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!

Visit Savon Dental Plan's website!
Follow us on Twitter!
Like us on Facebook!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Suffer from Dry Mouth?

Well there is hope for you yet! 

Several people suffer daily from a condition known as Xeristomia or Dry Mouth. Dry mouth can be brought on by any number of medical maladies and various prescription drugs. Most sufferers have found little to no relief from this condition and find themselves constantly drinking more water in hopes of quenching it.

New studies have shown that gums, candies, rinses and sweetners containing Xylitol offer comfort to those suffering from dry mouth. The xylitol coats the soft tissues of the mouth sealing in moisture and stimulates saliva flow.

There is a plethora of amazing over-the-counter products endorsed by dentists for treating dry mouth. Some products to check out are Biotene, Oasis and Sensodyne for Dry Mouth.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

What Is Second Tongue?

Body piercings are popular and the most common piercing between the ages 18-29 is the tongue piercing.

Wearing a tongue stud can put people at risk for chipped teeth, recessed gums and nerve damage. However, getting an oral piercing increases your chances of getting a fatal infection.

It's been reported that a pierced tongues can develop a large, round lump adjacent to the piercing. This lump is called the "second tongue". This lump doesn't hurt but its been determined to be scar tissue.

To help the decrease the size of the "second tongue" increase your oral hygiene routine up to multiple times a day (frequent use of mouthwash) and replace the stud to a smaller shafted stud.

The best way to protect your overall oral health is to not get your tongue pierced!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Dental Treatment? Who Can Afford It?

Given the current cost of dental procedures, that is a valid question. If keeping up with your dental needs has been put on the back burner, you're not alone. A good percentage of the population will still put off having routine dental exams and treatment because the cost is just too great. Let's face it, it's a "necessary luxury".  No one really thinks about dental coverage or dental work unless there is a problem. You may want to reconsider! In case you haven't noticed, even though the economy has begun to recover and wages are steadier, the price of dentistry isn't getting any cheaper! 
If you have a dental plan, use it! If you don't, now may be the time to get it. It can help keep the rising cost of dental care down. It's more important than ever to have some type of coverage. 
Here is an important thing to note: Dental plans are generally less expensive than insurance and tend to discount more procedures and products than traditional insurance. Insurance companies limit your benefits. Typically, dental plans don't.  Do your homework, but get some good dental coverage!

Don't wait for a toothache!!

As always, keep smiling!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Great Smile Is More Affordable Than A Bad One

For those of you that already have a great smile, I say this... Keep it! With the cost of dentistry not going down and only increasing, the cost to get that smile back is insurmountable.

Trust me when I tell you that the cost of toothpaste, mouthwash, floss and regular dental cleanings is a lot less expensive that the cost of restorative dental work.

Here are some tips to keeping that smile great:

1. Brush at least 2x per day
2. Floss daily
3. Get regular cleaning and checkups from your Dentist
4. Get any small dental work needed, done right away.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Can Teething Cause A Runny Nose?

Sleepless nights, my baby just wants to be held, loss of appetite, fever, runny nose and fussiness are just some of things we blame on teething but according to the Seattle Children Hospital, teething does not cause "cold" like symptoms such as: fever, runny nose or diarrhea.

Experts believe there is a indirect link that causes stress to the child when they are teething that leaves them vulnerable to infections which can cause the "cold" like symptoms.

When a child starts teething usually between the ages of 6-30 months, their immune system is changing so they become more exposed to illnesses.

If your child has a fever of 100.4 *F dont assume its from them teething, this is a sign that something else is going on.

Information found here!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Effects of HIV on Oral Health

With the advance of medical technology over the last 20 years, so much more is now known about the importance of oral health for people infected with HIV. Did you know that there are over 30 oral conditions that can either result from or be more problematic for people with HIV infection? Some of these conditions can occur in people who are not infected, but some of them are found exclusively in people who are infected. Did you know that at one time, it was thought that root canals and other invasive procedures should not be performed on people with HIV/AIDS, and that there are publications today that have been updated for copyright, but still include this misinformation in the transcripts? Oral health and preventative care is important for everyone, but even more important for people with compromised immune systems. Education is essential.

Click here to learn more about the oral conditions associated with HIV/AIDS.

Click here for information about financial aid for dentistry and other services for people infected with HIV/AIDS.

Visit Savon Dental Plan's Website!
Follow us on Twitter!
Like us on Facebook!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Some Insight From A Dental Hygienist!

I read this insight from a dental hygienist when I was doing some research, so I thought I would share this as my blog. A very good article and some things you probably didn't know. 

1. We are highly educated. Dental hygienists have varying degrees of higher education, ranging from an associates degree to a masters degree. Associates degrees often take 3 to 4 years to obtain while schooling through summer breaks! No matter our degree level, we all must pass the same board exams to prove our competency level and gain our license to practice. Also, we are not done learning once licensed; we are required to receive a set amount of continuing education hours to renew our license every two years. We LOVE learning!
2. We take MANY licensing exams. Unlike other medical fields who take one exam, dental hygienists often take 3 to 5 different board exams to get their license. These exams are both written and practical AND are specific to geographical location, meaning that if we wanted to live in another state we would likely have to take (and pay for) more exams!
3. Our career is VERY tough on our body. We are constantly having to strain our backs, necks and shoulders throughout the day.
While we strive to achieve proper ergonomics and equipment meant to reduce fatigue, the stress on our bodies still occurs over time. You can help us by allowing us to lay you all the way back in the dental chair, and move your head to the positions that we ask of you unless you have a medical reason preventing you from doing so. Eight hours of muscle strain for us is a huge toll compared to the 60 minute patient appointment every 3, 4 or 6 months.
4. We are part of the healthcare team. Dental hygienists are required to know the same science of other medical professionals so that we can properly help manage all health needs, not just oral health needs, as the mouth is connected to the body as a whole. We don’t JUST put a shine in your smile; we treat, prevent AND screen for disease whether it is systemic or oral health related. This includes blood pressure check, cancer screenings, medication reviews, and much more.
5. We are not immune from dental complications. We all still need regular dental cleanings and sometimes we get cavities, too! While we are highly educated in prevention and maintenance of our oral health, sometimes we experience dental needs also. It just goes to show that we are all still human.
6. We are constantly in a battle with the clock. Our schedules are very tight and we have A LOT to do in the time we are given. Sometimes we may run behind due to factors beyond our control such as a late patient, a patient with many questions, or a patient who needed some very complex care. We try as hard as we can to stay on schedule, but sometimes it just is not possible.
By the time we are finishing up your appointment, it is likely that our next patient has arrived and is already waiting to be seen. Often, we work into our lunch break, come in early and leave late as we work hard to be 110 percent prepared for our day.
7. We make recommendations based on YOUR needs. We want what is best for you, and dentistry is NOT one size fits all. If we are recommending it during your appointment, it truly means that we feel it is in your best interest, based upon our in-depth knowledge, to utilize to achieve optimal health results. This includes x-rays, fluoride treatments, toothbrush recommendations and much more.
8. We do it to make a difference. No one would sign up for this career, go through the rigorous curriculum or many expensive board exams and tolerate the daily wear and tear on their bodies if they truly did not love this field. We are real people with strong emotions who often think about the wellbeing of our patients long after we’ve left the office for the day.
9. We WANT your experience to be comfortable and stress free. We will do everything we can to achieve this. If there is something that you know will make you more comfortable, just ask. We can provide numbing relief, pillows, and other comfort commodities to help you through your visit. If you’re comfortable, we’re comfortable (as long as we can position
you correctly as we discussed in No. 3).
10. You are MORE than just our patient! You become our friend. We laugh with you, cry with you, celebrate with you, and mourn with you. Our bond will grow powerful over time, and we are more than just your dental hygienist, we are your friend, confidant, and sometimes your therapist.
As tough as our day may be, this is what makes everything worth it.

Sarah Clark, RDH, IPDH, is a 2014 dental hygiene graduate of New Hampshire Technical Institute. She is currently practicing at Topsham Dental Arts and loves being part of a progressive, caring team.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Mouth Injury In Sports? Check Out These Tips

Did you know sports is the leading cause in mouth injuries? If you play or have played a sport you have been probably been hit in the mouth at least once. The most common injuries that a dentist has seen related to sports are: broken, displaced or knocked out teeth, and broken jaws.

What should you do if your child hurts their teeth or jaw?

"If a tooth has been knocked out, the tooth needs to back in the mouth with in 30 min. for the best chance of survival"

  • Avoid touching the root because it can be damaged easily.

  • If the tooth is dirty, hold it by the upper part and rinse it off with milk. If you don't have milk, don't clean it. Wiping it off may cause more damage.

  • If you can't get it back in the socket, put it in a cup of milk and head for the dentist or emergency room.

***Milk will help provide nutrients to the cells, DO NOT place/wash tooth in water

" If your child has hurt their jaw"

  • See a doctor
Remember always wear a mouth guard no matter what sport you are playing!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Can Drinking Black Tea Reduce Cavities?

Are you a black tea drinker? If so, you may have less plaque buildup and cavities than those who don't!

Christine Wu, Professor of Periodontics at the University of Illinois said "we found that the black tea infusion can inhibit or suppress the growth of bacteria that promotes cavities and affect their ability to attach to the tooth surface."

Medical research has also found that drinking black tea offers many health benefits, some include:
  • Protection against heart disease
  • Reduces bacterial infections
  • Protects against some types of cancer
So even if you're not a black tea drinker you can rinse your mouth out with it several times a day to help reduce plaque build up and the chance of cavities!

*Info is from 2001

Lip Cancer

We all have heard about breast, colon, lung, skin and many other horrible cancer types but have you heard about lip cancer?

Lip cancer is a type of oral cancer that develops from abnormal cells that grow out of control and is commonly mistaken as cold sores and many times goes undiagnosed.

Just like any cancer, if it's left untreated it can spread to the lymph nodes and to the lungs. Fortunately, lip cancer is very treatable if it's caught early one.

Dentist are usually the ones to discover  lip cancer, which usually appears on the bottom lip and most commonly found on people over the age of 45.

Certain life styles can increase your risk of developing lip cancer:
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Sun exposure
  • Tanning beds
If you're going to be in the sun or use a tanning bed make sure you use a lip balm with at least a SPF 30!!

Remember to protect your pucker!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Your Dental Knowledge - Myth vs. Fact

**This information was gathered from various online sources**

Myth: Brushing more than once a day can harm tooth enamel.
Well, sort of. Brushing multiple times a day with anything other than a soft toothbrush could possibly harm your enamel. That's why most dentists recommend you use a soft bristle toothbrush, and brush preferably after each meal.

Myth: There's no need to take a child to the dentist because their baby teeth will fall out anyway.
As soon as your child develops a tooth, it's time to pay attention. Neglecting your child's baby teeth can cause major and even painful problems for them presently, as well as possibly causing major issues for them once the permanent teeth come in. It is never too early to teach your children about the importance of proper oral hygiene.

Myth: Chewing sugarless gum is the same as brushing.
Nothing replaces actual brushing (with a toothbrush) and flossing. Chewing sugarless gum in between meals can help clean the surface of your teeth and may also freshen your breath, however, it does not remove plaque and food that may be stuck in between your teeth. Also, it does not effectively remove plaque and build-up around the gum line which is what a toothbrush and floss are designed to do.

Myth: Women should avoid the dentist altogether while pregnant.
Due to the amount of vitamins and nutrients the baby needs, pregnant women often find that they develop more dental problems during this delicate period. It is for this reason that regular dental visits should continue and are, if anything, more important during pregnancy. Of course, there are certain dental procedures that pregnant women should avoid, such as x-rays and dental surgery, but your dentist will advise you properly and this should be no reason to skip out on your dental care.

Myth: I can't see any problems with my teeth, so I don't need to go to the dentist.
Not all dental problems are visible. You could have a cavity the size of Texas and never see it because it could be on the back side of a molar or in between two teeth. Too many people go by the notion that "if I can't see it or feel it, it's not there." As with many health related issues, you don't always know that there's a problem until it's too late. If you could physically see every problem in your mouth, what would be the purpose of dental x-rays?

These are just a few myths I found and did a little research on, but all comments or additions are welcome!

Keep Smiling!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Canker "Mouth" Sores Home Treatment

Canker sores are painful, no doubt about it. I get them as an allergic reaction to citrus. Well, I got sick, drank a big glass of orange juice and now I am paying the price. 5 of them in my mouth. Eating hurts, drinking hurts, moving my tongue near one of them hurts. Plain and simple, my mouth hurts.

However, I have found somethings that helps ease the pain and helps them heal up a little faster.

1. Warm Salt Water - as I mentioned in one of previous blogs, this is my go to for almost anything mouth related. It does sting a little bit at first, but the relief afterwords is worth it.

2. Consistent brushing. This is a given everyday whether you have canker sores or not, but even missing one brushing, you will feel the difference.

3. Allow ice chips to dissolve slowly in your moth for relief of pain.

4. Lastly, i have used carrot, celery, and cantaloupe juices, the have helped to.

Any other ideas? Please let me know.!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Can Stress Ruin Your Teeth?

Did you know that when your anxious or stressed out, you're unconsciously ruining your teeth?

You might ask, how does being stressed or anxious really affect my teeth, Right? Well let me explain!

Stress and anxiety have been linked to clenched jaws and bruxism (teeth grinding). Although this is not considered a dangerous disorder, it can put pressure on the jaw muscles and tissues causing facial soreness and can wear down your teeth causing fractured or broken teeth.

 Here are some tips that can help stop teeth grinding while stressed or anxious:
  • Do a few yoga stretches 
  • A couple deep breathes
  • Listen to a relaxing song (nature sounds, jazz music, Hawaiian music)
  • Apply warm washcloth against check to help sooth the jaw muscles
  • Drink water
  • Place your tongue between the teeth if you notice grinding/clenching
  • Wear a night guard
 If your stressed or your anxiety levels are at an all time high, you should consult with your primary physician to help you identity the underlying problems and prescribe you the proper medication. Hopefully this will help save your teeth in the long run!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dental Anesthesia via Electric Current - The End of Needle Injections?

Iontophoresis – a technique of introducing medicinal compounds into the body through the skin by applying a local electric current.
Fact: It is estimated that nearly 1/3 of the population avoid the dentist or refuse to go because of a fear of needles.
Aside from the obvious “painless” aspect of this revolutionary treatment, there is a plethora of added benefits.
• Reducing pain also reduces fear. This would be especially beneficial to those who are needle phobic.
• There is a markedly lower risk of infection.
• Since the pain relieving drugs are administered by way of electrical current, the drugs are more readily absorbed, thereby possibly reducing the amount of the drug needed to do the procedure and bringing down costs.
• Once the word gets out, dentists may notice a rise in the number of patients they treat.
Of all the technology out there in the medical/dental field, this one seems to me to be the most important. There are so many other ways to use this technique, not just for dentistry.

Keep Smiling!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

New Dental Technology To Read Patient Stress Level

I don't really think I need to talk to much about the stress of going to the dentist. Hence the reason most people do not go unless they have to. Long waits in the waiting room, long waits in the opertory and just the stress of not know what is going to be need and if it will hurt or not.

Well, researchers at Columbia University are using new technology to help with that. They are designing a new dental center that is built to monitor and reduce patient stress as well as speed up the process of a dental visit.

It is designed around a bracelet that the patient is given when they check in. This bracelet is equipped with RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. Once activated, the center will be able to tell where in the office the patient is located, what procedure they are getting, any dental information on file, how long they have been waiting and measure the patients stress level by measuring heart rate and respirations. They will also be able to tell the real time stress level of the patient while the procedure is being performed.

This is one piece of technology that I personally am very interested in and, if proven to work, would love to see in every dental center across the nation. Especially if it speeds up the visit like they suggest.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Why You Should Scrape Your Tongue Every Day!

When we are sleeping our digestive system remains awake, removing toxins from our body and depositing them onto the surface of our tongue. If we don't remove these toxins they get reabsorbed into the body causing other problems such as weakened  immune system and respiratory problems.

Listed below are some reasons why you should make tongue scraping part of your daily oral health routine:
  1. Improves breath: Removing bacteria, food debris, fungi and dead cells from the tongue reduces the odor from your mouth. To get the best results you need a tongue scraper, a toothbrush doesn't cut it.
  2. Improves taste: Removing the build-up will expose your taste buds. This will lead to better enjoyment of the flavors of your food.
  3. Improves dental health: Bacteria that is removed from the tongue are responsible for things like periodontal problems, plaque, build-up, tooth decay and many others.

Get to know your tongue!
Did you know your tongue us a mirror reflection of your internal organs? By scraping your tongue you are stimulating and massaging those corresponding organs!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Flossing Your Teeth - There Is A Right Way And A Wrong Way!

Anyone who has ever seen a dentist has heard (over and over, I'm sure) that flossing is just as important as brushing.  A habit most of us perform at least once a day, I'm confident that most of probably didn't know that there is a right and wrong way to do it!  One would think pulling string between your teeth would be pretty much fool-proof, but apparently it's not that simple...

Skipping the spaces- If you have gaps or spaces between any of your teeth, it's important to still floss between them to remove any food or bacteria from beneath the gums.  This includes the gums behind your back molars.

Forcing your floss in a tight spot-  If your teeth are tight together and the floss won't go, gently saw the floss back and forth while applying gentle, but firm pressure until it squeezes through.  Too much pressure or forcing the floss through can damage your gums and increase your risk of gingivitis.  

Using the same piece for the entire job-  Using the same string of floss for the entire session can spread bacteria to different areas of the mouth.  To ensure the removal of the plaque and bacteria and not its redistribution, it's best to use a fresh section of floss for every few teeth. 

Still, there isn't much to the flossing concept, but not doing these simple things could have some complicated and expensive consequences.

Here's to flossing, the right way!

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dental Grills = Damage To Teeth

Dental grills are decorative covers often made of gold, silver and even diamonds. Generally grills snap over one or more teeth but some grills can be permanently mounted. Although grills bring "bling" to a smile, wearing them can be very damaging to your teeth.

People think that because grills are removable they are safe but that's not true says Dr. Matt Messina, consumer advisor to the American Dental Association.

Food and bacteria get trapped underneath and can cause gum infections, irritations and cavities and the longer it sits the worse the problems. 

Dr. Messina also says that the type of metal used is a key factor as well. Grills made from gold or platinum do okay with the body were grills made from non-precious metal can be troublesome because they can cause allergic reactions.

If you wear dental grills and start to experience redness, swelling and pain around the gums stop wearing your grill and see your dentist right away!

Click here for the full article!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Why You Should Always Research Your Doctor!

In a recent news article there was a story about a dentist in Texas who, allegedly, while under the influence of alcohol, botched a surgical procedure on a woman.  Lawsuits are pending. 

It is interesting to note that medical and dental professionals are not immune to substance abuse. 
This is incredibly disturbing when you think about how many people get treatment every day from dentists they know nothing about.  How many times have you picked a random doctor off of your insurance list?  I know I have done it, figuring that if my insurance lists them, they must be good enough.  They have a degree and a license to practice so it must be safe. And for some, it might be, but unfortunately, it is still an incredible risk to take.
Most people aren't even aware that you CAN research any doctor with a license.  Information such as where they went to school, when they graduated, complaints, infractions, etc. can be obtained by the general public. It's as simple as a Google.com search for your local dental or medical board. 
Such a simple step could have changed everything for that poor woman.

When it comes to your health, you can never be too careful!  Whatever you do, whether it be a dentist, a doctor or surgeon, even an anesthesiologist,  do your homework and ALWAYS KNOW who is working on you! 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

You Don't Have To Go To The Specialist Your Dentist Referred You To

When a dental center refers you to a specialist, they tend to use the same specialists. There are many reasons why they do this. They may be friends with that specialist. They have a working relationship with that specialist. They could be collaborating with that specialist and referring both ways. None of which are bad. If you trust your dentist, then you should trust the specialist that they refer you too, as you know that your dentist has the best in mind for your dental health.

However, that does not mean that you required to go to that specialist. When you are referred out, you as patient has the option to go a specialist of your choosing. One of them main factors would be, if that specialist is not a provider on your coverage. Rarely does the referring dental center check that. They just make the referral. It is up to the patient to make sure that they are covered at that office.

Too many times we have heard about a patient that has had to pay much more than they should have because they were referred to specialist that is not in their coverage network.

Another thing, make sure you shop around. There are general dentists that can do some if not most of procedures that other dentist would refer you out to. For example, some dentists will refer you to a endodontist for a root canal on a back molar. I personally know dentist that will do that in their office and save you the cost of a specialist. So make sure you are doing your research.

If you are a Savon Dental Plan patient, we have that information on hand for you. If you are referred to specialist, call our customer service center before you do anything else. We have tools readily available to let you know if they are a provider on our plan, we have record of the dentists different abilities and can often send you for a second opinion to a dentist that would be more likely to perform the procedure there and save you a lot more money.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Spinach Teeth

If you're a spinach eater, you may have noticed that your teeth feel chalky after eating it (spinach teeth). This is a result of high quantities of Oxalic acid found in the leafy green.

Jennifer Moltoni - Administrative Coordinator at the Department of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine says "when you chew spinach, the calcium in your saliva combines with the oxalic acid, and then calcium oxalate crystals are created. It's those crystals that stick to your teeth and make it feel gritty."

If you have a thing with textures, you can boil or steam the spinach to help get rid of the calcium oxalate. Or you can squeeze lemon juice on top of fresh spinach to help dissolve the oxalic acid.

I thought this was very interesting! I don't eat a lot of spinach so I never noticed the chalky texture but when I do make spinach as a side dish for dinner, I always steam it. As I mentioned above, steaming helps get rid of the calcium oxalate, that's probably why I have never noticed the weird texture before!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Financing your Dental Treatment Plan

Ok, so you've just been to the dentist and found out that you need thousands of dollars of restorative work. You have what we commonly refer to as "sticker shock". You know that you don't have that kind of money just laying around......
Whether you are in need of restorative work or cosmetic dentistry, there are a variety of creative financing plans available to help. Dentistry is among the most expensive in healthcare, with costs rising even as the economy is failing. Here are some suggestions for those who are in need of major restorative work, but who cannot afford the out of pocket expense.
First of all, make sure you have good dental coverage (a good dental plan used in conjunction with your credit plan will go a long way toward lowering the costs, thereby making your money go farther.)
Here are some credit organizations to consider:
  • Care Credit Healthcare Plan is a financing company that is offered by GE Money Company. It offers financing for personal healthcare, i.e. dental, (cosmetic or restorative) vision care, surgical procedures, (and just FYI) there is financing available for pet care as well! This option does require that you qualify for a loan. Click here to read more....
  • Citi Health Card is a program that offers dental financing with a variety of flexible payment options. The have some no interest payment options, options that are for certain periods of time and a revolving card option with no minimum expense. According to their website, they have a quick approval process! If you have a need for an immediate procedure and are low on funds, this one may be the one to try.

    Unfortunately, there are many who may not qualify for financing. Don't give up! Many dental providers are now offering in-house financing options for people with no insurance, or who might need a little help with funding for an expensive treatment plan. Additionally, dental school clinics are a consideration, as they can perform most procedures at discounted fees and all work is done under supervised conditions.
Believe it or not, there is something out there for everyone in the way of affordable dental care! Don't be discouraged!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Causes Of Tooth Senstivity

Did you ever drink something hot or cold and feel a sharp, shooting pain in one or more of your teeth? You probably have tooth sensitivity: potentially caused by a myriad of different problems. Here is a list of things that can cause sensitive teeth.
  • Receeding Gums
  • A Cracked Tooth
  • Teeth Grinding (Also known as Bruxism)
  • Whitening Products (Especially if overused.) Note: Some people have a natural sensitivity to whitening products, so it's common to have some sensitivity after use.
  • Gum Disease
  • Brushing your teeth too hard or with a hard bristled toothbrush.
  • Foods that have a high acid content, like citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar.....diet soda....
There are a variety of remedies out there to try, such as:
  • Desensitizing Toothpaste (there is a wide variety available at the drugstore)
  • Sealants
  • Brushing with warm water or rinsing with warm salt water
  • Add foods rich in vitamin D to your diet.
The most effective remedy is the common sense approach.....limit your usage of harsh mouthwashes, use a soft bristled toothbrush and keep up with your routine dental cleanings!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

2017's Top Dental Discoveries

The more that technology advances, so does the dental research discoveries.

Here are some of the top dental discoveries found in 2017:
  1.  New Research discovers ways to eliminate needled for dental anesthetic.
  2. New discover could eliminate infections after root canals.
  3. New vaccine could mean the end of periodontists.
  4. A pill that could mean the end of dental fillings.
  5. New coating could make dental implants better than ever.
  6. E-cigarettes shown to be detrimental to oral health in new study.
  7. Green tea extract could help prevent cavities.
  8. New study shows that oral bacteria can "lasso" onto heart tissue.
 If you would like to read the studies here is where I found the information!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Weird Dental Emergency Stories

Dental Emergencies are never fun when they happen to you but you will get a laugh out of some of these stories I found!

1. Garden in the mouth - One patient had a major toothache so the dentist ordered a root canal. When they were cleaning out the roots and gums the dentist found some seeds lodged into the gum and a tiny sprout was forming. It turned out to be a tomato plant!

2. Super glue gone wrong - One patient tried super gluing their crown back on and ended up sticking the wrong teeth together and got super glue all over the roof of their mouth and throat.

3. Hanging by a thread - Sometime people who neglect their teeth get a serious buildup of tartar and plaque that creates a bridge between the teeth and gums (calculus bridge). One patient tried to remove the bridge with furious brushing. After a few minutes, almost all their teeth fell out because the calculus bridge was the only thing holding them together.

4. Maggots anyone? - A small boy had  painful swollen gums so the parents took him to the dentist for the first time. During the examination the dentist found bunch of maggots inside the swollen gums.

I found these stories here!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Could Your Headaches Be Caused By Orthodontic Treatment?

If you are not prone to headaches already, the answer is usually no. In almost every other case, if there is a headache it is usually only for a day or two and usually right after an adjustment.

For some patients however, orthodontic treatment can cause unexpected problems that can lead to distortions because of excessive adjustment. This can cause undue strain on the temporomandibular joint which may lead to excessive strain and the eventual perception of generalized headaches and migraine pain.

The remedy for this is not a quick one. Attempts to correct it in one reconstructive treatment typically result in failure. T he best correction process for this problem is done over an extended time period. Adjustments are incremental, which allow the jaw structures to achieve healthier repositioning through a natural process.

Correcting a distortion of can be done through the use of different types of dental components ranging from new posterior crowns, gold onlays and porcelain onlays. For some patients, orthotic devices can be used.

In any case, if you are wearing braces and start getting headaches that last more than a day or two, you should consult your orthodontist right away.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Does The Warm Salt Water Rinse Really Work?

An ancient home remedy of dealing with a sore throat, sore gums, lost tooth or post dental procedures is rinsing with warm salt water. Since 1600 B.C. Ancient Greeks have been using salt and water as a treatment. The question is, in 2018, does this remedy still work?

The answer is YES. Believe it or not, it is still recommended by almost every dentist as well. Mainly because it kill bacteria in the mouth, but also because salt is an anti-inflammatory as well. Which means it can reduce swelling.

The use of salt also promotes healing, so it's ideal to use it 24 hours after minor dental surgery to help your mouth recover. It's an isotonic solution, which means it contains the same salts and minerals our bodies do in equal concentrations. For this reason, it doesn't irritate the mucous membranes as a medicinal mouthwash might, which is why many dentists recommend it as a gentle healing aid after a procedure.

So, although this method has been around for thousands of years, it is still used today and still just as effective as before.

So sometimes pouring salt on the wound is not a bad thing :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Question From Our Member

E. Callaway of Boston, MA.asks:
“Can you explain the difference between fixed and removable prosthetics?”

Savon’s Answer:
The difference is one is made to be taken out and cleaned by you while the other is intended to be removed only by your dentist.

The removable prosthetic is called a denture. There are 2 basic types of dentures;
  • Complete denture, meaning that it replaces all of your upper or lower teeth.

  • Partial denture, this replaces only certain teeth and in most cases anchors to your existing solid teeth.
The fixed prosthetic is called a Bridge.  A bridge does exactly what the name says, it bridges the gap between teeth caused by the loss of 1 or more teeth.

The size of the bridge depends on how many teeth it is replacing.  In most cases the bridge requires 2 abutments and 1 or more pontics (an artificial (false) tooth that replaces a missing tooth) depending on how many teeth are being replaced.

The abutments are actually crowns that go over sound natural teeth on each side of the void being bridged.  To bridge a single void requires a 3 unit bridge (abutment, pontic, abutment).

As far as the cost, a removable prosthetic is almost always less expensive than a fixed prosthetic.

Original post from our June 2018 Newsletter!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tips For A Bright Smile And Clean Teeth

We all brush and hopefully floss our teeth on a daily basis. But did you know that there are other important questions you should ask, so you can keep your mouth as clean and healthy as possible?

When should I brush my teeth?
  1. You should brush your teeth at least two times a day, once in the morning before breakfast and once at night before you head to bed.
  2. Try to avoid brushing teeth right after a meal because this could damage your teeth, especially if you just had anything containing acid. *This is because the acid softens the enamel on your teeth*
Should I use a manual or electric toothbrush?
This depends on what you feel comfortable using. (They both are equally good.)

What type of toothpaste should I use?
Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. (Fluoride helps prevent and control cavities.)

How to brush your teeth?
  1. Your toothbrush should be at a 45 degree angle, brush in small circular movements several times on all surfaces of the tooth.
  2. Brush the roof of your mouth
  3. Brush your tongue, this will freshen your breath.
How to Floss?
  1. Take a section of floss
  2. Slip the floss between your teeth
  3. Floss up and down about 10 times
  4. Floss at least once a day, best time is right before bed.

You can use normal floss (waxed or unwaxed) or you can use the floss picks/gliders.

After brushing and flossing you should use a mouthwash. Mouthwash helps get rid of any last bits of bacteria or leftover food that you may have missed while brushing and flossing.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Obesity and Gum Disease - Is There A Link?

Researchers have been working to verify the suspicion, but as it appears now, people who suffer from obesity could be at a higher risk of developing gum disease than everyone else.

The reason obesity raises the risk?

Obesity causes the body to release proteins containing flammatory properties called cytokines.  These cytokines could potentially damage or injure the gum tissue, which could likely lead to gum disease.   However, half of the US population over 30 suffer from gum disease.  Gum disease itself also releases cytokines, which if you're obese, could lead to other dangerous inflammatory diseases throughout the body.  

To get the latest information on this study, check out the original article HERE.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tips...How To Treat White Spots On Teeth

There are a few different reasons why people have white spots on their teeth. If they have been there since the person was a child most likely they had a disruption in the enamel formation and can be caused by to much fluoride. Another reason could be from plaque formation. Plaque forms near the gumline and can cause the teeth to look discolored. Finally, the beginning stages of tooth decay or cavities can cause white spots.

There are several treatments yo can try to help eliminate the white spots:
  • Enamel Microbrasion - During this procedure the dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the teeth to reduce the appearance of the white spots. 
  • Teeth whitening/bleaching: This can help reduce the appearance of the spots and other stains. There are over the counter whitening kits but its best to have them professional done!
  • Veneers - Veneers are a thin, protective covering that attaches to the front surface of the tooth. This hides any spots or blemishes you may dislike!
  • Using the right amount of toothpaste - Using the right amount can help reduce fluoride exposure. For children under three years old use the amount of a grain of rice and for children over three years old use a pea size amount.
  • Reducing sugary/acidic foods and drinks - Tooth enamel can be damaged and become at rick for tooth decay if a person eats and drinks sugary/acid stuff.
White spots on the teeth are not desirable and they usually are not a cause of concern. However, it is important to see your dentist to just make sure your not at risk for dental damage or decay!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Reason Why Dental Centers Have Long Waits

Having that long dreaded wait in the dental office waiting room can be annoying. When you have a 1pm appointment and you sit there for 45 minutes just waiting to be called back into the room, the frustration kicks in. Which leads to a lot of questions like:

1. If my appointment was at 1 and I am not being seen until 1:45, then why not schedule me at 1:45?
2. Why does the dentist over book their schedule?
3. I am on time, why can't they be on time.

So let me try to answer these question from the perspective of the dental center,

1. When you set your appointment, the office did not plan on being behind schedule. They planned on seeing you at 1pm. Since they are behind schedule, if your appointment was a 1:45 then you still would have to wait.

2. The dental center did not over book the schedule. Everything is scheduled according to the procedure that is needed. If a procedure takes an hour and half, the next appointment is scheduled for an hour and half after that appointment. However, sometimes some unforseen things come up and it causes that procedure to take longer.

3. They want to be on time. However, there a various factors that cause them to fall behind on the schedule. Believe it or not, most of the time it is not the fault of the dentist office.

Here are some things that cause a dental center to fall behind.

1. Patients being late to an appointment. This is one of the biggest causes of the delays. Especially if you are on of the first few patients of the day. If those first few patients are late, it could throw the whole office behind schedule all day long.

2. Unforseen things with another patient. If someone is scheduled for a filling and it turns out they now need a root canal, then the dentist is no longer tied up for the 20 minutes he is scheduled for, he is now tied up for an hour or so. This causes him to fall behind.

These are just some of things and I know that there are more.

Just try to be patient, they are working as fast as they can.

Diabetes and Gum Disease: Some Important Facts

Many people don't know there is even a relation between diabetes and gum disease.  The truth is, diabetes has an effect on the entire body, including the teeth and gums and conversely, serious gum disease (inflammation) can make diabetes difficult to control.  It's a vicious cycle.   Uncontrolled blood sugar can make a diabetic more susceptible to gingivitis. Gingivitis is a precursor to periodontitis, which is more serious and can affect the soft tissue of the gums and cause bone loss.  Any inflammation in the body can make diabetes difficult to control and anyone who is diabetic knows that inflammation is hard to cure if your blood sugar is high, which is why it is important to take steps aimed at prevention, including oral health!

See your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. Let him know if you have any signs of gum disease such as swelling or bleeding of the gums, and that you are diabetic. Did you know that if you are perio involved, having intensive periodontal cleanings may help to lower your A1C? Don't put off that exam! Always brush and floss at least twice per day.  Using antibacterial oral products such as toothpaste and mouthwash may also be beneficial.

Remember, prevention is always the best plan.

Keep smiling!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What Causes The Tongue To Bleed?

There are many reasons the tongue might start bleeding, some obvious causes can include:

  • Biting the tongue
  • Mouth sores
  • Injuries from mouth appliances (dentures or braces)
  • Eating sharp foods
  • Radiation treatment for cancer
Other causes of a bleeding tongue that may not be as obvious can include:
  • Infections
  • Ulcers or blisters
  • Ruptured blood vessels in the tongue caused by piercings
  • Allergic reactions
  • Medication reactions
  • Thermal burns
Bleeding in the mouth can be dangerous if its not stopped because the blood can build up in the throat and make it hard to breathe. Try these tip to provide the temporary relief until you can seek dental attention:

  • Place ice cubes in gauze or a napkin and apply to the affected area.
  • Gargle with an antiseptic mouthwash or warm salt water.
  • Rinse mouth out with warm water and a teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Avoid sharp or spicy foods and try to avoid chewing on the affected side.
  • Take over the counter pain killers to reduce pain and swelling

Monday, June 4, 2018

What To Do If A Tooth Is Knocked Out

It doesn't take much to knock out an adult tooth.  Even the slightest bump can dislodge a healthy tooth. The first thing to know if this happens is that you should ALWAYS consult with a dentist as soon as the accident happens! In the event that a dentist is not readily available, such as a weekend or holiday, make a trip to the ER! Many people, especially adults will wait till the next day or later thinking that the tooth can be restored as long as they have it.  Not true!  There is a very small window of time for a tooth to be successfully replanted, whether in a child's or an adult mouth, and even then there is a risk of rejection. (Note: Baby teeth are generally not replanted.)

Here are some suggestions to help preserve a tooth while on the way to a dentist (again, directly after the accident happens!) 
     1. If you can find the tooth, make sure it is intact and rinse it with milk or saline. Do not use water!
     2. Do not scrub or touch the root of the tooth.  Just immerse it in milk to clean it.
     2. Make sure it is free of debris and try to place the tooth back in the mouth. 
     3. If this cannot be done, put the tooth in a few tablespoons of milk and head directly to a dentist or the ER

There are many success stories about replanted teeth.  One should always try to preserve the tooth...especially in a child or young adult, as implants and bridges are not always desirable or even possible in their developing mouths. 

Keep Smiling! 


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Can Vaping Effect Your Teeth

The simple answer is yes. The nicotine in vapor can cause periodontal disease and get cause your gum to recede. However, it does not have the same effect as a normal cigarette.

Although vaporizers with zero percent of nicotine can be easily found on the market, most of them do contain a certain percent (the amount varies from 0 to 35 mg/ml). Nicotine is harmful in so many ways and when it comes to teeth it causes the following:

Nicotine is harmful in so many ways and when it comes to teeth it causes the following:

• Gums recession
 – by reducing the blood flow through the blood vessels, nicotine deprives the 
gums from oxygen and all other vital substances.

• Periodontitis (gum infection) – inflammation around the tooth which damages the soft tissue around the teeth and the bone that supports it

•Gingivitis – inflammation around the teeth usually caused by bacteria. Nicotine promotes the gum’s susceptibility for this condition.

So, although it is better than cigarette, the risk is still there.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Do You Have Pale Gums? What Causes It?

Healthy gums should be a shade of pink but sometimes they can become pale. Several health conditions can cause your gums to turn pale such as:

1. Anemia - Body is not receiving enough oxygen-rich blood. A lack of blood can cause tissue to grow pale.

2. Leukoplakia - Oral leukoplakia can cause uniform, thin, white patched to develop on the gums. These patches are harmless but they can turn into cancer.

3. Menopause - Hormonal changes can decrease blood flow, which can cause the gums to become pale and dry.

4. Vitamin K deficiency - Vitamin K helps the blood clot but with not enough in your system can cause uncontrollably bleeding.

5. Gingivitis -  Gum Disease can over time turn the gums white and recede.

6. Oral Cancer - White gums and can spread very quickly.

 Its very important to talk to your dentist if you notice a change in color of your gums. Careful monitoring and regular dental visits can ensure oral conditions get the proper treatment.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Mini Implants, Explained

I've had many people ask me this question and it was always a difficult one for me to try to explain, probably because I didn't have a clear understanding of it myself! While surfing the web this morning, I found a site that explains this procedure perfectly! A Mini Dental Implant is a process by which small posts are installed in the jawbone in order to stabilize dentures or other dental prosthetics. People who have problems wearing their dentures or whose bone structure has deteriorated over a long period of time due to the wearing of dentures are generally good candidates for mini implants.The procedure is less time consuming and less expensive than traditional implants. Many times it can be done in one day! If you wear dentures and are having difficulty securing them or if eating has become difficult and it is affecting your health, check with your dentist to see if mini implants would benefit you! 
Here is a link to an exceptional article (with illustrations) that explains the mini implant procedure. Keep Smiling!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

My Struggle With Frontal Fillings

A few years ago I had the option of getting crowns or veneers on my front teeth, or filling the cavities that I had around the gumline. In an effort to save money and the hassle of getting multiple crowns or veneers, I chose to have each cavity filled.

When they were first done, they looked great and I was very happy with my decision to do it that way. However, over the years I sort of regretted it. When they filled the cavities, they did a great job of matching my teeth color at the time. Which wasn't exactly pearly white. Like I said it looked great for years. Recently though I have made a solid effort to whiten my teeth. I am doing a great job on it, with the exception of the fillings. Since I chose to go with frontal fillings years ago, I find myself ending up with 2 different color of teeth.

So my point is this, if you are ever in a situation where you have to decide on frontal fillings or crowns, my advise is to go with the crowns or veneers. Chances are good I am going to need to go back into the dentist and get them done to help get the smile back that I have been longing for so long.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Is Oral Cancer Greater In Non-Smokers?

New research has discovered that non-smokers face a higher risk of developing oral cancer than smokers. CRAZY...

The research was done at the University of British Columbia where they looked at 450 patients with oral lesions and discovered that non-smokers were more than twice as likely to see them develop into cancer over smokers.

The Oral Health Foundation is calling on everyone to be alert of early signs of oral cancer. Catching oral cancer early can dramatically increase your chance if beating the disease.

Some signs of oral cancer:
  • Mouth ulcers that do not heal
  • Constant sore throat
  • Red and white patches
  • Unusual lumps or bumps on the head or neck area
It's important to do regular self checks at home and if you notice anything out of the ordinary seek medical/dental attention right away!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Why You Should Never, Ever, Ever Use Your Teeth As Utensils!

From the time we are babies, we put objects in our mouths.  Toys, rocks, keys, marbles, the dogs ear, the cats tail, however, we learn as we get older that the dog and the cat are off limits...(snicker)   Some of us never learn though, that our teeth were not meant to be used as tools! We open bottles, can tabs, plastic containers and bags that should be cut with scissors...we have oral jewelry implanted on our lips or tongue and fiddle with them all the time. We hold our keys in our mouths, our pens and pencils, sun glasses, hair clips and other things and never even think about the damage we could be causing to our teeth! Misusing our teeth in this way can cause serious chipping, cracking and misalignment, whether by accidental occurrence or over time. This adds up to $$$ spent for tooth repairs and it all could have been prevented if we had just used our common sense in the first place and avoided the impulse to chew on something that wasn't food!

The bottom line is this: Objects that are not meant for human consumption should never be put in our mouths!
Keep that in mind, and Keep Smiling!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Dentistry In A Rural Town

For the last couple years I have lived in a smaller rural community in western Arizona. Over the couple years, I have gotten to know some of the dental centers in the area and have learned the struggles that they have, that those in the big city do not.

The first challenge they face is their costs. If you have ever been a patient in a rural area dental center, then you know that the cost of dentistry is higher. Trust me, the dentists would like to charge the rates of an urban area, but their costs are so much higher, especially when it comes to supplies. It is cost them more to have them shipped to them.

The other one challenge they face is their competition. In an urban area, there are so many people that smaller, doctor owned dental centers can keep up with corporate centers and have a better chance of success. However in a rural area, 1 or 2 corporate centers that have the higher advertising budget and the ability offer dirt cheap prices can easily dominate the area and leave the dentist owned facilities fight to stay afloat.

This is part of the reason why the Savon Rural Fee schedule is different than the Urban Fee schedule. We have to accommodate for more factors in the dental office

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Why Do Teeth Turn Black?

Teeth owe their color to the high amount of calcium found in the outer layer of the teeth, known as the enamel.

Over time, additional elements left behind by foods and drinks can cause discoloration (yellow or gray) but if your teeth begin to turn black, seek dental attention as soon as possible.

Causes of black teeth can either be extrinsic (outside) or Intrinsic (inside).

  • Damage to the enamel
  • Stains
  • Tarter build up
  • Certain medications
  • Tobacco
  • Eating/drinking dark foods

  • Falling accident
  • Decay
  • Cavities
 A person can not do at home treatments to remove the black colorization. This needs to be treated by a dentist. The dentist may try and remove the tarter but sometimes its impossible and they may have to preform a root canal or possibly remove the tooth.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Natural Remedies for Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is a yeast infection of the tongue, gums, inner cheeks or lips.  It looks like a white pasty coating on the tongue or patchy white sores on the inner cheeks or roof of the mouth. 
Babies, people with compromised immune systems and diabetic people are commonly prone to this type of infection.  It can be difficult to treat, but there are some things you can do at home to help.

1. Check your diet! Avoid sugar and starchy foods. Large amounts of sugar and white carbohydrates can bring on or worsen a bout of candida (Thrush).  Eat fresh raw vegetables and lean proteins or yogurt, or you can eat foods that contain vinegar, such as sauerkraut or pickles to actually ward off the infection.!
2. Try a natural remedy such as grapefruit seed extract (a few drops diluted in water,just wish a few times a day) coconut oil ( excellent to cook with in place of vegetable oils), plain, sugar free yogurt (yogurt contains healthy bacteria that helps to balance the ph in the body).  Adults with the infection can also take acidophilous capsules or liquid to help reduce the growth of bacteria.

3. Remember to clean your toothbrush and your tongue scraper with a bleach/water solution after each use to avoid reinfecting yourself when you brush your teeth. 

These are some of the ideas I came up with from around the web.

Enjoy, & keep smiling!