Why the Danger of Tobacco Outweighs the Pleasure


Smoking cigarettes provides smokers with a pleasing experience. Smoking is also addictive and can have harsh consequences on one’s oral health.

This post is not meant to make those who smoke feel judged for their habits. However, it is important that if you or a loved one smokes, you understand the risks associated.

As stated in our older post, Tobacco & Your Teeth, the CDC has found that a smoker is twice as likely to develop gum disease than someone who does not smoke. This infection of the gums can lead to tooth loss and bone damage. 

If you are a smoker, here is what you can do to protect your teeth:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice daily and flossing once daily, as well as visiting your dentist every 6 months.
  • Stop smoking. This is likely the hardest advice to take, but your mouth – and the rest of your body – will be all the healthier if you stop smoking. If you are having trouble quitting or don’t know where to start, smokefree.gov has resources that can help.
  • Be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of gum disease. Early signs of gum disease are red, swollen gums that bleed.
  • If you suspect that you may have gum disease, talk to your dentist. You may need to be referred to a periodontist for treatment.

No matter how old you are, it is never too early or too late to quit smoking.

Take care of your smile!


Why Your Oral Health Matters


Most of us have heard, “brush twice daily, floss once daily.” Some of us follow these directions, and some of us don’t. Those who don’t may be wondering why it matters how often we brush our teeth, besides the obvious reduction of bad breath, plaque, and cavities. The truth is, our oral health really does matter, and what’s going on in our mouths can affect our overall health.

Here are 3 reasons why the state of your teeth matters:

  1. When you don’t take care of your teeth, you’re likely to lose them, which can make daily functions more difficult. Without teeth, it can be hard to talk and eat solid foods.
  2. Failing to brush and floss can lead to the development of gum disease, which has been linked to other health issues. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer,54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.”
  3. People pay attention to your smile. One survey indicates that”52 percent of adults older than 50 and 45 percent of the 18-49 demographic are most likely to remember a smile after they’re introduced to someone for the first time.”

So, what can you do to take care of your teeth and gums? You guessed it…brush and floss. While these tasks aren’t complicated, you do want to make sure that you are brushing and flossing correctly. So, next time you pick up your toothbrush or a strand of floss, keep these tips in mind:

  • Brush correctly. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth.
  • Don’t forget your tongue. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.
    (Note: Do not swallow any toothpaste, and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing.)
  • Brush at specific times each day. The best times to brush are
    • In the morning after breakfast
    • After lunch or right after school
    • After dinner
    • At bedtime
  • Use your middle fingers to floss. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque.
  • Switch to clean sections of floss as you go. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish.
  • Don’t forget the teeth in the back! Floss behind all of your back teeth.
  • Pay attention to your teeth when you floss. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not stop after the first few times flossing, let a staff member know at your next appointment.

We hope that the information in this article have encouraged you to take your oral health seriously. If you have any questions or concerns, please visit our website or call our office to schedule an appointment – (919) 468-6410.

Take care of your smile!



Forgetting to Brush & Floss? Use These Tips to Remind Yourself

Remember to Brush & FlossEveryone should brush twice and floss once daily. However, it can be easy to forget. Whether it is morning or night time, grabbing your toothbrush may be an afterthought if you are tired or in a rush. If you find yourself forgetting to brush or floss often, try these tips to help you remember.

Tip #1: Place sticky notes reminding you to brush/floss in places where you will see them.

Placing sticky notes around your house is a great way to leave yourself reminders. Here are some ideas for where you can leave notes:

  • On your nightstand
  • On your bathroom mirror
  • On your coffee maker
  • On your closet door

Tip #2: Leave your toothbrush where you can see it.

If you currently put your toothbrush in a drawer on some other container where you can’t see it, it’s a good idea to move it to a spot in  your bathroom where it’s more visible, such as on your bathroom counter. Plus, you should always leave your toothbrush out in the open to dry after using it to limit the growth of bacteria.

You can also use this tip for floss. If you keep your container of floss hidden, try leaving it on the bathroom counter or at least in a spot that is easier to access.

Tip #3: Set a reminder in your phone.

If you have an iPhone, you can use the Reminders app to set yourself a reminder to brush. You can also have the reminders repeat daily. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Reminders app.
  2. Click the “+” button to add a new reminder.
  3. Type your reminder. (ex: Brush for 2 minutes!)
  4. Click the “i” icon to edit the details of the reminder.
  5. Click the circle button to the right of “Remind me on a day” to turn this feature on.
  6. Tap the date beside “alarm” to edit the date & time of the reminder.
  7. Tap “Repeat” and choose “Every Day” to have the reminder repeat daily.

Set two reminders so that you are reminded to brush in the morning and at night!

Tip #4: Pick a certain time of morning/night to brush and floss, and stick to it every day.

If you establish a routine, it may be easier for you to remember to brush and floss. This goes along with Tip #3 – pick a certain time of morning and night to be reminded to brush, and stick to it!

We hope these tips help you remember to brush and floss! If you have any doubts about the importance of flossing daily, read our post Making Flossing a Priority. 

Take care of your smile!

Removing the Stigma Surrounding Gum Disease

Everyone needs to be informed about periodontal (gum) disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47.2% of American adults are believed to have the disease. That’s 64.7 million people! Despite these surprising statistics, many people are relunctant to discuss  the subject – and that needs to change.

Concerns About Gum Disease

So, if so many people are affected by gum disease, why don’t people talk about it more? While there are several answers to this question, here are a few common concerns involving gum disease:

  • People don’t like to floss. Flossing is one of the main ways you can prevent gum disease. Yet, many people do not floss because they do not enjoy it. If you struggle with flossing, read our post Making Flossing a Priority.
  • Embarrassment. Admitting that you have swollen, bleeding gums and tooth loss might make you feel embarrassed. However, the truth is that there are millions of other people who are facing the same problem. If you believe that you have gum disease, don’t feel ashamed – talk to your dentist or periodontist at your next visit.
  • Fear of painful treatments. While receiving gum treatments may sound painful, dental technology has improved the way that gum disease is treated. One treatment, the LANAP Procedure, limits post-procedure discomfort and has  a faster rate of healing and gum re-growth.

The “Love the Gums You’re With” Campaign

The American Academy of Periodontology is making the discussion about gum disease more engaging. A few weeks ago, they received a Public Relations Society of America Skyline Award of Excellence for their campaign titled Love the Gums You’re With. The campaign uses clever sayings such as “To have and to hold – your teeth in your mouth-,” “Get to know your perio. And get closer to your gums,” and “Floss like your smile depends on it. Because it does” to talk about the importance of gum care. All joking aside, the campaign makes a valid point. Neglecting your gums can cause serious problems. In fact, gum disease has been linked to tooth loss, heart disease, and diabetes.

To learn more, visit the American Academy of Periodontolgy’s website or the campaign’s blog.

Even if you don’t have gum disease, please share this information with your family and friends. It just might save their smile.

If you have any questions, or are looking for a periodontist, please contact our office.

Take care of your smile!

7 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Smile This Summer

With summer in full swing, many families are planning vacations. These trips are time for fun, relexation, and spening quality time with those you love. However, all of this excitement often causes vacationers to neglect their teeth. While it may seem like no big deal to skip brushing one night after coming back to your hotel room exhausted, doing this repeatedly can lead to problems like tooth decay and gum disease. So, before you set off on your next adventure, here are 7 tips for taking care of your teeth while on vacation.

Vacation & Dental Care Feel free to share these tips with your family and friends. If you have any oral hygiene tips/tricks that you would like to add, let us know in the comments below!

Have a wonderful summer! For those of you going on vacation, be safe and enjoy every minute.

… as always, take care of your smile!

Tooth Decay Prevention

You’ve probably been told several times in your life that you should brush your teeth twice a day. Have you ever wondered why (besides the simple “it’s good for your oral health” answer, of course)? Brushing and flossing your teeth is part of an important hygiene regime that helps prevent tooth decay.

What is tooth decay? The infographic below breaks down everything you need to know about tooth decay, including how to prevent it and how it’s treated.

Tooth Decay Prevention

The following video further explains how the tooth decay process occurs inside the mouth.


So remember, if you are concerned about tooth decay, the best thing that you can do is practice good oral hygiene, limit your sugar intake, and visit your dentist regularly.

Take care of your smile!

Effects of E-cigarettes on Oral Health are a Topic of Interest for Researchers

It has been said repeatedly that smoking cigarettes can cause a decline in your oral health. However, when people say this, they are usually talking a traditional tobacco cigarettes. There is a new cigarette that must be considered now, the e-cigarette.

E-cigarettes are “electronic nicotine delivery systems.” The devices emit a vapor containing nicotine that the user then inhales. E-cigarettes have risen in popularity, especially with young people and those who wish to quit smoking. Researchers are not entirely sure yet what health risks e-cigarettes cause, but they are working to find out more.

Several groups that are researching the effects of e-cigarettes were awarded over $2 million by The National Institute of Craniofacial Research  in March.

While the effects of these devices are not yet certain, Registered Dental Hygienist Anastasia Turchetta believes that dental professionals need to be aware of wheter or not their patients smoke e-cigarettes and should look for any complications that may arise from use. To hear more of what Turchetta has to say about e-cigarettes, watch the video below.

Whether you are a smoker, e-cigarette user, or non-smoker, take care of your smile!