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Help End Oral Cancer

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

This is the month to help end oral cancer.  We encourage you to get screened.  Our family dental team is offering free screenings all month and throughout the year, by appointment.  You don’t have to be a patient to get checked, just contact our office.

Risk Factors

While smoking and and tobacco use are major risk factors for oral cancer, the fastest growing group of patients might surprise you.  They’re young, healthy and non-smokers.  This is due to the connection to the HPV virus.  About 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2019.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Any sore or ulcer that hasn’t healed in two weeks
  • A red, black or white discoloration in the soft tissues of the mouth
  • Any abnormality that bleeds easily when touched
  • A lump or hard spot in the tissue, usually border of the tongue
  • A growth
  • A sore under a denture that does not heal
  • A lump or thickening in the mouth
  • You notice a painless, firm, fixed lump on the outside of the neck for at least two weeks

Help End Oral Cancer

I encourage you to get screened because it’s a key step in early detection.  To prevent oral cancer, avoid tobacco and alcohol, and talk to your doctor about the HPV vaccine.  Men are twice as likely to get oral cancer than women. Smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers older than 50 are the most at-risk.  All it takes is three to seven minutes to get screened.  Everyone over the age of 18 should get checked annually, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation.

Free Screenings

As a cancer survivor, and a health care professional, I understand the importance of early detection and treatment.  To help better understand the screening process, I created a short video that demonstrates how it works, click here.  The process is painless and quick, and it doesn’t cost a thing.  I’m available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call my office.  You can schedule an appointment by dialing 864-520-2942 or you can book online.

 

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Pet Adoption Saves Lives

Dogs Who Need Loving Homes

We want to thank everyone who stopped by our open house Saturday, March 30 to consider pet adoption.  Our team brought dogs and smiles together for a good cause.  At Greenville Animal Care adoptions only cost $35.  That includes spay and neuter, microchip and registration, along with vaccinations and other medical treatment.

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Partnering with Greenville Animal Care

Greenville Animal Care

Our friends brought Lucy and Jack Sparrow to our family event.  These dogs deserve good homes.  Greenville Animal Care is the largest open-admission animal facility in South Carolina with a care capacity of approximately 400 dogs and cats.  At the end of March, the shelter was full of dogs who need to find families who will love and care for them.

Pet Adoption

If you’re considering pet adoption, you can view adoptable dogs here.  You can look at cats here.

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Building a No Kill Community

Greenville Animal Care is building a No Kill Community, but they need help.  You can join in their Tails & Trails 5K run and walk May 11.

Proud to Support Great Causes

At our family dental studio, we’re proud to support many local organizations.  From local schools and Harvest Hope to Operation Gratitude and Greenville Animal Care, we want to give back to our great community.

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Open House March 2019

 

 

 

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Dogs + Smiles = Open House

Open House at the Dental Studio

Our family dentistry team is hosting an open house to bring dogs and smiles together!
Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 30.  We hope you’ll stop by to tour our office and enjoy some refreshments.  Our friends from Greenville Animal Care will also have dogs on site who need forever homes.

Greenville Animal Care

Greenville County Animal Care is the largest open-admission animal facility in South Carolina.  All dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are only $35 to adopt.  This includes vaccines, testing, spay/neuter and a microchip.  Greenville County Animal Care is located at 328 Furman Hall Road, but they’ll be able to bring some adoptable pets for you to meet, during our open house.

Healthy Smiles

Our goal is to provide quality and affordable dental care to patients at every stage of life.  From cleanings and filings to crowns and root canals, we are here to work with you.  We also provide cosmetic dentistry, and first time patients receive free, custom take-home whitening kits.  If you’re looking for a dentist, we encourage you to drop in for a visit.  We will have gifts for everyone, and you can enter to win some great prizes.

My team and I look forward to meeting you March 30, and we hope to place some wonderful dogs in their forever homes!

Serving the Upstate

Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dental Studio opened in the heart of Greenville in the summer of 2017.  For 20 years, I’ve practiced general dentistry in the Upstate.  If you have questions for me or want to schedule an appointment, call 864-520-2942 or book online.

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Flossing Before Bed Is Important

Why Flossing is Important

If you want your teeth to last, you must make brushing and flossing a daily habit, along with regular professional cleanings at the dentist.

There’s a saying in dentistry, “only floss the ones you want to keep.”

Take a second to think about that that.  Would you want to lose any of your teeth?

Flossing is a crucial step in the care of your teeth, because brushing twice a day is not enough.

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It’s important to floss before bed

Flossing is a must.  Why?  Because brushing does not clean the whole tooth.  Brushing alone only cleans 60% of a tooth, but flossing can reach the surfaces your toothbrush can’t reach.

Flossing Helps Fight Cavities

When food particles are left between your teeth, bacteria can use that decaying food to form cavities in those areas.

Cavities between teeth are difficult to fix and can lead to crowns and root canals.  These procedures are time consuming and costly.

Food debris left between your teeth can also lead to bad breath.

You can also make your teeth look brighter by keeping stains from developing between your teeth.

Many people may use water flossers, such as the name brand Waterpik, to clean between their teeth.  These are good for removing bacteria around your gums and under bridges and dental work, but you still need to use traditional floss to protect against cavities between teeth.

What You Should Know

Follow these steps to make sure you’re getting the most out of flossing:

Hug the floss tight to the side of your tooth
Rub the floss gently up and down against the side of each tooth
Make sure the floss reaches the base of each tooth

You can view a demonstration from the American Dental Association.

Healthy teeth increase your quality of life.  Your daily routine should include brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing before bed.  If you don’t already do this, it’s time to start.  I know it can be difficult to change dental hygiene habits, but it’s far worse to lose teeth to decay and disease.

Visit the Dentist Twice a Year

In additional to taking care of your teeth and gums at home, it’s important to visit the dentist twice a year.  You can get directions to our office and schedule a checkup on our website.  We accept all major insurance and work with your schedule for morning, evening, weekend and emergency appointments.  Call us anytime at 864-520-2942.

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Office Manager Jackie Johnston welcoming patients

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Children’s Dental Health Month

Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental health Month, so it’s a good time to talk about building healthy habits from an early age.

Teaching kids to properly care for their teeth will help them develop healthy habits from the start, and not struggle to brush and floss regularly, like most adults.

Tooth Decay

Dental disease is preventable, and prevention is always better than treatment.

Children’s Dental Health Month is a time to raise awareness that cavities can be prevented, and healthy habits begin at home with parents and caregivers.

Tooth decay, which we also call cavities, is the most common chronic disease in children.  Kids get cavities because they’re not brushing properlyTheir diets may also contain too much sugar.

Dental Checkup, brushing and flossing

What Parents Should Know

Parents should be actively involved in brushing their children’s teeth up through the age of eight years old.  This means parents should be in the room with their kids, thoroughly brushing their children’s teeth for two minutes, twice a day.  Start the flossing habit each night before bedtime too, as soon as your kids have two teeth that touch.

It’s good to get young children involved in brushing their teeth, but children below the age of eight are generally not able to properly brush and care for their teeth by themselves.

Family Dentistry

Our practice is focused on family dentistry.  You can book a checkup and a cleaning on our website or by calling 864-520-2942.  We work with your schedule to provide morning, evening, weekend and emergency appointments, and all major insurance is accepted.  We created a video to show you what a checkup with x-rays will look like, click here.

Important Recommendations

South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) encourages parents to implement mouth care routines beginning as early as infancy, before a child’s first tooth even appears. Here’s what DHEC recommends for parents:

  • Begin oral care during infancy by wiping a baby’s gums and mouth with a soft cloth
  • Brush a child’s teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day for two minutes. Children under the age of three should use a smear of toothpaste, and children over three should use a pea-sized amount.
  • Take their children for regular dentist visits beginning at the age of one.
  • Talk to a pediatrician, family doctor, nurse or dentist about putting fluoride varnish on children’s teeth as soon as they get their first tooth.
  • Limit a child’s consumption of sugary snacks and drinks.
  • Ask their child’s dentist about dental sealants that protect teeth from decay.
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    We care for patients of all ages

Toothpaste, Greenville Dental Studio, Dental health, Cosmetic Dental

How Does Toothpaste Work?

How Does Toothpaste Work?

Toothpaste is an important part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Let’s take a look at how it works.

There are several different ingredients in toothpaste that help clean teeth, namely detergents and abrasives. The detergents help break up debris.  Abrasives scour off stains. It is the presence of the abrasives that makes brushing gently so important.  You do not want to scour your teeth and gums away!  The main ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride, which makes teeth more resistant to cavities. Your teeth soak up whatever is available, either calcium or fluoride.  Fluoride is the stronger of the two and more resistant to the acid that causes cavities. You want the last few layers of a tooth to be heavily infused with fluoride. It is like a suit of armor for the tooth.  A main purpose of toothpaste is to deliver fluoride. That is why after you brush you do not want to rinse with water.  For adults, you do not want to rise away all of that good fluoride.  However, children should rinse with water after brushing. Fluoride fights sugar and acid, so use toothpaste with fluoride to keep your teeth strong.

Toothpaste, Greenville Dental Studio

Calcium leaving a tooth and fluoride is available to strengthen

 

Check out the American Dental Association for more information about toothpaste. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothpastes

Remember to brush for two minutes twice a day.  For more information about Greenville Dental Studio please call us at 864-520-2942 or email us at info@greenvilledentalstudio.com 

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Free Oral Cancer Screenings

  Free Oral Cancer Screenings

April 8-15, 2018 is Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. Our office is offering free oral cancer screenings all week and throughout the year.  Approximately 110,000 people are diagnosed with oral, head and neck cancer every year in the United States.  Sadly, 66% of the time oral cancer isn’t detected until it’s in a late stage of the disease. Early detection is an important factor in treatment.  Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dental Studio of Greenville will always provide free screenings by appointment.

Major risk factors for oral, head and neck cancer include tobacco use and alcohol consumption. Sun damage can also cause the lips to be become involved. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is also a major risk factor.

ADA.org lists the following as possible signs and symptoms of Oral Cancer:

          – a lump or thickening of oral soft tissues

          – soreness or a feeling that something is caught in the throat

          – difficulty chewing or swallowing

          – ear pain

          – difficulty moving jaw or tongue

          – hoarseness

          – numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth

          – swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable

Here is a look at an oral screening with Dr. Andy Bullard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ehHXV3PfI0

Check out these websites for more information: http://www.entnet.org/OHANCAW,  https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/oral-cancer

Call our office today to schedule your free screening 864-520-2942 or email us at info@greenvilledentalstudio.com 

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Toothbrush, Clean Teeth, Dental Health, Greenville Dentist

NEW STUDY FINDS 30% OF MILLENNNIALS BRUSH THEIR TEETH ONCE PER DAY?

New Study Finds 30% of Millennials Brush Their Teeth Once Per Day?

In a recent survey conducted by a polling company and a toothpaste company, it was found that 30% of people aged 18-34 brush their teeth once per day.  The study does not state whether this is different from previous generations in this age range or whether people tend to get better at brushing as they age.  Either way, it underscores the task facing dentists every day — trying to get people to change their habits.

As we know, changing habits can be difficult.  Imagine every evening, just as you are ready to tumble into bed, having to unload the dishwasher or fold and put away a load of laundry.  These tasks take generally the same amount of time it takes to properly brush and floss your teeth.  It may often seem like too high of a mountain to climb.  This is one reason I recommend an electric toothbrush.  Grab your brush and walk around for the time it runs.  The time will pass so much faster.  Another good idea is to brush after your last meal of the evening.  You don’t have to wait until just before bedtime to brush.  You could also keep a toothbrush and a cup of water by your computer or TV.  That way you won’t have to stand and stare at yourself in the mirror for two minutes in your bathroom.

The important thing is to keep and maintain a high level of health.  Form good habits in adulthood to avoid problems down the road.  If you are someone who has found it difficult to make the habit of brushing twice a day, try some of these techniques.

To recap: Try an electric toothbrush that runs for two minutes

Walk around while you brush

Brush before you get tired

Brush in front of the TV or computer

The goal: Brush twice a day

Floss at night

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What Is A Cavity?

What Is A Cavity?

A dental cavity is where a part of the tooth has been broken down by acid and become soft. The main way to fix a cavity is to drill away and remove the ruined part of the tooth to get down to good solid tooth structure and then replace what was removed with filling material.

How does a cavity form?

Bacteria + sugar = acid. There is a certain kind of bacteria that eats sugar and makes acid, and when the acid is able to sit on your teeth it starts dissolving the tooth structure. It is not always known why some people are more susceptible to getting cavities. Certainly brushing and flossing properly plays a major role in preventing tooth decay but sometimes people who brush the same get cavities at different rates. It is possible there may be different strains of the same bacteria, some more aggressive than others, or certain people may naturally have teeth that are more resistant to acid or each person’s type of saliva may play a role. Diet also has a major effect on cavities. Diets that are high in sugar and/or acids (like sodas) play a major role in weakening teeth and feeding the bacteria so they can keep their acid producing machinery in full production. With each introduction of sugar the bad bacteria can produce acid for about 30 minutes, which makes sipping on sugary drinks throughout the day particularly dangerous.

Let’s take a look at how a cavity forms

The crown of the tooth (the part of the tooth we can see in the mouth) is made of different layers. The outer layer is the enamel shell. Enamel is the hardest substance in the body and is the most acid resistant part of the tooth. It has no feeling and no innate ability to repair itself, though it can potentially be repaired, and indeed strengthened, with Fluoride. Under the enamel is the dentin. Dentin is softer than enamel but it does have a small amount of ability to repair itself, or at least react to the presence of a cavity. In the middle of the tooth is the pulp, where nerves and blood vessels are. This is the living tissue of a tooth. If decay reaches the pulp a root canal is usually necessary.

 

 

 

 

A cavity usually begins by making a small hole in the hard enamel and then spreading out and speeding up when it reaches the softer dentin.

Once decay reaches the dentin something needs to be done and that something is generally a filling. A filling removes all of the infective bacteria and the irreparable damage that has been done, getting down to good solid tooth structure and then replacing what was removed.

How can we prevent cavities from forming?

Fluoride. Regular and proper brushing will help remove the damaging bacteria, sugar and acid from your teeth, and fluoride is the best thing we have to help keep teeth cavity free. Teeth will soak up either calcium or fluoride and fluoride is harder and stronger than calcium. A tooth that is infused with fluoride will be more acid resistant and fluoride can sometimes even repair small acid damaged areas. That is why you want to have the proper amount of fluoride available for your teeth to absorb.

Tooth decay is one of the most common maladies that affects human beings. Visit your dentist twice a year to check for cavities and have a professional cleaning.

If it is time for your cleaning and check up call us today!

(864)520-2942

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Sealant, Dental Health, Cosmetic Dental, Greenville Dentist

What are dental Sealants, and are they necessary?

What Are Dental Sealants, And Are They Necessary?

     A dental sealant is a coating that is used to fill in and cover the grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. Their purpose is to form a physical barrier, not allowing sugar or harmful bacteria to touch the surface of the tooth, hopefully preventing a cavity from forming. Sometimes the groove of a tooth can be so deep and so narrow that even a toothbrush bristle cannot reach the bottom of it. That allows bacteria to hang out in a protected area, making it only a matter of time before a cavity develops. First molars usually come in around the age of six and second molars usually around the age of twelve and sealants are placed when the teeth have erupted enough to be able to access the grooves.

I have gone back and forth over the last 20 years on the usefulness of sealants. They can be very difficult and unpredictable to place on kids with small mouths and a case of the squirmies :). It is confusing to figure out who is covered up to what age and how often as all the insurance plans are different. They are necessarily a thin layer on the chewing surfaces of teeth and can be prone to popping off or wearing away. Even with those challenges though I am a firm believer that sealants are a good and proper treatment.

At Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dental Studio of Greenville we guarantee the sealants we place for as long as that person is in our practice. This is not a guarantee that any tooth with a sealant will never get a cavity, but we take extra steps to ensure that the sealants we place will last and at future cleanings, if we notice a sealant needs touching up or replacing we will do that at no charge. That is the level of trust we have in the quality of our work and in the importance of prevention. Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dental Studio of Greenville is a family practice focused on prevention and education. The less dental work needed, the better. Anything we can do to prevent disease, we will do vigorously. Studies show that there are windows of time when people tend to be more prone to developing cavities and one of those times is through the teenage years into the early twenties. 80% of people have a cavity by the age of twenty and 90% of those cavities are in the grooves of back teeth; just what sealants are designed to protect. The wear rate of sealant material has also improved over the years, helping them stand up to the forces of chewing better and better.

We are going to be focused on keeping sealants in place up through the late teenage years because of our strong belief in taking all steps to prevent dental disease from occurring. We will certainly do whatever work needs to be done and being Comprehensive is how we ensure that work is done to the highest possible standards, however Comprehensive also means a dedication to prevention. Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dental Studio of Greenville is dedicated to reaching and/or maintaining stability for our patients and sealants are one tool in our toolbox that can help us out.

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