Welcome to the Watson Dental Blog. Below are some articles on various dental topics by our staff.
Your smile may seem like a simple, straight forward thing, but there is more power in it than you think. It is the first thing a person will notice about you, it is more memorable than a frown and can tell others a lot about you before you even say anything. A nice smile can go a long way. Here is exactly how far.
What’s in a Smile?
Researchers have conducted smile studies for many years. Past studies show that genuine smiles promote positive social interactions, add value to conversations and influence how a person is viewed. A smile is one of the most important means for building and establishing rapport and is a universal sign of happiness. In fact, the very act of smiling can boost your mood. But that is not all.
According to a survey from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 99.7 percent of adults think a smile is a key social asset. But researchers at Bangor University took their research one step further. They used computer software to test college students’ responses to a genuine smiles.
Basically, the research examined responses to two types of smiles: polite and genuine. Students played a game against computerized opponents with higher or lower chances of winning. In later stages of the game, researchers asked students to choose their opponents and measured their preferences. Surprisingly, the college students (usually highly motivated to earn money) preferred genuinely smiling opponents even when they were less likely to pay. Through their findings, researchers calculated the economic value of a genuine smile based on the effect it can have on people’s decision-making.
Bangor researchers reported that each smile is worth exactly one third of a penny. This might sound surprisingly low, considering how much value we place on a smile. It’s also funny to think of smiles in monetary terms. However, if you smile 10 to 15 times over the course of a short interaction, those pennies can add up quickly and impact your decision-making. Think of the impact. Smiles, in the form of social currency play a bigger role than you think and are a valuable reward that people will pay to receive. A genuine smile from a car salesman may have you buying more add-ons than you intended. But, that’s just the economic value. The true value of a smile goes beyond what can be measured in coins.
How Much Value Do You Place on Your Smile?
A smile can change your mood, improve your confidence and even impact your health. Unfortunately, many people feel dissatisfied with how their smile looks and are too embarrassed to smile. Instead, they hide behind their hands or smiling with closed lips.
Don’t let this be you. Your smile is powerful and you should use it accordingly. If you are unhappy with stained, misshapen or misaligned teeth, you can visit Watson Dental Care. We provide several treatments to enhance the natural beauty of your smile including teeth whitening, dental veneers and Six Month Smiles.
Imagine how wonderful it will feel to have to have full confidence in your genuine smile once more. Call (407) 351-3213 to find out more today. We believe in smiling, absolutely.
Meta description: The saying is a penny for your thoughts, but Bangor University found that it should be a third of a penny for your smile. Find out about new research that determines exactly how valuable genuine smiles are.
Periodontal infections can begin simply enough. Swelling of the gums, maybe some bleeding—it doesn’t seem like such a big problem in the early stages. However, if gingivitis does progress into periodontitis, not only is your oral health at risk, but the disease could move systematically to other parts of the body. This can present some very major problems. Only with early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease can you take a proactive approach against what could become a dangerous infection.
There are many adults in the United States who suffer from periodontal disease, as many as 47 percent age 30 and over. That is about 64.7 million Americans with mild to severe periodontitis.
Stages of Periodontal Infection
Your mouth is always full of bacteria, and not all of it is bad. However, when bacteria begin to break down the carbohydrates and sugars in your mouth, they produce acids as a byproduct. When these substances get trapped along the gum line, the soft tissues of the mouth can become irritated and inflamed. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis and the more severe stage is called periodontitis.
During this phase of gum disease the symptoms can be fairly mild, including swelling, bleeding, and redness. Usually the symptoms and infection can be reduced and eliminated with daily brushing and flossing. Also, a general cleaning from a dentist or hygienist could clear up the infection. During this phase there is no bone or tissue loss.
When gingivitis is left untreated the infection can become more serious, leading to periodontitis. This is when inflammation is serious enough to form pockets between gums and teeth. These deep pockets harbor bacteria which can lead to destruction of the supportive bone and tissue surrounding the teeth.
Why Gum Disease is Dangerous
Modern research shows that periodontal infection is linked to several other health risks, not just tooth loss. These illnesses include diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.
Gum Disease and Diabetes
Not only are people with diabetes more likely to suffer from gum disease, but periodontal infection can increase blood sugar. This means the relationship between gum disease and diabetes goes both ways. People with diabetes, who suffer from gum disease, are more likely to suffer from diabetic complications.
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Another systematic health risk associated with gum disease is heart disease. Again, the cause-and-effect relationship is not yet determined. However, scientists believe the inflammation caused by the infection is responsible. At the very least, gum disease can exacerbate a pre-existing heart condition and could lead to a stroke. This is why the periodontist is likely to ask about any family history of heart disease.
Gum Disease and Cancer
Another frightening connection is the link between periodontal infection and some forms of cancer. Research shows advanced gum disease correlated to a 63 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer, a 50 percent increased risk of kidney cancer, and a 30 percent increased risk of blood cancer.
Preventing Gum Disease
Yes, controlling gum disease can save your teeth, but can also keep many other health problems from developing into something dangerous. One of the things you can do to control gum disease is brushing and flossing regularly. Your oral health should be a daily priority to help keep teeth and gums clear of infection. A daily oral health care regimen should include brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day.
Another thing patients can do to prevent gum disease is visiting the dentist twice a year for examinations and professional cleanings. By receiving these exams the dentist can gauge your periodontal health. They can also assess any risks connected with the disease, and diagnose any existing infection. They can also provide treatment in both mild and moderate cases of the disease.
Treatments for Periodontal Infection
If gum disease is serious enough, the dentist may recommend treatment. Usually the dentist will try some less invasive procedures before resorting to oral surgery. A non-surgical treatment includes professional dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from along the gum line. Another non-surgical treatment is scaling and root planing. This is where deep cleaning is done by scraping away tartar and smoothing any rough spots along the tooth root.
When gum disease is serious enough, there are some more extensive treatments as well. The dentist could use flap and pocket reduction surgery to clear below the gum line and reduce the gap or depth of pockets. Other treatments include soft tissue grafts, bone grafts, or guided tissue regeneration.
If you think you could be suffering from gum disease, do not delay meeting with the dentist. Contact us today and get in touch with our dentist for diagnosis and treatment of your condition.
Some parents know that cavities and dental decay need to be prevented in children, but few know exactly the best way to go about it. As a result, childhood dental decay is the primary chronic childhood illness. In fact, tooth decay is five times more common than asthma. Fortunately, dental research has resulted in more effective preventative techniques and restorative treatments. But more importantly, home dental care is required to preserve those sweet little smiles.
Pediatric Oral Health Crisis in the United States
Each year an estimated 17 million children go without professional dental care
89 percent of children visit their physician, but only 1.5 percent see a dentist in their first year
Over 20 million children lack appropriate dental insurance
More than 25 percent of children aged 2 to 5 years have dental decay
More than 50 percent of children aged 12 to 15 years have dental decay
Over 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental decay
The most prevalent unmet health need of children is dental care
If left untreated, dental decay can impact a child’s overall health and well-being. Even their quality of life can suffer, all starting with their teeth. If a child’s teeth become diseased, injured, or improperly developed, it can lead to malnutrition, dangerous infections, dental pain and problems with speech development. Dental infections also have been linked to stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and heart disease. Don’t let children become another set of poor statistics. It is time to change the trend.
Common Questions About Pediatric Dental Disease in Infants, Children
1. How Early Should Child Dental Care Start?
Well, truthfully it should start right away. Baby teeth begin to form before birth. By the time they are born, all 20 of a child’s primary teeth are fully formed in the jaw. Though these teeth do not generally begin to break through the gums until about six months of age, newborns still need oral health care. Start by simply rubbing a warm washcloth along their gums after feeding. Then, when teeth do begin to appear make the switch to an infant toothbrush and fluoride-free toothpaste.
2. When Should a Child First Visit a Dentist?
A child can have a visit with the dentist as early as six months old. Usually these early visits only include a quick exam so the dentist can assess the condition of child’s oral health. Mostly, these appointments are meant as an introductory phase. They are designed to help children become more comfortable visiting the dentist early, that way later appointments run more smoothly.
3. When Does Thumb-Sucking or Pacifiers Impact Oral Health of a Child?
Many parents worry about thumb sucking or pacifiers. Though it is true these can lead to crooked or crowded teeth, it is not an immediate problem for infants. In fact, thumb-sucking is completely normal and most children will stop the behavior on their own by age two. If not, you may need help to wean your child around this time to keep any problems from developing. Just do not dip your child’s pacifier in honey, sugar or sweetened liquid or it can lead to early decay.
4. Should Children Use Fluoride Toothpaste?
When first teaching a child to brush their teeth, it is important to start with fluoride-free toothpaste. Younger toddlers tend to swallow toothpaste, and, if they swallow too much, it could lead to fluorosis. So, just to be safe, children should start using fluoride toothpaste once they are able to spit out the excess. Also, some dental treatments that might improve a child’s dental health include fluoride therapy and dental sealants.
5. Do Parents Really Need to Worry About Baby Teeth?
Primary teeth are deciduous teeth, meaning they will fall out to make room for permanent teeth. Some take this to mean they do not have to worry about taking care of primary teeth. If they are just going to fall out, then dental decay will be eliminated when teeth fall out. This is just not the case. It is important to take care of baby teeth, to teach children about dental health care early, and ward against pediatric dental disease. Early oral health problems can impact a child for many years to come.
What To Do About Pediatric Dental Disease
Some children may be prone to dental decay, oral infections and gum disease. Outside of oral health care at home, children still need to maintain semi-annual appointments with a dentist. At the first sign of dental pain, it is important to contact us right away.
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Recently we had a Friday FUN day!!! While we purged the charts, we also celebrated our very own Colleen’s birthday! Happy birthday Colleen and that “pound cake” was really good!
At Watson Dental Care we take pride in providing a comfortable family like atmosphere and look forward to greeting you! We want you to feel at home when you come for your visit. Whether it is your first visit to a dentist or seeking a second opinion we want you to have an enjoyable experience.