• 28 SEP 16
    • 0

    Vitamin Supplements – Can They Help or Hurt Your Teeth?

    Yellow pills forming shape to C alphabet on wood background

    Some Forms of Supplements Can Actually Harm Your Oral Health

    Nutrition experts encourage daily supplementation of vitamin C for everyone. It protects against everything from sudden infant death syndrome (S.I.D.S) to scurvy, heart disease, and in some cases, cancer. Two-time Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling, recommended a whopping 3 grams of vitamin C every day for the average healthy male, and 6 grams for those at risk of heart disease. There are many methods of vitamin C supplementation, in the form of capsules, powders and syrups. For decades, parents have been providing their children with chewable vitamin C pills.

    Chewable Pills and Citrus Toothpaste

    Vitamin C is destructive to tooth enamel, so chewable pills may lead to increased cavities, particularly in those who are lacking minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin C should never be taken in a manner which leaves residues of it on the teeth for an extended time. Some well-intentioned toothpaste manufacturers have misguidedly added vitamin C or “citrus” to their formulas, without realizing the dental problems that this presents. Similarly, some alternative medicine sites on the Internet recommend cleaning the teeth with lemon-based solutions. Citrus acids have the tendency to make the teeth feel clean. This occurs partly because the acid strips the teeth of everything, including the minerals bonding with them. It can cause long-term enamel damage; especially when it is combined with abrasives or stiff bristle brushes.

    Vitamin C when taken internally actually strengthens teeth, and the rest of the body. However, it should never be kept in direct contact with the teeth. It is strongly recommended for those who are brushing their teeth with citrus formulas to discontinue immediately. Toothpastes which contain calcium carbonate are ideal for long-term dental health and for tooth whiteness. Toothpastes containing phosphorus (phosphates) are even better.

    Fizzy Vitamin Supplements

    We know that sugar-filled juices and canned drinks such as cola and lemonade can cause tooth decay – yet few of us would think fizzy vitamin preparations can have similar effects. However, a study at the University of Helsinki on eight types of effervescent vitamins found they could all have corrosive effects on teeth.

    Leaching out the minerals contained in teeth, they left them weaker, more porous and prone to decay.

    In the research, teeth were soaked in the vitamin drinks for 100 hours. All of them – including those drinks that contained calcium – caused demineralization. The effects were worst in the Vitamin C products, where teeth were corroded so severely that dentine, the sensitive layer beneath the enamel was exposed.

    “When you drink fizzy vitamins, you wouldn’t expose your teeth for anything near this length of time,” says Dr. Mervyn Druian, spokesperson for the British Dental Association. “However, if you drink one of these dissolved tablets each day, it is likely that they would weaken your teeth.”

    Citric acid, the primary ingredient of many fizzy vitamin drinks, has been found by researchers at the University of Baltimore Dental School to cause dental erosion. While this erosion is less than in drinks that also contain sugar, it is still significant.

    “Dental erosion is caused by acidic solutions which come into contact with the teeth,” says Dr. Adam Thorne, dental surgeon at the Harley Street Dental Studio. “Because the critical pH of dental enamel is 5.5, any solution with a lower pH value may cause erosion, particularly over a long period or if it is taken regularly.”

    The danger of these soluble vitamins is that they are marketed for daily use and consumers tend to take them with breakfast and brush their teeth shortly after. “For an hour after you have an acidic drink such as a fizzy vitamin, cola or apple juice, your tooth enamel will remain softened,” says Dr. Thorne. “During this period, teeth become more vulnerable to corrosion, sensitivity and decay. Vitally, if you brush your teeth during this time, you are likely to brush away a layer of tooth enamel.”

    How Can You Protect Your Teeth from the Effect of Chewable or Fizzy Supplements?

    The strength of teeth changes continually over the course of a day, with minerals being taken out and replaced according to the foods you eat and drink. “Whenever we have an acidic drink, minerals are leached out of the teeth to help neutralize the acid. Saliva is slightly alkaline, so it also has a neutralizing effect,” says Dr. Druian.

    “After a few hours, the neutralizing action of saliva takes over, and calcium and other minerals are gradually put back in the teeth.”

    Dairy products such as cheese and milk have an alkaline pH that help neutralize acids. They also contain minerals. Eating these after an acid drink will help reduce acid levels and re-mineralize teeth at a faster rate.

    “Don’t brush your teeth for at least an hour and don’t swish the fizzy vitamin drink around your mouth,” states Dr. Durian. “You can also chew some sugar-free gum to increase the flow of saliva. Ultimately, if you are worried about the effects of these vitamins on your mouth, drink them through a straw or switch to a vitamin pill.”

    Sources: KnowYourTeeth.com, HealthWyze.org, DailyMail.co.uk


    • 19 SEP 16
    • 0

    Personal Care Dentistry Staff News and Notes

    We have anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, new babies and lots of other fun news about the care team at Personal Care Dentistry. Find out what many of them have been up to lately.


    Front Desk Team


    Personal Care Dentistry’s 2016 employee of the year is Sue Anderson, who just about all of our patients know from the smile she greets them with when they check in at the front desk for their appointment. She is pictured with Dr. Walter Hunt, D.D.S., founder of Personal Care Dentistry.

    2016 is turning out to be a big year for Sue Anderson. She was recently chosen as the Personal Care Dentistry employee of the year, and has a 46th wedding anniversary later this year. Sue’s been at PCD for nearly 17 years. Double congrats, Sue!

    Lynn had a big birthday this year (you wouldn’t believe her age if we told you) and welcomed two new grandchildren into her life. She now has 7 grandkids! That should keep her very busy!

    Becky celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary this year and her son graduated from college as a diesel mechanic and is now working for Peterbilt.

    Victoria’s new house in Wisconsin just got finished and she and her husband are excited to finally move in!

    Katie’s baby just turned 1 – we’ve never seen the little one in person (just photos), but she looks just like her mom!

    Emily and Allie both moved in 2016 and are happily settling into their new places.

    And Jessie’s two kids started first and third grade this fall. Oh, the joys of a first-grader’s first day of school!


    Dental Assisting Team

    Tiffany had a baby girl named Riley in April. And she already has a built-in baby sitter – her other daughter is 9 and loves telling Tiffany how to be a mom!

    Teresa is enrolled in hygiene school during the day and works a late shift at Personal Care Dentistry after school. She’s hoping to stay at PCD once she finishes her studies and work on the dental hygiene team.

    Vesna’s daughters had big days recently  – one started kindergarten and the other first grade! Congrats!

    Nancy is working on her bucket list of life goals and having fun pursuing them.

    Jean’s thinking about retirement in the very near future, but she hasn’t set an exact date yet. We will greatly miss her when she decides to finally retire!

    Dionne is busy with home DIY projects. She put in her own flooring in her house (our knees are aching just thinking about it), loves to renovate furniture and even installed her own countertops in the kitchen. Now that is one handy dental assistant!


    Financial Team

    Brandy, PCD’s financial coordinator, has a 35th wedding anniversary trip coming up with her husband Bruce. They are headed to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands with three other couples. Combined, the four couples have been married 123 years. Wow!


    Hygiene Team

    Jenna is getting married on Sept. 29 to her fiancé Dustin. Congrats!

    Kim celebrated her 38th anniversary at Personal Care Dentistry in August! She remembers when PCD was a couple of treatment rooms and a waiting room and Dr. Hunt was just out of dental school!

    Brenda has another grandchild coming in November and her grandson turns 1 the same month! She’s going to be a busy grandma and loves it!

    Missy’s daughter Nora turned 1 at the end of August. My, how time flies!

    Tiffany Sand is due in November – she’s expecting a baby girl. And her son Lucas will be 2 ½ when his new sister arrives.


    • 14 SEP 16
    • 0

    Can A Dentist Help TMJ Sufferers?

    An Accurate Diagnosis is Critical for Successful Treatment

    Dental care and toothache. Closeup young woman face worried girl suffering from tooth pain

    The source of facial aches and pains may be related to one or both of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Located on each side of the head, these joints work together, with a complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones, to make different movements for chewing and speaking.

    What is TMJ/TMD?

    Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) refers to a variety of conditions that affect TM joints, jaw muscles and facial nerves. TMD may occur when the jaw twists during opening, closing or side-motion movements. People with TMD may experience these symptoms:

    pain in or around the ear

    headaches and neck aches

    tenderness of the jaw or jaw muscles

    jaw pain or soreness that is more prevalent in the morning or late afternoon

    jaw pain when chewing, biting or yawning

    difficulty opening and closing the mouth

    clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth

    sensitive teeth when no other dental problems can be found

    TMD affects more than twice as many women (particularly those of childbearing age) as men and is the most common non-dental related chronic facial pain.

    What Causes TMD?


    improper bite (how teeth fit together)

    jaw dislocation or injury

    Stress and TMD

    Stress is thought to be a factor in TMD. Even strenuous physical tasks, such as lifting a heavy object or stressful situations, can aggravate TMD by causing overuse of jaw muscles, specifically clenching or grinding teeth (also known as bruxism).

    How Is TMD Diagnosed?

    Many other conditions cause similar symptoms – like tooth decay, sinus problems, arthritis, or gum disease. To figure out what’s causing yours, the dentist will ask about your health history and conduct a physical exam.

    He’ll check your jaw joints for pain or tenderness and listen for clicks, pops, or grating sounds when you move them. He’ll also make sure your jaw works like it should and doesn’t lock when you open or close your mouth. Plus, he’ll test your bite and check for problems with your facial muscles.

    Your dentist may take full face X-rays so he can view your jaws, temporomandibular joints, and teeth to rule out other problems. He may also recommend other tests, like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computer tomography (CT). The MRI can show if the TMJ disc is in the proper position as your jaw moves. A CT scan shows the bony detail of the joint.

    You may get referred to an oral surgeon (also called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon) for further care and treatment. This doctor specializes in surgery in and around the entire face, mouth, and jaw area. \

    Talk to Your Dentist About These Tried-and-True Treatments for TMD

    Medications. Your dentist can prescribe higher doses of NSAIDs if you need them for pain and swelling. He might suggest a muscle relaxer to relax your jaw if you grind or clench your teeth. Or an anti-anxiety medication to relieve stress, which may bring on TMD. In low doses they can also help reduce or control pain. Muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety drugs, and antidepressants are available by prescription only.

    A Splint or Night Guard. These plastic mouthpieces fit over your upper and lower teeth so they don’t touch. They lessen the effects of clenching or grinding and correct your bite by putting your teeth in a more correct position. What’s the difference between them? You wear night guards while you sleep. You use a splint all the time. Your dentist will tell you which type you need.

    Dental Work. Your dentist can replace missing teeth and use crowns, bridges or braces to balance the biting surfaces of your teeth or to correct a bite problem.

    Sources: DeltaDentalIns.com, WebMD

    • 07 SEP 16
    • 0

    Dental Tips for Busy Moms and Dads

    How to Keep Your Hygiene On Track in A Hectic World

    A mother in the kitchen plays with her chilrdren

    Carpools, play dates, errands, children’s school activities, having a job… Busy moms and dads know it can be a circus act trying to find time for themselves. Here are easy, convenient ways for moms and dads  to take care of her own teeth and health, too.

    Follow these tips to work dental hygiene into your daily schedule.

    Drink lots of water.

    Keep a full pitcher of purified water in the fridge and water bottles in the car for easy access at home and on the go. Staying hydrated has many health benefits, including helping with weight loss, flushing out toxins, clearing the mouth of bacteria, and boosting productivity.

    Keep a set of toothbrushes and toothpaste by the kitchen sink.

    Get in the habit of brushing teeth after meals right in the kitchen to make it more convenient.

    Keep travel toothbrushes and floss on hand.

    Pack a set of travel toothbrushes and floss in your purse or in the car so that you can brush and floss on the go when time is tight.

    Make smart snack choices.

    When you’re on a time crunch, a drive-thru or vending machine might seem like best snack option. Instead, keep stashes of healthier snacks in your purse and car. Keep healthy snacks ready to eat in the fridge such as washed and sliced fruit and vegetables and cubed cheese. Provide healthy options in the pantry as well such as whole wheat crackers and rice cakes.

    Fresh fruits and vegetable are great choices.

    Stock up on non-perishables like nuts, pretzels, seaweed snacks, popcorn, and healthy protein bars.

    Look for snacks with 20 grams of protein, low sugar, and few ingredients.

    Use fluoride rinses.

    A nightly fluoride rinse strengthens teeth, reducing the risk of cavities.

    Drink sugary beverages with a straw.

    When you do drink soda, use a straw so that the sugar does not have as much contact with the teeth. Wash your mouth out with water afterward.

    Chew gum.

    Sugar free gum with the sugar substitute Xylitol kills bacteria in the mouth following meals. It also pulls food particles off of the teeth and promotes saliva flow to help neutralize acids.

    Educate your children.

    The more that kids know about making smart eating choices and practicing good dental hygiene, the better they will feel, encouraging them to maintain healthy lifestyles.

    Source: blog.DMSmiles.com

    • 01 SEP 16
    • 0

    No Dental Insurance? Or Lousy Dental Insurance?

    Parents Giving Children Piggyback Ride Outdoors

    Take a look at our Comprehensive Dental Care Plan if you don’t have dental insurance or your dental insurance is just plain lousy. Personal Care Dentistry’s Comprehensive Dental Care Plan is an annual reduced-fee saving plan for families and individuals that allows all members to receive quality dental services at greatly reduced prices. Unlike conventional insurance, with Personal Care Dentistry’s plan there are no deductibles, no yearly maximums, and no waiting periods to begin treatment. The Comprehensive Dental Care Plan  begins immediately on plan registration.

    Benefits include:

    Free simple teeth cleaning (up to two per year)

    Free two annual scheduled exams per year

    All X-rays needed to complete annual exam(s)

    Free initial teeth whitening trays and mini-kit. Subsequently one courtesy mini-kit at each renewal

    Free two fluoride treatments per year

    A 20% savings on all dental procedures

    A 15% savings on all implant and Invisalign procedures

    A Comprehensive Dental Care Plan membership is $349 and only $299 for each additional family member. Eligible family members include spouse and dependent children under the age of 19 (up to age 23 if dependent child is a full-time student). Give us a call at (651) 636-0655 for more information or to sign up for our Care Plan membership.


    NOTE: All Care Plan membership fees are due and payable at the time of registration and are non-refundable. Plan duration is for one year from registration date. All patient portions for services received are due at time of services in order to receive benefits. Interest-free payment plans of 6, 12 or 18 months are available on request with approved credit. Repayment duration is based on service totals. When a payment plan is used, your Care Plan members savings maximum will be reduced by the percent of interest charged to us based on the duration of repayment at 6, 12 or 18 months. A missed appointment fee of 25% of treatment total will be charged for all missed dental appointments. Please notify our office at least 48 hours in advance if you must change a scheduled appointment.



    • 31 AUG 16
    • 0

    The Importance of Full Mouth Charting By Your Dentist

    PCD 20160330 Web-1When you visit your dentist for a six-month checkup and cleaning , you’ve probably noticed that the dental hygienist does a series of measurements before cleaning your teeth. What is going on and what is the value to your oral health?

    The process is part of what is called dental charting (also called a periodontal chart), and it is an important tool for your dentist to help you maintain a healthy mouth.

    After your dental appointment it’s best to incorporate the advice you’re given about maintaining healthy teeth and gums. And try to make sure you go back for regular checkups and charting.

    Your dental chart

    A dental chart is a graphical tool for organizing all the important information about your teeth and gums. Your hygienist, who checks the inside of your mouth, typically makes your dental chart.

    By investigating your mouth, your hygienist gets information about your teeth and gums, and then makes notes on the chart about any important information that needs to be recorded.

    The chart your hygienist produces can take a variety of forms. It is a graphical, or pictorial, representation of your mouth. It shows every tooth and includes spaces for making shorthand notes about the condition of your teeth and gums.

    Reasons for dental charting

    Your hygienist or dental assistant creates a dental chart of your mouth because it is a good way of organizing the important information about your dental health. By creating this chart, your dentist has all the information that they need to access your dental health, in one place in a simple format. They will update your chart every time you have a dental checkup so they can track the progress of your dental health.

    Benefits of dental charting

    There are many benefits to keeping a dental chart of your teeth and gums.

    Benefits for your healthcare providers

    They are able to keep an organized and easy-to-read record of the condition of your mouth.

    They can refer back to this chart during future visits and compare your pocket depths.

    They can update it to keep an accurate record of what is happening in your mouth.

    Benefits for you

    Your dentist is able to keep a good record of your health issues.

    Your dentist is able to give you the best care possible and track your progress if you have issues that require treatment.

    The chart gives both you and your dentist a point of reference to see if you are making progress in your dental health. With better home care gum pockets could improve.

    What to expect during a dental charting

    If you are making a first visit to a new dental office, you can expect that your hygienist will perform a complete dental charting of your mouth. You may only need a brief check of your mouth and an update of your chart during future visits. If you have problems that require treatment, you may need to get a full charting at your next checkup to track improvements.

    Your hygienist will begin by counting and numbering your teeth on the chart. Any notable issues you have can then be assigned to the appropriate tooth and marked with a shorthand note on the chart.

    Once your teeth are numbered, your hygienist will examine your teeth. They usually probe your gums to check the depths of your gum pockets (the area between the gum and the tooth that is measure in millimeters). And they will use an instrument to check the tops of your teeth for decay.

    After your charting is complete, your hygienist will usually clean your teeth. Then your dentist will do an examination. If there is anything of concern marked on your chart, your dentist will investigate it more thoroughly.

    Follow-up after a dental charting

    After a regular checkup and a dental charting, your dentist will tell you what you need to do next. If there are issues of concern, your dentist will recommend things you can do at home, such as regular flossing, or using an electric toothbrush. They will probably also schedule another appointment for any procedures that are needed, like filling a cavity.

    Source: Healthline.com


    • 24 AUG 16
    • 0

    The Evolution of Dental Braces

    Happy black girl with braces

    Before George Washington’s Wooden Teeth, Dentists Thought About Correcting Bad Bites

    Even ancient people wanted straight teeth! According to the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists), archaeologists have discovered mummified ancients with crude metal bands wrapped around individual teeth. Later, in 400-500 BC, Hippocrates and Aristotle both ruminated about ways to straighten teeth and fix various dental conditions. Straight teeth have been on our minds a very long time!

    Important Breakthroughs

    In 1728, French Dentist Pierre Fauchard published a book called the “The Surgeon Dentist” with an entire chapter on ways to straighten teeth. Fauchard used a device called a “Bandeau,” a horseshoe-shaped piece of precious metal which helped expand the arch.

    In 1819 Delabarre introduced the wire crib, which marked the birth of contemporary orthodontics. The term orthodontia was coined by Joachim Lafoulon in 1841.

    The First Metal Mouths

    What did braces look like a century ago? In the early 1900s, orthodontists used gold, platinum, silver, steel, gum rubber, vulcanite (and occasionally, wood, ivory, zinc, copper, and brass) to form loops, hooks, spurs, and ligatures. Fourteen- to 18-karat gold was routinely used for wires, bands, clasps, ligatures, and spurs, as were iridium-platinum bands and arch wires, and platinized gold for brackets. Why gold? It is malleable and easy to shape — the original “metal mouth” was real gold or silver! How’s that for bling?

    Advancements in the 1970s

    Braces continued to wrap around the teeth until the mid-1970s, when direct bonding became a reality. Why did it take so long for dentists to invent the modern bonded bracket? The adhesive! The bonded bracket was actually invented earlier, but the formulation for the adhesive wasn’t perfected until almost a decade later.

    Around this time, the self-ligating bracket also appeared on the scene. Self-ligating brackets don’t need tie wires or elastic ligatures to hold the arch wire onto the bracket — they are held on by a “trap door” built into each bracket. As early as 1935, the idea of a self-ligating brackets began to take shape.

    In the 1970s, Earl Bergersen, DDS created the passive Ortho-Tain appliances, which guide jaw growth and help correct orthodontic problems and malocclusions in both children and adults. The Ortho-Tain appliances look like custom plastic mouth-guards, and are worn mainly at night, or for only a few hours each day. In many cases, people have been able to correct (or greatly diminish) many types of orthodontic problems with these removable custom-made appliances.

    Around 1975, two orthodontists working independently in Japan and the United States started developing their own systems to place braces on the inside surfaces of the teeth — lingual braces. These “invisible braces” offered people the results of bonded brackets with one big advantage — they were on the inside of the teeth, so nobody else could see them!

    Lingual braces were the “invisible” braces of choice until the early 1980s, when “tooth colored” esthetic brackets made from single-crystal sapphire and ceramics came into vogue.

    Invisible Braces

    As far back as 1945, orthodontists realized that a sequence of removable plastic appliances could move teeth toward a predetermined result. Some orthodontists even made simple plastic “aligner trays” in their offices for minor adjustments. But it took an adult who’d just had braces to take the concept a step further.

    Invisalign was the brainchild of Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth, graduate students in Stanford University’s MBA program. Wirth had traditional braces in high school (she reportedly hated them). Chishti had finished adult treatment with traditional braces and now wore a clear plastic retainer. He noticed that if he didn’t wear his retainer for a few days, his teeth shifted slightly — but the plastic retainer soon moved his teeth back the desired position. In 1997, he and Wirth applied 3-D computer imaging graphics to the field of orthodontics and created Align Technologies and the Invisalign method. With a boost from ample Silicon Valley venture funding, Align soon took the orthodontic industry by storm. Dentists and other dental companies were skeptical at first, because neither Chishti nor Wirth had any professional dental training. Invisalign braces were first made available to the public in May, 2000 and proved extremely popular with patients.

    The Future: Technology Continues to Advance

    As technology enhances our daily lives, it also continues to advance the science of orthodontics. More and more companies are utilizing digital computer imaging to make orthodontic treatment more precise. The SureSmile system by OraMetrix, for example, takes a detailed 3-D model of a patient’s teeth and helps the orthodontist develop a precise treatment plan for tooth movement. The orthodontist’s treatment plan then drives a highly accurate robotic process to customize the arch wires needed for treatment. This often shortens treatment time and gives highly accurate results.

    NASA developed one of the late 20th century’s most dramatic orthodontic breakthroughs: heat-activated nickel-titanium alloy wires. At room temperature, heat-activated nickel-titanium arch wires are very flexible. As they warm to body temperature they become active and gradually move the teeth in the anticipated direction. Because of their high-tech properties, these wires retain their tooth-moving abilities longer than ordinary metal wires and need less frequent attention from the orthodontist.

    What does all this mean for the orthodontic patient of the future? As companies develop more precise, high-tech materials and methods, your braces will be on for a shorter period of time, be smaller and less visible, result in less discomfort, and give great results. We’ve sure come a long way from the wrap-around “metal mouth” — and that’s something we can all smile about!

    Source: ArchWired.com

    • 17 AUG 16
    • 0

    Beyond Aesthetics: The Benefits of Dental Implants

    Dental Implants Can Enhance the Quality of Your Life

    Closeup of a woman smiling at the camera

    It is proven that people who have nice teeth smile more, while individuals with missing teeth or a lot of decay do not smile very often. Just the mere act of smiling, even if others are not present to witness it improves attitude. The loss of one’s teeth impacts more than just mood or attitude. Missing teeth can make it difficult to eat a balanced diet, because some foods are hard to chew. Bone loss from missing teeth causes facial features to change, and people tend to get that hallow look in their cheeks.

    You might think that there is not such a big difference between dental crowns and dental implants…but the benefits of implants go well beyond aesthetics only.

    Dental Implants Help Prevent Bone Loss

    When you lose a tooth within your mouth, the bone starts a reabsorption process. If you don’t replace the tooth from its root (which is possible only with implants), you might have to put up later on with plenty of oral health complications.

    Also, the time between the loss of your tooth and the dental implant procedure should not be too long, so that you will not need bone grafting which is both painful and expensive too.

    If you need to replace a few teeth, you should research well your financing options, and opt for the most efficient treatment represented by the dental implants. The dental crown needs replacement in about 5 or 10 years, while implants come with a lifetime “warranty”.

    Dental Implants Will Enhance the Quality of Your Life

    Not only will your teeth look much better, but nobody will be able to tell you are having implants. On the other hand, dental crowns can sometimes have an unnatural feel and look.

    Dental implants look, feel and behave just like a set of natural teeth, so yes, the quality of your life will be enhanced dramatically.

    Benefits of Dental Implants: Eat better – Be Healthier

    With dental implants there is no restriction regarding what types of foods you can actually eat. Whether these are healthy crunchy vegetables or even chewy or sticky food – you will be able to eat everything. With dental implants you can chew properly food, so the food is going to be digested well.

    Dental crowns might not allow you to chew well, and then you may have to put up with digestion complications. Also, with dental crowns it isn’t recommended that you consume foods that are hard or chewy/sticky, because the crowns might come off/slip within the mouth.

    Benefits of Dental Implants: No More Worries

    Dental implants are “implanted” well into the root of the tooth, so there will be no worries about slippage or a crown. You can eat, laugh, chew food, sneeze or cough naturally without making any problems that the dental implants might slip.

    Dental Implants Help Restore Your Mouth Naturally

    With a dental implant, the natural state of your biological tooth is replicated in the best way. The dental implant is the best replacement for permanently lost teeth.

    Benefits of Dental Implants: Enjoy the Flavor of the Food

    If you have ever worn an upper denture, you know that your plate is “sealed”. You cannot taste the full flavor of the food, and eating is one of the most loved enjoyments of life. With dental implants, your palate is never covered, and you can enjoy all the flavors of foods at their maximum.

    When considering oral restoration, consider dental implants. The best way to find out if they are within your financial reach is to meet with a dentist from Personal Care Dentistry and get a treatment plan and learn about financing options.

    Source: Worldental.org, American Dental Plan


    • 10 AUG 16
    • 0

    The History of Gum Gives You a Lot to Chew On

    Chewing gum and fresh mint leaves, isolated on white

    Need help whitening your teeth? Want to quit smoking? Trying to lose weight? There’s a chewing gum for all of that and more. New types of chewing gum are introduced all the time, but did you ever wonder how it managed to gain such a grip on consumers? Believe it or not, people have had a love affair with gum for thousands of years. From humble beginnings to hundreds of varieties, here’s a look at how chewing gum rose to become the powerhouse product it is today.

    How It Originated

    Long before William Wrigley Jr. made a name for chewing gum, ancient civilizations were tapping into trees and other sources of resin and chewing on soft, rubbery substances both for enjoyment and medicinal purposes. Evidence indicates prehistoric Europeans would chew on birch bark tar quite possibly to help relieve toothaches, while Aztecs and Mayans would turn to gum from the chicle tree to appease their thirst or hunger. In North America, Native Americans favored spruce tree resin, and it became commercialized and sold in sticks by a colonist named John Bacon Curtis in 1848.

    Eventually, scientist Thomas Adams succeeded in enhancing chicle with flavor, and his work would set off various trials to improve the ability to retain flavor – with peppermint found to be particularly effective. Adams helped bring attention to chewing gum by introducing it to vending machines and selling it in the subways of New York in 1888, but chewing gum really took off when a soap industrialist named William Wrigley Jr. promoted it as an add-on to his products. From “Juicy Fruit” to “Doublemint” gum, Wrigley created one of the most successful chewing gum companies that ever existed, and many of his products remain popular today.

    Gum Gets a Modern Makeover

    After the turn of the century, chewing gum innovations accelerated due to deeper research and newfound discoveries. Bubble gum and other sweet flavors became a mainstay, and production further proliferated in the 1930’s and 1940’s, when synthetic rubbers made mass production easier than ever. Perhaps one of the biggest advancements came in the 1950’s, when sugarless chewing gum was first created by a dentist, Dr. Petrulis, and sold to William Wrigley Jr. The nation was becoming more health-conscious, and chewing gum products followed suit.

    Today, chewing gum comes in countless varieties, and has grown even more popular due to its ability to:

    Freshen breath: almost all types of gum come flavored to help mask odors

    Keep teeth white: both chewing and active ingredients can fight tooth staining

    Fight plaque: sugar free, xylitol-based gum inhibits the growth of oral bacteria

    Aid in weight loss: many turn to gum as a low calorie treat instead of snacking

    Help quit smoking: nicotine gum is an effective substitute for cigarettes

    Supplement your diet: certain gums are fortified with vitamins and minerals

    Several sugarless brands also come with a seal of approval from the American Dental Association, and are recommended by dentists to help fight tooth decay.

    Choosing the Right Gum

    Chewing gum is often purchased on impulse, but putting a little thought into the type of gum you choose can make a big difference to your oral health. Read the labels closely to ensure you have selected a sugarless variety that won’t harm your teeth, and then narrow down the field based on additional preferences – from flavor to active ingredients and beyond. If you need help in choosing the right gum, or are unsure about the effectiveness of a particular brand you have chosen, simply call your dentist for guidance. Just like most things, chewing gum should be done in moderation – chewing gum too frequently may lead to jaw muscle fatigue or more serious issues such as Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD, TMJ).

    Source: Chew On This – The History of Gum


    • 03 AUG 16
    • 0

    Dental Discoloration: Causes and Best Solutions

    Making a Few Lifestyle Changes May Prevent Tooth Discoloration

    A young happy couple hugging and laughing.

    There are plenty of factors that can cause temporary or permanent tooth discolorations. First, there is the extrinsic discoloration, which means that your teeth get discolored because of external factors.

    For example, if you consume caffeinated beverages, red wine, cola or you are smoking – these can all cause temporary discoloration and staining of your teeth. Dentists highly advise patients who consume such beverages to rinse their mouth with water every time after the consumption of a glass of wine or a cola. This way, you will not allow the harmful particles to stick to your teeth and cause staining.

    Teeth can also get discolored because of intrinsic causes. This means that the staining is caused by an internal factor. The internal structure of your tooth called the dentin will get discolored (yellowish), and this type of staining is much more difficult to deal with. Some of the main causes on intrinsic staining include:

    Taking prescription pills, especially minocycline antibiotics.

    If the patient has been exposed to large amounts of fluoride during childhood, the dentin can also get discolored years later because of this exposure.

    A health condition known as dentinogenesis imperfect. This health condition causes your teeth to get that gray and purple discoloration.

    As a result of the natural aging process, our teeth cannot maintain that beautiful and shiny ivory/white color for all our life. As we age, our entire body suffers transformations.


    How to Avoid/Prevent Staining

    In order to avoid the staining of the dentin and of course the thinning of it, you should keep in mind the following:

    Rinse your mouth with pure water every time you get the occasion.

    Use toothpaste which has in its composition whitening agents, and also use an antibacterial/whitening mouthwash regularly.

    Using proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques.

    Avoid the foods and beverages that cause stains.

    Consider bondings or veneers.

    Use in-home whitening agents purchased from your dentist.

    In Office Dental Whitening/Bleaching

    The two main methods of professional whitening are tray whitening and in-office whitening. In tray whitening, an impression is taken by your dentist and a custom tray is made for the patient. Then, a supply of whitening gel is given to the patient and he/she wears the tray for a few hours each day (techniques differ) for a period of time until an acceptable result is achieved. Sensitivity of the teeth is a normal side-effect of this whitening method and is almost always transitional.

    On the other hand, in-office whitening is the most efficient means of whitening. There are a number of different types used, but the process is very similar for these methods; you can have your teeth whitened in one session and achieve significant results. Your dentist can give you more detailed information and help you decide which method is more suitable for you and your teeth.

    Professional dental whitening has the power to remove even intrinsic stains, thanks to the maximum strength of the peroxide gel to penetrate the tooth. Just talk to your dentist about the suitable whitening options if you struggle with stained teeth.

    Source:  Worldental.org, WebMD.com

    • 27 JUL 16
    • 0

    How to Help Your Children Enjoy Dental Care

    5 Tips to Help Kids Get Excited About Oral Hygiene

    Portrait of a happy mother and her children lying on a bed

    Dental care for kids does not have to feel overwhelming. Try to involve your children as much as possible so that they feel excited and empowered about keeping their teeth and gums healthy.

    Preventative dentistry is fighting against oral problems and doesn’t have to be boring; actually, it can be fun. This is an important lesson that all children should learn at an early age to help them get the most out of their oral health routine. Here’s some tips to keep oral health fun and your children excited about taking care of their teeth and gums.

    Books and Videos

    Check out a children’s book from the library that encourages healthy oral care habits. You can also show your child a fun video about dental hygiene for kids. Stories and videos that are designed for children are great for teaching kids how to take care of their teeth and for making oral health something that they can relate to.

    Make Brushing and Flossing Fun

    Think of creative ways to make brushing your teeth fun. For example, listening to fun sounds or songs while brushing can help make the entire experience a pleasant, and even fun one. Try listening to a song that is two minutes long to help keep your kids brushing for the full duration of time recommended.

    You can also let your children choose different kinds of fluoride toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss to keep in the bathroom so that they can have options each time they brush. Having a cool toothbrush designed for kids that features their favorite characters helps brings out the fun in brushing and allows children to bring their favorite cartoon and television friends into the bathroom with them. Your child’s toothpaste can even be amusing. Your 5-year-old may not run to the bathroom to use your minty toothpaste, but he can look forward to a good time cleaning his teeth with a strawberry or watermelon flavored fluoride toothpaste.

    Make the Bed Time Routine Family Time

    At night, get together in the bathroom to brush teeth for the recommended two minutes. One way to make your child interested in oral care is to brush and floss together. Kids mimic what their parents do. After brushing, floss your child’s teeth or help them to floss if they are old enough to do it on their own. To give routine brushing an air of excitement, make up a rhyme about keeping teeth clean or sing a fun song.

    Gold Stars

    To make brushing twice a day and flossing more enjoyable, create your own gold star reward system. You and your child can decorate a poster with teeth, toothbrushes, healthy snacks, and other oral health themes to represent the days of the month. Give your child a sticker to put on the poster every time they brush their teeth.

    Get Kids Excited for Dentist Visits

    Dentists recommend checkups every six months, which can be scary for many children. So prepare them beforehand by getting them excited about the visit. The dental office can also be a really fun place full of cool “spaceship” equipment, shiny lights and dental goodie bags. To give them an idea of what to expect; try using picture books or do some role-playing exercises to explain to kids what to expect during a dental visit and get them looking forward to the visit.

    Plan a special surprise after the visit that reinforces a positive dental experience. Regular check-ups are another important part of good dental hygiene for kids. Surprise your child after the appointment with some fun family time. Head to the park or plan a picnic with a healthy treat for healthy teeth.

    Why Keep Kids Excited About Oral Health?

    Why is your child’s enthusiasm about maintaining a healthy mouth important? Because the added bonus of good oral health is a beautiful smile. The real benefit of good oral care is preventing cavities that can be both painful and cause early tooth loss. Proper care also prevents gum disease that can cause eventual tooth loss, bad breath, and can even be the beginning of other serious health problems.

    Sources: Parent.com, Colgate.com, OralB.com

    • 20 JUL 16
    • 0

    Five Signs of a Healthy Mouth

    Happy woman smiling

    A Quick Home Oral Health Check and What to Be On the Lookout For

    With just a few minutes of exploring your teeth, gums, tongue, and lips — as well as the lining of your cheeks – you could learn something important about your health. Here’s five signs of good oral health and what you should look for:


    Healthy Gums

    Scan your gums. They should be pink and firm to the touch, not red or white, and not swollen or tender.  Teeth should be seated firmly and should not feel wiggly or loose.  Gums should sit flush with the teeth, with no flaps, pockets, or places where they appear to be receding from the tooth.  Flossing daily helps to keep gums healthy, and prevent pockets and places for bacteria to collect and cause damage, decay, and bad breath.

    Puffy, red, inflamed gums can signal any number of things. You may simply be brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with too-stiff bristles. Or you may be flossing improperly and irritating your gums. But, typically, red and inflamed gums are a classic sign of gingivitis, the first step toward periodontal disease. Healthy gums are a leading indicator of a healthy body.


    Strong Teeth & Dental Restorations

    Check out your chops. Check your teeth for strength and condition, including teeth that have restorations such as fillings or teeth with crowns including dental implants. Grinding or clenching (bruxism) is a common issue that can increase the wear on teeth and restorations, including teeth with fillings.

    Have you noticed any tooth discoloration or pitting? These can be early signs of decay. Gaps and growing spaces between teeth can cause trouble with your bite, too.


    Pleasant or Neutral Breath

    Take a breath test. A healthy mouth means naturally pleasant or neutral breath.  You can test this easily at home.  Floss between a couple of your teeth, or scrape your tongue with a fingernail and take a sniff.  This is a more realistic sense of what your breath may smell like once toothpaste and mouthwash have faded for the day.  The presence of bacteria and food particles is directly related to persistent bad breath.  Bad breath can also be an indicator of other health issues such as diabetes, and even sinus issues.  The best possible way to keep your breath pleasant is with good brushing and flossing habits.


    Proper Jaw Alignment & Tooth Spacing

    Bare your bite. Do your teeth meet like they used to, or are they getting more crowded? Crooked, crowded teeth may be harder to clean properly. Teeth that are straight and aligned properly are much easier to brush and floss, meaning better breath and fewer places for cavities or gum disease to develop with proper home care.  Crowding, also known as a “malocclusion,” can impact chewing and normal digestion, and may be related to bruxism (clenching or grinding), gum disease, jaw disorders such as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), migraines or other neurological symptoms, and even the overall shape of your face.


    Healthy Oral Tissues

    Stick out your tongue. Healthy oral tissues are often pink, firm and moist. If you have low iron, your tongue might look a little inflamed. A sluggish thyroid may cause your tongue to thicken. And a fungal infection can show up as white patches on your tongue. Look for lumps, ulcers, bleeding, and sores, too. They could indicate something mild — like a viral infection — or something much rarer but serious, like tongue cancer.

    Check your cheeks. Look at the mucous membrane lining your mouth and the inside of your lips for signs of irritation, which can appear as white or gray patches (called leukoplakia) or red patches (called erythroplakia). Irritation in and of itself may not be harmful. But it could indicate anything from a rough tooth or filling that’s rubbing against your cheek to something more serious, such as a precancerous lesion. Also, don’t ignore canker sores. These small, shallow ulcers are usually harmless but can be painful. And if one persists for more than 10 days or returns frequently, it may signal a vitamin deficiency, a bacterial infection, or even an inflammatory bowel disease.


    Let a Pro Take a Peek
    Of course, you shouldn’t count on your own eyes to determine whether your mouth is showing signs of disease. And you don’t want to wait for an obvious problem before you see a medical professional. So see your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry twice a year. Decay, as well as tiny cracks or other issues with teeth and restorations may not always be visible to the naked eye.  Dental x-rays and a thorough exam may help detect issues before they become painful and often more difficult to treat. If you’ve noticed anything odd in there, bring it up. But trouble may be brewing long before you notice it – and can occur in places where you can’t see – so you need to call in the experts from Personal Care Dentistry for a look, too.

    Sources: WebMD, ShareCare.com