Don't Let Holiday Foods Ruin Your Smile

The holiday season can be a busy and sometimes frustrating time of year, but there’s nothing like sitting down to a delicious holiday meal with loved ones to remind you of how much you have to be thankful for. The familiar food is one of the best things about the holiday season. But what is that Thanksgiving dinner doing to your smile? Unfortunately, some of the things that you’ll find at your holiday feast aren’t great for your teeth. Take a look at some holiday foods you should skip or eat in moderation, and find out what to make instead. 

Stuffing can cause creat cavity-enducing bacteria.


You probably know that stuffing isn’t great for your waistline, but many people don’t suspect that it could be bad for their teeth. The problem with stuffing is that it’s bread-based. When you eat bread, the saliva in your mouth turns the bread into a gummy, paste-like substance that coats your teeth and doesn’t come off easily. As the bread breaks down further, the starches are converted to sugars that feed cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. 

Consider replacing stuffing with a savory side dish, like mushroom and eggplant casserole. You can also replace it with quinoa, which is full of tooth-strengthening minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphate. Prepare the quinoa in cooking broth from your turkey to give it that holiday flavor. If you can’t do without stuffing, consider replacing white bread cubes with whole grain bread – whole grains don’t break down as easily and are less likely to damage your teeth. 

Canned Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a holiday favorite for a good reason. It’s sweet, tart, a great complement to turkey, and its bright red color fits in with the holiday theme. You can even save time by buying conveniently prepared sauce in a can. 

Unfortunately, canned cranberry sauce is packed with sugar, and has very few of the healthy nutrients that make fresh cranberries a superfood. Your best bet is to skip the canned stuff and find a simple recipe using fresh cranberries. That way, you can measure the sugar yourself and keep it to a minimum, and the dietary fiber that you’ll get from the fresh berries may actually help reduce tooth decay. 

Candy Canes

Candy canes can wreck havoc on your teeth!

Candy canes serve a dual purpose. Not only are they a sweet treat to munch on after a meal, they also make great Christmas tree decorations. But it’s important not to underestimate the toll that these striped sweets can take on your teeth. 

Candy canes have at least three strikes against them. They’re full of sugar, they’re sticky (so the sugar stays on your teeth longer), and on top of that, they’re hard enough to chip a tooth or damage your dental work with an unlucky bite. 

If you still want to decorate with candy canes, that’s fine, but you may want to avoid eating them. However, a dish of sugar-free peppermint gum can make a great after-dinner offering. The peppermint helps soothe overfull stomachs, the chewing stimulates saliva production, which can help wash bacteria and food particles off of your teeth, and you can still enjoy the same sweet taste. 

If it’s been more than six months since your last dental exam, protect your teeth by scheduling your next checkup before we head into 2018! 

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2017 Halloween Candy Buyback Results

- - -THE RESULTS ARE IN! - - -
This year's Halloween Candy Buyback brought in 756 pounds of candy!! That's heavier than a gorilla and black bear combined!

A huge thank you to our patients for participating in this great cause. Operation Gratitude will be happily sending out these goodies to our troops overseas. Check back later this week to find out who will win our raffle prize, the iPod Touch!

Will Osteoporosis Prevent Me From Getting Dental Implants?

Osteoporosis and Dental Implants

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes you to lose bone mass. This condition affects bones all over your body. If you have osteoporosis and also suffer from tooth loss, you may wonder if your osteoporosis will prevent you from getting dental implants. After all, dental implants must fuse to the jaw bone in order to implant successfully. If your jawbone is weak or has lost mass, will it be able to handle dental implants? Take a look at what you need to know. 

Examining Your Jaw

 When determining whether you’re a candidate for dental implants and creating your treatment plan, one important step in the process is a close examination of your jaw. Your dentist will use high-tech, sensitive imaging equipment to look closely at your jaw bone and determine its density. osteoporosis and dental implants

Those images will help the dentist decide whether or not your jaw can handle dental implants and what interventions you might need. Implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you have some bone loss in your jaw, you may need a smaller sized implant than you would get if you didn’t have bone loss. The dentist can also perform bone grafts if necessary, to build up your jaw bone so that it can support dental implants. 

Considering Medication

dental implants and osteoporosisDental implants must fuse with the bone underneath your gums. Some medications can delay that process. 

If you have osteoporosis, you may already be taking medication for the condition. One class of medication used to treat osteoporosis, known as bisphosphonates, are commonly used to slow the progression of bone loss. While this is good for you, these medications also have an unfortunate side effect—they can hamper the ability of your bone to heal after surgery. 

Studies have found that in patients taking bisphosphonates, placing dental implants immediately after removing the natural teeth can increase the chances of success. Missing teeth can cause bone loss in your jaw over time, especially when you have osteoporosis, so it’s better not to wait. 

Even if you’re already missing teeth and can’t have the implants placed right away, patients taking bisphosphonates may still be able to successfully receive dental implants. However, it’s important to let your dentist know that you’re taking these medications so that they can monitor your recovery. Recovery might take longer than it would if you weren’t taking bisphosphonates, which could put you at greater risk of complications. 

Can I get a dental implant if I have osteoporosis?

In general, dental implants are a highly successful type of surgery. Osteoporosis adds an additional layer of complexity to your treatment but doesn’t rule out the possibility of successful dental implant surgery. The best way to ensure success is to inform your dentist about your condition, medical history, symptoms, and medications. 

Together, you and your dentist can weigh the pros and cons of dental implant surgery and create a treatment plan that is most likely to result in successful dental implants. Don’t let your osteoporosis diagnosis stop you from considering dental implants for tooth replacement. 

If you’re interested in tooth replacement, make an appointment to talk to your dentist as soon as possible. Contact us to see all of the services we provide.

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What Causes Canker Sores, and How do I Get Rid of Them?

A sore inside your mouth can be a big inconvenience. It can be uncomfortable even when you’re not doing anything, and it can make things like eating and talking painful and difficult. Canker sores are some of the most common sores to show up inside of the mouth, often on the gums or on the inside of the lip or cheek. 

What Causes Canker Sores?what causes canker sores?

 Although canker sores are common, it’s not known exactly what causes them. 

It’s not entirely clear what causes canker sores to occur in the first place. It’s widely believed that there may be a genetic component to them – if your parent got canker sores, you may get them as well. 

There are two types of canker sores: simple and complex. Simple canker sores are common among patients between the ages of 10 and 20, and those who have simple canker sores are more likely to develop complex canker sores as well, which can happen at any age. 

Small injuries to your mouth are one thing that might trigger canker sores. Hard brushing, sharp foods, and dental equipment like braces or dentures can cause small bruises or inflamed areas that become canker sores. It’s also believed that deficiencies in vitamins and other nutrients can cause canker sores, as can as a weakened immune system. 

How Are Canker Sores Treated?

First the good news: canker sores are not contagious, so you can’t spread them to anyone else. They also aren't pre-cancerous or indicative of a more serious condition, so there’s no need to panic when you see them. 

The bad news is that there’s no permanent cure for canker sores. If you have one, it will go away eventually, but there’s no way to guarantee that it won’t come back. 

Treatment for canker sores usually involves treating just the symptoms – the pain and discomfort associated with the sores. You can purchase pain-relieving ointments over the counter that relieve pain and help protect the sore so that it can heal more easily. Washing your mouth with an antibiotic mouthwash can also help relieve discomfort. 

While your canker sore is healing, you may want to avoid certain foods that are likely to aggravate it. Heavily-spiced food and acidic foods like citrus fruits are common irritants that can make a canker sore more painful. 

Can You Prevent Canker Sores?

While it may not be possible to permanently cure canker sores, you can certainly lessen your chance of getting them in the future. Avoiding injuries or infections in your mouth is a good start. If you wear braces or dentures, be sure to have them inspected and adjusted on schedule. Avoid harsh brushing, but pay close attention to your oral hygiene. 

It can also help to ensure that you’re getting the right nutrients for a healthy mouth. Some of the nutrients your mouth needs are vitamin B-12, calcium, iron, zinc, and folic acid. You may need supplements if you aren’t getting enough of these in your diet. A healthy diet combined with exercise and adequate rest can also help keep the rest of your body healthier, which can keep your immune system strong enough to help prevent canker sore outbreaks. 

What to do if you Have Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety - it's that all too common sweaty palm feeling when you know you have a dentist appointment coming up. It's the avoidance of setting that appointment and the racing heart as you walk into the office, even if it's just for a general cleaning. For whatever reason, the dentist can strike fear into the hearts of many patients, but luckily, dentists are more and more aware of this and are making efforts to quell this fear of the dentist while making their patients more comfortable.

According to WebMD, between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear.  Whether it's the fear of pain, or a memory of a past appointment gone badly, it's not unusual to have a dental phobia. The good news is that with more comfortable offices, and with gentle patient care, "the dental office" is overcoming its bad reputation of inflicting fear.

Dental Anxiety

Patient Care

Dental offices no longer have the stark, sterile feeling they once had. Waiting rooms are warm and cozy, often with coffee or tea for the clients. Dentists are practicing more gentle dentistry and making an effort to ensure patients are comfortable. Technology has also made a difference in dental care, and with better technology, patients can have pain-free, comfortable experiences at the dentist.

What is gentle dentistry?

Gentle dentistry is the idea that patients should have a pain-free, compassionate experience with the dentist working closely with them to ensure this. Here at Gentech Dentist, this is what we're made of; Gen = Gentle, tech = technology. Here are some things our offices are doing to help provide a comforting experience:

  • Create a soothing atmosphere of the office. Our goal is to create a warm, comfortable environment that's noticeable as soon as the patient enters the office with calm colors and soothing lighting.
  • Discuss individual need with patients. A gentle dentist will learn what you, as the patient wants from a visit. For instance, do you want to know step by step what your doctor is doing, or would you rather not know at all?
  • Offer headphones or a warm blanket. Headphones with relaxing music provide a great distraction and keep the patient from hearing the dental noises. Our blanket warmers are a huge hit, providing a warm, comfortable blanket for any patient who wants one during their visit.
  • Provide sedation as needed. For some patients, neither the color of the walls nor a pair of headphones will make a difference, so they need a dentist who can provide some mild dental sedation to take the edge off. DentistryIQ reports that dental sedation is a smart, reassuring option for those patients with high fears of the dentists. At Gentech Dentist, we are happy to offer IV sedation at select offices, for patients who need it.

It's always important, no matter the medical field, to find a practitioner that works well for you. It may be worth a switch to find a dental practice that you actually enjoy visiting. 

And perhaps a little humor can make help make this all just a little bit better, too.

Check out all the services we provide here.

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3 Reasons to Smile After You Leave Your Dentist's Office

A scheduled visit to the dentist can seem like an inconvenience at times - you may have to take time off work, find a babysitter, or would just rather be doing something else with time. But it’s hard to deny that leaving with your teeth feeling fresh and clean can give the rest of your day a boost. There are other reasons to feel great when you leave your next dental appointment as well. Take a look at some of the best reasons to smile after you leave the dentist’s office. 

You Don’t Have To Worry About New Dental Problems

Reasons to smile after leaving the dentist!

Knowing that your smile is safe from cavities is definitely worth smiling about.

Whether or not you’ve spent much time thinking about your teeth recently, it can be a good feeling to get an x-ray and check-up and learn that there are no cavities or gingivitis lurking in your mouth. 

Close behind the good feeling of getting a clean bill of health, is the feeling of catching a problem before it has a chance to get out of hand. For example, if your dentist notices that you have weak spots in your enamel that could form a cavity soon, you and your dentist could take steps to strengthen the weakened area, avoiding a filling.

Your Smile Is More Attractive

Completing a cosmetic dentistry procedure is a great reason to walk out of your dentist’s office with the biggest smile you can muster. Did you just get your teeth whitened or have veneers applied to your teeth to cover a chip or gap? In that case, your smile looks brighter and straighter than it did when you came in. Smile surveys revealed that smiles are the first thing that people notice when meeting new people, and smiles are also rated among the most attractive qualities in another person. They come in second to personality, which means that your smile is typically your most attractive physical characteristic.

Some cosmetic procedures can make you feel especially cheerful when they’re completed. Orthodontic work, for example, can be a long process spanning months or years. If you’re leaving the dentist’s office after finally getting your braces taken off to reveal a straight set of teeth, you may be smiling with relief at finally being done with brackets and wires. 

Your Procedure Didn’t Hurt

Dental anxiety is a real problem for many patients, and one of the biggest reasons for dental anxiety is the fear of pain. Many patients have had bad experiences with procedures like fillings and root canals in the past, especially as children. That fear can last for years. Luckily, advancements in sedation dentistry, laser-guided surgery, and digital X-rays all help make dental procedures (even major ones) much more comfortable for the patient than ever before. In the future, there may be fewer patients who have to deal with dental anxiety at all, because far fewer patients will have uncomfortable or painful experiences in childhood. In the meantime, if you suffer from dental anxiety, it can be good to smile with relief when you leave the dentist’s office after an uneventful and comfortable dental procedure. 

If you’ve been putting off making a necessary dental appointment, think of all the reasons you’ll have to smile once it’s over. We're here for you when you're ready.

What Do All Those Different Dentists and "Dontists" Do?

It’s easy to think of anyone who works on your teeth as a dentist, but the truth is that just like doctors, dentists have different specialties. You may have heard of some of these specialists, like oral surgeons and orthodontists. Others, like periodontists and endodontists, may be less familiar to you. 

General DentistGeneral dentists take care of your cleanings and checkups.

 A general dentist does your cleanings and checkups.

You may know your general dentist as your family dentist. They’re the dentist that you visit most often – for your checkups, your cleanings, your x-rays, and other basic things, like filling cavities. They’re also probably the dentist that you’ll see if you have an emergency, like a toothache, abscess, or a broken tooth. General dentists are trained to handle a wide variety of dental issues, but they may refer you to a specialist for certain dental conditions.


If your dentist tells you that you need a root canal, they may refer you to an endodontist. This is a dentist who specializes in issues concerning dental pulp and peri-radicular (tooth root) tissue. Root canals involve cleaning out the pulp inside of the tooth. An endodontist has the skills and certification required to ensure that this is done correctly.


If your teeth are misaligned and you need to have them straightened, you’ll see an orthodontist. These dentists specialize in preventing and correcting jaw issues, including bite misalignment as well as various jaw disorders. Your orthodontist will oversee your tooth realignment, including adjusting your braces as needed while you’re wearing them.


Periodontists specialize in gum tissue conditions. If you develop gum disease, it will be a periodontist that will treat your condition. Periodontists also work on dental implants – your gums play an important role in supporting the new implant, so you need a periodontist to ensure the gum tissue is properly prepared and that the dental implant is placed correctly. 


Prosthodontists handle various tooth replacement needs, like dentures, bridges, and crowns. If you’re in need of tooth restoration services, your general dentist will probably refer you to a prosthodontist. Prosthodontists also have additional training in jaw joint problems and sleeping disorders that involve the mouth. That means that if you suffer from pain related to TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) or if you suffer from sleep apnea, a prosthodontist is the correct specialist to handle your treatment.

Oral Surgeon

Need your wisdom teeth removed? You may need an oral surgeon.

Oral surgery is just what it sounds like – surgery that involves your teeth, mouth, and jaw. Many patients first become acquainted with an oral surgeon when they need to have their wisdom teeth removed. Oral surgeons can also remove other impacted teeth and perform reconstructive surgery after an accident or injury to the mouth. 

Understanding the different dental specialties can help you understand the treatment that you need. No matter what type of dental issues you have, Gentech Dentist can ensure that you see the right specialist. Check out all of the specialty services we provide, and be sure to give us a call if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

How is TMJ Treated?

How is TMJ treated? And how do you know if you need treatment? If you frequently experience jaw pain, hear a popping or clicking sound in your jaw when you open your mouth, or experience headaches, neck pain, and earaches, you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ. This is a condition when wear, damage, or inflammation of the joints that connect your jaw to your skull cause pain and other symptoms. Here's a look at some information about how TMJ can be treated. 

Mouth Guards prevent teeth grinding.

The treatment depends partially on the cause of the condition, and there are several possible causes. One common cause of TMJ is bruxism, or nighttime tooth grinding. Bruxism causes wear and tear on the joints as well as the teeth. Over time it can cause the joint damage that results in TMJ disorder. 

If tooth grinding and clenching are a major cause of your TMJ, your dentist may prescribe a custom mouth guard or a bite splint. You wear this oral device at night to prevent you from grinding your teeth. The mouth guard or splint can also be designed to adjust the pressure on the temporomandibular joint by changing the position of your mouth. Reducing the pressure helps to relieve pain and other symptoms. 

Laser Treatments

Inflammation of the joints is another possible cause of TMJ. When the joints in other parts of your body are inflamed, they become painful. This is true of the joints in your jaw as well. If your temporomandibular joints are inflamed, the dentist may recommend laser therapy. 

Laser therapy uses light to stimulate blood flow and cell growth in the inflamed joints. Increased blood flow and new healthy cells in the area can reduce inflammation and swelling, which helps decrease pain and other symptoms. This is a noninvasive and safe form of therapy – there are no needles or injections required. You may need multiple treatments to produce the desired result. 


Severe damage to the joints in your jaw may require surgery.

Severe damage to the joints in your jaw may require a surgical solution.

Severe TMJ can be more than just uncomfortable. It can interfere with your ability to eat and speak properly. The pain can also become debilitating. If less invasive treatments don’t work, you may be a candidate for surgery.

There are several different surgical techniques that can be used to treat TMJ. 

  • Arthrocentesis is a surgical procedure that involves draining toxins that may be causing inflammation. 
  • Arthroscopic surgery is used to remove adhesions or to smooth out the uneven bone that may be causing pain. 
  • In extreme cases where there is tissue damage or advanced arthritis, you may need corrective oral surgery. 

Your dentist will start with the least invasive forms of treatment first.  

No one should have to live with debilitating jaw pain. If you think you may be suffering from TMJ, it’s important to discuss your case with your dentist. Contact us to find an office near you.

Medications' Impact on Oral Health

Medications.jpgMany of us need to take medications to treat a wide variety of conditions. However, even as those medications treat our illnesses, they could be causing problems for our teeth and gums.

Medicine And Oral Chemistry

Some medications—even some vitamins—can damage our teeth for the brief period that they’re in our mouths. This can pose a particular problem for children. As adults, we swallow most of our medicines. Children’s medicine tends to come in the form of sugary syrups and multivitamins, which feed oral bacteria and leads to tooth decay.

Inhalers for asthma can also cause problems, specifically oral thrush, which is white patches of fungus in the mouth that can be irritating or painful. The best way to avoid this complication of using an inhaler is for you or your child to rinse with water after each use, and the same goes for sugary cough syrups and chewable multivitamins.

Side-Effects For Your Mouth

Plenty of other medications, though they don’t do any damage while you’re ingesting them, can be harmful to your mouth in the long term because of the side-effects. Let’s take a look at some of the more common side-effects.

Inflammation And Excessive Bleeding

If you notice your gums becoming tender and swollen shortly after you start on a new medication, you should talk to a medical professional about it. Several medications can cause gingival overgrowth (or excessive growth of the gums), which puts you at increased risk of gum disease.

To learn more about the risks of gum disease, watch this video. 

Altered Taste

Some medications, such as cardiovascular agents, central nervous system stimulants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and smoking-cessation products can leave you with a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth, or even interfere with your overall sense of taste. This isn’t necessarily a serious side-effect, but it can be unpleasant, especially for food-lovers.

Dry Mouth

The most common mouth-related side-effect of medications is dry mouth. A wide range of medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants, drugs for urinary incontinence, Parkinson’s disease medications, and antidepressants can all cause it.

Aside from feeling uncomfortable, dry mouth is very dangerous to oral health. Saliva is the mouth’s first line of defense. It contains compounds that remineralize your teeth, neutralize acids, and keep bacteria in check. Without enough saliva, that bacteria runs rampant and there’s nothing to neutralize the acid or add minerals back into your tooth enamel. From there, you can develop mouth sores, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Taking Medications? Let Us Know!

The best thing you can do to ensure your medications aren’t clashing with your oral health is to tell your dentist about your prescriptions and any over-the-counter medications you’re taking. From there, we can formulate a plan for how to counteract the medications’ effects.

Healthy Summer Snacks That Are Good For Your Teeth

Wouldn’t it be great if preventative dentistry was as easy as chomping away on delicious food? Well, it turns out there’s some truth to that. What you eat does have a big impact on oral health. Eating tasty dental snacks will never do away with the need for regular cleanings at the dentist’s office or the need to brush your teeth twice each day. However, these nutritious and delicious healthy summer snacks also can help you maintain optimal dental health. 

 Healthy Summer Snacks: Seads

Seeds are a wonder food in many ways. You may even create your own “snack mix” or “trail mix” by combining different seeds together. Some particularly dental-friendly seeds include:

  • Pumpkin Seeds – The iron that’s found in pumpkin seeds can help your tongue thrive. Their zinc can help protect against bleeding gums and weak bones. They also have anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower seeds have protein, iron, fiber, and a variety of B vitamins that help protect your oral health. Note: You should stay away from eating sunflower seeds still in their shells. They are typically eaten by cracking the shells between your teeth. That can lead to problems, especially if your teeth are already weakened or damaged. Go for the out-of-the-shell variety.
  • Flax Seeds – If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you might consider making flax seeds a part of your diet for your dental health. Others who may not be getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids should do the same. Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in flax seeds may help prevent gum disease. 
  • Chia Seeds – Each serving of chia seeds is loaded with calcium, which serves to protect dental health. Like flax seeds, chia seeds also contain Omega-3 fatty acids and they contain iron which is so necessary for healthy teeth and gums. 

No matter what kind of seeds you prefer to eat, you can rest assured that they offer dental health benefits. When you crunch on seeds, they scrub away plaque and sometimes other food particles. 

Healthy Summer Snack: Apples

Apples raise the pH level in your mouth in a way that’s healthiest for your teeth and gums. Because of their plentiful water content, the natural sugars in this sweet, pomaceous fruit are better diluted than in many other fruits. The fiber-rich flesh of the apple helps wash away plaque and other food particles from your teeth and gums. It does wonders for your dental hygiene by acting as a natural tooth brush (but that doesn’t mean you can skip brushing your teeth twice each day!).

Healthy Summer Snack: Crunchy Vegetables

Crunchy vegetables like celery and carrots can be just what the dentist ordered for your optimal oral health. You may even liven up the presentation by adding in other foods that support dental hygiene like green beans, mushrooms, raw broccoli, and peppers. When you dip the celery, carrots, and other vegetables in hummus or other healthy dips, you may even feel like you’re having a party. 

Celery has plenty of vitamin A and vitamin C, which can help you maintain healthy gums. Raw carrots have lots of fiber and can increase your saliva production which, in turn, can decrease your risk for dental decay. Both of these vegetables can scrape bacteria away from your teeth as you crunch on them.

This list of summer snacks is a great place to start eating in a way that promotes dental health. Talk to your physician and dentist to discern which diet is best suited for your individual health needs.