Recent News & Events


Posted January 18, 2017:Winter Tips For A Healthy Mouth: Dealing With Common Winter Mouth Woes

When it's cold outside, exposed skin isn't the only part of your body that can suffer from a drier climate. While you're spending the winter playing in the snow, enjoying the company of extended family and even hiding from a blizzard, some of your favorite activities could wreak havoc on your mouth and lips. Feel free to enjoy winter in as many ways as you can, but being aware of some winter tips for a healthy mouth can ensure that your mouth stays clean into the spring. Watch out for these common cold weather complaints:

Chapped Lips

Ask anyone who just spent a day on the slopes, and they'll say chapped lips isn't the apres-ski ritual they planned. But exposure to wind, cold and sun creates the perfect environment for dry lips. And you don't need to be a skier, either: Simple exposure to the elements can damage the delicate skin on your lips, so keep them protected. Wear a daily lip balm that contains at least SPF 15 and apply it often. You can also stave off chapped lips by drinking plenty of water to hydrate your skin, and installing a humidifier in your home to add a little extra moisture when you sleep.

If you already have chapped lips, keep them super hydrated so they heal faster. Petroleum jelly is a great and inexpensive way to lock in moisture.

Canker Sores

If you notice that you have more canker sores than usual, it might be the result of indulging in your favorite winter treats. Mayo Clinic notes that foods high in acid can be a recipe for canker sores, so if you've been sipping on cider or noshing on spicy treats during the holidays, canker sores can actually set in and ruin your fun.

Of course, completely avoiding acidic and spicy foods can help prevent canker sores, but if you're already suffering, try swishing a mixture of one teaspoon of salt and a half-cup of water to help clean the sores for faster healing. Alcohol-free solutions such as Colgate® Peroxyl® Mouth Sore Rinse can also be used to relieve pain and speed the healing process without irritating sensitive mouths.

What about those who are wearing orthodontic appliances? Check with your orthodontist to ensure they're properly fitted with no protruding wires that can cause irritation.

Cold Sores

Exposure to the harsh winter sun can also cause cold sore breakouts, warns University Health Services of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Spending time outside during the winter can definitely exacerbate cold sores at the worst time possible – holiday pictures, anyone?

When battling cold sores, the best winter tips for a healthy mouth ensure that the skin around your mouth is protected. Continue to use products with SPF of 15 or higher. Try to keep your hands clean as well, in order to avoid the spread of viral bacteria. Stress is also a common cause of oral breakouts. Keeping your stress level down – with work breaks and sufficient nights of sleep – can help to reduce these blemishes over time.

Sensitivity

That surge of pain you feel when biting into cold foods might seem to be ever-present during the cold winter months. Cold temperatures and wind could leave your teeth feeling sore, even when you take measures to avoid foods that have these abrasive qualities. Most people can't avoid cold weather altogether, so brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste, such as Sensodyne or Colgate® Sensitive Pro-Relief™, can keep this irritation suppressed all winter long. Sensitive toothpastes use ingredients that protect the teeth from sensitivity to extreme temperatures so you can enjoy the coldest beverages and seasons without worrying about tender enamel.

Winter should be about celebrating with family, taking advantage of winter sports and enjoying the opportunity to keep warm by the fire – not worrying about oral health. By knowing which mouth woes are most likely to affect you during the colder weather, you can prevent them from derailing your good time.

[From the Colgate Oral Care Center]

Posted October 18, 2016:Celebrate Halloween with us without cavities!

October 24th - 31st HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTEST

Wear your costume to your appointment and enter into our annual Halloween Costume Contest!

November 1st - 11th CANDY BUY BACK

1lb of Candy = $1 Cash

Bring your candy in and trade it in for cash! For every pound of candy you bring into us, we will give you $1 in return!

Posted May 8, 2016:Happy Mother's Day to every special mom out there!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, aunts and grandmothers out there!

As our president Abraham Lincoln stated so wise:

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Posted February 26, 2016:Drink Water and Fight Cavities!

Fluoridation of community water supplies is simply the adjustment of the existing, naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water to an optimal level for the prevention of tooth decay. Think of it this way: Water that has been fortified with fluoride is similar to fortifying milk with Vitamin D, table salt with iodine, and bread and cereals with folic acid.

5 Reasons Why Fluoride in Water is Good for Communities

1.PREVENTS TOOTH DECAY - Fluoride in water is the most efficient way to prevent one of the most common childhood diseases – tooth decay. An estimated 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illness, and one study has shown that children who live in communities without fluoridation are three times more likely to end up in the hospital to undergo dental surgery.

2.PROTECTS ALL AGES FROM CAVITIES - Studies show that fluoride in community water systems prevents at least 25% of tooth decay in children and adults, even in an era with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, such as fluoride toothpaste. Why fluoride is called nature's cavity fighter.

3.SAFE & EFFECTIVE - For 70 years, the best available scientific evidence consistently indicates that community water fluoridation is safe and effective. It has been endorsed by numerous U.S. Surgeons General, and more than 100 health organizations recognize the health benefits of water fluoridation for preventing dental decay, including the CDC, the American Medical Association, the WHO and the American Dental Association.

4.SAVES MONEY - When it comes to the cost of treating dental disease, everyone pays. Not just those who need treatment, but the entire community – through higher health insurance premiums and higher taxes. The average lifetime cost per person to fluoridate a water supply is less than the cost of one dental filling. For most cities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs.

5.IT'S NATURAL - Fluoride is naturally present in groundwater and the oceans. Water fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride to a recommended level for preventing tooth decay. It’s similar to fortifying other foods and beverages, like fortifying salt with iodine, milk with vitamin D, orange juice with calcium and bread with folic acid.

So drink more fluoridated water for healthier teeth!!

Posted December 30, 2015:New year, New you: New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Smile

With the new year approaching, you may have already begun to think about your New Year’s resolutions. You may be considering resolving to save money, get a better job or lose weight. Many people set new goals about having a healthier lifestyle in the new year. Why not make one of your New Year’s resolutions improving your dental health?

Healthy resolutions can keep your teeth healthy, and any of the following strategies will go a long way toward giving you a brighter, healthier smile in the coming year:

1) Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables

Eating well is important for your dental health. Poor nutrition can affect the entire immune system, increasing susceptibility to many common oral disorders, including gum (periodontal) disease. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums. In addition, crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.

2) Quit Smoking or Using Other Tobacco Products

Using tobacco can harm your mouth in a number of ways, increasing your risk for tooth discoloration, cavities, gum recession, gum disease and throat, lung and oral cancer. Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers. It’s not just smoking tobacco that has negative effects on your oral health: use of smokeless tobacco can be just as harmful to your oral health. The good news is that the risk of tooth loss decreases after you quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco.

3) Limit Your Alcohol Intake

You may already know that excessive alcohol intake can have an effect on your overall health, but did you know that it may also affect your oral health? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, those who smoke, eat poorly and consume excessive alcohol also have increased gum recession (periodontal pocketing). Their studies show that smokers who regularly consume alcohol are less likely to brush their teeth on a regular basis and are less concerned about their basic health than nonsmokers.

4) Brush at Least Twice a Day and Floss

at Least Once a Day

Brushing and flossing protect your teeth from decay and gum disease, which is caused by your teeth’s most persistent enemy, plaque – a sticky, colorless, invisible film of harmful bacteria that builds up on your teeth every day. Both brushing and flossing are equally important for good oral health: according to the Academy of General Dentistry, only flossing can remove plaque from between teeth and below the gumline, where decay and gum disease often begins.

Without proper brushing and flossing, you may develop bleeding gums, which may worsen to severely swollen, red, bleeding gums (gingivitis) and, eventually, gum disease. Because diseases of the mouth can affect the rest of your body, it is especially important to maintain good oral health.

5) See Your Dentist for Regular Checkups

By seeing your dentist at least twice a year, you can help prevent any dental health problems before they cause discomfort or require more comprehensive or expensive treatment. Regular visits allow your dentist to monitor your oral health and recommend a dental health regimen to address areas of concern.

For this new year, resolve to treat your mouth right: improve your diet, quit smoking and improve your oral hygiene habits – your teeth and your body will thank you for it!

Posted November 20, 2015:Back Away From the Spiced Latte! But the Pumpkin Can Stay.

It probably comes as no surprise that the Pumpkin Spice Latte is Starbucks’ most popular seasonal drink of all time. Everything about the pumpkin’s color, aroma, and savory flavor screams fall. Every year coffee enthusiasts eagerly await the release of this highly anticipated beverage, then flock to the coffee shop as soon as it becomes available. At least that is how it has gone for the better part of the last 12 years, since its inception in 2003.

But the Pumpkin Spice Latte isn’t your average cup o’ joe. Recently, the beloved libation has come under fire for the large amount of calories (380) and sugar (50g) it contains. Health and fitness professionals are urging people to consume it like they would any other dessert: in moderation. And while most health professionals are worried about the damage the Pumpkin Spice Latte can do to people’s waistlines, dentists are more concerned with the impact it could have on their patients’ teeth.

The bad news is that any way you look at it, the amount of sugar in your beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte, along with the length of time you spend sipping it down, is a recipe for tooth decay. The good news is that you can still satisfy your autumnal craving for pumpkin goodness by preparing and consuming it in different, delicious, healthier ways — and actually improve your dental and overall health while doing it.

Health benefits related to consuming pumpkin are plentiful. This vitamin-packed fruit can please both your nutrition/fitness professional and your dentist by protecting your teeth and whole health. Pumpkin provides:

ZINC: Zinc is your mouth’s best friend. It plays a key role in healing wounds, which does wonders for damaged soft tissues inside your mouth, or gums that are healing from gingivitis-induced bleeding. Zinc is also considered an anti-plaque agent and is added to toothpaste to prevent buildup.

VITAMIN A: Vitamin A aids in the flow of saliva, which is key for washing bacteria from the mouth. It also plays a key role in healing soft tissues.

VITAMIN C: Vitamin C is key for maintaining a healthy immune system and fighting off infections. It’s good for your mouth and your overall health.

MAGNESIUM: Magnesium and calcium work together to create strong, protective enamel that can resist decay. Without the proper amount of Magnesium in your diet, your enamel becomes soft and susceptible to cavities.

FIBER: Pumpkins are packed with fiber, which is important for maintaining excellent overall health. Fiber helps with weight control, and fiber-rich foods help stimulate the flow of saliva (your best natural defense against tooth decay).

If you are looking for a way to get your pumpkin fix this season while keeping your teeth and physique fit, minimize or eliminate the sugar. Consider replacing your daily spiced latte with these healthy pumpkin preparations:

Pumpkin Seeds: From the store or straight from the gourd, these baked snacks are packed with flavor and good-for-your-teeth vitamins. They are easy to prepare and pack for lunch or an in-between-meal snack.

Pumpkin Smoothie: Incorporate canned pumpkin into your breakfast or workout smoothie. It pairs well with coconut milk and almond butter. Throw in some pumpkin spice and maple syrup and your morning meal will be transformed into a healthy liquid version of the traditional pumpkin pie.

Baked Pumpkin: You can make a tasty meal out of pumpkin by simply baking it with cinnamon and adding a little bit of butter. Pumpkin works as the main course but is also perfect as a side dish.

Pumpkin Seed Oil: One easy way to enjoy the health benefits that pumpkin has to offer is by incorporating pumpkin seed oil into your cooking. It adds a nutty seasonal taste to whatever dish you are preparing and is perfect for keeping you in that seasonal holiday mood.

Being dedicated to your physical and dental health doesn’t mean swearing off the Pumpkin Spice Latte for good. It just means taming your daily addiction and satisfying your pumpkin craving with snacks and dishes that are low in sugar and high in vitamin-rich goodness.

Posted July 29, 2015:5% OFF of all Unfinished Treatment Plans

Just like one bad apple can ruin the whole batch, one compromised tooth (ie. cavity) can ruin your whole smile. When a cavity is not filled, it can lead to a complete loss of that tooth, which then will affect your bite. The way you eat, and the way you speak will all be affected.

Don't leave your treatment plans unfinished, diagnosed by your doctor, call us today to schedule your treatment: (301) 515-5100

Posted July 20, 2015:Make Dentist Visits the Rule for Back-To-School

Along with an annual physical, clothes and backpacks, all dental professionals suggest adding a visit to the dentist to your child's back-to-school list this fall.

Dental professionals recommend biannual (once every 6 months) visits for most children, and the end of summer is an ideal time because it follows a season in which kids have indulged in treats like soda, ice cream and cotton candy.

"The school day is no time for a child to be distracted by tooth pain," says Dr. Bill Kohn, Delta Dental's vice president for dental science and policy. "Timing a dental visit for just prior to going back to school helps ensure that a child won't be distracted by dental disease or pain in class. In addition, the dentist can provide age-appropriate wellness guidance and advice. It's also the perfect time to get a mouthguard made for those participating in fall sports."

A dental visit is important because a dentist can diagnose potential oral health problems such as tooth decay or gum disease and apply preventive measures as needed, including teeth cleaning, fluoride treatment, dental sealants, and instruction on good dental hygiene habits. Making sure children get a clean bill of oral health before the school year allows them to return to class flashing a happy and healthy smile. Conversely, untreated dental problems can be painful and embarrassing, and can harm a child's educational and social development. In 2007, for example, the State of California estimated that seven percent of their more than seven million schoolchildren (504,000) missed at least one day of school because of a dental problem.

Unfortunately, access to sufficient dental care is not nearly what it needs to be for children from poor and uninsured families. A study from the Pew Center on the States found that 2/3rd of all states in the U.S. do not have adequate policies in place to ensure access to proper preventive dentistry, particularly for those children that lack appropriate access to care. Instead, programs like mobile dental units that visit schools and school-based dental sealant programs are playing a critical part in improving the oral health and quality of life of low-income, American children.

Regardless, good oral health for children starts at home with proper dental hygiene and diet. The daily one-two punch of brushing 2x with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once is still the foundation for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Very young children (ages 1 to 5) are particularly prone to tooth decay and parents should supervise (or actually brush) to make sure they do a good job. A diet light on sugary snacks and drinks and rich in fruits and vegetables goes a long way toward maintaining good oral and overall health.

Schedule your kid's dental cleaning to be prepared for school this fall, call us today at (301) 515-5100!

Posted June 25, 2015:Why is Oral Health Important for Men?

Men are less likely than women to take care of their physical health and, according to surveys and studies, their oral health is equally ignored. Good oral health recently has been linked with longevity. Yet, one of the most common factors associated with infrequent dental checkups is just being male.... Men are less likely than women to seek preventive dental care and often neglect their oral health for years, visiting a dentist only when a problem arises. When it comes to oral health, statistics show that the average man brushes his teeth 1.9 times a day and will lose 5.4 teeth by age 72. If he smokes, he can plan on losing 12 teeth by age 72. Men are also more likely to develop oral and throat cancer and periodontal (gum) disease.

Why Is Periodontal Disease A Problem?

Periodontal disease is a result of plaque, which hardens into a rough, porous substance called tartar. The acids produced and released by bacteria found in tartar irritate gums. These acids cause the breakdown of fibers that anchor the gums tightly to the teeth, creating periodontal pockets that fill with even more bacteria. Researchers have found a connection between gum disease and cardiovascular disease, which can place people at risk for heart attacks and strokes. See your dentist if you have any of these symptoms:

- Bleeding gums during brushing

- Red, swollen or tender gums

- Persistent bad breath

- Loose or separating teeth

Do You Take Medications?

Since men are more likely to suffer from heart attacks, they also are more likely to be on medications that can cause dry mouth. If you take medication for the heart or blood pressure, or if you take antidepressants, your salivary flow could be inhibited, increasing the risk for cavities. Saliva helps to reduce the cavity-causing bacteria found in your mouth.

Do You Use Tobacco?

If you smoke or chew, you have a greater risk for gum disease and oral cancer. Men are affected twice as often as women, and 95 percent of oral cancers occur in those over 40 years of age.

The most frequent oral cancer sites are the tongue, the floor of the mouth, soft palate tissues in back of the tongue, lips and gums. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, irreparable facial and oral disfigurement following surgery and even death. More than 8,000 people die each year from oral and pharyngeal diseases. If you use tobacco, it is important to see a dentist frequently for cleanings and to ensure your mouth remains healthy. Your dentist can perform a thorough screening for oral cancer.

Do You Play Sports?

If you participate in sports, you have a greater potential for trauma to your mouth and teeth. If you play contact sports, such as football, soccer, basketball and even baseball, it is important to use a mouthguard, which is a flexible appliance made of plastic that protects teeth from trauma. If you ride bicycles or motorcycles, wear a helmet.

Good oral health practices are equally important for both men, women and children. Visiting the dentist on a regular basis and keeping both your teeth and gums healthy are not just necessary for your appearance, but also for your overall health. So don't wait to finish that treatment plan or schedule an overdue exam and cleaning, call us today at (301) 515 - 5100.

Posted June 3, 2015:How Does What I Eat Affect My Oral Health?

You may be able to prevent 2 of the Most Common Diseases of Modern Civilization, tooth decay (caries) and periodontal (gum) disease, simply by improving your diet!

Decay results when the teeth and other hard tissues of the mouth are destroyed by acid products from oral bacteria. Certain foods and food combinations are linked to higher levels of cavity-causing bacteria. Although poor nutrition does not directly cause gum disease, many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is more severe in patients whose diet does not supply the necessary nutrients.

Poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, thereby increasing your risk for many other diseases. People with lowered immune systems have been shown to be at higher risk for gum disease. Additionally, research shows a link between oral health and systemic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So eating a variety of foods as part of a well-balanced diet may not only improve your dental health, but increasing fiber and vitamin intake may also reduce the risk of other diseases.

Planning Meals and Snacks to Better Oral Health:

1) Eat a well-balanced diet characterized by moderation and variety. Develop eating habits that follow the recommendations from reputable health organizations such as the American Dietetic Association and the National Institutes of Health. Choose foods from the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products and meat, chicken, fish or beans. Avoid fad diets that limit or eliminate entire food groups, which usually result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

2) Always keep your mouth moist by drinking lots of water. Saliva protects both hard and soft oral tissues. If you have a dry mouth, supplement your diet with sugarless candy or gum to stimulate saliva.

3) Foods that cling to your teeth promote tooth decay. So when you snack, avoid soft, sweet, sticky foods such as cakes, candy and dried fruits. Instead, choose dentally healthy foods such as nuts, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese and sugarless gum or candy.

4) When you eat fermented carbohydrates, such as crackers, cookies and chips, eat them as part of your meal, instead of by themselves. Combinations of foods neutralize acids in the mouth and inhibit tooth decay. For example, enjoy cheese with your crackers. Your snack will be just as satisfying and better for your dental health. One caution: malnutrition (bad nutrition) can result from too much nourishment as easily as too little. Each time you eat, you create an environment for oral bacteria to develop. Additionally, studies are showing that dental disease is just as related to overeating as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and hypertension. So making a habit of eating too much of just about anything, too frequently, should be avoided.

When Should I Consult My Dentist About My Nutritional Status?

Always ask your dentist if you're not sure how your diet may affect your oral health. Conditions such as tooth loss, pain or joint dysfunction can impair chewing, those on restrictive diets and those who are undergoing medical treatment should be told to your dentist. If you have any questions about your, or your family's nutrition, give us a call at (301) 515-5100.

Posted May 29, 2015:Oral Warning Signs Can Indicate Serious Medical Conditions

Regular dental exams not only help to decrease a patient's risk of oral diseases, such as cavities and periodontal (gum) disease, but they may also help to diagnose other, sometimes life-threatening, medical conditions.

Dentists are able to assess a patient's overall oral health and may recognize symptoms of serious diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and eating disorders, which often manifest as signs and symptoms inside of the mouth.

DIABETES

More than 25 million people in the United States alone suffer from diabetes.

Because diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection, the gums are at risk for gingivitis, an inflammation usually caused by the presence of bacteria in plaque. Additionally, those with diabetes can experience high incidences of oral fungal infections and persistent bad breath.

ORAL CANCER

Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers, with approximately 35,000 new cases reported annually in the United States.

Indicators of oral cancer may include bleeding sores, lumps, or thick, hard spots, as well as changes in the way teeth fit together.

Oral cancer is sometimes difficult to self-diagnose, so routine dental exams are recommended. A dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks, and oral cavity and thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for any sores or discolored tissues.

EATING DISORDERS

Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, can rob the body of much-needed vitamins and minerals. Without proper nutrition, the gums can lose their healthy pink color and become increasingly soft and tender, bleeding easily.

Disorders that involve excessive vomiting, such as bulimia, can cause discoloration and erosion of the teeth due to constant contact with acid from the stomach. People who have eating disorders also may experience swollen salivary glands, dry mouth, sensitive teeth, and loss of tooth enamel.

Diseases negatively impact your general health, but they also can damage your oral health. Regularly scheduled dental exams allow dentists to detect or monitor your health.

Patients should always inform their dentists about any and all medical conditions and medicines that may affect their health.

Remember, maintaining a healthy body includes taking care of your oral health. So give us a call today to a healthier you!

Posted May 20, 2015:Important Facts About Women's Oral Health Throughout Their Lifetime

Women can attribute bloating, irritability, moodiness, and the occasional hot flash or emotional outburst to hormones. But, according to an article in the May 2009 issue by the Academy of General Dentistry, the state of one's oral health is hormone-dependent as well.

Hormonal changes occur throughout a woman's life, and related to these hormonal changes are changes in oral health. Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause all can have an effect on a woman's oral health.

During PUBERTY, fluctuations in hormones can make gums more susceptible to gingivitis. As a result, the gums may appear red and swollen, and they can bleed.

During MENSTRUATION, women who have a tendency to develop canker sores and cold sores may develop a pattern in which these sores recur during every menstrual cycle.

During PREGNANCY, gingivitis may develop. In fact, gingivitis is the most common oral condition associated with being pregnant. Also during pregnancy, the chemical composition of saliva changes, thus reducing saliva's antimicrobial capacity. Sometimes, however, women will avoid dental checkups for fear that treatment might harm the developing baby. In fact, untreated decayed teeth can put a mother and her baby at risk for infection.

Some women also experience dry mouth while pregnant. And since too little saliva can make you prone to cavity formation, it's important to alert your dentist to this symptom. Drinking frequent sips of water and using toothpaste which does not contain sodium laurel sulfate, a drying agent, can help. It's also important to avoid mouth rinses containing alcohol as they can be very drying.

MENOPAUSE can be accompanied by a number of oral conditions. Symptoms can include dry mouth, altered taste perception, pain, and burning sensations. Patients with these symptoms should see their dentist to rule out any other cause for their condition as well as receive recommendations for treatment.

Together, a patient and her dentist can create a treatment and prevention plan that will specifically meet her needs...during the period of time that she needs it. For more information, please give us a call at (301) 515-5100.

Posted May 13, 2015:Asthma and Your Oral Health

Asthmatic adults and children have a tendency to be mouth breathers, which when combined with asthma medications, such as corticosteriods, causes a decreased saliva flow, known as dry mouth. Without saliva's cleansing effects, asthma patients are at HIGHER RISK for CAVITIES and BAD BREATH. In those that aren't vigilant about brushing and flossing, gums can become inflamed, oftentimes leading to gum disease.

Also, asthma inhalers may irritate the back roof of the mouth, causing a reddish lesion, which creates an infection that if ignored, can spread and affect the throat and rest of the mouth.

Patients who have a history of asthma and experience dental anxiety need to tell their dentist about their disease. Doing so can help prevent an asthmatic attack during dental procedures.

If you have asthma:

- Inform dentist of your condition

- Explain if your asthma is controlled

- Inform your dentist of all asthma and other medications

- After inhaler use, rinse your mouth with water

- Ask you dentist about sealants

- Be vigilant about brushing and flossing

Posted April 22, 2015:5 Ways to Whiten Your Teeth...Naturally!

From at-home whitening strips and trays to in-office professional treatments, it may be more confusing than ever to whiten your teeth. If you're having trouble making a dental decision, these 5 food tips will help whiten your teeth naturally.

1) STRAWBERRIES - Containing malic acid, strawberries work as a natural astringent to remove discoloration from the surface of your teeth.

2) CELERY - Not only does celery's crunch force you to chew it longer, which produces saliva that neutralizes Streptococcus (a bacteria that causes cavities), but it's also a natural abrasive that massages your gums and cleans between teeth.

3) CHEESE - Surprise, surprise...not only do they taste good, but cheese has a number of tooth-boosting benefits. It helps to balance the pH levels in your mouth (which controls the growth of bacteria), aids in the production of saliva and preserves/rebuilds enamel (your tooth surface).

4) PINEAPPLE - Pineapple is the only food that naturally contains bromelain, a compound with anti-inflammatory and cleaning properties that are actually found in stain-removing toothpastes! So it stands to reason that eating pineapples will aid in the natural whitening process.

5) GREEN TEA - You've heard the term "superfood", but we'd like to think that green tea is a "superdrink." In addition to its multiple health benefits (all those antioxidants), green tea is also good for your teeth. It contains catechins, which help kill the bacteria in your mouth that makes plaque. They can also improve bad breath. So drink to that!

BUT, it's always important to remember that no matter what you eat or drink, good oral hygiene is best way to prevent stains and keep your smile bright!

Call us for more information (301) 515 - 5100.

Posted April 15, 2015:Why Swimming Pool Rules Protect Your Smile

Did you know that swimming pool accidents are the #1 dental emergencies during the summer?

Following the rules and remembering dental first aid steps can help save your teeth the next time you dive into a swimming pool.

Oftentimes, swimming underwater and quickly coming to the surface causes some children to hit the hard ledge, loosening the front tooth and leading to trauma.

Also, running on slippery, slick cement and ceramic pool surfaces sends many children headfirst into the ground, often causing chipped or displaced teeth. Diving into shallow waters and hitting the bottom pushes the tooth up and can even fracture the whole bone!

Follow these simple first aid steps for a tooth that has been either knocked loose or knocked out:

1) If a tooth is knocked loose, gently push the tooth back into its original position, bite down so the tooth does not move and call your dentist or visit the emergency room.

2) For an avulsed (knocked out) tooth, pick up the tooth by the crown, not by the root – handling the root (the part of the tooth below the gum) may damage the cells necessary for bone reattachment. If the tooth cannot be replaced in its socket on site, do not let the tooth dry out. Place it in a container with a lid and use milk or saliva. Visit the dentist as soon as possible – the longer the tooth is out of the mouth, the less likely the tooth will be able to be saved.

Prevention is key, and being prepared for accidents is always recommended.

PACK A SWIM-TRIP EMERGENCY KIT:

- Dentist's phone number

- Handkerchief

- Gauze

- Small container with a lid

- Ibuprofen (Not aspirin. Aspirin is an anticoagulant, which may cause excessive bleeding in a dental emergency.)

For more information how you can keep yourself and your children safe this summer, give us a call at (301) 515 - 5100.

Posted April 8, 2015:Fast-paced Lifestyle Eroding Teens' Teeth

As quick meals in the form of "nutrition" bars and carbonated beverages help keep teens alert and on schedule between school, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs, today's fast-paced lifestyle threatens to leave a generation with permanent damage to oral and overall health.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), premature loss of tooth enamel and weakening of overall tooth structure are two devastating oral effects of teens' poor diet that cannot be reversed later in life.

Adolescence is the time of peak bone growth, a time when more nutrient-packed calories are essential to fuel growing bodies and strengthen teeth and bones, however adolescence is the same time when soda and sugary, high-carbohydrate foods are rapidly displacing healthy foods such as milk, fruits and vegetables.

The easy access of sugary beverages and foods from home to school and everywhere in between has compromised the health of teens' teeth and helped fuel the national obesity epidemic.

Drinking carbonated beverages has also been proven to be one of the most significant causes of increased cavities and obesity for today's teens. 15% of all American adolescents aged 6-19 are overweight. And this number is expected to increase. Why? 10% of overweight preschool-age children aged 2-5 are becoming addicted to caffeine and sugar, which makes it even harder for them to stop unhealthy habits such as drinking soda throughout the day.

The phosphoric, citric, tartaric and carbonic acids in soda are linked to the breakdown of tooth enamel around dental sealants and restorations, further compromising teens' teeth and leading to more extensive dental treatment to prevent total tooth loss.

SOFT DRINKS and BONE DENSITY

The phosphoric acid in most regular and diet cola drinks limits calcium absorption and has a direct influence on bone density. By age 16, girls have accumulated 90-97% of their bone mass, making adequate calcium intake vital. However, national statistics show only 19% of girls aged 9-19 are getting the recommended 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day.

Research also confirms a direct link between soft drink consumption and bone fractures in teenage girls.

These girls are at an extreme risk for developing osteoporosis, and already exhibiting symptoms of this disease in their teen years. Early education on the importance of calcium consumption is key to reversing this trend.

For more information on how to protect your teeth through your diet, call us at (301) 515 - 5100.

Posted March 11, 2015:Living in a Sugar Culture

Naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth loves to devour sugar, creating acids that attack tooth enamel. The acids can then lead to decay, as well as a host of other problems, including gingivitis.

Living in a culture that moves as quickly as ours, it's easy to bypass a nutritious diet in favor of a diet comprised of fast food and/or snacks high in sugar. The detrimental effects of this lifestyle are clear. More than 25% of children between the ages of 2 and 5 have experienced tooth decay, and almost 80% of young people have had at least one cavity by age 17.

"We live in a high-stress society and fast food offers a quick fix," says Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Maria A. Smith, DMD, MAGD.

An overabundance of sugar is not only detrimental to oral health, but also the rest of the body's well-being. For example, the average 12-ounce can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar; and many manufacturers incorporate sugar into their foods to help ensure a return purchase.

Today, the average person consumes approximately 150 pounds of sugar/year, or about 40 teaspoons/day. It's not only our culture that defines the amount of sugar we consume, but also a lack of education on how much sugar we consume every day – especially when it comes to children and the elderly. Parents may believe they are doing right by feeding their children processed fruit juice or raisins, however products such as these are mostly sugar. Processed foods also can be harmful because of the low-nutrition and high-sugar content. Substituting these products for fresh fruits and vegetables is a better option.

"People don't realize how many high-content sugar products are out there," Dr. Smith says. "Education is the key to creating a nutritious diet." Visiting the dentist twice a year is a good way to maintain oral health and learn how to curb an excessive sugar intake. Additionally, eating an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables and carefully reading nutrition content labels can curb sugar intake.

For more information about the detriments of sugar in your diet and how we can help, call us at (301) 515 - 5100.

Posted February 18, 2015:Something Bad to Chew On

Just because you're old enough to know better, it doesn't mean you will not pick up bad habits. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common, and usually unrecognized, nightly routine that often develops in adults.

Bruxing is the involuntary gnashing or grinding of teeth. It's frequently done unconsciously while sleeping and is often associated with emotional stress.

The challenge for both dentists and patients is to get bruxers to recognize the habit before irreversible damage occurs. Despite showing many symptoms, such as awakening with tired jaws and headaches or flattened teeth and tooth pain, many patients are unaware that they grind their teeth.

Studies show that grinding can lead to crumbling teeth, chronic headaches and constant jaw pain. In addition to grinding teeth, bruxers may also bite their fingernails, pencils and chew the inside of their cheek. People usually aren't diagnosed with bruxism until it is too late, as many people don't realize they have the habit. Others mistakenly believe that their teeth must touch at all times. About 1 in 3 people suffer from bruxism, which can easily be treated by a dentist through custom night guards.

For more information about Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) and how we can help you if you are bruxer, give us a call at (301) 216 - 1780.

Posted February 7, 2015:MOUTH OFF TO CANCER

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30,000 NEW cases of oral cancer are diagnosed EACH YEAR, and more than 8,000 DEATHS occur annually. The 5-year survival rate for oral cancers is roughly only 50%.

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recommends that patients receive a dental exam every 6 months. Dental exams not only help to decrease a patient's risk of oral diseases, such as cavities and periodontal (gum) disease, but they also may help to diagnose other, sometimes life-threatening, medical conditions, such as oral cancer.

The next time you visit your dentist, ask for an oral cancer screening. Your dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks, and oral cavity and thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for any sores or discolored tissues. Although you may have already been receiving this screening from your dentist, it's a good idea to confirm that this screening is a part, and will remain a part of your regular exam.

Although oral cancer is sometimes difficult to self-diagnose, warning signs may include bleeding sores; sores that do not heal; lumps; thick, hard spots; soreness or feeling that something is caught in the throat; difficulty chewing or swallowing; ear pain; difficulty moving the jaw or tongue; hoarseness; and numbness of the tongue, as well as changes in the way teeth fit together.

If it is not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can be deadly. Treatment for advanced stage oral cancer may lead to chronic pain, loss of function, permanent facial and oral disfigurement following surgery. So, the earlier the cancer is detected and treated, the better the outcome.

Scientists are not sure of the exact cause of oral cancer. However, risk factors include: tobacco use, excessive alcohol use, age, gender (oral cancer strikes men twice as often as it does women), and race (oral cancer occurs more frequently in African Americans than it does in Caucasians). New research has uncovered a connection between the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, and oral cancer.

In addition to a physical exam, Highlands Dental Care also provides the latest technology used in Oral Cancer Screenings. VelScope is able to detect what the eye cannot see. For a VelScope screening, just ask the next time you have an appointment!

Posted October 3, 2014:FALL into Great Savings

Do you have any unfinished treatment plans? Well now is the best tim to get it done!

Like clockwork, your insurance deductible and your Flexible Savings Account (FSA) will restart EVERY calendar year. What does that mean for you? So, if you have any money left over in your FSA, it WILL BE LOST. There are NO REFUNDS and NO ROLL-OVER PLANS.

And so...IF YOU DON'T USE IT, YOU WILL LOOSE IT!

Don't let your hard earned money go to waste! Use it towards your oral health and treat yourself to that healthy, beautiful smile you have always wanted this holiday season!

Posted September 19, 2014:PLAY IT SAFE: Prevent Facial Injuries With Simple Sports Safety Precautions

According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF), in just last year, there have been MORE THAN 3 MILLION TEETH knocked out during a sporting event. It was also reported that ATHLETES WHO DON'T WEAR MOUTH GUARDS are 60 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO INJURE THEIR TEETH. Yet, in a survey by the AAO, 67% of parents admitted that their children do not wear a mouth guard during organized sports.

This raises a question: If mouth guards offer a simple and relatively inexpensive solution to help dramatically decrease the risk of oral injuries, why aren’t more kids wearing them? At a time when a good football helmet or hockey stick may cost $200 each, mouth guards can be one of the least expensive pieces of protective equipment available.

Your dental professional can recommend the best mouth guard for every sports activity. A properly fitted mouth guard (one customized for your teeth) can prevent many accidents and traumatic injuries.

So, wear a mouth guard when playing any contact sports, like football or hockey. Mouth guards can help prevent injury to a person’s jaw, mouth and teeth and they are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury. We can make you a customized mouthguard that will be both protective and comfortable.

Make an appointment today (301) 515 - 5100 to set up a time for us to help you or your child protect your teeth!

Posted September 9, 2014:HALLOWEEN CAN BE SCARY...ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS' TEETH!

Your kids may be ready to indulge in sweet treats this Halloween, but don't let the holiday turn into an oral health nightmare. To keep your children's smiles safe from creepy cavities this season and all year-round, consider these tips from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

1) DON'T GET STUCK –

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), sticky, and chewy candies are the most cavity-causing culprits. For examples, gummies, taffy, caramel all get stuck in the pits and grooves of teeth, where it's nearly impossible for saliva to wash them away. The longer that candy remains stuck in the teeth, the higher the risk of developing cavities. So encourage children to brush their teeth following candy consumption. And iff a toothbrush isn't handy, give them a glass of water to help swish away the sugars.

If the candy is sour, however, hold off on the brushing. Sour candy is likely acidic, so it's best to wait at least 30-60 min before brushing. The action of brushing can actually spread the acid onto more tooth surfaces, increasing its erosive action on tooth enamel.

2) EAT, THEN TREAT –

On Halloween night, allow children to enjoy a few pieces of candy, but ONLY AFTER they've eaten a nutritious meal. Why? Chewing during a meal increases saliva, which has protective enzymes and minerals to cleanse the teeth and protect against cavities. Plus, eating before treating will give kids nice full tummies, tummies that might have a little less room for candy.

3) DO YOUR PART –

When trick-or-treaters visit your home, pass out teeth-friendly treats. For instance, sugar-free lollipops, hard candies, and chewing gum are better options than their sugary alternatives.

Sugar-free gum can actually can help prevent cavities. Not only does it dislodge food particles from between the teeth, but it also increases saliva to help wash away the sugars."

4) BRUSHING BASICS –

No matter what season it is, kids should be brushing their teeth for 2 min/2x/day and flossing once a day. It's especially important to brush before bedtime. Otherwise, sugars will linger on the teeth all night long, increasing their risk of cavities

For more information on how to protect your kids' teeth this Halloween, give us a call at (301) 515 - 5100.

PS. Don't forget...we will be hosting our annual CANDY-BUY BACK this year again: 1lb candy for $1. So bring in your extra candy and earn some cash!!!

Posted August 18, 2014:Start Off The School Year Right!

Did you know that students miss more than 51 million school hours per year* because of dental problems or related conditions. Dental pain can distract students, cause their schoolwork to suffer or even lead to school absences. Children and adolescents with healthy teeth have better attendance, are more attentive in class and tend to participate more fully in school-related activities.

To start the school year off on the right tooth, and prevent oral-health-related absences, teach your student to floss once a day and brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Beware of frequent snacking, as repeated exposure to sugary or starchy snacks can increase the risk for cavities. And most important, VISIT YOUR DENTIST TWICE A YEAR. Your dentist provides an ongoing oral health assessment and can help your student prevent cavities and school absences.

Call us today to schedule a Back-to-School Exam & Cleaning!

(301) 515 - 5100

*U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, 2000.

Posted July 29, 2014:ORAL WARNING SIGNS CAN INDICATE SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITIONS

Regular dental exams not only help to decrease a patient's risk of oral diseases, such as cavities and gum disease, but they may also help to diagnose other, sometimes life-threatening, medical conditions.

Dentists are able to assess a patient's overall oral health and may recognize symptoms of serious diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and eating disorders, which often manifest as signs and symptoms inside of the mouth.

DIABETES - More than 25 million people in the United States alone suffer from diabetes.

"Because diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection, the gums are at risk for gingivitis, an inflammation usually caused by the presence of bacteria in plaque," says Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) spokesperson Julie Ann Barna, DMD, MAGD. "Additionally, those with diabetes can experience high incidences of oral fungal infections and persistent bad breath."

ORAL CANCER - Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers, with approximately 35,000 new cases reported annually in the United States.

The AGD specifies that indicators of oral cancer may include:

- bleeding sores,

- lumps,

- thick, hard spots,

- and changes in the way teeth fit together.

Oral cancer is sometimes difficult to self-diagnose, so routine dental exams are recommended. A dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks, and oral cavity and thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for any sores or discolored tissues. In addition, new technology, such as VELscope can detect oral and throat cancer with a simple screening.

EATING DISORDERS - Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, can rob the body of much-needed vitamins and minerals. Without proper nutrition, the gums can lose their healthy pink color and become increasingly soft and tender, bleeding easily.

Disorders that involve excessive vomiting, such as bulimia, can cause discoloration and erosion of the teeth due to constant contact with acid from the stomach. People who have eating disorders also may experience swollen salivary glands, dry mouth, sensitive teeth, and loss of tooth enamel.

Diseases negatively impact your general health, but they also can damage your oral health. Regularly scheduled dental exams allow dentists to detect or monitor your health. Remember, maintaining a healthy body includes taking care of your oral health!

Call us today to schedule your dental exam or for more info on how regular visits to the dentist can help prevent even more serious health conditions: (301) 515 - 5100.

Posted July 21, 2014:LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE

Laughter is so much a part of us that even babies can laugh well before then can walk or speak. And mirthful laughter – the kind associated with humor – can help keep you healthy and happier.

Laughter can actually reduce the amount of stress hormones your body releases; these hormones can have a detrimental effect on your heart and other areas of your body. In fact, research shows that good humor and laughter may:

- Induce Relaxation

- Boost the Immune System

- Cheer up a Blue Mood

- Decrease Fear and Anxiety

- Help people Cope with illnesses

- Reduce your risk for Heart Disease & Heart Attack

- Laughing provides healthy stimulation for your heart & blood vessels

If you're someone who doesn't laugh as much as you'd like, you have a number of ways to get started on your own adventure toward a better sense of humor:

- Get a "Dose" of humor. Stop sitting around waiting for someone or something funny to come your way–go out and get it! Rent a funny movie, hang out with a silly pal, read a funny book, make time for you favorite sitcom or check out the local stand-up comedy show. Do whatever it takes to tickle your funny bone.

- Laugh down memory lane. Even if today isn't funny, you probably have some amusing memories. Revisit those times. If possible, take this trip down memory lane in the company of people who can share your laughter.

If you can embrace the funnier side of life despite stress, your busy schedule and anything else that may be getting you down, you may laugh your way to better health!

Let us help you make you laugh by giving you the BEAUTIFUL SMILE you have always dreamed of! Call us at (301) 515 - 5100 for more information or to make an appointment.

Posted July 7, 2014:Energy & Sports Drinks Responsible for Irreversible Tooth Damage

A recent study published by the Academy of General Dentistry, found that an alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth—specifically, the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth.

Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance or energy levels, and that they are ‘better' for them than soda. But what most don't realize is that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth in acid.

Researchers examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and 9 energy drinks. They found that the acidity levels can vary between brands of beverages and flavors of the same brand. To test the effect of the acidity levels, the researchers immersed samples of human tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes, followed by immersion in artificial saliva for 2 hours. This cycle was repeated 4 times/day for 5 days, and the samples were stored in fresh artificial saliva at all other times.

The researchers found that damage to enamel was evident after only 5 days of exposure to sports/energy drinks, although energy drinks showed a significantly greater potential to damage teeth than sports drinks. In fact, the authors found that ENERGY DRINKS CAUSED TWICE AS MUCH DAMAGE TO TEETH AS SPORTS DRINKS.

With a reported 30-50% of U.S. teens consuming energy drinks, and as many as 62% consuming at least 1 sports drink/day, it is important to educate parents and young adults about the downside of these drinks. Damage caused to tooth enamel is irreversible, and without the protection of enamel, teeth become overly sensitive, prone to cavities, and more likely to decay.

Our dentists recommend that patients minimize their intake of sports/energy drinks, and also to chew sugar-free gum or rinse the mouth with water following consumption of the drinks. Doing so will increase the saliva flow, which naturally helps the mouth to return the acidity levels to normal.

Also, patients should wait at least 1 hour to brush their teeth after consuming sports and energy drinks. Otherwise, they will be spreading acid onto the tooth surfaces, increasing the erosive action.

For more information, call us today at (301) 216 - 1780.

Posted July 1, 2014:Diabetes and Oral Care

Many people who have diabetes are unaware of it. What they also don’t know is that a routine dental exam can uncover the presence of this disease. Dentists play an important role in spotting undiagnosed diabetes and helping to manage the dental effects of the disease. Early detection is important because when left untreated, diabetes can lead to a number of serious health complications, including kidney disease, heart disease and stroke, nerve damage, blindness, and death.

HOW IS DIABETES RELATED TO ORAL HEALTH?

Diabetes is a risk factor for developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. That's because a diabetic's high blood sugar levels lead to greater levels of sugars and acids in the mouth. Diabetic people may experience more severe gum disease because diabetes lowers the body's ability to resist infection and slows healing. At the same time, gum disease can make diabetes more difficult to control. Gum disease is an infection that can make it harder to control blood sugar levels throughout the body. This puts diabetics at increased risk for diabetic complications.

HOW MANY AMERICANS HAVE DIABETES?

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association indicate that 17 million people in the United States have diabetes and that more than five million people are not aware that they have the disease. In addition, 54 million people may be pre-diabetic.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ORAL HEALTHY?

Early symptoms of gum and teeth infections in diabetic persons are decreased saliva, dry mouth, and a burning mouth or tongue. Diabetes may cause the gums to pull away from the teeth and eventually loosen and fall out.

WHAT DENTAL CARE IS RECOMMENDED FOR DIABETICS?

Good oral health care is especially important for people with diabetes and those who might be pre-diabetic. Diabetic people should brush their teeth every morning and evening with fluoride toothpaste. If possible, they should also brush after all meals and snacks. Flossing at least once a day is mandatory in order to remove plaque between the teeth, which is not removed by brushing. Using an anti-bacterial mouthwash is recommended. Diabetic patients should get professional dental cleanings every 6 ever.

To learn more, give us a call at (301) 515 - 5100

Posted June 24, 2014:Keeping Your Teeth Safe Playing Sports

If your child plays sports, you might worry about sprained ankles and broken arms. But what about your child's teeth?

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests wearing a mouth guard during sports with any risk of injury – basketball, football and even gymnastics.

A tumble off the balance beam or a wild baseball pitch could cut a lip or knock out a tooth. But a mouth guard can protect your child's teeth, tongue, lips and cheeks.

Most sports stores sell soft plastic mouth guards that fit over the upper teeth. However, your dentist can create a custom fitted mouth guard that protect both the upper and lower teeth. These are more costly, but offer better fit and protection.

A mouth guard should be comfortable. It shouldn't make it hard to talk or breathe. Call us today about finding the right mouth guard for your child!

(301) 515 - 5100

Posted June 16, 2014:What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is the pain you may feel when you eat or drink hot or cold foods or drinks. You may also feel pain when you breathe in cold air.

Sensitivity can happen when gums pull away from the teeth or when gum tissue is lost. Gum loss can occur as a result of brushing too hard or not brushing and flossing regularly.

When gum loss occurs, the part of the tooth below the gumline can be exposed. This is called the tooth root. There are tiny tunnels that contain fluid and lead from the tooth root to the tooth's nerve center. This nerve center is called the pulp. When heat or cold touches these tunnels, the tooth fluid can excite the nerve, causing pain in your teeth.Sensitivity can also happen if the tooth's hard surface layer, called enamel, gets worn away.

Tooth sensitivity can come and go, but ignoring it can lead to other health problems in your mouth.

THESE FACTORS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO TOOTH SENSITIVITY:

1) BRUSHING TOO HARD OR USING A TOOTHBRUSH W/HARD BRISTLES - This can cause gum loss.

2) SUGARY & ACIDIC FOODS/DRINKS - Cola/soda, fruit juices, and sugary snacks can contribute to cavities, which may cause sensitivity.

3) TEETH GRINDING - This can wear down tooth surfaces.

4) DENTAL CLEANINGS & TREATMENT - Sensitivity can happen after dental cleanings or treatments like tooth whitening. It usually goes away shortly after treatment ends. If you have any concerns, talk to your dental team.

HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO PREVENT SENSITIVITY:

1) Brush and floss your teeth twice a day to prevent gum loss

2) Be sure to clean all parts of your mouth, including between teeth and along the gumline.

3) Brush gently and use a toothbrush with soft bristles.

This will help prevent gum loss and protect your enamel from being worn away.

4) Avoid acidic foods and drinks.

5) If you still have sensitivity, talk to your dental team. They may have other suggestions.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT TOOTH SENSITIVITY

1) Tooth sensitivity is the pain you may feel when you eat or drink hot or cold foods or drinks.

2) Sensitivity happens when gums pull away from the teeth or when gum tissue is lost. This exposes the tooth root below the gumline, resulting in sensitivity.

3) Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid hurting your gums and teeth.

4) You can also ask your dental team about special toothpastes for sensitive teeth.

For more tips on how to prevent sensitivity, call us at (301) 515 - 5100.

Posted June 10, 2014:Pacifiers And Your Baby

It's one of the hardest habits to break and can require a great deal of persuasion: Parents often struggle with weaning their child off of a pacifier.

There is much debate regarding the use of pacifiers, but there is evidence to show that there are both pros and cons, according to a study by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

"Contrary to popular belief, there are some positive effects that result from sucking on pacifiers," says Jane Soxman, DDS, diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. "One is that they assist in reducing the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Babies who are offered a pacifier do not sleep as deeply as those who sleep without a pacifier. Pacifier sucking makes it possible for the infant to be aroused from a deep sleep that could result in the stopping of breathing. Pacifiers also increase sucking satisfaction and provide a source of comfort to infants."

However, parents should be aware of the negative effects of pacifier sucking on an infant's oral health. "Children should STOP USING PACIFIERS BY AGE 2," says AGD spokesperson Luke Matranga, DDS. "Up until the age of 2, any alignment problem with the teeth or the developing bone is usually corrected within a 6-month period after pacifier use is stopped. Prolonged pacifier use and thumb sucking can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth, alignment of the teeth and changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth."

There is also an association between pacifier use and acute middle ear infections.

"Continuous sucking on a pacifier can cause the auditory tubes to become abnormally open, which allows secretions from the throat to seep into the middle ear," explains AGD spokesperson Maria Smith, DDS. "Transmission of bacteria in secretions would lead to middle ear infections."

The bottom line is that if your child is continuously battling middle ear infections, you may have an alternative to surgery or antibiotics to stop this problem, says Dr. Smith, which would be to remove the pacifier.

Breaking the pacifier habit is not always easy, and there are several methods parents can use to stop it. Parents can dip the pacifier in white vinegar, making it distasteful; pierce the nipple of the pacifier with an ice pick or cut it shorter to reduce sucking satisfaction; leave it behind on a trip; or implement the "cold turkey" method.

TIPS & RECOMMENDATIONS:

1) Pacifier use should be restricted to the time when the infant is falling asleep.

2) Pacifiers can cause severe lacerations if the shield is held inside the lips.

3) Look for a pacifier with ventilation holes in the shield, as they permit air passage. This is important if the pacifier accidentally becomes lodged in your child's throat.

4) In order to prevent strangulation, do not place a cord around your child's neck to hold a pacifier. Look for pacifiers that have a ring.

5) A symmetrical nipple permits the pacifier to remain in the correct sucking position.

6) Dispose of the pacifier after use; it is not sanitary to keep it or give it away.

For more information on how pacifiers help or hurt your baby, please contact us at (301) 216 - 1780.

Posted May 24, 2014:Oral Warning Signs Can Indicate Serious Medical Conditions

Regular dental exams not only help to decrease a patient's risk of oral diseases, such as cavities and periodontal (gum) disease, but they may also help to diagnose other, sometimes life-threatening, medical conditions.

Dentists are able to assess a patient's overall oral health and may recognize symptoms of serious diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and eating disorders, which often manifest as signs and symptoms inside of the mouth.

DIABETES

More than 25 million people in the United States alone suffer from diabetes.

"Because diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection, the gums are at risk for gingivitis, an inflammation usually caused by the presence of bacteria in plaque," says Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) spokesperson Julie Ann Barna, DMD, MAGD. "Additionally, those with diabetes can experience high incidences of oral fungal infections and persistent bad breath."

ORAL CANCER

Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers, with approximately 35,000 new cases reported annually in the United States.

"Indicators of oral cancer may include bleeding sores, lumps, or thick, hard spots, as well as changes in the way teeth fit together," says Dr. Barna.

Oral cancer is sometimes difficult to self-diagnose, so routine dental exams are recommended. A dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks, and oral cavity and thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for any sores or discolored tissues.

EATING DISORDERS

"Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, can rob the body of much-needed vitamins and minerals," says Dr. Barna. "Without proper nutrition, the gums can lose their healthy pink color and become increasingly soft and tender, bleeding easily."

Disorders that involve excessive vomiting, such as bulimia, can cause discoloration and erosion of the teeth due to constant contact with acid from the stomach. People who have eating disorders also may experience swollen salivary glands, dry mouth, sensitive teeth, and loss of tooth enamel.

Diseases negatively impact your general health, but they also can damage your oral health. Regularly scheduled dental exams allow dentists to detect or monitor your health.

"Patients should inform their dentists about any and all medical conditions and medicines that may affect their oral health, as well as any changes in their medical history," says Dr. Barna. "Remember, maintaining a healthy body includes taking care of your oral health."

Posted May 9, 2014:Prevent Decay With Dental Sealants

In addition to good oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing, there are other ways to prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants can help protect your children's teeth by sealing them off from decay-causing bacteria.

WHAT ARE DENTAL SEALANTS?

Made of plastic, dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect tooth enamel from decay-causing bacteria and acids. These sealants fit perfectly into the depressions and grooves of your children's teeth, protecting them from decay.

AREN'T BRUSHING AND FLOSSING ENOUGH TO PROTECT MY CHILD'S TEETH?

While brushing and flossing help to remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth, toothbrush bristles often can't reach into teeth's depressions and grooves. However, sealants can protect these areas and prevent food and bacteria from building up.

HOW LONG DO SEALANTS LAST?

The risk of decay decreases significantly after sealant application, and as long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the forces of normal chewing and usually last 5-10 years before reapplication is needed. During your child's regular dental visits, the dentist will check the condition of sealants and reapply them as needed.

WHEN SHOULD DENTAL SEALANTS BE APPLIED?

Decay can begin early in life, so children should receive sealants on permanent molars as soon as they erupt - around age 6.

ARE SEALANTS JUST FOR KIDS?

Sealants can protect adults' teeth too!

For more information, please give us a call at (301) 216 - 1781 to see how dental sealants can protect your smile!

Posted April 12, 2014:Men: Looking for a Better Job? Start by Visiting the Dentist!

An online poll of 289 general dentists and consumers confirms the traditional stereotype that MEN ARE LESS LIKELY TO VISIT THE DENTIST than their female counterparts, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.

Why?

- 45% of respondents felt that men don't see a need to go to the dentist

- 30% of those polled reported that men may not visit the dentist because they are afraid or embarrassed to go

- 18% revealed that men just don't have the time for a dental visit

- 5% of men don't even have a regular dentist

This long-standing trend and excuse, however, may be disappearing as more men are climbing back into the dental chair – for a surprising reason.

"In my practice, more men are coming in and requesting bleaching, veneers and bonding," says AGD spokesperson J. Nick Russo, Sr., DDS, FAGD. "Many have noticed the positive effects from a colleague's improved smile and realize that a great smile has a lot of value in the business world."

Dr. Russo also points to the fact that not long ago, most men worked for one or two employers throughout a lifetime and many did not think about the way their overall appearance affected their professional life.

"That's not the reality today, with lay-offs and company closings across the board," says Dr. Russo. "Today middle-aged men are competing for jobs with younger men, making appearance a heightened factor in their lives."

Taking a back seat to new cosmetic concerns for men is the increased awareness of the overall health benefits of seeing a dentist biannually.

"As a dentist, I want men to come see me because they're concerned about their health, however I'm glad to see them for whatever reason they come in," says Dr. Russo. "Many times after men come back to the dentist they realize that proper maintenance and biannual checkups are the key to improving the way one looks and feels."

Posted April 2, 2014:What Color Is Your Smile?

There is beauty in the magic splendor of softly falling flakes of snow against the backdrop of winter's color palate, but when it comes to teeth, most people want one shade: the whitest white that white can be. Unfortunately, teeth come in many shades and can change color from a variety of causes.

As the tooth enamel develops, the color can be affected by many factors, says Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Howard S. Glazer, DDS, FAGD. "White, bright teeth certainly help maintain a youthful appearance," said Dr. Glazer. Unfortunately, stains from food and drink can darken teeth over time, usually resulting in a yellow or orange hue. Illness, heredity or environmental factors can cause discoloration. In rare cases, injury can discolor teeth.

Maternal use of certain antibiotics, notably those of the tetracycline family, during pregnancy can cause brown or gray discoloration of the baby's tooth enamel. Children who take this medication during the period of permanent tooth development may have similar discoloration of the permanent teeth.

But you don't have to live with a dull smile, says Dr. Glazer. "With today's techniques and materials, we can change the color of a patient's teeth to provide a more healthy, youthful appearance," he said.

Professional tooth-whitening products can improve enamel color in many instances, although severe discoloration may require bonding procedures for good cosmetic results. Call us today (301) 515-5100 to obtain a proper diagnosis and to learn what treatment options are available.

Posted March 15, 2014:Are you biting off more than you can chew?

In our fast-paced lives, many of us may be eating in a hurry, taking giant bites of our food to get done quickly and on to the next task. Fast-food restaurants advertise giant burgers and sandwiches as a selling point, but often those super-sized delicacies are larger than a human mouth.

Taking bites that are too big to chew could be bad for your jaw and teeth, says the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing education. At particular risk are people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which can restrict the range of acceptable bite size. "People with TMD need to avoid opening their mouths too wide," says AGD spokesperson Barbara A. Rich, DDS, FAGD. "Taking large bites of food can aggravate their condition." So, smoosh that hoagie before taking a bite.

Dr. Rich also cautions against biting into hard candies, which can chip teeth. Even apples can cause problems. "If you need to open your mouth more than feels comfortable to take a bite, then you should cut the item into smaller portions that are easy to chew," Dr. Rich says.

People should always avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and opening nuts with their teeth, which can lead to chipping and breakage of natural teeth and restorations.

To learn more, visit www.knowyourteeth.com or call us at (301) 515 - 5100.

Posted February 22, 2014:How to Fix Receding Gums

WHY?

Receding gums have become somewhat of an epidemic and more and more people are being diagnosed with gums that are pulled back. Whether the cause is grinding, clenching, aggressive brushing, hormonal shifts, thin gums or genetics, the deterioration of gums is the same. "A receding gumline isn't painful but cosmetically, it's a disaster. The bacteria under the gum leads to infection and there's less support to hold the teeth in place," explains periodontist Dr. Neil S. Lehrman. With less grip between the tooth and the gum, plaque, bacteria and decay can settle into the root. The root becomes exposed as the gums pull away from the root of the tooth, and that can lead to damaged tissue and bone structure, and tooth loss.

PREVENTING

The easiest way to prevent receding gums is to not brush your teeth too hard or in a sawing motion - instead, use a softer bristle and brush in more of a circular motion. Your dentist may also suggest a night guard if you tend to clench or grind your teeth.

FIXING

Whenever there is a lack of gum tissue, it needs to be replaced. Depending on the seriousness of the recession, a tissue graft or bone graft may be needed to repair the damage. When there is tooth loss as a result, an implant may be used to replace the missing tooth.

For more information about receding gumlines, give us a call to set up a Free Consultation with one of our doctors. You can also obtain more information on the ADA.org website.

Posted January 29, 2014:Pregnancy Cravings Can Harm Your Oral Health:

Pregnant women may often make ice cream runs to calm their cravings as they wait for their baby's arrival. Other women suffering from an eating disorder called pica, will have cravings for ice, freezer frost, or even soil. Pica combined with bulimia can have adverse effects on an individual's oral health during pregnancy and also can be hard to diagnose and treat during those nine months, according to a study published in the May/June 2006 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=P&iid=325&aid=3081

Posted January 27, 2014:What Is Tooth Loss?

Tooth loss, or edentulism, is when one of more teeth fall out or are extracted due to injury or disease such as mouth trauma, tooth decay or gum disease. Kids, adults and seniors are all at risk for tooth loss, especially if proper oral hygiene is not practiced. Although tooth loss is typically associated with the elderly, research suggests that nearly 27% of patients experience their first tooth loss between the ages of 21 and 30. tooth loss is expected to increase with aging baby boomers, perpetuating a phenomenon among a generation of people that saw their parents fall victim to tooth loss due to lack of dental care.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=T&iid=829&aid=4326

Posted January 22, 2014:How Acid Reflux Disease Damages Teeth:

First reported more than 200 years ago, dental erosion still continues to be a major concern for dentists and consumers. Twenty decades ago, studies reported dental erosion occurred because of industrial hazards, specifically when workers were exposed to acidic aerosols. In recent years, everyday foods and drinks such as lemons, pickles, sodas and sugar, starchy goods have been associated with tooth erosion. People now also need to be aware of another danger that causes permanent and severe loss of tooth structure, acid-reflux-induced erosion, a condition that occurs when stomach contents reflux into the mouth according to a study that appeared in the March/April 2009 issue of General Dentistry; the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=T&iid=529&aid=5514

Posted January 20, 2014:Spit Tobacco:

Spit tobacco affects your dental health as well as the rest of your body. If you use spit tobacco (smokeless) tobacco and have thought about quitting, your dentist can help. Spit tobacco includes snuff, a finely ground version of processed tobacco, and chewing tobacco in the form of shredded or pressed bricks and cakes, called plugs, or rope-like strands called twists. Users "pinch" or "dip" tobacco and place a wad in their cheek or between their lower lip and gums.

• Tobacco users who dip or chew 8 to 10 times a day may be receiving the nicotine equivalent of up to 60 cigarettes a day.

• The risk of cancer of the cheek and gums may increase nearly 50-fold among long-term spit tobacco users.

• Spit tobacco users have more root cavities. The tobacco eats away at gum, exposes tooth roots, which are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, and creating a prime environment for cavity-causing bacteria to flourish.

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=T&iid=335&aid=1356

Posted January 15, 2014:What Do Dentists Do to Relieve Anxiety?

Patients become anxious about going to the dentist for different reasons. This may include fear of receiving local anesthetic or concerns about the effectiveness of the anesthesia. Negative past experiences also may play a large role in a patient's anxiety, as well as financial concerns. Your dentist works to reduce your anxiety before you even set foot in the dental office. this process begins when you make your appointment. Your dentist's office staff has been trained to tell you what to expect and to answer any questions you have to ensure that you will be comfortable during your visit. An understanding of your dental services and treatment can help to relieve dental anxiety. Make sure you ask questions and request informational materials, if desired.

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=A&iid=288&aid=3807

Posted January 14, 2014:Saliva Test May Help Dentists Check for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States. In 2006, the American Cancer Society estimated that there would be 212,920 new cases of invasive breast cancer, and in that year, 40,970 women would die from it. Many women's lives could be saved if this cancer was diagnosed earlier, and early diagnosis could be achieved if there were more and easier opportunities to do so.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=W&iid=341&aid=3157

Posted January 8, 2014:Dentists Help Confirm Osteoporosis:

Osteoporosis, a disease that decreases bone density and weakens bones, affects 10 million people. In addition, more than one-third of females over age 65 display signs and symptoms of the disease. Most individuals inflicted with osteoporosis are not diagnosed until a fracture occurs. in addition, they are unaware that oral-health problems, such as tooth loss and gum disease, are early signs that help their dentist to suspect osteoporosis, according to a report published in the May/June 2004 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=O&iid=320&aid=1292

Posted January 6, 2014:How Can I Take Care of My Teeth as I Age?

Proper oral care can keep you smiling well into retirement. brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush are as important as ever. flossing can help you save your teeth by removing plaque between teeth and below the gumline that your toothbrush cannot reach. Some questions you need to ask yourself are:

What are some problems I should watch for?

What is it's too difficult to brush?

What are the signs of oral cancer?

Should I be concerned about dry mouth?

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=S&iid=328&aid=1314

Posted December 30, 2013:Fast-paced Lifestyle Eroding Teens' Teeth:

As quick meals in the form of "nutrition" bars and carbonated beverages help keep teens alert and on schedule between school, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs, today's fast-paced lifestyle threatens to leave a generation with permanent damage to oral and overall health. "Premature loss of tooth enamel and wakening of overall tooth structure are two devastating oral effects of teens' poor diet that cannot be reversed later in life, "explains Jane Soxman, DDS, author of a study that appears in the January/February 2003 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=T&iid=333&aid=1335

Posted December 26, 2013:Swimmers Risk Stained Smiles, Chipped Teeth

Competitive swimmers may be at risk for developing yellowish-brown or dark-brown stains on their teeth, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education. Athlete swimmers, who often swim laps more than six hours a week, expose their teeth to large amounts of chemically treated water. Pool water contained chemical additives like antimicrobials, which give the water a higher pH than saliva, causing salivary proteins to break down quickly and form organic deposits on swimmer's teeth.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=S&iid=331&aid=1324

Posted December 23, 2013:The History of Dental Advances

Many of the most common dental tools were ised as early as the Stone Age. thankfully, technology and continuing education have made going to the dentist a much more pleasant-and painless-experience. Here is a look at the history of dentistry's most common tools, and how they came to be vital components of our oral health care needs.

Where did toothbrushes and toothpaste come form?

When was drinking water fluoridated?

What's the history behind false teeth?

How long have we had anesthesia?

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=H&iid=305&aid=1256

Posted December 18, 2013:What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers, with roughly 35,000 new cases reported annually in the United States. The vast majority of oral cancers occur in people older than 50 years, with men being twice as likely as women to develop the disease. The most frequent oral cancer sites are the tongue, the floor of the mouth and soft palate tissues in back of the tongue, lips and gums. If not diagnoses and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, irreparable facial and oral disfigurement following surgery and even death. Your dentist can perform a thorough screening for oral cancer. Scientists aren’t sure of the exact cause of oral cancer. However, the carcinogens in tobacco products and alcohol, as well as excessive exposure to the sun, have been found to increase the risk of developing oral cancer.

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=T&iid=335&aid=1361

Posted December 16, 2013:How Can Gum Disease Affect My Cardiovascular Health?

Researchers are finding possible links between periodontal (gum) infections and other disease throughout the body. Current studies suggest that there may be a link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. In fact, some research suggests that gum disease may be a more serious risk factor for heart disease than high blood pressure (hypertension), smoking, high cholesterol, gender, and age. Studies suggest that people who have gum disease seem to be at a higher risk for heart attacks, although no one is certain how this relationship works. Your oral health affects your overall health, but studies that will find exactly why these problems are linked are still underway.

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=H&iid=319&aid=1284

Posted December 13, 2013:The Facts on Sedation:

Sedation allows dentists to create a state of relaxation and thus manage the fear and pain patients may experience during dental procedures. There are several different types of sedation in dentistry.

• Local Anesthesia

• Minimal Sedation

• Moderate Sedation

• Deep Sedation

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=A&iid=287&aid=3810

Posted December 11, 2013:What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third molars. Normally people have three permanent molars that develop in each quadrant of the mouth; upper, lower, right and left. The first molars usually grow into the mouth at around six years of age. The second molars grow in at around age 12. The third molars usually will try to grow in at around age 12. The third molars usually will try to grow in at around age 17 to 21 years. Since that is considered to be the age when people become wiser, third molars gained the nickname, “wisdom teeth.” Actually, they are no different than any other tooth except that they are the last teeth to erupt, or grow into the mouth. They are just as useful as any other tooth if they grow in properly, have a proper bite relationship and have healthy gum tissue around them. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=W&iid=340&aid=1366

Posted December 9, 2013:Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy:

If you’re planning to become pregnant or suspect you’re already pregnant, it’s important that you see a dentist right away. Pregnancy may cause unexpected oral health changes due to hormones, particularly an increase in estrogen and progesterone-which can exaggerate the way in which gum tissue react to plaque. Research continues to show that overall health and oral health coincide, so it’s especially important for you to maintain good oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy. Visiting your dentist will allow him or her to assess your oral condition and map out a dental plan for the remainder of your pregnancy.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=P&iid=325&aid=4854

Posted December 4, 2013:Americans Need to “Brush Up” at the Office:

Healthy teeth affect nearly every aspect of our lives-even our professional image. However, according to a survey released by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and Oral-B Laboratories, many Americans are neglected to take care of their smile during the workday. Oral-B Laboratories and the AGD polled more than 1,000 full-time employed adults ages 18 and older about oral care habits and the importance of a healthy smile at the workplace.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=B&iid=291&aid=1131

Posted December 2, 2013:What Are Cold Sores?

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are tiny, clear, fluid-filled blisters that form around the mouth and are caused by the herpes simplex virus (usually type 1, or HSV-1) living inside your nerve tissue. Cold sores usually do not last longer than two weeks. However, the sores are highly contagious and tend to recur when the virus is reactivated by a trigger such as stress, sunlight, fever or illness.

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=298&aid=1149

Posted November 27, 2013:Go the Extra Mile for a Healthy Smile:

For some, good oral hygiene may mean just brushing, flossing and using a germ-fighting mouthwash, but for others, that’s only the beginning of a cavity-fighting regime. In fact, In many people are taking heed to an oral health care procedure more commonly associated with children; the use of dental sealants. Decay is subject to begin early in life, affecting children and teens’ teeth that are exposed to harmful foods and beverages. Many Dentists recommend and apply dental sealants to premolars and molars in their younger patients, but according to AGD Impact, the monthly newmagazine of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), sealants can also protect adult teeth and seal them from decay-causing bacteria.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=S&iid=327&aid=4937

Posted November 25, 2013:What Is the Best Technique for Brushing?

There are a number of effective brushing techniques. Patients are advised to check with their dentist or hygienist to determine which technique is best for them, since tooth position and gum condition vary. One effective, easy-to-remember technique involves using a circular or elliptical motion to brush a couple of teeth at a time, gradually covering the entire mouth. Place a toothbrush beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion, brush the outside of the teeth, inside the teeth, your tongue, and the chewing surfaces and between teeth. Using a back-and-forth motion causes the gum surface to recede, can expose the root surface or make the root surface tender. You also risk wearing down the gum line.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=B&iid=291&aid=1133

Posted November 20, 2013:Is Your Child’s Hobby Making Him Sick?

Research has shown that playing a musical instrument can help nourish, cultivate, and increase intelligence in children, but playing a used instrument also can pose a potentially dangerous health risk. Used woodwind and brass instruments were found to be heavily contaminated with a variety of bacteria and fungi, many of which are associated with minor to serious infectious and allergic diseases, according to a study published in the March/April 2011 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=I&iid=308&aid=9430

Posted November 18, 2013:Sensitive Teeth? Check Your Toothpaste

Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity when using tartar-control toothpaste, but the good news is that when they stop using the toothpaste, the sensitivity goes away. “Dentists and hygienists often recommend that patients use tartar-control toothpaste, particularly after a cleaning, to help prevent the build-up of tartar, which can lead to gum disease,” says Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) spokesperson William Kuttler, DDS. “But after using tartar-control toothpaste, about 10 to 20 percent of patients complain of tooth sensitivity, so we suggest they stop using it.”

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=S&iid=329&aid=1317

Posted November 15, 2013:A Visit to the General Dentist can Prevent a Major Cause of Tooth Loss:

Do you know what common oral disease has been associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and preterm low-birth weight babies? According to the November 2006 issue of AGD Impact, the monthly newsmagazine of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), it’s periodontal disease and can be easily prevented through regular visits to a general dentist, daily brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning. Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease and it can affect three out of four people in their lifetime.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=G&iid=324&aid=3160

Posted November 12, 2013:Common Condition Creates Diverse List of Treatment Options

Cracked teeth, lost teeth, and decaying teeth are among the complaints a patient may present to his or her dentist for treatment. Each of those oral health troubles comes with a list of options the dentist may use for treatment; for example, implants, fillings, or bonding. According to a study published in the March/April 2009 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD), peer-reviewed journal, the most common patient complaint actually is sensitive teeth, but no single desensitizing agent is ideal to manage this uncomfortable condition.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=S&iid=329&aid=5513

Posted November 7, 2013:What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a compound of the element fluorine, which is found universally throughout nature in water, soil, air, and food. Existing abundantly in living tissue as an ion, fluoride is absorbed easily into tooth enamel, especially in children’s growing teeth. Once teeth are developed, fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is even visible. Two forms of fluoride protect the teeth: Systemic fluoride and topical fluoride.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=F&iid=303&aid=1248

Posted November 4, 2013:Pacifiers Have Negative and Positive Effects:

It’s one of the hardest habits to break and can require a great deal of persuasion: Parents often struggle with weaning their child off of a pacifier. There is much debate regarding the use of pacifiers, but there is evidence to show that there are both pros and cons, according to a study in the January/February issue General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal. “Contrary to popular belief, there are some positive effects that result from sucking on pacifiers.” Says Jane Soxman, DDS, author of the study and Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. “One is that they assist in reducing the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Babies who are offered a pacifier do not sleep as deeply as those who sleep without a pacifier. Pacifier sucking makes it possible for the infant to be aroused from a deep sleep that could result in the stopping of breathing. Pacifiers also increase sucking satisfaction and provide a source of comfort to infants.”

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=296&aid=1180

Posted October 28, 2013:Watch for “Preemie” Teeth:

Even though they do not have any teeth yet, prematurely born babies can expect to have dental complications as they grown older. About 6% of babies are born before their due date and below 7.2 pounds, and of these, up to 70% will have enamel hypoplasia when their teeth erupt, according to a 2000 study. Enamel hypoplasia causes teeth to appear brownish and less smooth, as well as to be softer and more prone to decay or chipping.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=296&aid=1184

Posted October 23, 2013:Does My Child Need to See A Pediatric Dentist?

Does my child need to be taken to a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists are specially trained to handle problems particular to children, such as dental developmental difficulties and root canals on adult teeth that have not fully formed. However, most children are treated by general dentists. A general dentist often has a relationship with the entire family and therefore has a great deal of family history knowledge, which may apply to your child. If your having trouble deciding on the type of dentist to use for your child, ask your family dentist or your child’s pediatrician for suggestions.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=296&aid=3808

Posted October 21, 2013:Halloween Can Be Scary, Especially for Kids’ Teeth:

Your kids may be ready to indulge in sweet treat this Halloween, but don’t let the holiday turn into an oral health nightmare. To keep your children’s smiles safe from creepy cavities this season and all year-round, consider these tips from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). “Sticky, chewy candies are cavity-causing culprits,” says AGD spokesperson Connie White, DDS, FAGD. “Gummies, taffy, caramel-they all get stuck in the pits and grooves of teeth, where it’s nearly impossible for saliva to wash them away. The longer that candy remains stuck in teeth, the higher the risk of developing cavities.” Encourage children to brush their teeth following candy consumption. If a toothbrush isn't handy, says Dr. White, give them a glass of water to help swish away sugars.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=N&iid=316&aid=11252

Posted October 16, 2013:Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Tooth sensitivity is caused by the movement of fluid within tiny tubes located in the dentin (the layer of tissue found beneath the hard enamel that contains the inner pulp), which results in nerve irritation. When the hard enamel is worn down or gums have receded, causing the tiny tube surfaces to be exposed, pain can be caused by eating or drinking foods or hot or cold beverages, touching your teeth, or exposing them to cold air.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=S&iid=329&aid=1319

Posted October 14, 2013:The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Sets the Record Straight on Dental X-Rays:

On Tuesday, April 10, 2012, in the journal Cancer, the American Cancer Society published an article entitled “Dental X-Rays and Risk of Meningioma,” which summarized a study that sought to develop a correlation between dental radiographs and brain cancer. According to the AGD, a professional association of more than 37,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health information to the public, the study’s findings are not applicable to modern dentistry because the study was based upon an examination of outdated radiographic techniques, which produced considerably more radiation than patients would be exposed to today. “Modern radiographic techniques and equipment provide the narrowest beam and shortest exposure, thereby limiting the area and time of exposure and reducing any possible risks while providing the highest level of diagnostic benefits.”

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=X&iid=342&aid=10870

Posted October 9, 2013:Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

If you’re planning to become pregnant or suspect you’re already pregnant, it’s important you see a dentist right away. Pregnancy may cause unexpected oral health changes due to hormones-particularly an increase in estrogen and progesterone-which can exaggerate the way in which gum tissues react to plaque. Research continues to show that overall health and oral health coincide, so it’s especially important for you to maintain good oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy. Visiting your dentist will allow him or her to assess your oral condition and map out a dental plan for the remainder for your pregnancy.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=P&iid=325&aid=4854

Posted October 7, 2013:Expecting? Don’t Neglect Your Teeth

Even though most people are aware that good oral health is essential for the overall health of both mother and child, misunderstandings about the safety of dental care during pregnancy may cause pregnant women to avoid seeing their dentist. The fact is that dentists can create a treatment plan that is safe, effective, and essential for combating the adverse effects of oral disease during pregnancy.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=P&iid=325&aid=8655

Posted October 2, 2013:Gingivitis vs. Gum Disease: What’s the Difference?

Eighty percent of America adults have some form of Periodontal (Gum) disease, but the beginning symptoms are usually painless, so many who are at risk do not recognize the signs and stages, according to a report in the September/October 2003 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). “Gum disease is a silent killer because you can have it without knowing it,” says AGD spokesperson Elwood Streeter, DDS.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=G&iid=324&aid=1250

Posted September 30, 2013:What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a compound of the element fluorine, which is found universally throughout nature in water, soil, air, and food. Existing abundantly in living tissue as an ion, fluoride is absorbed easily into tooth enamel, especially in children’s growing teeth. Once teeth are developed, fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is even visible. Two forms of fluoride protect the teeth: systemic fluoride and topical fluoride.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=F&iid=303&aid=1248

Posted September 26, 2013:Dental Sealants: Is My Child a Candidate?

By age 19, tooth decay affects nearly 70 percent of America’s children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Left untreated, tooth decay, also known as cavities, any result in pain and infection. One highly effective option to help prevent cavities is dental sealants-a thin plastic film painted on the chewing surface of teeth. Dental Sealants have been proven a safe and cost-efficient dental procedure for patients prone to cavities.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=296&aid=1189

Posted September 23, 2013:Children's Dental Visits: Parents, Prepare Yourselves

Children experience many firsts: first tooth, first words, first step, first birthday, and first haircut. Parents want to be prepared for every step of their child’s new life experiences, including dental visits. Only parents willing to model positive attitudes should accompany their child on a dental visit.

Parents averse to their own dental visits may transmit negative messages to children before, during, and after a dental treatment. “Fearful parents can actually create a nervous and anxious child,” says Jane Soxman, DDS, pediatric dentist and Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. “Parents who are afraid of the dentist need to change their mindset.”

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=D&iid=344&aid=1224

Posted September 20, 2013:Like Parent, Like Child: Good Oral Health Starts at Home

Parents are a child’s first teacher in life and play a significant role in maintaining his or her overall health. Providing oral health education to mothers and families is essential to teaching children healthy habits and preventing early childhood tooth decay, according to an article published in the May/June 2010 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=296&aid=7587

Posted September 18, 2013:What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by the frequent and long-term exposure of a child’s teeth to liquids containing sugars. Among these liquids are milk, formula, fruit juice, sodas and other sweetened drinks. The sugars in these liquids pool around the infant’s teeth and gums, feeding the bacteria in plaque. Every time a child consumes a sugary liquid, acid produced by these bacteria attack the teeth and gums. After numerous attacks, tooth decay can begin.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=296&aid=1185

Posted September 17, 2013:See a Baby Tooth? See a Dentist

Baby teeth are worth more than just a dollar under the pillow. Providing proper care and oral hygiene during a child’s first year of life can mean a lifetime of good oral health. Traditionally, parents have waited to bring their children to the dentist until primary teeth begin to appear. A 2002 consumer poll by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry shows that nearly 70 percent of parents wait until their children are 3 years old before taking them to the dentist. But a dental visit by age 1- or within six months of the eruption of the first baby tooth- is crucial says Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) spokesperson Cynthia E. Sherwood, DDS.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=296&aid=1177

Posted September 11, 2013:Frequent Headaches? Can’t Sleep? Check Your Bite

The average person swallows 2,000 times per day, causing the upper and lower teeth to come together and push against the skull. People who have a poorly aligned bite or missing teeth can have related health problems, such as frequent headaches or sleep disorders, because their jaw muscles must work harder to bring the teeth together, straining the surrounding jaw muscles.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=P&iid=323&aid=1305

Posted September 9, 2013:What Causes a Toothache?

While decay is often cited as the primary cause of a toothache, it’s important for you to have a complete oral examination to determine the cause. Other dental causes of toothache include: infection, gum disease, grinding teeth (bruxism), tooth trauma and an abnormal bite. Tooth eruption may be the cause of tooth or jaw pain in babies and school-ages children.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=P&iid=323&aid=1307

Posted September 3, 2013:Good Oral Health Is Essential During Pregnancy:

It’s no secret that pregnancy is an important time in a women’s life. While women often hear about how pregnancy causes physical changes that affect their hormone or appetite levels, these changes can have a great effect on their oral health as well. Despite the fact that good oral health is essential for the overall health of both mother and child, only 22 to 34 percent of women in the United States visit a dentist during pregnancy.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=P&iid=325&aid=7586

Posted August 30, 2013:Oral Warning Signs Can Indicate Serious Medical Conditions:

Regular dental exams not only help to decrease a patient’s risk of oral disease, such as cavities and periodontal (gum) disease, but they may also help to diagnose other, sometimes life-threatening, medical conditions. Dentists are able to assess a patient’s overall oral health and may recognize symptoms of serious diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and eating disorders, which often manifest as signs and symptoms inside of the mouth.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=O&iid=320&aid=9433

Posted August 28, 2013:The History of Dental Advances:

Many of the most common dental tools were used as early as the Stone Age. Thankfully, technology and continuing education have made going to the dentist a much more pleasant-and painless-experience. Here is a look at the history of dentistry’s most common tools, and how they came to be vital components of our oral health care needs.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=H&iid=305&aid=1256

Posted August 26, 2013:What is Halitosis?

More than 80 million people suffer from chronic halitosis, or bad breath. In most cases it originates from the gums and tongue. The odor is caused by wastes from bacteria in the mouth, the decay of food particles, other debris in your mouth and poor oral hygiene. The decay and debris produce a sulfur compound that causes the unpleasant odor.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=H&iid=306&aid=1254

Posted August 21, 2013:Should I Floss?

Yes. Floss removes plaque and debris that sticks to teeth and gums in between teeth, polishes tooth surfaces, and controls bad breath. Plaque is a sticky layer of material containing bacteria that accumulates on teeth, including places where toothbrushes can’t reach. This can lead to gum disease. By flossing your teeth daily, you increase the chance of keeping them for a lifetime and decrease the chance of getting gum disease.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=F&iid=302&aid=1244

Posted August 19, 2013:What is a Composite Resin (White Filling)?

A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glad mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=F&iid=286&aid=1241

Posted August 14, 2013:Why Swimming Pool Rules Protect Pearly Whites:

Following the rules and remembering dental first aid steps can help save your teeth the next time you dive into a swimming pool. During the summer, swimming pool accidents are the number one cause of dental emergencies at the office of E. Edington, DDS, MAGD, past president of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). “Swimming underwater and quickly coming to the surface causes some children to hit the hard ledge, loosening the front tooth,” says Dr. Edington. Also, running on slippery, slick cement and ceramic pool surfaces sends many children headfirst into the ground, often causing shipped or displaced teeth.

To read more: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=E&iid=185&aid=1238

Posted August 12, 2013:How to Find a Kid-friendly Dentist:

Although more parents know about the importance of age-1 dental visits, many parents may still wonder about what kind of dentist can provide care for their child. According to the Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Cindy Bauer, DDS, MAGD, many general dentists treat children. “Parents should seek out a dental office that provides a fun environment for children, so that they are excited about coming to the dentist’s office.”

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=297&aid=1193

Posted July 31, 2013:What is a Dental Emergency?

Injuries to the mouth may include teeth that are knocked out (avulsed), forced out of position and loosened (extruded) or fractured. In addition, lips, gums or cheeks are often cut. Oral injuries are often painful and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.

To Read More:

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=E&iid=185&aid=1239

Posted July 29, 2013:How Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?

It is estimated that up to 20 million people have diabetes, but only two-thirds of these individuals are diagnosed. Studies have shown that diabetics are more susceptible to the development of oral infections and periodontal (gum) disease than those who do not have diabetes. Oral infections tend to be more severe in diabetic patients than non-diabetic patients. And, diabetics who do not have good control over their blood sugar levels tend to have more oral health problems. These infections occur more often after puberty and in aging patients.

To Read More:

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=D&iid=188&aid=1231

Posted July 24, 2013:What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

From subtle changes to major repairs, your dentist can perform a variety of procedures to improve your smile. There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen, or missing. Your dentist can reshape your teeth. Common procedures include bleaching, bonding, crowns, veneers and reshaping and contouring. These improvements are not always cosmetic. Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as your bite.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=300&aid=1196

Posted July 22, 2013:What is the Best Technique for Brushing?

There are a number of effective brushing techniques. Patients are advised to check with their dentist or hygienist to determine which technique is best for them, since tooth position and gum condition vary. One effective, east-to-remember technique involves using a circular or elliptical motion to brush a couple of teeth at a time, gradually covering the entire mouth.

To Read More:

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=B&iid=291&aid=1133

Posted July 17, 2013:Fast-paced Lifestyle Eroding Teens’ Teeth

As quick meals in the form of “nutrition” bars and carbonated beverages help keep teens alert and on schedule between school, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs, today’s fast-paced lifestyle threatens to leave a generation with permanent damage to oral and overall health.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=T&iid=333&aid=1335

Posted July 15, 2013:Anxiety, Depression Lead to Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS), a painful disorder affecting mostly women, is a constant and aggravating source of discomfort for more than 1 million adults. Patients experience a burning sensation in their mouth, palate, lips and tongue, as well as partial or complete loss of taste, dry mouth and thirst.

Anxiety and depression may be a precursor that triggers this difficult-to-diagnose syndrome, according to a report in the September/October 2003 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

Oral habits of anxiety and depression may include repetitive tongue thrusting and bruxism (teeth grinding), which can irritate the mouth and lips and have been reported to cause BMS symptoms in up to 70 percent of patients suffering from this chronic disorder.

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=B&iid=293&aid=1139

Posted July 11, 2013:How Can I Take Care of My Teeth as I Age?

Proper oral care can keep you smiling well into retirement. Brushing at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride and a soft bristle brush are as important as ever. Flossing can help save your teeth by removing plaque between teeth and below the gum line that your toothbrush cannot reach.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=S&iid=328&aid=1314

Posted July 8, 2013:Prevent Oral Health Problems: Visit a Dentist Twice a Year

Although twice-a-year dental visits are the key ingredient to maintaining good oral health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports less than two-thirds of adults make one yearly dental trip. In addition, one-third of all Americans have untreated tooth decay and more than 50% have gingivitis, which can quickly develop into periodontal (gum) disease. Visiting a dentist twice a year can be instrumental to prevent oral health problems and predict overall health conditions.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=297&aid=1192

Posted July 3, 2013:What are Mouth Rinses?

Mouth rinse or mouthwash is a product used for oral hygiene. Antiseptic and anti-plaque mouth rinse claims to kill the germs that cause plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath. Anti-cavity mouth rinse uses fluoride to protect against tooth decay. Mouth rinses are generally classified either as cosmetic, therapeutic, or a combination of the two. Cosmetic rinses are commercial, over-the-counter (OTC) products that help remove oral debris before or after brushing, temporarily suppress bad breath, diminish bacteria in the mouth, and refresh the mouth with a pleasant taste. Therapeutic rinses have all of the benefits of cosmetic rinses but also contain an added active ingredient that helps protect against some oral diseases.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=M&iid=781&aid=3804

Posted July 1, 2013:Using Floss Once a Day Helps Fight Decay

Some people loop. Some people spool. Others simply refuse. The verdict is in: Flossing is one of the best things you can ever do to take care of your teeth. “Flossing every 24 hours to break up plaque is imperative for good oral health,” Says the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) spokesperson Gordon Isbell, DMD, MAGD.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=F&iid=302&aid=1245

Posted June 19, 2013:Can Adults Wear Braces?

Braces aren’t just for teenagers. No matter your age, it’s never too late to improve your dental health and beautify your smile. About 1 million Americans and Canadians over the age of 18 wear braces. As a result, general dentists today are more familiar with potential concerns and special needs of their adult patients. Some general dentists have the training to diagnose and treat orthodontic problems.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=O&iid=322&aid=1303

Posted June 17, 2013:Early Dental Visits May Help Prevent Problems Down the Road:

Many parents may not know their 1-year-olds are ready for their first dental checkup, but more and more dentists agree that the earlier children visit the dentist, the better. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and the American Dental Association (ADA) are just two of the organizations that recommend bringing children to the dentist six months after they get their first tooth, usually sometime between 1 year and 18 months of age.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=D&iid=344&aid=1225

Posted June 12, 2013:What is Minimally Invasive Dentistry?

The goal of minimally invasive dentistry, or microdentistry, is to conserve healthy tooth structure. It focuses on prevention, remineralization, and minimal dentist intervention. Using scientific advances, minimally invasive dentistry allows dentists to perform the least amount of dentistry needed while never removing more of the tooth structure than is required to restore teeth to their normal condition.

To Read More: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=M&iid=713&aid=3812

Posted June 5, 2013:Why Do I Need X-Rays?

Radiographic, or X-ray, examinations provide your dentist with an important tool that shows the condition of your teeth, its roots, jaw placement, and the overall composition of your facial bones. X-rays can help your dentist determine the presence or degree of periodontal (gum) disease, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors.

To Read More:

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=X&iid=342&aid=1373

Posted June 3, 2013:The Mystery of Burning Mouth Syndrome

Most people can relate to the uncomfortable feeling that occurs after scalding their mouth on hot soup or coffee. It’s a relief when that burnt feeling subsides after several days. But imagine experiencing that burning sensation all day, every day. The condition is called burning mouth syndrome (BMS), and the damage to the nervous system during menopause may be to blame, according to an article published in the May/June 2011 issue of General Dentistry, the Peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

To Read More:

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=B&iid=293&aid=9413

Posted May 29, 2013:An Apple a Day May Keep the Dentist Away

Although school offers food for thought among the nation’s children, school lunches and snacks are not as nutritious for their teeth, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Researchers have concluded that dietary habits of school children encourage an increase in sugar intake, leading to a greater risk of cavities.

To Read More:

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=N&iid=316&aid=1279

Posted May 27, 2013:Why Does What I Eat Affect My Oral Health?

You may be able to prevent two of the most common diseases of modern civilization, tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, simply by improving your diet. Decay results when the teeth and other hard tissues of the mouth are destroyed by acid products from oral bacteria. Certain foods and food combinations are linked to higher levels of cavity-causing bacteria; though poor nutrition does not directly cause periodontal disease, many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is more severe in patients whose diet does not supply nutrients.

To Read More:

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=N&iid=315&aid=1274

Posted May 23, 2013:Arora Hill's Barracudas Swim Team!

Highland's Dental Care is always looking for ways to engage in our community. We have recently partnered with the Arora Hill's Barracudas Swim Team as a Gold level sponsor for the 2013 swim season. If you have any community events that need partners or sponsors please contact us and we would love to partner with you!

http://www.ahbarracudas.com/sponsors

Posted May 23, 2013:Pool Party!

If you live in the Clarksburg Town Center area come out and see us for some goodies on Friday June 14th from 2-4pm for the celebration of the end of the school year! It's Pool Party time!

http://www.clarksburgconnects.com/clarksburg/

Posted May 22, 2013:Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Tooth sensitivity is caused by the movement of fluid within tiny tubes located in the dentin (the layer of tissue beneath the hard enamel that contains the inner pulp), which results in nerve irritation. When the enamel is worn down or the gums have receded, causing the tiny tube surfaces to be exposed, pain can be caused by eating, drinking hot or cold beverages, clenching or grinding your teeth, or exposing them to cold air.

To read more: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=S&iid=329&aid=1319

Posted May 20, 2013:How Does Pregnancy Affect My Oral Health?

It’s a myth that calcium is lost from a mother’s teeth and “one tooth is lost with every pregnancy.” But you may experience some changes in your oral health during pregnancy. The primary changes are due to a surge in hormones, particularly an increase in estrogen and progesterone, can exaggerate the way gum tissues react to plaque.

To read more: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=W&iid=341&aid=1372

Posted May 15, 2013:New Technology in the Dental Office:

Dentistry has come a long way in making patient checkups more comfortable. With today’s technology, dentists are better equipped to detect and treat tooth decay and perform other procedures with maximum comfort. You might find that your dentist has added some of the relatively newer technologies during your next visit!

Read more at http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=D&iid=332&aid=1334

Posted May 13, 2013:Why am I anxious in the Dental Office?

People are anxious about going to the dentist for different reasons; including worry about the effectiveness of local anesthetic, and feeling like the dentist are rushed or are neglecting your concerns. Other factors include anticipation of pain, the cost of the procedure, past experiences, and even the sterile smell of the dental office. Interrupting the normal day’s routine to visit the dentist is a factor in general anxiety. If not addressed, dental anxiety can lead to unnecessary oral health problems as a result of avoiding the dentist, which in turn can end up leading to much more time spent in the dental chair when treatment is the only option.

At Highlands Dental Care we do everything in our power to make your visit comfortable and low-stress. If you have dental anxiety call us today so we can tell you why we are different and how we may be able to help you!

Posted May 6, 2013:Why is Oral Health Important for Men?

Men are less likely than women to take care of their physical health and according to surveys and studies their oral health is equally ignored. Good oral health has been linked to longevity and men are less likely than women to seek preventive dental care and often neglect their oral health for years, only visiting the dentist when problems arise. When it comes to oral health, statistics show that the average man brushes his teeth 1.9 times a day and will lose 5.4 teeth by the age of 72. Tobacco use, medications, and playing sports can all affect men’s oral health.

Tobacco Use: If you smoke or chew you have a greater risk of gum disease and oral cancer. Men are affected twice as often as women, and 95% of oral cancers occur in those over 40 years of age.

Medications: Since men are more likely to suffer from heart attacks, they also are more likely to be on medications that can cause dry mouth. If you take medications for the heart or blood pressure, or if you take antidepressants, your salivary flow could be inhibited, increasing the risk for cavities. Saliva helps to reduce the cavity-causing bacteria found in your mouth.

Sports: If you participate in sports, you have a greater potential for trauma to your mouth and teeth. If you play contact sports, such as football, soccer, basketball, and even baseball; it is important to use a mouth guard, which is a flexible appliance made of plastic that protects the teeth from trauma.

Posted April 29, 2013:What is dry mouth?

Dry mouth (also called xerostomia) is caused by a decrease in the amount of saliva in the mouth when the salivary glands do not work properly. The salivary glands help keep your mouth moist, which helps prevent tooth decay and oral health problems. Some prescriptions and over-the-counter medications are the most common cause of dry mouth. In fact, more than 400 medications can contribute to mouth dryness. Approximately 30 percent of persons over the age of 65 are affected by dry mouth. Dry mouth can cause difficulty in tasting, chewing, or swallowing. It also allows plaque to build up on your teeth faster leading to a higher risk of cavities, bad breath, ulceration or soreness of the mouth, gum disease, and difficulty in wearing dentures. There are many treatments that can help ease the symptoms of dry mouth, including over-the-counter saliva substitutes. To ease discomfort, your dentist may also recommend the following:

• Brush and floss twice a day

• Chew sugar-free gum

• Avoid alcohol and caffeine

• Avoid smoking

• Avoid acidic juices

• Avoid dry foods

• Avoid overly salty foods

• Drink plenty of water

• Regular dental visits

Posted April 22, 2013:What Foods Cause Tooth Decay in Children?

Many different types of food can cause tooth decay in children, not just candy. Foods that are high in carbohydrates, as well as some fruits, juices and sodas, peanut butter, crackers and potato chips are culprits. Factors that cause tooth decay include the frequency in which the foods are eaten and the time they remain as particles in the mouth.

Dentists believe that kids who consume too much soda and not enough nutritional beverages are prone to tooth decay in addition to serious ailments later in life, such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Drinking carbonated soft drinks regularly can contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel. Enamel breakdown leads to cavities. If erosion spreads beneath the enamel, pain and sensitivity may eventually result. This can cause nerve infection, which can result in the need for a root canal.

Posted March 30, 2013:5 Tips To Tame Sensitive Teeth

If a jolt of pain surges through your body when you chow down or sip on something hot/cold, you're not alone. You're actually 1 in 8 people that have sensitive teeth, according to a recent study by the American Dental Association.

Sensitivity often occurs when the enamel on the outside of the tooth, or the tissue between the tooth and gum, wears away. This exposes the nerves of the mouth to external environmental triggers.

Dr. James Tong has 4 tips for dealing with teeth sensitivity:

1) Use a specialized toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, which is formulated for sensitive gums and teeth.

2) Stop using whitening treatments, which can be causing your sensitivity.

3) Brush with soft bristle toothbrushes and don't use excessive force.

4) Drink water immediately after having acidic food/drink (ie. orange juice, wine, coffee) and avoid brushing for 10-15 min afterwards.

5) Wear a night guard at night if you grind your teeth. This will help prevent wearing down the enamel that can lead to sensitive teeth.

Posted March 28, 2013:Children with Special Needs Are at Increased Risk for Oral Disease

A study in 2010 by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) showed that 17 % of children have special health care needs. Behavioral issues, developmental disorders, cognitive disorders, genetic disorders and systemic diseases may increase a child's risk of developing oral disease. For a child with special needs, limited diets, frequent use of medicine and lack of proper oral hygiene can make it challenging to maintain good oral health. Taking children with special needs to the dentist is as important as caring for their other medical needs. A dentist who understands a child's medical history and special needs can provide preventive and routine oral care, reducing the likelihood that the child will develop otherwise preventable oral diseases. Dr. Tong is a Pediatric Dentist and our office is equipped with the necessary technology and techniques to aid in the care of your child with special needs. Ask our office today about how we can assist you with the unique needs of your family.

Posted January 4, 2013:Highlands Dental Care has launched a new website!

Dr. James Tong and the team at Highlands Dental Care have launched a new website for their patients. Featuring safe, secure online patient health history collection and appointment request forms in order to make it even easier for you to see the dentist!

We also offer current office news, up-to-date treatment information and answers to many frequently asked questions.

So, take a moment to look around and when you're done, use our convenient contact form to let us know what you think!

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