Preventive & General Dentistry
Showing the importance of preventative care in Chula Vista general dentistry.
Promoting Healthy Teeth & Gums
The whole family is in good hands with our expert dentists, Drs. Miguel and Jaime Estrella.
At our office, we always emphasize the importance healthy teeth and gums bring to a happy life. Through preventive dentistry, our pair of skilled and experienced dentists is able to keep your smile functioning and looking healthy.
Through our range of family dental options, we are able to care for all in our community, no matter the obstacles that have previously stood in the way. We always have your best interests at heart and genuinely care about your needs.
Dr. Miguel and Dr. Jaime Estrella take pride in being able to provide modern family dentistry to all people in their community. Using the latest technology and advanced techniques, they can help your family achieve healthy teeth and gums – the foundation for oral health.
The Basics Of Preventative Dentistry
Preventative dentistry is like the bread and butter of oral hygiene, which is why Estrella Dental specializes in preventative and general dentistry for the whole family. We believe that every family member, from toddlers to grandparents, should have access to quality dental care. With preventative and general dentistry services, the goal is to teach good oral hygiene habits to avoid more serious dental problems down the road. At Estrella Dental, we stress three foundations of oral health: brushing, flossing, and routine cleanings.
HOW TO BRUSH CORRECTLY
Many of our patients come into our dental office and say they brush at least two times a day, but their teeth and gums unfortunately tell a different story. We believe our patients, but we also know the tremendous difference between brushing and brushing correctly. At Estrella Dental, we educate our patients on the best brushing method.
- The Two-Minute Rule: Brushing correctly means brushing for at least two minutes. Two minutes is actually much longer than you’d think; in that time, you could microwave a meal or maybe watch Usain Bolt run a mile. Setting a timer or listening to your favorite song while you brush can help you brush for the full 120 seconds.
- Brushing Every Surface: To make sure you brush every surface of every tooth, it helps to have a routine in place. Start by brushing the outer surface (facing toward your lips) of your upper teeth, and then the outer surface of your lower teeth. After this, clean the inner surface (toward your tongue) of your upper and then lower teeth. Once you have cleaned the outer and inner parts of each tooth, move on to the chewing surface, or the “top” of your tooth. Finally, do not forget to brush your tongue — your tongue harbors a lot of bacteria, so brushing it can help to freshen your breath and clean your mouth.
- Using the Right Toothbrush: While every person has unique dental needs, the best brushes usually have soft bristles because they are very good at removing plaque. Electric toothbrushes are also a good option, as their small head can more easily reach every area of your mouth. During an appointment at Estrella Dental, our dentists and hygienists can recommend the best brush for you and show you how to correctly brush your teeth.
HOW TO MAKE FLOSSING A PART OF YOUR ROUTINE
While the issues with brushing your teeth mostly stem from improper brushing technique, with flossing it’s all a matter of actually doing it. For whatever reason, flossing is the first thing to go when it comes to good oral health. Our dental clinic believes that brushing and flossing are extremely important, and we also see it as our responsibility to educate patients so they can establish strong preventative oral health routines. Here are some tips we have developed for how to make flossing part of your everyday oral health.
- Buy floss you like: Not all dental flosses are created equal, and you can improve your flossing experience by buying a flavor you like — try bubblegum for the kids and mint for yourself. Also consider easy-to-hold dental floss picks, so you can save the hassle of holding slippery dental floss.
- Make it a game: With kids especially, flossing becomes easier when you make it into a fun activity. Perhaps you reward your kids if they floss every night of a week, or you make a chart and give them a sticker each time they floss. You could could have a competition where the best — not necessarily fastest — flosser wins. The possibilities are endless, but the idea is to make flossing into something your kids look forward to. Our dental clinic has years of experience with kids, so feel free to call for any suggestions or to bring your kids in for a check-up.
- Incorporate it with brushing: It seems obvious, but it is much easier to floss when you do it as soon as you brush. Make it a non-negotiable: you will floss after each time you brush, and that’s that. We know life can get busy and it’s hard to even find two minutes, but we also know that proper oral healthcare saves time, money, and worry in the long-run.
WHAT DOES A ROUTINE DENTAL CHECK-UP INVOLVE?
Even if you brush your teeth properly every day and include flossing in your oral health routine, visiting a dental office for a routine cleaning is still necessary to good oral hygiene. During a check-up, dentists can remove the plaque that is impossible for you to reach, take x-rays to check for cavities, and polish teeth to leave them cleaner than ever. Estrella Dental offers professional dental cleaningsthat support your oral health and teach good oral hygiene practices. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recommends that you schedule a dental cleaning every six months, and we also believe routine cleanings are part of the foundation of oral health. Here is what you can expect at a routine cleaning appointment.
- Cleaning: A dentist or hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth with an instrument called a scaler (or, the thing that looks like a tiny hook) to remove built-up tartar and plaque around the gum line. After cleaning and loosening plaque, the dentist will then polish your teeth to make the surface smooth. The final step involves flossing your teeth, concentrating especially on hard-to-reach spaces between back molars.
- Examination: After your teeth have been cleaned, you can expect your dentist to fully examine your mouth, including your gums, jaw, and neck, to assess general oral health. For your teeth, your dentist will poke around to look for signs of cavities or decay, and the will also look at your gums to look for signs of swelling or disease. Finally, your dentist will examine your bite and jaw to ensure you are in alignment. If you have any specific dental questions or have noticed something bothering you, this is a great chance to speak with your dentist one-on-one. Depending on your specific needs, your dentist might also take X-ray images or make tooth impressions.
In addition to proper brushing and flossing, Estrella Dental firmly believes that routine cleaning is essential to good oral health and preventative care. It is better to schedule an appointment even if you have not been to the dentist in years than to let your oral hygiene further decline. Call today to set up an appointment with a trusted, community-based dental office in Chula Vista.
TAKING YOUR CHILDREN TO THE DENTIST
As a family dental practice in Chula Vista, Estrella Dental understands the questions and concerns that parents have when it comes to their children’s oral health. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help parents learn more about family dentistry.
Question: When should my child start going to the dentist?
Answer: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child visit a dental office by age 1 or within six months of getting their first tooth. For your child’s dental care, a good rule of thumb is early and often.
Question: What type of dentist should I look for?
Answer: You should look for any dental office that has a family dentistry practice, but especially one that is highly rated in your community. You want a dentist who knows how to treat children effectively, in addition to one who is an expert in modern dentistry and procedures.
Question: What if my child is scared of the dentist?
Answer: If your child is afraid of visiting a dentist office, it is important that you remain really positive about the dentist and oral hygiene. Instead of playing into their fears or offering bribes — “what’s so bad that mom will give me candy for going?” your child might think — you can instead emphasize the importance of oral health, talk about how nice the staff is at the dentist’s office, or talk about your own dental experiences positively. While you can prepare your child at home for a trip to the dentist, you want to make sure you really do find a dentist who is great with kids. If you go to a dentist is harsh or impatient, it will further teach your child that the dentist is indeed something to fear. Feel free to call Estrella Dental if you have any concerns about your child’s dental visit; we want to support you and your family in having a great experience at the dentist.
Question: How frequently should I take my child to the dentist?
Answer: The AADP recommends that children visit the dentist every six months. This check-up schedule helps to prevent cavities, establish good oral hygiene at a young age, and make sure your child’s teeth are developing appropriately. At your first appointment, Estrella Dental will guide you through a recommended check-up and cleaning schedule that fits your child’s needs and calendar.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A FAMILY DENTIST
Given the importance of preventative dental care and routine check-ups, finding the right dentist office for the whole family is a big decision. Especially if you have small children, you can end up spending a lot of time at the dentist’s office — as a dental patient, you deserve a welcoming environment, trustworthy and knowledgeable staff, and a respectful community. Estrella Dental prides itself on our family foundation — Drs. Jaime and Miguel Estrella are brothers and colleagues — and the quality dental care we offer to everyone in the Chula Vista community. Below are the features you should look for in a dental practice.
- Educated dentists: You should first and foremost look for a licensed and accredited dentist, but we believe it is continuing dental education that sets apart the mediocre dentists from the great ones. Get to know each dentist and look for their memberships and affiliations: are they involved in any established dental organizations, like the Academy of General Dentistry? Do they teach or lecture at any dental schools? These are a few questions you can ask as you review a dentist’s qualifications.
- Positive customer reviews: When customers take the time to leave positive reviews about a service, it means they really had an exceptional experience. Take a look at what patients have to say about a dental clinic; ultimately, the patient experience matters as much as a dentist’s skill level.
- A family practice: There is no need to have three different dental offices for everyone in the family. Look for a one-stop-shop dentist, where you can schedule your own cleaning while your kids are already in the dentist’s chair. Make sure that your family practice has a friendly and patient demeanor when they treat children, as this can make your kid’s experience a positive one.
- Modern technology: You can absolutely love your dentist but still be getting subpar care if their office lacks modern technology. Look for a dentist’s office that features modern technology and practices, like X-rays, the availability of sedation dentistry, and periodontal care. Just like you do not want the oldest version of a smart phone, you really do not want outdated dental practices.
Complete Expert Care, All Under One Roof
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To keep your teeth and gums healthy, Drs. Estrella suggests regular six-month dental exams. Each exam will allow your Chula Vista dentists to assess your oral health and provide suggestions on how to improve it. Using an Intraoral camera, we will show you what is happening in your mouth and identify any area that needs addressing.
If necessary, you will undergo a set of digital x-rays to get a full picture of your teeth and gums. After the exam, Dr. Miguel or Dr. Jaime Estrella will discuss your needs and piece together a custom treatment plan.
Regular cleanings from our talented dental hygienists are essential to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Despite a solid hygiene routine, food and debris can still become trapped in your teeth and cause plaque to form.
Your hygienist will examine your teeth and gum line and then remove any plaque or decay. During the process, she will educate you on the best brushing and flossing techniques, so you can maintain a good smile all year round.
Oral Cancer Screening
Using the VizLite system, your fully trained dentist can screen for common oral cancers. This advanced technology, allows us to inspect your entire mouth and throat for any lesions, which could lead to cancer. Using a fluorescent light, we spend just 5-minutes spotting abnormal changes or anything of concern.
We recommend having an oral cancer screening one or twice a year, or whenever you see something in your mouth you are worried about. Early detection and diagnosis have led to survival rates of 80-90% in those who have oral cancer.
Periodontal (gum) disease affects millions of Americans and can lead to complications impacting your entire well being. Over time, plaque and decay can build up on your gum line and cause your gums to become infected, inflamed, and sore.
At Estrella Dental, we are committed to keeping your gums healthy as this helps promote a healthy body. If your periodontal disease is minimal then we offer professional cleanings to help reduce inflammation and restore health. However, if it is more advanced we provide Arestin, an effective anti-biotic, which painlessly kills the bacteria that cause gum disease.
At times your teeth may be too damaged to save or you maybe feel your wisdom teeth erupting. In these instances, your experienced dentist in Chula Vista may suggest extracting the tooth. But there is no need to worry! This procedure can be performed in our office and without discomfort.
We handle your extractions comfortably with sedation dentistry and can replace the extracted tooth with dental implants or a bridge.
Although we love Dentistry, we know that not everything enjoys visiting the dentist. With this in mind, we are proud to offer sedation dentistry in the form of oral sedation. This small pill is to be taken one-hour before your dental visit, it will make you feel relaxed and reduce any anxiety you feel.
While using oral sedation, you will be able to respond to questions but will mostly sleep through your visit. This makes sedation dentistry ideal for those with dental anxiety and those who want to get all their treatment done in one visit.
‘‘The entire team, from the front desk to the assistants and dentist, has been so kind and professional. My fillings were quick and pain-free. I feel very at ease and love that the dentist explains everything to me in detail so I have no surprises. He even took me on a tour of the facility which was refreshing and confirmed how clean and state of the art the facility is.’’
Jennifer R. (Actual Estrella Patient)