Caring for Your Teeth with Braces

Now that you have your braces in place, it is especially important to maintain good oral health throughout the length of your treatment. To get the most of your braces, and wear them for the shortest time with the fewest visits, keep your braces clean and be mindful of the foods you eat.


Brushing and Flossing with Braces

While wearing braces, the risk of gum disease and tooth decay is much higher as food and plaque can get trapped in the tiny spaces between brackets and wires, causing decay and enamel stains. To avoid dental problems and discoloration, it is best to brush after every meal and use special orthodontic floss at least once a day to clean between brackets and under wires. Check your teeth in a mirror to make sure all food particles have been washed away. If you don’t have your toothbrush with you, rinse your mouth vigorously with water. Ask our San Jose office about special cleaning aids, which are specially designed to clean between wires and appliances.

Eating with Braces

Patients can eat and drink most foods while wearing braces, but there are certain foods and habits that a patient should avoid to prevent bending wires, breaking brackets, and loosening the cement that attaches the appliances to your teeth.

  • Avoid chewy and sticky foods, such as caramel, taffy, chewing gum and beef jerky which can stick to braces.
  • Avoid hard foods, such as apples, pretzels, candies, nuts and popcorn which break wires and loosen brackets.
  • Minimize sweets, soda and other sugary and starchy foods and drinks that promote decay.
  • Refrain from habits such as pencil chewing, nail biting and picking at your wires as this can also lead to damaged braces.

Keep in mind that broken braces will require extra appointments and time. Make an appointment immediately if your wires and brackets are damaged so that your orthodontic treatment won’t be delayed.

Protecting Your Mouth

Any contact to the mouth could not only break or damage your braces, but it could seriously injure your teeth and gums. If this is a problem, a special wax is available, which is placed on the wires to prevent irritation of your oral tissues. When playing sports where there is a chance of getting struck in the mouth, wear a mouth guard. These durable mouth pieces fit over your braces and teeth to protect your mouth tissue from painful contact with your braces.

Caring for your braces will require a little more time and effort on your part, but is necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout treatment. Remember that your orthodontic care is only temporary, but your new, beautiful smile will last a lifetime!

What’s Causing Your Tooth Sensitivity?

At one time or another, you’ve probably experienced a sharp, sudden tooth pain.  This is known as tooth sensitivity, or dentin hypersensitivity, and is one of the most common complaints among dental patients.  Are your sensitive teeth simply an annoyance, or could it be a sign of something more serious?

Before we examine the causes of tooth sensitivity, let’s first understand the structure of a tooth.  The outermost layer of a tooth is called the enamel, a protective covering that envelopes the inner tooth surface known as the dentin. Beneath the dentin and in the center of the tooth are living tissues; this is known as the pulp.  The pulp contains sensitive nerves, which are connected to the dentin.  When dentin is exposed, the nerves are easily stimulated which results in discomfort and pain.

Sensitive Tooth

People with sensitive teeth generally experience discomfort when a hot, cold, sweet or sour food or beverage comes into contact with the exposed dentin and irritates the nerves. The sensation can range from slight irritation to excruciating pain.

One or combinations of the following are common causes of tooth sensitivity.

  • Overly abrasive toothpaste
  • Receding gums
  • Brushing too vigorously or using a hard-bristled toothbrush
  • Cracked teeth
  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Tooth decay
  • Enamel wear caused by acidic foods or drinks, such as soda
  • Eating disorders
  • Root nerve damage
  • Teeth whitening products
  • Dental procedures such as cleanings, crowns or root canals

Not all occasional tooth sensitivity warrants a trip to the dentist, but when tooth sensitivity persists, talk to Dental Dimensions. A more serious issue, such as gum disease, that requires professional treatment may be causing your discomfort.  Your San Jose dentist will assess the severity of your tooth sensitivity, determine the cause of your pain and recommend the best course of treatment to relieve your discomfort.

Play it Safe – Protecting Your Smile with a Mouthguard

If your child is active in sports, then you know that losing isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a young athlete- sustaining a serious injury is.  That’s why anyone who participates in recreational activities carries a significant risk of injury and should always wear appropriate protective gear—and that includes wearing a mouthguard.

Every year, thousands of kids sustain some type of oral injury, such as a knocked out tooth or damaged jaw while participating in recreational sports or competitions.  According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain an injury to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard! That means that the majority of dental injuries caused by sports can easily be prevented with proper protection.


Mouthguards are made of soft plastic and fit over the teeth. They are designed to prevent damage where sports injuries are most prevalent and can cushion a blow to the face, minimizing impact that otherwise could cause broken teeth, jaw injuries or cuts to the soft tissues in the mouth.  For kids with braces, a mouthguard helps shield the cheeks, gums and lips from getting cut by wires and brackets.

But smiles aren’t the only things a protective mouthpiece can save. Mouthguards also play a pivotal role in reducing the rate and severity of concussions, as a large percentage are caused by impact to the jaws rather than a blow to the skull.

Choosing the Right Mouthguard

To receive optimal protection, your child’s mouthguard should be customized for their specific sport. It should be durable, comfortable and fit securely on the athlete’s teeth during practice and competition.

There are three different types of mouthguards to choose from:

1. Preformed, store bought mouthguards are ready-to-wear

2. “Boil-and-bite, ”store bought mouthguards are molded to the teeth

3. Custom-made and fitted mouthguards are designed by your San Jose dentist to perfectly fit an individual’s smile.

At Dental Dimensions, we can custom-fit mouthguards for patients of every age to prevent injuries to the teeth, lips, tongue, face or jaw. Our custom-fit mouthguards are durable and specifically designed for each patient’s unique smile. A custom-made mouthguard is designed to cover all the teeth and is the best type of mouthpiece available. And since comfort is key, we make sure the mouthguard stays in place while your child is wearing it, making it easy to talk and breathe while offering the best fit, protection and comfort for their smile.

Remember, mouthguards aren’t only for kids and professional athletes—they’re for everyone, young or old and every skill level alike. It’s a small investment, but it offers peace of mind and can save your smile. Make an appointment for you or your young athlete today.
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Healthy Smiles, Healthy Families

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Families

Good oral health is important at every age. Healthy teeth and gums signify more than an attractive smile—it often reflects good general health, confidence and a personal sense of well-being. Proper oral hygiene starting at home can help protect your family’s teeth from cavities and prevent gum disease.


The following tips can help your family reach optimal oral health to promote a lifetime of healthy smiles:

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

The health of your smile is a reflection of how well you take care of your teeth and gums. It should go without saying that you and your family should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss daily to remove plaque build up from the large surfaces of the teeth and under the gums.  Most of us learn these habits as children, and that’s why it’s important for parents to play an active role in helping kids learn the proper techniques for brushing and flossing.

2. Snacking & Tooth Decay

Frequent snacking can be your mouth’s biggest enemy.  That’s because when sugars or starches in your mouth come in contact with plaque, the acids produced can attack teeth for several minutes after you finish eating. Repeated attacks can break down the enamel on the surface of teeth, fueling tooth decay. To prevent cavities, consume sugary foods and drinks with meals rather than in between. If you must snack throughout the day, then brush immediately after to cleanse the mouth of food.

Along with limiting how frequently you eat, you should also pay attention to the types of foods and drinks your family is consuming. Limit your intake of sugary, starchy foods, and replace them with healthy choices, such as raw vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains.

3. Fluoride

Teeth are attacked by plaque daily. The acids produced by plaque weaken the enamel, which eventually leads to decay. That’s why it is important to make sure you are getting enough fluoride. Fluoride is absorbed into the enamel, helping to repair and prevent cavities. Some children may benefit from fluoride supplements. Ask Dental Dimensions about the best fluoride treatment plan for your family at your next visit.

4. Check ups

Regular visits to your San Jose dentist are a very important part of maintaining good dental health. The American Dental Association recommends scheduling dental appointments twice a year.  A professional dentist can detect problems in their earliest stages, and will make sure your kids’ teeth are developing properly as they grow.  Dental Dimensions can clean the areas of your teeth that regular brushing can’t, helping you avoid unnecessary cavities and dental treatment.

If you neglect the care of your teeth at home and fail to go to the dentist regularly, accumulated plaque could potentially lead to the development of tooth decay, gum disease and even tooth loss. The good news is that being diligent about your dental health care at home and by seeing your dentist on a regular basis, you and your family will be more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

How to Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Did you know your baby’s teeth are at risk for decay as soon as the child is born? One of the biggest causes of tooth decay in infants and toddlers is known as baby bottle tooth decay.
Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when the baby’s teeth are exposed for extended periods of time to liquids that contain sugar, such as juice, sweetened water and potentially milk or formula. The sugars in these drinks feed the bacteria in plaque that accumulate around the baby’s teeth and gums.  Like adult teeth, each time a child drinks these beverages the acids attack the teeth for 20 minutes or longer, and multiple attacks can cause cavities and decay.
The good news is that baby tooth decay is very preventable.  Here are a few ways parents can help keep tooth decay at bay for their little one.
  • Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after every feeding to remove plaque and leftover foods.
  • Never coat the baby’s pacifier in sweeteners, such as honey or jam.
  • When your child’s first tooth erupts, brush it gently with a child-sized toothbrush and water. Check with Dental Dimensions before using any type of fluoride treatment.
  • Only serve juice and other sugary drinks at mealtime.
  • Infants should always finish their bottle prior to napping or going to bed.
  • Introduce training cups for drinking by 12 months of age.
  • Promote a healthy, well-balanced diet, and limit foods that contain sugars, which contribute to decay.
  • Schedule your child’s first appointment with your [location] dentist by his or her first birthday.
It’s never too early to start taking care of your baby’s teeth and gums.  Pay special care to your baby’s mouth now, and always contact Dental Dimensions with questions or at the first sign of a problem.

Restoration Dentistry

How to Restore Your Natural Smile

If you’re one of the millions of adults who have lost one or more teeth due to cavities, gum disease or traumatic injury, then you know how big of an impact tooth loss can have on your life. Missing teeth can cause problems speaking, make eating your favorite foods difficult and have a negative impact on your self-confidence.
Fortunately, there are many tooth replacement options available for people with damaged or missing teeth. Delaying treatment may lead to more serious problems and require more extensive dental work down the road, so it’s important to talk to your San Jose dentist as soon as you notice a problem.

What is Dental Restoration?

Dental restoration is the process of restoring damaged or missing teeth to a healthy, functional and beautiful state.  Whether you need a tooth-colored filling, porcelain crown, permanent bridge or any other replacement for missing teeth, Dental Dimensions can help you regain the function and natural beauty of your smile while providing improved comfort.


Fillings are used to restore a portion of a tooth damaged by decay or traumatic injury. Compared to earlier fillings, the materials used in fillings today are much more aesthetically appealing, allowing patients to restore their tooth while maintaining a smile that looks and feels natural.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are an excellent long-term solution to missing or broken teeth. These artificial tooth roots are securely placed to simulate the root of a pre-existing tooth. Implants are designed to replicate your natural teeth while restoring function and preventing further decay, dental diseases and bone loss.


Another option for tooth loss is dentures, or false teeth. There are two types of dentures: complete and partial. Complete dentures are used when no teeth are remaining. This type of dentures covers both the upper and lower gums. Partial dentures, on the other hand, are used when several teeth are missing. Today’s dentures are designed to be much more comfortable and functional than earlier years.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns may be used to restore a tooth’s function and appearance following a restorative procedure, such as a root canal, or when decay in a tooth becomes so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed.  Crowns are placed on the top of the tooth and are typically made of tooth-like porcelain material. Crowns may also be used to cover implants, attach dental bridges or protect an existing filling from becoming loose or dislocated.


Dental bridges “bridge” the gap between your missing tooth or teeth and your surrounding teeth. False teeth are fused between two crowns to fill in the area where tooth loss occurred.
If your teeth are damaged or missing, then you want a replacement option that will restore your smile as close to your natural teeth as possible.  Today’s restorative dental options are more durable and natural looking than in years past, renewing both your health and self-confidence. Talk to Dental Dimensions about the best treatment for you.

How to Avoid Tooth Stains

Stained, discolored teeth are one of the most common complaints dentists hear from patients. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest dental problems to prevent and treat.
In most cases, you can prevent your pearly whites from turning dingy simply by controlling what you expose them to. Foods and drinks are common culprits, such as coffee, tea, juice, wine, soy sauce and blueberries.  But it’s not just what you eat that can taint your smile. Tobacco—whether it is smoked or chewed—is one of the worst offenders of discolored teeth.
Not all stains are caused by bad habits and foods. Aging can also lead to yellowing of the teeth. As the enamel of the teeth wears thin, the underlying layer of yellowish dentin shows through.

Prevent Stained Teeth

  • Keep teeth clean: Brush and floss every day—and immediately after eating or drinking—to remove plaque and other stain-causing debris that accumulates on the teeth.
  • Choose foods and drinks wisely: Limit how often you drink tea, coffee and other dark foods and beverages. If you must indulge, do so in one sitting rather than sipping or snacking throughout the day.  When drinking, use a straw to reduce your teeth’s exposure and minimize staining.
  • Quit smoking: While easier said than done, smoking is a major cause of stained teeth. Stop now and you’ll not only save your teeth from turning yellow, but you will be doing your overall health a favor.
  • Brush with whitening toothpaste: Whitening toothpaste won’t actually change the overall color of your teeth, but can be very effective at removing minor stains.
  • Visit Dental Dimensions: Remember to schedule appointments with your dentist for a professional cleaning and check-up every six months to keep your smile looking and feeling its very best.

Professional Whitening from Dental Dimensions

For dramatic, long-lasting teeth whitening results, your San Jose dentist may recommend professional in-office whitening. Professional teeth bleaching can remove unwanted stains to reveal your smile’s bright white in as little as a single appointment.  A special whitening agent is applied to your teeth and activated by a light to accelerate the whitening process. This procedure is ideal for busy patients looking for immediate results and dramatically whiter teeth in just one or two appointments.
There’s no reason to be embarrassed by discolored teeth today. With proper care at home and professional options available from Dental Dimensions, you can reclaim your bright, white smile.

Replace Toothbrush

The Filthy Truth About Your Toothbrush

You know that the best way to take care of your teeth and gums is by brushing every day. But do you know how to best take care of your toothbrush? Believe it or not, your toothbrush may not be all that clean and could be home to millions of bacteria and germs.
How you store your toothbrush can play a big role in how clean it stays. After brushing, you should rinse the brush in tap water to remove toothpaste and debris. Store the toothbrush in an upright position and allow it to air dry after every use.  If multiple brushes are stored in the same area, keep the brushes separated to avoid illness from being passed between brushes.
Generally speaking, the human body is able to defend itself from bacteria and prevent infections. You should, however, still exercise some basic common sense when caring for your toothbrush.
To keep your toothbrush as germ-free as possible, follow these simple tips.
  • Every 3-4 months- The American Dental Association recommends replacing your old toothbrush about every three months, or sooner if the bristles start to bend or fray.
  • Following illness- If you’ve had a cold or flu, you may also want to buy a new toothbrush. Germs and bacteria can hide out in the bristles, which may lead to reinfection.
  • Avoid sharing toothbrushes- Because microorganisms can be passed between users, sharing a toothbrush should be avoided to prevent the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Don’t cover toothbrush- Moist environments are breeding grounds for bacteria. Store your toothbrush upright in the open air instead.
Brushing is the best way to keep your mouth clean and your teeth healthy—but not if your toothbrush is in bad condition. If you ever have any doubts about the shape of your toothbrush, simply throw it out and get a new one.

Orthodontic Braces

Am I a Candidate for Orthodontic Braces?


Orthodontic braces are used to correct malocclusion, or “bad bites.”  When teeth are unevenly spaced, crooked and crowded, they are difficult to clean and maintain. This can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and even tooth loss. Other problems, such as ineffective chewing, problems speaking and misalignment of the jaw joints can also result from a poorly aligned bite without treatment. That’s why it is important to consult with a trained dentist or orthodontist about the best treatment options for moving your teeth to their optimal position.

Who can benefit from braces?

For many teens, braces are a rite of passage. But you don’t have to be an adolescent to benefit from braces.  Both adults and children can undergo orthodontic care to correct a wide range of dental problems. Common reasons for getting orthodontic braces include:
  • Overcrowded or crooked teeth
  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Irregular spacing
  • Overbite
  • Jaw misalignment problems

More comfort, better results.

Thanks to advancements in modern dental materials and technologies, today’s dental braces are much smaller, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing than in years past. One popular option for adults—Invisalign—may also be a good choice for improving moderate teeth misalignment. Invisalign appliances are clear and removable, giving adults the convenience and comfort to improve their smile without anyone knowing they are even undergoing treatment.
If you or your child desires a straighter smile and an improved bite, talk to your San Jose dentist or orthodontist. The best orthodontic option will depend largely on the severity of dental problems. Dental Dimensions can help you determine the best course of action.

Toothache? Here’s What To Do!

Listening to your body’s warning signs can mean the difference between a lifetime of good health and years of chronic conditions. This is especially true for toothaches and oral pain. When you experience these pain types, your body is often trying to tell you something – and that often means you may need to make a trip to our South San Jose dentist’s office.

Tooth pain can come from multiple sources, but is generally considered a sign that a nerve or nerves are irritated in your mouth. You may notice this pain when chewing your food. The pain may accompany bleeding, temperature sensitivity, fever or swelling.


Common causes of a toothache can include dental cavities, infection, impacted wisdom tooth or injury to your mouth. Rarely, a toothache is not actually due to a tooth-related pain at all. Conditions such as sinusitis or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can cause tooth pain as well.

You can relieve or lessen some tooth pain through at-home care, such as rinsing your mouth with warm water. You also can apply a cold compress to your cheek to relieve oral pain or take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Some “don’ts” when caring for your teeth are to refrain from applying aspirin or a painkiller directly to the gum. This can burn your gum tissue.

If you experience oral pain or a toothache that does not go away after two days or does not feel better, even after taking over-the-counter pain relievers, call our dentist’s office in South San Jose. These are all signs that you need professional dental attention.

Waiting longer or trying to ignore tooth pain or oral pain is not only uncomfortable, it also can worsen your condition. If you are experiencing a tooth infection, the bacteria responsible for the infection can spread.

If you have tooth pain, don’t delay – call The Dental Dimensions, a dentist practice in South San Jose at (408) 225-6815.