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Joshua Austin, DDS

Dentistry Blog


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Spring Cleaning!

Monday April 7, 2014
Spring is here and after such a rough winter, I know everyone is glad to see more green and less white! Along with the rejuvenation of Spring comes the tradition of Spring cleaning. While this is usually referring to cleaning your home or garage or closet, we should also consider making sure our teeth and gums get a good spring cleaning too! If it's been more than 6 months since your last dental visit, I would recommend you make an appointment with your dentist and hygienist for a cleaning today.   Want some tips on keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy? Click here to see why oil pulling is a waste of your time. Haven't heard of oil pulling? Here is a quick synopsis. What toothpaste should you use? Check it out here! Have a great and warm spring and keep smiling!

Common Questions About Cosmetic Dentistry

Tuesday June 5, 2012
Does Bleaching Damage the Teeth?

No. When carbamide peroxide, the active whitening agent, contacts water, hydrogen peroxide is released which whitens the teeth. Bleaching does not soften, demineralize or weaken the teeth.

Do Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products Work?

There is some evidence that over-the-counter bleaching products do whiten teeth, however, many of the products are too abrasive and can damage the teeth with extended use or misuse. Supervision by your dentist is always the safest and most effective way to whiten your teeth.

What Are Porcelain Veneers and Why Are They Used?

Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material which are bonded to the front of the teeth. This procedure can be an ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth by masking discolorations, whitening teeth and/or reshaping a smile.

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Beastie Boys Bandmember Loses His Battle With Salivary Gland Cancer

Tuesday May 29, 2012

Salivary Gland Cancer: Adam Yauch, Beastie Boys bandmember, dies of the disease, but what is it?

A member of the iconic Beastie Boys, has passed away after battling cancer of the salivary gland, according to news reports. Yauch, 47, was treated for the cancer in 2009, and in 2011, there were false reports that he had beaten it. But he actually was never cured of the cancer, and he continued to battle the disease.

While Salivary Gland cancer is very rare, it is one of the many types of oral cancers that are hard to treat unless caught early. Visiting your dentist regularly and having them check for any suspicious areas in the mouth is essential to catching and treating oral cancers.

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The Role Nutrition Plays in Maintaining Healthy Teeth

Friday May 25, 2012

Everyone knows the importance of proper nutrition and a good diet when it comes to maintaining physical health. However, the same level of thinking can also help with our dental health, and having good nutritional and eating habits will contribute to healthy teeth and gums.

A good, balanced diet can help to boost and maintain our body's natural immune system; this can help to reduce the likelihood of developing oral complaints, while also helping to maintain healthy gums and strong teeth.

What we eat and drink can have an effect our oral health. Sweets, for instance, can stick to our teeth and leave behind sticky deposits which if not removed can lead to tooth decay. As such, it is important to maintain a good dental health regime to remove sticky residues that may be left behind. Fizzy drinks, such as Pepsi cola, can erode tooth enamel, due to the acidic nature of the beverage.

It's also important to eat regularly, as research has shown that dental health can be affected by how often a person eats. Regular snacking on sweet or starchy foods can increase the activity of bacteria in a person's mouth; this leads to heightened levels of acid in the mouth, which can erode tooth enamel. The more frequently a person eats, the more bacteria is stimulated, and the more acid is produced. Saliva plays an important part in maintaining our dental health. Saliva can help to neutralize acid caused by eating, so rather than snacking consider combining foods into a larger meal. Saliva is a naturally occurring liquid in the mouth and can wash away food particles which may also be the target of bacteria, as well as helping to replenish teeth with essential nutrients to help withstand acid attacks.

Eating and drinking sensibly, adopting a good dental hygiene regime and making regular appointments with a dentist can all help to ensure that your smile remains healthy and strong, as well as remaining beautiful.

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Who's Most Afraid of the Dentist?

Monday May 14, 2012

Who's most afraid of the dentist?

According to new research, it's not the who you'd most expect. It's women in their 40s. Ongoing research from the University of Sydney suggests that this demographic is more likely than other age groups to have felt trauma, abuse or oro-facial trauma. These people are also more likely to be depressed, anxious or stressed, researchers found.

"Dental anxiety is very real and complex and it should never be downplayed," study researcher Dr. Avanti Karve, of the University of Sydney Faculty of Dentistry, said in a statement.

Karve explained that people who have a great fear of the dentist wait 17 days, on average, to make an appointment to see the dentist when they are feeling severe pain. Comparatively, the rest of the population who is not as dentalphobic waits just three days. According to a recent study out of the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, about 5 percent of people have a severe dental fear. Those researchers found five strategies that people use to get over their fear of the dentist; their findings are published in the journal Acta Odontologica Scandinavica.

Their study showed that common coping practices include distracting yourself (counting to yourself or playing mental games so that you think about something else), distancing (telling yourself the pain feels like something else), prayer (praying that the dental treatment will end soon), self-efficacy (telling yourself to be strong), and optimism (telling yourself that everything will be OK after the dental treatment).

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Bottled Water Linked To Tooth Decay

Tuesday May 8, 2012

According to spokesman on pediatric dentistry for the ADA (American Dental Association), Jonathan D. Shenkin, fluoride is an extremely important ingredient that promotes a healthy smile. It is important to brush the teeth at last twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste, visit the dentist every six months for a fluoride treatment and drink water that is fluoridated.

Government health officials and dentists raise the awareness that bottled water is the one that might be causing the tooth decay complications of your child.

Therefore, they suggest that parents should give their child tap water, because this contains fluoride, which protects against the cavities. Bottled water does not contain a sufficient amount of fluoride, so it is actually not protecting the oral health of your child; in fact, it seems it is doing more harm than good.

According to spokesman on pediatric dentistry for the ADA (American Dental Association), Jonathan D. Shenkin, fluoride is an extremely important ingredient that promotes a healthy smile.

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Let Your Smile Shine this Spring Because May is National Smile Month

Thursday May 3, 2012

With May being National Smile Month there is even more of a reason to show-off bright smiles for making great first impressions! Gleaming white teeth and a wide smile convey an air of confidence that is important in any situation, from first dates to job interviews. Teeth whitening procedures are certainly effective, but small daily steps can also be helpful and less expensive. Dr. Margaret Mitchell, DDS of the Mitchell Dental Spa in Chicago offers the following tips:

  1. WEAR LIPSTICKS THAT CONTAIN A HINT OF BLUE-Blue tones around the mouth can make teeth appear whiter, so when shopping for new makeup, consider red lipstick with blue undertones. These will make your smile appear brighter by offsetting any yellow coloration in the teeth. Coral and orange based lipsticks can make the teeth appear more yellow, so avoid these if you are self-conscious about your pearly whites.
  2. .
  3. SNACK ON CRUNCHY FRUITS AND VEGGIES -Mildly abrasive fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots or celery not only provide the body with essential nutrients, but also act as a natural toothbrush by gently scrubbing off small bits of plaque that have gathered on the teeth and gums.
  4. .
  5. SWISH WITH WATER AFTER DRINKING TEA OR COFFEE-Coffee, tea and other dark liquids can stain the teeth and leave them looking dingy. To prevent discoloration, simply swish water around in your mouth immediately after consuming a staining liquid.
  6. .
  7. CHEW SUGARLESS GUM CONTAINING XYLITOL-Xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar substitute, has been added to many sugar-free gums as a sweetening agent, but it also has healthful properties. Chewing a gum containing xylitol, such as Trident, has been shown to reduce the levels of harmful oral bacteria, reducing the likelihood of developing cavities.
  8. .
  9. BRUSH TEETH BEFORE GOING FOR A RUN-Running dries out the mouth and any plaque that already exists on the gumline will tend to dry out and calcify, resulting in discoloration and even gum disease. A quick brush before leaving for a run can help solve this problem.

Free Dental Work?

Tuesday May 1, 2012

Many people are finding themselves putting off dental treatment due to lack of insurance and funds. Fortunately, there is an option that more people are turning to for help with their dental care. More and more people are turning to dental schools to have their dental work done and often for free.

But is it a good idea? Are you getting the best treatment? You may be surprised to learn that yes, in fact, you are getting excellent treatment! Dental students are always working in the presence of professors who are scrutinizing their work constantly. Remember, they are trying to learn and do well, and many eyes are watching. You are probably at your safest when getting treated at a dental school whereas you have to trust that your private dentist knows what he/she is doing and that they are doing a good job.

Any downsides? Yes. One of the biggest issues you will have to deal with is the amount of time the procedures will take. For instance, under a specialist's care or a private dentist, a root canal may take 1-2 hours. At the dental school however; the same procedure will likely take up to 5 hours because every single step is monitored and approved by the professor before moving forward.

For many busy people, this is a big inconvenience and they would rather pay for dental work or even go without than spend that amount of time in a dental chair. But, if time is not a big deal to you, and/or you are willing to take a day off to have expensive dental work done for free or at least greatly reduced, then this could be a great option for you!

ADA's list of U.S. Dental Schools

UK Dental Schools

Canadian Dental Schools

A New Dental App?

Thursday April 26, 2012

Dentist Ben Underwood has developed a unique free toothbrush timer app called Brush DJ to make brushing less boring! The app plays 2 minutes of a song taken at random from the music library stored on the user's device. This encourages people to brush for an effective length of time while listening to their music collection.

Brush DJ also allows users to set reminders to brush twice a day, floss, use a mouthrinse and when next to visit their dentist or hygienist.

Dr. Underwood says he had the idea for Brush DJ after watching an episode of the BBCs Apprentice, where candidates were asked to design an app. He felt this would be an ideal tool to make people aware of the latest advice and encourage them to brush twice a day for the right length of time, to help reduce the risk of gum disease, decay and bad breath.

The app is available for Apple and Android devices. Ben welcomes feedback on how Brush DJ can be improved and can be contacted via the website www.BrushDJ.com.

Pregnancy and Your Teeth

Wednesday April 18, 2012

Pregnancy is a time of joy and a time when you take extra special care of how you care for our body. This should include your oral health. Expectant moms are much more susceptible to gingivitis and other gum issues and should take extra precautions.

It is also a good idea if you're planning on becoming pregnant in the near future to go see your dentist for a thorough check-up. That way, if you happen to need any treatment, you can go ahead and get that done before getting pregnant. And, as always, continue to see your dentist for your regular visits, even while pregnant.

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