Tips and Advice

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

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April Flowers

April showers…bring oral cancer screenings

If you follow us on Instagram, you know that we recently got a head start on our spring gardening! In addition to being the start of spring, April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.

Close to 50,000 people in the United States will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year, with 132 new cases coming to light every day.

While smoking and drinking are major risk factors, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation,  Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a growing contributor, especially among young, otherwise healthy patients.

HPV is the same virus that causes the majority of cervical cancers. If you or your child is between the ages of 9-26, it’s a good idea to ask your doctor about getting vaccinated.

While getting your vaccine and avoiding alcohol and tobacco are important, the best way to prevent oral cancer is regular screening. We remind all of our patients to get screened regularly, as early diagnoses is the best way to stop cancer in its tracks before it becomes a problem.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

We are reminding people in the office to get their oral cancer exam!


Manual vs. Electric Toothbrush: Which is the Best Choice?

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The modern dental patient has more choices than they did 15 years ago. Braces or Invisalign? At-home or in-office whitening treatment? And, finally, electric or manual toothbrush? With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging for the health-conscious individual to know the best choice for their smile.

Keep reading to find out the differences between using an electric or manual brush.

Electric Toothbrush


Rotadent Electric ToothbrushPros

Easier to Use: Simply hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and let it do the work. This makes it an especially beneficial option for those who suffer from arthritis or other dexterity problems.

May Remove More Plaque: During 2014 a study of 56 subjects, electric brushes were found to remove 21% more plaque than manual brushes. After 3 months, they were found to reduce gingivitis by 11% more than manual brushes.

At Alrez Family Dentistry, the Rotadent electric toothbrush is available for purchase. This brush can only be purchased at a professional dentist’s office. In the video below, you can view a demonstration that shows just how effective the Rotadent brush is at removing plaque.

Cons

Expensive: These may range in price from $20-$200. Electric models are a great deal more expensive than their manual counterparts.

Fragile: Don’t drop your brush on the floor! It likely won’t be able to survive a fall. And considering the point above, a broken brush is definitely a bummer.

Clunky: Not only are electric brushes larger and heavier than manual ones, they also have accessories that can take up space. Whether you have to keep batteries on hand or plug it into a wall charger, this gadget takes up more real estate on the bathroom counter when compared with the old-fashioned brush.

Manual Toothbrush


Orange and Cyan Toothbrush HeadPros

Inexpensive: In your local drugstore or supermarket, you can buy a new toothbrush for as little as 99 cents.

Portable: With little to no accessories required, manual brushes stow away easily in your medicine cabinet, and they’re great for traveling. Simply put your brush in a plastic baggie or case, and you’re good to go.

Get the Same Results With Proper Brushing Technique: With diligence and some patience, you really can have the same result with a manual brush as with an electric one.

Cons

Requires More Effort to Use Properly: Whereas with an electric toothbrush, you simply let the brush do the work, the power comes from within with manual brushes! To get a proper clean, you need to hold your brush at a 45 degree angle and move in circular motions. Then, you need to brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth at a dead-on angle. For the backs of your pearly whites, use back and forth vertical strokes.

No Built-In Timer: Most electric brushes come with a timer that helps you brush sufficiently. With a manual brush, you have to rely on your own internal timer.

Selecting the Best Brush Can be Tricky: Since you generate the power to clean your teeth with a manual brush, it is essential that you select a brush that is easy for your particular wrist, hand, and mouth. When faced with the enormous wall of choices at the drug store, this can be an overwhelming decision.

So Which One’s Best? It’s Up to You to Decide

Electric toothbrushes are great. They’re highly effective at cleaning teeth with very little effort. However, the truth is that with proper technique and a little bit more elbow grease, manual toothbrushes can be equally effective. There are pros and cons to both brushes, and it’s up to individual patients to choose which one best fits into their lifestyle. At Alrez Family Dentistry, our office recommendation is the Rodadent electric bush.


Just Stop Grinding Your Teeth

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Many patients have been coming into the office complaining that they have problems with teeth grinding. it has inspired us to re-visit an article Dr. Alrez wrote a while back for a local magazine.

If you grind your teeth regularly, you could be at risk of jaw disorders, headaches, broken teeth, and more. The problem is that a lot of teeth grinding happens during sleep, when you aren’t in control. We often recommend teeth grinding night guards to our patients, which are comfortable and safe to sleep in. Plus, they will help to stop you from grinding your teeth in your sleep.

Read the full article below for more information & feel free to contact us with any questions you might have about teeth grinding.

Stop Teeth Grinding


Maximize Your Dental Benefits

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dental-benefitsAt Alrez Family Dentistry, we want to make sure you get the most out of your dental benefits so you get the best treatment possible. In order for you take advantage of all unused benefits, we’ve come up with 5 reasons you should maximize your dental benefits.

  1. Yearly Maximum

Your dental insurance company allots you a yearly maximum to pay for all of your dental work within the year.  If you have unused benefits at the end of the year, they will not rollover. Be sure to use all of your benefits while you can.

2. Deductible

The deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of pocket before your insurance company will begin paying for your dental work. When your plan rolls over, your deductible starts again. It may not pay off to push back dental procedures.

3. Premiums

Even if you don’t need dental treatment, you should still schedule regular cleanings to use your benefits. You’re already paying your premium each month and these cleanings can prevent gum disease , cavities, and oral cancer.

4. Dental Health

If you delay dental treatment, your problems could worsen. By putting off your trip to the dentist, you could be risking more expensive and extensive procedures.

5. Flexible Spending

If you don’t use your flexible spending balance by the end of the year, that money is gone. Don’t let it go to waste while you’re in need of dental treatment or cleaning.

 

Request your appointment online today, or contact us with any questions.


Have your Best Valentine’s Day

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Check out These Tips on How to Make your Valentine’s Day the Best it Can Be

Cosmetic Dentistry Options

Valentine’s Day is approaching, which means you will want to look your best for your date, whether your significant other is your boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, or spouse. Since your smile is one of the first things your special someone will notice, it makes sense to want it to look as good as possible. Not only will you want to have your own smile to be its whitest, brightest, and aesthetically pleasing, but when giving a gift to your loved one for Valentine’s Day, you’ll want to be sure that you give gifts that aren’t going to cause them more dental problems, like sugary sweets!

Candy and Valentine’s Day

Candy and Valentine’s Day seem to be synonymous, making it a challenge to choose candies that aren’t filled with sugar. But some types of candies are worse than other — for your teeth and your health. So if you still want to get your sweetheart sweets, be smart about it. The type of candy to avoid is anything sour, sticky, and sweet. Sour candy can be especially detrimental because the acid can eat away at teeth enamel. Instead, as long as your significant other isn’t diabetic, turn to chocolate and softer sweets like peanut butter cups or soft chocolate pieces for this occasional indulgence for Valentine’s Day.

Cosmetic Dentistry Options

If you are looking to improve your smile before Valentine’s Day, it’s time to put your plan in motion. For a last minute smile improvement, the best choice is teeth whitening. There are various types of whitening options, some of which are done in just an hour. And most new whitening methods don’t cause sensitivity, which means the teeth whitening can be done right before Valentine’s Day. If you have about a month or more before your special Valentine’s Day celebration, consider getting veneers to perfect your smile.

Tips for a Better Smile

There are also some general tips that help keep your smile looking beautiful for Valentine’s Day and beyond. Besides following regular dental care daily, you should also be careful how much sugar you eat and drink, as it can cause discoloration of the teeth and add to tooth decay. Eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water is always better for your teeth.

Tips for Sweeter Smelling Breath

If you are concerned about bad breath — and fresh breath is a priority on Valentine’s Day — use mouthwash daily with fluoride. Brushing your tongue and flossing at least once a day also helps to keep your breath sweet smelling. Be sure to see your dentist regularly, because gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontal disease can contribute to bad breath.