7 Serious Health Concerns That Also Affect Your Teeth

Mouth and Body Go Hand-in-Hand

Did you know that poor oral health care can be the cause of many different health issues within your body itself?  There are many connections between taking care of your mouth, teeth and gums and the rest of your body.

People with gum disease have a 40% increased risk of developing a chronic health condition. Bacterial build up on your teeth and gums give you a greater probability of infection which may then spread throughout other areas of your body.

Common Health Issues That Affect Oral HealthJune FB Candy (6)

  • Diabetes: causes oral inflammation and affects the body’s ability to process sugar.
  • Heart Disease: about 91% of those with heart disease are also found to have periodontitis. Inflammation in the mouth corresponds with the inflammation of blood vessels which then leads to less blood flow causing an increase in blood pressure.  There is also a chance of plaque that is attached to the blood vessel itself, breaking off and traveling to the heart and/or brain resulting in a heart attack or stroke.
  • Issues during Pregnancy: pregnant women with gum disease run the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and susceptible to developmental issues such as learning disorders, lung and heart conditions.
  • Osteoporosis: osteoporosis, like periodontitis, causes bone loss. It’s common for those with osteoporosis to also have some degree of gum disease.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: those with rheumatoid arthritis battling gum disease have found gum disease treatment may also reduce overall body pain in regards to their arthritic symptoms.
  • Smoking: bad for your health, both overall and oral.  Nicotine interferes with your gums’ ability to fight infection.  This also extends the recovery period for those gum infection treatments.
  • Obesity: those with 20% or higher body fat percentage have been linked to rapid progression of gum disease.

Taking excellent care of your oral health has a positive domino effect for the rest of your body.  Same can be said with your body – taking care of your health and body can positively affect your mouth, teeth and gums.

If you care about your health and yourself, you in-turn need to care about your mouth.  Be true to your teeth, or they will be false to you!

Dr. Teri Sandlin

Dentistry at Park Place
7065 Fain Park Dr
Montgomery, AL 36117
Phone: 334.279.6488

April: Oral Cancer Awareness Month

APRIL 2015

Early Detection Saves Lives

Oral cancer is nothing to take lightly.  Causing one death every hour, there will be approximately 45,750 new cases diagnosed this year alone.  It also tends to strike men twice as likely as women.

Contributing factors of oral cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (3+ drinks per day)
  • Over exposure to UV light
  • HPV Virus (sexually transmitted)

7% of diagnosed oral cancer cases that have no identified cause

Smokers are 3 times more likely to develop oral cancer.  Cigars and pipes pose a higher risk than standard cigarettes.

This is how to reduce your risk of oral cancer:

  • Brush & floss regularly
  • Do not use tobacco products
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation
  • Limit sun exposure and always use SPF sunscreen
  • Regular exercise
  • Nutritional supplements ( Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Zinc, Fish oil)
  • Oral cancer screening at your bi-annual dentist exam and cleaning

Cancer Fighting

The way you prepare your meals can play a role as well.  Rather than frying food, give steaming or baking a try!  Bonus: these techniques are also more figure friendly

Cancer fighting foods:

  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Vegetables
  • Flaxseed
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Green Teas
  • Tomatoes

84% of oral cancer cases can be detected early by your dentist

Dental check-ups are vital to oral cancer detection.  Yes, you should be going in for dental check-ups twice a year anyways; however, request you get regularly scheduled oral cancer screenings as well!

Oral Cancer - spot

Oral Cancer Signs to Check at Home

  • Check the entirety of your mouth:
  • All the way inside of your cheeks
  • Underside and top of your tongue
  • Roof of your mouth
  • Lymph nodes

You’re looking for discoloration, lumps, asymmetrical swelling or any other abnormalities that you happen to see.  Even if you aren’t too sure about it, it never hurts to give us a call, ask questions and come in to have it checked out.

Get involved.  Help raise awareness.  Spread the word.  Get tested!

Dr. Teri Sandlin

Dentistry at Park Place

7065 Fain Park Dr

Montgomery, AL 36117

Phone: 334.279.6488

How Focusing on These 3 Points Will Help You Spring Out of the Winter Blues!

Happy Spring 2015

March Blog

 As we move out of winter, you may be changing your frame of mind from “Snuggly winter days…” to “Time for spring cleaning!” Have you ever considered a dental spring cleaning?  If you can spring clean your home, why not your teeth?!  Here are three easy points to focus on:

  1. Healthy eating
  2. Tooth care
  3. Dental check-up

Healthy Eating       

When your tummy rumbles, instead of reaching for a bag of chips, grab some veggie sticks or slice up an apple!  We understand the convenience of snack foods as well as the deal you get when purchasing a bulk pack.  But most of these things lack nutritional value and do not fare well on your body, health or mouth.  Create a goal to reach for a healthy snack to fill the nutritional craving your body is after.  Your waistline and teeth will thank you!

Foods that are high in sugar wreak havoc on your teeth contribute to the start of cavities.  Food consistency also plays a role in oral health. Very hard foods can harm the surfaces of your teeth, and there’s also the potential to cause significant damage by cracking or chipping a tooth!

Reach For                                                       Pass On

Fruits Sodas
Veggies Candy
Whole Grains Chips
Nuts Ice Cream
Skinless Chicken Sugary Cereals
Non-Breaded Fish Hard and Sticky Foods
Low Fat/ Fat Free Yogurt Cookies
Low Fat/ Fat Free Cheese Cakes/ Pies

Tooth Care

  • Are you attentively brushing your teeth twice a day for 2-minutes?
  • Are you flossing daily (or at all)?
  • Have you changed your toothbrush in the last 3 months?

When brushing your teeth spend the full 2 minutes taking care to cover the front and back of each individual tooth. Before finishing up – give your tongue a once over as well! Many toothbrushes have a built in tongue brusher on the back of the toothbrush head.  Toothbrushes do wear out.  They can fray and lose the sturdiness to properly clean your teeth.  Toothbrushes should be replaced about every three months.

Flossing

Flossing cleans about 40% of your teeth surfaces.  Remember to reach your very back teeth.  Flossing helps to lessen plaque build-up and helps prevent gum disease.

Dental Check-up

Remember how great your mouth feels after a dental cleaning in our office?  Now that the holidays have come to a close, your teeth may be in need of a professional cleaning.  Call us for a dental check-up and cleaning.  Check-ups are recommended every 6 months unless you are experiencing a problem area in your mouth.  And, if that is the case, call us as soon as possible.  Whenever you are in pain or have a question, call us.

Now that you have these things fresh on your mind, you are ready to take charge of spring!  And you can do so with a bright shining and CLEAN smile!

Dr. Teri Sandlin

Dentistry at Park Place
7065 Fain Park Dr
Montgomery, AL 36117
Phone: 334.279.6488

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/still-not-flossing-more-reasons-why-you-should

How to Help Your Kids Create Good Oral Hygiene Habits Now

Feb FB Candy Children's Dental 2

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we’re dedicated to raising awareness!

In America, 51 million hours of school is missed every year due to oral health issues. Although every month should be important when it comes to a child’s dental health, February is the one dedicated to it. Here are things to keep in mind when helping children become conscious of just how important dental hygiene is and exactly how to start creating good habits right away:

  1. Keep the sugar intake to a minimum
  2. Floss, floss, floss
  3. Brush twice a day
  4. When you brush, make sure you hit the 2 minute mark
  5. Visit your dentist regularly

Have you ever seen that amazing “magic trick” when you ask your child “Did you brush your teeth?”  And they respond with a “yes” only because their toothbrush is wet?  Then come to find out, there was no brushing going on, they merely stuck their toothbrush under the faucet and wiped their front teeth once, maybe twice. Now is the perfect time to kick this bad habit!  Dental health can be fun for kids (and adults)!

Here are 4 ways to incorporate some fun and giggles into children’s daily oral care

Toothpaste – a plethora of choices

Let’s start off with toothpaste.  There are gels, pastes, and so many different flavors; such as cinnamon, vanilla, bubble gum, and variety of different mint flavors.  Let your child choose which one they would prefer.

Flossing – 40% of cleaning your teeth comes from flossing*

Floss comes in different flavors as well and also had a variety of textures.  There are waxed, woven, and even the hand held pick form to name a few.

Toothbrush – the master tool

Choosing a toothbrush will probably be your child’s favorite.  Not only are there options as far as handheld or battery operated, but there are TONS of different designs now!  Your child can pick their favorite cartoon character or stick to the basics like their favorite color.

Brushing Timer – brush 2min 2x a day

While the tiny sand timers you flip upside down are always fun for kids to watch, there are now toothbrushes with built in timers. The brush will alert timer markers with a beep or a vibration for 2 minute duration, some even play a popular song.

Giving Kids Something to Look Forward To

This is the perfect way to create a morning and nighttime routine to get your child excited about developing healthy habits.  Getting your child involved in the decision making of choosing some cool and fun dental products makes them more apt to look forward to brushing and flossing daily.

Starting off good oral hygiene practice at a young age will propel your kids into the future for a lifetime of healthy pink gums and bright shining smiles!  A healthy smile is a smile you can be proud of!

Dr. Teri Sandlin

Dentistry at Park Place

7065 Fain Park Dr

Montgomery, AL 36117

Phone: 334.279.6488

References

http://www.ncohf.org/resources/tooth-decay-facts

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/still-not-flossing-more-reasons-why-you-should

Resolve to Improve Your Dental Health

Now that we are trying to adapt to writing “2015”, have you given any thought to a New Year’s Resolution?  If you haven’t, it isn’t too late.  And even if you have, you can never have too many!  Typically, dental hygiene and dental aesthetics aren’t usually considered when it comes to reflecting on self improvement.  More than daily flossing, consider your over all oral health.

Brightening up those pearly whites

Do you avoid smiling or find yourself talking while covering your mouth due to a missing tooth, an unsightly chip, large gap, or another imperfection affecting your teeth? Everyone is aware of teeth whitening; here are more options on how easy it is to improve your smile!

Dental Fillings

We see many patients with those old silver and gold fillings. Those unsightly things are no longer the standard of care. Tooth colored composite fillings ones are crafted to match your natural color and are near invisible to the naked eye.

Bonding

Chipped teeth are often healthy, and like gaps, they too cause uneasiness in social situations. Often making you feel like the center of unwanted attention. Dental bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic procedures, and the color is matched to restore your natural looking smile.

Pain

There are a few different types of tooth pain, all of which should be reported during your dental visit: brief sensitivity to hot and cold foods, sharp pain when biting, dull aches, constant pressure, lingering pain. There is no reason to endure the pain, call so we can help!

Benefits of a Healthy Smile

Enhancing your smile offers huge gains. Not only does it boost a person’s confidence, it can improve a person’s overall health and well being.  It’s like getting a spectacularly wonderful haircut.  You feel better about yourself and notice a new glow surrounding you.  When you have a smile that you are proud of, you naturally show it off to the world! Smiling is known to lower heart rate and reduce stress. Who would say no to that?

This is your year to shine with a healthy smile

Start the year off with your best foot forward and set your mind toward some dental goals.  No matter how big or how small they may be, you will be happy with the results as well as yourself for making it happen!

Prioritize your health and take the first step by calling to schedule an appointment:

Dr. Teri Sandlin

Dentistry at Park Place

7065 Fain Park Dr

Montgomery, AL 36117

Phone: 334.279.6488

http://www.aae.org/patients/symptoms/tooth-pain.aspx   http://pss.sagepub.com/content/23/11/1372.short

Your Holiday Elf Guide to Santa’s Helpers!

Dental Do-Gooder to Alabaster Snowball

After decades of dreaming about becoming a dentist, Hermey the Elf was named DDG (Dental Do-Gooder) in November by the president of the American Dental Association ADA)!

http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2014/pr14_058.htm

“Hermey’s passion for dentistry coupled with his devotion to helping others feel good about themselves inside and out, deserves recognition,”said  ADA President Maxine Feinberg, DDS. ”I know Hermey the Elf, DDG, will continue to inspire young people and those who are young at heart to follow their dreams.”

Hermey, Rudolph and some of their friends have also been honored on a postage stamp.  These stamps celebrate the 50th anniversary of the much-loved holiday classic.  Here are Five Fun Facts:

  1. According to Ken Muller, brother of ‘Rudolph’ screenwriter Romeo Muller, the original name for Hermey the Elf was supposed to be “Herbie” in honor of a childhood friend. Clarice (Rudolph’s girlfriend) was named after the future bride of another friend.
  2. Yukon Cornelius has a diverse dog sled team. Instead of Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes, his mixed team of pooches includes a Poodle, a Cocker Spaniel, a Saint Bernard, a Dachshund and a Collie.
  3. The animators also created the character –narrator of Sam the Snowman to look like Burl Ives, who was the voice for that part.
  4. In the original script, while Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon Cornelius promise to visit the Island of Misfit Toys and bring them back, they never do so. After the show first aired, Rankin-Bass, the production company, were inundated with letters from concerned kids demanding that the Misfit Toys be rescued. To console the children, they produced a short scene where Rudolph, Santa, and the rest of the reindeer arrive on the Island and deliver the Misfits to new homes. This scene has shown on TV since 1965. Kids rule!!
  5. The original puppets of Santa Claus and the younger Rudolph were eventually purchased by a new owner after going on tour in 2007. Since they were in absolutely horrible condition– Santa had half of his mustache missing while Rudolph was missing his famous nose — the new owner spent $4,000 for them to be restored to mint condition by stop-motion animation studio Screen Novelties International.

Even though we are celebrating Hermey, DDG’s achievements there are other notable elves that we should visit.  Who remembers the Elf on the Shelf?

Elf on a shelf is a special “spy” elf. This elf was sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists.  After the elf arrives and is named, the scout elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures. You definitely want to stay on this elf’s good side!  The next day the scout elf returns to its family and sits in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their scout elf each morning.  Some came offering candy, like a chocolate sampler box.

Finally, the serious elves.  Some believe that Santa employs six elves.  Some think that there are as many as 13 elves living with Santa to help him. Elves are the children of Gryla and Leppaludi and are very clever. They help Santa to design toys and process requests of children that are sent to them through snail mail or emails. The popular Western names of the Christmas elves helping Santa Claus are:

  • Alabaster Snowball (Administrator of the Naughty & Nice list)
  • Bushy Evergreen (Inventor of the magic toy-making machine).
  • Pepper Minstix (Guardian of the secret of where Father Christmas’ village is located).
  • Shinny Upatree (The oldest friend of Santa and the cofounder of the secret village in Lapland).
  • Sugarplum Mary (Head of the Sweat Treats, she is also known as Mary Christmas. She is an assistant to Mrs. Claus and helps her in the kitchen).
  • Wunorse Openslae (Designer of Father Christmas’s sleigh and responsible for its maintenance. He also looks after the reindeers and it is believed that his reindeers reach speeds faster than Christmas tree lights.).

Now, you know more than any of your family members about those mysterious elves! The ambitious Hermey.  The “Traditional”, like Elf on the Shelf and the “Real” (?), like Santa’s Helpers.  Add them to your celebrations and may you remain forever young this holiday season.

Click here to color with Hermey!

 

FB-ProfilePicDentistry at Park Place
Dr. Teri Sandlin, DDS, PC
7065 Fain Park Dr.
Montgomery, AL 36117 (map)
(334) 279-6488

5 Candy Alternatives That Will Keep Trick-or-Treaters Smiling

Treat Trick-or-Treaters to a Healthy Treat This Season

shutterstock_115347502The fall season brings an amazing amount of fun activities for you and your family. From the excitement of Halloween, to school fall festivals, kids and parents alike look forward to the cool weather and family memories. Unfortunately, Halloween and fall festivals can also do a number on your child’s teeth. Hard candies, sweet treats and sugary snacks can be cavities waiting to happen. Handing out Halloween candy doesn’t mean you have to hand out oral health disasters. There are a number of healthy alternatives to the candy bars and licorice- some that trick-or-treaters might even enjoy more than the sugar rush. The days of handing out apple slices and pennies to avoid contributing to tooth destruction are gone! Take a look at some of these creative trick-or-treat alternatives that will leave all the little ghosts and ghouls smiling throughout the year.

Applesauce Pouches                                                                                     

Applesauce is still a sweet treat, and not nearly as hard on the teeth. Not only that, they’re portable, affordable and a great way to avoid the mess of some other treats. You can get a pack of 48 pouches for about 35 dollars on Amazon, which is enough to give all the trick-or-treaters something healthy to smile about.

Mini LaraBars                                                                                     

Larabars are gluten free, vegan, kosher and only have about 8-11 grams of sugar per bar. They also come in mini form, making them perfect to hand out on Halloween. The great thing about these treats is that the kids won’t even know they’re healthy! LaraBars have flavors such as cherry pie, apple pie and cashew cookie and are just as delicious as the other mini candy bars that will be weighing down their bag. If you can’t find LaraBars, or they’re a little too pricey for you, granola bars of any kind will be a better choice than chocolate.

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats

Rice crispy treats are a delicious sweet treat for trick-or-treaters, but you don’t have to use all the sugary marshmallow to make them amazing. There are a number of recipes you can follow which swap out a few classic ingredients for something a little healthier in order to create the perfect Halloween snack. By using brown rice syrup instead of marshmallow, brown rice crisps instead of white rice and coconut oil instead of butter- you can make delicious, healthy treats that many claim are better than the original. Check out one the recipes here.

Sugar Free Gum

While sugar free gum may not be the most exciting item in your child’s bag, it’s still a quality alternative to all the junk they’ll be getting. You can get tasty sugar free gum such as Dubble Bubble and throw a few pieces in along with other healthy treats. Parents will appreciate the lack of sugar, and the kids (especially those kids who love their chewing gum) will be happy with a full bag of “candy.”

Toys

If you want to skip the food items altogether, many parents have opted to hand out toys instead. There are a number of items you can get in bulk for cheap such as pencils, erasers, stickers, mini water guns, temporary tattoos, mini play dough, sidewalk chalk, bouncing balls, bubbles and more. The possibilities are endless and none of these things will land your child in the dentist’s chair. If you’re thinking of skipping the candy and handing out toys, head to your local dollar store to find amazing deals on bulk items.

There’s also the option of handing out pre-made veggie and fruit snacks, however this may only be a good idea if you’re close with the surrounding neighbors. Parents are often a little leery of pre-prepared snacks and the time and money you spent might simply end up in the trash. These days there really are dozens of candy alternatives that don’t skimp on the flavor. Do your own research to find what works best for you and your family, have fun with it, and get everyone involved. Keep in mind that most trick-or-treaters will be over-flowing with the sugary stuff- so its good practice as a parent and oral health advocate to provide something that will keep their smiles healthy throughout the year.

FB-ProfilePicDentistry at Park Place
Dr. Teri Sandlin, DDS, PC
7065 Fain Park Dr.
Montgomery, AL 36117 (map)
(334) 279-6488