My Blog

Posts for: April, 2015

By Richard Ta, DDS
April 24, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Many youngsters look forward to finding a surprise under their pillow after a visit from the “tooth fairy.” This fable may comfort children who wonder why their first teeth come out. Parents need to know that losing baby teeth, also called primary or deciduous teeth, is completely normal, but at the right time and the right “space.”

A child's first set of teeth must be lost to create room for the adult or permanent teeth that have been forming beneath them. The buds of the permanent teeth grow within a child's jawbone just under the baby teeth. The tops, or crowns, grow first, followed by the roots. Then as the roots develop, the permanent teeth push the baby teeth above them up through the gum tissues. As this happens, the roots of the baby teeth are resorbed, or melted away.

With their roots gone, eventually the baby teeth become so loose that they can be easily removed or fall out on their own, making room for the adult teeth to appear. Sometimes, when a baby tooth is so loose, it can be wiggled out. It leaves a little bleeding gum tissue that heals easily. This is also normal.

Besides making sure the tooth fairy comes, parents need to be sure that their children are evaluated to determine whether baby teeth are being lost in the right sequence so they will act as guides for the adult teeth. If teeth are lost prematurely because of decay or trauma, it is important that space is maintained for the adult teeth when they come in.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss whether your child's baby teeth are being lost in the right sequence and the adult teeth are coming in correctly. To read more about losing baby teeth, see the article “Losing a Baby Tooth: Understanding an important process in your child's development.”

By Richard Ta, DDS
April 23, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Untagged

While visiting your trusted Fremont dentist, Richard Ta, DDS, for braces is a great way to improve the look of your smile, braces do more than just improve your appearances. They can improve your oral health as well. Here are four health conditions that braces Oral Healthfrom Fremont dentist Dr. Ta can help prevent, eliminate or solve.

Tooth Decay

When teeth are crammed and crowded into a small space, cleaning in between them can be very difficult, if not impossible. As a result, food particles and germs quickly find their way into these spaces, where they can begin to multiply. Without the possibility of proper oral care, the bacteria feed on the sugar on the teeth, causing tooth decay. Increased tooth decay is very common with people who have badly crowded teeth.

Tooth Impaction

When a child's teeth are crowded, not only are they at an increased risk for cavities, but they may also have problems with his or her adult teeth coming in properly. When teeth do not have room to come in, they can become impacted, or stuck. Impacted teeth can be very painful, and if the tooth is stuck part way in the mouth, it can also become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Excessive Wear

Teeth are meant to line up a certain way for best performance. When they don't, the chewing surfaces can quickly show signs of excessive wear. Braces bring the teeth back into alignment so that your teeth can break down the food you eat--not the other way around.

Jaw Pain

Jaw pain is another common symptom that can happen as the result of teeth that do not line up correctly. Braces bring the teeth back into alignment to reduce muscle fatigue and eliminate the pain.

If your Fremont dentist recommends braces, it isn't only to give you a beautiful smile. Dr. Ta uses braces to correct a number of oral health problems that you may not even be aware that you had. The next time you visit your Fremont dentist for a routine check-up, ask if braces might be right for you.


What happens if you’re right in the middle of a song, in front of an arena full of fans… and you knock out a tooth with your microphone? If you’re Michael Buble, you don’t stop the show — you just keep right on singing.

The Canadian song stylist was recently performing at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia, when an ill-timed encounter with the mike resulted in the loss of one of his teeth. But he didn’t let on to his dental dilemma, and finished the concert without a pause. The next day, Buble revealed the injury to his fans on his Instagram page, with a picture of himself in the dentist’s chair, and a note: “Don’t worry, I’m at the dentist getting fixed up for my final show tonight.”

Buble’s not the only singer who has had a close encounter with a mike: Country chanteuse Taylor Swift and pop star Demi Lovato, among others, have injured their teeth on stage. Fortunately, contemporary dentistry can take care of problems like this quickly and painlessly. So when you’ve got to get back before the public eye, what’s the best (and speediest) way to fix a chipped or broken tooth?

It depends on exactly what’s wrong. If it’s a small chip, cosmetic bonding might be the answer. Bonding uses special tooth-colored resins that mimic the natural shade and luster of your teeth. The whole procedure is done right here in the dental office, usually in just one visit. However, bonding isn’t as long-lasting as some other tooth-restoration methods, and it can’t fix large chips or breaks.

If a tooth’s roots are intact, a crown (or cap) can be used to replace the entire visible part. The damaged tooth is fitted for a custom-fabricated replacement, which is usually made in a dental laboratory and then attached at a subsequent visit (though it can sometimes be fabricated with high-tech machinery right in the office).

If the roots aren’t viable, you may have the option of a bridge or a dental implant. With a fixed bridge, the prosthetic tooth is supported by crowns that are placed on healthy teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge itself is a one-piece unit consisting of the replacement tooth plus the adjacent crowns.

In contrast, a high-tech dental implant is a replacement tooth that’s supported not by your other teeth, but by a screw-like post of titanium metal, which is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical procedure. Dental implants have the highest success rate of any tooth-replacement method (over 95 percent); they help preserve the quality of bone on the jaw; and they don’t result in weakening the adjacent, healthy teeth — which makes implants the treatment of choice for many people.

So whether you’re crooning for ten thousand adoring fans or just singing in the shower, there's no reason to let a broken tooth stop the show: Talk to us about your tooth-restoration options! If you would like additional information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Dental Implants vs. Bridgework.”