Tuesday, August 20, 2019

RFID To Help Monitor Stress Level in Dental Patients

We don't really to talk too much about the stress of going to the dentist. Hence, the reason most people do not go unless they absolutely have to. Long waits in the waiting room, long waits in the opertory and just the stress of not knowing what is going to happen and whether it will be painful 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 having done, 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.

Thoughts, anyone?

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Swollen Gums Around One Tooth?

Yes, it's possible. I have experienced it myself a few years ago from eating an everything bagel. One of the seeds somehow got below the gum line and I didn't notice it until my gum became swollen around my front tooth.

There are many different reasons why gums can swell around just one tooth, these can include poor oral hygiene, gum disease, abscess or as I mentioned above, trapped food debris.

Although swollen gums may not be painful if it's not treated it can cause major problems down the road such as periodontal disease (gum disease).

Below are some home remedies that may help reduce the gum swelling:
  • Antiseptic mouthwash
  • Warm salt water rinse
  • Essential oil and warm water rinse (Tea tree oil)
  • Tumeric gel application
  • Brush and floss after every meal/snack
If swelling hasn't subsided after a few days, it's time to see your dentist!






Thursday, August 8, 2019

What Is Gingivostomatitis?

Have you ever heard of Gingivostomatitis?

Gingivostomatitis is a highly contagious mouth infection which causes painful sores, irritated gums, blisters, fever, bad breath and swelling in and around the mouth.

This infection can affect anyone but is seen more in children under the age of six.

There are many different factors that can cause gingivostomatitis:
  • Herpes Virus
  • Coxsackievirus (a virus that is transmitted by touching a contaminated surface)
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • bacteria
  • allergies
  • exposure to chemicals
  • radiation and chemotherapy
You can do some treatment on your own at home by:
  • Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater
  • Avoiding spicy, salty or sour foods
  • Eat soft foods until the mouth is healed
  • Brush your teeth and gums with a periodontal toothbrush (super soft bristles) 
  • Take over the counter pain medications
If the symptoms are not starting to healing after a week or two it's time to seek medical attention!

Your dentist or doctor may take a culture or perform a biopsy to see if you have gingivostomatitis. If that is what you have, they may prescribe an antibiotic and clean the infected area to help promote faster healing!


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

MYTH'S BUSTED: CAVITIES

Cavities are no fun at all. No joke about that! However, there are a lot of myths out there about cavities. Let's see if we can play myth busters on a few of them.

MYTH: Only Sugar Can Cause Cavities:
FALSE:  Sorry mothers, I hate to take away your reason for your kid to have that candy car. Yes, sugar does cause cavities, but that is not the only culprit. If you want your kiddo to stay cavity free then you should steer them clear of bread and pasta, too. They contain starch, which is another cavity culprit.

MYTH: Extra Brushing Will Heal or Slow Down The Progression Of A Cavity
FALSE: Tooth enamel does not grow back. When you have a cavity, you need to get it filled. If you don't, you will eventually need a root canal and/or a crown. Brushing will not heal it or slow it down. Now, on the positive side, brushing will reduce the risk of obtaining more cavities and it will also keep the cavity clean and reduce the risk of infection.

MYTH: If I Have A Cavity, I Would Feel It
FALSE: Well, mostly false. If you feel the cavity and are experiencing pain, then you are probably dealing with a serious cavity that is much more advanced. When a cavity is starting chances are really good that you will not be able to feel it. Which is all the more the reason why regular dental checkups are so important.

So, it appears we have busted a few of the myths! I am sure there are many more. Do you have any that you would like to know about? Comment on this blog and we will try to find out if it is Myth or Fact!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Effects Of Nitrous Oxide

You may have heard the term "laughing gas" but did you know the correct term is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide is an orderless, colorless and safe sedative that is inhaled through a mask. Many people think they will be asleep during their procedure but this is not true. The patient will be alert and be able to respond to directions.


 Many dentists and doctors use "laughing gas" to make their anxious patients comfortable and help manage any pain they may experience.

 People react to certain things differently so some people may not experience any side effects, while some people may experience short term side effcts after the removal of the mask.

Short term side effects may include:
  • Dizziness
  • Sluggish
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shivering 
The most common reason for these side effects is usually caused by inhaling the gas too quickly or by inhaling too much.

If a person is still experiencing these symptoms after a few days they should seek medical attention right away.




  


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

What is Ogliodontia...or Absent Teeth?

This may not be as uncommon as you think!  This malady affects between 1.5 and 10 percent of the population. For clarification, a single missing adult tooth is called agenesis.  Multiple missing teeth - ogliodontia, and when a child is missing his complete set of adult teeth it is called anodontia.  Sometimes this is hereditary, sometimes it is spontaneous.

Baby teeth can begin to fall out as early as age 4, or as late as age 9.  Typically, a child loses his first tooth around age 6.  Permanent teeth begin to appear within a few months.  In some cases, however, a permanent tooth doesn't appear in it's place.  This is why it is so important to take a child for a dental visit and x-rays by age 3 or 4.  X-rays will tell a dentist whether permanent teeth are forming in the jaw normally.  Most kids will  have all of their permanent teeth by age 15.

There are options for kids with missing adult teeth such as orthodontics, implants or even space maintainers if a tooth is forming but not fully erupted. If your child is missing any of his adult teeth,  check with your pediatric dentist to find out the best treatment option.

As always, Keep Smiling!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Dentistry IS Science. It is also an Art. But does this justify the high cost?

So often we will have someone call our office and they are absolutely shell shocked at the cost of a dental procedure or a treatment plan.  Let me start by saying that dentistry is rarely simple anymore. It is a science, yes, but it is also a fine art, and in many cases you get what you pay for. Cosmetic dentistry, in particular, is among the most costly. If you've ever seen a full mouth reconstruction done, you'll have great respect for the dentist/artist.  This is a craft that requires at least 8 years of schooling, constant continuing education and even further instruction and practice to be able to perfect these restorations and perform oral miracles.  Not to mention the high cost of the technical machines and tools needed.  If you understand that, you understand why the cost is so high.  But, if you are one of those people who visits the dentist every 10 or 20 years, there is no avoiding the shell shock factor, which is why I've linked this blog to an informative page.
I recently found a site that gives the average consumer an idea of what restorative dentistry costs.  It is broken down by procedure and it's probably the most informative, simple breakdown I have seen to date.  If you are considering cosmetic restoration or have many dental issues and are in need of a full-mouth makeover, look HERE  first.  I think you'll be glad you did.
The moral of the story here is to visit the dentist regularly for cleanings (for prevention, if nothing else) and stay informed. Don't become a shell shock victim!

Keep Smiling!


Dentistry Going Green?

According to an article published in Dentistry Today, the Univesity of Costa Rica (UCR) throws away 166 saliva ejectors (spit sucker) each day, 3,317 each week and almost 4,000 each year.
Now imagine the number of saliva ejectors that are thrown away all around the world. Crazy, right?

Thanks to four dental students at UCR, tossing each individual saliva ejector may be a thing in the past. They have developed a metallic saliva ejector that can be used over and over again because it can be cleaned in the autoclave just like many other dental and medical tools.

The metal ejector will cost dentist more but they will pay for itself in the long run!

What do you think about the reusable metal ejector?

Click here for the article!




Thursday, July 18, 2019

Oral Care Tips For Someone With Special Needs

If you have never taken care of someone with a developmental disability, you need to realize it requires a lot of patience and skills.

You may think that brushing someone's teeth would be a simple task, right? Think again! It takes planning (what will be the best way to make your client and yourself comfortable during the process), time and the ability to manage their physical, mental or behavioral problems. 

If you are a first time caregiver, here are some tips that can help you ease your way into caring for someone's oral care:
  • Location - You can brush someone's teeth pretty much anywhere! All you will need are a toothbrush, toothpaste, a bowl, floss, a glass water, and good lighting!
  • Behavior - If your client has behavioral issues, brushing their teeth may be difficult. Try using the "tell-show-do" method.
    • Tell - Explain each step before you do it.
    • Show -  Let your client hold and touch each tool that will be used.
    • Do - Do the steps the same way as you explained them.
  • Timing - Let your client adjust, they may just be getting to know you, it can take some time before they will let you work in and around their mouth.
  • Positive feedback -  Let your client know that they are doing great!
  • Routine - Try to have the same routine each day and have it done at the same time. This may help eliminate any fears.
  • Make them comfortable - Let them hold onto a special item or toy, this may reduce anxiety. Play calming music or come up with a creative game like "show me your biggest smile"!
 *Remember making your client comfortable will make your job easier!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Bad Business Reviews, Formal Complaints and Social Media

In this age of social media, bad news travels fast.  Faster than the speed of light, it seems.  One careless complaint can ruin a reputation, a practice or even a person.  Always try to keep that in mind when a problem arises and opt for civil communication, instead.  

There are many ways to resolve issues with your dentist, whether they are staff related, price discrepancies or quality of care issues. The key is communication. I certainly would not advise anyone to file a complaint with the board because a receptionist was rude, or post it on any review forum, ever! Only as a last resort would I suggest filing a board complaint for anything less than malpractice. 


This would be my suggestion instead: Consider a well written letter; certified, registered mail. Clearly state the problem (keeping opinions out), and state what you would consider to be a fair resolution. Send it directly to the dentist, return receipt. Allow him a reasonable amount of time to respond...10 days or so. Believe me, he will be much more receptive to a resolution than his receptionist or office manager because it is his license that is on the line!  Nine times out of ten the complaint will be resolved when it is approached this way. This method works! 

Keep Smiling! 



Thursday, July 11, 2019

Having Straight Teeth May Not Always Guarantee Happiness

Yes, you read that correctly!

According to Dr. Esma Dogramaci at the University of Adelaide Dental School in Australia, people who haven't had any orthodontic work and have varying levels of crooked teeth showed patterns of higher psychosocial scores, which means they were more optimistic than people who had orthodontic treatment.

The research was done to gauge how straight teeth affects peoples happiness. Researchers looked at how people handled new or challenging problems, how much they cared about their health, how much support they received from family and friends and optimistic levels.

What are your thoughts on this study?


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Nail Biting is a Tough Habit To Break

Are you a nail biter? Do you know someone who is? If so, this is something you may want to pay attention to!! Nail biting is actually considered by some psychologists and physicians to be a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD). Here are some fast facts about nail biting that you may not know:
  • It is estimated that as many as 40% of teens and 30% of adults may be compulsive nail biters.
  • It is considered to be a nervous disorder, and even an indication of anxiety and passive aggression.
  • It is (in some cases) also hereditary!
  • Thumb sucking and lip biting fall into the same catagory.
The effects of nail biting on the teeth and gums is a serious issue. Long term, it can weaken the structure of your teeth and cause them to loosen, chip or crack. It can also cause misalignment. Bacteria lives under your fingernails, and it is introduced into your mouth when you bite your nails, carrying the possibility of viruses like E-Coli, influenza, the common cold and other diseases that we can't even pronounce... Think about it...whatever you've touched recently may still be lurking around under your nails. Ugh! In addition to that, constant nail biting can cause permanent damage to your nails and nailbed. There are topical applications that have proven useful for kids who are nail biters, but it isn't really effective for teens and adults. Therapy is useful, but expensive. For most, it is a very hard habit to break but have faith....it can be done!
Ladies, you may benefit most from this remedy...switch to acrylic nails and manicures that include polish and artwork! I have personally known people who have successfully grown out their nails by doing this. It works!

As always, Keep Smiling!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Stay Safe This Fourth Of July!

Happy Independence Day!


Today the majority of us will be celebrating with our family and friends by enjoying some bbq, attending concerts, hanging out by the water and finishing up the night by watching fireworks!

Did you know the Fourth of July is one the leading holidays for injuries?  According to the Pew Research Center on average more than 45,000 people visit the emergency room for injuries from July 4 -5 every year due to fireworks.

Every year it seems like there is always some kind of story on the news of people who are trying to show off to their family and friends. Some of these stories include: Setting firecrackers off in their hands, on a boat, out of their butt crack, making firecracker bombs and the list goes on.

But, the most disturbing one to me are the people who let firecrackers go off in their mouth?

If a firecracker explodes in a person's mouth it makes restoring oral functions very challenging if they survive.

The explosion can cause loss of teeth, broken jaws, severe burns, and injury to the upper airway caused by smoke inhalation. The road to recovery call be very painful and long.

If you are planning on setting off fireworks tonight, please do it responsibly!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Milk...A Tooth-Protecting Superfood!

If you are an avid milk drinker like me, then this is a blog you definitely want to read. I go through 2 gallons of milk a week, and I mean I GO through it. I personally drink at least 2 gallons of milk a week. What can I say, I love milk! So I had to ask to the question, is it good for your teeth? Well, great news my fellow milk drinkers! IT IS!

It has been proven that dairy products such as milk and cheese actually reduce tooth decay. Milk contains proteins called caseins which will join together with the calcium and phosphorus to create a protective later on the surface of your teeth. (aka enamel). This helps prevent tooth decay by reducing the bacterial acids. Furthermore, the calcium and phosphorus also help strengthen and even repair the enamel on your teeth.

So, drink up my fellow milkaholics. It will help keep our smiles bright!

Oh yeah on a side note: The ADA has recommended not to have milk and cookies because as we all know they sugary items such as cookies are bad for your teeth. However... there is still hope for us on that too. The it is recommended that you have the cookies THEN the milk. That will eliminate the sugar acids that plague your teeth.

As great as that sounds, milk and cookies always sounds better than cookies then milk or milk after cookies, and we all it know it tastes better too!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Can You Scuba Dive or Snorkel With Braces On Your Teeth?


Do you want to experience the underwater life this summer but feel like you can't because you have braces? 

Well, don't cancel your plans just yet because there is plenty of room for the regulator or snorkel to fit on the inside of your teeth but it's recommended to get comfortable with the equipment in your mouth long before you jump in the water.

If you plan on diving and you wear rubber bands, take them out before the dive. This is very important because they may snap, become lodged somewhere in your mouth or even the possibility of you swallowing them when you clear your ears and adjust to the pressure by wiggling your jaw.

As a certified scuba diver who had braces, I can say it was very easy and I barely noticed that I had my braces on. If you are still a bit wary, you may want to stick to the snorkeling or doing a shallow dive until you get more comfortable.

After every dive or snorkle, make sure to rinse your mouth with fresh water and drink plenty of water.

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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. 

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 you should consult with you dentist about and see what they recommend for you!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Could A Plant-Based Diet Help Reduce Gingivitis?

According to a recent trial held at the University of Freiburg, in Germany explains that yes, a plant-based diet could help reduce gingivitis!

A randomized trial of 30 patients who suffer from gingivitis were split into two different groups, experimental and control. The experimental group changed their diet to low carb and animal protein and included foods rich in omega-3, vitamin c and d, antioxidants, plant nitrates and fibers for four weeks.

Each group was provided with the necessary tools to take care of their oral hygiene. Although the trial showed there were no differences in plaque reduction, the experimental group did, however, has less inflammation and bleeding to their gums. 

This trial was published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

MS And Your Oral Health

The effects of MS are widespread over the body but one thing many don't consider is how it can affect your oral health, both directly and indirectly.

As the disease progresses, motor function becomes impaired, pain can be intense, the immune system is suppressed.  Brushing and flossing can be difficult for these patients as motor function and dexterity are essential to be able to exercise proper hygiene.

In addition to motor function, medications can cause dry mouth, which creates a perfect place for bacteria to grow and leads to cavities and gum disease.  The use of steroids can weaken the immune system which in turn allows infections to flourish.

Depression is another factor in oral health management.  Depressed individuals may tend to push aside personal hygiene including brushing and flossing, so keeping a watchful eye on your loved one is important as they may need a gentle nudge here and there to get them back on track.

It is so very important that MS patients keep good oral hygiene.  To do that, they may need assistance.  In the event that it isn't possible, here are some suggestions that may help to make brushing a little easier for them.


  • Buy a thick handled toothbrush or wrap some type of gripping material around the handle to make it easier to hold.
  • Invest in an electric toothbrush.  It's easier to hold and doesn't require a lot of movement.  
  • Another good investment might be a Waterpik! Again, it requires less dexterity and movement. 
  • Ask a caregiver or a family member for help.
  • Schedule additional cleanings at the dentist.  Instead of the usual 2 per year, schedule 4 instead.  This helps keep ahead of gum disease.               
Keep Smiling!                                                                                                                                                                               

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Unexpected Way Running Affects Your Teeth

We all know that exercising is great for your health. One of the primary reasons for running is that it helps lose weight, fight heart disease and relives stress. However, running can also have hidden negative effects on one of the most important parts of your body; Teeth.

When you add all the carbs, sports drinks and protein bars that are likely consumed during or after a workout, your mouth has the perfect environment for cavities. Sugar feeds decay-causing bacteria and our defenses against this bad bacteria live in our saliva.

While most runners breath through their mouth, the mouth is usually dry during the entire run which slows saliva rates and makes it harder for the mouth to clean its self. Therefore, when the mouth is dry, your teeth are at risk.

Here are a few things you can to save your teeth during a workout!
  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Pop a sugar-free mint or a piece gum after a workout (helps your saliva glands to start working again)
  3. Brush and floss regularly

Remember oral hygiene is very important!!



Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The New Charcoal Toothpaste Fad - Yea or Nay?

Fads are exactly that...fads.  While it may seem like a good thing, the opposite is often true. In the case of charcoal toothpaste, the results are in.  Not a good thing!!!  
Charcoal toothpaste can actually cause the damage to your teeth that it purports to prevent, according to a study published in the British Dental Journal.  It is an abrasive product.  It can actually wear away the enamel on your teeth making them more susceptible to decay, and can damage your gums.  There are a few charcoal toothpaste products that have fluoride, but with the abrasive properties of the toothpaste it does little to protect the enamel of the teeth.  
So, the jury is in, and charcoal toothpaste has been touted as a "marketing gimmick".  
Buyer beware!
If in doubt, the link to the article can be found here.  Don't be afraid to ask your dentist about it.  No doubt he/she will tell you the same thing.  

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Question From Our Member...

D. Jamis of Atlanta, Georgia asks: 

“I went to the dentist for an exam and cleaning but when they found that I had heart problems, they wouldn´t do anything until my cardiologist sent them a letter saying it was ok for them to work on me.  I think that´s dumb, don´t you?”

Savon’s Answer:

I guess dumb is in the eye of the beholder.  The reason for the concern is probably due to one or more of the medications that you are on.  As a rule of thumb, anyone with at heart condition is usually on some type of a blood thinner.  The dental facility needs to know if you need to and are able to stop taking your medication prior to having a dental procedure performed.

Original post is from our June 2019 newsletter!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Green Tea Drinker? It's a Good Thing for your Oral Health!

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! 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Are You Suffering From Keto Breath?

The Ketogenic (Keto) diet is known for its extremely low carbohydrates and high-fat foods. People who have followed and stuck with the Keto diet have been very successful.

One major side effect of starting keto is "keto breath". This has been described as a fruity or sweet smell which often disappears once the body is in ketosis. It can take about 21 days for the body to adapt so until they try these tips for better smelling breath:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Increased carb intake
  • Chewing gum or sucking on mints
  • Brushing teeth frequently
 As gross as "keto breath" sounds, it's an indication that the keto diet is working!

Information found here!





Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Why Are Some Types of 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 cleaning 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 and who may have 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 with periodontal disease or the symptoms thereof. 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 in one 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 thereafter 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.

As always, Keep Smiling!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Two Famous People Who Doubled as Dentists!

I found this article while reading a fellow dental blog and I thought it was a really interesting find!

Enjoy!


"Famous People You Didn't Know Were Dentists"
Who says dentistry isn’t exciting? Our noble profession has captured the hearts and imaginations of some pretty interesting people over the years. Granted, eventually these folks turned to other less fascinating professions—like acting, gun fighting, inventing, painting and saving the country—but still, they all had their “roots” (pardon the pun) in the enviable art of dentistry. Just check out this list of people you didn’t know were dentists:

Edgar_Buchanan· Edgar Buchanan: This popular character actor started out as a successful dentist before moving to California in 1939. Although he co-starred in countless movies over the years, Buchanan was probably best known for his memorable roles in 1960s sitcoms like “Petticoat Junction,” “Green Acres” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Once he was bitten by the acting bug, he left dentistry. But, interestingly enough, his wife actually took over his successful practice after he retired.

dholliday• John Henry “Doc” Holliday: You may remember Doc Holliday for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and their famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but Holliday was actually a dentist who was trained in Pennsylvania and developed a booming little practice in Atlanta. After a short time, Holliday contracted tuberculosis and he was forced to leave his practice and move out West, where the rest is, well…history.....

Get the rest DentalBuzz.com!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Toothpaste Bites?

Last night I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across a video explaining what toothpaste bites were so I decided to check out their website!

Bite toothpaste was founded in 2017 by Lindsay McCormick. She describes Bite toothpaste as a zero-waste toothpaste tablet that is vegan and cruelty-free. Another bonus is that they are sold in glass bottles with cardboard refill packets.

All you have to do is:
  • Pop one in your mouth.
  • Bite down and start brushing.
 This product will foam up just like a normal toothpaste but without all the harsh chemicals!


I thought this was a neat idea, what are your thoughts?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Canine Orthodontics- Would You Consider Braces For Your Pet?

Maintaining your pets oral health is as important as making sure that they are vaccinated or that they are receiving regular veterinary care. They should have regular cleanings. Animals are susceptible to many of the same physical ailments as humans, including dental issues! They can get cavities, periodontal disease, abscesses, broken teeth...just about anything a human can get, they can get, including crooked teeth! And they feel the pain of these ailments, just as we do. Your pet may actually be a candidate for braces! Now, braces are not for every dog or cat...it will depend on their age, type of malocclusion and their ability to tolerate the discomfort of wearing braces, but there are a variety of specialists available out there who practice veterinary dentistry. Check with a veterinarian in your area, he or she can probably recommend one!

Keep smiling!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Can CBD Oil Reduce Dental Pain?

Recently I turned in a research paper for a class I was taking. My research topic was "What are the benefits of using CBD oil to treat diseases on older adults?" This made me wonder if CBD Oil could be beneficial for dental health!

Although there has been little research on CBD oil and dentistry, studies have shown that CBD Oil may help reduce dental pain and abscesses because it contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

There are a couple of different ways to use CBD Oil:
  • Orally - The easiest way is to buy capsules and take it like a normal over the counter medication. If you have a hard time swallowing pills you can just buy the oil and add it to foods or beverages.
  •  Direct Application - Apply CBD spray, oil, crushed capsules or soaked gauze pad directly on the affected tooth or gums - this may be the fastest method to relieve dental pain. 
 If you decide to use the direct method to reduce pain or swelling, make sure to wash your hands prior to application.

Like all things, you can expect a side effect. CBD Oil can reduce saliva production and may cause you to experience "cotton mouth". Make sure to drink plenty of water, chew sugar-free gum and make sure to brush and floss regularly.


*Remember this is just a temporary fix, you need to see your dentist right away at the first sign of any dental pain.*

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Sjogren's Syndrome-Dry Mouth Affects Your Oral Health

Many people have never heard of this disorder....for some it is a simple inconvenience, but to the more severely affected, it is debilitating.  Sjogren's Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that primarily causes chronic dry mouth, lips and dry eyes and nasal passages.  It can be a primary disease (all by itself) or a secondary disease, on the heels of other autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and others. It is a progressive disorder.  Having chronic dry mouth can cause a variety of oral problems; higher incidence of cavities, mouth sores, burning tongue, swollen salivary glands, thrush and oral infections. The important thing for people with Sjogren's to remember is to stay hydrated and manage the symptoms, rather than letting them continue without treatment.  If you have Sjogren's or if you think you may have it, contact your healthcare provider and make sure you see a dentist regularly. Often, your doctor and your dentist can work together to help you manage your symptoms. Coconut water is an excellent source to hydrate the body and is reported by some to have a profound effect on combating the annoying symptoms of Sjogren's.

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Can I Use Coconut Oil As A Toothpaste For My Cats And Dogs?



Yes, Coconut oil is effective and safe for your fur baby. Although brushing your animal's teeth with the coconut oil is the best method, they will still get some oral health benefits just from licking a small amount of the oil.

Below are some reasons to use coconut oil as toothpaste for your pet and yourself:
  • No harmful chemicals -  Conventional toothpaste has an antibacterial chemical called Triclosan, which has been linked to endocrine disruption. Endocrine disruption can cause major health issues such as cancers, preterm/low birth weight in babies.
  • Effective against cavity-causing bacteria - Massaging coconut oil into the gums daily significantly helps reduce decay-causing bacteria as well as plaque.
  • Inexpensive - Unlike conventional toothpaste that can be expensive, one jar of coconut oil will last months because you only use a small amount.
Other health benefits your animal can receive from coconut oil:
  • Improves skin and coat - When you are brushing their teeth or letting them lick the coconut oil you are improving the look and feel of your animal's coat.
  • Provides energy and helps dogs lose weight - Coconut oil promotes a healthy metabolism while increasing your animal's energy and promoting healthy joints.
  • Aids in digestion - Coconut oil may help with soothing your dog's digestive system while increasing nutrient absorption.
Many vets are starting to recommend using coconut oil on a regular base since its an excellent source of nutrients, which keeps your dog in good health! 

The recommended dose of coconut oil is 1 teaspoon per 10 - 30 pounds. 

When starting use 1/4 the recommended dosage and build up to the recommended level over 3-4 weeks. If hurried right away you may notice flu-like symptoms.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Are Expensive Electric Toothbrushes Always The Best Option?

I'm thinking the answer is no.  In this economy, who wants to pay upwards of $80 for a toothbrush that essentially does the brushing for you, not to mention the replacement toothbrush heads, which cost an additional $35 for 3 or 4 of them.  That is not to say that it isn't nice to have a product that helps you do the work; I personally buy the battery powered toothbrushes at a cost of about $6.99.  Each one lasts approximately 3 months, which is the typical length of time the dentists recommend for a toothbrush before you change it out, and that makes the total cost per year about $28 and my teeth feel just as clean as with the more expensive toothbrush (you know, the one you have to charge once a week to keep it going) without the expense.
This is just a personal rant....others may feel differently, but until someone proves to me that an expensive toothbrush is actually better, I'm going with the cheaper option!

Feel free to weigh in on this....doctors and consumers! 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Fields Of Dentistry



Dentistry - Profession or science dealing with the prevention and treatment of diseases and malformations of the teeth, gums, and oral cavity, and the removal, correction, and replacement of decayed, damaged, or lost parts, including such operations as the filling and crowning of teeth, the straightening of teeth, and the construction of artificial dentures.

General Dentist: Provides general dental prevention, care and maintenance services such as regular cleanings, fillings, and simple tooth extractions. The general dentist will refer patients to other dental specialists for more specialized treatments when they are needed.

Periodontist: Specialize in the care of the supporting tissues of the teeth and mouth. They specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gum disease and any other condition affecting the gums, jaw bone, and other tissues.

Endodontist: Perform root canal therapy. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the nerve, pulp, arteries, and veins found in the internal cavity that makes the teeth alive.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: Performs procedures on the jaw and mouth including teeth extractions, implants, and reconstruction. Oral surgeons identify and treat conditions, injuries and defects (cleft lip, etc.) affecting the mouth, jaw, and face. They often work together with a cosmetic dentist and orthodontist in reconstructive procedures.

Cosmetic Dentist: Perform cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of someone's smile. They specialize in appearance-enhancing procedures such as veneers, bonding, and whiting of the teeth.

Prosthodontist: Specialize in replacing missing teeth. These specialists attach structures such as crowns, dentures, and bridges to replace missing teeth.  Some prosthodontist preforms dental implant surgery.

Pedodontists: Specialize in treating conditions affecting children's teeth. They offer dental care from infancy through the teen years.

Orthodontists: Specialize in jaw adjustment and teeth positioning. They can straighten crooked teeth, correct misaligned teeth, fix biting problems. They use braces, retainers and other structures to adjust imporfections.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

When We Disagree With Our Dentist's Diagnosis

Quite often we field phone calls from members who would like to change their dentist because they disagree with a diagnosis. Often times, the perception is that the dentist is "over-diagnosing" on the treatment plan to make more money. Now I can assure you that 98% of the time that is not the case.

 Know that every dentist is different. One dentist may identify something that one did not. Another one may have training or access to new technology that the other one doesn't. Different training, different perspectives...it doesn't mean that one or the other is wrong.  This usually goes way beyond wrong or right. 

How a dentist diagnoses is often dependent on how/where they were trained. Some dental colleges have a more aggressive diagnostic curriculum as others have a more conservative diagnostic curriculum. Depending on which curriculum the school that your dentist went to had, depends on which type of diagnosis you may get.

Although an aggressive diagnostic treatment plan may be overwhelming to patient, it is not always a bad thing. It focuses on the long term solution to your dental problems with more of a restorative style of treatment..
A conservative diagnostic treatment plan is not a bad thing either. It focuses on trying more to save the original teeth that you have, rather than replace it with a crown or something else, until that is really needed. It should be discussed with you and your dentist and it really comes down to what is right for you at the time. 

As I said, it is not that either one of the dentists is wrong or right, or that one is a better dentist than the other. It simply comes down to how they were taught to diagnose your treatment. It does not mean that aggressive diagnostic dentist is trying to rip you off by over diagnosing (which is the common misconception by patients). It does not mean that the conservative dentist is under diagnosing and missing things that need to be done (which is another common misconception by patients)
In fact, an aggressive treatment may cost you more money now, but can save you a lot of money in the future. However, on the flip side of things, the conservative diagnosis treatment will save you money now, but could cost you more in the future.

We commonly recommend and encourage patients to obtain a 2nd opinion when concerned about the particular diagnosis that they are given, prior to just changing to another dentist based solely on a diagnostic result.

Keep Smiling!  

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Bad Breath Could Mean Bad Health!



Yuck, what is that smell? Could it be your breath? Checking your breath may not just save you from embarrassing social moments, but it may save your life. Recurring bad breath could be a sign of underlying medical conditions.
  • Electric Nose Technology: Detects lung cancer from bad breath- This is a cheaper alternative than doing a biopsy to detect lung cancer. The "electronic nose detects different profiles of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breaths." All you would need is a simple breath test.
  • Breath tests can detect heart failure- By taking a breath test, Researchers can use "mass spectrometry technology to analyze the sample for molecular and chemical compound signs of heart failure."
  • Fish Breath: Kidney Failure: "The fishy breath occurs when kidney failure affects the respiratory system" and makes it hard to breathe. This is because the damaged kidneys can no longer filter waste products from the blood and turn it into urine.
  • Sleep Conditions may cause dry mouth- Saliva decreases during sleep, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Excess Weight- A poor diet and lack of water can play a significant role in bad breath. Try drinking large amounts of water and eating lots of fruit and vegetables, this will help keep breath fresh.
If you notice recurring bad breath, please seek medical help!
Information was found here!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Traditional Dental Floss or Floss Sticks, Your Decision!

Floss sticks are quickly becoming the way of the world. They are easy to use, make flossing quicker and saves you from getting the string imprints in your fingers, but it is really the best option?

Traditional dental floss has been used for years. It is tested, approved, recommended and used by most dental centers. It is great at removing the excess food particles, plaque and bacteria between your teeth. However it is really difficult to control. It takes some work and technique to make sure that you do it right, especially if you are trying to get in between the back molars. It also requires that you stick your fingers inside your mouth, which is a problem for some people. However it is really effective at cleaning your teeth properly.

Floss Swords are less intrusive in your mouth. They are simple and easy to use and allow you to reach the back molars without much trouble. However, their effectiveness is in question. Ideally, when you floss with traditional floss, between each tooth you pull a fresh piece of floss. With a floss sword, you use the same piece until you are done. This can transfer bacteria from one to tooth to another. One could argue that if the sword is rinsed before each tooth that it wouldn't do that, but does anyone actually do that? 

Personally, I use both. In some areas of my mouth, my teeth are tight to each other and it is hard to get the thick piece of floss or sword between them, so I use traditional floss on those. I use traditional floss on all of my front teeth and I use a floss sword on my molars. I do rinse the floss sword after each tooth, but that's just me. 

It basically comes down to your preference and the recommendation of your dentist and hygienist so make sure you check with them. Whatever one you choose you will definitely get kudos for flossing. That's the part of dental care that is skipped the most!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Treat Your Sensitive Teeth At Home!

Do you suffer from sensitive teeth?

It has been found that one in eight people experience sensitive teeth. I guess I'm one of the eight that suffer (although my sensitivity is mild).

Below are just a few home remedies you can try to help prevent sensitivity:
  • Oil Pulling - Oil pulling with sesame oil (may reduce gum disease) or coconut oil  (may reduce plaque formation) has the potential benefits of lowering tooth sensitivity.
    • Swish a tablespoon of either oil in the mouth for twenty minutes before spitting out.
    • You can use extracts to add some flavor (i.e., Peperment extract) 
  • Guava leaves - Chew on guava leaves. The extracts of the guava flavonoids have the potential to soothe toothaches and tooth sensitivity.
  •  Clove gel - This has been a remedy for toothaches for a very long time. Applying clove gel to the gums may help reduce tooth sensitivity and pain. 
  •  Garlic - Chewing on a piece of garlic briefly produces a compound called allicin. Plaque that builds up around the tooth can worsen tooth sensitivity and fighting it with garlic can slow down the process and lessen the pain.
For a complete list click here!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Never 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 was to ask to the dentist, so I started to ask about it. 

Here are some of the reasons that I have been given:

1. I don't want to offend the dentist.
2. I don't want to make him/her think I am questioning their ability.
3. I don't want to waste the dentist's time.
4. I was too embarrassed

These are just a few of the reasons that I have heard. Whatever your reason is for not asking questions, it is something that I would strongly advise that you try to overcome. 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's 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. 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 dentist questions. More often than not they are happy to answer.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Are You Risking Your Health By Kissing?

"Is kissing harmful to your health? With just one kiss, couples can share more than 500 different types of disease-causing germs and viruses, warns the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), a professional association of more than 35,000 general dentists."

Some different types of diseases and viruses that you can catch are:
  1. Cold Sores-Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus. They appear as tiny, clear, fluid-filled blisters that form around the mouth and lips.

  2. Colds-Common cold and flu viruses can be transmitted very easily through contact with the saliva.

  3. Mononucleosis-Mononucleosis, also known as the "kissing disease."
Remember people can look healthy and you may never know if they have any diseases.

To read more click here!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Could Coffee Reduce Your Risk Of Oral Cancer?

It's quite possible! Although this idea is still being researched and is yet to be confirmed, the study appears to be promising. 

A brief on oral cancer:

People who use tobacco or alcohol are naturally at a higher risk of developing oral/pharyngeal or mouth cancer. People who have HPV (human papillomavirus) are also at a high risk as recent studies have shown. Oral cancer is difficult to detect in its early stages due to the fact that the symptoms can easily be mistaken as something else.  Common symptoms include mouth sores that don't seem to heal, or pain that will not go away.

Where coffee comes in:

There have been many studies over the years linking coffee to a reduced risk of mouth cancer.  The study which brings us here today actually began in 1982.  Nearly 1 million people took part, submitting their health and lifestyle information, including their tea and coffee intake.  When the study began, all participants were cancer free.  After nearly 30 years of monitoring and follow up, the results of the study were astonishing.  Out of the near million people who participated, 868 people died from oral/pharyngeal or mouth cancer.  When the relation to these deaths with coffee and tea consumption was analyzed, it was found that participants who reported drinking 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 49% reduced risk of death from oral cancer than those who reported drinking less or only having an occasional cup.  Gender, alcohol and tobacco were not a factor.  The link to decaffeinated coffee was insignificant and the link to tea drinkers was non-existent.

What that means now:

While we would all love to believe that coffee is the cure for oral cancer, unfortunately, more research needs to be done.  There are many factors that would need to be considered before they can determine coffee as a guaranteed treatment.  There are also many other types of cancers, this study only focused on one.  So, for now, myself and my fellow coffee drinkers can simply feel a little bit better about our consumption.  As more research and studies unfold, however, I imagine we can expect to see a breakthrough on this idea soon.

Until then, Cheers to coffee!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Can Older Women Who Suffer Tooth Loss Develop High Blood Pressure?

According to the American Journal of Hypertension, a new study indicates that there was a positive association between tooth loss and hypertension risk among postmenopausal women.

Researchers believe that people who experience tooth loss change their eating habits by eating softer foods and more processed foods. With the extra increase of high sodium foods, it can cause hypertension.

Postmenopausal women should improve their dental hygiene, monitor their blood pressure, keep a healthy diet, exercise and if necessary, lose weight!

Study information found here!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Do You Suffer from Chronic Dry Mouth?


Well, if you do, there is hope!

Many 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 sweeteners containing Xylitol offer comfort to those suffering from dry mouth. Xylitol coats the soft tissues of the mouth, sealing in moisture and stimulateing saliva flow.

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

Don't suffer in silence!  Tell your dentist if you suffer from this malady.  Chances are he'll suggest one of the products listed above.

Keep Smiling! 




Thursday, March 21, 2019

Are Older Adults Keeping Their Teeth?

According to the analysis by NIDCR scientists published in the January 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, Yes... tooth loss in older adults is on the decline! Research has found that adults experiencing complete tooth loss declined sigficantly (from 17% down to 11%)

Dr. Bruce Dye, DDS, MPH states "It’s good news that older Americans are keeping more of their teeth because past studies have found that tooth loss can reduce the quality of life.”

To read more, click here!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

All About Dental Sealants

What is a dental sealant?
A dental sealant is a thin, white, plastic coating used on the surfaces of your teeth (molars specifically) to help prevent tooth decay.  The procedure is painless and only takes a few minutes.  
How do they work?
Just how it sounds!  The sealant is applied to the molar surface which allows a light, but powerful protective coating to seal in the tiny cracks and crevices that could potentially trap food and bacteria, which could lead to tooth decay and other long-term problems.
When should I consider getting  them?
Most dentists suggest applying sealants as an extra measure in preventive care early on as your adult teeth grow in.  Because most tooth decay in teens and children are found in this area, the earlier you get them, the better.
Do all teeth need sealants?
No, just molars.  Molars are far more vulnerable to tooth decay because they are designed for chewing.  The rest of your teeth are shaped and designed for their specific purpose and sealants just simply aren’t needed.
How long do they last?
The average life of a sealant is anywhere between 5-10 years.  Over time, they can wear down or chip, at which point, they should be reapplied.
Does this mean I won’t get cavities at all?
Definitely not.   While they do offer a strong layer of protection, they are not designed to replace your daily dental maintenance.  They protect, they do not prevent.  Maintaining healthy dental habits will better allow the sealant to do what it is supposed to.
Does my regular dentist do them?
Yes, a general dentist should be able to do it, or the hygienist.  A specialist is not necessary.
Are they covered by insurance?
Because it is considered a preventive procedure, most insurances and dental plans cover sealants at 100%.  Obviously this will vary, so be sure to check with your provider beforehand. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Dental Black Triangles

Have you ever noticed some people have a small black triangle located in between some of their teeth, and looks like a speck of pepper? I have, and always wondered what it was!

So, what exactly are dental black triangles?

According to Larry Picard, DDS, dental black triangles are clinically knowen as open gingival embrasures. This is a gap between the teeth that is often due to bone loss, recession of the gum line, and sometimes due to movement in the teeth.

There are a few different ways to fix this problem:
  • Interproximal Reduction (IPR) in conjunction with Invisalign
  • Veneers
  • Bonding
  • BioClear

Picture is from google images 
Information found here here!


Image result for dental Triangles

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Which is Better? Dental Cleaning Methods--New vs. Old

A look into the ever advancing world of dental medicine has spurred me to blog about a topic that many of my customers have addressed with me over the years. Adult cleanings. Now, keep in mind that with technological advancements in the dental field comes a variety of skepticism...that is, people do not like change.  They tend to prefer that you should stick to what works!
We begin with what I call the old method, which entails scraping and picking away the plaque and tartar from your teeth....approximately 45 minutes in the chair and you come away with your mouth feeling fresher and cleaner; along with a knowledge of what the hygienist has been doing with her life for the past 6 months...it just goes with the territory, folks! With further advancement comes the prophy jet, which basically uses a high pressured stream of water to blast away the build-up, (oh, and just FYI, I have heard many, many complaints about this one) and now, the newer laser cleaning, (the jury is still out on that method). We haven't had much feedback as yet about this one, however I have a feeling in this instance that "no news is good news".... as in no one in my scope of the industry has complained!
The general consensus, in the end, is that most people do seem to prefer the old tried and true method, particularly the older crowd, asserting that the prophy jet doesn't seem to leave their mouths feeling as fresh, or that it doesn't  completely remove the plaque. Additionally, it is a much quicker method, which seems to give the impression that enough time is not being spent on the cleaning, therefore it can't be as effective as the old way.
Tell us what you think!!! We'd like to hear about your experiences.
Which do you prefer? The new way or the old way?

As always, keep smiling!


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Should You Fill Rotten Baby Teeth?


Filling rotten baby teeth may be an unnecessary as well as uncomfortable experience for children to endure, some experts say.

About 40% of five-year-olds have tooth decay and at least one in ten is treated with fillings. But evidence from the case notes of 50 dentists suggests fillings may not offer significant benefits.

Read more here!


Original post was on June 24, 2009

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Could You Make Your Own Braces? Would you?

I've read about different and more crude attempts at home orthodontia and lets just say, it's a frightening concept...(what some people will come up with and bravely attempt).

However, in an article published recently, the story of a New Jersey college student and his idea to make his own clear plastic braces is making a stir in the dental industry.  He did, in fact, create a model of his own teeth using a computer and a 3-D printer and then manufactured 12 sets of clear plastic straightening trays for a fraction of the cost of Name Brand braces. When I say fraction....I mean his total cost was about $60. The kicker?  It worked!

I, for one, am NOT that technologically inclined, however, many people are. Now, I suppose in this case the end result could've been disastrous. And this spin off of the modern "Invisalign type" orthodontia will not work for everyone, but just look at the picture in this article and see for yourself!  He did an amazing job.  It made for a great success story and one that may encourage others to try similar tactics, although it should be stated that no one ( unless you are a trained professional) should try this at home!

Click here for the full article.  It's a captivating topic.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Invest In Your Dental Health With Your Tax Refund!

Tax season is upon us once again!

According to USA Today, the average tax refund is $3,100.00. While spending that money on new clothes, down payment on a car or a nice beach vacation, people should be more realistic and invest it other places such as their dental health.

Did you know that dental care gets more expensive the longer it's neglected? Brushing and flossing and regular check-ups aren't costly but when you don't brush, floss or see your dentist regularly you can develop serious dental problems like gum disease and cavities which may require surgery down the road.

So why not take some of that tax refund and protect your teeth?



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Lose A Tooth? Don't Worry, You May Be Able to Just...Grow Another?

Wow. Isn't technology awesome? Imagine going to the dentist, having a tooth extracted and finding out that you can simply grow another in its place; with a little help from science, that is.  It may be the way of the near future....it may even be cheaper than implants (and we all know that the full process for an implant can take up to 6 months, right?)  Apparently this new process of growing a new tooth can be done in only 9 weeks and it involves stem cell technology.  Unbelievable!

Here is a link to an article that explains the science behind it, and the process.  Amazing.

Now if they could only come up with a way to do an extraction that is non-invasive...well, one can dream, right?

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

What's Wrong With Refilling A Tooth That Needs Replaced?

Unfortanly this was my dilemma last month, and Dr. Spindel explains why you shouldn't keep refilling a tooth!

"Often when removing an old filling a crack is discovered. Unless the part of the tooth that has cracked is completely removed, a permanent filling is not a great option. Currently, dentists do not have a bond or superglue that can adequately repair cracks and often when a tooth has a crack, entirely removing enough of the tooth to get rid of the crack is not possible without ruining it. In that case, a portion of the crack remains and a dentist's best choice is to "shoe the cusps" with a indirect restoration (either an onlay or crown). Covering the cusps will better distribute occlusal (biting) forces and discourage the crack from propagating. Residual cracks in teeth do not heal themselves and tend to either stay static or propagate further.

So what's wrong with just refilling the tooth with an even larger filling? Even if no crack is found,  unless a dentist can actually onlay the cusps and restore good proximal contacts with a composite filling in one session, a laboratory fabricated restoration is really the best option. If a tooth needs more than three surfaces restored, prepping, taking an impression and sending it to a laboratory is really the most predictable way to ensure a long lasting result. will make it easier to properly restore the tooth to it's proper function. Whether a  crown or an onlay is utilized, fabrication out of the mouth using a model is the best option.

That being the case, it is not unusual for patients to strongly advocate for their dentist to just "put in a filling for the time being and " I will crown it in the future, when I can afford it". That may sound reasonable, but most patients will not fix a tooth that's not broken and will wait until they develop another problem with their restored tooth, even though they were warned that it should have a crown or an onlay.

Unfortunately, sometimes when they do return with a problem, it is too late to salvage the tooth and if it sustains an "unlucky break" ( one that involves the tooth into the boney alveolar housing) the tooth may need to be extracted. At this point the tooth replacement involves an extraction and a three unit bridge or an implant replacement. Both of these options are much more expensive than a single crown would have been. Removable tooth replacement is an affordable option, but most patients prefer not to go this route if they have any other options."


Information was found here!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Bad Breath Doesn't Always Mean Bad Hygiene

Generally, when we encounter someone with bad breath, we think of gum disease or poor oral hygiene habits. The first thought that comes to mind (after trying to escape the close proximity) is that they probably don't brush their teeth regularly. Judgmental lot, we humans! But there may be a much more sinister malady at play.  Think tongue plaque.  Yep, that gross, slimy coating on your tongue that builds up over time and wrecks havoc on the bacteria count in your mouth...  Epiphany! Oh, so this is why the dentist includes a tongue scraper in that little hygiene goody bag you get when you have your teeth cleaned!  Turns out it is an important part (or it should be) of your daily oral routine. Why?  Because that bacteria can cause gingivitis.  That's right, gum disease, aka  periodontal disease, infection, bad breath and extreme embarrassment.  Or, to mention the extreme, loss of teeth.
So why take a chance?   Brush, floss and then scrape your tongue for goodness sake!

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Frequent Dental Surgery Questions

I recently had dental surgery, and before I could ask any questions the dental assistant went over all frequent questions that people ask!
  • What kind of foods can I eat after surgery?
    • Cold, soft foods like jello, pudding and cottage cheese
    •  Avoid hard, sharp foods like chips, nuts, and popcorn
  • I just had surgery, and the stitches already came out, is that okay?
    • Unless told otherwise, losing the stitches in not an emergency, they are usually placed to help control bleeding during the surgery. 
  •  How do I avoid a dry socket?
    • Don't smoke
    • Keep the surgery spot clean
    • dont over excert yourself
  • What do i do if the surgery site is still bleeding?
    • Place a small piece of gauze over the extraction site and bite down for 20-30 minutes at a time. 
    • It's not unusual to notice small amounts of blood during the healing process.
  • What about pain management?
    • The dentist usually prescribes a non-narcotic and narcotic pain medication. 
    • The best way to keep pain under control is to alternate the medications.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Massage May Help For TMJ Related Pain

If you suffer from TMJ, Bruxism or a misaligned jaw, you know that the pain associated with it is no joke!  Many people complain of headaches, muscle fatigue and clenching of the jaw.  Chewing food, yawning and sometimes swallowing and talking can be painful. 
As remedies go, what works for some won't always work for others but there is one treatment that seems to get positive reviews all across the board.  Massage!  It is not a cure all for the disease, however it can reduce pain and swelling and make movement of the jaw less painful. 
Look for a massage therapist in your area that is trained for TMJ, or, if you are into the self-care movement, there are plenty of online tutorials that explain how you can do your own massage.  Find something that works for you but always check with your dental provider first!

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Take Oral Health To Heart

Valentines's Day isn't the only heat-related holiday celebrated in February! American Heart Month is celebrated every February to raise awareness for heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, but many people don't realize its connection to oral health. The same bad bacteria in your mouth that can cause tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease have been found in the plaques that build up in heart disease patients' arteries and make them more susceptible to heart attacks and strokes.

You can keep your mouth and heart healthy by brushing and flossing, avoiding tobacco products, exercising regularly and eating a diet that is low in cholesterol, fat, and salt!

Infornation is from a flyer I recived from my dentist, Dr. Ghasem K. Darian at Winning Smiles

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Soda Vs. Egg Experiment For Kids

Currently, a Polar Vortex is reeking havoc on the majority of the United States. Schools, State agencies, and major stores have been closed for almost a week due to extreme temperatures.

Kids can get extremely bored being cooped up all day, and I'm sure most parents have pulled out all the stops to keep their kids bordem at an all-time low.

How about learning healthy brushing habits by doing a fun experiment?

Supplies:
  • ADA-accepted toothpaste
  • ADA-accepted toothbrush
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Cup
  • Dark soda or juice 
 Tell your children that they will be doing an experiment to see what happens when the outer shell of the egg is exposed to the soda or juice. *The egg is the replica of a tooth*

  • Submerge the hard-boiled egg into a glass of soda or juice and let it sit overnight. 
    • Take bets on what will happen to the egg.
  •  In the morning remove the egg from the soda or juice and let the children examine the egg. 
    • What's the color look like?
    • Is the egg as hard as it was the night before?
    • Explain that this is what happens to your teeth when you eat/drink sugary products.
  • Now load up the egg with toothpaste and try to scrub away the strains!
Hopefully, this is a fun experiment for the kids and one they will never forget!

The experiment found here!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Is Sedation Dentistry The Right Choice For You?

If you are dental phobic, anxious because you have a long complex procedure ahead of you or are having oral surgery, conscious sedation may just be right for you! What if you could have your dental procedures done while "consciously asleep" and wake up with no memory or trauma whatsoever? It sounds too good to be true but it is becoming a safe and efficient way for a dentist to treat severely anxious or phobic patients.
Conscious sedation allows you to relax in the chair while allowing the dentist to complete long or complex procedures without further distressing you. Now, please don't confuse this with general anesthesia, because it isn't! You will still be able to respond to questions and follow instructions. You will typically still be given local anesthesia such as lidocaine, but won't remember the shot. While you are not actually physically asleep through the procedure, you may think that you were because of the mind-erasing effect.
The process is rather simple. A small pill, such as triazolam, is given approximately an hour before the procedure. More medication may be given depending on the patients response to the first pill. Everyone is different. It is advised to ask someone to drive you to and from the appointment.
Now, keep in mind that not every doctor is able to use this form of sedation. It requires special training and certification.  This includes Cardiac Life Support training to help ensure the safety of the patient in an emergency.
It is becoming a more popular way to treat anxious and fearful patients, but as always, do your homework first. Check the doctors credentials and make sure he/she has had the proper training, or has a qualified, licensed anesthetist on staff.

Now this is something to smile about! So, Keep Smiling!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Hydrogen Peroxide: Benefits For The Mouth

Keeping hydrogen peroxide on hand comes with many other benefits besides cleaning cuts and wounds. Did you know that you can use hydrogen peroxide in your mouth?

Whitening teeth - Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent but not as effective as other whitening methods.

Easing a sore throat - Gargling hydrogen peroxide may ease discomfort by reducing the bacteria count.

Gum Disease - Since hydrogen peroxide contains antibacterial properties, it may help treat gum disease.
When plaque forms on the teeth, it consists of a slimy film of bacteria called biofilm and when hydrogen peroxide is used it releases oxygen that helps destroy that bacteria.

Mouth sores -Like I mentioned above with all of its antibacterial properties, hydrogen peroxide may help treat minor mouth irritations like canker sores and cuts from braces.

Mouthwash - Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water and swish around the mouth.

Disinfectant - That's right, soaking your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide helps kill germs. It also works on retainers and mouth guards!

Here are a few important notes:
*Do not use any type of hydrogen peroxide. Use  3% concentration!
*You may experience foaming in the mouth, don't worry its normal!
*To avoid irritations, limit usage to 1 time a week!


Information found here and here!