Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Candy doesn't cause cavities! (ok, keep reading...)

      We've all heard the phrase "sweet tooth," and many of us have one! It might be that secret desire to go gorge yourself on a giant ice cream sundae with all the sprinkles, nuts and fixing's  possible at the local self-serve ice cream bar, or maybe its that gotta-have-it chocolate bar you grab at the
convenience store when no one's looking. Sometimes you've just got to give in to that need for a sweet fix! We know you do it, we do too!

      No one knows for sure where the phrase originated, some believe it was derived from the toothache you may feel when eating sugar, others say it's just the food-mouth connection. While opinions are split, people have referred to the "sweet tooth" since the 1400's as the desire to eat sweet foods. You can imagine our surprise when we staffers at Total Care Dentistry heard Dr. Dooley say it's OK to have sweets, "go ahead, it's that time of year," she said recently. What????? "Sweets don't give you cavities, that's only part of the story," she continued.

      We had to hear more! Did we just get a free pass to eat sweets? Really? They won't hurt our teeth? Turns out Dr. Dooley's main point was that eating sugary treats isn't bad, as long as you don't let the residue sit inside your mouth afterwards. Candies and treats that are heavily chewed are concerning when you don't brush the leftovers out of the crevices of your teeth. Removing the gummy remnants and even flossing it out of tight spaces makes a major difference!  Don't take this the wrong way, sugar isn't good for you. But simply eating a piece of candy won't hurt your teeth as long as you are diligent about your oral hygiene. Otherwise, the sugar you ate, can eat your teeth. Here's the scientific explanation for all you detail types:

"When sugar is consumed, particularly sucrose, naturally occurring bacteria inside the mouth interact with the sugar and produce acids that demineralize enamel on teeth. This demineralization process creates dental caries (lesions on teeth), which produce pain and, if left untreated, will erode and destroy teeth."  (National Institutes of Health)

That said, if you experience pain or sensitivity when eating sweets, that could signal a problem. Please schedule an appointment to have the tooth examined and treated.

Willy Wonka's dad was a dentist after all, he had to know something about the whole thing, right?


So the next time a major candy holiday comes around, you can tell you Trick or Treater or Easter basket binger to go ahead... they may get a sugar high and bounce off the walls for a bit... but as long as they brush after they chow down, they should be just fine! Oh, and you should be too!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sterilization practices key to patient safety

            The case of an Oklahoma Oral Surgeon in trouble  because of allegations of wrong-doing are unsettling to many dental patients. The Tulsa area doctor is accused of using unsanitary and unsterilized surgical tools and equipment on patients in an office he admits has a “higher than normal proportion” of patients of HIV and hepatitis. The surgeon has surrendered his license, still nearly 500 patients have had to be tested for the diseases at the local health department.
            The news is scary, and sad because it is preventable.  Federal and state guidelines are in place to protect against the spread of blood-borne pathogens. We want to assure patients of Total Care Dentistry that we us the most up-to-date methods of sterilization to ensure the health and safety of our patients and staff.  Our staff undergoes routine training at regular intervals to make sure all OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommendations and continuing education in the area are completed.  We were excited to welcome an infection control expert into our suite for an extensive review earlier this spring!    
       According to the National Institutes of health Hepatitis is more common than most people think. About 4.4 million Americans have the recurring liver infection and most of them don’t even know it.
     This article was republished from the April edition of the Patient Connection, a monthly newsletter produced by Total Care Dentistry, and Dr. Mary T. Dooley, DDS.



Your FAQ's: When do I replace my toothbrush?

The Your FAQ's titled posts are truly inspired by our patients and prospective patients. Please take the time to read these thorough explanations of the most common questions we hear in our practice.

Q: "When do I replace my toothbrush?"

A: This is a question we hear quite often. Dr. Dooley's
answer is always the same, even though your toothbrush
usage and kind you use my be different than that of another patient!

You can use the same toothbrush for as long as it maintains it original shape. Ignore those color-changing, or fading bristles, the shape is what matters. Most toothbrushes can keep their shape for about three to six months. If your brush is wearing out sooner, you could be brushing too hard. (Yes, that's a big problem! We'll tell you more about that another time.)

Still don't know if your toothbrush is good enough to keep getting the job done? You can also bring your toothbrush with you to your next visit. We'll take a glance and tell you if it's time to get a new one. Schedule your next appointment online on our website or Facebook page or call us at 757-486-4880.