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Babys First Dentist Visit

New parents are instructed on when babies need vaccines and what milestones they should be reaching by certain ages, but do you know when a baby should first see the dentist?  It might shock you to know that it is suggested that you take you little one in as early as when the first tooth pops through, or at least by his or her first birthday.

Why so early?

Going to the dentist at a young age gets them used to it and is helpful for parents because you learn how to properly care for an infant’s mouth.  Dental hygiene for an infant is a bit different than for an adult, though is basically the same.  Early appointments also help to identify any problems that need to be cared for immediately and catch future problems before they resolve.  Lots of kids do have cavities before they go into school around age four or five, and it is not too uncommon for kids as young as two to develop cavities.

Preventing early Cavities

The dentist tell you if there is any reason that you child may be at risk of dental problems in the future and what you can do to combat those problems.  Aside from the normal hygiene talk, the dentist will also talk with you about diet and exercise as these are both important to young bodies.  You will learn more about why fluoride is important in children, and you will have the chance to discuss with your dentist a follow-up schedule that is set according to your child’s specific needs.

Catching problems before they bloom

Other problems include thumb or finger sucking, pacifiers, bottles and the rot that they can cause, accidents, and teething.  The dentist can help you understand the teething process and how to make it easier on the baby, as well as go over any emergency information that you would need in case of a dental emergency caused by an accident.  You will also learn about tracking milestones of dental development to identify any potential issues for the dentist.

Parents are too often worried that their babies will be too fussy in an early dental visit, but some are very comfortable and enjoy getting to see different things and meet smiling faces.  If you as a parent have a fear of dentists, keep in mind that you want your child to feel more comfortable, so get him or her used to the dentist early to avoid that fear.  Who knows, maybe you will learn how to relax in the dentist chair yourself.

Posted in Blog on September 4th, 2014 · Comments Off on Babys First Dentist Visit

Keep Your Mouth Kissably Fresh

One thing that many people worry about on a daily basis is fresh breath.  But why wouldn’t we?  You wouldn’t want a first impression, first date, or even a conversation with your boss to make someone back away from you because of bad breath, would you?  And then there’s that embarrassing moment with a child tells you about your breath.

Bad breath can come from many things, and getting rid of it can sometimes be relatively easy with a little effort.  However, there are some reasons to see a dentist for persistent bad breath.  Here are some tips to help you get through the day with kissably fresh breath, or at least start you on the journey to it.

Always brush twice a day, floss daily, and clean your tongue.  If you are forgetting your tongue, you are forgetting a large amount of bacteria living in your mouth and making your breath smell bad.  These bacteria especially enjoy the back of the tongue where it is not so easy to reach.  Most good toothbrushes today come with a tongue-cleaning side, but a tongue scraper is another nifty tool for your arsenal.

Try peroxide as a mouthwash.  Peroxide leaves your mouth feeling clean and fresh, and it even kills more of those nasty bacteria that get left behind.  It’s hard to remove them all without a liquid, and peroxide is perfect because it kills them with something we all need, oxygen.  Just use it like a regular mouthwash and take another step towards freshness.

Don’t let your mouth get dry.  A dry mouth can quickly cause bad breath.  Be sure to always drink enough fluids, mainly water, to keep this from happening.  Water is the best liquid for our bodies, and our teeth, as well.  Keep in mind that breathing through the mouth and medications that you may be taking can also contribute to dry mouth.

See a doctor for sinus drainage.  Post-nasal drip is another problem when it comes to fighting bad breath and is most potent in the morning hours.  Any type of sinus infection can cause a bad odor, and if you suspect and infection you should make an appointment with the doctor for antibiotics to get it cleared up.

Eat plenty of yogurt.  A daily dose of yogurt not only helps your gut to do its job with the good bacteria in it, but it also eats the bacteria in the mouth that we don’t want while keeping a yeast infection of the mouth (thrush) at bay.  A healthier gut is yet another way to freshen your breath just a touch more.

Avoid strong foods before you need fresh breath, and always avoid tobacco.  There are two huge problems for people with bad breath.  Smoking leaves your mouth smelling like an ashtray and often dries it out.  Chewing tobacco has an even stronger odor.  Basically, anything that goes into your mouth can have an effect on your breath for some time, so strong smelling foods like garlic, onions, or fish can cause a smell in your mouth for days no matter how clean your mouth it.

Of course, any broken or missing, rotten teeth have a terrible smell and should be dealt with immediately.  Just trying to cover up this smell is not good for you.  You can end up with an infection, further breakage, and cause damage to other teeth by not addressing the teeth that need immediate attention.  The staff in our office are friendly and understanding, and we are hoping to see you soon for a check-up and to talk more about this topic.

Posted in Blog on August 14th, 2014 · Comments Off on Keep Your Mouth Kissably Fresh

To Be or Not To Be… Sedated at the Dentist

Some people wait far too long, even years, to see a dentist because of an intense fear of pain.  If this is you, there is no need to suffer for years with a toothache, broken or missing teeth, or bad breath because there is a way to avoid pain during procedures and to fix all of those problems without feeling either pain or fear.

Sedation at the dentist’s office is generally safe for most people, but it is important to talk about it with the dentist as there are some reasons for people to avoid it.  Still, most people can at least be minimally sedated safely.  A main difference between levels of sedation is how easy or hard it is to wake the patient being treated.

Sedation can happen in various ways and is not allow in all offices.  Only those properly trained in their use can provide all the various type of anesthesia in the office.  Minimal anesthesia is generally administered through regular breathing, but sometimes orally.  A moderate level is usually accomplished orally, and sometimes oral options take patients to a deeper sedation level.  This deep level of sedation is just below the scale from general anesthesia, which is most often reached through use of an IV.

Minimal sedation leaves the patient feeling relaxed and calm to allow the dentist to work without the anxiety and fidgeting many people experience.  In this state, the patient is still awake.  The moderate state of anesthesia leaves people awake for the procedure, yet they do not often remember it.  A deep state is one where the patient is just on the verge of sleep, as if they were falling asleep.  However, it is a state which the patient can still be woken up if needed.  Finally, general anesthesia is a complete sleep state and a patient must either sleep it off or be woken up with another medicine.

If you have an intense fear of going to the dentist, you may be the perfect candidate for sedation.  Don’t avoid important cleanings and check-ups; come in for a review of your options.  Sedated patients also generally receive local anesthesia at the site of the dentist’s work to lessen any possible discomfort no matter which option you choose.  Come on in and learn about your options, our friendly staff is here to help.

Posted in Blog on July 31st, 2014 · Comments Off on To Be or Not To Be… Sedated at the Dentist

Problems with Your Gums

Most people realize that their gums are an important part of their mouth and its health, but do you know what to look for when it comes to signs that something is wrong with your gums?  Do you know what problems may warrant a trip to the dentist?  If not, you are not alone.  Too often people think that the symptoms associated with the beginning stages of things like gingivitis or periodontitis will go away on their own with proper care, but it is best to set an appointment to be sure that your teeth continue to be healthy.

Gums and Brushing

Brushing your gums is an important step to keeping them healthy, just as it is important to keep your teeth and tongue clean.  When you brush, do so in a circular motion and be sure to include your gums as the brushing of gums cleans them and provides them with much needed stimulation.  Also, be sure to floss well, but carefully, under the gum line so that plaque and bacteria cannot hide there and cause trouble.

Warning Signs of Gum Problems

Luckily, there can be warning signs of gum problems depending on the stage which the problem is in.  If you have any of these problems, contact Dr. Christopher Lienau of Phoenix, Arizona for a complete check-up.  He and his friendly staff will be happy to help you to get back on track with a healthier smile.

  • Swollen or red gums with or without pain
  • Bad breath that always comes back and you can’t get rid of
  • Tender or painful gums
  • Pain while chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums that bleed
  • Receding gum line, or your teeth start to look taller
  • Sensitive teeth

These are all signs that something is wrong inside of your mouth.  While it may not mean something is wrong with your gums after a complete check-up with all of these symptoms, any other problems with similar symptoms will be found.  Having a dry mouth too often is also bad for you gums because it is bad for your entire mouth.  For severe cases of dry mouth, Dr. Leila Hakimzadeh Ghafouri may prescribe a specific mouthwash to help.

Posted in Blog on May 29th, 2014 · Comments Off on Problems with Your Gums

Sensitive Teeth

If you find that cold drinks, hot soups, or even a chilly morning air cause you pain in your teeth, you may have a treatable condition of sensitive teeth.  It is quite common and often easy to care for, but it can also mean that there is something else wrong that requires the attention of a dentist.  If you find that the pain is not constant or severe, there may be things that you can do until you set an appointment to make life a bit easier for you.

How do you get sensitive teeth?

Each person has microscopic sized hole in their teeth which are sometimes exposed over time as enamel thins and gums recede.  When something hot or cold gets inside of these holes, it causes sharp pains that can seem very intense, but usually just for a short time.  Cracks in a tooth’s enamel or the beginning of a cavity are also problems that can cause sensitivity, so always keep track of when the sensitivity begins and its intensity so that you can explain it to the dentist.

How to deal with sensitive teeth

If you come in to see [doctor’s name] in Phoenix, Arizona, you may be instructed to use a toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth.  Before coming in it might help to give it a try and also try rubbing the toothpaste onto the gums using your finger as a part of your normal brushing routine.  A sensitive toothpaste does not start working right away and is meant to be used by people with sensitive teeth that is not caused by damage that a dentist needs to fix.

There are options for treatment in the office and it is best to find out what treatment is suggested for you before trying to diagnose the problem on your own.  Treatment at home can also be prescribed and needs to be followed as directed to avoid further sensitivity.

Things to avoid

When you have sensitive teeth, avoiding hot or cold foods is easy because you learn quickly what aggravates the pain, but other things that you want to avoid might not be quite so obvious.  One thing to look for is whether or not you are brushing your teeth too hard.  You should not be using a hard bristled toothbrush, so if you are you need to switch to soft or medium bristles.  Also, look for damage to your bristles.  If they appear bent or damaged, you may be brushing your teeth to hard.

If your teeth are sensitive, you also want to consider the acid content of the food and drink you consume and make some changes.  Any time you drink a soda or use lemons, limes, oranges, or tomatoes in some form you are exposing your teeth to acid, which can damage your teeth further and worsen your sensitivity.

If you are experiencing a problem with sensitive teeth, Dr. Leila Hakimzadeh Ghafouri of Dentistry at the Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona is here to help!  Be sure to explain your sensitivity issues and what makes it worse, how you deal with the pain, and whether or not a warm or cold compress numbs the pain.  In severe situations you may have a cracked tooth or beginning cavity, or there could be an abscess that needs immediate attention.  Whatever the problem, make an appointment for a check-up and let Leila Hakimzadeh Ghafouri help you feel like yourself again.

Posted in Blog on May 15th, 2014 · Comments Off on Sensitive Teeth

Jaw Pain

Jaw pain can sometimes have us confused with its many other symptoms, like headaches, ringing or pain in the ears, tooth pain, and neck and shoulder pain. Serious jaw pain can stem from a problem called TMJ or TMD which often comes from clenching or grinding our teeth in our sleep or even while we are awake. Sometimes this is caused by stress in our lives, and sometimes it is out of our control.
If you are experiencing this type of pain, it is important to visit the dentist to determine a course of treatment. Dr. Hakimzadeh in Phoenix, Arizona is able to examine patients with an understanding hand as this can be a painful disorder. A thorough examination can determine the cause of your pain so that you receive the proper care.
What to do at home
If you are not able to make an appointment right away, try a hot or cold pack on the area for five to ten minutes a few times a day to alleviate some of the pain. Make sure that you do not chew gum or chew too much when eating as this can aggravate the jaw and make it much worse. Cut your food into smaller pieces and try to eat soft foods as much as possible. This will also help because people with TMJ or TMD have trouble opening their mouths very wide due to the pain is causes. The jaw often makes noise when people with this disorder open and close the mouth or move their jaw.
If you make an appointment with Dr. Hakimzadeh in Phoenix, Arizona for this type of jaw pain, he will be able to help you to understand how to care for yourself to avoid further problems and will likely make a bite plate to keep you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. This is not painful at all and does not take long. In some cases people need medication, but this does not have to be part of a permanent solution.
Seeing the dentist is important!
People who grind their teeth stand a chance of wearing down their teeth or breaking them, causing further problems. You also want to be careful taking too many over the counter pain pills because of the damage that they cause to our bodies when overused. The dentist may also suggest jaw exercises to strengthen the muscles in the jaw to naturally relive the pain over time.

If you are having trouble with chronic jaw pain, contact Dr. Hakimzadeh in Phoenix, Arizona to set up an appointment. Don’t wait until your teeth are suffering from the clenching and grinding because this can cause serious damage that is costly to fix.

Posted in Blog on April 26th, 2014 · Comments Off on Jaw Pain

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and are the last to come in, usually in the later teenage years or early twenties.  Much too often, wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow in correctly and become impacted.  Wisdom teeth can actually cause damage to other teeth because they grow in differently.  They can make it hard to brush and floss properly, plus they very often do not grow in straight.   Regular dental visits with Dr. Hakimzadeh in Phoenix, Arizona can help you to avoid problems, but you may require an extra visit if the teeth are causing you pain.

How Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted

Wisdom teeth sometimes grow in directions completely different from the other teeth.  They can grow to the left or right, push against other teeth, or even grow horizontally.  X-rays will tell if they will be likely to cause trouble in the future.  If the dentist believes that it is necessary to remove them, it is best that it happen as soon as possible so that the problems they might cause can be avoided.  Even when wisdom teeth grow in correctly, there is often a flap of gum over the tooth that makes proper brushing and flossing difficult.  Because the gum can trap particles of food, some people end up with painful infection, swelling, and illness.

Wisdom Tooth Removal

The development of the teeth and their position determine whether or not it will be difficult to remove them.  A wisdom tooth that has grown out like a normal tooth is extracted just as easily as other teeth, but a tooth that is still under the gums requires an incision.  Dr. Hakimzadeh will tell you what will happen if an exam shows that you need them to be removed.  Extraction is easier when done with younger people because the roots are not fully developed; waiting for years to have the procedure done just causes problems in the meantime, and recovery time is longer if you wait.

If you believe that you are having trouble with your wisdom teeth, contact Dr. Hakimzadeh in Phoenix, Arizona to set up an appointment.  Don’t wait, especially if you are experiencing pain, swelling, or stiffness in your jaw.  These are warning signs that need to be addressed quickly.

Posted in Blog on October 10th, 2013 · Comments Off on Wisdom Teeth

Keeping Teeth Strong Through Diet

Everyone has heard that an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but the same can be said about the dentist.  Between visits, people should take their oral health in their own hands to keep their mouths clean and happy.  There are foods that can help with this, and others that work against you.  From mealtime to snack time, there are options to help you.

Foods That Keep Teeth Strong

Most people know that calcium builds strong bones and teeth.  Dairy products, like milk, yogurt, and cheeses, are full of calcium and are a common source for most people.  Other options include dark green vegetables, fish that have been canned with the bones, dry beans, and almonds.

Chewing fibrous, abrasive fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples help to keep mouths clean by rubbing against the teeth and gums and prompt our mouths to produce more saliva.  They also contain fiber, and the more fibrous fruits and vegetables hold water that also helps to keep mouths moist.

Green tea has plenty of antioxidants, even a type that kills bacteria in the mouth that causes plaque build-up.  Drinking green tea without sugar is best because sugar sticks to teeth.

Foods with high vitamin C content help to keep teeth strong because it keeps the collagen in the gums strong.  Without healthy gums, teeth are not safe from decay.

Lean proteins, such as chicken, eggs, and lean beef, have a high phosphorous content, which is important to keeping tooth enamel strong.  It also keeps the pH levels in the mouth at a healthy level to prohibit bacteria growth.

Gum that contains xylitol has been found through studies to help to clean teeth and reduce the risk of decay.  More studies must be conducted to determine how this works.

And, of course, water is the best drink for our bodies and our mouths.  Water cleans food particles out of the mouth and keep saliva flowing, which helps us to avoid dry mouth.

Foods to Avoid

Sugar snacks and candies, soft drinks, coffee drinks, energy drinks, dried fruits, cakes, pies, and cookies are part of a long list of foods and drinks to avoid, or at least to have as part of a meal.  When we eat larger meals, our mouths produce more saliva, washing away more of the sugars.  Hard candies, or anything that sits in the mouth to dissolve prolong the time that the teeth are subjected to the sugar.  Snack responsibly, for your body and your mouth to stay healthy.

If you have questions about what foods to eat to keep your teeth strong, ask Dr. Hakimzadeh in Phoenix, Arizona at your next appointment.  If you are a new patient, we hope to hear from you soon.  Keep smiling!

Posted in Blog on September 26th, 2013 · Comments Off on Keeping Teeth Strong Through Diet

Dry Mouth

The first step of the digestive process is that our mouths produce saliva to begin dissolving foods and help us swallow.  Saliva also helps to keep our mouths cleaner by controlling fungi and bacteria growth in the mouth and washing away left over food particles.  Having a persistent dry mouth is not uncommon; it actually affects more than 25% of adults.  It is a very uncomfortable problem that can create more problems.  Dry mouth is treatable, and Dr. Hakimzadeh in Phoenix, Arizona can help.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is caused by many types of medication, both over the counter and prescription.  It is also an effect of various illnesses and cancer treatment.  Because older generations tend to take more types of medication and often have more illness to deal with, they are also more likely to develop symptoms of dry mouth.  Smoking or dipping tobacco causes this, as well, by affecting the production of saliva and making it worse.

Common Symptoms

Symptoms can be different from one person to another, but they are all serious because it can cause tooth decay, gum disease, infections, and thrush.

  • Excessive thirst
  • A tingle or burning on the mouth and on the tongue
  • Trouble talking, chewing, swallowing, or tasting foods
  • Sore, dry throat and sinus
  • Mouth sores
  • Cracks at the corners of the mouth or on the lips
  • Raw, red tongue with dryness of the tongue and mouth
  • A sticky, dry feeling

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call Dr. Hakimzadeh in Phoenix, Arizona to set up an appointment.  Bring a list of over the counter and prescribed medications and any vitamin supplements you are taking, and be ready to answer questions to help Dr. Hakimzadeh determine the best treatment for you.

Posted in Blog on September 12th, 2013 · Comments Off on Dry Mouth

Dental Implants

Sometimes, even when you try your hardest to keep up with a great dental hygiene routine and go to the dentist regularly, teeth need to be replaced.  It is natural as we age and can be due to injuries or hereditary reasons.  Dental implants are a great alternative to partial dentures and look completely natural.  They even require brushing and flossing just like normal teeth!

Dr. Hakimzadeh knows that your smile is important to you and will help you to decide the best option for your dental health.  Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular because everyone wants to look and feel their best, gain back their confidence, and make a great first impression.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants use titanium anchors placed into the jaw bone to hold one or more teeth.  This keeps the implant in place and looking natural.  For a single tooth, the anchor works as a root, and for multiple teeth the implant can be fixed, or removable.  Some implants are even used to hold dentures in place for people without enough jaw bone remaining for dentures to stay in place well, and also reduce the need for dental adhesives.

Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Looks, and feels, more natural than any other option
  • Keeps gums and jaw bones from shrinking as quickly where teeth are missing
  • The most advanced tooth replacement option available
  • Dental implants will never decay
  • People of all ages are eligible for dental implants

Dental implant procedures are very common, and very safe.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Christopher Hakimzadeh in Phoenix, Arizona for more information.  Set up an appointment with Dr. Hakimzadeh for an evaluation to beginning planning for your new bright future.

Posted in Blog on August 29th, 2013 · Comments Off on Dental Implants