Wednesday, July 31, 2013

That's Ok, Tomorrow's a New Day!

Our Hygienist extraordinaire Dessa has some great advice on developing the habit of flossing.  She shares the following:

A tip for an easier cleaning is to be flossing before you come in for a cleaning appointment. At least daily flossing for one week before the appointment will make it not so painful. 

Everyone should be flossing to prevent cavities in-between the teeth everyday as a goal but we become forgetful or too busy.  Don't be too hard on yourself if this happens and just start over.  

Just remember people who floss, enjoy getting their teeth cleaned more than people who don't.  There are some great products available to help with flossing.   We carry a product that is extremely effective as well called Oral B Hummingbird.

This flosser is easier to use for children because they can hold onto the handle instead of trying to navigate the loose string.

Best Wishes & Happy Flossing!
Dessa R.D.H.

Call us today to schedule your next cleaning! (541) 451-1440

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Strep? Time For a New Toothbrush?

New Toothbrush After Strep

In a recent news article published, some interesting information was brought forth when it comes to toothbrush replacement.  Opinions vary and the study was small, but nevertheless some interesting findings were presented:

After experiencing a sore throat, you may think you have to throw away your toothbrush to protect your dental health. That makes sense- sore throats may be caused by infectious bacteria, and you're likely concerned that this bacteria may be on your toothbrush. However, if you have an electric toothbrush, then you probably don't relish the thought of having to purchase a new head for it before you need to.

Recently, researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch found that, at least when it comes to your kids, you may not have to throw out that toothbrush after all after they've had a case of strep throat.

Your Brush is Safe
The scientists wanted to see if the bacteria strain that causes strep throat, Streptococcus, also known as GAS, would grow on the toothbrushes of kids who had strep throat. They examined 14 kids who had strep throat, 13 of whom had sore throats but not strep, and 27 patients who weren't sick. They told all of them to brush their teeth with a new brush, then sent these brushes to the lab to see if GAS bacteria grew on them.

GAS bacteria was only found on one of the toothbrushes, which was, strangely enough, used by a kid who didn't have strep. The other brushes simply grew bacteria that are commonly present in the mouth, but did not grow GAS.

"This study supports that it is probably unnecessary to throw away your toothbrush after a diagnosis of strep throat," said co-author Judith Rowen, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at UTMB.

However, Lauren Shepard, D.O., a co-author of the study, pointed out that this was a small study and larger ones need to be conducted before they can definitively say that it is safe for kids to use their toothbrushes after they have strep throat.

Strep Remedies
If your children have strep throat, you should take them to the doctor for the medication they need. Other than that, there are home remedies that may help ease the pain for strep. For example, drinking plenty of fluids while you have strep. Warm, herbal tea may provide immediate relief for a sore throat, as can a simple cup of hot water with honey.

Although this evidence indicates no need to change toothbrushes after having strep, Dr. Clark recommends to replace your toothbrush after having been on the antibiotic for a few days.

Here are the ADA guidelines:

Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions about replacing your toothbrush.  We carry a great toothbrush in our office as well if you are ready to upgrade what you are currently using.  
New electronic toothbrushes 
can make great gifts!
(541) 451-1440

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fluoridation - A Hot Topic!

Surgeon General Officially Endorses Community Water Fluoridation

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin on April 22, 2013 officially endorsed community water fluoridation as “one of the most effective choices communities can make to prevent health problems while actually improving the oral health of their citizens.”

Dr. Benjamin made her endorsement in a letter sent to the National Oral Health Conference being held in Huntsville, Ala. Attendees heard the letter read aloud at the conference opening ceremony this morning.

“Fluoridation’s effectiveness in preventing tooth decay is not limited to children, but extends throughout life, resulting in fewer and less severe cavities,” Dr. Benjamin wrote. “In fact, each generation born since the implementation of water fluoridation has enjoyed better dental health than the generation that preceded it.”

Every surgeon general for the past 50 years has endorsed fluoridation of community water supplies as a safe and effective weapon in the war against tooth decay.  The American Dental Association has supported fluoridation since 1950.

“The ADA's policies regarding community water fluoridation are based on the best available science showing that fluoridation is a safe, effective way to prevent dental decay,” said ADA President Dr. Robert A. Faiella. “The ADA, along with state and local dental societies, continues to work with federal, state and local agencies to increase the number of communities benefiting from this very effective public health measure.

“We applaud Dr. Benjamin for making this public endorsement of fluoridation,” Dr. Faiella said.

Dr. Benjamin’s letter to the National Oral Health Conference is available online at

We also have a great product that provides missing fluoride that can be applied daily and we guarantee your teeth will be stronger, less sensitive and more healthy if used regularly.

Call us for more details today!
(541) 451-4011

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sweet Treat or Life Sentence?

We found this informative article on the correlation between fizzy drinks and fuzzy teeth. You may think that offering these sweet beverages to your children serves as a sweet treat, but in reality you can be handing them a life sentence of tooth decay.

Fizzy drinks make fuzzy teeth! Keeping teeth healthy for a lifetime means preventing tooth decay and erosion. Though fluoride in community drinking water dramatically reduces the amount of decay in all age groups, tooth erosion is a newer phenomenon and one that is preventable.

What is erosion?

Erosion is the chemical loss of enamel due to acid. Acid is found primarily in soft drinks, sports drinks, juices and acidic foods. Acid reflux, vomiting and other illnesses that produce stomach acid in the mouth can also erode tooth enamel.

What is enamel?

Enamel is the protective outer layer of teeth. Throughout the day, your enamel undergoes a continuous dissolving and repairing cycle. Milk, fluoride, water and fluoridated toothpastes can repair and build back the minerals essential to healthy teeth. Low pH beverages such as soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit juices and wine dissolve enamel. Sour candies can also erode enamel.

How do fizzy drinks make fuzzy teeth?

When acid continuously attacks teeth, they cannot repair themselves and will gradually begin to turn fuzzy and dissolve. Dentists consider every sip of a low pH drink an acid attack. Even one bottle of soda or a single sports drink, if sipped over hours, can do extensive, irreversible damage to tooth enamel.

What is decay?

Decay is literally a soft spot in the enamel which penetrates the dentin, or a hole in the tooth. Decay is caused when the mouth’s bacteria react to sugar. The chemical interaction between bacteria and sugar produces acid. The acid-producing bacteria eat the enamel until a hole is made in the tooth, also known as a cavity. Preventing cavities involves brushing, flossing and keeping sugar to a minimum. Fluoride hardens the outer layer of teeth, making it more difficult for bacteria to penetrate the enamel.

What role does saliva play?

Acid attacks do the most damage when you are very thirsty or have a dry mouth. Saliva, your mouth’s natural defense shield, covers your teeth and provides some protection against acid attacks. When you’re dehydrated, you lack saliva and your teeth are more vulnerable to acid attacks.

What can I do to prevent fuzzy teeth?

STOP the continuous acid and sugar attack on your teeth by limiting the quantity of soft drinks and sports drinks and instead choosing healthy drinks such as milk and water. Reduce the size of the drink and use a straw to draw the damaging liquid away from your teeth. Food consumed with acidic drinks can often help counteract acid attacks. Most important is to brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste before bed to reduce bacteria and to help harden your enamel. Wait at least one hour after drinking an acidic drink to brush your teeth to allow your saliva to begin the repair process. Drinking and swishing with water can also help.
Those with orthodontic appliances need to brush as soon as possible to remove food particles and plaque. They are an the greatest risk of decalcification and should limit soft drinks and sports drinks to occasional use.
Think twice before you reach for that soda.  Stocking your refrigerator with cold water makes it easy to make the right choice when your kids are thirsty.  Stay hydrated this summer and protect those teeth!
Call us if you have any questions about tooth decay.
(541) 451-1440

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Do As I'm Doing, Follow, Follow, Me

There is a familiar children's song entitled "Do As I'm Doing, Follow, Follow Me".  During the song the leader does an action and audience follows.  The song instructs the audience to do it higher, or lower, faster or slower.  The results are always a room full of giggles and fun.  So what does that have to do with Dentistry you ask?

Nothing is more important than a good example!  Do you think your behaviors and actions influence your children?  You bet they do!  Parents have an enormous influence on their children and when it comes to health and well being the impact can be life changing.

Getting children to brush their teeth can be a down right struggle some days, but persistence pays off - big time.  They are not going to understand the benefits now, but as they get older and interact with more children it will become obvious what dental hygiene can result in if done properly.  They will see friends with missing teeth, capped teeth, chipped teeth, and unhealthy mouths.  They are out there, and one day when it dawns on them that their pearly whites are that way because you set the proper example and taught them how to care for their health, they will thank you.

Colgate has put together a fun video instructing how to teach your children to brush their teeth.  Maybe it will be a review for you, and maybe it will spark some ideas to start in your family.

Don't forget about our personalized tooth chart that you can print out for your children.  Celebrate with them and bring these charts into their semi-annual cleanings for a special prize.  All of us like surprises right?  You can personalize a chart for your child or grandchild by simply clicking on the tooth icon up at the top right of our blog.

For some more helpful tips see a former post that shares 10 Tips on getting your child to brush his teeth:

Scheduling regular dental visits will instill in your child's mind the importance of oral health care.  If it's been longer than six months since you have seen us please call us today!  We can give you moral support by teaching your child the importance of brushing and flossing.  Sometimes having someone "back you up" reinforces your teachings.

Call and schedule a cleaning and exam 
for your child today!
(541) 451-1440