Everyday someone will come into our office and ask a question about their kid’s oral health. When should their first trip to the dentist be? Can they use fluoride toothpaste? Should I still be brushing their teeth? These are all great questions and can have varied answers depending on your child’s individual situation.
How many of you have ever started a New Years Resolution great, only to have it fall apart two weeks later? Or start a fad diet for a few days before totally forgetting it existed?
Fortunately this is a common question that people have been pondering for decades. One of the first books published on this topic was from 1960, by a cosmetic surgeon named Dr. Maxwell Martz. He would focus on how long it took people to get used to a new nose or stop missing a ‘phantom limb’ after an amputation. He used these observations from his practice to determine that it took 21 days to build up a habit. His book sold 30 million copies and became the basis for many motivational speakers’ lectures on formation of good habits.
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and Stephens’ Dentistry would love to invite you in for a screening to prevent the disease. While smoking and alcohol are the biggest risk factors; a large segment of oral cancer patients are young, healthy, and nonsmoking individuals due to the prevalence of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The Center for Disease Control estimates that over 80% of the population will be affected by some strand of HPV. While 99% of these infections may be asymptomatic, there is a small chance a virus of this kind could result in oropharyngeal cancer.
Recently there has been some exciting news. As of February 21st, 2017 the WaterPik water flosser was the first powered interdental cleaner to earn the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. While that may not seem like a big deal, the ADA is notoriously stingy to whom they bestow this approval. They require rigorous clinical studies, scientific data, and laboratory testing to meet the ADA’s requirements for safety and efficacy.
For many of our patients we recommend an occlusal guard, also known as a night guard. We would like to take this time to review why a night guard may be recommended for you by your doctor.
We would like to use a comparison help you better understand your teeth. Let’s compare your teeth to tires. When you drive your car you understand that your car has to be properly aligned. When your car, is no longer in the proper alignment, you will start to have wear of the tires over time. That wear will cause one tire to have more pressure on it than another. Meaning, one tire will do more of the work than the overall job that all four tires should be sharing. Now, relate the tires on your car to the teeth in your mouth.
It’s hard to imagine that something you just swish and spit can really benefit your dental health. The RIGHT mouthwash can be one of your BEST defenses against bad breath and tooth decay. With so many varieties, focus on the ingredients when shopping for your mouth wash. While all washes freshen your breath, some do a better job than others. Antibacterial washes containing chlorhexidine or chlorine dioxide-help kill the bacteria that cause bad breath. Unfortunately, chlorhexidine is only available in the US by prescription and long term use can cause your teeth to stain. Other readily available over-the-counter mouth washes can also do the trick. For instance, Listerine, or its generic drugstore equivalent, is great at temporarily killing odor-causing bacteria. Just make sure the active ingredients include: menthol, thymol, methyl salicylate and eucalyptol. In combination, these four oils have an antiseptic effect, and in an ethanol alcohol base, they can break through plaque.
Each of us have suffered from bad breath at one time or another. But it is estimated that forty million Americans suffer from bad breath that never goes away. The medical term for this condition is halitosis. Surprisingly, most people with halitosis are not aware of their problem breath. That’s because our sense of smell has an amazing ability to adjust to odors. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for 90% of oral halitosis. It requires long-term control and management of this condition.
If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I have ever thought about working in a dental office, I probably would have laughed in your face. I never considered the field in all my years of random jobs ranging from: cleaning locker rooms, shampooing hair, taking dry cleaning orders, making appointments at a barber shop or even in my 6+ years in design and marketing. However, after losing my job with an advertising agency in January, all of that changed.
In honor of Youth Sports Safety Month we want to discuss mouth guards and their use for children participating in spring sports. 84% of children don’t wear a mouth guard while playing organized sports. Last year, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation* forecasted that more than 3 million teeth would be knocked out in sporting events. We understand asking children to wear a mouth guard during physical activities can be challenging to a parent. But it is worth the effort.
I have been working at Stephens Dentistry for the past seven years. Through these years I have made wonderful friendships and have learned so much. Leaving Stephens is bittersweet. I will miss my wonderful bosses, co-workers, and patients, but I am looking forward to my future endeavors.