The sign in our office is true: “Those teeth aren’t going to brush themselves.” Your teeth need you to brush and floss daily, and they need you to get regular check-ups with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos. However, 100 million Americans fail to see a dentist each year. Whether it’s a busy schedule, dental anxiety, or lack of insurance, professional oral health care should not be avoided. Seeing a dentist regularly is a great way to support your oral health and can help prevent small issues from becoming big dental problems. By catching problems early on, you can save yourself time, money, and pain. Here are five signs it’s time to make an appointment with us:
A toothache is the classic reason to come to our office and should not be ignored. There are many possible causes for a toothache such as a cavity or broken tooth. Either way, a toothache should be evaluated by Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos right away to determine the cause and prevent the tooth from dying. Jaw pain can also be a sign of a dental issue such as bruxism or teeth grinding. Whatever pain you’re experiencing in your mouth, Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos can diagnose and address the issue, as well as help you avoid future issues.
What if you could have the smile of your dreams in just one or two dental visits? If you’re self-conscious about your smile, it can affect your confidence and prevent you from living your life to the fullest. Whether you’re missing a tooth or wish your teeth were whiter, many dental issues can be corrected through cosmetic dentistry. Building a relationship with us so we can understand your goals and needs is a great way to not just take care of your health, but also to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.
There are several reasons for bleeding gums, one of them being gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease. If your gums bleed easily, it’s time to talk with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos. Gingivitis is reversible and preventable and we can help you get on the right path to better oral health. Bleeding and swollen gums could also be a sign that something else is wrong, another important reason to involve us in your health care.
Coming in for a check-up should be on every mom-to-be’s checklist. As we’ve said before, oral health is directly related to overall health, and regular dental check-ups and a good oral health routine will help keep you and baby healthy. Pregnancy hormones can also cause changes in your mouth. For example, many women develop pregnancy gingivitis, or swollen gums, which can be helped with extra dental cleanings. Some women also develop overgrowths in their mouth called “pregnancy tumors,” which can be uncomfortable. Mostly, these growths go away on their own, but if you have discomfort or concerns, come in and see us.
If it’s been over 6 months since you last visited, then it’s time to come in for a cleaning and exam. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, regular dental check-ups can help prevent problems from developing and treat symptoms (like those in the list above) before they advance. Regular visits to our office are just as important as brushing and flossing your teeth daily. Plus, we always love to see you!
It you’re experiencing symptoms or if it’s time for your next appointment, give us a call at 207.781.5900. Our team of knowledgeable and compassionate professionals are here to make your dental care as effective and comfortable as possible.
Our team loves a good laugh and April kicks the month off right with April Fool’s Day. Don’t worry–we decided to skip the pranks and go straight to the foolery! After all, they say laughter is the best medicine. Here are some of our favorite dental jokes to keep you laughing all month long.
Q: What kind of award do teeth never want to receive?
A: A plaque.
Q: Why did the tree go to the dentist?
A: To get a root canal.
Q: What time do you go to the dentist?
Q: What has teeth, but can’t chew?
A: A comb.
Q: What do you call a dentist’s advice?
A: Their floss-so-phy.
Last, but not least, here is a favorite joke from our beloved Dr. Knock:
Legend has it that comedian Rodney Dangerfield once asked his dentist for advice.
“Doc – my teeth are yellow. What should I do?”
To which his dentist replied: “Wear a brown tie!”
We hope we tickled your funny bone with these jokes…we sure do love to see you smile! If you have a great joke to share with us or need to schedule an appointment for a check-up, give us a call at 207.781.5900.
**Image courtesy of www.pearlriver.com
One of our favorite things about March is that there is a Dental Assistant Recognition Week. It’s true! And we are lucky to have an amazing team of Dental Assistants committed to excellent patient care at FDA. The theme of this year’s Recognition Week was “Today’s Dental Assistants–Polished, Poised, and Professional,” and we couldn’t think of a better way to describe Mary, Melissa, Mirela, and our newest staff member, Pat. Let’s meet our four fabulous Dental Assistants and learn a little bit more about what a dental assistant does!
When you visit FDA, you may notice lots of people doing different jobs. You might not realize the difference between some roles. For instance, do you know the difference between a Dental Hygienist and a Dental Assistant?
When you come to the office for a procedure with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos, Assistants are sitting chairside working directly with the dentists. They are the bridge between the patient and the dentist and are focused on patient comfort and understanding. They need to know every step in each procedure so they can always be one step ahead of the dentist. Each procedure and each dentist is different, so it is crucial that the Assistant is familiar with all the tools and materials and the order the dentist will need them. Beyond sitting chairside, Dental Assistants also take impressions, perform in-office whitening procedures, conduct lab work, and make temporary crowns. Also, all of FDA’s Dental Assistants have their radiology certification, so they may have taken your last set of X-rays.
FDA’s Fab Four
Mary has worked in the dental field since 1995, many of those years with us. For Mary, the dental care is excellent at FDA in part because of the encouragement and support that staff members receive to take continuing education classes. “We’re constantly improving our knowledge,” she explains. “These courses help us to communicate well together, which is very important. Our motto is, ‘Have fun while doing great work!’ It’s all about working as a team to do the best for our patients and keep them relaxed. Everyone here helps each other.”
Melissa has been in the dental field since 2003 and is a chairside assistant along with handling whitening procedures, fabrication of crowns, and laboratory duties. She has a passion for helping people, which is what led her to dentistry. “I love waking up each morning knowing that I am going to help someone today,” Melissa says. “Sometimes, we are able to change a person’s life, and that is powerful.”
Mirela has worked in the dental field since 2003, joining the Falmouth Dental Arts team in May 2017. She has worked in pediatric dentistry for most of this time, which lends her a unique perspective on dentistry. “Anyone can be afraid of going to the dentist – not just children,” she shares. “That’s why we do everything we can here at FDA to make patients feel comfortable and relaxed while they’re in our chairs.” She also provides language support for the team with her fluency in Albanian and Greek.
Pat was a member of A Perfect Smile before and joined FDA earlier this month. We are excited to have her on the team! APS patients will recognize her and the wonderful care she provides. Please help us welcome Pat to the FDA family!
We are so grateful for all the amazing work and excellent patient care these women provide. We strive to provide the best oral health care to our patients and couldn’t do that without our Dental Assistants. We are lucky to have them as part of our team. Next time you see them at the office, say hello…and if you are in need of a visit to our office, give us a call at 207.781.5900. We look forward to seeing you!
**Image courtesy of www.adaausa.org
National Dentist Day was March 6 and was established as a way to show appreciation and thanks for dentists. We have two of the best dentists to thank: Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos! As a way to honor these two, we thought we’d ask them some questions about their path to dentistry and what they love about the work they do. Let’s learn more about FDA’s Dynamic Duo!
Dr. Brian Brunacini: I enjoy the variety and problem-solving in dentistry. There are always new things to learn and I’ve enjoyed keeping up with the advancements in digital dentistry to improve the accuracy of diagnoses and quality of care.
Dr. Karagiorgos: After graduating with a degree in civil/structural engineering, I worked in the field but I disliked my job. I was 27 and I knew I didn’t want to do that as a lifelong career. Around that time, I went through a health scare that made me decide to pursue a career that would be meaningful and satisfying to me. I thought more about what a cousin had once suggested: dentistry. So I went back to school to take all the prerequisites to go to dental school, and meanwhile I worked for the Tufts’ Oral Surgery department as a Dental Assistant, where I assisted in surgical procedures such as extraction, implant placement, and even cosmetic surgery. This experience solidified my desire to pursue dentistry. I really enjoyed the surgical aspect of dentistry and considered specializing but the great thing about general dentistry is that you’re able to do a little bit of everything.
Dr. Brian Brunacini: I love getting to know our patients and working together by sharing what I see and can potentially do for them. I really enjoy empowering patients to be more involved in their healthcare decisions so that they can improve their health.
Dr. Karagiorgos: Every day is about finding the best dental solution for each individual patient while keeping each patient’s special circumstances and aesthetic vision in mind, as well as the financial aspects involved to create the best possible treatment plan for every individual. There’s also an aspect of artistic expression to what we do: it’s making a filling look like a tooth. In a way, dentistry is a very satisfying form of artistic expression on a small scale.
Dr. Brian Brunacini: We practice progressive dentistry that allows us to provide excellent holistic care for the whole patient while using crest-of-the-wave technology. We also have a laid-back atmosphere at the office which creates a comfortable, inviting place for patients. That coupled with an amazing team–from receptionist to hygienist to assistant to dentist–who all work together to help patients makes this an ideal practice where we build lasting relationships with our patients.
Dr. Karagiorgos: The patients and staff here make my job feel like it’s not even work. It’s a great feeling to be a part of a team like this. And we meet patients from all walks of life, so it’s great to talk to everyone and get to know them.
Dr. Brian Brunacini: Mine comes down to diet. Everyone knows how important it is to eat well for their overall health, but it also is important for healthy teeth and gums. There is strong correlation between a decrease in sugar/carbohydrate consumption and a decline in tooth decay rates. It’s not just about limiting overall sugar consumption–it’s also important to pay attention to how often during the day you eat or drink sugar. For example, sipping on an iced coffee with sugar all day is worse than drinking it in one sitting.
Dr. Karagiorgos: Floss, floss, floss!!! Flossing can remove plaque and food debris particles in places where toothbrush bristles cannot easily reach, like under the gum line and especially between your teeth. Plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which daily flossing can help prevent!
Thank you Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos! We appreciate the thoughtful care you both bring to the practice everyday.
Whether you’ve been coming to FDA for years or are a new patient, we hope you learned something about our wonderful dentists. If you have a question for them or need to schedule a visit, give us a call today at 207.781.5900. We are here to give you the best oral health care possible!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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