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Monthly Archives: April 2015

General Physicians Are Putting Renewed Focus On Oral Exams

YOUR MOUTH SAYS A LOT… Even when you’re not speaking. It can tell us if you’ve been brushing and flossing. It also provides clues about your overall health.

Dentists have been aware of this for a long time. Lately, an increasing number of general practitioners are putting a renewed focus on oral evaluations during health checkups.

There Are Significant Links Between Oral Health And Systemic Diseases

Studies continue to show links between our oral health and comprehensive health. Our mouths can affect the health of the rest of our bodies. For example, periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to complications with diabetes, and pre-term labor in pregnant women. There is also a high correlation between poor oral health and Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease.

When Your Physician Says, “Say Ah”

A traditional evaluation at the beginning of a doctor’s appointment is termed “HEENT” (head, ears, eyes, nose, and throat). Recently, health professionals have been pushing for a modification to that standard evaluation, changing it to “HEENOT” instead (head, ears, eyes, nose, oral cavity, and throat).

During oral exams, health professionals can catch signs of potential systemic conditions. They can also evaluate oral health and send up a red flag if it’s time for that patient to see a dentist in order to improve oral health.

Don’t Skip Routine Dental Checkups

The fact that your doctor is checking your oral health is not an excuse to skip your regular dental appointments. We’re professionals in oral care, and regular maintenance from our team helps keep you healthy. Be sure that each time your physician checks your mouth, she’ll find it happy and healthy.

If you have any questions about your oral health, please contact us! We love talking with you.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Top image by Flickr user Subconsci Productions used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Cosmetic Vs. Therapeutic Mouthwash

SWISH, GARGLE, SPIT – simple, right? Mouthwash is usually seen as an addition to your oral health, the cherry on top of your hygiene routine. But are you using the right kind, and are you using it correctly?

Cosmetic Mouthwashes Mask Bad Breath

Most people think all mouthwashes do the same thing, but there are key differences you need to know! Cosmetic mouthwashes only serve to mask bad breath and leave your mouth with a pleasant taste – like a mint but with fewer calories.

Therapeutic Mouthwashes Attack Plaque

Therapeutic mouthwashes serve clinical purposes, like attacking bacteria and plaque, or strengthening teeth with fluoride. When buying therapeutic mouthwash, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance on the bottle. Products that feature this logo have been evaluated by experts and meet specific standards for safety and effectiveness.

Read The Instructions

As with any health product, make sure you thoroughly read the instructions – yes, even for mouthwash! Here are some important things to note:

  • Some products recommend diluting before use. (Again, check the label!)
  • Most mouthwashes are not recommended for children under seven.
  • Rinsing right after a meal helps to inhibit bacteria growth and bad breath.
  • Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after using a fluoridated mouthwash. This gives the fluoride more time to strengthen your teeth.

Mouthwash Doesn’t Replace Other Oral Health Habits!

Regular brushing and flossing are far more important than using mouthwash. Mouthwash is not a substitute for the more important dental care habits.

If you have a specific issue, like periodontal disease, chronic bad breath, or tooth sensitivity, talk to us about it! We may recommend a specific therapeutic mouthwash for you. Other times, problems we address with mouthwash can be a sign of a larger issue. If you have any questions, ask us below, or talk with us about it next time you visit.

Thank you for being our patient and friend!

Top image by Flickr user colink. used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

How Much Sugar Are You Really Eating?

MODERN DENTISTRY, fluoride treatments, and preventive care alone can’t stop tooth decay when our diets are filled with sugar!

Sugary Foods Cling To Our Teeth And Cause Cavities

When sugar clings to teeth, bacteria feeds off of those sugars, producing an acid byproduct that wears away tooth enamel.

Studies repeatedly find that as sugar consumption increases, so do cavities. The World Health Organization’s 2014 study found that in one population, when daily caloric intake of sugar increased from 0% to 5%, the amount of tooth decay doubled.

Cut Sugar Intake In Half

After the study, The World Health Organization cut their recommendations for sugar consumption in half, from 10% of our daily caloric intake, to 5% (and ideally, less). Currently, the average American gets 12-15% of his or her daily calories from sugar—and America isn’t even the highest consumer of sugar worldwide!

Beware Of Hidden Sugars


How do you cut back on sugar? In addition to cutting back on sweets, it’s important to be aware of hidden sugars in our diets. Even a “nutritional” food can be packed with sugar! On our food labels, sugar goes by numerous aliases, including:

  • Molasses & Maltose
  • Corn syrup, Malt & Dextrose
  • Sorghum syrup

This list is only a sampling. Keep an eye out for anything ending in “-ose,” “sugar,” or “syrup,” and educate yourself on more alternate names here.

3 More Tips For Cutting Back On Sugar

  1. Read labels, and check for hidden sugars.
  2. Cook more at home so you know exactly what’s going into your food.
  3. Cut back on soft drinks, fruit juices, granola bars, yogurt, and sugary cereal in addition to regular sweets.

A Healthier Diet = A Healthier Mouth

You don’t need to cut out sugar entirely to have healthy teeth. That’s why brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are so important! Let us know if you ever have any questions about your oral health. We’re passionate about helping you have a healthier, happier lifestyle!

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Top image by Flickr user Tom Page used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Feel Inspired By Mouth Painter, Mariam Paré

HOW OFTEN DO WE PAUSE to appreciate our own amazing gifts and abilities? It’s easy to take things that come easiest for granted. Mariam Paré’s inspiring story not only gives us courage and motivation to be our best, but it helps put life into perspective.

Paralyzed By A Bullet Wound, Mariam’s Life Changed In An Instant

Mariam, a promising 20 year old painter, dreamed about all the things her artistic future held. Today, 18 years after a tragic event that changed her life, she’s painting just as she dreamed—but she’s doing it a little differently than she imagined.

Mariam paints with her teeth, patiently and precisely clenching brushes between them as she continues to express her remarkable artistic gift.

We Can All Take Lessons In Showing Gratitude

First, let’s all be grateful for our healthy mouths and teeth. For all the things they do for us… Speaking, chewing, nourishing, smiling, and in Mariam’s case, even painting—let’s be grateful for our healthy smiles and show our appreciation by taking great care of them.

Second, we are grateful for you—our valued patients. Without your support and friendship we couldn’t do the things we love to do each day. We treasure the trust you place in us. We’re honored when you recommend us, or refer one of your friends or coworkers. Always let us know how we can best serve you.

Were you also inspired by Mariam’s story? Please share your thoughts with us below. Thanks.

5 Common Canker Sore Triggers To Avoid

CANKER SORES ARE SELDOM SERIOUS, but they can drive us crazy! These small, shallow ulcers pop up in our mouths and on the inside of our lips unexpectedly and sometimes take days to heal. The good news is that they’re fairly easy to prevent, once you understand their triggers.

5 Common Triggers To Avoid

  1. Stress – Stress can weaken your immune system, making it easy for canker sores to form and irritate your mouth.
  2. Tissue Injury – If you already have cuts or scrapes inside of your mouth (from biting your cheek, for example), you’re more vulnerable to canker sores.
  3. Foods – Foods that are high in acidity like strawberries, tomatoes, pineapples and lemons can trigger canker sores. Sour candies are also a common culprit.
  4. Dental Appliances – Having braces or ill-fitting dentures could also cause canker sores, since it increases opportunities for irritation in your mouth.
  5. Sickness – If you already have an infection in your body, the chances are higher for canker sores.

Some Simple Remedies

Once you learn your triggers, canker sores become much easier to avoid. Limit problematic foods. If braces are irritating your mouth, ask for more dental wax, or have the trouble-spots checked. If stress is contributing to canker sores, try stress-reduction techniques.

After checking your triggers, if you find that you’re still getting frequent canker sores, check your oral care routine.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating oral tissue.
  • Try using toothpaste that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Rinse your mouth each day with salt water.

Do you have any personal remedies and tips that help your canker sores? Share below! We’d love to hear them and pass them along.

Thank you for being such wonderful patients and friends. We appreciate you!

Top image by Flickr user Jeramey Jannene used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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