Are You Smiling Without Showing Your Teeth?

A patient who recently completed some implant dentistry and new crowns on several teeth made a statement that we hear often. She said she now smiles with her teeth showing, whereas before, she had taught herself to smile with her lips only.

A smile is a major part of your facial appearance. When your teeth are crooked, chipped, missing or discolored, you feel self-conscious, or even “embarrassed to smile,” as this patient admitted. This ‘holding back’ can affect how close you get to others when speaking or laughing as well as your confidence level on the job or in social settings.

A full, healthy smile complements your facial features and projects a positive, outgoing person. For those who feel they can’t afford procedures to improve their smile, we offer several payment options that allow you to make interest-free payments with no down payment required.

If you’re ‘holding back,’ then all you have to do is begin with a free consultation. We’ll discuss what’s going to work best for your needs and various options.

However, having a terrific smile is also a decision we make, a priority in our lives that speaks volumes. Not long ago, a patient was nearly in tears because she “couldn’t afford” a badly needed a new bridge and several crowns. This would have protected remaining natural teeth and given her an appealing smile. As she was leaving, my Assistant complimented her boots. The patient replied, “Oh, I got these last year when I was in Paris!”

It boils down to what’s truly important to each individual. If you’re one who understands the daily benefits of a smile you love, then call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.



Toss That Can For A Healthier Smile, And More!

In the dental profession, we often see decay that seems reoccurring. While some people are more susceptible to an oral bacteria that is particularly harmful to tooth enamel, the real culprit is often in our hands, not our DNA.

In conversation, patients will occasionally admit they sip on a soda throughout the day. This continual intake of a sugary beverage may give a little perk to their time at a desk, but it places an ongoing attack in your mouth.

Every time you eat or drink something (other than water), an acid attack occurs in your mouth. If you’ve ever heard that digestion begins in the mouth, this is the first stage of the process. While that acid helps in digestion, your teeth are getting bombarded with the acid, which is not beneficial to teeth. So, when you sip on a soda over a long period of time, the acid attack is continual.

Even artificially sweetened drinks without sugar (in any form) are harmful, as the mouth perceives the contents as food. And, as if you needed an added reason to toss the can, research has now found that the caramel coloring in sodas is actually a cancer-causing chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MeI.

Labels on these brown sodas list the chemical as “caramel coloring,” which sounds innocent. Yet, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer says it contributes to cancer when consumed in certain amounts.

Dry mouth increases your risk for cavities and gum diseases. Nothing cleanses the mouth like good, clean water. And, you can sip that all day, every day and your smile will thank you! Not only is water a bargain beverage, you’ll help to avoid cavities and gum disease, which will save you time and money.

Our goal is to help you have a healthy smile at all ages. Monitor how often you eat or drink to minimize these acid attacks.

Dental Phobia Not Uncommon

If you do not have a phobia when it comes to dental visits, feel lucky. For those with dental phobia, many experience:

• Not being able to sleep the night before a dental visit
• Being highly nervous while in the waiting room
• Crying when seeing a dentist or seeing instruments
• Feeling panicked when instruments are placed in the mouth
• Finding it difficult to breathe during treatment

According to a survey by the American Association of Endodontists (dentists who specialize in root canals), 80% of American adults fear the dentist with over half admitting they avoid seeing a dentist until the need is dire.

Approximately 5 – 10 percent of Americans are considered dental phobics. These adults are so terrified of dental visits that they avoid dental care altogether. And, according to a study involving over 11,000 adults, women are nearly twice as likely to have this level of extreme anxiety than men.

Occasionally, we see adults who, after finally gaining the strength to see a dentist, was lectured or made to feel guilty about not properly caring for their teeth. This is something I’ll never understand since it does nothing to help the patient feel more comfortable with their dental visits. Plus, it does nothing to encourage them to make dental visits a regular part of their overall health and well-being.

In our office, all patients are treated with respect and a gentle hand at every visit. For adults with a high level of fear, we can provide an oral sedation that is taken prior to their arrival. This allows them to be in a relaxed state before they reach our office. They are promptly seated in a treatment room and made comfortable while the sedation takes full effect.

We also offer I.V. Sedation, also known as “twilight sleep.” This allows the patient to snooze through treatment and typically erases any memory of their time in the treatment room.

If you have dental fears or know someone who does, please suggest they contact us at 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a free consultation. When a is repair needed in the mouth, it will only worsen when care is delayed. Delay in care typically results in more extensive treatment, more time and greater expense.

Let’s discuss your fears in our comfy Consultation Room, which is a living-room style setting. We can talk about what will help you feel more relaxed and comfortable at every visit. Our job is to have you smiling your best – every day! Call to speak to our friendly receptionist to take that first step!

More Reasons To Keep Your QUIT SMOKING Resolution!

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to quit smoking, here are some added reasons to stick to your commitment. Your smile — teeth, gums, throat, lips, all soft tissues in the mouth — will thank you as much as your lungs!

Publicity campaigns have helped to make the American population more aware of the deadly and debilitating effects of smoking. Lung cancer is widely associated with cigarette smoking. However, oral cancer takes the life of one person every hour. Oral cancer also has one of the worst survival rates, but is curable if detected in early stages.

Smoking doesn’t just cause bad breath and stained teeth, other problems include a higher risk for gum disease, tooth loss, cavities, breakdown in dental work, and slower healing after dental procedures.

You may already know that plaque is cause of dental decay, however, smoking boosts plaque buildup on teeth, leading to decay. The tar and nicotine in cigarettes stick to gums, teeth and other places in the mouth. This is one reason that smokers often have bad breath.

Smoking also has a drying effect to the mouth, decreasing the flow of saliva. This creates an environment where bacteria breed and thrive. Smoking also causes many challenges to the gums. The results of tobacco use cause a decrease in blood flow, throughout the body as well as to oral tissues. This can cause serious problems to the gum tissue as well as the bones of the mouth’s structure.

Gums can become severely inflamed and send bacteria into the bloodstream through tears in oral tissues. Once this inflammation penetrates areas below the gum line, it becomes a difficult process to treat and eliminate. Gum disease is the nation’s leading cause of tooth loss.

Every dentist wants their patient to enjoy a successful outcome for dental treatments. For smokers, we discourage smoking during healing times since they risk a lower rate of success and higher risk for complications than non-smokers.

The good news is, once you quit smoking, the health of your gums will increase tremendously, which you should notice in a year or less after quitting.

Remember, your gums and teeth are vital parts of your body. They deserve just as much respect and care as other parts of the body. Enjoy your resolution by knowing your smile will improve greatly along with the rest of you!

We welcome new patients and treat them respectfully and make comfort a priority. Begin with a free consultation so we can discuss ways to make your smile its best as you kick the habit! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.

Why Use A Gadget When Flossing Is Better The Old-Fashioned Way? We Can Help!

As a Dentist, I know the value of daily flossing. When performed correctly and on a regular basis, the benefits of flossing are enormous to one’s oral and overall health. Like many in my profession, I’ve heard all the excuses from those who don’t/won’t floss: “The floss hurts my fingers.” “It takes too long.” “It hurts my gums.” “I can’t reach my back teeth.”  and so on.

Yet, those who floss regularly spend less than 2 minutes a day and do an excellent job without a mirror and with no discomfort to fingers or gums. Like anything, practice makes perfect. These are also the patients who have no discomfort during cleanings, have far less cavities or gum problems, and are most likely to keep their teeth all their lives.

While I am a proponent of most electronic tooth brushes, I am less than excited about the latest dental gadget – an air flosser. I’ve read reviews from some a few who were excited that flossing could be done without effort. Yet, below is a review from one of Costco’s members that didn’t surprise me:

Cons: more work than string floss, can leak, doesn’t hold enough water, can damage tongue or cheek if positioned wrong.
“This does not do as good a job as traditional floss at getting between the teeth where they are tight. It does get that little triangle space at the bottom. It doesn’t hold much water or mouthwash. You had better get it positioned correctly before you push the button because a little distraction and an accidental push can actually damage soft tissue like your tongue or cheek. (Healed in a week or so.) My husband and I were very disappointed.”

By the way, it seems that Costco has since pulled this device from its inventory. Apparently, there is no substitute to the tried-&-true technique of flossing one’s teeth the old-fashioned way.

If you struggle with flossing, arrange to meet with one of our Hygienists. She’ll work with you to develop your own flossing technique that is comfortable and effectively performed in an efficient amount of time! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.

Winter-ize Your Mouth!

Although everyone has a dry mouth at times, a mouth that is frequently dry puts you at higher risk for oral problems. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, you’re more prone to cavities, receded gums and gum disease.

Winter months are especially drying to our bodies, including oral tissues. The air is dryer and people tend to drink less water, opting to sip warm drinks. Medications for colds and sinus infections can have a drying effect on gum tissues as well, exacerbating the problem.

To avoid dental repairs and time required for dental treatment, be diligent about brushing and flossing at least twice daily. Be committed to your 6-month dental exams and cleanings and drink lots of water throughout the day. If you take medications that are drying to the mouth, ask your Doctor or Pharmacist if there are alternatives that are less drying. You may also want to try an over-the-counter oral rinse to help keep your mouth moist.

Be good to your mouth and your mouth will reward you with a great smile and minimal problems, if any! If you are past due for your 6-month check-up, call us toll free 1-866-9-Smiles. You can also begin with a free consultation to discuss your needs.

Oral Symptoms To Keep An Eye On

The mouth is like a door to the entire body. So, it’s not surprising that occasional symptoms are indications of some common problems, such as:

•Bad Breath: This typically occurs from an overload of bacteria in the mouth.
The bacteria that break down food in your mouth excrete odor-producing materials. If not thoroughly cleansed away, the build-up becomes obvious in your breath odor. What to do? Naturally, brush and floss twice daily and use a tongue scraper to clear embedded bacteria in the tongue. Chew sugarless gum after meals to aid saliva flow, which washes away germs. And, drink plenty of water.

•Canker Sores: These painful mouth sores often occur during times of fatigue or stress.
When your immune system is vulnerable, an added helping of stress can trigger a canker sore. While over-the-counter medications help to numb the pain, swishing with warm, salty water may help just as well. Generally, canker sores last a week to ten days. Dr. Barbat can use a dental laser to treat canker sores for quick relief and rapid healing.

•Very Sensitive Teeth: This often indicates too-rigorous brushing or using a hard bristle toothbrush.
While you want to be thorough when brushing your teeth, overdoing it can damage enamel and gum tissue. When the gum tissue surrounding teeth is damaged, tooth roots become exposed to heat and cold. Use a light hand and toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Damaged enamel and worn gum tissue doesn’t heal itself. Dr. Barbat can assess if your damage needs to be repaired by gum therapy or root desensitizing treatments.

•Sores, Red or White Patches, Etc.: When an unusual oral problem does not go away in 10 days to 2 weeks, make arrangements to be seen promptly!
Some unusual spots or soreness in the mouth may be a sign of oral cancer. Although some are painless, it doesn’t mean they are harmless. Oral cancer is one of the deadliest of all cancers and has the worst survival rate if not caught in earliest stages. Dr. Barbat uses a quick, painless oral cancer detection device to determine if your oral symptom needs further review.

For any oral problem or need, call Dr. Barbat at 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule a no-cost consultation.