Archive for June, 2012

June 20th marked our official first day of summer! With that 90 degree heat and bright shining sun, don’t forget to use a sunblock to protect your skin.  While a higher SPF means greater protection from the sun’s harmful rays, the most effective sunscreen is actually SPF 30.   After this point the effectiveness of the lotion plateaus and only has a 1-2 percent change in protection if at all.  Protect your skin from aging, burning, and harmful rays that can cause cancer by remembering to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure. Next time your at the store picking up sunscreen, make sure it has both UVA and UVB for the best coverage!


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A large number of patients have to some degree anxiety about their upcoming appointments at the dental office.  In some cases, this fear is so great that it even prevents them from seeking the dental care they might need.  At our office, we try to be as accommodating as we can with all of our patients to make our atmosphere a warm, comfortable, and caring environment.  If you do have anxiety about the dental office, do not let this prevent you from your next dental check-up.   The key to a beautiful smile is prevention through a  good at-home routine and regular cleanings.

While we cannot promise that every dental practice will help to calm your anxiety, here are a few steps that you can take to put yourself at ease.

  • Arrive early so that you do not feel rushed
  • Avoid caffeine before appointments as they will only contribute to your anxiousness
  • Inform your dentist of your fears, past experiences, etc
  • When in the dentist’s chair, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths
  • Anxiety stems from uncertainty.  So definitely ask your dental office questions in regards to your treatment.  The more you know about your dental care, the less you’ll fear it.

Half the battle is trusting the office you work with and gaining an understanding of what will be happening and why. The next time you visit your dental office, remember to try these few tips to help you relax before your appointment!

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ImageOrbit. Trident. Chiclets.  There are so many brands of gum on the market that consumers are both buying and chewing on a daily basis.  What’s in your purse or pocket right now?

If you haven’t already heard about Xylitol, now is the time to really consider switching to a sugar-free gum that has the Xylitol ingredient in it.  Regular gum brands are loaded with sugar as it serves as a sweetener and also provides the texture and structure to a stick of gum.  The sugar released from chewing gum fuels bacteria to produce acid which heightens our risk for decay.

What is Xylitol? Xylitol is an all natural sweetener that unlike aspartame and splenda is not chemically enhanced or made.  When you use Xylitol products, this ingredients stops the acid metabolizing process (starves the bad bacteria) in your mouth.  As a result of this, the pH level inside your mouth is regulated and less acidic – an ideal environment to keep you at a low risk for cavities.  Studies show that the Xylitol effect on teeth not only reduces the amount of acid but even raises the pH to a basic level that allows the saliva to release elements that actually strengthen tooth enamel.

Next time your craving a piece of gum or a mint, spring for one that has the Xylitol ingredient in it (we’ve seen them at Wholefoods) or visit the actual Xylitol website here.  Protect your teeth and prevent those cavities, in a natural, no added chemicals, sugar-free way!

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Did you know that June is National Smile Month? In the spirit of National Smile Month, we thought we would provide our readers with a few basic steps you can do at home to keep those pearly whites in healthy condition between your visits to the dental office.

  • Brush at least twice a day and rinse after sugary snacks
  • Purchase a toothpaste with a fluoride component
  • Floss daily
  • Try to replace sugary drinks with water (add a lemon for added taste)
  • Schedule regular visits to your dentist (every 6 months!)

If you have not scheduled your next dental cleaning, call your dental office and do it now!  Lastly, don’t forget to smile!

Office of
Carol L. Aiken, D.D.S

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Yogurt, not just a delicious snack!

Did you know that yogurt is not only good for your digestive tract, but has benefits for your oral health as well?  According to the Journal of Periodontology (2008), studies show that eating yogurt on a daily basis can lower your risk for tooth loss and gum disease.  The probiotics in this dairy treat help to promote proper pH balance of the environment of your mouth. Cavities thrive in an acidic environment; therefore, maintaining a well balanced pH is helpful in preventing decay.  Yogurt’s not only has a high calcium content that helps to strengthen the enamel of your teeth, but also has neutralizing qualities that lessen odor causing compounds of bad breath.

The next time you are craving a sweet snack, try a yogurt instead!

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Did you know that it’s best to brush your teeth 30 minutes after eating a meal?  Why?
 Acids formed by the sugar in both foods and drinks weaken
tooth enamel and put you at a higher risk to develop cavities.  Brushing immediately after a meal can be more damaging as the acid penetrates deeper into your teeth increasing the likelihood of erosion.  The American Dental Association recommends rinsing with mouthwash or warm water directly after eating and than brushing after thirty minutes.

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