Smiles Put You At Your Best!

A girlfriend recently shared her secret to a facelift alternative. “I noticed that when I smile, it pulls sagging areas up. So, I try to remember to keep a smile on my face!”

Liz is right, but there are far more benefits to that smile of hers than a more youthful facial appearance. People who smile often are said to add two years to their life while frequent frowns tend to decrease one’s lifespan by a year. Why is this?

Smiling increases endorphins.  Endorphins are a chemical in your brain that lead to feelings of happiness, giving you a natural high. From some studies, you can effectively change your psychological and physiological state by smiling, even when faking a smile. Smiling is said to improve immunity, increase pain and frustration tolerance and heighten creativity levels.

When a smile shows chipped, broken or worn teeth, teeth that are discolored or crooked or missing teeth, people tend to ‘hold back’ on their smile. A subconscious habit of those with smile flaws is covering their smile with a hand or showing a ‘lips-only’ smile.

A beautiful smile enhances appearance, mood, and apparently your longevity! Who needs a facelift when a smile can do so many wonderful things?!!! Our dental office provides all services for every need. From orthodontics (braces and Invisalign) to dental implants or crown & bridge to porcelain crowns and veneers to tooth whitening, your best smile can be created in one location, often in just one or two appointments.

Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free Consultation. During this time, we can discuss options that are best for you and I’ll answer your questions thoroughly. We can also discuss payment plans that allow you to make affordable monthly payments while enjoying the terrific smile you desire now!

Sleep Apnea? Here Are Helpful Tips!

For those who don’t suffer with Sleep Apnea nor are heavy snorers (often a precursor to Sleep Apnea), it’s hard to imagine how fatigued and groggy one can be every day. Yet, the fatigue is a small part of the whole picture.

Research has linked Sleep Apnea to high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, weight gain, impotency and has even shown a possible correlation to Alzheimer’s Disease. Behind the wheel, Sleep Apnea sufferers are said to be more dangerous than drunk drivers.

In our office, we’ve successfully treated a number of individuals with Sleep Apnea or who are heavy snorers. Rather than have radical surgery, most with mild to moderate Sleep Apnea can overcome these problems with an FDA approved device that’s worn in the mouth at night. These are small and custom-designed to fit the contours of your mouth so they don’t interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

We offer a free, no obligation Consultation appointment so you can have your questions answered thoroughly and determine how you wish to proceed. In the meantime, below are some helpful tips to aid you in achieving the best quality of sleep possible:

  1. Sleep on your side.
    This is the most important piece of advice on this page. It helps keep your airway open & reduces your heartburn and acid reflux.
  2. Elevate the head of your bed about 6-8 inches.
    Easiest way to achieve this is to place several pillows between the box spring and the mattress, positioned under the mattress at the head of the bed. Note that piling up more than 2 pillows to lay your head on does not work as well as it might lead to neck issues & you can easily roll off of them.
  3. Use Breathe RightR nasal strips.
    Be sure to get it in your size as they come in small or large. Also, get the clear ones for sensitive skin. Avoid generic brands and the advanced versions. There is a nice video at Breathe Right’s website showing you how it works and how to use it.
  4. Use nasal spray every night right before bed.
    Be sure to keep your nose clear by blowing your nose first. Inhaling steam can loosen congestion so a hot shower before bed would help. As far as nasal sprays, we get the best feedback about Flonase (available over the counter). Don’t use Afrin.
  5. Keep your bedroom dark.
    Make sure your room is perfectly dark while you’re sleeping. You can use a mask over your eyes. Be sure to dim lights for the hour or two leading up to sleep time. Do not use any electronics with a screen within two hours of bedtime; it messes your melatonin levels. Speaking of bedtime, you should avoid laying down within 30 minutes of food as that increases your risk of heartburn.
  6. Keep your bedroom cool.
    Studies show that the ideal temperature for sleep is 65 degrees. A programmable thermostat can be set to drop the temperature down to that level late into the night and back up to more comfortable levels in the morning.
  7. Keep the air clean and at the right humidity.
    An air cleaner helps if your furnace system is old. Otherwise, change the air filter on your furnace every month and use one that has a high filtration effect. Use a humidifier in the winter if your house is really dry. The humidity in your room should be between 30 & 50%.
  8. Use your oral sleep appliance EVERY NIGHT.
    It’s important that your airway gets used to that open path from the back of your throat down to your lungs. Regular nightly use makes sure it stays open.

Please feel free to call us at 1-866-9-Smiles with any questions. We are always adding to and improving this list so let us know your thoughts or feedback.

Diabetics CAN Control Healthy Smiles!

Diabetics face a number of challenges every day, along with greater health risks. People with diabetes are aware that the disease can damage the kidneys, eyes, heart and nerves. Yet, many do not know they have a  higher risk for periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease is an infection that attacks gum tissues and bone structure that supports teeth. In early stages, gum disease has minimal, obvious symptoms. These include tender gums that bleed when brushing and persistent bad breath. But, like a pot of simmering water on a hot stove, the boiling point is not far away. As gum disease progresses, it can lead to painful chewing and eventual tooth loss.

It is a fact that periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S. It can also make you more susceptible to serious problems. Research has linked gum disease bacteria with heart disease, stroke, preterm babies, and memory loss.

Diabetes can cause dry mouth, which occurs when you do not have enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. Saliva is your body’s oral cleanser that helps to move bacteria out of the mouth. Dry mouth is often a symptom of undetected diabetes. It can cause tender and sore gums, ulcers, infections and cavities. For diabetics who smoke, these problems are far worse.

In order for diabetics to prevent gum disease and other oral problems, controlling blood glucose levels is a key factor. Those with poor blood glucose control are more prone to gum disease and have it at more severe levels than people whose diabetes is well controlled.

Diabetics, however, can put the odds for a healthy mouth in their favor! Take charge of your smile by controlling your glucose, brushing twice a day for 2 minutes, daily flossing, and having regular dental check-ups. If you want to protect your teeth and avoid oral problems, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange an appointment.

Explanations Of Some Dental Lingo!

Occasionally, I catch myself talking to a patient and saying things like “…your periodontal health” when “condition of your gum tissue” is more likely to be understood. As a Dentist, I’ve used some dental terms and phrases so often I forget I can lose good connection with a patient by using sometimes-foreign terms.

I hope I’ve never discussed your oral health in unfamiliar terms. However, if I slip, never hesitate to ask questions so you fully understand everything about my explanations.

Some terms you may hear that aren’t always obvious as to what they are may be:

Anterior Teeth: Your six upper or six lower front teeth.
Bone Resorption: Loss of jaw bone that supports tooth roots.
Bruxing: Grinding or gnashing of teeth, typically while asleep.
Calculus: Hard residue that forms on teeth due to plaque buildup.
Mandible: The lower jaw.
Maxilla: The upper jaw.
Palate: Hard and soft tissue forming the roof of the mouth.
Plaque: A sticky substance composed of bacteria and food debris that accumulates on teeth.
Prophy: Cleaning of the teeth for the prevention of gum disease and tooth decay.
Scaling & Root Planning: Removing plaque and calculus from tooth surfaces above and below gum line.
Tartar: A common term for calculus, a hard deposit that adheres to teeth and can only be removed by dental tools.

Our entire team wants you to always be in-the-know when it comes to your dental well-being. I hope our conversations leave you fully informed so you are an active participant in keeping your smile at its best!

Not All Mouthwashes Are Good For You

Mouthwash is a common component of many oral hygiene routines at home. For many patients, we recommend certain mouthwashes for their ability to kill oral bacteria, add fluoride, and treat particular mouth sores. Too, some mouthwashes are advised following extraction of teeth to curtail bacteria in areas where brushing must be postponed.

While many people assume mouthwash is a beneficial conclusion to proper brushing and flossing, not all are recommended by our office. Some mouthwashes contain alcohol, which dries out oral tissues. Even though alcohol kills oral bacteria, it also serves as a drying agent. This actually increases your potential for cavities and bad breath since alcohol decreases saliva flow.

Saliva is your mouth’s natural cleanser, keeping oral tissues moist and moving bacteria (and food particles that cause bacterial growth) out of the mouth. Some medications, smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages can also lead to dry mouth.

Additionally, it is suspected that regular use of mouthwash containing alcohol can lead to dental erosion.

Mouthwashes that contain alcohol have also come under fire for increasing one’s risk for oral cancer. Although there is no scientific consensus on these findings, it is suspected that the alcohol becomes a carcinogen in the mouth, which is a cancer causing agent. Researchers have found that oral cancer risk is five times higher for those using alcohol-containing mouthwashes, even if they are non-smokers.

Like any product, read the label of mouthwash before purchasing. Look for alcohol-free types and those with fluoride additives. Use after brushing and flossing and practice a gargling action to get the mouthwash to the back of your mouth. Since the back of your tongue harbors more oral bacteria than the front, consider using a tongue scraper prior to mouthwash. This loosens oral bacteria that are embedded in the tongue’s surface. You can also brush your tongue with your toothbrush following teeth brushing.

Remember, any mouthwash use is an addition to brushing and flossing. It should never be used as a replacement. However, certain mouthwashes can help keep your breath fresher, decrease your risk for cavities and support your oral health overall. Swish away!

If you have questions about which mouthwashes are recommended, call us toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.