Monday, April 30, 2018

Don't Be Afraid To Ask Your Dentist Questions

Just about everyday I get a call from one of our members that has questions about the work that dentist recommended. It is not that they are necessarily questioning the work that has been advised, more times than not it is a case where the patient is confused as to what the dentist wants to do. More times that not my response is "Have you asked your dentist about this?". Surprisingly, the majority of the time the answer is "no". After a while, it started to make me wonder what the apprehension is to ask to the dentist, so I started to ask about it. Here are some of the reason that I have been given.
1. I don't want to offend the dentist.
2. I don't want to make the think I am questioning his ability.
3. I don't want to waste the dentist's time.
4. I was too embarrassed
These are just a few of the ones that I have heard. Whatever your reason is for not asking questions it is something that I would strongly advise that you overcome and just ask the questions. It is no different than when you are talking to your general doctor. When you are discussing whatever treatment that they want to do, I am willing to bet that the majority of you ask questions and explore options. It no different with dental work. The work that is being done to your mouth is important to your health and at times can be a rather large investment. Ultimately the decision of what treatment is performed is up to you and there is no better decision than and informed decision.
I am confident that I can speak for the dentist when I say that they prefer that you ask the questions. I have never heard of a dentist getting offended by it, nor have I heard of a dentist complaining that it is a waste of their time. You can ask for questions without questioning their ability and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Dentists do not expect you to know every term and everything thing involved in your treatment plan. Also, I have learned over the years that dentists themselves are more comfortable working on a patient that has a clear understanding of what is being done.
So again, don't be afraid to ask your dentists questions. They know better than anyone else what the actual condition of your dental health is.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Why Do Mouth Wounds Heal So Fast?

Did you know that mouth wounds heal faster and more efficiently than any other wound? I found that pretty interesting since our mouths are full of bacteria, you would think they would be the hardest and slowest at healing.

The study involved experiments at three levels:
1. Endothelial, or blood vessel - forming, cells in culture
2. Chicken embryos as animal models
3. Saliva samples obtained by healthy donors.

Researchers found: out of the three experiments, histatin-1 and saliva were found to increased blood vessel formation and they are taking the next step in the study by using the molecules to generate materials and implants to aid in wound healing.

Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal said "The clear reuslts of the present study open a wide door to a therapeutic advance. They also bring to mind the possible meaning of animals and often children, "licking their wounds.""

Friday, April 20, 2018

What is malocclusion?

Malocclusion is also known as a bad bite. It is a condition in which a persons teeth are out of alignment, crooked or crowded.
There are generally two types of malocclusion.
Dental malocclusion: This is when the teeth are not lined up properly; even the jaw may be aligned. Tooth crowding causes this type of occlusion.
Skeletal malocclusion: A skeletal malocclusion occurs when the upper and lower jaws don't line up correctly. This type of malocclusion can be classed as an overbite or an underbite.
Normally malocclusion starts to appear between the ages of six and twelve when permanent teeth are coming in. A bad bite can also be the result of many things such as:
Tongue thrusting (pushing your tongue against your teeth)
Fingernail biting
Mouth breathing: Breathing primarily through your mouth instead of your nose.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Could Drinking Wine Fight off Cavities and Gum Disease?

Research has proven drinking a glass of red wine is good for your colon and heart but now researchers are reporting in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that wine polyphenols might also be good for your oral health!

Polyphenols promotes health by actively interacting with bacteria in the gut which helps ward off infection by harmful bacteria and pathogens.

M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas and her colleagues wanted to know whether wine and grape polyphenols would protect the teeth and gums, so they began their research!

Check out the result here!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Coffee Or Tea, Which Is Worse For Staining Teeth?

There are a variety of foods and drinks that can contribute to staining your teeth over time, but some are distinctly worse than others. We all know that berries, beets, hard candies and sports drinks can color our teeth, although this is not usually permanent. But coffee, tea and colas are notoriously bad because drinking these beverages daily can slowly stain your teeth over time and it isn't always enough just to brush and floss. As to the question of whether Coffee or Tea is worse? Well, the answer is Tea. Black Tea, specifically. It has properties that can stain your teeth more rapidly than any other drink. If you've ever brewed black tea and poured it into a white coffee cup, you probably noticed that it left a ring, or stain. This is from the tannins combined with acidic properties in tea. Now, there is speculation that using mineral water or hard water to brew your tea and coffee can help to keep those staining agents at bay, but the sacrifice may be that your morning drink won't taste as good! As for me...I would sacrifice the teeth for the taste; I would much rather have good tasting coffee in the morning

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Vitamin D = Better Oral Health!

We all know Vitamin D is essential for healthy life but did you know that Vitamin D is also good for oral health?

Not only does Vitamin D help prevent tooth decay, it can also help prevent gingivitis and cavities. Even though you may brush and floss your teeth daily, tooth decay can sill occur if you have low Vitamin D levels.

If you are experiencing tooth decay even with using proper dental care practices, you may want to take the needed steps to increase your Vitamin D levels:
  • Spend 10 minutes in the sun each day without sunblock.
  • Eat foods high in Vitamin D (Fish).
  • Drink 2 glasses of milk each day.
  • Take a Vitamin D supplement.
Following these steps might lead you to a healthier smile!

*To find out if you have low Vitamin D levels, visit your primary care physician for a simple blood test* 

Article found here!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Eggsperiment For Children

Are your children on that week-long hiatus from school which is also known as Spring break? Are they already bored? Don't worry I have a fun toothy eggsperiment for them!

  • 4 eggs (3 boiled. 1 raw)
  • 1 can dark soda (ie: Coke, Pepsi, Root Beer)
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1 cup of tea
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 5 clear plastic cups
  1.  Take the hard boiled eggs and put them in separate plastic cups and cover one with soda, one with coffee and the last one with tea.
  2. Put the raw egg in a plastic cup and cover with vinegar.
  3.  After 5-10 minutes have them check on the eggs covered in the soda,coffee and tea to see how stained they are. Then check on them periodically through out the day to see the difference in color.
  4. Let all eggs sit overnight and check on them in the morning.
  5.  Talk with your child about how the soda, coffee and tea affected the egg shells and how that can affect their teeth the same way. 
  6. Now take a look at the raw egg that was covered in vinegar. This will represent how plaque eats away at the tooth's enamel just like it dissolved the shell.  
I think this would be a fun visual way to show children how important brushing our teeth really is.

I found this experiment here!

Monday, April 2, 2018

How To Manage Dental Costs If You're Uninsured

For most people, a toothache that turns into an expensive procedure like a crown or implant can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket. Even routine check-ups with x-rays and a cleaning can add up to hundreds of dollars. It has been estimated that over one third of Americans have not visited a dentist in the last 12 months.

Given the nature of insurance companies and the cost of premiums vs. the actual procedures covered, relief from dental bills is not likely to come soon. That leaves it up to consumers to find smart ways to reduce their dental care costs without sacrificing their oral health. So, we did some research on ways to cut back on dental related costs. 

  • Consider a good dental plan.  Better than insurance, some dental plans offer discounted fees with low premiums and no limit or "cap", no waiting periods on procedures, no exclusions and immediate coverage. 
  • Try having your dental care done at a Dental School Clinic.  Teaching facilities have amazingly skilled dentists and in most cases the cost is cheaper than a private practice facility. Not to mention they use the most state of the art equipment so that your experience is more comfortable.
  • Space out your treatments.  If you have extensive work to be done, most dentists will work according to a treatment plan, and a "pay as you go" strategy can go a long way toward helping the patient so those out of pocket expenses don't have to break the bank all at once! 
  • Disclosure-No Surprise Fees!   Make sure to always, ALWAYS get the cost for the treatment plan or procedure before you agree to have it done, or sign anything.  Many patients agree to procedures while they are in the chair and don't fully understand that there may be an additional exorbitant additional cost.  Keep yourself from sticker shock by asking first and discuss other options if you cannot afford the procedure.  
  • Prevention, Prevention, Prevention!  The key to saving on dental costs (just like having your car worked on) is to fix small problems before they become big ones.  Have your teeth cleaned twice a year and don't skip that oral exam. 

Here is a parting thought for those of you in the market for dental coverage.  PLEASE check the benefits carefully when considering dental insurance.  The premiums will always be more than the pay out...coverage is always limited and there will almost always be a waiting period for expensive procedures. They want to make sure they have your premiums firmly in hand before the payouts begin. It's the your homework carefully! A good dental plan is more effective at saving you money than an insurance company will ever be. 

Keep Smiling! 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Teething Symptoms

Do you have a baby that is getting ready to teeth? Well they will be going through a process called teething syndrome. (Teething is the growth of teeth through the gums in the mouth of infants and young children.)

Swollen gums are a good indicator your child is starting to teeth. Also if your child has a fever over 101 degrees teething is most likely the cause of this. If you child has lower persistent fevers you may want to contact you physician.

Some things to help relieve the pain of a teething child are a light gum massage, chilled or frozen toys to gnaw on, also chilled food and/or drinks!

Teething pain cannot be completely prevented, but you can help comfort them and this will help the baby get through it with less distress.