"How do you brush your teeth in space?"

Q: How do you brush your teeth in space?
A: As you’d imagine, brushing your teeth is very complicated in zero gravity. In an essay on the Gizmodo website, astronaut Leroy Chiao describes the difficulties of maintaining proper oral hygiene in space.
“It is unbelievably easy to lose things,” Chaio writes. “Get distracted for a moment, and that toothpaste cap is gone! Even if you are good about anchoring such things behind a rubber bungee, some rookie going by could knock it loose.”

But despite all of the challenges, astronauts still manage to to take care of their teeth in space. So those of us down here on Earth have no excuse!

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

"Should my child use mouthwash?"

Q: Should my child use mouthwash?
A: Mouthwash (even natural mouthwash) contains ingredients that can be dangerous if swallowed in large amounts, and children under 12 shouldn’t use mouthwash without adult supervision.

Dentists generally don’t recommend mouthwash for children younger than 6, although in some circumstances a dentist may recommend mouthwash for children under 6 if confident the child won’t swallow it. Children under 6 who swallow mouthwash run the risk of fluorosis, a condition where long-lasting spots or streaks appear on the teeth.

If your children are going to use mouthwash, make it clear to them that this is not an effective substitute for regular brushing and flossing.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

Q: Are there any foods I should avoid if I have braces?
A: People with braces should avoid certain foods to help preserve their braces and lower their risk of cavities.

Crunchy, hard foods like nuts and popcorn can be damaging to braces. Cut hard foods like carrots into smaller bites, so they will be less likely to cause damage. Starchy and sugary foods lead to plaque, which promotes gum disease and cavities. You should try to avoid foods that are sticky. Candies and other sticky foods can loosen brackets and damage the wires of your braces.
This page features a good list of foods to avoid while you have braces. If you want to learn more about how to protect your braces, visit our office and we’ll be glad to discuss it with you.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

"Is chewing gum good for my teeth?"

Q: I’ve seen those commercials where they say that chewing gum can actually be good for teeth. Is it true?
A: Chewing gum can be good for your teeth, as long as it’s the right sort of gum.

Sugary bubblegum is basically candy, and it’s not good for your teeth. But sugarless chewing gum can help prevent tooth decay. Chewing sugarless gum causes your mouth to produce saliva, which helps break down acids in your mouth and strengthens your tooth enamel. It’s a good idea to chew some gum after a meal, so your mouth will produce saliva that will help loosen the food particles from your teeth.
When you shop for chewing gum, be sure to look for brands with a label stating that the gum is recommended by the American Dental Association. Also check for the ingredient xylitol, as recent research suggests that it’s useful for reducing plaque.

So yes, chewing gum can indeed be good for your teeth… But remember that chewing gum is no substitute for regular brushing and flossing!

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

What are the early symptoms of gingivitis?

Q: What are the early symptoms of gingivitis?

A: Gingivitis is one of the most common forms of gum disease. It’s usually not painful at first, so be sure to inspect your gums and teeth often for other early symptoms.

In the early stages of gingivitis, your gums may appear red and dull, instead of shiny and pink. They may also look soft and swollen, and they may be pulling away from your teeth. Healthy gums should be firm and they should closely hug the teeth. Other warning signs include bleeding when you floss or finding pink traces of blood on your toothbrush.

If you’re worried that you may have gingivitis, or you want to learn more about how to prevent it, visit our office and we’ll be glad to discuss it with you.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees patients in the Los Angeles area. Visit our website or give us a call at (310) 482-3971 for more information about how we can provide you and your family with healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

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