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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.

Curing the Nail-Biting Habit

November 30th, 2016

Do you ever find yourself gnawing at your nails? Nail-biting is a very common and difficult to break habit which usually has its beginnings in childhood. It can leave your fingers and nail beds red and swollen. But if you think that your nails are the only ones getting roughed up by nail-biting you'd be mistaken—so are your teeth!

According to a study by the Academy of General Dentistry, those who bite their nails, clench their teeth, or chew on pencils are at much higher risk to develop bruxism (unintentional grinding of the teeth). Bruxism can lead to tooth sensitivity, tooth loss, receding gums, headaches, and general facial pain.

Those are some nasty sounding side effects from chewing on your nails. Most nail-biting is a sign of stress or anxiety and its something you should deal with. So what steps can you take if you have a nail-biting habit?

There are several things you can do to ease up on nail-biting:

  • Trim your nails shorter and/or get regular manicures – Trimming your nails shorter is an effective remedy. In so doing, they'll be less tempting and more difficult to bite on. If you also get regular manicures, you’ll be less likely to ruin the investment you’ve made in your hands and fingernails!
  • Find a different kind of stress reduction – Try meditation, deep breathing, practicing qigong or yoga, or doing something that will keep your hands occupied like squeezing a stress ball or playing with a yo-yo.
  • Wear a bitter-tasting nail polish – When your nails taste awful, you won't bite them! Clear or colored, it doesn't matter. This is also a helpful technique for helping children get over the habit.
  • Figure out what triggers your nail-biting – Sometimes it's triggered by stress or anxiety and other times it can be a physical stressor, like having hang nails. Knowing what situations cause you to bite your nails will help you to avoid them and break the habit.
  • Wear gloves or bandages on your fingers – If you've tried the steps above and they aren't working, this technique can prove effective since your fingernails won't be accessible to bite.

If you're still having trouble with nail-biting after trying these self-help steps, it's best to consult your doctor, dermatologist, or Dr. Steiman. For some, it may also be the sign of a deeper psychological or emotional problem.

Whatever the cause, nail-biting is a habit you need to break for your physical and emotional well-being. If you have any questions about the effects it can have on your oral health, please don't hesitate to ask Dr. Steiman during your next visit to our Ajax, ON office.