Flossing. Are You Doing It Right?

Ensure your oral health with the best possible tooth flossing game around.

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It seems pretty simple. Grab your floss and put it between your teeth, right? Whether it’s traditional wound-up floss in a box; water picks or floss picks, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Which Floss is the Best Floss?

Dental health professionals say that traditional floss is still the most effective flossing method because it cleans your entire tooth but that floss picks and water picks are also excellent options.

Floss Like a Boss! How to Floss Properly

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There’s actually a specific way to floss correctly. It goes like this:

  1. Grab around 18 inches of floss
  2. Wrap it around your middle fingers
  3. Keep about 3-4 inches to floss with
  4. Hold the floss at an upward angle
  5. It should make a C shape
  6. Slide floss up and down between each tooth
  7. Gently floss below the gum line (but don’t force it)
  8. Use a new section of floss when food debris and plaque build up
  9. Do this EVERY DAY

Flossing is Really, Really Important

If you forget to floss, experts say you’re only cleaning about 75 percent of your mouth. Some professionals also say that when it comes down to choosing between flossing and brushing, you should floss.

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Be sure to follow these rules and you’ll keep your teeth happy and healthy!

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Tattoo Your Tooth. It’s Totally a Thing.

Well, not for everybody. But if you want to add a little art to your to your teeth, you actually CAN. Really. Well, your crown, anyway.

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Note: Not really what happens when you add tooth art to your mouth.
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Cute little heart.

While tooth tattoos sound pretty crazy, they’ve been around for about 20 years, innovated by dental technician Steve Heward, the world’s first tooth tattoo artist.

And just like tattoos on the skin, the quality and taste level range widely.

Customize Your Crown
With a Tattoo that Says YOU.

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So, we have a panda, a tree?, an iguana?, a rooster, a horse, a hawk?, an American Eagle, Princess Diana, George Washington, Lincoln, Tiger Woods, Amy Winehouse, Elvis? and Letterman. What do you see?

To get your own, Google “tooth tattoos” and find a dental lab that offers tattoo services.

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Someone really loves Prince William and Princess Kate.
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These teeth may be tattooed, but they’re very clean.

Pretty much every tooth in your mouth can be fitted for a crown, tattooed by a professional, and sent back to your dentist for a final fitting.

It just might be the coolest (or weirdest) thing you do all year.

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Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth

Beauty portrait of woman brushing teeth, studio shot

When it comes to your health, including your oral and dental health, diet and other good habits like brushing and flossing at least twice a day, improve your overall dental well-being.

That Ounce of Prevention?
It’s Worth a Pound of Cure.

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It seems that even when it comes to our dental health, the same dietary standards that keep our bodies healthy–leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus–keep our mouth healthy, too.

Stuff like hard candy, cake, soda, and just about EVERYTHING THAT TASTES DELICIOUS can really take a toll. Moderation helps big-time, but so does an attitude adjustment.

When we begin to change our habits even just a little bit, over time, our attitudes and our palettes will adapt and we’ll find food that once felt like a chore to be our favorite foods.  Even Brussels sprouts.

We *Know* Sugar is Bad for Our Teeth.

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So instead of a list of sugary sweets, including those that come from refined breads that break down into sugars that harm your teeth enamel and break down the constitution of your teeth, causing cavities and eventual deterioration, we’re offering a list of the best and worst foods for your teeth when it comes to their acid levels, which cause as much damage and are less known. You’re welcome.

The Best and Worst Foods (and Drinks)
For Your Teeth (Some May Surprise You!

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What Will Orthodontia Be Like in 100 Years?

Selective focus on the word "nanotechnology". Many more word photos for you in my portfolio...
Robots may be part of the orthodontic future.

While these expansions don’t quite mirror the future the Jetsons drew out for us, the future of orthodontia surely rivals that cartoon’s space-age man-over-machine prophecy. And the innovative and speedy discoveries uncovered from studies and research in the field of nanotechnology is truly the stuff of a space-age century.

So what did these innovators come up with? Nano Robots! This exciting new milestone is well on its way to becoming the next indispensable step in the fields of medical and dental science.

Nanotechnology in
Dentistry and Orthodontia

Increasing interest in the use of nanotechnology in dentistry has led to the emergence of a new field called Nano-Dentistry and Nano-Orthodontia…and Nano Robots are the star of the show.

These tiny machines possess the potential to offer a number of dental procedures and services: inducing oral analgesia, tooth desensitization, the ability to manipulate tissue to re-align and straighten irregular set of teeth, and the ability to improve tooth durability.

Sound far-fetched? Well, today, it might be, but these developments are certainly on their way—and perhaps a hundred years from now, they’ll be the norm!

Nano-Robots, Nanites
and Nano-Machines, Oh My!

Currently in the development phase, these futuristic devices have only just reached the milestone of producing a hypothetical Nano Robot.

Also known as nanites and Nano-machines, these theoretic microscopic devices are very, very small, as their name might suggest.

Nano-robotic architecture emulates the designs of already-existing macro and micro dental devices. Once the template is made, scientists construct and program the Nano Robots at a nanoscale level.   Scientists plan to create a smooth surface to streamline the way Nano-Bots function. It’s come to light that glucose—naturally occurring body sugars—as well as oxygen might be a source for propelling the Nano device in specified direction.

The Future of Orthodontia and Dentistry

Experts envision that these revolutionary Nano Robots will be manufactured in desktop Nano-factories specialized exclusively for this purpose. The ability to build and place large numbers of medical space-age Nano Robots into the human body brings up an exciting innovation. These ultramodern scientific advancements are expected to more effectively eliminate diseases AND provide patients with a painless recovery.

Pretty cool, huh?

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Find the Right Orthodontist in 5 Steps

Looking for a Great Orthodontist?
Follow the Five R’s Rule to Get it Right.

A mature dentist crossing his arms as his assistant and patient converse in the background

Referrals

Word-of-mouth is important; speak with your neighbors and friends. Someone you trust. Get a referral from a satisfied patient who’s happy with their orthodontist. A person who puts their reputation on the line by making a recommendation is a credible referral. That person has nothing to gain but your appreciation by helping. If you’ve been referred to multiple orthodontists, visit their websites (if they have them) to learn a little about orthodontics beforehand.

Research

This is an obvious way to go about picking an orthodontist. Take the time to do a little research on your own to verify that this is the orthodontist of choice for you and your family. Choose an orthodontist that is close to work or home and is more convenient for you. Check office hours to be sure you can make appointments and be able to work with them when planning your treatment. Be sure that the orthodontist can work with your current health insurance and plan. Are languages other than English required for communication? This is the stage to narrow down your search results.

Reviews

Credible testimonials are another source to consider when selecting an orthodontist. Patient testimonials help alleviate concerns for potential patients who may be nervous or anxious. Testimonials tell you all kinds of valuable information. They may affirm an orthodontist is okay or that the orthodontist is good, honest individual. Other reviews may criticize the orthodontist and allay that the orthodontist is dishonest and incompetent. All of these reviews come from each patient’s personal, subjective experience.   They’re a valuable tool that may sell you on the orthodontist or cause the poorly reviewed to lose a prospective patient. You.

Residency

How long has the orthodontist been in practice? This is always smart to consider. Look at the credentials and backgrounds when choosing a physician: clinical training, experience, board certification and specialized interests should align with the healthcare you’re looking for. You may also decide that the gender and age of the physician are important to you.

Rules (Follow These Do’s & Don’ts)

  • DO write down questions in advance and bring up things that concern you. Always feel free to ask more questions, even if you think they’re dumb questions. You’re not the expert. The orthodontist is. Make sure you understand every facet of the treatment and that you’re comfortable with and reassured by the information they’re giving you.
  • DON’T just go with an orthodontist when they cannot explain why they’re doing what they’re doing to gain the expected result: the correction of irregular teeth. It’s your money and your health and it shouldn’t be wasted on unnecessary treatment just so the orthodontist can make money off of you when the care isn’t at all needed.
  • DO find out the damaging consequences you will face if you do not go ahead with the treatment. The answer must be clear, comprehensive and specific. If the orthodontist cannot prove you need the treatment, don’t go ahead with their recommendation. You should NEED the service. Don’t let the orthodontist convince you to get the service without explaining exactly what health dangers you’ll face if you decline the services.
  • DO get at second opinion. It is important to have good rapport with your orthodontist. Communication is key; and you should feel comfortable and certain that this is a professional you will want to work with for a significant period of your life and you want to make sure that long-term relationship will be a pleasant one.
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Does Holistic Dentistry Really Work?

holisticdentistrylogoThe world of organic, alternative and holistic treatment is upon us, even for dentistry. Holistic Dentistry, also called

Biological Dentistry or Alternative Dentistry, has been around since 1978.

 

The Holistic Dental Association provides support and guidance to practitioners of holistic and alternative dentistry helps inform the public of the benefits of holistic dentistry for their overall health and well- being.

Alternative Dentistry Treats the Whole Body

Holistic dentistry focuses on treating the entire person rather than just one located area of “dis-ease,” which is in this instance, the teeth. Holistic healthcare is intended to improve personal health and wellness on all fronts while allowing patients to also enjoy feeling loved, accepted, and understood.

Alternative Dentistry provides physical, emotional, and spiritual support as part of its full dental care regimen. Alternative Dentists examine, provide oral screenings and regular hygiene visits in the effort to prevent cancer and other diseases.

Alternative Dentistry is also dedicated to providing educational growth to patients and dentists. This education is affordable and includes methods of nurturing dental care, basic dental information, and even cutting-edge experiential forms of education.

Biological Dentists are Always Learning

Continuing education is desired and encouraged in the Biological Dentistry Field. Interdisciplinary resources help dentists teach patients about their particular brand of care: educating patients that they can and do have the innate ability to heal themselves.

Educating patients is key to staying connected with and enjoying open communication with patients.

Holistic Dentists DO NOT:

  • Provide mercury fillings, nickel-based crowns or cast partials
  • Offer gold, ceramic and composite fillings
  • Use Non-adrenaline and non-preservative anesthetics
  • Promote the use of fluoride

Holistic Dentists DO:

  • Protect patients and staff when removing mercury amalgam fillings
  • Evaluate the biocompatibility of dental materials before placing them in the mouth
  • Provide nutritional support and assistance
  • Take the time to listen to patient concerns.
  • Follow safe protocols for safe replacement of mercury fillings with an aesthetically pleasing and safe composite resin

These alternative methods coincide with holistic dental care products.

Holistic Dental Care Products Include

  • Organic and herbal toothpaste
  • Rounded-bristled brushes of special nylon that sucks up plaque at the gum line
  • Mouthwash made with highly concentrated extracts of organic herbs

Overall, Holistic Dentistry takes into account the effect of dental treatment and materials on the overall health of the individual. It is the basis of truly informed consent and allows patients to take an active role in the decision-making process of their dental health care.

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10 Most Common Orthodontic Instruments

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Dental students need to know every facet and purpose of orthodontic instruments.

You’ve got to be at the very least a master of your own domain when it comes to your familiarity with every minute detail of function and your own efficient and comfortable confidence with them while performing your procedures. You must master all this before you hit the ground running in your chosen field of orthodontia.

Here’s a swift and thorough explanation of orthodontia’s most common instruments. Bookmark this page and keep it handy. You never know when you’re going to need just a little reminder. We’ve narrowed the most used instruments down to ten. Take a look. And then take your knowledge back to school, and eventually your own practice.

Your No-Muss, No-Fuss
Ortho Instrument Dictionary

1. Dental Mirrors

Allows dentists and dental assistants to view a mirror image of those teeth located so far in the back of the mouth that their visibility is either very difficult or impossible to examine with the naked eye.

2. Periodontal Probes

Usually long, thin and outfitted with a blunted end to relieve patient discomfort—is primarily used to measure pocket depths around the tooth to determine the health of the surrounding specialized tissues that both surround and support the teeth.

3. Cotton Pliers

Resembling tweezers, cotton pliers are used to grasp and retrieve small objects in the mouth and to place cotton when isolating teeth during procedures.

4. Orthodontic Pliers

Designed for grasping auxiliary attachments inside the mouth, orthodontic pliers are outfitted with tips rounded  tips for comfort and safety. They are often serrated for superior grip. They may be angled, curved, offset or straight.

5. Wire Cutter/Pin and Ligature Cutters

Comprised of two tapered beaks rounded out by sharp cutting-ends, the wire cutter/pin and ligature cutter is used to cut stainless steel ligatures  tied to the arch wire. The arch wire conforms to the mouth’s natural dental arch and can be used with dental braces to correct irregularities in the position of the teeth.

6. Distal End Cutters

Comprised of two cutting surfaces angled to the right of the instrument’s axis, distal end cutters are used to slice through and remove the terminal end of a ligated arch wire.

7. Bite Sticks

Orthodontists use this device to apply your normal bands and to seat molar bands.The orthodontist puts the band in place and has the patient bite down on the stick to help push the band in place.

8. Posterior Band Removers

A specialized plier orthodontists use to remove bands from your teeth.

9. Cheek Retractors

These small plastic pieces are used to draw back your lips and cheeks so the orthodontist can access your mouth and better see your teeth while they are working.

10. Band Removers

A specialized plier orthodontists use to remove bands from your teeth.

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6 Ways to Shut Down Your Dental Phobia

Afraid of the Dentist?

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Does your heart start to race even when you make the appointment? Do you feel like you might need sedation as soon as you enter the office? Does the mere word “drill” fill you with dread?Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Here are a few tips to help you deal.

1. Communicate Your Fears.

What they don’t know can only hurt you. So speak up. Dental anxiety is extremely common. Dentists want to know about your fears. So tell them. Express you specific fears about a certain procedure, or fill them in on the fact that you’re mortally terrified of just sitting in a dentist’s chair and that’s why this is your first dental appointment in five years.  The more clearly you communicate, the better the staff can help you. They will listen carefully, assure you that your concerns are valid, and explain clearly and carefully just what to expect. Whether they teach you some breathing techniques or just hand you an eye pillow or tell you (good) jokes, the staff wants you to feel comfortable and will do whatever they can to assuage your fears.

2. Try Biofeedback Before Your Visit.

Biofeedback is designed to help you control your body’s stress signals—such as heavy sweating, short breath and racing heart—by connecting electrical sensors to your body and the biofeedback machine.

During the session, electrical sensors help you receive information (feedback) about your body (bio), and let you see what your nervous system looks like in a calm state as well as when you’re under stress.

According to WebMd, “The idea behind biofeedback is that, by harnessing the power of your mind and becoming aware of what’s going on inside your body, you can gain more control over your health.” Therapists will offer you a wide array of ways to control your stress reactions so you can remain as calm as possible when you face your fears—like going to the dentist, for example.

3. Speak Up for Yourself in the Dentist Chair

When you’re in the dentist chair, keep advocating for yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Let your dentist know how you are feeling, no matter how trivial your concern may seem. Many dentists ask you to do this anyway, like requesting you raise your hand to signal for them to pause. If this doesn’t come up, broach the subject and come up with an agreed-upon communication plan before the procedure begins. This way you have a chance to explain that you are in pain, uncomfortable, have a question, need a break,  need to adjust or readjust yourself in the chair or anything else you feel the dentist needs to know

4. Customize Your Dental Sessions.

For some people, it is overwhelming to even think about getting through an entire dental procedure.  Well, you do not have to complete everything in one session.  Unless it’s impossible, your dentist will break up the procedure into plausible sessions to accommodate your request.  Remember that you are the client and you can advocate for yourself. You may also consider just taking a break and pausing for a few moments to refresh yourself before moving forward to the next portion of the procedure. Take a moment to take a few breaths to calm your nerves and then continue on with the procedure.

5. Distract Yourself.

Bring headphones and listen to music or watch a movie to block out sound. Bring a book. Just bring something that will allow you to focus deeply on something THAT IS NOT THE DENTAL PROCEDURE.  That way you can listen to music or watch a movie or read a book to distract yourself and keep your mind off the dental procedure.  Also, some dental offices have a TV or music playing in the background for this very reason. Such distractions ease your anxiety and put you in a calm state of mind.

6. Ask About Medication Options.

Lastly, there is medication.  For certain procedures, some sort of sedation is required.  For patients who have more extreme anxiety, medication may be the answer. There are types of medication that can be prescribed to alleviate anxiety and allow you to feel rested and comfortable. Ask your dentist if medication is right for you.

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Fun Facts About Braces and Orthdontics

Braces Trivia

An orthodontist needs four years of college, four years of dental school, and two years of postgraduate study in orthodontics before they can practice orthodontics.

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All orthodontists are also board certified dentists

Dr Charles Tweed was the first certified orthodontist in the US.
The first “braces” were constructed by Pierre Fauchard in 1728. Fauchard’s “braces” consisted of a flat strip of metal, which was connected to teeth by pieces of thread. Continue reading Fun Facts About Braces and Orthdontics

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Botox and Dentistry

botoxTo say that Botox is a popular esthetic treatment is a vast understatement. Over 21 years has past since the introduction of botulinum toxin A injections (Botox) have been used for the unsightly frown lines between the eyes and smoothing of facial wrinkles. Botox treatments are the most commonly preformed minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in North America. There were nearly 2.5 million cosmetic procedures done with Botox in 2008 according to The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Women accounted for 92% of the total cosmetic procedures done. Botox cosmetic procedures accounted for 24% of all cosmetic procedures done in 2008. The safety records of Botox treatment is nearly unparalleled by just about any other delivered medication on the market. Continue reading Botox and Dentistry

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