Curtis L. Chan, DDS

What Kind of Equipment Does My Dentist Use? 

Your Del Mar dentist has a lot of different tools that they use when you go for a routine dental appointment. A lot of these instruments look intimidating but each one serves a very specific purpose and helps your dental professional take the best care possible of you and your family’s oral health. 

Listed below is a list of some commonly used dental tools and what they do.

Mouth Mirror

What Kind of Equipment Does My Dentist Use? 

This tiny hand-held mirror is something you will probably see during every dental appointment you attend. Your dentist has to get a full view of your mouth. This includes the backs of all your teeth. This little mirror allows them to see the inside of your mouth from every angle, including angles they might otherwise miss, and helps them find any budding dental issues with ease.

Dental Probe

There are many different kinds of probes. Even though they might look frightening, they serve a very useful purpose. A dental probe helps your dental professional examine your entire mouth and ensure that everything is good shape. A sickle probe helps your dentist to find any newly formed cavities and other dental health problems. A periodontal probe enables your dentist to measure your periodontal pockets and locate other oral issues, like receding gums.

Anesthetic

Your teeth, while extremely hard on the outside, are very soft and sensitive at their core, underneath their hard layer of enamel. For your dentist to be able to make sure that you are not in any pain during certain dental procedures, they will apply a local anesthetic that will numb your entire mouth. 

Dental Drill

Possibly the most feared piece of dental equipment, the dental drill is designed to eliminate any decay connected to your tooth before your cavity is filled in. Sometimes, however, the dental drill is used for smoothing and polishing the affected tooth after the procedure is finished. The dental drill will cause an unusual vibrating feeling throughout your mouth while your dentist gets rid of your cavities, but this is perfectly normal and is no cause for alarm.

Spoon Excavator

Once in a while, the substance inside of a cavity has turned soft and mushy and a dental drill is not needed in order to remove it. In that case, a spoon excavator would then be used to dig the soft decay out from the tooth’s inside.

Suction Device

Throughout almost all dental procedures, debris and saliva accumulate in your mouth, and this can make it very hard for your dentist to do their job properly. These little hoses with vacuum suction can be used to suck saliva or any other obstructions out of your mouth, allowing the dentist to see your mouth clearly and work diligently. 

Your teeth have to be properly maintained if you want to keep your smile both beautiful and functional. The routine and cosmetic dentistry treatments offered by Curtis L. Chan, DDS will help you obtain the beautiful smile you have always wanted and make certain that your teeth remain strong and your mouth stays healthy. 

For more information on procedures frequently used in cosmetic dentistry and your overall oral health, contact our Del Mar dental office at (858) 481-9090 to schedule an appointment.

 

 

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How to Handle Sensitive Teeth

If you routinely pass on a cup of hot cocoa or an ice-cold glass of lemonade because you already know they are going to make your teeth hurt, then the time has come for you to make an appointment with your dentist to discuss the likelihood that your teeth are sensitive.

When you have sensitive teeth, it isn’t just hot and cold beverages that can be an issue for you, sometimes other things, such as overly sweet or overly sour foods or even very cold air can aggravate the condition as well.

To effectively manage these temperature-related aches and pains in your teeth, it will help you to understand exactly what is causing them in the first place. After you have figured out the reason for your tooth pain, you and your dentist can work together on coming up with a solution that works for you.

Maintain the Enamel on Your Teeth 

How to Handle Sensitive Teeth

The enamel of your teeth is a strong, protective coating that helps your teeth stay strong in spite of their frequent and rigorous use. When your enamel is gone, however, it leaves nerve endings exposed which leave you vulnerable to pain from all sorts of stimuli.

If you suspect that your teeth have become sensitive, it is plausible that the enamel is certain spots of your teeth has been worn away.

To help stop or slow down the erosion of your tooth enamel there are some steps that you can take, such as:

Brush Your Teeth More Gently 

If you brush your teeth as hard as you possibly can on a daily basis, there is a good chance you are scrubbing away more than just food particles and plaque. Brushing in a side-to-side motion directly on your gum line will cause the enamel of your teeth to wear away at a greater rate. It is best if you buy a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to help maintain your enamel.

Pass on the Acidic Drinks and Food 

Candy, sodas, and carbohydrates that are high in sugar can all cause the enamel of your teeth to wear away. If you do eat or drink something that is very acidic, you should wait at least an hour before you brush your teeth.

Relax Your Jaw

Over the years, grinding your teeth will wear away your enamel. Dealing with the cause of your stress might help to mitigate the issue. If it doesn’t, your dentist will be able to make a mold of your teeth and have you fitted for a special mouthguard that will prevent you from grinding your teeth.

Your teeth have to be properly maintained if you want to keep your smile both beautiful and functional. The cosmetic dentistry treatments offered by Curtis L. Chan, DDS will help you obtain the beautiful smile you have always wanted and ensure that your teeth remain strong and your mouth stays healthy. 

For more information on procedures frequently used in cosmetic dentistry and your overall oral health, contact our Del Mar dental office at (858) 481-9090 to schedule an appointment.

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Pre-Dental Care for a Broken or Chipped Tooth

One day there you are, chewing a piece of ice or gnawing away on a piece of peanut brittle when you suddenly become aware of something solid in your mouth that is definitely not supposed to be there. You lean over the sink, spit, and see what it was: a broken bit of tooth.

Even though the enamel that coats your teeth is the strongest tissue in your entire body, it is not indestructible. Getting hit in the face, falling down, or chomping down on anything hard, especially if your tooth is in a state of decay, could result in one or more of your teeth breaking or chipping. If you notice that you have chipped or broken one of your teeth, do not worry, your Del Mar dentist will be able to repair it for you.

What to do if You Break or Chip a Tooth

Pre-Dental Care for a Broken or Chipped Tooth

If your break, chip, or fracture your tooth, make sure that you schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as you are able to do so. If you delay seeing your dentist, your tooth could sustain an additional injury or develop an infection, which will likely cause your tooth to wind up falling out.

If you break or chip a tooth and are unable to get to your dentist straight away, you can take the steps listed below:

  • If you are in a great deal of pain, you can take Ibuprofin, acetaminophen, or any over-the-counter pain medicine should offer some relief 
  • Use warm salt water to rinse out your mouth as often as needed
  • If your tooth has a jagged or sharp edge, you can cap it with a piece of gum or even wax in order to stop it from cutting into the inside of your cheek, your lip, or your tongue
  • If you have to eat before you can get to the dentist, eat only softer foods and try to avoid chewing your food near the chipped tooth

Dental Bonding or Filling

If only a tiny little piece of your enamel has chipped or broken off, your Del Mar dentist will be able to fix the damage with a dental filling. If a front tooth is in need of repair or the chipped tooth is visible when you speak or smile, your dental professional will probably employ a dental procedure known as bonding, which utilizes a composite resin that is the same color as your teeth.

It is important to make sure that your teeth and gums are properly maintained if you want to keep your smile both beautiful and functional. The cosmetic dentistry treatments offered by Curtis L. Chan, DDS will help you obtain the beautiful smile you have always wanted and ensure that your teeth remain strong and your mouth stays healthy. 

For more information on procedures frequently used in cosmetic dentistry and your overall oral health, contact our Del Mar dental office at (858) 481-9090 to schedule an appointment.

 

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Easy Tips To Maintain Healthy Teeth

A healthy, bright smile closes deals, makes social connections and increases confidence. Beautifully maintained teeth can make or break your entire appearance, which is why it is understandable that over 4 million Americans, 25% of them being adults, will wear braces to straighten out their smiles. It also explains the rise in patients asking their Del Mar teeth whitening dentist about teeth whitening and when they can come in for a professional whitening appointment. 

If your grin is less than perfect and you want some help keeping it in tip-top shape there are two important things you can do. The first is you can take good care of your teeth at home to best preserve your oral health. Familiarizing yourself with activities and practices that will best support your oral health is important to a beaming smile. The second is to speak with your California family dentist about which services are best suited to your needs when at-home care isn’t doing all that you require.

What Can You Do at Home to Help Improve Your Oral Health?

If you don’t know this tip, you should. Brush your teeth every day, at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. And don’t skip the flossing. Flossing is a vital part of gum and tooth health because it gets down deep into crevices that may hide debris which if left behind can cause you serious health issues. 

Once you are engaging in regular cleanings morning and night, and maybe even at lunch, what you eat can also impact your oral health. Eating nutrient-dense foods is a good thing to incorporate in your overall health routine but did you know that these foods also positively impact your gum and tooth health? When you are eating plenty of fruits and veggies, and when you are getting in quality proteins, along with whole grains, and certain foods that are calcium-rich you are doing your mouth good.

  • Calcium-rich foods increase strength and durability in your teeth and your bones. You can find high calcium concentrations in low-fat and fat-free dairy such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. You can also find it easily in soy such as tofu. Canned salmon, almonds, and darky leafy greens will also be excellent sources for calcium.
  • Phosphorus also strengthens teeth. Eat plenty of eggs, farm-raised fish, lean meats, nuts, and beans to get your fill.
  • Vitamin C makes gums happy. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes, and spinach are loaded with vitamin C, so don’t skimp on adding these into your meals when you can.

Other tips to consider include not snacking so much. When you snack more, you are eating more often so you are at higher risk for getting stuff in your teeth that could be harmful. Leave out any snacks that are full of sugar, the nemesis to healthy teeth, and stay away from chewing on very hard things like hard candy or ice. If you must snack often, brush when you are done. In the absence of brushing options, rinsing your mouth out with water is an alternative way to rid it of unwanted food particles.

Get Professional Guidance and Help at Your Local Del Mar Dentist

Easy Tips To Maintain Healthy TeethAt the Del Mar, San Diego, CA dental offices of Curtis L. Chan, DDS we care about our patients. We offer a variety of services that will suit all your dental needs and we will gladly answer all of your questions regarding any procedure. We are here to help you with all of your oral health needs. Call us to make a dental appointment at our office today at (858) 481-9090.

 

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Cleaning Your Toothbrush in Between Uses

You use your toothbrush on your teeth to dislodge food particles and bacteria from the inside of your mouth. Now that your teeth are clean, where are all of those food particles and bacteria? Your toothbrush. If you are concerned about the cleanliness of your toothbrush and questioning how you are supposed to keep it clean, the information listed below should be of some help.

The Importance of a Clean Toothbrush 

Cleaning Your Toothbrush in Between Uses

Each time you brush your teeth, bacteria and debris from the inside of your mouth get shifted onto the bristles of your toothbrush. If you do not clean your toothbrush, germs and bacteria will be free to multiply and thrive on its bristles. There’s no need to worry though, there are a lot of ways you can ensure your toothbrush stays clean in between replacements. 

How to Clean Your Toothbrush

An expeditious splash in your bathroom sink after you brush is not really an ideal way to ensure that your toothbrush is nice and clean. Ideally, you need to run your toothbrush under some warm water for at least one full minute in order to fully purge leftover food particles and toothpaste from its bristles. After you have properly rinsed your toothbrush, let it air dry and make sure to wipe down the handle as well. 

How to Sanitize Your Toothbrush

If you are thoroughly grossed out at the thought of anything at all being left behind on the bristles of your toothbrush, there are other methods you can use that will clean your toothbrush a little better. Sanitizing your toothbrush will help to stop specific bacteria and germs from spreading.

  • Pour some antibacterial mouthwash into a glass and swirl the head of the brush around for at least 30 seconds. Drain the mouthwash when you are done, do not use it.
  • Mix one cup of water with two teaspoons of baking soda to produce a cleaning solution. Allow your toothbrush to marinate for several minutes, then rinse it off and let it dry completely.
  • Mix one cup of water with one teaspoon of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and swirl the head of your toothbrush around for at least 30 seconds before you brush.
  • Soak the head of your toothbrush in white vinegar overnight at least once a week.
  • Dissolve a denture cleaning tab according to the instructions on the package. Then let the head of your toothbrush soak in the solution for at least a few minutes.

If you would like any additional advice concerning the replacement of your current toothbrush or choosing a new type of toothbrush entirely, our licensed and dedicated team at the Del Mar office of Curtis L. Chan, DDS would be happy to help. 

If you would like any additional information concerning any of our other cosmetic or preventative dental procedures we urge you to schedule an appointment with a California cosmetic dentist today by calling (858) 481-9090

Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve a beautiful, bright set of teeth in a comfortable, safe environment.

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Suggestions for Choosing a New Dentist

Trying to find a new dentist can seem like a time-consuming and unpleasant task. Regardless of whether you are trying to move on from a dentist who wasn’t meeting your needs, moving to a new area and need someone local, or looking for your very first dentist, there are many different things that need to be considered.

Listed below are a few suggestions for selecting your new dentist:

Use a Verified Medical Review Service

Suggestions for Choosing a New Dentist

A large percentage of doctors, nurses, dentists, and other healthcare providers use verified patient review services. This gives their patients an honest view of the quality of care and professionalism they can expect. Reading through other patient reviews is a good way to start making a list of potential candidates. 

Keep Convenience and Location in Mind

Most moms and dads are very limited in the amount of time they can take off work, or don’t want a dentist appointment to interfere with school hours. Picking a dentist who not only meets your expectations but is located close to your job or your house will end up saving you a lot of time in the years to come as you try to fit family dentist appointments into your already busy schedule.

Find Out What Kinds of Insurance They Accept

Typically, asking your insurance carrier, calling their patient care number, or even a search on their website will help you figure out if the dentist you are thinking of choosing is in-network or not. If you do not have dental insurance, as a lot of people do not, ask your dentist about what he or she recommends and what payment or credit options might be available to you.

Look Over Their Specialties, Education, and Certifications

You should be able to see your dentist’s various degrees, certifications, etc upon request. The more you know about your potential dentist, what they are able to do for you, and what you should expect from them, the more suitable choice you are likely to make for you and your family. Learning about your dentist’s background and education can also help quell any potential concerns you may have and put your mind at ease. 

Ask for Recommendations From People You Trust

Ask people you trust and whose opinions you respect if they have any recommendations that you can look into. You are going to be much more comfortable with a dentist that your best friend absolutely loves than with someone you found through impersonal internet research. Taking the experiences of your friends and family into consideration when making a decision such as this one will help you and your new dentist to feel more comfortable with one another.

Your teeth have to be properly maintained if you want to keep your smile both beautiful and functional. The cosmetic dentistry treatments offered by Curtis L. Chan, DDS will help you obtain the beautiful smile you have always wanted and ensure that your teeth remain strong and your mouth stays healthy. 

For more information on procedures frequently used in cosmetic dentistry and your overall oral health, contact our Del Mar dental office at (858) 481-9090 to schedule an appointment.

 

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Diseases That Can Cause Tooth Decay

No part of your body operates completely independently of all other parts, and your teeth are no different. Tooth decay can be brought on by a lot more than just inadequate oral hygiene. Tooth decay is frequently an indication or symptom of a much bigger problem, possibly indicative of a more dangerous condition developing in your body. As a matter of fact, there are several commonly-diagnosed diseases that are able to cause or accelerate your tooth decay.

When you schedule an appointment with your local dental professional for a check-up, such as those in our Del Mar dental office, we are checking for a lot more than just whether or not your teeth look good from the outside. If you have ever been curious as to why your dentist asks so many questions regarding your personal lifestyle and your full medical history, it is because they are working to build a complete picture of you as a person, in addition to what your oral health and mouth are saying. 

Diabetes

Diseases That Can Cause Tooth Decay

One of the more prevalent side effects of diabetes is dry mouth, which is caused by the reduction in your saliva production. In addition to being necessary for your mouth to feel comfortable, saliva also plays an important role in protecting your teeth from the harmful bacteria that breed tooth decay. If your mouth does not produce a sufficient amount of saliva, your teeth will be more exposed to harmful bacteria, and your odds of developing a cavity or cavities will be much higher.

As the bacteria that cause tooth decay continue to grow inside your mouth, your chance at developing gum disease also grows. Gum disease is the result of harmful bacteria that have been allowed to grow inside your mouth. About 25 percent of those who are diagnosed with diabetes will also eventually be diagnosed with gum disease.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders that have to do with your own body attacking parts of itself. The parts under attack could be anything from your major organs, such as your kidneys, or much smaller parts such as your salivary glands. A lot of these autoimmune diseases will have some kind of negative effect on your oral health. One autoimmune disease that is most frequently linked to oral health problems is Sjögren’s syndrome.

Sjögren’s syndrome lessens the quantity of saliva that your mouth is able to produce, causing the same side effects listed above for diabetes. In acute cases, those afflicted with this autoimmune disease might not be able to produce any saliva at all.

Your teeth have to be properly maintained if you want to keep your smile both beautiful and functional. The cosmetic dentistry treatments offered by Curtis L. Chan, DDS will help you obtain the beautiful smile you have always wanted and ensure that your teeth remain strong and your mouth stays healthy. 

For more information on procedures frequently used in cosmetic dentistry and your overall oral health, contact our Del Mar dental office at (858) 481-9090 to schedule an appointment.

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What Your Tongue is Telling You About Your Oral Health

Your tongue does a lot of different things for such a small part of your body. Oral exploration is primarily how babies learn about the world around them. You use your tongue to kiss and to speak. Your tongue is the reason that you are able to taste and swallow food. Your tongue can also give your Del Mar dentist clues not just to your oral health but your overall health as well.  As a matter of fact, you would probably be amazed by what your tongue is able to reveal about different aspects of your health. What is your tongue telling you? 

A White Coating on Your Tongue

What Your Tongue is Telling You About Your Oral Health

A healthy tongue is supposed to be a pretty pink color. If you notice parts of your tongue that seem to be covered with a white coating, you might be suffering from oral thrush. Oral thrush is caused by an excess of yeast that sometimes builds up inside of your mouth. The white coating could also be caused by not brushing your tongue when you brush your teeth. 

White Spots on Your Tongue

Leukoplakia is a medical condition that can result from the tongue being irritated, primarily from the use of chewing tobacco or from smoking. Any medical professional will tell you to quit using these products, but you are the only one who can actually make that change. Unfortunately, white patches can also be indicative of oral cancer, so schedule an appointment with your Del Mar dentist if you notice white spots on your tongue, just to be safe.

Your Tongue is Unusually Red 

Although your tongue being an unusual shade of red could be a sign of Kawasaki disease, it is much more frequently the result of a simple vitamin deficiency; most likely B-12 or folic acid. The resolution to your curiously red tongue could be as easy as adding an adaptogen or vitamin supplement to your breakfast smoothie.

Raw, Sensitive, or Painful Tongue

If your tongue feels raw or hurts in specific spots, you might have an undiagnosed food allergy or you could be developing a canker sore. These are typically nothing to worry about unless they do not go away. If this is the case, schedule an appointment with your Del Mar dental professional.

“Hairy” Tongue

It sounds gross, but occasionally a build-up of proteins will cause small bumps to form which then trap particles of food causing a build-up that resembles strands of hair. In most cases, thoroughly brushing or scraping your tongue will probably solve the issue of your “hairy” tongue.

Your teeth must be properly maintained if you want to keep your smile both beautiful and functional. The cosmetic dentistry treatments offered by Curtis L. Chan, DDS will help you obtain the beautiful smile you have always wanted, ensure that your teeth remain strong, and your mouth stays healthy. 

For more information on procedures frequently used in cosmetic dentistry and your overall oral health, contact our Del Mar dental office at (858) 481-9090 to schedule an appointment.

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Dental Hygiene Habits That Can Improve Your Teeth

Caring for your teeth and gums is essential to not only your oral health but your overall physical health as well. 

Just like any other part of your body, your mouth is full of many different types of bacteria, most of which are relatively benign. Your mouth, however, acts as the point of entry to your respiratory and digestive tracts and, in the right conditions, a few of these ever-present bacteria are capable of causing disease.

Ordinarily, your body’s immune system and being mindful of your oral health by doing things such as brushing your teeth every day as well as flossing regularly, are enough to control the bacteria. In the absence of sufficient oral hygiene, however, these bacteria are able to grow to numbers that could cause oral infections, like gum disease and tooth decay.

You can help ensure your bright smile, your strong teeth, and overall physical health by following the oral healthcare suggestions listed below.

Brush Your Teeth and Floss at Least Two Times a Day

Dental Hygiene Habits That Can Improve Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth once a day is passable but brushing twice a day is the recommended amount. The ideal time to brush your teeth is immediately after you eat. Dentists also recommend that you floss every time you brush. 

Make Sure You Drink Plenty of Water

Water is essential for your general physical health. Where your teeth are concerned, it stimulates the production of saliva which is vital for healthy teeth. Water is also healthier for you and your teeth than any soda or other sugary drinks. Eventually, the bacteria normally found on the surface of your teeth utilize those sugars to build plaque, which then leads to teeth decay.

Limit Your Consumption of Sugary Foods

You should not just avoid sodas and sugary beverages, but you should also limit sugar in the food you eat. If you do enjoy a sugary treat from time to time as most of us do, be sure to brush your teeth directly afterward to avoid plaque buildup that can lead to tooth decay.

Get Plenty of Calcium and Vitamin D Every Day

Calcium is a necessary building block for strong bones, including your teeth. Nuts and dairy products are excellent sources of calcium that are easy to get on a regular basis. In order for your body to be able to absorb calcium, however, your body will also require Vitamin D, which you can get plenty of by spending a few minutes outside in the sunshine every day.

Your teeth have to be properly maintained if you want to keep your smile both beautiful and functional. The cosmetic dentistry treatments offered by Curtis L. Chan, DDS will help you obtain the beautiful smile you have always wanted and ensure that your teeth remain strong and your mouth stays healthy. 

For more information on procedures frequently used in cosmetic dentistry and your overall oral health, contact our Del Mar dental office at (858) 481-9090 to schedule an appointment.

 

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Oral Health Tips by Age Group

There are some things that are essential to your oral health at any stage of life. Brushing, flossing, good nutrition, making (and keeping) regular dental appointments, and using fluoride. All of these activities are important in maintaining good oral health and avoiding gum disease. It is recommended that you brush, at the very least, twice a day, but after every meal would be the most advantageous to protecting your oral health and beautiful smile. 

Food choices are important in your oral health. Choices such as alcohol, tobacco, and too much sugar can negatively affect the quality of your smile. Coffee, tea, and juices have the ability to stain your teeth. You may not see it right away, but as time passes, it will become more and more noticeable.

Your oral hygiene routine, however, requires individual attention during each new phase of aging. 

Babies

Oral Health Tips by Age Group

  • Baby Bottle Tooth Decay is a side effect of too much sugar in your baby’s liquids. Only put formula or breast milk in your baby’s bottle. Never put soda or juice in a bottle and never let them go to sleep with their bottle in their mouth.
  • Wash your baby’s gums using a clean, wet towel every day.
  • Teething starts when they are between 3 and 9 months old. Teeth always appear in the same order: lower 2 front incisors; upper 2 front incisors and 2 lower incisors; first set of molars; canines; then second molars.
  • Pacifiers and thumb sucking both have their purposes but will enhance your baby’s risk of jaw misalignment, tooth decay, and an improper bite.

Kids

  • Starting at three years of age, fluoride toothpaste is a necessary and safe part of your child’s oral health.
  • Children should see their dentist at least two times a year.
  • Having a Tooth Fairy tradition is a fun way to celebrate your little one’s growth as they lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth grow in.
  • Sealants are very useful when it comes to preventing cavities.
  • It is crucial that your children use mouthguards when participating in sports.

Adults

  • Understand that coffee, sugar, nicotine, and red wine all speed up tooth decay and increase your chances for stained teeth.
  • Gum disease occurs frequently in adults and could cause a lot of difficulties in your overall health.

Seniors

  • A lot of states have senior benefits that help with dental care.
  • Oral cancer can become a problem at this stage of life.
  • Dry mouth, usually the side effect of many prescriptions, is quite common and might speed up the process of tooth decay and gum disease.

Your teeth have to be properly maintained if you want to keep your smile both beautiful and functional. The cosmetic dentistry treatments offered by Curtis L. Chan, DDS in their Del Mar office will help you obtain and maintain the beautiful smile you have always wanted and provide the tools to keep your teeth strong and your mouth healthy. 

For more information on procedures frequently used in cosmetic dentistry and your overall oral health, contact our  San Diego, California offices in Del Mar at (858) 481-9090 to schedule an appointment.

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