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We’ve all been there before, sitting in the middle of a job interview or a first date and realizing that our breath is far from minty fresh. Even when everything else is going perfectly, bad breath can be enough to ruin your confidence and turn a good experience sour. Why do we get bad breath, and what can we do to stop it?

Oral Bacteria And The Food We Eat

In order to effectively fight bad breath, it’s important to figure out what’s causing it. The simplest and most common cause is leftover food particles stuck between our teeth after a meal. The bacteria in our mouths break down these particles, and the end result doesn’t smell good. We can combat this with a good daily hygiene routine, including daily flossing, twice-daily brushing, scraping our tongues clean, and chewing sugar-free gum.

Causes Of Chronic Bad Breath

Chronic cases of bad breath (also called halitosis) might not be solved by good oral hygiene practices alone. Halitosis may be caused by:

  1. Chronic conditions. Sometimes, bad breath is linked to conditions that you wouldn’t think are connected to oral hygiene, such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and acid reflux.
  2. Medications. A common side-effect of medications is dry mouth. Without saliva to wash away food particles and neutralize acid, the mouth is vulnerable to problems like bad breath.
  3. Mouth-breathing. Whether it happens by habit or because breathing through the nose is difficult, mouth-breathing tends to dry out the mouth, leading to the same problems as described above.
  4. Mouth, nose, and throat infections. Bad breath can be the result of increased mucous when we have a cold or sinus infection.
  5. Pregnancy. Symptoms such as morning sickness and nausea can cause bad breath, because of the extra acid in the mouth. This is also a problem for people struggling with bulimia.
  6. Tobacco products. Tobacco in any form leaves smelly chemicals in the mouth and can also dry it out. In addition, it increases the risk of oral cancer and gum disease, which negatively impact breath as well.
  7. Tooth decay and gum disease. Poor dental health often goes hand-in-hand with chronic bad breath because cavities and periodontitis are caused by the same bacteria that produce those nasty-smelling chemicals.

person brushing their tongue
Brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper is a good option.

Keeping Your Breath Fresh

Even if strict oral hygiene isn’t enough to keep the bad breath completely at bay, it will help to manage it, and treating the underlying cause may be able to eliminate it. If you are a habitual mouth-breather, try breathing through your nose more. Quitting smoking will eliminate a major cause of bad breath. If dry mouth is the problem, chew sugar-free gum and mints to stimulate saliva production, sip water, and use a humidifier to help keep up the moisture.

Your Dentist Can Help

Discovering the underlying cause of bad breath is a crucial step in fighting back, and the dentist is your best ally here. Schedule an appointment at Lane & Associates so that you can get the answers you need to fight bad breath the best way. We want all of our patients to feel confident about their breath!

So, you want to whiten your teeth. You’re not alone! In fact, when the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked what people would most like to improve about their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth.

There Are Several Teeth Whitening Options

With so many teeth whitening products on the market, you may be left scratching your head as to which one you should choose. As with any type of treatment, it’s important to know all the facts so you can make the best choice for you and your unique smile! Some of the most common teeth whitening options are:

  1. Whitening toothpaste
  2. Whitening strips and gels
  3. Tray-based teeth whiteners
  4. In-office professional teeth whitening

Professional Teeth Whitening Trays that look like Retainers

Whitening Is Safest And Most Effective When Supervised By A Dentist

You should always consult with your dentist before deciding to whiten, as this cosmetic procedure isn’t for everyone. There are also many benefits to whitening treatment with your dentist!

For example, if you’re considering a tray-based tooth whitener, seeing your dentist is definitely your best option. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth so that your mouthpiece tray is customized exactly to fit your teeth. This will ensure maximum contact between your teeth and the whitening solution as well as protect your gums.

If you choose in-office whitening, such as Zoom Whitening treatment, your dentist will provide additional protection for your gums and the soft tissue of your mouth so that no irritation from the whitening solution occurs. To do this, your dentist will apply a gel to the gum tissue or use a rubber shield.

With over-the-counter products, you’re on your own. Your dentist, however, will check your mouth, the type and extent of stains on your teeth, the number of dental restorations you have, and consider your medical history to decide which whitening option is best for your specific smile. They will oversee the process and results of the treatment to ensure the treatment’s safety and efficacy.

A Note To Parents

Teeth whitening is a big trend among teenagers. Parents should always supervise their teenagers’ use of whitening products as overuse or failure to follow directions can damage tooth enamel or irritate gums. Be sure to consult with your dentist before allowing your teenager to whiten to make sure they are at an appropriate age and stage of dental development for whitening.

Still curious about how whitening works? Check out the video below to learn more!

Keep Your Smile Beautiful

What truly keeps teeth bright, white, and healthy is daily brushing and flossing. But if you feel like your smile is lacking some sparkle or has yellowed over the years, give us a call or come in to see us! We’d be happy to help you brighten up that beautiful smile of yours.

 

In fact, did you know we offer a Free Teeth Whitening Program to our patients? Find out if you are eligible for this free offer by contacting us today! At Lane & Associates Family Dentistry, we love to make you smile!

 

We’ve all been there. You sit down for your dental appointment, ready and prepared for a filling or crown, and then…the blood pressure cuff comes out. And we think, “What’s this for?” Read along as we get answers on why your dentists and dental hygienists check your blood pressure at your dental appointment.

Why did they take my blood pressure at the dentist?

There are many reasons why the dentist or assistant may need to check your blood pressure at your appointment. This can range from establishing your baseline to alerts in hypertension to measuring your anxiety levels. Namely, your blood pressure is key to understanding your overall health at the time of your appointment. 

This is especially important since many Americans see their dentist more often than their physician at every 6-month cleaning. It’s a crucial health check and an opportunity to understand the changes in your overall health.

Can dental problems cause high blood pressure?

As humans, our bodies react differently when we are in pain or experiencing high anxiety. If you have high blood pressure, your dentist may need to adjust your treatment plan. Once determined, your dentist can make a better customized treatment plan for your specific needs. 

For example, some dentists may be able to offer light sedation options for those patients who have high anxiety which is causing their blood pressure to rise. Additionally, patients who are in pain from a tooth that needs to be extracted will see a drop in their blood pressure after that painful tooth has been removed. 

In extremely hypertensive situations, however, you may be asked to visit your primary care physician to discuss ways to reduce your blood pressure before beginning any dental care treatment.

closeup on dental tray during treatment

What blood pressure is too high for dental treatment?

Obviously this range is going to depend on many factors. The type of procedure, whether or not you are currently taking blood pressure medications, and many other health history factors. Typically, however, high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90 or above. Also, if your top number (systolic) is greater than 140 or your bottom number (diastolic) is greater than 90, you may have high blood pressure no matter what the other number reads. 

If you are suffering from hypertension, your physician can determine the best course of action. This may include blood pressure medication or lifestyle changes. Many dentists and oral surgeons will also require medical approval from your cardiologist or physician before they will operate. 

Can I refuse to have my blood pressure taken at the dentist?

Ultimately, your blood pressure allows dentists and hygienists to know that you are healthy enough to endure the treatment. It also gives them an indication as to which form of anesthetic to use (for example, anesthetics without epinephrine). By refusing, you are consequently putting your own health at risk and your dentist will most likely refuse to proceed. Taking your oral health seriously is important to your overall health and well-being. 

Taking the time to check these key health measures is an incredibly important step in your dental treatment.

Start your treatment today!

At Lane & Associates Family Dentistry, we not only check your blood pressure, but also offer oral cancer screenings, oxygen level checks, and pulse checks. The combination of these factors & our many other services, let’s us know how best to treat our patients and make their experience with us truly one that makes them smile. If you are looking for a dentist that takes your overall health seriously, contact us today

What you can expect from Lane & Associates Family Dentistry during the Flu & COVID-19 Pandemic

Originally published: March 12, 2020 | Updated: May 14, 2020

At Lane & Associates, we strive to uphold the highest level of care for our patients at all times. During every office visit, your health and safety are our highest priorities. With the recent Flu and Coronavirus (COVID-19), this year’s season has been particularly difficult which reinforces the need for all of us to be vigilant in the prevention of the spread of these diseases. 

How to Sew Surgical Masks for Medical Professionals | More COVID-19 Updates from Dr. Lane

Our offices follow all of the current recommendations for infection control and disease prevention published by the CDC(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), OSHA, and other significant organizations. 

As always, the most important priority at Lane & Associates is the safety and wellbeing of our patients and team members. In addition to our already rigorous daily sanitizing procedures, we will continue to go above and beyond these guidelines. We are increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of the lobby, dental exam chairs, equipment, bathrooms, and all other areas of our offices. At each of our locations, you will also find hand sanitizer next to the front desk. All patients are encouraged to wash their hands frequently during their visits for at least 20 seconds, as the CDC recommends.

New Policies & Procedures (as of May 2020):

  • As we begin to reopen our offices, you may see some changes during your next appointment.
  • Our office will communicate with you before your appointment to ask screening questions.
  • Before entering the building, we are offering curbside check-in and temperature screenings for all patients. All staff are also screened before entering the building each day.
  • You may see that our waiting rooms are closed or adjusted for social distancing measures. Furniture is further apart and all magazines/children’s toys have been removed (since these items are difficult to clean).
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. You may also be escorted into and out of the building.
  • All consent forms, treatment plans, and payments may be presented to you in the treatment room.
  • Hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations will be available for patient use.
  • We may ask you to wait in your car to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

Lane and Associates dental staff screening patients taking temperatures

7 Health recommendations during this Flu & Virus Season: 

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, avoid close contact with others to prevent them from getting sick as well.
  2. If you are sick, please postpone any non-emergency or elective dental procedures until you are feeling well. If you are unsure, please call your home office to discuss your treatment with your dental provider. 
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you are coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  4. Wash your hands as set by the guidelines from the CDC. **See the Handwashing Instructions infographic below**
  5. Do not hoard medical masks or gloves as these are needed by healthcare professionals. Due to the high demand, the CDC does not recommend the general public buying these items but instead practicing everyday preventive actions, such as washing hands, covering your cough, and staying home when you are sick. 
  6. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  7. Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, take care of your oral health, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Washing Your Hands the Right Way

One of the most important steps in preventing the spread of infection is to consistently wash your hands as set by the guidelines from the CDC. See our infographic below with step by step instructions on how to properly wash your hands. The basics to remember are to rinse with water first THEN lather on the soap. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds and be sure to get underneath your fingernails and in between each finger. If you are wearing rings, either take these off before scrubbing or get underneath during your 20-second scrub. Rinse your hands with clean water once you’ve completed scrubbing. Remember, after rinsing – use the paper towel or one-use towel to turn off your sink.

How to Wash Your Hands:

Hand washing infographic

DOWNLOAD THIS INFOGRAPHIC

Watch this video from the CDC with FAQs about Handwashing:

Next Steps…

According to the American Dental Association, “Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette infection control measures along with contact precautions are currently recommended for preventing transmission of COVID-19 and all flu-like illnesses in a dental healthcare setting.”If you currently have the flu or have had direct contact with anyone diagnosed with the Flu or the Coronavirus, or if you have recently traveled to an area where the Coronavirus is prevalent, please inform one of our team members.

All of our employees are well trained and given periodic updates on infection control policies and procedures to ensure that your visit and treatment at Lane & Associates is as safe and comfortable as possible. As always – we sincerely appreciate your trust in us to provide your dental care.

Have further questions? Contact our offices or email us at info@lanedds.com

 

THE TRUTH IS, our teeth are amazing! Without them we wouldn’t be able to speak, eat, sing, or smile properly. We’d like to celebrate our teeth by sharing some interesting dental facts you may not have known!

couple brushing their teeth at same sink

Here Are 10 Fun Dental Facts:

  1. If you’ve been using floss daily, by the end of the year the total length will be the perimeter of a baseball diamond!
  2. Because birds lack teeth, many swallow stones or grits to aid in breaking up hard foods.
  3. On average, women smile 62 times a day and men only eight times a day. Step it up, guys!
  4. The average American spends 38.5 total days brushing their teeth in their lifetime.
  5. Only 40 percent of young people age six to 19 have had cavities in their life. That’s down from 50 percent a decade ago!
  6. In the middle ages, people thought that a dog’s tooth boiled in wine made an excellent mouth rinse to prevent tooth decay. Tasty!
  7. The Egyptian Plover, also known as the crocodile bird, is famous for flying into crocodile mouths and cleaning their teeth.
  8. Prior to the 1850s, ‘toothpaste’ were usually powdered and contained soap and chalk.
  9. An obscure law in Vermont states that it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of their husbands. Crazy!
  10. Different animals have different amounts of teeth; armadillos have 104, pigs have 44, and humans have 32.

How Many Of These Facts Have You Heard Before?
It’s always fun to learn about the obscure facts and crazy history that make up our tooth trivia! Do you know any other cool dental facts? Comment below or on our Facebook page! And remember, take care of your teeth. They do so much for you! We are grateful for our awesome patients and we love to make you smile!

Learn more interesting facts about teeth here | Contact Us | Schedule your appointment

To celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, Lane & Associates is excited to announce our Kid’s Coloring Contest! Throughout the month of February, we will be collecting coloring pages from kids age 12 and under to enter to win a $100 Marbles Kids Museum Prize pack!

FEBRUARY is Children’s Dental Health Month, so we wanted to let you know that our practice is always trying our best to help children achieve great dental health!

 

Visit our Coloring Contest page to download and print off your coloring pages! Simply color your page and then tag us on social media using #LAAKidsColor

LEARN MORE HERE

In anticipation of Groundhog Day 2020, we wanted to take a closer look at some of the world’s most interesting animal teeth! Especially Groundhogs like our Laney!

Groundhog day Laney
GROUNDHOGS
Groundhogs have 18 chewing teeth, as well as four chisel-shaped incisors. Their two upper incisors constantly grow—about 1/16 of an inch every week! So groundhogs must constantly gnaw on leaves, trees, grass, and roots to keep the growth in check. Without a shadow of a doubt, groundhogs have some interesting pearly whites. Keep reading to learn about more animals with unique sets of teeth!

GIRAFFES
When it comes to their number of teeth, giraffes and humans are neck and neck. We both have 32 teeth! Giraffes also have an estimated 20-inch tongue for all their snacking needs!

 

alligator teeth graphic
ALLIGATORS
Alligators have between 74 and 80 teeth in their mouth at a time, but as their teeth wear down, new ones constantly replace them. A single alligator can go through as many as 3,000 teeth in one lifetime!

HORSES
Did you know you can estimate the age of a young horse based on its number of developed teeth? Typically by age five, they have a full set of teeth. A fully developed horse of around five years of age will have between 36 and 44 teeth. All equines are heterodontous, which means that they have different shaped teeth for different purposes. All horses have twelve incisors at the front of the mouth, used primarily for cutting food, most often grass, whilst grazing.

 

Narwhals tusk as tooth
NARWHALS
Narwhals live in Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. You may recognize a narwhal from the long, hornlike tusk protruding from its head. But did you know that this tusk is actually an overgrown tooth? Read more about Narwhals and their tusk on the BBC article here.

BLUE WHALES
This may be surprising but blue whales do not even have teeth. Instead, the blue whale has a structure called a baleen plate. Shaped like a comb, the bristles of the baleen let water pass through while trapping prey. Once caught, the whale brings in the food with its massive tongue.

Hopefully, you found out some fun facts about interesting animal teeth! Let us know if you have any questions about these tooth tidbits & be on the lookout on Groundhog day to see if Laney sees his shadow! #GroundhogDay2020 #Feb2nd

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