How Smoking Affects Oral Health
WE’VE ALL HEARD over and over how smoking can adversely impact health, with the most infamous example being lung cancer. But smoking doesn’t only harm the lungs; it damages every single system in the body, and it also damages oral health.
Smoking Increases the Risk of Oral Cancer
Like we said before, lung cancer tends to get all the attention when it comes to consequences of smoking, but four out of every five people diagnosed with oral cancer smoke or chew tobacco. Early symptoms of oral cancer include persistent mouth sores or pain, unusual white patches, swelling, numbness, difficulty chewing or swallowing, and a sensation of having something stuck in the throat.
What Is Smoker’s Keratosis?
The weirdest effect smoking can have on oral health is that it can cause white patches to develop on the roof of the mouth. These patches are smoker’s keratosis (or stomatitis nicotina). This condition is still something of a medical mystery, but the current theory is that the white patches are caused by inflamed mucous glands.While they typically aren’t painful, they can be pre-cancerous.
Smoking Makes Gum Disease More Likely
As many as half of adults older than 30 have some form of gum disease, and smoking doubles the risk of developing it and makes it harder to treat.Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to serious damage to the gingiva (gum tissue), bone loss in the jaw, and tooth loss. In severe cases, it can even be life-threatening if the bacteria in the mouth gets into the bloodstream through inflamed gums.
What About Vaping?
Vaping or smoking e-cigarettes is often portrayed as a much healthier option to traditional smoking, but the vapor still contains nicotine and ultra-fine toxic chemicals and heavy metals. The nicotine itself reduces blood flow, affecting teeth and gums,potentially causing gum recession and death of gum tissue. It can also reduce saliva, leading to dry mouth (which causes all kinds of problems from bad breath to tooth decay), and it can trigger teeth grinding, which damages teeth.
Secondhand Smoke Isn’t Safe Either
Sometimes smokers will claim that they’re not hurting anyone else with their habit, and they’re willing to accept the risks to their own health.Unfortunately, this is not accurate.Studies have suggested a link between cavities (in baby teeth and adult teeth) and regular exposure to secondhand smoke. The broader health risks are especially serious for small children and infants, including infections, asthma attacks, and even SIDS.
The Benefits of Quitting
Someone who has smoked for decades might think that quitting can’t do anything to improve their health, so why bother? It turns out that even people with a long history of smoking can significantly improve their health outlook by quitting.Obviously it’s better not to start smoking in the first place, but it’s never too late to quit!
Take Advantage of the Resources Around You
Quitting an addictive habit isn’t easy, but smokers who need help quitting are not alone. Some of the best resources are the support of family, friends, and counselors. There’s also a lot of great information available online, and the dentist is another great resource. If you are a smoker, make sure to schedule regular dental exams (sometimes more than two a year) to keep your mouth healthy!
We’re always happy to see our patients!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Charcoal Toothpaste: Science Versus Fads
IF GIVEN THE CHANCE to change something about their smiles, most people would choose to have whiter teeth, and quite a few are willing to try just about anything for it, including something as counter intuitive as scrubbing them with toothpaste made of charcoal.
The History of Charcoal as a Remedy
The activated charcoal-based dental and skin care products that have been popping up everywhere over the last couple of years aren’t entirely a new idea. Hippocrates of ancient Greece (originator of the Hippocratic Oath and often described as the Father of Medicine) recommended using charcoal to treat black gums and bad breath, and ancient Romans made mouthwashes and tooth powders out of burnt goat hooves.
Charcoal and teeth didn’t mix much from then until charcoal products began popping back up in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1930s, charcoal dental cream and gum were advertised as a way to get fresher breath and remove tobacco stains. However,the American Dental Association raised safety concerns that led to the discontinuation of such products.
The Incomplete Logic of Charcoal in Toothpaste
Activated charcoal is actually extremely good at absorbing toxins, so the logic is to put that property to work cleaning teeth. It’s a nice theory, but it misses an important part of the picture.Charcoal is a highly abrasive substance, so even while it absorbs harmful compounds and maybe even helps break up surface stains on teeth,it’s also scraping up the enamel and eroding it away.
Furthermore, it doesn’t only absorb bad stuff:
The Lack of Data to Support Charcoal
Many charcoal-based products boast of the amazing effects they can have on tooth whiteness and breath freshness, but no studies have substantiated any of these claims. On the contrary,one study has shown that tooth surfaces became significantly rougher after just a month of using charcoal toothpaste compared to regular toothpaste. Yikes!
That roughened texture is enamel loss.Once enamel is gone, it’s gone for good, exposing the softer, more yellow dentin underneath and leaving the teeth much more vulnerable to decay. A temporarily whiter smile isn’t worth the long-term effects.
“Natural” Isn’t Always Better…or Safer
Charcoal toothpaste is one of many dubious products riding the tide of today’s “natural” remedies craze. Even though dozens — perhaps hundreds — of charcoal-based dental products now exist,not a single one of them has the backing of the ADA or the FDA. We encourage our patients to wait for the ADA’s approval on any dental health product, charcoal-based or otherwise.
Trust Whitening to the Experts
If you are one of the countless people who would love a whiter smile, there are safe, controlled ways to get it, from in-office whitening to take-home trays to over-the-counter strips. Instead of looking to trendy YouTubers for ideas, talk to real dental professionals who have years of training and experience working with teeth.
Your dental health is our number one priority!
How To Prepare For A Dental Emergency
EMERGENCIES ARE SO MUCH easier to deal with if we’ve prepared for them in advance, and that includes dental emergencies. You might be wondering what you can do to prepare for something like an unexpected tooth injury or dental health issue. It’s true that a dental emergency isn’t quite the same as a food shortage or a flat tire, but we can still make plans for what to do.
If A Baby Tooth Gets Knocked Out…
Call the dentist right away if your child loses a baby tooth in an accident,especially if it wasn’t loose beforehand. In most cases, we won’t put the tooth back in because it could create problems for the incoming permanent tooth. Since that tooth will be replaced eventually anyway, this might not seem like a big deal, but there may be other, less obvious damage.
If A Tooth Gets Broken…
In the event of a cracked, chipped, or broken tooth, get straight to a dentist. The sooner treatment happens, the better. What you can do beforehand isfind the broken tooth fragments and place them in cold milkto preserve them. You can also rinse your mouth out with water.
Never ignore a crack or chip, because if the damage is deep enough to expose the dental pulp, the tooth is in danger of infection, which can lead to the death of the pulp, a painful dental abscess, bone loss, and worse.
If An Adult Tooth Gets Knocked Out…
If an entire permanent tooth is knocked out, get to the dentist as fast as you safely can, because the clock is ticking on the fate of that tooth.If the dentist sees you within an hour of the accident, the tooth can usually be saved.You can improve the tooth’s chances by putting it back in the socket and holding it in place with clean gauze or a washcloth. If it won’t go back in, storing it in cold milk will also help.
Do NOT handle a knocked out tooth by the root. Do NOT let it dry out. Do NOT scrub it clean or use any soap, alcohol, or peroxide on this.Doing any of these things will kill the root, and then it will be much harder or even impossible to successfully replant.
It’s too bad we can’t just regrow adult teeth, isn’t it?
We’re Ready To Help In Case Of Emergencies!
In addition to being familiar with common types of dental emergencies, it’s essential to know where you’re going to go for help! Our practice is ready to help any patient with an unexpected dental problem. We hope that you’ll never need to use this information and that the only time we’ll see you will be for regular appointments, but it’s always good to be prepared!
You can rely on our practice!
How To Choose A Great Dentist
THERE ARE A NUMBER of reasons why someone might need a new dentist. Maybe their insurance changed, they’re moving to a new area, or they simply haven’t looked for a dentist yet. Whatever the reason, if you don’t already have a dentist, it’s a good idea to choose one now so that you and your family can get regular dental exams and so that you’ll be ready in the event of a dental emergency.
Five Factors To Consider In Your Dentist Search
Many variables play a role when you’re choosing the best dentist for you and your family. How you rank your priorities is up to you, but here are five items that we feel should be on everyone’s list.
- The location of the practice is definitely something to consider. How close is it to your home or to your child’s school? Is the distance convenient enough that twice-yearly checkups will be easy? Set up a range based on your answers to these questions and look for dentists inside it.
- What is the dentist’s reputation?Within the radius you’re willing to travel, which dentists have the best reputations among their other patients? Find out by checking Yelp and Google, and ask around if you know any of the patients in person. You can also get recommendations from neighbors and friends.
- Do you need a dentist with a certain specialization?Do you need a family practice, someone particularly good with kids, someone who specializes in treating gum disease or root canals? Be sure to research different types of dentists to find the one that suits your needs best.
- As important as it is to get high quality dental care,cost is an important factor too. What’s your household’s budget for dental care? Do you have dental insurance or can you get it? Keep in mind that preventing dental problems or treating them early will be much cheaper than waiting until they get serious, so slightly greater upfront costs are often well worth the investment.
- How comfortable are you around the dentist? It doesn’t matter how affordable and skilled a dentist is if you can’t relax in their practice. Go in for a visit ahead of time to get a sense of the place, the team, and the dentist. Good dentists always prioritize patient comfort!
check out the video below!
We Can’t Wait To Meet You And Your Family
Hopefully this list gives you a good place to start in your search for a great dentist, but if you’re still uncertain, come see us! We can answer your questions about our practice and find out if we’re a good fit for you and your family’s dental needs.
We love meeting new patients!
Dental Scaling And Root Planing: The Basics
ROUTINE PROFESSIONAL DENTAL cleanings by your dental hygienist include scaling, or the careful removal of plaque and tartar from around the gum line. Tartar in particular can only be removed at a professional cleaning, as brushing and flossing alone can’t do the trick. However, if you have symptoms of gum disease, your teeth may need an even more advanced cleaning called dental scaling and root planing.
The Effects Of Gum Disease
Healthy gums fit snugly around the teeth, providing a barrier that keeps bacteria away from the roots.When gums become diseased, they begin to pull away from the teeth, forming deeper pockets where bacteria can grow. That’s how plaque and tartar can build up beneath the gum line.
Check out this video for the warning signs of gum disease:
What Is Dental Scaling And Root Planing?
When you brush your teeth, you’re cleaning the visible surfaces.Dental scaling and root planing is a deeper cleaning.Dental scaling gets rid of all plaque and tartar above and below the gum line, and root planing smooths out any uneven areas on the surfaces of tooth roots so that bacteria will have a harder time sticking and gum tissue will be able to heal effectively.
This kind of deep cleaning has been described as the gold standard of treatment for patients with gum disease. To get the gums healthy again, all that gunk needs to be cleaned out, which is what dental scaling and root planing does. While routine scaling helps prevent gum disease, scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment for existing gum disease. In cases of severe periodontitis, it may be recommended before gum surgery.
Removing Tartar Is Like Pulling A Splinter
If you’ve ever had a splinter in your finger, you know that getting it out isn’t very comfortable, but as soon as it’s gone, you feel instant relief. Dental scaling and root planing is the same way. It may require multiple appointments and a local anesthetic to eliminate discomfort, but it leaves your teeth and gums feeling wonderful.
Afterward: Taking Care Of Your Gums
Getting your gums healthy again is a process, and the dentist is your best resource.After your periodontal treatment, whether it’s surgical or just scaling and root planing, we’ll want to pay close attention to your gums through regular maintenance visits. Every two to four months, you’ll come in for routine cleanings and examinations where we check the pocket depth of your gums.
Getting Your Healthy Smile Back — And Keeping It!
The best treatment for gum disease is prevention, whether you’ve had it before or not. A good oral hygiene routine is critical, so make sure you’re brushing the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces of your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, replacing worn out toothbrushes, and scheduling regular appointments with us. Avoiding smoking will also help you keep your gums healthy.
A healthy life starts with healthy gums and teeth!
How Clean Is Your Tongue?
“BRUSH YOUR TEETHfor two full minutes twice a day and floss your teeth once a day.” You’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve heard that, but how often have you heard that you should be cleaning your tongue every day too?
The Difference A Clean Tongue Makes
More bacteria likes to live on our tongues than just about anywhere else on our bodies. That’s becauseall those tiny crevices in the tongue’s surface are prime real estate for all kinds of pathogens. If we don’t actively keep our tongues clean, the harmful bacteria will stay put and multiply, causing bad breath and contributing to tooth decay on the inner surfaces of our teeth.
Another reason to regularly get rid of all that tongue bacteria is thatit can dramatically improve your sense of taste. When the tongue is covered in bacteria, the tastebuds have a hard time doing their job, but with the bacteria gone, they’re free to absorb all those delicious flavors at their full capacity. Yum!
Chemical digestion begins in our mouths, and a clean tongue makes this process more effective too. So, if you want to enjoy your favorite foods as much as possible, keep your breath clean and fresh, and improve your digestive health, clean your tongue!
Finding The Best Tools For Cleaning Your Tongue
Keeping your tongue clean takes more than swishing mouthwash or rinsing with water. The bacteria hiding in all those tiny grooves is very stubborn, and washing with liquid won’t be enough do dislodge them.To really clear off the biofilm of bacteria, you need to scrape it with a tongue-scraper.
If you don’t find these in the grocery store near the toothbrushes, you can order one online, and some toothbrushes have tongue scrapers built in on the reverse side. Between brushing and rinsing your teeth is the best time to scrape your tongue.Start at the back and work forward, and try to get as much of the surface area as you can.
For the first few days, you might be surprised by how much biofilm comes away with the tongue scraper, butthe longer you stick with it, the cleaner your tongue will become, until it seems like you’re scraping away nothing but clean spit. See if you notice the difference in your breath and your sense of taste when you get to this point!
Tongue-Scraping Is Older Than You Think
If you’ve never heard of tongue-scraping before, you might think it’s a new idea, but it’s actually been around since ancient times in some cultures. It’s part of the daily hygiene routine in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. Tongue-scraping tools have been made of many different materials across the centuries, including copper, silver, gold, ivory, whalebone, and tortoiseshell.Today, they’re typically plastic or stainless steel.
Have Any Questions About Tongue Cleaning?
If you have questions about tongue cleaning or would like our recommendations on the best tools for the job, just give us a call! We’re always happy to help our patients improve their daily dental hygiene regimens, and we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!
Thank you for being such wonderful patients!
Repeat After Us: Teeth Are Not Tools
OUR TEETH AREpretty amazing, and there’s a lot they can do. They chew our food, they provide structural support for the lower third of our faces, they help us speak clearly, and they give us our beautiful smiles. However, many people also find other uses for their teeth, which can be very dangerous. Teeth are not tools, and shouldn’t be used in place of them.
Teeth Are Not Bottle-Openers
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, so it might seem like that makes teeth perfect to use when you don’t have a bottle opener handy, right? Wrong.Tooth enamel isn’t just hard, it’s brittle,and it is not designed to win a fight against materials like metal and glass.
Using your teeth as a bottle opener can easily chip, crack, or break them, as well as risking damage to the soft tissues of the lips and gums if you slip. Doing it over and over again can even cause your teeth to shift out of their proper alignment and wear down unevenly. It isn’t worth it.
Teeth Are Not Nutcrackers
Like with trying to open a bottle, trying to crack a hard walnut, pecan, or even pistachio shells and popcorn kernels between your teeth risks chipping or cracking the teeth instead.Teeth that are already weaker due to decay or a filling are at even greater risk of damage.
Teeth Are Not An Extra Hand
When your hands are busy, it can be very convenient to hold a pencil, sewing pins, or maybe a few nails between your teeth. However, making a habit out of doing this can have a number of consequences.If you trip, the items in your mouth could cause a serious injury.If a yawn or hiccup catches you by surprise, you might even end up swallowing or choking on the object. And over time, you can wear down your enamel. Pencils would be better off behind your ear, pins in a cushion, and nails in a utility belt until you’re ready to use them.
Teeth Are Not Scissors (Or Nailclippers)
A particularly common way people use their teeth as tools is to bite through packing tape instead of using scissors, and some people even try to use their teeth to cut through wire.It takes much greater biting pressure to cut through non-food items than it does to chew food,and cutting things requires grinding the teeth together. This wears down the chewing surfaces and risks chipping and fracturing.
A nail-biting habit is particularly bad, both for the teeth and for the nails.The germs from the nails increase the risk of tooth decay, teeth will become worn down more quickly and shift out of alignment, and pieces of fingernail can damage the gum tissue, all while the nails themselves are left ragged and misshapen.
Protect Your Teeth By Using Them Right
Cracked and fractured teeth are the third highest cause of tooth loss. Don’t take risks with your teeth by using them as tools. Save yourself an expensive emergency dental visit; use your teeth only for what they are meant for and continue your daily brushing and flossing routine to keep them healthy.
We love to see our patients’ smiles!
Too Few Or Too Many Adult Teeth?
DEPENDING ON HOW MANYwisdom teeth come in and whether or not they have to be removed, most adults have 28-32 adult teeth. There are a few outliers in either direction, however. Some people have fewer teeth than they should (called hypodontia or congenitally missing teeth), while others have one or more extra (called hyperdontia or supernumerary teeth). How does this happen and what do we do about it?
Congenitally Missing Teeth
Between 2-4 percent of the population has at least one tooth missing from the adult set. The most common teeth affected by this condition are wisdom teeth, lower second premolars, and upper lateral incisors. It’s not really an issue to be missing wisdom teeth, butmissing incisors and premolars can cause difficultieswith chewing, the surrounding teeth may shift, and the decreased jaw support can lead to additional tooth loss.
The reason for congenitally missing teeth is nearly always genetics,which is why you tend to see it run in families. Sometimes it happens in conjunction with a larger genetic disorder like Down syndrome or ectodermal dysplasia.
At the other end of the dental spectrum is hyperdontia, where extra teeth develop in the jaw. It happens more often with adult teeth than baby teeth. We don’t fully understand what causes this condition, but one leading theory is thatit could be the result of a tooth bud dividing abnormally, producing two teeth instead of one.
Supernumerary teeth aren’t always shaped like normal teeth. They can also be peg-shaped, have multiple cusps, or simply be a mass of dental tissue. However they develop, they often don’t have room to erupt, so they remain impacted in the gums,causing crowding and alignment problems for the normal teeth.
Treatment For Hypodontia And Hyperdontia
The typical treatment for extra teeth is to extract them if there isn’t room for them,but dealing with a congenitally missing tooth can be more complicated. Depending on the age of the patient and how long the tooth has been missing, different options may be better. The first step is usually orthodontic treatment so that the gap will be wide enough to fit a replacement tooth. These come in a few forms:
- Removable partial denturesare a simple solution. They can be attached to a retainer or anchored in place by the surrounding teeth.
- Dental bridges“bridge” the gaps by anchoring to the neighboring teeth, but unlike dentures, they’re cemented in place.
- The most permanent solution is adental implant, which functions like a normal tooth. An implant consists of a post fixed in the jaw bone with a crown on top that matches the natural teeth. Implants can also provide support for bridges when multiple teeth are missing.
Let’s Take A Look At Those Teeth
With regular dental appointments, we can catch cases of hypodontia and hyperdontia early on and make a plan for how to address it. Keep up with your daily dental hygiene routine, keep scheduling those regular appointments, and give us a call if you have any questions about these rare conditions!
Keep on smiling!
GRINDING OUR TEETH briefly when we’re nervous or frustrated is pretty normal. When the grinding doesn’t stop, however, it can do a lot of damage, whether it happens during the day or while we’re asleep. This kind of chronic grinding is called bruxism.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
While daytime bruxism can be the result of stress and sleep bruxism is often associated with sleep apnea or snoring, you don’t need stress or a sleep disorder to have a teeth-grinding habit (and vice versa). It could be because of missing or improperly aligned teeth, or a bad bite.
Certain factors can predispose someone to bruxism. These include anxiety and stress, age (children are more prone to grinding than adults), antidepressants (including prescription drugs, tobacco, and alcohol), a family history of bruxism, and other disorders like Parkinson’s disease, ADHD, and GERD.
Common Signs Of A Grinding Habit
Many people who grind their teeth don’t notice when they do it (especially if they’re mainly doing it in their sleep) but you don’t have to catch a teeth-grinder in the act, because there are plenty of other indicators:
- Shortened, worn down teeth with flat chewing surfaces
- Chips, cracks, and splits in the teeth
- Exposed dentin (the more yellow layer beneath the white enamel)
- Tooth loss
- Soreness in the jaw (for nighttime teeth-grinders, the jaw will be most sore in the morning; for daytime grinders, the jaw will be most sore in the evening)
- Frequent headaches
- Overdeveloped jaw muscles
Treatment Options For Bruxism
The best treatment for bruxism will depend on which type it is, and some treatments focus more on minimizing damage while others focus on finding the cause of the grinding and addressing it.
For bruxism that is caused by a bad bite or poorly aligned teeth, straightening those teeth out and correcting the bite may fix the problem.
While a mouthguard can’t do anything about the grinding itself or what’s causing it, it can protect the teeth from further damage by providing a cushion between the upper and lower teeth.
Habit-reversal techniques and behavioral therapy can help patients with teeth grinding become more aware of the habit and make a more conscious effort to stop. This is more effective for awake bruxism than sleep bruxism, as the latter is much more difficult to control.
In cases where bruxism is caused by stress or anxiety, relaxation techniques can help. These include activities like massages, warm baths, listening to calming music, getting a full night’s sleep, yoga, and deep breathing exercises.
It’s Time To Stop The Grind!
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms that indicate bruxism, schedule an appointment with us so we can make a plan for how to address it and stop the damage. It’s crucial not to leave a habit like this untreated, because that will only give it more time to hurt your teeth.
We’re here to help you keep your teeth healthy!
Plaque, Tartar, And Your Teeth
PLAQUE AND TARTAR are two words that you probably hear a lot when you come in for a dental cleaning. You might already know that they cause tooth decay and gum disease, but do you know what they are? Let’s take a closer look at these two substances that are a constant threat to our oral health.
Stage 1: Plaque
Dental plaque is a soft, sticky, colorless biofilm composed of bacteria, food particles, and saliva.It builds up on and between our teeth and beneath our gums every day.If you’ve ever forgotten to brush in the morning or at night, you’ve probably felt that unpleasant texture with your tongue.
Plaque contains millions of bacteria, and this bacteria digests leftover sugars and starches from the food we eat, then excretes acid onto our teeth.Because plaque is soft, it can be removed with simple brushing and flossing,but we have to be thorough and diligent to get as much of it as possible.
Stage 2: Tartar
The reason it’s so important to scrub away the plaque is that when plaque is allowed to sit on the teeth too long, it becomes tartar.Tartar is a hard, yellow or brown substance that bonds to tooth enameland can only be removed at a professional cleaning appointment.
Howdoes this transformation happen? When the acid excreted by oral bacteria comes into contact with minerals in our saliva, it causes a chemical reaction that hardens the plaque into tartar. The risk of tartar buildup is higher for people with braces, dry mouth, crowded teeth, or a smoking habit, and it also increases with age.
Keeping Plaque And Tartar Under Control
A rigorous oral hygiene routine, paired with regular professional cleanings, is the best way to control the plaque in your mouth and prevent it from hardening into tartar. Here are some of the things a good routine should include:
- Brush twice a day for two minutes,making sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth and paying special attention to the gum line.
- Floss or use a water flosser dailyto clean the plaque and food debris left in those hard-to-reach spots between the teeth.
- Choose an anti-plaque toothpaste.
- Consider getting an electric toothbrushfor more effective plaque removal, and replace your toothbrush (or the head of your electric toothbrush) regularly.
- Give oral bacteria less fuel bycutting down on sugary foods and drinks.
- Avoid smoking,which increases plaque and tartar.
- Schedule dental cleaningsonce every six months.
Win The Battle For Your Dental Health
It might seem discouraging to think that plaque will creep back up throughout the day even after you brush and floss thoroughly. A better perspective is that it only takes a few minutes each morning and night to win the daily battle against plaque and tartar, and you can improve the odds for your teeth even more with regular dental visits!
Together, we can keep those teeth plaque and tartar free!
CHEWING ICE MIGHT SEEMrefreshing in the moment, but it’s not doing any favors for your teeth in the long run. Today we’re going to take a look at why ice chewing is such a common habit despite the dangers it poses, as well as what someone with this habit can do to stop.
Compulsive Ice Eating
The scientific name for compulsive ice eating is pagophagia. This goes beyond a simple habit and enters the territory of a mental disorder. Getting cravings for ice can be a sign of an eating disorder called pica, which involves a compulsion to eat things with no nutritional value, such as ice, clay, hair, and dirt.Pica is often the result of a nutritional deficiency.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Studies have shown acorrelation between compulsive ice eating and iron deficiency anemia,which is pretty common, with 20 percent of women, 50 percent of pregnant women, and 3 percent of men beingiron deficient. Without enough iron in the blood, the red blood cells can’t effectively do their job of carrying oxygen throughout the body.
What does iron have to do with ice? Well, researchers theorize that chewing ice sends more blood to the brain, temporarily improving alertness and clarity of thought.This feels good, and so they keep doing it even when it causes dental problems.
Ice Versus Your Teeth
Our teeth are not designed to crunch against solid ice, and they are particularly not designed to chew through several trays of ice cubes a day.Doing this can destroy tooth enamel over time,not just because ice is hard but because it’s cold. The enamel expands and contracts due to these extreme temperature changes, creating tiny cracks in it and making it much weaker, just like pavement in snowy climates. All of this leaves the teeth painfully sensitive to hot and cold and far more vulnerable to cavities.
The texture of the ice can also cause injuries to gum tissue, which you may not even notice because of the numbing effect of the cold, andsometimes the ice can actually chip or break a tooth!
Breaking The Ice Eating Habit
The first step to kicking the ice eating habit is to find out what’s causing it.If the ice chewing is a symptom of anemia, getting iron supplements may eliminate the cravings, so it will be much easier to stop. If it’s pica, there are interventions to explore such as therapy and medication.
There’s also plenty you can doon your own. You can replace the crunchy texture of ice with baby carrots or apple chunks.If you struggle to give up the ice altogether, try letting slivers of ice melt on your tongue like candy rather than crunching on them. This will spare your teeth and gums from the damage of chewing the ice.
Your Dental And Health Care Professionals Can Help
If ice chewing is something you struggle with, make sure to schedule appointments with your doctor and dentist. Iron deficiency can cause a number of other problems besides triggering ice cravings, and it’s important to get diagnosed and treated before it gets worse, particularly for pregnant women.
Now go put that ice-chewing habit on ice!
Taking Care Of Your Pet’s Teeth
IT’S EASY TO ASSUME that our pets don’t need dental care like we do. After all, wild animals can’t exactly brush their teeth, and that doesn’t seem to be a problem for them. However, it turns out that our pets’ teeth have a very different situation than the teeth of wild animals, and they do need our help to stay healthy.
Animal Teeth In The Wild
There are two main reasons wild animals don’t need dental care. The first is diet. Unlike us and our pets (particularly cats and dogs),wild animals don’t consume a lot of sugar or carbs, which is what feeds the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Wild animals are more likely to wear their teeth down than they are to get cavities.
The second reason wild animals don’t seem to get tooth decay as often is that their teeth essentially outlive them.Their lifespans aren’t long enough for their teeth to rot before they die.If an animal’s teeth do rot, it won’t survive much longer in the wild, because unlike domesticated animals, it doesn’t have a friendly human to feed it after it can no longer eat its usual food.
What Dental Problems Are Pets At Risk For?
Our puppies and kitties might have teeth that look a lot different from ours, but they can get cavities and gum disease just like we can. In fact,a whopping 85 percent of dogs and cats get gum disease by age three.Keep an eye out for symptoms like difficulty chewing, tooth loss, and bad breath, as well as loose teeth, swollen or bleeding gums, and loss of appetite.
In a way, dental problems are even more serious for our pets than they are for us. We can take care of our own teeth, and we can describe what our teeth and gums feel like to our dentists. Our pets can’t do any of that, so when a problem happens, it’s more likely to get worse.
Tips For Pet Dental Care
Don’t wait for your pet to start showing symptoms of dental problems to begin a dental hygiene routine for them. Whether you’re keeping their teeth healthy or helping fight back against existing problems,you’ll be making your furry friend’s life so much better.Here are a few things you can do:
- Brush their teeth daily.
- Only use veterinary toothpaste, if any. (Your toothpaste will make them sick.)
- Give them vet-approved dental treats to help clean their teeth.
- Get their teeth professionally cleaned!Some vets offer dental services, but if your vet doesn’t, they can probably recommend a veterinary dental specialist in the area.
Do It For Those Happy Doggy And Kitty Smiles!
As a pet owner, there’s nothing better than seeing them happy and full of life, and taking good care of their teeth is a great way to make that happen. If you have any questions about what to do for your pet’s teeth or if you’re having trouble getting them used to a dental hygiene routine, make use of resources like our practice and your veterinarian.
We look forward to seeing you at our practice!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
THE TRUTH IS, our teeth are amazing! Without them we wouldn’t be able to speak, eat, sing, or smile properly. We’d like to celebrate our teeth by sharing some interesting dental facts you may not have known!
Here Are 10 Fun Dental Facts
- If you've been using floss daily, by the end of the year the total length will be the perimeter of a baseball diamond! Is your floss going to make it to home plate?
- Because birds lack teeth, many swallow stones or grits to aid in breaking up hard foods.
- On average, women smile 62 times a day and men only eight times a day. Step it up, guys!
- The average American spends 38.5 total days brushing their teeth in their lifetime.
- Only 40 percent of young people age six to 19 have had cavities in their life. That’s down from 50 percent a decade ago!
- In the middle ages, people thought that a dog’s tooth boiled in wine made an excellent mouth rinse to prevent tooth decay. Tasty!
- The Egyptian plover, also known as the crocodile bird, is famous for flying into crocodile mouths and cleaning their teeth.
- Prior to the 1850s, ‘toothpastes’ were usually powders and contained soap and chalk.
- An obscure law in Vermont states that it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of their husband. Crazy!
- Different animals have different amounts of teeth; armadillos have 104, pigs have 44, and humans have 32.
Another cool fact: the narwhal's tusk Is actually a tooth!
How Many Of These Facts Have You Heard Before?
It’s always fun to learn about the obscure facts and crazy history that make up our tooth trivia! Do you know any other cool dental facts? Comment below or on our Facebook page! And remember, take care of your teeth. They do so much for you!
We are grateful for our awesome patients!
WORKING IN THE DENTAL health business, one of our favorite things to see is our patients’ smiles. So today, we thought we’d celebrate those happy faces by sharing some of our favorite quotes about smiling!
Smile For Yourself
“Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.” –Kenneth Branagh
“Smile, smile, smile at your mind as often as possible. Your smiling will considerably reduce your mind’s tearing tension.” –Sri Chinmoy
“Smiling is definitely one of the best beauty remedies. If you have a good sense of humor and a good approach to life, that’s beautiful.” –Rashida Jones
“A smile is the best way to get away with trouble, even if it’s a fake one.” –Masashi Kishimoto
“Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you.” –Peace Pilgrim
“I love those who can smile in trouble.” –Leonardo da Vinci
“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.” ― Charlie Chaplin
Smile For The People Around You
“A simple smile. That’s the start of opening your heart and being compassionate to others.” –Dalai Lama
“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” –William Arthur Ward
“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” –Mother Teresa
“Smile at strangers and you just might change a life.” –Steve Maraboli
“Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace.” –Christie Brinkley
“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Nothing you wear is more important than your smile.” –Connie Stevens
And Now For Our All-Time Favorite Smile Quotes
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
Smiling is so closely linked to happiness in our minds that we can actually trick ourselves into feeling happier by smiling. See if you can make your day better just by smiling, even if no one else can see you.
“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” –Mark Twain
Whether we have frown lines or laughter lines when we grow old is completely up to us!
Laughing is important too! This video will prove it:
We Love To See Your Smiling Face
We know that having dental health struggles can make you want to hide your smile away, but we’re here to help all of our patients find an extra reason to smile by helping them get and keep a smile they can be proud of! If it’s been a while since the last time we saw you, give us a call to schedule an appointment today!
Now go share that smile!
The Owl has been named!! Meet the newest member of the WD family OWL PACINO!! We hope he keeps our cars safe from the ruffians (birds) out side. #owlpacino #wdfam #thesebirdsmakeamess#fingerscrossed Congratulations to the winnerMelissa Mitchetti Rizzo for the name suggestion!! — with AL PACINO #1 at Windsor Dental Center.
We at Windsor Dental Center believe in creating an atmosphere of patient comfort at its highest level. All team members, including doctors were present and open to learn from our Dental Coach Blair Kolkoski. Coach Blair has mentored over 600 dentists worldwide, by helping them achieve the highest level of patient care.
Help us congratulate Jamie for being February’s employee of the month! Jamie is always willing to lend a hand with a smile. Thank you Jamie we appreciate you! #employeeofthemonth #February#kindnessmatters ❤️
Staff Holiday Party. We all had such a great day. Thank you Dr. Stern!!!!
Steven P Stern and staff getting their learn on at the Greater New York Dental Meeting. Here he is with world renown prosthodontist, lecturer, friend and mentor Dr Dean C Vafiadis. Dr. Dean is a professor at NYU College of Dentistry where he is the Director of Full Mouth Reconstruction #FMR#gettinghislearnon #forourpatients #alwayslearning #windsorsmiles#gnydm2018 FMR# #prosthodontist
During the Thanksgiving holiday, we will be closing our office an extra day for our employees to spend more time with their family and friends. Therefore, our office will close on Wednesday, November 21st at 3 pm and we will resume normal business hours on Monday, November 26th. We are thankful for our patients, so thank you.
Windsor Dental Center
As the holiday season approaches, it's a good time to reflect on the
past year. Many of us are very lucky and are blessed with our health
and family and a safe home. We have reason to give thanks - - others
Helping others is something the Windsor Dental Center family does often
and this year is no different. Effective immediately, we will be
collecting items for the Safe Homes of Orange County Shelter (see
listing below). We encourage you to drop off items on the list now
through March 1st, at the Windsor Dental Center office located at 375
Windsor Highway, in New Windsor.
We thank you in advance for your generosity.
Dr. Steven P. Stern and the Windsor Dental Family
• NEW Twin- size bed linens
• NEW bed pillows, NEW blankets
• NEW bath towels, NEW washcloths
• NEW packages of socks and underwear (Adults and kids ALL SIZES, ALL GENDERS)
• New leggings, t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and other basic items (Adults and kids ALL SIZES, ALL GENDERS)
• NEW pajama sets for kids and adults (ALL SIZES, ALL GENDERS)
• Brand new or gently- used bras (please Launder before donating).
• FULL- Size toiletries (deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, bar soap, shaving cream and razors
• NEW hair brushes, hair ties, clips, and head wraps
• Diapers (especially size 4-5-6 and pull ups), baby wipes, diaper cream
• Plastic Laundry Baskets or fabric mesh laundry bags
#windsorgivesback #donate #windsorsmiles
Due to the inclement weather the office plans on opening at 11am. Please call the office before your scheduled appointment to ensure that we are open. Thank you
I know that you've all been wondering how much candy that was collected for the annual Halloween Candy Buy Back. Well wait no more........... the final tally was 182 pounds!!! Thank you to all who donated!!!
#windsorsmiles #Operationgratitude #halloweencandybuyback#candyisonitsway
The winner of the Windsor Dental Center Halloween Costume Contest is................. Trisha M Marcley!! Congrats #windsorsmile #ourofficerocks
Take a look at Windsor Dental Halloween shenanigans!! Some of the employees really took on the challenge. Such a fun day!
Halloween Candy Buy Back is happening!! Please bring all you unwanted candy to be exchanged for CA$H!! $1 per pound 11/1 and 11/2 Hope to see you HERE!!
Help us congratulate our favorite docs for being voted Favorite Doctors by Hudson Valley Parent 2018!! We are super proud to work with such a wonderful team of dentists.
#WdDocsRock #windsorsmiles #wevegotthebestboss#nationalbossdaywasyesterday
On Friday the staff wore these special shirts to celebrate Dental Hygiene Month! #OnFridayswewearGreen. #flosslikeaboss #wearetalkingdentalfloss#windsorsmiles
This month we celebrate the anniversaries of two very long standing employees!! Regina has been here for 17 years, and Irene has been here a whopping 23 years!! Happy Anniversary!!
#windsorsmiles #wdfamily #weloveourjobs
We are more than half way through the year and that means that you only have a few months left to use your dental insurance benefits before you lose them. Call us today to schedule that work you've been putting off.
#windsordental #windsorsmiles #itsalmostoctober
This past weekend the WD family got to spend some quality time together. Thank you Dr Steven P Stern and Laura for organizing such a wonderful trip. Here are the wonderful places we visited The Little Wine Bus Weed Orchards & Winery Whitecliff Vineyard and Bad Seed Cider Company!! Such a fun day for all!!!!
Just an FYI Windsor Dental is closing today at 3pm in observance of the holiday weekend. We will reopen Tuesday September 4th at 8am. Hope everyone has a safe and Happy Labor Day!!!! #laborday #windsorsmiles#longweekend
Thank you Dr Stern for always supporting local schools and sports. This banner is hung at Lasser park. Washingtonville Football.home of the Washingtonville Youth Wizards!!
#LetsGoWizards #Weloveourcommunity #windsorsmiles
Thank you all for making us one of your favorite dentist again! Now Hudson Valley Parent is looking for you to share your story. Please visit www.favoritedocs.hvparent.com
#favoritedoc #windsorsmiles #DrZ #DrStern #ourpatientsrock
Help us congratulate!! Andrea is August's employee of the month. Her hard work and dedication shine through everything she does. Andrea is a great of the Windsor Dental team.
#windsorsmiles #employeeofthemonth #wehavethebeststaff
Check out our latest write up in Hudson Valley Magazine.
We had a great night with lots of information, food and fun!! Keeping checking for for our next seminar, or call for your free consult with Dr. Boyle.
Help us congratulate Trisha, our Windsor Dental Center June employee of the month. Trisha is a star on our orthodontic team and always willing to lend a hand wherever she is needed.
Windsor Dental was proud to support the 2018 GHO EL Salvador Mission. We were able to help provide the every day dental necessities we all take for granted. #windsorsmiles #windsorgivesback
Today we are wearing our noses for Red Nose Day.
You're wondering -what’s with the Nose right?
Simple yet powerful, visible and playful,
the Red Nose has always been our symbol.
It brings us together, breaks down barriers,
and reminds us of the power of laughter.
Red Nose Day is a fundraising campaign run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief Inc. in hopes to one day end childhood poverty.
#rednoseday #windsorsmiles #everyonecanmakeadifference
Do you love your Dr/ Dentist??? If you do please let the world know!! It is time again to vote for your favorite!
#topdoc #favdoc #loveyourdoc #tellsomeone #windsorsmiles
Hudson Valley Parent link in comments below!!
Help us congratulate Jessie Vaquiz for being May employee of the month!! Jessie is a team player and willing to jump in wherever she is needed. Thank you Jessie!!!!
SAVE THE DATE !!!
Invisalign Educational Seminar at Windsor Dental Center
June 6, 2018 at 6:30 pm
If you have been wanting to learn about Invisalign this is your chance to see if Invisalign is right for you! We are offering a complimentary Itero scan and treatment simulation. You can see your results before even starting!!
Light refreshments will be served.
Call to reserve your space , more information to follow
We are still accepting donations to Ella's Threads please bring your donations to the office entrance for drop box.
This week was National Dental Hygienists Week We have the best Dental Hygienists in the Biz! They truly are the shining stars of our practice!! Thank you Monica, Fabiola, Roxana, and Donna we appreciate you!!
Help us wish Dr. Stern a very Happy Birthday today!! Hope you have a fun filled day Doc!!
#wehavethebestboss #HBD #windsorsmiles
Celebrating our Fearless leader
We would like to congratulate both Nino and Melissa on being April's employee's of the month!! These ladies are always there to lend a helping hand. Doesn't matter what is needed they'll get it done.. Thank you both for being such valuable team players!!
Dr. Steven Stern Celebrates 30 Years of Progressive Dentistry
Steven P. Stern, Dental Director of Windsor Dental Center is celebrating his thirtieth year in dentistry. After graduating from Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Dentistry in 1987, he spent time as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC. He founded Windsor Dental in 1991 and has never looked back.
Dr. Stern’s goal was to create a dental center that would be convenient for busy families while offering the most comprehensive and innovative dental services in the region. Today, Steven has eight dentists on staff including multiple specialists, all under one roof. Windsor Dental’s comprehensive range of services includes veneers and Lumineers, dental implants, teeth whitening, and single-visit, pain-free root canals. They also offer Invisalign® clear braces, crowns in an hour and permanent bridges.
“Your teeth and smile are one of the first things people notice about you, said Dr. Stern. Thirty years later I still get excited when I see a patient’s face light up after having a procedure that makes them feel better about their appearance. It’s incredibly rewarding.”
Dr. Stern continues to stay at the forefront of dentistry and technology by attending many continuing dental education courses each year. He completed the World Clinical Laser Institute and is certified for the Diode Laser, he attended the Las Vegas Institute for Dental Restoration, is certified in the E4D Dentist System and most recently has attended the MALO Clinic course on All- on-4.
Dr. Stern is the past president of the Newburgh Dental Society and a member of the American Dental Association.