If Not Now…When???

If Not Now…When???Today protests around the world are being held by students that are claiming their future. The world we are living in is changing and they are asking the people of the world to unite to preserve their future.

The debate over whether man has impacted this planet is over. The world is changing at an increasingly accelerated rate. Climate is changing throughout the globe with an increasing number of record-breaking events. Species are declining. There are reports of decreasing insect populations, most notably bees and butterfly’s. See for yourself by the number of insects drawn to your outside light or are on your car’s windshield. Coral reefs are being impacted with changes in their resident fish population. The list is long but you get the idea. In reality half of all plant and animal species are threatened by climate change. I believe that the bigger picture is that it is the human species that will most be affected by climate change and we will know in our hearts that we did this to ourselves. Yeah it hurts to know that the disease was self-inflicted. It will really be no wonder, as when we look around we find that many diseases are self-inflicted by the lifestyle we lead and the choices we make. Just look at increasing levels of obesity.

Change is inevitable

In the world we live in nothing stays the same. If you really want to see where your going, look back 10 years and then look at where you are now. Draw the line between the to points and extend that line 10 more years. Things better or worse? The things you put energy into get better. The things you neglect get worse. Ignore your teeth you lose them (I had to get something dental into this). Neglect your car it stops running (no gas). Neglect your spouse you split (or live a miserable existence). We need to take care of the things that are important to us (by putting positive energy in) for them to be there for us. Why is this planet any different?

The lack of respect for the planet

We haven’t been kind to this world over the last 200 years. We can look at the pollution of our environment, an example being mercury levels in fish. Or how about the increasing use of herbicides and pesticides. Do you really think that these poisons getting into our food supply can be a good thing? You might want to check out this report –Weed-Killing Chemical Linked to Cancer Found in some Children’s Breakfast Foods. 

Deforestation is another attack on this planet. We lose 50 thousand acres of forest each year. How can cutting down all those trees not have an effect on us? They clean the air and provide habit for wildlife. Then there is always the ever debatable increasing levels of CO2 in our air. Greener plants??? I don’t think so. Increased temperature??? I’d put money on that one. The list is long, but I think you get the idea. We haven’t been so kind to Mother Earth. If we keep doing what we have been doing, where are we headed? We need to put some positive energy into this planet now or future generations will look back at this time period and say “WTF were they thinking?” I truly believe that those in power who choose to ignore the problem are committing crimes against humanity. Only time will tell.

The power to choose

In the end we have the power to choose. We can choose to take better care of ourselves and our planet. Yes, it takes energy to choose, especially when the choice is different then what you have done before. It’s  always easier to keep doing what you have been doing. The first step is acknowledging the problem exists and then choosing to do something about it. We need to realize that it is worth the effort to save the planet as much as it’s worth the effort to lose weight. We can’t go wrong by taking better care of ourselves and our environment. When it comes to the environment anybody that disagrees with that is probably more concerned about money, because for them it always comes down to money. Kill the planet to make a buck.

So the real question is “If Not Now…When?”. If not now, I want you to look these kids in the eye and tell them they are not worth making the change now.

Your Gum Health is Directly Linked to Your Heart Health

Your Gum Health is Directly Linked to Your Heart HealthMore research than ever has connected a healthy mouth to a healthy heart. This supports the need for good oral health in order to prevent a host of other medical issues.

By better understanding the connection between oral and overall health, you-ll know why dental hygiene needs to be a priority in your life.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Several research studies have found a connection between gum disease and heart disease. The exact cause-and-effect hasn’t been proven, but the studies have shown that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease. Scientists believe this may be due to inflammation caused by gum disease.

In addition to increasing heart disease risk, gum disease could exacerbate existing heart conditions. This is because bacteria in the mouth could make their way into the blood stream and travel to the heart and other organs. For example, patients at a heightened risk for infective endocarditis might require antibiotics before they undergo dental procedures.

Gum Disease and Stroke

Other studies have pointed to a connection between gum disease and stroke. One particular study looked at the relationship between oral infections and stroke risk factors. Researchers found that people diagnosed with stroke were more likely to have oral infections compared to people in the control group.

Protecting Your Gums and Heart

Good dental hygiene and regular dental exams are the best way to protect your mouth against gum disease. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss daily. A plaque or tartar controlled mouthwash with fluoride can also help to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

In addition to caring for your teeth, regular dental appointments are crucial in order to maintain healthy gums. If it has been a while since your last appointment, give us a call today to set up your next dental cleaning.

You Need to Tell the Truth about Your Flossing When You Come to See Us

You Need to Tell the Truth about Your Flossing When You Come to See UsThe American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day, but we know that for many people, this is a challenge. That’s why some of our patients come in for their cleanings and are not completely honest about their flossing habits.

We want you to be truthful about how much you floss so that we know how to best help you.

Flossing is Critical for Good Oral Health

Flossing plays an important role in the prevention of gum disease and tooth decay. Plaque builds up around the gum line and between the teeth where your toothbrush won’t reach. Failure to floss will allow bacterial buildup that can wreak havoc on your mouth.

We Can Tell if You Don’t Floss

For the most part, lying about your flossing habits is unnecessary, because we can tell whether or not you floss by the condition of your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed immediately, it turns into a substance called tartar, and this hard material cannot be removed by any type of at-home oral hygiene. We’ll need to use specialized tools to remove it.

We Can Help

Flossing is relatively easy, and we can show you how to do it so that it is painless and comfortable. If you have dexterity issues, we can recommend a pre-threaded flosser or other tools to make the process easier. Otherwise, you- simply need to wrap about 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers. Work the floss gently between the teeth in a back and forth motion and be sure to move on to a new section of floss for each space.

The next time you come in to see us for a dental cleaning, please know that you can be honest with us about your oral hygiene. We want to help you maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful smile, and to do that, we need an accurate picture of how you care for your teeth.

Would Veneers Improve Your Smile?

Would Veneers Improve Your Smile?Absolutely! You can use dental veneers to mask the imperfections in your teeth and achieve a much-improved smile. A smile is a big part of your life. As much as you might want to wear that smile as often as possible, dental imperfections may come in the way. Your smile should be an element of pride, but tooth imperfections may be making you embarrassed to show your teeth out. It is in this light that cosmetic dentistry came up with veneers.

Veneers allow you to get a dental transformation, enabling you to have beautiful and well-aligned teeth that match your natural features.

Veneers are made out of thin shell-like porcelain. These are crafted and customized to your perfect fit. A cosmetic dentist determines the size, shape, and color of your teeth to make the veneers appear more natural. Once prepared, the dentist carefully sticks them to the surface of your teeth, and you achieve an instant makeover.

Advantages of Veneers

Before dental veneers

Before dental veneers

After porcelain dental veneers

Dr. Shapiro created a new smile with 10 porcelain veneers

They are long lasting. If you properly maintain and care for them, your veneers can last up to 20 years or more. These dental enhancements have a non-porous surface that is resistant to chipping and scratches to ensure extended durability.

They give a natural appearance. Veneers blend so well with your natural appearance that other people cannot tell that you are wearing them. Also they are stain-resistant because of the nature of their structure. This feature allows them to retain their original color over time.

A wide range of dental imperfections can be masked using veneers. Veneers can be crafted for one tooth, multiple teeth or the entire smile. They can be used to cover up discoloration, a crack, a gap or a chip of the tooth.

As incredible as they sound, dental enhancements should only be applied to healthy teeth that are free of infections and gum disease. Your dental health should always come first. Book an appointment with us and find out if a dental enhancement is the right fit for you.

Why Your Teeth Need Vitamin D

Why Your Teeth Need Vitamin DVitamin D is one of the most important vitamins, and your body needs a good amount of it in order to function. One of the things that Vitamin D does is promote strong teeth and protect your gums and mouth against bacteria. If you have a deficiency in Vitamin D, it’s likely that you will develop cavities, gum disease, and other issues.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize exactly how vital this vitamin is to the body or what it does for your teeth.

Vitamin D and Calcium

In order to absorb enough calcium for the body to create strong bones and teeth, you have to have a good amount of Vitamin D in the body. This vitamin makes it easier for the body to absorb calcium from food and drink. If you’re deficient in Vitamin D, you’re going to only get around 10 to 15% of the calcium from your food. This can lead to increasing your risk of infection, developing osteoporosis, and other health issues in addition to having weaker teeth and having a higher risk of gum disease.

What Vitamin D Does

Unlike many different vitamins, the body doesn’t absorb Vitamin D from food. Instead, it creates Vitamin D itself. This process is activated when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Of course, you can also get Vitamin D from supplements, but the Vitamin D created by your body is more potent and easier to use.

Once created, your body transforms Vitamin D into calcitriol, its active form. Calcitriol is then circulated throughout the body and functions similar to hormones, promoting cell growth, helping to battle infection, and reducing inflammation. It helps the teeth by fighting off infection that can lead to gum disease.

Short on Vitamin D?

If you know you have a Vitamin D deficiency, your doctor likely has you on supplements. It’s also important that you make sure you make your six-month checkups and call us when you believe you have the beginnings of gum disease so we can keep your mouth as healthy as possible.

How Long After Brushing Should You Wait to Eat?

How Long After Brushing Should You Wait to Eat?There is a lot of conflicting information regarding the order in which you should brush your teeth. It is logical to think that brushing right after eating is the best thing to do because your mouth is dirty and has all these food particles between your teeth. The short answer to this common question is, it depends.

Brushing Your Teeth in the Morning

Some people brush their teeth before they even shower, as they can’t tolerate the morning breath taste in their mouth or perhaps they don’t brush their teeth before bed. It may be better for your oral health to brush first thing in the morning in this case.

Your mouth is full of bacteria that can react to certain foods, especially after the sleeping hours. Cleaning your mouth in the morning will remove the harmful elements in your saliva and adds protective fluoride before foods touch your teeth.

Should You Brush Before Bed?

Brushing your teeth before bed is essential. In many cases, you don’t have time or access to a toothbrush at work or school. This means you haven’t brushed your teeth since you left the house and you ate lunch or snacks during the day. If you get too tired at night to spend two minutes brushing your teeth, try to do it about 20 minutes after eating your last meal to give them time to recover from the acidity in the foods you had. Don’t skip brushing your teeth before bed and don’t forget to floss at least once a day.

In people with good oral health, there is no problem with eating after brushing his or her teeth. However, those who are prone to cavities should wait. There is no set time you should wait, and you can also let the taste of the toothpaste wash away before having a snack or drink.

How Kidney Function Stems from Your Oral Health

How Kidney Function Stems from Your Oral HealthIt is indisputable that your overall and oral health are intimately connected. With scientific research, the way in which people view dentistry has changed dramatically in recent years, and we now focus on our patient’s overall health.

There was a time when going to the dentist was seen as a form of torture, but with recent discoveries, we realize how important having a healthy mouth is for your general well-being.

People who suffer from kidney disease are particularly susceptible to dental infections. Something that can be easily solved in a person with good health can be a grave problem to someone with kidney issues.

Kidney Disease and Periodontal Disease

The primary function of the kidneys is to manage all the waste our body produces. When a person has a disease in these organs, their immune system is compromised, and it doesn’t fight infection as effectively as it does in a healthy individual.

Periodontal disease is a severe form of gum disease that has become chronic, generally due to neglect and lack of professional dental care. As the infection progresses, someone with limited kidney function won’t be able to fight off the disease as effectively.

Gum disease can also make a person more susceptible to periodontal disease because one of the common symptoms of kidney disease is bone loss, which can affect the jawbone. Teeth can become loose with a weaker jaw and could eventually fall out if the situation is not brought under control with dental treatment.

It is critical that you let us know if you have kidney disease because some of the medications we use can interact with dialysis treatment and cause more bleeding during a dental procedure. Moreover, a kidney transplant can be delayed until after treatment for gum disease, or severe tooth decay is completed. We recommend you advise your treating doctor of any dental procedure in advance.

How Snoring Increases Your Chances of Gum Disease

How Snoring Increases Your Chances of Gum DiseaseSnoring isn’t just an annoying issue for you and your spouse, it’s a serious health condition. Many people simply shrug it off as something they can’t control and assume that it’s harmless, but snoring can cause a number of severe issues.

For example, snoring can increase your chances of developing gum disease.

Snoring and Dry Mouth

One of the direct issues of snoring is dry mouth. Dry mouth is basically a lack of saliva, which can be annoying when you’re awake. You can at least fight off its effects by taking a drink of water to help moisten your mouth and wash away any bits of food or other debris. When you have dry mouth during the night, though, it’s not so easy to deal with. You’re likely to see a number of issues due to dry mouth, including bad breath, sores in your mouth, and gum disease.

Saliva helps to keep your mouth clean. It removes dead cells so they don’t build up and become a home for bacteria. These dead cells also slowly decompose in your mouth, causing a bad odor. Saliva also neutralizes the acid plaque creates. If this acid remains on your teeth and gums, they will start to break down.

If you don’t practice good oral hygiene and have dry mouth, you’re much more likely to develop gum disease.

What Can You Do?

Dealing with snoring isn’t easy. There are a number of different treatments, some of which are more effective for some individuals than others. If your snoring is directly impacting your health, you need to come see us.

We will help you deal with the effects of dry mouth and any other oral health issues that have developed as a side effect of snoring while also looking at the cause of the issue. We may be able to provide you with options for decreasing or eliminating your snoring completely. Give us a call to book an appointment today.

How Telling Us About Dental Fears Can Help You Overcome Them

How Telling Us About Dental Fears Can Help You Overcome ThemFear of the dentist is one of the most common phobias, and many people suffer from this issue. However, you don’t have to suffer in silence, and your oral health doesn’t have to be jeopardized by avoiding the dentist.

The best thing that you can do to ease your dental fears is to tell your dentist about them. There are plenty of ways that we can help you to feel more comfortable throughout the process.

Let Us Help with Your Dental Fears

The foundation of any good relationship is open communication, and this is no different with your dentist. It is important that you are vocal about your anxiety, fears, and apprehensions as soon as possible. This way, you give us the chance to evaluate your situation and to create a plan of action going forward.

Tips for Easing Fear during Your Dental Exam

There are several ways that you can feel more relaxed and at ease throughout your dental appointment:

  • Bring a companion. Having a trusted friend or family member with you may make you feel more comfortable.
  • Consider sedation dentistry. A variety of sedation options are available, including nitrous oxide, oral sedation, local anesthetics, or IV sedation. Your dentist can determine if you might be a suitable candidate.
  • Use a distraction. Consider bringing in some music and headphones to keep your mind occupied throughout your exam.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Certain relaxation exercises may help you to remain calm throughout treatment. Controlled breathing is one of the best options, and mindfulness meditation may also be useful.

Regular appointments with your dentist are essential to maintain good oral health. If you are apprehensive about your upcoming appointment, please call us and let us know. We can help to ease your fears and explain how we’ll ensure your comfort in our office.

Can a Cleaner Tongue Give You Fresher Breath?

Can a Cleaner Tongue Give You Fresher Breath?You brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly, but you still suffer from bad breath. As you ponder exactly what might be going on, consider how often you brush your tongue. A cleaner tongue can help you to enjoy fresher breath.

The Tongue is a Bad Breath Factory

The microbes found on the tongue are a factor for bad breath. The cracks and grooves provide the perfect surface to trap mucous, dead skin, food particles, and other germs.

These substances, then become a hotbed for bacterial growth, and they have a distinct, unpleasant smell.

Bad breath can get even worse if you suffer from dry mouth. Bacteria will be concentrated on the tongue, and without enough saliva to wash it away, it will continue to grow.

Unfortunately, this often results in bad breath that may not be relieved by simply brushing your teeth alone.

Try a Tongue Scraper

If you find it difficult to properly clean your tongue, a tongue scraper may help. A 2014 study found that people who suffer from chronic bad breath and used a tongue scraper enjoyed a 75% reduction in the bacteria responsible for halitosis. Those who used a tongue scraper were better able to remove the bacteria responsible for these foul odors than those who only brushed.

Other Risks of Failing to Clean Your Tongue

In addition to bad breath, failing to brush your tongue can lead to cavities and tooth decay. The bacteria can easily transfer from your tongue to the teeth and gums, which can wear away at the enamel. Eventually, this could lead to cavities and decay.

If you don’t currently brush or scrape your tongue, consider adding it to your oral hygiene routine. By adding this step to your dental care, you can improve the health of your mouth as well as your breath.