5-Ways The Flu Compromises Oral Health

It’s official, 2018 flu is the worst with hospitalizations higher than ever seen since tracking has begun in 2005 and it’s far from over. The CDC predicts that although it has probably peaked, there at least 11-13 more weeks of influenza to go.

Most people who get the flu see improvement in several days to less than 2 weeks. But some people can develop serious complications caused by viral infections of the nasal passage, throat and lungs that can compromise oral health.

Your mouth is the villain of the flu story

Our mouth is the primary villain in the story of how flu bacteria spreads, originating from saliva and mucus in our nasal passages. Some of the most common ways we contaminate everyone around us:

-Sharing drinks

-Sneezing without covering the mouth and nose in the crook of our arm.

-Not disposing of loose tissues that have been sneezed in.

A pain in the gums

Along with sneezing and sniffling, you might notice a dull pain in your gums, but this might not be a dental problem. Toothaches during flu season can be due to sinus chambers getting blocked with excess mucus. You can alleviate this discomfort by taking a mild decongestant, rinsing your sinuses with a Neti Pot or gargling with mouthwash or salt water.

Sinus pain that persists for more than a week might be due to a sinus infection and needs to be treated by a doctor who may prescribe antibiotics. If once the flu has resolved and you’re still experiencing gum pain, make an appointment with your dentist.

The link between oral health and pneumonia

One of the dangerous complications of the flu is developing pneumonia. Maintaining oral health throughout the year prevents periodontal disease, which studies have found create a predisposition to pneumonia. Research has found that people who don’t maintain their dental health had a greater risk of developing pneumonia than those who visit the dentist twice a year. 

Disinfect Disinfect Disinfect…

Aside from vaccination, the most important thing to do is prevent the spread of germs. Everything you touch while you’re sick is loaded with bacteria. Seriously EVERYTHING! Wash your hands frequently for about 20 seconds and wipe down doorknobs and anything else you touch with a Lysol wipes. Don’t neglect decontaminating your dental gear. Mouth guards, retainers and removable braces should be carefully cleaned. To be on the safe side, dispose of your toothbrush once you’ve recovered. You should be replacing it every 3-4 months anyway.

 Maintaining oral health while recovering

It’s difficult to do much of anything while recovering from the flu. But try not to neglect your oral health, especially since recovery can take weeks if not more. It’s a long time to go without brushing your teeth and maintaining your dental health.

We all have our go-to cures, but unfortunately not all of them are tooth friendly. Orange juice, Vitamin C boosts, ginger ale, tea and throat lozenges can cause havoc to our dental health. Brush frequently and try to use sugar free options whenever possible.



Dental Trends To Leave Behind In 2018

New year, new you… right? No? Whew, me neither.

Even though we may not have become entirely new people over the course of the last few weeks, wellness is still at the forefront of everyone’s minds. And since dental health is an integral part of our overall health, there are a few key trends you can leave behind to help keep your teeth in their best shape for the year ahead!

Oil Pulling

This is an Ayurvedic technique that involves swishing sesame or coconut oil in the mouth for 20 minutes before spitting it out. In theory, the oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can whiten teeth and treat periodontal disease. However, there is no scientific evidence that supports these claims. Oil pulling won’t cause any harm but won’t solve any of your problems either.

Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal is a known detoxifying agent in medicine. Due to its porous composition, the idea is that it will absorb any stains on the teeth and make them appear whiter. But, no charcoal-containing toothpaste has been proven to do this. The abrasive particles will help scrub teeth clean but can also do some serious damage by wearing away the outer white enamel layer of the teeth and can actually cause the teeth to look darker!

Apple Cider Vinegar

The benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar seem to be a never ending list—weight loss, helps with digestion, bad breath, even cavities! The dental claims are totally unfounded, plus drinking ACV can cause erosion of the teeth due to it’s acidic pH. (ACV is 3.075 and tooth enamel starts to dissolve at 5.5!)

The keys to keeping your oral health in shape all year round? Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and regular visits to your dentist—no fancy tricks required. If you have questions about any wellness trends, please let us know!

Millennial’s Poor Oral Health Impacts Job Prospects

Are you a millennial looking for a job? Forbes says you may want to visit your dentist first… https://www.forbes.com/sites/dianahembree/2017/03/28/why-some-millennials-arent-smiling-bad-teeth-hinder-28-in-job-search/#c8642d359c6a
Here’s Dr. Sam Rawdin’s proven oral health tips for millennials.

This week, Forbes reported on an American Dental Association (ADA) study that showed 28% of millennials feel the state of their teeth and smile has a direct impact on their ability to interview for jobs. The ADA also showed that one third of millennials are reluctant to smile—that’s higher than any other age group! And, even though 80% plan to visit the dentist in the coming year, only 30% actually made the trip to the dentist over the last 12 months.


Why are millennials falling behind on their oral health care? It seems like a dental visit is analogous to… well… pulling teeth. What do we know about millennials? Falling within this age group myself, I can attest to the fact that convenience is key. We want necessary tasks done instantaneously in a way that’s super easy to access, preferably without the inclusion of human interaction. The thought of picking up the phone to make an appointment ensues the highest level of procrastination. And face-to-face interaction with strangers is basically out of the question…


Unfortunately, going to the dentist checks all of these boxes. You need to (most of the time) call to make an appointment, take time out of your busy schedule to actually get yourself to the office and then have to explain why your gums are bleeding during your cleaning to the hygienist (who, I promise, is NOT judging you!). I get it, it’s not the most glamorous situation and it’s easy to see why most avoid it. BUT, as I’m sure your dentist has told you in the past, biannual visits is still the best way to keep your teeth in a condition where you’ll be proud to flash your pearly whites.


We can’t cover the topic of convenient dental care without addressing the elephant in the room: money. Bottom line is that dentistry is expensive. Unfortunately, many millennials are earning entry-level salaries, paying off student loans and trying to hang onto a few dollars to go to that new restaurant so they can send a Snap Chat to their friends. C’mon, you know you’re guilty of that too… So, paying for dental care isn’t always at the top of the list.


Dental insurance can help, but there are a few inherent issues here. First, according to the ADA, millennials are less likely than any other age group to have dental insurance. Plus, yearly maximums for dental insurance are typically around $1,500 depending on the provider. These maximums have not really changed since the concept of dental insurance was made around 40 years ago. You know what has changed? Inflation. What this means is that if you’re coming in twice a year for regular cleanings, exams, and x-rays, you’re probably covered. However, if you need any other sort of extensive work done, you may need to pay out of pocket.


So what’s a millennial to do?


  1. Make an appointment to see your dentist. Many offices (like ours!) offer a form on the website that you can fill out to then be contacted via e-mail to get you scheduled. No phone call needed.


  1. Plan ahead based on your personal situation. If you have dental insurance, check to see if your provider is in- or out-of-network, if you’ll be responsible for a co-pay at the time of your appointment and what percentage of the cost of the procedures the insurance provider will cover.


  1. Ask the front desk if there’s an option for a payment plan or if they accept payment through companies such as CareCredit who allow you to pay over time. Most of the time, if you need to foot a big bill, the office will work with you.


  1. Don’t wait to go to the dentist, especially if you’re in pain. Chances are, the earlier a cavity or other issue is seen, the easier (and less expensive!) it is to fix.


If you’re not sure about any of these, overcome your aversion to human interaction and call us. We’re here to help! And, once you make your appointment, we may even agree to take a selfie with you when you’re ready to show off those pearly whites on all of your social media platforms.

Show Your 💖 Some Love Today

Kiss your Valentine with confidence this holiday, and everyday, by brushing and flossing regularly, while also maintaining your oral and overall health. Your good health is the greatest gift you can share with the people you love! 

February is not only has Valentines Day but also is American Heart Month.  Its the perfect opportunity to make a commitment to preventing heart disease while maintaining oral health. Heart disease leads to one in four deaths annually. Going to the dentist is one of the ways to protect your oral and heart health.

Research has shown the link between heart disease and gum disease. Studies have found similar bacteria in the mouths of patients with gum disease as in people with hardening arteries.While researchers are not completely sure how to account for this link, the working theory is that the body reacts to inflammation by elevating certain chemicals in the blood.  In the short run, these chemicals fight inflammation but in the long run can damage vessels in the heart and other organs. The chronic inflammation of gum disease may contribute to these inflammatory factors being constantly elevated.

Some of the signs of gum disease include bleeding gums during brushing or flossing, chronic bad breathe and loose teeth or gums that pull away from your teeth. 

What are the best tools for maintaining oral health? Visit your dentist regularly for an exam and dental cleaning and floss and brush your teeth twice a day. This will help keep your smile young and beautiful for years to come. Happy Valentines Day!


Start Kids Early With Good Dental Care


Dr. Jed Best, everyone’s favorite pediatric dentist, is our guest blogger in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month. He answers questions about how to start kids early with good dental care, helping protect their teeth for years to come.

When should a child’s first visit take place?
Either 6 months after the first tooth erupts or at one year of age.

Why go to the dentist at that age?
To help prevent any dental problems. Many issues are totally preventable.

Are baby teeth important?
Yes they are. They help children speak and chew naturally. In addition, they are very important in helping the permanent teeth erupt properly.

Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful?
Only if they persist for a long period of time. Often these habits stop on their own.

How often should a child see a pediatric dentist?
A check up is recommended every six months. However, this may vary depending on the child’s personal oral health.

When should we begin using toothpaste?
As soon as possible is best. Under three years of age, only a smear of toothpaste should be used. From ages 3-6, the size of a pea is the recommended amount. Also, it should be emphasized that an adult should assist in brushing, because children often do not have the manual dexterity to properly brush.