Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Do Your Teeth Complement Your Face Shape?

Do Your Teeth Complement your Face Shape?

Do Your Teeth Complement your Face Shape?

You've heard about having a haircut that flatters your face shape, and using makeup contouring to define facial features has been practiced since the dawn of the blush brush. But have you thought about whether your smile complements your unique features?

If you're thinking about getting veneers to enhance the look of your smile, there are important factors you have to consider. First and foremost: face shape. Otherwise, your smile won't look natural. If your veneers don't complement the overall features they look unnatural.

Here are some standards to go by:

If you have a SMALL face-Steer clear of long, square-shaped veneers. They may look too dominant and throw off your overall proportion.

If your face is FULLER -Slightly longer teeth are your best bet because they can create a slimming effect.

If your face is THIN -Avoid thin, long teeth, which will make the face look longer. Broaden your smile with slightly wider teeth to break up the length and add fullness.

If your face is ANGULAR or SQUARE-SHAPED - Softer edges (on the teeth) will help soften the smile.  Sharp angles may look too harsh.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Healthy Diet/Healthy Teeth!

Diet and Oral Health

To prevent cavities and maintain good oral health, your diet -- what you eat and how often you eat -- are important factors. Changes in your mouth start the minute you eat certain foods. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars from the foods you eat to acids, and it's the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process. The more often you eat and snack, the more frequently you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of decay.

Mouth-Healthy Foods and Drinks

The best food choices for the health of your mouth include cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk. These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids).
Other food choices include firm/crunchy fruits (for example, apples and pears) and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering acid). Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them.
Poor food choices include candy -- such as lollipops, hard candies, and mints -- cookies, cakes, pies, breads, muffins, potato chips, pretzels, french fries, bananas, raisins, and other dried fruits. These foods contain large amounts of sugar and/or can stick to teeth, providing a fuel source for bacteria. In addition, cough drops should be used only when necessary as they, like sugary candy, contribute to tooth decay because they continuously coat the teeth with sugar.
The best beverage choices include water (especially fluoridated water), milk, and unsweetened tea. Limit your consumption of sugar-containing drinks, including soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee or tea with added sugar. Also, avoid day-long sipping of sugar-containing drinks -- day-long sipping exposes your teeth to constant sugar and, in turn, constant decay-causing acids.

Sugar Substitutes and Sugar-Free Products

Sugar substitutes are available that look and taste like sugar; however, they are not digested the same way as sugar, so they don't "feed" the bacteria in the mouth and therefore don't produce decay-causing acids. They include: erythritol, isomalt, sorbitol, and mannitol. Other sugar substitutes that are available in the U.S. include saccharin, aspartame (marketed as Equal), acesulfame potassium (marketed as Sunett), and sucralose (marketed as Splenda).
Sugarless or sugar-free food sometimes simply means that no sugar was added to the foods during processing. However, this does not mean that the foods do not contain other natural sweeteners, such as honey, molasses, evaporated cane sugar, fructose, barley malt, or rice syrup. These natural sweeteners contain the same number of calories as sugar and can be just as harmful to teeth.
To determine if the sugarless or sugar-free foods you buy contain natural sweeteners, examine the ingredients label. Words that end in '-ose' (like sucrose and fructose) usually indicate the presence of a natural sweetener. On the label, look under sugars or carbohydrates.

Teeth and Gum Care Tips

These are some basic tips for caring for teeth and gums:
  • Brush your teeth regularly. Brush at least twice a day and preferably after every meal and snack.
  • Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings -- typically twice a year.
  • Eat a variety of foods to maintain overall health. Eat fewer foods containing sugars and starches between meals. If you must snack, choose nutritious foods, such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, or a firm fruit (such as an apple).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

9th Annual Project Christmas Smile

Sarasota--They say it's the most wonderful time of year. But imagine heading to a holiday party and not wanting to smile. Or biting into a Christmas cookie with a toothache. Fortunately for hundred on the Suncoast, those fears are now a thing of the past.

Thanks to Project Christmas Smile, hundreds of people in need of dental care who were unable to pay for it got the services they needed on Saturday.

"Obviously with the hard economic time right now people are finding that it's harder to have treatment done on a normal basis particularly during the holidays when things are a little more strapped," said Dr. Thomas Doan, a dentist who organized the project almost ten years ago.

"There are times when people just need a lending hand, and certainly if it's one simple act of kindness to our fellow man, it's definitely worth it," said Doan.

Heidi Stancomb brought her daughters to one location to have their teeth cleaned and fillings taken care of. She says it's often difficult to find a dentist; even more so to find a way to pay for it.

"Just to know that it's actually available, it's hard to find doctors that would carry for Medicaid and be available for your young ones," said Stancomb.

Overall, organizers said that forty-eight dentists and more than one hundred support staff participated in the program. They expect to treat between four hundred and six hundred patients.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Alternative Medicine Isn't So Alternative Anymore

Alternative medicine isn't so alternative anymore.  Once dismissed as a fad or fringe movement, alternative medicine has become an increasingly popular component of mainstream health care, including Dentistry.

But patients need to use caution when using any alternative, "natural" treatments, including herbal supplements.

Supplements are in tablet form or Teas
Licorice Root Extract Treats Canker Sores
Commonly referred to as "canker sores", recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAU) -appears as shallow ulcers of different sizes, affects one in five Americans, can be caused by food allergies, stress & hormonal changes, and can be very painful. These lesions can now be treated by an extract in the licorice root herbal extract.
Studies have shown, those who received the adhesive patch with the licorice root extract showed significant improvement in the size & the durations of the "canker sores". In addition, to speeding healing, the adhesive patch help to reduce pain just after 3 days of treatment.
Also  increasing vitamins & other herbs such as vitamin C and Zinc, can help treat "canker sores" because they help regenerate tissue cells.
Licorice root extract was used as a prescribed treatment for gastric ulcers until the 1970's.  In it's original form, licorice root extract has a very strong taste.  However, when combined with a self adhering, time released, dissolving oral patch, the taste is mild and pleasant.
Aloe Vera Helps Relieve Mouth Sores
A quick look in the mirror confirms an unsightly  and irritating cold sore.  One remedy may be the Aloe Vera plant, which has been used to heal skin for more than 2,000 years and recently had gained attention as an alternative treatment for some oral health problems including canker sores, cold sores, lichen planus & gingivitis.
Long recognized for relieving itchy skin, poison ivy and burns, the gel from the Aloe Vera plant is gaining attention for curing ulcerated lesions, both in and outside of the mouth.  The news is good for a growing segment of the population seeking the natural treatments for common health problems.
The Miracle Plant
Acupuncture May Provide Relief from Dry Mouth
Dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) is a painful condition caused by a decreased in the amount of saliva in the mouth when the salivary glands do not work properly.  Saliva is a natural defense for teeth & plays a major role in preventing tooth decay by rinsing away the food particles and neutralizing harmful acids.
A decrease in saliva puts patients at risk for cavities, gum disease and discomfort, since foods that are consumed adhere to the teeth longer.  Dry mouth cam be caused by medications like antihistamines.decongestants, antidepressants and diuretics and can be treated by your dentist
Acupuncture is allowing some patients to relieve or significantly reduce dry mouth's debilitating effects.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baby Teeth

Look at my new teeth!
A child's primary teeth, sometimes called "baby teeth" are as important as the permanent adult teeth.  Primary teeth typically begin to appear when a baby is between age six months and a one year.  Primary teeth help children chew & speak.  They also hold the space  in the jaws for the permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. The American Dental Association (ADA), recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months after the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at an early age is a "well baby checkup" for the teeth. Besides checking for tooth decay & other problems, the dentist can show you how to clean the child's teeth properly and how to evaluate any adverse habits such as thumb-sucking & pacifier use.

Consequences of thumb-sucking &/or pacifier use
 The Teething Cycle
When teeth first come in, some babies may have sore or tender gums.  Gently rubbing your child's gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze pad can be soothing.  You can also give the baby a clean teething ring to chew on.
If your child is still cranky & in pain, consult your dentist of physician.  Most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the time they are three years old.
Primary Teeth Eruption Chart
Keeping Your Child's Teeth Healthy
Begin cleaning the baby's mouth during the first few days after birth.  After every feeding, wipe the baby's gums with a clean gauze pad.This removes plaque (a sticky film of bacteria ) and residual food that can harm erupting teeth.
As soon as the teeth appear in the mouth, tooth decay can occur.  Therefore, when your child's teeth begin to erupt, brush them gently with a child's size toothbrush & water.  Brush the teeth of children over the age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.  Be sure they spit out the toothpaste and rinse with water.
The Beginning of Good Oral Hygiene!

Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottle before going to bed.  If you use a pacifier, use a clean one. NEVER dip in sugar of honey before giving it to a baby.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dental Health and Oral Piercings

While piercing the tongue, lip cheek may be attractive to some, there are a number of health-related risks associated with oral piercing, including:
Lip Piercing
Tongue & Cheek Piercings

Infections: The wound created by piercing, the vast amount of bacteria in the mouth, & the introduction of additional bacteria from handling the jewelry all work to increase the risk of infections.
Transmission of Diseases: Oral piercing is a potential risk for the transmission of herpes simplex virus, hepatitis B & C.
Nerve Damage/ Prolong Bleeding: Numbness or loss of sensation at the site of the piercing or movement problems (for tongue piercings) can occur if nerves are damaged.. If the blood vessels are punctured, prolonged bleeding can occur.  Tongue swelling following piercing can be severe enough to block the airway and make breathing difficult.
Endocarditis: Because of the wound  created by the piercing, there is a chance the bacteria could enter the bloodstream and lead to development of endocarditis--an inflammation of the heart or its valves--in certain people with underlying ( often undiagnosed & w/o symptoms) heart problems.
Gum Disease: People with oral piercing--have a greater risk of gum disease.  The jewelry can come in contact with gum tissue causing injury as well as recession of the gum tissue, which can lead to tooth loss.
Recession of gum tissue due to placement of piercing
Damage To Teeth: Teeth that come into contact with mouth jewelry can chip or crack. One study in a dental journal reported 47% of people wearing barbell tongue jewelry for 4 or more years had a least on chipped tooth.
Barbell Tongue Jewelry

Difficulties in daily oral functions: Tongue piercing can result in difficulty chewing and swallowing food & speaking clearly.  This is because the jewelry stimulates an excessive amount of saliva.  Temporary or permanent drooling is another consequence of increased saliva production.  Taste can also be altered
Allergic reaction to metal--called allergic contact dermatitis--to the metal in the jewelry can occur is susceptible people.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Jewelry Aspiration: Jewelry that becomes loose in the mouth ca become a choking hazard and, if, swallowed, can result in injury to the digestive tract. 
* If you have decided to go through w/ the oral piercing procedure despite the risks, consider the following tips when looking for an oral piercing studio.
  • Ask friends   who have had their tongue, lip, or cheeks pierced--have you suffered any ill consequences--to recommend the name of the studio they visited
  • Visit the studio, Does the studio have a clean appearance, especially the area the piercing are done? Ask if they have hospital -grade autoclaves for sterilization and/or use disposable instruments.  Does the staff wear disposable gloves?
  • Ask to see the studio's health certificates.
  • Are all the needles, as well as the studs, hoops, & barbells kept in sterilized packaging?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why does My Dentist Prescribe Medication?

Dentist Prescribe  Medications for several reasons
Why does my Dentist Prescribe Medication?
Your dentist prescribes medications for many reasons.  While some drugs are formulated to fight oral diseases , others are used to prevent infections after surgical procedures such as tooth extractions & periodontal (gum) surgery. Certain drugs are used prior to dental treatment. These Medications are used to prevent secondary infections (prophylactic antibiotics) with those who have had joint replacements ( -ie- hip or knee replacements) , anti-anxiety drugs such as Valium or Xanax & medications for oral sedation such as Halcion. Your dentist will discuss with you the medications you will be taking, when you will take them & why.
What should I find out about my Medication?
Inform Your Dentist on all the Prescription & Over-The-Counter Medications
Remember to list the vitamins you are taking

Ask your dentist what you should be look for after you have begun treatment. Ask about common side effects and what you should do if you experience them. Also ask about anything you should not take with the new drug,since the drug mat interact with other prescription & OTC medications and with certain foods. (in our office, we use a specialized software, Lexicomp,  to help us to prevent drug interactions). Every prescription dispensed by a pharmacist comes with a patient information sheet describing everything you need to know about that drug. If you take several medications,keep a diary to check your daily intake & note any symptoms.     
What Should My Dentist Know About My Medical History?
It is important to share with your dentist your medical history and the medication you are taking,especially for serious conditions such as kidney,lung,heart or liver disease. Some dental medications have the potential to interact with other drugs  cause you harm or failure of treatment.
Do not assume your dentist knows your medical history.  The most common cause of drug-related interactions is the doctor's lack of information about your medical history.  Update and review your history every time you see the dentist. In addition to informing your dentist of the past prescriptions, tell him or her  about any adverse reactions.  Include any vitamins,supplements or herbal remedies you take on a list, as well as any diet plans.                                                                 
Herbal supplements should also be documented in your updated Medical History

What should I Know about my Prescriptions?
When taking medications by your dentist it is important to finish it (Particularly- Antibiotics). Many people take prescribe medicine,only until they feel better. Dosages are exact & are necessary to fight or prevent infections. By taking medications only until you feel better, all the drug has done is eliminate susceptible microorganisms and left the ones that tend to become drug resistant. Ask your dentist before you take and non-prescription medications,vitamins,herbal remedies or dietary supplements.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Men: Looking for a better Job?

Mature Attractive Smile
    Men: Looking for a better job? Start by visiting the dentist.
    An online poll of 289 general dentist & consumers confirm the traditional stereotype that men are less likely to visit the dentist than their female counterparts,according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing education.
    Why? Nearly 45% of respondents felt that men don't see a need to go to the dentist,& about 30% of those polled reported that men may not visit the dentist because they are afraid or embarrassed to go. Almost 18% revealed that men just do not have the time for a dental visit, and about 5% felt that men don't even have a regular dentist.
    In my practice, more men are coming in & requesting cosmetic procedures such as bleaching,bonding's and veneers.  Many have noticed the positive effects from co-workers improved smile and realize that a great smile has a lot of value in the business world.
    In the past, men worked for one or more employers throughout a lifetime & many did not think about the way their overall appearance affected their professional life. Unfortunately today, with lay-offs and company closings,today middle-aged men are competing for jobs  with younger  men, making appearance a higher priority in their lives.
    Healthy & pleasant smiles!
    Taking a back seat to new cosmetic concerns for men is the increase awareness of the overall health of seeing a dentist on a regular basis (@ least every six months for their recare appointment).   Many times after a men come back to the dentist & recognize the value of proper maintenance & biannual checkups they understand they are the key to improving  the way one looks and feels.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Teeth Cleaning leads to Fewer Heart Problems

Florida Dental Association
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) -  Regular visits to the dentist for tooth cleaning may provide more than just a brighter smile.Poor oral hygiene has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

The researcher who presented the findings of the multi-year study at the American Heart Association scientific meeting in Orlando on Sunday surmised that professional tooth cleaning appears to reduce inflammation-causing bacterial growth that can lead to heart disease.

"Protection from heart disease and stroke was more pronounced in participants who got tooth scaling at least once a year," said Dr. Zu-Yin Chen, a cardiology fellow at Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, who presented the findings.

The analysis of more 100,000 people beginning in 2007 was based on data in the Taiwan National Health insurance data base. None of the study subjects had a history of prior heart attack or stroke, but the analysis did not adjust for risk factors such as smoking or obesity.

Researchers said a higher frequency of professional tooth cleaning led to a greater reduction in heart risk. They defined higher frequency as at least two visits to the dentist for a cleaning in two years.

(Reporting by Bill Berkrot, editing by Bernard Orr)

According to data compiled by researchers in Taiwan, people who had their teeth professionally scraped and cleaned had a 24 percent lower risk of heart attack and 13 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who never had a dental cleaning.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Seniors-Teeth Are Never Too Old To Be Repaired or Replaced!

By 2030, one out of every five Americans will be older than 651. By adopting healthy habits at home, making better choices about diet and lifestyle and seeking regular professional dental care, many older adults are keeping their teeth, staying healthier and looking better than ever.
Restorative Options
Teeth are never too old to be repaired or replaced. If oral health maintenance diminishes or replaced teeth are lost, overall health can suffer.
If some or all of the natural teeth have been lost, dentists can make removable dentures.
Dental implants are a new option many older adults are choosing. Implants are surgically-fixed substitutes for missing tooth roots.
Oral cancer is more common than you may think, and older adults may be at a greater risk.
As with other cancers, early detection saves lives. Dentists are the most skilled at detecting oral cancer early as a part of every routine checkup.
Open sores, white or reddish patches, and other changes in the lips, tongue and lining of the mouth may be signs of oral
cancer or other potentially serious diseases. Contact a dentist if any of these conditions last 14 days or longer.
Medication Side Effects
More than 400 prescription drugs have been linked to adverse dental health effects.
Prescription medicines can cause gum swelling, overgrowth or inflammation, dry mouth, excess plaque, and fungal infection.
Many prescription drugs cause or enhance dry mouth, which can increase the rate of root-surface decay and periodontal (gum) infection.
Be sure to tell your dentist about all prescribed and over-the-counter medications you are taking.
Your Dental Routine
Brush teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
Replace toothbrushes every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
Denture Care
Take dentures out of the mouth for at least four hours every day. This will help rejuvenate gums after prolonged contact with dentures.
It’s best to remove full or partial dentures at night.
Denture cleaning products like denture cleansers and overnight soaking solutions help keep dentures fresh and clean.
If dry mouth is present, talk to a dentist about ways to reduce symptoms and maintain good oral health, for example, using
an over the counter mouthwash or spray that can help moisten the mouth.
Elder Caretakers
Are you an elder caretaker? For information about how to provide proper daily oral hygiene for seniors, visit the American Dental Association website's Oral Longevity section.

Good Oral Health Directly Relates To Good Overall Health!

Regular Check-ups
Do you know that good oral health directly relates to good overall health? That’s why you should make it a priority to visit the dentist at least every six months. Regular visits allow your dentist to spot and treat potential problems before they become more severe.
Regular dental checkups usually include a cleaning. It is impossible to remove all plaque from your teeth by just brushing and flossing, so a dental hygienist or your dentist will use special equipment to clean your teeth. Without regular dental cleanings this plaque could eventually cause gum disease, cavities and other problems.
After the cleaning, your dentist will typically perform an examination of your teeth, gums and entire mouth. In addition to checking your teeth for cavities, your dentist also looks for signs of other problems like gum disease or oral cancer. Tell your dentist about any sores, swelling or discoloration that you find on your tongue, lips, cheek, throat, jawbone or palate. 
Depending on your age, risk of certain dental issues and amount of time since your last dental visit, your dentist may recommend dental radiographs. These X-rays can show problems that otherwise go unnoticed, such as impacted teeth or decay between the teeth. In Florida, if you haven’t had an oral examination in the last 13 months, your dentist is required to perform an oral exam before he or she is allowed to treat you.