Serving Long Beach, Lakewood,
Los Alamitos and the surrounding area

request an appointment

4 Easy Tricks to Protect Your Smile

You only get one mouth- how are you treating yours?

The best oral health requires more than just a toothbrush. Since the condition of your mouth affects your confidence, first impression, and overall physical health, there are countless reasons to make your oral health a top priority.

The following 4 Easy Tricks to Protect Your Smile will help you take control of your teeth and gums to stop cavities, gum disease, and other serious issues before they ever develop. 

Cleaning and Exams

Visiting your dentist every six months is a core component of successful preventative care. Your dentist uses each six-month appointment to evaluate your gums, teeth, tongue, and throat. If he notices any changes from one appointment to the other, your dentist has the opportunity to address potential problems quickly, before they worsen. Without regular dental appointments, these subtle changes go unnoticed until they start causing aggressive, uncomfortable symptoms.

You can expect your Long Beach, CA dentist to perform the following steps in every cleaning and exam:

  • – Assess lymph nodes and lower jaw joints
  • -Check for signs of gum disease, loose or broken teeth, and decay
  • -Identify any change in the way your gums cover your teeth
  • -Consider the cleanliness and condition of your teeth and gums


Of course, every dental exam also involves a deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar that regular brushing and flossing often miss. Topical fluoride is added as a simple yet powerful way to protect teeth from cavities.

Request Oral Cancer Screenings

Every cancer is bad news… but oral cancer is especially harsh. This disease forms inside the mouth. Since it often develops without any obvious signs or symptoms, only a professional screening can increase your odds of finding it early.

If you smoke, you’re automatically at higher risk for oral cancer than a non-smoker. More than 70 of the 7,000 chemicals found in tobacco smoke are known carcinogens! A few other lifestyle choices and medical conditions may increase your risk for oral cancer as well:

  • -Heavy alcohol use
  • -Long-term unprotected sun exposure to your lips
  • -Pre-existing immune deficiency
  • -An STD called human papillomavirus (HPV)


It’s possible for mouth cancer to develop unnoticed on the lips, gums, tongue, roof or floor of the mouth, and inner lining of the cheeks. This is why it’s so critical to receive regular oral cancer screenings.

Only an oral cancer screening from your dentist can identify signs you may not notice or consider threatening:

  • -Loose and wiggling teeth
  • -A growth inside your mouth
  • -Mouth and ear pain
  • -Non-healing lip or mouth sore
  • -Colored patches inside of your mouth


Oral cancer screenings are quick, simple, and non-invasive. Your dentist will examine your entire oral cavity, including your jaw, tongue, gumline, and throat. Though oral cancer affects nearly 50,000 Americans every year and kills almost 10,000 adults annually, it’s highly treatable with radiation therapy when detected early through an oral cancer screening!

Isn’t a 10-minute exam a small price to pay to save your life?

Get X-Rays

An X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation known for its use in producing images of internal body structures like bones and teeth. This is why digital x-ray imaging is such a valuable tool in dentistry. 

Your dentist uses digital x-rays to produce detailed images of your teeth, gums, and bone. These x-rays offer insight into the condition of your mouth that may not otherwise be evident. Make sure you visit the dentist regularly to receive timely x-rays and give your dentist the opportunity to detect, diagnose, and treat existing conditions and diseases.

Create Better Eating Habits

The food you eat matters for your waistline, your heart, and your smile. The right smile-friendly foods, you can brighten your teeth, prevent cavities, and make your brushing routine more powerful.

Tip 1: Ditch Soda (For Good!)

The taste of soda isn’t worth the damage it causes your body. Soda’s empty calories are bad for the body and its sugar and acid cause serious harm to your teeth. Fruit juice isn’t any better. If you’re determined to keep your teeth healthy for the future, start swapping soda and juice for water.  

In addition to keeping your body hydrated, drinking water during and between meals helps wash food debris, acid, and bacteria off your teeth. It’s like a simple, natural mouthwash that removes sugar before it has a chance to cause damage. 

Of course, water also reduces dry mouth and keeps your breath fresh. Drinking cool H20 instead of other high-sugar drinks is an effortless way to protect your mouth from unnecessary damage.

Tip 2: Make the Most of Dairy

As long as you’re not intolerant to dairy, cheese and yogurt are excellent and healthy food choices. Be sure to choose unprocessed yogurt and cheese options that are low in sugar. Many flavored yogurts contain almost as much sugar as a bottle of soda! The protein and calcium found in low-fat dairy help strengthen your teeth by remineralizing and rebuilding enamel that’s been compromised by acids and sugars. 

Tip 3: Crunch Away

Apples and almonds are two of the best crunchy foods for your teeth. They stimulate saliva production, which is an essential natural response to wash bacteria and stray food particles out of your mouth. As an added bonus, the crunch and texture of these foods may be satisfying enough to resist temptation from less healthy choices like sticky candies and potato chips. 

Go Green

Green veggies and green tea are both powerful sources of vitamins and antioxidants that combat dangerous inflammation and support the production of red blood cells. Stock up on spinach, kale, and green tea to improve your gum health and reap the benefits of a healthy smile. 

Find a Preventative Dentistry Expert

You deserve a dentist who makes your dental health his top priority. That’s why Dr. Pakiz and his team are committed to helping all of their patients achieve optimal dental health through personalized care, state-of-the-art treatments, and attentive prevention.

Call (562) 597-7830 to schedule an appointment and learn more about Dr. Pakiz today. Your smile will thank you!