Monday, April 28, 2014

Fun At Health Fair

This has been a really great spring season thus far! The birds are chirping, the days are getting longer, and things are looking up! It's a time for growth, rejuvenation and rebirth and that's why I was very excited to do the Riverside Baptist Health Fair earlier this month!

One of our great patients asked me if I would volunteer. She explained that each year they have a health fair at her church where different providers come from all around the community and do screenings and provide information to help people with the resources they need. They had never had a dentist before but fair-goers in the past had asked for resources concerning their smiles and she was nice enough to think of asking me to attend.

The patient that asked me to come (Joan) met me at an informational talk I did at the Pinecrest Community Center. She knew that I was not shy to present and could answer questions as needed. I was happy and honored she asked me and said of course I would help out at the fair.

Well... The health fair was great! There were people from all over - many came from the community and many from the church itself. Everyone was very nice and they seemed to appreciate my presence there. They were not shy about asking questions and I even got to look in a couple mouths. 

I love answering questions and meeting new people. I give my cell phone freely and tell people to call me anytime if they have a question or what to "talk teeth". It was a great experience overall and I hope to do many more fairs in the future!

Thanks Joan for inviting me to the health fair. It was great!!

 Me at the health fair... We were talking teeth in a BIG way!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Whitening Tips

I was recently asked to offer some thoughts for an article on the ever popular subject of TEETH WHITENING. I thought it would only be fair to share the information I offered for the article here on my blog space for anyone interested! I tried not to give the same ol' tips. Comments and questions are welcomed!

- Dr. John Addison

Patients are constantly asking what they can do to have a whiter smile or keep their smile bright. Here is a brief list of some common do's and don't's I often recommend...

1) Do use a high quality automatic toothbrush.
My favorite is the sonicare... There is simply no comparison between brushing with a high quality automatic toothbrush vs a regular manual toothbrush. Ask your dentist to demonstrate to you and you will see the obvious difference. A toothbrush like the sonicare has a vibrating action that helps remove stains and keeps teeth bright. The power of a high quality automatic toothbrush simply cannot be replicated using a manual toothbrush. It's your number one daily defense and nowadays they come with timers so you know you're working long enough and hard enough to keep those pearly whites gleaming.

2) Don't avoid foods that stain - manage their effects!
I know this seems counter-intuitive but to be completely honest there are so many foods and drinks out there that can stain the teeth, it is ludicrous to try and live in avoidance of them. Teeth have a crystalline porous structure and anything we eat or drink that has color can stain the teeth. Coffee, tea, red wine and foods that are acidic are the worst offenders. But, your teeth are there to be used so I tell patients to eat what they want and smile when they want. The key is how you take care of your teeth. If you need your morning coffee to get started each day, don't avoid it. Instead have the coffee but consider brushing your teeth immediately after with a whitening toothpaste or swishing with a whitening rinse. This way you are keeping the stains from settling into the deeper pours of the teeth. Most whitening agents contain peroxides which help to dissolve stains away and are most effective immediately after the food or drink has contacted the teeth.

3) Do visit your dentist more regularly
I know, I know... no one likes going to the dentist. But its really very important to keep a healthy, bright white smile. Research shows the most healthiest among us need to go to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning at least two times a year. However, a lot of folks don't realize they might need to be going three or even four times per year. A good dentist concerned with health and esthetics has special instruments that can remove harmful deposits and stains. When you miss a regular visit, the deposits and stains start to layer upon one another and work their way deeper into the teeth. Eventually, the teeth go from having more surface stains to actually changing their characteristic color. Technology has helped us quite a bit too. Look for a dentist with a tool called Prophy-Jet. It's a lot like a mini sand-blaster for your teeth that the dentist or hygienist uses to remove surface staining. It can make a truly dramatic difference!

4) Don't be afraid to whiten.
Whitening has been around for decades now and is very safe. Professional whitening is the best because your dentist can make you a custom tray that will hold the whitening solution in close contact to your teeth without harming your gums. The dentist can also use a stronger whitening solution that can get teeth quite a few shades brighter. Having said that, there are many good over-the-counter white strips that can work effectively too. The key is to start using them immediately after you have had your teeth cleaned. The strips will not be effective if they are placed over surface deposits. Professional whitening has been the most effective for a long time but people used to be afraid because it would cause so much sensitivity. There are some great desensitizing gels now that allow us to do our whitening without the sensitivity so you can get the gain without the pain.

5) Do use a straw!
This last one is such a simple concept but it can have huge effects. Anyone that can get into the habit of using a straw when they drink is doing their teeth a big favor. Drinks are loaded with sugars and in a solution especially with carbonation, these sugars, acids and pigments  essentially bathe the teeth. This increases staining and also increases cavities. Using a straw transports the beverage away from the teeth and to the back of the tongue and palate. Someone that regularly uses a straw will have teeth that stay brighter longer!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mouth Guards - A Critical But Overlooked Piece of Athletic Equipment

Chances are that either you or someone you know (be they young or old) plays some kind of sport without wearing an athletic mouth guard. You are not alone -- a recent study of Division I college basketball players found that only 13 percent routinely wear an athletic mouth guard. The American Dental Association recommends that anyone involved in sporting or recreational activities that might involve injury to the mouth (this includes sports like gymnastics, basketball, baseball, soccer, football, hockey, wrestling, boxing, etc.) wear athletic mouth guards at all times, including training and practice sessions. Mouth guards are estimated to prevent 20 million dental and maxillofacial injuries a year and those not wearing athletic mouth guards are 60 times more likely to suffer permanent damage. Young children are especially encouraged to wear mouth guards to prevent injury and to introduce them to the habit of routinely wearing a mouth guard for athletic activities.

Our office routinely makes Playsafe mouth guards for our athletic patients of all ages. Playsafe mouth guards are custom-made to your specific dental anatomy and offer the highest level of comfort and safety available. Chances are you've seen those inexpensive, over the counter mouth guards at the drug store that you boil in water and shape to your mouth. While a cheap and easy alternative, these mouth guards are not custom-made to your mouth and do not provide the snug fit that is required for protection of the teeth and jaw. Moreover, because they are not custom-fit to your particular dentition, they require you to bite down to keep the mouth guard in place which makes the person wearing the mouth guard have to exert pressure from the teeth and jaw for the entire period they are involved in the athletic activity -- this can create dental and maxillofacial problems going forward due to the unnatural amount of pressure being exerted over time. Custom-fit Playsafe mouth guards are tightly fitted around the teeth to provide the highest level of protection. Because of this unique fit, the mouth guard stays in the mouth without the wearer having to clench down to keep it in place. This means that the mouth and jaw can remain in a safe, natural position that doesn't put any undue pressure on the teeth and jaw.

The Playsafe mouth guards are fairly inexpensive and last for years. They can be made in a variety of colors, too! They are an investment well worth making to prevent dental and maxillofacial injuries for you or your loved ones. All that's needed a is a quick dental impression and we can have the mouth guard made for you in a matter of days -- it's that easy! We can always fit in a patient for a Playsafe mouth guard, so call us today (305) 670-9755.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Join Us in Saving 90 a Day!

Did you know that you can save 90 glasses of water per day just by turning off the tap when you brush your teeth? In the US alone, we're pouring 27 billion glasses of perfectly clean drinking water down the drain every year by leaving the tap running when we brush our teeth. By taking the easy step of turning off the tap while you brush, you yourself will conserve 31,680 glasses of water per year -- how's that for making a difference!

To start conserving water when you brush, just fill a small glass with water and turn off the tap. When you brush, use the water from the glass to rinse and swish. It's easy! 

We've signed the "Save 90 A Day" campaign pledge at our office and we hope you will too. Please visit this link and sign the pledge today to commit to helping to conserve water and better our planet for generations to come!