If you are sick with a cold or flu, your oral health probably isn’t your priority. Depending on how sick you are, it can be an exhausting thought just to drag yourself out of bed, much less head to the bathroom to brush your teeth!

However, neglecting your oral hygiene at this time can, unfortunately, can mean bad things for your teeth and gums. Your Santa Monica, CA family dentist doesn’t expect you to be an oral health superstar during this time, but taking care of yourself now can minimize the risk of developing cavities and other oral health issues.

Protect Your Oral Health While You're Sick

Here are a few easy things you can do to protect your oral health, so look them over so you can be prepared the next time you get sick:

  • Put floss on your nightstand – Daily flossing is critical for preventing gum disease, so keep floss on your nightstand. That way, you will be more likely to use it while you are lying in bed with nothing else to do!
  • Stay hydrated – It is common to get dry mouth when you are sick, but the lack of saliva promotes bacterial growth. Many cold medications are also dehydrating, so keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Sucking on sugar-free cough drops can also help stimulate the flow of saliva.
  • Don’t skip brushing – It may be the last thing on your mind, but brushing is just as important when you’re sick. You may be surprised at how brushing can help you feel refreshed, and it has the added benefit of removing decay-producing plaque and bacteria from your mouth.
  • Rinse with water after vomiting –Unfortunately, throwing up is often part of being sick. You will probably be tempted to brush immediately after to get rid of the unpleasant taste in your mouth. However, the acid levels rise in your mouth after vomiting, which can weaken dental enamel. But rinsing with water neutralizes the acid in your mouth and help stop erosion.

Please Call Our Office

If you have questions about caring for your oral health, please call the Santa Monica, CA family dentist. We will be happy to assist you and schedule an appointment for you if necessary!


Has your smile lost the brilliance it once had? Have you tried over-the-counter tooth whitening products and seen disappointing results, if any at all? If you are tired of stained or yellow teeth, our Santa Monica teeth whitening dentist office is where this can all change.

There are many over the counter tooth whitening systems on the market today, but none are as effective or provide the same level of whitening as the professional products. Tooth whitening is the simplest and least expensive way to enhance your smile and restore a youthful appearance.

Why Your Teeth Are Stained or Discolored

Teeth can naturally be less than white or may be stained and discolored due to:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Illness
  • Certain medications (such as antibiotics)


Most common reasons for discoloration are due to:

  • Tobacco use
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soft drinks
  • Wine


How Zoom! Teeth Whitening Helps

Tooth whitening is one of the safest dental procedures available. The Zoom! whitening system is a state of the art, in-office procedure. It is a safe, easy, and effective bleaching process that lightens the discoloration of your enamel and dentin.

We offer this system as well as other professional home whitening products. We perform the whitening procedure while you sit back in our comfortable chair, and relax while you listen to your favorite music.

Contact your Santa Monica teeth whitening dentist for a complimentary consultation to evaluate your whitening goals and needs. We take the time to ensure that you will leave with the beautiful vibrant smile you are looking for.



Ever since the appearance of the first electric toothbrush in 1927, the debate has raged: electric or manual? If you haven’t yet visited our Santa Monica dentist office to hear our take on the pros and cons of each, this blog will serve as a useful primer.


Manual Toothbrush


Manual toothbrushes have certainly been around far longer than their electric counterparts, and despite their lack of fancy accoutrements, manual brushes are still quite effective for ensuring clean teeth, a bright smile, and a healthy mouth, and warding off oral maladies such as cavities and gingivitis.


Manual toothbrushes are easily the most affordable option, typically costing from $1 - $3. Manual brushes are always available too, possessing a ubiquitous nature that covers everything from grocery stores and gas stations, to dollar stores and pharmacies. Plus, you can use a manual toothbrush anywhere, anytime, without worrying about charging it.



Maybe the biggest drawback to using a manual toothbrush is one that became far more noticeable with the advent of the electric toothbrush: the risk of not brushing long enough when using a manual brush. When electric toothbrushes came around, their timers, blinking lights, etc. made it easy for people to brush for the right amount of time. This is just one of the things manual users have to deal with, usually by counting to one’s self, or setting a timer on their watch or phone.


Another con – albeit one that is more of a behavioral observation than a provable assertion – is that manual toothbrush users are more likely to brush too hard, which can hurt the gums and teeth. The idea is that an electric toothbrush is doing the work for the user, making it seem as though a manual brush needs a firmer hand. Of course, this isn’t the case. A manual toothbrush should be applied just as gently as an electric brush.


Electric Toothbrush

To be honest, there are many more advantages than disadvantages to using an electric toothbrush. The drawbacks are pretty obvious: cost and the need for a consistent charge. With this in mind, our Santa Monica dentists will focus on the pros, since there are several important ones you should know about.


Built-In timers:as mentioned in the previous section, these are a big help for everyone, especially kids, in the quest to develop good brushing habits.


Safe for gums: an electric toothbrush is very effective at promoting overall oral health, and despite its sound and speed it doesn’t hurt the gums or tooth enamel.


Less waste: when a manual toothbrush expires, the whole thing is discarded. But when an electric toothbrush is finished, you just need to replace the brush head – not the entire apparatus.


Better for people with limited mobility: since an electric toothbrush does most of the work with minimal physical input required, it’s a terrific option for those who suffer from arthritis and carpal tunnel. Plus, the ease-of-function is a boon to people with developmental disabilities.


Proven plaque removal: multiple studies confirm that electric toothbrushes trump manual brushes when it comes to removing plaque and preventing gum disease. In fact, one study showed that after three months of use, an electric toothbrush reduces plaque by 21% and gingivitis by 11%.


We Provide Brushing Tips and Much More

If you’re seeking an established, successful partner for Santa Monica dentistry, Dr. Carol E. Follette is the dentist for you. We use the latest dental tools and technologies to take care of your teeth, and we’ll recommend the right electric toothbrush so you can maintain top oral health at home.