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National Children’s Dental Health Month & Give Kids a Smile

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and every year Brosy Family Dentistry celebrates by participating in the Give Kids a Smile program. The Give Kids a Smile program was launched by the American Dental Association in 2003 as a way to reach underserved children who may not have dental care otherwise. Every year on the first Friday in February, thousands of dental care providers and other volunteers join forces in communities around the country to provide free oral health education, screenings, and treatment to children in need. Since 2003, more than 6 MILLION children have been cared for by more than half a million volunteers through Give Kids a Smile!

Our local Give Kids a Smile event was held on Friday February 7th at Champagne Family Dentistry. Dr. Erin spent the day with dozens of other dental professionals and volunteers from our amazing community. More than 130 local children received free dental care!

Dental health is a vital component of overall health and proper dental care is important for people of ALL ages! Here are a few quick facts about children’s dental health:

1. First dental check-ups should begin by a child’s first birthday. Kids who start receiving professional dental care at the age of one have significantly lower childhood cavity rates.

2. Brushing should begin with the first tooth!

3. Flossing should being as soon as teeth are touching or when first baby molars have come in. Even if teeth aren’t touching completely, it’s great to start healthy habits early.

4. Having fluoride varnish treatments at least twice a year beginning at the age of one can decrease decay rates by 50%.

5. Non-fluoride toothpaste (aka training toothpaste) should be used until a child can completely spit and rinse after brushing.

6. Children who have constant/frequent access (through bottles, sippy cups, etc.) to anything other than water have higher decay rates.

7. Juice, even when watered down, has very little nutritional benefit and children who regularly consume it have higher decay rates.

8. Kids whose parents have healthy oral hygiene habits and regular professional dental care have lower decay rates.

9. The bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease is transmissible and can be spread to children through sharing drinks and utensils.

10. Dental sealants placed on permenant molars decrease decay on chewing surfaces by 90%.

FREE FLUORIDE

FREE Fluoride February!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! To celebrate, we are offering a FREE mint FluoriMax fluoride varnish treatment to ALL of our patients during the month of February!

Fluoride varnish is a type of concentrated topical fluoride that can be professionally applied to help prevent cavities and dentinal sensitivity in people of all ages. Fluoride varnish is quickly and easily applied with a small paintbrush. Topical fluoride works by hardening the outside shell (enamel) of the tooth and by temporarily decreasing bacterial growth. Fluoride varnish has the ability to re-mineralize weakened areas of the enamel and can stop early onset decay in it’s tracks. Fluoride varnish is approved for those 6 months and older.

Varnish is far more effective than the older fluoride foam or gel methods that many of us may remember doing as kids. The fluoride in the professional gel and foam is only absorbed into the teeth while the fluoride trays are in your mouth. Fluoride varnish adheres to the teeth and continues to release fluoride for 24 hours after application. The additional fluoride uptake leads to more effective and longer lasting results.

Research consistently shows that fluoride varnish is the most effective and safest form of fluoride used to decrease dental decay rates in children and adults. Varnish has been shown to decrease decay rates by at least 50% in people who consistently have twice a year treatments along with proper oral hygiene. Varnish decreases the risk of overexposure to fluoride in children when compared to gel, foam, and prescription toothpaste options because the varnish adheres directly to the tooth and is not easily swallowed.

We recently made the switch to Elevate Oral Care fluoride and xylitol products at Brosy Family Dentistry. We think you are going to love them just as much as we do and here’s why:

  • Elevate FluoriMax fluoride varnish contains half the concentration of sodium fluoride compared to traditional varnished (2.5% instead of 5%). Research showed fluoride uptake into enamel was statistically the same or better at 2.5% than 5% concentrations.
  • It dries to a clear, non-tacky coating that is 7-40 times thinner than traditional varnishes which makes for a much more pleasant experience. You can eat and drink like normal right after the treatment.
  • It’s thin and flowable which allows it to flow across and between the teeth better than traditional varnishes.
  • FluoriMax is hypoallergenic and the pharmaceutical facility where it is manufactured does not process any of the potential allergens listed below, therefore there is no risk of cross-contamination:
    • Tree-based/synthetic resins
    • Milk • Dyes • Glutens • Eggs • Peanuts • Tree nuts • Pine • Fish • Shellfish • Soy • Wheat • Sunflower seeds •Sesame seeds

If you don’t already have your next dental cleaning on the books, give Cindy a call today! We hope to see you soon!

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Welcome Donna!

Please help us in welcoming Donna, our new insurance coordinator! Donna may be our newest Brosy Family team member, but she is not new to Brosy Family Dentistry. We have had the pleasure of treating Donna and her family in our office as patients for many years. Donna has worked in the dental field for over twenty years and comes to us with a wealth of dental and insurance knowledge.

Donna has been married to her husband Jerry for 32 years. They have two grown children, Cydni and Aaron. Donna and Jerry love country music, campimg, spending time at the lake, and riding their Harleys. Fun fact, Donna has a twin sister who also lives here in Reno! We are grateful and excited to have her in our Brosy Family!

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Charcoal Toothpaste

You can’t walk down a toothpaste aisle or scroll through your social media feed without seeing ads for charcoal toothpaste. It started off in natural oral care product lines as an alternative to traditional whitening products. It quickly became popular and the more mainstream companies jumped on the wagon. So, how do they work and is it worth all of the hype…and the potential mess?

Charcoal toothpastes contain activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has been treated to make it’s surface rough and porous. The rough surface scrubs stains away while the porous areas attract and grab onto the particles that have been removed from the tooth’s surface. Charcoal toothpastes work well on surface level extrinsic stains, but they do not have the ability to change intrinsic stains. Most product comparisons show that charcoal toothpastes are more effective than other popular whitening toothpastes at removing stains. The high efficacy comes from the abrasiveness of the activated charcoal. It is important to use charcoal toothpastes sparingly and not more than 1-2 times per week. If used too often, the abrasiveness of activated charcoal can cause irreversible tooth damage and sensitivity. Bottom Line: Charcoal toothpaste is safe/effective when used sparingly.

There are two types of tooth stain, extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are those that sit on the surface of the tooth. These stains are typically caused by food and drinks such as coffee, tea, wine, and berries. Extrinsic stains are not incorporated into the tooth structure, therefore they can typically be removed by brushing and/or by your hygienist during your professional dental cleaning. Intrinsic stains are those that have become incorporated into the actual tooth structure. These stains can also be caused by food and drinks, as well as medication and some health conditions. Intrinsic stains cannot be removed by brushing or scaling done by your dental hygienist. Intrinsic stains require bleaching procedures to be lightened and removed.

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Geographic Tongue

We know geographic tongue sounds like something out of a Jurassic Park movie, but it’s definitely not something prehistoric! Geographic tongue is a common condition that is characterized by harmless patches on the surface of the tongue. It effects about 5-10% of the population. Geographic tongue is benign and not related to oral cancer or other oral pathologies. Geographic tongue can occur at any age and it may come and go. More women than men experience geographic tongue.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Red/pink/white patches on the tongue that change often, sometimes even daily
  • Sometimes the patches have a map-like appearance, hence the term “geographic”
  • Soreness or burning, most often with acidic and spicy food

The top of the tongue is covered by little bumps called papillae. There are four types of papillae, three of which contain taste buds. Typically these papillae evenly cover the tongue’s surface. In people with geographic tongue, there are areas where papillae are temporarily lost. When the papillae are lost, smooth patches of the tongue’s surface are exposed.

The mouth has incredibly fast and efficient healing abilities. Most oral tissues heal faster than any other cells in your body. The exposed patches of the tongue’s surface heal quickly and papillae regrow to cover areas where they were lost.

Causes:

The cause of geographic tongue is unknown. It seems to run in families and it is definitely agrivated by acidic food and drinks. There has been some speculation that it is related to B vitamin deficines or psoriasis, though a definitive link has not been proven.

Treatment/Management:

  • Avoid spicy or acidic foods if they bother you
  • Weak warm salt water rinses can be soothing
  • Some studies show that taking a B-complex and/or zinc supplement may be beneficial
  • Most cases of geographic tongue show no symptoms at all. If your tongue isn’t bothering you, there is no treatment needed

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November: Type 1 Diabetes Awareness

November is Diabetes Awareness Month! Let’s take a moment to shine some light on one specific type of diabetes that is often misunderstood. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that can develop in anyone at any age. T1D occurs when your immune system attacks and destroys insulin producing cells in your pancreas. A few quick facts:

Type 1 Diabetes:

  • IS an autoimmune disease. This means that it occurs when your immune system attacks cells in your own body.
  • IS NOT caused by eating sugar or being overweight. Most current research shows that genetics, certain viruses and environmental factors may all play a role in triggering the autoimmune attack that quickly leads to T1D.
  • IS NOT a childhood disease. The autoimmune attack that leads to type 1 diabetes can happen at any age. In 2018 there were approximately 40,000 people newly diagnosed with T1D in the US – 18,000 of those people were under the age of 20, while 22,000 were over the age of 20. There is not a cure for T1D at this time.
  • IS often initially misdiagnosed, especially in adults. Blood testing for autoantibodies is important if someone is exhibiting symptoms of T1D

Type 1 Diabetes and Oral Health

Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is very important for overall health, including your oral health! When blood sugar levels consistently run high, sugar content in salvia is also high. The excess sugar feeds the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. It also creates an more acidic environment which is harmful to oral tissues. Healing abilities are diminished during periods of low or high blood sugar. All of these things together make it harder for your body to repair damaged tissues, which can lead to an increase in cavities and gum disease. The good news is that there are ways to prevent oral complications!

Having healthy teeth and gums will actually help you achieve healthy blood sugar levels. Active infections such as gum disease make it very difficult to rein in blood sugar levels. Prevent infection by practicing excellent oral care, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and working hard to keep blood sugar in optimal range.

7 Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums:

  • Use an electric toothbrush
  • Use floss, proxy brushes, and/or a Waterpik daily to get the tough in-between spots
  • Don’t use tobacco
  • Use dry mouth products if you feel like your oral tissues are dry or cracking
  • Try your best to keep blood sugar levels in range
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients
  • See you dental hygienist and dentist at least twice a year. It is often beneficial to have your teeth cleaned more frequently when you have diabetes. Discuss the option of a 3 or 4 month cleaning schedule with your dental professional.

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Diving Deep into Scaling and Root Planing

Routine dental cleanings are done to prevent gum disease and maintain optimal oral health. But, what happens when you fall off of the prevention wagon or when you have a troublesome area of periodontitis (aka gum disease)? If you have areas of moderate to heavy calculus build-up, deep gum pocketing, inflammation, and/or bleeding, your dental hygienist may recommend scaling and root planning.

To understand why scaling and root planing is sometimes necessary, it’s important to understand the different levels of gum disease. Gum disease can be split into two main categories: gingivitis and periodontitis. Each category can be broken down into mild, moderate, and severe forms. All forms of gum disease are influenced by a variety of factors. Oral hygiene, diet/nutrition, genetics, drug and alcohol use, frequency of routine dental care, and systemic health conditions all play a role.

Gingivitis is defined as inflammation of the gum tissue without loss of supporting structures such as bone, periodontal ligaments, and marginal gum tissue. According to the American Dental Association, almost 100% of people will experience gingivitis in their lifetime. Poor plaque control is one of the most common causes of gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible and can typically be treated with routine dental cleanings, improved oral hygiene, and over-the-counter products. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis.

Periodontitis is defined as inflammation of the gum tissue and support structures that has resulted in permeant damage and loss of tissue. Severity is determined by the degree of bone loss, tooth mobility, and tissue destruction. Periodontitis is typically a multifactorial process and must be addressed promptly to achieve the best possible outcome. This is where scaling and root planing comes in!

Scaling and root planning is often referred to as a “deep cleaning” because it is more involved than a routine cleaning. Often times, this means splitting the cleaning into multiple appointments. Your dental hygienist will evaluate and make a treatment plan by quadrant (upper right, lower right, upper left, lower left) to determine appointment length. You can usually plan on at least two 90 minute appointments to complete your treatment, sometimes more. You may need to be numb for the procedure to allow for all of the plaque, calculus, and debris to be removed comfortably. Don’t fret! Different types of anesthetic (some topical and needleless) can be used. Once your comfort needs have been met, your dental hygienist will remove the plaque, calculus, and stain using an ultrasonic scaling device and hand scalers. The ultrasonic scaler works quickly to access hard to reach areas, remove caked on build-up, and help irrigate inflamed gum pockets. It also helps kill bacteria as it cleans which improves healing outcomes. Hand scalers leave a smooth, healthy finish to allow for healing. During the cleaning process, as well as when it is complete, it is very important to practice excellent oral home care to allow the gum tissue to heal. You will typically return in 6-12 weeks for a follow up appointment. At this appointment, your dental hygienist will likely do a thorough periodontal maintenance cleaning and evaluate overall healing. He or she will also determine what type of routine cleaning you need moving forward.

Stopping progressive gum disease in it’s tracks is the only way to prevent further destruction. Calculus build-up under gum tissue creates a similar situation to a splinter buried deep in a finger. If you let the splinter stay stuck under the skin, an infection develops and it will continue to worsen until the splinter is removed. The calculus must be removed for the gum tissue to heal to the best of it’s ability. The sooner you get started, the better the outcome. You’ll never regret taking steps towards better health.

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Brosy Family Life – Dental Hygienists

October is National Dental Hygiene Month! Our three dental hygienists have spent a combined total of more than 55 years with us, which translates to an unmatched depth of one-on-one patient care, continuing education and first-hand knowledge of the latest dental procedures. They’re also all proud northern Nevada natives, having attended Reno-area high schools and staying in the area to help their friends and neighbors achieve excellent dental health. Let’s see what Jill, Sheri’, and Wendy have been up to!

– Jill –

Jill enjoyed a summer filled with pool days, lake days, camping, boating, margaritas, and BBQ’s! Jill and her husband Ryan are always on the go between work, school, sports, and family time. Their son Leverett (12) recently started horseback riding/rodeo. Their daughter Chesney (11) is playing on a competitive soccer team, and their son JJ (5) just started kindergarten. Jill and her family love to hop in their motorhome and head out for weekend adventures! It’s always a party with the Simpson family!

– Sheri’-

Sheri’ and her husband Ricky are in their 3rd year of home remodeling and renovations! They squeeze in house projects (currently rebuilding a gutted master bath) between days at Donner Lake, baseball games, neighborhood get-togethers, and all of the kid’s activities. Sheri’ loves volunteering at her kids’ school and she tries to never miss a fieldtrip. Their daughter Caleigh (8) is an English horseback rider, their son Hudson (6) is getting ready for fall basketball, and their son Lincoln (4) loves ninja class. Their St. Bernard Bruce keeps an eye on everyone and loves a good squirrel chase, but their cat Marv still rules the roost! Never a dull moment with the Wesleys!

– Wendy –

Wendy is looking forward to a week in Hawaii with her whole family in October! A nice getaway will hit the spot since she and her husband Greg are always running between volleyball and softball tournaments with their girls! Ellie (17) is a senior at Spanish Springs High School and plays varsity volleyball. They have traveled to check out colleges and Ellie is almost ready to choose one! Sharlee (14) is a freshman and plays volleyball for SSHS. She also plays for a travel softball team. Lots of weekends spent trekking over the hill! Good thing Wendy and her sister Jill work together and live right around the corner from one another so they can help each other out with kid shuffling!

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Prevention Corner: Dental Sealants

Excellent oral hygiene is a very important part of preventing tooth decay. Even the best brushing and flossing routine can’t reach all of the tiny nooks and crannies in teeth. First permanent molars start coming in around the age of 6. Those same teeth are supposed to withstand decades of continuous use! Once a tooth erupts into the mouth, it continues to mineralize and harden. On average, a tooth takes around 2 years to reach optimal hardness.

Dental sealants are an easy and effective way to prevent cavities in the grooves and pits of teeth. This is extremely beneficial as teeth complete the mineralization process. According to the American Dental Association, 80-90% of cavities that occur on the occlusal (chewing) surface can be prevented by the placement and maintenance of pit and fissure sealants.

What is a sealant?

Dental sealants are made of a tooth colored, thin resin material that easily flows into the pits and grooves of teeth. Once hardened, the material acts as a shield by blocking out food and bacteria. This creates a more even surface to clean and prevents bacteria from settling into thin crevices that may be too tight for toothbrush bristles to fit in.

Sealants can be placed at any age. Molars are the most commonly sealed teeth because they have the deepest grooves and the highest decay rates. Sealants are most beneficial when placed within the first 6 months after a tooth is fully erupted. Sealants should maintained through childhood and adolescence. Adults with moderate-high decay rates, special needs or medical conditions/situations such as chemotherapy or radiation treatment also benefit from dental sealants.

How are sealants placed?

A tooth must be examined to insure that it is cavity-free. If decay is present, additional treatment is needed. Once the tooth is determined to be cavity-free, it is cleaned to remove plaque and food particles. Next, the tooth is isolated with cotton to keep the area dry. An acidic etchant solution is carefully applied to the tooth. The tooth is rinsed and thoroughly dried before placing the sealant material on the tooth. The sealant material flows into the crevices and special care is taken to insure that all grooves are covered. An LED dental curing light is used to set and harden the sealant material. Once hardened (about 10 seconds of light exposure), the sealant process is complete. The process is painless and typically quick and easy!

Sealant care and maintenance

Eating and drinking can resume immediately after sealant placement. Ice chewing, eating sticky/chewing candy, and clenching/grinding teeth can all cause excessive wear to sealants. Even everyday chewing can cause normal wear and tear that will need attention as years pass. Your dental hygienist and dentist will examine the condition of your sealants at your regular cleaning appointments. Sealants should be “touched-up” as they wear over time.

While sealants greatly decrease decay rates on chewing surfaces, they cannot be placed on the smooth surfaces between teeth. Sealant material relies heavily on mechanical retention to remain in place. The material cannot stay in place without a groove to settle in. Excellent oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular dental care must still be practiced to protect teeth from decay.

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Floss Like a Boss

Flossing! So simple, yet so difficult for many people to stick to! Most people won’t skip a toothbrushing session, even when they are pushed for time. Flossing takes less than 60 seconds (unless you are navigating the treacherous flossing territory of braces), yet it is often thrown to the wayside. Don’t dread it, don’t skip it, just take a few simple steps to switch up your routine and you’ll be flossing like a boss in no time!

  • Find a floss that you actually like! Hands down, the most common flossing frustrations we hear about are issues with floss tearing, shredding, or not fitting in the spaces between teeth. Standard waxed, round string floss can be fantastic, but it isn’t always the best fit (pun definitely intended). Floss comes in several different shapes and sizes. Floss string can be made of nylon (most common), silk, or plastic. It can be rounded, braided, or flat like a ribbon. Floss can be unwaxed, waxed, and/or coated in Teflon, essential oils, or fluoride. SO many options!
    • Most shredding, tearing, and tightness issues can be fixed by switching to a flat ribbon nylon floss. Many ribbon flosses are also Teflon coated which will allow for the strongest, smoothest option. Crest (Glide) and Colgate both make popular ribbon floss.
    • Thicker floss, such as dental tape or braided options, will often be the most effective around implants and bridges that have significant space around them. These flosses are also helpful when larger gaps between teeth are present. Johnson and Johnson (Reach) and Oral B Superfloss are both options for larger spaces.
    • If you are looking for a natural/chemical free version but still want soemthing that is easy to use, give the Spry or Hello products a try. Both use natural ingredients and offer options with xylitol coatings to prevent cavities.
    • Don’t shy away from using more than one type of floss. Sometimes a combo is the best plan.
  • Floss in the shower! Switching up when and where you floss can make a huge difference. If you wait until right before you go to bed, you are much more likely to skip it. Research shows that flossing at least once every 24 hours is key. The time of day or sequence in which you floss/brush doesn’t matter as much. Move your oral hygiene routine to the shower and watch your floss boss skills come alive!
  • Bring on the tools and gadgets! Some people are motivated by a new gadget and some people just need a little help getting to the hard to reach areas. Floss holders or floss sticks can make flossing so much easier for people with dexterity issues, large hands, or just a simple lack of motivation. Even disposable floss sticks can be rinsed off and reused (just like a toothbrush) several times before they break. Using floss threaders or Superfloss (floss with a threader already attached) is necessary around almost all bridges and braces. Reusing gadgets will be easier on your pocketbook and the environment.

The floss aisle can be overwhelming! Sometimes you need more than one type to fit all of your needs. Don’t fret! Your dentist and dental hygienist will gladly help you navigate options before you go. Once you have chatted about options, there is only one way to find your perfect match. Yep, you’ve guessed it! Get crazy…hit up the floss aisle, binge watch something amazing on Netflix, eat all of the movie snacks, and go to town! See what feels good, what doesn’t work, and what you definitely can’t live without. Floss Boss status achieved.

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