Q: Do the vampires on True Blood have their fangs on the wrong teeth?

A: If you’ve watched the HBO series True Blood and the fangs of the vampires looked a little strange to you, it’s probably because the vampires have their fangs on their lateral teeth. Most vampires in movies and on TV have their fangs on their canines – which makes sense, since this is where dogs, cats and many other animals have their fangs.
This article looks at the history of vampire fangs in scary movies and shows, and it examines why the creators of True Blood made their vampire fangs the way they did. (Note that some of the content on that site – like True Blood itself – may not be appropriate for children.)
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.

"How do I get over my dental anxiety?"

Q: How do I get over my dental anxiety?

A: The first thing you must realize is that you are not the only one to be afraid of the dentist. The key is to identify the specific sources of your fears and think of ways to overcome those sources. You don’t have to do this alone. Speak to your dentist openly about your anxiety. You may also decide to get help from a therapist or counselor. The important thing to remember is that the choice of what to do is ultimately up to you. You decide whether or not to go to the dental office. You decide what procedures will take place with the guidance of your dentist. Also remember that you have to power to communicate any discomfort you experience during a procedure. You can take actions such as raising your hand to alert your dentist to stop treatment for a moment if needed.

Pharmaceutical options also exist to deal with your anxiety. Things like Valium and Nitrous oxide can help ease your anxiety during dental treatment.

Talk with your dentist to discuss ways of making your dental visit more comfortable for you. Just remember that avoiding the dentist is not the answer. Avoidance today can mean larger dental problems in the long run. These larger problems will often be more costly and involve more time in the dental chair.

Please remember that you are not alone in your fears. Tell your dentist what your issues are so that he or she will be better able to find solutions.

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.

"Are dental grills bad for your teeth?"

Q: For a while I’ve been interested in getting some dental “bling” like a rapper. Are dental grills bad for your teeth?
A: There is some controversy about just how bad dental grills are for your teeth, but we can definitely say that you’re going to cause yourself a lot of trouble if don’t use your grill very carefully. Improperly used dental grills can lead to gum recession and infection, chipped teeth, shifted teeth, tooth decay and worn enamel, jaw stress and bad breath. Plaque can get trapped under the grill, staining your teeth. If the grill is made of non-precious metals, this can sometimes lead to dangerous allergic reactions.

Many people make their own grills using do-it-yourself kits, while others have casts of their teeth made by a jeweler. In some states casting teeth is considered dentistry, and jewelers who do it are breaking the law.

If you decide that you’re going to get a dental grill, discuss it with your dentist first. Don’t wear the grill for long, always remove it when you eat, brush or floss, and clean it thoroughly after every use. Never leave it in your mouth overnight.

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 is the origin of the Tooth Fairy?"

Q: What is the origin of the Tooth Fairy?

A: The modern story of the Tooth Fairy is apparently less than a century old, but it grows out of other myths that are much older.

For centuries, many cultures have had teething rituals. In various European countries it was once believed that witches used lost teeth for curses, so people were understandably very anxious about the disposal of their children’s teeth. People buried baby teeth, hid them, swallowed them, threw them into the fire or flung them high into the sky to send them to the sun.

Some countries had a superstition that if an animal ate your child’s tooth, your child would grow a new tooth that looked like the animal’s. Mice have strong, sharp teeth that never stop growing, so it was considered a good thing if a child’s lost tooth was eaten by a mouse! Perhaps because of this, many cultures have depicted the tooth fairy as a mouse.

In 1927 Esther Watkins Arnold wrote a popular children’s play called The Tooth Fairy. This did a lot to define the story of the Tooth Fairy in America, and by the 1950s the character was being regularly featured in movies, cartoons, TV shows and books. Nowadays the character of the Tooth Fairy is well-established… But even after all this time, we still don’t know 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: How can I fix my bad breath?

A: Bad breath or halitosis can be due to a variety of causes. The most common causes are tooth decay (cavities), gum disease (periodontal disease), plaque and calculus accumulation due to inadequate oral hygiene, smoking or use of other tobacco products, and eating odor-causing foods like garlic or onions. Long-term mouth dryness and respiratory infections are other possible sources of bad breath. Some medical disorders and medications can also cause halitosis. It is important to visit a dentist to determine the cause of this upsetting condition and treat it accordingly.

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 about a gel that can heal cavities. What is it?

A: As of this writing, there is no product like that on the market. But scientists in France are working on it. When Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH) is applied next to a cavity, it encourages the cells inside of the tooth to regenerate. That means that someday, your dentist may be able to heal your cavity instead of giving you a filling.

This is exciting news, but it doesn’t mean you can just stop brushing and flossing now! MSH is still going to have to go through years of clinical trials, and even if it passes them all, it will only be usable in a minority of cavities. And when and if it is finally available, it will only be able to treat cavities, not prevent them.

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.

"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.

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