Sunday, November 27, 2016

Homemade Denture Cleaner

Tired of constantly buying denture cleaner? I know I get tired of buying it for my retainers.

Now you will no longer have to buy denture cleaner after I give you a few simple homemade cleaner recipes I have found made from house  hold products.

  •  Bleach-based soak:
    • Directions for Making: 
      • 1 part bleach mixed with 10 parts water.
      • Best to make when ready to use.
    • Directions for use:
      • Soak for only 3-10 minutes. **Do not soak overnight**
      • Rinse dentures off with cool water before placing them back into the mouth.
  • Vinegar-based soak:
    • Directions for making:
      • Soaking duration mixtures:
        • 10 minute soaking: Full strength vinegar.
        •  30 minute soaking: 1 part vinegar to 1 part water.
        • 8 hours soaking: 1 part vinegar to 9 part water.
    • Directions for use:
      • After soaking,bush the denture to help remove stubborn mineral deposits.
      • Rinse denture with cold water and place them back into the mouth.
  • Sodium Bicarbonate soak:
    • Directions for making:
      • 1 Tsp of baking soda dissolved in 8 oz of water.
    • Directions for use:
      • Soak for 30 minutes.
      • Rinse and place back into the mouth.
*Note: If you are not placing your dentures back into your mouth after you have soaked them, they should be immersed in clean water.

Remember to always discuss your plan with your dentist before trying something new!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Tips To Understanding Your 2017 Dental Benefits

For those of you who get dental benefits at work the time is quickly approaching to renew those benefits. Which means there will most likely be changes to benefits package that is offered. I am sure that most of you do not read through the 150 page packet that you will be mailed so knowing what benefits you have and don't have will be a big surprise when you are at the dental office. Even if you did read all 150 pages, they are not very comprehensive and what information is there is not put into language that we understand.

Here are some tips to help you understand all of that insurance jargon.

1. Figure out how much are paying per month and per year. Chances are good that this is taken out of each paycheck. It may not seem like much when you break it down that way but when you look at the big picture, then you will know truly how much it is costing you.

2. Check for exclusion. Something is going to be excluded that is a given. It is important to know this information when you go to the dentist. If you need a procedure done you want to know if it is covered BEFORE you get it done.

3. Check for coverage percentages on procedures. Find out how much is covered on your cleanings, fillings, crown, root canals, extractions etc etc. They coverage will vary especially if you have not had this insurance for long.

4. Find out what your coverage cap is. If your company is offering dental insurance, then you will have a coverage cap. Usually anywhere from 1000-2000 dollars per year. You will want to know this because that amount can be easily depleted in just a couple visits. If you exceed that, then you are responsible for everything else out of pocket.

If you know these 4 things, then you will have information that you need to get a basic overview and understanding of what your coverage provides. That gives you the tools you need to compare and research to find out if that coverage is worth your investment, or if you would rather obtain coverage outside of your work. You can opt out of the dental coverage that they offer.

Don't forget to compare it a dental plan as well. Plans (like ours) offer low year rates, no exclusions, 50% off all dental work and no coverage cap.

You can compare your insurance to our plan by visiting our comparison zone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Your Oral Health and The Benefits of Green Tea

It's a commonly known fact that green tea has many health benefits.  It's a natural antioxidant and it's great for your digestive system. Aside from that, it apparently has oral health benefits!
The following tips are just a few ways your mouth can benefit from drinking Green Tea:

Did you know?

1. It can help to prevent and reduce Periodontal Inflammation
2. Evidence has shown that it can prevent and destroy Oral Cancer Cells
3. Inhibits the Formation of Dental Plaque
4. Repels Odor-Causing Bacteria, giving you better breath! 
Just a couple of cups a day can make a difference. Additionally, there are dental products out there that have Green Tea as an ingredient.  Look for these products in your local health food stores.  

This is another great reason to enjoy your afternoon tea!
Keep Smiling! 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Mouthwash Is An Accent To Brushing, Not A Replacement

I am sure we have all been there, myself included. In a hurry, running late, don’t have time to brush, so you swish away some mouthwash and go on your merry little way. Well, we may be able to get away with it every once in a while, but making a habit of it can do more harm than good. Fluoride is good for your teeth, gums and mouth, but too much can have a counter-effect and make things worse.  Which is why using it correctly is important. If you would like the “do’s and don’ts” for using mouthwash, then refer to my blog from July 29, 2013 "Mouthwash.. Are You Using It Correctly?”

Mouthwash is beneficial for killing germs, giving your teeth and gum that fluoride rinse, freshening your breath and breaking loose some particles between your teeth. However, brushing and flossing is more important.

Brushing removes the plaque and tartar and flossing cleans out between your teeth and gum line. Places you can’t get by swishing around mouthwash. There is no definitive answer of whether or not using mouthwash is more effective before or after you brush. So that may be something that should consult with you dentist about and see what they recommend for you!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tips to Ensure That Your Child Will Have Good Strong Teeth

Have you ever heard the old wives’ tale that women should expect to lose a tooth with each child?  Well as it turns out, long ago that belief was well rooted in reality! Now, however, this is a proven modern-day myth. Your baby actually gets the calcium he needs from your diet and if your diet does not contain enough calcium, the body will access the mineral from the supply in your bones, not from your teeth. But today, with careful management, most of us should be able to avoid losing our teeth. So what steps can you take to ensure that you keep your teeth in top condition, and what can you do for your child after he is born to keep his teeth healthy?
The following are some important points to remember for you and your child to ensure healthy teeth:

While you are pregnant:

Eat a healthy diet rich in calcium to keep the stores in your body at a healthy level. Dairy products and green leafy vegetables are good sources of calcium.

Brush and floss daily. It is important to keep plaque and tartar at bay. A healthy mouth will lead to a healthier baby!

Ages 0 To 10

STUDIES have shown that if we have tooth decay as babies, then we are more likely to get decay in our permanent teeth. Dental hygiene can and should begin with newborns. Bacteria can be removed by wrapping a piece of gauze around your finger and gently wiping the baby’s gum pads.

Apart from their food-processing function, baby teeth are important as space maintainers so that permanent teeth have a space to grow into. If these teeth are lost early through decay, the space may not be saved, so permanent teeth can drift - a problem more likely to lead to a need for braces later. Consequently, a baby’s sugar intake should be monitored, bearing in mind that even health foods such as milk and fruit contain sugars.

Baby toothbrushes with soft heads should be introduced as soon as teeth come through, along with specially formulated children’s toothpaste. These contain the optimal dose fluoride for youngsters.

Have their teeth cleaned regularly from the age of  2 years.  Regular dental screenings can prevent loss of teeth in early years, and helps get your child in the habit of practicing good dental hygiene.

Nursing Bottle Syndrome - a condition which causes rampant decay in a baby’s teeth - can occur from six months, and constant sweetened drinks are often blamed. Studies have shown that 50% of five and six year old children may have erosion of their front milk teeth - a condition that can cause pain and sensitivity. At around the age of six, the first molar teeth start to appear. These can be sealed with a plastic coating, known as fissure sealant, to prevent decay.

Overall, good hygiene for both mother and baby is essential to healthy teeth. The better their teeth when they are young, the longer they will keep them as adults!! In my line of work, I encounter people almost daily in their 90's who still have their own teeth. In part because of a healthy lifestyle and partly because of amazing technology and advancement in dentistry.

Keep Smiling!

Edited and revised by walnutflwr 02/14

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Natural Ways To Heal Canker Sores

We all know how uncomfortable and painful canker sores can be, right? I'm sure you have tried Orajel and canker x to help heal the pain but have you tried any natural remedies? 

Lists below are some natural remedies to help heal those painful sores:
  • Alum Powder (kitchen spice) - Place a small amount of alum directly on the sore, allow it to sit for 1 minute then spit out. *Do not swallow.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) - Soak a cotton ball in ACV and apply to the sore.
  • Vitamin E - Open a vitamin E casual and apply directly on the sore.
  • Aloe Vera - Put some fresh aloe Vera juice on the sore 3-4 times a day.
Hopefully with the help of these you will get some relief from the pain and discomfort.

To help prevent Canker sores you should brush your teeth after every meal and floss twice a day to keep your mouth free of food particles that trigger these painful sores.

If you still end up with a canker sore, use a soft toothbrush such as an perio-toothbrush to prevent irritation while brushing and avoid toothpastes and mouth rinses that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Soft Bristle vs Medium Bristle Toothbrush

When you go to store to buy a new toothbrush, the dilemma begins. What kind of brush do you buy? Soft bristle, Medium Bristle, Extra Soft? So many choices!! Well, the answer is quite simple. First off, just know that the hard bristle brushes that could almost double as bbq grill cleaner are few and far between and harder to find anymore. For most people, the soft brush is good fit, but let's compare them so you can decide for yourself.

Soft Bristle: This is what the majority of people will use. The bristles are firm enough to effectively clean your teeth and loosen anything that is stuck in your teeth as well. The soft bristles are designed to be easy on your gum line and will reduce the chance of getting cuts.

Medium Bristle: The need for a medium brush is rare. First, if you have sensitivity in your gum you will want to stay away for it so you can avoid irritation. This is a good fit for someone who is a "soft brusher". Which means if the pressure you put on your brush is really light, then the medium bristles will counteract that.

Extra-Soft: This brush is key for people that has sensitive teeth and gums. The bristles are soft enough to avoid irritation.

Make sure that you consult with your dentist on which brush they recommended for you!

A Little Dental Poetry

Here are a couple of my old favorites. Enjoy!

A tooth fell out
And left a space
So big my tongue could touch my face
And every time I smile, I show
A space where something used to grow!
I miss my tooth as you can guess, but
Then I have to brush one less!

--Unknown Author

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When Grandpa starts to floss his tooth,
We set the bleachers up.
He takes his false teeth from his mouth
And drops them in a cup.
In the mirror we see him grin
As he looks upon the prize.
His one remaining tooth smiles back
As pride lights up his eyes.
He measures out a piece of floss,
About four feet or more.
And as he turns to face himself
It drags across the floor.
So carefully he lifts the hand
That holds the captured end.
Like chalk across the blackboard,
We hear his elbow bend.
With one end held against that tooth,
The other end is found.
Then grandpa—at a snail-like pace
Begins the wrap around.
When wrapped he does a little hop
And twirls a dainty spin
We see the tooth begin to shine
As he flosses it again.
So then we all stand up to cheer,
He shyly takes his bow.
And says, "I'm glad for your applause,
Please listen to me now,
"My tooth is an example
That yours might well be lost,
Unless you brush them everyday
And make sure they all are flossed."

—Grandpa Tucker
Copyright ©2000 by Bob Tucker

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hairy Tongue

Hairy Tongue is an abnormal coating on the top surface of the tongue. This is a harmless condition that affects 13% of the population.

This conditions is common in older males and has been found that hairy tongue is caused by poor oral hygiene, medications, smoking, breathing through the mouth and people who have no teeth.

You can prevent hairy tongue by maintaining proper oral hygiene. Brushing the tongue is just as important as brushing and flossing your teeth. The tongue harbors bacteria and food particles under a thin layer of mucus. All you need is your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Gently but the toothbrush or scraper to the back of the tongue and then work forward to the opening of the mouth. Rinse with water after each pass.

If hairy tongue is not resolved by using proper oral hygiene techniques, consult with your dentist about medical or surgical treatments that are available.

Image result for hairy tongue

Information found here!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Why Are Some Cleanings More Expensive Than Others

This is a very common question that we get from our members and the answer is rather simple. Not all cleaning are the same. Basically, there are 4 main types of cleanings, Regular Cleaning, Difficult Cleaning, Periodontal Treatment and Periodontal Maintenance.

Regular Cleaning: This is the basic cleaning that you get a few time a year. They are relatively inexpensive and don't take to long to complete. It consists of the cleaning, a few x-rays, fluoride rinse and an examination.

Difficult Cleaning: This cleaning is more involved than a regular clean but not as intense as the periodontal treatment. This is also referred to as deep cleaning. This is usually done on patients that have not had their teeth cleaned in a while and has a lot of plaque and tartar build up. It consists of the same things as a regular cleaning, but also includes more scraping and cleaning of teeth and gum line. It is more expensive than a regular cleaning and takes more time to complete.

Periodontal Treatment: This is for patients that have periodontal disease or symptoms there of. Depending on the severity of the diagnosis will determine whether the dentist will handle the treatment in the office or or refer the patient to a periodontist. This treatment is not done is 1 visit. It is done in anywhere from 2-4 visits with each visit treating 1 quadrant of the patient's mouth. This is the most expensive type of "cleaning". For a patient in periodontal treatment, in most cases, no other dental work on their treatment plan will be done until the periodontal treatment is complete.

Periodontal Maintenance: This is for any patient that has had a periodontal treatment. After completing the treatment, every cleaning there after is a maintenance cleaning and treatment follow up. This is more invasive than a regular cleaning and a difficult cleaning and at times more expensive.

If you and your family member are paying different prices for a cleaning at the same dental office, then there is a good chance that you are getting different styles of cleanings. You should check with your dental center for clarification.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Your Dental Provider's Role in Early Detection of HIV

It is commonly known that early detection of HIV combined with advances in treatment can give individuals more years, more options, and more hope.  The dental community can be the first line of defense in identifying possible signs of HIV.  Dental teams have a unique opportunity to identify individuals who may be HIV-positive and unaware of their status. There are oral conditions which may indicate the existence of HIV such as thrush (candidiasis), enlarged saliva glands, mouth ulcers and dry mouth. Once identified, the dental practitioner then has the opportunity to discuss, counsel, and offer referral for HIV testing and treatment. Early diagnosis can significantly improve the health & longevity of infected people. Additionally, with early diagnosis the number of people who know their HIV status increases, which can also be helpful to reduce the number of new cases, as once people are aware of their infection, they are significantly less likely to put others at risk of transmission. Currently, some dental offices are conducting rapid HIV testing.  This may be an especially appropriate venue in a public health dental facility or private practice in areas that have high reports of HIV infection. It has been reported that possibly one of every five people living with HIV in the U.S. is unaware of their HIV status. In recent years, with the advances in medicine, people are now living longer and thriving with HIV infection. The earlier they can be diagnosed and begin treatment, the better the outcome.

Stay well and Keep Smiling!  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Gingivitis Vs. Periodontitis

People often confuse "gingivitis" and "periodontitis" as the same thing, but they are actually two different conditions.

Gingivitis is inflammation around the gums due to excess plaque on the teeth. You may notice your gums are red, swollen and bleed easily when brushing.

Periodontitis is the infection of the structure around the teeth which include the cementum, periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone.

The first sign of periodontal disease begins with gingivitis. If you are starting to notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, this is a warning sign that you need to see your dentist. If you ignore these warning signs you may start have bad breath this is because the gum tissue is beginning to recede and will eventually detach from the tooth causing pockets. Ultimately if you don't receive any treatment your teeth will become loose and have to be removed.

Treatments can vary depending on the extent of gum disease. Some types of treatments include:

  • Deep cleaning (Scaling and root Planning)
  • Medication along with deep cleanings
  • Surgeries
    • Flap surgery
    • Bone and tissue graft
You can always be pro active when it comes to your oral healthy by brushing and flossing twice a day and visiting your dentist every 6 months for cleanings and check ups.