Spit Won’t Quit!!

July 20, 2012

No one likes to get their blood taken – it’s just not fun!! But it’s the only way that we can be tested for diabetes, anemia, cholesterol levels, and many other important health issues. Well, that may soon be changing!

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University are saying there may now be a much easier way to detect illness – spit!

Yes – good old saliva contains DNA, enzymes, hormones, proteins and lots of other good stuff that are making it a great candidate for medical testing. And best of all, it’s simple and painless to collect.

Recently, trials have been done with saliva to test for heart disease risk, HIV, hormone-related diseases, children’s performance in school, and even a woman’s ability to have good relationships with men based on their feelings for their fathers! (As strange as it may seem, that last one is based on levels of stress hormones found in saliva when women discuss relationship topics!!)

It’s tough to even compare the ease of spitting in a cup versus having a needle poked into your vein. As Dr. Steven Hirschfeld of The National Institutes of Health said,

“We like tests that are fast, inexpensive, and can be repeated multiple times.”

Saliva already has lots of jobs. It softens food as you chew it, making that grilled cheese sandwich much easier to swallow. It helps your tongue to taste things, is the first step in digestion, and it cleans the inside of your mouth and rinses your teeth. Most people produce one to two liters of saliva every day!!

If you feel like your mouth is always dry, be sure to let us know. It could be caused by medications, aging, or possibly a serious medical condition. And get prepared for the day when instead of someone saying “please roll up your sleeve for a blood test,” they simply ask you to spit in a cup!

If you have questions about dry mouth or any other dental issues, please remember that at Hildebrand’s Healthy Smile we are here for you! Please give us a call at 866-SMILE-08. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

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Snoring – It Can Kill You!

June 29, 2012

Sure – snoring is annoying. But can it actually be deadly?

No – this does not mean being strangled in the middle of the night by a severely annoyed spouse or partner, as tempting as that may be! But the fact is, snoring is often related to sleep apnea, a condition where the body is deprived of oxygen during a night of heavy zzzzz’s.

One obvious problem this causes is being tired during the day, contributing to automobile and workplace accidents. But even worse, sleep apnea, which is experienced by 30 million Americans, has been scientifically linked to obesity, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks and diabetes. So if that low rumbling sound that keeps the entire neighborhood awake isn’t enough, now there is much more reason for concern.

But wait – it actually gets worse. A study performed at The University of Wisconsin School Of Medicine has just shown a significant link between sleep apnea and cancer, showing this condition increases the risk of cancer death by almost a factor of five!

“This is really big news,” said Dr. Joseph Golish, a professor of sleep medicine with the MetroHealth System in Cleveland. “It’s the first time this has been shown, and it looks like a very solid association,” he said.

There is no doubt that snoring can be much more serious than just a nighttime disturbance. So what can you do if you or a loved one may suffer from sleep apnea?

Fortunately, there are many ways to have this condition treated, all the way from simple dental appliances, to surgery, to wearing nighttime contraptions that make you look (and sound) like Darth Vader! Your dentist and physician can recommend the appropriate treatment for you.

At Hildebrand Healthy Smiles, we would be glad to take a look and discuss your snoring issues or any other dental questions you may have. Just give us a call at 1-866-SMILE-08 and we will get you in right away! Let’s make tonight a quiet one!!

The Most Confusing Aisle In The Store??

June 25, 2012

If you have been shopping for toothpaste lately, you know that it can be very confusing.

Unlike the old days when the choices were few, these days it seems that there are way too many options! Whitening toothpastes, tartar control, paste or gel, gum health, desensitizing, – which is best? This is a question we get asked all the time. Sometimes it seems like the best thing to do would be to forget the labels and buy whatever is on sale!!

The fact is – buying a particular type or brand of toothpaste is usually not as important as the way you brush and how often you do so. But in any case, here is a quick run-down.

Tartar control toothpaste:  Tartar is calcified plaque which naturally forms and can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. While tartar control toothpaste has been shown to reduce the formation of new deposits, it can’t remove current ones and does nothing to prevent these formations where they are the most dangerous – underneath the gum line.

Paste vs. gel: No significant difference here; it’s more of a personal preference.

Desensitizing toothpaste:  These pastes have ingredients in them which block the small tube-like channels that connect to the nerve tissue inside of your teeth. If you have exposed roots due to gum recession or teeth that are generally sensitive to hot and cold, this may be a good solution for you. But please be patient – it takes 4 to 6 weeks for the magic to kick in.

Whitening pastes:  The abrasiveness of these products may reduce surface stains, but they do little to treat the actual yellowing of teeth from the inside. The good news is that most teeth can be whitened with the right treatment. Be sure to ask us what the proper whitening method is for you.

“Gum Care” toothpaste: Studies have shown these to be questionable at best, and they may not be as valuable as standard toothpastes in preventing cavities.

Expensive or bargain brand? The good news here is that price doesn’t seem to be related to effectiveness when choosing a toothpaste. As a matter of fact, recently Consumer Reports magazine rated an expensive paste near the bottom of their list with bargain basement Ultra-Brite near the top in several categories!

So which brand should I use?

Most studies are fairly inconclusive on this one. Your best bet is always a brand that contains fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal of approval. And if that brand happens to be on sale – all the better!!

In the end, the most important thing is to brush often (morning, night-time, and after every meal), use a soft brush, try to reach every surface of every tooth, and spend two minutes doing so.

The proper technique is important as well, and we will be glad to demonstrate this to you at your next visit to Hilderbrand Healthy Smiles! If you have any more questions or would like to set up a visit, please give us a call at 866-SMILE-08. We are here to help you!

Did you know that we are now on Facebook? Please “like” our page at www.facebook.com/ hildebrandhealthysmiles for great dental health tips, contests, giveaways, and great special announcements!

The Most Confusing Aisle In The Store??

April 17, 2012

If you have been shopping for toothpaste lately, you know that it can be very confusing.

Unlike the old days when the choices were few, these days it seems that there are way too many options! Whitening toothpastes, tartar control, paste or gel, gum health, desensitizing, – which is best? This is a question we get asked all the time. Sometimes it seems like the best thing to do would be to forget the labels and buy whatever is on sale!!

The fact is – buying a particular type or brand of toothpaste is usually not as important as the way you brush and how often you do so. But in any case, here is a quick run-down.

Tartar control toothpaste:  Tartar is calcified plaque which naturally forms and can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. While tartar control toothpaste has been shown to reduce the formation of new deposits, it can’t remove current ones and does nothing to prevent these formations where they are the most dangerous – underneath the gum line.

Paste vs. gel: No significant difference here; it’s more of a personal preference.

Desensitizing toothpaste:  These pastes have ingredients in them which block the small tube-like channels that connect to the nerve tissue inside of your teeth. If you have exposed roots due to gum recession or teeth that are generally sensitive to hot and cold, this may be a good solution for you. But please be patient – it takes 4 to 6 weeks for the magic to kick in.

Whitening pastes:  The abrasiveness of these products may reduce surface stains, but they do little to treat the actual yellowing of teeth from the inside. The good news is that most teeth can be whitened with the right treatment. Be sure to ask us what the proper whitening method is for you.

“Gum Care” toothpaste: Studies have shown these to be questionable at best, and they may not be as valuable as standard toothpastes in preventing cavities.

Expensive or bargain brand? The good news here is that price doesn’t seem to be related to effectiveness when choosing a toothpaste. As a matter of fact, recently Consumer Reports magazine rated an expensive paste near the bottom of their list with bargain basement Ultra-Brite near the top in several categories!

So which brand should I use?

Most studies are fairly inconclusive on this one. Your best bet is always a brand that contains fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal of approval. And if that brand happens to be on sale – all the better!!

In the end, the most important thing is to brush often (morning, night-time, and after every meal), use a soft brush, try to reach every surface of every tooth, and spend two minutes doing so.

The proper technique is important as well, and we will be glad to demonstrate this to you at your next visit to Hilderbrand Healthy Smiles! If you have any more questions or would like to set up a visit, please give us a call at 866-SMILE-08. We are here to help you!

Did you know that we are now on Facebook? Please “like” our page at www.facebook.com/ hildebrandhealthysmiles for great dental health tips, contests, giveaways, and great special announcements!

Even Your Best Friend Won’t Tell You!

March 13, 2012

It’s a situation that has happened to us all.

A friend or relative comes close to talk to you, and when they open their mouth an odor comes pouring out that could knock out a racehorse from a mile away! But besides backing up a few feet and ending the conversation as soon as possible, what do you do?

Of course you could just do nothing. But that is doing your friend a huge social disservice – and possibly not telling them of a negative health issue as well.

So how do you say something so uncomfortable to someone you care about? Here are two great answers we found while researching this question.

“As your friend, it’s important to me that we’re always able to say the things that are hard to say, because that’s what real friends do for each other. I’m not comfortable mentioning this, though if it were me, I’d certainly want someone to say something. I don’t know if you’re aware – but sometimes your breath is quite noticeable. I read somewhere that this can be the result of a dental or medical problem, so I felt it was important to tell you.”

 

Or how about this one:

“I just wanted to let you know that you’re just like me — we occasionally have bad breath! Here’s what I’ve found that helps.” Then give them mints, gum, or mouthwash. Then add, “The only reason I’m telling you this is that someone once told me the same thing and I realized how much it helped me. Fortunately I was able to find a great dentist who helped me take care of the problem!”

 

Of course so many things can cause bad breath – all the way from pungent foods like onions and garlic all the way to serious illnesses such as pneumonia, diabetes, and liver or kidney ailments.

Some of the most common causes of bad breath, also known as halitosis, are seen every day in our dental office. Here are some examples:

  • Dry mouth (which can be caused by many common medications, mouth breathing, or lack of saliva flow
  • Gum disease – this normally does not hurt or have obvious symptoms, but is extremely common and can cause unnecessary tooth loss
  • Cavities or ill-fitting dental restorations such as fillings and crowns
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Improper cleaning of the tongue, teeth and gums

Whether it’s you or someone else you are concerned about, even periodic bad breath warrants a visit to the dentist. Usually the solution is a simple one, and it is just about always one that brings about better health as well.

So feel free to carry gum, breath mints, or small bottles of mouthwash with you wherever you go, either for you or to help (and drop a hint) to a breath-challenged friend. But please remember, a dental evaluation is always the best move when bad breath is around!

At Hildebrand Healthy Smiles , our goal is to keep you as healthy as possible at all times. Whether it is an issue with bad breath, beautifying your smile, or anything else, we are here to help you! Please give us a call at 866-SMILE-08for an appointment or visit us on the web at www.hildebrandhealthysmiles.com. Let’s make sure that every conversation you or your friends have is a breath of fresh air!

Ten Fun and Crazy Dental Facts!

February 20, 2012

At Hildebrand Healthy Smiles, the office of Dr. Darlene Hildebrand, we take dentistry very seriously. But believe it or not, teeth can be fun!

Here are ten wild and crazy dental facts that will make you smile and improve your health as well.

1)     The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough spit to fill 2 swimming pools!

2)     You are should not keep your toothbrush near a toilet. The airborne particles from the flush can travel up to a distance of 6 feet. Yuck!

3)     People who drink 3 or more glasses of soda each day have 62% more tooth decay, fillings and tooth loss than others. Put down the pop and sports drinks and pick up some nice fresh water instead.

4)     In 1994, a prison inmate in West Virginia braided dental floss into a rope, scaled the wall and escaped. (We suggest that you use floss to clean between your teeth instead of climbing prison walls! If you don’t you are missing around 35% of your teeth’s surfaces.)

5)     You should replace your toothbrush at least every three months, and always after you have an episode of flu, cold or other viral infections. Notorious bacteria can implant themselves on the toothbrush bristles leading to re-infection.

6)     Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. However, we do not recommend that you use your pearly whites to open bottle caps!

7)     The standard advice to “see your dentist twice a year” was actually invented by an ad agency for Pepsodent toothpaste! Your dental professional should recommend the correct schedule for your regular dental visits.

8)     A recent poll has shown that health professionals (physicians, dentists and nurses) were among the most trusted people in The United States. The least trusted? Lobbyists and congressmen of course!

9)     According to a recent survey done by Time Magazine, 59% of Americans would rather have a dental appointment than be sitting next to someone talking on a cell phone. Maybe some of us should take a hint!

10)  Over three out of four people in the United States suffer from some form of gum disease. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in people over age 35. The good news is, in most cases gum disease can be prevented or controlled!

At the office of Dr. Darlene Hildebrand, we are here for you, and want to help you achieve the best smile possible. If you have any questions about your dental health or need to schedule an appointment, please give us a call today at 1-866-SMILE-08. We can help you!

Also – did you know that we are now on Facebook? Please go to www.facebook.com/hildebrandhealthysmiles  and “like” us for more dental health tips, community news, contests, special offers and all kinds of other fun stuff!!

Beware Of Valentine’s Day!

January 16, 2012

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and you may be getting ready for some big fat kisses to come your way.

So even though at the office of Darlene Hildebrand,D.M.D.. we’re concerned about cavities, gum disease, bad breath and lots of saliva, we won’t use this month’s blog entry to gross you out about kissing. But we will tell you some interesting facts that you can tell your kissing partner right after they smack one on you!!

Anthropologists have argued for years about the origin of kissing. Many now believe that it has evolved from the time when mothers chewed food for their babies and then went mouth to mouth at feeding time. (Well, okay – we might gross you out a little bit!) This action became so comforting to babies that the habit continued even after they could chew for themselves, and then developed into a sign of affection.

Nowadays kisses aren’t just about romantic love. Of course parents kiss their children. Worshippers often kiss religious artifacts. Some people kiss the ground when exiting an airplane. And who doesn’t want to have a “boo boo” kissed when they get a bruise?

But February 14th is a day for the romantic kind of kiss, and if you are craving one, there may be a scientific reason. While this action can promote a psychological response of warmth and affection, it also causes your brain to secrete some important and productive chemicals, such as:

  • Oxytocin, which helps people develop feelings of attachment, devotion and affection for one another
  • Dopamine, which plays a role in the brain’s processing of emotions, pleasure and pain
  • Serotonin, which affects a person’s mood and feelings
  • Adrenaline, which increases heart rate and plays a role in your body’s fight-or-flight response

 

But along with that, when you kiss, hundreds or even millions of bacterial colonies are transported from one mouth to the other. And let’s face it – no one wants to kiss a person who has poor oral hygiene, bad breath, or just a generally yucky mouth. So let’s start with the basics:

  • Make sure you brush at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Floss once per day – if you have trouble flossing or are not sure how, please ask! We’ll be glad to show you the ropes.
  • Avoid sugary and acid-laden foods such as soft drinks, sports drinks, and candy. (Okay – we won’t tell anyone if you have a tiny bit of candy on Valentine’s Day!)
  • Eat a well balanced diet including lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, nuts and fiber.
  • If you need to slip in a piece of gum or breath mint, make sure it contains Xylitol, which has been proven to reduce tooth decay.
  • Drink plenty of water! This helps to rinse away food particles, and staying hydrated is good for fresh clean breath.
  • See you dentist on a regular basis and call immediately if you suspect there are any problems with your oral condition.

Here at the Hildebrand Healthy Smiles, we want you to have a kissable February 14th and a lifetime of excellent dental health. If you have any questions or need to set up an appointment, please give us a call at 866-SMILE-08. We are here for you!

 

You Say You Want A Resolution?

December 15, 2011

As 2012 approaches, you have probably already started your list of New Year’s resolutions. If you are like most people, this list probably includes: go to the gym, lose weight, take tango lessons, call your mother more often, find the cure for cancer, etc… But let’s face it – EVERYONE has those resolutions, and they are all usually broken by January 10th.

So let’s shake it up a little this year and try ten “Dental Resolutions” which are not only easy to keep but can lead to a lifetime of excellent health. Here they are!

1)      CHANGE YOUR TOOTHBRUSH

Most people hang on to their toothbrushes as if they have long-standing sentimental value. The fact is – you should replace your brush every two months or so. If the bristles don’t look almost brand new, chances are your teeth aren’t being cleaned well and your toothbrush is harboring lots of yucky bacteria.

2)      FLOSS EVERY DAY

Look – we’re dental professionals. We know that most people don’t floss. But that really is a shame. Flossing every day helps to prevent gum disease – so not only can you keep your teeth for a lifetime, your chances of heart disease and others illnesses which are linked to unhealthy gums will significantly decrease. If you have trouble flossing or are not sure how to do it, don’t be embarrassed! Our fantastic team will be glad to show you how.

3)      WEAR YOUR SEATBELT

We all know that seatbelts save lives, but even in a minor accident teeth can be shattered or damaged if your body is flung forward. So buckle up and save your smile!

4)      USE A MOUTHGUARD

Dental damage from sports is extremely common and just about always preventable. There’s a reason everyone in the NFL wears a mouthguard – and it’s not to scare their opponents. Give us a call and we will fit you (and the entire tiddly winks team) with beautiful custom mouthguards.

5)      GET RID OF SODAS AND SPORTS DRINKS

We all need to hydrate, but we don’t need excess sugar and artificial chemicals. These drinks are bad for your body and pull an all out assault on your pearly-whites. Switching to water will not only be a big boost to your overall health, it will save you money as well!

6)      TEEETH ARE FOR CHEWING, BITING, AND SMILING

Please don’t use your teeth to open bottles, packages, or anything else. Nibbling on your friends is optional (with their permission, of course).

7)      SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYE TEETH

As if cancer, heart disease, emphysema, pregnancy issues and a host of chronic illnesses aren’t reason enough to stop smoking, please be aware that this nasty habit stains your teeth, increases the risk of gum disease, and makes your breath smell like the monkey cage at the zoo. There are so many reasons to quit smoking – so please make this the year!

8)      BUT THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU!

The battle cry of mothers all over the world is true for your oral health as well. Yes – eating your veggies, fruits, legumes and nuts not only increases your overall health, it boosts your immunity which is great for your teeth and gums. Added benefit: crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.

9)      WHITEN YOUR SMILE

There is no question that a nice white smile increases your confidence and makes you more attractive to others. If you’ve been putting this off – make 2012 the year you finally will be showing your beautiful smile to the world. There are so many easy and inexpensive ways to make your smile the best that it can be – give us a call or stop on in and we will be glad to show you how.

10)   DON’T PUT OFF YOUR DENTAL VISITS

We know that visiting Hildebrand Healthy Smiles may not be at the top of your “things to do” list for the New Year, but by seeing us on a regular basis you can prevent huge (and expensive) dental problems from ever occurring. It’s a small investment with a big payoff – a better smile, increased overall health, beautiful teeth and gums for life, fresh clean breath, and so much more. Please give us a call at 866-SMILE- 08 today and get 2012 off to a great start!

 

Don’t Be A Dental Turkey!

November 15, 2011

When the pilgrims left England on the Mayflower, they were looking for a land free of persecution. By the time they landed in Massachusetts 66 days later, they found the journey to be a lot more grueling than they originally planned.

Among the many health issues they encountered was “scurvy” – caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. The lack of fresh food on board, especially fruits and vegetables, caused horrible symptoms, including spots on the skin, weakness, extreme drowsiness, spontaneous bleeding, and eventually death. Oh yes – this disease also caused the pilgrims to have bleeding gums and tooth loss!

This Thanksgiving, be sure to prepare a meal that is not only delicious but healthy for your teeth and gums too! Some vitamins and nutrients which are good for your oral health are vitamins A, C and D, phosphorous, and calcium. A delicious Thanksgiving dinner can include them all!

Here are a few things that will make your chompers thank you.

  • Turkey is high in phosphorous, which is not only healthy for developing teeth but can actually help rebuild tooth enamel.
  • Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients including vitamins A, C and B6 and are thought to be much healthier than regular white potatoes.
  • Greens and winter vegetables are great sources of vitamins A and C, both of which are excellent for gum health.
  • Cranberries contain flavonoids which can prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth and forming plaque.
  • Pumpkin pies are loaded with vitamin C and calcium – important for gum health and developing teeth.

“Just like our bodies, our teeth and gums need many essential vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy,” says Ontario Dental Association Past- President Dr. Ira Kirshen. “In fact, to ensure proper tooth development and strength, adults, children and seniors alike need a lot of calcium, vitamins and minerals.”

Dr. Kirshen goes on to say:  “Many take oral health for granted, but countless studies have shown that there is a strong association between good oral health and good body health. Spending time with your loved ones at Thanksgiving is even better when everyone is healthy and happy.”

Thanksgiving is a great holiday, and it can be a healthy one for your teeth, gums and body as well! Here at Hildebrand Healthy  Smiles, we want you to be healthy! Remember, prevention is the key, so be sure to stick with your recommended dental care schedule for the best health of all! Call 866-SMILE-08 to schedule your appointment today! Enjoy a fantastic holiday, and even though your schedule may be hectic this time of year, don’t forget to take care of your teeth, gums, and entire body!

Why The Heck Do You Need To Know That?

October 18, 2011

When you come in for your dental visit, you may notice that we do a lot more than examine your teeth and gums.

 One of the most important parts of your visit is when we ask you questions about your general health.  But many people have said to us:

 “What does that have to do with my dental check up?”

 The answer – a lot!

 More and more research is being published linking dental health to overall health, and at Hildebrand Healthy Smiles we are concerned about both!

 Did you know that diabetes, especially when it is undiagnosed, can be a huge factor in gum disease, eventually causing tooth loss?

 A recent study by Columbia University concluded:

 “Gum disease is an early complication of diabetes.” It continues:

 “Since 70% of adults see a dentist at least once per year” this is a perfect opportunity to screen for diabetes and other diseases.

 According to a recent article in The British Dental Journal, it works the other way around too, as gum disease can be a contributing factor in heart disease, oral cancer, and other illnesses.

 Are you taking any medications, either prescription or over-the-counter? Many of these can lead to dry mouth, gum inflammation, and other dental problems.

 And it’s even more complicated for women, as hormonal changes, pregnancy, and oral contraceptives can cause many changes in dental health. (Isn’t everything more complicated for women?)

 So the good news is, unlike a visit to your physician – you get to keep your clothes on and won’t be poked and prodded anywhere other than your mouth! But as you can see, it is extremely important that we know about your total physical health and any medications you are taking. Not only can we save your teeth – we may actually save your life!

 If you want to know more about your dental health and how it relates to your overall health, please let us know. If you have any questions or want to schedule your next appointment, just give us a call at 1-866-SMILE-08.

We are here for you!!