Acton Dental Associates
The two most common fears known to man are death and public speaking. Believe it or not, visiting the dentist isn’t far behind. But, it isn’t the pain that patients lose sleep over – it’s the lack of control.
Patients must remember that dentists undergo a minimum of 8 years of schooling before being certified. In other words, a dentist isn’t allowed to operate on one’s mouth without being a true expert of the craft. However, even when patients know and understand a dentist’s expertise, they continue to feel uneasy about making the visit.
Just as with anything in life, there are solutions to the problem.
The dentist and patient must work together. A patient afraid of the dentist must outline his needs and concerns before the dentist does his/her job. Therefore, the patient must not be afraid to tell the dentist when to soften up, even when dental tools are in their mouth. They shouldn’t be embarrassed to make weird noises if the dentist pokes a gum with too much pressure.
Now, for the dentists.
The most important thing a dentist can do is give control and power to the patient. Beforehand, the dentist will explain what the patient may feel during and after the procedure. This way the fear of the unknown is thrown out the window. After every 5-10 minutes, the dentist will ask the patient if he/she may proceed. The dentist may also set up a special cue for the patient if the procedure at all becomes uncomfortable. (Many dentists tell the patient to raise his/her left hand when they feel discomfort).
A dentist who only operates on one’s mouth is a one trick pony. Half of the battle as a dentist is making their patient feel comfortable. People skills are just as important as dental skills. Most fears stem from the fear of the unknown. People are afraid of death because they are unsure of the specifics of afterlife. People are afraid of public speaking because they are speaking in front of a group of people they haven’t developed a strong relationship with. Less people will fear the dentist if they know that they are in control.
If you need to overcome the fear of visiting the dentist, don’t be afraid to tell us. We will work with you to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
Dr. Kronenwett on
Jun 18th, 2014 8:00 am
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When we see celebrities walking on the red carpet with their dazzling smiles, it’s hard to believe that their teeth were ever imperfect. Unfavorable teeth, however, were common for many of today’s hottest stars. They realized the magnanimous impact a beautiful smile could make, and took action. Lets look at a few celebrities who transformed their smiles into superstars.
In the hip hop industry, rappers are continuously searching for ways to ridicule the competition. When rapper 50 cent realized that his teeth were becoming the laughing stock of the rap business, he decided to straighten things out- literally. He fixed his disproportionate teeth by receiving an entirely new set. Now, 50 cent can officially say he is shining from head to toe.
We all remember the chubby, crooked teethed “Neville Longbottom” in the Harry Potter movies. Matthew Lewis, who played Longbottom, was told on his contract that he must not fix his teeth or lose weight. Sadly, the teenager who was on set with numerous attractive women, was forced to maintain his unattractive appearance for the greater good of the legendary Harry Potter saga. Once his role in Harry Potter ceased, he immediately fixed his teeth, which made him unrecognizable in comparison to his teenage days. Changing your teeth can change the overall nature of your look, as shown below:
Lets pretend that we aren’t familiar with Miley’s recent media meltdown, and simply focus on her improvements over the years. When she started as a Disney channel actress, most viewed her as the perfect child. Unfortunately, her teeth were miles from perfection. Now her teeth are perfectly straightened, which she credits her dentist for!
For many celebrities, the first task at hand after being nationally endorsed is fixing their teeth. Their publicists and stylists all admit that superstardom does not align with uneven teeth. But celebrities aren’t the only ones who promptly need beautiful teeth.
Dr. Kronenwett on
Jun 4th, 2014 10:13 am
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Did you know that 50% of the bacteria in your mouth live on the surface of your tongue? Also, a tongue cleaning is the single most important step you can take toward diminishing bad breath.
We all know just how important brushing and flossing is to our oral health, and sometimes tongue scraping takes a seat behind these important steps. However, tongue scraping is just as important! The best way to rid you of bad breath is by scraping the smelly bacteria off. While scraping off tongue bacterium sounds somewhat gross, imagine all the bacteria just sitting on your tongue!
The tip of your tongue is less likely to harbor odor-producing bacteria since it constantly comes into contact with your hard palate when eating and speaking. The friction and contact creates a cleansing action that prevents debris build up. However, the back of your tongue only touches your soft palate, and results in a build up of bacteria. Even if you stick out your tongue while looking in the mirror, you’ll see white, or even a brown colors on the surface of the back of your tongue.
Brushing your tongue is better than not paying any attention to your tongue, but there are other much more effective ways to get your tongue to be squeaky-clean. If you do choose to use your toothbrush, gently move the toothbrush from back to front and along the sides. Try to brush as far back as possible to get all the gunk on the back of your tongue. Be careful, you might find that you have an active gag reflex, but don’t worry there’s a good chance it will diminish over time.
Another option is using a tongue scraper. Many people find that scraping the tongue is much more effective than brushing. You can either purchase a tongue scraper in the toothbrush aisle of your local drugstore, or even use a spoon from home! Just moisten the spoon, turn it upside down and place it at the back of your tongue and drive it forward. You’ll notice that using a tongue scraper/spoon has less of a tendency to gag.
Daily tongue cleaning is a well-established practice in many cultures, however is much less spoken about in the US and Canada. Since cleaning your tongue is relatively easy and quick, we recommend that the tongue be cleaned both morning and evening. According to studies, practicing good tongue cleaning is especially good if you have significant stress, as tongue coating tends to increase during stress. In addition to your tongue cleaning, be sure to brush and floss your teeth daily!
Dr. Kronenwett on
May 21st, 2014 11:24 am
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It’s easy for people to not realize what they have until it’s gone. Imagine what it would be like if you were missing one of your front teeth? You’d probably be a bit embarrassed smiling and talking, and not to mention eating would feel pretty abnormal as well. The good news is that taking preventative measures to protect your smile can diminish the chances of you having a toothless smile.
Wearing a mouth guard when playing sports decreases the risk of injuries to the mouth or jaw. Some sports players don’t like to wear mouth guards because of the inconvenience of their appearance while wearing one, but more injuries can happen when not wearing a mouth guard that can affect your appearance in a much more inconvenient way. Here are five reasons why you should always protect your pearly whites when participating in any contact sports or collision sports where unexpected contact can happen:
1. Protection Against Tooth Fractures
Mouth guards protect your teeth from chipping and breaking. Even though tooth fractures can usually be saved, why go through the risk when wearing a mouth guard can save you all the trouble.
2. Protection Against Tooth Replacement
Wearing a mouth guard is a cushion for your teeth, so if a ball hits your face your teeth don’t receive a crushing force. However, if a ball hits your mouth without a mouth guard, it can result in completely breaking or ruining your tooth, leaving you with a toothless smile and an emergency call to Dr. Kronenwett’s office. Having a gap in your smile due to an accident that could have been prevented isn’t worth it.
3. Protection Against Soft Tissue Injuries
Some contact sports involve quick impacts that could leave you biting through your tongue or lips! A mouth guard can prevent soft tissue injuries by creating a soft resistance from teeth contacting your lips and tongue.
4. Protection Against Concussions
According to the American Dental Association, mouth guards could help reduce the severity and incidence of concussions. A properly fitted mouth guard decreases the likelihood of sustaining concussive injury because the padding between the mandible and the maxilla can lessen the force of the mandible pushing up on the skull near the brain, which causes a concussion.
5. Protection Against Jaw Fractures
Wearing a protective mouth guard protects you from jaw fractures. Impact to the neck or jaw could result in serious injury, but with the protection of a mouth guard during an impact, it reduces the likelihood of jaw dislodgment or neck trauma.
The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year! Using a mouth guard won’t only help prevent you from dental and jaw injuries but can also prevent damage to braces or other orthodontic work. If you’re ready to take the step to save your smile when playing sports, contact Dr. Kronenwett for more information about mouth guard protection.
Dr. Kronenwett on
May 7th, 2014 10:51 am
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You already know how important I am to your oral health. That’s why you brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day.
However, are you aware of how much bacteria lives on your toothbrush? Researchers have found that a single toothbrush can have as many as 10 million germs and bacteria! But, don’t let this statistic scare you away from brushing. These bacteria aren’t a huge threat to your teeth according to Everydayhealth.com, because its been researched that these germs don’t make people sick. That’s because toothpaste is made with an anti-germ component.
So what is your toothbrush trying to tell you to help prevent all these germs?
It’s important that you use your toothbrush correctly. Always make sure to rinse it in tap water and give it time to air dry. Germs need moisture to survive, so as long as you give your brush enough time to dry before using it, you should be fine. Make sure not to leave any toothpaste or debris in the head of your brush, rinse it well!
2. Store me upright!
When you’re at home, store your toothbrush upright in a cup or toothbrush holder. This allows it to air dry, which will help kill those germs.
On the road? When traveling make sure to keep your toothbrush in a travel holder, that way it isn’t rolling around uncovered and collecting bacteria in your bag.
If you really want to be in the clear you can soak your too
thbrush in a toothbrush sanitizer or in mouth wash. Another alternative to kill germs is dipping your toothbrush in boiling water for 5-10 seconds.
Don’t ever attempt to microwave or dishwasher your toothbrush, these appliances will damage your toothbrush!
3. Don’t brush where you flush!
Try to store your toothbrush as far away as possible from the toilet. This is because each toilet flush sends a spray of bacteria into the air and I’m sure you don’t want that near your open toothbrush! We recommend at least 3 feet!
4. I only want one owner!
Don’t share! Forget what your kindergarden teacher told you about sharing. When it comes to toothbrushes, it’s an absolute no! No matter how close you may be to that person, whether it’s your sibling or spouse, don’t ever use their toothbrush.
5. It’s time for us to say Goodbye!
The American Dental Association recommends getting a new toothbrush about every three months.
This also depends on the wear of the bristles. Some people brush with a heavy hand and therefore their bristles may wear out sooner. It’s important to judge when it’s time for a replacement based upon the bristles, so don’t mark it in your calendar, just keep a look at your bristles. If you have children be sure to check their
brushes regularly because they will probably need to be replaced more often.
6. Let me remind you!
Some toothbrush brands such as Oral-B feature color changing bristles. That way after a few months of use your reminded that it’s time!
You can also pick up the habit of replacing your toothbrush the first day of every season. That way you’re replacing it four times a year, with an average of 3 months per a brush.
Dr. Kronenwett on
Apr 23rd, 2014 9:39 am
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The Green Goblin of oral hygiene is an influx of cavities in one’s mouth. Most patients are aware that brushing and flossing is the central defender of cavities. However, few people know about these foods, drinks, or tips that may help prevent cavities and tooth decay.
1) Cheese- Evidently, being cheesy isn’t always a bad thing. Casein, a protein included in cheese, increases calcium levels in the mouth. Because teeth already partially consist of calcium, salvia calcium helps mineralize teeth, which prevents cavities. This does not mean to eat 5 cheese sandwiches a day. However, cheese and crackers every now and then wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it might help!
2) Sugar Free Gum- Believe it or not, chewing sugar free gum has been doctor recommended to avoid cavities for years. The reason – sugar free gum consists of a sugar substitute called “xylitol.” This isn’t the same teeth-rotting sugar substitute included in diet soda. Xylitol prevents cavities because bacteria cannot use it to grow or produce acid. Bacteria uses many components within the mouth as opportunities to spread, but xylitol is not one of those components.
3) Dark Chocolate- Perhaps indulging isn’t as guilt-stricken as one would think. It turns out that dark chocolate contains cocoa beans with strong antioxidants that can prevent tooth decay. Tannins, the component in dark chocolate that give it its bitter taste, prevent oral bacteria from sticking to one’s teeth. The polyphenols in dark chocolate not only limit bacteria, but also work to cease bad breath by neutralizing microorganisms. Remember that DARK CHOCOLATE – not milk chocolate or white chocolate – is the cavity killer. Probably not a smart idea to add a Hershey’s bar as a side to your meal.
4) Using a Straw- Carbonated beverages are never a wise choice regarding oral health. However, there is a way to limit cavity growth while consuming soda: using a straw. Using a straw and while not letting the soda hit your teeth reduces the chances of tooth decay and cavities. However, the best way to avoid cavities regarding soda is NOT DRINKING SODA.
5) Red Wine- *For the 21+ only* While many believe that wine is an unfavorable drink for teeth due to the stain left behind, one study suggests otherwise. It was found that wine has many components that actively prevent tooth decay and cavities. This isn’t saying that one should excessively drink wine, and isn’t even proof that red wine is effective in fighting cavities. It merely says that wine consists of cavity fighting components.
Dr. Kronenwett on
Apr 9th, 2014 11:12 am
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Dr. Kronenwett on
Mar 13th, 2014 3:53 pm
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