Archive for September, 2012

Treat Yourself to a New Smile!

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

The dog days of summer are still here, but with Fall on its way maybe you’d like to change more than the weather. Perhaps it’s time to treat yourself to a new smile! There are a variety of restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedures that your dentist can use to make your smile the best that it can be.

Restorative and cosmetic options
There’s no reason to continue putting off repairs or to delay improving your appearance. Techniques and procedures have improved over the years, and you may be surprised at what your dentist can do for your smile. Some of the options include porcelain veneers that cover your teeth, implants to close gaps left by missing teeth, crowns that make a tooth like new, bonding to improve a tooth’s appearance, and enamel shaping that transforms teeth into the exact shape you desire.

Teeth whitening
It’s easy to brighten your smile using one of the many teeth whitening options available today. Whiten your teeth at home using products like strips, gels, or bleaching trays. Or, visit your dentist for fast and effective professional whitening results.

Teeth straightening
It’s never too late to improve your self-esteem and your jaw alignment by seeking orthodontic treatment. To achieve a flawless smile, consider Invisalign clear braces that will transform your teeth while going virtually unnoticed by others.

The first step is to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a checkup. You will have tartar buildup removed and get your teeth cleaned to a sparkly finish. Also, your dentist will examine your mouth to make sure everything is healthy. This visit will also give you the opportunity to discuss your smile with your dentist and come up with a plan for any improvements you’d like to make.

Ingredients for a Winning Smile

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

You’ve probably heard all your life about some foods that are bad for your teeth, but did you know there are other foods that are great for your oral health? Let’s learn about some food ingredients that will keep you smiling.

Full of vitamin D, which helps your teeth get the full benefits of calcium from foods that you eat

Contain sulpher compounds and lowers bacteria that leads to tooth decay

High in fiber and vitamin C, these berries help keep gums healthy while scrubbing your teeth when you eat them

Creates a natural mouthwash by increasing saliva production and providing citric acid. Also contains vitamin C and an enzyme called Bromelain, which promotes healing in your mouth

Grain full of teeth-strengthening minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus

Sesame Seeds
Scrubbing qualities reduce plaque, and calcium content aids your teeth

Shitaki Mushrooms
Contain a sugar called Lentinan, known to prevent mouth bacteria

Japanese horseradish containing compounds that hinder bacteria growth

Sea Salt
Has a blend of minerals that strengthen teeth

Sugar substitute that prevents tooth decay, and is beneficial to gums

Natural sweetener that doesn’t create acid on your teeth like sugar does

What’s an Oral Irrigator?

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Do you have memories from long ago of watching Grandma use her water pick to clean her teeth? You may think those days are gone and a water pick can only be found at garage sales, but these days they are called oral irrigators. You may want to try using one in your goal of achieving healthier teeth and gums.

An oral irrigator is a water jet used to rinse your mouth and gums, serving to remove food particles and lower bacteria levels. It has proven to be helpful for people with gingivitis, diabetes, orthodontic work, crowns, dental implants, as well as those without specific dental issues.

It is important to remember that an oral irrigator is an accompaniment to your other hygiene tasks. Continue your routine of brushing and flossing your teeth, and then use an oral irrigator. It can be helpful in cleaning the deeper areas where brushing and flossing can’t reach. Oral irrigators are easy to use because the handles are specially designed with angled nozzles to reach deep into your mouth and to hard-to-reach areas. You don’t have to spend a great deal of time using an irrigator; even 60 seconds is enough to aid in your oral health.

What are the benefits of using an oral irrigator? There are quite a few reasons that you might want to add this to your dental hygiene regime. These include:

• Reducing bacteria and the associated risk of gum disease.
• Removing unattached plaque. Studies show that using an irrigator along with brushing and flossing can allow you to remove 99 percent more plaque than brushing alone.
• Controlling gingivitis, especially in people who aren’t good about practicing other proper dental hygiene techniques. Studies suggest that gum health can be improved up to 93 percent compared to just brushing.
• Reducing bleeding along your gums.
• Improving bad breath by getting rid of bacteria in your mouth.
• Providing extra cleaning of your tongue, which also controls bacteria and bad breath.

When used with traditional home dental care techniques, oral irrigation may be an easy way to help you gain optimum oral health. Consider adding it to your routine today.

What it Takes to be a Dental Hygienist

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Most dental practices today employ hygienists to perform a portion of the dental procedures at your office visit. Have you ever wondered about their role, and whether you should trust them to work with you in addition to your dentist? Let’s learn about how the job of a dental hygienist fits into your oral health care.

Health care professionals

Dental hygienists, also called dental assistants, are health care professionals. They assist dentists in providing oral care. Often, the dental hygienist is the first one during a checkup to examine your teeth and gums, perform the cleaning, and look for signs of disease or other issues. The hygienist works closely with your dentist in giving you the best oral care possible.


Many dental hygienists achieve a two-year degree from an accredited dental hygienist school. A strong background in biology, chemistry, and math are required to prepare for such schools. Some hygienists obtain even further education, getting a bachelor’s or master’s degree in dental hygiene.


All dental hygienists are required to be licensed by The American Dental Association. This involves a written test as well as a clinical exam in a work environment. Some states require additional testing related to topics such as ethics and patient confidentiality.


As with most health care providers who work directly with patients, the personal qualities of a dental hygienist are important to their job success. Hygienists must have strong communication skills, so they can adequately instruct patients on things like oral hygiene. The job also requires patience to work with a variety of people and ages. Hygienists need good manual dexterity to be able to use sharp instruments in small spaces, and they must provide good patient care during dental procedures. Finally, hygienists should be able to function as part of a team with the others in the dental office.

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