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With origins dating back over 4,000 years, green tea has long been a popular beverage in Asian culture, and is increasingly gaining popularity in the United States. And while ancient Chinese and Japanese medicine believed green tea consumption could cure disease and heal wounds, recent scientific studies are beginning to establish the potential health benefits of drinking green tea, especially in weight loss, heart health, and cancer prevention. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology, the official publication of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), uncovered yet another benefit of green tea consumption. Researchers found that routine intake of green tea may also help promote healthy teeth and gums. The study analyzed the periodontal health of 940 men, and found that those who regularly drank green tea had superior periodontal health than subjects that consumed less green tea. Continue reading GO GREEN FOR HEALTHY TEETH AND GUMS


Caring for your Braces

When you wear braces, it’s very important to carefully brush, floss and thoroughly rinse your mouth after you eat anything — or at least four times a day (after you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and before you go to bed). That’s because braces, wires, bands and even retainers all trap food particles that can cause plaque (say: plak) to build up on your teeth. Continue reading Caring for your Braces




Untreated periodontal disease can eventually lead to tooth loss and other health problems.


Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care. Continue reading TYPES OF GUM DISEASE


Study finds a 34% rise in dentists performing orthodontic treatments


One may not equate an online advertising and marketing business with producing dental statistics. However, OutRank by Rogers proved to be an exception. This “one-stop shop for marketing and advertising your small business” recently gathered some interesting statistics about the changing face of today’s dentistry, in particular regarding invisible braces and adults choosing corrective cosmetic procedures.

“The data is based on thousands of clients (and hundreds of dentists) across Canada, excluding Quebec,” said Carrie Shaw, Director of Marketing at OutRank by Rogers. “We set up search-optimized websites for our customers and have access to all of the searches that lead to views to our clients’ websites. That is how we acquired five million searches. The data shows how the industry is changing. To date we’ve seen about 34% of our dentistry partners optimizing their advertising for search words such as Invisalign, invisible braces, aligners, and smile correction.”

“Why did we decide to dive into this research? It was an insight offered by one of our customer service associates that made us realize there was a story here,” Shaw said. “This person works on a lot of dental accounts and noticed the increasing prevalence of dentists offering corrective treatments. We pulled the data and found that indeed, many people are searching for terms such as Invisalign, and more dentists are showing up at the top of the results, not just orthodontists!”
A large part of this change is being driven by the ease of integrating these kinds of procedures into a dental practice, according to Rogers’ research. For a system such as Invisalign, a dentist can assess alignment issues and create molds of patients’ teeth, techniques that are already common in dental practices. These molds are then sent to a laboratory, where 10 to 20 sets of retainers are created. Requiring no new tools or additional staff, systems like this represent a great way for dentists to generate new business.
Dr. Sundeep Patel, a dentist who handles numerous requests for smile correction, sees a growing acceptance of cosmetic dentistry from both patients and doctors. “When I started my practice 15 years ago, only about 1 in 10 adults came into my office requesting cosmetic dentistry. Now we live in a cosmetic age where esthetic treatments make up about 6 in 10 new patient requests. A fair portion of these includes some form of orthodontic treatment.”
From his practice in Winnipeg, Dr. Patel continues to refer patients to orthodontists, but explains that “choosing to refer a patient is entirely up to the dentist. Each day I see more and more dentists doing general orthodontic work and I honestly think you’ll see this trend continue, especially among young dentists in saturated markets.”
But what’s great for dentists may be a cause for alarm for orthodontists.
Dr. Bruce McFarlane, an orthodontist and mentor at ICANDO, explains, “For every orthodontist there are 10 dentists. Naturally oral health care professionals are expanding their services to adapt to the increased competition, but this doesn’t signal the end of orthodontics as we know it.”
There are many cases where traditional orthodontics are necessary for such issues as skeletal issues, overbites, and narrow bite profiles, which cannot be resolved with Invisalign. Adult corrections represent about 30% of Dr. McFarlane’s total practice, and of these cases only about one third are right for braces alternatives. “The worry for me is less about the competition, and more that patients are listening to their doctor’s advice and not fixating on a single treatment option,” he said.
“As far as the link between doctor, patient, and Internet, I think the salient point is that search engines show us what’s trending and we see businesses respond to that,” Shaw said. “I think dentists and orthodontists can learn a lot from what Google tells us, and I think that is a really interesting way to understand what prospective patients want. I would imagine the trends are similar in the U.S.”


Weird and Wacky Tooth Facts

weird but interesting

We’re so used to having teeth that we don’t give them a lot of thought. We use them to smile, speak, and chew food; we brush them two or three times a day and floss (hopefully!); and we see the dentist a few times a year, and that’s generally about it. Well, we’re here today with some fun facts about human and animal teeth that we hope will have you grinning—plus a few bonus tips on how to keep your pearly whites in perfect condition. Continue reading Weird and Wacky Tooth Facts


5 Ortho Practice Predictions for 2014


1. Internet-connected equipment
I’ve mentioned my newest autoclave in DPR before. The Statim G4 from SciCan has all of the bells and whistles you have come to expect from SciCan’s top-of-the-line high-speed sterilization system. The new advantage it brings to the table is its ability to communicate.
The G4 has an Ethernet port that allows it to connect to your network by either a wired or wireless connection. It sends to the doctor, via email, all the pertinent info on sterilization cycles.
However, it also contacts SciCan and your preferred service technician if there is a problem. It will even notify them of what’s wrong.
There are a few other devices like this and more in the product pipeline. In 5 or 10 years, we’ll wonder how we ever got along without connected equipment. Continue reading 5 Ortho Practice Predictions for 2014


Latest Japanese Fad of Yaeba is made Possible Through Cosmetic Dentistry

It’s no secret that Americans spend all sorts of money each year on cosmetic dentistry to achieve the perfect smile.  However, the Japanese have adopted another point of view when it comes to straight teeth.download

According to an article in The New York Times, there is a new trend sweeping across Japan where girls with nice straight teeth are seeking out cosmetic dentistry to actually make their teeth look crooked and crowed.  In America, we call this the “snaggletooth” look, but in Japan the trend has been dubbed as Yaeba, which translates to “double teeth.” Continue reading Latest Japanese Fad of Yaeba is made Possible Through Cosmetic Dentistry


Fake Braces and Dental Fads

In Asia braces are so popular that there is now a black market for fake braces.

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The fake brackets are kept in place by wrapping the wire around the back teeth. Some teens are even using household glue to secure the brackets to their teeth. There have been two deaths connected to the wearing of fake braces. In addition some of the black market wires and brackets have been found to have lead in them. This has led to a crackdown by police and outlawing the sale of fake braces.Many teens who cannot afford to pay for actual orthodontics are buying these wires and brackets from street vendors. The braces give the illusion of wealth and social status.

Are dental fads bad? There have been a couple very popular dental fads out there and fake braces are just the latest and greatest. Other popular fads are: Grillz, Tooth Art, Fangs, etc.

As long as the material is safe, the process is 100% reversible, it does not interfere with cleaning of the teeth nor does it affect the normal function of the bite then fads are fine. As a matter of fact, I love that people are paying attention to their teeth!

When these dental fads are done without the supervision of a licensed dentist it is unknown what damage could be happening. Grillz, for example, that are worn over decayed and dirty teeth will result in rampant decay and tooth loss. Many times the teeth are ground down to make the grillz fit and are jammed over the teeth without cement. The removable grillz can also cause changes in the bite if worn too often or for long periods of time.

My worry with fake braces is that the brackets could be swallowed, inhaled or could break the natural teeth by biting on them accidently. In addition, even in actual orthodontic work the teeth are more difficult to clean and the brackets catch food and can contribute to decay, these may be even worse.

It is interesting to note that while American teens can’t wait to get their braces off, Asian teens are going to black market to get the “tinsel teeth” look.