Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dr. Oz? Dr, Please!

Dr. Oz is a very highly regarded cardio-thoracic surgeon, and has made quite a name for himself on his popular daytime TV show. Apparently, he offers some useful health information. Oprah loves him. The public loves him. I don’t.

On a recent episode, he had a 10 minute segment on a condition known as dry mouth. As a dentist, I see and treat dry mouth frequently. In fact, dentists are the first line of defense for dry mouth. The technical term is “xerostomia” and it affects a large portion of the population. Believe it or not, the main cause of dry mouth is prescription medications!

Yes, the very medications that keep you alive often have a side effect that can ruin your teeth. It is so common that there isn’t just one type of medication that causes it--it can be from almost any kind of medication. Also, the more medications you take, the greater the chance of you developing xerostomia. For each medication you add, your risk rises exponentially!

So who cares? Drink a glass of water and be done with it, right? Wrong! You need saliva. Specifically, your teeth need saliva! By far, the #1 detrimental affect of low salivary flow is tooth decay, and lots of it. I have seen dry mouth ruin a mouth that has been healthy for 70 years prior. If you think you might have xerostomia, make sure you see your dentist regularly. The cavities in these patients move quickly and need to be found in the early stages. Treatment may be as simple as switching your medication.

So why don’t I love Dr. Oz?

Not once during his entire segment, did he address the number one cause of dry mouth (medication), the number one consequence of dry mouth (rampant cavities), or explain the proper thing to do (see a dentist). Instead, he had a visually appealing demonstration where an audience member dripped some water on cotton candy to simulate how saliva aids in digestion. His suggestions for treating dry mouth were to eat less salty food, drink more water, and chew sugar free gum. SERIOUSLY?!?!? Dr. Oz is supposed to be the foremost authority on anything medical, and this is the best he can do? Not one mention of cavities? Not one mention of medications? Not one mention that dry mouth may be a symptom of diabetes? Not one mention of visiting with your dentist? The public needs to know that this can be an orally debilitating condition. Just drinking a glass of water before bed isn’t going to do anything other than raise your midnight plumbing bill.

I am sure you are a great surgeon, but please stop talking about the mouth, Dr. Oz, and leave that to the doctors who actually treat it. For more information, check out the ADA’s website at

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Uses for Old Toothbrushes

First of all, come in to our office for your cleaning to receive your complimentary new toothbrush. Then, place your old toothbrush in your dishwasher to wash away the germs. Now, you can use your recycled toothbrush to... *Dip into jewelry cleaner or even good old tooth paste to clean and lightly polish jewelry *Clean nooks and crannies in your car *Scrub filters *Scrub dirty potatoes, or other vegetables *Clean around faucets *Dust the nooks and crannies of keyboards and other computer things *Use a bit of detergent and remove stains or spots off clothing or carpets *Unplug your toaster and use the toothbrush to remove the crusted on crumbs *Use to clean the airtight liners of the refrigerator *Use to comb unruly eyebrows or to thin clumpy mascara on your eye lashes *Clean your dirty finger nails after gardening, or scratching the frosting off of a really yummy cake *Also great for cleaning dingy tennis shoes This useful information brought to you by your friendly dental hygienist, Amy Gane =D

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We've Come a Long Way

I began my dental assisting career at the ripe old age of 18. Back then, dentistry mainly consisted of amalgam fillings, extractions, crowns and dentures. I didn't hear the terms: implants, veneers, CEREC, or digital. Today, these terms are used almost daily. There are so many new and innovative ways of saving teeth, replacing older dentistry or remaking a whole new smile.

Exams are easier and quicker by using digital xrays. No more waiting for the traditional type of xrays to develop, fix and dry for 10-12 minutes. (Hopefully, one didn't have to be retaken!) These images are instant and can also be emailed to other offices including specialists. No more waiting for snail mail to deliver them. Plus the radiation time has dramatically been reduced with digital.

As for the materials, they are stronger and much more natural looking. Tooth colored fillings used to be applied by first mixing part "A" with part "B". Now these composites come in small capsules, in an array of shades, and ready to be used. The ceramic used to make crowns is four times stronger than porcelain. When possible these crowns can be made in one visit in the office. There are no impressions, no temporaries and no waiting for 3 weeks. Also, they are more conservative to prepare. More natural tooth structure is left, lessening the chance of sensitivity. I'm proud to work at South Bay Dentistry and offer those one visit crowns.

Whitening teeth has never been easier. A bright smile can really change one's outlook on life. It can bring about a new confidence. Take-home whitening gel and custom trays are worn for about 15 minutes a day for a couple of weeks. After that, they are worn only to maintain the brighter shade.

Even straightening teeth has evolved. And they're not just for kids anymore. With procedures like 6 Month Smiles and Invisalign, a beautiful smile can be achieved without traditional metal brackets and wires. Furthermore, it can be done in a shorter amount of time; months rather than years.

Technology has made being a dental assistant rewarding and very fun. It's exciting to be a part of a profession that helps people not only look better but feel better about themselves!!

Anita, Dental Assistant Extraordinaire

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Run, Anita, Run!!

You have heard her voice and you've met her during your appointments. Who is she? Anita, our lovely assistant!

We have been blessed at South Bay Dentistry to have had Anita since December 1 and have been so busy we have not been able to announce it until now. We have to say, our office is even more fun because of her.

Anita has lived most of her life in Parrish. She has a great family: her husband, Blair, and their two grown sons, Brett and Blake, whom are the loves of her life.

She is a runner and enjoys participating in races. In fact, she has just been a part of the Gasparilla 5k and during Christmas joined many at the Jingle Bell run in Bradenton. See the ultra cool photo above.

Anita loves Italian food and uses cooking as her outlet. She has road tripped all over the country with her family. She is most unique in that she has found her calling early in life. During her senior year in high school, a counselor recommended she pursue nursing or dental assisting. We're super psyched she chose the latter.
Because, really, does anything beat dentistry?! Nope.

Anita is pretty cool. You can stop by the office and meet her, if you haven't already, and chat about just anything: Team Jacob, the novel she is writing, the movie she's been in, or even the muffins she baked for her son and his roommates.

Gee, this lady sounds perfect!!