Tag Archives: oral hygiene

Use It or Lose It; End of The Year Dental Benefits

End of The Year Dental Benefits

BenefitsDecember is here and a New Year is almost upon us! With that in mind, Dr. Griffin and his team would like to remind you to schedule your dental appointment before the end of the year. We know things get busy for most families this time of year and that can mean dental appointments get put on the back burner. But, scheduling your appointment before the end of the year might just save you a significant amount of money, especially if your dental benefits start over in January.

Did you know dental insurance is typically “use it or lose it”? If you haven’t used your yearly maximum, the remaining amount will likely not roll over into the next year. You’ll lose your opportunity to make the most of those dollars. Along with dental benefits, FSA (Flexible Spending Account) and HSA (Health Saving Account) benefits also expire at the end of the year. Also, if your insurance plan includes a deductible you’ve already met, it only makes sense to reap the full value of your insurance now, before the next plan year, when you have to meet the deductible again.

Using your dental benefits before they expire is not only good for your budget — it’s also crucial for your oral health. Twice annual visits to Dr. Griffin include a dental exam, a thorough cleaning, x-rays, and fluoride treatment. These preventive steps are vital to maintaining healthy teeth, and are usually covered 100 percent by your dental insurance. Catching signs of decay or other problems while they’re small saves you a lot of time, pain and money overall.


We only have a few short weeks to get those dental appointments scheduled before the end of the year. So, call us here in Carrollton, at 972-242-2155, to schedule your appointment and to find out how you can get the most out of your dental insurance plan. We will help you figure out how you can maximize your dental benefits and maintain your beautiful smile.

National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!Dental Hygiene Month

Did you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? Which is only fitting since it also happens be the biggest candy eating month of the year!

This October marks the eighth straight year that the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the William Wrigley Jr. Company are teaming together during National Dental Hygiene Month.

The goal of National Dental Hygiene Month is to increase public awareness about the importance of maintaining good oral health with four main components: Brush. Floss. Rinse. Chew. Which the ADHA has dubbed the “Daily 4”.

The “Daily 4”:

1. Brushing Your Teeth 2 times per day for 2 minutes

The single most important thing we can do is to brush our teeth for two minutes, twice each day. Proper brushing reduces plaque, prevents cavities, and help limit the onset of gum disease.

2. Flossing daily

Daily flossing (or other methods of interdental cleaning) removes plaque and food particles that cannot be reached by a toothbrush, particularly under the gum line and between teeth. Failure to do so can allow for plaque buildup in these areas – which in turn can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

3. Rinsing with mouthwash

The ADHA recommends finishing your daily oral care routine with an antiseptic mouthwash that carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Swish, gargle, and spit – this should be one of the easiest things we can do to ensure the long-lasting health of our teeth and gums.

4. Chewing sugar-free gum

Scientific evidence clearly shows that chewing sugar-free gum, especially after eating and drinking, has a positive impact on oral health. Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates the most important natural defense against tooth decay — saliva — which in turn helps fight cavities, neutralizes plaque acids, remineralizes enamel to strengthen teeth and washes away food particles.

We, here at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA, encourage you to do “The Daily 4″, and of course visit our office at least twice a year for your cleanings and exams! If you have any questions about maintaining your oral health or to schedule your next appointment please call us, at 972-242-2155, Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” from at the top of this page.


The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of more than 185,000 dental hygienists across the country. Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals, licensed in dental hygiene, who provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services that support total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. For more information about the ADHA, dental hygiene or the link between oral health and general health, visit the ADHA at http://www.adha.org/national-dental-hygiene-month.

Senior Oral Health Care

Senior Oral Health Care

Proper oral care can keep you smiling well into retirement. Brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush are important. Flossing helps save your teeth by removing plaque between teeth and below the gum line that your toothbrush can’t reach.

  • What problems should I watch for?
  • Why should I be concerned about gum disease?
  • What if it is too difficult to brush?
  • What are the signs of oral cancer?

What problems should I watch for?

Gingivitis is caused by the bacteria found in plaque that attacks the gums. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and possible bleeding when you brush. If you have any of these symptoms, see Dr. Griffin at once. Gingivitis can lead to a more serious form of gum disease if problems persist.

Why should I be concerned about gum disease?

Three out of four adults over age 35 are affected by some sort of gum (periodontal)disease. In gum disease, the infection may become severe. Your gums begin to recede, pulling back from the teeth. In the worst cases, bacteria form pockets between the teeth and gums, weakening the bone. This can lead to tooth loss if untreated, especially in patients with osteoporosis. If regular oral care is too difficult, Dr. Griffin can provide alternatives to aid in flossing and prescribe medication to keep the infection from getting worse.

What if it is too difficult to brush?

If you have arthritis, you may find it difficult to brush and floss. Ask us for ways to overcome this problem. Certain dental products are designed to make dental care less painful for arthritis sufferers. Try using a battery operated toothbrush with a large handle. These toothbrushes can help by doing some of the work for you.

What are the signs of oral cancer?

Oral cancer most often occurs in people over 40 years of age. See Dr. Griffin immediately if you notice any red or white patches on your gums or tongue, sores that fail to heal within two weeks, or an unusual hard spot on the side of your tongue. Oral cancer is often difficult to detect in its early stages, when it can be cured easily. Dr. Griffin will perform a head and neck exam to screen for signs of cancer.

Three out of four adults over age 35 are affected by some sort of gum (periodontal) disease.

If you have any questions about senior dental care or any other dental issues, please feel free to give us a call here in Carrollton, TX at 972-242-2155.  Or, simply use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form on this page.

(Information gathered from the Academy of General Dentistry)

Chewing Sugarfree Gum Helps Keep Mouths Healthy

Chewing sugar-free Gum Helps Keep Mouths Healthy

We all know sugar-free gum tastes great and freshens our breath, but did you also know that it is good for your teeth? Chewing sugar-free gum after meals has proven benefits for oral health.

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals helps:

  • Stimulate saliva flow
  • Neutralize plaque acids
  • Maintain proper pH
  • Promote tooth remineralization
  • Clear food debris

Chewing sugar-free gum, especially after eating and drinking during the day, is a simple step to improving your oral healthcare.

And, remember, while chewing sugar-free gum is beneficial, it does not replace brushing and flossing. It is important to remember to maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once per day.

Wrigley’s has been researching the oral care benefits of chewing sugar-free gum since the 1930s. Their dedicated science and technology team continues to conduct research into the oral-care benefits of chewing. They also partner with national dental associations and dental professionals worldwide to support this research, promote oral health education and support better access to oral care.

Wrigley’s Orbit® and Extra® sugar-free chewing gums were the first chewing gums to be awarded the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.

To further maintain your oral health and the overall beauty of your smile, schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Griffin. Please call (972) 242-2155 or you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of the page. 


Getting Rid of Bad Breath

Getting Rid of Bad Breath

Bad breath — we’ve all had it at some point, like after eating a garlic laden pizza, or after drinking that grande caramel macchiato, and most of the time it’s temporary. On the other hand, chronic bad breath can mean poor oral hygiene or more serious dental and medical issues. In this video, American Dental Association spokesperson, Dr. Ada Cooper, provides tips to avoid bad breath.



If you feel like your breath isn’t as fresh as it should be, give us a call at 972-242-2155, and we’ll get you in for an appointment. You can also use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

Super Bowl Recipes That Are Good For Your Teeth

Super Bowl Recipes That Are Good For Your Teeth

Are You Ready for Some Football?! Getting together with friends to watch the Super Bowl is an American tradition. Super Bowl parties are full of fun, football, and food. But, not all those Super Bowl snacks are good for your teeth, or your waistline. We have found a few tasty game day recipes that are healthy for your teeth and the rest of the body. Of course, these are snacks aren’t perfect, but these recipe ideas can help make game day just a bit more tooth-conscious!

Southwest Jalapeño Greek Yogurt Dip

IngredientsHealthy Teeth Recipes

  • 2 whole fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded
  • 16 ounces of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry Hidden Valley Ranch (or other brand) Fiesta Dip Mix
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Place jalapeños, yogurt, ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour, or overnight, before serving.

This dip will complement any raw vegetable. Be sure to try it on bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli florets.

Why is it good for your teeth?

Raw veggies require lots of chewing, which stimulates the gums and also stimulates the salivary glands which helps dissolve the food and sugars in your mouth. The Greek yogurt gives your teeth a boost of calcium which also helps to keep your teeth strong. The dip is also low in fat and sugars, so it’s a double-win.

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

Healthy teeth recipesIngredients

  • 2 cups Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa (or cacao) powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir until it is an even dark color and all of the brown sugar granules have dissolved, about 3 minutes.

Serve with apples, strawberries, and other fresh fruit.

Why is it good for your teeth?

The Greek yogurt in the recipe is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. The probiotics found in yogurt may also benefit your gums, because it may help to counter the growth of “unfriendly” bacteria in the mouth.

Cocoa beans contain tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids, which are strong antioxidants that can benefit your mouth and teeth. There are also recent studies emerging from the U.S., and abroad, that support the fact that chocolate is effective at fighting cavities, plaque, and tooth decay in the mouth. Scientists from Tulane, the University of New Orleans, and Louisiana State University’s School of Dentistry, discovered a compound in cocoa extract, theobromine, that helps harden tooth enamel. The extract, a white crystalline powder whose chemical makeup is similar to caffeine, helps harden teeth enamel, making users less susceptible to tooth decay.

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

healthy teeth recipesIngredients

  • 2 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 jar (10 oz.) sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 1 cup tahini paste
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil

Serve with carrots and cucumbers


Put chickpeas, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, tahini, tomato paste, some salt and smoked paprika in a food processor or blender and process until well combined and smooth. Drizzle in sesame oil adding more if you want a thinner consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add more oil, lemon juice or tomato paste if needed. Serve with a drizzle of oil.

Why is it good for your teeth?

Protein rich chickpeas don’t contain any saturated fat or cholesterol, making hummus a good choice for your overall health. Chickpeas are also rich in folic acid, which keeps your mouth healthy by promoting cell growth throughout your body. Carrots also contain beta-carotene, which is used in vitamin-A production for strong teeth. Cucumbers are not only a healthy alternative to chips, but they are rich in vitamins B and C and have even been shown to help freshen breath and naturally whiten teeth!

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries

Ingredientshealthy teeth recipes

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 2-3 medium zucchini, cut into thick matchsticks
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons seltzer water
  • Vegetable or olive oil spray


Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or oil. Put panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt and paprika in a shallow bowl and mix to combine. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk eggs with seltzer water. Dip each zucchini piece in egg then breadcrumb mixture and put on prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray the tops of the zucchini fries with the cooking spray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until crispy on all sides. Remove from the oven and serve.

Why is it good for your teeth?

Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C and manganese, the nutrient that promotes calcium absorption, which of course is vital to healthy teeth.

We hope you enjoy these recipes and remember, regardless of what you choose to snack on during the Super Bowl, be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each time! 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment please feel free to call us at 972-242-2155, or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

The Biggest Myth about Cavities

ADA Spokesperson Discusses the Biggest Myth about Cavities

American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Ada Cooper discusses dental carries. “The biggest myth about cavities is that if it doesn’t hurt you don’t need to fix it,” Dr. Cooper said. “That is completely wrong.” She states that when a cavity has begun to cause pain, it usually requires “more extensive treatment” at that point. Explaining what causes dental decay and why some people may have more cavities than others, Dr. Cooper says “brushing and flossing, of course, are the best way to minimize the number of cavities that you get.” In addition, dentists have many tools available, such as fluoride rinses and treatments, to make teeth more resistant to dental decay. “The best thing to do,” Dr. Cooper says, is to have regular dental visits to ensure detection and treatment of cavities while they’re still small.


Tips to help prevent cavities:

  • Brush at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Floss or use an interdental cleaner, such as a Waterpik or proxy brush, daily to remove food and bacteria from in between teeth
  • Limit sugary drinks and snacks
  • Prescription strength  fluoride pastes and rinses are also recommended if you are at a high risk of developing decay. We offer prescription strength fluoride paste for purchase in office
  • Visit Dr. Griffin at least twice yearly for your professional cleaning and exam

If you think you may have a cavity and would like to schedule an 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.


The American Dental Association provides additional information on cavities and other oral health topics at Mouthhealthy.org

To Floss Or Not To Floss?

To floss or not to floss? That is the question.Floss

And, it is a question that many more are asking since a recent Associated Press article came out questioning the benefits of flossing. The article says there is little proof that using floss daily actually helps in preventing gum disease and cavities.

This has many in the dental field in an uproar and comes in sharp contrast to the recommendations from basically every major dental hygiene organization, including the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology.

The federal government has recommended flossing since 1979, in a surgeon general’s report and in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is issued every five years. Since the guidelines, under the law, must be based on scientific evidence, the Associated Press asked the departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture for their proof of evidence. In a letter to the AP, the government acknowledged the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched at great lengths, as required.

The Associated Press looked at 25 studies conducted over the past decade, focusing on studies that compared the use of a toothbrush with the combination of toothbrushes and floss. Their findings said evidence was “weak, very unreliable,” of “very low” quality, and carries “a moderate to large potential for bias.”

Then, when flossing was not included in the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, the Associated Press assumed that the government had changed its stance on flossing, which was simply not the case. A spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that the most recent committees reviewing the guidelines focused more on the impact of sugars on dental health, and did not consider flossing. Also, the Dietary Guidelines have no bearing on the longstanding recommendation from the Surgeon General, the CDC, and other health agencies to clean between teeth daily.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has since released a statement that reaffirms the importance of flossing in an Aug. 4 statement to the ADA, which states:

“Flossing is an important oral hygiene practice. Tooth decay and gum disease can develop when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth and along the gum line. Professional cleaning, tooth brushing, and cleaning between teeth (flossing and the use of other tools such as interdental brushes) have been shown to disrupt and remove plaque. At HHS, NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), CDC’s Division of Oral Health and Healthy People 2020 have additional information and resources about efforts to address and improve oral health.”

The dental profession is behind flossing 100 percent. The two leading professional groups — the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology, both issued statements this past week reiterating the importance of flossing daily, along with brushing twice a day and regular dental visits.

The Case for Flossing

Plaque, an almost invisible film of bacteria that is associated with cavities and gum disease, collects all around your teeth. The primary cause of tooth decay and gum disease is failure to remove plaque from the tooth surface. Brushing alone is effective in cleaning the biting, front and back surfaces of a tooth, but the bristles cannot clean between the teeth. That is where flossing comes into play. Proper flossing helps remove the food, plaque, and bacteria between the teeth which can reduce the chances of decay and gum disease.

If you don’t like flossing or find it too difficult, there are alternatives. Interproximal brushes — mini brushes affixed to a handle — have been shown in several studies to be even more effective than flossing and easier to use.

Other options, such as plastic or rubber tips, wooden wedges and even toothpicks, also may be effective.

We here, at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, always recommend flossing as part of your daily at home dental care. If you have any questions about flossing, or, if you need to schedule your next appointment, please call us at 972-242-2155.


Diet Sodas &The Effects On Your Teeth


Many people have the common misconception that due to lower or no sugar content in diet sodas that they are not bad for your teeth. Consuming sugary sodas bombards your teeth with high contents of sugar every time you sip, which is not good for enamel, but it is the acids in both diet and regular sodas that attacks tooth enamel and wears it down. Both diet sodas and regular sodas contain high amounts of acid, with pH levels from anywhere around 2.49-3.42. Those high levels of acid cause erosion of enamel over time, which can in turn lead to tooth decay that may require fillings, crowns, root canals or other restorative dental procedures to correct.

There are two types of acids in soft drinks carbonic acid and phosphoric acid. Carbonic acid gives soda its fizz. Carbonic acid is a relatively weak acid, which decomposes quickly so the effects of carbonic acid on enamel are minimal. Most of the acidity in soft drink comes from phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid is corrosive and over time can break down tooth enamel. For those who have not seen a pH scale in sometime (or ever), pH of a liquid is measured using water as the neutral pH, at 7.00. From there, the lower pH numbers are more acidic and the higher pH numbers are basic, or bases. Tooth enamel is relatively safe while we eat and drink until the acidity in the drink, or even some foods, falls lower than a pH of 5.2, when it begins to dissolve. So drinking an entire two-liter of diet soda to save your teeth from the horrors of regular, sugar-filled sodas isn’t really making a huge difference on your teeth at all.

It’s really best to not drink sodas at all but just like everything else moderation is key. Drinking soft drinks in moderation won’t dissolve your teeth away as long as take care of your teeth in the process. Here are a few tips if you enjoy cold soft drink from time to time:

  • Limit consumption of soda to meal time.

  • Do not sip on soda throughout the day.

  • Rinse your mouth with water or drink milk to neutralize acids.

  • Chew sugar-free gum or, better yet, gum containing Xylitol. Xylitol has been proven to help prevent tooth decay.

  • Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste – fluoride re-mineralizes and strengthens areas where acid has weakened the enamel.

If you have any questions about the effects of sodas on your teeth or any other dental issues please feel to give us a call here in Carrollton, TX at 972-242-2155. Or, simply use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form on this page.

WebMD Considers “15 Myths and Facts” About Dental Caries

WebMD Considers “15 Myths and Facts” About Dental CariesMyths & Facts

WebMD (6/23, Brown) provides a list of “15 myths and facts,” about dental caries, featuring quotes from American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Kimberly Harms throughout. For example, the list states that it is a myth that sugar is the only cause of dental caries. Dr. Kimberly Harms states, “The truth is, acid produced by bacteria in your mouth is the cause of cavities.” Another myth is that children have more dental caries than adults. As a result of fluoride in tap water, “we’ve actually cut decay in school-aged children by half in the last 20 years,” Dr. Harms says. On the flip side, more senior citizens are getting dental caries because of medication that reduces saliva, she says. WebMD also states that the following are myths: aspirin on a tooth will alleviate a toothache; all fillings will eventually need replacing; people will know if they have a cavity; bruxism causes dental caries; gaps in teeth lead to dental caries; dental sensitivity means there is decay; dental caries are the cause of root canals; and dental caries aren’t possible in baby teeth. In addition, the article states it’s true that acid causes dental decay; once treated, the decay stops; dental caries are more likely to appear between teeth; dental chips and cracks can lead to decay; and proper dental hygiene helps prevent decay.


If you have any questions about dental caries and what causes them, or if you need to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Griffin, please call us, at 972-242-2155.