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Keeping Your Mouth Healthy As You Eat

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy As You Eat


Keeping Your Mouth Healthy As You Eat

When it comes down to it, protecting your teeth from dental decay takes more than just a toothbrush and floss. While brushing and flossing are great preventative measures, you must also be cautious of the foods and drinks that you consume. If you have poor nutrition overall, you may notice that your teeth suffer from dental decay, sensitivity, or your gums may be irritated and upset. This is because the foods we eat coupled with dental care influence how healthy our mouth is. Starches and sugars from the foods we eat are dangerous to our teeth, especially if they are not removed promptly. Continued poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease, tooth loss, and other negative side effects.

While we mentioned what you eat has an affect on your teeth, so does how often you eat. Did you know that eating a handful of sweets AT dinner time is LESS harmful than consuming them several hours after your meal? Below, Dr. Steve S. Kim will share some knowledge about how food affects your smile and overall oral health.

Immediate Effects of Food on Your Teeth

From the moment you take a bite of food, changes start to happen. Bacteria will start to work its magic and create plaque that forms on your teeth. The plaque eventually becomes acidic and then damages the enamel on your teeth and starts to create cavities.

So, how exactly does this all happen? Science! Carbohydrates tend to break down into other substances known as maltose, lactose, fructose, and glucose. You may also know these as sugars. When the carbohydrates team up with the bacteria in your mouth, acid forms and it sticks to your teeth, destroys the teeth, and irritates the gums.
Some of the most common carbohydrate responsible for this include:

  • Bananas
  • Bread
  • Candy
  • Soft drinks
  • Sugary breakfast cereals
  • Cookies
  • Crackers

Acid is formed when the carbohydrates from these foods and your mouth’s bacteria meet one another. The acid then works to demineralize your teeth. Naturally, your mouth remineralizes your teeth over time but sometimes, the acid works quicker than your mouth can. This is how decay starts.
The longer than this acidic plaque remain on your teeth, the more damage that is done. And, it is irreversible damage too.

As a dentist, the best advice that Dr. Kim gives is to pay attention to the type of food you consume and when you consume it. When you snack on foods such as potato chips, you are risking your oral health. The reason? The chip gets stuck in between your teeth and often sits there for hours at a time, which means the carbohydrates and bacteria in your mouth are teaming up and attacking your teeth. Raisins, fruit snacks, and other chewy foods have the same effect.

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The acid that is produced from the bacteria that resides in your mouth can remain on your teeth for 30 minutes AFTER you consume a food or drink.

Also, if you are someone who likes to sip on coffee, soft drinks, or fruit juices throughout the day or suck on candy or mints, your teeth are at risk. Studies that have been conducted show that there is a positive correlation between individuals who snack throughout the day and the number of cavities in their mouth. Dr. Kim wants you to stop and think about that for a moment.

If you do find that you need something to snack on during the day, try a sugar-free candy to help hold you over until your next meal.

Snacking Does Have Long-Term Effects on Your Teeth
There are long-term effects that poor oral care and poor snacking can have on your teeth including dental decay, bad breath , gum disease, and tooth loss. Often, when patients have both poor oral health and poor nutritional health, there are problems see in other places than just the mouth. It is important for you to take care of your gums and teeth AND eat right to ensure the best possible oral health.

The Team at Dr. Steve S. Kim, DDS Can Help You
If you have questions about your oral health or you would like to learn more about how snacking can affect your teeth, reach out to our dental team in Torrance, CA. Dr. Steve S. Kim is here to help you along the way and keep your smile as bright and beautiful as you! Call us today.

What to Eat to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

What to Eat to Keep Your Mouth Healthy


What to Eat to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

If you are a sucker for fried, fatty, salty, and sweet foods, you are not alone. These types of foods cause some serious temptations, especially when at a special event or on the go. While these foods taste good as you consume them, did you know that they can damage your teeth? The damage continues to occur even AFTER the food has been consumed too!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services have created dietary guidelines that are recommended for all Americans to follow. Here are what the guidelines say:

  • Prepare foods with lower amounts of sodium and choose low sodium options
  • Eat a wide variety of fresh fruits
  • Eat fish, beans, seeds, and nuts to meet protein requirements
  • Consume orange and dark green vegetables
  • Eat whole grains daily such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat breads
  • Maintain a healthy weight and stay active
  • Eat a diet that s rich in vegetables, grains, and fruits
  • Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation
  • Choose drinks and foods without lots of sugar

The old Food Pyramid has been phased out and has been replaced with MyPyramid, which was created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The new MyPyramid is customizable to each individual and can help you meet your nutritional needs in a healthy manner while developing healthier eating habits.

While the tool is customized to you as an individual, it is important to continue to consume the following based on recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

  • 3 cups of calcium-rich products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • 2.5 cups of vegetables daily
  • Proteins such as seeds, meats, eggs, and beans
  • A good amount of whole grains
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Preventing Tooth Decay By Watching What You Eat
Did you know that what you eat, when you eat, and how long you wait to brush in between can all lead to tooth decay? Below, Dr. Steve S. Kim will provide you with some tips to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth as healthy as possible.
Do not snack between meals unless you absolutely must!

Try not to snack at all in between your meals unless you absolutely must. Snacking in between meals can cause plaque and bacteria to remain on your teeth, which leads to decay. Should you need to snack, below, you will find some of the best, moderate, and worst snack options.

BEST Snack Options

  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Milk
  • Meat

MEDIOCRE Snack Options

  • Pears
  • Vegetables
  • Apples

WORST Snack Options

  • Candy
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Muffins
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruits
  • Fruit snacks
  • French fries
  • Potato chips
  • Bananas

Limit how many soft drink and sugary drinks you consume.
Sipping sugary and fruit drinks can leave a film of acid on your teeth, which will eat away at the enamel on your teeth and cause tooth decay. You should avoid these drinks when possible, but should you want one, enjoy it with your meal and not before or after.

Drinks to AVOID:

  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Lemonade
  • Cocoa
  • Tea with sugar
  • Fruit juice

Drinks to ENJOY:

  • Milk
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Water
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Avoid sucking on candy and mints.
While you may be tempted to suck on candy and mints throughout the day, it is best to avoid them. Candy and mints are generally packed with a ton of sugar which can cause bacteria and acid buildup in your mouth, which then leads to tooth decay. If you are craving something sweet, choose a sugar-free version and enjoy it.

Ditch the acidic foods.
Foods that contain a lot of acid can actually cause the acid level in your mouth to rise as well, which will then lead to enamel erosion and yep, you guessed it, tooth decay.

Brush your teeth as often as possible.
While it is ideal for you to brush your teeth after each meal you consume, it is not always possible, so it is important to brush your teeth a minimum of twice per day. Sugars and acid on your teeth can remain there for up to 30 minutes after you consume a food or beverage, so do keep that in mind.

Steve S. Kim, DDS Is Here to Help You Maintain a Healthy Smile
Dr. Steve S. Kim is here to help you keep your smile as bright, decay free, and happy as possible. If you have any questions about dental care or how to avoid tooth decay through your diet, reach out to our team in Torrance, CA today!

What You Need to Know About Gum Disease

What You Need to Know About Gum Disease


What You Need to Know About Gum Disease

Do you have gum disease? It is a possibility that you could have it and not even know. If you are not familiar with the term gum disease, it is an infection that takes place in the tissues that surround your teeth and provide support to the teeth. It is important to receive immediate care for gum disease to prevent any complications that can come along with it such as bone loss and tooth loss. There are two types of gum disease, which include gingivitis and periodontitis, which we will talk about a bit more later in this blog. Right now, you may be wondering what causes gum disease and the answer is plaque. Plaque that builds up causes irritation to the gums and when allowed to remain on the teeth, it leads to gum disease.

Are you unsure about the health of your gums? If so, reach out to Steve S. Kim, DDS in Torrance, CA today.

Warning Signs of Gum Disease

  • Receding gums
  • Gums that easily bleed
  • Bad taste in your mouth or persistent bad breath
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separated from the gums
  • Changes in your bite or the way that your dentures fit
  • Gums that are tender, red, or swollen


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Risk Factors for Gum Disease

    • Medication
    • Genetics
    • Misalign or crooked teeth
    • Poor dental hygiene
    • Pregnancy
    • Use of tobacco products
    • Diabetes

What Should I Do?
If you suspect that you may have gum disease or you are experiencing any of the warning signs above, reach out to Steve S. Kim, DDS immediately. Our team can provide you with the treatment needed to reverse the infection and heal your gums.

When talking about gum disease, the earliest stage of it is called gingivitis. This stage is easily reversed and quite common too. During this stage, patients will often experience swollen, tender, and red gums. It is also common to bleed while flossing your teeth at this stage.

When gingivitis is not treated, the infection persists and turns into periodontitis. This is an advanced stage of gum disease and can have profound effects on your oral health to include tooth and bone loss. When you do have periodontitis, you may experience pain in your gums, especially when you brush them. It is also common for the gums to start to separate from the teeth as well. There are different types of periodontitis and the aggressive form can cause quick progression of the infection.

The experts at Steve S. Kim, DDS want to help you. We offer gum disease treatment here in our Torrance, CA office. Dr. Kim will go over everything you need to know about gum disease and where you stand. We will develop a treatment plan that is suited to meet your needs as well.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with us, please call our Torrance dental office now!

Your Dental Appointment and COVID-19

Your Dental Appointment and COVID-19


Your Dental Appointment and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of displacement for some and you may have even found yourself confused as to what is open and closed. Many patients quickly found themselves with cancelled appointments and rescheduled procedures due to the virus. To prevent the virus, it only makes sense that we all work together and the sooner that everyone does work together, the quicker we can all get back to a normal life for ourselves.

Will My Dental Appointment Be Affected by COVID-19?
It is possible. All businesses and non-urgent medical and dental procedures were to cease until at least April 30th, 2020. Now, many businesses and medical/dental facilities have the option to open up to handle emergencies only or at full operation. It is important to note that not all offices will be open and in some areas, they may not be allowed to open just yet.

Our Torrance, CA office is ready to see patients and we have followed all CDC guidelines and protocol to ensure our office is not only clean and sanitary for you, but that social distancing is in place as well. If you would like to discuss your appointment with us, please call Steve S. Kim, DDS today.

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What Is A Dental Emergency?
Prior to the pandemic, you could walk into most dental offices for anything that you deemed a dental emergency and be seen, in most cases, the same day. Now, there are certain types of dental conditions that are considered an emergency during the pandemic and others that are not. It is important to only visit the dentist when you have a dental emergency to help stop the spread of the virus and continue to prevent it.
Below, we will give you a bit more information on what is considered an emergency and what is not considered an emergency during this pandemic. If you have any questions, please reach out to our Torrance, CA office.

Emergency – You WANT to Call Us
• Pain in a tooth, multiple teeth, or your jaw
• Gum infection with pain or swelling
• Braces that are broken or shifted and causing pain
• Bleeding that won’t stop
• Abnormal tissue from a biopsy
• Denture adjustments for cancer patients
• Post-care after a dental surgical procedure
• Swelling in or around the mouth that is painful
• Broken tooth
• Knocked out tooth

Non-Emergency – It CAN WAIT
• Treatment of cavities that are not causing pain
• Regular orthodontic visits
• Teeth whitening services
• Regular cleanings or routine checkups
• Removal of teeth that are not painful

We Are Here to Help You
Even though you may not be able to visit our office, we are still here to help you. We provide our patients with the best dental care and can speak with you over the phone. Call Steve S. Kim, DDS to discuss your dental health with us!

Your Takeaway
We are currently seeing patients for dental emergencies in our Torrance, CA office. Call today!

Different Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Different Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures


Different Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Cosmetic dentistry can transform the look of your smile and provide you with a smile that you are proud to show off to others. Sometimes, cosmetic dentistry is combined with restorative dentistry to provide you with the smile of your dreams. It is important to discuss your cosmetic dentistry options with Dr. Kim before the procedure is done as one procedure may better suit you than another. If you would like to learn more about our procedures, continue reading below. You can also reach out to us by phone in our Torrance, CA office.

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Teeth Whitening
You have likely heard about teeth whitening and for good reason. It not only lifts stains off your teeth but it provides you with a beautiful bright white smile. Many patients choose this option when they have stains or yellowing on their teeth. The nice thing about this option is that you will notice results immediately and can choose between in-home or in-office treatment.

Dental Implants
Dental implants are used as a tooth replacement option and can be used to improve the look of your smile. They can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth in your mouth. During the procedure, an artificial tooth root will be implanted into your jawbone and once it is healed, a crown will be placed on top of the root. Dental implants provide you with a natural looking and feeling smile.

Composite Bonding
Bonding is an economical option and is used to cover up flaws in the teeth such as stains, damage, or even decay. A composite material is placed on your tooth and then activated with a light. The dentist will form the composite to your tooth. Once the composite is dry, which does not take long, it will be permanent and look as natural as possible.

Inlays and Onlays
Indirect fillings are utilized to help provide support to a tooth in need of a filling. Many times, teeth that are too damaged cannot support a traditional filling and to prevent the tooth from being extracted, an inlay or onlay is used. The inlay is placed on the biting surface of the tooth and the onlay is used to cover the entire tooth’s surface.

Made from durable ceramic, veneers are a great option for patients who want to hide flaws on their teeth. Veneers look natural and provide you with a great alternative to tooth extraction or dental implants. Many patients choose this procedure to hide flaws such as discolored enamel, cracks, and damage to the tooth.

Call Steve S. Kim, DDS Today
If you would like to learn more about our cosmetic dental procedures here in our Torrance, CA office, now is the time to call us. Dr. Steve S. Kim, DDS is here to help you fall in love with your smile again.

Your Takeaway – Cosmetic dentistry can help you improve the look of your smile through several different procedures. Talk to Dr. Steve S. Kim today to learn more.

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