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The Hazards of Smokeless Tobacco

December 21st, 2016

Many smokers believe that chewing tobacco is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. This simply isn't the case! In fact, smokeless tobacco can cause serious health concerns.

Smokeless tobacco comes in many forms and goes by many names: dip, snuff, snus, or simply chewing tobacco. Use of these products usually involves sucking or chewing on shredded or loose tobacco leaves, sometimes flavored, for a prolonged period. There are even products that emulate a dissolvable candy-like consistency which are made of compressed tobacco powder.

What are risks and smokeless tobacco?

Whichever form a tobacco product takes, the dangers of using or consuming them is very real. According to a 2007 study by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, there are upwards of 28 cancer-causing chemicals in smokeless tobacco that are known to cause cancer. And these products are habit-forming just like any other tobacco product that contains nicotine. Using them will increase your risk for many serious diseases including but not limited to: cancer (especially oral and esophageal), gum and heart disease, cavities, and pre-cancerous mouth lesions.

At the end of the day, long-term use of smokeless tobacco can cause serious health issues. These products really take a toll on both your oral and overall health. They put a strain on your immune system and make it less capable of warding off infection and disease.

Dr. Steiman and our team strongly advise you to stop using smokeless tobacco—or any kind of tobacco product—and not to pick up the habit if you aren't. There is no safe level of tobacco use, smokeless or otherwise.

Need to quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco products?

You can and should always talk to your doctor, healthcare practitioner, or Dr. Steiman for help quitting. But there are many other resources available for those who'd like to quit. The Canadian Cancer Society offers information, support (local and online), and tools to help smokers and smokeless tobacco users quit.

You can take a look at their website at cancer.ca or call them toll-free at 1-888-939-3333.

Make the best choice for your health and well-being; avoid the bad habit of tobacco products. If you have any questions about how tobacco related products affect your oral health and hygiene, please don't hesitate to ask one of our Ajax, ON staff members.

Top Five Best Foods for Oral Health

December 14th, 2016

Some foods are just terrible for your teeth — think cookies and candy bars — but there are certain foods that are beneficial to your oral health. Below, Dr. Steiman and our team have covered five of the top foods to keep your teeth and gums healthy!

1. Crispy, low-acid fruits and vegetables: Fruits like apples and vegetables such as carrots and celery act like “natural toothbrushes,” helping to clear plaque from your teeth and freshen your breath. Just remember to break them into small pieces!

2. Kiwis: These little green superstars are packed with vitamin C which is essential for gum health. The collagen in your gums is strengthened when you consume foods that are high in vitamin C, like kiwis, thus helping to prevent periodontal problems.

3. Raw onions: Onions have long been studied for their antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Proliferation of bacteria is what leads to tooth decay and cavities. By including raw onions in your diet, you'll be doing your part to wipe out those little microbes before they can multiply!

4. Shiitake Mushrooms: A specific compound in shiitake mushrooms, lentinan, has been shown to have antibacterial properties that target the microbes that cause cavities while leaving other beneficial bacteria alone. It may also help prevent gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums.

5. Green Tea: Often lauded for its high antioxidant content and many health benefits, it turns out green tea also benefits your oral health! A Japanese study found men who drank green tea on a regular basis had a lower occurrence of periodontal disease compared to men who drank green tea infrequently. It's believed this is due to the catechins in green tea, a type of flavonoid that may help protect you from free radical damage, but more research needs to be done. Either way, drink up for your overall health, as well as your teeth!

If you have any questions about your oral health, or are looking for even more oral health tips, contact our Ajax, ON office!

How to Properly Store Your Toothbrush

December 7th, 2016

Have you ever thought about how you're cleaning and storing your toothbrush when you're not using it? Did you know that the way you store your toothbrush could have an affect on your oral health? In this post, we'll look at some steps you can take to maximize toothbrush cleanliness and minimize bacteria.

Below are some tips from Dr. Steiman for toothbrush use and storage:

  • Don't share your toothbrush – This may seem obvious, but sharing a toothbrush exposes both users to bacteria and microorganisms from the other user, which can increase chances of infection. You should also avoid storing your toothbrush in the same container as other people’s toothbrushes.
  • Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use – Rinsing your toothbrush well under running water will help remove food particles, toothpaste, and other debris from the bristles of your brush.
  • Store your toothbrush in an open-air container not a sealed one – Putting a wet toothbrush in a sealed container creates a favorable environment for microorganisms and bacteria.
  • Soak your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouthwash after use – There is some evidence to suggest that soaking your toothbrush in an antibacterial solution may reduce the amount of bacteria present on the toothbrush.
  • Change your toothbrush every three months – The bristles of your toothbrush become less effective and frayed after repeated use so it's a good idea to replace it on a regular basis. It's also wise to replace it after you've been sick.

There are many simple things you can do to make your oral-care regimen as clean as possible. Use common sense when storing your toothbrush—don't put it in a dirty place like the edge of your sink or in the shower (please, not by the toilet!), and keep it upright in a cool dry place—and you're usually good to go.

AcceleDent News Release

December 5th, 2016

We're happy to share this news release about AcceleDent where our patient Karen, was recently featured! Read on to learn more about how AcceleDent can help open bite, over bite and TMJ.

Open Bite, Over Bite and TMJ Patients Choose AcceleDent for a Faster and More Comfortable Orthodontic Treatment Experience

HOUSTON (Nov. 21, 2016) – A solution to lengthy and painful orthodontic treatment has emerged as patients report positive treatment experiences with AcceleDent®, an FDA-cleared vibratory orthodontic device that works in conjunction with braces or aligners to speed up orthodontic treatment by as much as 50 percent. Available in more than 3,300 orthodontic practice locations in North America, AcceleDent is a small, user-friendly device with a mouthpiece that patients hold between their teeth for 20 minutes daily. The device’s clinically proven SoftPulse Technology® employs gentle vibrations that safely accelerate tooth movement at the cellular level and relieve discomfort associated with treatment.

Having previously had braces, Karen Morris, 53, and Cheryl White, 36, say that AcceleDent’s technology appealed to them because they wanted their second experience with orthodontic treatment to be as fast and comfortable as possible.

“AcceleDent did just that. I was so motivated to use the device because I didn’t want to deal with braces or aligners for too long and I wanted my quality of life back,” said White, a professional singer who sought orthodontic treatment after experiencing strain on her speech and severe headaches that she thought was caused by her teeth shifting. (VIDEO: Cheryl White sings and discusses her orthodontic journey with AcceleDent.)

White completed orthodontic treatment with AcceleDent and Invisalign in just six months. Her orthodontist, Dr. David Chen of True Image Orthodontics in Cypress, Texas, said that correction of an open bite can take up to two years.

“Cheryl came to my office seeking correction of an open bite that she felt was causing frequent headaches and difficulty talking,” said Chen who has been offering AcceleDent to patients since 2015. “She wanted treatment to be effective, comfortable and fast, so I integrated AcceleDent into her Invisalign treatment and we were able to achieve those goals.”

Morris, another satisfied AcceleDent patient, used the device in conjunction with Invisalign to correct crowding and a deep overbite caused by the upper front teeth tipping inwards. In addition, she suffered from temporomandibular disorders, commonly referred to as TMJ. This condition occurs when there is pain or dysfunction in the muscles that control jaw movement.

She was in frequent pain due to her jaw locking so she was excited to learn about the benefits of AcceleDent from her orthodontist, Dr. Howard Steiman of Steiman Smiles Orthodontics in Ajax, Ontario. He recommended that she use AcceleDent to reduce the treatment time from an estimated 24 months to 13 months and to alleviate pain experienced during treatment, including tenderness that occurred when switching aligner trays.

“While using AcceleDent I went from changing my aligner trays every 14 days to every 10 days and eventually changing them every seven days,” said Morris. “I could feel how quickly my teeth were moving and the vibrations were very gentle. AcceleDent was amazing for me because I wanted to accelerate the treatment process and it was ideal to reduce the discomfort I was experiencing.”

Morris adds that accelerated orthodontic treatment was important to her because her condition was affecting various aspects of her quality of life, including the inability to eat certain foods.

Steiman was also amazed throughout Morris’ treatment process with AcceleDent because of how complex her case was when she began treatment. “My focus for this case was on upper front teeth angulation and easing Karen’s discomfort. She had a bad grinding habit and she could barely open her mouth when I first met her,” said Steiman. “She began using AcceleDent six weeks into her aligner treatment so it was apparent that the device was accelerating her tooth movement and significantly reducing her pain.”

Morris and White are just two examples of patients who have reported positive experiences with AcceleDent. A recent survey that queried 745 AcceleDent patients from across the country revealed that 99 percent said they are fully satisfied with AcceleDent and 98 percent reported significantly reduced pain when using the device.

Orthodontists are reporting that patients are choosing accelerated orthodontic treatment with AcceleDent to help them meet their smile goals in time for important milestones such as weddings, graduations, school dances, career entry and even vacations.

For more information about clinically proven AcceleDent or to find a local orthodontist who offers it, visit AcceleDent.com.

About OrthoAccel® Technologies, Inc.

OrthoAccel® Technologies, Inc. is a privately owned medical device company engaged in the creation, manufacturing, marketing and sales of innovative solutions that enhance dental care and orthodontic treatment. Among the company’s innovations is AcceleDent®, an FDA-cleared, Class II medical device that employs patented SoftPulse Technology® that is clinically proven to speed up bone remodeling during orthodontic treatment by enhancing physiological bone turnover. These safe and gentle vibrations accelerate tooth movement by as much as 50 percent and reduce discomfort associated with treatment. OrthoAccel, the Leader in Accelerated Orthodontics, has received positive feedback from patients and leading orthodontists from around the world who report increased mechanical efficiency with orthodontic appliances and improved predictability of clinical outcomes with AcceleDent. Ranked on Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500 as one of the fastest growing companies in North America, OrthoAccel is based in Houston, Texas and maintains a global presence through its EMEA office in Essen, Germany. To learn more about OrthoAccel’s focus on improving the journey to healthy, beautiful smiles, visit AcceleDent.com.