Hooray! The holidays are approaching! There’s so much to look forward to this time of year: gathering with family and friends, decorating the house with all the trimmings, giving back to your community, feasting on delicious holiday treats, giving and receiving the perfect gift…the list could go on and on! As you indulge in all the wonderful experiences this season has to offer, don’t forget to treat your mouth to some oral care that will keep it happy and healthy! Give your teeth the gift of excellent dental care! To help, here are our top three tips for a healthy holiday season:
Upgrade Your Toothbrush
You brush your teeth twice a day, so give yourself the best brush for the job. Our hygienists LOVE electric toothbrushes – they are more effective at cleaning plaque from your teeth and do a better job getting into all the nooks and crannies. If you’re not ready to go electric with your oral care, think about treating yourself to a new regular brush. We recommend you replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles become frayed. It’s also important to replace your toothbrush after an illness to ensure you don’t spread more germs. Look for a brush with soft bristles and the ADA seal of approval.
Drink More Water
This time of year, we all tend to eat more sweets and drink more sugary beverages. Hot cocoa is just too good! With all the extra indulgences, it’s especially important to drink lots of water. Drinking water helps to rinse away bacteria and food particles and can even help reduce plaque build-up. Reach for a glass of water after your meals or snacks to keep your mouth and your whole body feeling good!
Find Time for Flossing
Flossing is a hard habit to keep up with, especially when life gets busy…we know! Try reframing the task as a gift to yourself – flossing is truly one of the best things you can do for your oral health and your overall health. For example, studies show that flossing regularly is linked to improving health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. If traditional floss is challenging for you, explore the alternatives such as water flossers and dental picks. Our team of hygienists often recommend products like ‘Go Betweens’ and ‘Plackers’ to patients. Find a product that works best for you and then find a time that works as well. It doesn’t matter when you floss, anytime is a good time to floss! If bedtime flossing feels like too much, try to set up the habit for your morning brush. This holiday season, give yourself the gift that will keep on giving to your overall health and wellness…flossing!
We hope you and your family have a truly wonderful holiday season this year! If it’s been awhile since you’ve been in to see Dr. Karagiorgos or Dr. Brunacini, please give us a call to schedule an appointment. We love giving our patients the best oral health care possible and would love to see you!
Need a reason to smile? The first Friday in October is World Smile Day. This unofficial holiday has a simple mission: to encourage people to do acts of kindness and help others smile. At FDA, we love helping our patients achieve the smile of their dreams! Whether it’s finding a home-care routine that supports your oral health goals or a cosmetic procedure that boosts your confidence, we are in the smile business. To honor World Smile Day, we look at the history of this fun worldwide celebration, and outline the ways we can help you smile today…and everyday!
World Smile Day
Back in 1963, commercial artist Harvey Ball created the smiley face – that iconic cheerful, yellow circle with an eyes and mouth. The image became one of the most recognizable symbols of goodwill and cheer in the world. Concerned about the over-commercialized use of “Smiley” and the loss of its original meaning, Ball created World Smile Day. He believed that everyone should devote at least one day to smiles and acts of kindness. The first Smile Day was held in 1999 in Ball’s hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts. You can join the celebration each year on the first Friday in October by following its simple challenge: “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.”
Helping Mainers Smile
Since 1974, Falmouth Dental Arts has been on the cutting edge of dentistry and focused on patient care. For us, a healthy and happy smile is about more than just clean teeth. It’s about your whole-body health and your comfort when you are in our care. We work closely with you to design a dental plan that fits your needs and your budget so you can make the best possible choices for your health. We offer a wide range of services to provide the best oral care possible and help our patients achieve the smile of their dreams!
- Family Dentistry – We believe that oral health is important at every age, no matter the state of your dental health. Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos and our entire staff are committed to providing a caring and compassionate environment for you to receive excellent dental care. Our use of crest-of-the-wave technology, such as 3D Imaging and Same-Day Crowns, offers patients the highest quality of care and more comfortable experience. We will help you maintain your oral hygiene and develop a home care regimen that improves your oral health and gives you a bright smile that will last a lifetime!
- Cosmetic Dentistry – When you’re self-conscious about showing your teeth, you may talk less, laugh less, and smile less. We can help you change that in just one or two dental visits. Many dental issues can be addressed with cosmetic dentistry – from chipped teeth to crooked teeth, stained teeth or lost teeth. A simple consultation with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos can help you get on the path to the smile of your dreams!
We’d love to hear about what is making you smile these days! Please share with us on our Facebook page! Bonus points if you share an act of kindness on World Smile Day! If your smile needs a little attention and care, give us a call today at 207.781.5900. We can set you up with a consultation appointment for a cosmetic procedure or help you schedule your next check up. Let us help you have a healthy, happy smile!!
Have you thanked your dental hygienist recently? Well, now is the perfect time because October is National Dental Hygiene Month! FDA’s caring and wonderful team of hygienists are truly the heart of our practice. Alex, Diann, Erin, Jean, Kelly, and Lydianne are who you see at every cleaning appointment and are all committed to patient comfort and care. Their love of building relationships is what helps our patients find an individualized oral health care routine that supports whole-body health. As a fun way to honor our amazing hygienists and encourage you to practice excellent dental hygiene, we’ve spelled out some hygienist-approved tips and reasons why Alex, Diann, Erin, Jean, Kelly, and Lydianne are such amazing and compassionate professionals!
H is for hydrate! Drinking plenty of water improves oral health. It washes away leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria.
Y is for yogurt! Yogurt is a healthy snack that will support your oral health as well as your overall health. It’s full of calcium for strong teeth and the probiotics will support a healthy mouth.
G is for gentle! Patient comfort comes first. With a gentle touch, our team of hygienists provide a calm and caring environment for patients to receive the best oral care.
I is for individual! We see each patient as a unique individual and get to know your personal history and dental needs. We work with you to find the right oral care and treatments.
E is for education! Our hygienists are life-long learners committed to staying on top of the latest dental technologies and treatment. Plus, they *love* educating patients on best practices.
N is for nice! You’ll never meet a nicer, more caring group of oral health professionals. Alex, Diann, Erin, Jean, Kelly, and Lydianne are people you will enjoy seeing at your regular appointments.
I is for interproximal cleaning! Also known as flossing, interproximal cleaning is our hygienists number one oral hygiene tip for patients. Whether you use traditional floss or “Plackers,” find what works for you and stick with it!
S is for smile. Our hygienists love helping patients achieve the smile of their dreams. We also love seeing the smiles on our patients’ faces when they leave our office feeling heard and cared for.
T is for toothbrush – electric, please! If you haven’t invested in an electric toothbrush yet, now is the time. Our hygienists swear by electric toothbrushes – they are more effective at removing plaque than a manual toothbrush and stimulate the gum tissue, which promotes gum health.
Thank you to our hygienists extraordinaire – Alex, Diann, Erin, Jean, Kelly, and Lydianne! Next time you come in for an appointment, please be sure to say thank you, too – or give them a shout out on our Facebook page! If you have any questions about oral hygiene tips or want to go over your oral health care routine, give us a call at 207.781.5900. We are here to be your partner in excellent oral health care.
You want a beautiful and healthy smile and FDA is here to help! We know you do your best to keep your teeth clean, but don’t forget about caring for your gums. Your gums play a vital role in the overall health of your mouth and your teeth. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth-loss in adults and can contribute to a whole host of health issues such as diabetes and heart conditions. Some early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums and bad breath. So what can you do to keep your gums healthy and your smile sparkling? Read on for our top three tips for healthy gums!
Brush your teeth AND your gums!
Of course you brush your teeth! But your gums need a little love from your toothbrush, too! Next time you brush, give your gums a massage. Simply hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and move it in gentle, circular motions along your entire gum line. This technique will not only help you get into more nooks and crannies where pesky food bits and bacteria can hide, but you’ll also boost blood circulation which helps deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your gum tissue. If you need a demonstration, ask Alex, Diann, Erin, Jean, Kelly, or Lydianne at your next appointment. Our team of caring hygienists love helping patients!
Eat a healthy diet!
What you eat can have a big impact on your oral health which is why eating a healthy diet is so important. For optimal gum health, find foods high in Omega-3s like nuts and fish, which are anti-inflammatory. Eating lots of crunchy fruits and vegetables will help stimulate your gums as you chew, and bell peppers are a particularly great choice due to their high vitamin C content. Yogurt, with its calcium, protein, and probiotics is another food to include in your gum-healthy diet. The probiotics help create a healthy environment in your mouth where cavity-causing bacteria won’t thrive, protecting your gums as well.
For healthy gums and a healthy mouth, you simply must floss at least once a day. When you floss regularly, you clean the bacteria from between your teeth that, when left behind, can cause cavities, plaque build-up, and gum disease. If traditional dental floss is difficult for you to use, experiment with floss alternatives. We like to recommend a water flosser or products like ‘Go-Betweens’ or ‘Plackers.’ We know this is a tricky habit for patients to stick with, so find a routine that works for you and stick with it!
Keep up the good work of keeping your gums healthy! Remember, coming in for regular checkups and cleanings is another way you can care for your gums. If you have questions about your gum health or need to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 207.781.5900. We’re your partner in oral health!
Sharpen your pencils – September means it’s time to go back to school! But what are you going to pack in your kiddo’s lunch box? At FDA, we’ve long shared how eating a healthy diet is an important part of your oral health regimen, and including healthy snacks in your child’s lunch is a great way to support their smile and their overall health. So, skip those starchy and sweet snacks and choose foods that are good for your kids’ teeth and body! Here are our top 5 healthy snack ideas for school lunches.
They say apples are nature’s toothbrush and we agree! Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, an apple a day is a great way to keep your kids healthy. Since apples are so crunchy, they stimulate the gums and encourage saliva production which helps wash away harmful bacteria. We’re lucky to live in Maine where there are oodles of apple varieties. An apple a day will help fight tooth decay!
Almonds and other nuts are full of health benefits. High in vitamin E, healthy fats, and tooth-strengthening calcium, almonds are a perfect snack to pack. Watch out for almonds coated in honey or sugar which can stick to the teeth and contribute to cavities. If your child has sensitive teeth, try almond slivers rather than whole almonds.
We love cheese! It’s high in calcium and a protein called casein which helps strengthen tooth enamel. Add to that cheese has phosphate which is pH-balancing for your mouth, protecting your teeth further. The only problem with cheese is deciding which variety is your favorite…cheddar? Gouda? Mozzarella string cheese? All of the above?
Crunchy vegetables are good for your body and good for your teeth and celery is a real rock star! First, they are full of almost a whole alphabet’s worth of vitamins, particularly vitamin A, C, and K. Also, all that chewing required to chomp a celery stalk cleans your teeth naturally and promotes saliva production to flush away bacteria. The fibrous texture of celery is great for your gums, too, making celery the closest thing to a vegetable dental floss. What’s not to love?!
Like its cousin, cheese, yogurt is full of calcium that helps strengthen your bones and teeth. Maintaining bone density is particularly important for growing kids. The probiotics in yogurt also help support oral health, helping to slow the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. Be careful with some of the fruit-filled yogurts as they can have a surprising amount of added sugar. We like greek yogurt, which has the highest levels of protein…an extra boost to your kids’ health!
Add these items to your grocery list and you’ll be ready to pack your kids’ lunch full of healthy snacks! Also, don’t forget to also pack a reusable water bottle! It will not only help your child stay hydrated, but have the added bonus of rinsing their mouth of harmful bacteria. Eating a healthy diet is just one part of an A + oral health routine. Keep your kids brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
If they’re due for a checkup with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos, or need a cleaning with one of our amazing hygienists, please give us a call today – 207.781.5900. We look forward to seeing you!
April is Oral Cancer Awareness month and regular dental care is a first line of defense against oral cancer. Falmouth Dental Arts is committed to helping raise awareness about the importance of oral cancer screenings. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, about 54,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year in America. Smoking is the leading cause of oral cancer, but there are increasingly more and more young people developing oral cancer due to the HPV virus. The good news is that when treated early, oral cancer has a 80-90% survival rate and regular screenings assist with early detection. At FDA, Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos as well as our hygienists perform oral cancer screenings during your regular check-up appointments. With the goal of raising awareness, we thought it would be helpful to discuss some of the common warning signs related to oral cancer and the different types of screenings available at FDA.
Warning Signs of Oral Cancer
A good rule of thumb is to let us know if you notice any recent changes to your mouth, teeth or gums, or experience any pain or tenderness. Beyond that, there are a few warning signs linked with oral cancer to be aware of:
- White or red patches in the mouth
- Sores that fail to heal
- Abnormal lumps in the gums or neck
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
If you discover something on your own, don’t panic. As your dental care partners, we are an essential part of your healthcare team! You can schedule an appointment with us for a prompt examination. You may wonder how Dr. Brunacini, Dr. Karagiorgos and our hygienists perform oral cancer screenings. Here is some more information on the different types of screening we perform at FDA:
Visual Oral Cancer Screening
We screen our patients for oral cancer at every hygiene appointment. Our screening methods typically include a simple visual exam of the soft tissues of the mouth. We will examine the gum tissue, lips, cheeks, and tongue. We will also palpate (gently press on) areas of the face and neck to check for any nodules or lumps. If there is an area of concern, we may offer to do a VELscope screening.
VELscope is a safe, non-invasive early detection screening device that emits a blue light that quickly allows our clinicians to identify abnormal cells before they are visible to the naked eye. The graphic below demonstrates the difference between healthy cells (Normal Epithelial Cells) and abnormal cells (Abnormal or Dysplastic Epithelial Cells), that become visible under the Blue Excitation Light.
CBCT 3D X-Ray
3D x-ray or CBCT (cone beam computed tomography) technology allows us to better visualize all of the structures within the head, neck, and mouth so that we can better assess our patients’ oral health. 3D imaging can be helpful in determining subsequent steps for the ideal treatment of a lesion.
If we have any reason for concern, the next step would be a referral to an oral surgeon for additional consultation. An oral surgeon may decide to perform a biopsy of the area for further evaluation. Most of the time, a biopsy will rule out oral cancer. However, if the biopsy is positive for precancerous or cancerous cells, additional treatment may be necessary. Throughout the evaluation and referral process, we will remain involved every step of the way to provide support and follow-up care.
If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health or the oral cancer screening process, please don’t hesitate to call us! As your dentist, we are part of your healthcare team and always happy to answer your questions!