This clip from the popular TV series How It’s Made reveals how your toothbrush was made. The process is more complex than you’d think!

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees children and adults in Culver City and serves the greater 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: I think my tooth is infected. If I take antibiotics, will that cure the infection?

A: If you have an infection in the pulp of your tooth, it can’t be cured by antibiotics. When the pulp of your tooth becomes infected it dies and leaves a hollow space in your tooth. Bacteria can thrive in that space, and drugs can’t reach them. When that happens you’ll need a root canal, or sometimes extraction. While dentists will sometimes prescribe an antibiotic for a patient having a root canal, this is to eliminate bacteria growing around the tooth, not in the pulp itself.

Unless you’ve been diagnosed by a dentist, you can’t be sure if your pain is really from an infected tooth. There are many possible reasons why a tooth hurts, so you should get your tooth looked at by a professional soon.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees children and adults in Culver City and serves the greater 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: How do I know if I have gum disease?

A: Some of the identifying factors for gum disease include loose teeth, “long” teeth (where your gums have pulled back, making your teeth appear longer) and bleeding gums. The American Academy of Periodontology offers a self-assessment tool that can help you determine what your risk is. Early detection is critical to avoiding serious and costly dental problems.

Of course, the best way to check on the health of your teeth and gums is a visit to your local dentist. And don’t forget that gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, is completely reversible!

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: I’ve heard I should brush my tongue. Why?

A: Brushing your tongue is a good idea, and if you have a white coating on your tongue you should talk to your dentist about proper oral hygiene. The tongue is home to bacteria that are involved in many systemic health problems, including periodontal trouble, tooth decay, plaque and bad breath. Dead bacteria in the back of the tongue can also cause bad breath, or halitosis.

There are special devices for cleaning your tongue, such as the tongue cleaner seen here. Use it every day for better health and fresher breath!

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: How often should I floss my teeth?

A: You should floss once a day at least, but flossing after every meal is ideal.

Flossing is an essential part of maintaining dental health, as it removes plaque and food debris from the spaces between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. And flossing isn’t just good for your teeth. Some studies have shown that flossing actually helps to prevent strokes and heart attacks.

Visit our office and we will be happy to give you a demonstration.

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: When should I first take my child to the dentist?A: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you take your child to a dentist no later than their first birthday, or as soon as their first tooth appears. This may sound too early, but dental problems often start during infancy and it’s important to establish a good preventative program. By taking your child to the dentist before dental problems develop, you’ll also help them get accustomed to the idea of visiting a dentist. You definitely shouldn’t wait until your child is in pain to see a dentist for the first time, or the experience could be traumatic and your child could end up being afraid of going back to the dentist.

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: I grind my teeth in my sleep, and my dentist says I should use a mouthguard. I bought a guard at the drugstore, but I couldn’t fall asleep with it in my mouth. What can I do?

A: It’s very important that you follow your dentist’s advice and wear a mouthguard while you sleep. Left untreated, nighttime teeth grinding – or bruxism – can lead to serious problems, including loss of teeth.

Because the mouthguards you can purchase at a drugstore aren’t custom fitted to fit your mouth, they can be rather uncomfortable to wear. (Over the counter guards that you shape by dropping them into boiling water don’t actually count as being custom fitted.) The athletic mouthguards that you can buy in a sporting goods store are even worse. They’re not meant to be worn overnight, and they’re too big and often have rather sharp edges.

A custom fitted mouthguard from your dentist’s office will be much more comfortable than an over the counter guard and it will do a better job of protecting your teeth. It may take a little getting used to at first, but some patients eventually get so used to wearing their guard at night that they have trouble falling asleep without it!



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: Where does the story of the tooth fairy come from?

A: While the modern story of the tooth fairy is less than a century old, it developed from much older myths.

In some European countries it was once thought that witches used lost teeth for curses, so parents took their children’s lost teeth very seriously. They buried baby teeth in the ground, hid them, threw them into the fire or tossed them into the sky. Sometimes they even swallowed them!

In some countries people once believed that if an animal ate a child’s tooth, the child would grow a new tooth that looked like the animal’s. Since mice have strong, sharp teeth that never stop growing, many parents hoped that their child’s lost tooth would be eaten by a mouse. (Perhaps this is why various cultures around the world have depicted the tooth fairy as a mouse.)

In the 1920s Esther Watkins Arnold wrote The Tooth Fairy, a popular children’s play. It helped define the story of the tooth fairy in the US, and by the 1950s the character was well-established. These days everybody knows the story of the tooth fairy… Although strangely enough, even after all this time nobody knows what she does with all of those teeth!

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: Is bottled water better for my teeth than tap water?
A: According to the American Dental Association, tap water is actually much better for your teeth than bottled water. Most bottled waters lack the optimum level (0.7-1.2 ppm) of fluoride, while the fluoridation in tap water helps to prevent tooth decay.

If you drink bottled water, read the label to find out the level of fluoridation and ask your dentist if you need supplemental fluoride tablets.

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.

You can help your child remember to brush and floss by using fun songs. Here are a few of our favorites:

To the tune of “London Bridge”
This is the way we brush our teeth,
Brush our teeth, brush our teeth.
Gently, gently, round and round,
To keep them clean and sweet.
You will have a pretty smile,
Pretty smile, pretty smile.
You will have a pretty smile,
Because you brushed your teeth.

To the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
Brush, brush, brush your teeth
Gently round your gums.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Brushing can be fun!!
Brush, brush, brush your teeth
Brush them every day.
The front, the sides, the back, the top
To keep decay (or the bugs or germs) away!
Floss, floss, floss your teeth
Floss without delay.
You need to do this every day
To keep decay (or the bugs or germs) away!

To the tune of “Jingle Bells”
I brush my teeth, I brush my teeth, morning noon and night.
I brush them, floss them, rinse them clean; I keep them nice and white.
I brush them once, I brush them twice; I brush them till they shine.
I always brush them round and round; those precious teeth of mine.
I eat good foods, I eat good foods, I give my teeth a treat.
I like to eat healthy foods like veggies, fruit, and meat.
If I eat sweets, if I eat sweets, I brush them right away
To keep my teeth shiny bright, and free from tooth decay.

Dr. Natalie Khadavi sees children and adults in Culver City and serves the greater 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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