The Fairfield Post

Fungus Blamed for Severe Tooth Decay in Toddlers

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Jun 22, 2017 7:00:00 AM

stop early tooth decayIf this new study doesn’t motivate parents to get toddlers into the dentist, nothing will. New research by the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine has found that fungus is a big culprit in causing early childhood cavities. Researchers  now say the fungus Candida albicans can cause severe tooth decay in early childhood. Apparently, this fungus is a type of yeast that works with an enzyme produced by the bacteria Streptococcus mutans (bad bacteria that causes cavities). This enzyme produces the biofilm on our teeth and is the reason we must brush daily and see the dentist for professional cleanings. 

U-Penn researchers say the key to stopping early tooth decay is blocking the interaction between Candida albicans and S. mutans. 

“Instead of just targeting bacteria to treat early childhood caries, we may also want to target the fungi,” said Hyun (Michel) Koo, senior author on the study and a professor in the Department of Orthodontics and Divisions of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health in a press release. “Our data provide hints that you might be able to target the enzyme or cell wall of the fungi to disrupt the plaque biofilm formation.”

Sugar must be present for the fungus to bind to S. mutans and form plaque biofilms on teeth. Early childhood tooth decay is more prevalent because so many children consume excess sugary beverages and foods. The S. mutans enzyme requires sugar to manufacture glue-like polymers called glucans which cling to teeth. The Candida fungus helps accelerate this process, making a sticky biofilm that lets the fungus bond to your child’s teeth and the bacteria S. mutans.

Click here to schedule an appointment“This disease affects 23 percent of children in the United States and even more worldwide,” said Koo. “In addition to fluoride, we desperately need an agent that can target the disease-causing biofilms and in this case not only the bacterial component but also the Candida.”

According to a univeristy press release, Koo and his colleagues are working on developing novel therapeutic approaches for targeted interventions which can potentially be developed for clinical use. 


Cavity Prevention Starts Early

As soon as the first tooth erupts your child should see the dentist. This gets the little one accustomed to going to dental care and prepares you, as a parent for teaching and supervising proper dental hygiene. A dentist like Dr. Katherine Finkel at Fairfield Dental Associates can assess the growth of your child’s teeth, alignment, and jaw. All of these factors are crucial to good dental health and the growth of your child.

New Call-to-actionDr. Finkel specializes in pediatric dentistry and has been interviewed on the subject of early pediatric dental care.

  1. Teeth should be cleaned as soon as they erupt to avoid tooth decay.
  2. Parents should brush their children's teeth until they can brush them on their own, typically by age 8. 
  3. The best times to brush are after breakfast and before bedtime.
  4. Use a toothbrush with soft, round-ended bristles. Using an ADA-accepted toothpaste, apply a small, pea-sized amount, and be sure your child spits out the excess amount.
  5. After brushing, parents should floss children’s teeth to remove plaque between teeth where toothbrushes cannot reach.
  6. Make sure to schedule a visit with Fairfield Dental Associates
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Please be sure to contact our office with any questions you may have.


Topics: children and tooth decay, early childhood cavities, fungus

When Seeing the Dentist is a Day at the Beach

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Jun 20, 2017 7:00:00 AM

virtual reality in the dental chairFairfield Dental Associates recently read that U.K. researchers have developed a new technology that could make going to the dentist just another day at the beach. Using virtual reality, a team of scientists at the Universities of Plymouth, Exeter and Birmingham, England gave patients the opportunity to take virtual tours when they were at the dentist. They wanted to know if that technology could lower anxiety during procedures like fillings or tooth extractions at a dental practice in Devon. The study which was published this month in the journal Environment & Behaviour proved it can do just that.

Patients were fitted with a headset and handheld controller and could take a virtual walk around Wembury Beach in Devon or tour an anonymous virtual city while they were in the dental chair. Researchers said the patients who took a virtual walk along the beach were less anxious, had less pain, and more positive memories of their treatment a week later than the patients who were not fitted with the virtual reality device. They also faired much better than patients who chose to tour the anonymous city. This led researchers to conclude that virtual tours of natural environments are the most effective at calming patients during a dental visit. Natural and marine environments, in particular, are the best at reducing stress and anxiety say researchers.

“We have done a lot of work recently which suggests that people are happiest and most relaxed when they are at the seaside,” explains study co-author Dr. Matthew White from the University of Exeter. “So it seemed only natural to investigate whether we could 'bottle' this experience and use it to help people in potentially stressful healthcare contexts.”  

Researchers say the type of virtual environment needs to do more than just distract a patient. It must be welcoming and relaxing. Virtual reality is currently being used in other healthcare settings to reduce pain and anxiety in patients and improve patient outcomes. 

“The use of virtual reality in health care settings is on the rise but we need more rigorous evidence of whether it actually improves patient experiences,” explains Dr Karin Tanja-Dijkstra  lead author of the study. “Our research demonstrates that under the right conditions, this technology can be used to help both patients and practitioners.”New Call-to-action

Make a Check-up Your New Reality

No one wants a cavity. Fairfield Dental Associates works to keep all our patients free of decay and gum disease. Dr. Katherine Finkel is highly trained in preventive and holistic dentistry. She knows how the body and the mouth interact and the risk factors that affect each patient differently. She can guide you with educational materials and at-home regimens to reduce or eliminate your chances of developing tooth decay. But you need that six-month check up for all of this to work. And don't fear, Fairfield Dental Associates practices gentle dentistry and has a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere to make sure all of our patients are comfortable.

Dr. Katherine Finkel  is also great with kids and an expert on pediatric dental care. She was interviewed on the topic by She will work with you and your child to develop a healthy dental regimen to keep your New Call-to-actionchild cavity-free for a lifetime. She can recommend dental sealants applied to the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth to block out cavity-causing bacteria and ensure they stay cavity-free.

The bottomline - without a healthy mouth, you won’t have a healthy body. Your family deserves that six-month dental checkup to discover what you can’t see at home. Dr. Finkel is available to answer your questions and work with you on effective family dental care methods you may not have considered. 

Contact our office with any questions you may have.

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Topics: virtual reality, a day at the beach, dental visit

New Technology Restores Teeth After a Root Canal

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Jun 16, 2017 6:52:28 PM

a new technology that restores teeth after a root canalOver 15 million root canals are performed annually in the U.S. They are done to stop an advanced cavity when infection makes its way deep into the tooth. The procedure means removing infected dental pulp and tissues and replacing them with synthetic biomaterials which are then covered by a crown. There are times after a root canal when a tooth can become brittle and eventually fracture because live tissue has been removed. This degenerative process may soon be changing as Fairfield Dental Associates has read. Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) School of Dentistry have developed a way to engineer new blood vessels in teeth by using a 3D printing process that fabricates the vessels. The process is based on previous OHSU technology that successfully fabricated capillaries.

Dr. Luiz Bertassoni, assistant professor of restorative dentistry at OHSU School of Dentistry says they have been able to develop artificial blood vessels inside a tooth in as little as seven days.The 3D printing-inspired process involves placing a fiber mold made of sugar molecules across the root canal of extracted human teeth. Researchers inject a gel-like substance similar to proteins found in the human body into the dental pulp cells. The fiber is then removed and endothelial cells isolated from blood vessels are inserted. After a week, dentin-producing cells start to reproduce on their own near the tooth walls and artificial blood vessels are formed inside the tooth. Researchers say this could change the way root canals are done forever.

“This result proves that fabrication of artificial blood vessels can be a highly effective strategy for fully regenerating the function of teeth,” says Bertassoni, who also serves as an honorary lecturer in Bioengineering at University of Sydney-School of Dentistry. “We believe that this finding may change the way that root canal treatments are done in the future.”New Call-to-action

Catch Tooth Decay Early

New Call-to-actionTooth decay is preventable. You don't need to have a root canal if you catch a cavity early.

If you haven't, don't fret. Dr. Katherine Finkel at Fairfield Dental Associates is an expert in preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry  for the whole family. She offers a wide range of restorative services that include crowns, bridges, onlays/inlays, dental implants, tooth-colored fillings, periodontal care, and dentures. She always offers the best advice on whether you need a root canal and will refer you to a highly skill endodontist to help you keep your natural teeth. Fairfield Dental Associates works to educate our patients on all types of dentalprocedures and offers educational materials so you completely understand the best way to preserve your beautiful smile.

We can get your smile back the way you want it. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to Contact Our Office.

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Topics: 3D printing, root canal, bio-printing

Floss and Smile Daily to Live Longer

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Jun 14, 2017 7:30:00 AM

flossing and smiling helps you live longerThe key to a long life may be all in your mouth! Two different studies by researchers are linking daily flossing and big smiles to extending your lifespan. In one study featured in Psychological Science, Wayne State University researched the big smiles of pro baseball players in a 1952 yearbook and compared their lifespans with others who didn’t have a big, genuine (Duchenne) smile in their pictures. Those without broad smiles didn’t live as long (a total of 73 years). Those who did lived to almost 80 years or 7 years longer.

Smile Broadly to Live a Long Life

A healthy genuine smile is key to live longer as Fairfield Dental Associates has read. Here is why:

1. That big, genuine smile builds your immune system, lowers stress and improves your mood.

2. Smiling regularly helps regulate hormones and boost things like endorphins and serotonin in your body. This can help reduce inflammation which is bad for your body.

3. People who smile a lot are generally happier and more satisfied which is a healthier state of being.

4. Smiling lowers heart rates and has a calming effect after experiencing a stressful situation

Why Flossing Prolongs Life

New Call-to-ActionDaily flossing is an essential to keeping you healthy. It is actually one of the questions in the Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator. The 2011 Leisure Cohort Study reported that elderly people who never flossed increased their mortality rates by 30%. So how does flossing extend lifespans? It removes food particles and bad bacteria which cause inflammation and disease.

1. Inflammation is bad for the body. Bacteria and plaque that develops due to a lack of flossing and food particles caught between teeth can lead to periodontal disease. This causes inflammation, gum and bone erosion.

2. Worse yet, the bacteria travels through your body where it can cause other conditions like heart disease.

3. Flossing prevents infections from setting in between teeth and deep in the gums after tarter and calculus have formed.

See Your Dentist

A great attitude and great oral hygiene are obviously important for all of us. So, are those regular dental check-ups. Dentists like Fairfield Dental Associates can catch thing in your six-month exam that you can't see. Dr. Katherine Finkel  is highly trained in detecting gum disease. In addition to regular cancer screenings on bi-annual exams, she also looks for telltale signs of other disease that can show up in the mouth, long before it becomes a life-threatening condition.

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Your mouth is considered the gateway to health. It will show you early warning signs of other health conditions, but you need to go to a trained dental expert to find out. Dr. Finkel can give you tips on caring for you and your family's mouth and teeth to protect everyone from the ravages of periodontal disease. Remember - cavities and dental disease don't have to happen. Neither do missing teeth.

Contact Fairfield Dental Associates for your next check up.

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Topics: Smiling, Longevity and Health, Daily flossing

5 Things to Expect During Your Dental Check-Up

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Jun 8, 2017 7:00:00 AM

what you can expect during a dental check-upToo many people think regular dental check-ups are not needed. Fairfield Dental Associates believes some of these opinions may be due to bad information or not understanding what a six-month visit really discovers. A dental office is not trying to waste your time or your money. These visits are essential to good dental health. We can see things with state-of-the-art technology like digital imaging and an intraoral camera that you cannot. Let’s go over 5 reasons why you need regular dental exams.

1, Believe it or not, some people build plaque faster than others. Plaque actually builds to a level that needs removal within six months, no matter what. It builds on teeth and in-between teeth. Eventually, it forms a hard calculus and breaks down your gums. The dental office checks for periodontal disease by probing your gums and measuring pocket depths around teeth. This helps us see if you have any bone loss.

2. Your teeth are checked for tooth decay. Fairfield Dental Associates checks to see if your tooth enamel has weakened anywhere. If you consume a lot of sugar, that is more likely because bacteria converts sugar into acid. This demineralizes enamel, making a hole in the tooth. People with acid reflux are more prone to tooth decay too. We check for decay or weak spots and X-ray to detect cavities we cannot see with the naked eye. If problem areas are discovered, we then devise a treatment plan for our patients.

3. Dental staff perform an oral cancer screening to look for abnormalities in the dental mucosa. This is very important as catching this type of cancer early has the best prognosis. A dental check-up can save your life. Late stage oral cancer often carries only a five year survival rate. It kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of all patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. The most common risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco use, frequent high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, or poorly fitting dentures.Twenty-five percent of patients who develop oral cancer have no risk at all.

4. We look for evidence of bruxism or teeth grinding. This condition often caused by stress damages teeth and can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). A dental office discovers it through a joint and bite examination. Our staff sees how your teeth fit together, if you are grinding your teeth, and if there is any misalignment. Treatment regimens are recommended if we find any areas of concern.

5. Our dental hygienist will clean your teeth to remove any calculus, plaque, and biofilm that has happened since your last check up. Biofilm is important to remove as this is bacteria that adheres to your teeth which can cause tooth decay. This film actually hardens and eventually turns into calculus that requires professional assistance.New Call-to-action

Don't Forget the Dentist

New Call-to-actionBesides keeping your pearly whites white, that six-month dental check-up will preserve your teeth and your health. There are some things you should never ignore. Dental health is one of them.

Fairfield Dental Associates has the latest technology to catch dental disease before it becomes a problem. Dr. Katherine Finkel is a highly qualified holistic general and cosmetic dentist who is trained to look for a variety of medical conditions. As a member of the American Dental Association and Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Finkel stays abreast of the latest health concerns and dental technology through continuing education courses.  Think of a biannual dental exam as part of your preventive healthcare regimen. Questions? Feel free to contact us for a consultation.

Request an appointment with Fairfield Dental Associates.

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Topics: dental check ups, what to expect at a dental check up

4 Tips to Hacking Your Oral Health at Work

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Jun 6, 2017 7:00:00 AM

you can have better oral health - even at workThe number of American workers taking time off due to a toothache or other oral ailment is on the decline, according to a new survey by Delta Dental. This is good news to more than the boss. It means workers are taking better care of their teeth - even at work. As dentists, Fairfield Dental Associates see this as progress. The recent survey published in May shows oral health-related absences declined in the workplace a full seven percentage points to 21 percent in 2016. In 2015, more than one quarter or 28 percent of American workers surveyed said they missed work from a dental issue. Health officials call this a positive sign.

"The vast majority of Americans aren't taking time away from the office due to oral health issues, and this decline continues to be positive. It indicates people in the workforce are having fewer oral health issues and taking better care of their teeth," said Bill Kohn, DDS, Delta Dental Plans Association's vice president of dental science and policy.

Millennials are actually the biggest group to report missing work due to oral health issues. Even they reported a drop in work absences from 40 percent in 2015 to 33 percent in 2016. More men than women missed work due to dental problems. They also reported fewer absences in 2016 with a respective 25 percent and 17 percent. Let's explore how you can keep up good oral health at work.

4 Steps to Maintaining Your Teeth at Work  

Fairfield Dental Associates has always recommended practicing good oral care on a regular basis. Keeping teeth healthy isn't a part-time endevaor. Here are 4 oral health tips from Delta Dental you can do at work to keep your smile healthy.

  1. Keep a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss in your desk or locker. That way you can quickly do an after lunch touch up.
  2. Keep healthy, rather than sugary snacks handy. This means plenty of fruits, veggies, nuts, and cheese to eat.
  3. Drink lots of water. You can stay hydrated at your desk by keeping a bottle of water. It also acts as a quick mouthwash after a snack or lunch.
  4. Don’t grind your teeth at work even when you’re stressed. If you feel overwhelmed, be sure to take a moment to relax, clear your mind, and take some slow, deep breaths.New Call-to-action

Prevention is the best way to ward off that elusive cavity or dental decay. Plan ahead. Be sure to pack a toothbrush if you plan on eating sweets. You need to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing, though. Sugar and acidic beverages soften enamel. As always, be sure to get regular dental check ups.

Dr. Katherine Finkel at Fairfield Dental Associates is a holistic dentist who specializes in pediatric, family and cosmetic dentistry. She knows how teeth affect the body and the body affect teeth. She is well versed on dietary changes that can keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime. She can advise you on the proper foods to eat and how to care for your smile. Preventive care is essential. You can't do it alone. Be sure to contact our office to schedule a checkup and cleaning.

Make an Appointment with Fairfield Dental Associates

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Topics: oral health tips, oral health at work

Why Kids Hate to Brush During the Summer

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

Jun 1, 2017 7:00:00 AM

why kids hate to brushAs parents you know how hard it can be to get your children to stop long enough to brush their teeth. Add in warm weather and summer vacation and you get even more resistance. Who wants to brush when you’re a kid, let alone when it’s summertime! As dentists, Fairfield Dental Associates totally understands and offers tips for parents.

One of the biggest reasons kids hate brushing is there are more fun things to do during summer break. Stopping to brush your teeth isn't one of them. Self-care is also an area where children first assert their independence from their parents. Saying no is independent opposition and something parents dread. Summertime only makes it more difficult. A recent nationwide survey by Delta Dental shows you’re not alone as a parent in your quest. Nearly 30 percent of 1,588 American parents surveyed said they find it hard to get their children to brush during the summer.

6 Tips to Get Kids to Brush

Good oral habits don’t have to go by the wayside once summer vacation starts. Here are 6 toothbrushing tips offered by Delta Dental to help motivate your kids to the bathroom sink to use their toothbrush.

 1. Get your child to pick out a brand new brush with a summer theme as a summer kickoff. Be sure to choose a brush with a small head and soft bristles.New Call-to-action

2. Remind your child about good brushing routines before they leave for a friend sleepover. Check their bag to make sure they have toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss.

3. Keep a chart that racks up points for good brushing in the morning and at night. Give out extra points for flossing. You can even reward your child with a special treat for an exceptional month or week.

4. Play some cool music while your child brushes to make it more fun and get the brushing to last at least two minutes.

5. Send your children oral health reminders by text if they are away at camp or staying at a friend’s house. Send tooth-brushing selfies back and forth.

6. Schedule your child early for that summer dental check up. It's the best time to check for cavities, plus the dentist can give you tips on getting kids engaged in good oral hygiene.

Make Oral Care a Regular Habit

Good habits start early, so it is important to get children in the habit of brushing and flossing. Dr. Katherine Finkel  at Fairfield Dental Associates is an expert with pediatric dental care. She has been interviewed on the subject. See our blog. She can offer you suggestions if you are having difficulty getting your child to brush. Here are some tips you may try:

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  • Make it fun. Young children three and under are motivated by games and fun. When your child brushes, participate. Make it a game of mimic or copycat. Brush your teeth along with your little one to get your child to brush his/her teeth the right way.
  • Use a reward system. If your young child brushes correctly, praise your child and have a reward. Try placing stars on a calendar for every day the child does the activity  correctly. At the end of the week, so many stars add up to a favorite treat, toy or activity.
  • Use a fun toothbrush. Your child will be more likely to brush if the toothbrush is a favorite character or does something cool like playing music. There are many of children's toothbrushes on the market and you don't have to spend a ton of money.
  • Sing a song while the child brushes. This establishes a rhythm or beat that helps the child brush. Children respond to songs that reinforce a behavior.  Change the lyrics of a song to sing about brushing. 
  • Make an Appointment  with Fairfield Dental Associates for a pediatric dental visit. Dr. Finkel can advise you on how to get children of all ages to care for their teeth. As a parent, she knows the challenges of getting children to brush. She can teach you and your child about good oral hygiene and offer tips on other ways to keep your children's teeth healthy for a lifetime.

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Topics: pediatric dental care, children and brushing, toothbrushing tips

Why Obesity is Linked to Gum Disease

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

May 30, 2017 3:04:28 PM

obesity is linked to gum diseaseObesity is a growing worldwide health concern that is known to lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, and a host of other serious health problems. Fairfield Dental Associates read that researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia have linked obesity to gum disease. These findings mean poor oral health isn’t just caused by bad oral bacteria.

The Australian study tracked 539 participants from birth to 31 years of age when they evaluated their oral health. Obese participants were far more likely to have periodontal disease. Scientists say these results suggest that white adipose tissue (the tissue that stores fat) may be responsible for the secretion of cytokines which can cause inflammation (leading to periodontal disease). Cytokines are secreted proteins that our body’s cells release. They impact our immune system and can cause inflammation and pain. There are pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines. There was a correlation between weight gain and an increase in gingivitis and periodontal conditions.

3 Reasons Obesity Leads to Gum Disease 

According to Australian scientists, there are 3 ways obesity could substantially increase periodontal disease: 

1.  Adipose tissue volume expands when a patient gains weight. This restricts blood vessels that nourish cells depriving them of oxygen (hypoxia). Inflammation then occurs with an increased amount of proinflammatory cytokines. This alters the body’s immune response making a person more susceptible to infections like gum disease.

2.  Lifetstyl also plays a role. Australian scientists say obese patients often have unhealthy habits such as physical inactivity, bad diets, higher consumption of fats, carbs, and sugar, as well as tobacco, and alcohol. This behavior increases the likelihood of periodontal disease

3. The obese patients studied were also more prone to neglect their oral health because of low self-esteem and self-image.

Childhood Obesity Increases Cavities

Click here to schedule an appointmentObesity increases health risks for everyone. Fairfield Dental Associates has written about how childhood obesity raises the risk of cavities in children. A study conducted by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity and published by the National Institute of Health found that obese children develop their adult teeth much sooner, exposing these teeth to cavities at an earlier age. A total of 5,838 children between the age of five and 14 years of age participated in that study. Researchers concluded that obesity plays a role in accelerated development with physiological and hormonal signalling that occurs in the body. This faster growth makes permanent teeth erupt much earlier than they should.

Proper Nutrition is Key

New Call-to-actionThe wrong diet at a young age sets up a lifetime battle with weight gain. Childhood obesity also sets the stage for lifetime filled with low self esteem, motivation, and chronic health conditions. Parents need to remember children are growing and have different nutritional needs than adults. Prevention and a proper diet are best along with food in moderation.

Don’t go over-board on non-fat diets. Children need more fat than adults. Children cannot consume enough low-calorie fruits, vegetables, and grains in three meals to meet their dietary needs. There should be no fat restrictions on children under two. After the age of two start them on a heart-healthy diet.

If a child begins eating heart healthy foods at an early age, he/she will learn to like that type of food. Dr. Katherine Finkel at Fairfield Dental Associates practices holistic dentistry and can offer suggestions on healthy foods for your child. Here are some to consider:

  •         Offer fruits, veggies and whole grain snacks
  •         Avoid trans fats
  •         Limit sugar
  •         Make candy and cookies an occasional treat
  •         Offer baked chips and pretzels
  •         Serve muffins, not donuts
  •         Provide lean meats and dairy
  •         Avoid fast food high in fat
  •         Limit portions

Be sure to schedule your child for regular dental visits to ensure a lifetime of good oral health.

Contact our office  with any questions you may have

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Topics: gum disease, obesity

6 Tips for Tooth-Friendly Barbecues

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

May 25, 2017 7:00:00 AM

barbecued foods that are safe for your teethMemorial Day weekend is upon us and so are plans for many Americans to break out the grill and have old-fashioned backyard barbecues. There are some foods you may want use sparingly as you gather for that annual tradition. Believe it or not, too much ketchup could be bad for your teeth. It is acidic and has lots of sugar which can erode teeth. Other tooth culprits include barbecue sauce, salad dressing and yes - even mustard. Now, that being said. You don't have to eat a plain cheeseburger. Just make sure to drink water or if you can - brush after eating to keep sugar or acid from lingering on your teeth. 

Fairfield Dental Associates has some tips from Delta Dental on guilt-free, teeth-friendly ways to prepare your barbecue foods that don’t include excessive sugar or calories.

celery_is_natures_toothbrush_edited-1.jpg6 Ways to Eat Guilt-Free Memorial Day

  1. Your family will be less likely to doctor up their foods with sauces that aren’t so teeth-friendly if you use some dynamic taste to begin with. Add strong flavors to  Memorial Day grilling sauces and marinades for steaks and burgers. Try low-calorie Worchestershire, soy, chili sauce or tomato paste. 
  2. Skip or reduce the sugar in your marinades with fruit juice, honey, or molasses. These are a great substitute for brown or white sugar.
  3. Don’t be afraid to throw some veggies on the grill. Your guests can add these to hotdogs and burgers. They can also be eaten by themselves.
  4. Cool summer salads make a nice treat. Try whipping up a salad with carrots, raisins, and radishes. Delta even recommends serving an avocado, grapefruit or bacon salad.
  5. New Call-to-ActionLow fat, low calorie hot dogs can be dressed up with grilled veggies and mustard – striking a new twist to a “balanced” meal.
  6. Serve green tea, water and lime as a refreshing beverage instead of soda or backyard margaritas. Whip up a concoction with fresh strawberries - they are great for your teeth and a low-sugar substitute. Raspberries, kiwis, avocado, and cranberries are low in sugar too. Delta Dental also has a refreshing drink recipe with lime and mint. 

Practice Prevention 

As always, try to encourage your family to practice good dental hygiene. Encourage plenty of water (good to do on a New Call-to-actionhot summer day) following meals. This refreshes your palate and washes away food particles and bacteria left after a meal. If you can, encourage your children to take a break and brush their teeth. Make sure they wait 20 minutes after eating. If that is not possible, have plenty of crunchy vegetables on hand. Celery is a great one. Top it off with something your kids like. It is a natural toothbrush!

Be sure to contact your dentist to schedule that six-month visit. Dr. Katherine Finkel at Fairfield Dental Associates is an expert at family, pediatric and cosmetic dentistry. She has a host of satisfied patients who have been keeping their smiles beautiful for decades. She can assist you with tips and dietary recommendations to preserve your family's smile and help you prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay is 100% preventable. Let Fairfield Dental Associates show you how to stop it in its tracks.

Contact us for a consultation.

You may be surprised what you can do to guarantee you and your family a lifetime of healthy smiles. The best prevention starts with Fairfield Dental Associates. See our patient reviews.

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Topics: tooth-friendly foods, Memorial Day Grilling, memorial day, barbecues

4 Reasons Why Abscessed Teeth are Deadly

Posted by Fairfield Dental Associates

May 23, 2017 7:00:00 AM

why abscessed teeth are painful and deadlyAbscessed teeth are nothing to ignore. They can be life-threatening if left untreated. They are the result of severe tooth decay, untreated gum disease or an injured tooth. Fairfield Dental Associates wants you to know why teeth abscesses are deadly. Some of them may shock you.

What are the Symptoms?

It is important to know that a tooth abscess can spread to other teeth. Some of the symptoms are:

  • A severe toothache accompanied by shooting, sharp or throbbing pain
  • Pain that radiates into the ear, jaw or neck
  • Pain around the tooth in the bone area surrounding the tooth
  • Putrid breath
  • Pain when you chew or you clench your jaw.
  • A tooth that is sensitive to hot or cold temperatures
  • Gums that are red or swollen and have pus
  • A bitter or acrid taste in your mouth
  • Headache
  • Swollen glands in your neck or in your jaw
  • A general feeling of being sick

4 Complications of an Abscess

New Call-to-ActionOnce a tooth infection has gotten this severe, you must seek attention from a dental professional as soon as possible. Don't assume if the pain stops, the infection has gone away. That often means the nerve in your tooth has died so there is no sensation of pain. You are not in the clear. The infection is still there and spreading. Here are 4 possible complications of an untreated abscess:

1. The infection can drain into the mouth or into your cheek. As it spreads, bacteria may enter the jaw bone area and begin to spread throughout your system.

2. It can lead to a bone infection called osteomyelitis or a severe skin infection called cellulitis. These are hard to treat. Bacteria can wear away your jawbone. This can cause more tooth loss and even disfigure your face because soft facial bone has been damaged.

3. The bacterial infection can migrate to your heart if it spreads to the mid-chest region. That can eventually lead to sepsis which causes organ failure and death.

4. An abscess can travel to other areas of the body leading to other conditions that require hospitalization. These include pneumonia, spinal meningitis or even a brain infection.

Seek Help with any Toothache

New Call-to-actionNever ignore a toothache. If there is pain, you must assume there is injury or an infection which must be treated by a medical professional. Dentists like Fairfield Dental Associates are able to determine if you have an abscess by tapping on your tooth. An infected tooth is sensitive to pressure. Even a simple tap can cause pain. A follow-up X-ray determines if there is infection present in the tooth pulp. If you come to us, Dr. Katherine Finkel will evaluate your tooth. If an abscess is present, there are several steps in treatment.

  • A regimen of antibiotics like penicillin will likely be prescribed.
  • The tooth could be drained to remove the pus. This eliminates pain almost immediately. An incision and draining are done when infection is present between the tooth and the gum. The area is cleaned with saline. If the infection is in the tooth itself, the abscess can be drained, but the tooth will need to be treated to keep the infection from returning.
  • A root canal can be performed if you have an infection near the tooth root. It is a matter of drilling into the infected region, removing damaged tissue and draining the pus. The canal is then filled with a sealant and the tooth crowned with a porcelain or metal cap. Root canals are often done by endodontists. Although, not painful as many people say - root canals can get expensive. The best way is to avoid them – with preventive dental care.

Do you have a dental care issue you have been ignoring? Be sure to contact our office with any questions or concerns. Dr. Katherine Finkel can help.

Request an appointment with Fairfield Dental Associates.

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Topics: abscessed teeth, complications from abscessed teeth

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About this blog

This blog is a service of Fairfield Dental Associates. We are a family practice that believes in the importance of family wellness. Our warm environment and ultra-friendly staff make patients instantly feel at home and stress-free. We place great emphasis on patient education. We hope this blog gives you useful tips on how to maintain your family’s dental and overall health.







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