Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Bad Teeth & Social Stigma - The Ugly Truth

Dentistry is horribly expensive, and as a result, large percentages of people in every age group avoid going to the dentist due to the high cost alone.  It is unfortunate, but there is a certain stigma attached to those who have poor dentition or decayed teeth; placed there by a society that considers one's appearance to be a measurable factor in their character, ability and even their intelligence.  After all, a smile is the first thing that people notice when they first meet someone.

How is the person with the decayed teeth, gum disease or misaligned teeth perceived by society in general? The answer isn't pretty.  Many are thought of as poor, some unintelligent, even more are outcast as socially inferior.  Some are denied entry into social groups, some are denied jobs. In some groups one is considered to be less likely to be successful if they have poor teeth. This treatment, this stigma, can lead to lower self esteem, depression and worse, poverty. It drives them even further down the social/economic ladder. 

It is interesting to note that the age group hit hardest by this problem are the millennial's. Dentistry is a luxury they simply can't afford. Due to the social stigma of poor dentition, many can't find jobs. It is estimated that some 30% of millennial's have tooth decay or are in need of serious dental care.  This is the highest percentage of any other age group.  Millennial's are also less likely to have dental insurance.  Senior citizens are second only to the millennial's.  Another travesty with devastating consequences, as the rise in dental costs affects senior's health and well being even more than their social status.

It is also interesting to note that the United States is a country that places a high importance on the appearance of an individual, in terms of social status.  In other countries, such as England, Australia, Africa and even Japan, it is more widely accepted to have a less than perfect smile. It just isn't that important to them. 

We, as a society, need to stop judging the book by it's cover. American's are a tough group!  Chill out, people!  Not everyone can look like a celebrity.

Keep smiling! 


Monday, September 17, 2018

Facts About Taste Buds

When your taking a bite of a big, juicy burger or sipping on a milkshake, you know one thing... It tastes good, right? Ever think about why that is? 

Your tongue and the roof of your mouth are covered in thousands of these tiny little buds. When you eat, your saliva helps break down food. Your taste buds send little messages to your brain which tell you all kinds of information like wheather or not the food tastes good, if it's hot, cold, sweet, sour, etc. 

Taste buds are most important because they are play the biggest part in enjoying different foods and flavors. As a child, you would have been more sensitive to different foods because your taste buds were not only on your tongue, but on the roof and the sides of your mouth. As an adult, you may notice certain foods you were unable to eat as a child, taste better. This is because your taste buds are more centered to your tongue area and are now less sensitive.

Here are some facts about your taste buds:

-Buds that taste bitterness are located at the back of the tongue. Sour taste buds are located on either side of the tongue, with salty/sweet buds on the tip. The center of the tongue does not have many taste buds.

-Taste is the weakest of the 5 senses

- Girls have more tastebuds than boys

-We have nearly 10,000 taste buds inside our mouths

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Is One Type Of Floss Better Than Another?

We're often asked, "What's the best type of floss to use?" The truth is that the best type of floss to use is the one that gets used daily! Floss cleans away plaque and food particles that your toothbrush may miss. In fact, if you don't floss, you're missing 35% of the surface of your teeth! So as long as you're flossing daily, we recommend you choose the one that's most comfortable for you.

Here's a brief explanation of the two main types of floss:
  • Nylon (multifilament) floss is most common and comes in waxed, flavored, unflavored, and varying on thickness.
  • PTFE (monofilament) floss doesn't rip or tear, so some find it glides between the teeth better.
Information from a flyer I received from my dentist, Dr. Ghasem K. Darian - Winning Smiles Dentistry

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Dentistry in Mexico-It's Your Decision

An article I read online started me thinking about this topic. "Why would anyone want to risk their health and safety by visiting a doctor or dentist in a country where sanitation standards are questionable and there is no way to determine whether a doctor is reputable; or even competent? There would be no legal recourse for a mistake, no refund, no malpractice insurance."
The above excerpt was taken from a blog I published in February of 2008. With time, the economy over the last 10 years and many testimonials from people I've talked to while working in this industry, I must say that I have come to an understanding on this subject at least, if only marginally.  I still stand firm on the safety issues of traveling to Mexico for either  medical or dental treatment....sanitation remains a concern except that I now know many of the dental offices there are actually staffed with American Dentists, and in fairness, their american training and work ethic are at or above the standard.  Some of these dentists live there and work, some commute and the overall benefit to the traveling patient is that they can get the treatment they need from a qualified professional at a cost that is way below the standard fees charged in the US. The doctors are not bound to  [admittedly ridiculous] regulations, exorbitant insurance rates and high operating costs that are the norm in the US, thus allowing them to perform dentistry and pass the savings along to the patient. The drawbacks to these seemingly stellar benefits are the risks of complication, and to mention again, safety during travel.  When Mexico is hundreds of miles away and the patient needs further, immediate treatment, where do they go?  To a dentist in America who certainly will not fix the problem for free...and well, there you have it. 
All that said, there are risks involved, which poses the question,  "does the money saved really outweigh the risk?"  Many think that it does.  I for one, always the skeptic, would need to think VERY hard about it if I were ever faced with that dilemma.
In my humble and educated opinion a good Dental Plan can be far more effective in helping to stabilize the rising costs of dentistry and it's much safer.  It just is.

Keep smiling!



Monday, September 10, 2018

Is A Dog's Mouth Clean?

We have all had a dog lick us at one point in time. Some think it is gross while others take it as a sign of affection and your dog is just kissing you. We all know dogs will pretty much lick ‘anything’ so I find it hard to believe their mouth could be sanitary.
I tried to google about it but I get mixed theories on the subject. Some say they are clean and can even heal a wound you have, while others say their mouths are not 'sanitary' due to the diseases or illnesses you can get from a dog bite. I would like to know what you think and any web-sites you might have that back up the theory dog’s mouth are indeed clean and we won't think ‘eeww’ when they lick all over our faces. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

How Missing Teeth Damage Your Health And Appearance

The consequences of missing permanent teeth go far beyond self-consciousness. Here are a few ways an unwanted gap may affect your mouth and face.

  • Teeth rely on each other to stay in position. A space in your smile is an invitation for surrounding teeth to shift and drift out of place.
  • Your teeth support your facial muscles. Without a full set of teeth, the muscles and skin may begin to sag, giving your cheeks a sunken look and making you appear much older than you are.
  • Missing teeth may make it more difficult to chew your food completely, practice proper oral hygiene, and may affect how you speak.
  • Your jawbone relies on stimulation from your teeth to remain stong and thick. When teeth are missing, the bone will weaken and deteriorate. Dental Implants are sepecially effective in promoting bone health.
 *Information is from a flyer from my dental office...Dr. Ghasem K. Darian - Winning Smiles Dentistry

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Are Amalgam Fillings Safe? Another Side of the Argument...

This is an excellent question. I thought it might be interesting to stir the debate a little....after all, so much controversy surrounds the issue. In this day and age when everyone (medical professionals and the average patient alike) is so much more aware of the harmful toxins in the air we breathe and ingredients in our food and water....it's nice to be able to have a choice about what goes into our body.
Here is a link to a very good article that has an interesting twist...a link to a youtube video that actually shows mercury vapor coming out of an extracted tooth that had an amalgam filling. This will knock your socks off! Watch and decide for yourself. It might just help you to make that ever-important decision...Amalgam or Composite?

Always remember to keep smiling!

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