Because These Teeth were made for Smiling

New Year, New You, New Smile!

 

Welcome to 2017! May the best of 2016 be the worst of 2017. I heard this quote and thought, what a fantastic way to look at the upcoming year. I am striving to make 2017 better than 2016 and want to invite all of you to join me. Making resolutions to kick start the new year is great, but let’s look long term.

 

When we want something long term to be better, we need to make it a habit. Experts say if you do something everyday for 3 weeks, it becomes a habit. Here are some things to start habits to improve your smile and overall health:

Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day

We should brush every morning when we wake up and every night before we go to bed. One saying I heard is Brush your teeth at night to keep your teeth, and Brush your teeth in the morning to keep your friends 🙂

Floss your teeth every night before you brush your teeth

Brushing alone does not clean your teeth. Flossing gets the stuff in between your teeth and around your gums to help prevent tartar buildup and periodontal disease of your gums. I know most of us hate to do this but it only takes a minute and makes a huge difference, just ask my hygienists!

Quit Smoking

Everyone knows now how bad smoking is for your body but it is really bad for your mouth too. There is a study going on right now through UT Health Science center regarding smoking and quitting. Check out . Not only will you help your body by quitting, you will save money and have a healthy smile.

Exercise.

You do not have to join a gym to exercise. There are a lot of simple exercise programs available on your smart phone or through your television or computer at home. Add 20-30 minutes of exercise everyday and you will make it a habit you won’t want to quit.

Cut down on Sugar

I love my sweets as much as the next person, but the bacteria that form become plaque that sugar uses a form of energy making them multiply faster growing in size and thickness. Some of the bacteria turn the sugar into a kind of glue that they use to stick themselves to the tooth surface, making it harder to brush from the tooth surface. Cutting down on sugar will help improve your dental health, giving you stronger, healthier teeth for longer and can trim your waistline as a bonus!

Visit Your Dentist More Often

Call us at and set up your next dental checkup and cleaning. Over 40% of adults admit to not visiting the dentist regularly. Checkups and cleanings at least every 6 months are extremely important to maintain a healthy smile and body.

Following these easy steps will help create healthy habits so next year you won’t need these types of resolutions. Call us today to see how Dr Garrett can help you.

Pairing Halloween Candy and Wine!

 

wine-and-candy

I hear patients say to me all the time, “My teeth are stained because of wine” or “I ate my kids Halloween Candy!” I am as guilty as the next person of both of these evils. Not that I am saying these things are good for you, but let’s figure out which go together the best.  Everything in moderation. One note on the types of candy, the stickier the worse they are for your teeth.

I found some charts helpful information from Vivino.com and Babble.com.

Let’s look at the white wines (which do stain contrary to popular belief)

Gummy Bears + Pinot Grigio

Gummy Bears are bright, fruity, and slightly oily with very little fat. This is ideal for eating while enjoying a glass of pinot grigio. This vibrant unoaked white is refreshing with just enough acidity to keep the palate feeling light while you indulge.

Peanut Butter Cups + Chardonnay

An oaky, buttery chardonnay is the perfect complement to a smooth, chocolatey peanut butter cup. The higher acid content cuts through the richness of the chocolate.

Snickers + Champagne

A Snickers bar is rich with the flavors of nougat, chocolate, caramel, and nuts. Each bite is decadent and luxurious. To balance out the richness, sip some bubbly champagne. The fruity flavors will play up the caramel and nougat, while the acidity will help cut through the rich textures and flavors.

Candy Corn + Riesling

The sugariest candy deserves the sweetest wine. A late harvest riesling features bright, mature fruit flavors and the most natural residual sugar of all wines. It is ideal for sipping while nibbling on candy corn since the sugary flavors are so similar. The high acid content in the riesling means each sip cleanses the palate and helps the richness of the candy. Together they make the ideal fall dessert!

Starburst + Rosé

A Starburst deserves a fruity wine like rosé, which is made with rich red berries like cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir. The high acidity will also help ease the chewiness of the candy while keeping the combination light and refreshing.

Moving on to the Red Wines:

Twix + Syrah

A Twix — with its rich chocolate, buttery shortbread cookie, and indulgent caramel — pairs well with a syrah. This variety features a signature flavor profile of red currant with a hint of fiery black pepper, which makes it a delicious partner with such a decadent candy

Skittles + Merlot

Merlot is known for featuring flavors of ripe red fruit and being lower in tannins. This makes it perfect for fruity Skittles.

Twizzlers + Pinot Noir

A delicate pinot noir is just the thing to eat with a bag of Twizzlers. The red fruit flavor matches the Twizzlers, while the acid cuts through the gummy texture. If you really want to make the tasting fun, bite off the ends of the Twizzler and use it as a straw for the wine. You’ll find the flavors marry well.

Dark Chocolate Kit Kat + Cabernet Sauvignon

A darker chocolate treat deserves a heavier wine. The flavors of dark chocolate match beautifully with cabernet sauvignon. This wine features notes of dark red fruits and a hint of smoke. The pairing will dance in your mouth and make a decadent, rich dessert.

 

Go enjoy your kid’s Halloween candy and your wine, but remember, brushing and flossing is extra important when you enjoy these delicacies! And when your teeth become stained from the wine, gives us a call so we can help whiten your teeth!

Share your Candy with our Troops!

halloween-candy-buy-backCalling all Ghosts, Goblins, and Princesses, it’s that time of year again.

We are having our 6th Annual Halloween Candy Buy Back! Go out and have a safe, fun Halloween trick or treating and then bring your extra candy to our office.

We will collect your candy from November 1st-3rd and send it to US troops serving overseas. In return, you will get $1 per pound of candy you bring in (up to 5 pounds) and be entered to win fabulous gifts. The grand prize gift is a Kindle Fire!!! 

We love candy just as much as you do, but too much is not good for us. This way, we can help you and help our troops! 

Share this event with your school by distributing the flyer and they can benefit too! We love our schools so we will donate back to your school an extra $1 per pound of candy you bring in!!!

Halloween Candy Buy Back 2016

Why a 3 Month Periodontal Maintenance Recare Visit?

Periodontal Maintenancefloss

What Is A Periodontal Disease and Maintenance Therapy Appointment? Dr Garrett will help you understand better what Periodontal Disease is and how to treat the problem.

If you have periodontal disease, you may require scaling and root planing to remove the diseased deposits from the roots and teeth, which is the most conservative approach for treatment. Other treatment, including surgery, may also be required. After the disease process is under control, a regular hygiene cleaning appointment is no longer appropriate. Instead, you will require special ongoing gum and bone care procedures, known as Periodontal Maintenance Therapy, to keep the disease under control and keep your mouth healthy. In most cases, Periodontal Disease is a lifelong disease that never goes away.

Frequent Maintenance Visits Are Important

When we first find periodontal disease, we treat it with scaling and root planing to remove plaque, tartar and bacteria from beneath your gum line.

This treatment disrupts the growth of the bacteria; however, bacteria remains and may settle back into the pocket where they reproduce. In fact, the number of bacteria doubles every time they reproduce, reaching destructive levels in as few as periodontal disease vs healthy teeth90 days.

Why a 3 Month Periodontal Maintenance Recare Visit?

While there is No Cure for periodontal disease, it can be managed or controlled. A 3 month Periodontal Maintenance Therapy Appointment is a Soft Tissue Management Program that is a non-surgical approach to Control Periodontal Disease. It is the most conservative approach to prevent more extensive and aggressive treatment.

The bacterium that causes periodontal disease re-establishes within 3 months after treatment. A 3 Month Periodontal Maintenance Appointment is critically timed to disable the destructive process at its critical stage. This critical stage is when the bacteria and their poisons do the most harm to the supporting structures, namely, the periodontal attachment.

For patients with adult periodontitis, supportive 3-month Periodontal Maintenance Appointments is not an option – but a requirement for successful therapy.

Waiting longer than three months for Recare may result in advanced inflammation and may require anesthesia to eliminate discomfort when treating.  Very rarely would it be advisable to try a 6 month Recare schedule with known periodontal problems and history. This would result in putting the patient at risk for more breakdowns.

Therefore, we recommend that you maintain a 3 month Periodontal Maintenance Schedule, so the hygienist can access deeper pocket areas and disrupt the bacteria so that they do not continue to multiply and cause increases in pocket depth and additional bone loss which results in loose teeth or even tooth loss.

But Insurance Only Covers Two Recare Visits A Year

We often hear, “but my insurance only covers 2 hygiene recare visits in a year”. Contrary to this common insurance restriction, we do not determine our patients Recare or Periodontal Maintenance Therapy schedule based on what insurance covers. We make our recommendations based on the actual clinical evaluation and always with the best interest of our patient’s oral health in mind. Most of our insured 3 month Periodontal Maintenance/Recare patients pay for one or two appointments a year out of pocket. By following the prescribed recommendation they avoid future problems such as extensive periodontal treatment, possible surgery, and the additional cost involved with these major treatments.

Realistically the 6 month prophylaxis (basic routine cleaning) appointment, covered by insurance, is reserved for those patients that have a healthy periodontium. The Recare system applies to those patients that have 1-3 millimeter probe depths with little to no bleeding. Even if you have not had scaling and root planing, we may recommend that you have your teeth cleaned every three to four months due to increases in probing depths, bleeding or changes in your health or oral condition. The reason for this 3-4 month recommended Recare System is to prevent any further periodontal involvement and or treatment.

Periodontal Disease Is Unpredictableperio disease affects overall health

Periodontal disease left untreated can cause serious overall health problems. Research has linked periodontal disease to heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, premature births and low birth weight. Diabetics can have far more difficulty controlling their diabetes as well.

With such serious effects, we must do everything we can to help find and control periodontal disease. It can be a challenge to predict when the symptoms of periodontal disease may recur because frequently it does not cause any pain. It is also a challenge to determine where, as sometimes only isolated areas are affected. The only way to find and control periodontal disease is with a professional exam specifically aimed at targeting the disease.

Periodontal Maintenance visits help us break the stronghold of bacteria in your gums and slow or eliminate their destructive effects. When necessary we may also re-treat the teeth with scaling and root planing more than once or apply a medication, antimicrobial irrigation, or even prescribe an antibiotic.

Despite all of our best efforts to treat and control periodontal disease, sometimes it is not enough. Based on the desired response of treatment and patient follow through, the patient still may need to be referred to a Periodontist (gum specialist) as the next line of treatment.

Periodontal Disease Only Controlled

Keep in mind that periodontal disease cannot be cured; it can only be controlled. This is why we need to examine the health of your gums at least every three to four months. If periodontal disease is not closely monitored and controlled, the disease can quickly worsen, destroy bone and soft tissue, and eventually cause tooth loss.

At Germantown Cosmetic and Family Dentistry our trained professionals have many years of experience recognizing, controlling and treating periodontal disease. We have state of the art equipment to serve you in a comfortable and pain-free environment. With our expertise and knowledge and our dedicated staff we are determined to identify your individual needs and set a Recare System that is right for your individual oral health.

If you notice any signs and symptoms such as bleeding, inflammation, foul taste or odor coming from your gums; please call us immediately to schedule a consultation and assessment. Together we can help you control your peridontal disease.

I’d Rather have a Root Canal than…

root-canalThis phrase is used all of the time by comedians and politicians to describe something painful. Root canal therapy itself is not painful and Dr Garrett will explain why:

“People call or come into our office in pain from an abscessed tooth. We usually diagnose and suggest the need for root canal treatment. The pain before the treatment is what people associate with the pain of root canal treatment, but the treatment actually relieves the pain”, according to Dr Garrett.

The inaccurate information about root canal therapy prevents patients from making an informed decision regarding their teeth. Many patients will go as far as requesting that a tooth is extracted, rather than save it with a root canal.

Before you believe the hype, take a look at the top root canal myths, and learn the truth for yourself.

Myth #1: Root canal therapy is painful!!!

Root canal therapy is used to alleviate pain. Most people who have root canal therapy admit they did not experience any pain during the appointment and felt better afterward.
According to the American Association of Endodontists, the perception that root canal therapy is painful stems from early treatment methods used to preform the procedure. In addition, if you are suffering from pain on the day of your appointment, your apprehension and fear may heighten the sensations you feel during the procedure.

Myth #2: Completing a Root Canal Requires Several Long Appointments

Root canal therapy may be completed in one to two appointments. Factors that determine the number of appointments necessary to complete a root canal include:
The extent of the infection, the difficulty of the root canal, and whether a patient should be referred to a specialist , called an endodontist.
Restoring the tooth after root canal therapy, with a crown, is necessary in order to ensure the tooth functions properly. The appointments necessary to completely restore the tooth, in essence, should not be considered part of the root canal process. Often the tooth requires a full coverage crown after a root canal and although is considered a separate procedure, can often be accomplished at the time of the root canal.

Myth #3: Teeth Need to Hurt Before Root Canal Therapy Becomes Necessary

This is one thing that I hear often from patients. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This might apply to your car or your golf game, but teeth that require root canal therapy are not always painful. In fact, teeth that are already dead may require root canal therapy to prevent the tooth from becoming infected. And when the tooth becomes infected (swollen), well that is when root canal therapy can be uncomfortable to the patient.
Dr Garrett will examine your teeth thoroughly during your regular check-up. It is usually during this routine appointment where she will discover a tooth that has died or is on its way. 

Myth #4: The Benefits of Root Canal Therapy Don’t Last Very Long

A common misconception is that the benefits of root canal therapy don’t last very long after the procedure has been completed. This myth originated after patients experienced their tooth breaking months after a root canal was performed on their tooth.
When the nerve is removed from the inside of the tooth, the blood supply is eliminated from inside the tooth. The tooth eventually becomes brittle, and depending on the size of the filling used to close the tooth after the root canal, the forces from grinding, eating, and even talking may cause the tooth to break. As we discussed before, failing to have a crown placed on the tooth may cause this to happen.

Moral of the story here is, don’t wait until a tooth is bothering you to get it fixed. If you wait until you feel pain, then you will say, “I would rather have a root canal!!!”

Call Dr Garrett today to schedule an exam (901) 347-3527 or schedule online.

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Dr Garrett loves baseball almost as much as we love our patients! To show our appreciation for our wonderful patients, we are giving away 4 tickets to a Memphis Redbirds baseball game!

You will get a complimentary all you can eat tasty buffet, complimentary beverages from your table server, guaranteed promotion giveways, and access to the indoor club level for 4 people. What a fantastic way to see our Memphis Redbirds on Saturday, June 18 vs the Iowa Cubs!!!

 

To register to win here is what you need to do:

  1. Like our Facebook page and like the post with this photo and share it on your own page.
  2. Take a picture of you with baseball spirit and post it to your Facebook page tagging us on the post.
  3. Check in on Facebook at our office
  4. Give us a review of what you experience when at our office on Facebook or Google+

We will select a random winner on June 16th to win this fabulous 4 pack to see our Memphis Redbirds!

Good Luck and Go Redbirds!!!

TMJ Problems and How We Can Help!

Do you wake up with a sore jaw? Do you teeth seem to be getting shorter? Are you teeth sensitive to cold and hot? You may suffer from TMJ problems. There are many misconceptions about it—but Dr. Garrett is here to clear up the facts about this common jaw disorder.

TMJ stands for Temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects your lower jaw to the temporal bones of your skull. The two TMJ joints work together as a pair.  The TMJ joints work like a sliding hinge to move your jaw up and down.

Problems with this joint are often referred to as just TMJ. However, TMD, or temporomandibular disorders, is the more accurate term. TMD is a complex and poorly understood condition, but it typically results in pain in and around the jaw. TMD can affect your ability to chew, speak and make some facial expressions. In some cases, it may even affect your breathing and cause ringing in your ear.

What causes TMD? There are thought to be many factors, such as misaligned upper and lower teeth, injury to the jaw, grinding your teeth, stress, and arthritis.

Symptoms of TMD include pain when chewing, popping, clicking or grinding noises in the jaw, headaches, earaches, trouble opening and closing the mouth, a locked jaw, and pain and/or tenderness around the joint.

Approximately 12% of people in the US are affected by TMD. TMD is more common in women than men.

Problems related to TMD can affect not only the joint itself but also your teeth and head. TMD problems can lead people to grind their teeth which can harm the teeth causing fractures and broken teeth. This compounds and can make the TMD worse. It becomes a vicious cycle if not corrected. TMD can cause headeaches and muscle problems. Again, this can cause more grinding and clinching and make the problem worse.

Treatments for TMD vary depending on the severity of the damage. First we start with a mouth guard to protect the teeth and take pressure off of the joint. Most people wear this at night and tolerate it well. We have different types of mouth guards and Dr Garrett can discuss which will work best for you. We also can use pharmaceuticals such as muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories to help the muscles around the joint. A newer techinique with promising results is Botox injections in the muscles around the joint. This relaxes the muscles so the joint strain is removed. Lastly we consider surgery with an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon if no other treatments work.

If you think you or someone in your family may have TMJ syndrome, make an appointment with Dr Garrett to see how we can help.

  • Sources
  • http://www.tmj.org/
  • http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/Topics/TMJ/TMJDisorders.htm
  • http://ent.about.com/od/entdisorderssu/f/What-Is-Tmj-Disorder.htm

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Botox and Juvederm Tackle More than just Wrinkles!

12well_gummy-tmagArticle-v3

photo credit Aesthetic Study Journal

Dr Garrett uses old but new techniques to enhance your smile.

 

Jane has beautiful teeth but when she smiled, all you saw were her gums. When she smiled, her upper lip stretched up so high that a ribbon of pinkish gum was exposed, giving her a so-called “gummy smile.” She hated it.

Gummy smiles occur for a variety of reasons, most commonly a short upper lip, excessive gum tissue or small teeth. Doctors who specialize in cosmetic procedures estimate that about 14 percent of women and 7 percent of men have excessive gingival exposure when smiling.

 

In the past, surgery was the main treatment option, but that is often costly and painful. Laser therapy is also sometimes used. Now people are going another route, Botox and Dermal fillers like Juvederm.

Relaxing the Upper Lip

For the last few years, dentists have been injecting Botox into the upper lip “elevator” muscles. It paralyzes the muscles, inhibiting contraction of the upper lip when smiling to prevent the gummy smile.

In contrast to surgery, Botox is quick and easy, doctors who do the procedure say.

Gentle Lip Enhancement (Without Surgery)

Over time, some unwanted changes take hold of our faces. Some of these have a more intense aging effect than others. One that’s universally disliked is loss of lip volume. Without the same full, luscious lips, you look older and less attractive. Flattening lips will also lead to wrinkles above and below the mouth.

Fillers, like Juvederm, are an ideal option for patients seeking subtle lip enhancement – and hoping to avoid invasive treatment. When you think about plumping your lips, you don’t ever want to look cartoony or unnatural. In order to end up with the gentle results you’re really seeking, you’ll need to do two things: find a talented provider, and ask about dermal fillers. Fillers allow for delicate tweaks to be made to your lips, resulting in a wholly natural-looking plumping.

 

Fillers for Black Triangles in Your Smiletreating the dreaded black triangle

Our gums are also prone to losing volume over time. This loss of gum tissue can be sped up by so many different dental problems, ranging from gum disease to bruxism (chronic teeth grinding) to orthodontic treatment.

When your gum tissue recedes, you’re likely to see a change across your smile. Sensitive or dark areas of the tooth roots may be revealed, and the balance of the tooth-gum ratio may be off. Additionally, black triangles can form between your teeth. These dark spaces add unwanted age to your smile, and make the overall grin appear dingy.black triangle 2

You deserve to have your smile stand out for positive reasons – not because it has dark spaces between teeth. With dermal fillers, you can plump the areas of your gums that need a little extra help. Minimal treatment at the gum line will puff out your gums and fill out your smile. The end result is a gorgeous grin.

Botox and Juvederm are quick procedures that are done same in our office.

Call us for special pricing and to see how we can help your smile! 901-347-3527

Healthy Body, Healthy Mouth!

If you are like us, we are looking forward to the upcoming summer season. But wait! We need to kick up our healthy body routines and get in shape. Getting in shape is good for your body but also for your mouth! Remember, as Dr Garrett has said before, the mouth is the gateway to the body!fitibit

Since we are kicking up our healthy body routines at work, we are having a contest to win a Fitbit Flex. Here are some ways you can win:

  1. Facebook: Like our Facebook page (GermantownSmiles), then share it with your friends, and post a comment on our page. Each one of these things will get you one entry. The more you share, the more chances you have to win.
  2. Share a good story about us on a local Facebook page like Shop Germantown.
  3. Follow us on Twitter and retweet to your friends.
  4. Join our Fitbit group or if you don’t have a fitbit yet, have your friends join our group to win other prizes monthly! Our group is Germantown Cosmetic and Family Dentistry.
  5. Each time a friend that you refer to us comes in for a new patient appointment, you get another entry!

We are excited to get healthy with our patients and friends. Hopefully we can continue this contest and stay healthy with you!

Do you have a Killer right under your nose?

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screening

Today, Dr Garrett is going to help you see how important advanced oral cancer screening can be to your life.oral cancer

Oral cancer is one of the most deadly cancers diagnosed in America today. In fact, oral cancer kills over half of all who are diagnosed. However, if diagnosed early – over 80% of patients survive. This statistic alone should encourage you to receive regular and thorough oral cancer screenings, especially if you are at risk.

With more than 43,000 Americans estimated to be diagnosed this year, educating yourself on prevention methods, early detection, and treatment options is more important than ever.

Just because you are not a tobacco user, smoker, or heavy drinker, doesn’t mean you cannot get oral cancer. Due to the rapidly growing number of HPV-related oral cancer diagnoses, all people 18 years and older should get screened yearly.

What Does Dr Garrett do during an Oral Cancer Screening?

An oral cancer screening takes only three minutes. It consists of a verbal, visual, and physical examination and incluidentafides the following:

  • – A thorough review of your oral health history, as well as your overall health history.
  • – A visual inspection of all the areas of your mouth and throat in an effort to locate any abnormalities, such as sores and red or white patches; this inspection includes the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, floor of the mouth, roof of the mouth, and far-back section of your tongue. An advanced oral cancer detection tool, like Identafi, can enhance the exam and let Dr Garrett see changes that the naked eye cannot see.

Oral Cancer Signs and Symptoms

In between routine dental exams, you should perform self-examinations, and be sure to keep an eye out for the following signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of oral cancer:

  • – Red or white patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue
  • – Swelling or thickening of areas inside the mouth
  • – Unexplained bleeding
  • – Sores on the face, neck, or mouth that do not heal
  • – Chronic sore throat
  • – Hoarseness
  • – A change in the way your dentures fit
  • – Suspicious lumps found by palpating your mouth, jaw, and neck
  • – Dramatic weight loss

Oral Cancer Prevention Tips

While oral cancer is prevalent, there are measures you can take to minimize your risk.

  • – Avoid smoking and the use of all tobacco products.
  • – Limit or refrain from drinking alcohol.
  • – Avoid overexposure to the sun, and use sunblock on your skin and lips.
  • – Practice safe sex.
  • – Maintain a healthy diet.

Contact our office, at 901-347-3527, to see how early detection with Identafi can help save your life.