Saturday, August 16, 2014

What is a Dental Hygienist ?

A dental hygienist is a licensed dental professional who specializes in preventive medical care, typically, but not limited to, focusing on techniques in oral hygiene.

Common procedures performed by hygienists include cleaning, scaling and root planing, taking of prescribed radiographs, dental sealants, and provide instructions for proper dental care.
Educational and licensing requirements in U.S. To become a dental hygienist in United States, you must graduate from a dental hygiene program, with either an associates degree (most common), a certificate, a bachelor's degree or a master's degree from a dental hygienist school that is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA).

The dental hygiene process of care has five steps:

Assessing the patient: This includes, but is not limited to, a full review of the patient's medical history, necessary x-rays to be taken, a clinical exam, and a periodontal assessment.
Dental hygiene findings: Assessing of data pertaining to a client's condition in terms that will help identify problems so as to lead to a creation of an order to apply available professional therapies. The diagnosis of disease in most jurisdictions may only be performed by the doctor.
Planning: creating a sequential treatment plan for the patient. The treatment plan will vary based on the patient's immediate needs.
Implementation: Carrying out the plan.
Evaluation: Determining the effectiveness of the work that was performed.
Over a period of months or years a dental hygienist may have his or her work evaluated several times, altering the diagnosis and plan numerous times as the client's condition changes.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

How Soda Impacts Your Body

 Drinking one soda equates to consuming 39 pounds of sugar per year. Regularly consuming sugary drinks interacts with the genes that affect weight. Sugar- sweetened beverages are linked to more than 1800,000 obesity-related deaths a year.

Brain :
 Having too much sugar in your diet reduces production of a brain chemical that help us learn, stores memories & process insulin.  Consuming too much sugar also dulls the brain's mechanism for telling you to stop eating.

The high levels of phosphoric acid in cola's have been linked to kidney stones & other renal problems  Diet cola is increased with a two-fold risk- especially when more that two servings a day are consumed.

Digestive System:
The carbonation in soft drinks can cause gas,bloating, cramping & exacerbate the effects of irritable bowel syndrome.  Caffeine can also  worsen episodes of diarrhea or contribute to constipation.

Soda consumption has been linked to osteoporosis & bone density loss, likely due to the phosphoric acid & caffeine in soda.

Chronic diet & regular soda consumption leads to increase risk of heart disease, including heart attack-stroke.

The more soda you drink, the more likely you are to develop asthma or COPD.

The high levels of acid in soda corrode your teeth-almost as badly as drinking battery acid.

Old Time Dentistry: A Little Walk Through Time


dental history, tooth replacement
Ancient Bridgework secured with brass bands

Dentistry sure has come a long way since the dark ages!  Back in about 300 B.C. ancient dentists were building dental bridges to replace missing teeth and holding them in place with brass bands.  These days, modern dentistry allows us to replace missing teeth with a simple dental implant procedure.

dental fear
Dark Ages Dentist
The Dark Ages of Dentistry must be where people’s overwhelming fear of the dentist originates.  In this depiction of a dentist extracting a patient’s tooth, we can see that the patient is clearly in distress.  Keep in mind that back then, there was no novocaine, no laughing gas, no anesthesia of any type to alleviate dental pain.  Dentists in the 1700’s recommended using “soot” to clean teeth.
Dental humor
Laughing Gas
With the invention of nitrous oxide sedation, “laughing gas”, we could finally have dental procedures and tooth extractions without pain.  It didn’t take long for doctors to realize that you had to mix the nitrous oxide with oxygen to prevent serious complications with your patient!  Nitrous oxide was invented in 1794 by Thomas Beddoes and James Watt.  It began being used for dentistry in 1844.
Fix my teeth
He fixed his teeth, alright!

.Dentists and dental products have been popular in advertising for as long as advertising    has existed.  The gentleman in this advertisement for Dr. Shiffman looks really happy to have a big, gaping hole where his tooth use to be.  Dental implants in one form or another have been found throughout ancient history.  Ancient Egyptian mummies have actually been found with functioning dental implants in their jawbones!

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity ?

Did you ever drink something hot or cold and feel a sharp, shooting pain in one or more of your teeth? You probably have tooth sensitivity: potentially caused by a myriad of different problems.
Here is a list of things that can cause sensitive teeth:
  • Receeding Gums
  • A Cracked Tooth
  • Teeth Grinding (Also known as Bruxism)
  • Whitening Products (Especially if overused.) Note: Some people have a natural sensitivity to whitening products, so it's common to have some sensitivity after use.
  • Gum Disease
  • Brushing your teeth too hard or with a hard bristled toothbrush.
  • Foods that have a high acid content, like citrus fruits, tomatoes, soda....
There are a variety of remedies out there to try, such as:
  • Desensitizing Toothpaste (there is a wide variety available at the drugstore)
  • Sealants
  • Brushing with warm water or rinsing with warm salt water
  • Add foods rich in vitamin D to your diet.
The most effective remedy is the common sense approach.....limit your usage of harsh mouthwashes, use a soft bristled toothbrush and keep up with your routine dental cleanings!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dental Hygiene For Men

Here are some of the risk factors for developing gum disease:

Being male: Men are more likely to suffer from gum disease than women.

Being African-American: Black men are more likely than white men to develop gum disease.

Lack of funds and insurance: People at the lowest socio-economic levels tend to have the most severe gum disease. This is largely because they don't have access to (or can't afford) regular dental care.

Age: As we get older, our gums gradually recede, exposing the roots of the teeth to plaque. We also produce less saliva, which plays an important role in rinsing plaque out of the mouth.

Genetics: If your parents lost teeth to gum disease, you are at greater risk.

Neglect: Not brushing and flossing regularly.

Poor diet: Sugary snacks and drinks encourage the growth of plaque, and crunchy snack foods can damage enamel and teeth.

Clenching, grinding teeth: Chronic teeth grinding can sometimes result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may also damage tooth enamel and wear teeth down. This kind of damage can lead to the need for a host of expensive dental work, including bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures.

Smoking: Recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of gum disease. In addition, following periodontal treatment or any type of oral surgery, the chemicals in tobacco can slow down the healing process and make the treatment results less predictable.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Best Toothpastes: Did Yours Make the Top of the List ?

Real Simple, October 24,2010

Brush up on what you brush with.  Of 44 tubes tested, these squeezed out the others:


Best Foam : Aquafresh Iso-Active Whitening Fresh Impact
This gel's plentiful bubbles forth up when they hit your tongue  & penetrate deep between your teeth, leaving behind a deep scrubbed feel

Add caption

Best Innovation : Arm & Hammer Whitening Booster Plus With Enamel Strengthening
If you already have a toothpaste that you love, top it, with this liquid- calcium -concentrate  It lightens stains & can help fill in tiny cracks.
 Best Overall : Colgate Total Enamel Strength Toothpaste
This gel-paste hybrid keeps your mouth feeling clean & fights germs for 12 hours. Plus, it protects enamel from acids found in foods & drinks.
Pro's Healing Pick :Tom's of Maine Clean & Gentle Care
It has been shown to soothe bitten cheeks, sore gums, and even an achy throat with licorice root!
Best Botanical : Burt's Bees Fluoride-Free Natural Whitening Toothpaste
This herbal wonder fights plaque with cranberry extracts, polishes with silica & it contains no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners.
Best Whitening : Luster White 7 Toothpaste
With- you guessed it-seven polishing agents, including bamboo, silica, & peroxide, this stain blaster can brighten teeth in one week.  Testers loved this mild, sweet flavor too.
Best for Sensitive Teeth : Crest Pro-Health Sensitive Shield
It forms an imperceptible barrier around teeth to claim delicate nerves that are agitated by pain triggers, like hot and cold drinks.
Best On-The-Go : Supersmile Quickee No-Rinse Paste
Squirt a dollop of this no-rinse paste onto your tongue over your teeth to fade stains with calcium peroxide & freshen breath in an instant

Sunday, June 29, 2014

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.  

What is Sjögren's Syndrome?

Sjögren's syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease in which a person’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. Today, as many as 4 million Americans are living with this disease.
  • Although the hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, Sjögren’s also causes serious complications throughout the entire body...
  • It can a primary disease (all by itself) or a secondary disease, on the heals 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.
Dry Mouth Survival Tips
·       Eat soft, moist foods if you have trouble swallowing or with your teeth chipping and breaking.
·       Sjögren’s patients should eat smaller, more frequent meals to stimulate saliva flow.
·       Avoid salty, acidic or spicy foods and carbonated drinks that may be painful on your dry mouth or interfere with digestion in Sjögren’s.
·       Help prevent dental decay by using oral products containing the sweetener xylitol.
·       For dry mouth, increase your intake of liquids during the day. Remember that small sips of water work best.
·       Sjögren’s patients should avoid mouthwashes and rinses that contain alcohol or witch hazel. These ingredients can aggravate oral dryness and burning. 
·       Chew sugar-free gum or suck on hard diabetic or sugar- free candies to help increase saliva .

Apply vitamin E oil or moisturizing gels to dry or sore parts of the mouth or tongue for long-lasting relief. Use the liquid oil or punch holes in vitamin capsules.


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.



*For more information about  Sjogren's :