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Amaze Your Friends With Four Amusing Mouth Facts!

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE WORD “DENTIST” comes from “dent-” which is French for “tooth”? Funny thing is, we deal with a lot more than just teeth! That’s because the health of your teeth is so tightly connected to the health of your whole mouth (and even connected to the health of your whole body).

So, here are four fun facts about your mouth:

1. That Little Piece of Webbing

You know that little piece of webbing that connects the base of your mouth with the underside of your tongue? It’s called a frenulum. And, there’s another major one in your mouth. Can you think of where it is? That’s right… It connects your upper gums to your top lip.

2. The Oral Mucosa

There is a special kind of tissue that lines your entire mouth called the oral mucosa. In some places (like on the roof of your mouth) it’s mixed with keratin, which is a strong material also found in our fingernails.

3. Your Temporomandibular Joints

Your upper and lower jaw are connected by temporomandibular joints. Most of the joints in your body (for example, your elbow) only move in one direction. Your jaw, however, moves up and down, side to side, AND front to back! This helps our molars grind our food. Move your own jaw in a circle right now. Your pet cat (a carnivore) can’t do that nearly as well as a human!

4. Saliva Factories

We have three major pairs of salivary glands, and other small ones located throughout our mouths. Did you know that saliva does more than help us eat and clean our mouths? It also contains important minerals that reinforce our teeth.

Ten More Fun Facts About Teeth

Together, Let’s Keep Your Teeth AND Mouth Healthy

As your lifelong oral healthcare provider, we check more than just teeth. We’re very interested in your gum health, the alignment and balance of your jaw, and early signs of problems like oral cancer in the soft tissues of your mouth and throat.

Thank you for the trust you place in us. We deeply appreciate it.

Remember, if you ever have any questions about your teeth or mouth we’re here to help—so please ask us! We look forward to seeing you the next time you visit.

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Improve Your Oral Health By Improving Your Posture

INTUITIVELY, YOU PROBABLY KNOW that better posture is good for your back, neck, etc. But what you may NOT know is that better posture is good for your oral health too! It’s true. Proper posture promotes a healthy smile and can help prevent potential problems with your jaw and teeth.

Poor Posture Can Place Harmful Pressure On Your Jaw

Simply stated, when we slouch our lower jaw is pushed farther forward and our skull sits farther back on our spinal column, which can cause our bite to be misaligned. When our teeth are improperly aligned, our jaw compensates to bring them together. Over time, this movement can stress our jaw joints and the associated muscles—and in some cases cause painful inflammation and/or damage to our teeth.

Good Posture’s Effects Are Far Reaching 

Your teeth are an important part of an interconnected skeletal system. When misaligned, some studies show that the effects can even be as far reaching as the muscles in your pelvis and feet! Crazy, huh? Practicing good posture can not only help you maintain a healthy smile, but it can also help your whole body health.

Are You Practicing Good Posture?

Take a look at this short video to learn more about good posture:

Tips For Better Posture

  • Lift your chest, pull your shoulder blades back and down
  • Keep your stomach muscles tight
  • If standing, your ears should line up with your shoulders, your hips with your knees, and your knees with your ankles
  • If sitting, your hips should line up with your ears

If you have any questions about posture or its relationship to your oral health, please contact us. We’re here to help you stand up straight and smile with confidence!

Thank you for the trust you place in our practice.

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4 Ways Laughter And A Confident Smile Are Life Changing

BECAUSE IT USUALLY HAPPENS SPONTANEOUSLY, we don’t often think about smiling or laughing. However, they both really do make us feel better—and, studies continue to reveal more of their many benefits.

1. Smiling Evokes Trust

A recent study published in the Journal of Economic Psychology suggests that people may be as much as 10% more willing to trust someone who smiles.

2. Smiling Could Increase Your Net Worth

Some economists suggest that smiles may have real, monetary value! Another study found that smiling waitresses earn more tips (makes sense, right?).

3. Smiling Lifts Your Spirit And Those Around You

Life is full of ups and downs. Smiling can reduce distressing emotions and be an invaluable tool in moving forward with our heads held high. And equally important, grins and chuckles can calm and comfort those around us. Here’s an example of how someone else’s smile (laugh) can lift YOUR day… We dare you to watch this video without smiling:

4. Smiling May Help You Look Younger!

That elusive fountain of youth may not be found in surgeries or potions—rather, a study suggests that the path to looking younger may be found through our smiles.

Let’s Get You Smiling And Laughing More (or again)!

As your lifelong health partner, we’re concerned about your total health. We know that some people don’t reap the benefits of smiling and laughing because they’re embarrassed or self-conscious about their teeth. Are you one of those people? We’d like to help. We love visiting with our patients about their smiles. We want you to smile confidently!

Thanks for sharing our practice (and our blog) with your friends, neighbors, and coworkers. We appreciate your kind referrals!

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Where Are You When It Comes To Dental Visit Anxiety?

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE MAJORITY OF US experience SOME level of dental anxiety? As much as 80%, in fact. Despite our best efforts we know that there’s something that feels inherently vulnerable about lying back in a chair while we examine your mouth. We’ve been patients too.

Communication Can Make You More Comfortable

We want you to feel comfortable and confident during your visits with us. We believe that one key is open communication between our team and you—our valued patient! Whether you’re extremely nervous during dental appointments, or just slightly uncomfortable, communication helps. However, it’s hard to know exactly how, or what, to communicate sometimes.

If you’d really like to explore the reasons you feel nervous about dental visits, here’s a handy questionnaire developed by J.H. Clarke and S. Rustvold at the Oregon Health Sciences University School of Dentistry. If you’d like, look over the first four questions and let us know where you fall on the scale. It’s a simple way to tell us how you’re feeling.

Is Your First Appointment Coming Up?

Check out the video below outlining an routine check-up. It could help get you in the right mindset:

Simple Understanding Can Make A Huge Difference

Once we understand a little bit about your triggers and your reaction to dental-related situations, we can do a lot to make you feel comfortable. Some techniques we use include:

  • Taking adequate time so you don’t feel rushed or harried.
  • Carefully explaining everything before we do it.
  • Establishing signals so that you can let us know if you need a break.

Would You Like More Techniques For Relieving Stress?

This video has some great pointers:

Do you know someone else who suffers from severe dental anxiety? Is it compromising their health? Have them give us a call. We can help.

Thanks for your trust in our practice!

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Is A Big Problem That Can Be Prevented

YOU MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE CHILDREN OF YOUR OWN. Either way, we all have children we care about in our lives—nieces, nephews, grandchildren, neighbor’s and coworker’s children, etc. That’s why it’s so important for everyone to be aware of this severe health issue affecting kids.

It’s Easy To Protect Against Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Did you know that the most common childhood disease today is tooth decay? Tooth decay results when bacteria in one’s mouth interacts with the sugar and starches in foods and beverages, creating acid which erodes tooth enamel. And although baby teeth are temporary, they’re critical to a child’s health, comfort, and long term oral health development. Without proper care those baby teeth are subject to painful, unnecessary caries.

Don’t Let Babies Fall Asleep With Their Bottles

Here’s what typically happens… The baby is put to bed with a bottle. Seems harmless enough. But if the bottle is full of milk or juice it’s also full of sugars that combine with bacteria to produce acids. Babies drift off with the bottles still in their mouths. The fluid pools around their teeth and the enamel on those new little teeth is slowly eroded away throughout the night.

The result can be painful caries, and/or the need for stainless steel crowns. In addition, since children’s teeth are still coming in they’re more susceptible to decay underneath the gum line. This decay can become so severe that delicate surgery under a general anesthetic may be required to remedy the problem.

Take A Moment To Be Informed

If you start early, you may be able to train your child to drink water in his or her bottle at nap time. Here are some other tips:

  • use gauze or a wet cloth to wipe children’s gums and teeth after feedings
  • work toward using “sippy” cups by his or her first birthday
  • don’t nurse continuously during the night
  • never dip pacifiers in honey or any sugary liquid

The video below offers other suggestions:

If You Have Questions, Please Ask

Think about the children you know and kindly help every parent understand this important topic. If you have any questions about dental health for your child, or for a child close to you, ask our team about it. You can leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page.

You can also learn more about baby bottle tooth decay from this ADA webpage.

Thanks for your trust in our practice. We appreciate having you as our valued patient!

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Happy Father’s Day

FATHERS HAVE A KNACK FOR making us smile—even when we’d prefer to be grouchy! Amazingly, they can usually pressure us into smiling through a simple act or gesture—a grin, a proud look, a really dumb joke.

This week, as much of the world celebrates Father’s Day, let’s return the favor!

Help Make The Fathers In YOUR Life Smile!

Take a moment to think about the fathers (and/or “father figures”) in your life. These could include your own dad, an admired teacher, a grandfather, a neighbor or mentor…

Now, think of one thing you can do for each of them this week that would make their lives brighter, make them smile, or lighten their loads. Remember, it could be something really simple like a unexpected visit or unhurried phone conversation to just say “thanks”. Whatever you come up with, make sure he knows how grateful you are for the role he’s played in your life.

It isn’t every day that we get an opportunity to celebrate those fathers who have contributed to our success and happiness. Take advantage of the day. By helping these fathers smile, you’ll find yourself smiling as well.

Think Of The Fathers In Your Life As You Watch This

Oral-B did a great job in this video capturing the Power of Dad!

Now Share Something With Us!

Did you decide on some things you can do this week? Please share your ideas with us below!

Do you have a memorable experience where a father in your life made you smile? Perhaps a great Father’s Day tradition? Share it with us in the comments section below or on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you.

We appreciate having you as a valued friend! Happy Father’s Day!

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Could Alligators Hold The Secret To Human Tooth Regeneration?

AN ALLIGATOR HAS 80+ TEETH that can each be replaced up to 50 times during its life! Potentially, that’s thousands of teeth! You may be thinking, “Wow, that’s cool… But why are we talking about alligator teeth on this human dental blog?” Well, alligators may be helping scientists learn how to stimulate tooth renewal in humans.

Alligator Teeth Are Similar To Human Teeth

Like humans, alligators have well organized teeth, with different functions, fixed in bony sockets. Research shows that there are three parts (or phases) to each alligator tooth—a working tooth, a substitute tooth (ready to replace the working tooth should it be lost), and the dental lamina (a band of tissue that is the apparent hub for new teeth development).

Humans are similar, with one big difference. We have adult teeth (these are our “working teeth”) and we have dental lamina. What we don’t have are substitute teeth. While most vertebrates can replace teeth until the day they die, human teeth replace themselves only once. The million dollar question is, why do replacement teeth stop growing after our first adult set?

The Secret May Be In The Dental Lamina

Researchers believe that the dental lamina is the source of tooth regeneration. Stem cells in the lamina stimulate growth. For some reason our lamina turns off when adult teeth arrive.

Researchers are working to isolate the exact lamina growth triggers in alligators so that perhaps they can duplicate them in humans. They believe they’ve found a “promising protein compound” but still have a lot of work to do to create the proper elemental combination.

A Video Overview

For Now, It’s A Waiting Game

The idea of human tooth regeneration is exciting (that’s why we brought it up!), but it isn’t right around the corner. So, in the meantime, continue taking great care of the teeth you have!

Thank you for stopping by our blog! And thanks for being our valued patients and friends.

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How Sour Candy Affects Your Teeth

WHY ARE CERTAIN CANDIES so bad for our teeth? One reason is all that sugar, of course. We know that. Here’s something you may not think about as often… Many popular treats include the descriptors tart, tangy, and sour. It seems the more bitter, the better.

Trouble is, our teeth are paying the price for this sour trend and we continue to see the damage.

Acid Erodes Our Teeth

A pH scale shows where substances are on a spectrum from base to acidic. 14–12 is really base, and 2–0 is really acidic.

A nice, neutral pH level of 7 is ideal for your mouth. When you eat acidic foods the pH level lowers. This can create a hostile, enamel-eroding environment for your teeth. No sugar (or plaque) is necessarily needed for an “acid attack” to be damaging.

Let’s Break It Down

Our tooth enamel can start to erode at a pH level of 4. Spree, a relatively mild sour candy, has a pH level of 3, Sour Skittles 2.2, and WarHeads Spray 1.6. That’s pretty shocking when you consider battery acid has a pH level of 1.0.

The Sad Signs Of Erosion

The acid in sour candy can really take a toll on our teeth and may even cause:

  • Sensitivity
  • Translucence at the biting edge of your teeth
  • Increased cavities due to weakened enamel

Find Out How Acidic Your Food Is Using A Cabbage Test!

Be Smart

Chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva flow for cleansing. Swishing water around in your mouth can also help. Still, the smartest thing you can do is to stop eating tart candies, or eat them very sparingly. They’re treats, not snacks.

If you’re experiencing signs of acid erosion, ask us about it. We can help.

Thanks for being our valued patient! We hope you and your smile are doing well!

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Regular Exercise Can Protect And Strengthen Your Smile

WE ALL KNOW THAT EXERCISE IS GOOD FOR US. It promotes wellness, prevents sickness, and is said to benefit body, mind, and soul. But did you know that regular exercise is also good for your oral health? Read on…

Exercise Can Reduce Gum Disease Risk

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums caused by harmful bacteria in our mouths. Regular exercise can reduce inflammation in your body and mouth—which in turn can lower your risk of gum disease. In a Journal of Periodontology study researchers found that individuals who work out regularly and maintain a healthy weight are 40% less likely to develop gum disease.

Because some studies have linked gum disease to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, eating healthy and staying active can also help protect you from more serious conditions.

Exercise Can Strengthen And Protect Your Smile

Working out helps improve digestion and can help your body more effectively use vitamins and minerals that are essential to dental health. If you exercise and eat healthy, your body is better able to use the nutrients in food to strengthen and protect your smile.

Physical fitness can greatly contribute to dental health. It can also improve your mood, help you manage stress and increase brainpower. If you’re not already, we encourage you to make exercising a habit.

Eating Tips For Before And After Exercise

3 Tips On How To Make Exercise A Habit

  • Do activities you enjoy. You’ll stick with it if it’s something you want to do.
  • Commit to another person. Work out with someone else. If that’s not possible, report your own efforts to someone who cares about you.
  • Reward yourself. Changing behavior is hard. Give yourself a (healthy) incentive.

Have any exercising tips to add? We’d love to see them. Share them with us on Facebook or in the comments below.

Thank you for letting us be a part of your healthy goals!

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What Might A Toothache Have To Do With A Stuffy Nose?

IF YOU’RE PRONE TO SINUS INFECTIONS you may not think to visit with us. Well, perhaps you should! Tooth infections, also known as abscesses, can cause sinus infections. And, conversely, a sinus infection can make you feel like you have a toothache!

What Are Sinuses And How Can They Become Infected?

Your sinuses are a connected system of hollow chambers in your skull. Air passes through them to get warm and moist before moving to your lungs. Usually your body is able to keep your sinuses clean but sometimes bacteria can grow out of control and cause an infection.

Only The Maxillary Sinuses Can Be Infected By A Tooth

While you have several sinuses, only one set is affected by tooth-related issues. The maxillary sinuses are on either side of your nose and come in close contact with the roots of your upper teeth. Because the two are so close, abscesses from the upper back teeth can make their way into your maxillary sinus and cause an infection.

Contact Us At The First Sign Of Pain

Generally, tooth abscesses are painful. However, once in a while there’s no discomfort at all—it depends on the location of the infection. If you’re experiencing pain let us know, even if the pain goes away. We can help catch problems—and infections—before they spread.

Amazing Integration

If you’re at all worried that your sinus infections are causing toothaches, or a tooth-related problem is causing sinus infections, don’t hesitate to callWe’d be happy to visit with you.

Stay Connected To Our Blog And Stay Healthier!

The connection between your overall health and oral health is amazing. Continue reading our blog posts to stay informed about the best ways to maintain your health!

We appreciate the trust you place in our practice!

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To Moms Everywhere… Thanks For The Smiles

THIS SUNDAY MUCH OF THE WORLD CELEBRATES motherhood and the many moms who have helped shape our lives. Most of us can thank a mom for our first smiles, subsequent years of grins and endless hours of care—including lots of help and encouragement taking care of our smiles. For ALL our mothers do, we want to say “thanks”!

The next time you eat, brush, floss or go see the dentist, stop and think about who taught you to do all those things? It may have been a dad or someone else who watched over you, but chances are it was your mom. Regardless of who it was, the individual(s) who taught you how to take care of yourself—and your smile—have made a big difference in your life.

This Mother’s Day, when you talk to your own mom or send a message to another mom who’s important to you, think about all the times that person made you smile. If that special somebody helped you with oral care, say “thank you” specifically for that! Let us know what that person says back to you by commenting below! We’d like to hear what their reactions might be!

After all, if it weren’t for the people who cared for us and taught us about good oral hygiene, we’d probably all have less to smile about (and fewer teeth to smile with).

A Fun, Thank You Tribute To Moms

If you have a favorite memory of mom, we’d love to hear about it. Share it with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Have a great Mother’s Day!

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Stay Healthy And Save Money With Preventative Dental Care

YES, WE ALL LIVE ON BUDGETS, right? When life throws us a curve ball, it can be tempting to postpone our dental treatments. Resist that temptation! There’s a better way to save money and stay healthy: A Preventative Dental Care Plan.

Part 1: Do Your Part At Home

All you need is a toothbrush, some dental floss, and five minutes of your day. Thorough daily brushing and flossing removes bacteria and sugar in your mouth and helps to prevent tooth decay. This is the most important part of your new preventative care plan and only you can do it!

Part 2: Don’t Skip Your Dental Visits

Let us help you! Deep cleanings from our team can reach those areas you can’t—such as below the gums—and can help fight plaque and other dental demons. Regular maintenance appointments are less expensive than restorative work.

Part 3: Fix Problems Early

Many people admit that they only visit the dentist when they feel something is wrong. If you don’t wait until it’s too late, your visit can be comfortable and convenient. By keeping your regular checkups we can catch and address possible issues while they’re still small.

You Gotta Love ’60s Commercials!

Pay special attention to the ol’ gender stereotype!

Your Preventative Plan May Be A Life Saver

By following your plan you can better protect yourself from major issues down the road. Some studies even indicate that neglecting your oral health may lead to other health issues including cardiovascular problems and diabetes. Faithfully following your “Preventative Dental Care Plan” helps keep you healthy.

Questions?

Let us know if you have any questions about your at-home oral care techniques. You can ask questions below or stop by our Facebook page to send us a direct message.

Thank you for being our patients and friends!

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Brushing At Work Is Good For Your Oral Health And Your Job

AFTER FINISHING LUNCH AT WORK, DO YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH? A survey reveals that despite knowing that a healthy, attractive smile affects both personal wellness and professional image, very few people are brushing at the office.

The survey, carried out by The Academy of General Dentistry and Oral-B Laboratories, polled more than 1,000 full-time employees about their oral care habits and the importance of a healthy smile at work. Their findings were very interesting.

The Importance Of A Healthy Smile At Work

  • 96% of respondents thought a smile was very or somewhat important to a person’s appearance.
  • 40% ranked “smile” as the first thing they noticed about a person at work.
  • 32% cited “bad breath” as their co-workers’ least attractive trait.

Office Eating And Brushing Stats

  • 3/4 of respondents ate twice or more a day at work.
  • Only 14% brushed their teeth!

Changing When You Brush

The sugars and starches in the food you eat can cause an “acid attack” on tooth enamel. Even after the visible evidence of food disappears, plaque bacteria continues to grow. If you don’t brush, those workday meals, snacks, and beverages stay on your teeth and can increase the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease. So brush! Let’s adjust the when of brushing just a bit, to your advantage: brush your teeth after breakfast, after meals at work, and before you go to bed.

Some Foods Are Better For Your Teeth Than Others

Helpful Tips For Brushing At Work

  • Leave a toothbrush at work and increase your likelihood of brushing by 65%!
  • Step it up at home—the better you brush at home, the better you’ll brush at work.

Suggestions?

If you brush your teeth regularly at work, do you have any suggestions to help the rest of us, who may not be as valiant? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Thank you for being a part of our practice.

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Be Sure To Protect Your Smile While Playing Sports

5,000,000 TEETH ARE KNOCKED OUT during sporting events each year, according to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation. Yes, that’s six zeros, meaning five million! If people don’t start protecting themselves, the Tooth Fairy may be able to retire—and we don’t want that!

April is National Facial Protection Month. Regardless of your age (adults get teeth knocked out too), we want to help you keep your smile beautiful.

Protective Gear Greatly Reduces Chances of Injury

By simply wearing properly fitted mouthguards and other forms of protective gear, athletes of all ages can greatly reduce the risk of traumatic facial injury. So, this spring, as team rosters fill up and your urge to hit the field or court grows stronger, remember to use appropriate protective gear.

Three Safety Tips For You And Your Family

  1. Wear a mouthguard for all contact sports including baseball, soccer, football, and lacrosse. Other sports may apply too!
  2. Wear a helmet and/or protective eyewear when appropriate. Face shields can also help protect your skin.
  3. Be alert. Whether in the game or cheering from the sidelines, pay attention.

Check out this fun video highlighting the importance of mouthguards!

We want everyone to be active but smart during the upcoming seasons and beyond! If you’re unsure of the type of protective gear you should wear for a sport or outdoor activity, please ask us. We’re here to help make sure you have a blast this spring and summer, all while being safe.

Add Your Story

Have any of you had an experience where protective gear really made a difference? We want to hear about it. Leave it in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends.

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Some History About Smiling In Photographs

CAN YOU IMAGINE HOLDING YOUR SMILE perfectly still for 15 minutes until the camera clicked? That’s how long it took for a photograph to expose in 1839.

Later, exposure times were significantly cut back, but it still took at least 20 seconds. To make sure pictures weren’t ruined, photographers asked their subjects to stay completely still and not adjust their bodies or facial expressions. No wonder people were so stiff and serious in old time photos! They were probably frustrated, tired and bored!

Now, snapping a photo takes no time at all. In fact, most people have an HD camera in their pocket all the time (called a smartphone). Today, when someone whips out a camera, it’s just second nature for us to flash a quick smile. But it wasn’t always that way. Why?

Why People Didn’t Smile In The Early Days of Photography

The Serious Nature of Formal Occasions

Photography was rare and expensive. Most people only had a few opportunities during their entire lifetime to have their photo taken. Therefore, when the rich were being photographed, they treated the “event” with the utmost seriousness. They preferred the thoughtful, tortured look to the playful kissy-face look that’s so popular today.

Poor Dental Health

In the 1800s good dental care was not widely available. Modern dental procedures designed to help people keep their teeth for life were unavailable—so, most people had missing, broken, chipped, or rotten teeth. Even if the technology would have allowed them to show their smiles to the camera, they may have preferred to keep their mouths shut.

When Did Things Start Changing?

Starting in the 1900’s, we see more natural-looking, relaxed poses. But why did we start smiling? Well, we’re not really sure. But one theory is that a picture is our introduction to someone new, and when we meet someone new, we usually make a good impression with a welcoming smile.

Keep Your Smile Camera-Ready

  • Photographers recommend smiling three-quarters of the way, so your eyes stay open and your lips don’t stretch above your gum line.
  • Check your posture—a craning neck or a tucked chin can distract from a gorgeous smile.
  • Keep your smile healthy! A healthy smile is a beautiful smile!

Are You Still Holding Back Your Smile?

We live in a wonderful time where modern dentistry allows us to enjoy healthy, beautiful grins. If, for any reason, you’re uncomfortable with your smile or dental health, let’s visit. We want you to feel 100% confident when you smile.

The 1800s are behind us, including the fashion and the seriousness. Thank you for trusting your smile to our practice!

Just For Fun!

Do YOU have a family or personal photo shoot story (good or bad, funny or serious)? Please tell us about it by posting in the comments section below or on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear it!

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Are Your Brushing Techniques Hurting Your Teeth?

DO YOU EXPERIENCE sudden, sharp pain sometimes when you drink a glass of ice water, eat ice cream, or sip hot coffee? You’re not alone. One in eight adults experiences tooth sensitivity—the kind of sensitivity that isn’t due to a problem such as a cavity. So what’s causing it? Surprisingly, one of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity is brushing with too much force.

How Could Brushing Hurt?

Over brushing is problematic because it wears down the protective layers of your tooth enamel. It can also push back your gums, exposing the dentin layer under the enamel even more. This dentin layer has microscopic tubes or canals that lead to your tooth’s nerves. If these tubes are exposed to hot, cold, or even acidic foods it can lead to discomfort and tooth sensitivity.

Tips For Better Brushing:

  • Watch which direction bristles face when you brush. They should be perpendicular, not parallel.
  • Hold your toothbrush loosely, like a pencil.
  • Use soft, round motions to brush. Don’t saw back and forth.
  • Use soft or extra-soft bristled brushes. Brush softly! Apply just enough pressure to feel the bristles against your gums.

Put In The Time

When it comes to cleaning teeth, elbow grease doesn’t do the trick. Consider this mantra: brush smarter, not harder. When regularly brushing, the plaque you’re trying to get rid of is fairly soft and can easily be brushed away with a soft brush.

During the two minutes you’re brushing it’s good to be thorough, but there’s no need to scrub the same areas over and over again.

Questions?

Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity? Over brushing isn’t the only possible cause. You may want to request an appointment so we can talk about your symptoms and determine the reason for your pain.

You can also leave a question below, or you can ask a private question on our Facebook page.

Thanks for being a valued patient in our practice!

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Why Your Smile Prefers Water Over Soft Drinks

HERE ARE SOME INTERESTING STATS about soft drinks:

  • The average soft drink serving size has tripled since the 1950s.
  • The average person drinks about 45 gallons of soda per year.
  • 7% of adults drink four servings or more per day.
  • At least 20% of children drink four servings or more per day.

Soft drinks are loaded with sugar and empty calories. Consumption has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart problems.

But of major concern to us, as your lifelong oral health partner, is that sugary, carbonated drinks really bully your teeth!

1. The Acids Eat Away At Your Tooth Enamel

Your tooth enamel is strong—the hardest substance in your body, in fact. But the phosphoric acid and citric acid in soft drinks (ironic name for sodas, isn’t it?) is stronger.

2. Carbonated Sugar Is Replacing Calcium-Rich Milk

In 1966, Americans drank more milk (33 gallons/year) than soft drinks (20 gallons/year). Contrast that with 2010, when the average American drank 45 gallons of soft drinks and only 20 gallons of milk.

3. Diet Isn’t Really Better

You can remove sugar from the equation, but the acid is still there! In fact, many sugar-free soft drinks are more acidic than high-sugar ones.

Root beer may be the safest soft drink for your teeth, even though it’s loaded with sugar. Why? Because it’s comparatively low in acid.

4. Constant Sipping Creates A Constant War Zone

Every time you take a sip of a Coke, your mouth becomes an acid-attack zone. It takes your mouth up to 30 minutes to rebalance and create a safe zone for your teeth again. Until then, your teeth ARE losing protective substance, leaving them more vulnerable to cavities, and sensitivity.

5. It’s A Dessert Disguised As A Beverage

Don’t believe us? Here’s the math… One 12 oz can of Coke (the smallest serving available) has 39 grams of sugar, which is more than…

  • 3 snack packs of Chips Ahoy
  • 2 servings of frozen yogurt
  • A whole slice of apple pie WITH ice cream on top.

So, minimize the damage by:

  1. Drinking less! Replace soft drinks with milk, water, even juice.
  2. Drinking it all at once, instead of sipping all day.
  3. Swishing it down with water to clear away the sugar and acidity.

A Fun Little Video Done By 5th Graders For The “Pour It Out” Contest!

What Do YOU Think?

What are YOU doing, if anything, to cut back on beverages that aren’t great for your teeth? Are you trying to drink more water? Any secrets for doing so that you can share with us and with our other patients? Please comment below, or on our Facebook page. We love hearing from you.

Thanks for being our valued patient!

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Dispelling Misperceptions About Root Canal Therapy

March 17–23 is Root Canal Awareness Week. We know there are misperceptions out there about root canal therapy. We also know that it’s a topic people don’t typically visit about in a favorable light. Root canal therapy has always been a bit of a “whipping boy” in dentistry—and, its reputation is probably undeserved. This is especially true given today’s awesome treatment advancements.

The Most Common Misperception

The problems that lead up to needing a root canal can be painful because they affect your tooth’s pulp and nerves. Oftentimes people associate root canal treatment with the discomfort that made the treatment necessary in the first place. Don’t forget that root canal therapy is the solution, not the problem! And, root canals don’t need to be painful.

Today’s Ingredients For Comfortable Root Canal Treatments:

  1. safe, effective anesthesia
  2. extremely precise tools
  3. incredible imaging technology that enhances how and what we see
  4. shorter treatment times

A Useful Overview Of Fillings, Crowns, And Root Canal Therapy

If you’re anxious about having a root canal, or about any other dental treatment, please let us know. Or if you have questions, please ask us. Your comfort is our #1 priority. Don’t postpone important dental care because of fear. We listen and we care. Let’s take great care of your oral health, together.

Thanks for your trust in our practice. We appreciate you!

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While You Were Sleeping (or trying to)

ARE YOU SLEEPING AS WELL AS YOU’D LIKE? If you said “no”, you’re not alone. A 2011 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that nearly two thirds of adults say their sleep needs are not being met. Two thirds! Even more surprising is this: your sleep deprivation may have something to do with your oral health. Really.

Sadly, we can’t solve all of your sleep problems, but there is one major sleep impediment that we CAN help with, one that you may not even know about…

Sleep Bruxism

Bruxism is defined as the involuntary or habitual grinding of teeth, typically during sleep. 70% of people demonstrate some kind of bruxing behavior, and for at least 8% of adults, it can cause major problems.

Are You A Sleeping Bruxist?

Since it usually happens during sleep, it may be hard to know if you’re grinding your teeth. Rest assured (no pun intended), here are some symptoms of bruxism you will want to watch out for:

  • Constant waking while sleeping
  • Regular headaches
  • A sore jaw or neck
  • Worn-down, flattened teeth
  • Do your family members grind their teeth? Bruxism may be hereditary.

If you are experiencing any one of these things, let us know! We want to help. Your oral health, and your sleep, are important to us.

How Bruxism Affects Your Oral Health

In addition to being the third most frequent sleep disorder, bruxism can also cause major damage to your teeth and dental work. It can result in fracturing, loosening, and even tooth loss. It also puts a lot of strain on your jaw and cranial muscles, which can lead to more serious problems. So, and perhaps most importantly, let’s talk about prevention.

How To Avoid Teeth Grinding

  1. Cut back on caffeine, alcohol consumption, and tobacco use.
  2. Don’t chew on anything that is not food (pencils and pens are for writing).
  3. If you suspect that anxiety contributes to your bruxism, ask us, or your doctor, about options to help reduce stress.
  4. Consider a night mouth guard (a well-fitting night guard can relieve strain, cause your jaw to relax at night, and greatly reduce grinding and clenching).

Other Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep

If you have any questions about night guards, or about the effects of bruxism, call us. We want to help you get the beauty rest and the beautiful smile you deserve. You can also comment below, or on our Facebook page. We love hearing from you!

Thank you for being our valued patients and friends.

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Your Healthy Smile Can Last A Lifetime

MORE AND MORE PEOPLE are keeping their original teeth well into their old age. It’s fantastic! However, it’s really important to understand the special attention needed to maintain a healthy smile when you’re 60+ years of age. Whether you fall in that category, or you care for someone who is elderly, there are a few things below that we want to be sure our senior patients know.

Dry Mouth Can Increase Cavity And Gum Disease Risks

Dry mouth (xerostomia) affects many seniors. Lower saliva flow is often a function of aging. In addition, many medications can also cause dry mouth. Without the cleansing, pH balancing and remineralizing that saliva helps take care of, one’s oral health isn’t as protected as it could be.

Treat dry mouth by occasionally sucking on a sugarless mint or chewing sugarless gum to encourage saliva flow. Swishing water regularly can also help keep one’s mouth clean and better hydrated.

It’s True… An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure

Flossing Can Be More Important Than Ever

For some people over 60, their ability to fight infections like gingivitis isn’t as strong as it once was. Some studies show that unhealthy gums can leave the rest of the body vulnerable to other inflammatory diseases—including heart disease or stroke. Even Alzheimer’s and dementia have been potentially linked to this problem.

So please make sure that you’re flossing (or that the person you care for is flossing)—not just for one’s oral health, but also for one’s whole body health.

Special Tools Are Available To Help With Home Care

Many seniors find that impaired mobility makes the routine tasks of brushing and flossing really difficult. If you, or someone you love is in that position, please ask us about products like electric toothbrushes and floss piks that can make the job easier.

Keep Regular Checkup Appointments

Based on the risk factors mentioned above, it’s especially important for seniors to get regular, thorough cleanings and check-ups. When you visit, be sure to tell us about your medications, your brushing and flossing habits, and any medical conditions you’re experiencing. The more we know, the more we can help you continue to have great oral health over a lifetime.

Remember that great oral health isn’t just about teeth—it’s about whole body health!

We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment! By the way, do you already Like our Facebook page? If not, come say hello!

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Why Fruits And Vegetables Are Important To Your Oral Health

MARCH IS NUTRITION MONTH—an education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Of course the topic of eating enough fruits and vegetables is applicable to our overall health, but most of us don’t often think about the implications for our teeth, gums, and complete oral health.

Feed Your Teeth And Gums What They Really Want

Did you know that…

  • Fibrous fruits and vegetables help clean your teeth.
  • Magnesium from bananas can help restore tooth enamel.
  • The Vitamin A in butternut squash can help heal sores in your mouth.
  • Dark, leafy greens and broccoli have LOTS of calcium, which is great for our teeth.
  • Vitamin C from citrus fruits helps keep our gums healthy.
  • Replacing sugary, starchy snacks with healthy fruits and vegetables can lower your tooth decay risk.
  • Yep… What’s good for your body is usually really good for your mouth too!

Are You Eating Enough Fruits And Vegetables?

Not sure how many servings of fresh fruits and vegetables you need? Click on the calculator (left) to find out, based on your age, gender, and daily activity level. The recommended number of servings may be much higher than you think. And if you’re not consuming enough servings, here are some handy tips that will help:

1. Switch up your snacks. Cookies and crackers are easy to eat because they’re so accessible. With a little effort, fruits and vegetables can be just as accessible. Slice apples, pre-cut vegetables (and if you need it, pre-make a favorite dip for them).

2. Include vegetables in your entrees. Load up sandwiches and pizzas with them. Incorporate them into burritos, pasta, scrambled eggs, etc.

3. Add fruits to desserts. Put berries in your yogurt, bananas in your cereal, and order the fruit tart instead of the chocolate cake. Even better, replace usual desserts with a fruit plate.

4. Experiment with different vegetables and vegetable cooking techniques. This will add variety! To start, try this one:

How To Roast Awesome Vegetables!

Your Teeth Love Vegetables. Your Oral Bacteria Loves Sugars.

We hope these ideas help you become the healthiest you can be. As one of your lifelong health partners, we’re concerned about both your overall and oral health. Do YOU have a few of your own ideas that will help others? Please share them below, or on our Facebook page!

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Why Our Practice Has A Facebook Page

FOR US, IT’S ALL ABOUT ONE-TO-ONE RELATIONSHIPS and being easily accessible to you—our valued patients and friends.

It’s Simple, Really

Our website is adequate for conveying static information—things like our address, etc. It can also list our services. But, there are a few things that are cool about connecting with us on Facebook that a traditional site can’t provide.

  • First, it helps us improve and better serve you in a timely, responsive way.
  • Second, it allows us to get to know you better!
  • Third, it can assist you in better understanding (and sometimes, demonstrating) more details surrounding the things we do here.
  • Fourth, we try to include content that’s relevant about your (and/or your family’s) comfort, health, and appearance—things you’ll use and find interesting.
  • Fifth, because it’s transparent, fluid, and current it gives you a sense of the practice culture we have instead of some dated, snapshot in time. People prefer associating with people they know and feel connected to. It’s human nature.
  • Sixth, sometimes it’s just fun. Life is short—and sometimes it’s OK to just take a breath.

Get To Know The Features Of Our Page

Not EVERY Business Is “Likeable” Or Belongs On Facebook!

We thought you might find this funny and ironic…

Entities like the TSA aren’t “relationship-based” and provide little or no value using social media. We hope you see value in the things we provide on our Facebook page.

We’re listening. Let’s stay connected.

Again, thanks for the trust you place in us. Let us know how we can keep improving and adding value for you, your family, and friends.

The Relationship Between Asthma And Cavities

ARE YOU A LITTLE SURPRISED by the headline of this blog post? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are unaware of the link between asthma and tooth decay resulting from dry mouth.

What Does Asthma Have To Do With Cavities?

When drawing one’s breath doesn’t come easily, most people compensate by breathing through their mouths. In turn, breathing through your mouth causes your mouth to dry out. When there’s insufficient saliva to protect and clean your teeth, you’re left more vulnerable to decay-causing bacteria. In addition, some people compound the problem by sipping on sugary drinks all day trying to quench the dryness!

As if that weren’t enough, asthma and allergy medications themselves can cause even more dryness on top of the mouth breathing. Not a good combination.

Some Evidence—But It’s Not Just About Kids

A Swedish study of children and young adults with similar backgrounds and habits evaluated the links between asthma and caries. Within the group with asthma, 19 out of 20 kids developed tooth decay. In the group of asthma-free kids 7 out of 20 developed tooth decay.

Although the study above centered around kids with asthma, the risks are equally applicable to adults as shown in the video report below:

What You Can Do About It

Asthma may not have a simple fix, but tooth decay does. First and foremost, stick faithfully to the basics. Brush at least twice a day and floss to clean the places in your mouth where brushing misses. Keep your scheduled cleaning and checkup appointments. Avoid foods and drinks that are most harmful to your teeth.

And specific to this issue, here are some tips for increased, healthy saliva flow:

  • Consider chewing sugarless gum.
  • Consider occasionally sucking on sugarless mints.
  • Be sure to drink water regularly.

One More Special Note About Asthma

If you have asthma, or if someone in your care has asthma, please let our team know! The more we know about your health the better. It helps us advise and serve you better. If you have any questions about how asthma can impact your oral health, please ask us! We’re honored to be your resource.

Thanks for being a fantastic part of our practice! We appreciate having you as our patient.

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…or something like this:

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As a new WordPress user, you should go to your dashboard to delete this page and create new pages for your content. Have fun!

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Blog Archive

Take a few minutes to look through the titles of all our blog posts! Then, click on those topics that interest you most. As always, if you have questions or feedback, simply click on the Contact button above or give us a call. We appreciate each of you – our valued patients.

Why Our Practice Has A Facebook Page

FOR US, IT’S ALL ABOUT ONE-TO-ONE RELATIONSHIPS and being easily accessible to you—our valued patients and friends.

It’s Simple, Really

Our website is adequate for conveying static information—things like our address, etc. It can also list our services. But, there are a few things that are cool about connecting with us on Facebook that a traditional site can’t provide.

  • First, it helps us improve and better serve you in a timely, responsive way.
  • Second, it allows us to get to know you better!
  • Third, it can assist you in better understanding (and sometimes, demonstrating) more details surrounding the things we do here.
  • Fourth, we try to include content that’s relevant about your (and/or your family’s) comfort, health, and appearance—things you’ll use and find interesting.
  • Fifth, because it’s transparent, fluid, and current it gives you a sense of the practice culture we have instead of some dated, snapshot in time. People prefer associating with people they know and feel connected to. It’s human nature.
  • Sixth, sometimes it’s just fun. Life is short—and sometimes it’s OK to just take a breath.

Get To Know The Features Of Our Page

Not EVERY Business Is “Likeable” Or Belongs On Facebook!

We thought you might find this funny and ironic…

Entities like the TSA aren’t “relationship-based” and provide little or no value using social media. We hope you see value in the things we provide on our Facebook page.

We’re listening. Let’s stay connected.

Again, thanks for the trust you place in us. Let us know how we can keep improving and adding value for you, your family, and friends.

Understand The Effects Of Sports And Energy Drinks

YOU ALREADY SUSPECT THAT ENERGY DRINKS contain a lot of sugar, but at least they’re not as bad as soda pop, right? You wouldn’t be alone if you’ve thought that sports drinks, thanks to their supplement arsenal, are good for growing bodies. But the truth is energy and sports drinks can be even worse for your teeth than soft drinks.

A One-Two Punch

Energy and sports drinks launch a twofold attack on your teeth: sugar and acid. Drinks like Gatorade and Powerade have about half the sugar of sodas, but popular energy drinks like Monster or Fuel often have the same amount of sugar as soda (or more). In addition, both sports and energy drinks are loaded with acid—enough to do ten times more damage to tooth enamel than soda.

Check out this Academy of General Dentistry study on tooth enamel and beverages. Researchers immersed tooth enamel in a variety of popular sports and energy drinks for 15 minutes and then transferred it to artificial saliva to imitate the effects of consuming energy drinks a couple times a day. Significant enamel damage only took five days.
 

Today, Half Of Teens Drink One (or more) Sports Drinks Or Energy Drinks Daily

The market for energy drinks has almost tripled in the past few years, targeting teens and young adults. Considering their popularity, it’s important to know about the dangers. If you suspect you’ve already experienced damage from sports or energy drinks, contact us to visit about ways we can help.

Four Helpful Tips

Here are some tips & tricks to minimize damage caused by sports and energy drinks:

  1. Rinse out your mouth with water or chew some sugar-free gum after having energy drinks. This rebalances the pH level in your mouth to counteract the acid. Don’t brush for a while after drinking—your enamel is still soft and brushing can damage it even more.
  2. Drink sports drinks before you get dehydrated, not after. That way, you’ll have the saliva you need to protect your teeth.
  3. Drink it all at once (but don’t choke!). Your mouth takes time to recover after each sip, so drinking continuously prevents teeth from regaining their protection.
  4. Stick to healthier options when NOT working out. Sports drinks are meant to rehydrate and replenish when you’re working out hard. So, if you’re just “active”, consider alternatives like water or electrolyte drops in water.

Ask Us More About It The Next Time We See You


Here at our practice we want you to be aware of what you can do to help prevent enamel damage. Do you have a story to share about sports or energy drinks? If so, comment below or visit our Facebook page and tell us about it. Do you have other questions for our team? We’d love to hear from you!

And thanks for the trust you place in us. We appreciate it!