Category Archives: Office News

Deep Cleaning: What it means to you

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You’re a good person – you pay your taxes, pick up litter, and make it to the dentist every 6 months. Now you’re being told you may need a deep cleaning…but don’t you clean your teeth every day? And isn’t a deep cleaning what the dentist always does? Not quite, although we know it can sometimes feel that way.

A regular dental cleaning is what you are accustomed to receiving every 6 months. The intention of this visit to the dentist is to maintain your healthy gums and give your teeth a little extra attention when it comes to matters of plaque and tartar, which can be difficult to remove fully with a toothbrush and floss alone. The odds are that if you are brushing and flossing every day, and taking any other steps recommended by your doctor, a regular dental cleaning is the perfect addition to your regular care that will keep your smile happy and healthy.

Deep cleaning, a necessity?

A deep cleaning, on the other hand, is what becomes necessary when the health of your teeth and gums become jeopardized by gum disease (or ‘periodontitis’). To put it in perspective, your gums are supposed to have tight and healthy seals around your teeth to protect them and keep them firmly in place. A standard part of your regular cleaning is your doctor using a diagnostic tool called a ‘periodontal probe’ to ensure this is the case; the probe is used to measure the depth of the space between your gums and teeth. Typically 1-3mm is considered normal, and there should be very little or no bleeding at all. Upwards of 4mm is a sign that you are developing ‘pockets’, which are a space between the teeth and gums that becomes prime breeding ground for bacteria and tartar buildup. Plaque that is not brushed and flossed away left on the teeth for more than 24 hours can become tartar, which only your dentist can remove. Left unattended, these pockets can deepen and compromise the tooth and the surrounding bone structure. If the dentist uses the probe and measures 4mm or more, and/or there is significant bleeding and signs of inflammation, then a deep cleaning will be scheduled to help you get your smile back on track.

Deep cleaning is not a scary process.

Oftentimes, your dentist will break the cleaning into two separate visits to most effectively treat your mouth, this is especially important if your entire mouth needs attention so that you’ll be numbed in only smaller sections of your mouth each time, making for a completely comfortable process and quick recovery. The most common forms of treatment are ‘scaling’ and ‘root planing’. The process of scaling involves using a professional tool to remove plaque and tartar from both the surface of the teeth, and the pocket area that has been created between your teeth and gums. A scaling instrument, on the other hand, removes plaque and tartar from the surface of the root of your teeth, which is below the gum line and not visible. These tools are the only thing that can removed built up plaque, as even floss cannot reach far into deepened pockets. The good news is they do a wonderful job of cleaning up any tartar that has built up beneath the visible surface.

Periodontitis is a progressive disease, and left unattended can turn into a much more serious problem. Fortunately, the treatment is typically straight forward and as long as you follow the doctor’s aftercare instructions, the bacteria should be reduced to manageable levels and your gums should return to normal and lose any signs of redness. If you are feeling pain or sensitivity in your teeth, have red and/or puffy gums, or are experiencing bleeding during normal brushing and flossing – call us. The sooner periodontitis is identified the easier it is to treat and the less expensive it is for you, if you have any concerns about your oral health just remember that a professional evaluation is never harmful and may offer you some great information.

 

Dr.Robinette
931-486-0700
931-796-7808
http://www.springhilldentistrybydesign.com

Easter Hard Candy

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Easter means many things to different families everywhere, but one thing that remains consistent is the appearance of candy! Whether it’s hidden in eggs or just passed around, it comes at a nice nearly halfway mark in the year from Halloween. Sweets make for some excellent treats, and there is no reason not to indulge (in moderation of course)! However, all candies are not created equal, and it may be worth knowing which ones you can have relatively guilt free, and which could spell trouble for your wonderful smile.

When it comes to Easter indulgences, chocolate may make it onto the nice list – we know, this is great news to many of you. The less forgiving candies are the ones that make that all-too-familiar CRUNCH! Hard candies, like lollipops or jolly ranchers, can be an awfully tempting treat to bite. But best case scenario is they can pack hard-to-reach pieces of sugar into your gums that end up sitting there, as saliva can have a difficult time breaking them down. Worst case scenario, that crunch sound may be coming from a broken tooth, and sending you straight from your Sunday activities into our office. We do love seeing our patients, but not at the expense of their healthy smile! It happens more often than you think, and it’s not just because of the sugar – even some who are prone to absentmindedly crunching on ice have discovered the dangers of biting down on crunchy munchies when they find a piece of their tooth broken off. Your teeth are durable for normal eating and chewing, but anything that causes too much stress can run the risk of chipping or breaking one of your pearly whites. Before you try to impress your friends with breaking that jaw breaker in half, remember that it’s earned that name for a pretty good reason.

Even if you resist that satisfying crunch, there are still a few other points of concern for hard candies that you don’t run into with other options (like chocolate!). Hard candies that you suck on tend to spend a concentrated period of time in a single location, which over-exposes particular areas of your mouth to sugar and lead to a very concentrated build-up of acid, which can be a quick way to damage the enamel. Consider this next time you find yourself unwrapping that tootsie pop or after-meal mint, and perhaps enjoy a stick of gum instead. It’s not often that the solution for a sweet treat is yet another sweet treat, but you’re in luck because this time it is! After enjoying your holiday treats, consider enjoying a piece of sugar-free gum – the increased saliva productions while chewing can actually help dislodge and break down the remaining sugar in your mouth.

Overall, we don’t want to take the enjoyment out of candy-filled holidays – enjoy your time with your friends and family, and definitely don’t be afraid to pop open that plastic egg and see what treats hide inside. If you do find yourself going crazy for the crunchy candies, we hope you chew safely…and if things go wrong, you always have your friends at our office to set things straight (:

Dental Health and Pregnancy

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Pregnancy changes a lot about the female body, which is no surprise considering all the physical and hormonal effects that take place over the course of those 9 months. All that considered, the profound connection between pregnancy and dental health can still be a shock to many.

As an example, the rapid surge in hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can alter the manner in which gum tissue reacts to plaque. Plaque buildup affects everybody, so it’s always important to make sure your teeth are being cleaned thoroughly. However, ‘pregnancy gingivitis’ is a condition that affects the vast majority of mothers-to-be and should be carefully monitored. Prevention is always more useful than treatment, and for that reason we encourage a diet high in Vitamin C and B12 – don’t forget, baby’s teeth are developing too so it’s important to have a diet that’s nutritious for your teeth and theirs! Be sure to brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss each evening as well.

In addition to ‘pregnancy gingivitis’, pregnant women are also at risk for ‘pregnancy tumors’. These tumors are inflamed, but non-cancerous, growths that may develop when the gums become swollen and irritated. Usually the tumors will resolve themselves post-birth, but if you find one and it’s uncomfortable or painful, don’t hesitate to call our office so we can help you proceed with the right treatment for you.

In general, if you are either currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should always let your dentist know immediately in order to best proceed to minimize the risk of pregnancy-related complications. If needed, most procedures can be performed during pregnancy, particularly if you are in pain or have any concerns. However, we do not recommend any elective procedures until after the baby’s birth in order to minimize health risks to you or the child. Pregnancy does come with health concerns to be monitored, but as was the case before you received the news about your bundle of joy, consistent and thorough cleaning is always your best bet. Above all else, relax and enjoy this special time!

Dr.Robinette

931-486-0700
931-796-7808

http://www.springhilldentistrybydesign.com

 

Effects of Osteoporosis on your Oral Health

 

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Effects of Osteoporosis on your Oral Health

Osteoporosis isn’t a new discovery, or a disease unheard of by many. That being said, many people don’t realize how closely tied to your oral health it can actually be.

In short, osteoporosis is caused by an insufficient consumption of calcium and vitamin D. It affects the bones, making them less dense and thus more likely to break. Osteoporosis is directly tied to your long-term dental health as this weakening of the bones may heavily compromise the jaw bone.  A weakened jawbone can have a host of detrimental consequences for your teeth, including increased tooth mobility, or complete tooth loss.

The best cure for the degradation of the jawbone is avoiding it all together with a balanced diet high in vitamin D and calcium, and getting a sufficient amount of exercise. Barring that, be sure to attend your dental appointments regularly so that way the structure and health of your mouth can be monitored, and any problems that may develop are addressed immediately and not permitted to deteriorate.

As it is, due to hormone imbalances and changes over life, women are most at risk to developing osteoporosis, but it can absolutely develop in either gender depending on a host of lifestyle variables, not limited to diet and exercise.

Symptoms to pay attention to that may be indicative of osteoporosis affecting the jaw include: pain and/or swelling in the gums or jaw, as well as infection; injured gums not healing in a timely fashion; teeth that become loose for no reason or after only minor strain; numbness or discomfort in the jaw; or at worst, exposed bone. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate contacting your dentist to prevent exacerbating the issue.

 

Dr.Robinette

931-486-0700
931-796-7808

http://www.springhilldentistrybydesign.com

Your Holiday Guide to Santa’s Elf

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!

ProfilePicDentistry By Design of Spring Hill | Richard L. Robinette, DMD
220 Town Center Parkway Suite 130
Spring Hill, TN 37174
Phone: 931-486-0700

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.

Dentistry By Design of Spring Hill

ProfilePicRichard L. Robinette, DMD
220 Town Center Parkway Suite 130
Spring Hill, TN 37174
Phone: 931-486-0700