Viewing entries in
oral healthcare

Charcoal Toothpaste?

Charcoal Toothpaste?

Looking for alternatives to regular teeth whitening?  At Silicon Beach Dental, the types of teeth whitening we offer is take home custom bleaching trays and in-office teeth whitening which are great ways to whiten your teeth but not necessarily the most cost effective for regular maintenance.  In the following link, Dr Lawrence talks about some whitening alternatives including the use of charcoal toothpaste.

“It’s recommended to avoid any type of whitening toothpaste or charcoal toothpastes if patients have a ton of tooth recession [or] sensitivity,” cosmetic dentist Lawrence Fung, DDS, founder of Silicon Beach Dental in California, tells Teen Vogue. “My recommendation on charcoal toothpaste is to use it like everything else: in moderation.”

Are You Afraid of the Dentist?

Are You Afraid of the Dentist?

Well fear not, there are many things you can do to help alleviate that fear.  In this article that was recently published in the NY Post, I touched upon a few things that can help you take back control of your oral health!

While going to the dentist can be scary, some of the ways you can help alleviate those feelings is by seeking a dentist who truly places a high emphasis on creating a welcoming environment to make you feel comfortable. When seeking a dentist, be sure to take a look at their bios and have an office tour to see if the place is welcoming.

Less Is More

Less Is More

“Wearing a veneer of perfection never did me any good.” -Liz Phair

I frequently get asked by friends and patients what I think about veneers. Before I go into my answer, let me define what a veneer is. A veneer is a thin shell of medical-grade ceramic (or resin) that is traditionally attached to the front surface of a tooth. Veneers are individually crafted by a skilled lab technician who uses man-made materials to mimic a natural tooth. Dentists use veneers for a variety of dental issues including  color correction and orthodontic adjustments.

Due to Hollywood, veneers are synonymous with cosmetic dentistry. (Literally, in the 1920’s, Hollywood actors and actresses were known to get false front teeth.) Generally, when a patient comes to my office inquiring on how to improve their smile, they always ask about veneers. But are veneers really the best choice for everyone in every situation?

Honestly, it depends on the situation. If it's a color modification you seek, a simple course of teeth whitening may be all that is needed. If the goal is to correct the alignment of your teeth, a visit to your orthodontist is a much more conservative option. Although veneers are a conservative alternative compared to crowns, in most cases you still need to give up some tooth structure for the veneer to properly bond.

In summary, more is not always better. Ask your dentist to explore less invasive options before you begin an irreversible procedure. Keep in mind that in some cases, ultimate results can be achieved with a blend of the veneer alternative treatments discussed above. There are instances where good intra-professional collaboration of teeth whitening, orthodontics, and good planning can yield optimal cosmetic results as conservatively as possible.



So Many Choices


I am frequently asked "What toothpaste do you recommend?"  To be honest, there is no single toothpaste that serves everyone's needs. When deciding, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Cavity Protection
Does the product contain fluoride?  Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in water sources, it’s really unavoidable unless you want to consume only deionized water for life. Fluoride has garnered a bad rep lately, kind of unfair if you ask me. Fluoride is actually pretty cool; if Fluoride were a person, we’d definitely hang out. Research has shown that fluoride not only reduces cavities, but it also helps repair and potentially reverse the early stages of tooth decay. Pretty cool, right? 

Whitening toothpastes are formulated with a higher abrasive content, sometimes in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide. If you have sensitive teeth or have been told by your dentist that you have gum recession, you may want to use these with caution.

For sensitive teeth, these operate on the opposite mechanism as your whitening toothpaste. They contain less abrasives and use ingredients which help locally sedate the tooth surface. An ingredient to look for would be potassium nitrate. Little known fact: sodium fluoride also has desensitizing properties.

For those who are trying to keep the bugs that cause gingivitis and periodontitis at bay, some brands are incorporating antibacterial ingredients into their toothpastes. Triclosan and stannous fluoride (told you fluoride was amazing) are two ingredients with antibacterial properties.

At the end of the day, when in doubt, consult with your general dentist for any professional recommendations. You can clearly tell from my casual writing style that these are my own off-the-cuff opinions.

For more of my opinions, check us out on or shoot me an email at