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Keep Your Smile Bright and Sunny, All Summer Long

Keep Your Smile Bright and Sunny, All Summer Long

The summer months are ahead and that usually means major changes around the house. The kids are home, there’s more time for fun, and everyone wants to be outdoors. As our routines begin to change with the warmer weather, it’s a good time to evaluate what we’re doing right and what needs improvement. Download PDF Version SET THOSE SUMMER ROUTINES With the start of summer vacation, parents are always scrambling to find ways to keep their kids busy. But for kids, it’s often a time to relax and unwind. That usually means waking up much later than when school is in session. Make sure that your kids are still following their morning routine when it comes to oral hygiene. Just because they may wake up right before lunch doesn’t mean they get to skip brushing their teeth in the morning. Maintaining consistent habits like brushing and flossing when they first wake up will give them a fresh start to the day. While they’re home, the tendency is to snack throughout the day. Make sure that you have healthy snacks available, like fresh fruits and vegetables, not just the typical cookies and chips. Don’t bring home any soda. Trust me, with all the graduation parties, barbecues, picnics, and other special events throughout the summer, they’ll get more than fair share of the stuff. While they’re home, encourage them to drink more water. Regardless of the time of year, adequate water throughout the day is essential to stay healthy, and to clean out any loose carbohydrates left in their mouths after snacking. The summer also means kids tend to stay up later...
WHITE DRESS… Yellow Teeth?

WHITE DRESS… Yellow Teeth?

Wedding season is around the corner and at our office, this usually means a rise in cosmetic procedures. Whether you’re the bride or groom, or if you are simply a participant or a guest, having a bright beautiful smile is now back on the priority list. There are many paths to a whiter smile, some are easy and inexpensive, while others can put a bit of dent in the pocketbook. Download PDF Version ?THE RIGHT WHITE The simplest thing you can do for a whiter smile is to get a professional cleaning at your dentist. Oftentimes the yellowing we see on our teeth is simply superficial staining that has built up over time. A good cleaning and polishing usually will result in an immediate lightening of your teeth. Follow up your fresh new smile with the purchase of a mechanical toothbrush. There are several brands of electric toothbrushes out there, as long as they come with a wall charger, and are not just battery operated, they should work much better than a manual brush to maintain your healthy smile. Teeth whitening procedures have become commonplace and prices have come down significantly. Everyone’s teeth tend to whiten at different rates however, so some products may work for you while others may seem like they accomplish nothing. Over-the-counter whitening products are effective, but tend not to give you that “wow” factor. Also the results usually fade pretty quickly. The most effective and long-lasting method of whitening is consistent at-home whitening with custom trays made by your dentist. Follow that up with an in-office whitening treatment and you have a recipe for bright beautiful teeth! ?SMILE, WITH...
You’re In Control of Your Dental Health

You’re In Control of Your Dental Health

The “doctor knows best” mentality has been a cornerstone of medicine and dentistry. But over the last decade, with the advent of the Internet, families are becoming more informed about their healthcare. Although I do, occasionally, get patients coming in and presenting me with some crazy ideas found on some less than reputable websites, people are, for the most part, benefiting from the resources out there, and I welcome more involvement of patients in the decision making process. After all, I only see a patient twice a year for checkups and a lot can happen in the six months in between. Download PDF Version So how can you take an active role, and make your home a positive place for your family’s dental health? CONTROL WHAT GOES IN THE GROCERY CART By far, the best thing you can do for your family’s dental health is to bring home wholesome foods. Avoid processed foods and carbohydrates. Thankfully, over the past decade our entire culture has gotten more “carb conscious.” There are so many alternatives out there now, compared to when I was growing up. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great substitute for a snack that, in the past, may have been made up of cookies and potato chips. Beyond the typical high carb snacks, there are the problems of pop and juice. As I’ve mentioned in my previous columns, juice may have natural sugar, as opposed to artificial sugar, but that doesn’t mean it’s not doing damage to your teeth. When kids admit to me that they drink pop, I always delve deeper I ask them, “What kind of pop...
Put that Winning Smile Back on Your Resume

Put that Winning Smile Back on Your Resume

You may not realize it, but a healthy smile can go a long way in securing a successful career. Regardless of the type of work you do, maintaining your teeth and gums can even be the difference between getting a promotion or being stuck in a rut. Anyone in sales will tell you the importance of a winning smile. When your job dictates close, face-to-face contact with potential clients, certain aspects of your smile really need to shine. Download PDF Version First, and foremost…odor. If you have bad breath, you can kiss that sale goodbye. Bad breath odor can come from a multitude of places, the back of your tongue, the pockets in your gums, even your tonsils. Good hygiene is the first line of defense. Make sure you’re brushing a minimum of twice a day, sneak in that lunch time brushing if you can. Don’t neglect your tongue! A large number of odor causing bacteria reside on the back of the tongue, you can brush your tongue with your regular toothbrush, or if you feel like you’re going to gag, you can buy a tongue scraper that will thoroughly clean your tongue with less discomfort. Flossing also is essential, as the pockets between your teeth are holding particles of food and bacteria. Finally, some people have deep crypts in their tonsils, these hidden areas can hold food and bacteria as well, although they are harder to clean, and may require professional attention from a dentist or an ear/nose/throat doctor. Besides odor, minor cosmetic issues can make a huge difference in a career. Have you ever thought someone has a nice smile only...
One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

2013 has come to an end and we find ourselves at the beginning of an exciting new year! The common cliché is the “New Year’s Resolution,” where people decide to make a significant change in their lives. Unfortunately, for most people, making big changes in your lifestyle can be very difficult to start and even harder to keep. Whenever I recommend changes in a patient’s habits, I always recommend small, gradual changes that are made with consistency. These are far more effective than drastic changes implemented for a month or two. We’ve all known someone who engages in a fad diet, only to put the weight right back on a few weeks after they’ve finished. So what changes can you make to your dental health, which are simple, and easy to maintain? Download PDF Version DIET The most effective anti-cavity treatment, believe it or not, is controlling your diet. Cutting sweet and acidic drinks like pop and juice will go a very long way towards preventing cavities. Everyone knows pop is bad for you, from the standpoint of calories as well as sugar and acidity. But often, people substitute other drinks, which they think are better for them. The most common is natural fruit juices. I will concede that natural sugar is better than artificial sugar, but in the end it’s still sugar, and that means it is food for bacteria. Not to mention most fruit juices are very acidic, as well. The acid in both pop and juice weakens your enamel and the sugar feeds the bacteria already in your mouth to start multiplying and producing more acid! The end...
Give Yourself The Gift of Healthy Teeth

Give Yourself The Gift of Healthy Teeth

The holidays are a special time. A time for great food, great company and hopefully a great smile. But I’ll tell you from experience, some people are not smiling during this time of year. The stress from all the planning and shopping can really get to people, and as usual, dental care is at the bottom of the priority list. Here are some common questions I tend to get at the office around this time. Hopefully the answers will make your holidays a little less stressful! Download PDF Version I really wanted to come in this month, but I’m just too busy. Do my insurance benefits roll over? Dental insurance plans tend to have a fixed annual maximum that does not roll over. Either you use it or you lose it. But don’t worry, you still might be able to get in to see the dentist before the end of the year. Just remember, you’re not the only one who is scrambling to get in before December 31. If your dental office tells you they have no appointments remaining, ask to be put on a short list. Busy schedules also mean a good number of cancellations, and dental offices want to fill those gaps as quickly as they can. Make it clear to the office staff that you want to be notified as soon as there is an opening. Be flexible! I have a lot of holiday parties coming up. Is there anything I can do to give my smile a boost? There are a plethora of ways to enhance your smile, and in the end this question has...
Busy Season Reminds Us of The Need for Strong, Healthy Teeth

Busy Season Reminds Us of The Need for Strong, Healthy Teeth

As we come closer to the end of the year, life gets busier and busier and it’s easy to neglect our dental health. There’s just so much going on with Halloween wrapping up and Thanksgiving around the corner, the holidays will be here before we know it. Halloween has just passed us by and the kids probably have loads of candy hiding all over the house. As parents, we have to make sure we are careful about our children’s candy consumption. I have three children under the age of 6 and they love candy. Even as a dentist, I don’t “outlaw” candy in my home, instead, I regulate it. The real trick is to make candy a treat, and not a normal everyday habit. Make sure that after the kids have candy they rinse really well with water. If it’s the end of the day, make sure they brush really well. I always tell people, it’s not the candy that causes damage, it’s the candy lingering on the teeth for hours untouched, that provides food for bacteria, which in turn, produces acid that destroy the teeth. Bottom line, hide that candy and give it out in small portions over a period of months! Download PDF Version Moving on, Thanksgiving is a holiday that revolves around good food. Everyone is looking forward to that delicious family dinner. However, there are many people that can’t enjoy that meal because of painful tooth problems. In our society today, there is so much emphasis on cosmetics that people tend to forget that the most important aspect of your dental health is a fully...
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The economy finally is bouncing back! Although we may not ever get back to what was considered “normal” before the bubble burst, things do seem to be getting better. Unfortunately, one of the many casualties of the economic crisis was dental health. As folks cut back, reeled in spending and held tight to their budgets, I saw elective dental procedures drop dramatically after 2008. But elective or not, these procedures have drastic effects on quality of life, and I am pleased to see that as the economy betters, people once again are considering their dental care a priority. Download PDF Version So how can you achieve the smile you want without breaking the bank? Get regular checkups every six months. One of the easiest ways to prevent the need for expensive procedures is to go for your dental check up and cleaning every six months. Why? Six months is pretty much the minimum time it takes for a cavity to develop to the point that it’s visible, either in the mouth or on an x-ray. So if we see you every six months, and you develop a cavity, we can now treat that cavity at a very early stage, with minimal discomfort and a very low price tag. Wait until you feel pain, and you’ll likely need a root canal and crown. Suddenly a procedure that should have cost a couple hundred dollars will cost a couple thousand. Understand your dental insurance. Dental insurance is like a helping hand, or a subsidy. It will partially pay for most procedures but it will never pay for the completion of treatment....
Brighten Your Smile Hollywood Style

Brighten Your Smile Hollywood Style

When people think of cosmetic dentistry, the first thing that typically comes to mind is an expensive Hollywood smile. Although that may have been the case in the 1990s, times have changed. Simple cosmetic dental procedures, once available only at a highend boutique style dental office, are now becoming more and more mainstream. Cosmetic bonding, using tooth-colored fillings or bondings is the simplest and most inexpensive way to alter misshapen or chipped teeth, and close small gaps. Bonding is a single visit procedure, covered by most insurance plans, and best of all, it’s painless! Cosmetic bonding will look good for a few years, but eventually will need to be replaced as the material ages and stains. This is normal wear and tear. Download PDF Version A longer-term solution to fixing cosmetic issues is the porcelain veneer. Again, a procedure that once was out of reach for most people is now a great alternative to bonding. A thin facing of porcelain is bonded over the existing tooth. This sometimes requires a small amount of tooth structure to be smoothed away, although it can occasionally be done without removing any tooth structure at all. The advantages of porcelain over bonding are many. Porcelain is color stable, it will resist even the most dark staining foods/drinks. You can correct larger gaps and chips, and even correct crooked teeth. The porcelain is very strong, and veneers can last decades without any problems. One cosmetic solution, often overlooked, is orthodontic alignment of teeth. In the past, the only way to achieve straight teeth was with traditional braces (brackets and wires). There are now a plethora of systems that can correct crooked teeth and spaces without braces. Popularized by the Invisalign system, clear aligners are a great alternative to braces. The best part is that these systems are all removable! So if you...