HOW OFTEN DO WE PAUSE to appreciate our own amazing gifts and abilities? It’s easy to take things that come easiest for granted. Mariam Paré’s inspiring story not only gives us courage and motivation to be our best, but it helps put life into perspective.
Paralyzed By A Bullet Wound, Mariam’s Life Changed In An Instant
Mariam, a promising 20 year old painter, dreamed about all the things her artistic future held. Today, 18 years after a tragic event that changed her life, she’s painting just as she dreamed—but she’s doing it a little differently than she imagined.
Mariam paints with her teeth, patiently and precisely clenching brushes between them as she continues to express her remarkable artistic gift.
We Can All Take Lessons In Showing Gratitude
First, let’s all be grateful for our healthy mouths and teeth. For all the things they do for us... Speaking, chewing, nourishing, smiling, and in Mariam’s case, even painting—let’s be grateful for our healthy smiles and show our appreciation by taking great care of them.
Second, we are grateful for you—our valued patients. Without your support and friendship we couldn’t do the things we love to do each day. We treasure the trust you place in us. We’re honored when you recommend us, or refer one of your friends or coworkers. Always let us know how we can best serve you.
Were you also inspired by Mariam’s story? Please share your thoughts with us below. Thanks.
CANKER SORES ARE SELDOM SERIOUS, but they can drive us crazy! These small, shallow ulcers pop up in our mouths and on the inside of our lips unexpectedly and sometimes take days to heal. The good news is that they’re fairly easy to prevent, once you understand their triggers.
5 Common Triggers To Avoid
- Stress – Stress can weaken your immune system, making it easy for canker sores to form and irritate your mouth.
- Tissue Injury – If you already have cuts or scrapes inside of your mouth (from biting your cheek, for example), you’re more vulnerable to canker sores.
- Foods – Foods that are high in acidity like strawberries, tomatoes, pineapples and lemons can trigger canker sores. Sour candies are also a common culprit.
- Dental Appliances – Having braces or ill-fitting dentures could also cause canker sores, since it increases opportunities for irritation in your mouth.
- Sickness – If you already have an infection in your body, the chances are higher for canker sores.
Some Simple Remedies
Once you learn your triggers, canker sores become much easier to avoid. Limit problematic foods. If braces are irritating your mouth, ask for more dental wax, or have the trouble-spots checked. If stress is contributing to canker sores, try stress-reduction techniques.
After checking your triggers, if you find that you’re still getting frequent canker sores, check your oral care routine.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating oral tissue.
- Try using toothpaste that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
- Rinse your mouth each day with salt water.
Do you have any personal remedies and tips that help your canker sores? Share below! We’d love to hear them and pass them along.
Thank you for being such wonderful patients and friends. We appreciate you!
Top image by Flickr user Jeramey Jannene used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
YOU’RE RETURNING TO WORK after your dental appointment with a numb lip, thanks to a filling! We know it can be annoying. A filling may not be welcome news, but they’re often an important part of your preventative care plan, and much preferable to the alternatives!
If you’re ever been tempted to postpone getting a filling, think about this:
Decay Leads To More Decay... Until It’s Stopped
When decay erodes part of your tooth, fillings help us seal off and cover the compromised area. We place fillings because once a tooth starts to get decay, it’s very likely the decay will progress.
- A cavity indicates that the area is decay-prone, whether that’s due to chewing habits, cleaning habits, or the bacterial climate.
- Cavities can create crevices in your mouth that trap plaque and food particles, encouraging further decay.
- The tooth’s outer enamel layer is much stronger than the inner, dentin layer. If decay breaches the enamel, it can progress dramatically, leading to severe pain and permanent tooth damage.
Fillings Need To Be Maintained, And Sometimes Refreshed
Occasionally, we may recommend that you replace a filling. The materials used in fillings can break down and weaken over time, which can lead to further decay and damage. During a replacement, we make sure that there’s no decay under the filling, and that the area is not compromised.
Be Proactive In Your Dental Care
Don’t postpone getting a filling if it’s recommended. Protect your oral health by being proactive. Save time and money by fixing the problem while it’s still small.
Let us know if you ever have any questions or concerns about the care that we recommend for you and your family. We value our relationship with you and we want to be sure that you’re always comfortable and happy with your service.
Thanks for being our patients and friends!
Top image by Flickr user Matthew Hunt used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
OUR BODIES ARE ECOSYSTEMS where a change in one area affects other areas. This connection is becoming clearer as scientists continue examining the links between oral health and cardiovascular health. Recent studies suggest that taking care of your gums through great oral hygiene could cut your risk of a heart attack or stroke!
Important Links Between Gum Health And Heart Health
Inflammation caused by gum disease could contribute to an increased risk for heart problems. The mouth is the gateway to the body, and gums that are infected or bleeding provide easy access for bacteria to get into the bloodstream. Once inside, certain types of bacteria cause low-level inflammation of blood vessels without causing a full-blown blood infection. Because of this, treatment is very difficult once the bacteria have become established. The constant low-level inflammation can induce atherosclerosis–the hardening of arterial walls–and lead to blockages.
Mom Was Right—An Ounce of Prevention...
Beyond diet and exercise, it’s hard to know what to do to prevent heart disease. However, gum disease and tooth decay are completely preventable!
- Brush twice daily for two minutes, gently massaging the gums.
- Floss once daily.
- Brush or rinse with water after eating or drinking.
- Don’t miss your regular cleanings and check-ups with us.
As such studies continue, it’s likely more evidence will be found linking gum disease and heart disease. In the meantime, there are already enough reasons to take charge of your oral health! Establishing good dental hygiene habits now and sticking to them will help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and a host of other problems.
Stay Healthy For The People You Love
We’re proud to assist you in your pursuit of comprehensive, lasting health. We look forward to seeing you during your next visit.
Thank you for allowing us to be your lifelong health partner. We appreciate you!
Top image by Flickr user Loren Kerns used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
SOMETIMES YOU JUST CAN’T RESIST! It’s SO cheesy and saucy—right out of the oven! You dive in and take your first bite...
Uh oh! Too soon! You’ve got “pizza burn!”
Pizza Isn’t The Only Culprit
You’ve probably burned your mouth before on coffee, soup, and other scorching hot foods. Soon afterward, you may have noticed that the roof of your mouth, and perhaps your tongue, is very tender. In some cases, you may even have blisters! Unfortunately, your mouth will probably hurt for a few days. However, there are a few things you can do to relieve the pain and irritation.
How To Soothe Your Mouth And Help It Heal
- Applying or sucking on ice can relieve the stinging. Gargling cold water or eating ice cream are other options.
- Drinking milk can coat the scorched area.
- An over-the-counter pain reliever can help, if the pain is really distracting.
- Avoid acidic, crunchy, and other hot foods, or even very salty and spicy dressings. This will stop the burn from getting irritated further.
- Squeezing Vitamin E from a capsule over the wound can speed up healing. It will regenerate new tissue and heal the wound.
- Maintain good oral hygiene while your mouth is burnt, keeping it as clean as possible to promote healing and prevent further infection. Warm saline rinses can also be helpful.
- Resist touching the burned area. This may be difficult, but by touching the affected area, the lesion may become irritated further.
If It’s Not Feeling Better In A Few Days, Call Us
Pizza-type burns tend to heal within three to seven days. If soreness and blistering continue beyond a week, please call us! In the meantime, have fun enjoying that delicious, cheesy pizza—that is, once it’s cool!
Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!
Top image by Flickr user m01229 used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
WE KNOW SOME OF YOU DON’T LIKE TO FLOSS. You may be surprised to hear us say, “we understand!” Flossing each day can be difficult. Perhaps you have sensitive gums, your mouth is small, or you feel like floss wrapped around your fingers cuts off your circulation. There are lots of seemingly good reasons not to floss—and as you can imagine, we’ve heard them all.
However, today there are options that can help make flossing easier.
Many, Many Varieties Of Floss
Try ribbon-style floss instead of thread-style. Try waxed versus unwaxed. Try one that’s specially designed to glide easily. Try a different thickness, or a different flavor. The type of floss you use doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact you’re doing it!
Consider Tools Like Flossers And Flossing Sticks
After trying several of the various options suggested above, if no brand or particular type of floss seems to be doing the trick for you, look into other tools that are designed to help.
Flossers and floss sticks eliminate the need to wrap floss around your fingers. These tools can also make it easier to reach back teeth without having to stick your hands in your mouth. They can also help you more easily maneuver the floss for better coverage.
The are many different tools and many different brands available to try. And again, which tool you use isn’t nearly as important as the fact you’re doing it!
Never Underestimate The Value Of Flossing!
Flossing is an essential part of effective, daily oral hygiene care. Flossing helps guard against gum disease, the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. In addition to the woes of gum disease, some studies suggest that gum health is linked to systemic health issues including diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Make Flossing A Daily Priority
If you have questions about how to make flossing easier, please visit with us. We want to help you be successful.
Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!
Top image by Flickr user Hey Paul Studios used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
WE’RE KEEPING OUR TEETH longer than ever before. But in order to stay in optimal health, we need to be vigilant against potential problems. Certain risks can increase as we age.
#1 Tooth Decay Risk Increases
Aging can cause the base of teeth to become softer. In addition, roots can become more exposed. These two issues can cause cavities either around the base or root of the tooth.
#2 Dry Mouth Is A Common Problem
Thanks to medications, hormonal shifts, and the natural results of aging, dry mouth risk increases with age. Saliva is one of the main warriors against tooth decay, and without it, your risk of tooth decay and gum disease spike. Sipping water throughout the day, or chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva.
#3 Gum Disease Is The Most Common Cause Of Tooth Loss
Untreated gingivitis (inflamed gums) can easily become periodontitis. Gums pull away from the tooth and create pockets, where infections develop. Periodontitis can cause tooth loss and deteriorate jaw bone. If you have bleeding, red gums, talk to us. More frequent dental cleanings can help us keep your gums healthy.
#4 Oral Cancer Risk Goes Up
Oral cancer incidences increase as we age. Oral cancer is linked to heavy alcohol use and smoking, but even folks without those risk factors should be regularly screened at our office for early signs.
#5 Crowded Teeth Make Dental Health More Difficult
Many people experience shifting teeth as they age. Teeth can become crowded and more difficult to clean, and put extra stress on your gums and your jaw. Keep your oral health manageable, and your smile beautiful with more frequent cleanings, and perhaps orthodontic treatment to get a retainer or spacer.
Pass This Message On To Someone You Care About!
Even if you’re not over 50, you know and care for someone who is. Share this message and let them know that you care about their healthy smile!
If you have any questions about your own oral health, or that of someone you care for, give us a call. We’re always happy to talk with you.
Thanks for being our valued patients. We appreciate you!
Top image by Flickr user slgckgc used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
SMARTPHONE TECHNOLOGY IS AMAZING. It brings the world to our fingertips. And now, smartphone apps can help us with our daily oral hygiene routines!
Smartphone Apps For Both Adults & Children
Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to do the right things! If you struggle with (or if your children struggle with) effective oral hygiene, consider downloading and trying these two apps from Oral-B. They’re effective and simple to use.
Make Brushing Fun For Kids!
Oral-B and Disney teamed up to make a fun dental app for children:
The app helps children brush for a full two minutes by giving them goals to work toward!
Need A Little Extra Motivation & Support?
As adults, we can use a little motivation too:
In addition, Oral-B has developed advanced, two-way communication apps that not only receive brushing data and report it back to you, but you can also program the app to communicate via Bluetooth® with your toothbrush to monitor your personalized brushing routine!
Remember, There Are Some Things Technology Can’t Replace
No matter how awesome these tools are in assisting with daily oral hygiene, they can’t replace the professional, personalized oral health care our team provides. Schedule your regular checkups and cleanings... And when you have questions or concerns about your oral health, never hesitate to visit with us.
We appreciate having you as our valued patient and friend.
Have You Used One Of These Apps?
Or, do you know of other great dental apps for your smartphone or tablet? Comment and share below! And if you decide to try out one of the Oral-B apps above, let us know how you like it!
MOST PEOPLE CLENCH or grind their teeth from time to time. However, if you’re doing so frequently—especially while you’re sleeping—you may be damaging your teeth.
The Harmful Effects
If you grind your teeth at night (also called bruxing), you may already be experiencing the most obvious, immediate effects: namely, unexplained headaches and jaw pain.
Chronic grinding can cause tooth fractures, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. Grinding can also wear down teeth and severely damage fillings and crowns. Left untreated, bruxism can lead to eventual bone loss in your jaw.
Unconscious Habits Can Be Hard To Correct
What’s really frustrating about bruxing is that most people do it while they’re asleep. That means the problem often goes unidentified for a long time.
Do you find yourself waking up with headaches or a sore jaw? Does your loved one complain about these symptoms? If it has been happening for a while, you may actually start seeing worn-down teeth, or gums that are unusually inflamed.
We Can Help
We can diagnose bruxism, and make recommendations to help remedy it. There are many options, depending on the specific circumstances. Sometimes, treatment includes making a custom mouthguard to protect teeth. Or perhaps some dental adjustments can help your teeth better align.
Let’s talk about your lifestyle too. Perhaps stress reduction is in order and could help. We’re not only interested in your smile, but also in your whole-body health. If you or someone you care for is struggling with bruxism, let’s visit.
Thanks for being our valued patient and friend. We appreciate you!
Top image by Flickr user Tony Alter used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
SHOWING YOUR TEETH WHEN YOU SMILE makes a huge difference in your confidence and appearance. Beautiful teeth make us all feel more approachable, better prepared, accepting of others, younger, and more attractive. Studies even show that 70% of people believe that a beautiful smile can make someone more attractive than does wearing makeup!
As We Age, Our Smiles Lose Their Luster
It’s an unavoidable part of life. As we get older, our teeth become worn, yellow, and misaligned. Micro cracks absorb stains easier and discolor teeth. Grinding and chewing can give our smiles a shortened appearance, making our faces look sunken.
Turning To Cosmetic Dentistry
People today turn to dentistry for anti-aging treatments! It’s amazing to see the difference smile improvements make in an entire look (and confidence)!
Removing The Fear Isn’t As Difficult As You May Think
We want you to show your beautiful teeth when you smile! Small improvements can make a big difference. Let’s visit soon about your particular concerns. We’re here to help!
Basic Cosmetic Procedures Overview
Veneers - Veneers are typically made of porcelain, shaped and bonded to the front of, or over teeth. Veneers are a great way to change a tooth’s color and shape and provide extra volume that can give your entire face a fuller look.
Whitening - The safest, fastest, and most effective way to whiten your teeth is with professional whitening. Talk to us about whitening options.
Composites & Implants - If you’re missing a tooth or have unsightly dark fillings, we can help. There are many options.
Straightening - Straightening your smile not only improves your appearance, but also your health! Modern options have improved the aesthetics, speed, and comfort of teeth straightening. Let’s visit about it.