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Is dairy crucial to my child's oral health?

June 16th, 2017

Healthy eating, combined with regular physical activity, plays a vital role in your child’s health and well-being. Dairy foods are naturally nutritious, packed with ten essential nutrients that help your child feel good for life. But did you know that dairy is also great for your child’s dental health? Our team at Drs. Oleg and Nikole Shvartsur will tell you that, in addition to providing large amounts of much-needed calcium, dairy products also help fight cavities! Dairy products have a specific role to play in dental health as they contain a unique combination of special anti-decay nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and the protein, casein. Cheese is especially useful, as eating a small piece of cheese after consuming sugary foods or drinks can help protect teeth and reduce the risk of tooth decay.

If you’d like to know more about the importance of dairy products in your child’s diet, or about any aspect of your child’s dental health, feel free to ask Dr. Oleg Shvartsur and Dr. Nikole Shvartsur at your next appointment!

Getting to Know Katie

June 9th, 2017

How is it June already? This year is definitely flying by!  What better way to kick off summer than with a feature on Katie, one of our dental assistants.

Here is what she had to say during her interview as part of this month’s ‘Team Q&A Blog Series’. We hope you enjoy getting to know Katie a little better!

Katie, Dental Assistant

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a dental assistant?

A: When I was in high school, my chiropractor was actually the one who urged me to look into dental assisting as a career option. I knew it was the right fit for me before I even graduated from the program.

Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?

A: You don’t hear this answer a lot, by I love all of the technical stuff! Everything from making retainers in our lab to assisting with fillings and more.

Q: On to the personal stuff, what is a hidden talent or fun fact that people wouldn’t expect about you?

A: A fun fact about me is that I love baking treats or making homemade ice cream! If you’re a reeeeeally good patient, you might get to try some of my baked goods. J

Q: What’s your favorite vacation spot and why?

A: My husband and I love traveling to different skiing destinations. Last year we took a road trip around to various ski spots.

Q: Do you have a favorite book or TV series you’re enjoying right now?

A: I’m with my colleague, Lisa, on this one – I’m a big Game of Thrones fan.   

Q: What are your favorite hobbies outside of the office?

A: Well, from my previous comment, you can probably guess that I love skiing. But, in the summer I enjoy gardening and biking.

Q: What’s the one thing you wish patients knew about you?

A: I have been working in dentistry for nearly 11 years. I think I’m in this field to stay!

Women’s Medications and Dry Mouth

June 9th, 2017

Women using medication to treat a variety of medical conditions are often unaware of the potential side effects. One common side effect of medications such as blood pressure medication, birth control pills, antidepressants, and cancer treatments is dry mouth. The technical term for dry mouth is xerostomia.

Xerostomia can lead to undesirable effects in the oral cavity including periodontal disease and a high rate of decay. Many women who have not had a cavity in years will return for their routine exam and suddenly be plagued with a multitude of cavities around crowns and at the gum line, or have active periodontal disease. The only thing that the patient may have changed in the past six months is starting a new medication.

Saliva washes away bacteria and cleans the oral cavity, and when saliva flow is diminished harmful bacteria can flourish in the mouth leading to decay and gum disease. Many medications can reduce the flow of saliva without the patient realizing the side effect. Birth control pills can also lead to a higher risk of inflammation and bleeding gums. Patients undergoing cancer treatments, especially radiation to the head and neck region, are at a greatly heightened risk of oral complications due to the possibility of damage to the saliva glands.

There are many over the counter saliva substitutes and products to temporarily increase saliva production and help manage xerostomia. One great option for a woman with severe dry mouth or high decay rate is home fluoride treatments. These work in a number of ways, including custom fluoride trays that are worn for a short period of time daily at home, a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste, or an over the counter fluoride rinse. If you have more questions on fluoride treatments, make sure to ask Dr. Oleg Shvartsur and Dr. Nikole Shvartsur at your next visit to our office.

The benefits of many of the medications on the market outweigh the risks associated with xerostomia, however, with regular exams you can manage the risk and prevent many oral consequences of medications.

Healthy Summer Foods

June 2nd, 2017

It’s summer—that wonderful time of year when fresh and delicious produce abounds. Dr. Oleg Shvartsur and Dr. Nikole Shvartsur will tell you that your teeth, gums, and tissues all rely on an appropriate mix of vitamins and minerals to maintain good oral health no matter what time of year. In previous studies, nutrients in fruits and vegetables such as dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants have all been associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and cancers, including oral cancer.

Here are four foods we want you to enjoy this summer to ensure a healthy mouth:

Watermelons and Strawberries

Watermelons have high water content, which dilutes the affects of the sugars they contain and stimulates the flow of saliva. In addition, research shows that eating foods full of water (watermelon is 92 percent water) helps keep you satiated on fewer calories. Finally, in addition to containing skin-protecting lycopene, eating watermelon can help you stay hydrated during the summer months, which not only keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable, but also helps keep your body cool.

Strawberries are juicy and delicious, and they’re also considered a superfood. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (such as vitamin C, which can help with cancer prevention), strawberries also promote eye health, help fight bad cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure.

Apples

Did you know consuming apples can help you attain whiter, healthier teeth? It’s true. Biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, and in the process, lowers the levels of bacteria and other harmful acids, leading to a lower likelihood of tooth decay. Apple consumption can also boost your immune system, reducing cholesterol and helping you avoid Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases. Finally, eating an apple a day has been linked to heart health, including a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a delicious and healthy snack and can help you ward off cancer. The yummy red fruit contains lycopene, which helps protect your skin from sunburn. Tomatoes can also help you fight heart disease due to the niacin, folate, and vitamin B6 nutrients they contain. They’re high in crucial antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin A, which work to prevent DNA damage.

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