Dental Blog

Don't like flossing?

Posted On: January 06, 2019

Don’t Like Flossing? Try One Of These Methods and Get Those Gums in Shape!

When it comes to dental floss, what’s the best kind? Well, if you ask a dentist, they’ll tell you the best dental floss is the floss you’ll actually use. That could be Teflon floss, dental tape, nylon floss, waxed floss, and flosses with or without flavors – there are a lot of choices! There are also a number of ways to get your flossing done that don’t have you wrapping a long string of floss across your fingers and deftly maneuvering your hands in such an enclosed space. Enter floss, the oral irrigator, the vibrating flosser, and the dental pick! Which might be best for you?

  • Dental Pick:If you’re prone to ignore flossing, you may want to consider a good old fashioned dental pick. You’ve no doubt seen these before (sometimes cast aside on the sidewalk!) … they look like a plastic toothpick with a strand of dental floss strapped across a wide u-shaped tip. The simplicity and compact nature of these little portable floss “picks” seem to add to their convenience, and kids seem to love them when they’re first learning to floss. We also recommend using Soft-Picks with a flexible tapered bristles that fits between teeth.  It removes food between the teeth, stimulates and massage gums.  We’ll bet you can find at least one colleague in your office who has a few in their purse or desk for those moments when lunch lingers on the teeth a bit longer than appreciated! We’ll even give you a packet of these for free the next time you come in!”
  •  Electric Flossers: Depending on the brand, electric flossers are known by a variety of names, and searching for these handy little devices can be somewhat maddening online (trust us!). You may be best just wandering into the drug store or supermarket to explore in person! There are vibrating flosserspower flossers, and air flossers. Picking the one that’s right for you depends on the task at hand. Power flossers and air flossers seem best if you’re dealing with space concerns near the gum line, and may be a good substitute for an interproximal toothbrush. A vibrating flosser, on the other hand, looks much like a dental pick and because of its design, can cover the entire length of the tooth. We recommend avoiding the use of these flossers buy using an electric toothbrush along with floss twice a day to keep your teeth clean and gums healthy.
  • Oral Irrigator:An oral irrigator is a device that uses a pulsating stream of water to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth. There are a variety of instruments on the market, and your dentist can recommend one based on the health of your gum tissue and budget. Oral irrigators are remarkably effective at keeping gum tissue healthy, and have been shown to reduce pocket depth due to periodontitis. “Pocket depth,” refers to the depth of the gum tissue that immediately surrounds your teeth. You may not know it, but that’s what your dentist or hygienist is testing for when they’re poking that instrument in your mouth during an exam.
  • It’s worth noting that each of these devices, while recommended, should be considered as supplements to normal flossing – still your best choice. But, if you have dexterity concerns, are purchasing something for a youngster, or just want to ensure your teeth are the cleanest they can be, these tool are great options!
  • Are you already our patient or looking to schedule your first appointment? Ask about our special for our patients. Mention this blog post and receive 10% off a Triumph Genius Electric Professional Toothbrush to make the job of brushing easy and fun.

Apples are good for you.

Posted On: November 01, 2018

At the same time, there is evidence to suggest some polyphenols in apples can lower the ability of cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to teeth. Further, some studies have shown that the antioxidants in apples can help prevent periodontal disease.

Apples even contain a (very) small amount of fluoride. This is worth noting, as fluoride is so important in helping prevent cavities.

Lastly, the act of chewing an apple stimulates saliva production. Saliva helps wash away food debris and bacteria. Remember, though, apples contain sugar and acid so it’s best not to go overboard with them. You can even swish with water after eating one to wash away some of the sugar left behind.

 As the science continues to look into how apples affect our teeth, one thing we know is true: regular dental visits, along with daily tooth brushing and flossing, is your best defense against tooth decay


Electric vs Manual Toothbrushes

Posted On: October 01, 2018

Electric or Manual Toothbrush:  Which is better?

This is one of our most frequently asked questions!  Our answer?  It's not the brush that matters, it's who;s doing the brushing.

Let's break that down.  The goal of tooth brushing is to remove plaque from your teeth on a consistent(daily!) basis, so that we prevent the buildup of tartar which leads to tooth decay.  A manual toothbrush is a great and inexpensive tool that helps us do just that.  Make sure to brush two minutes per day, twice a day.  Gently brush ALL surfaces and make sure to reach those back molars.

For some people, it can be difficult to brush properly with a manual toothbrush.  Those with some form of motor disability or arthritis may benefit from using an electric toothbrush.  An electric brush can also be helpful for kids or anyone with braces.

The same tooth brushing rules apply-two times per day, two minutes at a time.  One advantage of an electric toothbrush is that some have a built-in-timer.  If you're one of those quick brushers who has a hard time making it to two minutes, consider using a timed electric brush.

At your next dental visit, ask us whether we think you could do better with a manual or electric brush!  And, as always, don't forget to floss!


Foods that cause tooth decay.

Posted On: September 03, 2018

Foods That Cause Tooth Decay

When it comes to tooth decay, it’s important to know the main culprit – acid. Acid is what eats away at our enamel and causes cavities.

Acid can enter our mouths in one of two ways: either directly through what we eat (citrus fruits, for example), or as a byproduct when oral bacteria consume the sugars that we eat.

Ultimately, a simple way to identify foods that cause tooth decay is to ask whether it’s acidic or sweet/starchy.

Acidic foods include things like citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, kombucha and sour candy. Sweet/starchy foods include things like candy, soda or sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit, bread, cereal, pasta and crackers.

 The longer these things interact with your teeth, the greater the chance for tooth decay to occur.

For example, sipping on soda throughout the day, or chewing a gooey caramel treat, increases the amount of sugar that coat your teeth. Bacteria love to feast on this sugar, creating an acidic environment and putting your teeth at risk for decay.

To help protect your teeth against tooth decay:

- Reduce your consumption of sweets and refined starches  

- Enjoy acidic foods in moderation or as part of a meal 

- Decrease or eliminate your consumption of soda or sugar-sweetened beverages

 - Swish with water after meals and snacks 

 - Maintain good oral hygiene to brush away plaque buildup (floss at least once a day and brush twice a day)

And, as always, make sure to visit us regularly so we can remove tartar buildup and assess for early signs of decay. 

Give us a call 352-307-3006 or email us at



New Blog August

Posted On: August 01, 2018

Diabetes & Oral Health

Special Care is Needed to Protect Your Teeth.



Diabetes and your teeth may not seem to be linked, but having diabetes can boost your risk for oral health problems. The good news: A little extra attention will help keep you healthy! Here's what to watch for.

Oral health problems associated with having diabetes include: 

Gum Disease

Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection. Including gum infections, that can lead to serious gum disease. In its early stages, gum disease is known as "gingivitis". That's when gums are swollen, soft, and may bleed, particularly during brushing or flossing.  

If gum disease progresses, however, the gums can begin to detach from the teeth, forming pockets between the teeth and gums that can trap bacteria and boost the risk of infections. Untreated, the infections can destroy the underlying bones that hold the teeth in place.

Surgery may be needed. In one procedure called pocket depth reduction, the dentist folds back the gum tissue, removes the bacteria, and then secures the tissue into place so that it fits more tightly around the teeth, sometimes cutting away some of the unattached gum.

Slower Healing after Dental Surgery

With diabetes, you're likely to heal more slowly after oral surgery.  We'll prescribe antibiotics to keep any infection after surgery at bay. Pay close attention to and control your blood sugar levels before and after oral surgery.

Fungal Infections

If you have diabetes, you may also be at risk for fungal infections in the mouth, called oral candidiasis or "thrush".  This can happen even if you wear dentures. We can prescribe a prescription rinse that will help clear up this infection.  

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, called xerostomia, is another common problem among people with diabetes.  Saliva is important to your oral health--it helps wash away food particles and keeps the mouth moist.


When you don't have enough saliva, bacteria can thrive, tissues can get irritated and inflamed, and your teeth are more prone to decay.

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

Taking care of your oral hygiene at home every day is crucial.  Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day.  Antibacterial mouth rinses can also help reduce the bacteria that cause plaque buildup on teeth and gums.  Examine you mouth for inflammation or signs of bleeding gums.  If you notice either, let us know right away.

Once We Know, We Can Help!

Be sure to tell us if you've been diagnosed with diabetes.  Also, please provide us with a list of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking.  Only then can we do our best for you!



Sjogren's Sndrome

Posted On: July 01, 2018

July 23rd is World Sjogren's Day. It's named after Dr. Henrik Sjogren, the Swedish ophthalmologist who noticed a connection between patients he was seeing with dry eyes, and patients who suffered from a consistently dry mouth. Further investigation resulted in the discovery that these symptoms were caused by an immune system attack on these patients' moisture-producing glands. Today, approximately 4 million Americans live with this chronic disease, and many more go undiagnosed. Let's take a quick look at the symptoms, and learn more about this disease that causes far more complications than the occasional parched mouth. Read more

What is Sjögren's?

Sjögren's is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease in which people’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. However, it has also been known to cause dysfunction of other non-exocrine organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. While you may not have heard of Sjogren’s, you’re likely aware of world tennis star, Venus Williams, who discovered she had the disease herself in 2011.

What are the primary symptoms?

Among individuals with Sjögren's, the most common symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, and dry eyes and mouth. However, since these symptoms can also point to other illnesses, Sjögren's is often misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed at all. This is such a pressing concern for medical professionals involved in diagnosing and caring for Sjögren's patients, they have made it their mission to cut the time to diagnosis in half by 2017. Currently, the diagnosis isn’t typically made until a person with Sjögren's has been suffering with symptoms for 4.7 years on average – a fact that often leads Sjögren's patients to experience complications related to the disease like cavities, oral thrush, and vision problems.

When does it develop? Can kids be affected?

Sjögren's can develop at any time, affects women more commonly than men, and (while rare) can also affect children.

If I have Sjögren's, does my dentist need to know?

Yes, without a doubt, your dentist plays an important role in the management of Sjögren's. They may also be the first person to suggest you see a specialist for further examination. Since Sjögren's affects the body in a variety of ways, patients often work with a team of medical professionals, including rheumatologists and ophthalmologists, who work together to help patients control this complicated illness.

For more on the importance of saliva, and how it affects your teeth and overall health, read perhaps the best article on saliva you’ll ever read in your life, on the European Food and Information Council’s website. Saliva is indeed, amazing stuff!


Are My Gums Receding? And Why?

Posted On: June 03, 2018

Are My Gums Receding? And Why?

Have you ever noticed you're often in the dark about having put on weight until the day you need to don that dress or suit that's been hiding in the closet since last year? Progressive change can be difficult to notice, especially when it occurs to us and not someone else.  Changes that occur along our gum line certainly fall into this category, and given the measurement used to gauge erosion is measured in millimeters, it's no wonder it's easy to miss. So, how much erosion is normal, and what causes it? Let's take a look.

Unfortunately to most, gum recession is considered to be a normal part of aging.  Even the expression "long in the tooth" stems from the age-old story that as we get older, our gum line tends to recede and expose more of the surface of our teeth. But there really is nothing "normal" about gum recession, and for most of us, it can actually be prevented. So, unless you're inclined to keep things as they are, and embrace gum recession as the well-paid price of wisdom, we can help.  

First things first. There are a host of factors that contribute to the erosion of your gum line. The best part is, the VAST majority of these causes are preventable.  Here are some of the biggies:

  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Over vigorous, or improper brushing
  • Aggressive flossing
  • Exposure to acids in sports and energy drinks
  • Tobacco use
  • The frequent use of whitening productAll of the above causes of gum loss can be prevented. All of them.  If you grind your teeth at night, you can wear a mouth guard. If you brush as though you're sanding down the statue of David, learn proper technique from your dentist, or from a video online. Bleeding a lot when flossing? You're not slicing cheese - go easy, there, friend!  If you smoke, drink too many energy drinks, or chew tobacco, cut back, or stop altogether. None of that stuff is good for you in any way imaginable. And lastly, if you're actually trying to look like Ross from the show "Friends" by abusing whitening strips, you can stop now, your teeth have got to be super-white already!
    What's next? How can you tell if your gums are receding faster than the Amazon rainforest? Well, the most proactive step you can take is to visit your dentist. In fact, if you're going regularly, your dentist has been monitoring your recession for some years now. If you've ever noticed your dentist poking around in your mouth with a metal object you can't see, all while reciting numbers to the hygienist, he's probably doing two things: measuring the recession of your gums, and the depths of your gum pockets. Both speak to the health of your gum line.

    So, the next time you hear your dentist reading off what seem like lottery number choices, just ask how your gum-health is going … they'll be happy to keep you in the loop.

    The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, so be on the lookout for this tell-tale sign. Reduce, or eliminate the above discussed habits, and ask your dentist how you're doing in terms of taking care of your gums. With a little bit of knowledge and proactive behavior, no one will be saying you're "long in the tooth" any time soon, and you'll still be able to maintain your sage status. And, that's a good thing.



Health for Senior Citizens

Posted On: May 01, 2018

When we think of developing good oral hygiene habits, we usually think of children.  And is is true, that the best time of life to create good habits like these is when you are very young.  Dental health, however, is important throughout life, and may be even more significant for older adults.

Teeth are in greater jeopardy as they age.  Statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) fir 2014 show that 2.3% of adults 18-44 years old were missing all of their natural teeth.  For the age group 65-74 years old, this rate jumps to 16.4%.  For the population of American adults over 75, the rate of total tooth loss is 26.8%.  Older adults may experience dental decay at a higher rate than children because gum recession exposes a larger part of the tooth to contaminants.

Exposure to contaminants threatens tooth decay, but poor oral health is reflected in various other health conditions, and old age is the most vulnerable time for a breakdown of healthy body systems.  The decay and loss of natural teeth is not inevitable in old age, though.

Exposure to contaminants threatens tooth decay, but poor oral health is reflected in various other health conditions, and old age is the most vulnerable time for a breakdown of healthy body systems. The decay and loss of natural teeth is not inevitable in old age, though. Through proper oral hygiene, the elderly can continue to maintain good dental health and thereby have a positive effect on the rest of their bodies.

Importance of Dental Care for Elderly

There is a connection between oral hygiene and health in the rest of your body. In fact, oral health is a general indicator of other health issues. The mouth is naturally full of bacteria. As long as that bacteria is kept in check by good oral hygiene habits and functioning saliva glands, there are no problems.

Problems do arise, however, when oral hygiene is poor or saliva production is impeded, such as in elderly patients. When the bacteria collect in the mouth and travel throughout the body, it can cause or accelerate infections in other areas. Four important problems that can develop as a result of poor oral hygiene are:

Respiratory Infections  Pneumonia is a serious concern for the elderly, who often have diminished lung capacity due to aging. When you have infected teeth or gum disease, you are constantly breathing in that bacteria. It can travel to your lungs and cause infections as well. A buildup of bad bacteria in the mouth for any reason is dangerous to your lungs.

 Diabetic Complications  Diabetes is common among senior citizens, most of whom manage to control their symptoms with diet and exercise or medication. Diabetics are more prone to periodontal disease, due to a reduction in blood circulation. Blood sugar levels are also harder to control when gum disease is present. A combination of diabetes and periodontal disease can result in a prolonged period of uncontrolled blood sugar levels, which may cause more serious diabetes complications.

Cardiovascular Disease — Excessive bacteria build up in the mouth can easily get into the blood stream through gum tissue or abrasions in the mouth from poorly fit dentures. The more bacteria that get into the blood stream, the more likely it will travel to the heart and induce an infection. Bacteria can also cause hardening in the arteries around the heart, increasing the risk of a blood flow blockage, resulting in stroke or heart attack.

 Dementia — When excessive bacteria travels around the body, it can possibly get into the brain through the bloodstream or even nerve channels in the head. If bacteria get into your brain, it can kill brain cells and later your thought patterns. Those sorts of changes in brain chemistry, especially in the elderly, can lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s.

The elderly are more susceptible to infection because their immune systems are not as strong as they once were. Bacteria build up in the mouth is a concern, especially given the location of the mouth in the head, with easy access to vital systems. As a result of age, senior citizens are more likely to have oral conditions that promote bacteria development.


As we age our health conditions change, inCluding oral health.  The increased use of medications, changes in body chemistry and other life changes affect their oral health.  Common dental conditions that present in elderly patients include:

  • Root Decay —Roots of the teeth are generally concealed by gum tissue. They do not have a protective coat of enamel like the crown of the teeth, so when the roots are exposed, they tend to decay rapidly. Root decay becomes a concern when gum tissue recedes.
  • Dry Mouth —A number of medications can cause reduced saliva production. Certain diseases can also result in a chronic dry mouth. Radiation treatment applied to the head, neck or throat, to fight cancer or other serious diseases, may also reduce the flow of saliva in the mouth.
  • Diminished Sense of Taste —As people age, their senses become impaired, including their sense of taste. Other factors, such as dentures, diseases and medications, also reduce the ability to distinguish between subtle flavors.
  • Tooth Loss —Tooth loss is a very common condition for senior citizens. It is primarily caused by gum disease. Losing teeth can affect your bite and actually alter you’re eating habits, keeping you from getting the nutrition you need to stay healthy.
  • Darkened Teeth —A lifetime of foods and beverages can leave teeth stained and yellowed, or even brown. This discoloration also appears when the enamel layer wears thin, revealing the dentin underneath. Dentin itself can undergo changes later in life that makes it appeal darker.
  • Thrush —An overgrowth of a fungus commonly found in the mouth, Thrush is the equivalent of a yeast infection. Candida albicans can be triggered by certain diseases or drugs, some of which reduce the count of good bacteria in the system which normally keeps it in check.
  • Stomatitis —The tissue beneath a denture can become inflamed and painful. When dentures don’t fit properly, are not refitted periodically, (following weight gain or loss, for instance) this condition can occur. An overabundance of fungus, like Thrush, or generally poor dental hygiene can also contribute to this condition.Uneven Jawbone — Following tooth loss, the jawbone can become unstable. When missing teeth are not replaced, the remaining teeth have room to move around and will drift into the empty spaces.
  • Uneven Jawbone —Following tooth loss, the jawbone can become unstable. When missing teeth are not replaced, the remaining teeth have room to move around and will drift into the empty spaces. Ultimately, the bite is affected, causing pain and other health issues including malnutrition.

    Dentistry for senior citizens is a different practice than pediatric dentistry, for example. Older adults have different concerns when it comes to oral hygiene, and they need a dentist who is experienced at looking for and treating these conditions. When caught early in elderly patients, these common dental conditions can be reversed or relieved with treatment. As the condition lingers and is allowed to develop further, it takes more invasive measures to address.

Good oral hygiene is important at any age. As we get older, it becomes especially important, since dental health is closely linked to some serious health concerns for the elderly.  The mouth becomes an avenue for bacteria to enter the blood stream and even the nervous system.  Seniors, who already have a less robust immune system, should take precautions to protect themselves against excessive and unwanted bacterial contamination.

A comprehensive oral hygiene routine will help ensure that bacteria don't to build up in the mouth.  For many people, continuing a regular routine is enough.  For some, making additions to the oral hygiene regime as you age is a good idea.  The most important part of maintaining dental health for the elderly is keep the teeth and gums clean and having a dentist monitor the situation on a regular basis.

A healthy oral hygiene regime for the elderly includes:

Daily Cleaning

The habit of brushing and flossing your teeth that you have established over your lifetime will serve you particularly well in your later years. Brushing is the first defense against bacteria buildup, tooth decay and gum disease. Even if you have never had a cavity, this is not the time to relax your brushing and flossing routine.

Since senior citizens are more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay, it is a good idea to increase your daily efforts to fight cavities. Most dentists recommend brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, and even between meals if necessary. Also, cleaning between teeth with dental floss or some other product designed for that purpose should be added to your daily routine.

Denture Cleaning

Dentures need cleaned every day, just like natural teeth. Unlike natural teeth, however, dentures cannot be cleaned with toothpaste. It is too abrasive, and may do more damage than good. Instead, be sure to use a product specifically designed for cleaning dentures. Soaking them overnight in water is not enough to remove the bacteria that accumulates up during the day.

Dentures also need to be taken out each day to help maintain healthy gums. The tissue on the inside of the mouth needs at least a four hour break from the dentures each day. It makes sense to do this at night and clean your dentures at the same time.

Dentist Visits

Dental care is much more accessible now than it used to be. Some people may not have grown up visiting the dentist regularly, but as a senior citizen it is important. An annual dental check up can support your at-home cleaning efforts and also recognize signs of gum disease and tooth decay while it can still be treated.

Treat your dentist as part of your regular medical team. Be sure to update him on the medications you’re taking, or any health issues you have experienced since your last check up. He can give you tips on improving your oral hygiene routine. Remember that what goes on in your mouth can affect your whole body, so talk with your dentist about changes in diet, lifestyle and health since your last visit.

 Dry Mouth

It is important to be aware of a dry mouth condition and take steps to improve it.  Dry mouth can accelerate tooth decay and cause dentures to fit poorly and irritate the skin underneath them.  By adding a moisturizing mouthwash to your daily oral hygiene regime, you could improve or even eliminate dry mouth.  There are also sprays and gums available that encourage saliva production.  Artificial saliva products are available at the pharmacy, but is is a good idea to consult your dentist about what product is right for you.

Diet and Lifestyle

Everything you put in your mouth has a potential to affect your oral hygiene. Maintaining a healthy diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables, will help keep your teeth and gums in good shape. Chewing is good exercise for your mouth.

Chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes is not healthy for your mouth. You may have used tobacco products for years without any obvious consequences, but when you reach your twilight years your health risk from these increases. Ask your dentist about tobacco cessation products that could improve your oral health.

Fluoride continues to be an important part of a healthy diet, even for the elderly. Drinking plenty of water helps to remain hydrated and flushes out toxins. Scientists have proved that drinking fluoridated helps maintain healthy teeth, and is an important part of good oral hygiene.

Just like every other system of the body, it is important to maintain good oral health as we age. A robust hygiene routine will help insure good oral health by preventing decay and disease and by treating any adverse conditions before they become serious and affect other parts of the body. The mouth is the gateway to the body, so it makes sense to take care of it.

Making Dental Health a Priority

There was a time when dentistry was a luxury for those who could afford it. It was considered cosmetic, not essential and not covered by insurance. Many people who visited the dentist were concerned about how their teeth looked, and it was an accepted fact that senior citizens would lose their teeth.

Now, we recognize that dental health is an integral part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Teeth that look good are nice, but the health of your gums and the other tissue in your mouth is perhaps even more important. What goes on in your mouth affects the rest of your body and can change your health status is serious ways.

As we age, change is inevitable, but it doesn't have to be all bad.  Losing your teeth in your old age is no longer a foregone conclusion.  By adjusting your regular oral hygiene routine for the conditions common to senior citizens, you can maintain good dental health, and that will be reflected in your overall health.  Make dental health a priority to maintain a good quality of life through your twilight years.