Monday, April 9, 2012

Training Tooth Paste or Not?

Ahh the joys of parenting... all the training you get to do. Sleep training, potty training, toothpaste training...

Wait, what was that last one?

One of the questions that parents have been asking around the office lately is when to move their children off of "training toothpaste" and into regular toothpaste. Answer: Immediately! Train not thy children with that useless goop!

Training toothpaste contains nothing beneficial to your children. It does not reduce plaque, it does not fight cavities, it does not remove stain. It's over the top flavor teaches kids that brushing is an experience for tasting, when that is not the primary objective of teaching good oral health habits.

"But isn't it bad for them to ingest fluoride from the toothpaste? They swallow most of it!"

Good news Moms and Dads, it's ok. When using the recommended amount of regular toothpaste (the size of a pea or smaller), the risks of fluorosis are relatively small. Most fluorosis occurs as a result of too much fluoride in their diet during formative years, including supplements (remember the Polyviflor vitamins we took as children). The biggest culprit in fluorosis is improperly fluoridated water, whether by improperly chemical treatment or natural occurrence in the soil. Well water typically contains the most fluoride. In recent years, fluoride has been added to bottled beverages such as sodas and sports drinks.

So, the benefits outweigh the risk. The minimal amount swallowed during brushing is not enough to cause permanent damage, and it WILL help you keep your children cavity free. Happy Brushing Mom and Dad.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Which Shade of White is Right for You?

Did you know that teeth whitening is the number one cosmetic procedure in the US today? There are many different options available, ranging from inexpensive over the counter products available at drug stores to high end in office whitening.

So how do you know what option is right for you?

The first step is to visit your dentist and have your gums evaluated. Studies have shown that 1 in 3 adult Americans suffer from periodontal disease. Whitening solution can potentially aggravate untreated periodontal disease. Your dentist can help you determine what steps are needed to help you get your gums healthy before you begin whitening.

Next, do you use an over the counter brand, such as Crest strips? Or do you use custom take home trays from your dentist? Or do you opt for in-office whitening? Here's the scoop:

Over the Counter Whitening: The FDA mandates that over the counter products can only have a certain percentage of active ingredient. So, what you are buying in the store is significantly weaker than what you receive from a dentist's office.

Custom Take Home Whitening: The trays are available from your dental office. They will take impressions of your teeth and create custom trays to fit them. They dispense whitening gel that has a much higher concentration of active ingredient. Based on your individual situation, they can help you achieve custom results based on your sensitivity levels, diet and shade choice. Maximum results are achieved in 12 to 14 days.

In Office Whitening: This is the strongest whitening on the market. There are many different options, such as ZOOM, Boost and Sapphire. These whitening options use the highest amount of active ingredient, usually in conjunction with UV lights. Results are immediate.

So, what shade should you aim for? Here are some pointers:
-If you have darker skin, aim for a more subtle tooth shade. The contrast between darker skin and the whiteness of the teeth can be striking. Choosing a more subtle tooth shade will minimize the contrast and yield more natural looking results.
-If you have light skin, aim for a lighter shade. Stained teeth will look even darker next to lighter skin.
- A good match for the shade of teeth is the white of the eye. It is your body's natural shade guide and guaranteed to work with your skin tone.

For a complimentary whitening consultation, please call our Dunedin Dental office at 727.733.1175 or visit us on the web at www.allaboutsmiles.org.

Monday, June 6, 2011

As seen in... New Beauty Magazine!

Check out the next issue of New Beauty, available at news stands soon! Dr. Mike is one of the featured Cosmetic Dentists in the Florida edition!

NewBeauty Magazine
 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do Your Wisdom Teeth Make You Smarter?

Don't be silly, of course they don't. Witness the lady in front of you in the lunch line as she takes 20 minutes to order a 6 inch sub. Do you think an extra set of molars are going to help her out?
All kidding aside, wisdom teeth have become a college right of passage. There's something about sitting miserably in the house for the first week of your summer vacation with chipmunk cheeks that helps transition you into the adult world.
However, the question has been raised... "If we all just get our Wisdom Teeth extracted, why did God give them to us in the first place?" Unfortunately, God did not consult me in the Creation process, or chocolate would be non-fattening and super nutritious and we'd have mini pet dinosaurs. However, a history lesson does shed some light on the subject. Once upon a time, our ancestors had thicker jaws that actually had room for wisdom teeth. Our ancestors also did not share our culinary expertise, those guys in the Geico commercials almost never cooked their food, never mind actually using a knife and fork. In fact, up until modern times, table food was contaminated with debris. This debris would get between teeth and erode them. By the time that an individual reached physical maturity (at which point they had supposedly gained wisdom, get it?), the teeth had eroded and shifted. The third molars would erupt, and push the eroded teeth back together.
You might notice our jaws are a little bit smaller and noticeably more attractive now. That is directly related to the fact that we have improved our food preparation dramatically and no longer require the same amount of chewing power. In fact (and this is fascinating!), humans are beginning to be born WITHOUT wisdom teeth! Our office has seen many members of the next generation that are not developing full sets of third molars, and some do not develop them at all!
If you're having a problem with your wisdom teeth, give our office a call at 727.733.1175 and let us know you read this blog, we'll give you a free evaluation!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dr. Mike to be Featured in New Beauty

We are excited to announce that Dr. Mike Hopkins will be a featured cosmetic dentist in the July issue of New Beauty magazine.

Dr. Hopkins has been a follower of New Beauty for quite some time, they are on the cutting edge of all aspects of the aesthetic field. Dr. Hopkins will be discussing cosmetic dentistry, including complete smile makeovers and cosmetic teeth whitening.

New Beauty features only several dentists per state, so we are extremely honored to be a part of this prestigious publication!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Link Between Perio Disease and Heart Disease and Diabetes

Did you know that your mouth is an overall indicator in the health of your body? Chances are, if you suffer from periodontal disease (which 1 in 3 adult Americans do), it could increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. If you already have these conditions, perio disease could exacerbate the situation.

So how exactly do your gums connect to your heart? Periodontal disease occurs when there is a build up of bacteria in your gums, causing infection. That infection enters your blood stream, and circulates throughout your body. This can lead to a build of plaque in your arteries. Yup, plaque, that very same hard build up that hygienists scrape off of your teeth. Plaque builds up in your arteries, which restricts blood flow, which leads to heart attack and stroke.

Periodontal Disease also makes it more difficult for people with type 2 Diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. It is unclear precisely why diabetic patients are more likely to suffer from gum disease, but studies show that the presence of gum disease exacerbates diabetic complications.

Another fact about periodontal disease: once contracted, it cannot be cured. The best you can do after contracting periodontal disease is to keep it under control.

So, how do you use all of this information to optimize your health? You can start by having regular medical and dental check up. Home care, especially flossing, is essential to preventing gum disease from developing. Having your teeth cleaned at regular intervals determined by your hygienist is also crucial. For more information, or a complimentary periodontal evaluation, call our office at 727.733.1175.