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February 20, 2017


Presidents Day: Interesting Facts about our leaders and their Dental Health

Today is President’s Day and there are many ways to celebrate this special holiday! Spend the entire day reflecting on noble American ideals as exemplified by our nation’s 44 leaders. 

Everyone knows there is a connection between some of our greatest presidents and their oral hygiene habits. This year, commemorate President’s Day with healthy teeth.

The Presidential Fakers

The most famous presidential teeth belong to our most famous of presidents – George Washington. Just about everyone knows the story of his false teeth. But beyond that, most people get the story wrong. Contrary to popular belief, Washington had false ivory teeth, not wooden ones.

If everyone knows about Washington’s false teeth, few people know that another great president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), also had false teeth. Unlike Washington, FDR wore only a partial denture to replace two missing front teeth. Though he was never photographed without his dental aid, Roosevelt’s son reported that his father often misplaced them and spent a good deal of time trying to relocate them.

Justice, Equality and Regular Brushing

During the Civil War Ulysses S. Grant went into Mississippi for over six days carrying no baggage, save for a lone toothbrush he kept in his breast pocket. And Harry S. Truman went to the dentist with great regularity – though he often had to return for cavity fillings. One of the best presidential smilers of all times is Jimmy Carter. When Carter smiles, almost all of his perfectly white aligned upper and lower molars are visible. It’s no coincidence that his mother Lillian once bragged, “My son’s teeth are excellent, in fact, perfect.” Way to go, Jimmy Carter!

Irregular Check-Ups Can Ruin the Economy

No one understood the importance of regular check-ups more clearly than Grover Cleveland. A large cancerous tumor began to grow in his soft palate area, but he ignored it. By the time he visited his dentist, major surgery had to be performed. In what was considered a revolutionary invention of the time, a vulcanized rubber jaw was custom fitted. In the wake of his operation, the economy crashed, ushering in the Depression of 1873. Grover Cleveland spent the rest of his life lamenting his failure to visit the dentist twice a year.

Never Trust an Unsmiling President

Needless to say, not all presidents were created equal. While many are beloved and oft-remembered, some presidents have failed to stand the test of time. Unsurprisingly these presidential duds are always tight-lipped and unsmiling in their official White House portraits. Why? They failed to take care of their teeth. Franklin Pierce? Benjamin Harrison? Calvin Coolidge? Never heard of ‘em. They were too embarrassed about their yellowed and missing teeth.

February 17, 2017


4 Oral Health Habits for kids

Good dental hygiene should start at an early age. If kids learn how to take care of their teeth, they can continue those good habits into adulthood. Additionally, good oral habits can prevent serious issues later on, such as cavities, broken teeth, and other complications. Teach your kids these four essential oral health habits for lifelong healthy teeth.

Brush and Floss Twice a Day

Experts recommend that children brush and floss twice a day, just like adults. Make brushing and flossing part of the morning and evening routine so your child expects it during those times. You can make it fun by choosing a themed toothbrush and toothpaste featuring your child’s favorite fictional character.

Additionally, brushing should last about two minutes. Instead of setting a timer or counting out the seconds, play a favorite song while your child brushes. Not only will the song help your child brush for the proper length of time, but music makes hygiene chores more enjoyable.

During your child’s first year or two of life, you’ll probably have to wield the toothbrush yourself. As he or she gets used to handling utensils, however, you can shift the responsibility to your child. Talk to him or her about why brushing is important and how it protects his or her health.

Children should floss as soon as two teeth touch. Use themed floss to help your child acclimate to the process, and teach him or her how to floss properly. You might consider brushing and flossing with your child so that it becomes a group activity. If you model good oral habits, your child will develop them as well.

Furthermore, use the proper amount of fluoride for your child’s age. Your dentist can offer further fluoride treatments to keep your child’s mouth as healthy as possible. If you’re not sure about the ideal fluoride content, consult your dentist for a custom recommendation.

Schedule Regular Dental Visits

Children should visit the dentist at least twice per year or as often as the dentist recommends. Schedule the first visit when your child is between six months and one year old or around the time when his or her first tooth erupts. Starting this oral health habit early will make dentist visits part of your child’s normal schedule.

Additionally, take your child to the dentist if he or she suffers a mouth injury. For instance, kids can break teeth if they get into an accident on the playground or bite into something that’s too hard. Early intervention can prevent permanent damage and help keep your child free from pain.

Some kids experience significant anxiety when they go to the dentist. To make each visit go as smoothly as possible, keep your own anxiety in check and acknowledge your child’s fears. Use a pediatric dentist who has experience working with young children.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 42 percent of children between ages 2 and 11 get dental caries, or cavities, in their primary teeth. Kids from low-income families tend to have more cavities than other children, and 21 percent of kids between ages 6 and 11 have cavities in their permanent teeth.

These statistics stress the importance of oral health habits. Visiting the dentist will allow a trained professional to evaluate your child’s mouth and make recommendations. Because dental care can get expensive, you might need to look for affordable dental insurance plans. You’ll save money on office visits, X-rays, and other procedures. A plan with a low deductible can help you budget your dental expenses more carefully.

Avoid Chewing on Nonfood Items and Ice

Kids love to chew on things. From the moment they’re born, for instance, they often suck and chew on pacifiers. As they start developing teeth, they ease the pain with teething rings or other objects. Some kids also suck their thumbs or other fingers, which can push the front teeth out of place.

To protect your child’s oral health, encourage him or her to avoid chewing and sucking. Hard objects, such as ice and hard candies, can break teeth or reduce their stability. Although sucking and chewing can prove soothing for very young children, break the habit by the time your child turns 4 to prevent long-term damage.

Watch for other negative oral habits as well. Some kids chew on pens and pencils, for instance, which can lead to damaged or poorly spaced teeth. Remind your child to take the item out of his or her mouth on every occasion to break the habit.

Eat a Well-Rounded Diet

One of the best gifts you can give your children is a healthful diet. Not only do healthy foods prevent obesity, diabetes, and other serious health conditions, but they also help prevent tooth decay. Sugary snacks and drinks can encourage bacteria in the mouth, which leads to dental caries. Additionally, acidic foods can wear down your child’s tooth enamel, which leads to cavities later on.

Steer your child toward lean proteins, vegetables, and fruit. Although fruit contains sugar, it’s not as harmful as the sugar content in cake and candy. After your child eats a piece of fruit, encourage him or her to brush the teeth to remove the sugar from his or her mouth.

Water is the most healthful beverage for your child. Juices, sodas, and other drinks contain large amounts of sugar, which will cause dental cavities. Milk also contains sugar in the form of lactose, but small amounts won’t hurt your child’s teeth. Again, regular brushing can help stave off cavities and preserve your child’s oral health.

This doesn’t mean that your child can’t have the occasional treat. However, send him or her to brush and floss right afterward. If your child spends the night at someone else’s house, make sure that he or she has a toothbrush and floss in an overnight bag.

Teaching your child good oral health habits can have many benefits, from reduced dental bills to increased tooth longevity. Just because the primary teeth eventually fall out doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve special care.

February 09, 2017


National Toothache Day

Every year on February 9th, we commemorate National Toothache Day. And while having a toothache is no no way to celebrate; being toothache free is something we can definitely celebrate.  Mouthwatchers likes to use National Toothache Day to remind all of our friends how to stay toothache free and why keeping up with your dental care is so important.

National Toothache Day

 The fact is, avoiding toothaches isn’t all that difficult, and it starts with a good dental hygiene protocol at home. Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes, by flossing,and a mouth wash . Flossing and brushing away the day’s bacteria aids in keeping your pearly whites clean and germ free.The cleaner your teeth ( and Tongue!) the less chance of developing a cavity or toothache.

In addition to your at-home hygiene routine, keeping up with professional cleaning and checkups with your dentist is just as important for a toothache free mouth. Dental  visits take your teeth to a whole new level of clean, and  hygienists work deep below the gum line to remove anything you may have missed. Your regular checkups are also a great time for us to catch any potential problems before they turn into major issues.

If you are experiencing a toothache, don’t wait for the pain to pass. A toothache is your body’s way of telling you that something’s not quite right, and you should listen. Don’t live with the discomfort of a toothache. Give your dentist a call and we’ll work together to determine the cause of the pain and get you back to being toothache free and smiling.

February 08, 2017


National Children's Dental Health Month

What’s every kid’s least favorite part of getting ready for bed? No, it’s not checking for monsters in the closet, and it’s not turning off their favorite television show (although that can be a difficult battle, too). Hands down, every child’s least favorite part of the evening routine is brushing their teeth. Why? It’s actually a simple answer.

The whole 2 minute drill seems like it takes an eternity. Have you ever seen a kid want to stand 2 minutes in one place? Usually without proper supervision it turns into 30 seconds. This is one of the reason the American Dental Association has dedicated February National Children's Dental Health Month.

Here's  a few things you should know about your pearly whites:

  1. The health of children's teeth depends on four major things: diet, oral hygiene, tooth makeup, and the amount and quality of their saliva (CNN).
  2. Children have 20 baby teeth, and will eventually have 32 permanent teeth when they get older (KidsHealth).
  3. Sugary foods can cause tooth decay, which includes all the yummy candies and cookies kids love (NIDCR).
  4. Eating those sugary foods with a meal is actually less harmful to your teeth than eating sugary food by itself 
  5. Chewing on ice can cause small fractures - plus it's really loud! 
  6. Oral diseases reduce children's ability to concentrate in the classroom and to take part in extracurricular activities (School Nurse News).

Knowing this can help with your child's overall dental hygiene, safety and health. Talking with your kid about Dental Health this month is a great idea. It also leads into other topics like smoking, alcohol, diabetes, sport safety and many more. Stay tuned to our feature article each week this month regarding National Children's Health Month. Also follow us on Facebook for daily dental tips! 

January 09, 2017


Gingivitis and Periodontitis: The Dangerous Duo

Gingivitis and periodontitis. For many people, a common misconception is that gingivitis and periodontitis are the same. While they are, without a doubt, closely related, it is important to note that these are two different diseases. Let’s take an in depth look at both gingivitis and periodontitis, and see how they differ.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the inflammation or irritation of the gingiva, or gums. Gingivitis is caused by a build-up of certain types of bacteria on the teeth, which collect on the surface of the teeth and are called plaque. Unlike most of the other surfaces of the body, the teeth do not have any way of shedding their outer surfaces, thus allowing plaque to build up on the surface unless they are intentionally removed. These plaque feed on food particles which enter into the mouth and sometimes become stuck while eating, which produces toxic byproducts. These byproducts initiate the body’s immune system to attack both the plaque and the surrounding tissue, which leads to damage of the gum tissue.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is caused by the inflammation of the periodontal areas, which are the structures within the mouth that surround and support the tooth. Periodontitis involves the loss of the alveolar bone (the bone that supports the tooth and root) and connective tissues in the jaw. This occurs because of the body’s immune response to plaque. As the body initiates a host response to attack plaque, the gum tissue is also damaged, leading it to separate from the tooth and form spaces called periodontal “pockets”. The plaque then invades these spaces, and further progressive loss of the bone and other connective tissues within the oral cavity is caused by the continued immune response to destroy the plaque in these pockets. The loss of the bone and connective tissues may become so advanced that the gums too, begin to retract and teeth become loose and fall out.

Differences Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis Disease

While both of these diseases share the similarities of being caused by the immune system’s response to plaque, there are several ways to distinguish the two.

  1. Gingivitis always precedes periodontitis, and is a necessary condition for periodontitis to form. Therefore, if a person does not get gingivitis, then they cannot get periodontitis. However, there does not need to be any pre-existing periodontal disease present for gingivitis to arise.
  2. Gingivitis involves mainly the inflammation or destruction of the gum tissues, while periodontitis revolves mainly around the damage to the surrounding alveolar bone and connective tissue.
  3. The tissue damage which occurs due to gingivitis is temporary, because of the ability of the body to quickly heal and regenerate this type of tissue. Because periodontitis damages the bone, which cannot be easily regenerated, this is usually considered to be permanent damage.
  4. Gingivitis is usually physically obvious, with symptoms such as bleeding or reddened gums. Periodontitis is not as obvious, and there may be little pain associated with it as the bone is damaged. Also, because the damage occurs beneath the gums within the jaw itself, it is not as physically noticeable as gingivitis.
  5. Gingivitis can usually be successfully treated by removing the gingivitis causing plaque. This can be done through methods such as proper brushing and flossing or using antibacterial mouthwashes. Periodontitis, however, will require specialist treatment to remove the plaque buildup from beneath the gums, and may at times require surgery such as bone grafts or guided tissue regeneration in order to restore some of the damaged bone.

Treating Gingivitis and Periodontitis

There may be times where it is necessary for a dentist to carry out specialized procedures in order to treat either gingivitis or periodontitis disease. Two popular treatments for these diseases are root planning and scaling, which are usually done in tandem with each other. These treatments involve using instruments to remove the plaque in hard to reach areas and then as well as smoothing out the tooth surface to make it more difficult for plaque and tartar to adhere to the tooth exterior. In cases of moderate to severe periodontitis, a dentist may suggest bone grafts or guided tissue regeneration, which uses material in order to re-grow lost bone in order to prevent against tooth loss, as well as to improve the aesthetic appearance.

The best way to treat these two diseases, however, is not to get them in the first place! With a good oral hygiene regimen, which includes brushing teeth properly twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and staying away from food and beverages that put you at an increased risk of plaque, you are well on your way in avoiding the dangerous duo of gingivitis and periodontitis.

January 08, 2017


What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a type of gum disease; although it is not especially severe, it can lead to periodontitis if it is not treated.  With this more advanced type of gum disease, “gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called ‘pockets’) that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.”  Unfortunately, this leads to additional problems: “Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place.”  Ultimately, the problem may result in removal of the teeth: “If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed.  The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.”

Many people assume that all is well if they have no pain or obvious discomfort; however, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) notes that gingivitis can be painless in the early stages. There are some red flags that may indicate the presence of gingivitis; it is important to be aware of them and begin treatment before the disease progresses.  Symptoms can include chronic bad breath, gums that are red and/or swollen, gums that are sore or prone to bleeding, and pain when chewing food.  In addition, teeth may be sensitive and may become loose; finally, gums may appear to have gotten smaller and teeth may consequently appear larger.

How is gingivitis treated?
The type and scope of the treatment will depend on the extent of the gum disease; in addition to deep cleaning methods of treatment, there are also surgical and medicinal treatments.  In some cases, gingivitis may be treated with some combination of these treatment options.  Although some of the treatment will happen in the dentist’s office, “Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home.  The doctor may also suggest changing certain behaviors, such as quitting smoking, as a way to improve treatment outcome.”

Gingivitis is preventable
Rather than dealing with gingivitis – and even periodontitis – it is advisable to practice the best possible oral care and visit the dentist on a regular basis to keep gingivitis at bay and detect it early if it develops.  The American Dental Hygienists’ Association recommends regular visits “every six months or as scheduled by your dental hygienist.”

Finally, it is important to note that gingivitis and periodontitis can be a problem during pregnancy.  According to the ADHA, hormonal changes are partly to blame.  “When gingivitis is evident, both the dental hygienist and the pregnant patient should make every effort to reverse or control the progress of the disease. One of the first things that should be discussed with the expectant mother is proper brushing and flossing techniques.”  In addition, if the patient is vomiting as a result of morning sickness, the ADHA notes that she “should be advised to rinse the mouth with water and then brush her teeth to neutralize the acid. It may also be beneficial to suggest a well-balanced diet including plenty of vitamins C and B 12.”  This is essential because periodontitis can compromise the baby’s health and well-being.

January 07, 2017


Six Beauty Moves for a Superstar Smile

The average woman smiles about 62 times a day!
A man?  Only 8!
Kida laugh around 400 times a day.
Grown-ups just 15:-(
Smilers in school yearbooks are more likely to have successful careers and marriages than poker faced peers.

  1. Relax- a real smile reveals facial muscles all pointing upward from your jaw right up to your eyebrows, mouth is often open and your eyes are crinkly :-)  

  2. Plump lips-lay off the lip pencil, it looks fake.  Just trace a clear, shimmer highlighter pencil above the cupid's bow on your upper lip, the reflection makes it look fuller or try a mouth moisturizer.  Well-hydrated lips look fuller.

  3. Brighten your teeth in seconds-try a lipstick in true reds, avoid coral or orangey shades...they bring out the yellow.

  4. Go white...just not too, too white-refrigerator white teeth are out...instead go for a softer, more translucent shade.  Bring a photo of a person whose teeth you admire with you to the dentist office.  

  5. Sparkle up your eyes-Smear a little shimmer cream under your brows and down onto the center of you lids, every time you blink your eyes will sparkle and get plenty of rest.

  6. Smile...it will do your body good. 30 minutes of a hearty laugh, your white blood cell count shoots up by 25%, strengthening your disease fighting powers.

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