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While sports and energy drinks often advertise that they provide nutritional benefits and can improve your athletic performance, these drinks can have devastating consequences for oral health. Hygienists should be aware of the effects and educate their patients about the destruction of tooth surfaces and promote healthy behaviors.

Sports and energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine and carbs combined with a low pH they have the potential to cause dental caries (cavities) as well as raise the risk of weight gain due to high caloric content.  The  hygienist can ask the question if these drinks are being used as part of the patients diet then educate on the side effects and made aware of alternative choices.

Best advice hygienists and dental staff can offer is to refrain from consuming these drinks. Plain water is the best re-hydrator in people who exercise.  Good rule of thumb is to consume 1 to 2 cups of water for every 15 minutes of activity.

 

 

 

 

“Restorative dentistry” is the term dental professionals use to explain how they replace missing or damaged teeth. The goal is to bring back your natural smile and prevent future oral health issues.

Why restorative procedures are important:

  • Filling in empty spaces in the mouth helps to keep teeth in the right place.
  • Replacing teeth helps to maintain good oral care habits, which can help prevent oral disease and plaque buildup.
  • Missing teeth can affect your health, looks, and how you feel about yourself.

There are a few different treatment options your dental professional may suggest. These include bridges, crowns, and implants.

Restorative treatment options

Crowns

A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth. It is used to strengthen and protect your tooth structure. Most crowns are made of a hard, white substance to help them look natural

A crown is ideal for people with broken teeth or cavities.

The crown is cemented into place over the damaged tooth.

Bridges

A dental bridge covers or “bridges” the gap between missing teeth.

After you lose a tooth, your dentist may suggest that you get a bridge. A bridge can keep your other teeth from moving out of place.

Once a bridge is placed, it works just like your natural teeth.

Dental Implants

The metal anchor is inserted into the jawbone. After the anchor has been inserted, a false tooth is put into place.

Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. An implant has 2 parts: a metal anchor and a false tooth. A dental implant looks and feels like a natural tooth.

Quick facts on how to take care of your restorative work

  • Brush your teeth in the morning, at night, and after meals to help reduce plaque buildup.
  • Electric toothbrushes can help remove plaque from your teeth and restorative work.
  • Make sure to floss around your teeth, dental implants, crowns, and bridges every day.
  • Try not to chew on hard or sticky foods. These can damage your implant, bridge, or crown.
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash to help get rid of plaque bacteria around restorative work

Do you ever experience pain or a ‘zinging’ feeling in your teeth after eating ice cream or sipping a hot beverage? Does brushing or flossing your teeth make you wince on occasion? If you answered yes to these questions, you may have sensitive teeth.

Some possible causes of sensitive teeth include:

  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Fractured  teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Exposed tooth root

In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth- the part above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin.

Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin  may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity.

Is there treatment for sensitive teeth? Yes! The type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity. Your dentist may suggest one of a variety of treatments which are listed here:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste. This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve. This usually takes several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
  • Fluoride gel. An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
  • Surgical gum grafting. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
  • Root canal. If the sensitivity is severe and persistent and no treatment has worked- this may be recommended to eliminate the problem.

Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing sensitive-tooth pain. Talking to your dentist about symptoms and options is the best way to diagnose and treat your sensitivity.

No matter what you choose, make sure it includes SPF of 15 or higher. Here is a great article to share with important tips and information.

Lip gloss fiends, it’s time to tweak your habit. Habitually slathering on the stuff multiple times a day, without any SPF protection, can significantly increase your risk of developing lip cancer.

Lips are already vulnerable because of regular, direct exposure to sunrays, and the lacquered lip trend only magnifies the hazard, says dermatologist Jeanine M. Downie, M.D., who says she has seen an uptick in skin cancer of the lip among women in her Montclair, N.J., practice.

Dr. Downie recommends wearing a lip balm containing sunscreen underneath lip color, or choosing a shade with a built-in SPF. Steer clear of lip products that offer single digit sun protection (it isn’t sufficient!), and opt instead for an SPF 15 or higher and make sure to reapply adequately and often to get the full benefit. Another reason to skip the glassy glean: A number of experts contend that loading up on lip gloss can actually intensify potential cancer-causing radiation. “The shiny reflective finish of lip gloss creates a mirror-like prism that strengthens sunrays like a magnifying glass,” explains Downie.

The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that 81 percent of lip cancers appear on the lower lip and one’s risk escalates with cumulative exposure. Bottom line: Find a lip balm or lipstick with SPF 15+ and apply liberally whenever you’re outside this summer (and all year round!).

Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September, that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.

History

In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the  Central Labor Union of New York.[Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor  in May 1882,after witnessing the annual labour festival  held in Toronto, Canada.

Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday on February 21, 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals  during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress  unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover Cleveland  signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.

How we celebrate

The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and spirit de corps of the trade and labor organizations”, followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the civil significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the Selector movement.

The holiday is often the return to school, although school starting times now may vary.

Retail Sale Day

To take advantage of large numbers of potential customers free to shop, Labor Day has become an important sale weekend for many retailers in the United States. Some retailers claim it is one of the largest sale dates of the year, second only to the Christmas season’s Black Friday.

Ironically, because of the importance of the sale weekend, some of those who are employed in the retail sector not only work on Labor Day, but work longer hours. More Americans work in the retail industry than any other, with retail employment making up 24% of all jobs in the United States.

End of summer

Labor Day has come to be celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. In high society, Labor Day is (or was) considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable to wear white.

In the U.S., most school districts that started summer vacation 1-2 weeks into June will resume school the day after this day, while schools that had summer vacation begin on the Saturday before Memorial Day in late May will have already been in session since late August. However this tradition is changing as many school districts end 1-2 weeks into June and begin mid-August.

You already know brushing twice a day is the best practice for keeping your oral health care in check. There may be times when doing this more isn’t a bad thing. After eating sugary or sticky foods is also a great time to add a extra brushing and flossing.

Do you have dental anxiety? If you do, or know someone who does, try to implement some relaxation techniques. Whatever you find that works do it throughout every step of the process and all your visits. We often suggest bringing music to listen to and our office provides noise cancelling headphones.

Sensitive teeth? Generally if your teeth get that ‘zingy’ feeling after drinking something hot or cold, your teeth could be considered sensitive. Try using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.  Often brands that have the whitening ingredients can be to abrasive for some patients and increase sensitivity. If after a few weeks it doesn’t improve with using a sensitive toothpaste it may be time to have your dentist check things out.

Using a hard bristled toothbrush can often do more harm than good. They can cause gum irritation and recession in certain individuals.  We recommend using the Sonicare electric toothbrush. Not only is it gentle on gums but does a far better job cleaning teeth than any hand held toothbrush.

Don’t be afraid to use a generous amount of dental floss! In most cases a length of 20 inches is sufficient for your whole mouth. While flossing everyday is a sure bet to keeping your gums healthy, even a few times a week is better than not at all.

Regularly scheduled check up visits twice a year is imperative to keeping your oral health in check, catching problems early and staying healthy.

 

 

 

Planning a trip out of the country? It’s helpful to schedule a dental checkup before you leave, especially if you’ll be traveling in developing countries or remote areas without access to good dental care.

If you are thinking about a dental ‘vacation’ outside the United States in an attempt to save money, which is often referred to as “dental tourism,” here are some things to consider:

Education and Clinical Training of U.S. Dentists

Dentists trained in the U.S. graduate from a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). After earning their undergraduate degree and their dental degree (eight years for most), some dentists continue their education and training to achieve certification in one of nine recognized dental specialties. In addition, dentists must pass national examinations and meet state requirements before they earn a license to practice.

Dentists are doctors specializing in oral health whose responsibilities include diagnosing oral diseases, ensuring the safe administration of anesthetics, performing oral surgical procedures and managing oral trauma. Comparable levels of training may exist in the country to which you are travelling, but this may be difficult to find out if that country does not have similar dental regulations.

Safety

The procedures, equipment and drugs used by dentists in the U.S. are held to high standards. For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published comprehensive guidelines on infection control procedures for dental health-care settings. These guidelines exist to prevent the spread of infections, including blood borne illnesses such as hepatitis and AIDS. U.S. dentists must abide by regulations for radiation safety (X-ray equipment and its use) and for proper disposal of biomedical waste. Also, the drugs and dental instruments and materials used by dentists in the U.S. are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure that they are safe. These standards are in place for your safety and for that of dental office staff.

Travel Advisories

The U.S. Department of State issues travel alerts to disseminate information about short-term conditions, generally within a particular country, that pose imminent risks to the security of U.S. citizens. In the spring of 2009, for example, the Department of State issued a travel alert cautioning people to avoid non-essential travel to Mexico because of an outbreak of H1N1 influenza in that country that resulted in a number of deaths. In addition, the alert recommended that travelers check the department’s Web site for new travel advisories as well as the Web site of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for any additional information or recommendations.

Insurance, Privacy and Dental Records

If you have dental insurance for dental care performed outside of the U.S., you should confirm with your insurer and/or employer that follow-up treatment is covered upon your return to the U.S. You should consider arranging follow-up care with a U.S. dentist prior to travel to ensure continuity of care upon your return. If you do not have a dentist in the U.S., you can find an ADA member dentist in your area.

In addition, you should confirm with your U.S. dentist and the dental care provider in the other country that the transfer of patient records to-and-from facilities outside of the U.S. is consistent with current U.S. privacy and security guidelines.

Flight and Vacation Activities After Certain Dental Procedures

It’s important to know that many dental procedures are surgical in nature. Dental implants, for example, often require months of healing. Post treatment risks after dental surgical procedures include bleeding, pain, swelling and infection. Your body may need time to rest and recover after procedures such as wisdom tooth extraction, root canals, dental implants and gum surgery, which should be factored in to flight and vacation activity schedules. In addition, it is possible that changes in airplane cabin pressure might cause discomfort in some patients who have recently had oral surgery. Bear in mind that significant dental procedures require follow-up care to make sure everything is healing and functioning properly. Continuity of care is important and should be a consideration when making treatment decisions.

Continuity of Care

The American Dental Association (ADA) encourages you to visit a dentist on an ongoing basis to ensure continuity of care. Establishing a “dental home” provides you with comprehensive oral health care so conditions such as gum disease and tooth decay can be diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is simpler and more affordable. A dentist who knows your case history can provide you with guidance on good oral health care habits, preventive oral health services and diagnosis and treatment of dental disease based on your individual needs. One dental visit does not establish the continuity of care that is necessary for maintaining good oral health.

Questions and Considerations Prior to a Dental Vacation

  • How will you determine the qualifications and experience of the dentist who will be treating you in a foreign country?
  • How is payment processed?
  • If you have dental insurance, will the benefits cover treatment that is performed outside the United States and if so, to what extent?
  • What happens if something goes wrong during or after treatment? Would you need to return to the country where you received treatment? Can you afford that?
  • If you need corrective care after you return, will that be covered by your dental insurance or will you have to pay out of pocket for another dentist to provide corrective care?
  • If something goes wrong after receiving dental care in another country, what are your legal rights?

Memorial Day History

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

Local Observances Claim To Be First Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well.

Today, cities in the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. Both Macon and Columbus, Ga., claim the title, as well as Richmond, Va. The village of Boalsburg, Pa., claims it began there two years earlier. A stone in a Carbondale, Ill., cemetery carries the statement that the first Decoration Day ceremony took place there on April 29, 1866. Carbondale was the wartime home of Gen. Logan. Approximately 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, many of them in the South where most of the war dead were buried.

Official Birthplace Declared In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Some States Have Confederate Observances Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April, and Georgia on April 26. North and South Carolina observe it on May 10, Louisiana on June 3 and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day January 19 and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day.

Gen. Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. … Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.

The origins of special services to honor those who die in war can be found in antiquity. The Athenian leader Pericles offered a tribute to the fallen heroes of the Peloponnesian War over 24 centuries ago that could be applied today to the 1.1 million Americans who have died in the nation’s wars: “Not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men.”

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

          

What is Cracked tooth syndrome?

Some teeth have cracks that are too small to show up on X-rays. Sometimes the cracks are under the gum. These small cracks are known as cracked tooth syndrome.

Cracked tooth syndrome is most common in lower back teeth (molars). That’s because these teeth absorb most of the forces of chewing.

Some people grind or clench their teeth. These people may be more likely to have cracked tooth syndrome. Sometimes, the way a person’s teeth come together can put too much pressure on one tooth. This can cause the teeth to crack.

Teeth with large fillings may be more likely to crack. Teeth that have undergone root canal treatment are weaker than other teeth and also may be more likely to crack. People with one cracked tooth are more likely to have others, either at the same time or in the future.

Symptoms

The tooth may hurt sometimes when you bite or chew. The sensitivity or pain can be mild or intense. It may last a brief time or a long time. It may be painful only when you eat certain foods or when you bite in a specific way.    You will not feel a constant ache, as you would if you had a cavity.  The tooth may be more sensitive to cold temperatures.

If the crack gets bigger, a piece of the tooth may break off. You may also develop an infection. This can happen in the gum around the fractured tooth.  You may notice a pimple-like bump on the gum near the tooth. Pus may drain from the pimple. This is known as a fistula.

Many people with cracked tooth syndrome have symptoms for months. Cracked tooth syndrome is one of the most difficult dental problems to diagnose because the pain is not predictable.

Diagnosis

Your dentist will examine your mouth and teeth, focusing on the tooth in question. He or she may use a sharp instrument called an explorer to feel for cracks in the tooth. Your dentist also will look at the gums around the tooth. You may have X-rays taken. But X-rays often do not show the crack.

Your dentist may use special tools to test the tooth. One tool looks like a toothbrush without bristles. It fits over one part of the tooth at a time as you bite down. If you feel pain, the part of the tooth being tested most likely has a crack in it.

Your dentist may shine a very bright light on the tooth. He or she may stain it with a special dye. If the tooth already has a filling or crown, your dentist may remove it in order to see the tooth better.

Expected Duration

How long symptoms last depends on how quickly a cracked tooth can be diagnosed. Even after a crack is found, treatment may not completely relieve the symptoms.

Prevention

If you grind or clench your teeth, talk to your dentist about treatment. Grinding can increase your risk of cracked tooth syndrome.

Treatment

Treatments for cracked tooth syndrome do not always relieve the symptoms.

Treatment depends on:

  • Where the crack is
  • How deep it is
  • How large it is

Sometimes a crack affects one or more cusps of a tooth. These are the highest points of the tooth. In this case, the tooth may be fixed with a crown, also known as a cap. Some cracks affect the pulp: the center of the tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are. In that case, the tooth will need root canal treatment.

About 20% of teeth with cracked tooth syndrome will need root canals. After a root canal, the tooth will no longer be sensitive to temperature, but it still will respond to pressure. If you felt pain before the root canal, you may still feel some pain afterward. It probably will not be as intense or as frequent, but it may still occur.

Your dentist can make a night guard (a plastic bite piece) to prevent you from grinding your teeth. This will relieve the pain from grinding. For some people it can stop tooth sensitivity. The night guard can be worn during sleep. It also can be worn at other times if clenching or grinding happens during waking hours.

When To Call a Professional

If you feel pain when you bite or chew, contact your dental office.

Prognosis

Treatment of cracked tooth syndrome is not always successful. Your dentist should talk with you about what might happen. In some people, a crown will fix the problem. In others, root canal treatment solves the problem. Some people continue to have occasional symptoms after treatment. They may need to have the tooth taken out