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.