Five Dental Myths…BUSTED!

Can you handle the truth?  Good, because we are here to set the record straight on oral health care!  There are some widely held, but false, ideas about dental health out there.  Some are silly, but some could lead to potential problems down the road. We decided to debunk five common dental myths and discuss the right way to keep your teeth clean and healthy.

Myth: The harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth will be.

Brushing your teeth regularly is important–twice a day for two minutes–however brushing harder doesn’t mean you’re brushing better.  In fact, brushing too hard with an abrasive brush or toothpaste can erode enamel and push back the gums. That’s why we recommend using a soft-bristled electric toothbrush.  

A quick refresher on proper brushing technique: move the toothbrush with short strokes and a polishing motion and use the full two minutes to make sure you’ve thoroughly and gently brushed all your teeth surfaces.  A good rule of thumb: if you’re squashing your toothbrush bristles into your teeth and gums, you’re pushing too hard.

Myth:  Tooth decay is caused mostly by sugar.

While too much sugar can lead to cavities, it isn’t the only culprit.  Starchy carbohydrates like chips and crackers are just as harmful to your teeth as candy.  These carbohydrates also have sugars which can break down the teeth. It’s even worse for your teeth when starchy snacks stick to the teeth as this creates an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.  Follow a healthy diet where you eat lots of fruits and veggies and protein and your teeth will be happy. For more tips, see our blog post from last November for foods and drinks that can benefit your teeth!

Myth:  Gum disease is only a problem for your teeth.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, your oral health is an important part of your overall health.  As Dr. Brunacini discussed on the blog last month, the health of your mouth can affect your body’s other systems.  Case in point, gum disease has been linked to diabetes and hypertension.  In fact, research has shown that when people with diabetes keep their blood sugar under control, their gum disease symptoms improve as well.  It’s important to have your dentist be a part of your healthcare team and come in for regular cleanings and checkups. We believe in a holistic approach to dentistry with the whole body and whole person in mind. Here’s to happy smiles and healthy bodies!

Myth:  If your gums bleed when you floss, you should leave them alone.

Bleeding is a sign of inflammation and that your gums need attention.   If you’re experiencing this symptom, come in for a checkup and cleaning.  We can help determine if you have gum disease or a more serious condition that requires more attention.  For most minor bleeding, daily flossing and proper brushing can help improve the health of your gums and the bleeding will eventually go away.  

Myth:  If you brush and floss regularly, and nothing is bothering you, then you don’t need to see the dentist.

Regular dental check-ups are an important part of oral health care.  Often dentists can help prevent problems before you have painful symptoms.  For example, if you wait until a cavity hurts, you may then need a root canal or extraction rather than a simple filling.  With regular check-ups, we can help patients maintain their good oral health, as well as screen for early signs of problems such as cavities and oral cancer.  Our mission is to build partnership with all our patients so they are connected to quality dental care and compassionate dental professionals. Let’s work together to keep you smiling and healthy!

If you need a possible dental myth busted or have questions about dental best practices, give us a call at 207.781.5900.  We’ll always give you the facts and provide the best oral health care possible!

 

*Image courtesy of www.pctechmag.com

The ABCs of Healthy Smiles: Basics of Brushing for Kids

Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month?  This month-long health observance is all about promoting the benefits of good oral health.  This year’s slogan is “Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile.” We couldn’t agree more! We want to help you and your family start a lifetime of healthy habits and keep your kids smiling!  Along with a healthy diet and regular visits to the dentist, getting your kids to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes is the place to start. Sometimes keeping your kids on a healthy track can be tricky, so we decided to share some of our basic brushing tips for kids.  It can be as easy as ABC!

The ABCs

Start brushing your children’s teeth when they first appear with a small, soft-bristled brush.  Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend using an amount of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice for children under the age of 3.  For children 3 and older, toothpaste the size of a pea is recommended. Help your children brush every tooth surface: inside, outside, and the chewing surface. For more tips and a helpful video, check out the ADA’s Mouth Healthy Website.  

Make it Fun!

Toothbrush dance party? Yes, please!  There are lots of ways to make those two minutes enjoyable.  Start by letting your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste.  There are lots of bright colors and cool characters to choose from, and some yummy and even sparkly fluoride toothpaste flavors out there.  Just make sure they choose a toothbrush and toothpaste with the ADA seal of approval.

When it’s time to brush, put on a favorite song and have a mini-dance party.   Here are some fun teeth-brushing songs to check out.  You can also read a silly story with characters your child loves to encourage brushing.  Playing pretend works, too: your child is a superhero brushing away “the bad guys.” Ka-Pow! Being creative and making the task feel like a game rather than a chore helps kids keep it up.

Reward Good Brushing Behavior.

It can be helpful to think about what motivates your child and give them an opportunity to earn a reward every time they brush.  Maybe it’s as simple as giving them a high-five, or maybe they get a sticker each time. Positive reinforcement can go a long way with your children, so remember to offer lots of encouragement when they brush.  Those teeth are going to look terrific!

Make it a Family Routine.

You are your child’s best teacher and best example.  Show them how you brush and floss your teeth each day.  Bring them to the dentist with you so they get comfortable with the experience of visiting the dentist.  When your children see you have good oral health habits, they will pick it up, too!

If you have questions about your child’s oral health or need to schedule an appointment for them, give us a call at 207.781.5900.  We are here to help your family have great oral health and happy, healthy smiles!

 

*Image courtesy of www.pioneerschool.us

A Reason to Smile: Falmouth’s Two Premier Dental Practices Merging

There are going to be lots of happy, healthy smiles in Falmouth because two premier dental practices, Falmouth Dental Arts and A Perfect Smile, are merging!  The practices will continue to offer superb dental care under the name Falmouth Dental Arts led by Dr. Brian Brunacini and Dr. Antonios Karagiorgos.

Since Dr. Glen Knock founded the practice in 1974, Falmouth Dental Arts has been on the cutting edge of dentistry and the cutting edge of how to treat people. From oral sedation to Integrative Dentistry to incorporating the latest digital advancements, Falmouth Dental Arts is committed to providing the best oral health care possible.  Continuing on the tradition of Dr. Knock, Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos see beyond patient’s smiles; they see and treat the whole person. A Perfect Smile and the late Dr. Robert Nelson were also aligned with this approach, and both practices have always prioritized patient comfort and holistic oral health care. By merging these two excellent practices, they unite under a 40-year-old brand and have an opportunity to help even more people in this community and spread a broader message of good oral health.

With excellent patient care having always been at the core of both practices, patients can relax while they receive the best oral care possible from a team of knowledgeable and experienced dental professionals.  Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos and the expanded Falmouth Dental Arts team are here to serve you and your families. They are now available for smile consultations, exams, and dental emergencies and are happy to answer any questions.  Their goal is to develop a partnership with each patient—a partnership that not only provides the highest quality dental care, but also a connection to compassionate and knowledgeable healthcare professionals.

Falmouth Dental Arts will be closed January 28-February 1 to make the move to their new location at 168 US Route 1, in the home of A Perfect Smile. They will re-open on February 4 in A Perfect Smile’s offices at 168 US Route 1.  For any patient questions or to schedule an appointment, please call Falmouth Dental Arts at 207.781.5900.

Integrative Dental Care for the Whole Person

January is a great time to think about your health…and why not take an integrative approach and think about your oral health as well.  Poor dental care has been linked to cardiovascular disease and complications in diabetes.  Your dentist can be a part of your health care team and help you set up an oral health plan that takes your whole body’s well-being into account.  This methodology is called Integrative Dentistry. We offer an Integrative Dentistry approach for our patients and are committed to learning our patient’s health history, needs, and questions as we put together a treatment plan with them.  However, for some of our patients, Integrative Dentistry is still an unknown term. We talked with Dr. Brunacini to learn more about Integrative Dentistry and how this approach can impact you and your oral health.

1. What is Integrative Dentistry?

Dr. Brunacini: Integrative Dentistry is an approach that simply views the oral cavity– or the mouth, teeth, and gums–as another system within the human body.  By approaching dentistry with the whole body in mind, we can better educate and communicate with the patients. Building a partnership with our patients is paramount for us in giving them the best oral health care possible.  

2. Why is a holistic approach important in dentistry?

Dr. Brunacini:  For so long, dentistry has always been separate from the rest of the medical field.  There is more and more awareness of oral health and its connection to overall health.  By taking this integrated approach with patients, they can better understand how their oral health can affect the rest of their body’s systems.  In this way, a holistic approach helps patients improve the health of their smile while also improving their overall health. It’s a win-win!

3. What are some integrative oriented procedures at FDA?

Dr. Brunacini: We use water treated with ozone at FDA to sterilize our water and water lines.  Also, we can use ozone gas to sterilize teeth prior to cementing crowns or placing fillings or as part of our periodontal program.  This is an effective and nice alternative to using disinfectants and antibiotics with patients.

4. What does the future of Integrative Dentistry look like?

Dr. Brunacini:  I see more integration with physicians to provide custom treatments for patients, such as finding the best materials to use in fillings and root canals for an individual person.  This means better care for patients, which is something we are always striving for.

Thank you, Dr. Brunacini!

If you would like to learn more about our integrative approach to dentistry, give us a call at 207.781.5900.   We look forward to helping you have the best health care possible for your whole self.

 

Image courtesy of www.seattlemag.com

3 Oral Health Resolutions That Will Make a Difference

New year…new you!  New Year’s resolutions are a great way to get back on track with some healthy habits.  As you gear up to get more exercise and eat more vegetables in 2019, don’t forget about your teeth!  Improving your oral health habits not only helps your smile, but can help your overall health as well (remember our post on dental health during pregnancy and on diabetes?).  We know that sticking to your New Year’s resolutions can be overwhelming and challenging so we decided to share three easy oral health resolutions that will make a difference.

1. Buy a new toothbrush.

Twice daily toothbrushing puts some wear and tear on those bristles and if you notice your toothbrush looking frayed and worn it’s definitely time for a new one.  Also, with cold and flu season in full swing, it’s a good idea to replace your family’s toothbrushes if anyone has been sick. At FDA, we recommend electric toothbrushes to make brushing more effective and those need replacing periodically as well.  Fresh bristles are more effective at cleaning your teeth and the ADA recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Put a reminder in your calendar and keep your toothbrush and your teeth fresh!

2. Floss.

We know, we know…you’ve heard about the importance of flossing a million times and yet only about 30% of American floss their teeth daily.  This can be a hard habit to incorporate into your routine, but it has incredible benefits for your mouth and your overall health.  If you are having trouble incorporating flossing into your oral health care regimen, here are some tips:

  • Switch up the time of day.  If you’re always too tired to floss at the end of the day, try flossing in the morning or mid-day.  It’s not important when you clean between your teeth, it’s just important that you do it.
  • Talk to your dentist about alternatives to floss.  Dental picks or water flossing, which works in the shower,  might be easier options for you to use regularly.

3. Visit the Dentist!

Have you been meaning to make an appointment with us for some time?  Now is a great time to give us a call and schedule a check-up! We are here to help you develop healthy habits and inform you about the best oral care options available.  We recommend that you come see us for cleanings and checkups twice a year. If you are nervous about coming to the dentist, we are happy to discuss our oral sedation options.  We love helping you have a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth! Give us a call at 207.781.5900 today!

 

***Image courtesy of www.harvard.edu