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How Cool Is This?


The Dental Hygiene Research center at Old Dominion University in Virginia is conducting a study to see if virtual reality can help ease a patient’s dental fears while being seated in the dental chair. The study is looking to see if visual immersion therapy will help with dental anxiety. In this study, people will wear high tech glasses (similar to those worn in virtual reality simulators) and will be able to watch a movie or something relaxing to try to take their mind off of the treatment they are receiving. Dental hygiene profession Gayle McCombs from the university states that “Many people don’t like to go to the dentist…you hear at least once a day ‘I hate going to the dentist’”.

At the moment, most dental offices use conscious sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help patients relax when they come in for dental treatment. The students at ODU are looking into a way to move away from medication.

Carmelo Padrino will be conducting a clinical trial this semester, he will then write a thesis to be submitted to a professional journal.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.maceandcrown.com/2013/03/06/conquering-dental-anxiety-with-virtual-reality/

We’re excited to hear the results of this study!

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Avoid a Nasty Toothache


A recent article in Canada’s Chatelaine magazine informs readers of foods and drinks that can cause tooth discomfort.

Sparkling Water: Fizzy sipping water can increase tooth sensitivity. The bubbles in sparkling water are highly acidic. Overtime they can slowly eat away tooth enamel. Try drinking carbonated beverages with a straw to prevent the liquids from hitting the teeth directly.

Energy Drinks: Imagine dunking your teeth in acid… This is similar to what happens when you drink energy drinks. These drinks can cause irreparable damage to the enamel that protects your teeth. The caffeine in these drinks can also cause you to grind unintentionally.

Peanut Brittle and Caramels: These treats are notorious for yanking out fillings and crowns. Also, the sugars that are left on your teeth can trigger cavity-causing decay within hours

Sugary Mints: Sucking on mints bathes teeth in a slow release of sugar. This tends to start decay along the gum line where the enamel is thinnest. People who have a mint habit may experience painful nerve exposure which will likely require root canal therapy.

Dried Fruits: Dried fruits are both sugary and sticky. If you do not floss the bits that get wedged between your teeth right away, it leaves your teeth vulnerable to cavities, stains and decay.

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The Tooth Fairy


The tooth fairy is a fantasy character common in English speaking countries.  Children are told that when their teeth fall out, if placed under their pillow, the tooth fairy will come and replace the tooth with money.  Most children are intrigued by this tale but eventually discover that the tooth fairy is in fact their parents.  Author Vicky Lansky advises parents to tell their children that the tooth fairy pays more for a perfect tooth than a decayed one. This promotes better home oral hygiene. Studies have shown that on average, the tooth fairy will bring children $2.60 per tooth. So, parents, please remember that your child has 20 teeth to lose!

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Natural Teeth Whitening Tips


  • Natural bleaching agent- Strawberries contain Vitamin C and an astringent (tannin).  The astringent helps remove surface stains while the Vitamin C aids in removing plaque deposits
  • Natural tooth brush- Apples act like a toothbrush as you chew them. Chewing apples acts like a toothbrush removing excess bacteria and scrubs your teeth throughout the process. Apples also contain malic acid which is a chemical used in teeth whitening products.
  • Natural mouthwash- Raisins induce saliva production, this helps in naturally washing away plaque build up.

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Natural Bad Breath Fixes


  • Cinnamon Gum: Cinnamon gum contains cinnamic aldehyde, a plant essential oil used for flavoring. This oil doesn’t just cover up bad breath, it actually reduces the amount of bacteria in your saliva by 50%.
  • Fish oil supplements:  Fish oil is known to reduce inflammation and bacteria in the mouth,  both of which can cause bad breath.
  • Magnolia Bark Extract: This extract has been shown to kill most oral bacteria that cause bad breath within 30 minutes. It’s often found in mints and toothpaste.
  • Celery, Apples and Carrots: All of these foods are fiber-rich foods. Fiber-rich foods aid in saliva production which helps wash away plaque build-up.
  • Vitamin C:  Vitamin C can help prevent gum disease and gingivitis which both cause bad breath. This vitamin also makes the mouth inhospitable for bacteria growth.
  • Black tea: Black tea helps keep your breath smelling sweet because it is full of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that stop plaque from clinging to your teeth. Studies have also found polyphenols inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth, thus minimizing the foul-smelling compounds that those bacteria produce.

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Interesting Dental Facts


1. People who drink 3 or more soft drinks a day tend to have 62% more tooth decay, fillings, and tooth loss than those who don’t.

2. Diet sodas are just as damaging as regular sodas at weakening tooth enamel

3. Tooth decay is the 2nd most common disease in the United States after the common cold.

4. The average person brushes his/her teeth between 45 and 70 seconds a day, it is recommended that you brush at least twice a day and for 2 minutes each time.

5. 80% of people are unhappy with their smile.

6. 50% of people report that a smile is the first facial feature they notice.

7. New born babies do not have tooth decay bacteria. Often, the bacteria are transmitted from mother to baby when she kisses the child or blows in hot food/drink before feeding the baby.

8. Over 3 million miles of dental floss are purchased in North America each year.

9. If you don’t floss, you will miss cleaning 35% of your tooth’s surface

10. Some studies find women smile as much as 62 times a day, while men only smile 8 times on average….SO SMILE BOYS!

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Dental Fears. Passed on by Parents


You’re sitting in the waiting room with your child. The dental assistant comes out and calls your child’s name. As you and your child stand up and start heading towards the operatory, the dental assistant gently touches your shoulder and tells you “Your child is in good hands, have a seat, we will bring him/her back when we are done.” Your eyes are full of fear, but you sit back down and wait. Have you ever wondered why? One reason is that children tend to misbehave more when parents are in the room, another reason may be that you, the parent, fears the dentist yourself.

New studies show that the fear of the dentist in mothers and fathers is normally passed down to their children.  Previous studies have linked the fear of the dentist to the patient’s parents, but they have never connected who plays a bigger role in this fear, the mother or the father.

More recent studies prove that the father plays a bigger role in these fears. It appears that children tend to pay more attention to the emotional reaction of their fathers than their mothers when deciding whether situations at the dentist are potentially stressful.

In order to prevent these fears of the dentists, it is important for parents to show their children that they feel at ease in the chair, do not show any signs of anxiety/stress. If you are a parent that avoids the dentist at all costs, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to find another adult, whether it

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Sleep Apnea


Are you feeling tired even though you’re getting a full nights rest? Does your partner complain about your snoring? If so, you may be a sufferer of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is not something to simply brush off. It is a serious condition that should always be dealt with. There are 3 different types of sleep apnea:
1. Obstructive sleep apnea- the most common. This occurs when the soft tissue in your throat relaxes and blocks your airway causing loud snoring 
2. Central Sleep Apnea: This is a less common type. It occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control your breathing. People with Central Sleep Apnea seldom snore
3. Complex Sleep Apnea: A combination of Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea.

Anyone can have sleep apnea, however there are certain health factors that will increase your chances of getting it:
1. Overweight 
2. Being a smoker
3. Male
4. Over 65 
5. History of sleep apnea in your family and
6. Being black, Hispanic or a Pacific Islander.

There are different degrees of treatment for sleep apnea. Easy ways to avoid sleep apnea would be to lose weight, stop smoking, and avoid alcohol. You can also try sleeping on your side or prop your head up with an extra pillow, this will keep your airway open.

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Welcome To 2013


To all of our wonderful patients, we welcome you to 2013. We hope you had relaxing holidays and that it hasn’t been too hard getting back into the swing of things. With all New Years come New Year resolutions. A common, but often unsuccessful one is flossing every day. Many excuses arise, “I don’t floss in the morning because I’m always running late” or “I don’t floss at night because it takes too much time and I’m SO tired”. All these may seem to be legitimate excuses, but what are you doing during your down time? Watching TV? Browsing? Reading a book? A tip we suggest to our patients is to keep floss where you spend most of your down time. Whether that’s in your family room, in your office, or by your bed, make sure to always have floss handy. It takes no more than 2 minutes of your time to floss your teeth, these 2 minutes improve your oral and overall health immensely!

To end things off, check out this cute video on New Year’s Resolutions: http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/8239079/flossing

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