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Dr. Steven Guekguezian, DDS

Dr. Steven Guekguezian, known to his patients as Dr. G., was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, moved to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a dentist. He graduated from New York University College of Dentistry and is now practicing dentistry in Los Gatos, California. He was inducted into the OKU chapter of the National Dental Honor Society. Membership in the OKU is limited to those dental students who have distinguished themselves by excellence in scholarship, while demonstrating exemplary traits of character and potential qualities for future professional growth and attainments.

Dr. G. is an active member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association and the Santa Clara County Dental Society. He is also a volunteer teacher at a weekly Armenian school. He speaks english, french, armenian and basic spanish. Dr. G. is a husband and father of two children.

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Oral Health

Listed below are various topics that contribute to maintaining oral health.

  • What is plaque?

    Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria and sugars that constantly forms on our teeth. It is the main cause of cavities. More specifically, the bacteria living in the plaque are the culprits that cause cavities. Therefore excellent daily oral care is necessary to constantly remove plaque from all surfaces of every teeth in order to avoid cavities and other oral health issues.

    Researchers have identified over 500 different species of bacteria in the mouth. Are they all bad for you? NO! The majority of bacteria found in the mouth are actually very beneficial. However there is a minority of bacteria that can cause all sorts of problems if not dealt with in terms of daily brushing and flossing. If not removed daily, these bad bacteria not only multiply but also get more aggressive in attacking your teeth, gums and bone support.

  • What is tartar?

    Tartar, sometimes called calculus, is plaque that has hardened on your teeth due to minerals from your saliva constantly mixing with it. Tartar can also form at and underneath the gum-line and can irritate gum tissues. Tartar gives plaque more surface area on which to grow and a much stickier surface to adhere, which can lead to more serious conditions, such as cavities and gum disease. While plaque is colorless, tartar is not. It can be yellowish and/or brownish. While you can brush and floss plaque from your teeth, you can’t brush and floss tartar off. It is a hard substance which needs to be removed mechanically (known as scaling) by your dentist or hygienist. If tartar is not removed, it can cause cavities, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and/or periodontists (inflammation of the tooth’s support system).

  • Tooth brushing

    Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride.
    The most effective technique to brush your teeth is the following:

    1) Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
    2) Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
    3) Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth.
    4) Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

    Rinse your mouth with water after your done brushing.

  • Tooth flossing

    Now, brushing is great! However it is not enough for optimal oral health. Flossing is a must to maintain great oral health. It goes hand in hand with brushing, you can’t separate them. Flossing removes and disrupts the bacterial colonies that form under your gums and between your teeth that can cause cavities, inflammation, bleeding, gum recession and bone loss. Make sure you floss your teeth at least once a day, preferably before you sleep.

    1) Take 14-18 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle fingers.
    2) With a very gentle see-saw motion, guide the floss with your thumb and forefinger between the teeth. You should have about 2-3 inches of floss between your middle fingers.
    3) Curve the floss into a “C” shape under gumline and around each tooth. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

    Make sure you analyze the floss after each section you flossed. If the floss has food, plaque, or blood, wipe it clean with gauze or with running water and go back to the same area and floss again. Repeat this very important step everytime you floss a section or else all you will be doing is transferring the plaque and bacteria around your mouth instead of removing it. The floss has to be void of plaque and food to go to the next section.

  • Does nutrition play a role in oral health?

    Every time you eat, especially sweet, sugary or starchy foods, the bacteria in your mouth will also “eat” what your chewing and will produce acid as a by-product. That acid will attack your teeth and make microholes (holes you can’t see with your eyes) in your teeth. Usually your saliva buffers the acidity produced by the bacteria and plugs those holes with minerals it contains. However if the rate of acid production exceeds the rate of saliva buffering, you will eventually get a cavity.

    Therefore the frequency of eating or snacking is very important because if your teeth are being attacked by acid throughout the day due to frequent snacking, then you are increasing your risk of developing a cavity. Also the stickier the food, the higher the chance of developing a cavity due to that constant acid attack on one area of the tooth. For example ice cream clears your mouth faster than caramel. Therefore caramel gives you a higher risk of getting a cavity than ice cream.