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At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!
Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”
We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:
Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.
Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.
Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!
If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”
Most everyone knows that going to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings can help save your smile — but did you ever stop to think that it just might save your life?
That's what recently happened to 11-year-old Journee Woodard of Edmond, Oklahoma. The young girl was having a routine teeth cleaning when hygienist Rachel Stroble noticed something unusual: The whites of her eyes (her sclera) had a distinctly yellow tint. Dr. Michael Chandler, Journee’s dentist, confirmed the hygienist’s suspicions, and advised her mom to take her for further testing. The tests revealed that Journee had a tumor covering parts of her pancreas, gallbladder and liver; it could have ruptured at any moment, with devastating consequences.
The tumor was removed three days later in a 9-hour operation, and Journee is now recovering. As for her dentist, Dr. Chandler told reporters that he and his staff were just doing their jobs thoroughly. “It's hard to feel like I’m a hero,” he said (though others might disagree).
Is this a one-in-a-million case? Maybe — yet for many people, a family dentist may be the health care professional who is seen more often than any other. That can put dentists in the unique position of being able to closely monitor not only a person’s oral health, but also their overall health.
There are several reasons why that’s so. One is that most systemic diseases (such as diabetes, leukemia, and heart disease, for example) can have oral manifestations — that is, symptoms that show up in the mouth. If your dentist notices something unusual, further testing may be recommended. Dentists also regularly screen for diseases specific to the mouth — such as oral cancer, which has a much better chance of being cured when it is caught at an early stage.
But beyond checking for particular diseases, dentists often notice other things that may indicate a health issue. For example, if you complain of dry mouth or snoring, and appear fatigued in the dental chair, your dentist may suspect undiagnosed sleep apnea: a potentially serious condition. Many other signs — such as yellowed eyes, a pounding heart rate, or shortness of breath — can indicate potential problems.
Of course, we’re not even mentioning the main reason for regular dental checkups — keeping your smile healthy and bright; for many people that’s reason enough. How does Journee’s mom feel about keeping dental appointments? “I will never miss another dentist appointment,” she told reporters. “I will never reschedule.”
If you would like more information about routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall.”
WE’VE ALL HEARD VARIOUS “FACTS” when it comes to our oral health—different ways to clean our teeth and gums, what is good or bad for them, etc. As your trusted dental professionals, we’re here to set the record straight about some of the most common oral health myths.
Myth #1: “If my teeth don’t hurt, they are healthy.”
In reality, many dental problems don’t hurt in their beginning stages, such as chronic gum disease and cavities. When they have progressed, however, to where treatment is quite extensive and expensive, you may begin to feel discomfort.Preventing a problem is always better than treating one. Visiting your dentist as frequently as recommended is key in maintaining a healthy body and mouth.
Myth #2: “Bleeding gums are normal.”
When you wash your body, does it bleed? No! It’s not normal for your gums either. In fact, bleeding gums are the first sign of infection. Gums will bleed because plaque accumulates where toothbrushes cannot reach to remove it. This is why flossing daily is so important! Flossing will help reach these plaque-ridden areas, which adds up to about 35 percent of your tooth surface. To heal bleeding gums, consistently brush and floss gently twice a day. If bleeding continues, come see us so we can evaluate your gums for possible gum disease.
Myth #3: “Always rinse your mouth out with water after brushing.”
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Spit, don’t rinse”? Keep this tip in mind while brushing. Toothpaste contains fluoride which helps protect our teeth from dental decay, strengthens tooth enamel, and even reduces the amount of cavity-causing acid that bacteria produce. So, when brushing, spit out excess toothpaste, but refrain from rinsing your mouth out with water. This will help your teeth remain protected far longer throughout the day!
Myth #4: “Mouthwash will solve my bad breath.”
There can be many causes for bad breath and mouthwash alone is not the solution. Bad breath can be caused by certain medications, illnesses, foods, and poor dental hygiene. The most effective way to fight bad breath is through regular brushing, daily flossing, and especially tongue scraping. Tongue scraping gets rid of any remaining bacteria on your tongue, which is the real culprit behind bad breath.
Myth #5: “Brush your teeth immediately after eating.”
We may think that brushing right after eating is good because it gets any food particles that are left behind in our teeth. But brushing within 30 minutes of finishing a meal can actually weaken tooth enamel, especially if you’ve consumed anything sugary or acidic, such as citrus. After a meal, it is best to thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water or chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production. After about 30 minutes, however, brush away!
We’ve loved busting these oral health myths so that you have the best and most accurate information out there. If you have any questions, call or come in to see us!
Thank you for reading our blog and placing your trust in our practice!
FEELING A BIT TIRED at times during the day is completely normal, even with a good night’s sleep. Some people, however, struggle every night for a restful sleep, especially those with sleep apnea.
Did you know that one in five adults has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with 80 percent of cases going undiagnosed? This condition can disrupt your sleep and increase your risk of severe health problems.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. This can cause a person to stop breathing hundreds of times per night, immensely disrupting their sleep. Here are some indications of a problem:
- Morning headaches
- Excessive daytime drowsiness
- Impaired mental or emotional functioning
- Excessive snoring, choking or gasping during sleep
- Waking with dry mouth or sore throat
We Can Help
Dentists are often the first professionals to become aware of a potential case of OSA and many are specially trained for the treatment of sleep apnea. We are just such a practice!
While the most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliance therapy that dentists provide is the increasingly preferred form of treatment. This is due to the high rejection rate of CPAP therapy and the fact that oral appliances are much more convenient, portable, and easy to care for.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy uses a mouth guard-like device to maintain an open, unobstructed airway while you sleep. They are typically as easy to wear as most retainers. There are two ways the oral appliance works to open up your airway:
By repositioning your lower jaw, it keeps your throat muscles engaged as you sleep, preventing them from collapsing.
Oral appliances can also move your tongue forward, keeping it from falling back and blocking the throat.
Don’t Ignore Sleep Apnea
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s rest! The quality of your sleep is extremely important to your overall health and well-being. Ask us today how you can better your life by treating sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy!
DENTISTS AREN’T JUST LOOKING FOR CAVITIES at your routine checkup. A quick examination of your mouth can reveal a lot more about your oral and overall health than you think. The dentist may even discover some of your quirky habits!
Here are a few things dentists may notice when they look inside your mouth:
#1: You Haven’t Been Flossing Regularly
That quick flossing session right before your appointment may make it more apparent to your dentist that you haven’t been flossing on a regular basis. When you only floss right before your dental checkup, your gums may still be bleeding and usually look damaged and inflamed. Healthy gums, on the other hand, appear tight and pink.
#2: You Have A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are known for causing pain and pressure in your sinus cavity, but sometimes you can even feel it in your upper teeth!
Are you unsure whether you have a toothache or a sinus infection? Luckily, your dentist can tell the difference! A simple home test is to bend over and touch your toes. If the pressure or pain increases upon bending over, it is most likely not a toothache!
#3: You Bite Your Nails
Here’s one of those quirky habits that you can’t hide from your dentist! Nail biters have leveled off, flat front teeth. This is because of the grinding that occurs between the top and bottom teeth.
#4: You Have A Vitamin Deficiency
Dentists look at more than just your teeth—they examine the health of your whole mouth! Vitamin deficiencies in particular can manifest themselves in your mouth in various ways. Here are some examples:
- Changes in the tongue
- Tissue sloughing off
- Delayed healing
- Easily bleeding gums
- Burning tongue syndrome
Dentists are often the first to discover a vitamin deficiency and can help get you back on track.
#5: You Used To Suck Your Thumb
If you had the habit of sucking your thumb or finger past the age of seven, there will be significant changes in your bite and the position of your teeth. Telltale signs may remain but these can be fixed through orthodontic treatment.
#6: You Have Another Serious Health Issue
Serious maladies such as oral cancer, diabetes, and heart disease show symptoms in the mouth.
Oral cancer, for example, is characterized by unexplained bleeding, discolored patches, swelling, bumps, or even eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth. Diabetes and heart disease visibly affect the health of the gums, shown by increased swelling, bleeding and sensitivity.
We Provide More Than Just A Cleaning
Your dental appointment is much more than just a cleaning! Beyond being able to tell that you bite your nails or don’t floss as often as you should, we can also detect other, more serious health problems and help you get your health back on track.
Your overall health is important to us. Trust us to catch any warning signs that may appear in your mouth. We're here to detect any problems and help you stay healthy and happy!
Thank you for placing your trust in our practice!