The “T’s” of Thanksgiving

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Wendy Parker RDH

The “T’s” of Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year again, when the holidays are upon us, family and friend gatherings, and days seem to get shorter and shorter.  With each passing year, it seems like we become busier and busier and time grows shorter and shorter.  This holiday season, I hope we all take the challenge and remember all the big and the little things we can be thankful for each and every day.  At the end of your day, I hope that we remember to say thank you to someone, to smile, and to be grateful for the small and simple things in life.  With that said, and with the fact that I am a hygienist, I am listing just a few things that I am thankful that begin with the letter “T.”

TEETH that help me smile, talk, and eat
Teeth
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste to keep my mouth healthy and happy
Turkey, who doesn’t love Turkey?!
Turkey
Trivia, to enlighten me with random facts of knowledge
Trivia Pursuit
Technology that enables us to solve problems and obtain information at the touch of hand
Technology
Terrific Employers, Friends/Employees I work with and Patients that make my job more than just an occupation
Signature
consisting of:
North Stapley
Shalimar
Alameda
Smiles
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From all of us here, we wish you the happiest and most memorable holiday season!  May you know how grateful we are for YOU this Thanksgiving Season!

Smiles For Life

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Andra Mahoney, BS RDH

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From March – June, our offices will be participating in Smiles for Life.

What is Smiles for Life? The Smiles for Life Foundation raises money for seriously ill, disabled, and underprivileged children in our local communities and around the world.  It also helps sponsor Dental Humanitarian trips throughout the world.

How does it work?  We welcome you to our office, whether it’s your first visit or you are a long time patient.  Ultradent donates the whitening materials, and our Dentists donate their time.  Together, we offer professional teeth whitening services at substantially reduced prices (donations).  You may choose between three different whitening options:

1. Professionally made-to-fit-your-mouth trays and 8 tubes of take home whitening gel
2. In Office Whitening
3. In Office Whitening with take home trays and 8 tubes of take home whitening gel

Where does my donation go?  No proceeds stay in the office.  100% of your donation goes to children’s charities!  50% will go to Hope Arising, a charity that our offices work directly with.  The other 50% is given to a children’s charity approved by the Smiles For Life Foundation. And for you, it is all tax deductible!

What are the benefits to professional whitening? Whitening helps you look and feel younger.  And when you professionally whiten your teeth, you are ensuring a safer, more effective way of whitening.  Over the counter items may be quicker and cheaper, but they are not tailored to your specific mouth and are not as effective.  If you have ever wanted to whiten, now is the time.  Everybody wins!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

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Sources:

If you would like more information on Smiles for Life, please check out this short video: http://youtu.be/asAom_V5ukY or visit them at: http://www.smilesforlife.org

If you would like to learn more about the organization we specifically work with, Hope Arising, you may check out this video: http://youtu.be/zi06jlAVQOc or visit their website here: http://hopearising.org  (you may even see some of our great Doctors pictured on their page!)

What is a Sealant?

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Katie Moynihan RDH

What is a Sealant?

Dental sealants are thin plastic-like coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of molars to prevent cavities. They work by providing a protective shield over the deep grooves and pits to seal out plaque and food. Often times, your toothbrush bristles do not reach all the way into the grooves to remove plaque and food. Once these vulnerable areas of your teeth are sealed, you can decrease your chance of tooth decay and be on your way to maintaining a healthy mouth!

Sealant 1

How are sealants applied?

In 5 easy steps:

1. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned.

2. It is then dried properly and covered in cotton, so it stays dry.

3. A solution is applied on the tooth to make it rough, so the sealant sticks better.

4. The tooth is rinsed, dried and again covered in cotton, so it stays dry.

5. The sealant material is painted on the tooth and hardened with a light.

Sealant 2

The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life. Sealants are often applied on children as a preventative method once their adult molars come in. However, adults with deep grooves on their teeth can also benefit from sealants. The process is a quick and painless method. Once applied, sealants can withstand the force of normal chewing and last for several years. During your regular dental visits, we will check the condition of the sealant and re-apply as needed.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

Sources:

Hood, Alex. Sealants: A Weapon Against Cavities. http://www.deltadentalar.com/blog/sealants-a-weapon-against-cavities

Dental Sealants. (2013). http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/faqs/sealants.htm

Sealants. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sealants

Dental Fears

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Becky Larson RDH

I once had an elementary school teacher who would scream if she heard the word “dentist.” About 75% of the population has some form of dental anxiety while about 5-10% of the population has an actual dental phobia. There are various degrees of dental anxiety/phobia, some even requiring psychiatric help. Those who experience this fear of going to the dentist will often avoid dental appointments until they are in extreme pain. I think we all realize that sometimes going to the dentist is just not fun. However, some signs that you may suffer from legitimate dental anxiety/phobia include trouble sleeping the night before a dental appointment, nervous feelings that increase in the dental office waiting room, crying or feeling physically sick when thinking about the dentist, and/or panic attacks or difficulty breathing when at or thinking of the dentist.

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So what causes dental anxiety or dental phobia? Some common reasons for experiencing dental anxiety are fear of pain, fear of injections, fear that injections won’t work, fear of anesthetic side effects, fear of not being in control, embarrassment, and loss of personal space. The key to dealing with any of these fears is to talk to your dentist. If your dentist is aware of your fear(s) he/she can suggest ways to make you feel more comfortable when in the dental chair. Some helpful strategies include:

  • Having your dentist explain procedures in detail prior to and during treatment
  • Topical anesthetic and/or closing your eyes during injections
  • Establish a “stop” signal when you want your dentist to stop or give you a break
  • Nitrous oxide prior to treatment
  • Prescription pre-medication (such as Halcion)
  • Sedation/general anesthesia

At our offices we do offer intravenous sedation techniques for dental treatment. With these techniques, sedation drugs are administered through an IV in the patient’s arm or hand. While the patient is sedated, they will still be still be conscious and able to respond to dental staff. They will also be able to breathe on their own.

Recognizing dental fears and finding ways to cope with them is extremely important to your dental health. Regular check-ups and cleanings can help prevent recurrent decay, which in turn can reduce the amount of time and money you spend at the dentist.

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

 

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/easing-dental-fear-adults

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_phobia

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Checkups-and-Dental-Procedures/The-Dental-Visit/article/What-is-Dental-Anxiety-and-Phobia.cvsp

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Sugar

Arianna Headshot

Arianna Marsden RDH

 

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With all the candy that has come into our homes as a result of trick or treating, now seems like a great time of year to review strategies for preventing cavities.  Cavities are caused by acid-producing-bacteria that are present in our mouths.  Bacteria consume the sugars in the foods we eat and produce acid.  This acid produced by bacteria in our mouths softens the hardest outer layer of our teeth, the enamel, and causes tooth decay or cavities.  Some of the best ways to prevent cavities are to eat sugars in moderation, limit the amount of time our teeth are exposed to acid, and practicing proper oral health habits.

In order to prevent cavities, it’s important to eat sugars in moderation.  The sugars being referred to be not just the sugars found in candies and soda, but also natural sugars such as those found in fruits and nuts!  Bacteria are not picky about the type of sugar they like to eat, and will produce enamel-softening acid even from something as healthy as sugar in an apple.  Keep in mind that while fruits are important for a healthy diet, how frequently these sugars are consumed plays a big part in their capacity to cause cavities.  This is why it’s important to limit the amount of time our teeth are exposed to acid.

When sugar is eaten, acid-levels in the mouth spike for a period of about one hour before they are neutralized again by the saliva.  The longer sugar is in contact with our teeth, the longer bacteria have a chance to produce acid.  Sticky candies, like sugared fruit snacks, caramels, or lollipops should be avoided, because they tend to stick to the teeth for a longer period of time.

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Another factor that causes acid-levels in the mouth to stay high is grazing on candy throughout the day.  This grazing-style of eating prevents the saliva from being able to neutralize the acid levels in the mouth, as they are continuously spiking from the intake of sugar.  This high acid-level environment is the perfect storm for causing cavities, but there are some strategies we can use to assist our saliva in neutralizing the acid-level in our mouths.  Drinking a glass of water, or thoroughly brushing teeth after eating sugar are great for neutralizing acid.  Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum for about 20 minutes after eating has also been shown to stimulate saliva flow and quickly neutralize the acid-level in our mouths.

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We should be brushing our teeth at least twice a day, with a soft toothbrush and a small, pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.  Flossing at least once a day is critical for removing plaque bacteria from between the teeth.  Brushing and flossing removes plaque bacteria from our teeth, and fewer bacteria present in our mouths means less potential acid that can be produced.  Fluoride has been demonstrated to dramatically reduce the damage caused by cavities, and when used properly, is a great strategy for preventing cavities.

Fluoride in our toothpaste and water at home can help prevent cavities, as well as professional fluoride treatments provided at the dentist’s office.

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Being selective about the types of candy that we are giving to our trick or treaters, when and how much candy we are eating, and being especially conscientious about our oral health practices will be helpful strategies in preventing cavities this holiday season.

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

 

Sources

https://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/caring-for-teeth/sugar-free-chewing-gum

http://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/halloweendw.html

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