Is my saliva acidic?

It may have been a few years ago.  Do you remember discussing pH in high school chemistry?  Here’s a quick recap, in case it has been awhile.  pH is a number that ranges from 0 to 14.  You can think of 7 as the middle.  So, for example, water has a neutral pH with a pH of 7, right in the middle.  Is that high school chemistry class starting to come back?  Acids have a pH with anything smaller than a 7.  The smaller the number, the more acidic the food. Alkalines, or bases, have a pH with anything above 7. So what does it mean when your saliva is acidic? Saliva that is too acidic or at a pH less … Continue reading →

How to Use Gel-Kam with Custom Fluoride Trays

A Box of Colgate's Gel Kam

Do you have sensitive teeth?  What are custom fluoride trays? Is it possible that  Cogate’s Gel-Kam could be the answer? Give us a call at (207) 236-4740. We can discuss custom fluoride trays as an option. The following directions were taken from University of Florida, School of Dentistry website. At bedtime, remove partial or full dentures from the mouth. Brush teeth thoroughly with soft toothbrush and regular toothpaste. Floss teeth by sliding the floss up and down each side of each tooth. Note: It is very important to remove all food and plaque from between teeth before using fluoride. Food and plaque can prevent the fluoride from reaching the surface of the tooth. Place a thin ribbon of the fluoride … Continue reading →

Fluoride toothpaste use in young children — updated recommendations

A young father caring

This just came in from the American Dental Association: New recommendations for our young parents who are interested in using fluoride for their children’s teeth.  February of 2014 The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs conducted a systematic review of the evidence. The results of the study demonstrate that for children younger than 6 years, fluoride toothpaste use is effective in caries control. Based on the evidence, the Council recommends the following: Fluoride – Updated Recommendations. For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. For children 3 … Continue reading →

Fluoride alternatives

X-ray showing from a young patient with holes in his teeth.

Have you ever been in one of those situations where you come up with a great answer, but it’s too late?  While at Yankee Dental Convention in Boston this year, I found the answer to a question that was given to me earlier this year. When asked, I didn’t have a great answer.  But if the question ever comes up again, I hope I will have more to share on the topic. The question that was asked was derived from the x-ray shown.  The young mother is a very articulate, educated women who is very protective of her child. The mother was very much against x-rays, but when explained that we would be unable to do a filling on a … Continue reading →

Is fluoride safe?

Teeth #'s 8 and 9 - Examples of teeth that have had fluoride. Frosty white appearance.

Anytime a child has their teeth cleaned in our office, the question is always asked, “Is it OK if we apply fluoride to your child’s teeth?” I notice there are many times the parent hesitates to have the fluoride treatment for their children’s teeth. Parents concern: is fluoride safe? Through the years I think I have heard many of the theories against Fluoride. “It’s all about money, the dental industry is ripping off the general public.” As a dentist on this side of the fence, trust me, nobody in the dental industry is getting rich off of fluoride. Or how about this one? “Fluoride causes cancer”.  This one is hard to argue with.  From what I understand a lot of quality … Continue reading →

Our young patient gets a good check up at his dental cleaning.

This morning a young boy came in to have his teeth cleaned and exam and fluoride, and this is what we saw. The baby tooth had split in half, with the permanent tooth pushing its way through. Even though the baby tooth was split in two, the patient was not having any discomfort. The remnants of the baby tooth were very loose. The hygienist joked “If he were to sneeze the pieces could come flying out.” Seasons of Smiles Dental recommendations? Go chew on some carrots, or maybe some hard crunchy bread, anything that will encourage the pieces to come out.  Everything else looked healthy! Good check up! This is the patient’s last baby tooth, as he will be turning 13 … Continue reading →

Fluoridation Debate, Redux

New York Times, Sunday Review

This editorial in the New York Times, Sunday Review makes a couple of interesting points about fluoride that we agree with. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called fluoridation of water supplies one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century. Yet in the last four years, some 200 municipalities around the country have stopped fluoridating their water. The E.P.A. and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a change in it’s Fluoride recommendations. The HHS’ and the E.P.A. need to clear up public confusion. Fluoridation has been a boon to public health. The agencies should issue final standards and guidance as soon as possible. New York Times, Sunday Review –  Fluoridation … Continue reading →

Dental Exam Went Well? Thank Fluoride.

Fluoride – This is a controversial topic that has many differences of opinion.  Here is an article that describes nicely how we feel.  The title of this article is “Dental Exam Went Well? Thank Fluoride”, and it is written by Jane E. Brody.  A few points that the we feel are important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls fluoridation one of the 10 most valuable public health measures of the 20th century. annual cost that today ranges from 95 cents to as much as $10 per person. Every $1 invested in fluoridation saves approximately $38 in dental treatment costs The government recommends that fluoride not be given to babies younger than 6 months infant formula should be prepared with … Continue reading →

Maine Dental Association encourages bill passage.

Logo for the Maine Dental Association

AUGUSTA – On Feb. 1, the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Financial Affairs is expected to discuss LD 1666 “An Act to Guarantee Basic Preventive Dental Health Services for Children in Maine.” The bill would require dental insurance companies to pay for at least two fluoride treatments under dental insurance policies sold in Maine. The Maine Dental Association believes that is a goal worth making into law. We are seeing a very negative trend in dental benefit insurance plans, said Frances Miliano, MDA executive director, in a news release.  Most insurance companies were covering two fluoride treatments a year, many are now cutting back to only one. The companies may save money by reducing treatments to one, but … Continue reading →