My experience has been excellent, getting 3 fillings and all the “fine tuning” that is needed to make a job last. The care and understanding is a very good change and very appreciated, having bad experiences earlier in my life.
Every day there is another “ study” or “ news story” that “ offers” up some apparently sage advice. From stories touting the benefits of drinking red wine to help prevent cavities to stories about “oil pulling.” By now you probably know where I’m going with this, a news story is just that, a story, until it is presented with fact. Below are some facts and fictions of dental health according to the American Dental Association.
Last year a story came out that stated drinking red wine helps prevent cavities. The origin of the “ red wine is healthy for you in small quantities” story is well established. However, to infer that means it will help prevent cavities may be over reaching. What researchers did find was that red wine was effective in limiting the growth of F. nucleatum and S. oralis—two bacteria that are closely associated with gum disease.
Another story came out about “ oil pulling” and its benefits for oral health. Oil pulling is an ancient remedy practiced typically in India and Southern Asia. It involves taking a tablespoon of edible oil (sunflower, coconut, etc.) and swishing it (pulling it) for 5 to 20 minutes. Currently there are no scientific studies available to substantiate these claims. Probably best to use mouthwash for the time being. Ask your dentist what they would recommend for your unique health condition.
One thing that has been scientifically documented and proven is regular dental care as a great way to prevent long-term, irreversible damage to your teeth or soft tissue (gums) and to aid in the diagnosis of your overall health. So, brush and floss twice a day, and get in to to see a dentist twice a year, more if you’re having problems or have questions. Remember, second opinions at my office are always free.
WELLNESS SPRINGS DENTAL 3460 LIBERTY RD S SALEM, OR 97302 (503) 371-2424
How Can I Keep My Teeth Healthy?
Below, your dentist in Salem has compiled some easy tips you can follow to manage your health at home. You would be surprised how truly easy it is to have the ultimate best care at home in between your bi-yearly appointments. This list is by no means exhaustive but offers many alternatives for people who are busy and distracted. With a list like this, there is no excuse for poor hygiene in between visits. Your dentist will be SO impressed with the work you’ve done when he or she sees your teeth and how sparkling clean they are.
- Perform oral hygiene at least four times daily, after each meal and before bedtime
- Rinse and wipe oral cavity immediately after meals.
- Brush and rinse dentures after meals.
- Use only toothpaste with fluoride.
- Keep water handy to moisten the mouth at all times.
- Apply prescription-strength fluoride gel at bedtime as prescribed.
- Rinse with a salt and baking soda solution four to six times daily.
- Avoid citrus juices (orange, grapefruit, tomato).
- Avoid liquids and foods with high sugar content.
- Avoid rinses containing alcohol. Use moisturizer regularly on the lips.
- Try salivary substitutes or artificial saliva preparations, which may relieve discomfort by temporarily wetting the mouth and replacing some of the constituents of saliva.
- Use oral pilocarpine as prescribed.
The Unsung Realities of Dentistry
My job is to visit dental offices where procedures are underway. I observe. That’s a big part of my job. I’m a trained observer. Then, I gather what I hear and see and put into a report virtually anyone can read and understand. I’m hired many times because the doctor wants to make changes and improvements.
You’d be amazed at what I see. Or, then again, maybe you wouldn’t be.
Let me give you an idea: Shag carpet from 1975. Stained floors and walls. Unkept restrooms. Red décor. Old furnishings that should have been retired years before. I could go on and on.
You have to wonder, “Is the doctor really up-to-par on recent innovations and advancements in dentistry if they’re hesitant to keep things up?”
It’s a valid question.
On occasion, I also manage to accidentally overhear patients instructing the dentist or the hygienist when they think they should be seen. Usually the conversation goes like this, “I don’t want to have an exam two-times a year. My physician said once time is enough.”
Your physician? Huh? Since when did they spend 4 years and hundreds and hundreds of hours of ongoing continuing education specializing in oral health? Pretty sure, never.
That’s like a dentist giving you advice on cardiology and heart disease.
(I’m not even a dentist – just someone that has seen first-hand what can happen to someone that “skips” appointments or sets their own re-care schedule!)
Did you know oral cancer (cancer of the mouth) is normally only detected by dentists and hygienists?
That means since more than 50% of Americans don’t see the dentist, 50% of our country will never know they have or at high-risk of developing a severely painful and tough-to-treat disease.
And, pulling all your teeth probably isn’t the best solution. Sadly, sometimes, it’s the only one. Being “edentulous” or without teeth, poses its own unique set of undesirable health problems.
Here’s another one I’ve overhead more than once: “Periodontal disease? My teeth are fine. The bleeding stops by mid-morning. I don’t have any disease. That’s hogwash.”
According to one study, 80% of Americans have gum disease (Periodontal Disease). If you know 10 people, chances are, 8 will have gum disease. EIGHT!
Bottom line: If you choose to skip your bi-annual exams, you put yourself at risk. If you choose to ignore regular cleanings or, for someone already “perio involved” (they have the disease) ignore your SRP visit (that means, perio scaling and root planing), you’re putting yourself further at-risk for bigger, body-wide or systemic problems.
For the price of a dinner out at Olive Garden, you can find out what kind of health your mouth is in. It’s likely the best investment you’ll ever make. Don’t ignore your oral health. It can be a silent killer.
Why the “silent killer?” According to the ADA: “It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important.”
Call today. Don’t wait. Health has to be a top priority.
The question we should all be asking ourselves during this holiday season, is not, “Should I really have this third piece of fruit cake topped off with a couple of snickerdoodles?” Since the holidays are meant to be joyful and filled with love and sure, to experience amazing foods, the question we should be asking ourselves is, “What happens to my teeth if I happen to over-indulge this holiday season.”
We all know that moderation is the key to a healthier lifestyle. But, you can’t just go to one holiday party either; that wouldn’t be fair. To help guide you through some of the common holiday maladies that affect our teeth, I have included some helpful hints from the American Dental Association as well as a few other holiday teeth tips.
When enjoying the 3 F’s of the holidays (Family, Friends, & Food), remember these tips:
- Eating sweet foods with meals helps neutralize acid production by increasing the amount of saliva; it helps “rinse” the food particles from the mouth;
- Try to limit snacks, focus on the main dish.
- Consider chewing sugarless gum, chewing produces saliva which helps wash decay-producing acid; and, Consider drinking fluoride-enhanced water, it may also help prevent cavities.
And, a few of my own tips…
- Hard candy or other sticky substances that stay for long periods in your mouth give more time for plaque-causing bacteria to get a foothold; and
- Rather than toasting with eggnog (sugar and fat promote decay), toast with a drink low in sugar, fat, and acidity, for example, La Croix flavored water.
Remember, questions and/or second opinions are always FREE; just call my office. From all of us here at Wellness Springs Dental, we wish you a wonderful holiday season.
Dr. Stephanie Rose, DDS | Wellness Springs Dental
3460 LIBERTY RD S SALEM, OR 97302 (503) 371-2424