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Diabetes and Dental Care

July 8th, 2020

When most people think of complications of diabetes, they think of an increased risk of blindness, limb amputation, heart disease, and neuropathy. However, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team want you to know that emerging research is revealing a possible connection between uncontrolled diabetes and dental problems. Whether you have type 2 diabetes or type 1, uncontrolled high blood glucose level increases the risk of certain oral health conditions, including:

  • Cavities
  • Tooth decay
  • Gingivitis (early gum disease)
  • Periodontal disease (advanced gum disease)

Diabetes and proper dental care

If you have diabetes, it is more important than ever to take your dental care seriously and practice excellent oral hygiene. These recommendations will help:

  1. Manage your diabetes. First and foremost, it is vital to control your high blood sugar in accordance with your physician’s instructions — not only for the sake of your oral health, but your overall health. With properly controlled blood sugar, you reduce your risk of developing gingivitis and other oral health issues.
  2. Practice good at-home oral hygiene. This means brushing at least twice a day AND flossing. At a minimum, brush your teeth in the morning and at night, but after meals and snacks if you can. Use a soft toothbrush to avoid injuring your gums. Don’t neglect flossing, because it helps to remove plaque below the gumline and between teeth.
  3. Visit the dentist regularly. While it is important to see the dentist every six months even if you don’t have diabetes, it is even more crucial to have a professional teeth cleaning and dental exam if you have the disease. As dental professionals, our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care is able to detect early dental conditions before they develop into something more serious and costly.
  4. Tell your dentist that you have diabetes. If you were recently diagnosed with diabetes, be sure to let us know as soon as possible, and remind us at every appointment.
  5. Be conscientious about examining your own gums and teeth. By looking for early signs of gum disease, which can include bleeding gums, irritated gums, gums that are red (versus a healthy pink), or swelling, we can get started on treatment right away.

Managing diabetes takes effort, not only in watching your diet, exercising, monitoring your blood sugar levels, and taking your medication, but obtaining proper dental care.

To learn more about the link between diabetes and oral health, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi, please give us a call at our convenient Issaquah office!

Happy Fourth of July

July 1st, 2020

Every year, Americans all over the world celebrate the birth of the country and its independence on the Fourth of July. There are countless ways that people celebrate and they range from community parades and large scale gatherings to concerts, fireworks displays, and smaller scale celebrations among family and friends. For some people, July 4th is synonymous with baseball, while for others it is all about the beach of barbecues. However you celebrate, you can be sure that red, white, and blue is visible everywhere throughout the area.

The Beginnings of Fourth of July Celebrations

Although it wasn't officially designated as a federal holiday until 1941, the actual tradition of celebrating Independence Day goes back to the time of the American Revolution (1775 – 1783). At the time of the American Revolution, representatives from the 13 colonies penned the resolution that ultimately declared their independence from Great Britain. The continental congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence on July 2nd of 1776. Two days later, Thomas Jefferson's famous document that is now known as the Declaration of Independence, was adopted by delegates representing the 13 colonies.

First States to Recognize the Fourth of July

In 1781, Massachusetts became the first state (or commonwealth) whose legislature resolved to designate July 4th as the date on which to celebrate the country's independence. Two years later, Boston became the first city to make an official designation to honor the country's birth with a holiday on July 4th. In that same year, North Carolina's governor, Alexander Martin, became the first governor to issue an official state order stipulating that July 4th was the day on which North Carolinians would celebrate the country's independence.

Fun Facts About the Fourth of July

  • The reason the stars on the original flag were arranged in a circle is because it was believed that would indicate that all of the colonies were equal.
  • Americans eat over 150 million hot dogs on July 4th.
  • Imports of fireworks each year totals over $211 million.
  • The first “official” Fourth of July party took place at the White House in 1801.
  • Benjamin Franklin didn't want the national bird to be the bald eagle. He believed that the turkey was better suited to the coveted distinction. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson disagreed with him, and he was outvoted, so the bald eagle became the official bird of the United States.

For many, the tradition is something entirely different. Along the coastal areas of the United States, people may haul out huge pots to have lobster or other types of seafood boils. Others may spend the day in the bleachers at a baseball game, or at a park, cooking a great traditional meal over an open fire. No matter how or where you celebrate, one thing is certain: all Americans celebrate July 4th as the birth and independence of our country.

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Aging and Oral Health

June 24th, 2020

As you age, it becomes even more important to take good care of your teeth and dental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one-fourth of adults age 65 and older have no remaining teeth. What's more, nearly one-third of older adults have untreated tooth decay.

Oral health, regardless of age, is crucial to overall good health. Ideally, we all want to keep your natural teeth, but whether you're caring for natural teeth or dentures, advancing age may put older adults at risk for a number of oral health problems, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diminished sense of taste
  • Root decay
  • Gum disease
  • Uneven jawbone caused by tooth loss
  • Denture-induced tissue inflammation
  • Overgrowth of fungus in the mouth
  • Attrition (loss of teeth structure by mechanical forces)
  • Oral cancer

These conditions may not be diagnosed until it is too late. If you want to feel good, stay healthy, and look great throughout life, you might be surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes.

Here are some tips for maintaining and improving your oral health as you become older:

  • Brush twice a day with a toothbrush with soft bristles. You may also benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
  • Clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner.
  • If you wear full or partial dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis. Take your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every day. It’s best to remove them at night.
  • Drink tap water. Since most contains fluoride, it helps prevent tooth decay no matter how old you are.
  • Quit smoking. Besides putting you at greater risk for lung and other cancers, smoking increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
  • Visit Issaquah Valley Dental Care regularly for a complete dental checkup.

If you have any questions about keeping up with your oral hygiene at home, please give us a call!

Can sealants benefit you?

June 17th, 2020

Molars are difficult to reach when brushing your teeth because they’re full of crevices, caves, and pits that can provide the perfect environment for decay. Sealants are the perfect fix for this.

Sealants are a plastic-like protective solution that bond to the edge of the tooth. The treatment protects you against cavities and could save you from complicated dental issues in the future.

The process for placing sealants is painless and quick. First, Drs. Arti and Ashi will clean the tooth with a baking soda spray. An acid etch is applied in order to “roughen up” the surface of the tooth and re-mineralize the area. The area is dried with an alcohol-based liquid and the sealant is placed on the grooves of the tooth. A special light then hardens the liquid into a plastic-like material.

Although sealants can last several years, they need to be examined semi-annually to check for breakage. Any cracks or breaks in your sealant can put your tooth at high risk for decay, and repair of sealants is a quick and painless task.

Children often receive sealants, but people of all ages can benefit from them. Adults who have especially deep canyons on their teeth are good candidates for sealants.

An investment in dental sealants can prevent tooth decay and complicated dental problems later on. It’s a no brainer! Call our Issaquah office today to speak with us about getting sealants on your teeth.

Is your child a mouth breather?

June 10th, 2020

Have you ever watched to see if your child is breathing through his or her mouth? Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose may lead to trouble for youngsters. Kids who typically breathe through their mouth—most often children who suffer from allergies—experience problems getting enough oxygen into their blood, a condition that affects their weight, size, sleep, and even their performance in the classroom and daily life.

Mouth breathing as a child can also lead to sleep apnea, behavior and learning problems, delayed speech, dental and facial abnormalities, and even breathing problems as your child grows. There are a multitude of reasons for an individual to mouth breathe, such as enlarged tonsils, adenoids, and deviated nasal septum, but the cause is usually allergies.

As bad as the condition sounds, we want you to know mouth breathing is a treatable condition. Doing so, though, requires early diagnosis and treatment. Since our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care sees our patients every six months, we may be in a position to identify the symptoms of mouth breathing.

If you suspect your child is a chronic mouth breather, please give us a call at our convenient Issaquah office to schedule an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi.

June is National Smile Month: Show off your smile!

June 3rd, 2020

The community health awareness group Oral Health America has reported that 82 percent of adults are unaware of the role that infectious bacteria can play in tooth decay or cavities, and almost three out of five children aged 12 to 19 have tooth decay. Since June is National Smile Month, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care thought we’d remind our patients about the importance of good oral hygiene visits between office visits.

To keep your family’s smiles healthy and beautiful for years to come, be sure to:

  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss every day to clean between your teeth
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit Drs. Arti and Ashi for scheduled appointments

If you want to know more about healthy home care habits, feel free to ask our team at your next appointment, or ask us on Facebook!

Dental Visits Are Not So Bad

May 27th, 2020

Many people dread going to the dentist. Dental visits have the reputation of being painful and uncomfortable, and it is common for people to compare unfortunate situations such as having a root canal or feeling the dentist’s drill. However, at Issaquah Valley Dental Care, dental visits are not that bad.

Your regular cleaning and checkup are noninvasive. They require no drilling, Novocain, or needles, and you go home with refreshingly clean teeth. When your hygienist cleans your teeth, you are literally receiving individualized care from a professional as you sit back and relax.

In the days before the use of Novocain or other anesthetics, dental work could be painful. Thankfully, those days are gone! Now you are unlikely to feel a thing, even during the most extensive procedures. In addition, most dental work such as fillings, root canals, and crowns can be performed in one to two visits, so you do not need to keep returning to Issaquah Valley Dental Care.

An incentive for getting over your fear and coming to the dentist is that getting your dental work done can dramatically improve your quality of life. Drs. Arti and Ashi can address tooth problems that have caused toothaches or prevented you from eating the foods you like. As a bonus, regular visits with Drs. Arti and Ashi and our staff allow us to identify conditions such as periodontal disease, which can indicate risk for seemingly unrelated health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

HPV and Oral Cancer

May 13th, 2020

HPV, or human papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country. There are over 100 strains of HPV, and, while most of these infections leave our systems on their own with no long-term ill effects, some cancers have been linked to certain “high risk” strains of the virus. One of these strains, HPV16, increases the risk of oral cancer.

HPV-related oral cancer most often appears in the oropharynx. This area of the mouth includes:

  • The base, or back, of the tongue
  • The soft palate
  • The tonsils
  • The back and sides of the throat

While HPV-related oral cancers can appear in other parts of the oral cavity, they most typically occur at the back of the throat and tongue and near the folds of the tonsils. Because of this location, oropharyngeal cancer can be difficult to detect. This is one more important reason to maintain a regular schedule of dental exams. Our examination doesn’t focus only on your teeth and gums. We are trained to look for cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions in the mouth, head, and neck to make sure you have the earliest treatment options should they be needed.

If you discover any potential symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer, call us for a check-up. These symptoms can include:

  • Trouble moving the tongue
  • Trouble swallowing, speaking, or chewing
  • Trouble opening the mouth completely
  • A red or white patch on the tongue or the lining of the mouth
  • A lump in the throat, neck, or tongue
  • A persistent sore throat
  • Ear pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Coughing up blood

Not every symptom is caused by cancer, but it is always best to be proactive. HPV-related oral cancer is rare, but it is on the increase. While HPV-positive oral cancers generally have a better prognosis than HPV-negative oral cancers, early diagnosis and treatment are still essential for the best possible outcome.

Finally, if you are a young adult or have an adolescent child, talk to Drs. Arti and Ashi and to your doctor about the HPV vaccine, which is effective before exposure to the virus occurs. Most HPV vaccines, while not designed specifically to prevent oral cancer, prevent the HPV16 strain from infecting the body—the very same strain that causes the majority of HPV-related oral cancers.  Although no studies have shown definitive proof yet, there is strong feeling in the scientific community that these immunizations might protect against HPV-positive oral cancer as well as cervical, vaginal, and other cancers. It’s a discussion worth having at your next visit to our Issaquah office.

Water: It’s Not Just for Brushing!

April 29th, 2020

We turn on the tap and it comes rushing out. We walk down the hall at work or school and stop at the fountain without even thinking about it. It’s the one item on the menu we most likely won’t have to pay for. Let’s face it—we’re probably taking water for granted. So let’s take a moment and look at the many wonderful things that drinking water does for our teeth and dental health!

  • Cleaning Our Mouths

We can’t always brush right after eating to get rid of food particles. Bacteria feed on the sugars and starches left behind, and produce acids that lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Drinking water with our meals washes away lots of this food residue and dilutes the amount of acid our teeth are exposed to. 

  • Protecting Our Teeth

Water helps with saliva production, and saliva distributes important minerals such as fluoride and calcium to our teeth. This process helps strengthen enamel that might have been eroded by acidic foods and bacteria and makes our enamel less vulnerable to cavities.

  • Preventing Cavities and Dry Mouth

Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the structure of our teeth. Because so much of our water is fluoridated, you can get this essential mineral with every glass. If you don’t have access to fluoridated water, or if you tend to drink only bottled water (which may or may not have fluoride), please talk to Drs. Arti and Ashi about the best way to strengthen and your teeth and help prevent cavities.

Drinking the recommended amount of water per day also helps prevent dry mouth, a condition caused by decreased saliva production. Saliva not only helps remineralize our teeth, as mentioned above, but also works to wash away bacteria and acids that lead to cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Luckily, we can help ourselves stay hydrated with most liquids, as well as fruits and vegetables that are rich in water content. But the easiest, most effective and often least expensive way to hydrate is with water.

Water just can’t be taken for granted. It’s a marvel of cleaning, protection, and prevention—and it’s calorie-free!

Every Day is Earth Day

April 22nd, 2020

During the early days of the environmental awareness movement, those who demonstrated against pollution, toxic chemicals, and the general public health were known as hippies. The early 1970s were a time of change, and assertions that we needed to pay more attention to the Earth's atmosphere were generally dismissed. But within a couple decades, it had become clear that the previous generation was right; the citizens of the world needed to become more environmentally conscious.

Many people feel that they can't make a difference if they don't do something big. But caring for the environment doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing concept. In fact, the little things you do can add up to make a great impact, especially in our community. Here are a few ways you can help the environment on Earth Day, April 22nd and all year around.

Four Small Ways to be Environmentally Friendly

  • Recycle Your Textiles. Nearly 21 million tons of textiles are added to American landfills each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Donating your unwanted clothing to a secondhand store or an organization that repurposes fabric helps cut down on solid waste and conserves natural resources.
  • Reduce Usage of Disposables. Plastic bottles and bags, disposable diapers and other things we can use and toss out are convenient, but they're not necessary. Simply choosing to replace one of type of disposable with a reusable product can help you cut down on waste that has a large negative impact on our environment.
  • Conserve Water. If everyone in the United States turned off the water while brushing their teeth, more than 1.5 million gallons of water could be conserved. Turn the water on long enough to wet your toothbrush for brushing and rinsing, and then immediately turn the water off again.
  • Turn Off the Lights. Flip the light switch to "Off" if you're going to leave a particular room for 15 minutes or more. This will conserve energy on incandescent light bulbs and cut down on cooling costs.

It's not necessary to be an activist or install solar panels all over your home to help the environment. Although you can do these things, the little everyday measures make a big difference in helping to conserve energy and the environment, while reducing your carbon footprint. Our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care wants to remind you to celebrate Earth Day and help the environment, knowing that it will benefit your and your children's generation.

Women’s Medications and Dry Mouth

April 15th, 2020

Women using medication to treat a variety of medical conditions are often unaware of the potential side effects. One common side effect of medications such as blood pressure medication, birth control pills, antidepressants, and cancer treatments is dry mouth. The technical term for dry mouth is xerostomia.

Xerostomia can lead to undesirable effects in the oral cavity including periodontal disease and a high rate of decay. Many women who have not had a cavity in years will return for their routine exam and suddenly be plagued with a multitude of cavities around crowns and at the gum line, or have active periodontal disease. The only thing that the patient may have changed in the past six months is starting a new medication.

Saliva washes away bacteria and cleans the oral cavity, and when saliva flow is diminished harmful bacteria can flourish in the mouth leading to decay and gum disease. Many medications can reduce the flow of saliva without the patient realizing the side effect. Birth control pills can also lead to a higher risk of inflammation and bleeding gums. Patients undergoing cancer treatments, especially radiation to the head and neck region, are at a greatly heightened risk of oral complications due to the possibility of damage to the saliva glands.

There are many over the counter saliva substitutes and products to temporarily increase saliva production and help manage xerostomia. One great option for a woman with severe dry mouth or high decay rate is home fluoride treatments. These work in a number of ways, including custom fluoride trays that are worn for a short period of time daily at home, a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste, or an over the counter fluoride rinse. If you have more questions on fluoride treatments, make sure to ask Drs. Arti and Ashi at your next visit to our office.

The benefits of many of the medications on the market outweigh the risks associated with xerostomia, however, with regular exams you can manage the risk and prevent many oral consequences of medications.

The Connection Between Your Mouth and Your Heart

April 8th, 2020

At Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we know your dental health is closely connected to your overall health. We also know that the mouth can oftentimes be the first place to show signs of other bodily health issues.

Studies have shown possible links between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease, and researchers have found that people with gum disease have an elevated risk of suffering from a stroke or developing coronary artery disease. Believe it or not, an estimated 70 to 80 percent of North American adults currently have some form of gum disease.

Gum disease, which affects the tissues that surround and support the teeth, is an infection caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque that forms on the teeth, mainly along the gum line. In its early stages, called gingivitis, gum disease can be treated by Drs. Arti and Ashi and often reversed.

To help keep your mouth and heart healthy, we’ve provided following tips to help prevent problems before they arise:

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Make sure you brush gently beneath the gum line around each tooth.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Have a dental checkup and cleaning twice a year, or as recommended.
  • Eat a healthy diet. This includes avoiding foods with a high concentration of sugars or starches and consuming more fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid tobacco and copious levels of alcohol. If you smoke, quit. And remember, heavy drinking dramatically increases the risk of developing mouth and throat cancer.

Don’t put off your next visit to Issaquah Valley Dental Care any longer! If it has been a while since your last visit to our Issaquah office, please give us a call!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 1st, 2020

What is oral cancer?

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. If you have been putting off a visit to our Issaquah office, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits to Issaquah Valley Dental Care can be the first line of defense against oral cancer, by identifying early warning signs of the disease, or helping you with preventive care tips to lower your chances of developing it.

Oral Cancer Rates in America

Nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and more than 8,000 die every year from this disease. It is a devastating illness: most people who are diagnosed with it do not live more than five years beyond their diagnosis. Oral cancer has a higher death rate than many other common cancers, including cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid or skin cancers. The high death rate results from the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced and has spread to another part of the body—most often, the lymph nodes in the neck.

What causes oral cancer?

While there is no way to predict exactly which individuals will get oral cancer, there are some potential causes you should know about—because in some cases, you can minimize these risk factors.

  • Age (most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40)
  • Tobacco use, either from cigarettes or smokeless chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (especially in combination with tobacco use)
  • Persistent viral infections, such as HPV16
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables

In addition, oral cancer tends to occur at a rate six times greater in men than in women, and more often for African Americans than other ethnic groups. No genetic links have been identified to explain the higher incidence in these populations, so lifestyle choices remain the likeliest cause.

Oral Cancer Treatments

Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment of oral cancer usually involves a multi-disciplinary team that includes surgeons, oncologists, dentists, nutritionists, and rehabilitation and restorative specialists. Our team will decide on the best approach for each patient, depending on the risk factors and how far the cancer has progressed. The strategy will be different in every case. Some of the most common methods include chemotherapy, radiation, and potential surgery.

Finding out you have cancer can be devastating news. If you are concerned that you might be at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to us about screenings and other things you can do to reduce your risk.

Good Nutrition Leads to Healthy Mouths

March 4th, 2020

At Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we know the most common oral health diseases are tooth decay and periodontal disease (or gum disease), and both are among the easiest to prevent. One of the most common ways we recommend to boost your oral health is by improving your diet, because you (and your mouth) truly are what you eat. A healthy diet can lead to a healthy mouth and body, while an unhealthy diet can lead to the exact opposite.

The Role Nutrition Plays

While diet is not the only factor that leads to periodontal disease, studies suggest the disease may be more severe among patients whose diets lack essential nutrients. Poor diets will generally lead to a weaker immune system, leaving your body susceptible to all kinds of ailments, including periodontal disease.

A Well-Balanced Approach

There is no “magic” diet that we can recommend to improve your oral health, but the most important thing is to seek a well-balanced approach in your eating. While fad diets that emphasize one food group over another may help you lose weight in the short-term, they probably will not provide all the nutrients your body needs in the long run.

Meals should include a balance of lean meats or other healthy protein sources, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats. Foods containing substantial amounts of sugar and salt should be consumed in moderation.

Soda and Sugar: A Dangerous Duo

Millions of gallons of soda are consumed every day in America, but sipping a cold soft drink can be very harmful to your teeth. Many of these beverages wear down the enamel that protects the teeth, which weakens and even destroys them over time. The American Beverage Association estimates that soft drinks account for almost 30 percent of all drink consumption in the U.S., averaging an annual total of about 50 gallons per person (up from only 20 gallons in the 1970s). For healthy teeth and a healthy body overall, try to limit your soda intake.

Sugar is another ubiquitous treat in our daily lives. When we eat sugar, naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths convert it to acids that attack tooth enamel. Consuming too much sugar can swiftly lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases like gingivitis. Most people do not even realize how much sugar they consume each day. It’s important to limit your daily sugar intake by reading the labels of all the food you eat, and sticking with natural food sources that are low in sugar, especially ones that minimize added sugar, such as fruits and vegetables.

If you have questions about your diet and how it may be affecting your oral health, talk to Drs. Arti and Ashi about it. See you soon!

My mouth is dry. What can I do?

February 26th, 2020

Nobody likes a dry mouth. It is an uncomfortable and sometimes oddly unexplainable sensation that most people like to avoid. It is not a condition that automatically sends you into a panic about your health, however, a dry mouth can be a bother and something you certainly want to change if possible. So, if you find yourself in the unpleasant position of having a dry mouth, here is what you can do.

Chew Sugar-free Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum will stimulate saliva in your mouth. The chewing motion of your jaw and teeth should take care of at least some of your dry mouth problem.

Suck on Sugar-free Candy: Similarly to chewing sugar free gum, if you suck on sugar free candy it should create more saliva in your mouth and moisturize it in the process.

Cut out the Caffeine:Caffeine can contribute to a dry mouth so by limiting, or eliminating your intake all together, you may find that your dry mouth is no more.

Stop Using Tobacco Products: Tobacco is another cause of dry mouth. Whether it is smokeless tobacco products or cigarettes, if you stop using them your dry mouth will likely improve. And not to forget, these products are exceedingly bad for your oral health to begin with, so you will be doing your mouth a favor even more so.

Drink Lots of Water: It may seem obvious, but drinking lots of water will likely improve your dry mouth. This is because dry mouth is usually a sign of dehydration, so plenty of fluids will surely help.

Dry mouth can be unpleasant, but it is often easily solved by either drinking more water, or trying one of the previously mentioned techniques. If the problem still persists you can always visit our Issaquah office to see Drs. Arti and Ashi. More often than not, doing one of the above will leave your mouth more moisturized than it was previously, and hopefully it will be long-lasting as well.

Understanding Dental Insurance Terminology

February 19th, 2020

If you have a hard time understanding your dental insurance plan, particularly the treatments and services it covers, you’re not alone. That’s why Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team have put together a cheat sheet to help you through them.

It’s common for patients to get lost in the morass of the terms and phrases that surface when you’re dealing with a dental insurance plan. Knowing the commonly used terms can help speed up the process and enable you to get the most out of your coverage.

Common Terms

Annual Maximum: The most your policy will pay per year for care at Issaquah Valley Dental Care. It is often divided into cost per individual or per family.

Co-payment: Typically, a small amount the patient has to pay at the time of service before receiving care, and before the insurance pays for any portion of it.

Covered Services: A list of all the treatments, services, and procedures the insurance policy will cover fully under your contract.

Deductible: An amount you must pay out of pocket each year before the insurance company will contribute for any treatments or procedures. The amount can vary according to your plan.

Diagnostic Services: A category of treatments or procedures that most insurance plans will cover before the deductible, which may mean services that occur during preventive appointments with Drs. Arti and Ashi, including X-rays or general screenings.

Exclusions: Dental services not covered under a dental benefit program.

In-Network: An insurance company will usually cover a larger portion of the cost of the care if you see an in-network provider for treatment.

Out-of-Network: If you visit someone who is not a part of your provider’s network, the insurance company may pay for a portion of the care, but you will be responsible for a significantly larger share out of your pocket.

Lifetime Maximum: The most that an insurance plan will pay toward care for an individual or family over the entire life of the patient(s).

Limitations: A list of all the procedures the insurance policy does not cover. Coverage may limit the timing or frequency of a specific treatment or procedure, or exclude some treatments altogether.

Member/Insured/Covered Person/Beneficiary/Enrollee:  A person who is eligible to receive benefits under an insurance plan.

Premium: The regular fee charged by third-party insurers and used to fund the dental plan.

Provider: Drs. Arti and Ashi or other oral-health specialist who provides treatment.

Waiting Period: A specified amount of time that the patient must be enrolled with an insurance plan before it will pay for certain treatments.

It’s essential to understand the various insurance options available to you. Knowing what your insurance covers can save you major costs in the future.

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our dental staff hope this list of terms will help you understand your dental insurance plan better. Be sure to review your plan and ask any questions you may have about your policy the next time you visit our Issaquah office.

Choose Chocolate on Valentine's Day

February 12th, 2020

From a student handing out sweets for her classmates to an older married couple exchanging boxes of candy, Valentine’s Day is the time of year when people like to show affection by gifting sugary treats to their loved ones. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of Valentine’s Day candy, you can celebrate the holiday in a healthier way by making dark chocolate your confection of choice.

Contribute to Your Health

According to the Cleveland Clinic, studies have shown that the cocoa beans used to make chocolate contain flavonoids, which can help protect the body against damage from various toxins. Flavonoids may also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart and the brain. Dark chocolates typically contain a higher amount of flavonoids than other types, making them a great choice for chocolate lovers. However, you should keep in mind that many companies produce chocolate that is so heavily processed that the flavonoids are largely eliminated. Your best bet is to look for high-quality dark chocolates and cocoa powders that have undergone minimal processing.

Protect Against Cavities

If you think there’s no way candy could ever be beneficial for your teeth, think again. The Texas A&M Health Science Center has reported that the tannins present in cocoa beans may actually help prevent cavities by interfering with bacteria’s harmful interaction with teeth. Just like with flavonoids, tannins have been found to be present more often in dark chocolates, rather than milk chocolates, giving you another great reason to choose the richer, sweet varieties.

Avoid a Sticky Situation

One more benefit of choosing chocolate over other candies is that it is less likely to get stuck in the crevices and spaces between teeth. Gooey sweets like taffy can stay lodged in the mouth for longer periods of time, putting you at a greater risk for developing cavities. When you choose your chocolate, be sure to avoid types that also contain sticky ingredients like caramel or marshmallow, and instead opt for the plain varieties.

Remember that the health benefits you can receive from dark chocolate are largely based on eating the candy in moderation. With that being said, it’s easy to make this delicious and health conscious switch when you’re out shopping for your sweetheart, friends, loved ones, and yourself. Have fun satisfying your sweet tooth this year and Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Issaquah Valley Dental Care!

Which whitening is right for you?

February 5th, 2020

Many of our patients at Issaquah Valley Dental Care have been asking us about brightening their teeth lately, and today we thought we would discuss the options available to you to put the sparkle back in your smile!

Over-the-counter products – You’ve probably seen over-the-counter whiteners such as whitening strips on store shelves. While whitening strips may work for some, they do have certain restrictions. For example, they are not nearly as effective when crowns or fillings are involved. Teeth that are stained gray instead of brown or yellow typically don’t respond as well to these types of whiteners. Whitening strips typically save you money but take longer to work and also require discipline on your part to keep them in place for the right amount of time each day.

Whitening at our office – This type of whitening can be done right at Issaquah Valley Dental Care. A whitening agent is applied directly to teeth and a special light helps accelerate the whitening process. This may be accomplished in one session or take several appointments. You should expect to spend anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes at each session. If you have a mix of natural teeth and fillings or crowns, Drs. Arti and Ashi may recommend bonding or veneers on your natural teeth instead of regular bleaching. Teeth whitening at our office can be used to correct many tooth discolorations which may have been caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Using the latest in whitening technology, we can offer a safe method for creating the beautiful smile you've always wanted.

At-home whitening – If you choose this option, Drs. Arti and Ashi will take a mold of your teeth and create a custom-fit whitening tray. Gel whitening solution is poured in the mouthguard-like tray, and the tray is worn for a pre-determined amount of time, generally from a couple of hours a day to every day during the night, until you’re back in our office for an evaluation.

Give us a call at our convenient Issaquah office to schedule an appointment! Whiter teeth are one just one visit away at Issaquah Valley Dental Care!

Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

January 29th, 2020

Sometime around the late teens or early twenties, people’s wisdom teeth start to erupt. These are the third and final set of molars. When wisdom teeth come in properly — meaning they are correctly aligned — they offer more chewing power. Unfortunately, more often than not, wisdom teeth are misaligned, crowd other teeth, and need to be removed.

Why do we have wisdom teeth?

It is thought that we have wisdom teeth because — back in the day — we ate a diet that consisted of more rough foods, like roots, leaves, and meat, all of which required more heavy-duty chewing power.

Reasons Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed

While there is no clear-cut rule that says every single person needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, there are certain situations where one or more wisdom teeth are causing a problem or have a strong likelihood that problems will eventually arise in the future that warrant their removal.

1. Fully Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When a wisdom tooth is “impacted”, it means that the tooth is covered by gum tissue, thereby preventing it from erupting through the gum. This often occurs when the mouth is too small to allow enough room for the tooth to emerge. Because bacteria, food, or other mouth substances can be lodged under the gum that covers the wisdom tooth, it can lead to an acute abscess, known as pericoronitis.

2. Partially Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When a wisdom tooth is partially impacted, meaning the tooth is partially emerged from the gums, it almost always is advised to be removed. Because of its location in the very back of the mouth, a partially erupted wisdom tooth is more susceptible to not only decay and cavities, but also gum disease.

3. Other Reasons to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed

If you experience any of the below dental issues or changes in your dental health, removal of your wisdom tooth (teeth) may be necessary:

  • Pain at or surrounding the wisdom tooth site, including the jaw or cheek area
  • Repetitive infections
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay (extensive)
  • Tumors
  • Cysts
  • Damage to surrounding teeth

It is important to know that the decision to have a wisdom tooth removed isn’t always cut and dry. It is essential to talk to Drs. Arti and Ashi about the alignment of your wisdom teeth if they have already erupted, health of your wisdom teeth if impacted or partially impacted, and your overall dental health to determine what is best for your situation. Contact our Issaquah office to schedule an appointment today!

Is periodontal disease genetic?

January 22nd, 2020

One of the most enjoyable parts of looking at family pictures is finding resemblances. You have your father’s brown eyes and your grandmother’s curly hair. You’ve got your aunt’s basketball height and your cousin’s freckles. But some similarities might not be so appealing—could one of those be a family tendency toward gum disease?

Studies have shown that periodontal disease appears to have some kind of genetic component, especially for serious diseases and those that appear early in the patient’s life. Aggressive periodontitis, for example, a relatively uncommon disease which causes rapid bone loss around certain teeth, is often more common among members of the same family. Other studies suggest there might be a genetic link between our immune response and the development of chronic periodontitis. So far, however, the link between genetics and gum disease is still under investigation.

We do know that environmental factors are an important trigger for gum disease. Failure to brush and floss, smoking, diet, stress, medical conditions such as diabetes—all can influence the health of our gums. The best way to overcome these factors is your own proactive approach! Thorough brushing and flossing, regular checkups and cleanings, proper nutrition, and avoiding smoking are all time-tested ways to keep your gums and teeth healthy. If you have a medical condition, proper treatment and medication will also help protect your oral health.

During your examination with Drs. Arti and Ashi at our Issaquah office, please tell us about any family history of periodontal disease, your own gum care routine, and any habits or conditions which might influence your health. We can tailor treatment and offer suggestions for prevention based on a thorough knowledge of your medical history. We have many options available today for preventing and treating gum disease. Let’s make sure all your family albums are filled with beaming smiles—that’s the most appealing resemblance of all!

Losing a Baby Tooth Prematurely

January 15th, 2020

Losing a baby tooth is often an exciting event in a child’s life. It’s a sign your child is growing up, and might even bring a surprise from the Tooth Fairy (or other generous party). But sometimes, a baby tooth is lost due to injury or accident. Don’t panic, but do call our Issaquah office as soon as possible.

If Your Child Loses a Tooth

It is important to see your child quickly when a baby tooth is lost through injury. The underlying adult tooth might be affected as well, so it’s always best to come in for an examination of the injured area. The American Dental Association recommends that you find the lost tooth, keep it moist, and bring it with you to the office. Call Drs. Arti and Ashi immediately, and we will let you know the best way to treat your child and deal with the lost tooth.

Baby Teeth Are Important

There are several important reasons to look after your child’s first teeth. Baby teeth not only help with speech and jaw development, but they serve as space holders for permanent teeth. If a primary tooth is lost too early, a permanent tooth might “drift” into the empty space and cause crowding or crookedness.

Space Maintainer

A space maintainer is an appliance that does exactly that—keeps the lost baby tooth’s space free so that the correct permanent tooth will erupt in the proper position. The need for a space maintainer depends on several factors, including your child’s age when the baby tooth is lost and which tooth or teeth are involved. We will be happy to address any concerns you might have about whether or not a space maintainer is needed.

It is important to remember that there are solutions if the Tooth Fairy arrives at your house unexpectedly. Keep calm, call our office, and reassure your child that his or her smile is still beautiful!

 

What are the five things I should do in between visits?

January 8th, 2020

When it comes to keeping your smile looking its best, good oral hygiene is a must! Good oral health habits should start early and continue throughout your lifetime. Here, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care suggest five habits worth adopting that will help keep your teeth healthy:

  • Brush and floss regularly. Brush gently at least twice a day, paying special attention to the gum line to rid your mouth of food and bacteria that may lurk in between your teeth. Floss at least once a day. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
  • Make regular visits to see Drs. Arti and Ashi. Regular checkups (twice yearly) will help diagnose any dental problems early on when they can be more easily treated.
  • Stop smoking. Did you know smokers are four times as likely as nonsmokers to develop periodontal (gum) disease? Tobacco, whether in the form of cigarettes, pipes, cigars, or chewable tobacco, increases oral and throat cancer risks, and raises the risk for candidiasis, an oral fungal infection. Smokeless tobacco contains sugar, which furthers your risk for cavities.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Heavy drinking dramatically increases the risk of developing mouth and throat cancers.
  • Eat healthy. Avoid snacking on foods that contain high levels of sugar or starch. We encourage you to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are known to help stimulate the flow of saliva to re-mineralize tooth surfaces and neutralize cavity-causing bacteria.

To learn more about the habits you should practice in between your visits to Issaquah Valley Dental Care, or to schedule an appointment, please give us a call today!

Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New Year's Eve

January 1st, 2020

It’s no secret that New Year’s Eve is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world. Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team love it too. It’s a fresh start, another year of surviving the crazy world we live in, a time to refocus on the things we want for ourselves, a celebration with those we love … the list goes on.

Dozens of countries welcome the New Year with over-the-top parties and celebrations. Because it’s a public holiday, many offices, businesses, and schools close for the day. As you think about your plans for this holiday, here are some fun facts about New Year’s that might surprise you!

Can you guess what the most common New Year’s resolutions are? You may already have one or two of these on your own personal list. The top five New Year’s resolutions are: to quit smoking, get a new job, lose weight, increase personal savings, and return to school. Just remember that coming up with a concrete plan to reach your goals is the surest way to achieve your resolutions!

About one million people brave the cold to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York City’s Times Square in person. Yes, that’s one million! This event is one of the most iconic celebrations in the world. People travel from all over just to experience it, but you can watch from the warmth and comfort of your living room.

If you’re not a fan of cabbage, collard greens, black-eyed peas, or ham hocks, you might want to revise your tastes. All these foods are all regarded as lucky fare on New Year’s Day. Unless you’re allergic, of course!

For many people in Mexico and Latin America, eating 12 grapes at midnight is a tradition that brings good luck in the 12 coming months. Most people even make a wish per grape!

Whether you’re celebrating in Issaquah or traveling elsewhere to observe the holiday, New Year’s Eve is a time to enjoy the company of your friends and family. Don’t forget to send warm wishes to your loved ones, and snag a midnight kiss with that special someone if you can!

When Snoring Becomes More Than Just Annoying

December 25th, 2019

Snoring occurs when the tissues in the throat relax enough to block part of our airways, or physical conditions such as enlarged tonsils or a deviated septum prevent air from flowing freely. This obstruction causes the tissues around the airway to vibrate, producing that familiar, unpleasant sound. But sometimes, loud, constant snoring is a sign of a condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). With OSA, the sleeper actually stops breathing for a few seconds at a time, or, in some cases, even longer. The body wakes to breathe again properly, so we move from the deep sleep we need to keep ourselves healthy mentally and physically to a lighter state of sleep or wakefulness—and this disruption of the sleep cycle can happen dozens of times an hour.

The potential problems caused by sleep apnea are many. You could suffer from daily morning headaches, sore throats, and dry mouth (which can lead to tooth and gum problems). You might find yourself moody, depressed or forgetful. Irritability and loss of libido are common consequences of sleep apnea. Any or all of these problems can make getting through each day a struggle.

Even worse, sleep apnea can lead to very dangerous situations. You could fall asleep while working, watching your children, or even driving. Sleep apnea has been linked to very serious conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. And for those who suffer from this disorder, general anesthesia or pain medication can lead to severe or even fatal consequences.

You should be examined for sleep apnea if you or a loved one notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Snoring loudly enough to disturb your sleep or the sleep of others
  • Waking up gasping for air
  • Pauses between normal breathing during sleep
  • Continual drowsiness during the day
  • Waking up with headaches, sore throats or dry mouth regularly
  • Personality changes

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, talk to Drs. Arti and Ashi at our Issaquah office. We can point you in the right direction for treatment, including the possibility of crafting an orthodontic oral appliance to maintain open airways as you sleep. But whatever treatment you and your doctors decide on, the important part is following through. Don’t let an annoying situation become a dangerous, and even life-threatening, one.

Happy Holidays!

December 23rd, 2019

‘Tis the season to get into the holiday spirit, and that is exactly what we at Issaquah Valley Dental Care are busy doing. Our staff is looking forward to spending some cozy days inside with family. There are a few different ways we like to get into the holiday spirit this time of year; whether decorating the day after Thanksgiving, listening to our favorite Christmas song “Feliz Navidad,” or making cookies for our annual Christmas Cookie Exchange, we are sure to get into the spirit of the season! For the new year, our staff all have the shared goal of finding better ways to care for ourselves and keep up a healthy lifestyle.

Currently, in our office, we are offering $500 off Invisalign!

We hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!

Make Tooth Brushing Fun

December 18th, 2019

The best brushing routine for parent and child is two minutes of gentle brushing in the morning and two in the evening. But if the longest four minutes of your day are spent helping your child brush and floss, here are some suggestions for making that time fly.

Options!

Children’s brushes come in a wonderful variety of colors, patterns, and shapes. Allow your child to choose a favorite the next time you go shopping for dental supplies. Just make sure to choose a soft bristle brush with a head designed for small mouths. And since toothbrushes generally wear out after three months, your child will have plenty of opportunities to pick and choose! You might also explore the many flavors of children’s toothpaste to find the one that your child finds most appealing, and let your young brusher squeeze out a dab on that new brush.

Reward Daily Brushing

You don’t have to go to great lengths to make your son or daughter feel rewarded for a job well done. Allowing children to pick out a story for you to read or posting colorful stickers on a calendar sheet will encourage them to get into the habit of brushing.

Two-Minute Countdown

Time seems to go faster when we’re having fun. Your child might enjoy listening to songs or stories for the two minutes of brushing time. You can make your own playlist, invent a story starring your child, or make use of one of the dental apps that offer children’s music, videos, and stories in perfect two-minute segments.

Do It Together

Spend these two minutes twice a day with your child. You will be doing all the brushing at first, of course, but as your children get older, brush your teeth along with them. You can model proper brushing techniques for cleaning teeth, gums and tongue, and even let your child have a chance to brush your teeth for a change.

Don’t Forget Checkups!

Scheduling checkups and professional cleanings at our Issaquah office is vital to maintaining your child’s oral health. And, if your son or daughter is keeping up with good hygiene at home, these visits should be a breeze!

The habits your child develops now will be the foundation for a lifetime of oral health. Make these four minutes a day count. And if you can create ways to make them fun, those four minutes will fly by for both of you!

Suffer from Dental Anxiety? Not a Problem.

December 11th, 2019

If you suffer from dental anxiety, we understand that paying a visit to our office can seem like a nearly impossible mission. Regardless of what the root of that anxiety might be, we’re here to tell you that at Issaquah Valley Dental Care, you have no need to be nervous. Our office is dedicated to making your dental experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

One of the best things to do if you experience dental anxiety is call our office in advance to let us know. By notifying us in advance, you give us the opportunity to provide you with the dental care you need in the way you need it.

We can prescribe a relaxation medication for you. During your appointment, we can provide a little bit of laughing gas to put you more at ease, teach you some behavioral techniques for relaxation, and make sure you’re never in the dark about what’s happening.

If dental anxiety makes you feel embarrassed, please be assured that you’re not alone. Studies show that as much as 75% of adults suffer some degree of dental anxiety! It might be helpful to remember that your doctor’s goal is the same as yours: We are here to keep your oral health in check so you can be your healthiest self. We certainly don’t want to make you uncomfortable in the process.

If you have any questions about other ways in which we can accommodate you during your visits, please don’t hesitate to contact our Issaquah office!

Four Great Additions to Your Dental-Healthy Diet

December 4th, 2019

Calcium from dairy products for strong bones and teeth? Check. Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables for gum health? Check. Protein from lean meats, eggs, and fish to create, maintain, and repair tooth and gum tissue? Check, check, and check.

These nutrients are probably the most well-known players in the production of a dental healthy diet, but there are several other important minerals and vitamins we need to balance the cast. Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team take a look at some of these lesser-known but equally vital actors.

  • Phosphorous

Calcium is the mineral we hear about most often for maintaining strong teeth and bones, but it doesn’t act alone. Phosphorous is necessary for our bodies to make full use of calcium. Phosphorous is absorbed best from animal foods like meat, fish, and poultry, but it can also be found in beans, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products.

  • Magnesium

Magnesium also works with calcium, and promotes bone density and the strength of our hard enamel. If you are looking to add magnesium to your diet, you have a spectacular variety of options, including salmon, tuna, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables, nuts, avocados, seeds, brown rice—even dark chocolate!

  • Vitamin A

This vitamin is essential for the health and healing of our mucous membranes, which include our gums and the soft membranes in our mouths. Vitamin A is found in animal products such as dairy foods, meat, and liver, or formed from beta-carotenes, found in plant foods such as carrots, peppers, pumpkin, squash, and sweet potatoes.

  • Vitamin D

Even though we might make sure to get plenty of calcium to keep our teeth and bones healthy, we will never get the most out of a calcium-rich diet without vitamin D. Vitamin D not only helps with bone density, it actually helps our bodies absorb calcium so we can put it to work for us. It has also been shown to promote gum health by reducing the inflammation that can lead to gum disease. Sunlight exposure leads our bodies to produce vitamin D naturally, but it is available in foods as well. Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and herring, are a rich source of the vitamin, as are cod liver oil and egg yolks. The only plant that produces vitamin D is the mushroom, but it is also available in foods fortified with vitamin D, such as cow’s milk, soy milk, orange juice, and even many cereals.

You want your diet to be part of your healthy lifestyle, and more and more we are coming to discover just how important a balanced diet is to our dental health as well. The fascinating fact is that all of the nutrients which support our dental health work together and depend on each other to play their roles effectively. Talk to Drs. Arti and Ashi at your next checkup at our Issaquah office for some suggestions on finding the dietary balance that works best for you.

Thanksgiving Trivia

November 27th, 2019

At Issaquah Valley Dental Care we love learning trivia and interesting facts about Thanksgiving! This year, Drs. Arti and Ashi wanted to share some trivia that might help you feel a bit smarter at the holiday dinner table and help create some great conversation with friends and family.

The Turkey

There is no historical evidence that turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving dinner. It was a three-day party shared by the Wamponoag Indians and the pilgrims in 1621. Historians say they likely ate venison and seafood.

According to National Geographic, the dinner at the Plymouth colony was in October and included about 50 English colonists and 90 American Indian men. The first Thanksgiving dinner could have included corn, geese, and pumpkin.

Today, turkey is the meat of choice. According to the National Turkey Association, about 690 million pounds of turkey are consumed during Thanksgiving, or about 46 million turkeys.

The Side Dishes

The green bean casserole became popular about 50 years ago. Created by the Campbell Soup Company, it remains a popular side dish. According to Campbell’s, it was developed when the company was creating an annual holiday cookbook. The company now sells about $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup each year, which is a major part of the recipe.

While there were likely plenty of cranberries for the pilgrims and Indians to enjoy, sugar was a luxury. What we know today as cranberry sauce was not around in those early Thanksgiving days. About 750 million pounds of cranberries are produced each year in the US, with about 30 percent consumed on Thanksgiving.

The Parade

Since Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until Lincoln declared it in 1863, the annual parades were not yearly events until much later. The biggest parade that continues to draw crowds is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Beginning in 1924 with about 400 employees, they marched from Convent Avenue to 145th Street in New York City. Famous for the huge hot-air balloons today, it was actually live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo that were the stars of the show then.

However you choose to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday with those you love.

Avoid the Emergency Room for Dental Problems

November 20th, 2019

There are certainly situations when going to an emergency room is the best response for your problem. A severe injury to your mouth, jaw, or face would qualify.

However, when it comes to long-term solutions for other dental problems, an emergency room visit may fall short. If you suffer from a major toothache, cavity, a broken tooth, crown, or veneer, it’s better to go straight to the dentist for treatment.

Drs. Arti and Ashi can provide you with a treatment plan that will be long lasting. When you visit an ER for a common dental problem, more likely you’ll only be given temporary relief for a serious and ongoing problem.

In many cases, the emergency room will give you pain medication to mask the symptoms until you can schedule an appointment at our Issaquah office. That results in a lot of wasted time, as well as two separate medical bills. The ER may give you a temporary crown or filling, but you will still need a follow-up appointment for a permanent restoration.

We recommend you find the nearest emergency dental clinic, or even try a home remedy to relieve the pain until you can schedule an emergency appointment at Issaquah Valley Dental Care. A warm salt-water rinse or cold compress can be used to sooth tooth and gum pain in the meantime.

If you experience a dental emergency and are unsure about what to do, feel free to contact our Issaquah office at any time. We will fit you into our schedule right away and figure out the best course of treatment for your problem.

Pros and Cons of Veneers

November 6th, 2019

You might have a small chip in a tooth from an unfortunate encounter with peanut brittle, or even several chips from a touch football game that got a little out of hand. Perhaps you have a gap in your teeth that you’ve always wanted to address. Or it could be that you are not happy with the shape or color of your teeth, and are looking for a straighter, brighter smile. In all these cases, veneers may the perfect solution for you.

Veneers are one of the most dramatic ways to improve your smile:

  • Realistic Appearance: A dental veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that is bonded to your tooth. Because they are semi-translucent, much like actual enamel, veneers look like natural teeth.
  • Rapid Transformation: Normally, the application of veneers requires only a few visits. Your tooth will be shaped to accommodate the veneer for a smooth, flat appearance. A mold will be made to ensure an exact fit. On a subsequent visit, the new veneer will be bonded to the tooth permanently.
  • Whiteness that Lasts: Veneers are stain-resistant, so if you are looking for a long-lasting bright smile, they are a good option. (If you are getting only a few veneers, it is a good idea to have your natural teeth whitened to the shade you desire before the veneer color is selected. Veneer color is permanent.)

There are also some aspects to consider before going ahead with the procedure:

  • Be Sure About Your Decision: Veneers are a permanent choice. Some enamel might need to be removed for the veneer to fit and the surface of your tooth will be treated to allow the veneer to bond to it properly.
  • Check Your Overall Dental Health: You should have a check-up before starting the process to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for veneers. If you have severe orthodontic issues, grind your teeth, or have a habit of clenching your jaw, your veneers will be put under pressure they were not designed to take. We can let you know if you are a good candidate for this procedure.
  • Expense: Veneers are more expensive than some other options, such as whitening and bonding, but can offer more benefits. Veneers will cover staining that whitening cannot eliminate. Their translucent quality makes them look more realistic than bonding, and they are also far more stain resistant. The cost of a crown might be comparable, and a crown is recommended if there is significant damage to the underlying tooth. If you are looking for cosmetic improvement only, veneers leave more of the tooth intact.
  • Longevity: Veneers do not last forever, and will need to be replaced eventually. However, they can have a life expectancy of ten to 15 years, and we can give you tips to keep your veneers looking and lasting their best.

If you decide veneers are right for you, give our Issaquah office a call. We will be happy to discuss the procedure with you and help you discover the best possible path to your best possible smile.

The Intriguing History of Halloween

October 30th, 2019

Halloween is fast approaching, and Drs. Arti and Ashi wanted to be sure to wish our patients a happy day, no matter how you might celebrate this holiday. The Halloween that is familiar to most people today bears little resemblance to the original Halloween; back in the "old days" it wasn't even called Halloween!

Festival of the Dead

Halloween started out as a Celtic festival of the dead that honored departed loved ones and signified a change in the cycle of the seasons. The Celtic people viewed Halloween, then called "Samhain," as a very special day – almost like our New Years day in fact, as their new calendar year began on November 1st. Samhain was the last day of autumn, so it was the time to harvest the last of the season's crops, store food away for winter, and situate livestock comfortably for the upcoming cold weather. The Celts believed that during this day, the last day of winter, the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest, and that the living could communicate with departed loved ones most effectively on Samhain due to this.

Modern Halloween

Halloween as we know it today started because Christian missionaries were working to convert the Celtic people to Christianity. The Celts believed in religious concepts that were not supported by the Christian church, and these practices, which stemmed from Druidism, were perceived by the Christian church as being "devil worship" and dangerous.

When Pope Gregory the First instructed his missionaries to work at converting the Pagan people, he told them to try to incorporate some of the Pagan practices into Christian practices in a limited way. This meant that November 1st became "All Saints Day," which allowed Pagan people to still celebrate a beloved holiday without violating Christian beliefs.

Today, Halloween has evolved into a day devoted purely to fun, candy, and kids. What a change from its origins! We encourage all of our patients to have fun during the holiday, but be safe with the treats. Consider giving apples or fruit roll-ups to the kids instead of candy that is potentially damaging to the teeth and gums.

Remind kids to limit their candy and brush after eating it! Sweets can cause major tooth decay and aggrivate gum disease, so to avoid extra visits to our Issaquah office, make your Halloween a safe one!

Dental X-Rays: Are They Safe?

October 23rd, 2019

X-rays have been a function of dental healthcare for a long time. That in and of itself should be good news, because it means we've had plenty of time to improve them. While there is always some risk in exposure to radiation, dental X-ray exposure has decreased significantly due to all the advances in technology. So there’s risk, but X-rays are quite safe.

Think of X-rays as you would about a car. Automobiles these days have all kinds of technology to make them as safe as possible. There's still a chance that you’ll suffer an accident. Would you stop using a car because of that risk? When it comes to dental X-rays, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team believe the positives clearly outweigh the negatives.

X-rays can be done digitally or with film. For film, X-rays require different exposures at different speeds to produce the image. Digital X-rays have software that automatically adjusts the exposure and produces the X-ray in a digital file. Since they substantially reduce your exposure to radiation, digital X-rays are the current standard in dental offices.

In addition to digital X-rays, lead aprons are an essential piece of X-ray safety. They help protect internal organs from X-rays by acting as a shield. They usually come with a thyroid collar as well, since that is one of the most vulnerable areas to X-rays in the body. Lead aprons can absorb up to 95% of any scatter rays that result from an X-ray. Not bad, right?

Although dental X-rays involve some radiation exposure (not all of it can be eliminated), so does everyday life. Getting too much sun, for example, can be dangerous. The truth is, we accumulate radiation in our bodies over a lifetime, so it’s worthwhile to be aware and avoid as much unnecessary exposure as possible. When it comes to your dental health, though, getting an X-ray — especially when your doctor says you need it — offers more benefits than risks.

Ask us about the type of dental X-rays we use during your next visit to our Issaquah office!

Dentin Tooth Sensitivity Treatments

October 16th, 2019

Dentine hypersensitivity can be described as a sharp and sudden pain caused by cold food and beverages. It’s present in more than half the population and result from receding gums that expose the root surfaces of your teeth.

That being said, hypersensitivity can be triggered by forceful tooth brushing, teeth whitening products, gum disease, and erosion from acid reflux, bulimia, or highly acidic foods. Symptoms can range from moderate to severe, depending on the cause and how quickly it’s treated.

Tooth sensitivity begins when the dentin develops some exposure. This layer that surrounds the nerve of the tooth is usually covered by gum tissue, but when recession takes place, the dentin can get exposed and the pain begins. The dentin contains numerous pores that run from the surface of the tooth inward. This direct connection to the nerve and blood supply of the tooth can be affected by external stimuli, such as the triggers cited above.

The good news is there are several different ways to treat dentinal hypersensitivity at Issaquah Valley Dental Care.

Treatment of dentin tooth sensitivity begins by making an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi. We encourage you to begin treatment sooner rather than later in order to figure out the cause and to reduce the pain you’re experiencing. In most cases, quick treatment options will solve the problem, including the use of desensitizing toothpaste, switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush, starting a daily fluoride rinse treatment, or minimizing teeth grinding with the help of a custom mouthguard.

For more serious cases, we may recommend you get crowns put on problematic teeth, start a gel or varnish fluoride treatment, or even schedule a surgical gum graft or root canal, depending on the cause and severity of your pain.

If you’re concerned about any tooth sensitivity you’re experiencing, please give our Issaquah office a call and schedule an appointment. Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team want to help you identify the cause of your pain, and give you the best possible treatment plan. We look forward to seeing you to help alleviate discomfort and solve your tooth sensitivity.

Five Things You Should Never Do With Your Toothbrush

October 9th, 2019

When’s the last time you gave your toothbrush any serious thought? Sure, you use it every day (and ideally twice), and you know that with a dollop of toothpaste it waxes up your pearly whites nicely, not to mention preventing bacteria, plaque, and inflammation.

But what are the things you should never do with your toothbrush? Here’s a brush-up on five toothbrush no-nos, from Issaquah Valley Dental Care.

1. If you have your toothbrush too close to the toilet, you’re brushing your teeth with what’s in your toilet. In other words, keep your toothbrush stored as far from the toilet as possible.

2. The average toothbrush harbors ten million microbes. Many families keep their toothbrushes jammed together in a cup holder on the bathroom sink, but this can lead to cross-contamination. Family members’ toothbrushes should be kept an inch apart. Don’t worry; they won’t take it personally.

3. Don’t delay replacing your toothbrush. It’s best to purchase a new one every three to four months, but by all means get one sooner if the bristles are broken down because of your frequent and vigorous brushing. If you have a cold or the flu, replace your toothbrush after you recover.

4. Store your toothbrush out of the reach of toddlers. The last thing you want is for your toothbrush to be chewed like a pacifier, dipped in toilet water, or used to probe the dusty heating ducts.

5. Sharing is caring, right? Your parents probably taught you the importance of sharing back when you were, well, dipping their improperly stored toothbrushes in toilet water. But here’s the thing: As important as sharing is, there are some things you just don’t share, and your toothbrush is one of them.

Year-End Insurance Reminder

October 2nd, 2019

Drs. Arti and Ashi, as well as our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care, would like to give those patients with flex spend, health savings, or insurance benefits a friendly end of the year reminder that it’s high time to schedule your dental visits so you optimize your benefit.

Now is the time to reserve your appointment with us. Space is limited and we tend to get busy around the holidays, so don’t wait to give us a call at our convenient Issaquah office!

What is nitrous oxide and is it safe?

September 25th, 2019

Our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care understands that the sights, sounds and sensations at a dental office can be unsettling for some patients. One effective technique that we use to comfort you is to offer the gas nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a common anesthetic used during many dental procedures.

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide is an oxide of nitrogen which has a slight sweet odor and taste. During medical or dental procedures, the gas is mixed with oxygen then inhaled through a mask that covers your nose. Within minutes, you should feel calm and experience an overall sense relaxation. You will be able to breathe on your own, move your limbs, and be conscious enough to hear and respond to our dentist's questions. The effects of nitrous oxide disappear shortly after the mask is removed and the drug is quickly eliminated from your body.

Is nitrous oxide safe?

Recreational use of nitrous oxide for its euphoric effects can be dangerous, however, the drug is combined with oxygen at dental offices. This ensures oxygen reaches the brain and prevents dangerous side effects or hypoxia. Nitrous oxide inhalation is a safe and effective technique to reduce anxiety, produce analgesia, and enhance effective communication.

Nitrous oxide is non-addictive and non-allergic, however, it may cause nausea in up to ten percent of patients. The drug is not recommended for people with some medical conditions such as chronic pulmonary disease. We recognize that all patients are different and encourage you to talk with Drs. Arti and Ashi about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for you.

Our team wants to help all patients in Issaquah to overcome dental anxiety, so please, give us a call at Issaquah Valley Dental Care.

The Effects of Biting Your Nails

September 18th, 2019

Also known as onchophagia, the habit of nail biting is one of the so-called “nervous habits” that can be triggered by stress, excitement, or boredom. Approximately half of all kids between the ages of ten and 18 have been nail biters at one time or another. Experts say that about 30 percent of children and 15 percent of adults are nail biters, however most people stop chewing their nails by the time they turn 30.

Here are four dental and general reasons to stop biting your nails:

1. It’s unsanitary: Your nails harbor bacteria and germs, and are almost twice as dirty as fingers. What’s more, swallowing dirty nails can lead to stomach problems.

2. It wears down your teeth: Gnawing your nails can put added stress on your pearly whites, which can lead to crooked teeth.

3. It can delay your orthodontic treatment: For those of our patients wearing braces, nail biting puts additional pressure on teeth and weakens roots.

4. It can cost you, literally: It has been estimated that up to $4,000 in extra dental bills can build up over a lifetime.

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team recommend the following to kick your nail biting habit:

  • Keep your nails trimmed short; you’ll have less of a nail to bite.
  • Coat your nails with a bitter-tasting nail polish.
  • Ask us about obtaining a mouthguard, which can help prevent nail biting.
  • Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it whenever you get the urge to gnaw on your nails.
  • Think about when and why you chew your nails. Whether you are nervous or just bored, understanding the triggers can help you find a solution and stop the habit.
  • If you can’t stop, behavioral therapy may be an effective option to stop nail biting. Ask Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team for a recommendation.

Post-Procedure Care

September 11th, 2019

As with any surgery, post-procedure care is of utmost importance after getting periodontal surgery. Bleeding, pain, swelling, and other sensations are common and should be expected to a degree. This can manifest as small amounts of blood in your saliva, pain after anesthesia wears off, and swelling around the lips and cheeks. However, these symptoms should start improving after a several days.

Below you'll find recommendations from Drs. Arti and Ashi on what you should do to make your post-procedure experience as quick and painless as possible:

Don't smoke - After your surgery you should definitely not smoke. Smoking will inhibit your body's ability to heal the surgical site.

Don't drink alcohol - If you are taking prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers, don't drink alcohol. And it is a good idea in general to avoid alcohol after surgery, since excess alcohol consumption suppresses immune system function and slows the healing process.

Take pain medication as prescribed or an alternative - Pain is to be expected for at least the first week after your procedure. If you choose to take the prescription medication that is prescribed to you, do so as directed. However some patients have found over-the-counter pain medication works for them. You may also consider natural herbs instead of pharmacological solutions. Try turmeric, arnica, or white willow bark (which is what aspirin is derived from, so the same warnings for aspirin apply to white willow bark.)

Eating with your surgical site in mind - It is best to chew on the other side of your mouth for the first several days so as not to irritate the surgical site. Avoid overly cold or hot foods as well. Softer foods like mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and fruit will be more comfortable to chew.

Avoid brushing the surgical site - You can start brushing and flossing your teeth the day after the procedure but avoid the surgical site.

Don't rinse for the first 24 hours - After the first day has passed you can rinse with a mild mouthwash to keep your mouth, dressing, and surgical site clean.

We're here to answer any questions you have after your procedure and will help you as best we can. Pay special attention to any excessive bleeding or discomfort. Contact our Issaquah office immediately if you have tried addressing the issue on your own but are still having trouble.

Some Benefits to Giving Your Smile an Extra Boost

September 4th, 2019

For many individuals, autumn brings with it a number of new beginnings. Fall is the time that many people return to school, get back to the daily grind after an enjoyable summer, and even get married. As the weather cools down, it’s easier to enjoy the outdoors. And regardless of what fall-related events are on your calendar, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care know you’ll want to look your best.

One of the very first things that people will notice about you is your smile. And if yours has become less dazzling over the years — as teeth tend to do — you know how disappointing it is not to have the beautiful, pearly white look you’re used to.

Benefits to Teeth Whitening

For school-bound students and autumn brides, fall calendars are certainly filled. School and weddings call for large financial investments, loads of social interaction, and a large amount of personal dedication. So the last thing any bride or student wants to think about is a less-than radiant smile.

For many, there is a lack of confidence associated with their smile and investing in teeth-whitening techniques can be an effective solution. Studies suggest that not only can you experience a boost in your level of confidence, but also you may find that other advantages quickly fall into place.

A confident smile can affect:

  • Personal and work-related relationships
  • Job interviews and meetings
  • Success when dealing with customers and potential clients
  • Your personality and general happiness with your age
  • Overall outlook on daily interactions

A Real Effect on Daily Living

All of these benefits can relate directly to how you see yourself. When you are insecure with something as prominent as your smile, it can affect the way that you handle your life, everything from social gatherings to professional situations.

Now is the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate your smile. With the right teeth-whitening product and regular hygienic practices, walking down the aisle or starting the new semester with the utmost confidence has never been easier.

Happy Labor Day!

August 28th, 2019

Labor Day is upon us, and that means the non-official end to summer. Before the kids head back to school and temperatures start to cool down, this is your last chance to barbeque in the beautiful Issaquah community, head to the lake, and wear your favorite pair of white pants.

About Labor Day

Each year, Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. It is the one day of year Americans celebrate their achievements in work, which the US Department of Labor says has contributed to prosperity and well-being of America as a whole. Americans have been celebrating Labor Day since the 1880s, and today it is an official federal holiday.

Interesting Facts About Labor Day

  • Every year, more than 30 million Americans travel over Labor Day weekend.
  • Canada was the first to celebrate Labor Day, and the US soon followed.
  • President Cleveland made Labor Day and official US holiday in 1894.
  • Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and NCAA sports seasons for fans.
  • Labor Day marks the end of hot dog season, when Americans consume seven billion hot dogs.

Thanks for being a valued patient of our Dental office. Our staff would like to wish you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Enjoy your time off!

Are you nervous about seeing the dentist? You’re not alone!

August 21st, 2019

With advances in modern dentistry, a trip to Issaquah Valley Dental Care these days is pretty routine. But visiting Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team still makes some patients anxious—so much so that they don’t go as often as they should and end up with costly complications down the road, such as tooth decay or gum disease.

When it comes to dental care, prevention is the best medicine. And that begins with regular checkups and dental cleanings at our convenient Issaquah office. Today, we thought we would offer five tips for taking the pain out of a visit to see Drs. Arti and Ashi:

1. Ask yourself: What are you most afraid of? Is it the sound of the drill? Do you have needle phobia? Have you been traumatized by previous dental visits? Write down your fears, one by one and talk about them during your visit.

2. Don’t wait. The more frequently your visit our office, the less work will need to be done at any given visit. Simply having your teeth cleaned professionally by Drs. Arti and Ashi twice a year prevents many, if not most, problems down the road.

3. Bring a distraction such as music to your appointment. Just plug in those earphones, close your eyes, and get lost in the music. Listening to tunes can also be a pain killer.

4. Unwind. Inhaling slowly and counting to five helps. Try holding your breath for ten seconds, then exhale slowly to the count of eight, and repeat as needed.

5. Ask us. Before any given procedure, we encourage you to ask Drs. Arti and Ashi or one of our assistants why we’re using the tools we’re using. Ask us what we’re doing, what the tool is used for, and how it benefits you. Also, please ask about anti-anxiety medications we may prescribe to help you relax during your appointment.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, a visit to Issaquah Valley Dental Care might seem like a daunting prospect. Perhaps you had a bad experience in the past, but whatever the reason, please know that at our Issaquah office, there is nothing to be afraid of.

Remember, you’re not alone. We understand that going to the dentist isn’t easy for everyone. In fact, the Journal of the American Dental Association estimates that as many as 12 percent of adults suffer from dental anxiety so bad that they avoid the dentist altogether. Many more suffer from varying degrees of dental anxiety, which often results in poor oral health.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, your fears don’t have to keep you from seeing Drs. Arti and Ashi. Our patients at Issaquah Valley Dental Care are our most important asset, and we strive to create a comfortable experience, no matter how long it has been since your last visit at our Issaquah office. We hope to see you soon!

Top Five Dental Myths

August 14th, 2019

Sometimes the line between fact and fiction is easily blurred. This is certainly the case when it comes to dentistry, where myths and misconceptions abound. In a bid to put an end to health hoaxes, here are five dental myths to chew over.

Sugar Is the Number One Culprit of Tooth Decay

Sugar will rot your teeth. If you’re a parent, chances are you tell your children this every time they ask for something sweet. And chances are your parents told you the same thing. There’s no denying that sugar leads to cavity formation, but it's not the number one culprit of tooth decay. Sugar adds fuel to the fire, but it doesn’t light the match.

Going to the Dentist Is a Painful Experience

There are people who don’t go to the dentist because they think it’s going to be a painful experience. It’s time to put this myth to rest. New dental technology, developments in anesthetics and analgesics, and more conservative dental procedures have made visits to our Issaquah office a more comfortable experience.

Bad Breath Means You’re Not Brushing

Poor dental hygiene can cause bad breath, but it’s not the only thing that will leave you looking for a breath mint. There are many factors that can cause bad breath, including illness, acid reflux, medication, and dehydration. In addition, sometimes what you eat or drink can give you bad breath no matter how many times you brush and floss. Next time you order a sub for lunch, skip the onions and garlic.

Bleaching Products Weaken Teeth

Gels, pastes, strips — there are all sorts of products available to make our pearly whites even whiter. If used according to the directions, bleaching products are harmless. They do not affect the health or strength of the teeth, only the color. At the same time, too much bleaching can cause temporary tooth sensitivity or irritated gums; the enamel, however, is not weakened.

You Will Know When You Have Tooth Decay

This is the type of false information that can lead to serious dental problems. There are no early symptoms of tooth decay. By the time you experience pain, your tooth decay has led to nerve damage, which means your decay is advanced and extensive. The only way to know if you have tooth decay —and to prevent it — is to visit Drs. Arti and Ashi twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.

Improve your oral health with xylitol!

August 7th, 2019

Xylitol tastes sweet, but unlike sugar, it is not converted to acid that can cause your teeth to decay. It’s a naturally occurring sweetener found in plants, fruits, and vegetables; even the human body produces it in small amounts. Xylitol is widely used in sugar-free chewing gum, mints, candies, and even certain forms of medicine.

The World Health Organization has approved xylitol because only a small amount is needed for its health benefits. It’s even safe for diabetics, with a glycemic index of only seven. Xylitol has 40% fewer calories than other types of carbs: less than three calories per gram.

So how can this natural sweetener benefit your oral health? Take a look at the facts. Tooth decay starts when bacteria consumes the sugars left in your mouth. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria on your teeth will multiply and make acid that can destroy your enamel.

Xylitol is derived from fibrous parts of plants, so it does not break down like a regular sugar. It actually helps maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth, which in turn prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. The bacteria are then unable to digest xylitol, which means your teeth won’t develop enamel damage and cavities.

Studies have shown the consumption of xylitol as a sugar substitute or a dietary addition had a dramatic reduction in new cavities and even reversed existing cavities. These effects are long lasting: low cavity rates remained years after the trials were done.

When there’s less bacteria and acid in your mouth due to xylitol, your teeth stay healthier. The more frequently it’s ingested, the more you will prevent enamel damage.

Aim to consume around five grams a day, or one gram every three hours if possible. You can do this by consuming gum, tablets, candy, or mints that have xylitol as one of the first ingredients after your meals. You can find these products in health food stores and specialty grocery stores.

Since xylitol replaces sugar on a one-to-one ratio, it’s used in several common items:

  • Toothpaste
  • Mouth rinse
  • Baby oral wipes, gel, and pacifiers
  • Nasal wash
  • Dry mouth spray
  • Granulated forms for cooking
  • Granulated packets to add to drinks
  • Commercially prepared foods

Make sure to pick up items that contain xylitol the next time you’re at the store! This is an easy way to maintain great oral health. If you have specific questions about xylitol, ask Drs. Arti and Ashi during your next appointment at our Issaquah office.

Are you a candidate for dental implants?

July 17th, 2019

When you are missing teeth, it is critical to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can be challenging, as well as uncomfortable. Missing teeth can also destabilize your bite. Dental implants are a great option for replacing teeth that are missing or are badly diseased. A dental implant at Issaquah Valley Dental Care offers relief, support, and stability to your bite, and often, implants are the most natural and effective option available.

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team have helped many patients using implant dentistry at our Issaquah office restore their smiles to look more natural. Each implant is created to fit in perfectly with the look of the rest of your teeth.

Besides making your smile appear more natural, dental implants have other benefits. They include:

  • Restoring your ability to properly chew food
  • Preventing your teeth from shifting and moving
  • Stabilizing your bite, helping you avoid pain or discomfort

If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth and feel like you are a candidate for dental implants, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care encourage you to give us a call to schedule an appointment. See you soon!

Things You Should Know Before Getting an Oral Piercing

July 10th, 2019

Have you been thinking about getting an oral piercing lately? It could seem enticing because they look trendy or cool, but it’s worth know the health risks associated with oral piercing. Even if you already have one, you may learn a few things you didn’t know.

The human mouth contains millions of bacteria. Even without piercings, it’s not uncommon for people to develop an infection every once in a while. By adding an oral piercing, you increase your likelihood of getting an infection.

Many people who have piercings tend to develop the habit of touching them regularly, which is the like opening a door and yelling, “Welcome home, infections!” And because these piercings are in your mouth, particles of all the food that comes through can accumulate and eventually cause a pretty serious health situation.

It’s hard to ignore the presence of an oral piercing, so biting or playing with the site is fairly common. Doing so can lead to teeth fractures, however. While a fracture might be on the enamel of a tooth and require a simple filling, it can also go deeper, which could entail a root canal or even tooth extraction.

Other risks include hindering your ability to talk and eat, nerve damage, gum damage, and even loss of taste.

If you’re still determined to get an oral piercing, at least be aware of the time it will take to heal. It can take anywhere from four to six weeks, and can cause great discomfort during that time. Be willing to give it that time in order to lower your chances of infection.

Make sure you understand that getting an oral piercing will involve adding further responsibility to your daily dental health duties. It’s essential that you commit to regular upkeep on your end, and not just while it’s healing.

Happy Fourth of July!

July 3rd, 2019

Happy Independence Day from Drs. Arti and Ashi and team! The Fourth of July celebrations in America may have changed a lot over the years, but there is no doubt that we Americans love to celebrate the anniversary of our country's independence! Today we're devoting the Issaquah Valley Dental Care blog to some fun facts about the Fourth!

  • My, how we have grown! This year the United States Census Bureau estimates that our country has 313.9 million residents celebrating the Fourth of July this year, but back in 1776 there were just 2.5 million members of the country.
  • Our country loves to show how proud that we are of our independence. Did you know that there are 31 United States places with the word “Liberty” in their names? The state of Iowa actually has four towns with the word Liberty in the name: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty, and West Liberty.
  • The United States loves Fourth of July food! It is expected that around 150 million hot dogs are eaten on the Fourth each year. One of the Fourth's most popular sides, potato salad, goes just perfectly with the hotdogs and hamburgers that are standard Fourth of July fare. Some people choose potato chips instead, but we wouldn't have such a plethora of potatoes if not for the prodigious production of the states of Idaho and Washington -- they provide about half of all the potatoes in the United States today!
  • Americans love celebrating the Fourth outdoors: About 74 million Americans fire up their BBQ grill every Fourth of July.
  • The Chinese contribution: Did you know that Americans have spent more than $211 million on fireworks that were imported from China?

No matter how your family chooses to celebrate the Fourth, stay safe, take precautions, and don't forget to brush after your fabulous Fourth feast!

My gums are shrinking!

June 26th, 2019

Have you ever looked in the mirror and noticed that your teeth looked longer? Does it seem like your gums are shrinking? This condition is called recession—many adults have it. Let’s look at some of the causes and what you can do about it.

During your exam at Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we will take measurements to check for periodontal disease. Dental professionals take recession measurements to see how much attached gingiva is present. This is the kind of tissue that is most resilient to infection.

The more recession, the less attached gingiva. The less attached gingiva, the less bone support. The less bone support, the higher your chances of tooth loss. It is quite a domino effect.

Don’t lose hope. The effect can be halted once you know the cause of your recession.

Do you ever wake up with your jaw clenched, and/or a headache that originates just above your ears? Clenching or grinding your teeth can cause recession. When there is added stress on a tooth, it flexes at the gum line.

Over time this causes microscopic breaks in the enamel and then a notch appears. The gum line is forced to move away from its original position. If this is something you see in your mouth, we can discuss the possibility of an occlusal guard at your next visit.

How do you brush your teeth? Do you brush in a straight line or circles? What kind of bristles do you use? Are the bristles on your toothbrush frayed?

When you brush in a circle, you are sweeping all along the gum line, removing the plaque from most angles. When you brush in a straight line, you may often miss the concave portion of the gums. This leaves plaque behind and leads to gingivitis. Whenever gingivitis occurs, the body attacks supporting structures like bone while trying to get rid of the infection. This is periodontal disease, which can cause recession.

Recession may also result from an irritant on the gums, such as a bar from a partial denture or orthodontic appliance (braces).

Gums do not “grow back.” The most common treatment for advanced recession is a tissue graft. There are many different kinds of tissue grafts.

Other factors can cause recession. If you think recession is happening in your mouth, schedule an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi to discuss your options, so you can make the appropriate treatment choice.

When to Replace Fillings

June 19th, 2019

A dental filling replaces and restores the health of a tooth that has been damaged. Often, the need for a filling results from a cavity due to a large amount of decay in a tooth.

Teeth may also require repairs after cracking from chewing on hard objects, trauma to the mouth, grinding or clenching of your teeth, uneven chewing pressure, or exposure to extreme hot and cold temperatures.

Over time, a filling may have to be replaced after normal wear and tear has occurred. There are signs and symptoms to watch out for if your tooth may need a replacement filling, or a new filling. Issaquah Valley Dental Care performs various types of filling treatments, depending on the damage to the tooth.

Common signs and symptoms to watch out for if you have a cracked tooth can include sharp pain when you bite down, pain that comes and goes, discomfort when eating or drinking, or a constant feeling that something is stuck in your teeth. The crack may not be visible to the eye, which makes it hard to tell whether a tooth is actually cracked.

Pain may come and go quickly when you bite down because you’re expanding the crack with the combined pressure of your teeth. If you notice this happening, contact Drs. Arti and Ashi right away so we can get X-rays of your mouth and quickly fix the problem.

If you’ve had a filling in your mouth in the past, you could be due for a replacement. The seal between the tooth and the filling may break down over time, after which bacteria can build up underneath the filling and cause more decay.

It’s vital to catch this early so a filing can fix the problem. If you wait too long, a crown or a root canal may be the only option. You may not notice that a long-time filing is cracked or worn down, because it can take a long time to feel any discomfort. This is one of the reasons we recommend a dental checkup every six months.

If you need a tooth filling or a replacement filling, different filling choices vary in price. Gold fillings and porcelain fillings are more expensive options that last longer -- typically around 20 years. Porcelain fillings match the color of the rest of your teeth, however, which makes them less visible.

Another option is amalgam, or silver fillings, that less expensive but may be more noticeable in visible areas of your mouth. Composite, or plastic fillings, are another affordable option that can be matched to the color of your teeth. Composites are more likely to wear out over time and not last as long: usually around three to ten years.

If you think a past filling might be due for replacement, schedule an appointment at our Issaquah office. Make sure to stay on top of your routine dental appointments in order to prevent decay from breaking down problem teeth.

If we catch the problem early, we can save you both money and time. Fillings can be a great way to resolve any existing teeth issues, and prevent extensive dental care practices from becoming necessary in the future.

 

Are you at risk for sleep apnea?

June 12th, 2019

If you are one of the more than 12 million North Americans who suffers from sleep apnea, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team want you to know we can help. Sleep apnea, a disorder that causes frequent disruption to your body’s sleep patterns, is also potentially dangerous, as it causes abnormal pauses in breathing or very shallow breathing during the night.

For those who suffer from sleep apnea, it may seem impossible to wake up feeling rested and energized. You may, for example, sleep for eight hours, but your body might have only received three or four hours of quality sleep.

Besides losing a good night’s sleep, the risk of heart attack and stroke have been linked to sleep apnea. Other conditions associated with sleep apnea include depression, irritability, high blood pressure, memory loss, and sexual dysfunction.

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax to the point of inhibiting natural breathing. The muscles used to support the soft palate relax and the airway closes, causing breathing to stop for anywhere from ten to 20 seconds, which is dangerous because it lowers the oxygen level in the brain.

Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, and CPAP devices (continuous positive airway pressure), among other treatments, are often prescribed for sleep apnea treatment. Another treatment option is an oral sleep apnea appliance, which positions your mouth in a way that brings your lower jaw forward and opens up your airway for unobstructed breathing.

At Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we truly care about the health and well-being of our patients. In fact, we regularly screen our patients for sleep disorders during their regular checkups, and we will refer you to a sleep apnea specialist if an issue is detected. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at our Issaquah office if you think you have sleep apnea or if you have any questions or concerns!

Summer Break: An ideal time for wisdom teeth removal

June 5th, 2019

After your son or daughter departs for college, the last thing you want to get is a call or text to learn he or she is in pain. Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care will tell you there aren’t many emergency situations that can be avoided when it comes to dental health, but one crisis that can easily be prevented before your teen heads hundreds of miles away for college is wisdom tooth extraction.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that erupt in the late teen years to early 20s. Spacing and crowding problems often cause impaction and infections, which is why many people elect to have their wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth can go from barely noticeable to extremely painful in a very short period of time.

When your teen’s wisdom teeth erupt, they may cause overcrowding of his or her teeth, which can have a negative effect on their alignment. Most people’s mouths do not have enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt fully and remain perfectly aligned. Thus, pain, swelling, infection, damage to adjacent teeth, and decay are often the most common problems associated with wisdom teeth. These problems can brew beneath the surface for weeks or months, offering no warning before painful symptoms hit.

If your child does elect to go through wisdom tooth extraction, we want to inform you that the first few days of recovery consist of careful measures to control bleeding and swelling, an adherence to a special soft diet, as well as a medication routine that must be followed as recommended by Drs. Arti and Ashi after surgery.

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team are dedicated to providing exceptional service before, during, and after your wisdom tooth procedure, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your child’s oral health is in good hands. We will do everything we can to minimize discomfort and help your child heal safely and quickly.

Summer break is the perfect time to remove wisdom teeth so that your child can avoid the stressful scenario of experiencing this medical emergency far away from home. If you have any questions on wisdom teeth removal or to schedule an initial consultation with Drs. Arti and Ashi, give us a call today!

What is a crown?

May 29th, 2019

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care hear this question all the time. Millions of people have dental crowns that artificially restore the chewing surface of a tooth. Also known as caps, these restorations surround the entire portion of the tooth that is above the gum line. Crowns are custom fabricated to match the color, shape, and size of other teeth and are visually undetectable to others. Several types of materials can be used to create crowns, including stainless steel, resin, metal alloys, porcelain fused to metal, or ceramic. When properly cared for and accurately fit, crowns can stay in place for a decade or more.

There are many reasons to get a dental crown, including:

  • To restore a broken or cracked tooth
  • To protect a tooth after a root canal
  • To restore a severely decayed tooth
  • To help anchor a dental bridge
  • To complete a dental implant
  • To protect a tooth that is at high risk for developing decay
  • For cosmetic purposes

Getting a dental crown

The process of getting a dental crown begins at our Issaquah office. X-rays are used to ensure the teeth are healthy enough to receive a crown. If the roots and surrounding bone are in satisfactory condition, the tooth will be numbed, filed, and reshaped in preparation for the crown. If the tooth root is not healthy, a root canal may be necessary first.

After the tooth is prepared, a special paste is placed over the upper and lower teeth to make impressions. These impressions serve as blueprints for the dental laboratory responsible for making the crown. They also help ensure the position of the new crown will not negatively affect a patient’s bite. The prepared tooth is protected by a temporary crown while the permanent one is made. When ready, the permanent crown replaces the temporary crown and is cemented in place.

To learn more about crowns, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi, please give us a call at our convenient Issaquah office!

Memorial Day

May 22nd, 2019

Memorial Day is not only a federal holiday in the United States, but it is a day of observance and remembrance of those who died in service. Originally known as Decoration Day, this solemn day has been marked on calendars since the end of the American Civil War as a day to commemorate both the Confederate and Union soldiers who fought and died in the war.

Marking the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers, wreaths, or other tokens has been practiced throughout history, but it wasn't until the mark of the end of the Civil War that a special day was decided upon as the one to spend in remembrance. By 1890, every state in the country was observing Decoration Day. It wasn't until 1967 when the name formally changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day, in order to encompass all fallen American soldiers in all wars and conflicts. In June of 1968, Congress moved the official date of Memorial Day to the last Monday in May in order to create a three day weekend.

Today, while there is certainly an air of remembrance on Memorial Day, it has become more a day of spending time with family, friends, and other loved ones. This day is also heralded as the start of summer, with many schools finishing for the year around this time. Our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care remembers it as a day to take solace and remembered those lost.

Traditional observances of Memorial Day are still held, and they often involve raising the American Flag then lowering it to a half-staff position until noon, and then raising it once again to its full height afterwards. The flag is lowered to remember those who've lost their lives while in service to their country, and then it is raised to signify our willingness to not let their sacrifice be in vain.

From community parades in the Issaquah area, backyard cook-outs, and fireworks to formal ceremonies, Memorial Day is commemorated in many different ways. No matter how you choose to spend this day, take a moment to remember those who've lost their lives in an effort to preserve our freedom.

What exactly is periodontal disease?

May 15th, 2019

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care wants you to know that this common ailment can be fixed with little worry if treated properly.

Periodontal disease is usually identified through dental X-rays, probe depths, and visual exams. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth sensitivity, premature tooth loss, or discomfort and pain in your mouth. Some common symptoms to watch for include bleeding or swollen gums, bad breath, teeth movement, or jaw displacement.

Factors that may increase your risk of developing periodontal disease may include poor oral hygiene, smoking/chewing tobacco, genetics, stress, inadequate nutrition, pregnancy, diabetes, and some medications. Some of these causes are avoidable, but others are not.

If you have diabetes, you may be more prone to periodontal disease due to the greater difficulty in controlling blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that once periodontal disease is treated, glucose levels become more responsive to control as well. If your risk for periodontal disease is heightened by one of these factors, make sure to watch for the signs and keep up with your daily oral hygiene routine.

How can you treat this common disease that affects almost half of the population? Depending on the severity, treatment can include a medicated mouth rinse, antibiotic treatment, laser therapy, or scaling and root planing. It’s useful to recall that this condition can vary from mild to severe, which is why you should make an appointment at our Issaquah office if you notice any of the above symptoms.

 

May Marks National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

May 1st, 2019

The merry month of May also happens to be National Fitness and Sports Month, so take advantage of the warmer days to get outside and exercise! Bringing a friend, family member, or coworker with you when you go for a brisk walk during a lunch break can provide an opportunity to socialize as well as health benefits. If you need a little more motivation, here are some good reasons to stay active and fit.

Exercise provides:

  • Improved stamina and energy as well as toned muscles and bone strength and density
  • Improved circulation and breathing for a healthier heart and lungs
  • Reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer
  • For older adults, regular exercise may help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls as well as improved cognitive abilities

Children and Teens

Children and teenagers spend long hours at their desks in school, on the computer, watching television, and involved in other sedentary activities that result in obesity and poor health later in life. Getting them engaged in school or community sports teams can help them form good life-long exercise habits. One important note: If they are participating in contact sports, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care recommend your kids wear an approved mouthguard to protect those valuable teeth from injury! Ask us for a proper fitting of your safety appliance during your next visit!

A gym membership is nice but not necessary to stay fit; try these easy ways to work some exercise into your daily routine.

At Home

  • Take a friend along for company on a walk through your neighborhood.
  • Pursue gardening or other yard work, including mowing or raking.
  • Take your kids on a bike ride or have them push a baby stroller around the block.

Couch potatoes take note: simply moving from the sofa to the floor for some sit-ups, leg-lifts, or push-ups while you’re watching television can help you get in better shape in no time.

At Work

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Take exercise breaks for walks around the building or parking lot.
  • Walk or ride a bike to work.

So what are you waiting for? Get moving!

For more information on exercise techniques, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi, please give us a call at our convenient Issaquah office!

Fewer Adults are Visiting the Dentist

April 24th, 2019

Our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care recently learned that in the decade between 2000 and 2010, the amount of adults who regularly visited their dentist declined, according to research released by the American Dental Association's Health Policy Resources Center (HPRC). In fact, the HPRC found that the percentage of adults who had regular checkups every six months declined from 41 percent in 2003 to 37 percent in 2010. The largest decline in dental care occurred in the 35- to 49-year-old age group. That’s down from 43 percent in 2003 to just 38 percent in 2010.

There is some good news, however. While adult visits may have decreased, children's visits were on the rise, particularly among low-income families. More low-income children are visiting the dentist now than they were ten years ago. And the HPRC notes that between 2000 and 2010, dental visits among low-income children increased in 47 states.

Have you ever wondered why the American Dental Association and Drs. Arti and Ashi recommend that you come in for a dental checkup and cleaning every six months? While daily oral hygiene habits are essential to good oral health, professional dental cleanings at Issaquah Valley Dental Care ensure your and your child’s teeth are treated to a deeper level of cleaning. In addition to a thorough cleaning and teeth polishing, regular visits at our Issaquah office help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. During your visit, we’ll check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue for symptoms of any oral disease. We will also check old fillings and restorations, as these can wear away over time from constant chewing, clenching, or grinding at night.

If you are predisposed to oral diseases due to age, pregnancy, tobacco use, or medical conditions such as diabetes or dry mouth, Drs. Arti and Ashi may recommend you visit our office more often than every six months.

If you are overdue for your next checkup and cleaning, please give us a call to schedule an appointment!

Earth Day

April 17th, 2019

The idea for Earth Day was the brainchild of Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. He envisioned an Earth Day that would be a kind of environmental teach-in. The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970, and a surprising 20 million people participated on that day. Ultimately, it became the largest organized celebration in US history.

Earth Day Over the Years

Over the years, the recognition of the day, and the number of people celebrating it all over the world, turned Earth Day into an international celebration. Because it is celebrated throughout the world, it is not only the largest international environmental observation, but it is also more widely celebrated than any other environmental event in the world. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 175 countries where over 500 million people participate in celebrations.

The Earth Day Movement

The Earth Day movement is credited with developing the idea that people should “think green”. It encouraged congress to enact laws, including one that resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. It also inspired the passage of the Endangered Species Act.

The Five R's and Their Importance

  • Reduce – Reduce by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Reduce your use of materials that wind up in landfills. Reduce the use of chemicals around your house. Reduce your use of disposable bags, plates, cups, eating utensils, and batteries.
  • Reuse – Instead of using plastic bags for your groceries or purchases, bring your own reusable bags. When you go to buy coffee at Starbucks, take a travel mug so you don't have to get your coffee in a disposable paper cup. Instead of storing food in disposable refrigerator containers, buy containers that can be washed and reused. Don't use regular batteries. Whenever possible, opt for rechargeable batteries that you can reuse.
  • Recycle – Most cities offer a recycling program to collect used bottles, cans, and newspapers. Recycling includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers and manufacturing raw materials into new products.
  • Re-buy – Make an effort to purchase things that are made through recycling. When purchasing furniture, look for items that are made from reclaimed wood. When buying paper for kids school work, computer printer paper, holiday cards, or anything else, make a point of purchasing recycled paper products. Instead of buying clothing at full retail price, shop for second hand clothing. You will save a lot of money by doing so!
  • Rethink – Rethink the way you do things so that you do them in an eco-conscious way at all times. Instead of driving to work alone, consider taking the bus or going in a carpool. Walk or ride your bike when you're only going a short distance. Plan your shopping trips and errand runs so that you can do everything on one day, and do it in a way where you can save time and gas.

Other ways to "think green" include growing your own food, composting yard waste and food scraps, or by participating in local recycling programs. Join a group like Freecycle so you can share your unneeded and unwanted possessions with people who can use them. Likewise, you'll be able to get things you need or want for free.

Earth Day teaches people that the planet belongs to everyone, so everyone is equally responsible for protecting it. Although Earth Day is an environmental celebration, our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care wants to remind you that you don't have to wait until then to make changes that will allow you and your family to live a greener life.

Happy Earth Day from the team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care.

Quit Smoking to Save Your Smile

April 10th, 2019

You have probably counted a hundred reasons to stop smoking. It’s unhealthy. It’s expensive. It annoys the people around you. You have to schedule your day around the next cigarette. But here’s reason number 101: Did you know that one of the many side effects of smoking is the damage it does to your smile?

Your Appearance

One of the most obvious results of smoking is the constant yellowing and discoloration of your teeth. Tobacco stains can take longer to remove with home brushing and whitening. And, while a professional cleaning and whitening will make a world of difference, all that good work is undone once you start smoking again.

More important, no smile looks its best with periodontal disease and tooth loss. Smoking has been linked to the presence of more harmful oral bacteria and higher occurrences of cavities and gingivitis (early gum disease). Periodontitis, or severe gum disease, is much more common among smokers. Tooth loss is also much more likely.

Healing after Dental Surgery

Smoking slows the healing process. It has been linked to a weaker immune system, so it’s harder to fight off an infection or to heal from one.  And because of the harmful effect of smoking on bone tissue, there is a higher failure rate for dental implants among smokers. Bone density can be so compromised that an implant is not even an option.

Healing after Extractions

If you have a tooth extracted, the formation of a blood clot at the site of the removal is essential to avoid a condition called dry socket. Dry socket can lead to pain, serious infection, and other complications. Luckily, this clot is resilient and pretty hard to dislodge—unless you apply suction such as sipping through a straw or drawing smoke from a cigarette.

Oral Cancer

Research has shown that smoking is the single most serious risk factor for oral cancer. The good news is that this risk is cut dramatically if you quit!

Let Drs. Arti and Ashi help you maintain your smile. We can offer many more reasons to give up the smoking habit, and we are happy to offer suggestions for quitting during your next visit to our Issaquah office. We want to protect your smile and your health as well. It doesn’t really matter which number on the list finally leads you to quit—every number on that list is your lucky number!

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 3rd, 2019

Happy Oral Cancer Awareness Month! We know oral cancer can be kind of a scary topic, but it’s worth using this opportunity to learn about the disease and spread knowledge so everyone becomes more aware. The more we know, the better we can work to prevent it!

Oral cancer is exactly what it sounds like: cancer that occurs anywhere in the mouth. It could occur on the tongue, the lips, the gums, the tongue, inside the cheek, or in the roof or floor of the mouth. Every  year, more than 8,000 people die from oral cancer. It’s a truly deadly disease.

The reason oral cancer scores a higher death rate than other common cancers such as testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, thyroid cancer, cervical cancer, or even skin cancer, is because it often goes undetected until it's become too advanced and has spread to another part of the body.

So what causes this devastating disease? There is no clear answer, but some potential causes have been identified. By being aware of these, we can be alert and promote prevention of this illness:

  • Age: Most patients who develop oral cancer are above the age of 40. If you’re over 40, make sure your doctor checks for signs of oral cancer and that you stay on your dental hygiene regimen.
  • Tobacco: Excessive tobacco use, whether in the form of cigarette smoking or tobacco chewing, can be a substantial contributor and cause of oral cancer. So that’s another reason, among many, you should avoid tobacco.
  • Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can put you at risk because alcohol converts into a chemical called acetaldehyde, which damages the body’s DNA and blocks cells from repairing the damage. When paired with tobacco, the dehydrating effects of alcohol make it even easier for tobacco to infiltrate mouth tissue.
  • Sun exposure: Your lips need SPF, too! Repeated sun exposure increases your risk of contracting cancer on your lips, especially the lower lip.
  • Diet: Not getting all the nutrients you need, from vegetables and fruits for instance, can weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to the disease.

Obviously, many of these causes relate to lifestyle choices, which we have control over. It's all about balance, being aware, and making small tweaks to our habits if we need to.

If you’re concerned that you may be at risk for oral cancer, give us a call to talk about a screening. And if you’ve been putting off a visit to our Issaquah office, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits to the dentist can be the first line of defense against oral cancer!

Alleviate Tooth Sensitivity

March 27th, 2019

There’s nothing like the simple seasonal pleasures. What’s more enjoyable than a cup of hot apple cider on a blustery winter day, or a tall glass of ice water in the middle of a summer heatwave? Until, that is, tooth sensitivity makes that hot or cold treat no treat at all. If untimely tooth sensitivity is causing you problems, there are solutions we can offer!

Improving Brushing Technique

Careful brushing is a wonderful habit to get into, but sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Over-energetic brushing can actually damage our enamel. And underneath that enamel is dentin, a more porous substance which allows heat and cold to reach the more sensitive inner tooth.

But, please, don’t give up on brushing! Switching to a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can make a world of difference. Drs. Arti and Ashi can recommend the most effective and safest way to brush, as well as suggest toothpastes designed to fight tooth sensitivity. Until you recover, now is the time to avoid acidic and sugary foods and drinks (which can also bother sensitive teeth) and home tooth-whitening products as well.

Preventing Gum Disease

When gum disease progresses, the gums can begin to pull away from the teeth. This recession exposes part of the root area, which is much more sensitive to heat and cold.  Regular checkups and cleanings can keep gum disease from developing. Gum disease that is already present can be treated, and we can discuss whether more intensive care, such as a gum graft, is advisable to protect the root area.

Treating Injuries to the Tooth

If you have a cavity, a fracture, or another injury to the tooth or nerve, sensitivity is a good sign that you should call us right away. And, sensitivity is a symptom that can disappear when we restore the compromised tooth, whether it requires a new or replacement filling, a crown, or a root canal. If your teeth are more sensitive as a result of tooth grinding or other orthodontic problems, we can identify those issues as well.

No matter the reason for your tooth sensitivity, we want to work with you to find out the cause of the problem and to find a solution for it. Call our Issaquah office if you notice any unpleasant or painful reactions to temperature, foods or even wind and air. Whether it’s advice on correcting your brushing style or treating tooth and gum conditions, we are here to help you.

Periodontics and Pregnancy

March 20th, 2019

Periodontal health — which refers to the condition of the structures that support your teeth — is an important part of your oral and overall health. However, periodontal health becomes even more important when you're pregnant. Bad oral health can have detrimental effects on the health of your unborn child and can lead to low-birth weight babies and giving birth to a pre-term baby, according to reports by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP), and several research studies.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a set of chronic, bacteria-induced, inflammatory diseases that attack the gum tissue and in more severe cases, the bones supporting the teeth. Early signs of periodontal disease usually include tenderness, swelling, and redness. Symptoms can also include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing, receding gums, loose teeth, and bad breath. These signs shouldn't be ignored, especially if you're pregnant.

Prevention is the best tool you have to fight periodontal disease. Here are some steps you can take to keep your gums in tiptop shape:

  • Brush your teeth properly twice a day – angle your toothbrush at the gum line to help disrupt the bacterial growth that eventually leads to periodontal disease, and make sure you don't brush too hard.
  • Floss daily and clean behind the back molars on the top and bottom of your mouth.
  • Use antiseptic mouthwash to rid your mouth of the bacteria that can cause gum disease.
  • Get regular checkups at our Issaquah office to ensure you have no signs of periodontal disease and that your oral hygiene habits are effective.

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team urge women to care for their periodontal health during pregnancy to avoid complications. If you have any questions regarding periodontal health and how it affects you and your baby's overall health, please contact our Issaquah office for more information.

Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

March 13th, 2019

Millions of people, around Issaquah and beyond, wear green on St. Patrick’s Day so they can show their spirit for the holiday and avoid getting pinched. While it may be easy for you to throw on a green shirt, sport a St. Patrick’s Day button, or wear a pair of emerald-hued shoes, if you’re an avid St. Patty’s Day enthusiast you may want to try something different this year. Drs. Arti and Ashi thought of a few ideas that will help you take your holiday spirit to the next level:

Visit Chicago’s Green River

If you happen to be near the Windy City during St. Patrick’s Day or you’re thinking of planning a trip, don’t miss out on going downtown to watch the large-scale celebration that kicks off when the city dyes the river bright green. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago has been celebrating the holiday with this tradition for more than 50 years, with tens of thousands of people gathering annually to witness the mysterious dying process and the stunning result.

Don Green Face Paint

Just like an avid sports fan on game day, you can use green face paints to showcase your enthusiasm for this holiday. Avoid breakouts or allergic reactions by only using paints that are specifically meant to be applied to the skin. A little bit of face paint can cover a large area, so feel free to get creative and decorate the whole family on St. Patrick’s Day.

Eat Green All Day

Not a fan of green eggs and ham? With the increasing popularity of green smoothies, there’s no better time to get in on this health craze. To create a green smoothie without the aid of food coloring, you can simply blend a generous amount of a leafy green vegetable, such as spinach or kale, with the ingredients that you would typically use to make a smoothie, like fruit, ice, milk, or juice. Keep the trend going throughout the day by using those same vegetables to create a green soup, egg salad, or a batch of bright green pastries. As an added bonus, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamins without changing the taste of most of these foods.

If your old holiday routine has gotten stale, leave your green T-shirt in the drawer and try one or all of these tips. Don’t be surprised if you have so much fun that you decide to start a new, annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition! Have a happy St. Paddy’s day from Issaquah Valley Dental Care!

Are your teeth ready for the big day?

March 6th, 2019

Capturing the Moment

At Issaquah Valley Dental Care we know that just about anyone who has taken on the challenge of planning her own wedding could tell you how important the little details can be. Things like having complementary colors, the right location, show-stopping flowers, and delicious food are all a big part of planning your spring wedding. Another little detail that has a big "I do" related role? Your smile.

Whether you’re the bride, or an attendant, looking your best when you tie the knot (or help someone tie the knot) is essential. If your teeth aren’t ready to make an entrance, turning to one of the many available teeth whitening solutions is a great option.

Reliable Solutions

Before the wedding day arrives, you should take your smile into consideration. If diet and daily wear-and-tear have caused your teeth to lose their original luster, our team can help! In-office procedures do cost more than kits you use at home, but with an in-office treatment, you benefit from a professional taking proper care of your teeth.

In addition, relying on our office to handle teeth whitening before the wedding can give you access to trustworthy advice on how to keep your teeth looking their best for a longer period of time. It’s common for someone experienced in assisting people with their oral health to suggest investing in an in-office whitening technique and then following up with a teeth-whitening kit at home.

This is a season of new beginnings and beauty. Take the time to bring out your most beautiful smile before the big day. Don’t let your smile hold you back on your wedding. With our in-office teeth whitening, you can be sure that you’ll be more confident and comfortable interacting with friends and family. So remember, when in need of some quality oral care in Issaquah to think of Drs. Arti and Ashi!

Don’t procrastinate about dental work!

February 27th, 2019

When you have dental issues or just need routine care, you may try to put off making an appointment at Issaquah Valley Dental Care. Common reasons for procrastination are not having the time or fear of pain. Avoiding Drs. Arti and Ashi is not a good idea, though. Putting off dental care can turn small problems into large ones. Short appointments turn into long ones with significantly more work and expense.

What happens when you wait?

The small cavity that could have been filled easily has turned into a large cavity. The larger the cavity, the more work required to fill it. However, this is only a minor problem compared to more advanced issues. The minor toothache you are trying to ignore could be a small fracture or an abscess. Small fractures can sometimes be repaired, but if you wait and the fracture increases, you may need to get a crown.

An abscess can be treated in the early stages. Ignoring an abscessed tooth may lead to root damage and the need for a root canal. Infection can spread to other teeth, which multiplies the damage. These treatments will require more of your time than you would have spent taking care of the problem early.

Perhaps you are just putting off a routine cleaning. Even if you brush, rinse, and floss the way you are supposed to, you need a professional cleaning at Issaquah Valley Dental Care. Plaque that is left behind hardens into calculus or tartar that you cannot remove by yourself. A build-up of calculus can also lead to gum disease.

Unfortunately, avoiding appointments due to a lack of time may mean that you have to give up substantially more time later on. You also can experience needless pain from tooth problems. It’s always best to visit Drs. Arti and Ashi for regularly scheduled cleanings and exams to ensure your smile stays healthy and beautiful.

What to Expect if You Haven’t Been to the Dentist in Forever

February 20th, 2019

It’s easy to miss a dental appointment. Life and duties intervene, and suddenly you have to push your appointment back once, then again, or forget about it.

We get that. These days, we all have a lot going on. But what we don’t want is for a lengthy absence to make you anxious about returning. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been, we always love to see you! So let’s take a moment to explain what you can expect when you pay us a visit.

Your appointment will last roughly 60 to 90 minutes, so keep that in mind when you schedule it and plan accordingly. Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team want you to feel comfortable.

One of the first things we will ask is the reason for your visit. You’ll have the opportunity to let us know about any concerns or questions you may have. No question is too small, so ask away!

Next, we will go over your medical and dental history to make updates to your file as necessary. This will usually be followed by X-rays to give us a better idea of what is currently happening with your teeth. We will finish with a screening for oral cancer and periodontal disease. If you haven’t visited us in a while, we want to make sure nothing serious is going on.

After that, you will undergo a cleaning with one of our hygienists. Your teeth will be cleaned and checked for such things as broken fillings, cracked teeth, or active decay. Finally, Drs. Arti and Ashi will come by for a final look and a rundown of your dental needs.

Then you’re ready to go! On your way out, you’ll discuss options for scheduling your next appointment, insurance coverage, and payment plans if applicable. You will also receive a goodie bag with a new toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste to get you started (and motivated) on the path to great dental health!

We always want our patients’ experience to be as comfortable and as easy as possible. From the moment you pick up the phone to make your appointment, our team is here to make sure we always meet your needs.

No matter how long it’s been since your last visit, we hope you’ll give us a call to make your next appointment at our Issaquah office.

The Start of Valentine’s Day

February 13th, 2019

Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day, has been said to originate with a Catholic priest named Valentine several thousand year ago. Valentine defied the emperor at the time by secretly marrying men and their brides after the emperor had made it illegal to marry. Emperor Claudius II did this because he wanted as many single young men to fight in his war as he could get.

Valentine disobeyed the emperor’s edict by continuing to marry couples until he was sentenced to death. Before his execution, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it “From your Valentine.” Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team have come up with some suggestions on how you can celebrate this Valentine’s Day, whether you have a valentine of your own or not.

Valentine's Day Ideas

  • Enjoy a tasty treat. There are plenty of options when it comes to cooking and/or baking on Valentine’s Day. Make your significant other his or her favorite meal or sweet treat, or make your own favorite dish to enjoy on this day. Oh, and be sure to make enough for leftovers!
  • Make a personalized card. Instead of buying a card from the grocery store, take the time to make your own for a loved one. People love handwritten notes, especially when it’s from someone special. If you’re single this Valentine’s Day, make a card for fellow single friend to brighten the day and remind the person that he or she is also loved.
  • Watch a movie. We all know there are plenty of romance movies out there. Put on your favorite romantic comedy, or pick up your significant other’s favorite movie to watch together. Even better, if you’re single, pick up your own favorite movies to watch to pass the time this Valentine’s Day.
  • Do nothing! We all know Valentine’s Day can sometimes get a lot of hype. If you’re worried about not making a reservation in time, don’t feel like planning an extravagant night out, or simply not in the holiday mood this year, spend your day sitting back and relaxing.

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and spend quality hours with the people you care about the most. Whether you’re in a relationship or single, take some time today to appreciate those you love in your life.

We wish you a happy Valentine’s Day celebration and look forward to seeing you at our Issaquah office during your next appointment.

When was your last dental checkup?

February 6th, 2019

While Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team tell you daily oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, are essential to optimal oral health, regular dental checkups at Issaquah Valley Dental Care ensure your teeth are treated to a deeper level of cleaning.

We recommend for most of our patients to have a cleaning at our Issaquah office at least every six months. In addition to a thorough cleaning and polishing of your teeth, visits with Drs. Arti and Ashi help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. During your visit, we will check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue for signs of any decay or disease. We will also check old fillings and restorations as these can wear away over time due to chewing, clenching, or grinding.

If you are predisposed to any oral diseases, Drs. Arti and Ashi may recommend checking in with us more often than every six months. We want your teeth to get the professional attention they deserve! If you are overdue for your next cleaning, give us a call at our Issaquah office to schedule a checkup! See you soon!

Is Your Broken Tooth An Emergency?

January 30th, 2019

When you chip a tooth badly, it can be a very nerve-wracking situation. Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team want to provide you with some information that can help if you ever suffer a chipped or broken tooth. The most common ways people break their teeth are by biting down on something hard, getting hit in the mouth, falling down, or developing cavities that weaken the tooth and allow it to be broken easily. There are a few things you can do if you find yourself in this situation, however.

First, we recommend that you investigate whether the tooth is partially chipped or completely broken. Unless you are experiencing a lot of pain or bleeding, this should not be treated as an emergency. You may call our office and we will try to schedule an appointment with you as soon as possible. Once we have evaluated the tooth during your appointment, we can start to treat it. For minor chips or cracks, we may simply smooth out the area or fill in the space so the crack doesn’t spread.

If your teeth show severe damage such as a serious break, split tooth, split root, or a decay-induced break, Drs. Arti and Ashi may need to take more time to fix the problem. If you need emergency dental care because a tooth has fallen out, call our practice immediately to schedule an appointment for that day. If you’re waiting for an emergency appointment, you can rinse your mouth with warm salt water and apply slight pressure to the area to stop the bleeding. We recommend using an ice pack to reduce swelling, but do not take any aspirin because that may increase the bleeding.

If your tooth has completely fallen out of the socket, hold it by the crown and rinse it under running water. Do not let the tooth become dry; instead, place it in salt water or milk until you get to our office. Drs. Arti and Ashi will determine whether the broken tooth can be salvaged or will need to be completely replaced.

We know how upsetting it can be to chip or break a tooth, which is why we want to guide you through this process. Most chipped teeth are usually just cosmetic problems, fortunately, but we know that dental emergencies can come up rather suddenly. Be sure to schedule an appointment at our Issaquah office as soon as an emergency situation occurs.

Implants: Why it's important to replace missing teeth

January 16th, 2019

The average adult has 32 teeth, a combination of molars, canines, and incisors. By middle age, however, most adults are missing at least one tooth due to an injury, decay, or gum disease. Though many people choose to forgo tooth replacement, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care will tell you that every tooth is important. Each plays a vital role in the structure of the mouth and in relationship to the remaining teeth. Leaving the space where a tooth once stood can have serious consequences. There are many reasons why severely decayed or missing teeth should be replaced as quickly as possible.

  • Speech: A missing tooth can negatively affect the way you speak, depending on its location.
  • Bite changes: The loss of one or more teeth can cause the redistribution of bite pressure onto other teeth. Over time, this can cause the teeth to shift and move into the space the tooth once held.
  • Gum disease: Shifting teeth can make it easier for plaque to accumulate in hard-to-reach places. This can increase the risk of gum disease, which can lead to additional tooth loss.
  • Bone loss: The teeth are place-holders in the jaw. When one falls out and is not replaced, the bone that once surrounded it begins to deteriorate and wear down.
  • Aesthetics: A missing tooth leaves a visible gap between the teeth and can be a source of embarrassment and insecurity.

Advancements in modern dentistry have made it easy to replace missing teeth using natural-looking and functioning prosthetics. Dental implants are permanent solutions for replacing missing teeth with the use of special rods that are anchored in the jaw bone. These implants serve as artificial tooth roots that fuse with the jaw over time. When cared for properly, most dental implants can be fitted to last a lifetime.

To learn more about dental implants, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi, please give us a call at our convenient Issaquah office!

Broken Tooth: Is It an emergency or not?

January 9th, 2019

Have you ever had that sinking feeling after biting into something soft and chewy and feeling something hard and crunchy instead? You’ve chipped or broken a tooth, but what should you do next? First try to assess the damage by determining whether it’s a chip or a whole tooth.

As Drs. Arti and Ashi will tell you, a broken or chipped tooth is usually not a dental emergency unless you are experiencing a great deal of pain or bleeding, but you should contact us for an appointment shortly afterward. Be sure to mention that you have a broken tooth so we can fit you into our schedule quickly. After a thorough evaluation, we’ll recommend a course of action. If it is a small chip, we may simply smooth it out. For a larger break, the dentist may fill in the space with a composite material that matches your other teeth.

Emergency Dental Care

If you are in severe pain, are bleeding excessively, have a major break, or have lost a tooth, that is a dental emergency and you should contact us. As emergency dental specialists, we’ll be able to schedule an appointment immediately and advise you on the next steps to take.

You can rinse your mouth with warm water and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. An ice pack will help reduce any swelling. Do not take any aspirin as that could increase the amount of bleeding. Should your tooth be knocked out completely, rinse it under running water but do not scrub it. Hold the tooth only by the crown, or the part you normally see above the gum line, not by the root. If you can, put the tooth back into the socket while you travel to our office, or put it in a mild salt solution or milk. Don’t let the tooth become dry, because this can lead to damage. Once you get to our office, our dentist will determine whether the tooth can be saved or if it will need to be replaced.

A broken tooth may not always be an emergency, but it’s best to have it treated with us at Issaquah Valley Dental Care. While it may only be a cosmetic problem at first, if left too long without treatment, you may experience further damage to your tooth and mouth.

What's the best dental floss?

January 2nd, 2019

Dental floss is similar to a lot of products that depend mainly on the consumer’s preference. Fact is, floss comes in a wide variety of flavors, coatings, and other variations, but all types of floss essentially do the same thing. After all, that is what is most important: that the dental floss you buy is functional—cleaning the areas in between your teeth. If you want to know what the best dental floss is, the answer is the kind that enables you to successfully and regularly clean those areas. So to help you find the right type of floss for you, here are some options.

Flavored Dental Floss

Many people that floss prefer a flavored dental floss because it freshens their breath even more than unscented floss. The latter can also take on the smells associated with bacteria in your mouth. And we all know how bad that can be. So, if flavored dental floss is what you prefer, and it allows you to floss your teeth regularly, then it is automatically best for your mouth.

Flossers

There are also products on the market called flossers, which usually consist of a plastic instrument with strung floss and a pick on the opposite end. This option can be both effective at cleaning the areas in between your teeth and scraping off plaque. These flossers also come flavored in mint and various other varieties.

Gentle Dental Floss

Some people find that typical dental floss is too harsh on their gums. For that reason some companies make floss with soft coatings that are less abrasive on the gums. For the most part these types of floss are just as effective as regular floss, and for those people that require a more sensitive approach to flossing, especially when just starting out, this is the best option.

Of the aforementioned options, it is difficult to name an absolute best type of floss. However, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team say that the type of floss that works best for you, giving you the greatest chance of succeeding at regular flossing, is the best. For more information on floss, contact our Issaquah office.

Smile, the New Year is Almost Here!

December 26th, 2018

We’ve been celebrating the new year for a really, really long time. It goes way back, but it started formally in 1582, when Pope George XIII made January 1st the official holiday for ushering in the new year. The idea was to yell, cheer, and blow horns to scare away all the evil spirits of the previous year with the hope that the new one would be filled with happiness and opportunity.

While scaring away evil spirits isn’t what’s on our mind these days, we still ring in the New Year by cheering and hollering with friends and family. It’s a time to set new goals, refocus on old ones, and look forward to all the surprises the coming year will bring.

Whether you’re saying hello to the New Year snuggled up at home on your couch in the Issaquah area or by gathering your friends for a social celebration, here are some tips to help ensure you welcome this new chapter with a smile.

Tips for a great New Year’s Eve celebration from Issaquah Valley Dental Care

  • Stay safe. This one’s vital, because nothing puts a damper on your party like an emergency trip to the hospital. Stay responsible and try to plan ahead, whether that means taking a taxi, staying with a friend, or recruiting a designated driver. Do what you have to do to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.
  • Spend time with the people you love most. The way we see it, the whole point of the holiday season is to cherish your family and friends. Regardless of what you’re doing, make sure there’s something for everyone. It’s essential to do something the whole group will enjoy!
  • Smile! Whether you get all dressed to go out or have a quiet gathering with family and friends, make sure you accessorize with a smile. There’s always something to smile about!

We can all agree that change can be scary sometimes, but ringing in the New Year is an observance we all welcome with open arms. We hope you’ll enjoy this transitional holiday in a fun, healthy, and safe way. You have endless possibilities ahead of you!

From Drs. Arti and Ashi, have a fantastic New Year!

Dry Mouth and How to Treat It

December 19th, 2018

In fancy medical terms, dry mouth is known as xerostomia. It’s really just what it sounds like: a condition in which you don’t have enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. Dry mouth can be the result of certain medications you’re taking, aging, tobacco use, nerve damage, or chemotherapy.

Depending on whether you’re aware of the cause of your dry mouth, here are some simple ways to keep it at bay:

  • Avoid drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine
  • Avoid tobacco use, or lower your consumption of tobacco
  • Floss after every meal
  • Brush your teeth after every meal using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Avoid foods that have a high level of salt
  • Stay hydrated and drink water frequently
  • Consider using a humidifier at night

If you have any questions about dry mouth and how it is affecting you, give our Issaquah office a call or make sure to ask Drs. Arti and Ashi during your next visit!

Good Teeth Lead to Sporting Success

December 12th, 2018

You already know that taking care of your teeth can help prevent tooth decay and the need for extensive work such as root canals or implants, which can be inconvenient and expensive. But the benefits of good teeth can go far beyond having an attractive smile and being able to crunch carrots and chew meat.

The American Dental Association explains that healthy teeth are linked to a lower risk for heart disease and diabetes. Furthermore, recent research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine states that good teeth can improve athletic performance among elite athletes.

Researchers examined the oral health of nearly 300 athletes in 25 sports at the 2012 Olympics in London. They looked for conditions such as dental caries, gingivitis, dental erosion, and periodontal disease, and asked about recent visits to a dentist.

Study investigators also asked athletes whether their oral health interfered with quality of life or athletic training and performance. The study concluded that poor oral health and fewer dental visits led to interference with preparation for competition.

This can happen for a few reasons. Tooth pain can disrupt sleep, which leads to slower reaction times. Oral health conditions can indicate chronic inflammation in the body, which means suboptimal performances on an elite level. Tooth pain can interfere with focus during training and competition.

Unfortunately, merely taking good care of your teeth won’t turn you into an Olympic gold medalist. However, the benefits can still be worthwhile. Even if healthy teeth provide little if any detectable gain in your athletic abilities, the potential benefits of maintaining a healthy mouth clearly go far beyond an attractive smile.

Practicing good oral hygiene and seeing Drs. Arti and Ashi regularly can promote your physical health, and maybe – just maybe – you will start to achieve an advantage over your weekend athletic opponents.

How to Handle a Dental Emergency

December 5th, 2018

Whether it’s a broken tooth or injured gums, a dental emergency can interfere with eating, speaking, or other day-to-day activities. According to the American Dental Association , you can sometimes prevent dental emergencies like these by avoiding the use of your teeth as tools or by giving up hard foods and candies.

Even if you take excellent care of your mouth, however, unexpected dental problems can still arise. Our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assess and resolve your individual situation. When an emergency arises, you should immediately make an appointment with our office so we can put you at ease, give you the best possible care, and help you return quickly to your regular routine.

Damaged Teeth

For tooth damage in particular, don’t hesitate to call and schedule an emergency dental appointment. You should come in as soon as possible. However, if you have some time before your appointment there are a few things you can do to avoid further injury. If you break your tooth, clean the area well by rinsing it with warm water. To ease any discomfort, put a cold compress against your skin near the area with the affected tooth.

A dislodged tooth should be handled carefully in order to keep it in the best possible condition. Gently rinse off the tooth without scrubbing it and try to place it back into the socket of your gums. If it won’t stay in your mouth, put the tooth in a container of milk and bring it along to your dental appointment.

Injured Soft Tissues

For other problems, such as bleeding gums or an injured tongue, cheek, or lip, the Cleveland Clinic recommends gently rinsing your mouth with salt water and applying pressure to the site with a moist strip of gauze or a tea bag. If you’re also experiencing some discomfort, you can put a cold compress on your cheek near the area of the bleeding. If the bleeding continues, don’t hesitate to contact our office so you can receive further help.

A dental emergency may catch you off guard, but Drs. Arti and Ashi can provide fast, pain-free treatment. Follow the advice above and set up an appointment with us as soon as possible so you can put your teeth and mouth on the road to recovery.

A Variety of Dentures to Meet Your Needs

November 28th, 2018

With advancements in prosthetic dentistry, patients are now able to wear dentures that are comfortable, natural looking, and long lasting. There are different options to choose from that will meet your individual needs, whether you have a few teeth missing or have lost all of your teeth. Drs. Arti and Ashi will be able to help you decide which denture option is best for you.

Partial Dentures

Patients who receive partial dentures have some of their original teeth still in place and therefore only need a partial to replace the missing teeth and keep their existing teeth from moving. It also makes sense that patients need them to be able to eat comfortably. All dentures are made from porcelain or plastic and are made with comfort in mind.

Complete Dentures

If you have suffered from complete tooth loss, you would typically receive complete dentures. Immediately after you have your teeth extracted you will leave the dentist office with a set of temporary dentures. These will be worn for a few months while your mouth heals. After this initial wait time, your conventional or permanent dentures will be ready to be fitted.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures involve a more invasive procedure, but are also permanent. A select number of implants are placed into the jaw. The denture is then attached to the implant posts. You will be able to chew normally and maintain normal dental hygiene, like brushing and flossing.

Drs. Arti and Ashi will be able to advise on which kind of denture would be the best based on your individual needs. Contact our Issaquah office to schedule an appointment!

Thanksgiving in North America

November 21st, 2018

Thanksgiving marks the start to the holidays; a season filled with feasting, indulging, and spending time with family and friends are always special. Thanksgiving is a holiday meant for giving thanks, and while this may seem like such a natural celebration, the United States is only one of a handful of countries to officially celebrate with a holiday.

Unlike many holidays, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, and it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. In Canada, it is celebrated on the second Monday of October, which is, oddly enough, much closer to a time when harvests were likely gathered. In addition to the different dates, the origins of the celebration also share different roots.

Thanksgiving in the United States

Giving thanks for a bountiful harvest are not new, but the modern day holiday in the US can be traced to a celebration at Plymouth in Massachusetts in 1621. This feast of thanksgiving was inspired by a good harvest, and the tradition was simply continued on. At first, the colony at Plymouth didn't have enough food to feed everyone present, but the Native Americans helped by providing seeds and teaching them how to fish, and they soon began to be able to hold a feast worthy of the name. The tradition spread, and by the 1660s, most of New England was hosting a Thanksgiving feast in honor of the harvest.

Canadian Thanksgiving

An explorer of early Canada named Martin Frobisher is accredited for the first Canadian Thanksgiving. He survived the arduous journey from England through harsh weather conditions and rough terrain, and after his last voyage from Europe to present-day Nunavut, he held a formal ceremony to give thanks for his survival and good fortune. As time passed and more settlers arrived, a feast was added to what quickly became a yearly tradition. Another explorer, Samuel de Champlain, is linked to the first actual Thanksgiving celebration in honor of a successful harvest; settlers who arrived with him in New France celebrated the harvest with a bountiful feast.

A Modern Thanksgiving

Today, Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with the best of Americana. From feasts and football games to getting ready for the start of the Christmas shopping season, Thanksgiving means roasted turkey, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole. No matter how you celebrate this momentous day, pause for a moment to give thanks for your friends, family, and all the bounties you’ve received. Happy Thanksgiving from Issaquah Valley Dental Care!

Brushing Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

November 14th, 2018

It’s great that you’re enthusiastic about your dental health! Here are some tips from Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team to make sure you are getting the most out of your brushing by avoiding common mistakes.

Choose the right brush

In almost every case, a soft brush provides the right amount of bristle-strength to clean your teeth and gums effectively. Hard bristles can damage sensitive enamel and gum tissue, so treat yourself kindly. Also, choose a brush head that’s the right size for your mouth, since a toothbrush that’s too large can be uncomfortable and unable to reach all the areas you need to brush.

Don’t keep your brush too long

Three months is about the average life of a toothbrush. Over time, bristles become frayed or worn and lose their effectiveness. It’s also a good idea to replace your brush after an illness.

Be gentle

Even with a soft brush, it’s possible to brush so hard that your enamel and gums are affected. Think of yourself as massaging your teeth and gums rather than scrubbing them.

Use proper technique

Using a “sawing” back-and-forth motion is hard on your enamel and misses plaque and debris between the teeth. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, especially at the gumline, to gently remove plaque. Use short strokes or a circular motion to clean as much of the surface and between the teeth as possible. Make sure you cover all the surfaces of your teeth: outside, inside, and chewing. And don’t forget your tongue!

Take your time

Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time is the standard. Most people brush much less; try using the stopwatch on your phone or a two-minute timer to make sure you are spending enough time brushing. On the other hand, if you brush too hard or too often, remember that over-brushing can lead to problems for your gums and enamel.

Your daily routine might be fast and furious, but your dental routine requires a gentle, methodical approach. Ask at your next visit to our Issaquah office, and we will be happy to help you design the perfect brushing practices for your busy life.

November Marks National Diabetes Awareness Month

November 7th, 2018

Diabetes is a chronic disease that increases the risk for many serious health problems, including severe gum disease. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and it’s a great time for us at Issaquah Valley Dental Care to remind our patients that the way you care for your teeth at home doesn’t just affect your oral health; keeping your mouth healthy is vital to your overall health, too.

Diabetes is the result of a deficiency, or lack of the hormone insulin to properly transport glucose (blood sugar) to the cells throughout the body. According to the American Diabetes Association, the most common types of diabetes are Type One (90-95 percent of cases), Type Two (five percent), and gestational or pregnancy diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 35 to 60 percent chance of developing diabetes, mostly Type Two, in the ten to 20 years following their pregnancy.

In the past decade, researchers have found links between periodontal (gum) disease and diabetes. Not only are people with diabetes more vulnerable to gum disease, but diabetes may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control, as well as contribute to the advancement of diabetes.

Nearly 26 million Americans currently live with the disease, with an additional 79 million in the pre-diabetes stage. There is some good news we want you to know, however; you can protect your gums and teeth from the effects of diabetes by visiting our Issaquah office for an exam. Patients who are living with diabetes may require more often visits to ensure their dental health remains in tip-top shape. Many insurance plans provide expanded benefits for diabetic patients, and Drs. Arti and Ashi can tell you how often you need to come in for an appointment.

For more information on how we can help, please do not hesitate to give us a call at our Issaquah office.

Halloween: Candy, costumes, and more!

October 31st, 2018

All Hallows' Eve, more commonly known as Halloween, is a yearly event celebrated on October 31, and one that is anticipated by the young and young at heart all over the world. Some scholars claim that Halloween originated from Celtic festivals that honored the dead or that celebrated the harvest, while others doubt that there's any connection at all to Samhain (a Gaelic harvest festival.) Regardless of its origin, our team at the Dental office of Drs. Arti and Ashi hopes that Halloween is fun and enjoyed by all of our awesome patients!

Trick or treat?

In North America, Halloween is predominantly celebrated by children who dress up in costumes, which range from scary to cute, who then go around the neighborhood knocking on doors asking "trick or treat", and they are given candy in return. Trick-or-treating is a time honored tradition, and though many parents groan at the pounds and pounds of candy collected by youngsters and fear for the health of their teeth, there are a few things you can do to help their teeth stay in great shape until the candy is gone:

  • Limit the amount of candy they can consume each day
  • Have them brush their teeth after eating candy
  • Avoid hard, chewy candies as they can stick in hard to brush places
  • Keep candy out of sight to reduce temptation
  • Don't buy candy too far in advance to limit pre-Halloween consumption
  • Help or encourage your children to floss

Halloween Fun

Halloween isn't just about gorging on candy; there are other events associated with this festive day including carving jack-o'-lanterns, painting pumpkins, decorating sugar cookies, bobbing for apples, going to haunted houses, or just curling up on the couch with a bowl full of popcorn and watching some classic, scary movies.

Halloween Around the World

Some countries, like Australia, frown upon Halloween, claiming it is an American event and not based in Australian culture, while others like Italy have embraced the fun and celebrate much as Canadians and Americans do. Mexicans have been celebrating this fun day since around 1960, and it marks the beginning of the Day of the Dead festival. Some countries in Europe have come late to the party, but since the 1990s, countries like Sweden, Norway, and Germany have started celebrating Halloween as well, and finding children in costumes or having ghosts hanging in windows has become commonplace.

Halloween is about fun; stepping outside our normal lives and donning a costume or gathering with friends to knock on doors and ask for candy is as much a part of our culture as hot dogs and barbecue on Labor Day. Have a safe and happy Halloween from the team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care!

Top Five Best Foods for Oral Health

October 24th, 2018

Some foods are just terrible for your teeth — think cookies and candy bars — but there are certain foods that are beneficial to your oral health. Below, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team have covered five of the top foods to keep your teeth and gums healthy!

1. Crispy, low-acid fruits and vegetables: Fruits like apples and vegetables such as carrots and celery act like “natural toothbrushes,” helping to clear plaque from your teeth and freshen your breath.

2. Kiwis: These little green superstars are packed with vitamin C which is essential for gum health. The collagen in your gums is strengthened when you consume foods that are high in vitamin C, like kiwis, thus helping to prevent periodontal problems.

3. Raw onions: Onions have long been studied for their antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Proliferation of bacteria is what leads to tooth decay and cavities. By including raw onions in your diet, you'll be doing your part to wipe out those little microbes before they can multiply!

4. Shiitake Mushrooms: A specific compound in shiitake mushrooms, lentinan, has been shown to have antibacterial properties that target the microbes that cause cavities while leaving other beneficial bacteria alone. It may also help prevent gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums.

5. Green Tea: Often lauded for its high antioxidant content and many health benefits, it turns out green tea also benefits your oral health! A Japanese study found men who drank green tea on a regular basis had a lower occurrence of periodontal disease compared to men who drank green tea infrequently. It's believed this is due to the catechins in green tea, a type of flavonoid that may help protect you from free radical damage, but more research needs to be done. Either way, drink up for your overall health, as well as your teeth!

If you have any questions about your oral health, or are looking for even more oral health tips, contact our Issaquah office!

The Safety of Dental X-Rays

October 17th, 2018

An article was released to the public stating that dental X-rays contribute to a type of brain cancer. After reading an article like this, your first thought may be to avoid dental X-rays, but you may want to hold off on that quick judgment. As with any treatment we offer at Issaquah Valley Dental Care, education is your most valuable tool in deciding what is best for you.

How often dental X-rays are taken is based on risk for infection, physical symptoms, and clinical findings. The American Dental Association (ADA) is a governing body over the dental profession. The ADA states, “ . . . healthy adults receive routine mouth X-rays every two to three years. Dental X-rays are recommended every one to two years for children and every 1.5 to three years for teens. Children often require more X-rays than adults because of their developing teeth and jaws and increased likelihood for cavities.”

A "caries risk category" often determines how often dental X-rays are taken. The most recent documented resource to determine a caries risk is Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA). This was adopted by the ADA and is used by dental professionals giving interval recommendations for X-rays.

With knowledge of your risk for dental infection, you will be informed by Drs. Arti and Ashi of the interval at which dental X-rays should be taken. You can rest assured that the standards published by the ADA have been researched extensively and are there to protect your personal health and safety.

Dental X-rays are most commonly digital, which significantly reduces exposure. There is more radiation exposure from the sun or in an airplane than in a dental X-ray. It is common practice to use a lead apron with a thyroid collar for protection during X-ray exposure.

Having a cavity means having an active, potentially harmful infection. Diagnosing such infection with minimal exposure through digital dental X-rays at our Issaquah office does more good than harm.

What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?

October 10th, 2018

You might think babies don’t need to brush their teeth, especially when they don’t have any. But by starting good habits like brushing when your child is young, you can lay the foundation for them to continue those good habits into adulthood.

When do I start?

The best time to start brushing your baby’s teeth is before he or she has any. Develop the habit of wiping your baby’s gums with a wet, soft washcloth or gauze every day. There is no need to use toothpaste, just wrap the gauze or cloth around your finger, moisten it with a little water, and gently rub it over the gums.

This helps your little one get used to brushing while it eliminates bacteria in the mouth that can harm emerging teeth. You don’t need to apply a lot of pressure or even take very long: just a quick, gentle rub over the gums will do it.

What do I use?

When your child’s teeth begin to come in, you will need to switch from a cloth to a baby toothbrush. Find one that has a grip big enough for your hand, but a head that is small enough to maneuver easily in your infant’s mouth.

You don’t need to use any toothpaste until your son or daughter is about a year old. Even then, though, you’ll want to use just a tiny amount: about the size of a grain of rice. When your toddler is about two years old, you can use a pea-sized amount.

By around six years of age, your child will probably rinse and spit without your help. At that point, you may want to introduce a child-friendly fluoride mouthwash.

How do I do it?

Your child probably won’t be able to brush his or her teeth alone until about the age of five or six. This means that you will need to do it. To brush your child’s teeth, gently use the brush over all the teeth and gums, even areas where the teeth have not come in yet.

As your child grows and becomes more independent, you can allow him or her to hold the toothbrush while you guide your child’s progress. Make sure you talk to your child while you are brushing, and explain why you brush: what you are doing and how you are doing it.

In addition to regular visits with Drs. Arti and Ashi, instilling good oral health habits in your child early on will ensure a lifetime of good dental health.

What's on your fall reading list?

October 3rd, 2018

How better to spend the fall months than inside by the fireplace with a warm cup of cider and a book in hand? Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care encourage you to warm up your mind this fall season with a few great books. Sure it may be easy to put off reading when balancing a hectic schedule, but reading is vital to brain development. Besides, reading is always a blast!

This week, we thought we’d ask what you or your child are reading this fall. Do you have any suggestions for must-read books this year? Out of ideas for great fall reads? Ask us for suggestions, and we would be happy to provide a few. You may also ask a local librarian here in Issaquah for some ideas.

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your fall picks or your all-time favorites below or on our Facebook page!

Dental Emergency? Don’t Panic, We’re Here to Help

September 26th, 2018

Nobody can predict a dental emergency. That’s what makes them so terribly inconvenient. The good news is that our office is always available to assist you, so there’s no reason you should minimize an emergency.

Among the most common emergencies we see are lost fillings, lost crowns, and broken dentures. Lost fillings and lost crowns are very similar. A key difference, however, is that fillings are used to repair cavities but crowns are used to cover broken or damaged teeth.

Over time, it’s not uncommon for fillings and crowns to grow loose and fall out. If you lose a crown or a filling, hot or cold temperatures will likely begin to trigger pain because of the exposed tissue. The discomfort might seem manageable, but it’s better to get these situations fixed as soon as possible so you can avoid getting food stuck or developing an infection.

Unlike a busted filling or crown, a broken denture is more likely to make itself known constantly, every day. It can make chewing, swallowing, and eating properly difficult. Depending on the damage, you may require a new denture altogether.

If you’re experiencing any problems with your dentures, or suspect that they might be broken, it’s best to contact our Issaquah office immediately to avoid further damage. Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team are always here to help, especially when your dental health is at risk.

These things happen, so don’t feel embarrassed and please don’t hesitate to give us a call as soon as you notice or suspect something’s wrong! Get in touch with us … the sooner the better.

Oral Health during Pregnancy

September 19th, 2018

Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life, as you eagerly wait for the birth of the new addition. Needless to say, pregnancy comes with a lot of responsibilities. Everything you do to your own body can affect your baby’s health, so you eat right and try to avoid anything that could harm your baby.

You may not realize it, but even your oral health affects your baby. You have a lot to worry about during this time in your life, but it’s important not to let your oral health slide. Maintaining good routines before and during pregnancy can improve the health of your baby.

Gum Disease and Pregnancy

Gum disease includes gingivitis and the more severe condition called periodontitis. Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition that results from bacteria in your teeth. Symptoms include gum inflammation and bad breath. If it progresses to periodontitis, your baby is at higher risk for preterm delivery and low-birth weight. You can also develop pregnancy tumors, or pyogenic granulomas, which can interfere with speaking and eating. Throughout pregnancy, continue to visit Drs. Arti and Ashi at your regularly scheduled appointments to look for signs of gum disease.

Pregnancy and the Role of Our Office

Make an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi at our Issaquah office when you first learn that you’re pregnant, especially if you have unresolved oral health issues. If possible, try not to schedule necessary treatment during the first trimester or second half of the third trimester.

Oral Health Care Habits to Follow

Maintain a normal good oral health care regimen, which includes brushing your teeth at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and soft toothbrush, and flossing daily. If your regular regimen is not up to par, now is a good time to develop good habits. You can use an unflavored toothpaste if you have morning sickness and regular toothpaste makes you feel nauseous. Also, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash if you experience morning sickness to prevent acid damage to your teeth.

I can't stop grinding my teeth! How can a dentist help?

September 12th, 2018

Drs. Arti and Ashi will tell you that while you are sleep, your mouth may be very active. If you find yourself waking up with headaches, facial pain, neck aches, or a sore jaw, you may have tooth grinding, a condition we also call bruxism.

We see many people who experience some extent of tooth grinding, but a very small percentage of the population actually experiences symptoms severe enough to warrant visiting a doctor. If you continually experience any of the symptoms listed above, we encourage you to give us a call at our Issaquah office so that we may be able to diagnose and treat the problem.

The most common treatments include:

  • Reducing your stress level to help relax your jaw muscles and prevent grinding
  • A custom-made night guard to cushion your teeth and protect them from damage
  • Changing your eating habits. Coffee, tea, or alcohol before bed can increase your chance of nightly grinding
  • If your jaw or teeth are misaligned, Drs. Arti and Ashi may also recommend a brace to decrease grinding.

Grinding your teeth can have serious consequences that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth fractures and damage to the TMJ (temporomandibular joint).

If you think your teeth may not be getting the rest they need at night, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi. Call us today!

What was your favorite part of summer?

September 5th, 2018

It's the end of summer, and fall is just around the corner. Soon the temperatures will cool down, the leaves will start to change, and Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care are sure that you’ll soon be thinking about Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving plans in no time. But wait! First, we want to know about your favorite parts of the summer! Did you go on a wonderful family trip? Did you pick up a new hobby? Did you try to spend as much time outside and in the sun as possible?

Share your favorite memories, stories, or photos with us by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Labor Day: Our favorite holiday to rest!

August 29th, 2018

Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday each September here in the United States, is a holiday devoted to the American working community. The purpose of the holiday is honoring the country's workers and their contributions to the strength of our country as a whole.

How Labor Day Started

There is actually some debate as to the origins of Labor Day. It is uncertain whether Peter McGuire, a cofounder for the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, who was the secretary of Central Labor Union of New York, had the great idea. However, the Central Labor Union's plans were what launched the first Labor Day in America.

The First Labor Day

The very first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5th, 1882. The Central Labor Union then held annual celebrations on September 5th for what they called a working man's holiday. By the year 1885, the Labor Day celebration had spread to many different industrial areas, and after that it began spreading to all industries in the United States.

Labor Day Today

Labor Day today is a huge United States holiday during which we honor the country's workers with a day of rest and relaxation or a day of picnics and parades. This holiday is truly one to honor the many people who work hard to contribute to the economic well-being of our great country!

Our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care hopes all of our patients celebrate Labor Day, and every holiday, safely and happily. Whether you stay in the Issaquah area, or travel out of town, have fun, and don't forget to brush!

What stinks?

August 22nd, 2018

Spilling soda on someone’s white shirt, telling an off-color joke at an inappropriate time, or sneezing chewed food all over the dinner table all pale in comparison to the socially unacceptable, embarrassing blunder of having ... bad breath!

Five Possible Causes of Halitosis

  • Poor oral hygiene practices. Failing to brush your teeth encourages anaerobic bacteria growth, which involves a type of bacteria that emits volatile sulfur compounds (gases) responsible for smelly breath.
  • If you have tonsils, you may have tonsil stones embedded in the fissures of your tonsils. Tonsil stones are hard, tiny pieces of bacteria, dead oral tissue, and mucus that form inside tonsil crevices. When accidentally chewed, they release extremely foul odors that others can smell and you can actually taste.
  • You have a chronically dry mouth due to medications, allergies, or persistent sinus conditions that force you to breathe through your mouth. Anaerobic bacteria thrive in dry, stagnant environments where oxygen content is minimal. Consequently, a dry mouth tends to lead to smelly breath.
  • You have acid indigestion or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). If you constantly belch stomach gases, this not only causes your breath to smell fetid but it can lead to enamel erosion and tooth decay.
  • You have one or more oral diseases: gingivitis, periodontitis, or infections in the gums known as abscesses.

Improving oral hygiene practices may eliminate bad breath, but if brushing, flossing, and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash twice a day doesn’t stop people from backing away from you when you open your mouth, it’s time to visit Issaquah Valley Dental Care.

I have sensitive teeth. What are my options?

August 15th, 2018

At Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we have patients coming in asking us why a taste of ice cream or a sip of coffee becomes a painful experience, or why brushing or flossing makes them wince or cringe. The answer, usually, is sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity typically occurs when the underlying dentin layer of the tooth is exposed in the oral cavity, and most people experience tooth sensitivity at some point in their lives.

So, why do people experience sensitivity and how do you know if tooth sensitivity is something to be worried about? The most common cause of the sensitivity is exposure of the dentin, which is the layer surrounding the tooth’s nerve. Contributors to tooth sensitivity include teeth whitening and dental work such as fillings, periodontal treatment, and the placement or adjustment of braces. These are temporary and should be of no concern.

Permanent hypersensitivity, however, may require treatment at Issaquah Valley Dental Care. The first step is to determine the cause, and that begins with a visit to our Issaquah office.

The reasons your teeth may become sensitive vary, but possible causes include:

  • Tooth decay (cavities) near the gum line
  • Cracked or fractured teeth
  • Fillings that are worn
  • Gum (periodontal) disease, or recession of the gums
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Brushing too hard
  • Consuming acidic foods

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care want you to know that sensitive teeth can be treated, and the type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity. Drs. Arti and Ashi may suggest one the following treatments:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste, which contains ingredients that seal off the microtubules inside the exposed dentin to reduce tooth sensitivity
  • Fluoride gel, which strengthens compromised tooth enamel, helps prevent tooth decay, and decreases hypersensitivity of the teeth
  • A crown, inlay, or bonding, which is used to treat tooth decay and prevents sensitivity
  • A surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this procedure will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
  • Root canal: If you are experiencing severe and persistent sensitivity which cannot be treated by other means, Drs. Arti and Ashi may recommend you undergo a root canal to eliminate the problem.

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, give us a call today so that Drs. Arti and Ashi can provide you with some much-needed relief!

How do I handle my child’s dental emergency?

August 8th, 2018

With children undergoing developmental dental changes and engaging in rough-and-tumble activities, dental emergencies can sometimes arise. If your child knocks out a tooth or experiences any type of oral discomfort, call Issaquah Valley Dental Care right away so we can provide you with a quick assessment and pain-free treatment.

Before an emergency occurs, it’s a good idea to stay informed about the problems your child may encounter. Here are a few things you should keep in mind about teething pain, loose baby teeth, and other common dental issues.

Teething Pain

Typically occurring in babies that are between four months and two and a half years old, teething may cause excessive drooling, tender gums, and some irritability. Giving your baby a cold teething ring or gently rubbing her gums with wet gauze or your finger may also make her feel better.

Loose Baby Tooth

It is normal for a child’s first set of teeth to become loose and fall out. On the other hand, if your child’s baby tooth is knocked loose, schedule an appointment with our office so we can assess whether any damage has been done.

Issues with Permanent Teeth

Sometimes a child’s permanent teeth will grow in before the baby teeth have fallen out. Even if this condition isn’t causing any discomfort, you should schedule an appointment with our office so we can determine whether your child’s permanent teeth are growing in correctly.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can result from a number of factors, including periodontal disease, rough brushing, or an injury to the gum tissue. If your child’s gums are bleeding heavily, call our office right away so we can address the situation. If you have time before your appointment, wash your child’s mouth with salted water and gently put pressure on the affected area.

Regardless of the type of dental issue your child has, you can always consult Drs. Arti and Ashi for further guidance. We make sure our emergency services are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so you have ready access to convenient and professional dental care that will have your child feeling better in no time.

Do You Have A Cavity?

August 1st, 2018

Sometimes cavities are hard to avoid. Our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care wants you to know you aren’t alone when it comes to getting cavities. They can appear in both children and adults, and in order to avoid the pain and hassle, you need to understand how they form and what to do to prevent them from developing in the first place.

Cavities form when bacteria, acids, or sugars build up and form plaque on your teeth, which can destroy your enamel. When you don’t brush and floss properly, the build-up can cause cavities to form. In essence, a cavity is a decayed part of your tooth that cannot be repaired by your body’s immune system. This is why a dentist will need to treat your cavity with a filling. If it grows for too long and manages to infect the root of your tooth, a root canal may be the only solution.

Cavities are often symptom-free; you might not experience any pain at first, other than the occasional irritation when you drink a hot or cold beverage. Other signs of possible cavities include persistent bad breath, pus or discharge around a tooth, black or brown discoloration, small pits or holes in a tooth, and perhaps a sticky feeling when you bite down. It’s crucial to treat cavities sooner rather than later if you wish to avoid excessive pain and the necessity of a root canal.

You can avoid cavities by keeping up with good oral hygiene, eating a well-balanced diet, and scheduling regular cleanings with Drs. Arti and Ashi. They can still occur at any time, no matter what age you are, so make sure to brush, floss, and rinse every day. If you notice any of the above symptoms, please contact our Issaquah office and schedule an appointment.

Three Signs You May Have Gingivitis

July 25th, 2018

Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is an early stage of gum disease. If you have gingivitis, it’s important to visit Drs. Arti and Ashi to get proper treatment, since home care isn’t enough to get rid of the plaque that leads to tartar and eventually to gum disease. Monitor yourself to see if you have these signs of gingivitis, and get help as soon as you can to prevent the progression to periodontitis. Your vigilance could save your teeth.

1. You have one or more risk factors.

Having risk factors for gingivitis doesn’t mean that you have or will get the disease, but it does mean that you should be especially watchful. You’re more likely to get gum disease if you have the following risk factors:

  • You are a smoker.
  • You are a female going through puberty, pregnancy, or menopause.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You have a compromised immune system, as is the case if you have HIV/AIDS.
  • You have a family history of gum disease.

2. You have inflammation in your gums.

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, and that is a tell-tale sign of the condition. Gingivitis or periodontitis can involve a bacterial infection, and inflammation is your body’s response to an injury or infection. The four standard signs of inflammation are pain, redness, swelling, and a higher temperature than normal.

If you have inflammation around your teeth, your gum disease may have progressed to the more serious condition of periodontitis. Drs. Arti and Ashi can evaluate your case using a scope, or small ruler. The ruler is used to measure the pockets around your teeth, with a depth of one to three millimeters being normal.

3. Your teeth seem to be moving around.

Loose teeth are a classic sign of periodontitis. You may also have them if you have gingivitis. They can occur when your gum line recedes, or as the result of having soft bone in your jaw.

You might also notice other signs of your teeth moving around. For example, they may seem to be oddly spaced, or they could be separating from each other. You might also notice that your partial dentures don’t fit properly anymore, even if they’re not that old.

Gingivitis is a very treatable condition, but you need the help of Drs. Arti and Ashi to keep it in check. Contact our Issaquah office to schedule an exam today!

How do I know if I need dentures?

July 18th, 2018

The choice to get dentures is a permanent decision so there are several important factors you should take into consideration. Many people have teeth that are not able to be repaired due to a variety of reasons, but for those who have the option and the money to repair their natural teeth they need to consider every choice they may have.

You have a choice!

Yes, it’s true! We do have a choice about whether we will have to have dentures in the future. Many people don’t realize that just by taking certain precautions they can actually prevent any serious issues from arising. For example, it’s very easy to reschedule that dental cleaning. However, it’s very important that you keep every appointment because Drs. Arti and Ashi will be able to catch small problems before you even realize you have them. Also, if there are any signs of gum disease you will know early enough to stop any further damage. One of the main reasons that many people end up needing dentures is because of either gum disease or because severe cavities have cause too many teeth to be extracted.

If you notice any of the following you should make an appointment at our Issaquah office right away:

  • Teeth are moving further apart
  • Soreness or tenderness of the gums
  • Trouble eating hard food
  • Sensitivity
  • You have already lost several teeth
  • Toothaches

The key to avoiding dentures is prevention. Avoiding dentures is not impossible and can be as simple as staying on top of your oral hygiene. However, if you are currently experiencing any dental issues you should see Drs. Arti and Ashi now, because a small problem can quickly escalate into a very large and expensive dental procedure.

Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?

July 11th, 2018

Depending on how long the thumb sucking or constant pacifier use continues, and how aggressively the child sucks a thumb or the pacifier, it can indeed be an oral health issue. Generally speaking, most children outgrow these behaviors or are able to be weaned off them successfully sometime between ages two and four. When children wean off the behaviors in this age range, long-term damage is unlikely.

Why Kids Suck Their Thumb or Pacifier

Both of these habits are actually a form of self soothing that your child likely uses when he or she is very upset, or feeling stressed, confused, frustrated, or unable to properly express the emotions. If your son or daughters is a regular thumb sucker, or the child wants to use the pacifier almost constantly, it is best to try to taper off these habits at a young age.

If your child continues to suck a thumb or request a pacifier consistently after leaving toddler-hood, this could be a source of concern, and it should be addressed with Drs. Arti and Ashi and our staff. We will be able to evaluate your child's mouth to look for any signs of damage such as palate changes or teeth shifting.

Say Goodbye to Old Habits

In the event that your child is quite reluctant to give up a pacifier or thumb-sucking habit, there are a few things you can do to discourage these behaviors.

  • When you notice that your child is not using a pacifier or sucking a thumb, offer effusive praise. This type of positive reinforcement can be much more effective than scolding the child.
  • Consider instituting a reward system for giving up the habit. If the child goes a certain amount of time without this behavior, award him or her for being such a “big kid.”
  • Employ the help of older siblings or relatives that your child admires. When a child’s role model says that he or she stopped sucking thumbs at a certain age, your child is likely to try to emulate that.

Fun Facts for the Fourth

July 4th, 2018

The Fourth of July is a great time to get together with friends and family members for BBQ, games, fireworks, and other celebrations in honor of our country’s independence. While your fellow revelers eat hot dogs and wave flags, you can impress them by sharing these fascinating facts and historical tidbits about some of our country’s traditions and symbols from the team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care.

The Statue of Liberty

With a torch in one hand and a tablet in the other, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic and recognizable symbols of our country. However, as recognizable as certain parts of the statue are, not many people know that broken shackles, which represent oppression and tyranny, are lying at Lady Liberty’s feet. According to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the copper-plated lady weighs in at a whopping 450,000 tons and has been holding her torch up for more than 125 years, which must make for some impressive arm muscles.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Since 1916, people have been flocking to Coney Island on the Fourth of July to witness what some people call the “superbowl of competitive eating.” Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest challenges competitors to devour as many hot dogs as they can in just ten minutes, with the current record holder swallowing a whopping 68 hot dogs! If you’d like to witness this bizarre and frenzied eating competition but you won’t be anywhere near Coney Island on the fourth, don’t worry. ESPN has been broadcasting this popular event for several years, so you can watch from the comfort of your couch while you eat a reasonably portioned meal.

The History Behind Fireworks

Viewing the nighttime fireworks display is exciting way to finish off the fourth. Many people know that these brilliant displays probably originated with the Chinese. However, many historians also believe that fireworks were stumbled upon when the Chinese roasted bamboo sticks over fires and watched them explode. After many years of roasting the sticks, a group of alchemists created an early form of gunpowder, which they stuffed into the bamboo sticks to create an even more powerful explosion, paving the way for the today’s modern fireworks.

Whether you’re planning on visiting the Statue of Liberty, watching fireworks in Issaquah, or even participating in a hot dog eating contest, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team hope you have a safe and fun-filled holiday. Happy Fourth of July!

What are dental sealants and how do they work?

June 27th, 2018

A dental sealant is a liquid that is applied to the teeth. The sealant hardens and provides a protective coating that is designed to reduce cavities and create a smoother tooth surface. Dental sealants are clear or white; they do not take away from the appearance of teeth. You can think about this treatment as being similar to varnish that protects a wood floor.

Sealants are not the same as fluoride treatments. The application is similar, but sealants are a semi-permanent protective coating. Drs. Arti and Ashi and our staff recommend that sealant applications for children begin soon after molars erupt, first molars around the age of six, and second molars around the age of 12.

Simple Application

Having sealants applied is not uncomfortable at all. First, your child's teeth will be cleaned and dried. A gel is applied, which helps the sealant adhere to the tooth, and then is rinsed away. Your child's teeth are dried again and the sealant is applied. A few seconds of exposure to a light source may be used to cure the sealant and make it semi-permanent. Sealants should last for a long time, normally between five and ten years.

Sealant Benefits

The coating on the surface of your child's teeth reduces the amount of acid contact. Normal acids in foods that are consumed can eat away at the surface of teeth. Bacteria also react to plaque formation and create more acid in the mouth. These small pits or weakened areas are prone to caries or cavity formation. Preventing cavities is a much better choice than drilling and filling damaged teeth.

A sealant also helps to smooth the chewing surfaces of your childn't teeth. The smoother surface is not as likely to retain small particles of food and bacteria. Your child's mouth stays cleaner and food is not left behind to form acids. The protective application can also be used on other teeth that have a rough surface, to protect the grooves or pits from decay.

After the sealant is applied, your child still needs to take proper care of his or her teeth. Regular brushing and flossing is required. Drs. Arti and Ashi may recommend fluoride treatments to strengthen and protect your child's teeth further.

If you have any concerns about sealants, please discuss them with during your child's next appointment at Issaquah Valley Dental Care. We want your little one's teeth to stay healthy for life.

Dental Infections

June 20th, 2018

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care will tell you that dental infections can be very serious; sometimes, they develop into a life-threatening situation. Cavities are caused by acid-generating microorganisms that deposit themselves on teeth surfaces. Over time, acid erodes tooth enamel, compromising tooth strength. The major culprit or cause of cavities is sweets, but even diet soda plays a substantial role in tooth erosion, largely because the phosphoric acid it contains alters the oral pH. Cavities can pave the way for other, more serious infections to develop.

Types of infections

Pulpitis

Pulpitis is an inflammation of the tooth pulp. It typically occurs when cavities get deep enough to allow infection to reach the pulp. When this happens, bacteria travel through the pit or fissure that the cavity created. It can also develop from a fractured tooth. The symptoms may include moderate pain that comes and goes. Pain may intensify when cold liquids touch the pulp.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a consequence of chronic gingivitis, which occurs when the supportive bone structure of the tooth erodes, causing the periodontal tooth ligament to detach from the tooth. Kids between the ages of 12 and 17 and adults over age 30 are most likely to develop this disease. In severe cases of periodontitis, a periodontal abscess may form. Symptoms of the infection typically include redness, sensitivity to touch, and swelling.

Pericoronitis

Pericoronitis is an infection that occurs when food particles and other microorganisms get trapped under gum flaps. It typically happens when impacted wisdom teeth erupt. Pain at the site of the infection is a common symptom. You should try to prevent food particles from lodging in the gingivitis flaps.

Dental abscesses

A dental abscess is one of the most serious dental infections anyone can get. It begins at the base of the tooth, but without treatment can spread rapidly. When the abscess is more severe, the bacteria spread, often very rapidly, and cause severe facial swelling, pain, and discomfort.

The best way to minimize the risk of developing a dental infection is by practicing good oral hygiene, making sure that food or other particles aren’t trapped between the teeth for too long, flossing, using oral rinses that bear the ADA seal of approval, and seeing the dentist regularly. If or when there are any symptoms of infection, even if the only symptom is pain, be sure to visit the dentist. Early intervention may prevent the infection from escalating into something far more severe, painful, and costly to treat.

To learn more about dental infections, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi, please give us a call at our convenient Issaquah office!

Canker sores, cold sores, and mouth sores: What's the difference?

June 13th, 2018

At Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we know many people have experienced some form of mouth sores or irritation. Some mouth sores are harmless and go away on their own after a few days, while others are more serious and should not be ignored. Mouth sores occur for many different reasons, but bacterial infections, viruses, or funguses often trigger them. The best way to tell the difference between a canker sore and a cold sore is that canker sores occur inside the mouth while cold sores occur on the outside the mouth.

The most common mouth sores are:

Canker sores: A non-contagious, small, grayish ulcer with a red border, canker sores appear inside the mouth. While outside factors such as stress, fatigue, or allergies may increase the chances of developing a canker sore, most health experts believe they stem from bacteria or a virus that attacks the immune system. Canker sores typically heal within a week or two.

Cold sores: Also called fever blisters, cold sores are contagious groups of fluid-filled blisters that often erupt around the lips and sometimes under the nose or around the chin. Cold sores are the result of the herpes simplex virus, and once infected, the virus remains in the person’s blood stream.

Leukoplakia: A potential warning sign of oral cancer, leukoplakia is a premalignant lesion that appears as a white patch on the inside of the mouth, tongue, or gums. The lesions, which are caused by excessive cell growth, usually afflict those who smoke tobacco. Drs. Arti and Ashi may choose to have the lesion biopsied if the outbreak appears severe.

Oral candidiasis: Also called oral thrush or moniliasis, this condition is caused by the overgrowth of a type of yeast called candida. Common symptoms of oral candidiasis include white spots inside the mouth and on the tongue, redness or discomfort in the mouth area, sore throat,difficulty swallowing, and cracking at the corners of the mouth. It is important to visit Drs. Arti and Ashi if you have oral candidiasis. If left untreated, it may infect your bloodstream, which can be very dangerous. Healthy adults do not usually get thrush, and the condition is most often seen in infants, the elderly, patients undergoing chemotherapy, or people with AIDS or other diseases that are known to weaken the immune system.

Should you have a mouth sore that lasts a week or longer, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule an examination at our Issaquah office.

Healthy Summer Foods

June 6th, 2018

It’s summer—that wonderful time of year when fresh and delicious produce abounds. Drs. Arti and Ashi will tell you that your teeth, gums, and tissues all rely on an appropriate mix of vitamins and minerals to maintain good oral health no matter what time of year. In previous studies, nutrients in fruits and vegetables such as dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants have all been associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and cancers, including oral cancer.

Here are four foods we want you to enjoy this summer to ensure a healthy mouth:

Watermelons and Strawberries

Watermelons have high water content, which dilutes the affects of the sugars they contain and stimulates the flow of saliva. In addition, research shows that eating foods full of water (watermelon is 92 percent water) helps keep you satiated on fewer calories. Finally, in addition to containing skin-protecting lycopene, eating watermelon can help you stay hydrated during the summer months, which not only keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable, but also helps keep your body cool.

Strawberries are juicy and delicious, and they’re also considered a superfood. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (such as vitamin C, which can help with cancer prevention), strawberries also promote eye health, help fight bad cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure.

Apples

Did you know consuming apples can help you attain whiter, healthier teeth? It’s true. Biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, and in the process, lowers the levels of bacteria and other harmful acids, leading to a lower likelihood of tooth decay. Apple consumption can also boost your immune system, reducing cholesterol and helping you avoid Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases. Finally, eating an apple a day has been linked to heart health, including a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a delicious and healthy snack and can help you ward off cancer. The yummy red fruit contains lycopene, which helps protect your skin from sunburn. Tomatoes can also help you fight heart disease due to the niacin, folate, and vitamin B6 nutrients they contain. They’re high in crucial antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin A, which work to prevent DNA damage.

Make Your Smile Dazzling For Your Wedding!

May 30th, 2018

Planning a wedding can be a highly stressful time. Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team want to support you in this process by helping you achieve a beautiful, bright smile. Wedding days entail a lot of photographs that will last a lifetime. We know how crucial it can be that you have a smile that makes you feel confident throughout this memorable day.

Whether you’re the bride or groom, a member of the wedding party, or just a guest, a teeth-whitening treatment from Drs. Arti and Ashi can give you extra confidence. Even when you’ve made the proper effort to keep up your oral health routine, staining still can appear on your teeth from foods and beverages over time. You can do several things to make sure your smile is in top shape before a wedding.

Our in-office whitening treatment is a good option if you’re looking for an investment that can last. If you’ve tried whitening kits on your own, you may have noticed they have to be used frequently to maintain the bright smile you desire.

Professional whitening treatments done by Issaquah Valley Dental Care are quite comfortable and have long-lasting effects. You can also use whitening toothpaste and mouthwash to keep your teeth bright between in-office whitening treatments.

Our staff can also provide helpful advice on how to avoid staining between your whitening treatment and the big day. If you’re concerned that you may have to hold back your smile on your wedding day or some other pending event, contact our Issaquah office and ask about our whitening treatment options.

Memorial Day: Parades, remembrance, and the unofficial start of summer!

May 23rd, 2018

“The purpose of all war is peace.” - Saint Augustine

Fire truck sirens, baton twirlers, marching bands covering patriotic tunes, colorful floats, costumes, and millions of red, white, and blue American flags being waved in the air on a beautiful day in late May, that is what Memorial Day is all about. It is a federal holiday celebrated with town parades, remembrance, and a sense of unity and community togetherness.

Our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care wants to take this time to wish you and your family a happy Memorial Day, as well as pause for a moment to reflect on what this holiday means and how it has changed over time. No, this is not a history lesson, but just a couple of thoughts and observances for you to take with you on your way to the next barbecue.

On the last Monday in May, America observes Memorial Day as a time to remember and celebrate the men and women who have lost their lives while serving our country in the Armed Forces. The holiday originated after the Civil War; at that time it was known as Decoration Day. While holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter remain the same from year to year, Memorial Day has changed over time, and in the 21st century we observe a far different holiday than what Americans did after the Civil War, or even the World Wars.

While many people place flags at cemeteries and visit national memorials in order to honor those who have passed away serving the country, Memorial Day is also a time for family barbecues, pool parties, trips to the beach, blockbuster movies, long weekend getaways, and fireworks. In America, Memorial Day has come to represent the unofficial start of the summer – a long, sunny, warm weekend devoted to family togetherness, outdoor events, and community.

It is time to load up the potato salad and the apple pie and head over to the neighbor’s house for their annual barbecue. And yes, contrary to popular belief, we do eat sweets, especially homemade apple pie! Everything in moderation, of course.

So whether you’re in the Issaquah area or beyond, Happy Memorial Day to you and yours from Drs. Arti and Ashi!

Common Emergency Care Visits: Toothaches or abscesses

May 16th, 2018

Dental problems do not always wait for normal office hours. Broken fillings or damaged teeth are common reasons for emergency treatment. Toothaches and abscesses can also require prompt attention. Drs. Arti and Ashi can provide you with the information and treatment you need to prevent the problem from becoming worse. Emergency dental care is only a phone call away, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Abscess

An abscess is a bacterial infection, and will normally cause pain and swelling around the affected tooth and gum area. Antibiotics are not always necessary, but you should seek treatment quickly. Left untreated, an infection can spread and cause serious complications.

Toothache

There are many reasons that you may develop a sudden toothache. The cause of the pain may be a particle of food lodged between your tooth and gum line. One of the first steps you can take is to rinse your mouth with warm water. You may also try gently flossing the area to dislodge the particle. Do not continue flossing if bleeding occurs.

Toothaches can occur from a carie — a cavity in the tooth — or from a fracture. Sensitivity to heat or cold may also cause tooth pain. You should make an appointment to ensure that a minor problem does not become serious. We may recommend acetaminophen or another pain reliever to reduce the pain before your visit.

Additional tips and treatments:

  • If you have fractured a tooth, rinse the area with warm water to keep the surfaces clean. Apply a cold compress to the outside of your facial area to reduce swelling.
  • A tooth that has been knocked out should be kept moist, in a clean container, until you can receive treatment.
  • Do not apply aspirin directly on a damaged tooth or gum area as it can cause tissue irritation.
  • If you suspect that your jaw has been broken, go to an emergency room immediately.
  • If you have bitten or damaged your lips or tongue, rinse your mouth well with warm water. If bleeding continues, call us or seek other medical attention immediately.

Our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care is ready to assist you when you have an emergency dental need. When you call, please provide us with as much information as possible so we can offer recommendations that will assist you until your appointment. Do not delay; emergency treatment is available and immediate treatment is the best course of action.

Wishing all our moms a happy Mother’s Day!

May 9th, 2018

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." - Robert Browning

We would like to take this moment to thank all the great moms out there for being so great during their child’s visits to Issaquah Valley Dental Care. Whether it’s driving their kids to regularly scheduled appointments or for “being there” while their child is treatment, the moms who come to our office are all stellar individuals, so Drs. Arti and Ashi and our entire staff would like you to know that we appreciate you all!

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your special day!

Summer is Almost Here: Tips for a bright, white smile!

May 2nd, 2018

Summer is almost here, which means a season full of vacations, adventures and great memories is just around the corner for our patients at Issaquah Valley Dental Care.

Everyone wants a glowing and radiant white smile when the sun comes around and we have a few reminders to keep your pearly whites healthy and beautiful over the summer! Try to stay away from drinks that will stain your teeth like coffee, soft drinks, or dark colored juices. Not only will drinks like this weaken your enamel but they will also darken that fabulous smile you're working on! Another tip is to try and focus on brushing your teeth; everyone knows that when busy schedules start picking up, getting a good brushing session in tends to take the backseat! A good tip for keeping your mouth safe from staining and other possible pitfalls is to rinse your mouth with water after any meal you can’t fully brush your teeth after. Your teeth, inside and out, will benefit!

And remember, whether you are headed to a barbecue, a camping trip, or just having fun in the backyard this summer, we want to hear all about it! Make sure to let us know what you’re up to below or on our Facebook page! We also encourage you to post any photos from your adventures!

How do I know if I’m at risk for oral cancer?

April 25th, 2018

Every year, over 50,000 North Americans are diagnosed with oral or throat cancer, which has a higher death rate than many other common cancers, including cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid or skin cancers. The high death rate results from the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced and has spread to another part of the body, most often, the lymph nodes in the neck.

Because oral cancer is typically painless in its early stages and often goes undetected until it spreads, many patients aren’t diagnosed until they are already suffering from chronic pain or loss of function. However, if detected early, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care want you to know that early detection of oral cancer improves the survival rate to 80 percent or more.

If you visit our Issaquah office regularly, you have probably received an oral cancer screening and didn’t even realize it. That’s because the exam is quick and painless; Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team check your neck and mouth for signs of oral cancer such as discolorations, lumps, or any changes to your tissue. Oral cancer is typically found on the tongue, lips, gums, the floor of the mouth, or tissues in back of the tongue.

Factors that may influence your risk for developing oral cancer include:

  • Use of tobacco products. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, a pipe, or chewing tobacco all elevate risk for developing oral cancer. Tobacco use especially is a serious risk factor because it contains substances called carcinogens, which are harmful to cells in your mouth.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol. Those who drink alcohol regularly have an elevated risk of getting oral cancer. Alcohol abuse (more than 21 drinks in one week) is the second largest risk factor for the development of oral cancer, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.
  • Excessive sun exposure. Those who spend lots of time outdoors and do not use proper amounts of sunscreen or lip balm have a greater risk for developing lip cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight may also cause melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.
  • Your age. Oral cancer is typically a disease that affects older people, usually because of their longer exposure to other risk factors. Most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40.
  • Your gender. Oral cancer strikes men twice as often as it does women.
  • A history with viral infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables.

In between your visits to our office, it is critical for you to be aware of the following signs and symptoms, and give us a call if these symptoms don’t go away after two weeks.

  • A sore or irritation that doesn’t disappear
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness in mouth or lips
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

During your next visit, Drs. Arti and Ashi will examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer. If you have been putting off a visit to our Issaquah office for your regular checkup, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits can be the first line of defense against oral cancer because we can identify early warning signs of the disease. Give us a call today!

Make Every Day Earth Day

April 18th, 2018

Earth Day began in 1970 as an event to raise awareness of our environment. What began as a single day in April is now recognized around the world to bring attention and education to global environmental issues. Conserving our natural resources, reducing water and air pollution, and developing green technologies are all ways in which we can improve the environment around us.

Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse

One of the easiest ways to participate in Earth Day is by simply reducing the amount of refuse that ends up in landfills. Many communities have recycling programs for paper, plastic, and metal refuse. By keeping recyclable items out of landfills, we reduce the need for new disposal space and the amount of energy needed for burning refuse. Recycling products also helps conserve the resources that are used in making new products.

You can save money by reducing your consumption of many everyday products. Single disposable water bottles can be recycled but they are costly. By using filtered faucet water, you can conserve your financial resources. Disposable paper towels can also be wasteful. Consider reusable cleaning rags for the majority of your chores.

Reusing items saves both the environment and your finances. A large number of products can be re-purposed to create a new item. Old furniture can be remade into a new piece. Old clothing can be used for craft items. If you are not able to find ways to reuse your old items, donate them to a charity. Remember to continue your positive environmental steps on a daily basis.

Other things you can do to improve the environment

Everyone, young or old, can find ways to participate in improving the environment. Some ideas include:

  • Planting trees
  • Picking up litter
  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Walking, bicycling, or carpooling to work or school
  • Disposing of hazardous waste properly
  • Using rain barrels to conserve water for plants

Earth Day is designed to appreciate and celebrate the health of the earth. Keeping the earth healthy is important, but keeping your mouth healthy is important, too. Healthy teeth and gums contribute to your overall health and well-being, so remember to call our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care to schedule an appointment. Have a happy and healthy Earth Day, from Drs. Arti and Ashi!

The Secret to Lifelong Teeth Whitening

April 11th, 2018

Have you ever noticed your attention being instantly drawn to peoples’ teeth when they smile at you? Some people have dull and yellowing teeth, while others have teeth that appear bright white. Everyone’s teeth naturally dull over time because of aging and the contact your teeth have with staining foods, such as chocolate and coffee. However, teeth-whitening treatments can help you keep your teeth white for life.

Get Regular Treatments

The effects of teeth whitening or bleaching treatments are only temporary, so regular treatments at Issaquah Valley Dental Care are necessary to keep your teeth white for life. Bleaching too frequently, though, can wear away your tooth enamel. The effects of in-office bleaching can last for several months to a year, while you may need to repeat your use of at-home bleaching kits every few months to maintain your white teeth. Whitening toothpastes do not contain bleach, so you can use them daily. The American Dental Association suggests asking your dentist for advice on which treatment is best for you.

Have Realistic Expectations

Not everyone’s teeth can be turned bright white, according to the American Dental Association. Your teeth may naturally be a light yellowish color that lends itself well to teeth-whitening procedures, but bleach is not likely to be effective for grayish teeth. Brownish teeth fall somewhere in between.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Your teeth whitening efforts will not be as effective if your teeth are in poor health. Visible fillings, implants, or bridges that are metallic stand out against the white color you want to achieve. You can help prevent tooth decay and reduce your risk of needing these unsightly treatments by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day to remove dirt and potential staining agents, the actions below can promote a healthy mouth.

  • Floss every day
  • Visit Issaquah Valley Dental Care regularly
  • Rinse your mouth with water after each meal and snack
  • Limit sugary and starchy foods and beverages, especially between meals

April is National Facial Protection Month

April 4th, 2018

The Importance of Facial Protection

Americans from all walks of life should mark April as National Facial Protection Month on their calendars. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have combined forces to sponsor this annual campaign, which aims to educate and remind us of the importance of protecting our face and teeth against impacts and injuries.

Wearing a helmet can save your life and prevent devastating physical damage in a variety of situations, from playing football to riding a bicycle. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, helmets reduce the risk of various head injuries by as much as 85 percent. Whether helmet laws apply in your area or not, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care want you to make sure you and your loved ones wear helmets with the appropriate safety ratings for specific activities. (A sticker on or inside the helmet will usually indicate this rating.) Helmets can also help save your teeth if they come with an attached faceguard, an essential addition for football players and others involved in contact sports.

Preventing Dental Injuries

A mouthguard can protect you against a variety of dental injuries, such as cracked, broken, or knocked-out teeth. The American Dental Association states that mouthguards play an essential role in preventing up to 200,000 dental injuries each year, and many states mandate their use for sports activities such as football and hockey. The Academy for Sports Dentistry warns, however, that these mouthguards must be custom-fitted as precisely as possible to prove effective. Have a professional-quality mouthguard molded and fitted by our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care for better protection than a generic store-bought or “boil-and-bite” variety can offer. These cheaper versions tend to wear out quickly, interfere with proper breathing, and provide uneven degrees of cushion against impacts. Always have a fresh mouthguard fitted for each new sports season.

Choose the right combination of helmet, faceguard, and mouthguard to protect your teeth and face this April, and tell your friends to do the same! To learn more about mouthguards, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi, please give us a call at our convenient Issaquah office!

How safe are dental X-rays?

March 28th, 2018

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our staff rely on digital X-rays to help us diagnose oral conditions and process images at incredibly high speeds. You can also view digital X-rays in real time while we examine your mouth with an intraoral camera and upload the images to a software program. A chairside computer monitor lets you see these images as we refine areas of concern to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

But are dental X-rays safe?

Yes! They emit 80 percent less radiation than exposure-type X-rays and provide detailed images to improve diagnosis and treatment. We can now detect dental problems in their earliest stages without subjecting you to unnecessary radiation. The amount of radiation released by digital X-rays is “negligible,” which means the amount is so small, that it can be safely disregarded.

Safe enough for children and pregnant women, digital X-rays detect microscopic pitting in tooth enamel and other abnormalities in the oral tissues that might have remained undetected with traditional X-rays. When Drs. Arti and Ashi and our staff discover dental caries in their earliest stages, we can initiate treatment measures that will effectively prevent cavity development, tooth decay, and potential tooth loss.

Patient appointment lengths are shortened with digital X-rays as well, because images are immediately viewable and do not require the exposure time associated with old-style X-rays.

How Digital X-Rays Differ from Traditional X-Rays

Instead of using cardboard-contained film, we insert a small sensing device about the size of a pen in your mouth and engage the digital X-ray machine by manually manipulating control buttons. Within seconds, images appear on the monitor that can later be stored in your file or sent to another doctor for further examination.

The increased resolution afforded by digital X-rays means that patients are able to understand the seriousness of their dental issues better, and are more inclined to follow through with procedures recommended by Drs. Arti and Ashi.

Safer, Better and Faster

For detection of cancerous tumors in their early states, digital X-ray technology offers vast improvements over film X-rays because of its cutting-edge image processing capability. Early detection of oral cancer and dental caries is the best way to prevent any type of oral health problem from exceeding the treatable stage.

Four Oral Health Issues Seniors Face

March 21st, 2018

Oral health is an important and often overlooked component of an older person’s general health and well-being. Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team know that for many of our older patients, oral health can become an issue when arthritis or other neurological problems render them unable to brush or floss their teeth as effectively as they once did. Today, we thought we would discuss four common oral health issues our older patients face and how they can avoid them:

Cavities: It’s not just children who get tooth decay—oral decay is a common disease in people 65 and older. Ninety-two percent of seniors 65 and older have had dental caries in their permanent teeth, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The risk for tooth decay increases because many older adults don’t go to the dentist as often as they used to, thus cavities go undetected and untreated for longer than they should. Keeping regular appointments with Drs. Arti and Ashi is the key to getting cavities treated in a timely manner.

Difficulty eating: Oral health problems, whether from missing teeth, cavities, dentures that don’t fit, gum disease, or infection, can cause difficulty eating and can force people to adjust the quality, consistency, and balance of their diet.

Dry mouth: Also called xerostomia, dry mouth is a common issue for a lot of seniors. Our friends at the Oral Cancer Foundation estimate that 20 percent of elderly people suffer from dry mouth, which means the reduced flow of saliva (saliva plays a crucial role in preventing tooth decay). Many seniors are on multiple medications for a variety of chronic illnesses or conditions. Common medications taken that may cause dry mouth are decongestants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, pain pills, incontinence medications, antidepressants, diuretics, muscle relaxers, and Parkinson’s disease medications. To help counter this, we suggest drinking lots of fluids and limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol. We also encourage you to check with Drs. Arti and Ashi during your next visit if you think your medications are causing your mouth to feel dry.

Gum Disease: Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection of the gums and surrounding tissues that hold teeth in place. While gum disease affects people of all ages, it typically becomes worse as people age. In its early stages, gum disease is painless, and most people have no idea that they have it. In more advanced cases, however, gum disease can cause sore gums and pain when chewing.

Gum disease, which can range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease, is usually caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow dental plaque to build up on the teeth. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form tartar that brushing simply does not clean. Only a professional cleaning at our office can remove tartar. The two forms of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen, and can bleed easily; in periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces that become infected.

Proper brushing, flossing, and visiting our office regularly can prevent gum disease. Seniors with limited dexterity who have trouble gripping a toothbrush should ask Drs. Arti and Ashi about modifying a handle for easier use or switching to a battery-powered toothbrush.

St. Patrick's Day: Celtic pride, green shamrocks, and lucky charms!

March 14th, 2018

“St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -- a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.” Adrienne Cook

Lucky green shamrocks, leprechauns, and pots of gold – it must be St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re not Irish, how do you go about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? It’s easy: You just put on one of those tall leprechauns hats, dress in green from head to toe, and wear one of those carefree pins that say “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish, and that is the universal beauty of the holiday. Celtic pride does not discriminate.

Wondering what our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care is doing to celebrate March 17th? Well, we’ve thought about doing everything from handing out lucky gold coins (you know, the fake ones that are made of chocolate) to shamrock stickers. Maybe we’ll even give away green toothbrushes and floss! You’ll never know unless you come in to see Drs. Arti and Ashi !

All kidding aside, St. Patrick’s Day is an important cultural and religious holiday. There are lavish parades and church services across Ireland on March 17th. Over time, however, the holiday has developed into a day to observe Irish culture in general. In places like England and the United States, where there is a large Irish Diaspora, the holiday has greater significance than other countries. From the streets of Boston to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, it is a day of celebration, and many Americans of Irish descent will cook up a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.

So, to all of you with Irish ancestry, and to all of you who have decided to be Irish for the day, our office wishes you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Good luck looking for a pot of leprechaun gold, which is said to exist at the end of the rainbow. However, keep away from those sugary Lucky Charms; sweet cereals might taste good, but your kids’ teeth might not be feeling too lucky if they eat it for breakfast every day. Have a great St. Paddy’s Day!

March is National Nutrition Month!

March 7th, 2018

While you don’t have to wait to start eating right, March is the month the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics asks everyone to pay special attention to what goes into our bodies. The Academy has designated the month of March for focusing the public’s awareness on what they eat.

What Not to Eat

The academy points out that the foods you eat have a direct effect on the health of your teeth and specifically on tooth decay. Bacteria rely on carbohydrates to thrive. That is why Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care tell our patients to cut back on both candy and sweets. They consist of simple sugars that feed the bacteria in your mouth and enhance tooth decay.

It’s the hidden sugars that will cost you, though. Get in the habit of reading labels on food and looking for products with added sugar. This includes ingredients that end with the suffix “ose.” When it comes to nutrition, these foods offer little value beyond satisfying that sweet tooth.

What You Should Eat

Turn to foods that not only taste good but are good for your teeth too. Dairy products, for example, provide the body with nutritional items that support tooth enamel. Foods high in protein feature phosphorus, a nutrient critical to oral health.

You can’t really go wrong by adding color to your diet, either. Fruits and vegetables make for a colorful plate and a healthy meal. Use some caution with acidic fruits like oranges or even tomatoes, because the acid can erode tooth enamel. It is better to include these foods in a meal instead of eating them by themselves.

Remember, good nutrition is something you should worry about all year long, not just when celebrating National Nutrition Month. March just serves as a fun reminder that eating right is a proactive step in managing your dental health.

We encourage you to give us a call at our Issaquah office to learn more!

I drink a lot of coffee. Could it be hurting my smile?

February 28th, 2018

At Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we know most of our patients enjoy a cup of coffee or two throughout the day. But what many of you don’t know is that coffee can be especially tough on your teeth because tannic acid (the substance that makes the dark color) etches into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel, staining your pearly whites and being generally detrimental to your smile.

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with more than 50 percent of people drinking a cup daily. Other foods and drinks such as wine, chocolate-flavored beverages, and soft drinks can all cause tooth enamel discolorations. A hot cup of Joe, however, goes one step farther: extreme temperature changes in your mouth can cause teeth to expand and contract. This allows stains to penetrate deep into the micro-cracks of your tooth enamel.

Additionally, caffeine is considered a diuretic, which means it causes the body to lose fluids. So when you enjoy coffee or any kind of caffeinated beverage, it slows the production of saliva and causes dry mouth, which can potentially lead to bad breath and even tooth decay.

If you just can't make it through the day without a cup of java, we encourage you to consider these tips to help make sure your teeth stay in tip-top shape:

    • Drink a glass of water with your coffee or rinse with a glass of water after every cup. Not only does it help neutralize and rinse away the acid left behind from the coffee, but it also helps replenish fluids drawn out of your body by caffeine.
    • Chew gum after you drink coffee. Chewing gum will help keep your saliva production up and prevent dry mouth.
    • Enjoy your beverage with a straw so that tannins don’t make contact with your front upper and lower teeth.
    • Switch to decaf. Each cup of regular coffee you drink has an average of 110 milligrams of caffeine. Decaf has the same great taste with only two to 12 milligrams of caffeine.

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team also invite you to visit our convenient Issaquah office for whitening options. We can help bleach your teeth with proven and professional products. To learn more about whitening options available at Issaquah Valley Dental Care, please give us a call!

The Five Most Common Reasons for Emergency Visits

February 21st, 2018

An emergency usually evokes panic, and for good reason. Emergencies don’t discriminate when it comes to time or place. They’ll happen during your vacation, at home, while you’re shopping for groceries, at the movies … whenever they can.

We’ve identified the five most common reasons for emergency visits to our office, so if you ever find yourself in one of these situations, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment with us!

  1. Getting a piece of food stuck where it doesn’t belong. This might sound trivial, and even comical, but a piece of food stuck and left unattended can cause inflammation, pain, and a serious infection.
  2. Losing a filling. If this happens to you, it’s crucial that you receive care immediately. The purpose of a filling is to shut off a space where bacteria can enter. If that barrier is breached, your tooth becomes more vulnerable to decay.
  3. A chipped tooth. Even if the chip is small, it’s essential to get it repaired before it grows bigger. Unless chips are affecting a nerve, they are usually easy to repair with a crown, bonding, or veneers.
  4. A broken tooth. This can result from a small, hidden chip in the tooth. It’s clearly something to address quickly, because the pain will be much more severe than what you’ll feel with just a chip.
  5. Losing the entire tooth. This is the worst of the list. When you lose a tooth, you should not delay in seeking emergency care. Usually, you have a window of one to two hours during which the original tooth can be salvaged and successfully reattached.

Though any of these scenarios can be nerve-wracking, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team are here to assist you with any and all dental emergencies. Don’t wait; give our Issaquah office a call!

The Transformation of Valentine's Day

February 14th, 2018

Did you know the actions leading to the beginnings of Valentine's Day were actually centered on the avoidance of war? A Catholic priest named Valentine defied the orders of the Emperor Claudius II and secretly married young men and their brides after the emperor had declared it illegal because only single, young men could be sent to war. Rather than lose potential soldiers to fight his war, Claudius attempted to hoard them by proclaiming marriage illegal.

Valentine continued to marry young couples anyway and, eventually, was put to death for it in 270 AD. Before his death, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it “From your Valentine”. Nearly 1,800 years later, people are still signing letters and cards in this manner. This year, carry on the tradition started long ago, while adding your own twist. Here are a few suggestions.

Simple and Creative Valentine's Day Ideas

  • Memorialize it with a Photo. Couples often have photos taken around Christmas, but Valentine's Day photos allow you to capitalize on romance. Famous couple Julia Child and her husband, Paul, had their picture taken together every Valentine's Day and included their sense of humor with silly props.
  • Return to Your First Date Location. Even if your first date together was at a local hotdog stand, its sentimental value can make it a fun part of your Valentine's Day agenda. Be creative and make a treasure hunt with clues that lead your partner to the original date location, where you can express your love with flowers or a gift.
  • “From Your Valentine” Messages. Deliver your message in a creative way to make this Valentine's Day stand out from the others. Bake your partner's favorite treat and write a message on it with a tube of icing, or draw a note on the steamed up mirror so it shows up when your partner takes a shower.

Although Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love, it doesn't have to be a special day only for couples. If you're single, use this special day to shower yourself with love, because you're worth it! After all, the priest Valentine believed so strongly in the sanctity of love that he was willing to risk his life for it. Whether you're in a relationship or single, young or old, romantic or not, Valentine's Day is for you. Happy Valentine’s Day from the Dental office of Drs. Arti and Ashi.

February is Heart Month

February 7th, 2018

The American Academy of Periodontology stresses the importance of good oral health since gum disease may be linked to heart disease and stroke. Thus far, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established, but there are multiple theories to explain the link between heart disease and periodontal disease. One theory suggests that oral bacteria may affect heart health when it enters the blood and attaches to the fatty plaque in the heart's blood vessels. This can cause the formation of blood clots. Another theory suggests the possibility that inflammation could be a contributing link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Gum disease increases plaque buildup, and inflamed gums may also contribute to the development of swollen or inflamed coronary arteries.

What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease is caused in part by the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries. Blood clots cut off blood flow, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Both blood clots and the buildup of fatty proteins (also called plaque) on the walls of the coronary arteries may lead to a heart attack. Moreover, periodontal disease nearly doubles the likelihood that someone will suffer from coronary artery disease. Periodontal disease can also worsen existing heart conditions, so many patients who suffer from heart disease need to take antibiotics before any dental procedures. This is especially true of patients who are at greatest risk for contracting infective endocarditis (inflammation of the inner layer of the heart). The fact that more than 2,400 people die from heart disease each day makes it a major public health issue. It is also the leading killer of both men and women in the United States today.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the bone and gum tissues around the teeth, reducing or potentially eradicating the system that supports your teeth. It affects roughly 75 percent of Americans, and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. People who suffer from periodontal disease may notice that their gums swell and/or bleed when they brush their teeth.

Although there is no definitive proof to support the theory that oral bacteria affects the heart, it is widely acknowledged better oral health contributes to overall better health. When people take good care of their teeth, get thorough exams, and a professional cleaning twice a year, the buildup of plaque on the teeth is lessened. A healthy, well-balanced diet will also contribute to better oral and heart health. There is a lot of truth to the saying "you are what you eat." If you have any questions about you periodontal disease and your overall health, give our Issaquah office a call!

Five Tips for Taking Tots to the Dentist

January 31st, 2018

Toddlers are notoriously balky about strangers. But their first dental visit should not be cause for fear and tears. Nor should you assume that getting your toddler to Issaquah Valley Dental Care is going to involve a full-blown tantrum or Mafia-style bribery. “Honey, don’t worry. We’ll go get ice cream after…” sort of defeats the purpose of making that first dental appointment.

These five tips will make your toddler’s trip to see Drs. Arti and Ashi as fun as a stop at an amusement park.

1. Before you make a dental appointment for your child, take him or her on a ride-along to one of your dental appointments. Let your son or daughter experience the office and get the lay of the land. Toddlers don’t like surprises. But if your little one is already familiar with the big chair that goes up and down, the next time he or she will have no problem taking a seat.

2. About the big dental chair … well, it’s really an amusement park ride. See how it goes up and down? Toddlers love games, and turning the trip to the dentist into a game is among the oldest (and most successful) tricks in the parent playbook.

3. Positive reinforcement is a good thing. That's why Drs. Arti and Ashi and our staff hand out cool toothbrushes or stickers to children after their appointment. A fun-colored toothbrush with a suction bottom is a good incentive to come back for another cleaning.

4. Timing is everything. Don’t take your child to the dentist an hour before the daily nap. Make the appointment with your child’s schedule in mind. This increases the chances of success.

5. A few days before the scheduled appointment, start reading your toddler bedtimes stories about what happens at the dentist. Dora the Explorer’s Show Me Your Smile, written by Christine Ricci, is a popular dental story that your child might relate to.

Five Things You Didn't Know About Cavities

January 24th, 2018

Most people know when they have a cavity—they can either see it on their tooth or... ouch! They can feel it! But there are certain things that many of our patients don't know about cavities that could save them a trip to our Issaquah office!

1. Not all sugars are created equal

It's quite well known that eating dietary sugars in excess along with poor oral hygiene leads to dental decay such as cavities. This is due to the fact that the bacteria in your mouth feed on these sugars and excrete acids as a byproduct of that process, thus causing decay. But xylitol, a sugar alcohol derived from birch or corn, actually prevents the bacteria from converting sugars into acids.

Xylitol is available in the form of gum, mints, toothpaste, and even in a granulated form much like regular cane sugar. You might consider trying some xylitol products between meals to keep your mouth clean and fresh.

2. It's not always what you eat but HOW you eat

Are you a grazer, always snacking between meals and never satisfied? We now know that this kind of eating can contribute to cavities and other oral health problems.

Every time you eat anything with carbohydrates in it, you're feeding the bacteria in your mouth, which in turn produce acids. If you're constantly eating, it doesn't allow your saliva time to bring the pH of your mouth back into a more alkaline, neutral state. It takes your saliva about 20 minutes to neutralize the acids in your mouth after eating.

It's especially easy to harm your teeth in this way with soft drinks, sipping all day long. So, it's best to avoid sugary drinks and junk food, and if you need a snack opt for healthy vegetables or what are known as "detergent foods." If you do decide to drink a soft drink or eat something sugary, have it all at once and not over the course of the day.

3. Flossing is one of the most important oral hygiene techniques

Although most of our patients are aware that they need to brush, sometimes they can get lackadaisical when it comes to flossing. And that's a big mistake. Flossing is one of the most important (and we daresay, easiest) things someone can do to help prevent cavities and tooth decay.

You see, as we've already mentioned, the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities feed on the food you eat. So if you've got pieces of that food stuck between your teeth all day and night, every day, that's asking for a problem.

Flossing clears that bacteria-feeding food out from between your teeth. Floss daily and whenever you decide to do it, morning or night, just do it!

4. A dry mouth can lead to cavities and tooth decay

Your teeth's best defense against cavities and tooth decay is actually your saliva! We've already talked about the pH neutralizing effect saliva has. So if you find you have a dry mouth often, make sure to have some water to sip on. Or why not try some xylitol mints or gum to get your saliva production kicked into action?

5. Over-brushing can damage your enamel

If you brush like a construction worker with a jackhammer, you should ease up! Brushing too hard can scrape away at your teeth's enamel, which leaves them more susceptible to cavities and decay. Brush lightly, with your brush angled at the gum line for two minutes, twice a day. That's all that is required!

Top Five Ways to Improve Heart Health

January 17th, 2018

While there is no definite evidence that if your prevent gum diseases, like periodontitis, that you may be able to prevent a heart condition or heart disease. The only thing experts, like Drs. Arti and Ashi, know for sure is that if you take care of your gums it can lessen atherosclerosis, (build-up of artery clogging plaque) that may result in a heart attack or stroke.

Could periodontal disease cause heart attacks?

Regardless of your oral health, if you're at a high risk for heart disease, you need to take action.

  • Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight.
  • Consume healthy foods and beverages.
  • Exercise several days the week. Walking is a powerful and lightweight exercise and will clear your head while helping your body get or stay healthy.
  • Control any medical conditions you may have such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
  • Reduce your stress. Have lunch with a friend, go for a walk in the park, take a bubble bath, mediate, or do whatever you find relaxing.
  • Get a social life. Laughing reduces stress and “feel good” hormones. Everyone needs to feel like they are a part of something: join a book club or any activity where you can interact with other people at least once or twice a week
  • Be sure to get enough sleep. The recommended amount is eight to nine hours a night. It has been proven that a lack of sleep increases your risk for angina, strokes, and heart attacks.
  • Practice good oral hygiene to keep bacteria in check and your mouth healthy.

Contact our Issaquah office if you have questions about your heart and oral health. If you take practice good oral hygiene, both your mouth and your heart will thank you.

Timing Matters!

January 10th, 2018

Many patients at Issaquah Valley Dental Care are under the impression that harder brushing leads to cleaner teeth, but that is not true. Gentle brushing is just as effective, and less likely to cause damage. Other good brushing habits include brushing your teeth at least twice a day, replacing your toothbrush after a few months, and brushing for at least two minutes each time. It can be tough to keep track of the time when you are aiming for two minutes, but these tips can help.

Set a Timer

Setting a timer is a sure-fire way to hit your two-minute goal on the dot. Leave a kitchen timer in your bathroom so that it is easy to set each time you start brushing your teeth. Hit each surface of all of your top and bottom teeth, and keep brushing until the timer rings. Many electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer that you can use instead of a kitchen timer.

Entertain Yourself for Two Minutes

Time flies when you are having fun, and you can stay entertained as you brush your teeth for two minutes. These are some ideas.

  • Time your favorite song and sing it in your head as you brush your teeth.
  • Find a two-minute video on the Internet that you want to watch, and start it when you begin to brush your teeth.
  • Do squats in the bathroom as you brush. Go down for three slow counts, and up for three slow counts. By the time you get to 20 squats, your two minutes will be over.

Let Your Children Use Technology

Toothsavers is an app designed to inspire children to brush. The app was developed and released by the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives. It includes:

  • A game to fight an evil sorceress who causes cavities
  • A two-player version that lets children interact with friends and parents
  • Real-life reminders to brush twice a day
  • A built-in timer that helps kids brush for two minutes

Does chronic stress impact periodontal health?

January 4th, 2018

Many studies over the past several years have focused on this question. Since we will all face stressful situations during our life, it is a good question to ask. This question also delves into the mind-body connection—the psychological having an effect on the physical and vice versa.

Studies were performed as far back as the 1940s and continue today. Many of them have shown that stress "downregulates" or hinders cellular immune response. The most common periodontal diseases related to this stress-induced downregulation are gingivitis and periodontitis.

It is believed that stress and depression contribute to a state of chronic inflammation within the body. Stress also raises levels of cortisol in your body, which has been linked in studies to higher levels of tooth loss and deeper pockets between the gums and teeth.

Perhaps the biological side of this equation makes sense, but an important factor is that people who are stressed and/or depressed tend to neglect oral hygiene and other health-promoting activities. The studies seem to support both the behavioral and biological effects as risk factors for periodontal disease.

Here are some things you can do to help prevent stress-related periodontal problems:

  • Daily relaxation –You may consider meditation or yoga. Both have been proven effective at easing stress.
  • Practice good oral hygiene – Don't let your oral hygiene fall by the wayside. Doing so will obviously have a detrimental effect on your oral health. You should also aim to quit smoking if you do smoke.
  • Get regular dental checkups – Getting regular checkups will help you to spot anything that's amiss before it gets out of hand. You can speak with your dentist if you have any pain or concerns and have them take a look.

Stress is something that affects all of us but it can be managed. Each one of us may manage it in a different way. Find what works for you and always make sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. For more information about stress-related periodontal issues, schedule an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi at our Issaquah office.

It's a Wrap: Ending the year with a smile!

December 27th, 2017

People have been ushering in the New Year for centuries but it became an official holiday in 1582 when Pope George XIII declared January 1st to be the day on which everyone would celebrate the New Year. At midnight people would yell, holler, and blow horns to scare away the evil spirits of the previous year so the New Year would be joyous and filled with opportunity. Nearly 500 years later, we still greet the New Year by whooping and hollering, but in a celebratory manner instead. Whether you intend to ring in the New Year quietly at home in the Issaquah area or have plans to join the countdown at a gala extravaganza, these tips can help you ring out the old and usher in the new with a smile.

Tips for a Happy New Year's Eve Celebration from Issaquah Valley Dental Care

  • Be Safe. There's no way to predict the behavior of others on New Year's Eve, but you can be responsible for your own behavior to keep yourself safe. If adult beverages will be part of your celebration, plan on spending the night wherever you are or line up a designated driver to bring you home after the party is over.
  • Enjoy Family and Friends. Spending time with the important people in your life is what makes the holidays enjoyable. Coordinate your schedules and choose New Year's Eve activities that everyone in the group will enjoy. You don't have to go to a party to ring in the New Year; some people like to go bowling, see a movie, or have a great meal at home.
  • Accessorize with a Smile. Whether you dress up or have a quiet dinner with family and friends, one of the best accessories you can add to your attire is a beautiful smile.

New Year's Eve is a time to gather with friends and family, reflect on the year that's coming to an end, and look forward to the new one with anticipation. Enjoy this transitional holiday in a way that's safe, healthy, and fun. After all, counting down until the clock strikes 12 marks the beginning of a full year of opportunity ahead of you. From Drs. Arti and Ashi, have a great new year!.

Oral Health Concerns for Teens

December 20th, 2017

You have a lot more freedom as a teenager than you did as a young child. You also have a lot more responsibilities, and one of your jobs is to take care of your teeth. Develop and maintain good dental habits now so you can have great dental health for life!

Tooth Decay

As a teenager, you risk tooth decay, or dental cavities, if you are not careful. In fact, 59% of adolescents aged 12 to 19 have at least one cavity, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Drs. Arti and Ashi and our staff recommend keeping your teeth strong and healthy by brushing at least twice a day and flossing every day.

If you suspect that you have tooth decay, do not be embarrassed. Instead, ask your parents to bring you to Issaquah Valley Dental Care to get it looked at. When you do not treat your dental cavities, they can turn into more serious problems. A severely damaged tooth may need to be treated with a root canal or even an extraction.

You can take easy steps to prevent tooth decay when you are at school or hanging out with your friends. Carry a bottle of water around with you so you can take a sip after you eat any kind of food. Choose water or milk instead of soda or sports drinks, and if you chew gum, select a sugar-free flavor.

Other Oral Health Concerns

You can probably think of many reasons why you should not smoke or use tobacco. Your oral health is another one. Tobacco gives you bad breath and stains your teeth yellow. It also increases your risk for gum disease and cancer of the mouth. Smoking even slows the speed of healing after you have dental procedures done.

Here are a few more tips that can keep your mouth attractive and healthy during your teen years.

  • Drink plenty of milk.
  • Limit candies and sugary snacks.
  • Wear a mouthguard if you play a contact sport.
  • Visit Issaquah Valley Dental Care twice a year.
  • Reduce infections and avoid piercing your tongue and lips.

You only get one set of permanent teeth in your life, so get in the habit of taking care of them now!

My teeth feel great. Do I still need to see the dentist?

December 13th, 2017

Absolutely. Checking in with Drs. Arti and Ashi on a regular basis—usually every six months—is essential to keeping your smile looking its best. At Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we are proud to offer a number of preventive procedures to ensure the health of your mouth and the beauty of your smile. Your smile is just as important to us as it is to you!

Another good reason to visit our Issaquah office is to check for hidden issues in your mouth you may not even realize you had. Bacteria, tartar, and cavities are known to form in the hard-to-reach crevices of your mouth and may only be detected through a professional exam. If left untreated, these cavities and decay can get worse, requiring more extensive treatment, and costing you even more time and money down the road. During your routine exam, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team will also check to make sure your fillings or other dental restorations you may have had are in good shape.

Preventing problems before they start is the key to optimal oral health. If it has been more than six months since your last visit, please contact our Issaquah dental office to schedule your routine checkup! See you soon!

Anatomy of a Smile Makeover

December 6th, 2017

A smile makeover is usually a combination of one or more cosmetic dental procedures. To achieve your desired result, Drs. Arti and Ashi may perform or suggest a variety of options. The entire process is designed specifically for your unique cosmetic needs, and Drs. Arti and Ashi will make sure all your concerns regarding your smile are addressed.

Here are some of the most common procedures in cosmetic dentistry and how they work:

  • Tooth whitening – Whiter teeth are achieved through a bleaching process typically using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Yellower teeth usually respond well to this procedure, while brown-colored teeth stained by fluorosis or taking tetracycline do not respond as well to whitening. Tooth whitening is not for everyone; if you have sensitive teeth, gum disease, or poor enamel, Drs. Arti and Ashi may recommend against tooth-whitening services.
  • Orthodontics – Braces are one of the tried-and-true ways of achieving a healthier smile. Braces are typically worn between 12 and 24 months to reposition the teeth in a straighter and safer alignment. Since your bite is also corrected during this process, it helps ensure you won't have any trouble down the line. There are several different types of braces available these days including: traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, lingual braces, and clear aligners.
  • Veneers – Veneers are thin, tooth-colored material (porcelain or resin) designed to be placed on the front surface of teeth to improve their overall appearance. They can be used in cases where the color, shape, size, or length is not as desired. Veneers are usually used in cases where teeth are discolored, chipped, worn down, misaligned, irregular, or have gaps.
  • Implants/bridges – Dental implants and bridges are used to replace missing or broken teeth. Nowadays, both implants and bridges are commonly performed procedures. Implants integrate directly with the jawbone, while bridges are placed over the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth. Implant technology has advanced a great deal in recent years and highly biocompatible ceramic materials are becoming more commonplace.

Getting your perfect smile will take time and patience, but the end result will be well worth it! Please schedule an appointment at our Issaquah office about the cosmetic dental services we offer, and achieve the smile you've always wanted!

The Effects of Sleep Apnea on Dental Health

November 29th, 2017

Sleep apnea is an increasingly common medical condition, and one that can have a truly devastating effect on the waking life of the sufferer. Those who suffer from the disorder may find that they suffer any or all of the following side effects:

  • Saliva has several important jobs, and one of them is to protect and heal your tongue, your gums, and the inside of your mouth. Snoring and sleep apnea dry out your mouth, meaning there isn’t enough time for your saliva to do all this vital work.
  • Over an extended period of sleep apnea, it’s likely that the sockets of your teeth will begin to dry out overnight as a result of your gasping for air and snoring between breaths. If this happens too frequently over a long a period of time, it can start to loosen your teeth.
  • Those with sleep apnea often also practice bruxism, which is the habit of clenching and grinding your teeth together as you sleep. This can lead to all manner of problems, including TMJ disorder, damage to the enamel, headaches, and toothaches.
  • For obvious reasons, sleep apnea does not lead to a particularly good night’s sleep. This means that sufferers are often tired and irritable, and suffer from the many other ill effects of sleep deprivation.
  • While it is unclear whether the reasons behind this are correlative or causative, it has been suggested there are links between sleep apnea and cardiac arrests, depressive disorders, Type Two diabetes, cancerous tumors, “silent” strokes, and various complications of pregnancy.

While sleep apnea can be a troubling condition, Drs. Arti and Ashi and our team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care will tell you it is eminently treatable. There are a number of ways to combat it, ranging from simple sleep hygiene to use of a CPAP machine. Of course, if it is possible for you to reduce your weight a little in a safe and healthy way, some have found that is also helpful in combating the problem. Sleep apnea is very easy to treat, once it has been correctly identified.

If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, or if you would like to know more about the condition, please give us a call at our convenient Issaquah office to schedule an appointment with Drs. Arti and Ashi.

Thanksgiving

November 22nd, 2017

At Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we love to celebrate the holidays with vigor! Drs. Arti and Ashi would love to share some unique ways of celebrating Thanksgiving from beyond the Issaquah area to the national level!

When Americans sit down to dinner on the last Thursday of November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the day on which Thanksgiving would be celebrated, they do so thinking that the first Thanksgiving feast was held at Plymouth in 1621. According to National Geographic, the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez Coronado and his men celebrated a feast of Thanksgiving in Texas in 1541, giving Texas the distinction of being the first place where Thanksgiving was celebrated.

Different Types of Celebrations

Native Americans had rituals around which they celebrated in hopes of ensuring a bountiful harvest. The Cherokees had a Green Corn Dance that they did for this very purpose. The Pilgrims (not to be confused with the Puritans,) rejected any type of public religious display. They held a three-day long non-religious Thanksgiving feast. Although they said grace, the focus of their celebration was on feasting, drinking alcohol (they did have beer,) and playing games.

The Pilgrims at the Plymouth Plantation celebrated a different day of Thanksgiving in 1623. Plagued by a crop-destroying drought, the settlers prayed for relief. They even fasted. A few days later, they got the rain they so desperately needed. Soon thereafter, they received another blessing when Captain Miles Standish came with staples they couldn't otherwise get. He also told them that a Dutch supply ship was en route. In gratitude for the abundance of good fortune, the Plymouth settlers celebrated a day of prayer and Thanksgiving on June 30, 1623.

The Story of Squanto

No discussion of Thanksgiving is complete without a discussion of Squanto, or Tisquantum, as he was known among his people, the Patuxet Indians. It is believed that he was born sometime around 1580. As he returned to his village after a long journey, he and several other Native Americans were kidnapped by Jamestown colonist, Thomas Hunt. Hunt put them on a ship heading to Spain where they were to be sold into slavery.

As fate would have it, some local friars rescued him and many of the other kidnapped natives. Squanto was educated by the friars. Eventually, after asking for freedom so he could return to North America, he ended up in London where he spent time working as a ship builder. By 1619, he was finally able to get passage on a ship headed to New England with other Pilgrims.

Upon arriving at Plymouth Rock, he learned that his entire tribe was wiped out by diseases that accompanied earlier settlers from Europe. In gratitude for passage on their ship, he helped them set up a settlement on the very land where his people once lived. They called the settlement Plymouth. Since they knew nothing about how to survive, let alone how to find food, Squanto taught them everything, from how to plant corn and other crops, how to fertilize them, how and where to get fish and eels and much more.

After a devastating winter during which many settlers died, thanks to Squanto's teaching, they had an abundant harvest. After that harvest, they honored him with a feast. It is this feast of 1621 which was celebrated between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians that is widely considered the first Thanksgiving celebration.

About the Meal of the Plymouth Settlers

Surviving journals of Edward Winslow that are housed at Plymouth Plantation indicate that the first Thanksgiving feast was nothing like what Americans eat today. The meal consisted of venison, various types of wild fowl (including wild turkey,) and Indian corn. There were no cranberries, stuffing, pumpkin pie, potatoes, or any of the other “traditional” foods that appear on modern menus.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the holiday. It is still a day of feasting, and for some, a day of prayer and thanksgiving. For others, it is a celebration of gathering, especially for families. Still others may celebrate in entirely different ways, including watching college football bowl games, or by playing family games.

If you ever wonder why you're so tired after the Thanksgiving meal, it's because turkey contains an amino acid, tryptophan, and it sets off chemicals whose chain reaction combine to make people sleepy.

Oh no, not the dentist!

November 15th, 2017

If you or your children suffer from dental anxiety, you aren’t alone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, between nine and 15 percent of Americans admit to feeling sufficiently afraid of going to the dentist to avoid making an appointment. The potential consequences of dental anxiety extend beyond poor oral health. Lack of dental care can cause serious but easily preventable medical conditions.

Dental Anxiety versus Dental Phobia

Dental anxiety provokes a sense of fear in people, typically before they arrive at Issaquah Valley Dental Care. Those fears or worries are often exaggerated. Dental phobia shares many of the symptoms that characterize dental anxiety. It is a much more serious manifestation of that anxiety, and may provoke a sense of panic or terror in people. While people who suffer from dental phobias know that their feelings are irrational, they are unable to control, stop, or change those thoughts.

People who have dental phobias often avoid going to the dentist, and they come up with every possible excuse to justify not going. The only time a person who suffers from a dental phobia will go to the dentist is when he or she is forced to do so, or because of intense tooth pain. People who have dental anxiety don’t go to such extremes to avoid going to the dentist; anxiety usually begins in anticipation of the appointment.

What We Do to Ease Patient Anxiety

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our staff have many techniques we can use to help patients feel more comfortable at their appointments. Dental Fear Central gives some simple suggestions to help children and adults who are apprehensive about going to the dentist, even if they suffer from the more severe form of anxiety: full-blown dental phobia.

  • The Tell-Show-Do Approach: We help our patients relax by making sure they understand what is involved in the exam and any procedure they may undergo. We tell patients about the procedure, show them the tools and equipment we intend to use, and answer questions before actually performing the procedure. This is helpful for patients who don’t know what to expect.
  • Distraction: We offer personal music players and a collection of CDs that patients can listen to. The relaxing qualities of music may help distract a patient enough to make the process less stressful. In-office televisions allow you to watch TV while waiting for your appointment.

Drs. Arti and Ashi and our staff know that some patients are anxious about dental treatment, and we go to great lengths to make you feel more comfortable. Good oral health is very important, and when your mouth isn’t healthy, you can suffer from many other easily preventable medical problems.

Back-to-School Reminders: Is it Time for a Check-Up?

July 19th, 2017

It almost time to go back-to-school. Have you had your pre-school dental check-up?

Camping trips, picnics, family cookouts; summer is just jam-packed with things to do. In the flurry of all that fun, a new school year can sneak up on you. It can be hard to think about preparing for school when you are still in summer vacation mode but don't wait until the last minute to schedule your child's back-to-school dental appointment and get caught in the last-minute rush.

Why is it important to get your child in for their back-to-school checkup? What things will your dentist be checking?

Why are pre-school check-ups necessary?

A back-to-school dental check-up sets your child up for success. Children with poor oral health are nearly three times more likely than their counterparts to miss school as a result of dental pain. Also, absences caused by pain are associated with poorer school performance.

Early detection and prevention can help your child avoid absences because of pain or sickness caused by cavities. ADA (American Dental Association) pediatric dentist Dr. Mary Hays explains, "We can help spot and take care of any issues, so your child doesn't have to miss class once school starts."

Also, this timely dental check-up can help your child get back on track with a healthy dental routine, which can often fall by the wayside during the more relaxed summer months.

Here are some fun back-to-school activity sheets from the ADA that you can use to get your child excited about their upcoming check-up or to keep them busy while they're at the dentist's office.

What will the dentist do?

Check overall dental health: This is one of the first things your dentist will do. Are your child's teeth lining up correctly or are there any other orthodontic issues that need to be addressed? Are they losing their baby teeth at the appropriate time and are their permanent teeth erupting properly?

Although children don't need an x-ray at every dental visit, x-rays are usually a part of the back-to-school check-up. It helps the dentist look beneath the surface and see if the teeth are developing properly and if their root system is healthy. It also helps to detect any decay between teeth that can't be seen with just a visual check. Because most children's diets contain a high level of sweets and sugar, decay can progress very quickly, and it's important to catch it early.

Little girl brushes her teeth after a back-to-school dental check up!

Clean the teeth: No matter how well or how often kids brush, it's not possible to remove all the bacteria that often leads to cavities. Professional cleaning is crucial in protecting oral health. "It removes cavity-causing bacteria," says Dr. Hays, "and helps to keep gum tissue healthy. It also removes any stains from their teeth."

Provide sealant treatment: A sealant is a thin, protective coating placed on the chewing surfaces of teeth. Sealants are an effective and inexpensive way to add an extra layer of protection against cavity-causing bacteria and keep food particles from building up between the teeth.

When should your child get sealant treatment? Once the permanent molars have started coming in you can ask your dentist if he would recommend sealants for your child.

Check on protective wear: Back-to-school also means the start of the sports season again. It's important that your child wears a protective mouthguard if he or she is participating in school sports. Your dentist can make a custom-fitted mouthguard that will fit correctly and feel comfortable.

If your child already has a mouthguard, make sure they bring it along with them to their appointment. As your child grows and their teeth develop, a mouthguard must be adjusted or redone to make sure it fits properly and gives adequate protection.

Get it done today!

Get your child in for their check-up, then relax and enjoy the rest of the summer knowing they are ready to go back to school with a healthy smile. Call our office today to make an appointment and beat the just-before-school-starts rush!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Re-posted with permission. Source.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Insurance

July 5th, 2017

Your dental insurance questions, answered!

According to the National Association of Dental Plans, approximately 66% of Americans have some form of dental insurance coverage. If you’re one of the 211 million with dental coverage, have you ever had questions about your insurance?

Dental insurance covers basic needs and can provide a measure of peace of mind. However, many patients have questions about their coverage and benefits. Here are a few of the top questions we get about dental insurance:

What’s a deductible?

Your deductible is the dollar amount you’d pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. During your benefit period (which is typically a year), you’d need to satisfy this portion before your insurance will cover the cost of treatment. Deductibles vary depending on the plan; check your coverage to find yours.

What’s a PPO?

PPO stands for Preferred Provider Network. A PPO insurance plan allows you to choose your dentist. No matter which dentist you choose, services from in-network providers are covered at a higher level than from an out-of-network provider. For example, a cleaning may be covered 100% if you choose an in-network dentist, but perhaps only covered 80% if you visit a dentist that’s not in-network.

Prior to your appointment, check with your specific plan to find out if your dentist is in-network to ensure you’re getting the most out of your coverage.

Dental insurance doesn't have to be a mystery!

Do I get two free cleanings a year with my insurance?

Often, yes, but it does depend on your plan. Typically, 80-100% of the cost of your hygiene check-ups are paid twice during your benefits period. If your plan covers 100%, then your cleanings will be free. However, if your plan pays less than 100% or if you’ve used your yearly maximum toward other treatment, then you’d pay for your cleaning out of pocket.

Reminder: Dental benefits don’t roll over to the new year, so if you’ve been putting off a cleaning or caring for recommended treatment, it’s a good idea to schedule it as soon as possible so you can maximize your yearly benefits!

What if I don’t have dental insurance?

Financing is available through CareCredit, a healthcare credit card that enables you to finance treatment from 6-24 months, possibly even with no interest rate if treatment is paid in full during your promotional period.

Dental insurance doesn’t have to be a mystery! Your dental team is happy to help you find out exactly what your coverage includes, so if you’re confused or unsure if your cleanings are covered, simply call and ask!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source.

Options for Missing Teeth - Which is Right For You?

June 12th, 2017

There are many options for missing teeth, which is the right one for you?

If you are dealing with missing teeth, you'll understand the many problems they can cause. Eating certain foods is almost impossible, and you just don't like the way you look when you smile. Photos are out of the question!

Fortunately, there are many excellent options available for replacing missing teeth. But which is the right one for you? We will discuss the three most common options and the benefits of each one. But first, let's talk about why you should replace your missing teeth instead of just living with the "gaps."

Why replace missing teeth?

Replacing missing teeth is important. Besides helping you to chew and speak clearly, teeth serve as placeholders. When one or more of those placeholders are missing, the surrounding teeth start to move. Eventually, you wind up with bite problems because your teeth no longer line up correctly.

Also, the gum tissue and bone beneath the gaps left by missing teeth will start to deteriorate, making the surrounding teeth weaker. This weakening can eventually lead to further tooth loss. Really, every tooth counts!

Options for single or multiple missing teeth

The best option for replacing your missing teeth depends on your budget, oral health, and personal choice. Depending on your circumstances, your dentist will likely recommend one of these three primary options to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth:

  1. Implants: An artificial replacement root is placed in the jaw bone and capped with a porcelain crown.
  2. Fixed bridges: A row of artificial teeth are held in place utilizing bonding or cementing to surrounding teeth.
  3. Dentures:  An entire arch of teeth, upper or lower, are replaced with a prosthetic embedded with replacement teeth.

Each of these options involves a very different dental process, treatment time, and cost.  They are all designed to provide lasting, natural-looking results.

Implants

Advantages: Implants provide one of the best options for restoring functionality, comfort, and esthetics. Surrounding teeth are not altered during implant placement, so there is no need to damage any healthy teeth. Also, implants are known for outstanding durability, even lasting decades.

One critical advantage is that they help to prevent bone loss because they use a root replacement.  Some dentists have the ability to create and place dental implants in a single visit to their office! Ask your dentist about this option.

Fixed bridges

Advantages: Dental implants require healthy and adequate bone tissue, so they are not right for everyone. A fixed bridge is another option, looking and functioning like natural teeth. Since the bridge is set permanently in place, it doesn't need removing for cleaning, and you don't need to worry about "slippage." Also, if budget is a consideration, a fixed bridge costs less than dental implants.

Your choice of options depends on your budget, oral health, and personal preference.

Dentures

Advantages: When all of the upper or lower teeth need replacing, dentures are certainly the least expensive option. They are removable for brushing and cleaning, and for repairs. Dentures made with modern materials look very natural and function just like your own teeth. Another option, available because of advanced technology, are implant-retained dentures or overdentures that are fixed permanently in place.

The choice is yours!

Each option restores your ability to eat what you want and to smile with confidence. You will need to consider which will fit in with your budget, schedule availability, and the state of your oral health. Talk to Drs. Ashi and Arti about which option would work best for your unique circumstances.


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source.

How to Smile for the Camera: 8 Tips for Picture-Perfect Smiles [Infographic]

May 5th, 2017

Learn how to smile for the camera

Summer is right around the corner - sure to bring many photo-worthy moments. From the company picnic to your sister’s wedding to the beach vacation with the kids, you can pose for the camera with confidence by following these simple smile tips!

How to smile for photos

First of all, relax! Your smile will look natural if you let loose and think happy thoughts. Some find it helpful to practice in the mirror to find their most natural pose and smile. When practicing, take note of the difference in your facial muscles when smiling through your eyes. Find your best angle and hold your head high to prevent a double chin.

The following infographic features eight more tips to achieve your best smile:

Learn how to smile for the camera with these 8 simple tricks

A confident smile is within reach! If dental concerns hold you back from smiling openly for the camera, your dentist is here to help. Some issues can even be fixed in just one appointment!

Call us today or contact us online and we'll be happy to schedule an appointment.


Re-posted with permission. Source.

Advanced Technology Makes Dental Implants a Walk in the Park

April 12th, 2017

The technology used by our dentists in Issaquah WA make implant dentistry a walk in the park.

At Issaquah Valley Dental Care we offer the absolute best tooth replacement option: dental implants. We have the expertise and advanced technology to complete the entire dental implant process here in our office - no need to send you to outside specialists.

Read on to learn why we feel dental implants are the best option for missing teeth and about how we use some fabulous technologies to make the implant process easy, quick, and comfortable.

Why Implants Are the Best Option

Dental implants are synthetic substitute tooth roots, usually made of titanium. An implant is placed in the jaw where a tooth is missing and then capped with a custom-created porcelain crown. They are strong, durable and look and function just like your natural teeth.

Why do we feel dental implants are the best option for missing teeth? Here are just a few of the reasons:

  • Protects bone structure - implants keep your underlying bone structure from weakening and disintegrating. This stops your teeth from drifting out of place or loosening; resulting in tooth loss.
  • Eat what you want -  implants work just like your real teeth. You can enjoy all the foods you love again!
  • Stabilizing dentures: implants can serve as secure anchors for your dentures.  No more embarrassing slippage!
  • You'll look and feel great - when you feel confident, it shows!

Eat the foods you love with confidence again. With dental implants, you can confidently eat all the foods you love again!

Technology Provides the Ultimate Experience

Because of our use of advanced technology you can count on the ultimate patient experience when you get dental implants from Issaquah Valley Dental Care. The nature of implant treatment is evolving, and we are proud to be on the cutting edge.  We believe our patients deserve treatment with the very latest technologies available. Here are some of the latest technologies we use:

Osstell ISQ

Osstell ISQ helps us minimize treatment time and deliver a predictable result. It numerically measures the stability of the implant and degree of osseointegration (if the implant has successfully fused with the underlying bone) with radio frequency analysis and utilizing a magnetic field on a smart peg (which is attached to the implant). This is the new gold standard for implants.

The Osstell ISQ makes implant dentistry more predictable.

Cone Beam 3-D Imaging

Traditional imaging systems are limited and can leave out vital information. The i-CAT Cone Beam 3-D Imaging System produces immediate three-dimensional images of a patient's tooth structure. The result to you? More accurate imaging results in less invasive surgeries, fewer chances of operative complications, decreased surgical time and faster post-operative healing.

This technology has revolutionized the way Dr. Ashi and Dr. Arti do wisdom teeth removal, implant placement, orthodontics, TMJ analysis, airway studies and treatment of sleep apnea.

Cone beam 3D images are more revealing that traditional x-rays. CBCT imaging reveals things traditional x-rays can miss.

STA-Wand

The Sta-wand controls the delivery of anesthesia.This is a unique system that utilizes computer-controlled local anesthesia delivery. Audio and visual confirmations make injections more accurate and less stressful. Single tooth anesthesia means the dental treatment can start right away and you can return to your normal routine more quickly.

 

 

TLC System

Our TLC System will keep you comfortable during your procedure.

For the comfort of our patients, our office is equipped with the TLC System. The TLC HDTV system incorporates an overhead LCD flat screen so you can watch HDTV Comcast Cable or DVD movies during dental work. You can also take a tour of your mouth during the examination visit. The screen rotates for comfortable viewing. Time just flies by in our office while your teeth are being taken care of as you watch your favorite entertainment.
 

Just the Right Blend

At Issaquah Valley Dental, the unique blend of personal care and advanced dentistry used by our dentists in Issaquah, WA can drastically improve your dental experience and your life!

Call today for a consultation at (425) 392-4122 or contact us online.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month: Are You at Risk?

April 5th, 2017

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Are you familiar with this deadly disease? According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), an estimated 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer EVERY YEAR and 9,000 U.S. citizens will die from this horrifying disease.

Oral cancer's mortality rate isn't because it's hard to diagnose, but because cancer is discovered late in its development. You can take action to stop this disease before it gets deadly.

Know the risk factors

Everyone is at risk for oral cancer. Whether you're in your early 20's or an active 40-year-old, you're just as likely to get oral cancer. However, some factors increase your chances of getting oral cancer, including:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Excessive drinking
  • Exposure to HPV (Human papillomavirus)
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor diet
  • Physical trauma

If any of these factors apply to you, consider changing your habits to lower your chances of oral cancer.

Learn the risks of oral cancer during oral cancer awareness month

Recognize the symptoms

It's important to perform a self-examination every month to catch any signs of oral cancer before it gets worse. Using a bright light and a mirror, check your cheek, tongue, the inside of your lips, and gums for:

  • White or red patches of tissue
  • Sores that bleed easily
  • Abnormal lumps
  • A chronic sore throat
  • A mass or lump in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing

If you've noticed these symptoms, it's critical to contact our dentists as soon as possible for an oral cancer screening.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month: Get screened

Getting regular screenings performed by our dentists puts you in the best position to detect oral cancer in its early stages. This is just one more critical reason to keep up with your checkups and cleanings twice a year! If you are due for your next check-up call us at (425) 392-4122 or contact us online and we will be happy to make a convenient appointment for you.

In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, help us spread the word by sharing this blog post. It could save a life!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source.

Sleep Apnea: Is It a Big Deal?

March 15th, 2017

sleep apnea is a big deal

Sleep apnea contributes to 450,000 death per year. So, yes! It is a big deal if you don't undergo the proper channels to treat this deadly disease. If you believe you or a loved one have sleep apnea, you're not alone. In America, sleep apnea affects more than 12 million people.

In honor of Sleep Awareness Week, let our blog guide you to help take the appropriate and proactive actions, so you can #SleepWellLiveWell.

Recognizing the symptoms

There are many warning signs of this serious disease. The biggest sign of sleep apnea is chronic snoring. That's right - snoring is much more than an annoyance. Sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles collapse, blocking oxygen from reaching to your brain and causing your heart to work harder. As a result, you start snoring and may stop breathing multiple times throughout the night.

When your body is working harder while you sleep, this leads to additional symptoms of sleep apnea, including:

  • Feeling tired throughout the day
  • Insomnia
  • Morning headaches
  • Attention problems
  • Heartburn

It doesn't end there. If you leave sleep apnea untreated and ignore the above symptoms, you can experience significant health risks (including death):

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Type II diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Acid reflux
  • Hypertension

People with sleep apnea are more likely to get in a traffic accident because of its symptoms.

[SOURCE]

Make lifestyle changes

Making changes in your daily life can help alleviate your symptoms until you get professional care.

  • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol and sedatives reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, making it more likely that you’ll snore.
  • Lose weight: Being overweight is a common health risk with sleep apnea. Losing weight could help stop your snoring. Plus, it'll improve your overall quality of life.
  • Change your sleep position: Lying on your side instead of your back helps ensure your tongue doesn’t relax against the back of your throat, causing the vibrating sounds during sleep

Consult the professionals

To complement these lifestyle changes, it's crucial you seek professional help to combat sleep apnea. Believe it or not, Drs. Ashi and Arti are able to help treat your sleep apnea by working with your sleep physician.

Typically, there are two options to treat sleep apnea:

  • CPAP Machine: Known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, this machine requires you to wear a mask at night and increases air pressure in your throat so your airway doesn’t collapse while you sleep. While it is a common method to treat sleep apnea, it can be cumbersome and awkward to wear at night.
  • Oral Appliance: This non-invasive solution is our preferred method. Why? You can easily transport your oral appliance on trips, and due to its small size, it is subtle and discreet. It is comfortable to wear while stopping your snoring.

Tired of being tired?

We don't blame you! If you fear you or your loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, please consult our office by calling (425) 392-4122 or contact us online and let's get started to a restful and peaceful sleep.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source

Find Relief from Nighttime Teeth Grinding

January 23rd, 2017

Do you suffer from nighttime teeth grinding?

There's nothing like a good night's sleep to refresh and revive you for a new day. Quality sleep can have many positive effects on your overall health. However, if you're grinding your teeth at night, you could be unconsciously wearing away at the quality of your sleep - and your life.

How can you know if you're grinding your teeth at night? What are some of the short- and long-term effects of teeth grinding (also referred to as bruxism)? And what can you do to prevent these negative effects? Read on to learn how to alleviate and prevent nighttime teeth grinding.

Teeth grinding: Signs and symptoms

According to the American Sleep Association, 10% of adults and 15% of children grind their teeth at night. But how can you know if you're grinding during sleep? Here are a few signs to look for:

  • Waking up with a sore jaw or facial pain.
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw joints.
  • Chronic, dull headaches.
  • Noise - your sleep partner may hear you grinding throughout the night.
  • Tooth wear - your dentist can identify the signs of nighttime bruxism during your routine dental checkup.

What causes nighttime teeth grinding? It can have many potential causes, including stress and anxiety, a misaligned bite, or even a sleep disorder.

Is teeth grinding really that serious?

Over time, teeth grinding can have serious, painful, long-term negative effects on your health. Severe chronic bruxism could eventually result in chipped, cracked, or even loosened teeth. Damaging your teeth in this way could mean you'll need expensive dental treatments later on as a result.

Besides the possibility that you could damage or lose teeth later on, you could also experience painful effects of TMD (temporomandibular disorder) if nighttime bruxism is left untreated.

If you suffer from teeth grinding, talking to your dentist is the first step toward relief.

What can be done to prevent nighttime teeth grinding?

The first step to treating grinding and preventing further damage is to visit your dentist. Your dentist can assess the seriousness of your grinding habit, what damage has already been done, and if additional testing is needed to determine if you have a serious sleep disorder.

A custom night guard may be recommended to help prevent grinding. A night guard is a plastic custom-fitted oral appliance that you'd wear while sleeping to prevent clenching and grinding. A professionally made custom-fitted night guard is comfortable and easier to wear than store-bought, ill-fitting mouth guards.

Other ways to minimize the painful effects of teeth grinding include:

  • Stress relief. If stress or anxiety is contributing to your teeth grinding, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce stress in your daily life.
  • Limit consumption of caffeine and/or alcohol; both have been shown to contribute to clenching and grinding.
  • Avoid chewing gum during the day.

Conclusion

In conclusion, nighttime teeth grinding doesn't have to wear you down. If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth at night, visit your dentist to assess the situation and discuss whether a custom night guard could help. We'd like to help bring your bruxism to a grinding halt!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source.

Say "I Do" to the Perfect Smile with Invisalign

January 13th, 2017

Invisalign the perfect solution for brides

Did you recently get engaged? First, let us say "congratulations!" While you're trying to find the perfect venue, the perfect dress, and the perfect photographer, have you asked yourself, "Do I have the perfect smile?"

Say "yes" to the dress your perfect wedding-day smile with Invisalign®! Invisalign® involves a series of progressive, removable aligners that straighten your teeth and are virtually invisible. This means while you're planning your wedding day, Invisalign® will be working in the background to get your smile perfect before saying "I do!"

Why Invisalign?

  • Convenience: Invisalign® aligners are virtually invisible - there are no metal brackets or wires. Also, they are removable, meaning you can take out your aligners for special occasions, such as your engagement photo session or bridal shower.
  • Comfortable: You won't experience pokey wires and cumbersome metal brackets. The aligners are smooth thermal plastic, making your treatment comfortable.
  • More Confidence: You'll start noticing the results when undergoing Invisalign® - you'll be smiling more confidently before completing treatment! Since the aligners are clear, people may not even notice you’re wearing them! It's a win-win!

Learn the benefits of Invisalign over traditional braces.

FAQs every Bride Should Know

How much will Invisalign® cost? The cost of Invisalign® is comparable to traditional braces, so the cost could range from $3,000 - $8,000, but only your dentist will be able to determine an exact price because treatment varies from patient to patient. Dental insurance may cover Invisalign®, similar to coverage with other orthodontic treatments. Consult with us about the best method for paying Invisalign®.

How often will I need to visit the dental office during treatment? At the start of treatment, we’ll schedule regular appointments every four to six weeks to ensure treatment is progressing as it should. These appointments are brief and can be scheduled at a time of day that works with your busy schedule!

Will my new smile be ready in time for my wedding day? The length of treatment varies from patient to patient, but the average adult case takes about 12 months.

Can I also whiten my teeth safely while undergoing this treatment? Yes! We recommend in-office laser whitening to achieve your wedding photo-ready smile. Our team can arrange your in-office whitening to take place during one of your Invisalign® appointments for maximum ease and convenience. Talk to us about your wedding planning schedule so we can schedule your whitening to take place before your engagement photo session or other important events.

Ready to Say "I Do" to a New You?

Your wedding day should be perfect, and that includes your smile! If you're in need of any dental treatment before your big day, do not hesitate to contact us. We're honored to be part of your special day and look forward to you remembering your wedding day for years to come.


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 

Re-posted with permission. Source.

Protect Your Smile by Checking for These 6 Signs of Gum Disease

December 28th, 2016

Gum disease can have serious consequences. Protect yourself and check for these 6 signs of gum disease.

Gum disease is one of the least noticeable yet most common oral conditions worldwide. Given gum disease's potentially serious yet invisible signs, how can you protect yourself from losing your smile?

Gum disease is no laughing matter. Millions of Americans are diagnosed with it each year and millions more remain untreated, leading to rapid decay and tooth loss. Additionally, gum disease has been linked with other serious health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and other issues.

For these reasons, it's highly important to understand the invisible signs of gum disease to reduce your risk of developing serious health conditions, as well as the need for costly invasive dental treatments later on.

This article will expose the top six signs of gum disease and what you can do to protect your healthy smile.

Exposing six signs of gum disease

These are some of the commonly overlooked signs of gum disease. Have you been ignoring them?

  1. Reddish or swollen gums.
  2. Bleeding gums.
  3. Loose teeth.
  4. Gaps forming between teeth.
  5. Bad breath.
  6. Receding gums.

In the initial stages of gum disease, called gingivitis, you may notice your gums becoming inflamed or reddish. This condition is typically solved with proper hygiene and a simple hygiene treatment with your dentist.

If left untreated, gum disease may progress to the next stage, called periodontitis. Here is where you may begin to notice small amounts of blood in the sink when brushing or flossing. Other signs of this disease may include loose or sensitive teeth since the infection has likely spread and is now slowly harming the teeth and gum tissue.

The good news is that there are practical treatment plans designed to save your smile and health if you do have gum disease. If you are experiencing the symptoms described above, contact your dentist immediately to address the problem before matters get worse.

Assess your risk of gum disease with this quiz

Did you know 80% of adults will have gum disease during their lifetime?

Take this five-minute online quiz by Delta Dental to find out if you are at risk of developing gum disease.

Protect yourself by checking for 6 signs of gum disease and by following these tips to prevent it.

How to prevent gum disease at home

When it comes to your self-image and health, be proactive and prevent problems from developing in the first place. To protect yourself and your family from gum disease, proper hygiene, and regular dental checkups are necessary.

Prevent gum disease by following these important steps:

  • Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Schedule a dental exam and cleaning every six months.
  • If you smoke, quit. Talk to your medical doctor for assistance to break this harmful habit.

Do not ignore the signs of gum disease

Gum disease's invisible signs and multiple stages may build up secretly until a potentially severe condition develops!

If you experience swollen or bleeding gums, loosening teeth, or receding gums, be sure to contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Maintain good hygiene at home and make it a priority to have regular dental visits. With planning and prevention, gum disease doesn't have to rob you of your health and happiness!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 

Re-posted with permission. Source.

Fear of the Dentist? Not If You Use Sedation Dentistry

December 7th, 2016

How can sedation dentistry help you overcome your fear of the dentist?

Does just thinking about your dental appointment cause a pit in your stomach, rapid breathing and sweaty palms? Is imagining the worst-case scenario keeping you from completing routine or surgical dental treatment? Have no fear! Your Issaquah dentists, Drs. Ashi and Arti, offer sedation dentistry options so patients can receive the proper and routine dental care they deserve.

At Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we recommend a three-step approach to dental anxiety. First, you need to understand your fear. Second, educate yourself about the sedation dentistry treatments available. And finally, motivate yourself to carry through on your plan.  

Understanding Your Fear of the Dentist

Before your anxiety level can be reduced to the point of receiving dental treatment, you need to be aware of the fears that are causing havoc in your life. There are typically three barriers that keep people from getting routine dental treatment.

  1. Fear of unknown dental procedures or a past bad dental experience
  2. Inability to sit in dental chair or keep mouth open for an extended period of time
  3. Extreme gag reflex during dental procedures

If you experience one or all of these symptoms, you're not alone! About 30 million to 40 million Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear (source). So how can sedation dentistry can help you overcome these roadblocks?

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help nervous patients relax during dental procedures. At Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we can provide the right level of relaxation so you will be calm, reassured and extremely comfortable while you receive the dental care you need. A qualified sedation dentist will discuss your individual levels of fear and adjust the way you are treated using one of the following options:

  • inhalation sedation -- inhale nitrous oxide or "laughing gas" that will help you relax and wear off quickly following your appointment
  • oral sedation -- take a prescription medication before your appointment
  • IV sedation -- administered intravenously by your dentist for rapid and adjustable sedation

Your dentist can help identify which option is right for you. But would you like to hear from actual patients about how sedation dentistry feels? As part of the educational process to help you fight your fear, download our free infographic and learn more about how sedation works and how it feels.

Download our free sedation dentistry infographic!

How Trust and Relaxation Can Help Fight Your Fear

Drs. Arti and Ashi have a special interest in helping people with disabling fears or just mild anxiety of the dental environment. They believe it is not just enough to sedate people to get the work done but building trust between the provider and the patient is a critical part of having a successful outcome.

We have successfully completed over 100 cases using IV sedation, and many hundreds more have been completed using oral (non-IV) sedation. Here is what one of our patients had to say about their experience at Issaquah Valley Dental Care:

In addition to oral, inhalation and IV sedation options the doctors use other methods to relax their Issaquah, Auburn and Renton patients, like music, TV programming, plush blankets, and pillows to ensure patients' comfort through the procedure.

Let Issaquah Sedation Dentistry Help You Beat Anxiety

Acknowledging your dental anxiety and educating yourself about the options are essential steps to fighting your fears. Remember that the inability to treat dental decay in the mouth due to anxiety can allow for decay and cavities to further destroy healthy tooth structure. In this case, avoidance is not the solution. Avoiding the dentist for routine cleaning and treatments can result in loss of teeth and potential infections that can ultimately land you in the hospital and risk your life.

Now for our final approach to defeating your anxiety. Motivation! Schedule a consultation now and choose one of our special promotions to motivate you to set aside your fears and put your oral health first. Call us at (425) 392-4122.

Choose a sedation dentistry discount or free whitening offer from Issaquah Valley Dental Care

Give Yourself the Gift of a New Smile This Holiday Season

November 21st, 2016

Treat yourself to the gift of a sparkling new smile this holiday season!

With holiday gatherings and the new year on the horizon, you've probably chosen the perfect party dress, killer shoes, and lipstick in just the right shade of red. Your outfit might be ready for all those holiday photos - but what about your smile?

Believe it or not, there's still time before those holiday gatherings to treat yourself to the gift of a brand new smile, and it doesn't have to break your budget! Here are dental solutions that can transform your smile and overall appearance just in time for the holidays.

1. Veneers

A complete and harmonious smile transformation is possible with veneers. Veneers are thin shells of an extra-durable composite material that goes over your teeth to make esthetic changes in your smile's shape, length, and color.

In a few short visits with your dentist, veneers can transform your smile by:

  • Closing gaps in your smile.
  • Fixing crooked teeth and/or a misaligned bite.
  • Lengthening and reshaping your teeth to be more uniform.
  • Harmoniously enhancing your facial features.

How long does it take?

If you are a candidate for veneers, your newly transformed smile can become a reality in approximately two weeks. Of course, every smile is unique, so you will want to consult with your dentist for your personal treatment schedule.

Once you co-design your new smile, the composite porcelain veneers are custom crafted to match your eye contour, lip and nose shape, and skin tone. With proper hygiene and care, your new smile can function and look spectacular for up to 20 years.

2. Tooth-Colored Fillings

If you have old metal fillings, they could cause your teeth to look discolored or grayish in appearance. By replacing them with tooth-colored fillings, you could:

  • Prevent further decay caused by cavities.
  • Avoid loosing teeth due to infection or extreme decay.
  • Reduce the risk of needing a root canal later on.

How long does it take?

To replace old metal fillings or to restore cavities takes only one visit with your dentist.

These tooth-colored fillings are made from an extra durable material (similar to that of porcelain veneers) that matches the strength and durability of natural teeth and mimics the appearance and tone of your smile.

These restorations blend naturally with your smile and preserve its integrity for decades.

Boost your confidence and be ready for holiday photos with a new smile.

3. Teeth Whitening

Years of coffee drinking, smoking, or consuming wine can gradually discolor the enamel of your teeth. In these cases, even if you have regular dental cleanings and good brushing habits, your smile may still look dark or yellowish.

Teeth whitening is a safe, non-invasive, and painless solution. Patients particularly enjoy the boost in confidence and attractiveness for special occasions, such as:

  • On their wedding day.
  • For prom or graduation.
  • Christmas or other holiday gatherings.
  • Social or business events.

How long does it take?

In just one visit of approximately two hours, your dentist can brighten your smile painlessly and harmoniously.

When compared to over-the-counter alternatives, professional teeth whitening with your dentist is the easiest way to amp up your smile's potential. Our in-office whitening system brightens your smile in a much more uniform and natural-looking way than the typical whitening products sold at stores. When whitened professionally, your teeth will not suffer long-term sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, as is often the case with over-the-counter products.

Which smile transformation would you like for the holidays?

The benefits of improved self-esteem and overall attractiveness last well beyond the holiday season. Your personal relationships and career also benefit from this transformation. Wouldn't that be a great way to start the upcoming year?

Whether porcelain veneers, tooth-colored fillings, or teeth whitening is the right solution for your new smile, we will create a personalized treatment plan specific to your needs and desires. Enjoy the gift of a dazzling, sparkling smile this holiday season - you deserve it!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 

Re-posted with permission. Source.

How to Leave Your Favorite Dentist a Google+ Review

November 1st, 2016

Learn how to leave your favorite dentist a great review using Google+

Picture this: You just had the most amazing dental visit! The service was excellent, the staff was friendly, the dentist was incredibly talented, and the list goes on and on. You're definitely feeling the love, and while you highly recommend your dentist to others in conversation, have you ever considered leaving your dentist a Google+ review?

Google+ reviews help other like-minded people in your area make well-informed decisions about local businesses and the products and services they offer.

Download this guide to easily leave a Google+ review

Leaving a Google+ review is quite simple, and to make it even easier, we've prepared a handy sheet to walk you through the basic steps. Click on the image below or download it here to get started now.

A super simple tool to use that aids people in writing Google reviews for your business.

What should you include in your Google+ review?

There are three main things that make a Google review meaningful. Including these details helps show Google that we take customer service seriously and truly want to be the best at what we do.

  1. People: Name staff members who really stood out to you during your visit.
  2. Location: Include your geographical location or community's name.
  3. Information: Share specific services you underwent.

Writing tips

  • Be informative and insightful: Don't be afraid to be specific and relevant; describe what other visitors are likely to experience. Highlight what makes the dentist or office so unique. From Invisalign to fillings to five-star service, reviews should exhibit the unique expertise the practice offers.
  • Be real: Authenticity is key. Review your experience, and describe why you loved or disliked your visit. Endeavor to be as accurate as possible, and incorporate both positive and negative (if there were any) aspects of your visit.
  • Be respectful: Not every experience is going to be perfect. Sometimes you’ll want to share negative feedback. Even if you’re frustrated, please ensure your analysis is constructive, as we often use your comments to help improve our services.
  • Write with style: Keep your reviews readable and avoid excessive capitalization or punctuation. Use good grammar, check your spelling, and choose the right length - about a paragraph is great.

What does a great review look like?

Sample Patient Testimonial using a Google Review

Conclusion

One of the fundamental reasons why people write reviews is because they have a desire to help others. They consider the information they would want to see when weighing an important choice and share it so others can make an educated decision.

So help us help others, by posting your Google+ review today!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source.

3 Extremely Useful Resources to Learn All About Root Canals

October 14th, 2016

 

Woman on couch looking concerned about an upcoming root canal treatment appointmentYou’ve been told you need a root canal, and understandably, you now have questions: What exactly IS a root canal? Is it going to hurt? What can you expect when you go in for treatment?

We want to make it easier on you, so we've rounded up some great online resources that will help answer the questions you need answers to.

1. Read about root canals and learn what to expect

The American Association of Endodontists has included a plethora of information about the root canal (or endodontic) treatment on one handy webpage. You’ll find many answers to your questions here, including:

  • What is a root canal?
  • What exactly is involved in the treatment?
  • Why would you need the treatment?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What happens to the tooth after the treatment?
  • Will you need to get a crown?
  • Will your tooth need any special care afterward?

You’ll also find another page dealing with Root Canal Myths. Here, three myths are debunked, including the common misconception that root canals are very painful. The truth is, when you need this treatment, you're already in pain, so it actually brings much-needed relief. On top of that, anesthetics and other modern techniques make root canal pain on par with other basic dental procedures, which is not very high. Yay!

Read the articles: Root Canals Explained | Myths About Root Canals and Root Canal Pain

2. View illustrations of root canal treatment

Do you want to see the steps of a root canal without a lot of reading? Go to the Colgate Oral Care Center website and quickly view the steps of this treatment in seven simple illustrations.

These images will help you visualize the answers to these questions:

  • Where is the infection in my tooth?
  • What does it take to deal with the infection?
  • What tools will be used to remove the infection?
  • What materials will be added?
  • How will the tooth be rebuilt?

View: Illustrations: Root Canal Treatment From Start To Finish

3. Watch a 3-minute video showing how a root canal treatment is done

Once again, the folks at American Association of Endodontists have produced a great resource to learn about root canals. Watch their helpful video below:

Quickly go to any section of the video that you're curious about by using the quick jump guide below. Just move the progress bar slider to the specific spot in the video:

  • 0:36 - What is Endodontics?
  • 0:43 - What is an Endodontist?
  • 1:05  - What and where is your tooth pulp?
  • 1:24 - Why does the pulp need to be removed?
  • 1:38 - What are the steps of root canal treatment?
  • 2:23 - What follow-up procedure will still need to be done?

Conclusion

Yes, the news that you're in need of a root canal may ruin your day, but having helpful resources can really go a long way! Being informed will help you make the right treatment choice. Having answers to your root canal questions can also allay your concerns and calm your fears.

Do you have a favorite resource that has taught you helpful information about root canals? Please tell us about it in the comments below!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Re-posted with permission. Source.

Childhood Obesity - Weighing the Risks and Solutions

September 16th, 2016

A young overweight boy looking unhappy shows that Childhood Obesity has reached Epidemic Proportions

 

We all want the best for the kids in our lives. We work hard every day to provide for them and plan for their futures. But according to the latest statistics, 1 in 5 of our children is facing a serious risk to their health due to childhood obesity.

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness month to help bring attention to this serious matter. This issue has steadily been on the rise for the last decade and has now reached epidemic levels.

Over the last few decades, our lifestyles and diets have changed dramatically. We work longer hours, fast food and take-out options have become a daily part of life, and electronic devices have replaced physical activity. This has created a circle of fatigue that supports an unhealthy lifestyle.

The Health Risks of Childhood Obesity

The Risks of Childhood Obesity

The risks are staggering. It used to be the medical opinion that overweight children were at a higher risk of developing certain health issues later in life. These days we are seeing them develop these issues NOW.

Many of the health issues children are facing were once thought to be for the 40 and above crowd. These include type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The figures are rising dramatically each year.

In addition to the medical issues, children who are obese are also at a higher risk for emotional issues like depression and low self-esteem.

As alarming as these statistics are, there is hope. With small and consistent changes, kids can reclaim their health and set themselves up for a much brighter future. With youth on their side, many kids can leave even existing health problems behind.

Happy, healthy children running on the beach in the sunshine, combating childhood obesity. Small changes every day create a healthier future for you and your children!

 

What is the Solution?

While there is no “one size fits all” solution to this issue, there are MANY small and simple things you can do to impact the health of your children (and yourself!) each day. The problem of childhood obesity didn’t start overnight, nor will it be solved overnight. Small changes every day create a healthier future for you and your children!

Children have specific nutritional needs, so no restrictive diets (eliminating one or more food group) should be started without doctor supervision. Getting your child a check-up at their pediatrician and understanding any specific challenges or goals involved is the best place to start any health improvement plan.

Rather than feeling overwhelmed, try picking one or two things from the list below to try this week. Keep your message positive; remember it’s FUN to feel good and try new things! Once a change is a comfortable part of your child’s life, add in another one.

  • Stand up and start moving: Keep it simple to start. Take a walk together after dinner. Instead of playing video games, play a game on Wii Fit. Find resources for age appropriate ways to incorporate exercise into your family's routine, like this one: Exercise With Kids
  • Create a Pinterest board: Search for and Pin some new healthy recipes and activities with your child, then cook and play your way through them. Shop and cook together if possible, empower your child to find and create healthy, delicious food! Set a goal to try one new food a week. Follow these boards for great ideas to get you started!
  • Use electronics to your advantage: There are several apps out to challenge kids and keep them moving while being engaged. Click here to find some your kids will love.
  • Try substitution: Do your kids love chips? Substitute air popped popcorn. Try experimenting with herbs to add more flavor! Hooked on pop? Substitute seltzer water with a little fruit juice. Look for healthy versions of your favorite foods to make at home.
  • Connect to your community: Look for family-friendly exercise groups, sign up for a local 5k to help set goals, join the community center or local family fitness club to connect with others looking to improve their health and have fun doing it!

Make Changes That Last a Lifetime!

Whether your goal is to prevent or to address the issue of childhood obesity, it can feel very overwhelming. Facing it with your child as a partner for their success and focusing on small changes that can lead to big results will help keep it in perspective.

Being reasonable in goals and expectations will help prevent burnout. Keeping the message positive and fun will keep things on track. Your child may find a new passion they never even thought about before! And best of all, they will find out how much better life can be when you FEEL good!Share Today!

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. Re-posted with permission.  Source: https://www.roadsidedentalmarketing.com/blog/dental-articles/childhood-obesity-weighing-the-risks-and-solutions/

How to Baby Your Teeth During Pregnancy

August 1st, 2016

Pregnancy Teeth Tips - Woman researching teeth questions during pregnancy

 

If you're not up on the latest oral-systemic link, it may seem odd that pregnancy affects your teeth, but it does! At the same time, your dental health has a very real effect on your developing baby. Many articles report that poor dental habits have been associated with premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. (Yikes!)

The positive news, however, is that you CAN take control over your hygiene and general oral health, and can likely sidestep that old adage “one tooth is lost with every pregnancy.”

First of all, that outdated saying is simply not true! Calcium is not lost from a mother’s teeth during pregnancy, BUT there are still some real dangers to be aware of - and we want to share a few preventative tips to help you maintain good oral health throughout your pregnancy.

Read on to learn about a few potential perils, and find ways to keep your mouth healthy for BOTH you and your new bundle of joy.

Watch Out for Those Sweet Treats

Are you constantly searching out ice cream to go with those pickles? Some say that sweet cravings forecast a baby girl (sugar and spice, and everything nice!), but when it comes to sugary snacks, a more concrete fact is that an increase in carbohydrates can negatively affect your oral health. Simply put: more sugar means a higher chance of tooth decay.

 

Pregnancy Teeth Tips - Help your teeth during pregnancy with healthy foods. Choose healthy, lower-sugar foods to help ward off tooth decay.

 

To help ward off unwanted cavities, simply choose lower-sugar foods. In the event that only a sweet treat will satisfy your pregnancy craving, do your best to opt for a healthier option, like fresh fruit. BONUS: Strawberries are also said to have a teeth whitening effect (double score)!

It’s also wise to immediately rinse your mouth with milk or water after eating sugary foods. While brushing your teeth is undeniably better, if you’re feeling worn out and all you can muster is a swish of a beverage, it's better than nothing - and hey, milk goes great with donuts ... just saying.

Save Your Teeth from Morning Sickness

For many women, morning sickness is an unpleasant companion throughout pregnancy (specifically in the first trimester). If you’re feeling queasy and find yourself hunched over the toilet bowl, you have our most sincere sympathies.

The reason vomit affects your teeth has to do with the amount of acid your mouth is exposed to. Basically, stomach reflux and acids eat away at your tooth enamel (the outer covering on your teeth).

Pregnancy Teeth Tips - pregnancy morning sickness dental teeth tips

 

While it may seem like a good idea to remove the acid quickly, DO NOT brush your teeth immediately after vomiting. The vigorous, repetitive action of the toothbrush may actually scratch the tooth enamel while it's still covered in stomach acids.

Instead, it’s best to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water, and follow up with a fluoride mouthwash or a dab of toothpaste applied with your finger. If you can, aim to brush about one hour after vomiting.

Prevent Hormonal Damage to Your Teeth

Another significant “bonus” about pregnancy: all those extra hormones! Hopefully you aren’t crying at car commercials, or experiencing any of the following pregnancy-related dental concerns, but if you are - just know that we are here to help you through them!

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnancy gingivitis is basically an inflammation of the gums that causes swelling and tenderness. Have you noticed that your gums bleed a little (or a lot) when you brush or floss? While this is fairly normal, if left untreated, full-blown gingivitis can lead to more serious forms of gum disease, or worse.

We don't want to freak you out, but gingivitis has been linked to low birth weight baby, or premature birth, so it's definitely worth coming in for a routine teeth cleaning to check in on your gum health.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a chronic gum infection that is caused by untreated gingivitis. Pregnancy may worsen this condition, and it can actually lead to tooth loss.

Again, if you suspect you’re dealing with gingivitis, please schedule an appointment so we can help before it leads to periodontal disease, which can be much more serious.

Pregnancy Tumors

Pregnancy tumors are lumps that appear along the gum line and between your teeth (most often in the second trimester). They may bleed easily but are not harmful or cancerous.

They may be related to excess plaque and usually disappear after pregnancy, but if you’re feeling concerned, please talk to your dentist about removing them.

Prepare for Birth With Preventative Action

Maintaining your own health - both before and during your pregnancy - is an important facet of caring and planning for your developing baby.

Pregnancy DOES affect your teeth, and many studies reveal that maintaining healthy teeth and gums not only impact your overall health, but that of your developing baby.

 

Pregnancy Teeth Tips - pregnant woman calling for a dental appointment Take action! Call your dentist to schedule an appointment today!

 

If you’re still in the planning stages of adding a new baby to your family, you would do well to visit your dentist and resolve any dental-related issues beforehand.

If you’re currently pregnant, please consider the points above, and schedule your appointment today! At the very least, a cleaning will set your mind at ease, and then you can focus on the fun parts of having a baby (like nursery planning and teeny onesies)!

How are you handling your changing body? Did any of these tips surprise you, or do you have any tips for other moms-to-be? Please share a comment below!

 

Re-posted with permission.  Source: https://www.roadsidedentalmarketing.com/blog/dental-articles/pregnancy-teeth-tips/
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 

How to Get FREE Dentistry in Washington (Without Insurance)

July 8th, 2016

100% free no-insurance dentistry Issaquah Washington No Insurance? Come to Issaquah Valley Dental for FREE dentistry in Washington.

What if we told you to come to our dental office to get the dental services you need 100% free of charge―no gimmick, no swindle, we will give you a healthy smile completely on-the-house.

Good news, that's exactly what we're telling you in this article. Read on to find out how to get FREE dentistry in Washington even if you have no insurance!

 

Free Dentistry in Issaquah, WA

On AUGUST 13th, 2016 between 8am-4pm, our team of dentists, assistants, and hygienists are hosting a FREE DENTAL DAY. Our hearts and doors will be open to people in need of dentistry.

Who qualifies for free dentistry?

During the event, we will provide dental services free of charge until the schedule is full. To accommodate everyone, these are the terms of our free dental services:

  • (1) one dental procedure per patient
  • (1) one limited exam
  • (1) one free x-ray
  • Treatment is limited to patients without insurance

 

We are well aware that some folks cannot afford proper dental treatment. We plan to volunteer our dentistry services on FREE DENTAL DAY to give back to the community that has given us so much. We look forward to serving you and your neighbors in an orderly fashion.

 

Why free dentistry and not a charity donation?

 

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan

 

We love being involved in local charity events and giving materially to the less fortunate. But this time, we felt the need to do something a little different.
We are hard working professionals who, like you, juggle family responsibilities, our own health, and competitive work schedules on a daily basis. We empathize with those who work hard to get everything done at the expense of themselves.

It brings our Issaquah Valley Dental Care colleagues, assistants, and hygienists immense joy and satisfaction to volunteer our time and expert dentistry services to improve the lives of the Issaquah families in this way.


Even if it is one tooth at a time, we will be helping someone be pain-free and confident.


no-insurance FREE dentistry Issaquah Washington Your loved ones are smiling, but who makes you smile? Come to FREE DENTAL DAY on August 13th 2016 to take care of your smile.

Better societies, one tooth at a time

Healthy, happy individuals make more productive societies. We hope that by giving in this way, people from the Issaquah, Washington area (and everywhere else!) will get the relief they need to keep on doing what they do best ― meeting life with a boost of confidence and a healthy smile.

 


Call our office at 425-392-4122 to reserve your spot during FREE DENTAL DAY on August 13th!


 

Already covered by insurance? Use the buttons below to share this post with a friend or relative who takes care of everyone else at the expense of themselves; don't you think it's time someone took care of them and their smile?

 

Discovery Elementary Science Fair | Issaquah Valley Dental Care

May 20th, 2016

Issaquah Valley Dental works selflessly and hard to give our community’s rising stars a good start in their oral health. We participated in a cool science fair in the Discovery Elementary School. Dentistry? At a school science fair? Find out why the kids loved it and what we accomplished.

Discovery Elementary Science Fair Having fun at the Discovery Elementary Science Fair

Dental Trivia at the Discovery Elementary Science Fair

 

When the Issaquah Valley Dental team was prompted to join the science fair at the elementary school, we were instantly overjoyed at the opportunity to train and engage the children of our community on the importance and benefits of having a clean, healthy smile.


The results of the Discovery Elementary Science Fair: children and parents grinning throughout the event.


During the Discovery Elementary Science Fair, we set up a “goodie table” and a fortune wheel with dental trivia and age appropriate educational models for the kids to interact with. Kids were lining up to answer questions! To the trivia winners, (and to all who gave their best shot and smile) we gave away countless goodie-bags with cute tooth brushes, tooth paste, floss, water bottles, and flavored chapsticks.

Precious smiles, made better

 

All who participated had a real blast! Our favorite part of the day was spinning the wheel and while hearing the kiddos giggle their way to our “goodie table” answer after answer. The kids’ enthusiasm was contagious and it was astounding to see how much the kids knew! We think we even learned some trivia from them ;)

Thanks to this science fair event, the little ones learned how fun oral health can be, parents had no need to chase after their kids to floss that night, and teachers felt a load lifted from their shoulders in guiding the development of these children.

For the Issaquah Valley Dental team, this school science fair at the Discovery Elementary was an enthusiastic reminder of why we come to work every day – to help everyone’s smile be so expressive of ther personality. This day was also a great opportunity for parents to get to know our team and know that we are on their side in guiding those precious smiles to their full potential.

THANK YOU, PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND STUDENTS

 

Thank you to all the parents, teachers, and students that made the Discovery Elementary Science Fair such a hit! We need events and opportunities like these in our diverse and multicultural Issaquah community to reach out and support each other. Our dental team shares your passion for safeguarding our environment, facilitating the highest education for our children, and raising healthy, responsible members of society.

We look forward to seeing the smiling faces of all those kids and parents very soon!

 

What was your favorite part of the Discovery Elementary Science Fair? Tell us in the comments!

Oral Cancer awareness!

May 3rd, 2016

This year approximately 48,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer.  Oral Cancer Awareness is important!

Early detection of oral cancer is so important. There is a greater survival rate at 83% if caught in the early stage. Oral cancer has many risk factors.

They include but are not limited

  • tobacco/marijuana use
  • alcohol consumption
  • certain strains of HPV (Human Papilomavirus),
  • poor oral hygiene
  • poor diet/nutrition.

Oral Cancer

Prevention is the key when it comes to oral cancer.

Here at Issaquah Valley Dental Care, our Issaquah Dentists, Dr. Arti , Dr. Ashi as well as our Hygienists are trained to screen for oral cancer.

Visiting the dentist at least twice a year plays a huge role in the prevention of oral cancer.

Often times there are no symptoms associated with early onset of this disease . We work to identify the risk factors during your routine checkups.

Our oral cancer screenings include visual inspections, special scopes such as the VelScope, and dental x-rays.

Please give our office a call or stop in to have a complimentary Oral Cancer screening completed. There is no appointment necessary! #GetOralCancerInCheck. Call 425-392-4122 or visit Issaquah Valley Dental

Aishwarya Ramanan is listed at DentistDig.com

Arti Bhan-Kachroo is listed at DentistDig.com

Fun, Sun, & Smiles | Issaquah Talus Easter Egg Hunt

April 8th, 2016

At Issaquah Valley Dental, we love giving back to our community. And what better time to begin a new year of giving and renewal than spring rebirth! Flowers are blossoming, the foliage is lush, and the families of our communities are bringing out the sunglasses. That is why we hosted the Talus Easter Egg Hunt for our Issaquah community and walked away with burning cheeks from laughter and memories for a lifetime.

Issaquah Easter Egg Hunt Issaquah Easter Egg Hunt

During the Talus Easter Egg Hunt, families and friends of our dental practice searched, found, and conquered obstacles to enjoy a fun day in the beautiful outdoors. We felt it was a great way to give back to a community that has so graciously welcomed us into their lives as health care providers.

We set up a beautiful table with a trivia wheel stacked with goodies for the “hunters”. We gave away two oral-B toothbrushes, countless water bottles, goodie bags, and Chapsticks. All who participated had a real blast! We believe the best part was engaging the little ones in a fun adventure where they learned the importance and practicality of good oral hygiene.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

- Benjamin Franklin

Issaquah Easter Egg HuntIssaquah Easter Egg Hunt Bunny

The Hunt For Camaraderie

We have a great love for our Issaquah community and enjoy developing lasting relationships with the families in our neighborhood. Since we were the sole sponsors for the Easter Egg Hunt event, we had a lot of Dental Trivia and information for kids and adults alike. While working with the kiddos was especially rewarding, we are proud to have spent some quality time with parents whose kids are in the same age group as our own!

Thank You, And You, And You Too

Getting to know our neighbors, interacting, and seeing the enthusiasm of the kids was infectious! We love our community because there is a matchless family-oriented culture here in the Issaquah Valley. We believe strong families make strong societies. We thank and praise all the parents and friends to assisted, participated, and rocked at the Talus Easter Egg Hunt. Beyond a doubt, Issaquah is a great community to be part of.

 

Over to you, did you have an Easter Egg Hunt of your own? Tell us about it in the comments!

The Scary Side of Missing Teeth....

March 17th, 2016

What You Can Do About It Here at Your Issaquah Dentist

Do you have one or more missing teeth? You’re not alone. According to the American Dental Association, the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has decayed or missing teeth.

If the gap left by your missing teeth is out of sight, you may think it’s okay to delay treatment. However, there’s a scary side to avoiding correcting the issue.

One obvious reason to seek treatment is aesthetics - unsightly gaps in your smile could cause embarrassment. However, there are more serious, long-term issues to consider as well. Missing teeth can affect your ability to speak or chew. Additionally, ignoring the issue could result in serious teeth shifting and permanent bone loss.

The good news is there are many treatment options for one or more missing teeth! Dr. Arti and Dr. Ashi specialize in helping patients like you find the right solutions. Depending on your unique situation, They may recommend one of the following options:

What are your options?

Dental Implants

Dental implants are considered to be the most natural-looking, longest-lasting solutions for missing teeth. A post, typically made of titanium, is placed in the jawbone and serves as a substitute for the root of the tooth. Your bone will “fuse” with the implant, creating a strong and natural foundation for the replacement tooth. An abutment and crown are connected to the implant.

For patients with several missing teeth, an implant-supported fixed bridge is a strong, long-lasting option. Implant-supported dentures are a comfortable, natural solution far superior to removable dentures for patients who may be missing all of their teeth. In each case, as with individual implants, healthy bone is stimulated and deterioration is prevented.

Issaquah Dentist

Fixed Bridge

A tooth-supported fixed bridge is a common alternative procedure. First, the adjacent teeth are prepared (or, ground down) to support the bridge. The bridge will then be attached to those teeth. While a fixed bridge typically costs less than implants, it may not last as long and requires additional maintenance and care.

Bonded Bridge

A bonded bridge has “wings” on each side, which connect to the adjacent teeth without preparation or grinding. A bonded bridge may be a good temporary solution, but won’t last as long as an implant.

Mini Implants

Mini implants, also sometimes referred to as small diameter implants, are smaller and less invasive than traditional implants. We recommend this treatment for patients who are not candidates for traditional implant surgery.

How can you decide which option is right for you?

Every patient is different and has his or her unique needs. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution for missing teeth. That’s why we make it a point to openly and clearly discuss all of your options so you can feel fully informed before choosing treatment.

If you’re curious which option might be right for you and what costs are involved, schedule a no-obligation consultation with Dr. Arti and/or Dr. Ashi at 425-392-4122. We’re committed to helping you choose a solution you feel completely comfortable with!

Its dental Assistant Recognition Week!!

March 9th, 2016

A Day in the Lives of Your Issauqah Valley Dental Care Dental Assistant!

We’re thrilled to celebrate our talented and hard-working dental assistant for Dental Assistant Recognition Week, March 6-12, 2016!

Our Issauquah dental practice wouldn’t function effectively without our caring and friendly dental assistant Ashley! She greets and cares for our valued patients and performs many of the vital day-to-day activities that keep our practice running smoothly!

Issaquah Dentist

You’ve met Ashley during your appointments, but you may not realize all of the things that she does for you (and us!) throughout their day! Here’s a glimpse into a day in the lives of your favorite dental assistant:

She sets up rooms for every procedure,

She cares for our patients,

Runs the entire back office department,

Takes Radiographs,

Completes all of our ordering and much more!

In Ashley’s spare time she enjoys riding motorcycles, hanging out with her husband and their dog Tiki!

Above all else, Ashley is keenly interested in keeping you comfortable and informed throughout your visits!

We’re thrilled to celebrate our dental assistants this week! Dr. Ashi, Dr. Arti and the entire team at Issaquah Valley Dental Care would like to invite you to get to know Ashley during your next visit - whether you’re a new patient or a long-time friend!

Celebrate with your Issaquah Dentist, Dental Assistant Recognition Week with us - tell Ashley how much you appreciate her in the comments below!

Considering a Smile Design Consultation with Dr. Arti or Dr. Ashi? Here’s What to Expect!

February 25th, 2016

Have you ever considered enhancing your confidence and appearance through smile design? Here at Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we have helped many patients achieve the smiles of their dreams using personalized smile design treatment plans.

Because every patient’s dental needs and goals are different, it’s vital to sit down and discuss your personal concerns and desires for your smile before recommending any specific treatment. A smile design consultation is specifically tailored to help Dr. Arti and Dr. Ashi learn more about your current dental health as well as your smile enhancement goals.

issaquah dentist

How to prepare for your smile design consultation

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recommends you ask yourself the following questions before your appointment, so you can communicate openly what you wish for your smile:

  1. What shade of white do you want your teeth to be: a natural shade, a whiter-than-white shade, or somewhere in between?
  2. Are you satisfied with the amount of teeth showing when your lips are relaxed and when you smile?
  3. Are you looking for perfectly aligned teeth or are you happy with slight variations?
  4. Are you happy with the amount of gum showing when you smile?

What to expect during your smile design consultation with your Issaquah Dentist at Issaquah Valley Dental Care

When you call to schedule your appointment, let us know you’d like to discuss options for improving your smile. Dr. Arti or Dr. Ashi is happy to work directly with you to help choose a treatment plan you’re comfortable with pursuing. For your convenience, we can schedule your consultation together with your hygiene appointment.

Dr. Arti or Dr. Ashi will complete a physical evaluation of your current oral health, including the state of your teeth, gums, and bite. We’ll also take x-rays. They will ask you about your goals for your smile, including what features you’re unhappy with and what you’d like to improve.

Visualizing your new smile

Our team of Issaquah dental professionals may suggest a few options for your personalized treatment plan. We will show you digital imaging of your new smile, which gives you the opportunity to visualize your new smile as well as the flexibility to adjust anything that doesn’t quite fit with your goals.

Honest and clear communication with Dr. Arti or Dr. Ashi is crucial to help you achieve the smile of your dreams! Feel free to express yourself openly. We’re happy to help address your questions and concerns about the length of treatment and costs. Together with your input, we’ll create a personalized treatment plan just for you and your unique desires. You are in complete control!

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to enjoy a beautiful new smile, now’s the time to find out! To see stunning transformations and call our office at 425-392-4122 to schedule your own consultation today!

 

Did you know? February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

February 11th, 2016

Set Your Child Up For a Lifetime of Healthy Teeth and Gums! Come see your Dentist in Issaquah!

Our kid-friendly Issaquah Valley Dental Care practice enjoys teaching children how to LOVE the dentist.

In today’s blog, Dr. Arti and Dr. Ashi answer some of parents’ top questions about caring for their little ones’ teeth.

Dentist in Issaquah

My infant is teething. How should I care for his teeth?

  • Wipe the childs teeth and gums gently with a warm, wet washcloth or a damp piece of gauze.
  • As more teeth come in, introduce a soft baby toothbrush!! They will have the chance to get used to the feeling of a toothbrush in their mouth.
  • Provide chilled (not frozen) teething toys to help soothe pain and irritation.
  • Follow up meals with water to effectively rinse your baby’s teeth.

My baby sucks her thumb. Should I be concerned?

Thumb sucking is a natural habit for babies!! It helps them feel secure and may also help to self soothe. At these early stages, thumb sucking is considered harmless in terms of speech development and growth. It usually subsides between the ages of two and four as your child learns new ways to self-soothe and communicate.

Thumb sucking beyond two years of age could potentially impact permanent tooth development. If the child continues to suck their thumb past the age of two, talk to Dr. Arti or Dr. Ashi about positive ways to help break the habit.

My child is a year old and still doesn’t have their first tooth. Is this a reason to worry?

Most children have baby teeth begin to emerge before 12 months of age. However, it’s not uncommon for baby teeth to take longer. Feel free to schedule an appointment with Dr. Arti or Dr. Ashi to be certain there is no underlying medical issue, but there’s no harm in waiting a few months before taking this step. There’s a good chance that first tooth will show up soon!

When should I schedule my childs first dental visit with Dr. Arti or Dr. Ashi?

Schedule your baby’s first appointment in our Issaquah dental office as soon as their first tooth emerges. We suggest you schedule this first dental appointment by the time they reach a year old.

How can I make my childs dental visits a positive experience?

Keep it positive - if you’ve had a bad experience with the dentist in the past, it’s important not to let them see this. The earlier you bring your child to our kid-friendly office, the more comfortable he will feel! Our staff loves helping kids of all ages enjoy their dental visits and we’ll go the extra mile to make sure your child feels at ease and has fun.

Read children’s books about the dentist and answer any questions in a positive tone. Tell them they can bring a special friend (like a stuffed animal, a doll, ect.) to help them be brave.

Here at Issaquah Valley Dental Care, we love treating little ones and look forward to helping your child develop a lifetime of healthy hygiene habits! Call us today at 425-392-4122 to book appointments for your child and the whole family!

Red, Green, and White? Do’s and Don’ts for Maintaining a White Holiday Smile

December 22nd, 2015

For many, the holiday season is filled with family, friends, and, of course, tons of delectable eats!

However, consuming certain food and drinks can give your smile a less than desirable shade of Merlot. How can you keep your smile as bright as your holiday spirit?

Issaquah Dentist

Here's a handy list of DO'S and DON’TS for this holiday season.

DO’S:

Chew, Chew, Chew - Look for foods that require a lot of chewing, as these act as natural exfoliants and will help to eliminate stains from your teeth.

Eat those Greens - Green vegetables, like spinach, actually create a thin film on your teeth that protect them from stains! At your next party, eat up your greens, but do try to avoid spinach caught between your front teeth (not a good look).

Wash it Down - Don't simply forego that glass of eggnog or your favorite wine or coffee. You can still enjoy your favorites beverages, but just alternate drinking some water after a few sips to prevent the stain particles from lingering on your pearly whites.

DON’TS:

Put it Off - Your teeth are similar to clothing: if it stains your clothes, it will stain your teeth! After eating, if any of your meals components seem like they might stain, brush your teeth as soon as possible.

Home-Sweet-Home - Stains tend to make themselves at home in the areas between your teeth, so be sure to give a little extra attention to those in between areas. Eliminate plaque and stain molecules at the same time by flossing every day!

No Cheating - While gum, mints and mouthwash can give your mouth a fresher feel, brushing and flossing are the only effective ways to remove stains. Don’t go the easy way - do it right!

Issaquah Valley Dental Care offers the BriteSmile® system to Issaquah and Bellevue patients who want one-hour, in-office whitening. We also offer professional quality take-home teeth whitening for your convenience. Smile brightly for the holidays with these informative tips and call us if you wish to schedule a teeth whitening consultation with your Issaquah Dentist.

Do you have other methods for maintaining the luster on your pearly whites? Please comment below, and share your stories!

Our FREE Gift to You!

November 6th, 2015

We think our patients are the greatest!

We love seeing your beautiful smiles every day and sharing a laugh while catching up on the latest news. Because we appreciate your continued loyalty to our office and team, we love it when we have the opportunity to reward that loyalty.

As partners in your dental health, we want to provide you with important information we know you want and need and we are constantly thinking of new and creative ways we can supply it. So, we are excited to share a new digital download that provides information we know you will be happy to have - The 5 Commandments for Choosing the Right Cosmetic Dentist. Fill out the form below to get your free download!

 

 

 

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist will have a major impact on your life. Download our free eBook to find our 5 important things you should know before you decide.

This download is completely FREE, no hidden strings attached! It was designed solely for the benefit of our patients.  (And you're welcome!)

Thank-you again for being the greatest patients on the planet! See you at your next appointment.

Restoration Reality Check: Avoiding Replacement Could Cost You

September 14th, 2015

One of the questions we get asked frequently is:

Why do I need to replace my filling (or crown)? I thought it would last forever?

As much as we would love to be able to promise that to you, we can’t. Even with the highest quality materials and techniques, which of course Dr. Ramanan uses, fillings and/or crowns (also called restorations) aren’t permanent. Why? Well, for the same reason why your natural tooth structure doesn’t always last forever. Thousands, even millions of bacteria are introduced in your mouth daily. Yuck! Bacteria are present in a thin film called plaque, and when not cleaned off properly, plaque will cause decay in the tooth.

A few years after placing restorations, we start to see general wear and tear, causing the seal of the restoration to break down. There is no way to know exactly when this will happen since every mouth is different. Bacteria can then work their way between the worn filling and tooth and can’t be easily removed with a toothbrush and floss. Decay will then start to develop along the edge of the filling and even underneath it. This is when Dr. Ramanan will recommend you have the restoration replaced.

What can happen if I don’t get it treated?
• You can lose more tooth structure. When a tooth has decay left untreated, that area
will get weak and then it will break.
• You may need an even larger restoration. For example, you may need to go from a filling to a crown. Usually when you lose more than 50% of tooth structure, a
crown is recommended to help strengthen the tooth.
• The nerve of the tooth can get infected. If the decay reaches the nerve, or dental pulp,
most likely the tooth will need a root canal treatment.
• Worst case scenario, which happens more than you might think: You could lose the whole tooth. Depending on where it’s located and how large the decay gets,
there’s a chance you will need to have the tooth extracted.

How do I ensure a longer life for my restorations?
• Brush twice daily and floss once a day.
• Drink water and/or chew sugarless gum after meals.
• Keep your teeth and gums in good health by visiting your hygienist at Issaquah Valley Dental Care regularly.
• Get your teeth checked 1‐2 times a year by your dentist in Issaquah, Dr. Ramanan. Some patients with higher decay rate may require more frequent visits to the dentist.
• Ask Dr. Ramanan about a preventative treatment called sealants.
• Have X‐rays taken at least once a year.
• If recommended by Dr. Ramanan, use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen your tooth enamel.

We may not wear superhero capes, BUT we are here to help save your smile! It is very important you have your teeth checked regularly by your dentist to ensure the integrity of your restorations is still intact. Bonus: When a problem is found in its early stages, the treatment will be easier (and less costly) for you. Who doesn’t want that?

Maintain your fillings and crowns by scheduling your next visit with our hygiene team and Dr. Ramanan at (425)-654-4748 today!

Ask Dr.Dhankhar: “What Type of Floss Should I Use?”

August 30th, 2015

 

When you walk down the oral care aisle at your local drugstore, you might be completely overwhelmed by the dizzying array of floss options! Unwaxed, waxed, tape, flavored, unflavored, picks…how do you choose the right floss for you? Is one type better or more effective than others?

No matter which option you choose, it’s imperative you floss every single day to maintain the health and longevity of your teeth. According to ADA spokesman Richard Price, DMD, “You cannot effectively vacuum a house with only one attachment. You need other attachments to get into the nooks and crannies. That's what floss does.”

 

Dentist in Issaquah

It ultimately doesn’t matter which type of floss you choose - as long as it’s a floss you’ll use every day

Choose a floss you’re comfortable with:

Waxed: Nylon waxed floss is a widely available option and slides easily in between the teeth. It comes in a variety of flavors (mint, cinnamon - even bacon!). While there’s no difference in effectiveness between waxed and unwaxed floss, many people find waxed a little easier to use.

Dental tape: Dental tape is essentially a thin “ribbon” of floss that easily slides between teeth. Because it’s easy to use, dental tape can be a good option for beginners.

Ultra or Super Floss: Spongy, stretchy floss (often called “ultra” or “super” floss) is made of stretchy materials and fits easily around braces, bridges, or other dental appliances. It can also be a good choice for individuals with wide spaces between their teeth.

Floss picks: Floss picks are a useful choice if it hurts to open your mouth wide enough to floss or if traditional flossing hurts your fingers.

Floss to prevent tooth loss!

No matter which floss you choose, flossing daily is essential since it removes the bacteria buildup that brushing leaves behind. If left unchecked, that bacteria could lead to the formation of decay and gum disease. Paired with diligent brushing and regular dental visits with your Dentist in Issaquah Dr. Dhankhar, flossing can help you keep your smile healthy for years to come! Don’t forget to book your next appointment with your Issaquah dental team at 425-392-4122.

 

What’s your favorite type of floss? Leave a comment below and tell us!

 

 

What’s Living In Your Mouth…and What’s It Doing To Your Heart?

March 12th, 2015

Social Blog Graphic 15012What’s living in your mouth? Why is it there?

It’s 11:30 at night. You’ve worked another long day. The kids are finally asleep. All you want is to crawl into bed and close your eyes. Brushing and flossing your teeth seems like a daunting task. You’re sure it’ll be okay to skip it tonight as you drift off to sleep.

It may seem innocent enough, those times you skip brushing, flossing or scheduling your regular dental cleanings and check-ups. After all, life is busy and no one’s perfect, right?

The problem is, neglecting these simple habits can quickly escalate into periodontal disease! Untreated, this can lead to tooth loss and devastating effects on your heart, lungs, and overall well-being.

Bacteria live in your mouth, creating plaque. When you don’t brush, floss, and get regular dental cleanings, this bacteria and plaque can infect your gums. This causes inflammation, eventually eating away at the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth.

What’s it doing to your overall health?

This cycle of bacteria living and thriving in your mouth and gums can lead to chronic, embarrassing bad breath (halitosis).

Even worse, researchers have discovered connections and increased risk between periodontal disease and several seemingly unrelated issues including:

● Diabetes
● Heart disease
● Stroke
● Erectile dysfunction
● Respiratory diseases
● Osteoporosis
● Pregnancy problems

What can you do about it?

Once you realize the devastating impact poor oral health can have on your overall health, it becomes easier to drag yourself out of that bed at night to brush and floss - no matter how tired you are!

Early stages of gum disease can be hard to detect on your own. In addition to brushing at least twice a day, flossing at least once daily, scheduling (and keeping!) regular dental cleanings and check ups are vital to your health. When was the last time you saw the dentist in Issaquah? Issaquah Valley Dental Care will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. Give us a call at 425-654-4748 for convenient appointment options today!

Say Goodbye to Bad Breath

January 28th, 2015

Cosmetic Dentist in Issaquah - Dr. Ajay Dhankhar BDS DDS MaCCS FAGD explains If you have ever wondered what do dentists do to keep their pearly whites glistening & sparkling clean. Here is the insight to my daily oral hygiene care to say goodbye to bad breath: A wake up rinse in the morning: the first thing I do as I wake up is splash my face with cold water, rinse my mouth with plain water. I dedicate few minutes to my oral care after shower in the morning and before going to bed at night.

Morning / Evening Regimen:

Brushing:  I use Sonicare Diamond Clean with Clinpro™ 5000 1.1% Sodium Fluoride Anti-Cavity Toothpaste and a supplement of Arm & Hammer™ Whitening Booster for two minutes. Spending 15 seconds on every side by dividing my mouth into four sections making a total of eight considering the tongue side & cheek side of teeth. This will ensure that you have clean teeth all around. Do not forget to move your jaw right and left to create some room to keep teeth clean in hard to reach areas in the back of your mouth.   Waterpik: I then fill the tank of my waterpik with water & add a cap full of  Colgate Peroxyl mouth rinse in the morning and Colgate Phosflur in the evening without rinsing my mouth after brushing that provides additional cleaning by taking the toothpaste to places it would not otherwise reach. The key to ensuring that you don't splatter all over the place, bend your knees placing your mouth in the center of the sink and keeping you mouth open and lips slightly closed. Flossing: I then floss my teeth with a Oral B Humming Bird Flosser ( discontinued) I stocked enough supplies to last me a while. But I would go back to manual flossing once I run out of these. Sad that they do not make those anymore. Tongue Cleaning: this is the most important of all, using a tongue scraper I do four  or more rounds on the top surface of my tongue to remove any coatings visible as i remove till the tongue scraper comes clean. Most important, don't forget to thank your dental hygienist as they really work hard every 6 months to reach areas that you have missed and make sure you & your loved ones enjoy fresh breath & great health.

Disclosures: I have not received any compensation from any of the mentioned brands or manufacturers  tangible or intangible of any sort. The expressed opinions are personal preferences and do not claim to be the best way to achieve results. You still need to have your dental cleaning done professionally at your dentists office at least twice a year.

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