2/16/2018 11:59:00 AM |
Most people have heard of the word “plaque,” and know it’s not something you want on your teeth. Yet, they don’t know what exactly plaque is or how it contributes to dental decay.
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that lives on the surface of your teeth and along the gumline. It accumulates from normal daily activities such as eating and drinking, especially if you’ve been consuming a lot of sugars and starches. Ever had that fuzzy feeling on your teeth that goes away after you give them a good brush? Yep, that’s plaque. Plaque is what contributes to dental decay because bacteria like to consume the sugars in your mouth and excrete acids that wear away at your tooth enamel.
When you don’t regularly brush and floss away plaque, it forms tartar. Tartar is the yellow-ish calcified substance on your teeth that only a professional cleaning can remove. (We are very lucky to have an amazing team of hygienists to help you remove tartar. But their schedule fills quickly, so we recommend scheduling in advance.) You can schedule by calling (410)257-2424, emailing email@example.com texting 39016. To regularly remove plaque: 1. Brush thoroughly with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. 2. Floss at least once a day to remove plaque that your brush can’t reach. 3. Visit us for your regular dental cleanings.
12/5/2017 1:40:00 PM |
We all know drinking enough water is good for our health. And when you’re feeling parched, there’s nothing better than a tall drink of ice-cold water to dampen that dry mouth of yours. But what do you do when you find yourself constantly needing to wet your whistle? There are numerous reasons you could be suffering from dry mouth. Below are the top five… Physiologic: Sometimes having a dry mouth is just a normal part of life. Temporary anxiety, open-mouthed breathing, mild dehydration, menopause, pregnancy, and decreased saliva due to sleep are all normal causes of dry mouth.
Prescription medication: Sixty-three percent of the top 200 most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. are known to cause dry mouth. And the higher the number of medications a person takes, the higher the chance of dry mouth. That’s why as we age, we tend to experience more instances of dry mouth. It’s not necessarily age-related, but our consumption of medication may cause this side effect.
Habitual use of alcohol and tobacco: Use of any of these products will dry out the oral cavity. Please drink in moderation, and make sure to up your water intake when you imbibe. As for tobacco, we always recommend quitting as soon as possible. Chronic Disease: Diabetes, Sjogren’s disease, Sarcoidosis, Hepatitis C can all cause dry mouth. Psychogenic or Idiopathic: When symptoms are present without an identifiable cause (idiopathic), or because of psychological causes (psychogenic), they can be difficult to diagnose. If you find yourself with a persistent, unidentifiable case of dry mouth, you should make an appointment by calling us at (410) 257-2424 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org Figuring out which one is causing your dry mouth is so important because a dry mouth has a big effect on your dental health. Saliva is incredibly important for swishing away bacteria. The dryer the mouth, the more prone you are to cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. We recommend visiting us for dry mouth remedy recommendations, or your doctor for a consultation on why you may be experiencing a dry mouth.
9/21/2017 2:32:00 PM |
Did you know there are five distinct stages of tooth decay? And that in the first stage of decay, you can actually take steps to reverse the progression of the disease? Indeed, it’s true. In the first stage of decay, whether you’re a child or an adult, the application of fluoride via fluoride treatments, your toothpaste and your local water supply can stop a cavity from penetrating through the enamel and reaching its second stage. Even the saliva in your mouth and the foods you eat help to re-mineralize a tooth in jeopardy. But that’s just the first stage! What about the rest? Understanding how a cavity progresses can assist you in preventing each successive stage from occurring in your children. There’s always a lot going on in that little mouth!
Stage One: White Spots
In stage one, the tooth begins to show signs of strain from the attack of sugars and acids, and white spots will begin to materialize just below the surface of the enamel. These white spots are representative of the demineralization of the tooth and can be easy to miss because they’re likely to occur on your child’s molars. A dental exam, of course, is designed to catch such cavities! Can you see why regular visits to the dentist are recommended? As mentioned previously, at this stage, the cavity can be repaired without the need to excavate the tooth. This is why it is very important for Dr. Sclater, Dr. DeLeon and the GFD team to build a trusting relationship with your child so we can see inside their mouth for the doctor examination and cleaning. Some children, out of fear, will clamp their jaw shut to prevent an exam and/or cleaning...which prevents us from providing the dental care your child needs. So start preparing your child before their appointment and assure them that visiting the dentist is a good thing! If you have dental anxiety, it can easily be transferred onto your child, even if it is not intended. So try to keep the conversation positive and encouraging. Positive dental memories begin very early in childhood.
Stage Two: Enamel Decay
Stage two marks the beginning of the end for the surface enamel that is being attacked. Initially, the tooth erodes from the underside outward, so the outer enamel will still be intact for the first half of this second stage. Once the cavity breaks through the surface of the enamel, there is no turning back, and your child will need to have the cavity corrected with a filling. This is why regular cleaning and exams are very important. It is always best to be proactive with dental care rather than reactive.
Stage Three: Dentin Decay
If a cavity in your child’s mouth were to progress beyond stage two without you knowing, you’d tend become aware of it because it would probably start to cause some pain. At this level, the cavity begins to eat away at the second level of tooth material that lies beneath the enamel: the dentin. A filling can still be used to stop the onslaught of bacteria assaulting the tooth in order to prevent the cavity from reaching the tooth’s most critical component: the pulp.
Stage Four: Involvement of the Pulp
Once the cavity reaches the pulp, it’s going to hurt. A lot. So if you’ve unfortunately missed all the signs to this point, a screaming child or moaning teenager will certainly let you know there is a big problem. Stage four is serious, and a root canal is the only option of treatment at this stage, save for a complete extraction. We will do our best to treat you at our office, but there are instances where you may need to visit one of our trusted specialists for treatment.
Stage Five: Abscess Formation
In the fifth and final stage of a cavity, the infection has reached the tip of the root and exited the tip of the tooth’s structure. This in turn infects the surrounding tissues and possibly the bone structure. Swelling would be commonplace and pain severe. In children (as well as adults) an abscess can be fatal if not dealt with immediately. Root canal or extraction would be the order of the day should decay reach this stage. It is incredibly important to call us right away if you suspect your child or teen has an infection in their tooth or mouth. The infection can rapidly spread, and in some instances could be fatal or cause long term damage to your physical health. If you are not able to reach us immediately, we suggest visiting your nearest Emergency Room if you have swelling in the jaw, face, neck and/or have trouble breathing or swallowing.
As you can see, cavities don’t happen overnight. In the early stages, regular visits can stall and reverse the progression of these insidious enemies, so it really does pay to visit the dentist at pre-selected intervals. You can keep your kids far from stage five their whole lives, and if a little bit of prodding to get them to the dentist accomplishes that, you can rest easy that you are a good parent.
9/21/2017 11:00:00 AM |
You might’ve guessed that smiling can make you happier … but did you know it also helps you live longer?
Smiling also helps with attraction and happiness in more ways than you may have imagined. Looking for a romantic partner, or a new job this year? Then, get ready to flash those pearly whites!
More than a century ago, philosopher Charles Darwin and scientist William James suggested we might be able to adjust our mood simply by assuming the facial expressions representative of our goal. The first step to happiness is to start smiling!
Ever since Darwin and James proposed their theories, scientists have researched and discovered some interesting side effects to smiling along the way.
· Smiling makes you more attractive: Research suggests we’re more attracted to people who smile than those who do not. While scientists aren’t exactly in agreement as to why this may be, there’s a perception that a smiling person makes others around them relaxed and happy. Basically, your smile is contagious … and therefore welcoming. · Smiles boost the immune system: It’s all about the neuropeptides, they say. Smiling (and also laughing) release these neuropeptides which help reduce stress. The result is less taxation on your immune system so you can remain healthy to combat any illness or stress that may come your way. · Smiling enhances your mood: Smile-science has a bit of a “chicken or the egg dilemma.” Does a smile make you happy, or do you smile because you’re happy? We can assume the latter is true, but what about the former? Recall those neuropeptides we mentioned earlier? Well, according to Psychology Today, when we smile, “feel good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released.” Your body relaxes, while your heart rate and blood pressure lower. This flood of feeling then places us in a better mood. Not bad for just crinkling up the corners of the mouth! And, what about helping you live longer? Well, if the above three reasons aren’t enough for you, it seems, that, yes … smiling more can help you live a longer life. And the proof appears to be in the research. In 2010, a team of researchers aimed with an odd source material (The Sporting News Baseball Register), examined historical photographs of baseball players – tracking smile and life statistics throughout their lifetimes. From 1952 onward, these intrepid scientists crunched the numbers (and smiles), and discovered that, yes indeed, smiling did help these chaps live longer, healthier lives. They also remained married longer. Pretty neat, huh? You can check out a bit of the story on this fascinating study at Pacific Standard Magazine.
So, to wrap things up … we’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom from cinema’s happiest of happy characters, Buddy, played by Will Ferrell in the feel-good Christmas film, Elf.
“I just like to smile! Smiling’s my favorite. Go forth and smile!”
4/25/2017 3:41:00 PM |
When it comes to dental floss, what’s the best kind? Well, if you ask a dentist, they’ll tell you the best dental floss is the floss you’ll actually use. That could be Teflon floss, dental tape, nylon floss, waxed floss, and flosses with or without flavors – there are a lot of choices! There are also a number of ways to get your flossing done that don’t have you wrapping a long string of floss across your fingers and deftly maneuvering your hands in such an enclosed space. Enter the oral irrigator, the vibrating flosser, and the dental pick! Which might be best for you?
Dental Pick: If you’re prone to ignore flossing, you may want to consider a good ol’ fashioned dental pick. You’ve no doubt seen these before (sometimes cast aside on the sidewalk!) … they look kinda’ like a plastic toothpick with a strand of dental floss strapped across a wide u-shaped tip. The simplicity and compact nature of these little portable floss “picks” seem to add to their convenience, and kids seem to love them when they’re first learning to floss. We’ll bet you can find at least one colleague in your office who has a few in their purse or desk for those moments when lunch lingers on the teeth a bit longer than appreciated!
Electric Flossers: Depending on the brand, electric flossers are known by a variety of names, and searching for these handy little devices can be somewhat maddening online (trust us!). You may be best just wandering into the drug store or supermarket to explore in person! There are vibrating flossers
, power flossers
, and air flossers
. Picking the one that’s right for you depends on the task at hand. Power flossers and air flossers seem best if you’re dealing with space concerns near the gumline, and may be a good substitute for an interproximal toothbrush. A vibrating flosser, on the other hand, looks much like a dental pick and because of its design, can cover the entire length of the tooth. The next time you're here at Gentle Family Dentistry ask which is best for you. “Ode to the tiny wonder…the interproximal brush.
Oral Irrigator: An oral irrigator is a device that uses a pulsating stream of water to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth. There are a variety of instruments on the market, and we can recommend one based on the health of your gum tissue and budget. Oral irrigators are remarkably effective at keeping gum tissue healthy, and have been shown to reduce pocket depth
due to periodontitis. “Pocket depth,” refers to the depth of the gum tissue that immediately surrounds your teeth. You may not know it, but that’s what your dentist or hygienist is testing for when they’re poking that instrument in your mouth during an exam and calling out numbers
! We sell Waterpik brand oral irrigators at GFD…our hygienists LOVE the way a Waterpik can change the health of your We have had patients take their gums from bleeding to pink and healthy, and change their breath from loaded with unhealthy bacteria and debris to fresh and healthy when a Waterpik is used in conjunction with daily brushing and flossing!
It’s worth noting that each of these devices, while recommended, should be considered as supplements to normal flossing, not a replacement – flossing is still your best choice. But, if you have dexterity concerns, are purchasing something for a youngster, or just want to ensure your teeth are the cleanest they can be, these tool are great options!
3/29/2017 7:58:00 AM |
The hard clack of cleats echo about as your “little” sports hero rushes to get out of the house … soon to be late for practice. Armed with all they’ll need for a day in the sun, their equipment bag is packed and slung awkwardly over one shoulder, bursting at the seams with untold numbers of pads and dirty gear. And after making a final beeline through the kitchen to raid your refrigerator for a 64oz bottle or two of rainbow-colored sustenance, they’re off for what will no doubt be another grueling practice session. You’re proud of your kids – they’re growing up. And yet you wonder as you stare at the door that just shut behind them….are those technicolor drinks they’re drinking every day hurting them?
The truth, unfortunately, is yes. While they may keep your children energized and awake for the next few hours, they are bad news, and they’re quietly eating away at their teeth - and fast.
Why Energy Drinks Are Such a Threat to Teeth
The crux of the problem is the double-whammy that comes from an exceedingly high sugar content and citric acid pH that can be as low as 2.9. We understand pH can be a tricky thing to understand, so to help put that number in perspective, consider this: battery acid has a pH of 0.0 (so, a lower number means a higher acid content). Stomach acid has a pH that fluctuates between 1.0 and 3.0. A lemon comes in at around 2.0, a grapefruit at 3.0, and tomato juice at 4.0.
The most important thing to know is that with each increase in numerical value, the acid intensity increases 10-fold. So, in the example above, a lemon ends up being 10 times more acidic than a grapefruit, and 100 times more acidic than tomato juice - a sensation you can certainly taste if you bite into one! In contrast, milk and water have a pH of 7.0, so, it's easy to see the difference in the numbers - they're huge.
You need to know what this means to your child’s teeth. Southern Illinois set out to discover how the acid in sports and energy drinks effect tooth enamel in 2012, and the results, which surprised even the research team, showed considerable damage to tooth enamel after only five days of steady consumption. FIVE DAYS.
To determine the effect of these drinks on our teeth, the research team looked at 22 popular sports and energy drinks, and exposed artificial tooth enamel to the beverages for 15 minutes at a time, four times daily. This schedule was chosen because it mirrors the consumption habits of many users who drink these beverages every few hours - a particularly common habit among those who consume sports drinks, particularly when your kids are involved in sports. After each 15-minute exposure, the enamel was then placed into an artificial saliva solution for two hours to mimic what would happen once consumption stopped. After only five days on this schedule, the enamel showed a 1.5% loss with sports drinks, and a shocking 3% loss with energy drinks.
While critics in the beverage industry suggest the time used to expose the enamel to the drinks may have been excessive, it's widely known that snacking, as well as regular sipping of any beverage other than water, creates acidic activity in the mouth that promotes tooth decay. Of course, adults also need to be careful, and if you’re the weekend warrior type, or are pulling shifts and consuming these beverages throughout the day, the time of exposure might actually not be long enough.
There is no doubt that these beverages are not good for our teeth. They're also not good for our stomach and esophagus, and can be more bothersome if one is prone to acid reflux. The consumption sweet spot is in the middle-ground, and that's basically the advice we're going to offer today. We tell patients all the time, don’t sip on these drinks throughout the day. It’s the persistent exposure of the enamel to these high acid drinks that concerns us, and sipping on sports drinks and sodas should be avoided. Instead, drink your drink, then rinse your mouth with water.
The Middle Ground -- It's about being informed
We're not asking you to force your kids to give up their sports beverages and energy drinks. However, it is wise to know the risks, and to understand how you can help your kids combat some of their side-effects. Here are two quick tips that will help if they can't shake the habit:
Have them keep water nearby so they sip on it to dilute the acid covering their teeth. This also increases saliva production to help protect tooth enamel. Once done with the drink, swish with water really well.
We suggest that they don't brush immediately after consuming such beverages. Why? Because in the thirty minutes to an hour after consumption, tooth enamel will be slightly softer, and brushing in this window of time literally ends up spreading the acid around to other parts of the teeth. Not good. If brushing is desired, save it for an hour or so after. (This applies to wine drinkers as well!)
Lastly, here is the breakdown of most caustic to least caustic drinks as found by the researchers.
Filtered Ionized Alkaline H2O – pH: 10.0
Water – pH: 7.o
Odwalla Carrot juice – pH: 6.2
Odwalla Vanilla Monster – pH: 5.8
Unflavored Pedialyte – pH: 5.4
Vita coco – pH: 5.2
Aquafina,Dasani, Smart water – pH: 4.0
GU2O – pH: 4.29
Powerade – pH: 3.89
Accelerade – pH: 3.86
Gatorade Endurance – pH: 3.22
Monster – pH: 2.7
Red Bull – pH: 3.3
AMP Energy – pH: 2.7
Monster Energy – pH: 2.7
Full Throttle - pH: 1.45
Rock Star – pH: 1.5
P.S. Don’t forget the mouth guard!
3/8/2017 7:12:00 AM |
Imagine it’s still winter … you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf, and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And, try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!
We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds, and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!
WHAT is a tongue scraper?
A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from your tongue. They have been in use since ancient times, and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.
WHY use a tongue scraper?
The residue on your tongue includes things like the cavity-inducing Streptococcus mutans bacterium, fungi, rotting food (that’s not good), and what’s referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds.” In other words, sulfur – that “rotting egg smell.” Talk about ew! So, as you can see, there are several reasons why you’d want to get rid of this gunk in your mouth. Let’s tackle them one by one:
· Reduce bad breath: ‘nuff said! Dr. Sclater said she has absolutely had patients transform their breath by tongue scraping every day.
· Reduce your risk of periodontal disease and cavities: Bad bacteria contribute to plaque and tartar on teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities. Bacteria build-up can also lead to inflammation of gum tissue (gingivitis). If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which means a more expensive dental visit (plus other unwanted consequences!). Speaking of avoiding an expensive dental visit, when was the last time you came in to see us? Come see us now if it’s been awhile, by calling in at (410) 257-2424.
· Make room for good bacteria: see our article here on probiotics for your mouth.
· Prevent heart disease? While the debate is still up in the air, some studies suggest there could be a correlation between gum disease and heart disease.
HOW does one use a tongue scraper?
In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat. Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center!
Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works? The next time you’re in ask Barb, Jessica, Sandi or Emily for a quick tutorial!
WHERE do I buy one?
Your first choice is, believe it or not, us! We have sample tongue scrapers. And if you decide to purchase one, they are relatively inexpensive (usually the same cost as a toothbrush), and can also be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!
Need more convincing about just how great tongue scraping is? Just watch this video by The Singing Dentist:
3/2/2017 8:23:00 AM |
Dr. Sclater just loves a list! This is such a wonderful and comprehensive list that we had to share.
12 Things Your Dentist Knows About You Just By Looking In Your Mouth
While cavities and plaque build-up may be what's on your mind before a teeth cleaning, your dentist is looking for a whole lot more. "The mouth is the window to the body," says David Silverstrom, DDS, of The Silverstrom Group in Livingston, NJ. "Often, diseases like cancer, anemia and diabetes will first be identified by the dentist in a regular examination, and this saves lives." And it's not just diseases—dentists can discover everything from your bad habits to your favorite beverages simply by asking you to say, "Ahh!"
1. You flossed right before your appointment—and that's the only time.
Sorry, but you can't fool your dentist into thinking you floss daily by doing so the night before or morning of your visit. "The gums of people who only floss right before a visit are bleeding or look damaged," says Timothy Stirneman, DDS, of All Smiles Dental in Algonquin, IL, "whereas, healthy gums are nice and tight and pink," he says. Kenneth Wong, DDS, of Santa Monica adds, "When patients floss right before coming for a cleaning, I can see the slices where the floss cut at the gum because they were overzealous."
2. You're pregnant.
"Nearly 40% of women will develop gingivitis during their pregnancy," says Glen Stephenson, DMD, of Prevention Dental in Boise, ID. "This is caused by increased progesterone, which facilitates the growth of bacteria, causing gingivitis. Some women will develop a deep red lump on their gums called a pregnancy tumor or pyogenic granuloma." (This type of tumor is completely benign and will go away after the pregnancy is over.) Stirneman adds that most women are typically pretty far along before their gums start bleeding, so it's not as though a dentist will magically "discover" that a patient is pregnant.
3. You bite your nails.
Without looking at your hands, a dentist may be able to detect this habit. "Signs include chips and cracking of the teeth, plus wear and tear on the teeth from the constant stress on them," says Keith Arbeitman, DDS, of Arbeitman & Shein in New York City. "This can cause your teeth to become uneven and lead to jaw pain and discomfort." Kyle Stanley, DDS, of Helm, Nejad, Stanley in Beverly Hills adds, "Patients that bite their nails using their front teeth usually have leveled off, flat front teeth. The nails themselves are not what cause the damage, but rather the contact that occurs between the top and bottom teeth," he says.
4. You used to suck your thumb.
"Most children that suck their thumbs or a finger have no long-term effects from the habit," says Stephenson. "However, those who did so past the age of seven or eight may show significant changes to their bite or the position of their teeth. Much of that can be corrected through orthodontic treatment, but some telltale signs can remain." Alice Lee, DDS, of Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, adds, "We can sometimes see protruding front teeth, and this can impact how kids' jaws are coming together and growing and can also impact their speech."
5. Your bad breath may mean something.
"General bad breath can be categorized as halitosis," says Arbeitman. But dentists are also trained to identify "fruity" smells and "fishy" smells, which can mean numerous things. " 'Fruity' breath could indicate uncontrolled diabetes or a dietary fast that has gone too far, while 'fishy' breath could be a sign of kidney or liver failure," he explains. If the smell is "very foul," says Arbeitman, it could be anything from gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) to an underlying lung abscess and bronchitis to a tonsil stone. Timothy Chase, DMD, of SmilesNY in New York City, adds, "The first thing the dentist should do is rule out the odor coming from the teeth and gums. After that, he should recommend that the patient see an ENT to rule out sinus issues, and a GI doc to rule out reflux issues."
6. You may have an eating disorder.
"Many patients are surprised that their dentist is the first one to ask about eating disorders," says Chase, "but bulimia exhibits a very distinct pattern of tooth wear that your dentist can easily identify." Stephenson notes that, "This erosion happens almost exclusively on the tongue-side of the front teeth and can contribute to increased cavities." But Silverstrom is quick to point out that acid erosion on the back of a patient's teeth does not always indicate an eating disorder. He says other possibilities include acid reflux and the use of antidepressants or mood-elevating drugs, both of which reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth, thereby upping the odds of acid damage.
7. You have a sinus infection.
"Often patients will call saying that they need a root canal," explains Ira Handschuh, DDS, of The Dental Design Center in NY, "when in fact it's actually a sinus infection and not a tooth problem at all." The reason, he explains, is because the roots of the top teeth are positioned in the same area as the floor of the sinuses. And both sinus infections and toothaches can show symptoms of pressure. "A simple home test is to have a patient bend over to touch their toes. If the pressure or pain increases just by doing this, the pain is most likely not tooth-related and he should see his ENT or primary care physician before coming to the dentist," he advises.
8. You have a vitamin deficiency.
"A deficiency of vitamins and minerals can cause many oral conditions, like burning tongue syndrome, tissue sloughing off, increased infections, delayed healing, bone infections, and easy-to-bleed gums," explains John P. Dougherty, DDS, MAGD, of Artistic Dental at the Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ. Stephenson adds, "Surprisingly, iron deficiencies show up in many ways in your mouth. It can give some patients severe sores in the corners of their mouth while others have changes in their tongues. Some may experience a painful burning sensation, or all the small papillae fall off their tongue leaving it glossy and smooth. Getting more iron will solve these problems."
9. You have diabetes.
"Many times, imbalances in sugar will show a rapid change in the health of your gums, including increased swelling, bleeding, and sensitivity," says Handschuh. "In conjunction, the consistency of saliva may change, and there may be increased decay. These may all be signs of sugar levels that are out of control, so dentists can alert patients to see their doctor to check for diabetes."
10. You have a drinking problem.
"Alcoholic patients are cavity-prone because alcohol tends to dry the mouth out," says David Tarica, DMD, of 34th Street Dental in New York City. "A dry mouth will lead to cavities, because saliva neutralizes the damage-causing acid in our mouths. In addition, alcoholics have 'chipmunk red cheeks,' and the smell alone is usually a giveaway."
11. You have oral cancer.
"The first signs of oral cancer can be seen from the following: unexplained bleeding in the mouth, white, red, or speckled patches in the mouth, a change in the way your teeth fit together, swellings, thickenings, lumps or bumps or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth," explains Michael Apa, DDS, of Rosenthal Apa Group in New York City. "An oral surgeon should be consulted for a biopsy of any suspicious tissue."
12. You love Gatorade.
You may know why you chipped your tooth, but Hugh Flax, DDS, of Flax Dental in Atlanta says that even though the cause may be apparent, "there could be underlying factors that weakened the tooth and made it susceptible to being chipped in the first place." He explains that teeth can be softened by sodas and other sugary beverages over time, which may make a tooth more susceptible to chipping. Energy drinks, which tend to be even more acidic than soft drinks, may cause even more damage to tooth enamel, he says.
1/19/2017 9:01:00 AM |
Stroll through the health section of any bookstore still standing and you’re likely to be overwhelmed by the number of books shouting back at you with messages for you and your body. But, where to start? Eating for your blood type? Sugar-busting? Mindfulness Meditation? We’ll help you sort through the muck. When it comes to getting good information about health and fitness, knowing where to start is the most important piece of the puzzle. Now on to the list!
Flexibility and Body Mechanics: “Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence “ by Eric Goodman
If you occupy a chair most of your working day, your body is likely way out of whack. Back problems, tight glutes, plantar fascia problems… it’s just all a mess. By getting out of your chair and working on a few simple exercises to re-stabilize your core, you’ll feel better, look better, and “work” better as a result. Chiropractic doctor, and elite athletic trainer, Dr. Eric Goodman has long been considered an expert in this area, and his book has been an easy-to-follow manual for people looking to add more fluidity and comfort to their stiff bodies for years.
Food, Part I: “What to Eat,” by Marion Nestle
Ever wish you could stroll the grocery store with a food expert – someone who could help make sense of food labels, and debunk claims made by big food companies? Then, this is the book for you. Nutritionist, Marion Nestle tackles each aisle one by one in her instant classic from 2015.
Food Part II: “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” by Michael Pollan
Understanding good food choices also means knowing where your food comes from – and where it’s come from historically. Journalism professor, and long-time writer for the New York Times, Pollan’s book has been so well regarded over the years, there is now also a young reader’s edition! A must read.
Mind: “Mindfulness in Plain English,” by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Another gem. For twenty years, Buddhist monk, Bhante Henopla Gunaratana’s book on mindfulness has been the go-to book for the over-worked and over-tired. If stress is a part (and, really who isn’t stressed to some degree?), start here.
Muscles: “Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training,” by Mark Rippetoe
This is not a book for aspiring body builders. Well, it could be. But it’s also for you. Want to maintain a healthy weight? Protect your body from injury? Be the strong-man/strong-woman for whomever you’d like to impress? Rippetoe’s manual on muscle building will help you get there with less time in the gym, and most importantly – safely, because of his focus on showing how to lift with good form. You can’t have a lean body without lean muscle!
11/29/2016 5:49:00 PM |
By Patty Krisko, Office Manager
I am not what most would consider a city girl so when my family received our orders to the "D.C. area" back in 2012, I can tell you that I was not exactly jumping for joy. We always try to look at new assignments as new adventures, so we were definitely up for the challenge, but for some reason I had this idea in my head that D.C., Virginia and Maryland were just one giant city and we would spend 3-4 years stuck on the beltway. Funny enough, I was not that far off on my assessment of the traffic, but I was definitely far off in terms of my view of the area. We were still in Germany when a friend of mine told me to look for homes in Calvert County and I am thankful every single day for her advice. The minute I saw barns, rolling hills and horses, I knew we hit the jackpot. We truly fell in love instantly and the 40-minute drive to Andrews Air Force Base became a breeze! Fast forward 4 years and we are living in a home we had built, my children are thriving in a great school system, awesome extracurricular activities, and my husband and I are both retired from the service.
As I transitioned out of the military this past spring, I honestly felt like I was losing a piece of my soul. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but when you devote 22 years to a certain way of life and a certain mindset, it can be a little unnerving when preparing to close that door. Fortunately for me, I found a new work family with Gentle Family Dentistry and quickly realized that a life of service doesn't end when you get out of the military. I get to serve the awesome residents of Calvert County (and beyond) every day, just wearing a different outfit. As an added bonus, seeing the veterans and military families that walk through our doors gives me a sense of gratitude that I can still serve them and maintain that connection. Life is good!
11/17/2016 3:46:00 PM |
Jackie Miller, President of End Hunger in Calvert County
Interview with the President of End Hunger in Calvert County, Jacqueline Miller
In case you didn't know, there's an amazing non-profit in Calvert County called End Hunger in Calvert County. We recently had the privilege of being a collection site for End Hunger's October Food Drive. Along with being a collection site, we wanted to learn more about the organization that does so much for the community. End Hunger solely exists to serve the community and bring relief to those in need. Quite often, the people that receive help are your neighbors, friends or local business owners. Please take a moment to read our blog post. Chances are, you may discover how to help the community in a way you never imagined!
Jacqueline Miller Age: 30 Job Title: President of End Hunger In Calvert County
Where did you grow up?
When did your family come to Calvert County?
My family moved to Calvert County in 1989 – I was 2 years old.
Was your father a Reverend before Chesapeake Church? How did Chesapeake Church begin?
• Before being a pastor at Chesapeake – my father worked for the EPA – Chesapeake Church is the only church he has pastored.
• Chesapeake began because a group of people believed that full devotion to Jesus Christ was normal and that we could learn to live and grow within a biblical community. The way the people in the bible lived – that was not lost but we could actually do life the way Jesus intended us to.
What year was End Hunger established?
End Hunger was established in 2008 when we realized that food pantry clients in Calvert County were not the stereotypical face of hunger. These folks held full-time jobs, sometimes two. But because of the high cost of living or other obstacles in their lives, they had a hard time keeping food on the table. We realized that this was a hunger problem we could actually tackle and end!
You have so many events that spread awareness and community involvement for End Hunger. Which event was first and how did you come up with the idea?
The first event we did was the annual County-wide Food Drive. We came up with the idea as a way to get the entire community rallied behind the problem of hungry and empower them to realize that together we are the solution.
Are these the events you still currently do? Any I missed?
Yes that is them!
· Dragon Boat Races
· Bike Ride
· Obstacle Race
· Food Drive in October
Which event is most near and dear to your heart and why?
I love them all for all different reasons. But to answer your question, the Obstacle Run is near and dear to me because this is the event that entire families can come out and participate in together. The event is also born out of tragedy. My friend and co-worker lost her son and this event not only raises awareness about the reality of hunger in the community, it is done in memory of Matt.
Which event raises the most funds for End Hunger? Which event is a labor of love?
The Dragon Boat Festival technically raises the most money but it also costs the most to put on. All three events are designed to serve different purposes and each one of them accomplishes its goal.
The Annual Food Drive is not designed to make money – that is our labor of love event.
How are the cooking program and café doing?
Fantastic! We have graduated close to 100 students – 70% of them are now working. Many of them work at The Lobby Coffee Bar, which is a full service Coffee Bar that directly supports End Hunger In Calvert County. We are having the time of our lives growing The Lobby into a place for Calvert County to connect and foster relationships.
You have brought End Hunger awareness to Calvert County in waives – to what can you attribute your success?
I attribute it to two things …
1. My team. I work alongside the most talented people I have ever met. They use their passion and gifts to change lives in Calvert County and we do it all because we desire to be obedient to Christ. We feed the hungry because that is what we have been called to do.
2. We do hunger and only hunger. There are so many worthy non-profit organizations and causes but for us, our call is to feed the hungry. So that is what we do. We feed the hungry with excellence and we give it everything we’ve got. Not because we are great, but because our God is so great.
A great team, plus our focus is what I accredit End Hunger’s success to.
How has your role at End Hunger changed since becoming a mother?
Becoming a mom hasn’t necessarily changed my role in End Hunger but is has changed my perspective. Forty percent of food pantry clients in Calvert County are children. I’ve known that statistic for years, eight years to be exact. But that statistic didn’t truly grip my heart until becoming a mom – before becoming mom I didn’t understand the weightiness of what that 40% represents.
I now understand full well the fierceness with which moms love their babies – we would do absolutely anything to protect them, provide for them, and care for them.
Knowing that so many moms, right here in Calvert County, receive support to feed their families both breaks my heart and fills me with joy. It breaks my heart because as a mom, I could not imagine not being able to provide for my family. Making that choice must be the hardest choice they make – and they make it every week.
It fills me with joy because I am so proud of every mom who comes through the doors of our food pantries. I am so proud of our community that we have stepped in to fill the gap for these moms and families. I am most proud that we not only provide a meal for families, but we are restoring dignity back into families.
There are a lot of things that we moms can disagree on, but I think each and every one of us can agree that no child – our own or another's – should go to bed hungry. And the reality is one day it could be us walking through the doors of a food pantry for the first time.
What about End Hunger makes you most proud?
What makes me most proud about End Hunger In Calvert County is the way our community continually steps up to provide for the needy in our community. In the last eight years that End Hunger has been around, we have never once run out of food – not even close. I am continually amazed year after year they way our community meets the needs of community. Together, we are now distributing nearly 1 MILLION pounds of food back into Calvert County every year. Every year we do that, and we do it together.
What do you like to do in your spare time to recharge your batteries?
In my spare time to recharge, I love spending time with my husband. We love going into the city and finding new coffee shops and hole-in-the wall places to eat. There is so much richness in Washington DC that any chance that Chris and I get to be in the city we take advantage of it.
Now, more frequently, the way I recharge is a bubble bath and a good book!
11/10/2016 12:22:00 PM |
Why I Love Cosmetic Dentistry
By Rhiannon DeLeon, D.D.S.
I love cosmetic dentistry! It is so fulfilling and rewarding. I never realized I could have such a passion...I am very lucky I get to do what I love every day. Before becoming a dentist I earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts...patient care was the exact opposite of what I was doing as a Graphic Artist. But I wasn't happy and I yearned for something more.
I had the opportunity to shadow my dentist many years ago, and I realized that cosmetic dentistry was my calling. Being a dentist would enable me to combine my love of the arts with the ability to help others. It was a big decision to go dental school after beginning a career in Graphic Design, but I have never looked back and love every minute of being a dentist.
Earning my DDS has opened my eyes to the power of a beautiful smile and the impact it can have on one's life. I love that I am able to apply my training and background as an artist to help people smile more often, feel more self-confident and increase their happiness. Not every patient’s smile is the same and I truly enjoy working with my patients to help them achieve the look they desire and create a unique smile that makes them happy. I like that every treatment is tailored to each patient....I'm a details girl!
When you see someone’s picture, the first thing you usually notice is the smile (or lack of smile). Usually your eye is drawn straight to their mouth. Whether it’s interviewing for a job, going on a first date, or having your picture taken, your smile is the first facial feature others notice. In addition, how often you smile also makes a lasting impression on others! Smiling more often is linked to higher self-confidence and higher levels of happiness. Researchers have discovered that people who smile regularly are more approachable, less stressed and more successful than those who simile less frequently.
I love giving patients options to help them look and feel better. Veneers, botox, dermal fillers, and laser technology can reshape teeth, smooth fine lines, add volume and recontour gums to create a more aesthetic smile. The advances in dental technology are incredible, and I feel very honored to be a part of the new generation of dentists that embraces technology. Plus, all this new technology is FUN! And that's why I love cosmetic dentistry.
10/6/2016 4:19:00 PM |
Why Do I Run?
By Cynthia Sclater, D.M.D.
I often get the "Why do you run?" question from people. And to be honest, sometimes I don't know! I know the logical reasons I run, but when you are running 13 miles in a row (as opposed to it being over 2 or 3 workouts), I really begin to doubt my sanity and endurance.
I would call running a love/hate relationship. I truly feel better after I run, but sometimes during a race I question the "great adventure" I have undertaken.
I recently entered the world of half marathons. Around mile seven, the endorphin high usually wears off, and the reality of six more miles begins to set in.... 6 more miles. Six miles is almost a 10k! I have now completed two half marathons, and my most recent one was the Mighty Niagara Half in Niagara Falls, NY in September. Not bad for a girl that could barely do a push-up in her 20's.
The benefits of running are well documented. The benefits range from improved body function to improved focus and sleep. I run first thing in the morning and have a much better day when I get my run done early in the morning...even though I get a little weepy when the alarm goes off at 5am. But it is totally worth the sacrifice. For me, morning runs lead to a better day because I get more accomplished, I eat healthier and I sleep better. Overall, the benefits outweigh the pain of waking up at 5am.
I wasn't an athlete in school. Actually, I hated exercise. I was naturally small and could eat whatever I wanted without gaining weight. Thus, exercise never really entered my mind. Later, I went to undergrad college and perpetuated the lifestyle I adopted in high school. Sporadically, I would workout with my husband, but nothing ever stuck. After undergrad, I was commissioned into the Army while in dental school. I did not have to take a fitness test until basic training after graduation. Had I been smart, I would have trained for the fitness test. But the pressure of having a small child, husband and dental school took its toll, and exercise was pushed to the back burner again. Basic training was my first experience with running. It was miserable for me and it reinforced my hatred of running and working out.
I hate to say it, but my vanity (like many men and women in their 30's and 40's) was finally my motivating factor to run. In my late 30's, my metabolism changed. All the yummy things I could eat in my teens and 20's was beginning to pack on the pounds in my 30's. I began a cross-training program, but I just wasn't seeing the results I had envisioned. I didn't know what to do. I was still gaining weight and my scrubs were getting tight!
My life-changing moment was when a patient of mine (who is in her 50's), came in for a visit. I was amazed at her transformation...she had lost so much weight! She said she lost the weight by running, and that was my "ah-ha" moment. My patient invited me to run with her, so I went. And I went again. And then I went again and again. And before long, I really began to enjoy running! I usually run on the North Beach Pier. I love the quiet, the fresh air, the view of the bay, the stunning sunrise, and all the locals I see fitting in their early workout. If you have never been, I really encourage you to visit the town of North Beach...it's one of my favorite parts of Calvert County.
These days, I wholeheartedly recommend physical exercise as a part of your lifestyle for longevity and a better quality of life. It has improved my life in so many ways. My dental philosophy is about the mouth/whole body connection. Eliminate the processed foods and drinks, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, brush twice a day and floss once a day. With a little consistency (which is incredibly hard for most people until it becomes a habit), you will reap positive results that compound over time. Quality of life is the most important thing, and I want to encourage all my patients to live their best life!
8/31/2016 9:44:00 AM |
Supporting the Community - Calvert Hospice Luau
There's nothing better than being a part of a community. Whether it's school, kids sports, fitness, supporting other local businesses or giving to local non-profits, giving just feels good!
Dr. Sclater and the GFD Team have a passion for giving, and we try very hard to help the community in a variety of ways. One of our favorite non-profit organizations in Calvert County, MD is Calvert Hospice. We were very honored to be a sponsor at the 4th Annual Calvert Hospice Luau on August 11, 2016 at Stoney's Broomes Island. Over 370 caring and generous people from our community attended the event to support Calvert Hospice.
The setting was incredible, the people were fabulous and the food was scrumptious. Thank you Maryland Country Caterers for feeding the masses! The event raised over $82,000 which will directly benefit the Burnett Calvert Hospice House. Calvert Hospice is able to help many, many people. Including people and families that cannot afford to pay because of the generous donations from our community.
The Calvert Hospice is already planning their 5th Annual Luau on August 10, 2017. Mark your calendar now!
Want to get involved in our community but not sure where to start? Just send me an email and I am happy to connect you with many wonderful non-profits in Calvert County and Southern Anne Arundel County.
7/7/2016 11:58:00 AM |
I Love My Job!
By Jessica Salmon, R.D.H.
Hi, my name is Jessica and I have been a dental hygienist at GFD since 2009. As corny and cheesy as it may sound, I can honestly say I love my job and not too many people can say that. I am truly grateful for my job every day and consider myself a very lucky person to feel this way about my career and my workplace.
Dr. Sclater, the owner of the practice, has spent a lot of time and attention in making her practice clean, modern and comfortable. The office is bright and soothing with fresh paint and inspirational art. Each operatory has been modernized with computers for paperless charting, flat screen TV's for viewing radiographs and photos or even Netflix shows if the patient chooses to watch them while having treatment completed. Each room has its own personal touches that directly reflect the provider that works in that space. That makes our office much more personable and friendly, which keeps our patients comfortable and relaxed. And I enjoy seeing our patients comfortable and relaxed!
About a year ago, Dr. Sclater purchased her hygienists intra oral cameras so that we could begin taking pictures of patients teeth and show them exactly what is going on in their mouth. This piece of technology is my favorite part of the appointment with my patients. With the intra oral camera I get a close-up HD picture of teeth so that I can thoroughly explain and show patients what and why they need the treatment we recommend. I am so glad I work for a dentist that believes in keeping up with dental technology advances. Our patients love seeing their teeth up close and personal! It is so refreshing to see patients get a good look at their own teeth and mouths and have an "ah ha" moment about what is going on in their mouth and how we can fix it for them, if need be.
I have to say though, the absolute best part of my job is my patients. After working in the same office for 7+ years in a close-knit community, it is very rewarding to treat patients and their families. I have really established a close relationship with many of our patients and it is very special to me.
So many people have a phobia of the dentist and it makes my job so much more rewarding when a phobic patient is no longer scared and they no longer fear coming to the dentist. To me, that's what it is all about...getting people happier and healthier in a trusting, caring and professional environment like the one I work in.
6/28/2016 6:03:00 PM |
Laser Dentistry in Calvert County, MD
Let's face it, even the bravest patient can be nervous about a having a cavity filled. The noise, the heat, the Novocaine = sweaty palms. And if you are a patient that struggles with dental anxiety and phobia, the thought of having a cavity treated is enough to keep many people away from the dentist for years because of how overwhelming treatment can feel.
Dr. Sclater incorporated her love of lasers into Gentle Family Dentistry's daily practice in 2010. Both Dr. Sclater and Dr. DeLeon are Waterlase certified and LOVE using the latest technology in the dental care they provide. Why you may ask? Because using the laser makes us different! We are the only practice in Calvert County to use this technology, and in our experience it helps us exceed our patient's expectations. Lasers have been used for many years in the field of dermatology and ophthalmology. Bringing lasers to dentistry is safe, effective, and enhances the patient experience.
When you find out you need a cavity filled, you no longer have to be fearful. The Waterlase laser is "virtually pain-free" because the laser uses water molecules to treat the tooth and keep it cool, which means no pain due to the absence of heat. And that means - no Novocaine! (In most cases) And that means, no more droopy mouth and numb tongue! And that means, you can eat lunch after your procedure without biting your tongue! (Insert happy dance here). The other beautiful benefit of the Waterlase technology is no downtime and faster procedures. That means less time in the dental chair, and more time doing the things you love. However, we must mention that the teeth of some patients are a little more sensitive. So this is not a "virtually pain-free" therapy for everyone. But if you are more sensitive, we are happy to administer anesthetic for your procedure. Also, if your cavity is very large or very deep, this may not be the best treatment for you, but Dr. Sclater or Dr. DeLeon will be able to determine this with an exam.
The Waterlase is not perfect for every situation, but when we can, we will use the laser for your treatment. We are excited to use this technology in gingivectomies, endodontic treatments, periodontal treatments, Laser Bacterial Reduction and restorations. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about this treatment. Our staff is very passionate about our laser technology, and we hope you will give it a try!
6/15/2016 6:03:00 PM |
Warrior Dash Re-Cap
Can we just take a moment to say how blown away we are by the support of local businesses and our community? We love our Southern Anne Arundel and Calvert County friends!
On May 14, 2016 we had the honor of running the Warrior Dash with 173 of our new best friends! The amazing team came together with one person in mind...5 year old little William "Bubba" Cramer. Bubba is a sweet, kind and strong little boy who loves his family, chocolate cake and tractor pulling.
In his short five years, he has endured more medically than most of us will ever face. We take our health for granted, and all the while, Bubba's parents pray for nothing more than to see their son healthy and happy. Bubba was diagnosed with Acute Lyphoblastic Leukemia in the summer of 2015. Bubba is doing very well and will continue to receive chemotherapy treatments until 2018 because his type of cancer tends to hide in the testicles and the base of the spine.
Bubba's parents, Gina and Billy Cramer, grew up in Southern Anne Arundel County and reside in Dunkirk. They were such a supportive force behind the scenes to make our Warrior Dash team a success. We can't thank them enough for all their help. Their extended family gave us so much help with recruiting runners and sponsors. The Cramer and Anastasi families are lovely people and we were so grateful to be able to help them. For this event, we partnered with our buddies at Poston's Fitness for Life in Dunkirk, MD as event hosts and sponsors.
In total, we had 23 t-shirt sponsors and 15 in-kind donors. We raised over $14,000 for the Cramer family, and are grateful to the local businesses that truly went above and beyond to help us give back to the community. Please visit our website at the link above to learn more about the businesses that gave money, time and resources to help our Warrior Dash team. Please consider shopping local and supporting these amazing businesses.