If dentists could suggest a mantra for their patients to recite everyday, it would surely be, "OOOOOOOHHHMMMMMM BRUSH AND FLOSS EVERYDAAAAAAY! OOOOOOHHHHHHMMMMMMM... Next bead...
Simple concept, super simple practice, but people, you're killing me with the lack of brushing and flossing! The number one thing people do in my office everyday is tell me, as I look into their gum-inflamed mouths, that they brush at LEAST once a day and floss, too. I'm no CSI detective, but you are not doing this. How do I know? Aforementioned gums and cavities, that's how. Plaque—that gooey combination of bacteria, sugars, and bacterial excrements (yes, bacteria poops) forms while you are sitting at your computer, watching your favorite TV show, or commuting to and from work. When it’s soft, you can brush it away with a soft-bristled instrument. When it gets hard you (or me) have to chip it away with metal sticks. What can I say to make a difference? So here and now, armed with only anecdotal evidence and passion, I will try to convince you that brushing—twice a day for two minutes—and flossing—at least twice a day—everyday is the way to go.
Disease . Unlike other organs in your body that are covered with skin, clothes, or buried deep within, your mouth is right out on the front lines, catching disease like plankton in a whale's gullet. And it’s warm and mostly dark (unless you are a big talker). So where do germs like to live? You guessed it! The mouth. And what are germs doing in there? SPAWNING! That's right, they're makin' babies who, in turn, make babies, who poop everywhere and make your mouth start to smell. Once they finish breeding, they head INTO YOUR BODY! They are the worst! It is well documented that patients with periodontal disease have a higher risk of having heart heath problems.
How to fix this? The Mantra...brush and floss everyday. Ohm.
Decay. Speaking of plaque, which we were a few moments ago, plaque is like the hungry caterpillar, it just loves to munch. In the absence of your turkey sandwich, it will happily gnaw away at your lovely enamel, turning it from pearly to putrid. Then I have to numb you up, drill it out, charge you a fortune (I have bills, too!), and the funny thing is its mostly AVOIDABLE if you just—say it with me people— "BRUSH AND FLOSS EVERYDAY!" Known fact: patients who brush (for two minutes) and floss twice a day typically have fewer dental problems than those who only brush once a day or less.
How to fix this one? The same Mantra...brush and floss everyday. Ohm, ohm.
Diet. Oh how my patients love the sugary drinks! And what’s not to love? An ice-cold Coke with a bag of popcorn and a good movie…ahh, sounds like you’ll be calling me very soon! Sugar seems to be the consistent ingredient in everything that tastes good including spaghetti sauce, salad dressings, frozen yogurt, trail mix (it only sounds healthy), fruit juices, and of course, my favorite category—all desserts (yes, it’s true; I am a dentist with a wicked sweet-tooth). These sugars are the primary source of nutrients for plaque . Sugar is like “crack” for plaque bacteria. Now I would never suggest not eating sugary foods, that issue is between you and your dietician, but if you do, brush ASAP (within 20 minutes is recommended). You will remove the source of fuel for those breeding bacteria. Don’t have access to a toothbrush? Rinse your mouth with water. It is not as effective as brushing, but it is better than not doing anything. No water? Try chewing sugarless gum, which activates salivary glands (rinsing action) and attracts food debris (gross).
Notice a pattern?
Drugs. Certain drugs and medications causing the mouth to become dry and inflamed and this can lead to an expanded capacity for bacteria to bloom in the mouth. Saliva creates a natural flushing action, and when the mouth is dry every cell of bacteria stays for the plaque party. If you have dry mouth as a result of medications or age, you must be even more diligent in brushing and flossing.
By now you’re not even surprised by that answer.
Debris. Do you leave food debris in your mouth? ‘Cause that's what it looks like when you come to me before brushing away your breakfast burrito. You would sweep up your kitchen floor after a meal, so then let's sweep that crud off your teeth. Two minutes, that's all it takes. Two minutes with the Mantra. Trust me you'll feel better and look better. Not even a supermodel looks good with food in her teeth.
So those are the five D' s of dental care for today. Please, brush and floss and call your mother.....ohm!
Directly from the American Dental Association website
ADA, CDC, OSAP Provide Resources to Dental Professionals
The ADA remains in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) regarding Ebola and is dedicated to providing the most up to date information for dental professionals on this evolving issue.
As of October 17, 2014, dental professionals are advised of the following:
A person infected with Ebola is not considered contagious until symptoms appear. Due to the virulent nature of the disease, it is highly unlikely that someone with Ebola symptoms will seek dental care when they are severely ill. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ADA Division of Science, dental professionals are advised to take a medical history, including a travel history from their patients with symptoms in which a viral infection is suspected.
As recommended by the ADA Division of Science, any person within 21 days of returning from the West African countries Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea may be at risk of having contacted persons infected with Ebola and may not exhibit symptoms. If this is the case, dental professionals are advised to delay routine dental care of the patient until 21 days have elapsed from their trip. Palliative care for serious oral health conditions, dental infections and pain can be provided if necessary after consulting with the patient’s physician and conforming to standard precautions and physical barriers.
An elevated temperature (fever) is often a consequence of infection, but Ebola is not the only infection that may have similar signs and symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms of Ebola infection are:
You are advised not to treat dental patients if they have these signs and symptoms for Ebola. If a patient is feeling feverish and their travel history indicates they may be at risk of Ebola, dental professionals and staff in contact with the patient should:
The Ebola virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood and body fluids (urine, feces, saliva, vomit and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola, or with objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with the virus. Ebola is not spread through the air or by water or, in general, by food. Again , there is no reported risk of transmission of Ebola from asymptomatic infected patients.
A patient came into the office today and as he sat down in the chair he told me that he had read something about Gandhi teeth. Gandhi was a fragile man, so very thin, had very few teeth, and sufered from bad breath. He often went barefoot so his feet were heavily calloused.
"So, " says my patient, " I guess you could call him a Super calloused, fragile mystic hexed with halitosis!"
We're here all week people, and the jokes are free!
Hello, smiling faces! I know you are smiling because you are reading a dentist's blog and that is kind of funny. Now I will give you a great reason to smile....my patient's recipe for Christmas Cheer. WARNING: This stuff is addictive! Proceed with caution. And brush. And floss!
Here it is, in her own handwriting:
Last week, a patient brought in treats for the office. (Note to readers and patients: this is a great idea!). My lovely receptionist (and wife) put the ziploc container in the break room and when she came back at lunch, I was chowing down on these little turtle treats.
They are amazing!
Here is the RECIPE:
But wait.... there's more...
Just this morning, Sabrina received an email from her art teacher, Sandy Jones, here is an excerpt.....
Also, I wanted to let you know that the pretzel/Rolo/pecan jobbies were a HUGE hit this weekend at my neighbor's BBQ!!! Her son (My quasi-nephew) was home from the Marines and he flipped. How-EVER, he had an excellent suggestion to substitute mini Reese's PB cups, which I did, and I honestly can't decide which is better!! You should try it. I sent him back to base with about 50 of those puppies and he couldn't be happier.
PLUS, I passed the "recipe" to 3 other women at the BBQ, so this thing is going viral - HA! Curses on your patient....thankfully I only had about 20 over the course of the 3-day weekend JEEEEZ.
So Reeses...a BRILLIANT substitution. Go forth and go viral, y'all..
Happy Smiling and Snacking and Brushing and Flossing!
Happy New Year! I hope all of you have had a lovely holiday season and that you maintained a consistent brushing and flossing schedule in spite of excesses in Rum Toddies, Peanut Brittle, and Cheese Balls. I have nothing pithy to offer at this time, but I wanted to start the year with a blog, so here are two humorous and completely unrealated bits of fun:
Derek THompson did an unemployment study in the Atlantic Monthy, which you can read in full below the graph. The graph shows lowest unemployment rates by profession--just the top thirteen. Take a look at the third from the left...and thank you very much from me.
and in unrelated humor: