Our office is freshly renovated as of Fall 2015!
Ulrich Orthodontics Blog-Spot!
Welcome to the Ulrich Orthodontics blog-spot! It’s just a fun, simple way to keep you informed of all the happenings in our office via our mini blog! Some of our posts may be about our staff, news in our office, or we may simply provide you with hygiene tips. Short and sweet, and hopefully fun!
June 14, 2017
If you're a parent of a school-aged kiddo, you may have experienced some complaints that summer boredom has kicked in. A team member at Ulrich Ortho shared this with us for parents looking to incentivize their kids to "earn" time in front of the television or other screens. Check it out!
May 25, 2017
Random Acts of Kindness
Who doesn't love it when they get to the drive-thru window only to find the car in front of you has paid for your order? Or when crossing one of the nearby bay area bridges, you find someone ahead has taken care of your toll? Random acts of kindness make us all feel good, whether we're the ones completing the act, or the recipient of one, we all feel like winners. With summer vacation right around the corner, and no school schedules to contend with, perhaps if we were all to redirect a little bit of that extra time to random acts of kindness, we could make this world a little happier place. Here are some very simple ideas below:
- Leave change in the vending machine
- Leave messages in chalk around your neighborhood on the sidewalks
- Bake cookies and deliver them to your neighbors
- Donate pet food to a local shelter
- Write a thank you note to your garbage or mail person
- Give out a complement (how easy is this one?!?!)
- Let someone go in front of you
- Leave heads-up pennies on the sidewalk
- Donate coloring books and crayons to a children's hospital
- Water a neighbor's garden if they're out of town
May 4, 2017
Summer Oral Hygiene Tips
Can you believe it's May? That means summer is right around the corner. We know oral hygiene isn't typically at the top of most people's priorities for summer, but the incidences of mishaps that can terrorize oral hygiene are more frequent when we're out of our normal routine and on adventures. Here are some tips we consider helpful:
- Booking dental and ortho appointments: Many people book these appointments prior to school starting, but making these appointments at the beginning of the summer can help identify any issues early, rather than waiting when follow-up appointments may be needed which can affect school attendance.
- Stay hydrated: Cool, refreshing drinks taste great on a hot day. Frequently though, these delicious beverages are loaded with sugar. If you can't brush right after consuming a sugary beverage, sugarless gum is a great alternative to promote saliva production which helps deter tooth decay.
- Choose Water: Water is the best choice for your teeth, and staying hydrated. Just be sure to know where your water comes from, as we travel we are more likely to pick up illness.
- Don't Forget your Toothbrush!: (And don't forget to use it) It's a great idea to keep pocket flossers handy. If you can't brush, these little guys get in there to clean excess food from between teeth and around the gums.
- Protect Your Lips: We frequently slather ourselves with SPF. We often forget our lips. Sunburns to our lips can lead to oral cancer. If you can, pick up a lip balm with an SPF and be sure to apply it regularly.
- Prevent Emergencies: Mishaps are more likely to happen during the summer when we are outside and active. Mouth-guards can be very helpful for contact activities. You can get these through us, or your general dentist. If you're a swimmer, remember not to run on wet, slippery pool decks, and not to dive in pools and bodies of water that aren't deep enough for diving. If for any reason a tooth is lost, be sure to either put it back in your mouth, or in a cup of milk and get to the dentist ASAP.
- If you have any further questions, be sure to give us a call!
March 30, 2017
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!
April will be here before we know it! April is Head, Neck and Oral Cancer Awareness month! Periodically throughout the month of April, we'll focus on Oral Cancer, and ways to keep yourself healthy.
Each year over 30,000 people will be diagnosed with some form of oral cancer according to Colgate.com. Men are twice as likely to have oral cancer than women! Some contributing factors to the development of oral cancer are heavy alcohol consumption, smoking (or use of tobacco products), HPV (if you have had HPV, you are 30 times more likely to develop oral cancer!), diet, and prolonged sun exposure.
Symptoms of oral cancer may be: sores that don't heal and bleed, odd patches in the mouth or on the tongue, loose teeth, issues with swallowing, lumps, a chronic earache and numbness in or around the mouth.
The mortality rate of those with oral cancer is high! This is not due to this particular type of cancer being difficult to treat, it's because it usually is not caught in its early stages when it is very treatable. Be sure to perform self exams, or have your dentist thoroughly check at your next appointment.
February 24, 2017
Some Fun Facts About our Office!
Here are some quirky things you may not know about our office and staff, but we hope it sheds light on what a big family we all really are, and how much we all care about the Ulrich Orthodontics practice!
*Dr. Bruce first had an office just a block down Lincoln Way, between Bryan’s Florist and the Methodist Church. The current office opened back in 2002.
*Caren (Treatment Coordinator) and Belynda (Ortho Tech) have both been with our practice for over 20 years now! (It's actually closer to 25 for both of them!)
*Dr. Beau and Hilary, our HR Manager are brother and sister!
* Hilary worked for the California Dental Association for nearly 5 years before joining the practice.
*Dr. Beau, Hilary, Stephanie (Scheduling Coordinator) and Karen (Treatment-Coordinator in training) are all Colfax High graduates!
*Caren has been in the dental field for over 40 years, just like Dr. Bruce! They have known each other for nearly 40 years!
* Dr. Beau has known he wanted to be an orthodontist, just like his dad since he was a little kid.
* Our office lot use to be a used car lot!
*Dr. Bruce has a soft spot for homeless cats that make their way to the office. He’s adopted a few who have become family pets.
*Karen is a very talented crafter! Next time you're in the office, ask her to show you some photos of her creations. She's awesome!
*Belynda and her husband Chuck are amazing cooks!
*Stephanie just celebrated her 1 year anniversary with our practice, we're so happy to have her as part of our team!
February 14, 2017
Where does Valentine's Day Come From. Some Useless Trivia.
If you've ever wondered why we celebrate Valentine's Day, it's not actually the Hallmark holiday it's made out to be.
~ The Romans kept men and women segregated, so February 15th (not the 14th!) became a celebration of the fertility goddess, the one time of year both genders were brought together in hopes of falling in love to marry before the calendar year begins in March.
~ Christians eventually took over the Roman Empire, but didn't approve of the celebration of a pagan goddess. They instead made the day into a Saint's day.
~Priest Valentinus performed marriages in secret so the Roman Emperor wouldn't catch on. Once he did, the Priest was executed on February 14th. He was then sainted a few years later and remembered for his romantic efforts.
~Jump ahead to the 1880's when the first Valentine's Day card was introduced with the image of Cupid.
~Where did chocolate come into play? The Cadbury brothers caught on to the Valentine's Day phenomena and created the first heart shaped box of chocolates for Valentine's Day!
So there you have it! Probably everything you never needed to know about Valentine's Day, but it's kind of fascinating that we celebrate the way we do given the history!
February 2, 2017
The Bad News about Valentine's Day
According to the American Dental Association, Valentine's Day can make for broken hearts just because of dental hygiene alone! Here's why (and how to not let it affect your holiday):
~ Don't share a toothbrush! Sharing a toothbrush spreads germs (and sickness). There are people who regularly share toothbrushes with loved ones. No matter how much you may love someone, make sure you have your own toothbrushes.
~Cavities are contagious! Sharing utensils, straws, (and smooches too) means that saliva sharing is happening. The bacteria that causes cavities can actually be spread in saliva. Brushing your teeth is the best way to ensure cavities don't find their way to your mouth!
~Avoid Bad Breath! No matter how much you might care about someone, if you have bad breath, they may not want you near. Be sure to brush and floss daily. Mouthwash and sugar free gum can help with bad breath. Avoid foods that cause bad breath: (coffee, onions, garlic, etc.) and activities like smoking.
January 12, 2017
Tips to Avoid the Cold and Flu this Season
We all groan when cold and flu season arrives. According to webmd.com, the average person gets 2-4 colds per year, sometimes more, sometimes less. The flu is a whole different game! We are fortunate to have a flu-shot, but not everyone can or does get it for various reasons. We've researched some different tips to help keep both these nasty bugs away. Even if you have a great immune system or get the flu shot, nothing is a sure thing. Check out our tips below:
- Probably the easiest one, wash your hands! And when you're sick, wash them even more (like each time you cough or sneeze, or even blow your nose). Make sure to dry your hands. Germs can stick to wet, clean hands. They're less likely to hang around if your hands are dry. If hand-washing isn't an option, be sure to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (Check for appropriate usage instructions for young children)
- Keep your hands off your face! Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes as those are prime spots for illness to enter your body.
- Exercise! Moving consistently improves immune function.
- Stay home if you're sick. Most of us would think this is a no-brainer, but it's becoming more common for people to go to work sick, or to send sick children to school. Studies have shown companies and schools actually LOSE money when bugs are spread around, versus them stopping with the ill when they stay home. So if you're feeling under the weather, don't leave the house!
- Avoid crowds: This harkens back to our last tip. If you're sick, stay home. But obviously that's something that can't be enforced. The more people you're around, the more likely some are ill.
- Keep surfaces clean. Cold and flu can live on hard surfaces for up to 8 hours. Be sure to use a disinfectant (natural ones, like those with anti-viral properties like tea tree oil work just as well) and wipe down surfaces. Wash clothing, towels, sheets and blankets after illness. Cleaning your bathroom surfaces and changing your toothbrush or toothbrush head are also helpful to fight infection.
- Stay away from sugar: Sugar zaps the ability for white blood cells to fight infection. 6 tablespoons of sugar (which really doesn't look like much) is enough to paralyze white blood cells for up to 24 hours, making you more susceptible to illness.
- Rest! Even if you're healthy now, ample rest can keep you from getting sick. Less than 7 hours of sleep per night can render your immune system fight-less, so be sure to get enough rest at night, and try during the day if possible. If you're sick, be sure to stay down and get rest.
Sources: health.com, webmd.com and our own doctors and trained staff
November 29, 2016
5 Quick Tips to Help Alleviate Holiday Stress
The holidays are a notoriously stressful time for many people. We've done some research, scouted out some tips on health.com and talked to some healthcare professionals to find some of the more effective, and simple ones to implement.
Sunlight - Spending time outdoors helps restore our natural levels of vitamin D. The winter months are a typical time for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) to come into play for so many of us. Sunlight can help the effects!
Citrus - Not only do lemons, limes, oranges and other forms of citrus smell amazing, but that citrus smell promotes feelings of happiness and well-being.
Exercise - As much as sometimes it's not what we want to do, exercise helps alleviate stress. There is a school of thought that a good 30 minutes of exercise is more effective than antidepressants as it acts as a 12 hour mood booster!
Stop trying to be perfect - The holidays for many are a chance to show off their inner "Martha Stewart." Instead, do what's comfortable and enjoy the time with your loved ones.
Change traditions - The holidays are a sad time for a lot of people. Stressful for others. If you find yourself in either of these situations, perhaps it's time to change up tradition. Here are some ideas:
a. Put a limit to the number of gifts (either dollar amount or the actual quantity of gifts.)
b. Give the gifts a theme.
c. Go out to dinner, don't bother with the stress of cooking at home or cleaning up.
d. Take a vacation for the holidays! Forego gifts and instead spend the money on activities you can do with your loved ones rather than material possessions.
October 13, 2016
Safe and Healthy Trick-or-Treating Tips and Ideas
With the most non-friendly to oral-hygiene holiday right around the corner, we wanted to provide some tips on how to keep your family safe when inspecting the candy brought home, and provide you with some possible healthier options to hand out at your door on the big night!
Candy Safety Tips:
~ Throw out treats with open packages, or that are unwrapped entirely.
~ Although often a thoughtful idea, home-made treats are not keepers unless you know the individual who made them can be trusted.
~ If anyone in the family has an allergy to an ingredient in popular candy items, it's best to remove any items containing the allergen in order to keep your family member from accidentally grabbing one.
~ No hard or chewy candies for little ones, they're choking hazards.
~ Remember no caramel, chewy candy or gum if you have braces.
Some Healthy Ideas to Hand out at Your Door:
First of all, why is candy bad? Sugar and carbs increase plaque production. The acids produced by this process wear down the enamel and cause cavities. Yes, some dairy products and fruit have sugar in them, but the other ingredients are part of a balanced diet. Sorry to report, but candy isn't. There are fun snack and non-edible items you can give trick-or-treaters that will be appreciated!
~Raisins (the yogurt covered ones are a hit)
~ Granola bars (be careful of those containing nuts and nut products)
~ Air-pop popcorn bags
~ Small, inexpensive toys (i.e. plastic jewelry, glow bracelets, chalk, and bubbles)
~ Temporary tattoos and stickers
~Small tubs of Play-doh
~ Pencils and erasers
~ Fruit leather or fruit snacks
~ Goldfish crackers
September 6, 2016
Common Medical Myths
There are medical wives tales we’ve all heard throughout the years. After researching a number of different ones, we started noticing most sites that address these myths all address the same ones. So here’s what we found:
1. Myth: If you sit too close the television, or read and watch television in the dark, you’ll hurt your eyes.
Truth: The only light that actually permanently damages eyes is sunlight and lasers. Reading in the dark, or sitting too close to the television can strain your eyes, making them tired, but won’t actually damage them.
2. Myth: Touching frogs gives you warts.
Truth: Nope. Warts are actually caused by the HPV virus, a virus spread from person to person, not by amphibians.
3. Myth: Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis
Truth: Not true. Arthritis is not a habit-induced illness. It’s an auto-immune condition. By cracking your knuckles, the worst you can do is damage a joint, but that’s about it.
4. Myth: Getting a flu shot can give you the flu.
Truth: The flu doesn’t contain a live virus, so it can’t actually give you the flu. The flu shot is typically developed based on those strains of the virus that are suspected to be the most prevalent in the upcoming season, but it can’t protect against every strain. Furthermore, it takes two weeks for the shot to be effective, so if you’ve been exposed prior to the shot or in the two weeks after receiving it, it may not be effective. The dead virus in the vaccination actually stimulates the body to respond by creating antibodies to the inactivated virus. It is considered safe for all ages, and even for sensitive groups such as young children, pregnant women and the elderly.
5. You can catch diseases from public toilets.
Truth: It’s not likely, but it’s possible. Bodily fluids can transit disease. If you have an open wound and it is exposed to infected bodily fluids, you may pick something up. Although rare, picking up a MRSA infection in an open wound is possible. If a sick individual has used the restroom, either with stomach distress (the norovirus) or even the common cold, and you haven’t washed your hands thoroughly enough, exposure is possible. However, the dirtiest places in a public restroom are not actually the toilet; it’s the stall handles and the floor. E-coli and the stomach flu are frequently found.
6. Myth: 24-Hour Stomach Flu
Truth: The stomach flu is actually rare. Frequently we hear of people with “ the 24 hour flu.” Or a stomach flu lasting multiple days. The stomach flu is actually a respiratory illness that hits the gastrointestinal track. It’s not what many people think it is. The norovirus is spread easily from person to person, which accounts for many supposed “flu” cases. The norovirus can also be passed in food, contributing to half the cases of food poisoning, the other half being related to salmonella, e-coli and listeria.
7. Myth: You should drink 8 glasses of water per day
Truth: Not true. Most of us actually get enough water through what we eat and drink throughout the day. Signs of dehydration are headache, nausea, fatigue and general thirst.
8. Myth: Eating turkey makes you sleepy.
Truth: Tryptophan is the chemical known to cause drowsiness. Turkey contains no more of this chemical than chicken or beef. So why do we blame turkey? Usually turkey consumption is based around holidays where we tend to over-eat, thusly feeling sluggish.
9. Myth: Vitamins and supplements make you healthier.
Truth: Did you know you can certainly overdose on various vitamins, causing adverse health effects? Too much vitamin C and E can predispose you to cancer. Too much vitamin D can cause heart problems. Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA like drugs. Don’t feel the need to buy expensive vitamins either. The body can only process so much, and the rest gets flushed out.
10. Myth: Gum stays in your system for 7 years
Truth: Although some of the ingredients in gum can hang around in your system for an unknown period of time, and in spite of its sticky nature, gum passes right through the system.
11. Myth: Antiperspirant causes breast cancer
Truth: It is thought the chemicals in deodorant can be absorbed through the skin in the armpit and accumulate in the breast, causing a tumor. The National Cancer Institute says there is no evidence to support this suspicion at this time.
12. Myth: Green mucus means infection
Truth: Not always. The color green usually signifies something bacterial, and is more common with infections like this. However, the common cold can turn mucus green as well.
August 22, 2016
If you or a loved one may be looking for back-to-school health and hygiene tips to integrate into your day, we've done lots of research to find those we thought most useful to our loved ones, and if we would weave these into our own lives, it's only proper to share.
- Showering: Daily bathing may not be necessary for all kids, but once puberty is upon them, it’s a good habit to develop. Mild soaps (i.e. Dove and Ivory) are less harsh than antibacterial ones. By age 10 it is recommended kids are washing their faces twice a day as acne can start developing at an early age.
- Dealing with sweat: Sweating is perfectly normal as is being self-conscious about it. In pre-teen and teen years, applying an antiperspirant and deodorant is a great way to combat sweat, or at least mask any odors.
- Clothing: Changing into clean clothes each day is important. Because of sweat and general wear, bacteria can build up in fabrics that don’t breathe well.
- Oral Hygiene: Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are important. This is especially significant if your child drinks coffee, soda or sports drinks. Coffee is acidic, and soda and sports drinks are chalked full of sugar. If this sugar isn’t removed from the teeth, it can be cause of cavities and decay.
- Fingernails: Did you know that fingernails that reach above the tips of fingers are breeding grounds for bacteria? Because we touch so many different surfaces throughout the day, bacteria loves to hide under fingernails. Keep them trimmed and clean, and if you prefer longer nails, make sure to scrub underneath each time you wash your hands.
- Keeping toys and blankets clean: Little ones frequently find comfort in toting around a favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Because of their typically soft, plush nature, they are a perfect place for bacteria to hang on. Washing them weekly will keep them clean, and your child healthier, especially if they put these items in their mouths or sleep with them near their face.
- Feet: Not only can feet be sweaty and smelly, but this sweat and smell also means there is a perfect breeding ground for Athlete’s Foot, a fungal infection. When wearing enclosed shoes, cotton socks are a must!
- Changing Sheets: Especially if your child doesn’t shower daily, changing sheets is another way to keep everyone feeling clean. Bacteria breeds on pillowcases from saliva production, nose-drippings and faces being smashed into them overnight. Changing and laundering sheets at least every other week is recommended.
- Hand Sanitizer: Cold and flu season is not far off! Sending your child with hand sanitizer may not be a bad idea. Encourage good hand washing after playing on the playground, using the restroom and before eating. If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer will not wash the dirt away, but it will take care of those pesky germs. It can also be used on doorknobs, keyboards, remotes and cell phones.
- Keep up on your check-ups! Either before school begins, or not long after, make sure your children are up-to-date on check-ups! A physical with your family doctor, a dental check-up and cleaning and maybe even an eye exam may not be a bad idea. These check-ups may help eliminate the need for follow-ups during the school year when missing school for appointments isn’t happily accepted at the majority of schools.
July 26, 2016
Nearly 70% of the population doesn't eat enough fruits and veggies on a daily basis. But most of us don't even know what these servings look like. Below is an image with different variations on what "enough" looks like.
July 12, 2016
Why aren't dentists portrayed positively on television and the movies?
Going to the dentist, orthodontist, endodontist, etc. isn't always fun. But it's not always a bad experience either. So why is the oral hygiene profession viewed negatively so frequently on television and in the movies? Of course sometimes we can't help but laugh at how the profession is portrayed, but sometimes it's downright inaccurate. Here are just a few examples:
*Coneheads (1993) - Need we say more? We are SNL fans for sure, but....
*Little Shop of Horrors (1986) - Although we love Steve Martin, he doesn't do anything nice for the profession. (Disclaimer: Not a movie for small children)
*Finding Nemo (2003) - It's a kid movie, so it's all positive, right? We adore this movie, but the scenes in Darla's uncle's office are less than glowing with screaming children, buzzing instruments, etc.
But, on the flip-side, the Dick Van Dyke Show takes a new perspective (which we find comical and refreshing). In the 1962 episode "A Man's Teeth Are Not His Own" Rob (Dick Van Dyke), breaks a tooth and rather than having his dentist best friend and neighbor, Jerry, fix it, he goes to another dentist and worries whether his friendship will suffer. So, we guess not all bad.
Don't you think dentists should have some positive portrayals? Afterall, when was the last time your dentist or hygienist wasn't a good listener? They want to keep you comfortable and typically have great chair-side personalities. And who doesn't love having clean teeth or a beautiful straight smile?
June 28, 2016
Many myths surround the world of orthodontics. We're here to clear up 5 of the most common ones out there.
1. "Orthodontists are interchangeable. I can start with one and finish with another."
Not so much. Although most orthodontists practice in a similar fashion, they may use different materials and brands of those materials. Furthermore, many orthodontists don't like to pick up where another has left off. Unless there are special circumstances, it's best to start and finish with the same office
2. Adults don't wear braces, only kids do!
One in five patients is actually an adult. We have patients of all ages.
3. Your braces allow you to download music and stream movies! You can use braces as a signal to connect to the internet.
Wouldn't it be cool if it was true? Wishful thinking, but no.
4. Dentists can treat easy cases, Orthodontists only treat difficult ones.
Although there are many dentists now doing simple cases, orthodontists do both simple and complex. Orthodontists have an addition 2-3 years of specialized training, schooling and an orthodontic residency program they must complete. They are savvy on the latest technologies and practices in their field, and treat hundreds of orthodontic cases per year.
5. "I don't care if my teeth are straight, so I don't need orthodontics."
Braces are not just for aesthetics! Straight teeth allow for better oral hygiene, easier brushing and care. Crooked teeth can lead to decay, gum disease and bad breath due to trapped food.
June 7, 2016
Summer Safety Tips
Summer-time is meant to be fun, right?! So many outdoor activities to do, and finally the time to do it! However, it's important to teach our kids how to enjoy summer SAFELY. Here are some of our favorite tips in hopes of helping you and your kiddos stay safe!
- Wear Helmets! According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, approximately 300,000 kids per year are injured and sent to the ER with head-related injuries due to NOT wearing helmets. The head is important, so keep it covered when out riding bikes, scooters and off-roading vehicles. Never be lax about this tip!
- Parks: As fellow parents, we love to get our kids out to the parks in the morning hours before it's too hot. Some days the heat hits earlier than anticipated. Make sure that whenever you kids are playing at a park, to wear shoes, preferably those that have closed toes. If it's a playground situation, make sure the equipment isn't too hot. Slides, swings and monkey-bars can get VERY hot and actually cause burns on the skin.
- Pool Safety: Never leave kids alone at the pool, even if you think they are strong swimmers. Accidents can still happen. On this note, discourage running around pools as well.
- Wear Sunblock: Did you know that one sunburn that blisters doubles your chance of getting melanoma? Always apply an SPF of at least 30 prior to going outside, and make sure to re-apply at least every two hours.
- Stay Hydrated! If you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Feeling tired? Have a headache? You might be dehydrated. Don't let yourself or your family members get overheated. Kids are especially susceptible to heat exhaustion as temperature doesn't affect them as quickly as it does adults, and their nervous systems are still developing making them more sensitive to high heat. A good rule of thumb to remember is drink at least half as many ounces of water per day as pounds you weigh. (For instance, if you weigh 120 pounds, drink at least 60 ounces of water per day.)
Have a wonderful summer! And please stay safe!
May 17, 2016
Let's face it, life is stressful. We all have different stressors, and we all handle stress differently. It can be damaging to you personally, and to your relationships. Here are some tips to help you through daily stress, or a particularly difficult time in your life causing you stress:
• Eat healthy (avoid excess sugar and caffeine)
• Get plenty of exercise. It is suggested that exercise can actually be more effective than antidepressants if performed regularly. (Approximately 5 times per week)
• Rest! Ample sleep and down-time is good for everyone. We aren't able to handle situations properly if our brains are not well rested.
• Breathe! Deep breathing, and taking a step back to take a breath is a helpful coping mechanism.
• If it is a person causing you stress, be sure to listen, to repeat back to them what is upsetting them , be honest and kind. Anger and defensiveness only upset the situation and causes more stress and anxiety.
• Be sure to have activities you look forward to scheduled.
• Spend time with those you enjoy and love!
May 4, 2016
We all have things that bug us, things we call pet peeves. Here is a list of some of the more common things we found from a variety of lists that seem to bother people the most. Some actually involve oral hygiene!
- Foot tapping
- Dirty dishes
- Obnoxious laughs
- Chewing with mouth open
- Messy toothpaste lid or leaving the cap off
- Double dippers
- Gum smacking or popping
- Driving slow in the fast lane
- Someone who calls you but puts you on hold
- Not responding to invitations
- Not washing hands after using the restroom
- Bad breath
- Overusing the word "like"
- Slurping the last sip
- Pen clicking or tapping
April 28, 2016
Summer is almost upon us. School will be out and it's time to have fun! But did you know summer is one of the most detrimental times for oral health? Here are the top five reasons, and five tips on what you can do to keep a healthy mouth:
- Sodas and sports-drinks: Days are hot, and refreshing sugary beverage sounds amazing! Not so much. Sodas and sports-drinks are filled with sugar that promotes tooth decay, and isn't good for our bodies. Additionally, sipping on one of these drinks slowly is actually worse for your mouth than quicker consumption and the sugars sit on your teeth for longer periods. If you do decide to consume one of these items, be sure to follow-up with water and a good teeth brushing.
- Chewing ice: You've just finished that drink, and the bottom is filled with ice. Although the temptation is there to chew those nice, cold morsels, resist the temptation! Ice can actually crack and even chip teeth. Sharp pieces can irritate the gum tissue, and sometimes cause it to bleed.
- Snacking: Snacks here and there are fine, but frequent snacking doesn't allow the saliva to neutralize the PH in your mouth, making you more likely to end up with tooth decay, cavities, etc. You need a minimum of half an hour between snacks for this process to happen.
- Slacking on brushing: You're out late, no school the next day, too tired to brush. This happens to all of us at times, but if it becomes routine, then there's a problem. If the day's food and drinks sit on your teeth all night, there is a higher propensity for tooth decay, cavities and most certainly bad breath! Brushing before bed is always recommended, but if it's not possible or you can't muster the strength, be sure to at least swish with mouthwash for 60 seconds.
- Bottled water: Who would think drinking water could ever be detrimental to your oral health? It depends on where you stand on the fluoride argument, but it is thought that because bottled water is thoroughly processed, the fluoridation is also processed out leaving teeth (especially in children) more susceptible to cavities. And during the hot, summer months, bottled water sales increase drastically. It doesn't mean you shouldn't drink bottled water, drinking it versus not drinking water is certainly not the answer, but if you're okay with fluoridation if you're in an area with fluoridated water, just make sure to get a healthy balance of both.
Tips to keep your mouth healthy during the summer:
- Drink enough water: It helps to rinse plaque and cavity causing substances from teeth, but it also helps keep your breath fresh! Not drinking enough water leads to bad breath!
- Replace your toothbrush at the beginning of each season, or every three months if you can.
- Check the expiration on your mouthwash. If it's expired, it's not as effective as it should be.
- Plan ahead if you're traveling: It's so easy to forget to pack your toothbrush, paste and floss. It's not as easy to find them when you need them though. Put together a travel kit for yourself and keep it handy.
- Call your dentist. Scheduling a check-up prior to summer starting will help ensure you have a healthy smile all summer long!
April 21, 2016
We all agree that some laws are more than slightly ridiculous, but around the country, and even around the world there may be some you haven't even heard of that would boggle your mind! Here are a just a few to ponder:
- US authorities have the legal right to access any 180-day old email without a warrant.
- In Mobile, Alabama it is against the law to throw confetti or spray silly string.
- It is illegal to step on money in Thailand.
- In Vermont, a husband's permission is needed for the wife to wear false teeth.
- In Kentucky, a woman cannot remarry the same man more than three times.
- In France, it's illegal to marry a dead person. (Who would want to?)
- In Missouri, it is illegal to drive with an un-caged bear.
- It is illegal to flush a toilet after 10 p.m. in Switzerland.
- In France it is illegal to name a pig Napolean.
- In Minnesota it is illegal for male and female underpants to hang on a clothesline next to each other.
- Chewing gum is illegal in Singapore.
April 8, 2016
Of course, we love beautiful, healthy, happy smiles. Science has actually shown there are many benefits to smiling. We've sorted through the oodles of reasons, and here are our top 10 favorites!
10. You will seem more trustworthy if you smile. Wouldn't you be more inclined to trust someone who can kindly smile at you versus grimace?
9.Smiling makes you more approachable, and more attractive to others. People will naturally gravitate towards you if you're smiling, versus not.
8. Smiling can make you more productive. If you're smiling, it stimulates the part of the brain related to happiness, happiness at work = productivity!
7. Endorphins are released when you smile, and endorphins help us to feel happier and less-stressed.
6. Smiling puts you at ease in uncomfortable situations.
5. Smiling to the point of laughing actually stretches the lungs and surrounding muscles, exercising them!
4. Smiling boosts your creativity! The dopamine from smiling stimulates happiness which gets those creative juices to flow.
3. Smiles are free in a world where nothing else is. Give them away!
2. Smiling strengthens your immune system! Some theories suggest that smiling and laughing actually increase white blood cell production, making you stronger and healthier!
1. Smiling is contagious! When you see someone smile, it stimulates your brain, causing you to smile too! Go forth and spread it around!
We hope this Blog-Spot made YOU smile!
March 22, 2016
As much as useless information really is useless, for some reason it's fascinating! Here are just some of the many useless facts we enjoyed learning!
- From space, Vegas is the brightest unnatural man-made spot on the planet!
- Most toilets flush in E Flat.
- It takes 142 licks to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop. (Let us know if you come up with a different number!)
- Chewing gum while peeling onions keeps the tears from flowing.
- Crocodiles cannot stick out their tongues.
- The Electric chair was invented by a dentist.
- Americans each an average of 18 acres of pizza each day, but 100 acres are actually served. (We wonder who took the time to figure this one out)
- Cats' jaws cannot move sideways, only up and down.
- Rubberbands last longer when you keep them in the refrigerator.
- There are 293 ways to make change for $1.
- Tigers have striped skin, not fur.
- A polar bear's skin is black. Its fur is not white, but actually clear.
- Goldfish have a memory duration of 3 seconds. (How do they know this?)
- The average person falls asleep in 7 minutes.
- Every person has a unique tongue print!
Thanks for reading our useless facts! If you know of any others, please post them to our Facebook page so we can use them on future lists.
March 10, 2016
We are all afraid of something, right? The usual suspects: clowns (Coulrophobia), spiders (Arachnophobia), etc. But there are many other somewhat odd phobias out there that you probably didn't even know existed. Here is a small list of some we had never heard of:
~Agyrophobia: Fear of crossing the street
~Anthrophobia: Fear of flowers
~Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth
~Aulophobia: Fear of flutes
~Chrometophobia: Fear of money
~Consecotaleophobia: Fear of chopsticks
~Dendrophobia: Fear of trees
~Entophobia: Fear of June bugs
~Ephebiphobia: Fear of teenagers
~Euphobia: Fear of good news
~Heliophobia: Fear of the sun
~Hydrophobia: Fear of water
~Osmophobia: Fear of smells
~Peladophobia: Fear of bald people
~Phobophobia: Fear of phobias
~Pogonophobia: Fear of bears
~Pteronophobia: Fear of being tickled by feathers
~Somniphobia: Fear of sleep
Did you find that you have any of these phobias?
February 4, 2016
If you're a former patient, or still a diligent retainer wear-er, here are some helpful hints to keep the retainer in optimal condition and your teeth as perfect as the day your braces were removed:
- Wear your retainers every night unless instructed otherwise
- Brush and rinse your retainer before placing in its case. Be sure to do so once a day. Traditional retainers can be cleaned with toothpaste and water, however clear Essix retainers should be brushed only with water, and perhaps a small amount of mouthwash to prevent clouding.
- Believe it or not, dogs and cats are attracted to the scent of retainers. Be sure to keep it out of reach if you have pets.
- Excessive heat melts retainers. Never boil them or leave them in a car during summer-time.
- Please call our office with any questions you may have regarding your retainers.
November 2, 2o15
You may have noticed our website or Facebook info regarding an office remodel. After nearly 15 years in this location, and a new doctor, it was time for a small facelift. We have fully embarked on this journey and despite the long process, it's going smoothly! Thus far we've painted EVERY wall, baseboard and ceiling. We've pulled carpet in our treatment areas, and laminate in our lab and sterilization areas and put in a nice manufactured hardwood. We are still waiting on the installation of new carpet, and then once that's complete some new artwork, furniture and a few other quirks. Still more to come, and hopefully before the holidays are over. It's coming along and looks beautiful! Below are a few photos from the project:
October 8, 2015
Each year Americans consume crazy amounts of sweets, apparently on average 24 pounds according to the Daily Burn. If you're looking to make Halloween a slightly healthier holiday, check out these helpful tips:
*Don't trick-or-treat on an empty stomach
*Look for healthier options: cereal bars, dried fruit, pretzels, crackers, trail mix, gum and raisins
*Remember, certain candies can damage your teeth more than others.
*Always remember to brush and floss post candy eating!
September 15, 2015
Why the Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive?
You may have seen our last event to support local shelter animals waiting for forever homes. Our next venture will support a group of foster children. As you have probably noticed, here at Ulrich Orthodontics, one of our main goals is to give back to the community. We hold our current event, our Peanut Butter & Jelly drive dear to ours hearts. It's an event we've tried to hold most years for the past 15 or so. Our practice prides itself in caring about the Auburn and surrounding communities, and trying to give back in as many ways as we can to those involved, and those in need. The Auburn Interfaith Food Closet feeds approximately 1,000 individuals in need per month. Many of these individuals are children. It is heart-breaking to read the statistics on how many children in our own community are hungry and in need of the basic necessities. Because most of us who work with Ulrich Ortho are parents, and because our practice treats many children, it saddens us greatly to think of anyone going hungry, but especially children. Our goal is to collect as many non-perishable and personal care items as possible to donate to the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet in hopes of making life a little easier for those it serves in need. We hope you will join us in making this venture a success!
August 27, 2015
Strike a Back-to-School Balance!
The adjustment between summer vacation and the start of the school year can be really rough. The best way to make it manageable (and as painless as possible) is to find the balance that works best for you. Some super important areas of balance come from sleep and diet. Here are some tips to help this work for you:
- Make a sleep schedule for yourself and stick to it! Going to bed and rising at the same time each day help your body to adjust. If you find yourself feeling too anxious to sleep, read for a while instead of forcing sleep. Otherwise you'll actually make yourself more anxious. Eventually your internal body clock will recognize the routine, and promote relaxing at this time.
- Create an environment that promotes rest and relaxation. Typically rooms that are cool and dark provide great sleeping environments.
- Skip the nap. We all know how attractive a little afternoon snooze can be, but it actually disturbs the routine your body recognizes at bed time, and can keep you up.
- Limit screen time. Studies have shown that using items such as tablets and phones, or watching television too close to bed time can disrupt the body's natural relaxation process as it stimulates the eyes and brain.
- Exercise! Wearing yourself out during the day helps your body to wind down at the end of day.
- Don't go to bed hungry, or stuffed! Consuming too many liquids may cause to you wake at night for a trip to the bathroom. Alcohol and caffeine both disrupt sleep as well, so best to avoid them too close to bed-time.
- Be aware of what you eat throughout the day. Too much sugar can make you sluggish and not allow your body to burn what it needs to in order to wear out for good sleep. Not enough protein can make you not feel well the next morning.
- Focus on balanced meals. Every person need approximately 40 nutrients each day. There is not one food that provides this, so eating a variety of foods is your best bet to maintain these nutrients.
- Watch portion size. Too large of meals can also make you feel sluggish, and not eating enough can cause you to wake up hungry in the middle of the night.
August 19, 2015
Here at Ulrich Orthodontics we are all animal people. From chickens to cats and dogs, caring for animals is near and dear to our hearts. Now through September 3rd, we are collecting items for cats and dogs (and any other animals up for adoption) at our local animal shelter. Here are some of the items we are hoping will be donated: * pet beds * food/treats * food dishes * toys * grooming supplies * leashes and collars. Thank you in advance for participating in this event to help local animals in need!
When we say we at Ulrich Ortho are animal people, and rescue animals are near and dear to our hearts, this is what we mean:
Dr. Bruce: He and his wife Kim have 2 rescue cats: Jack (who Dr. Bruce found running in the street in front of the office, and Bing (who was dumped at their house). They also have huge hearts when it comes to strays. Any strays that show at their house they spay or neuter, vaccinate and try to rehome.
Caren: She has her cat Oreo, that she rescued from the wilds of the foothills.
Hilary: Has two rescues: Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. They were found as kittens and sent to a rescue shelter in Sacramento. Hilary and her husband adopted them as junior cats. They are now 11 years old!
Tina: Has two rescue dogs! Capone was rescued from a situation that would have sent him to the pound. Hank was rescued by her boyfriend Robert as a young pup. Now these dogs are two of the most spoiled, loved dogs you'll ever meet!
Belynda: Has a cat named Chelsea, who she's had for years!
We'd love to hear your rescue animal stories too! Feel free to pass them along to us!
August 4, 2015
Straight teeth are beneficial in life, and here's why!
Did you know that over 75% of the population does NOT have straight teeth? Straight teeth can actually enhance your life, happiness and experiences and here are the reasons why:
~Individuals have the ability to speak better when teeth are straight and properly aligned.
~Straight teeth help us to chew better.
~When teeth are straight, flossing, brushing and oral hygiene are easier.
~When our mouth is healthy, it contributes to global health and personal confidence. Confidence can definitely get you further in your goals!
~ When our teeth aren't healthy, inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth has been linked to heart conditions, such as clogged arteries.
~ Women with gum disease are more likely to deliver low weight and preterm babies.
Please let us know if you are looking to straighten your smile! Give our office a call today!
July 21, 2015
Many people are not aware of the vast differences between dentists and orthodontists. If you happen to be one of those folks, we are hoping this blog-spot will provide some clarification. Both dentists and orthodontists help to improve oral health, and both treat children and adults. However, all orthodontists are also dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. All go through dental school, however to be an orthodontist, an additional 2-3 years of school is required to become a specialist in orthodontics.
What is a dentist?
• Dentists focus mainly on overall tooth and oral health.
• Broad areas of focus for a dentist are: gums, nerves, jaws, tooth decay (cavities), root canals, gum disease, crowns, bridges, veneers and whitening.
• Some dentists have limited orthodontic training, but this does not make them an orthodontist unless they have the specialist designation and additional years of education.
What is an Orthodontist?
• Orthodontists specialize in correcting "bad bites," overbites, under-bites, occlusions, misaligned teeth and jaws, crowding, root positioning and tooth straightening.
• Requires additional schooling as a dental specialty.
• Are trained to move teeth through the use of bands, wires and brackets, and other fixed or removable appliances.
If you have any additional, questions, please feel free to contact our office directly.
June 25, 2015
Best wishes to Tina!!!!
We are wishing nothing but GOOD LUCK to Tina in our office! This weekend she is participating in the Western States 100 mile race! Here are some fun facts about Tina as she prepares for this HUGE feat on Saturday and Sunday!
• Tina has been an avid long distance runner for 5 years
• For this upcoming race, Tina will be up for more than 24 hours! She starts at 5 a.m. Saturday, and hopes to finish in 27-29 hours.
• She is most nervous about a 32 section of hills she has to run during the upcoming 100 miles.
• This is NOT Tina's first 100 miler. She has competed in the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile Race as well.
• How is Tina prepping for a race of this magnitude? She's NOT running this week! She calls this her "Taper" week. She's also preparing snacks such as rice wraps with bacon and avocado, and packing Ensure!
Tina, we can't wait to congratulate you on yet another AMAZING accomplishment! GO TINA!
June 11, 2015
Say "NO!" to sugary drinks!
Every now and then a sugary drink hits the spot, but drinking them regularly not only contributes to tooth decay and cavities (especially if you don't brush after consuming), but just one sugary drink a day can lead to obesity and diabetes. Here are some of the cold, hard facts about these drinks (some may surprise you!) using the 'how many sugar packets are in it?' as a method of measuring the actual sugar content:
~ Chocolate Milk - 1 8 oz. cup contains 9 sugar packets
~ Snapple - 20 oz. Snapple has 23 sugar packets
~ Soda - 1 bottle (20 oz) - 22 sugar packets (note the serving size, typically the label says 2 servings per bottle)
~Sports Drink (Gatorade) - 12 sugar packets
~Energy Drink (Red Bull) - 17 sugar packets
There are a variety of HEALTHIER options for everyone. Tap water, sparkling water and tea are all great alternatives. 100% Fruit juice is okay in SMALL amounts (6 oz. per day per child). If plain water bores you, add just a splash of juice or actual fruit to flavor. Be sure to stay extra hydrated during these hot, summer days when our bodies tend to lose moisture due to heat and sweat.
May 26, 2015
Obviously there are many ways we hurt our teeth on a daily basis, such as too many acidic foods and drinks (coffee, tea, soda, etc.), using non-fluoridated toothpaste (fluoridated pastes replace the minerals worn away by bacteria and acid) and brushing too hard (it wears away enamel. Be sure to brush in circles with soft bristles!) But did you know there are many more activities that cause harm to your pearly whites? Here are seven ways!
1. Brushing after meals: It can actually deteriorate enamel when combined with lingering acidic foods and beverages. Instead, swish with water to rinse away acids and wait 40 minutes prior to brushing for the calcium in saliva to re-mineralise.
2. Cardio: Exercise reduces saliva. Saliva is necessary to neutralize acids that can cause cavities and rot. Your best bet with this one is to rinse with water after a workout.
3. Heartburn: Acid reflux from heart-burn can end up in your mouth (ew!) It's actually worse for your teeth than soda! Although heart-burn is not always avoidable, be sure to avoid eating too close to bed-time so you don't have reflux in your sleep.
4. Hot Foods with Cold Drinks: This includes chewing ice! Hot foods cause enamel to expand, while cold drinks (or foods) cause it to contract. This back-and-forth between temperatures causes cracks, breaks and stains. Your best bet to avoid any of these issues is to use a straw when consuming a cold beverage, or blow on your hot food to cool.
5. Medications: Some medications like those for allergies, depression, blood pressure and heart issues can cause dry mouth. What this means is saliva can't get in there to protect teeth. If you are taking any of these medications, avoiding sugary and acidic foods and beverages is your best defense.
6. Teeth as Tools: The one is probably a no-brainer! Obviously not good to use your teeth on pencils, pens, erasers, bottle-caps, etc. Teeth can break, crack, chip and you're exposing your mouth to outside bacteria.
7. Weight Lifting: Who would have thought it? Those who lift heavy items (or do actual weight-lifting as a hobby) tend to clench their teeth when picking up something out of their normal comfort zone. The undue stress can cause cracking and further damage. If lifting heavy objects is part of your job or a hobby for you, check into getting a mouth-guard.
April 30, 2015
5 Tips to Better Oral Health!
Sometimes we all need those friendly reminders of ways to improve or maintain good oral health, which can also contribute to better personal health in general!
1. Brush twice daily, make one of those brushings right before bed! You don't want to go to sleep with today's food on your teeth. Acid and bacterial growth not only contribute to bad breath, but cavities, gum disease and other oral health issues as well.
2. Visit your dentist regularly. We know cleanings aren't necessarily fun, but they are extremely important. Visit your general dentist at least every 6 months for a thorough cleaning and check-up.
3. Watch your diet! Limit sugar, and eat lots of fruits, veggies, and dairy (milk, yogurt and cheese) to make certain you're receiving enough calcium for health bones and teeth. Limit snacks (this doesn't mean no snacking). Definitely don't smoke or chew tobacco! Sugar free gum is great at helping keep bacteria down, but doesn't replace a good brushing.
4. If your teeth are crooked, talk to an orthodontist about braces! Crooked teeth can actually cause discomfort later in life, but they are also more difficult to care for as food and bacteria can become trapped contributing to bigger problems. Straight teeth not only look nice, but they are easier to take care of!
5. Keep the toilet seat and lid down! Bacteria from the toilet can become airborne when flushing. Closing the lid and seat helps trap it in the toilet itself. Bacteria forced out of the toilet when flushed can actually travel to your toothbrush if kept in the same room. Not only is bacteria from what goes into a toilet gross, but unhealthy for you to ingest as well!
April 16, 2015
The Hidden Powers of Smiling!
"I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish." - Mother Theresa
In our office, we've always said, "Smile, it increases your face value." But did you know this is actually true? There are many proven hidden powers of smiling! For starters, smiling can be a predictor of how long you'll live, and if you can smile more, it might actually increase your lifespan and personal happiness. Look at kids, a typical happy child will smile hundreds of times per day! Kids generally have long lives ahead of them!
Studies have shown that smiling can make someone appear more approachable, friendly, courteous, intelligent and successful. This is because smiling sends brain signals of emotional well-being for both the giver and the receiver. It lowers stress hormones and blood pressure, and stimulates the feel-good areas of the brain. Smiling makes you feel alive! In fact, a couple hundred years ago, having your natural teeth (which wasn't common), was a sign of youth - so as wedding gifts, couples would be given dentures!
Don't forget to smile at your husband, kids, friends and strangers! It makes both you and them feel good!
And if you haven't already, let us help you love your smile!
Check out this video from Ted Talks on the Hidden Powers of Smiling!
March 26, 2015
The Dangers of Sharing Toothbrushes
Believe it or not, toothbrushes are shared more than any of us wish to believe. Here are some reasons why this practice is not recommended for anyone, even sharing with those you are closest to:
~ Strep is commonly found on brush-heads. Some mutant strains cause cavities.
~ Although some people justify sharing toothbrushes with sharing the same germs with the person they're kissing, this is not true. Kissing actually spreads different germs.
~ Change your toothbrush (or toothbrush head if you have an electric brush) every 3-4 months as bacteria can build up and multiply. Left over food particles not seen by the human eye are left behind! And who knows when that person changed their toothbrush last? The older a brush is, the more broken down the bristles are, leaving higher risk for infections that can lead to cavities and decay.
~ Some toothbrushes actually have bacteria right out of the box since the containers are not required to be sanitized before packaging.
~ Storing moist toothbrushes in closed containers creates and breeds bacteria. Airflow is the best bet for keeping them as clean as possible (after rinsing post brushing).
Your best bet is not to share a toothbrush with ANYONE! If you find yourself in a situation without a toothbrush and paste, find the closest grocery store (even a disposable one will do, they last up to a week). If this is not an option (i.e. when your'e camping), a tooth-pick or floss can help clean food from crevices, and a wet wash-cloth or rag can be use to provide a little friction when wiping the front and back of teeth. Your best bet is to always carry a small toothbrush paste with you - whether in your glove compartment. 1st aid kit, purse or back-pack. Available any place that sells oral hygiene products, or your local orthodontic office.
March 5, 2015
Stress Affects Oral Health!
We all know stress has nearly become a part of everyday life for some. It's inevitable with our fast-paced society and all the pressure we put on ourselves and what is put on by others. But did you know stress affects your oral health? Check out the following ways you and your dental provider can tell when stress is affecting you.
Canker Sores: We have all had these nasty little sores! Your glands swell, sometimes your throat hurts - or perhaps it's at the front of your mouth making it difficult to chew or take bites of your favorite foods. Fortunately these types of sores are NOT contagious, but they are super painful for 7-10 miserable days. Stress is a huge contributor to why you might experience canker sores! Although science isn't exactly sure what causes them, upset in the stomach, biting your cheek, and aggressive brushing are all possible factors. There are some OTC products that help to alleviate the pain, although the sores need to heal in their own time.
Cold Sores: These are the ugly sores you may see around the mouth, on the lips or under the nose. Unfortunately they ARE contagious! They are usually triggered by some sort of emotional distress, fevers, too much sun exposure and injury to the site. Medicate immediately as these sores can spread!
Grinding (and Clenching too!): Although we probably don't know we're doing it, anyone sleeping within a 20 foot radius can probably hear it. Stress causes us to grind our teeth at when we snooze. This nasty behavior can lead to headaches, facial and jaw pain, and earaches too. If you're experiencing this type of pain, see your dental care provider. He or she may recommend a night-guard for you in hopes of breaking this habit.
Personal Hygiene: Yes, bathing does tend to suffer when someone is overwhelmed by stress, but so does oral hygiene. Frequently when someone is emotionally or mentally overwhelmed, he or she may develop unhealthy eating habits - such as consuming more sugary foods that can contribute to tooth decay. Additionally, stress can cause excessive drinking and smoking - both habits not healthy for oral or personal hygiene (or perhaps your social life either).
Hormones: This includes those of BOTH men and women! Hormones released during stress decrease saliva production making immunity drop and the mouth to be more susceptible to infection.
Need ways to fight stress in your life? Of course, if at all possible, remove the source of stress in your life. We know this isn't always an option. But other ways to combat stress, or at least help keep it to a minimum are...Exercise! (This is a fantastic one! Exercise is shown to be 4 times more effective than antidepressants). Yoga is another great form of exercise and relaxation. Try out meditation! Massage and physical therapy are great options as well if you can afford it. Lastly, counseling from a professional can be helpful if desired.
*Information gleaned from a variety of sources such as: WebMD, Delta Dental and Healthsite, as well as our doctors.
February 19, 2015
The Harmful Effects of Mouth Jewelry
We have all met someone with a piece of mouth jewelry (e.g. a tongue ring) or perhaps even had one ourselves. The truth is, as neat as they may look, they can be truly detrimental to your oral health. Here are some of the reasons why:
1. Infections are common from when the piercing is initially taking place (bacteria gets into the piercing site or the equipment is contaminated). These infections, can cause nerve damage and prolonged bleeding.
2. Gum disease is a common side effect of mouth jewelry. The jewelry itself can come in contact with the gums which can cause injury to the gums and recession. Tooth loss it the ultimate result. Chewing on piercings themselves can actually cause a loss of enamel as well!
3. Speaking of chewing on piercings, chewing on them can cause teeth to chip or crack - both side effects are very common!
4. Mouth piercings especially can make chewing and swallowing food difficult, as well as the ability to have clear speech!
5. Because the jewelry is a foreign object, the mouth will actually work harder to produce excessive saliva!
We've probably scared you enough, but just in case we haven't, here are a few other side effects of mouth jewelry: temporary or permanent drooling, allergic reactions to the material and choking on the appliance itself which can cause lung damage of inhaled. And ultimately, even once removed it's unlikely the location of the piercing will ever be the same again.
If you decide a piercing of some kind is the right decision for you, we won't judge! We just want to make sure you're as safe and healthy as possible with this new jewelry! Please make sure to get a recommendation from a friend who has the same piercing and has had no side effects. Never be afraid to inspect for hospital grade sanitizing, disposables where applicable and ask if the person doing the work has been vaccinated against Hep B. Once the piercing is complete, let it heal at home for 4-6 weeks, staying away from irritants like smoking, alcohol, and spice and sticky foods. Warm salt water rinses can help it heal quicker!
And in any situation where you are unsure of how to care for your piercing, contact your medical professional!
Info gleaned from Dr. Beau Ulrich, Web MD and other miscellaneous dental websites.
February 10, 2015
The Benefits of Using Mouthwash
Mouthwash may seem like an arbitrary addition to your oral hygiene routine. Some people don't care for it, others swear by it. Some have a burning sensation, some don't. Here are some reasons why using mouthwash is a must in our book:
1. Brushing only cleans the areas the brush can actually get to. Swishing with mouthwash for 30-60 seconds twice a day rinses those unreachable areas.
2. Using mouthwash helps prevent plaque build-up, kills germs and helps rebuild enamel.
3. Mouthwash can help kill or help to mask whatever is causing bad breath. (However, if bad breath is a chronic issue, please see your dental health provider as there can be underlying health conditions that contribute to this issue)
Why not use mouthwash? It can't hurt!
1. Stats show 92% of kids have cavities, 50% of kids have tooth decay by age 11 and 30% of elderly have no teeth left.
2. Halitosis is unattractive! A.K.A. Chronic bad breath! This can be caused by a variety of conditions such as cavities, gum disease, issues with fillings, diet, cancer, lung disease and oral infections, sinus dripping and smoking. Other causes of bad breath can be stomach issues, diabetes, some medications such as those for blood pressure, allergies and antidepressants. High sugar and low carb diets can cause bad breath too!
* It is recommended that users DO NOT swallow mouthwash due to high fluoride and alcohol content.
** Those who have alcohol dependency issues should not use Listerine products as they do contain alcohol. Scope is a great alternative!
January 29, 2015
In our office, we frequently get questions regarding an electric toothbrushes versus manual brushes. Our doctors definitely recommend electric toothbrushes over any kind. Here are some reasons why:
1. To ensure effective brushing, especially for those who have a history of issues with duration and quality of brushing, electric or rechargeable toothbrushes do the most detailed job.
2. They frequently come with a variety of features that enhance brushing performance for many conditions. (Some brush heads are specifically made for those with braces now!)
3. Newer electric toothbrushes come equipped with sensors to notify the brusher when he/she is brushing too hard so not to damage or erode the gums.
4. Although electric toothbrushes cost more up front, generally the cost is less over time as the heads only need replacing every 3-6 months, unlike manual toothbrushes.
5. Electric toothbrushes do the work for you! These toothbrushes get into tight spaces to help fight gingivitis, gum disease and bad breath.
January 15, 2015
Many parents experience difficulties in getting their children to brush their teeth - and to do it well! Here are some helpful tips to make this experience better (and healthier!) for the whole family. Brought to you by our doctors, Orajel and WebMD.
1. Begin brushing your child's teeth early! For toothless infants, use a warm wash-cloth to wipe down the gums after feedings. For little ones with teeth (even as few as 1), pick up a training toothbrush. Most of the time the appropriate age and stage are printed right on the package. Floss once two teeth come in next to each other and appear to be touching, or close to it.
2. Children learn by example! Try using the concept of "show and tell," especially for children of preschool age and older who are familiar with this idea. Show them how you brush your teeth, talk to them about how you like to do it, and then brush your teeth together. By age 2, let your child do the tooth-brushing alone, but supervised. Help with any missed areas.
3. Allow your child to select a toothbrush and toothpaste (within reason). Show your child the options appropriate for his/her stage. For infants and toddlers, only a dab of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice is necessary. By age 3, a dot the size of a pea can be used. For children under 2, look for training toothpastes that are lower in fluoride as spitting after brushing is not a skill they have yet developed. Because most water, especially in city limits contains diluted amounts of fluoride, ingesting toothpaste is not recommended. The toothbrush should be replaced every 3-4 months, or when it appears to be showing wear. It's also a good ideas to replace it after sickness as well.
4. Make brushing fun! Find a game your child would find interesting. There are a variety of songs and apps for smartphones online.
5. Positive reinforcement goes a long way! Even if you need to assist your child with brushing, be sure to offer encouraging words. They will be more apt to want to brush, and be open to help if it's accompanied by a positive environment.
6. See the dentist early! Make your child's first appointment by the age of 1 or within 6 months after the first tooth breaks through.
December 4, 2014
November 11, 2014
Ew! What is that mouth sore?!
We've all had them at one time, a nasty, ugly, painful mouth sore! It makes eating food, drinking liquids and talking painful and difficult. Sometimes you experience a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes in your neck and actually feel ill. Most sores heal on their own in 7-14 uncomfortable days. But did you know they are not always just a sore from a virus? They can be bacterial, an irritation from an appliance or even symptomatic of a bigger health issue. Any sore that lasts longer than the normal period of time, or gives you problems outside of what is expected, call your dental professional for a check-up. But in the meantime, you can help soothe sores to make life slightly more pleasant. Here are some tips on coping with those nasty little sores:
~ Zilactin B (You can purchase from your local Walgreens, etc. Stings a little at first, but numbs the sore).
~ Drinking warm or cold liquids.
~ Avoid citrus (too much citrus in your system can actually cause these sores).
~ Chocolate makes these sores sting more!
~ Talk to your local dental professional about rinses that promote healing.
October 30, 2014
American Academy of Pediatrics Issues New Dental Recommendations Regarding Fluoride
According to the AAP, children should begin using toothpaste with fluoride once teeth erupt. Children under the age of 3 should use a tiny amount of toothpaste (CDA recommends the size of a grain of rice for under 3, and the size of a pea for over the age of 3). Fluoride rinses are not recommended for children under the age of 6, so visits to your Pediatric Dentist are imperative for fluoride varnish treatments.
Did you know there is likely fluoride in your water? Many sources of tap water contain fluoride as do a variety of foods. So whether it's at home or at the dentist, the AAP says small amounts of fluoride are essential to avoid cavities and tooth decay.
October 13, 2014
What's your personality?
In the typical medical office, there are four types of personalities that make the practice successful. This is often true in many other environments as well - it's how we get things done! Sometimes a person might not exhibit all the characteristics of the type, or may have some from another one of the categories. Below are the four types of personalities and who in our office falls most closely under each of these categories. Where do you fit in?
(Information gleaned from the SDDS publication, "The Nugget.")
DRIVER: A combination of high levels of emotional self control and assertiveness. This person usually is task or job oriented and has a specific outcome in mind. They get the job done, to the point quickly and are efficient communicators. Other personality traits are 'pragmatic, decisive, goal/result oriented, objective and competitive.' This person is frequently very independent, a risk-taker and valued in the office for getting the job done! * In our office, this personality type fits Hilary, our Marketing, Public Relations and Human Resources representative.
INTUITIVE: This individual blends an assertive side with the emotional side of him/herself. He/she can see the larger picture and looks for new approaches to getting things accomplished. This person is often times willing to take risks to get the job done. Charming, persuasive and the ability to inspire people are words used to describe this individual. This personality is typically an excellent motivator with the ability to quickly make decisions and move forward. *In our office, this personality type fits Caren, our Treatment Coordinator and Dr. Beau.
STABILIZER: This individual has the ability to be responsive, but not necessarily assertive. He/she is sympathetic to others and willing to see the bigger picture of why someone might be behaving a certain way. This personality is the most likely out of the four types to be empathetic and understanding to others while exercising the ability to problem solve. They frequently have the ability to bring out the best in those around them. *In our office, this personality type fits Tina, our RDA/Ortho Tech and Kate, our Scheduling Coordinator.
Calculator: This person is typically able to control emotions and is non-assertive. He/she takes a 'precise, deliberate and systematic approach to work.' This individual tends to take a pensive approach, thinking things through and gathering all necessary information prior to taking action. This person is frequently well organized, diligent and productive. *In our office, this personality type fits Belynda, our RDA/Ortho Tech and Dr. Bruce.
September 30, 2014
Now that the school year is back in full swing, cold and flu season will soon be upon us! Although handwashing, sleep and staying away from those who are ill are all great ways to try and stay well, diet can also be a factor in developing a strong immune system! Like everyone, we know how hard it can be to a. find a healthy snack or come up with a light meal with the little time we have and b. actually want a delicious snack that is actually good for us! Below are some ideas for healthy eating!
~ Air-popped pop corn
~ Apples with peanut butter
~ Dried fruit
~ Fruits & vegetables
~ Egg whites with a side of fruit
~ Hard-boiled egg
~ Graham crackers
~ Smoothies (All varieties count as long as there are fruits and veggies in them! Green smoothies are extra healthy!)
~ String cheese
~ Trail mix
~ Turkey and veggies wrapped in a tortilla
~ Vegetarian Flatbread Pizza
~ Veggies to dip in hummus
~ Whole wheat/grain breads and pasta
* If you or a loved one can't stomach veggies (and they are SO good for us), try creating your own home-made purees like sweet potatoes, corn, cauliflower, peas, broccoli, the list goes on! These items can be added into most meals, and batters when baking - even desserts!
It's always best to avoid (except on occasion):
~ Processed snacks and meals
~ White breads and pasta
* A good rule of thumb is to remember if it has 10 or more grams of sugar, don't eat it!
September 18, 2014
Our Annual Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive!
If you haven't heard, we're in the midst of our annual Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive! This is a venture near and dear to our hearts. Each month the Auburn Inter-Faith Food Closet gives out approximately 10,000 meals to 450+ families locally. Most of these recipients are children. We run this event for a minimum of 8 weeks per year to collect as many goods as possible to donate, especially as the holidays get closer. If you ever wonder what to donate, you are welcome to call our office. But here is a list of commonly donated items:
~ Canned veggies or fruit
~ Tuna, chili or beans
~ Canned or dried soups
~ Packaged food like macaroni and cheese
~ Rice and pasta mixes
~ Personal care items
....even cash for milk and perishables
We thank you in advance for your support of this venture, and for helping us help others!
September 4, 2014
There are many beverages and liquid foods in our daily lives that cause our teeth harm - meaning staining and loss of enamel. Here is a list of the worst offenders:
1. Sodas are up at the top of the list. Their acidity can quickly wear down enamel and the dyes in colas especially don't help with staining.
2. Black tea is another culprit. This is due to tannins which naturally discolor teeth. Green tea however, does not seem to do the damage that black tea can do. Perhaps a good time to switch?
3. The tannins in BOTH red and white wines can also discolor teeth and destroy enamel. It is often thought that only red wine discolors teeth, but this information is false!
4. Sauces! Any colored sauce can discolor teeth, especially those made from acidic foods like tomato sauce and red curry. However, eating greens or salad PRIOR to consuming sauce has been shown to protectively coat the teeth.
5. Fruit juices and sports drinks. Drink fresh juices, your teeth will thank you! Overly colored or processed, or even those filled with excessive amounts of sugar can contribute to loss of enamel and staining. * Go lightly on lemonade though. The citric acid can be potentially harmful for teeth if consumed in great quantities.*
6. Milk! Of course we've all been told how milk "does a body good." But not necessarily when it comes to teeth! Children kept on the bottle for too long, or who fall asleep frequently without brushing their teeth after having consumed milk have been shown to have an increased number of cavities. .
7. Coffee. Say it ain't so! Again the acidity and dark color of the coffee wears down enamel and allows staining. It's always best to brush after a cup! Not only will this reduce the likelihood of staining, but it eliminates that nasty coffee breath nobody likes to be too close to!
August 21, 2014
Positive reinforcement goes a long way! Studies have shown that even the tiniest acts of positive reinforcement can alter the way an individual behaves. High fives, hugs, fist bumps, thumbs up, clapping and kind words are all ways to change one’s behavior. This holds true for children and adults! For children, positive reinforcement plus a tangible incentive will go a long way, especially if you reward them for a behavior they did well. They are more likely to repeat this good behavior. So give it a whirl: make it a goal today to compliment, hug, thumbs-up or high-five someone who looks like he or she could use a pick-me-up!
August 12, 2014
Do you or your child have the dreaded “back-to-school blues?” We are certain we can all remember this feeling in the pit of our stomachs in the weeks prior to school starting at least once. We start seeing the ads for school clothes, back-packs and all the “Big Box” stores running sales on the must have supplies. Here are some helpful tips from experts on making the transition more pleasant for all members of your family.
Part of settling into the new school-year routine is preparing our bodies for the schedule change:
~ Resetting the body clock is an important step. Let kids know that sleep is a special privilege, not a punishment. If he/she insists on staying up late with parents, let them know the chores parents frequently do once kids are in bed (i.e. cleaning, laundry, etc.) are not fun chores.
~Kids need approximately 9 hours of sleep every night. Calculate backwards from the time he/she needs to wake up the 9 hours, and add 20-30 minutes extra on to it for bed time seeing that it can take time to actually fall asleep.
~Rather than moving bedtime earlier [if necessarily] cold-turkey, a few weeks ahead of time gradually start moving it earlier in 20-minute increments.
~ Getting up earlier can be difficult on anyone! The experts recommend making it a “treat” for a kid to get up early – offer to let kids watch a show on the television or play a video game for a short duration in the morning.
The thought of going back to school can be daunting for any kid. Here are some tips to help your kids feel more at ease, and maybe even a little excited about the new school year:
~Have a designated, “special” spot for home-work in the house. Have your child visualize it and set it up on his/her own. Giving them the option to set it up with the necessary supplies, décor, etc. gives them a sense of control. Perhaps even the tiniest bit excited about homework.
~ Creating a list of the positive things from the prior school year can be a settling exercise.
~ Finding out the reasons for a child not wanting to attend school can help parents to better understand how to deal with anxiety. Always encourage children to share their feelings.
~ Let kids know the first few weeks are for easing into to the school routine, but that you are always there to help if it gets tough.
~ Always focus on things the child is good at.
~Practice the first day of school routine, this may include visiting the school so your child will know what to expect, and where his/her classes may be.
~ It’s important for parents to be involved. Get to know the other families in the neighborhood. And if at all possible, meet your child’s teacher as early on as possible.
~ Let your child make one special purchase [within reason] for the school year. This may be the back-pack he/she has been jonesing for, the cool pair of sneakers seen on television, etc.
And most importantly, just because it’s a different school year, different can be good!!!
* Information/ Ideas gleaned from
1. The Today Show. “Back to School Blues? Here’s How to Beat Them.” Written by Stephanie Dolgoff, Editor-At-Large for Parenting.
2. American Psychological Association. “Dealing With the Back to School Blues.” Apa.org
3. PBS.org. “How to Beat the Back to School Blues.” Written by Nicole Blades.
July 31, 2014
As we’ve all experienced, it’s blazing hot outside! The extreme heat can be very dangerous to anyone, even the most healthy individual. Here are some helpful tips from the Center for Disease Control on how to keep you and your loved ones healthy and SAFE during this heat-wave!
~ Keeping your bodily temperature cool is a safe bet in avoiding heat-related illness. Some of the best ways to do this are to: stay in air-conditioned buildings, and use fans minimally unless air conditioning is not possible. Staying out of the sun and direct sunlight is important, and if you do need to be outside, wear light colored clothing. Spending time in the water is an effective way to stay cool, and fun too!
~Staying hydrated is one of the most important things we can do year-round, but especially in the heat. When it’s hot, drink more water than you normally would. It’s important to drink even when you’re not feeling thirsty, for example two to four cups of water every hour when you’re active in the heat. Avoid beverages with sugar.
~ Keep an eye on others at high risk for heat-related illness. This includes the elderly, those with chronic health issues, infants and children, and those who work outdoors.
~ If you come across someone who is ill and heat is the suspect, here are some signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses:
- Heat exhaustion: heaving sweating, weakness, skin feels cool or clammy, pulse is weak, nausea or vomiting and fainting. Move the individual to a cooler location, attempt to cool down with water and damp cloths. Seek medical attention if vomiting or fainting.
- Heat stroke: Body temperature is high. Skin is hot and red. The pulse is rapid. The individual may or may not be conscious. Do not give fluids. Seek medical attention immediately!
*Info translated from www.cdc.gov/extremeheat
July 22, 2014
Welcome to our first blogpost! We are starting this conversation off by congratulating Tina Hyde, our RDA/Orthodontic Technician. She just completed the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run! What an amazing accomplishment! Tina has been an avid distance runner for some time, and has been training hard for this event. We are so proud of her! To see photos of Tina and her completion medal, check out our Facebook page.
For more information on Tina and the rest of our staff, please visit the “Meet our team” page on our site.