by Lee Anne Austria on April 2, 2015 , Comments Off on THE INFO ON IMPLANTS

image credit: RW Implants & Cosmetic Dentistry

For many people, a dental implant is a great solution to replace missing teeth.  A dental implant takes the place of a tooth’s root.  A crown or bridge can then be secured to the implant providing a functional and esthetic solution.  Click here to learn more about the benefits of dental implants and be sure to check out our Pinterest page for more fun infographics!

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Oral Health IS Health-Visit Your Dentist!

by Lee Anne Austria on March 17, 2015 , Comments Off on Oral Health IS Health-Visit Your Dentist!

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We cannot emphasize it enough!  Poor dental hygiene and gum disease are much more common than you might think and both can pose serious consequences to your overall health.  Make regular visits to your dentist and hygienist.  Click here to be taken to our Pinterest page where you can view this infographic and learn more!

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by Lee Anne Austria on March 3, 2015 , Comments Off on IS IT TIME TO TOSS THAT TOOTHBRUSH?

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As you reach for your toothbrush each morning, you may not realize what’s hanging out on its bristles.  “Toothbrushes can become contaminated with oral microbial organisms whenever they are placed in the mouth.” says Sharon Cooper, PhD.  Viruses and bacteria from an infected person’s mouth can live for weeks on a toothbrush surface, and continue to cause illness, says Cooper, a clinical associate professor at the University of Florida College of Dentistry.  Even normal, healthy microorganisms can cause infections, especially if they enter your gum tissue due to an injury, a break, or an oral ulcer, she adds.  Toothbrushes don’t have to be sold in sterile packaging, so they may have bacteria right out of the box, says the American Dental Association’s official statement on toothbrush care.


You may not give much thought to cleaning your toothbrush, since you’re wetting it every day to scrub your teeth.  However, it’s important – and easy – to do.

WASH IT – Give your toothbrush a thorough rinse with tap water to remove debris.  If you have a systemic illness or immune disorder, you want to soak it in antibacterial mouthwash or run it through the dishwasher, Cooper says.  Some use ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms.

TRY DEEP CLEANING – There are many types of toothbrush sanitizers on the market, Cooper says.  Some use ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms.

STORE IT PROPERLY – After use, don’t pop that wet toothbrush back into your medicine cabinet, drawer, or bathroom cup and forget about it.  Store it upright, in a rack or cup, where it can dry out.  Look for a cover that lets air circulate and prevents mold, but isn’t completely sealed.  The lack of air can foster bacteria.

WHEN TO CALL IT QUITS – How long should you keep a toothbrush to prevent the ick from building up?  Here are a few useful tips:

Know when to let go – Replace your toothbrush about every 3 to 4 months, or when it shows signs of wear.  “Frayed bristles will not clean the teeth and gums adequately,” Cooper says.

Toss toothbrushes after illness – Throw away a brush you or anyone in your home used while sick.

Yes, that means ALL toothbrushes – Treat electric or power models the same way you handle an old-fashioned one.  Chuck the brush attachment after an illness or when the bristles begin to show signs of wear, Cooper says.

No sharing – Tempted to lend a toothbrush to a family member?  Don’t.  Toothbrush sharing can transfer saliva and bacteria – even the kind that cause tooth decay.  “Tooth decay is considered an infectious disease – one more reason not to share or borrow a toothbrush,” Cooper says.


Sharon Cooper, PhD, RDH< MS, MEd, clinical associate professor, University of Florida College of Dentistry, Gainesville, FL.

American Dental Association

The Maryland Children’s Oral Health Institute

Reviewed by Michael Friedman, DDS on March 3, 2014

Copyright 2010 WebMD, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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Drop The Ball On Bad Breath!

by Lee Anne Austria on December 30, 2014 , Comments Off on Drop The Ball On Bad Breath!

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Are you ready to ring in the New Year with a smooch from your sweetie?  Routine brushing and flossing are essential to a minty mouth.  But if you’re looking for that extra pop of minty freshness, consider a mouthwash.  Read more here

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by Lee Anne Austria on December 17, 2014 , Comments Off on INVISALIGN VS. BRACES: WHICH IS BETTER FOR YOU?

braces articleBy Dr. Darren Flowers,

Orthodontic treatments that use either braces or Invisalign are just few of the many techniques used by dental professionals in straightening the teeth of their patients.  They straighten teeth to give them an ideal position, improve their look, and promote proper function.  Invisalign utilizes a set of clear plastic trays as a means of achieving the position.  Traditional braces, on the other hand, usually make use of metal wires with an aim of getting the most ideal movement or position for the teeth.  The good thing about orthodontic dental treatments that use braces or Invisalign is that they do more than just straighten the teeth.  These are also valuable in correcting bite issues that often require special diagnosis and treatment.

Benefits of Invisalign

The use of Invisalign is an efficient method for tooth movements that are not too complicated.  A set of clear, computer-generated trays is ideally worn 24 hours a day with change-outs every two weeks.  There are certain trays that can last for six months to one year.  However, these require some form of retention to prevent the teeth from shifting back.  One of its best advantages is that the trays are relatively invisible.  Hence the name Invisalign.  Some people simply don’t want anyone to know they are wearing braces.  They also provide help for people who wish to obtain straight teeth while still feeling comfortable in social situations.  Wearing Invisalign offers comfort because it does not affect your speech.  Invisalign treatment can be expected to work more efficiently for esthetic purposes rather than for the purpose of improving the functionality of teeth.  This is why many people, especially those who have complex dental problems, still prefer dental braces.

Benefits of dental braces

Dental braces feature brackets that tend to run along a wire.  An orthodontist or other trained dental professional is responsible for affixing the dental braces onto the teeth.  The wire and brackets that form part of the braces are pressed against the patient’s teeth.  This supports slight movements that can help in properly aligning and straightening the teeth.

Dental braces can correct even the most complicated issues in aligning the teeth.  The braces are not only esthetically pleasing, but functional as well.  These are beneficial in closing gaps and correcting crooked teeth.

Dental braces are better for complex cases

There are plenty of reasons why you might choose dental braces over Invisalign.  Mainly composed either of colored metal or resin brackets, braces are attached onto the face of the teeth.  Braces also come with a wire that runs through them and affixes them in place.  One benefit of dental braces over Invisalign is that these are not removable.  Unlike an Invisalign treatment which is extremely useful for esthetic purposes and simple dental issues, braces are functional and work efficiently for fixing complex tooth issues.  Braces can also be expected to work faster at closing gaps and aligning the teeth than Invisalign.

Are braces better than Invisalign?  Ultimately it’s going to come down to determining the specific need in each case and deciding which one will meet that need in the best way for the patient.  Contact us to learn more!

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by Lee Anne Austria on November 17, 2014 , Comments Off on FYI: SUPRISING HABITS THAT CAN RUIN THOSE PEARLY WHITES!

Smile Gallery 3It’s common knowledge that consuming too many sugar-laden foods can damage your teeth.  However, you may be surprised to learn that these habits could be negatively affecting your oral health:

1.  Chewing on ice:  It’s natural and sugar free, so people might think ice is harmless.  But munching on hard, frozen cubes can chip or even crack teeth.  And if mindless chomping irritates the soft tissue inside a tooth, regular toothaches may follow.  Hot foods and cold foods may trigger quick, sharp jabs of pain or a lingering toothache.  Next time you get the urge for ice, chew some sugarless gum instead.

2.  Drinking coffeeCoffee’s dark color and acidity can cause yellowing of teeth over time.  Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest stains to treat with various whitening methods. Click here to learn more about the whitening treatments we offer.

3.  Bedtime bottles:  It’s never too early to protect teeth.  Giving a baby a bedtime bottle of juice, milk, or formula, can put new teeth on a path to decay.  The baby may become used to falling asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth, bathing the teeth in sugars overnight.  It’s best to keep bottles out of the crib.

4.  Tongue piercings:  Tongue piercings may be trendy, but biting down on the metal stud can crack a tooth.  Lip piercings pose a similar risk.  And when metal rubs against the gums, it can cause gum damage that may lead to tooth loss.  The mouth is also a haven for bacteria, so piercings raise the risk of infections and sores.  Bottom line, discuss the health risks with your dentist first.

5.  Grinding teeth:  Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can wear teeth down over time.  It is most often caused by stress and sleeping habits.
This makes it hard to control.  Avoiding hard foods during the day can reduce pain and damage from this habit.  Wearing a mouth guard at night can prevent the damage caused by grinding while sleeping.

6.  Cough drops:  Just because cough crops are sold in the medicine aisle doesn’t mean they’re healthy.  Most are loaded with sugar.  So after soothing a throat with a lozenge, be sure to brush well.  Whether the sugar comes from a cough drop or a hard candy, it reacts with the sticky plaque that coats teeth.  Then bacteria in the plaque convert the sugar into an acid that eats away at tooth enamel.  Hello, cavities.

7.  Opening stuff with teeth:  prettysmileOpening bottle caps or plastic packaging with teeth may be convenient, but this is one habit that makes dentists cringe.  Using teeth as tools can cause them to crack or chip.  Instead, keep scissors and bottle openers handy.  Bottom line, teeth should only be used for eating.

8.  Potato chips:  The bacteria in plaque will also break down starchy foods into acid.  This acid can attack the teeth for the next 20 minutes, even longer if the food is stuck between the teeth or people snack often.  You may want to floss after eating potato chips or other starchy foods that tend to get stuck in the teeth.

9.  Constant snacking:  Snacking produces less saliva than a meal, leaving food bits in teeth for hours longer.  Avoid snacking too frequently and stick to snacks that are low in sugar and starch, for example, carrot sticks.

10.  Chewing on pencils:  Like crunching on ice, this habit can cause teeth to chip or crack.  Sugarless gum is a better option when they feel the need to chew.  It will trigger the flow of saliva, which can make teeth stronger and protect against enamel-eating acids.

11.  Playing sports with no mouth guard:  Whether you play football, hockey, or any other contact sport, don’t get in the game without a mouth guard.  This is a piece of molded plastic that protects the upper row of teeth.  Without it, teeth could get chipped or even knocked out when the action gets rough.  Self-fitting mouth guards may be purchased at a store, or have one custom made by a dentist.

12.  Drinking red wine:  The acids in wine eat away at tooth enamel, creating rough spots that make teeth more vulnerable to staining.  Red wine also contains a deep pigment called chromogen and tannins, which help the color stick to the teeth.  This combination makes it easy for the wine’s red color to stay with a person long after their glass is empty.

13.  Drinking white wine:  People might think that sticking to white wine would spare their teeth.  But the acids still weaken the enamel, leaving the teeth porous and vulnerable to staining from other beverages, such as coffee.  Swishing with water after drinking or using toothpaste with a mild whitening agent can fight the staining effects of red and white wines.

14.  Binge Eating:  Binge eating often involves excessive amounts of sweets, which can lead to tooth decay.  Binging and purging (bulimia nervosa) can do even more damage to dental health.  The strong acids found in vomit can erode teeth, making them brittle and weak.  These acids also cause bad breath.  Bulimia can lead to a variety of serious health problems, so people should be sure to talk to a doctor if they have been purging.



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