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    • 26 JUL 18
    • 0

    “I Have a Sense of Pride Being Part of This Team”

    When you first walk into the offices of Personal Care Dentistry one of the bright faces you’re sure to see is Jessie Pichler. As the Front Desk Lead Jessie has a myriad of responsibilities including managing schedules, working with her team and other office related responsibilities, but her passion for helping patients is what makes her a truly dynamic asset at Personal Care Dentistry.

    “I really enjoy meeting new patients and having the privilege to get to know different people. Our regular patients are like family and it’s always great working with them twice a year, seeing the changes in their lives and catching up,” says Jessie, who has been engaging people at Personal Care Dentistry’s front desk since 2014.

    Her training and certification in Medical Administration prepared her for the demands of a busy practice, but her interest in the medical field began much earlier. “I’ve had an interest in anatomy, healing and medical practice since I was little,” she says adding, “I finished my educational training and was fortunate to know someone who worked here at Personal Care Dentistry where my professional career took off.”

    Jessie’s demeanor in the office conveys who she is as a person and she describes her approach to the people she greets as, “Being personable. I treat people how I would want to be treated in their specific situation with attention to their needs,” she says, citing Dr. Walter Hunt’s Golden Rule. “I try to be a bridge between what the patient needs and what the doctors need. I’m like an extension of the doctors.”

    She takes an empathetic approach to more anxious visitors, focusing on her ability to understand and share the feelings of another. “I try to make patients more relaxed by relating my own experiences. We’ve all been there.” With every individual she meets, Jessie asks herself the same question. “Does this benefit the patient? If not, cut it.”

    Jessie can easily be described as outgoing, “I’m laidback, but talkative and a little loud,” she says with a laugh, “I’m always trying to have more fun.” Why does Jessie thrive in her work environment? “I enjoy the culture of The Golden Rule here at Personal Care Dentistry. I love the people I work for and the staff.” What keeps Jessie coming to work every day? “The people mostly, but I have a strong sense of duty and don’t want to let anyone down.”

    Outside of work Jessie keeps busy with her two young children, a daughter and a son, and balances the life of a working mother. When asked about her future goals she says, “I want to learn something new every day. I want to continually grow.” Regarding her outlook on her role at Personal Care Dentistry moving forward Jessie says, “I want to do the best I can for the patients and the staff and help Dr. Hunt take the practice wherever he wants it to go.”

    • 24 JUL 18
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    Gingivitis Is Never A Good Thing to Have

    For many people, the word “gingivitis” sounds like something they have heard but the odds are they don’t know what it describes or how bad it can be if it takes up residence in your mouth.

    The reason you don’t want gingivitis camping out in your mouth is that it’s a type of periodontal disease that creates inflammation and infection in your mouth – which eventually leads to the destruction of tissue that provide support to your teeth, your gums, periodontal ligaments and tooth sockets.

    So how does gingivitis get started? The initial culprit is plaque, that sticky material created from mucus, bacteria and debris from food you eat. It sticks to the areas of your teeth that are exposed and eventually leads to tooth decay.

    Once plaque hardens because you didn’t remove it through brushing, flossing and regular visits to your dentist for a cleaning, it becomes tartar (also called calculus). Tartar is a hard deposit that clings to the base of your teeth. Your gums are irritated and inflamed by both plaque and tartar. Then bacteria moves in to your weakened gums, creating toxins that cause your gums to become swollen, tender and eventually infected.

    Some amount of gingivitis develops in many people during puberty or their early adult years because of hormonal changes. The gingivitis will often persist or recur periodically if your oral health is poor.

    What increases your risk of developing gingivitis?

    Improper dental hygiene

    Certain infections and body-wide (systemic) diseases

    Pregnancy (hormonal changes increase the sensitivity of the gums)

    Uncontrolled diabetes

    Misaligned teeth, rough edges of fillings, and ill-fitting or unclean mouth appliances (such as braces, dentures, bridges, and crowns). Use of certain medications, including phenytoin, bismuth, and some birth control pills

    What are the symptoms of gingivitis?

    Bleeding gums (blood on toothbrush even with gentle brushing of the teeth)

    Bright red or red-purple appearance to gums

    Gums that are tender when touched, but otherwise painless

    Mouth sores

    Swollen gums

    Shiny appearance to gums

    If you do have gingivitis, how is it treated? The first goal is to reduce the level of inflammation. This is best achieved by making twice-yearly appointments with your dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning of your teeth. Make more frequent appointments if you have severe gingivitis. They’ll loosen and remove deposits of plaque and tartar on your teeth. Of course, in between visits, you need to be sure to brush twice a day and floss daily.

    If you are more prone than usual to plaque building up on your teeth, your dentist may recommend special toothpicks, water irrigation, electric toothbrushes, or other devices. Antiplaque and/or anti-tartar toothpastes and mouth washes may also be a good solution for your situation.

    Source: ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

     

    • 17 JUL 18
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    These 9 Foods Can Be Tough on Your Teeth

     

    Your teeth can be seriously impacted by what you eat and drink. Here’s a list of 9 foods and beverages that you should either avoid or consume in moderation. You’ll notice that some of the 9 are pretty obvious – chewing ice has never been a good idea – while others will provide a surprise.

    Hard candies are tough on teeth

    You might be a fan of hard candies, but because they are packed with sugar, constant sugar exposure can damage your teeth. Plus they can break or chip a tooth if you decide to chew on them. Instead of reaching for a handful of hard candy, grab a piece of sugarless gum.

     Ice is best for chilling, not chewing

    Is ice good for your teeth? After all, it comes from water and contains zero sugar or additives. So the answer is yes – unless you decide to chew on that cube or chunk of ice. Then you’ll expose yourself to damaging your teeth enamel or creating a dental emergency. So the next time you put ice in your drink, let it do what it’s supposed to do – chill your beverage – and skip the chewing.

    Be careful of citrus

    The enamel on your teeth can erode if frequently exposed to foods and beverages that contain citrus. The acid in the citrus is the culprit, and the impact it can have on enamel can make your teeth more prone to decay. If you like citrus drinks and fruit, there’s a simple method to reduce the impact of the acid in citrus on your mouth. Drink a glass of water while you are eating that orange or grapefruit and rinse your mouth out after you have a glass of orange juice.

    Coffee can be a problem

    Coffee and tea can be healthy beverages – if you avoid adding tons of sugar. Unfortunately, that’s what many of the “coffee” drinks at places like Starbucks and Caribou are chock-full of. Plus coffee and tea that are caffeinated can dry out your mouth (remember, saliva washes away bacteria which cause cavities) and stain your teeth. If you do decide to regularly drink coffee or tea, be sure you’re drinking lots of water and keeping the add-ons under control.

    Don’t get stuck on sticky foods

    If you like a healthy snack, then dried fruit can be a winner. Unfortunately, they are often quite sticky – which can be a problem since sticky foods remain on your teeth much longer than other food types. Be sure to rinse with water when you finish those sticky foods and of course, carefully brush and floss to remove anything still sticking to your teeth.

    If it goes crunch, it might be a bad munch

    Potato chips are a wonderful habit for many people. The combination of the crunch and the flavor are hard to beat. But all that starch in a potato chip can get trapped in your teeth, which is the first step on the road to cavities. So be sure to brush and especially floss after you eat chips. That way, you’ll avoid leaving food particles that will become plaque.

    Switch water for soda

    Did you know that the bacteria that create plaque love sugar? They use the sugar to produce acids that go after the enamel on your teeth. Which means that if you are drinking lots of sugary soda or other drinks, then you are helping those plaque bacteria attack your teeth. Plus the carbonation in soft drinks – including diet sodas – is acidic and negatively impacts your teeth. So the next time you want to reach for a soft drink, think twice. And if you do decide to consume a soda, keep a glass of water handy and alternate between the soda and the water.

    Keep a handle on alcohol consumption

    Many people don’t realize that alcohol dehydrates your body and reduces the saliva in your mouth. Remember, saliva is good because it helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria. Long-term consumption can reduce saliva flow even when you aren’t drinking. Heavy alcohol use can also boost the risk of mouth cancer.

    Beware of sugary sports and energy drinks

    Powerade, Gatorade, Red Bull, Monster – lots of people use them to boost athletic performance or as a pick-me-up during a busy day or evening. Unfortunately, sports and energy drinks also share a common main ingredient – sugar. There is also a lot of research that says that sports drinks are in most cases unnecessary for someone engaged vigorous physical activity. A better solution would be to drink water instead!

     

    SOURCE: American Dental Association

     

    • 11 JUL 18
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    Veneers Can Be an Way to Fix Flawed Teeth

    If you’re not happy with your smile because of discolorations in your front teeth, or you just want to have a brighter smile, then veneers may be your solution. What are veneers? They are very-thin shells made of ceramic (porcelain) or composite resin material. The dentist bonds them to the front of your teeth to improve your smile. You will require very little (or no) anesthesia for this procedure.

    Veneers can often be a good alternative to crowns because they offer a more conservative solution to changing your tooth’s color, shape and size. Plus, they have shown to last for many years if done by one of the dentists at Personal Care Dentistry.

    So what types of problems can be fixed with dental veneers? Teeth that are broken or chipped; worn down teeth; misaligned, uneven or teeth that are irregularly shaped; or to fix gaps between your teeth.

    It usually takes multiple appointments for the entire veneer procedure. This includes diagnosis, planning the treatment, preparing the teeth, and bonding. You’ll need to be actively involved in “designing” your smile. You’ll also need to understand that the procedure can’t fix every problem perfectly. But it can certainly improve your smile.

    So what is the procedure like to attach veneers? First, the teeth are buffed lightly to provide room for the thickness the veneer will add. This usually means about half a millimeter of the tooth will be removed (this may mean you’ll need a local anesthetic). If you’re getting a composite resin veneer, then your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry will carefully bond and sculpt the composite material onto your teeth. If you are getting porcelain veneers, then your dentist will take a mold of your teeth and then the veneers are fabricated in a lab, which may take a couple of days.

    Once your porcelain veneers are back from the lab, your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry will place each veneer on its tooth to make sure they fit properly and are the right shade or color you selected. Your dentist can still adjust the veneer’s shade at that point by choosing a certain type of cement to use. The veneer is then cleaned with a specific set of chemicals to make sure the cement used to bond the veneer to your tooth works properly. The final step involves a light beam being directed at the veneer to harden the cement.

    You won’t have to take any “special care” of your new veneers. You’ll need to continue to follow good oral health practices – brushing and flossing daily – and your dentist will want to see you several weeks after the veneers are put on your teeth for a checkup.

    What are the advantages of dental veneers?

    They provide a natural tooth appearance.

    Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.

    Porcelain veneers are stain resistant.

    The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.

    What are the disadvantage of dental veneers?

    The process is not reversible.

    Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack.

    Because enamel has been removed, your tooth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.

    Be realistic about veneers. Like natural teeth, you will see slight color variations if you examine them closely. But veneers can still go a long way to brightening your smile and making you more confident about your teeth.

    Sources: Worldental.org, KnowYourTeeth.com, WebMD

     

    • 03 JUL 18
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    Wine Country Woody

    From Dr. Walter Hunt, Personal Care Dentistry

    The loud rat-tat-tat of a pileated woodpecker hunting bugs in the Napa Valley was as much of a highlight as the cabernets at my friend’s winery.

    One of my all-time favorite birds is the pileated woodpecker, who looks like Woody the Woodpecker of cartoon fame combined with a prehistoric mini-pterodactyl. I was out for one of my regular photo jaunts, this time in the Napa Valley. My wife and I were staying with some friends who own a small winery (Black Cordon Vineyard) in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains during a vacation to California. It was early morning and the light was fairly low. As I walked down a dirt road separating the rolling vineyards and a dense forest, I heard a loud pecking to my right. I was familiar with the sound – we have quite a few pileated woodpeckers near our Minnesota home – and also with how difficult it can be to photograph them. I walked into the forest of pines and oak to get a better look, and there was “Woody” busily work on a dead log, happily gobbling up one bug after another. I got within 30 yards of him, propped myself against a tree, and started shooting.

    He knew I was there, but must have decided the wealth of bugs was worth the risk of human contact. In fact, a couple of times, he flew up to a tree near the log, then returned for more bugs each time. I shot several photos of him with an ant in his mouth, which I have also included with this photo. But I really like this one that I have featured because he looks like he is looking directly in my camera with a “You know, this is my forest and I am allowing you the privilege of taking my photo” look in his eye

    • 03 JUL 18
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    “Our Patients Are Like Family”

    As Dental Hygiene Team Leader, Kari Olson is a friendly, familiar face at Personal Care Dentistry. She joined the practice in 2010 and her responsibilities include hiring and coaching her hygiene staff, working with the dentists, and helping patients achieve optimal oral health.

    Kari’s education includes an associate degree in Dental Assisting from Herzing University. After earning her degree, she spent four years at a small dental office in that role. “My love of dentistry helped me see I wanted to further my education and in 2007 I returned to school,” says Kari. In 2010 she graduated once again from Herzing University, this time with her Dental Hygienist License and started at Personal Care Dentistry on a very part-time basis. “I wanted more independence and one-on-one time with patients. Being a hygienist allows me to build relationships with the people I treat,” she says.

    “When I started here I immediately loved the environment. It’s a super-friendly place to work and everyone is so positive,” notes Kari. “The practice I worked at before was poorly managed and it was highly stressful. I didn’t like going to work there. I feel very lucky to be at Personal Care Dentistry. This practice runs like a well-oiled machine,” she says with a smile.

    On her initial start in the office she says, “I only worked four hours a week because nobody ever leaves this practice. People truly care here. It just grew from there, my hours increased to full-time and Dr. Hunt eventually made me the Hygiene Lead.”

    Kari speaks about her place of work with enthusiasm and warmth. “PCD is amazing. Many of our patients come from word-of-mouth so Dr. Hunt is obviously doing something right. I have a sense of pride being part of this team.” She talks about the staff with genuine affection saying, “We all get along. Our team is incredible. It’s so nice to work some place where you know your team has your back. If I’m out of the office for any length of time I genuinely miss everyone here. All of us strive for the same thing – The Golden Rule,” Kari says, referring to Dr. Hunt’s belief that every member of the staff treat people as they would want to be treated themselves.

    When speaking about treating patients, comfort is king with Kari. “I always ask what I can do to make them more comfortable in my chair. Reading body language is important and if I can sense they are uneasy I will do what I can to make them comfy. I’m passionate about doing a good job for them.” About her chair-side manner Kari clearly conveys a sense of caring compassion. “I don’t want people to feel like just a number… they really matter to me. I love getting to know patients and catching up with them when they come in,” she says.

    Asked about her future goals Kari states, “I never want to be stagnant. I strive to be the best hygienist I possibly can be and continue to hone my treatment skills. I want to be perpetually learning and growing this incredible practice with Dr. Hunt.”

    Outside of work Kari enjoys spending time with her husband, friends and family – especially her two young nieces. She has a terrier mix dog named Lola that she calls a little diva. “I love to laugh and have fun,” says Kari. “I like to think I’m the right amount of easy going.”

    • 29 JUN 18
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    Play Sports? Guard Your Grin With A Mouth Guard!

    Reduce Sport-Related Mouth Injuries with One Simple Piece of Equipment

    Mouth guards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. “Your top teeth take the brunt of trauma because they stick out more,” says Dr. Thomas Long, the team dentist for the Carolina Hurricanes professional hockey team. “Your bottom teeth are a little more protected because they are further back.”

    When Should You Wear a Mouth Guard?

    When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouth guard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age.

    While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, any athlete may experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.

     Types of Mouth Guards

    The best mouth guard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. However, if you can’t afford a custom-made mouth guard, you should still wear a stock mouth guard or a boil-and-bite mouth guard from the drugstore. Learn more about each option:

    Custom-made: These are made by your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions because they are individually created for fit and comfort. It’s worth the extra you have to pay when you consider the alternative – thousands of dollars of costly dental work to repair or replace broken or chipped teeth.

    Boil and bite: These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions.  CustMbite MVP and CustMbite Pro are a boil and bite mouth guards that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

    Stock: These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.

    Protecting Your Braces

    A properly fitted mouth guard may be especially important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouth guard also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, which will help you avoid injuries to your gums and cheeks.

    Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about selecting a mouth guard that will provide the right protection. Although some mouth guards only cover the upper teeth, your dentist or orthodontist may suggest that you use a mouth guard on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth.

    If you have a retainer or other removable appliance, do not wear it during any contact sports.

    Mouth Guard Care and Replacement

    Talk to your dentist about when is the right time to replace your mouth guard, but replace it immediately if it shows sign of wear, is damaged or ill fitting. Teens and children may need to replace their mouth guards more often because their mouths are still growing and changing.
    Between games, it’s important to keep your mouth guard clean and dry. Here are some tips for making sure your mouth guard is always ready to go:

    Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

    Regularly clean the mouth guard in cool, soapy water. Then, rinse it thoroughly.

    During your regular dental checkups, bring your mouth guard for an evaluation. Your dentist may also be able to give it a thorough cleaning.

    Store and transport the mouth guard in a sturdy container that has vents so it can dry and keep bacteria from growing.

    Never leave the mouth guard in the sun or in hot water.

    Check fit and for signs of wear and tear to see if it needs replacing.

    Some mouth guards have fallen victim to family pets, who see them as chew toys. Store your mouth guard and case somewhere your pet cannot get to it.

     

    Sources: American Dental Association, Colgate.com

    • 26 JUN 18
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    Is An Electric Toothbrush The Right Investment For Your Oral Health?

    Have you thought about getting rid of your manual toothbrush and switching to an electric toothbrush? Often a barrier is the cost, but if an electric toothbrush can enhance your oral health and help you avoid costly dental visits, it might be worth considering. Plus, an analysis of 56 published studies by the international evidence-based research organization Cochrane found that electric models have an edge in maintaining oral health.

    So how does an electric toothbrush work to clean your teeth? It makes rapid automatic bristle motions, either back-and-forth oscillation or rotation-oscillation, in order to clean teeth. Motions at sonic speeds or below are made by a motor. In the case of ultrasonic toothbrushes, ultrasonic motions are produced by a piezoelectric crystal. A modern electric toothbrush is usually powered by a rechargeable battery charged through inductive charging when the brush sits in the charging base between uses.

    What are the main benefits of an electric toothbrush?

    Provides deeper and more thorough cleaning

    Electric toothbrushes have the features and functionalities required to maintain the overall health of not just the teeth but also the gums and the tongue. Using a rotating head with angled bristles, they can remove the accumulated tartar and plaque in those hard-to-reach areas between your teeth.

    By preventing tartar and plaque build up, they become an effective tool in fighting gingivitis, tooth decay, and gum disease. And the bonus? Your breath is so much fresher for it.

    Maintains health in the entire oral cavity

    Most electric toothbrushes have preset timers that encourage users to pay equal attention to the four quadrants or sections of the mouth. Most have the standard four modes of brushing methods programmed into the units: Daily Clean, Sensitive, Deep Clean, and Massage. Plus, the timer makes is easier to know when you have completed two minutes of brushing.

    This holistic approach to brushing helps address all important aspects involved in keeping the oral cavity healthy, not to mention that it gives you that refreshing, clean feeling we always strive for in every brushing session.

    Benefits those with health issues

    For people who suffer carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis or other conditions that are painful or restrict movement, an electric toothbrush can be a life-saver for their oral health. It eliminates much of the stress that manually brushing places on your wrist.

    A couple of notes of caution if you decide to shop for a new electric toothbrush. First, dentists recommend that you purchase a quality product. If you decide to “go cheap,” you may not be doing any better than your current manual brushing. Second, be sure to replace the removable toothbrush head on your electric toothbrush every three to four months. Third, be sure to look for an electric toothbrush with the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Approval. It has been tested for safety by an independent lab.

    If you have decided to purchase an electric toothbrush to improve your oral health, which one should you buy? Check out this article from Health Best Reviews. You can find their rating of 10 electric toothbrushes here.

    Sources: Delta Dental, Denticheck.com, Health Best Reviews

    • 22 JUN 18
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    “We Truly Care About the Patients We Treat”

    Brandy Fulton is the Treatment Plan and Financial Coordinator at Personal Care Dentistry and if that sounds like a big job, that’s because it is. Her primary role is to keep Personal Care Dentistry’s schedule full, but she is also intensely driven to get patients the care and treatment they need.

    Brandy brings a trove of experience to the practice that is matched by her desire to help people achieve the highest level of oral healthcare. Her love of dentistry started when she was growing up outside of Pittsburgh in Irwin, Pennsylvania. “In high school I attended a career day field trip and was fascinated by dental practice. My passion is in the medical-dental profession,” she says. “I’ve been in the dental field since graduating from dental assisting school and have enjoyed many roles in the profession.” Brandy also served eight years in active duty with the Air Force and has been stationed in Colorado, Germany, New Mexico and Minneapolis. After active duty, she spent another 12 years serving our country in the Air Force reserves.

    She also worked at a large dental center for 18 years before coming to PCD in 2010. Her role in the office is varied from designing treatment plans and quoting services to coordinating payment plans. Brandy manages accounts receivable, collections, insurance statements and works diligently to resolve billing issues, but her favorite part of the job is working directly with patients. “I love my position here and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” states Brandy adding, “The best part of my job is working one-on-one with people. I want patients to have a positive experience with the dental care they receive and with financial options. I am an advocate for our patients and I want them to know that no treatment is too big or too small for payment options.”

    Brandy’s affable nature and caring disposition endear her to the people she works with. “I love what I do and I think that really comes out. I try to find a commonality with individuals and I enjoy getting to know new faces and catching up with our existing patients,” she says. “We truly care about the people we work with and the patients we treat. It’s not just lip service.”

    Knowledge is the key work attribute for Brandy and continuous learning is just part of her job. “The more I know, the more valuable I am to my employer, coworkers and patients. I am always learning. It’s empowering and humbling at the same time,” notes Brandy. “I figure if I’ve learned something new today, I’ve earned my paycheck.”

    As part of her growing knowledge base Brandy is helping to coordinate cross-training within the office as she continues to work closely with the front desk. “Cross-training becomes very important if one area gets overwhelmed another staff member can pick up the ball and run with it. And there is no ‘How do I do this or that’ if someone is out of the office.”

    When asked about future goals Brandy says, “I want to continue learning, becoming more valuable and doing a great job. Ongoing training is important and I hope to elevate that within the practice. I want to exceed expectations and drive Dr. Hunt’s vision.”

    Outside of the office Brandy enjoys cooking, reading and gardening. “I also work out at the YMCA every day and I love golfing in my woman’s league.” Brandy and her husband enjoy traveling with their adult son and teenage daughter as well. “We’re a very close family and vacation together. My husband talks about retirement, but I’ve got a few more good years left in me here at PCD,” she jokes

    • 12 JUN 18
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    Are Dental Implants the Right Solution for You?

    Did you know that simply smiling improves your attitude – even if you are by yourself? That’s just one of the many ways that having a mouth free of decay or missing teeth can have an impact on your health – both mental and physical. It’s also hard to eat a balanced diet if you have ongoing tooth issues since many of the healthy foods you need are hard to chew. Plus if you’re missing teeth, you’ll probably have a tell-tale “hollow-cheek” look.

    If you are missing teeth or have teeth that are so decayed they need to be removed, you’re best option is often a dental implant. Other solutions, depending on your condition, are a crown (on the original tooth), dentures (which you remove regularly and put back in), or a bridge (anchored to an existing tooth). All three tend to need replacement or adjustments periodically, and can have problems with usage or aesthetics.

    Although dental implants are the most expensive solution, they are a much more effective permanent solution that restores your smile and upgrades your overall health. And because they feel and look just like your natural teeth – and work the same way – you’ll notice a definite improvement in your quality of life.

    Implants will prevent bone loss because they replace the tooth from its root. Other options don’t do that, which means the bone in that area may start to break down due to a resorption process which can lead to further oral health complications. You also want to make sure you don’t wait too long after losing a tooth to start the implant process. Waiting too long can mean you will need bone grafts.

    Dental implants can also be used as the “anchor” for a dental arch if you have lost all of your upper or lower teeth. Called an “All-on-4” denture, this process involves four implants strategically placed in your upper or lower jaw and then an arch or bridge is screwed onto the implants, restoring all of your teeth.

    You will also find with dental implants that you can eat any type of foods – you’ll have no restrictions! Crispy vegetables, chewy steak, sticky caramel-covered apples – you can eat them all. You’ll also be able to chew properly, which means your digestion will be improved.

    Dental implants involve a titanium “rod” being inserted into the root of your tooth or bone, so you don’t have to worry about slippage or movement of the artificial tooth that is attached to the implant. Sneeze, cough, laugh, chew vigorously – none of those usual things will impact your dental implant!

    To restore your mouth to its original state, dental implants are your best option. The natural state of an original tooth is reproduced, so it’s like having real teeth again that don’t move or slip or require high maintenance (like a denture).

    You’ll also be able to taste food normally again with dental implants if you’re switching from using upper dentures. With dentures, your plate is sealed, which means you can’t taste the full flavor of your food. Dental implants, however, don’t cover your palate and you can enjoy the maximum flavors of food.

    When you are ready to take a look at your oral restoration options, consider dental implants. We recommend that you meet with a dentist from Personal Care Dentistry for a complimentary exam to determine if implants are your preferred option. You can also find out what your treatment plan would be, how much it would cost, and learn about financing options.

    Source: Worldental.org, American Dental Plan

     

    • 07 JUN 18
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    Are You Using the Right Toothpaste?

    If you value your smile (and overall oral health), then you should know that the type of toothpaste that you use can have an impact on your pearly whites. Because there are literally hundreds of options available when you shop for toothpaste, it can be daunting to figure out which toothpaste best fits your needs. We hope this guide will make that decision-making process a little less stressful and more productive.

    So why is toothpaste necessary? There are four key reasons why toothpaste is critical to your oral health, even if you use the most basic type:

    It improves abrasion, which means it is more efficient and thorough in removing plaque than just water on your toothbrush.

    It generally contains fluoride, proven by research to fight cavities and reverse tooth decay.

    It can prevent tooth discoloration.

    It can discourage excess snacking by refreshing your palate.

    When you are purchasing toothpaste, you will often find shelf after shelf of different types of toothpaste from the same manufacturer (Colgate and Crest being the two largest toothpaste manufacturers). If you have some basic facts, it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it might appear. Toothpastes generally fall into these categories:

    Anti-cavity toothpaste: All toothpastes are anti-cavity, but the ones with more fluoride as super cavity fighters. They remineralize teeth and prevent decay. This is the best toothpaste if you’re looking for general maintenance or to prevent further tooth decay because of extensive past oral health issues. Always be sure it has the ADA (American Dental Association) seal on the packaging.

    Sensitive teeth toothpaste: If hot or cold foods bring discomfort to your teeth, you may be able to find relief with this type of toothpaste. They use blocking compounds like strontium chloride and potassium nitrate to reduce your sensitivity and protect and strengthen your tooth enamel. Don’t forget that it usually takes several weeks for you to see a reduction in your tooth sensitivity. If you want to shorten that time span, don’t rinse your mouth out after you brush with this type of toothpaste. Just spit it out – which will leave your teeth coated with the sensitivity-reducing toothpaste.

    Tartar-control toothpaste: This type of toothpaste is especially helpful for folks who have gum disease. The tartar-control properties reduce excess plaque buildup (which leads to cavities). Rather than one bacteria-fighting agent, you’ll find that tartar control toothpastes may use multiple ingredients to battle the problem. These may include triclosan, pyrophosphates, and/or zinc citrate. However, if you already have a large amount of tartar (hardened plaque), you will need to have your dental hygienist remove the tartar.

    Whitening toothpaste: A whitening toothpaste can visibly brighten teeth that are stained or yellow. These types of toothpastes achieve their results because they have more abrasive substances combined with compounds that specialize in stain-fighting. If you are dealing with tooth sensitivity, this may not be the best solution for you. And don’t forget that a whitening toothpaste won’t produce the same whiteness as a whitening gel that you can get in your dental office.

    Be sure to check with your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry if you have additional questions or for a recommendation based on your oral health and specific needs.

    SOURCE: WebMD

     

     

    • 30 MAY 18
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    What Are the Top 10 Foods for Healthy Teeth?

    What you eat can be just as important to your teeth as brushing and flossing daily. In fact, certain foods and beverages will both keep your teeth in shape and provide them with the nutrition they need. You can’t get your original teeth back once you lose them, and imagine a life of eating and drinking minus your teeth.

    So the next time you are looking for something to eat or drink, pick a food or beverage that will make your teeth smile! Here’s list of 10 smile-producing foods to benefit your dental health.

    Fruit that is raw is a winner for your teeth because it reduces plaque and gives your gums a healthy massage. Fruits high in Vitamin C are the best because they keep our body cells together. If you are lacking Vitamin C, your gums will become tender and more easily develop gum disease.

    Sesame seeds dissolve plaque and help you build tooth enamel. They are also high in calcium, which keeps your teeth healthy along with your jawbone. It’s best to consume sesame seeds on bread or rolls.

    Vegetables are a wonderful “foundation builder” for oral health.  Sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots and broccoli are bursting with Vitamin A, which helps to form tooth enamel. Plus if you eat them raw you get a double dose of goodness, since raw vegetables will clean your teeth and massage your gums.

    Onions may have some smelly side effects, but they are loaded with bacteria-killing sulphur compounds. Don’t forget, it’s bacteria that does so much harm to your gums and teeth. If you like onions (and aren’t planning on going to a party), then eat them raw for maximum effect.

    Celery eaten raw is like nature’s toothbrush. It will clean your teeth and massage your gums. It also prompts your mouth to produce more saliva, which will neutralize the bacteria that creates cavities.

    Dairy products like yogurt and milk are a good choice to quench your thirst or have a healthy snack because they are low in acidity and sugar (and both of those lead to tooth erosion and tooth decay). Plus milk is full of calcium, which fortifies your teeth and bones.

    Cheese also has important benefits for your teeth and gums. Cheese is packed with calcium and phosphate – which promotes healthy teeth – and helps to balance the pH level in your mouth (which is a good outcome). It also helps you produce more saliva, rebuild important tooth enamel and kill bacteria that create cavities and lead to gum disease.

    Green Tea has earned a reputation for providing many benefits for your oral health. A major benefit of green tea is that is provides you with natural antioxidant compounds, which prevent plaque from accumulating. Plaque leads to cavities and bad breath. Plus some green teas have fluoride, which also helps reduce tooth decay.

    Proteins such as chicken, beef, turkey and eggs contain a ton of phosphorus. That’s a good thing since phosphorus combines with calcium and Vitamin D to create our bones and teeth.

    Water provides an array of good things. It hydrates your whole body (gums included), which is essential. But for your oral health, it helps clean your mouth so your saliva can nourish your teeth. When you rinse with water, it cleans your mouth so that your saliva can nourish your teeth, and it washes away food particles that can lead to cavities.

    Source: Dental.Net Print