Fun in the Summer Sun

It is finally summer, and we hope you are all enjoying summer vacation. As you soak up the sunshine though, we don’t want you to forget about your oral or overall health.

Summer is a great time to take care of all of your doctors’ appointments, especially your dental check-up or to take care of that procedure you’ve been putting off. If you call now at the start of summer, it should be easy to find a convenient time that works for you and your teeth.

Summer is also a time for sugar popsicles, delicious candy, and sticky treats. We love these treats as much as anyone, but don’t forget about your teeth. As always, moderation is key. Make sure to spread out the love and snack on your delicious treats all summer long a little bit at a time.

If you do snack on these treats, also make sure that you are practicing good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth after and frequently flossing. If you can feel something getting stuck in your teeth, make sure to work to get it out!

Finally, our last summer tip is to hydrate, but not chew ice. Chewing ice is bad for your teeth and can end you up in the dentist office instead of the beach. In the heat, you will need lots of water to keep from getting heat exhaustion, so carry a water bottle with you. Make sure you are wearing sunblock to protect from those UV rays too!

Becoming a Dentist

As a part of the medical field, the dental profession is both a challenging and rewarding one. Our dentist are responsible for our oral health and well-being and are an important part of our lives. For those of you considering pursuing the dental profession, we encourage you to put time and thought into this decision. Here may be some things you want to start thinking about:

The biggest thing to keep in mind if you are considering becoming a dentist is the extensive educational requirements as there is with any medical field. First, you need your bachelor’s degree. While a pre-dental track or other related degree is helpful when you go onto dental school, it is not required.

Then, you will need to take the Dental Acceptance Test given by the American Dental Association, which is a five hour test on the natural sciences, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning. This is a portion of your dental school application.

Finally, once you have been accepted, dental school is your next hurdle to getting your doctoral degree. There are nine different speciality areas you can choose from currently recognized by the ADA. At last, you will need to get you license to practice. Specifics will vary from location to location. Learn more about specific requirements here.

Being a dentist is not just about the classes and teeth. It can be an both an interesting and intriguing field of medicine. One of the major benefits and challenges of the dental profession is that you see a broad range of patients. Instead of specializing in pediatric care or geriatric care, you see patients of all ages and background. This requires dentists to be well and broadly educated

Additionally, the field is constantly evolving and adapting as technology and techniques change. Your learning will never end. New technology will continue to make your job interesting, and new techniques will challenge you.

Being a dentist, or even a hygienist, can be an extremely rewarding profession. We may be biased, but the work done by dentists is critical to not just your oral health but your overall health as well. If you have questions about the dental profession, feel free to contact us at Masters Dental!

Dangers of Tobacco

Whether it is cigars, cigarettes, or chewing tobacco, these various types of tobacco products have a real and lasting impact on your teeth. It is important you understand the dangers associated with tobacco before you choose to use those products.

Beyond just your teeth, these various different types of products have a number of negative health effects. Tobacco products have been shown to be highly addictive and to be linked at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals. Thus, tobacco can lead to cancer and other health problems like COPD.

Since tobacco is consumed however through the mouth, your teeth are especially at risk. When you use smokeless tobacco, you can irritate your gums. This may cause them to recede or become damaged. As a result, people using tobacco are at a higher risk of other oral health issues such as cavities or tooth decay. Increased sensitivity in the teeth is also common in people who frequently use tobacco products.

Tobacco use also commonly leads to oral cancer. For more information on oral cancer, see our blog post specifically on oral cancer. Common signs of oral cancer include general tenderness and irritation, pain, development of lumps or patches inside the mouth, and sores. Your mouth may also experience a change in color, and you have have trouble eating, speaking, and essentially using your jaw and tongue.

While using tobacco products is a choice, it is important you understand the risks you are taking. Your teeth and your body will be healthier and happier without tobacco products. If you have questions or concerns about oral cancer or tobacco use, contact Masters Dental today!

The Aches of Aging

As we get older, our bodies change whether we like it or not. We become less able to do the things we once could and we can struggle with staying healthy. Since aging affects every part of our body, even our teeth and oral health, it is important we understand how to best work to prevent and deal with the complications linked to aging.

The good news is people are now living longer, and the number of people age 65 and above is increasing. At the same time, it is important though that we make sure to take even better care of our bodies, especially as we age as aging generally makes pre existing conditions worse and harder to deal with day in and day out.

The first step is to do your best to take care of your teeth while you are still young. This will lead ultimately to better oral health in the future. As you age, physiological changes associated with aging can lead to other oral health problems. Generally, the better health you are in when you turn 30, the better health you will be in when you turn 65.

There are also many dental symptoms that are associated with aging. Most frequently, people experience more frequent problems with dry mouth and tooth sensitivity. Additionally, advanced age can lead to more cases of periodontitis and root and coronal caries.

Finally, as we age, we tend to use more prescription and over-the-counter medications. As age increases, you will find yourself more likely to have complications with drug interactions or adverse drug reactions. People can also find themselves more sensitive to medications and drugs used in dentistry such as anesthetics.

While aging is never fun, it is even less fun if you are not ready for it. To better prepare yourself, start practicing good oral health today, and the stay informed about how aging will affect your body, especially your teeth.

Recipes for a Beautiful Smile

One of the hardest parts of living a healthy life is finding the time to eat well. Choosing you diet carefully though can have a lasting impact on everything from your heart to your teeth and oral health.

In fact, one of the biggest ways to promote strong oral health is by choosing a nutritious diet. However, we know it can be difficult. Amongst the business of work and everyday life, it can be hard to find the time to shop and find health options.

To help you on your way to a healthier lifestyle, we have done some research on some delicious and healthy recipes to help your oral health. From a smoothly to a chicken, these recipes sound delicious. All of these recipes are from youbeauty and Deborah Dunhams’ Recipes for a Beautiful Smile article!

Kaleberry Smile Booster Smoothie Recipe
Recipe by Dr. Shawn Frawley

Ingredients:
1 banana
8 ounces brewed green tea (plain, chilled)
4 ice cubes
1⁄2 cup frozen blueberries
1⁄2 cup frozen strawberries
4 kale leaves
1⁄4 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon xylitol (can be bought in most health food stores, such as Whole Foods, and is available online)

Directions:
Brew green tea and chill. In a blender, add ice, green tea, Greek yogurt and kale. Blend until no large pieces of kale are visible. Add the other ingredients and blend until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Shiitake Mushroom Chicken with Millet Recipe
Recipe by Karen D. Krchma

Ingredients:
1 1⁄2 pounds chicken breast (preferably, organic, hormone- and antibiotic free)
2 teaspoons sea salt, Himalayan or Celtic
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped, or 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, washed, trimmed and patted dry. Remove the tops and slice; finely chop the stems.
1 small onion, chopped
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary, removing the leaves from the stem, or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
3-4 green onions, trimmed and sliced diagonally, or increase onion to 1 medium onion
1⁄2 cup fresh pea pods, washed, trimmed, sliced diagonally (optional)
1⁄2 cup sliced red pepper (optional)
1⁄4 cup white wine, dry preferred
1 cup fresh or prepared chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter, organic preferred, or Ghee (clarified butter)
2 tablespoons, fresh coarsely chopped parsley, or 1 scant tablespoon dried parsley
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Wash and scrape chicken (scrape a sharp knife over the chicken while rinsing under running water). Place chicken breasts on a glass cutting board. With a sharp knife, pierce each chicken breast 10-12 times. Using a wooden or stainless steel meat tenderizer (mallet), pound each chicken breast down to 1⁄4-1⁄2-inch thickness, as evenly as possible. Tent a paper towel over the mallet to prevent “chicken splash” when pounding. Never use plastic wrap when pounding chicken. Cut each breast in half, or palm-size pieces. Sprinkle chicken with sea salt and garlic powder if using.

Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot add chicken, mushrooms and onions, as well as fresh garlic if using. Sauté chicken about 5-7 minutes or until lightly brown, stirring mushrooms and onions to brown evenly. Turn chicken to brown both sides, cooking for an additional 5-7 minutes, making sure juices in the thickest part run clear. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and cover to keep warm.

In your skillet with the mushrooms and onions, add rosemary, green onions, pea pods, and red pepper. Add the wine, stirring to loosen cooked juices in the pan. When the wine is slightly reduced, add the broth, and then continue to cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in butter or Ghee. Add the chicken and bring back to serving temperature. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and parsley and serve.

Why should I limit my soda consumption?

There is nothing like a sip of a cold soda on a hot summer’s day. Whether it’s the cool refreshing taste of a pepsi or a coke, we all have our signature drink. For those of you who just can’t get enough of your favorite soft drink though, there can be some negative consequences for your teeth. While we are not here to tell you to never drink soda again, there are some important facts you should keep in mind.

First and foremost, soda consumption has a strong correlation to tooth decay and other medical issues. In other words, the more soda you drink, the more likely you are to have cavities and other oral issues. In today’s society, more and more people are passing up water or milk for these sugar packed beverages, and more and more people are having oral issues as a result.

The fact is that when you drink soda, the sugar in the soda combines with the bacteria already present in your mouth to create acid. Then, this acid attacks your teeth and tooth enamel. Regardless if you opt for sugar free options, there is acid that works to harm your teeth in all soda products. According to the American Dental Association and the Wisconsin Dental Association, acid attacks your teeth for about 20 minutes after you drink a soda. Therefore, they use the slogan “sip all day, get decay.”

The number one thing you can do is remember to drink soda in moderation. Soda is not inherently bad, as long as your practice good oral health and avoid over consumption. If you are a frequent soda drinker, start by trying to reduce your consumption to once a day. Then perhaps you can move to only drinking soda on weekends and when you go out to eat.

However, soda is not the only sugared beverage to consider. You should also try to limit your consumption of 100 percent juices and other high sugar content drinks. These also combine with bacteria in your mouth to form acid and attack your teeth.

While you may love soda and sugary drinks, it’s important for you teeth that you remember what these are doing to your body. Limiting soda consumption will drastically reduce your risk for tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health issues.

The Secret of Dark Chocolate

We have all heard people say dark chocolate is good for you, but that always seems a little too good to be true. How can something so delicious also be good for you? Turns out, there are some great benefits to eating a little bit of chocolate everyday. In fact, it can improve your health and actually reduce your risk for heart disease.

The actually make-up of dark chocolate is healthy when its quality with high cocoa content. According to Authority Nutrition, a 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-80% cocoa contains 11 grams of fiber, 67% of the RDA for Iron, 58% of the RDA for Magnesium, 89% of the RDA for Copper, 98% of the RDA for Manganese, and also some potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium for good measure. In total, that would be 600 calories. A little bit of this daily would be great nutrients for you body.

Plus, dark chocolate provide the body with great amounts of antioxidants. It also has flavanols that help stimulate your body into producing gases that lower blood pressure. Overall, it greatly reduces your risk for heart disease by raising HDLs and protecting LDL from oxidations. Essentially, it promotes good cholesterol and discourages bad. Then, in some cases, brain function can also be enhanced.

Finally, dark chocolate can actually protect you skin from sun damage. Bioactive compounds such as the flavonols help increase skin density and hydration, and it has been proven to reduce sunburn. Perhaps, you should take some dark chocolate with you to the beach.

All of this said, nothing is good in excess. Eating too much dark chocolate will still be bad for you. However, instead of an apple a day will keep the doctor away, try a piece of dark chocolate away will keep the doctor away. And as far as your dentist is concerned, just make sure to brush you teeth afterwards!

Finding the Right Dentist

Switching to a new dentist can be a hard and annoying process. Since most of us change dentists so infrequently, it can be hard to know what to look for in a new dental office, but finding the right dentist is extremely important.

At Master’s Dental, we believe that everyone should have positive, happy experience at the dentist. Our goal is to leave each and every one of our customers with a better and brighter smile than when they walked in.

To help you find the right dentist for you, we have created a checklist of questions to ask yourself when choosing a new dentist.

  • Where is the office located?
  • Is the location convenient to your home or work?
  • Do the hours work with your schedule?
  • Do they take your dental insurance? Are they familiar with your benefit plan?
  • What is the pricing for their services?
  • Do they offer financial options for services?
  • Is your dentist a member of the American Dental Association (ADA)?
  • Is the dentist and office staff friendly and personable?
  • Do you feel comfortable in the office?
  • How does their pricing compare to competitors?
  • How long does it take to get an appointment?
  • If you have a family, do they see families?
  • Will the dentist and office staff be able to handle emergencies?
  • How will your dental history be recorded and transferred?

While all of these are great questions to consider and ask, be sure not to stop here. These questions are just to get you started. Talking to different dentists and different dental offices will give you a better idea of what dentist is a right fit for you!

Easter Candy: The Do’s and Don’ts

It’s that time of year again. It’s time to devour that giant chocolate bunny, sneak an extra jelly bean or two, and cherish that Peanut Butter Egg. It’s Easter.

Easter is such a great time of year. With the emergence of spring, what is a better way to celebrate than with chocolate and candy? However, as you prepare for easter and stock up on Peeps and chocolate treats though, you might not realize just how bad some of these candies are for your oral health

At Ask the Dentist, they came up with a comprehensive lineup of some of the best worst candies for you to eat this Easter. From Cadbury Eggs to jelly beans, these candy’s can be hard on your teeth, especially if over eaten.

Here are four things to lookout for in you Easter shopping:

  1. Food Dye. Peeps are made with food dye called yellow Number 6. Interestingly, Harvard and other accredited universities have found that this food dye can lead to and worsen symptoms of ADHD.
  2. High Fructose Corn Syrup. We all know HFCS is bad for our bodies. Since no digestion is required, the HFCS goes right to our livers to spur fat production causes dietary issues. It is especially bad if you have diabetic issues. This is important around Easter as  we often forget to check our easter candy for HFCS.
  3. Too much chocolate. While chocolate is okay and even good for you in moderation, watch out for buying and eating too much. This can be bad for both your overall and oral health. Try eating more dark chocolate if you just really don’t want to say no. Dark chocolate has been shown to be better than fluoride at strengthening your teeth.
  4. Sticky candy. Any candy that is really stick or takes a while to eat is more likely to get stuck in your teeth hurting your teeth and causing cavities. If you do want to eat sticky candy, be sure to drink lots of water and brush your teeth after to get the residual food particles left over out of your mouth.

While these are four important things to keep in mind, this is certainly not saying you should never eat Peeps or sticky candy. This is just a reminder that there is a reason Easter is only one day a year. Easter candy is great, but moderation and awareness about what you are eating  is critical to your oral and overall health.

Increased Sensitivity in Your Teeth

Everyone has taken a bite of a cold ice cream cone at one point or another and had their teeth hurt, but if you find that every time you eat hot or cold food your teeth hurt, this may be a sign of a bigger issue.

As we get older, it is common for people to experience increases in sensitivity in their teeth. One of the most common signs of this is your teeth hurting when you eat hot or cold foods. Tooth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, results when the enamel of our teeth is thin or when our gums don’t properly cover the surface of the tooth.

The cause can be something as simple as brushing your teeth too hard or too much or with a rough tooth brush or as complex as tooth erosion from acidic foods and beverages. Bulimia and GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, therefore put people at a higher risk for developing tooth sensitivity. In general, tooth decay, fractured teeth, gum disease, worn enamel, and exposed tooth root all cause sensitivity.

The best way to avoid tooth sensitivity is simply practicing good oral hygiene. If you do however develop tooth sensitivity, your dentist can help provide you with a treatment such as desensitizing toothpaste. Generally though, tooth sensitivity comes from another, more serious untreated oral issue. Most often, dentists will end up treating this, and the sensitivity will go away.

While teeth sensitivity is normally only an issue when its is a constant or recurring issue, if you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, be sure to talk to your dentist about the possible cause of the issue and possible treatment options. No one likes wincing when you go to eat your ice cream cone, and you shouldn’t have to.