Tag Archives: hygiene

Back to School Dental Tips

Start the school year with a smile: 3 back-to-school tips

It’s the start of a new school year, and your kids are set with new clothes and school supplies. But don’t forget about oral health! Add these dental health tips to your back-to-school checklist.

1. Take your kids to the dentist

Start the school year right with a dental cleaning and exam. Ask your child’s dentist about sealants and fluoride treatments to prevent decay. These treatments are easy ways to stop cavities before they start. And they can even improve your child’s performance at school. A third of children miss school because of oral health problems, according to Delta Dental’s 2015 Children’s Oral Health Survey.

2. Pick the right snacks

Swap out lunchbox no-no’s with healthy alternatives. Instead of chips or crackers, try nuts. Salty snacks may seem healthy because they don’t contain sugar, but simple starches can be just as bad. These snacks break down into a sticky goo, coating teeth and promoting decay. Replace juice and soda with milk or water. Avoid candies and granola bars, offering crunchy snacks like celery sticks, baby carrots and cubes of cheddar cheese.

3. Make brushing and flossing fun

To keep their mouths healthy, kids need to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. They should also floss every day, preferably after dinner. Try these tricks to make oral hygiene more exciting:

  • Use a sticker calendar. Let your kids place stickers on each day to represent brushing and flossing.
  • Play music. Collect your kids’ favorite two-minute songs and make sure they brush the whole time.
  • Personalize. Help your child pick a themed toothbrush in his or her favorite color.
  • Provide a kid-friendly floss holder. These Y-shaped devices make flossing more comfortable

We hope you have a wonderful school year and be sure to keep those smiles happy and healthy!

To schedule your next appointment, please call us at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

 

(Information gathered from Delta Dental)

World Oral Health Day

March 20th is World Oral Health Day

World Oral Health DayWorld Oral Health Day is celebrated globally every year on March 20 to promote the importance of good oral health throughout life. Organized by the FDI World Dental Federation, World Oral Health Day was launched in 2013 to raise awareness of maintaining good oral health and its significance in safeguarding general health and well-being. This is done through an international awareness campaign created and launched by the FDI, adapted and promoted locally by national dental associations in more than 140 countries worldwide.

Global sponsors and supporters of World Oral Health Day include, Henry Schein, Philips, Unilever and the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program. Which offer the global dental profession a chance to take action in a worldwide effort to reduce tooth decay and organize programming and events under a single unifying message.

This year’s theme is “Live Mouth Smart”, which empowers people to take control of their oral health – throughout life – so they can enjoy a healthy, functional mouth from childhood into old age.

There are many ways you can Live Mouth Smart and make sure you have set yourself up for a healthy future.

Adopt good oral hygiene habits from early in life and have regular dental check-ups. This helps you maintain optimal oral health into old age and ensures you live not only a longer life, but also one free from the physical pain and often emotional suffering caused by oral disease.

Safeguard your oral health, which has a positive impact on your general health and well-being, helping you live a better quality of life into old age.

Avoid risk factors such as tobacco, harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets – especially those rich in sugar – which helps protect your oral health and prevent other conditions such as heart disease and stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.

Understand good oral health is much more than a nice smile and oral disease can impact every aspect of your life – including your ability to perform basic functions.

Get involved with World Oral Health Day activities on 20 March, and demonstrate your commitment to protect your own and your family’s oral health.

For more information visit worldoralhealthday.com.

 

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas…

Christmas‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the office
Dr. Griffin was stirring, the crowns & fillings were flawless;
The ops were all clean and tidied with care,
In hopes that more patients would soon be there!

Mandy and Barb were nestled all snug in their chairs,
While visions of cavities and calculus danced through the air;
And Kasi in the front office, in all her front office fame,
Had just finished filing an insurance claim,

When outside the office there arose such a clatter,
Dr. G sprang from his chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he flew like a flash,
Tore open the blinds, expecting a crash.

The parking lot was clear of any fallen snow,
Because we do live in Texas, you know,
When, what to Dr. G’s wondering eyes should appear,
But a huge red sleigh, and eight big reindeer,

The hefty old driver was not so lively and quick,
We knew in a moment something was wrong with St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles Dr. G’s team came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, _Kasi! _now, _Mandy! _ now_ Barb!
Bring Santa quick and go get my garb!
To the front of the office, to the back operatory,
They brought Santa back and to get his story.

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So back to the chair Dr. G’s team they flew,
With their instruments ready, to search out a clue.

And then, in a twinkling, in came the Doc
With his mask and his gloves he eyed like a hawk
Using his mirror for careful inspection,
Dr. G detected the site of infection.

There on Santa’s molar was a spot that was shocking,
And black as the coal in a naughty kid’s stocking!
Dr. G said “this situation is of the utmost gravity,
Dear Ol’ St. Nick, you have a cavity.”

Santa’s face usually jolly was now pure dismay,
As he said to us all, “Christmas is only a few days away”
“Dr. G, can you fix it before Christmas night?
I have presents to deliver and a long, long flight”

Dr. G spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled up the cavity without a quirk.
Santa’s eye’s again twinkled, his smile was now bright,
He would make Christmas night, to all our delight!

With his pain now all gone and his treatment complete,
Dr. Griffin made sure to tell him to limit the sweets.
Santa gave him a nod, thanked us each and every one,
And made sure he left presents before he was done.

Then he sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
_”Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”_

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Paul A. Griffin, DDS!!

We will be celebrating the Christmas season and New Year’s Day with our families and friends, so we will be out of the office, starting December 23, 2016, and we will be back, refreshed, and ready to care for our wonderful patients on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Should an emergency arise, simply call the office, at (972) 242-2155 for our emergency number. If you have any questions, you can always use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

 

 

Choosing and Caring for Your Toothbrush

ToothbrushChoosing and Caring for Your Toothbrush

Your toothbrush is the most important item in your oral health toolkit. But with such a wide variety of toothbrushes available which do you choose? We here at Paul Griffin, DDS, answer several frequently asked questions about choosing and caring for your toothbrush:

  • What should I look for when choosing a toothbrush?
  • Should I use an electric toothbrush?
  • How often should I change my toothbrush?
  • How can I keep my toothbrush clean?
  • How should I store my toothbrush?

What should I look for when choosing a toothbrush?

The best toothbrushes have a long wide handle to ensure a firm grip. The toothbrush head should be small enough to reach all areas of the mouth, with soft bristles that won’t hurt the gums.

Should I use an electric toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes, which use an oscillating or rotary motion to clean the teeth, are beneficial because they can cover a larger area of the mouth faster than a manual toothbrush. They are especially well-suited for those with braces, those who need extra motivation to brush, and those who have difficulty operating a manual toothbrush due to age, disability, or other factors.

If you use an electric toothbrush, avoid pressing down too hard; instead use light force and slow movements, letting the brush do the work for you.

How often should I change my toothbrush?

Old toothbrushes with worn and frayed bristles will not clean your teeth effectively, and they may also harbor harmful bacteria. You should change your toothbrush – or brush head, in the case of an electric toothbrush – every three to four months. However, if you get sick with a cold or the flu, you will need to change your toothbrush as soon as the illness begins and again once the illness has subsided.

How can I keep my toothbrush clean?

Wash your hands before and after brushing to avoid transferring bacteria to your toothbrush. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush to thoroughly remove any excess toothpaste and anything else that may be in the bristles. Occasionally soaking the brush in antiseptic mouth-rinse can help eliminate any lingering bacteria. Remember: Never share toothbrushes, as this habit can lead to the transmission of bacteria and viruses.

How should I store my toothbrush?

Store your toothbrush upright and let it air dry. Microorganisms are more likely to grow in a moist environment, so don’t cover your toothbrush or store it in a closed container. Because bacteria can travel easily from brush to brush, don’t store your toothbrush in the same container as someone else’s. Finally keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible to avoid contamination from airborne bacteria that are released with ever flush.

No matter which kind of toothbrush you have, make sure to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, and visit Dr. Griffin regularly to maintain good oral health.

If you have any questions about choosing or caring for your toothbrush everyone here at Paul Griffin, DDS is happy to help!  You can call us at 972-242-2155 or simply use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form on this page.

(Information gathered from the Academy of General Dentistry)

Seven Health Issues Dentists May Detect

Health IssuesReader’s Digest Identifies Seven Health Issues Dentists May Detect

An article in Reader’s Digest states that “dentists are trained to spot more than just cavities,” listing seven dental problems that “may signal health issues happening elsewhere in the body.” The article states, for example, that a dentist may be able to detect that a patient has diabetes. “Red, swollen gums that may bleed are the hallmarks of periodontal disease,” and people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. “If gums bleed a lot and are swollen or the patient is having frequent abscesses or infections, the dentist might start to question if you have a family history of diabetes,” says ADA spokesperson Dr. Sally Cram. Dentists may also be able to detect if a patient is stressed. “Grinding or clenching your teeth can be a sign that you’re under pressure,” the article states, adding that Dr. Cram also notes canker sores appear more often in people who are stressed. In addition, dentists may be able to identify patients with acid reflux, low bone mineral density, an autoimmune disease, an eating disorder, or celiac disease.

 

Dr. Griffin is trained to spot more than just cavities, that’s why it is important to keep up with your twice yearly cleanings and exams. If you are due for your next appointment, please call us here, at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

 

 

 

An Ounce of Prevention…

When was your last dental visit? If you said over six months, that’s too long. I’m sure you’ve heard the Benjamin Franklin quote, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Well, in dentistry, it could be worth more than that, like thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s important not to wait to make your next dental appointment.

The problem with waiting is that a small, unseen problem can turn into a larger, more expensive problem. Even when you think everything is fine, there could be underlying problems that can only be found by a dental professional with the right diagnostic tools, like x-rays.

Take for instance a small cavity, one that can only be seen on an x-ray, if that small cavity is left untreated it can turn into a large cavity. If that large cavity is then left untreated, the decay will spread to the nerve of the tooth causing infection, and a lot of pain, which means a root canal and a crown are necessary for treatment. If that same tooth goes even longer without treatment it may not be able to be saved at all, requiring an extraction and an implant, or a bridge, to replace the missing tooth.

And so it goes, a simple, rather inexpensive, small filling turns into an extraction and a dental implant, which is far more invasive to you and your wallet.

What can you do to keep this from happening to you? Prevention is key. Regular visits to Dr. Griffin, twice-yearly, for cleanings and exams are important for keeping your mouth healthy and for catching problems before they become serious. Preventive care not only saves your teeth, it can also save you money.

So, as you can see, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

If you have been putting off treatment please contact our office today, at 972-242-2155, to schedule your appointment. By addressing any problems now, we can reduce future dental costs and prevent unnecessary pain.  You can also use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of the page.

 

 

More People Own Mobile Phones Than Toothbrushes

More Mobile Phones than ToothbrushesInfographic Shows More People Own Mobile Phones Than Toothbrushes.

In a release carried by Globe Newswire (8/4), the American College of Prosthodontists states that prosthodontists are dismayed with the Twitter infographic that shows “people own more mobile devices (4.8 billion) than toothbrushes (4.2 billion),” saying it is “the wake-up call for Americans to start prioritizing their oral health in this high tech world.” Dr. Frank J. Tuminelli, president of the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP), said, “Only brush and floss your teeth if you want to keep them,” adding, “I love my mobile phone, but I love to smile with my healthy teeth even more.”

 

We all love our mobile phones, but loving your smile and taking care of it should be top priority! 

To make sure you are keeping your smile a top priority be sure to brush at least twice daily, floss daily, and visit Dr. Griffin regularly for your bi-yearly check up and cleaning.  

If you are due, or overdue, for your next appointment with Dr. Griffin, please call us at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

Tooth Decay

tooth-decayTooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is an oral disease that affects many people. Unlike other diseases, however, caries is not life-threatening and is highly preventable, though it affects most people to some degree during their lifetime.

 

  • What causes tooth decay?
  • What types of foods may contribute to tooth decay?

  • How can cavities be prevented?

  • Who is at risk for cavities?

  • What can I do to help protect my teeth?

 

What causes tooth decay?

Natural bacteria live in your mouth and form plaque. The plaque interacts with deposits left on your teeth from sugary and starchy foods and produces acids. These acids damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving, or demineralizing enamel, which weakens the teeth and leads to tooth decay. Tooth decay is not life threatening and is highly preventable.

What types of foods may contribute to tooth decay?

Foods containing carbohydrates (starches and sugars), such as soda pop, candy, ice cream, milk, and cake, and even some fruits, vegetables, and juices, may contribute to tooth decay.

How can cavities be prevented?

The acids formed by plaque can be counteracted by the saliva in your mouth, which acts as a buffer and remineralizing agent. Dentists often recommend chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow. However, the best way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss regularly. Fluoride, a natural substance that helps to remineralize the tooth structure, makes the tooth more resistant to the acids and helps to correct damage produced by the plaque bacteria. Fluoride is added to toothpaste and water sources to help fight cavities. Dr. Griffin may recommend that you use special high concentration fluoride gels, mouth rinses, or dietary fluoride supplements. In addition, professional strength anti-cavity varnish or sealants may be recommended.

Who is at risk for cavities?

Because we all carry bacteria in our mouths, everyone is at risk for cavities. Those with a diet high in carbohydrates and sugary foods and those who live in communities without fluoridated water are likely candidates for cavities. Also, those with a lot of fillings have a higher chance of developing tooth decay because the area around the restored portion of a tooth is a good breeding ground for bacteria.

What can I do to help protect my teeth?

The best way to combat cavities is to follow three simple steps:

  • Cut down on sweets and between-meal snacks. Remember, sugary and starchy foods put your teeth at risk.
  • Brush after every meal and floss daily. Cavities most often begin in hard-to clean areas between the teeth and in the fissures and pits on the biting surfaces of the teeth. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush inside, outside, on top of, and in between your teeth. Replace your toothbrush every few months. Only buy toothpastes and rinses that contain fluoride.
  • See Dr. Griffin at least every six months for checkups and professional cleanings. Because cavities can be difficult to detect, a thorough dental examination is very important. If left untreated, cavities can lead to permanent loss of the tooth structure, root canal therapy, and even loss of the tooth.

 

In General, children and senior citizens are the two groups at highest risk for cavities.

If you any questions about tooth decay or would like to schedule your next appointment please call us here at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

 

(Information gathered from the Academy of General Dentistry)