Reducing Dental Overhead

How do expenses and overhead in your office compare with the averages in the US?  You will find the numbers below. Following the numbers we will talk about how to reduce those numbers.

Based on practices with revenues ranging from $350,000 – 1,200,000:

 

Payroll                       21.0%

Administrative          6.0%

Lab Costs                    8.0%

Dental Supplies         8.0%

Lab Costs                    8.0%

Occupancy                 5.0%

Office Supplies         3.0%

Equipment                 2.0%

Advertising                 1.0%

TOTAL                       62.0%

 

So just to be clear, these  are averages.  Don’t get too alarmed if your numbers are a little different.  Some practices have costs much lower and some have costs which are higher.  The individual categories can vary as well depending on the types of services offered.

Our dental coopFinal

 

The key to reducing overhead is to start with the low hanging fruit – in other words start with the easiest, most productive changes to reduce overhead and progressively work your way to the more difficult areas.

Much has been written on the subject of reducing overhead already  so we won’t repeat all the common recommendations.  If all of the common recommendations were working so well you probably wouldn’t be reading this, right?

In this article we will focus on just two often overlooked, but easiest  and most productive changes a dentist can make.

The first is increasing revenues. Often when people talk about overhead they only focus on expenditures.  But overhead equals expenditures divided by revenues. If expenditures remain the same, and you increase revenues, the result is lower overhead.

There are four great ways to increase revenues – get more patients, see more patients, do more procedures, or do more expensive procedures.  Often the easiest of these options is the last one – doing more expensive procedures on patients who are already coming to your office.  The easiest way to do more expensive procedures is by furthering your continuing education training.  For example, if you are not already doing implants  then signing up for an implant course may be perfect for you.  Or maybe it’s time you brushed up on your endo skills.  Have you thought about sleep apnea, occlusal calibration, or TMJ therapy? Could you place more veneers if you had more confidence in doing them?  Could you learn to do simple orthodontics?

Dentists who add new skills to their repertoire almost always increase their revenues.  Also one of the best aspects of this is that adding new skills gives a return on investment every year thereafter.

Ok, now we are going to tackle the tougher part of the equation – reducing expenses.  Actually, this is pretty easy and I’m going to tell you how after I explain why so many dentists fail at this.  Dentists fail at reducing expenses because it takes time – usually their time!   And it requires uncomfortable conversations they don’t like having with their employees, and vendors.

Here is the simple solution:  Join a dental co-op.  There are some really good

co-ops out there such as Our Dental Co-op, and let them take their time to have those uncomfortable conversations.  A co-op is an association of dentists who come together as a group to negotiate better pricing on dental supplies, offices supplies, lab fees, continuing education, insurance, payroll processing, credit card processing and more.

Everyone knows that large groups get discounts.  That’s just the American way. Corporate dental offices have used this strategy for years to reduce their expenses making it hard for the solo practitioner to compete with them.

You can attempt to call your lab and ask for a discount.  You can even call them several times and yell and complain, and even threaten, but in the end you are just one office and they probably won’t care enough to reduce their fees for you.  But, when a dental co-op like Our Dental Co-op calls a lab on behalf of hundreds of dental offices, the laboratories tend to listen very carefully.

Even if it was possible that you could (and would) personally call and negotiate prices, you would have to make those calls for payroll processing, dental supplies, laboratories, credit card processing ect.  The reality is that most dentists are not going to take the time to make these calls.  In fact, they shouldn’t make these calls because it takes away from the time they should be in the operatory making revenue.  In fact, by making the phone calls personally it could actually make their overhead go up since their savings may not be equal to the lost revenue.

Optionally, you could have your office staff make the calls, but two things here; 1) the lab isn’t going to take a call from your assistant serious enough to reduce your fees, and 2) since it’s just more work for the staff they won’t approach it seriously.  After a few calls and rejections they quit calling.

It so much easier and productive to join a dental co-op and and let them use the power that comes with their numbers.  Usually the benefits to join far exceed any minimal cost to join.

So just to wrap things up –The two easiest ways  to lower overhead is by increasing revenues through continuing education, and by reducing expenditures through the benefits of membership in a dental co-op.

Omega 3 For Gums

Everyone knows how good omega-3 fats are for you and now it seems that EPA and DHA are two particular omega-3 fats may be good for healthy gums. A new study has emerged that shows eating a lot of omega-3 foods reduced your risk of developing gum disease by up to 30%. This is understandable because a part of gum disease is chronic inflammation and omega-3 fats are very effective anti-inflammatories.

 

Periodental disease involves both the bone and the tissue. Bacteria and other inflammatory compounds find their way into your bloodstream through this connection. When they enter your bloodstream they begin to damage your blood vessels. This damage can lead to health problems including strokes and heart attacks. Reducing inflammation is important to staying healthy as well as keeping gum disease at bay.

Omega-3 For Gums

All the actions you take to get rid of gum disease and prevent it are steps worth taking. Gum disease can lead to other problems including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease

How to Ensure You Get Enough Omega-3

While it is true that omega-3 from plants are good for you and should be a part of your diet, it’s also true that they are nothing compared to omega-3 fats from animals.

 

The main reason for this is that the body is not able to covert the ALA from plant-based fats to the EPA and DHA that is found in animal-based omega-3. If you suffer from diabetes, are overweight, have high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, or are elderly then it is even harder for your body to convert the fats.

 

EPA and DHA are the omega-3s that are needed to prevent heart disease, gum disease, and other health problems like cancer. ALA is not as good at doing this.

 

It’s best that you get all the omega-3 you need from fish. Unfortunately the amount of water pollution in the world has caused fish to become contaminated with toxins such as mercury and PCB. Other choices include omega-3 from krill, or from algae which is a plant-based vegan form of omega-3 DHA from a company like nothingfishy.

 

The Role Diet Plays in Maintaining Teeth and Gum Health

During the 1900s Dr Weston A Price put a lot of effort into researching the link between oral health and physical disease. Dr Price was one of the biggest nutritional pioneers and his research is still cited and used to this day.

 

Dr Price discovered that the native tribes who were still eating their traditional diet had perfect teeth and did not suffer from some chronic diseases such as heart disease, lung, kidney and liver disease, as well as joint and skin problems. In other words; the diseases that our society suffers from a lot these days.

 

When Dr Price analysed the findings of his research he saw that the Native diet contained 10 times the amount of vitamins and 4 times the amount of calcium and other water-soluble minerals compared to the Western diet.

 

The Native diet was also filled with enzymes because they ate plenty of fermented and raw foods. Enzymes are needed to digest cooked food. Their diet also had 10 times as many omega-3 fats than modern diets and a lot less omega-6 fats. After these tribes were introduced to sugar and white flour their health began to decline and their teeth lost their perfection.

 

Dr Price wrote and released a book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. This book shows off his findings and it’s worth the time of anyone interested in nutrition. Essentially it is impossible for you to have perfect teeth without having the right diet, no matter how much brushing, flossing, or mouth washing you do. Ensure that you eat enough omega-3 fats and eat according to your nutritional type. Your nutritional type will inform you about the right foods for your biochemistry.

Ways To Help Make Getting Dental Care Easier

Are your teeth causing you problems? Are there problems with the way you care for your teeth? This article is designed to show you how to handle any dental care situations. Keep the included advice in mind while practicing your dental care. Brush, brush, brush to avoid plaque. Plaque is a layer of bacteria that coats your teeth. It is transparent. Plaque buildup causes cavities. You can remove plaque by brushing your teeth often. Ideally, you can brush your teeth after each meal. At the very least, brush morning and night. Purchase a toothpaste that treats sensitivity if you are starting to have a problem. The biggest signs that you have sensitive teeth are if you find it difficult to drink hot or cold beverages or eat cold foods. However, it is wise to visit your dentist if you suddenly develop sensitive teeth. If you are diagnosed with advanced gum disease, it’s time to step up your hygiene routine. At this point, flossing once, twice or even three times daily is no longer sufficient to stimulate healing. Make an appointment with a periodontist, who can prescribe a medicated mouthwash, toothpaste or prescription antibiotic. In the meantime, continue brushing and flossing frequently to keep things from becoming worse. Check your tooth paste labels. You should always choose toothpaste which contains fluoride. Toothpaste can also contain abrasives that are included with the intent of helping to clean your teeth properly. For dentists who are interested in Dental IT Support click here.

 

If you’re gums are too sensitive, look for a toothpaste that doesn’t have as many of these abrasive agents. Make sure that the toothpaste you use contains fluoride. While there are natural toothpastes available that do not list this as an ingredient, they do not provide the level of protection fluoride does. You have a much higher chance of developing dental issues if you use one of these brands. You can introduce electric toothbrushes to your children starting at the age of three. You should always supervise your children’s toothbrushing activities while using these brushes and make sure that your child understands that an electric toothbrush is not a toy and should only be used in his or her mouth. Are you considering a tongue or lip piercing? You might want to reconsider. No matter how well you take care of your mouth, a pierced tongue is an oral hygiene disaster waiting to happen. These piercings can also damage and chip delicate tooth surfaces. If unchecked, you may also have to have some of your tongue removed, which isn’t the greatest look in the world. To keep your teeth healthy and free of cavities you should avoid drinking flavored fruit juices. Fruit juices contain tons of cavity-causing sugars. In fact, although fruit juices sound as if they are good for you, in reality, they have just as much sugar as soda pop. Drink water instead. Make your own toothpaste. It is very simple to do this. Simply take a bit of baking soda and mix it with a bit of water. Use the paste to brush your teeth, and then rinse your mouth completely. This is a cheaper way to get your teeth clean, and works almost as well. If you suspect something is wrong with your teeth, take care of it immediately. Dental problems can be major ones. Some can even be life threatening. Be sure to take your dental health seriously. Don’t avoid the dentist. If something is clearly wrong, make an appointment as soon as you are able. Don’t forget to take care of your gums. Your gums are a part of your mouth as well, and they affect your teeth and many other things. In fact, if you fail to take care of gum disease, it can lead to problems in your blood. Talk to your dentist about what you should do to care for your gums.

 

Eat more crunchy vegetables. Vegetables like carrots and celery contain nutrients and vitamins that help your teeth and gums. Not only that, but they also help to clean your teeth. Eating them helps to rid your teeth of food debris and plaque. They work very much like natural tooth brushes. If you are scared about visiting the dentist, the best thing you can do is tell your dentist about it. When your dentist has an idea of what scares you, the two of you can come up with a plan together to address those fears. He will also be able to explain to you the entire process so as to ease your mind. Keep your toothbrush clean! You are brushing to remove bacteria after all. If you don’t clean your brush head after every brushing, you’ll be recontaminating your mouth with each use. Wash out the brush head every time you use it. Simply place it under the water faucet and completely rinse out the bristles. It is imperative you are serious when it comes to your dental care.  Dentists who work with Dental Computers also pay attention to the quality and hygiene. It’s important that you brush your teeth two times everyday. After you eat, food debris is left behind so it is important to get rid of this. It also removes tooth eroding bacteria. Another key to effective dental care revolves around the proper storage of the toothbrush itself. This may seem like a small thing, but making sure the brush is thoroughly rinsed after use and stored upright so it can air dry is essential in order to stave off the growth of potentially harmful bacteria. When you brush your teeth, do it correctly with the right techniques. Hold the brush at angle. Brush your teeth in a motion that’s forth and back. Brush the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces of all teeth. Your child should be drinking municipal water. Municipal water is fluoridated. This added fluoride helps strengthen your child’s teeth. If your home is on a well, ask your dentist about fluoride treatments. There are many options including liquid fluoride that is applied to the teeth before your child’s bedtime. A wide range of dental issues and care have been covered within this article. Be sure you carefully consider the advice so that your questions are answered. You need to take good care of your teeth since dental problems are sometimes painful.

Ways To Help Make Getting Dental Care Easier

It may be difficult to find a chore to get the best dental team that you feel comfortable with. Use the strategies presented here so that you can. You should see your dentist every 6 months. You can prevent tooth problems treated early if you meet with your dentist regularly.When you visit the dentist regularly, that is a good way to make sure plaque isn’t building up, tooth decays is less likely to occur, and gum disease is likely to stay away. Go see your dentist often. Regular dental checkups can ensure that your teeth stay strong and healthy. Your dentist is the only one that can determine the health of you some useful advice on how to improve your hygiene and treat any dental issue. If you do not go see a dentist regularly, those problems will only become worse if they are not treated. Follow the directions on the product before brushing. Plaque build-up will show as a bright blue or pink.Only use these types of products if you’ve got the time to remove all traces of the traces. This isn’t something you want to use when you are in a rush. Never use a hard-bristled toothbrushes. The structure of your teeth may begin to show some wear down with repeated use. Use soft bristles to avoid developing sensitive teeth and gums. Use approximately 20 inches to clean your mouth. There should be about one inch of floss so you’re able to clean each tooth separately. Always check the labels of the toothpaste you’re going to buy.It is imperative you select a toothpaste with fluoride. Most toothpastes also contain some form of abrasive chemicals designed to make your teeth whiter. If you have problems, find something that has lower amounts of those chemicals. If one of your teeth gets knocked out, be sure to save the tooth. Clean it off by rinsing it. If this does not work, use milk to soak the tooth in and get to your dental office as soon as possible. When looking for a toothpaste, you need one with fluoride whether it is natural or not. This will help you to have stronger teeth so they don’t have as many cavities or other problems like that. Strong teeth ultimately are healthy teeth. Your teeth can decay and gum problems due to vitamin deficiency. If your mouth isn’t healthy, calcium, or other nutrients that help your oral health. You can find them in dairy and fruits. It is very important aspect of dental care. Floss in the spaces between every single set of your teeth. It is important to take care of your back teeth. A dental pick or a floss holder could be what makes getting to those hard to reach places easier. You must be comfortable flossing method. For more information please visit Dentist Strathroy.

Family and cosmetic dentistry in Strathroy
Family and cosmetic dentistry in Strathroy

A nice smile and healthy teeth will only be achieved with a long way towards helping you maintain healthy diet. You must limit your intake of sodas and sugary foods that you consume. Many dental problems can be traced back to these foods.If you want white teeth, consume less coffee. Coffee is notorious for leaving stains on your teeth. You should try to select healthy snacks to eat whenever possible to cut down on the amount of damage your teeth. If you do consume something with copious amounts of sugar, brush your teeth as soon as you are finished. This lessens the likelihood of getting cavities. Talk to the dentist before deciding to see him. Ask about how they keep their equipment is cleaned. This is important to ask because it can be forgotten and could cause health issues. Avoid the popular misconception that says to brush ones teeth after consuming citrus fruit. Brushing right after consuming any acidic foods can soften and damage softened enamel. Instead of brushing, rinse out your mouth and chew some gum to clean your mouth. There is more to dental care than just going to the dentist once in awhile and brushing your teeth.It is important to take a proactive role in keeping your teeth and mouth healthy. Look around online and be sure to look at their websites. It is vital that you research the dentist to make sure it is the right one for you. Make a list of any dentists that make you feel are a good fit and choose wisely.

The dentist can talk you get over your worries. If you aren’t going to be brushing right after your meals, think about eating a meal that includes firm foods that are helpful to your teeth. Some of these include apples, carrots, celery and popcorn. These foods will help clean your teeth if you are not able to brush them right away. Replace your toothbrush on a regular basis to take good care of your mouth and teeth healthy.Regular tooth brushes and electrical brush heads of mechanical ones need to be change about every 3 or so months. This way you practice proper dental care and make sure that you’ll be using toothbrushes that work the job done.
There are snacks that are actually good for your dental care. An apple acts as a good choice because it cleans teeth while you are eating it. Raw vegetables are the perfect snack. These foods help your tooth surfaces. Leaving a whitener on your teeth. Don’t do anything different from the directions. Stop if you feel irritation on your gums after using the gums. If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold things, try using a special toothpaste. These toothpastes help the teeth be less sensitive. This helps you enjoy what you eat and drink what you love. Just make sure to read the directions well. You should also avoid eating really sour foods. The acid content of sour foods can damage your tooth enamel. Brush teeth after eating to completely get rid of the teeth. It’s not easy to find dental care providers that can be trusted. However, doing your research can help you find the best dental advice. Keep in mind the advice offered here, and you will head in the right direction. For additional information visit Strathroy Dentist.

What are the harmful effects of Silver Amalgam Fillings?

The most dangerous constituent of an amalgam filling is mercury. Adverse effects of mercury on health are usually not taken seriously because mercury toxicity does not develop instantaneously, and may take up to many years to manifest.

Mercury in amalgam fillings tends to target the immune, nervous, digestive and the respiratory systems. Mercury exposure from dental fillings has been linked to various serious medical conditions, such as: http://www.dentalwellness4u.com/layperson/symptoms.html

What should you do ?

The first thing you should do is to say no to amalgam fillings from right now! If you have any pre-existing amalgam fillings in your mouth, you should get them check for possible leakage, and if so, have them removed at the earliest possibility, in order to prevent yourself from the long term harmful effects of mercury. Getting your old amalgam fillings can also be very dangerous, as the mercury vapors emitted during amalgam removal are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Therefore, it is important that you should visit an experienced holistic dentist, who knows the correct method of removing amalgam fillings while at the same time, not causing any harm to you.

 

Dr. Candida Castillo is an experienced dentist at the Aesthetic Dental Studio. Being a holistic dentist herself, Dr. Castillo strongly believes in restricting the use of mercury containing amalgam as a filling material due to its harmful effects on human health. If you have any amalgam fillings in your mouth, you should visit Dr. Castillo today and get rid of this poison in your teeth. Dr. Castillo utilizes a specialized technique for removal of amalgam fillings so that you don’t inhale or ingest mercury vapor during the procedure. For more information please visit the Facebook page at : https://www.facebook.com/The-Aesthetic-Dental-Studio-of-RI-417487858323673/ and Yelp page here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-aesthetic-dental-studio-of-ri-north-providence

mercury free dental restoration

Dr. Castillo, in addition to being a very active and experienced holistic dentist is also a member of International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine, International Association of Mercury Safe Dentists and fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and American Dental Association. So what are you waiting for? Start enjoying a beautiful and healthy life by getting your amalgam fillings safely removed today by an experienced holistic dentist! You can visit us at: 2148 Mineral Spring Avenue North Providence RI 02911 401-232-7777 http://www.smileri.com

 

Anyone Can Benefit With Great Dental Care Advice

There is a lot more to proper dental hygiene than just brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist. These are important, of course, but they are just a starting point. If you really want to keep your teeth strong and healthy, you need to use the advanced tips found in this article.

Finding a dentist can be hard especially if you have recently moved into a new neighborhood. There are many websites available that gives dentist scores. You may also find that your primary care physician is a good source for information on dentists located in your community. Additionally, your insurance company may be able to recommend a dentist in your area.

Limit acidic foods and sugary foods. Steer clear of foods that might damage your teeth in any way, including staining them. It can be helpful to drink teeth-staining drinks with a straw, in order to bypass your teeth completely. You can also protect your teeth by brushing as soon as you can after eating.

Cavities, which are also called dental caries, are the result of weakened tooth enamel. Bacteria causes this weakening, and the end result is a cavity. Having regular cleanings in addition to good brushing habits can prevent cavities from ever forming. During your visit, you dentist will look for any newly formed cavities.

Visit your Grants Pass dentist twice a year. If you go to regularly scheduled dental visits, you can stop most problems from forming on your teeth. You’ll be able to keep plaque build-up at bay, keep tooth decay from forming, and even keep gum disease from setting in.

One of the first things people notice about you is your pearly white smile, whether you realize it or not. This is why you want to ensure that your teeth are looking their best at all times. Brushing and flossing your teeth everyday can ensure that you are flashing everyone your very best smile.

If you are diagnosed with advanced gum disease, it’s time to step up your hygiene routine. At this point, flossing once, twice or even three times daily is no longer sufficient to stimulate healing. Make an appointment with a periodontist, who can prescribe a medicated mouthwash, toothpaste or prescription antibiotic. In the meantime, continue brushing and flossing frequently to keep things from becoming worse.

Remember to clean your tongue. You may brush your teeth regularly, but are you remembering to keep your tongue clean as well? Cleaning your tongue is important, especially if you want your breath to smell clean and fresh. Make sure to scrape or, at the very least, brush your tongue on a regular basis.

Home whitening kits are a great short-term fix for lightly stained teeth. However, many people report burning and increased sensitivity caused by the gel uses in the kits. If oral sensitivity is turning you off of home whitening, use a fluoride gel immediately before and after you apply the whitening product. Your teeth will be noticeably less sensitive.

Consider purchasing electric toothbrushes for the whole family. They cut down the effort you have to produce to get the same results with a manual brush. Electric toothbrushes are not only affordable, but are recommended by most professional dentists. They have solid bristles which cup around your tooth and quickly help brush away plaque.

If you have missing teeth, you may be thinking about dentures. Permanent constructions, however, are a much better choice as dentures only have about one-fifth of the strength of regular teeth. Permanent options such as bridges will keep your teeth strong and allow you to live a more comfortable life.

You should brush after every meal. This may seem like a chore to many people, but it really will help you maintain optimum dental health. If you are not in a position to brush your teeth after a meal, chew a piece of sugar-free gum. The gum will remove some food particles and activate your saliva to reduce any bacteria formation.

You should think about having childhood fillings redone if the original ones contained mercury. If you have a lot of mercury in your fillings, it could cause health problems because mercury is not good for people. Your dentist will be able to give you options on how to replace those old fillings. Speak with your dentist the next time you have an appointment.

If you have a serious fear of the dentist and conventional methods won’t work, you might want to consider taking some sort of medication. Your dentist can give you anti-anxiety medication or nitrous oxide which will make the entire dentist visit a whole lot easier. Just make sure that you don’t have any adverse reactions to the medications.

Everyone wants to have a bright, white, healthy smile, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to achieve. Quitting smoking is one great stay. Another is to skip drinking coffee and red wine. The next step is to try home whitening. If that doesn’t work, consider asking your dentist for a quote on their services.

If a tooth in your mouth is painful, do not put an aspirin in your mouth next to it. It is an old wive’s tale that an aspirin next to the tooth will dissolve the pain. However, your tooth may burn and decay even further.

When you are trying to take care of your teeth, look up natural remedies. A lot of the time, a natural remedy can help you to ease some issues without expensive treatments or chemicals. Talk to your dentist about natural remedies you are trying, in order to get an idea of whether they are right for you.

A natural home remedy that can help keep your teeth clean is apple cider vinegar. This kind of vinegar provides your mouth with a number of benefits, including whitening your teeth, killing germs, and removing stains. In order for apple cider vinegar to be most effective, use it in the morning before you brush.

After reading this article, you should realize that there is a lot more to proper dental hygiene than you ever realized. By arming yourself with this advice, you can make sure that your teeth stay in good shape for years to come. Incorporate this advice into your daily dental care routine for the best results. Hill Dentistry creates a truly unique dental experience by combining a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere with the latest in dental technology. Dentist Dr. Matthew Hill and the fun, caring staff ensure that patients leave the Grants Pass, OR dental office with a smile.

Essential Tips For Dental Care

If you’ve ever wondered if there was a way to make it easier on yourself to take care of your mouth, then you need to keep reading. There are many tips and tricks available, from selecting the right toothpaste to choosing the right dentist. Keep reading to find out more about making your job easier.

Brushing your teeth properly is important for your overall mouth health. When brushing your teeth, use a vertical motion on the outside of your teeth and a horizontal motion on the inner parts of your teeth. Concentrate your efforts by brushing each tooth for approximately fifteen seconds to help ensure proper cleaning.

A glass of water a day keeps the dentist away. Actually, make that eight glasses of water, or 64 ounces. When you drink enough water, you are less likely to drink things that harm your teeth. Never, ever chew on ice! Chewing on ice may crack your teeth, which can make you more susceptible to more serious dental conditions. Be aware of the types of foods you are eating and how they will effect your teeth to avoid problems. You should go to your dentist right away if you believe a tooth is cracked.

If you suffer from a dry mouth, use a toothpaste and mouthwash specially designed to help relieve dry mouth. Many of today’s leading toothpaste brands contain ingredients that will dry out your mouth. Therefore, if you suffer from dry mouth, look for dry mouth relief toothpastes and mouth washes.

Be vigilant about taking care of your teeth. If you notice anything that concerns you, make sure you call your dentist to see if you need to come in for an extra appointment. Some signs to watch out for are bleeding gums, sensitivity to cold or hot or excessively bad breath throughout the day.

Many people end up with cavities between their teeth, and the reason is that they don’t floss and brushing alone doesn’t get all the food out. It’s best to floss after you brush your teeth twice a day, but once a day is better than none at all, of course!

Orthodontics and Braces

If your dentist recommends orthodontics, you should seriously consider it. Getting your teeth straightened is often more than a cosmetic issue; incorrect alignment of the teeth or jawbone can cause serious dental health problems later on. Although children most often wear braces, adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment as well. If you are looking for orthodontic treatment in United Kingdom you can get more information here findorthodontists.co.uk.

If you have braces or partials, you should consider using an oral irrigator to help keep your teeth clean. An oral irrigator should be used in addition to regular flossing and brushing. The oral irrigator effectively flushes food particles from between your teeth and brackets by using pressurized water.

Wisdom teeth are necessary in the mechanism of chewing food. Most people have their wisdom teeth extracted soon after they emerge. Orthodontist usually remove the wisdom teeth before installing braces or other corrective devices. If your wisdom teeth are causing pain, they should be pulled before they become infected.

If your teeth are crooked, you can get braces to straighten them. This procedure is usually done at a young age, but adults can also benefit from it. New techniques make it possible to wear braces that can be removed to make eating easier, and some types only need to be worn overnight.

To tell whether your child is going to need braces as an adolescent, one test is to check the gap between her two top front teeth. If there is a significant gap, it is likely that she will need braces later on to correct that hole. If not, it is more likely that the growth process will do most of the correcting of any problems in the alignment of her teeth.

Orthodontic devices can make eating a difficult task. Soft fruits, small fruits and cooked vegetables are easier to eat than raw, hard food. For example, apples should be cut into bite-sized pieces to make them more available for consumption. Avoid hard or sticky candy and don’t chew gum while wearing braces.

Your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist to align the teeth and make chewing easy and painless. Braces can be used to correct temporomadibular joint (TMJ) conditions and speech impediments caused by improperly placed teeth. Orthodontic devices can also be used to relieve sleep apnea and teeth grinding.

Eating hard foods, chewing on solid items, mouth trauma or a weak bond between the tooth and the orthodontic device can cause your braces to become loose. If braces become loose between dental visits, call your orthodontist immediately. Loose braces that are not repaired quickly can increase the length of time you are required to wear the device.

To get the most out of your orthodontic treatments, you have to follow your dentist’s orders after the braces come off. Wear your retainer according to the instructions that you receive; if not, you run the risk of having your teeth return to their former distortion, putting all of that money and time in braces to waste.

Now that you’ve read this article, you’re more equipped to handle decision making when it comes to the cleanliness of your mouth. You can make your dentist’s job much easier and your life much better by taking a few more steps to make sure that your mouth is well taken care of from now on. You can do it!

Flossing: An Important Part of TV Designer Nate Berkus’ Oral Health Routine

nate-berkus4
nate-berkus4As one of America’s most beloved go-to guys for inspiration on the latest interior design trends, Nate Berkus has written a highly successful book,Home Rules: Transform the Place You Live Into a Place You’ll Love; he is a contributing editor to O Magazine; and he is currently hosting his own television program, The Nate Berkus Show. He is also recognized for his eye-catching smile.During a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Berkus opened up about the facts behind his trademark smile. While his smile is all-natural — he never wore braces or had any cosmetic work done — he gives credit to his childhood dentist for the preventative healthcare he received as a young boy. “I’m grateful for having been given fluoride treatments and sealants as a child,” he said. Nate also shared the important flossing advice he learned from his dentist that he still follows today: “Floss the ones you want to keep.”

Why is flossing so important?

Flossing is crucial because it remains the most effective method for removing plaque from between teeth, where the toothbrush can’t reach. It is also an important part of keeping your gums healthy so that you can avoid periodontitis (gum disease). You should floss at least once a day either before or after you brush your teeth. If you see blood after flossing, it may indicate that you have periodontitis, or it may mean that you are flossing too harshly. Remember, you need to use a delicate hand and a proper technique when brushing and flossing to avoid damaging your teeth and gums.

To learn more about flossing, including step-by-step instructions with photos, you can continue reading theDear Doctor magazine article “Flossing — A Different Approach.” Or you can contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination, review your brushing and flossing techniques, and discuss any questions you have as well as treatment options. As needed, we will work with you to teach you the proper brushing and flossing techniques so that you feel confident before you leave our office. And to read the entire interview with Nate Berkus, please see the Dear Doctor magazine article “Nate Berkus.”

Take Positive Action with Your Child’s Thumb-Sucking Habit

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thumb-sucking-300As a parent you’re concerned with a number of issues involving your child’s health, not the least of which involves their teeth. One of the most common is thumb-sucking.While later thumb-sucking is a cause for concern, it’s quite normal and not viewed as harmful in infant’s and very young children. This universal habit is rooted in an infant swallowing pattern: all babies tend to push the tongue forward against the back of the teeth when they swallow, which allows them to form a seal while breast or bottle feeding. Infants and young children take comfort or experience a sense of security from sucking their thumb, which simulates infant feeding.

Soon after their primary teeth begin to erupt, the swallowing pattern changes and they begin to rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth just behind the front teeth when swallowing. For most children thumb sucking begins to fade as their swallowing pattern changes.

Some children, though, continue the habit longer even as their permanent teeth are beginning to come in. As they suck their thumb the tongue constantly rests between the front teeth, which over time may interfere with how they develop. This can cause an “open bite” in which the upper and lower teeth don’t meet properly, a problem that usually requires orthodontic treatment to correct it.

For this reason, dentists typically recommend encouraging children to stop thumb-sucking by age 3 (18-24 months to stop using a pacifier). The best approach is positive reinforcement — giving appropriate rewards over time for appropriate behavior: for example, praising them as a “big” boy or girl when they have gone a certain length of time without sucking their thumb or a pacifier. You should also use training or “Sippy” cups to help them transition from a bottle to a regular cup, which will further diminish the infant swallowing pattern and need for thumb-sucking.

Habits like thumb-sucking in young children should be kept in perspective: the habit really isn’t a problem unless it goes on too long. Gentle persuasion, along with other techniques we can help you with, is the best way to help your child eventually stop.

If you would like more information on thumb sucking, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Thumb Sucking in Children” and “How Thumb Sucking Affects the Bite.”

Cat Cora’s 6 Ways to Keep Kids Off Junk Food

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cat-cora5Junk food and between-meal sweets are a habit for many of us, even though we know it is bad for our bodies and our teeth. As adults, we are responsible for our own choices. As parents, we are also responsible for our children’s choices, and for teaching them to choose wisely.Celebrity Chef Cat Cora offers the following six suggestions for leading children to a healthy lifestyle. Cora is a star of Iron Chef America and author of Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes, in which she reveals healthier versions of classic recipes. In her remakes she shows how to cook with a lot of flavor while reducing fat and sugar. Cora has four young sons, so her methods are not just theories — they have been practiced in real life.

1. Remember who’s the boss.

“My kids have never had fast food,” Cora said in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine. “The parents have a choice to do that or not,” she said. “The kids are not going to the grocery store to shop; the kids are not driving themselves through fast food chains.”

2. Make your rules clear and stick to them.

“Right now my 7-year-old tries to be picky, but it’s really about us being consistent as parents,” Cat said. For example, in her household pizza is served only at the weekly pizza and movie night. The kids get a healthier version of what they want, so they don’t feel deprived. The evening includes air-popped popcorn without butter — and no soda, which is bad for teeth because of its sugar and other chemical ingredients.

3. Offer your children a variety of foods and tastes.

Cora made sure her children tried different foods and spices from infancy, so they are open to trying new things. It’s easier to get all the nutrition you need if you eat a wide variety of foods.

4. Learn to make tasty substitutions for sugar.

When her children were babies, Cora stopped relying on bottles and sippy cups as soon as possible, reducing her children’s likelihood of developing tooth decay due to sugary residues remaining in their mouths. Now that they are older, she uses tasty substitutes for sugar such as fruit purees and the natural sugar substitute Stevia.

5. Include the children in meal planning.

Kids are more likely to eat a meal they are involved in planning and cooking. For example, ask them which vegetable they would like to have (not whether they want to have a vegetable).

6. Model healthy behavior for your kids.

Parents are the best role models. This is true not only for food choices, but also for exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about oral health. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cat Cora.” Please click here if you are looking for more information about ropa de segunda mano.

Cosmetic Gum Surgery Can Restore Health as Well as Appearance to Gums

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We most often associate plastic surgery with cosmetic enhancements to our outer appearance. While this is their primary purpose, some forms of reconstructive surgery restore lost function and health as well as improve appearance. A classic example is cosmetic periodontal (gum) surgery that restores receded gum tissues that have exposed more of the tooth than is visually appealing.

Gum recession occurs primarily because of excessive brushing (too hard or for too long) or because of periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection that ultimately causes gum tissue to detach and pull away from the teeth. Gum recession not only affects the appearance of the teeth, it can expose the tooth’s root surface to further infection and decay. Without treatment, the disease could progress causing further damage with the potential for the tooth to be eventually lost.

In conjunction with plaque removal to stop gum disease and possibly other treatments like orthodontics to correct misaligned teeth, cosmetic gum surgery is used to rejuvenate lost gum tissues around teeth through tissue grafting. In these procedures, a combination of surgical approaches and/or grafting materials are attached to the area of recession to stimulate the remaining tissue to grow upon the graft and eventually replace it.

Donor grafts can originate from three sources: from the patient (an autograft); another person (an allograft); or another animal species, usually a cow (a xenograft). Tissues from outside the patient are thoroughly treated to remove all cellular material and bacteria to eliminate any possibility of host rejection or disease transmission.

Depending on the nature of the gum recession and tooth condition, the procedure can take different forms. It could involve completely detaching the graft tissue from the host site and re-attaching it to the recipient site. But if more of the tooth root is exposed, the surgeon may cover the graft with tissue adjacent to the host site to supply blood to the graft, and affix the loosened pedicle to the graft site. While any technique requires advanced training and experience, the latter procedure involves microsurgical techniques that require the highest levels of technical skill and art.

Cosmetic gum surgery can result in healthier gum tissues and teeth that are less susceptible to infection and loss. No less important, though, these procedures can return a more natural look to your teeth and gums — and a more pleasing smile.

If you would like more information on gum tissue reconstruction, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctormagazine article “Periodontal Plastic Surgery.”

George Washington’s False Teeth

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george-washingtonEveryone knows that George Washington wore false teeth. Quick, now, what were our first President’s dentures made of?Did you say wood? Along with the cherry tree, that’s one of the most persistent myths about the father of our country. In fact, Washington had several sets of dentures — made of gold, hippopotamus tusk, and animal teeth, among other things — but none of them were made of wood.

Washington’s dental troubles were well documented, and likely caused some discomfort through much of his life. He began losing teeth at the age of 22, and had only one natural tooth remaining when he took office. (He lost that one before finishing his first term.) Portraits painted several years apart show scars on his cheeks and a decreasing distance between his nose and chin, indicating persistent dental problems.

Dentistry has come a long way in the two-and-a-half centuries since Washington began losing his teeth. Yet edentulism — the complete loss of all permanent teeth — remains a major public health issue. Did you know that 26% of U.S. adults between 65 and 74 years of age have no natural teeth remaining?

Tooth loss leads to loss of the underlying bone in the jaw, making a person seem older and more severe-looking (just look at those later portraits of Washington). But the problems associated with lost teeth aren’t limited to cosmetic flaws. Individuals lacking teeth sometimes have trouble getting adequate nutrition, and may be at increased risk for systemic health disorders.

Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of ways that the problem of tooth loss can be overcome. One of the most common is still — you guessed it — removable dentures. Prosthetic teeth that are well-designed and properly fitted offer an attractive and practical replacement when the natural teeth can’t be saved. Working together with you, our office can provide a set of dentures that feel, fit, and function normally — and look great too.

There are also some state-of-the art methods that can make wearing dentures an even better experience. For example, to increase stability and comfort, the whole lower denture can be supported with just two dental implants placed in the lower jaw. This is referred to as an implant supported overdenture. This approach eliminates the need for dental adhesives, and many people find it boosts their confidence as well.

If you have questions about dentures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Removable Full Dentures” and “Implant Overdentures for the Lower Jaw.”

Oral Irrigation for Cleaning Between the Teeth

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oral-irrigationDoes anyone truly enjoy flossing their teeth? We can’t rule it out — but for most of us, flossing is something we do because we understand how very important it is to our oral hygiene. Yet there are some for whom flossing is a much greater challenge — for example, people with limited mobility, or those who are wearing braces. Is there any alternative to flossing that offers these people the same health benefits?Perhaps — but before we discuss the options, let’s remember why flossing is so important. The number one enemy of your oral health is plaque: a sticky, bacteria-rich film that builds up on the surface of your teeth every day. Flossing is an effective means of removing plaque from the tiny spaces in between the teeth — the places a regular brush can’t reach. Left alone, plaque builds up into a hardened layer called tartar or calculus, which generally requires a professional cleaning with special dental tools to remove. Both plaque and tartar are the major causes of tooth decay and gum disease.

If you are unable to remove plaque via regular flossing, a tool called an oral irrigator may help. Sometimes called a “water flosser” or “pick,” this device is designed to squirt a pulsing jet of high-pressure water through a hand-held wand. Special tips may be also available for use with braces or dental implants.

Since these devices first became widely available in the 1960s, they have been the subject of many studies. The general conclusion from the research has been that water irrigators can be helpful in controlling plaque — particularly in people who would otherwise have trouble doing so. For example, a 2008 study showed that orthodontic patients who used an irrigator with a special tip after brushing normally were able to remove five times as much plaque as those who used brushing alone.

Oral irrigators aren’t just for use in the home. Many dental offices use similar devices for special treatments that can help control gum disease. Of course, in that case, the professional-grade tool is handled by a specially trained dental hygienist, dentist, or periodontist — and it’s part of a procedure that may also involve other manual or power instruments, plus special cleaning solutions.

So does it make sense to use an oral irrigator instead of flossing? For most people, flossing is probably the best way to ensure that you remove as much plaque as possible. But if for some reason you aren’t able to floss effectively, using an oral irrigator offers some well-documented benefits. Why not ask us the next time you come in? We can help you decide which method is right for you, and even demonstrate the most effective techniques for plaque removal.

If you would like more information about oral irrigators, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleaning Between Your Teeth: How Water Flossing Can Help.”

Curt Schilling Blames Smokeless Tobacco for His Oral Cancer

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schillingFor years, even as tobacco use began to decline and disappear in most settings, professional baseball seemed one of the few exceptions. Now, the tide is finally turning. Recently, the legendary right-hand pitcher Curt Schilling revealed that he had been treated for oral cancer — and said that his chewing tobacco habit was to blame. “I’ll go to my grave believing that was why I got [cancer],” Schilling told the Boston Globe.Schilling isn’t the only former player whose oral cancer is blamed on smokeless tobacco. Tony Gwynn, Hall of Famer and beloved coach, recently passed away from oral cancer at the age of 54. His death led to players pledging to give up the habit. But many still use “dip” or “snuff,” thinking perhaps it’s not so bad after all.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. With nicotine as its active ingredient, chewing tobacco can be just as addictive as cigarettes. Not only is nicotine addictive, it also increases heart rate and blood pressure, constricts the arteries, and affects the body in other ways. In addition to nicotine, chewing tobacco contains about 30 other chemicals known to cause cancer.

Tobacco use of any kind is a major risk factor for oral cancer. While it isn’t as well-known as some other types of cancer, oral cancer can be just as deadly. About 43,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with it each year — and the 5-year survival rate is just 57%. One reason for the relatively low survival rate is that oral cancer isn’t usually detected until it has reached a later stage, when it’s much harder to treat.

What can you do to reduce your risk for oral cancer? Clearly, you should stop using tobacco products of any kind. Moderating your intake of alcohol, and eating more plant foods and less red meat can also have an impact. And don’t forget to have regular dental checkups: cancer’s warning signs can often be recognized in an oral examination — and early detection can boost survival rates to 80-90 percent.

How does Schilling feel about chewing tobacco now? “I lost my sense of smell, my taste buds for the most part. I had gum issues, they bled, all this other stuff,” he told the Globe. “I wish I could go back and never have dipped. Not once.”

If you have questions about oral cancer or cancer prevention, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Chewing Tobacco” and “Diet and Prevention of Oral Cancer.”

Know What to Expect During Your Child’s ‘Baby’ Teeth Phase

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At no other time in a person’s life will their teeth and mouth change as rapidly as it will between infancy and adolescence. In this short span an entire set of teeth will emerge and then gradually disappear as a second permanent set takes its place.

While the process may seem chaotic, there is a natural order to it. Knowing what to expect will help ease any undue concerns you may have about your child’s experience.

The first primary teeth begin to appear (erupt) in sequence depending on their type. The first are usually the lower central incisors in the very front that erupt around 6-10 months, followed then by the rest of the incisors, first molars and canines (the “eye” teeth). The last to erupt are the primary second molars in the very back of the mouth just before age 3. A similar sequence occurs when they’re lost — the central incisors loosen and fall out around 6-7 years; the second molars are the last to go at 10-12 years.

A little “chaos” is normal — but only a little. Because of the tremendous changes in the mouth, primary teeth may appear to be going in every direction with noticeable spaces between front teeth. While this is usually not a great concern, it’s still possible future malocclusions (bad bites) may be developing. To monitor this effectively you should begin regular checkups around the child’s first birthday — our trained professional eye can determine if an issue has arisen that should be treated.

Protecting primary teeth from tooth decay is another high priority. There’s a temptation to discount the damage decay may do to these teeth because “they’re going to be lost anyway.” But besides their functional role, primary teeth also help guide the developing permanent teeth to erupt in the right position. Losing a primary tooth prematurely might then cause the permanent one to come in misaligned. Preventing tooth decay with daily oral hygiene and regular office visits and cleanings (with possible sealant protection) is a priority. And should decay occur, it’s equally important to preserve the tooth for as long as possible for the sake of the succeeding tooth.

Your child’s rapid dental development is part of their journey into adulthood. Keeping a watchful eye on the process and practicing good dental care will ensure this part of the journey is uneventful.

If you would like more information on the process of dental development in children, please contact us orschedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”