Meyer & Johns Dental Blog

Advice and Education on Your Dental Health

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Vaping to Quit? OK, just not for too long…

vaping
Vaping eliminates many of the dangers of traditional tobacco, but it’s not without risk. 

November 21 was the Great American Smoke-Out! If you took the pledge and have successfully avoided smoking since then, you have made it two whole weeks! A BIG CONGRATULATIONS from all of us here at Meyer & Johns!

 

Follow the Vaper Trail? 

Many people attempt to quit smoking with the help of nicotine replacement therapy, namely patches, gum, or lozenges. But these days many people turn to vaping or using e-cigarettes to wean themselves off nicotine. And there’s evidence to suggest that these new options are effective. A recent study reviewed by Harvard Health Publishing cited an 80% higher 1-year quit rate for people using vape products instead of nicotine gum or patches. However, 4 out of 5 of those successful quitters were still vaping, as opposed to less than 10 percent of people who were still using the other products. 

And it stands to reason that vaping is a somewhat healthier option than traditional smoking. Aerosol-generated water vapor delivers the nicotine without the harmful tobacco tar and other chemicals that cause cancer, strokes, and cardiovascular disease in the majority of smokers. 

 

A Viable Alternative?

vaping

But as we’ve all learned recently, vaping brings with it a host of other lung dangers. So it’s not a perfect substitute for your body, but is vaping better for your mouth? The short answer is “Not really.” Studies have shown that many of smoking’s cancer-related risks are associated with the nicotine itself, rather than the tobacco. And since we last explored vaping, the body of research has continued to grow. Besides promoting gum disease by reducing blood flow, it causes dry mouth and kills bacteria in your mouth, promoting faster tooth decay. 

And we’re finding it leads to a host of other problems. New research now links vaping and Bruxism, as the stimulant nicotine has been shown to promote the jaw-clenching and tooth-grinding that can lead to mouth and jaw issues. 

The take-aways? If you have used or are using vaping products to quit smoking cigarettes, STICK WITH IT! Quitting smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to reduce health risks and improve your quality of life. But make sure you set a “2nd Quit Date” to take the final step to put down the vape pen so you can go totally nicotine-free! 

Fun Candy Facts for 2019

Halloween candy

 

At Meyer & Johns, we’re getting our costumes planned, and decorating the office for Halloween. In spite of all the candy, we love this holiday so much we celebrate the whole month long. In honor of the observance, we’re taking our annual look at America’s favorite candy. 

Big Business

Despite an overall reduction in consumer spending, Halloween candy sales are expected to hold steady at $2.6 billion, with 95% of all U.S. households purchasing some type of candy. And according to the National Retail Federation, the most popular candy nationwide this year is M&M’s. It increased in popularity by 23%, leading to double-digit gains on the Favorites list and leap-frogging over last year’s #1 and perennial top contender Reese’s cups. 

Pass on These? 

Another survey, conducted by CandyStore.com, ranked the least-favorite candies of all time. You know, the ones that you find at the bottom of the Halloween bag weeks (or months, or maybe October 1, 2020) after all the rest is long gone. Here is their Bottom 10 list of America’s Worst Candy:

10.  Bit-O-Honey

 9.  Good & Plenty

 8.  Licorice (Black, NOT Twizzlers!)

 7.  Smarties

 6.  Tootsie Rolls

 5.  Necco Wafers

 4.  Wax Coke Bottles

 3.  Peanut Butter Kisses (aka Mary Janes)

 2.  Circus Peanuts (#1 worst in 2018)

 1.  Candy Corn (Whaaaaat…?!)

We know there will be some intense debate over some of these on the list, which includes a couple of our personal favorites. But now is the time for us as dentists to point out that any and all of these can be the worst for kids’ teeth if proper brushing doesn’t happen. 

Managing Candy consumption

For both overall and tooth health, the candy intake of children should be monitored. Make sure they’re not sneaking into the bag between meals (or before breakfast).  Set up parameters that work for both you and your child, and then stick to them. And as always, make sure any consumption is followed up with a thorough brushing

Happy Halloween from all of us at Meyer & Johns Dental! 

Brushing Alternatives Away from Home

Brushing alternative
A few simple steps can help your school-age child have cleaner teeth.

By now everyone has settled into the school year routine of homework, carpools, and lunchboxes. But does your child’s routine include tooth care at school? Do they have any brushing alternatives?

Ideally, your child has the tools, time, and opportunity for brushing their teeth after finishing lunch. But because most schools can’t facilitate mass brushing, here are a couple of tips you can teach kids. These early actions may help instill a habit of good oral care around meals – even when it’s inconvenient.

Rinse

rinse brush alternative

All it really takes is a mouthful of water from the drinking fountain, a couple of quick swishes around their mouth, and then spit it back out. This helps to dislodge food particles from nooks, crannies, and in-between spaces of teeth. It also helps by washing away any sugary or acidic residue from the surface of teeth. (Just make sure that the Spit Out is back into the drinking fountain or a sink – not at another student!)

Rub

If your child is old enough, they can bring their own travel brush and paste and visit the bathroom sink after lunch. But if a brush isn’t an option, using a finger with a paper towel or napkin wrapped around it makes a decent substitute. This simple contact with tooth surfaces, along with rinsing, is great at removing meal residue.

Chew

Do you know those gum commercials that claim to help prevent cavities? They’re true. We’ve often pointed out the importance of saliva and the natural substances it contains. Chewing stimulates saliva production and helps flood teeth with natural cleaning and strengthening compounds. The kicker? It MUST BE Sugar-Free!

As children’s teeth are developing, it’s more important than ever to keep cavity-causing substances from settling on their teeth for extended periods of time. We can help reinforce these brushing alternatives with them at their next visit. Just have them ask us!

 

Advances in Dental Care

dental advances
Expanded use of 3D modeling technology is advancing dental precision.

We spend a lot of time telling you when and how often to brush, as well as ways you can do it better. But we also ask ourselves and our staff the same question: How can we do our part better? 

Anyone who grew up in the last century will remember what it used to be like — more frequent fillings, bigger x-ray machines, and noisier equipment. Not to mention those fluoride treatments that consisted of holding trays of goo in your mouth for hours. Okay, maybe more like 5 minutes, but it felt like forever. 

Modern dentistry is progressing as fast as the rest of our society. While the basic principles remain the same, Drs. Meyer & Johns and our whole team of hygienists go out of their way to incorporate the latest techniques and technology into your treatment. 

 

Happening Now

One of the greatest modern advances was the emergence of ceramic materials in dental work. From replacing the amalgam and metal fillings used for more than 100 years to the construction more-durable crowns and tooth replacements, these new composite materials do everything better. Recent progress includes refinements made to these materials, as well as advances in the tools and techniques used to apply them. 

Our instruments and tools have gotten smaller along the way. Modern implant fasteners are far less invasive, allowing a more secure hold, less discomfort, and shorter recovery time. Likewise, technical advancements in our plaque removal tools allow our hygienists to provide a more thorough cleaning in less time. 

 

On the Horizon

The forecast for dental advances includes further refinement of our processes and materials. Imaging technology will continue to improve, allowing earlier identification of problems, and more closely matching repairs to the original tooth shape. Other tech developments on the horizon will center around the application of existing technology to dental processes and procedures, including: 

  • Expanded use of lasers for non-surgical and whitening procedures
  • 3D printing of dental crowns and dentures
  • Advances in bio-coatings to protect teeth against bacteria

So it may be a while before we print out a tooth crown in our offices. But we are constantly looking for ways to apply new technology for a better dental experience to you and your family.