Oral Health Tips for Summer Travel

Oral Health Tips for Summer Travel

Summer is here! Time to go to the beach and barbecue and take a vacation! When you pack your bags for your summer getaway, don’t forget your oral health care. Here are a few oral health tips for your summer travel from your friends at FDA!

A Traveling Toothbrush

If you’re flying somewhere this summer, pack your toothbrush and floss in your carry-on bag so you have it on hand even if your luggage doesn’t make it to your final destination right away. That way, you also have the option to brush your teeth on the airplane or during layovers to freshen up. We recommend packing your toothbrush in a plastic bag so you can keep it separate from other items. Just remember to let your toothbrush air dry when you get to your vacation spot.

If you find yourself temporarily without a toothbrush, a vigorous swish with water can help clear some of the cavity-causing bacteria, or put some toothpaste on your clean finger for a quick cleaning. Then, when you are able, pop over to a store and look for the softest toothbrush you can find. If you can find a toothbrush that is ADA approved, even better! Now, how do you say toothbrush in Spanish?

Pack Some ADA-Approved Gum

Don’t worry – sugarless gum won’t take up much room in your suitcase! Research shows that chewing sugarless gum after a meal can help prevent cavities by stimulating saliva, which helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria. Look for gum that has the ADA seal of approval. Not only will it support your oral health and freshen your breath, if you’re flying, sugarless gum may also come in handy for releasing ear pressure on the airplane. Win-win!

Brush with Bottled Water

If you are camping or traveling somewhere where the water supply is not safe for drinking, use bottled water for brushing your teeth and rinsing your toothbrush. This will help prevent any unwanted illness while you’re sight-seeing!

In Case of Dental Emergencies

You can always contact our office if you have a dental emergency while traveling. Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos can help assess if it is a situation that requires immediate attention or can wait until you get back home. Of course, the best way to limit tooth-aches while traveling is to practice preventative care with a solid oral health routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day!

If you are planning a trip for later in the summer and have concerns about your oral health or are experiencing any kind of tooth pain, come and see us before you hop on an airplane. That way we can make sure any issues don’t become larger problems while you’re trying to relax and have fun.

When you get home from your travels, you may realize you let go of some of your oral hygiene routine. Don’t stress about it too much, but focus on getting back to your normal routine of brushing, flossing, and coming in for regular check ups with the FDA team. Summer is also a great time to get your kids in for their appointments! Give our office a call if you need to schedule an appointment – 207.781.5900.

Dancing with the Dentists Season 3

You’ve heard the rumors, you’ve even heard some of the tales… well it’s back again in 2018! That’s right everyone, Dancing with the Dentists Season 3 is May 11th!

Now in its third year, Dancing with the Dentists brings dentists from the Maine community together with a night of dancing, excitement, and fun! Falmouth Dental Arts has a strong tie to this event as it was conceptualized and developed by Falmouth Dental Arts’ own founding dentist, Dr. Glen Knock.

But that’s not the only reason to attend: the evening was developed first and foremost for a good cause and will benefit two local nonprofit organizations: The Root Cellar and Dental Lifeline. Both organizations assist those unable to afford dental treatment by providing donated dental services. All profits from the event will go directly to those two organizations – Dancing with the Dentists Season 2 raised over $40,000, making a huge positive impact on their operations.

The Italian Heritage Center in Portland will serve as the competitive stomping grounds for the event, with the competition kicking off at 5:30 pm on Friday, May 11, 2018. The dental dancers and their professional counterparts will show their best moves to the crowd and a panel of local celebrity judges. Shannon Moss of Code Gratitude and former news reporter/anchor will host the evening.

Our own doctors Dr. Knock and Dr. Brunacini both danced in previous seasons, in fact… Dr. Brunacini won Season 1 of Dancing with the Dentists! “It was such a great experience,” Dr. Brunacini commented. “I actually enjoyed the dancing and performing aspect of it, and couldn’t believe that I won!  The opportunity to raise money and awareness for the organizations while learning a new skill was a lot of fun.”

While we can’t guarantee it just yet, Dr. Karagiorgos has hinted at his own participation in the near future. “I am sad that the timing didn’t work out this time but I really look forward to strutting my stuff at the next Dancing with the Dentists event,” he said. “What a great way to be involved and serve our community! With Glen’s rich history of dance and Brian winning the inaugural competition, the stakes are high and the pressure is on. When it’s my turn to compete in the future I look forward to representing FDA and performing in a way that would make our staff and our patients proud.” We can’t wait!

Have we got your interests piqued? If so, make sure to buy your tickets online today. If you have more questions about the event, please ask us anything during your next appointment! We are happy to help support the greater Maine dental community by sharing this event with others and supporting a great cause.

Dental-themed Holiday Gift Ideas

Gift giving during the holiday season may feel like a stressful endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. For those of you who don’t want to buy the usual surplus of toys and electronics (“They’re only going to use it for 6 months!”), the idea of dental-themed gifts may appeal to you and prove to be a wonderful alternative gift solution. At Falmouth Dental Arts, we’re all about gifting good oral health. We want you to have cavity-free, clean teeth year-round, so we hope that you can find the perfect gift for someone on your list among the suggestions we’ve listed below.

  • For the kids: Tooth keepers are small containers that serve as a practical receptacle for the tooth fairy – tooth or reward – and they can also serve as educational tools to help children understand the differences between baby teeth and adult teeth. There are wooden and plastic varieties, both of which can serve as a fond memento of childhood later in life. Thanks to this timeless quality, they are great contributions to any child’s holiday gift roundup.
  • For the adventurous at heart: Did you know that there are different flavors of toothpaste other than mint? For example… bacon? With this gift, someone’s tooth-brushing grind can become reinvigorated with exciting new flavors! Not a fan of bacon? Don’t worry – there are a variety of flavors out there, ranging from mango to cupcake, lavender, and more!
  • For the photo-opportunists: How many times do we look in the mirror a day? Most people are very aware of their personal appearance because we’re constantly meeting ourselves in the mirror! For the socialites and selfie enthusiasts on your list, we recommend the confidence-boosting gift of a professional whitening so that they can rest assured they’ll always be looking their best for the camera.
  • For those on-the-go: Whether carrying it in your pocket or in your purse, gum is a quick and reliable way to freshen your breath at any moment. We recommend sugar-free gum that bears the official ADA Seal of Acceptance. Other gums with sugar result in plaque bacteria and the production of acids associated with tooth decay, whereas sugar-free ADA-approved gum does not. So put some ADA-approved gum into everyone’s stockings this year! You’ll be doing them a favor.
  • For the techies: Gifting an electric toothbrush to a friend or family member can really level up his or her respective oral hygiene routine. Electric toothbrushes can clean teeth efficiently with spinning brush heads and resilient bristles. Depending on the brush, electric models range from expensive to affordable, but make sure to consider the cost of replacement bristles for the recipient. Regardless of what type you choose, these toothbrushes have been shown to be effective at preventing a majority of plaque build-up.
  • For those who go the extra mile: While the name might have you drawing question marks, oral irrigators are great gifts fit for any adult or dental-conscious teen. Like floss, oral irrigators are designed to clean between teeth. But the difference is this tool directs a stream of water between teeth to remove pesky food particles that cause tooth decay. Oral irrigators are great tools for those who have denture or braces, or anyone who wants that extra assurance they’re cleaning their mouth well.

Who ever knew dental-themed products could present so many gifting opportunities? For specific recommendations on products or brands, feel free to call us at (207) 781-5900.

Two wintertime treats have incredible benefits for your teeth and gums

It’s true. January is National Soup Month and National Tea Month. And it is also true that we think that is no coincidence.

You’re always looking for easy ways to improve your health, right? And oral health is a significant factor in overall health. So here are two extremely simple ways for you to strengthen your teeth and gums and improve your overall health.

  1. Drink more tea
  2. Eat more soup

Here is why…

Many people think that chewy candies and foods with high sugar content are what really harm teeth. Although those people are correct, what you choose to drink also has a significant impact on oral health. When deciding between the many drink options available, one of the best drinks for your oral health is brewed tea. Tea has anti-bacterial properties and fluoride content which may help protect against cavities and gum disease and may also strengthen tooth enamel [insert a picture of tea with this sentence as the caption].

brewed teaThere have been a number of studies done recently that highlight the positive effects of tea on oral health. Research shows that tea has almost no erosive effect on tooth enamel. In fact, depending on the amount of fluoride in the water that you brew your tea with, it can even strengthen your enamel. A study done specifically on green tea has indicated that it has some added oral health benefits due to the natural antioxidant compounds called catechins that are in it. The researchers suggested that green tea is particularly effective in fighting and preventing gum disease because the catechins in the green tea interfere with the inflammation that results from bacteria in the mouth. Lastly, a recent study conducted by New York University Dental Center suggests that black tea may be linked to reduction in likelihood of developing dental caries (or cavities).

So in other words…have a cup of tea a day! But before you do, here are a few important words of advice…

  1. Don’t add sugar to your tea. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and produce acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth and irritate your gums.
  2. Avoid prepackaged, bottled iced teas because they contain citric acid (which can wear away tooth enamel) and high amounts of sugars.

http://www.teausa.com/teausa/images/TeaCouncil-ResearchDocR5_-_FINAL.pdf – visit this link for an extremely informational document that breaks down how tea benefits the rest of your body’s health (including cardiovascular health, cancer risk reduction for a number of cancers, neurological health, metabolism/obesity/body composition, diabetes/blood sugar control, immune function, kidney function, and reduced risk of osteoporosis).


Since the first day we were served solid food as children, we have been told to eat our veggies. “You want to grow up to be big and strong, don’t you?” As a kid, that never really crossed our minds…we’d rather have chips and soda and candy.

But what if we were to give you new incentive to eat your veggies… What if we showed you just how beneficial vegetables can be to your oral hygiene.

Vegetables are of course jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients – these are the key.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has a plethora of benefits for your gums. It helps produce collagen which helps form body tissue, and it also repairs damaged gums and helps the them become more resistant to oral bacteria. Folic acid helps your mouth’s cells stay healthy, and calcium helps with strong teeth, bones, and gums. All these nutrients together help keep gums strong and healthy and control or even prevent gum disease.

In addition to the vast nutrients in vegetables that your mouth benefits from, there are other positive effects to eating your veggies as well. The chewing action alone involved in eating raw veggies strengthens your gums, encourages blood circulation and builds strong teeth. Additionally, vegetables are a key source of fiber, which builds a strong immune system.

So now you may be asking, “how do I know which vegetables to eat to get these nutrients?” Allow us to help:

  • Vitamin C: red and green peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and tomatoes
  • Vitamin E: Spinach, turnip greens, collards, along with oils (vegetable, seed and nut)
  • Folic Acid: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, and spinach

One of the best ways to get tons of veggies at once (especially in the winter) is in a hearty soup! So here are three delicious soup recipes that are packed with vegetables to benefit your overall health, as well as you oral health! We all know homemade soup is no match for that canned stuff in terms of taste and nutritional value.

green pea soupGreen Pea and Chickpea Soup: This soup is exceptionally nutrient-dense and calls for highly affordable ingredients. To experience optimal health, including flexible and healthy bones and teeth, it’s vital that you eat plenty of green plant foods on a regular basis. Green peas are naturally abundant in folate, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, carotenoids, tryptophan, vitamin K, manganese, healthy protein, and a number of other health-promoting nutrients. Get this recipe

Tuscan Veggie SoupVegetable Soup: Here is an extremely quick, easy and delicious recipe that is packed full of veggies. Modify this with your favorite veggies too – its easy to substitute ingredients with this simple recipe! Get the recipe


Chicken Noodle SoupChicken Noodle Soup: Chicken noodle soup can be tricky, because it is not always particularly healthy for you – it really depends on what ingredients you use. May sound obvious, but sometimes people struggle maximizing the health factor. Here are three tips for you that will help give any chicken noodle soup recipe a health kick…

  1. Use boneless, skinless chicken
  2. Use fat-free and/or low-sodium chicken broth
  3. Look for your favorite noodle in high-fiber, whole wheat variety fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Click here to get the chicken noodle soup recipe we love

Happy National Soup and Tea Month! Get out there and strengthen those teeth and gums.