity can lead to other oral diseases. These include:

  • Canker sores

  • Geographic tongue (the surface of the tongue looks like a topographical map)

  • Tonsilar stones or exudates (white lumps of puss embedded in the tonsils)

  • Chronic severe redness in the back of the throat (Pharyngeal Erythema)

  • Excessive mucus production so that a person chronically needs to clear their throat

  • Bad breath

  • A small cyst on the frenum (the flap of skin connecting your top lip to your gums)

  • Metallic taste in your mouth

  • Gum disease (periodontal disease).

While research still needs to be done to find out exactly how gluten-intolerance and these oral conditions are connected, celiacs and those with gluten sensitivities need to discuss any tooth enamel issues with us at Choice Dental. It may just be that you’re not aware of any gluten issues until you visit us.

It’s not uncommon for the dentist to be the first line of defense, examination and diagnosis for many conditions. Many people are unaware of how their lifestyle choices, or physiological conditions affect the conditions in their mouth. Since gluten-intolerance and sensitivity can affect other bodily systems, it is important that the possibility of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity be explored to prevent further damage. Studies have shown that once consumption of gluten has stopped, the body can repair itself. Although enamel cannot grow back once lost, bone density and quality of dentin does improve which means better support, healthier teeth and a healthier mouth.