and he said he got his first gift from Santa
this year,his new smile.
He also said you guys are awesome, another
smile saved at Velasquezdental.com.
Your Long Beach Dentist, Dr.Jeff Velasquez
Patient just had upper front teeth veneers
and he said he got his first gift from Santa
this year,his new smile.
He also said you guys are awesome, another
smile saved at Velasquezdental.com.
Your Long Beach Dentist, Dr.Jeff Velasquez
The Good: This main course is packed with protein.
The Bad: "Turkey can be difficult to eat because it sometimes
gets stuck between your teeth," says ADA spokesperson Dr. Kim
Harms. "That’s where flossing can help."
The MouthHealthy: It's the star of the Thanksgiving table.
Gobble it up!
The Good: It's a tasty Thanksgiving tradition.
The Bad: Cranberries are naturally tart, so sugar or sugar
substitutes are often added to recipes. This side dish
can be sticky, acidic and may temporarily stain your teeth.
The MouthHealthy: If eaten alone the sugar content, stickiness,
tendency for the little berries to get stuck between
your teeth and acidity make it one of those foods that needs
to be eaten with a meal."
YamsThe Good: Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamins A and C,
which help keep your gums healthy. They can also be
prepared in many ways.
The Bad: Candied yam recipes call for marshmallows.
Sticky foods can damage your teeth since they tend
to stay on your teeth longer than other types of food.
The MouthHealthy: If candied, enjoy in moderation and
drink plenty of water with your meal to help wash
away any leftover food.
Green Bean CasseroleThe Good: “Green beans are healthy, mushrooms are healthy,
onions are healthy,” Dr. Harms says.
The Bad: “It can be sticky and little beans may get stuck in
your teeth,” Dr. Harms says.
The MouthHealthy: Dig in! But you may want to keep a floss
pick handy. “This is good stuff,” Dr. Harms says.
Macaroni and CheeseThe Good: Say cheese! Many recipes call for cheese
and milk. The calcium from these ingredients helps
The Bad: “Good cheese can be gooey,” Dr. Harms says.
White pastas are also starchy and can leave sugar
behind on your teeth.
The MouthHealthy: As with many feast-worthy foods, eat
a sensible portion and break out your brush and floss later.
Mashed Potatoes and GravyThe Good: “Potatoes are an important dietary source of vitamin C,
B6 and potassium,” Dr. Harms says.
The Bad: Potatoes are starchy, and cavity-causing bacteria
loves the sugar that makes up starch.
The MouthHealthy: “If covered with gravy, the health
benefits of the overall dish are diminished to some
extent, but this is a holiday and only comes once a
year,” she says.
Pumpkin PieThe Good: Pumpkin has Vitamin A, which helps keep your
gums healthy and builds the hard outer shell of
your teeth (enamel).
The Bad: There’s the added sugar in the pie itself and
whatever whipped topping you put on top.
The MouthHealthy: This is usually a once-a-year treat,
but dish it out after dinner. Eating sweets shortly after
meals helps keep saliva flowing to wash away leftover food.
If you’re one of the 44 million family caregivers in the
United States, you’ve got a lot on your mind.
However, keeping your loved one’s mouth healthy is
important for their dental health, overall health and
so much more.
“It’s also about comfort, safety and self-esteem,”
says ADA dentist Dr. Judith Jones. “Keeping your
mouth and teeth clean can prevent sensitivity or pain
in your teeth. In terms of safety, there might be
broken teeth, broken partials or unsafe partials they
can swallow. And for their self-esteem, it’s important
for individuals to have a sense of pride in their
appearance and to have good hygiene.”
How much help you give will depend on the individual.
If the person in your care can do the basics, let them.
Some adults may have physical issues that make them
unable to hold a toothbrush. Others may have
memory issues, so they forget to brush and floss.
People with dementia may need someone to clean their
teeth each day and take them to a dentist.
No matter your situation, daily care plus professional
care equal the best chances for a healthy mouth.
Here are some important mouth care steps for older
1. Brush teeth twice a day for two minutes using a
2. Clean between the teeth daily with floss or other
3. Rinse dentures after each meal, brush them daily
with denture cleaner and take them out before
bedtime and store in water.
4. If the person has dry mouth, an alcohol-free
mouthrinse may help. Sipping water, sucking
(not chewing) on ice chips and using a humidifier
while sleeping can help keep him or her hydrated.
5. Limit snacking and sugary drinks. Healthy foods
and drinks such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and
water are good for the mouth and the body.
6. Make and keep dental appointments. Even people with
dentures need to visit the dentist.
7. Watch for symptoms that could signal larger issues,
and make an appointment with the dentist to have
them checked out.
You may have questions specific to your own situation, so
here are some starting points for different types of
care cases. And always feel free to speak with your
dentist or your loved one’s dentist for more advice.
You may wonder why you’re suddenly getting cavities
when you haven’t had them in years. As we get older,
we enter a second round of cavity prone years. One
common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth.
Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. However, it
is a side-effect in more than 500 medications,
including those for allergies or asthma, high blood
pressure, high cholesterol, pain, anxiety or depression,
Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. This is just
one reason why it’s so important to tell your
dentist about any medications that you’re taking.
Your dentist can make recommendations to help
relieve your dry mouth symptoms and prevent cavities.
Here are some common recommendations:
-Use over-the-counter oral moisturizers, such as a
spray or mouthwash.
-Consult with your physician on whether to change
the medication or dosage.
-Drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you,
and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Your
mouth needs constant lubrication.
-Use sugar-free gum or lozenges to stimulate saliva
-Get a humidifier to help keep moisture in the air.
-Avoid foods and beverages that irritate dry mouths,
like coffee, alcohol, carbonated soft drinks, and
acidic fruit juices.
-Your dentist may apply a fluoride gel or varnish to
protect your teeth from cavities.
Many older adults have gum, or periodontal disease,
caused by the bacteria in plaque, which irritate the
gums, making them swollen, red and more likely to
bleed. One reason gum disease is so widespread among
adults is that it’s often a painless condition until the
advanced stage. If left untreated, gums can begin to
pull away from the teeth and form deepened spaces
called pockets where food particles and more
plaque may collect. Advanced gum disease can
eventually destroy the gums, bone and ligaments
supporting the teeth leading to tooth loss. The good
news is that with regular dental visits gum disease
can be treated or prevented entirely.
According to the American Cancer Society, there are
about 35,000 cases of mouth, throat and tongue cancer
diagnosed each year. The average age of most people
diagnosed with these cancers is 62. During dental visits,
your dentist will check for any signs of oral cancer.
Regular dental visits are important because in the
early stages oral cancer typically does not cause pain
and early detection saves lives. Some symptoms you
may see include open sores, white or reddish patches,
and changes in the lips, tongue and lining of the
mouth that lasts for more than two weeks.
Paying for Dental Care after Retirement
Many retirees don’t realize that Medicare does not cover
routine dental care. Begin to plan for your dental
expenses in advance of retirement so you don’t have
to let your dental health suffer once you’re on
a fixed income. Organizations like AARP offer
supplemental dental insurance plans for their members.
Discount dental plans are another option that typically
have a lower monthly fee than traditional dental
insurance. You select a dentist within the plan network
who has agreed to provide certain services for 10 to 60
percent less than the typical fee. You pay the reduced
fee out-of-pocket, and there is no claim paperwork to
fill out. You can search for a dental plan at the National
Association of Dental Plans website. Many dentists
offer no interest or low interest financing plans that
may be a better option than paying for your dental
work on a household credit card with a higher interest
rate. If you have concerns about continuing your dental
care due to a limited income, talk to your dentist. He
or she may be able to offer solutions.
Do I Need to Take an Antibiotic before a Dental
If you have a heart condition or artificial joint, be
sure to tell your dentist. You may think it’s not relevant.
After all, what do your heart and joints have to do
with your teeth? But, there are conditions
with a high risk of infection and an antibiotic is
recommended prior to some dental procedures.
Dentists follow recommendations that have been
developed by the American Heart Association and
the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in
cooperation with the American Dental Association.
Talk to your dentist about how these
recommendations might apply to you.
Caregiving for a Disabled or Elderly Loved One
You may have a parent, spouse or friend who has
difficulty maintaining a healthy mouth on their own.
How can you help? Two things are critical:
-Help them keep their mouth clean with reminders
to brush and floss daily.
-Make sure they get to a dentist regularly.
These steps can prevent many problems, but tasks
that once seemed so simple can become very
If your loved one is having difficulty with brushing
and flossing, talk to a dentist or hygienist who can
provide helpful tips or a different approach. There
are dentists who specialize in caring for the elderly
and disabled. You can locate a specialist through
the Special Care Dentistry Association’s referral directory.
For those who wear dentures, pay close attention to
their eating habits. If they’re having difficulty eating or
are not eating as much as usual, denture problems could
be the cause.
When you’re caring for someone who is confined to bed,
they may have so many health problems that it’s easy
to forget about oral health. However, it’s still very
important because bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled
into the lungs and cause pneumonia.
If you are a representative for a nursing home resident
who needs dental care and is enrolled in Medicaid,
there is a regulation, called an Incurred Medical Expense,
that may help pay for medically necessary care as
determined by a dentist. The Medicaid caseworker at
the nursing facility and the dentist providing care can
work together to apply the Incurred Medical Expense to
pay for needed dental benefits.
With Halloween comes ghosts, goblins and goodies--
and the sugar in those treats can play some unwanted
tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful.
Here’s why: The bacteria in your mouth are probably
more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are.
When the bacteria eat the sugar and leftover food in
your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what
can contribute to cavities.
But don’t hang up your costume just yet.
“Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,”
says ADA dentist Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty. “It’s
OK to eat that candy on Halloween as a splurge as long as
you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day all
To help you sort through the trick-or-treat bag loot,
we have a rundown of some common candies and
their impact on your teeth:
Chocolate is probably your best bet, which is good
because it’s also one of the most popular kinds of candy
handed out on Halloween. “Chocolate is one of the
better candies because it washes off your teeth easier
than other types of candy,” Dr. Ferraz- Dougherty says.
“Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.”
Sticky and Gummy Candies
Be picky if it’s sticky. These are some of the worst
candies for your teeth. “This candy is harder to remove
and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that
cavity-causing bacteria more time to work,”
Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says.
Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween.
“They can actually break your teeth if you’re not
careful,” Dr. Ferraz- Dougherty says. “You also tend to
keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer
periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva
and washing over your teeth.”
You might want to pass on things that make you
pucker – especially if they are sticky and coated in
sugar. “Sour candy can be very acidic,” says
Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty. “And that acidity can weaken
and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth,
making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.”
Have some floss handy if you’re enjoying one of
these fall favorites. “Kernels can get stuck
in-between your teeth," Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says.
"They are also sticky, sugary and can be hard.
Patient was pleased with her new Smile & asked
"How do you like my smile now?
She wanted to have her denture make her look
younger and when she saw it, she was satisfied.
Did you know that.... when your front tooth is
Broken before your wedding. It can stop you from
smiling & creating good memories on your big day?
But Dr. Velasquez can help.
This was an emergency case. He came in when he broke
one of his front tooth few weeks before his wedding.
It was a series of treatments, and definitely the process
took time. But thanks to him & his vision that had aligned to
ours, with the goal in mind which is to fix the broken
tooth,we were able to improved his smile.
The result we achieved is a "Perfect Smile" for him.
To begin with, we had to make him a temporary for the
broken tooth so he could smile for his wedding pictures.
The next step was to whiten his teeth during the course
of his treatments. Lastly, as you can see from the pictures
the difference was the length of his teeth (the teeth on the
before image was shorter than the after photo).
He is appreciative of the professionalism and good
service that we gave him.
We, the Velasquez Dental Team and Dr. Jeff Velasquez
are more thankful and appreciative to all our patients
who continously see the positive in what we do.
It is them who make our job worthwhile.
The first thing Larry Dougherty noticed about his dental
school classmate Ana Paula Ferraz was her long, jet black
hair. As Ana got to know Larry, she fell in love with
his kindness and sense of humor.After dental school, it
was “I do” for the couple. Ana and Larry married in a
small, 60-person wedding at an old estate home in
Miami. One of their most special guests – the couple’s
rat terrier Chi Chi, in full top-hat regalia – even rode to
the wedding with Larry in the limo. “It was perfect,”
Ana says. “We couldn’t stop smiling.” And they
haven’t stopped since. Today, dentists Ana and
Larry run their own practice and have some “been
there, done that” advice to share for anyone getting
ready to celebrate a wedding.
Whitening for the Wedding
The dress isn’t the only thing that’s white at many
weddings. Some couples,including Ana and Larry, whiten
their teeth for sparkling smiles on the big day. “If I
were to whiten my teeth for a wedding, which I
did, I would have a dentist do
the whitening in an office,” Dr. Ferraz said. “That
way, you can see results right away and not have to
worry about placing whitening trays in your mouth
Because whitening can make your teeth feel more
sensitive, Ana and Larry whitened their teeth a month
before the big day. “We scheduled the appointment
early to give our smiles time to adjust, which I
recommend,” she says. “That way, by your actual
wedding day, your teeth aren’t too sensitive.”
There are also some at-home options you can use,
such as trays you can get from your dentist. You
can also use whitening toothpaste or strips with
the ADA Seal of Acceptance. That way, you know
they are safe and effective. Ask your dentist which
method is best for you, but above all, stay away
from home remedies, which can actually do more
harm than good.
Schedule a Dental Appointment Early On
“Weddings mark such momentous days in our lives, and
our smiles are a big part of them,” Ana says. “The last
thing you want to worry about is a toothache on your
wedding day or on your honeymoon.”
If you don’t see a dentist regularly, the time leading
up to your wedding can be a great time to
start. Schedule an appointment a few months out to
avoid painful and possibly expensive problems
around your wedding. “I once cared for a patient
whose wisdom teeth were infected less than two
weeks before her wedding,” he says. “Having regular
dental visits can help reduce your chances of a
dental emergency or needing a procedure that close
to the wedding.” Need a dentist? Find one today!
Wedding Day Must-Haves
If your bridesmaids are putting together an
emergency kit, there’s one item
Ana recommends bringing along. “Have one of yo
ur bridesmaids carry floss and little compact mirror
to make sure there’s nothing in your teeth and
everything looks good,” she says. “That’s what I did.”
Regular brushing and cleaning between your teeth
should help your breath stay fresh, but feel
free to also pack some sugarless gum with the ADA
Seal of Acceptance if you need a breath boost during
the day. “Also, avoid food that can leave your
breath not as fresh, like onions or garlic,” she says.
Commit to a Daily Dental Routine
Your wedding is just one small part of a long life with
your partner. When it comes to your dental
routine, don’t let it slide after tying the knot. Ana
and Larry followed a healthy dental routine before
the wedding.—and have kept up a sweet daily ritual
together since then. “We have our own little routine
in the morning where we brush and floss together,”
Ana says of her bathroom moments with Larry.
Sometimes, they even chat over the noisy buzzing
of their electronic toothbrushes. “It can be hard to
hear her but that doesn’t keep me from talking,”
Larry says. “I always have something nice to say.”
Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum
for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth
The chewing of sugarless gum increases the flow of
saliva, which washes away food and other debris,
neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the
mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout
the mouth. Increased saliva flow also carries with it
more calcium and phosphate to help strengthen tooth
Look for chewing gum with the ADA Seal because you
can be sure it's sugarless. All gums with the ADA Seal
are sweetened by non-cavity causing sweeteners
such as aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol.
Of course, chewing sugar-containing gum increases saliva
flow too, but it also contains sugar which is used by
plaque bacteria to produce decay-causing acids. Further
research needs to be done to determine the effects
of chewing sugar-containing gum on tooth decay.
Don’t let chewing sugarless gum replace brushing and
flossing. It’s not a substitute. The ADA still recommends
brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and
cleaning plaque from between your teeth once a day
with dental floss or other interdental cleaners.
Look for chewing gum that carries the ADA Seal. The
ADA Seal is your assurance that the sugar-free chewing
gum has met the ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness.
You can trust that claims made on packaging and
labeling for ADA-accepted products are true, because
companies must verify all of the information to the ADA.
Products with the ADA Seal say what they do and do what
They help you chew, speak and smile, but how much do
you really know about your teeth? Here are some of
the “tooth truths” that prove your teeth really are
1. People have been caring for their teeth for
centuries.Did you know the first toothbrushes were
actually twigs our ancestors chewed on, using the
frayed ends to cleanse their teeth? Around 5,000
B.C., the Egyptians used crushed eggshells and
ground animal hooves to clean and polish their
teeth. By the 1700s, a British inventor had adapted
a design first seen in China – a bone handle with
boar bristles inserted into small holes and secured
with wire. Modern toothbrushes with nylon bristles
arrived in the late 1930s, and the first electric
toothbrush was introduced in 1954.
2. Teeth can tell stories about you.Scientists can tell
a great deal about us just by examining our teeth.
Did you realize that our teeth reveal how old we are,
what we eat and drink -- even where on Earth we
may have lived? Our teeth also carry significant
clues about our overall health, including periods of
stress or illness we’ve endured. In short, teeth are a
lasting record of our personal history
3. Every tooth is unique.Whether we’re talking
about the 20 “baby teeth” that serve us in
childhood or the 32 permanent teeth we have in
our adult years, no two teeth are exactly the same
shape and size. Each tooth in your mouth has its own
unique profile, and teeth also vary widely from
person to person. So your smile really is a
true mark of your individuality!
4. The blueprint for your teeth is present the day
you’re born.When babies arrive, the crowns of
their first 20 teeth are already in place under the
gums, waiting for the right time to break through –
starting sometime between 3 to 6 months of age.
Throughout childhood, the crowns and roots of
adult teeth are already forming under those baby
teeth, waiting until it’s time to begin pushing them
out of the way. And here’s one more fun fact:
In 1950, the average gift from the Tooth Fairy was
just 25 cents. Today’s kids get about $2.00 per
5. Cleaning between your teeth is just as important
as brushing the parts you see.When we brush,
we’re able to easily reach the tops and sides
of our teeth. But the surfaces between – which
make up a significant part of our tooth enamel –
need proper cleaning, too. This is why it’s best
to clean between your teeth daily to remove
food and bacteria and promote healthy gums.
And don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly
for cleanings and checkups. Your teeth are
already amazing, and your ADA dentist and
their team can help keep them that way.
Dr. Jeff D. Velasquez