I’ve learned that taking care of your teeth and going to the dentist can be fun and satisfying. For most of my life, though, I found dental visits about as enjoyable as walking into a bank and discovering my account was overdrawn. Both were a drag.
The appointments always conflicted with something else and were never convenient even though I only went once a year or less often. But an important event and a serious condition changed my mind. And encountering dentists like Dr. Sam Saleh, a cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills and owner of Ora Dentistry Spa, who truly enjoy their profession are people you can look forward to seeing.
I’ve always enjoyed being active and healthy and overall ate well. I was a long distance runner in high school, college, and well into my middle adult years. So I was surprised when in my mid-40s, my gums were sore and bled when I brushed my teeth.
When the pressure was released, the soreness would go away for a few weeks until they would gradually become puffy again. Even though I was health-conscious, I didn’t stop to figure out the condition. I’d skip dental appointments now and then so the weeks turned into months and by the time I finally visited my dentist my gums were in bad shape.
He didn’t like the condition and said I would have to alternate between his office and a periodontist. “How much is that going to cost me?”
“Let’s just say that If you don’t do it, then you’re looking at surgery on your gums and you don’t want to see that bill,” he said.
He convinced me and on my first visit to the periodontist they did a reading on my gums. The numbers consistently came back in the “4s,” indicating pockets of inflammation, plaque and just overall yucky bacteria.
They went over proper brushing techniques and I felt insulted. I had learned in elementary school how to brush my teeth. But I listened and decided to try the teeth brushing techniques using a gentle circular motion.
Flossing was next. “Floss after meals and before bed,” the hygienist told me.
So I did. I alternated every four months between my dentist and the periodontist and my gums slowly improved. There were more “3s” and fewer “4s.” I took on the challenge of avoiding surgery and I was amazed to see that proper brushing with a quality toothbrush or battery operated brush and flossing was helping my teeth recover.
The hygienist also explained that the four-month time frame was when plaque began building up. On my visits, the readings became consistently lower with mostly “2s” and “3s.” The “4s” became rare and I had avoided surgery. My gums improved to where I no longer needed four-month visits. Those became five months and now it’s back to every six months. And I don’t neglect my teeth in between.
I use a soft bristle Oral B toothbrush and get a new one every few months. Of course there are days when I don’t floss, but I learned a technique to trick myself into flossing when I’m tired or in a hurry.
I’m just going to floss a couple of my teeth, I say. I start with my molars and then — what do you know — once I get started I keep flossing and even if I don’t always do all of my teeth, the coverage is much better than skipping.
My own oral health program has been a lot of fun with a relatively low cost and I can say I beat going for surgery.
Quite honestly, I’m less bothered by going to the dentist as well. I don’t dread what may be found.
Fear of the dentist instead of fun with the dentist remains prevalent in our society even with today’s digital dentistry techniques.
An enjoyable place to go for oral health care is Ora Dentistry Spa in Beverly Hills and Dr. Sam Saleh. He’s sought after by local and national media for his knowledge of creating healthy smiles.
Dr. Saleh grew up in London and when he was fifteen chose dentistry as his career path. His mentor during the time was a man who saw the benefits of restoring smiles and giving patients renewed oral health as a way of improving their lives.
As a child, his family often took vacations to the Los Angeles area. After graduating from dental school at London’s Kings College, Dr. Sam decided to practice in Southern California for a couple of years.
That turned into launching a full-fledged practice with a specific niche. He didn’t want patients being afraid of going to the dentist. He combined the best of oral health with the relaxing concept of a day spa.
Ora Dentistry Spa is truly a part of the Southern California experience. Its glamorous setting on Rodeo Drive has wonderful perks like a bar and options for a massage to stay relaxed during treatments. The practice has fully implemented the latest CAD/CAM and digital techniques for the most accurate restorations possible.
Yet, there’s serious work going on. Studies have shown the benefits of healthy smiles in both psychological terms and the prolonging of one’s life.
Dr. Saleh has said that dentistry is technique sensitive and many of his patients come to him and ask him to fix mistakes made by other cosmetic dentists. He has an eye for beauty and is careful to look for alignment among the facial features of the smile line, eyes, and nose.
Going to the dentist may not be the same as a trip to Disneyland, but oral health is critical to a person’s overall well being. Professionals like Dr. Saleh and one’s own personal care create a reason to smile.
Here’s what the strawberry and baking soda mix looks like. Not that you need a graphic understanding. It was fun to try and the taste was certainly different.
Here’s why Dr. Saleh recommended it during an appearance on KCAL 9.
Baking soda is a mild abrasive and will clean the tooth surface well. Strawberries contain malic acid that gets into the teeth and removes some of the stain molecules.
Many at-home teeth whitening products and systems won’t treat severe discoloration. So a professional and safe tooth whitening session may be necessary to get a smile that fits your facial tone.
Have fun taking care of your teeth.