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Dental Portfolio

Dental Portfolio

The Maine Dental Association comes bringing gifts.

It’s summer of 2020 and it’s hotter than hot. We are in the middle of a Pandemic. And we get a nice visit from Lucas Knowles, with the Maine Dental Association, bringing gifts of PPE.  These gifts may not sound exciting to you, but when you think about it, these gifts are very exciting! PPE keeps our patients and our staff safe. We at Seasons Smiles Dental are taking your safety seriously and the gifts of KN95 masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, and hydrogen peroxide rinse help us in this endeavor. We would like to give a big thanks to the MDA Charitable Foundation for their generous donations for MDA Members. The Maine Dental Association along with the American Dental Association have been very supportive and informative as we navigate through Covid-19 Pandemic, and we are grateful for all they do.

Covid-19 Letter sent to all our dental patients. 5/5/2020

To all of our patients,we hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

What to do if you have a dental emergency during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Are you having a dental emergency? Are you concerned about having to go to the Dental Office now that we are in the middle of a Pandemic? We at Seasons of Smiles Dental are VERY concerned as well.  Your dental emergency is considered essential, so we have had to make some changes.  Here is an outline of what your emergency visit will be like while at our office. What to expect when you come to our office during the CoronaVirus Pandemic. Our office has been completely stripped down to the bare minimum. For example, We do not have a waiting room anymore. We are only allowing one patient in the office at a time.  During your appointment at Seasons of Smiles Dental, you will be the only patient in our office. We will be asking you to fill out your paperwork in your car in the parking lot. You will be allowed in the office after the previous patient has left the building. We will be taking your temperature. We will be screening you with recommendations defined by the American Dental Association. (Press here for the ADA Interim Guidance for Managment of Emergency and Urgent Dental Care). We do not have bathroom facilities available at this time.  So please plan accordingly. We will escort you directly from outside to the dental chair. We will be asking you to pre-rinse with Hydrogen-Peroxide. We are scheduling Wednesday’s as our Dental Emergency Visit Day. Please call if you need a spot. Full payment is expected at the time of treatment and we will bill your insurance company for payment to be sent directly to you. We have not changed our prices. If you are curious about our prices please give us a call at (207) 236-4740.

American Dental Association – May the 4th Be With You

I saw this video clip in my Instagram Feed, I love it when the American Dental Association comes up with these clever ideas to promote oral health. They are using the Star Wars theme to promote brushing and flossing.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. – Dr. Medina MAY THE FLOSS BE WITH YOU

What are dental black triangles?

What are black dental triangles? Do you have friends mentioning to you that they can see food stuck between your teeth?  Can you feel a food trap between your teeth?  Are you having to floss after every meal?  When you look in the mirror can you see black triangles? You may be suffering from what is commonly called dental black triangles. What causes black dental triangles? There are many reasons for black triangles. The triangular dark open spaces can be caused by gum recession and periodontal disease. Aggressive flossing can also cause black triangles.  The American Dental Association recommends flossing once per day and aggressive flossing may cause black triangles.  Some people are more prone to these unattractive triangular openings or spaces which normally would be filled with gum tissue. What can be done to solve dental black triangles? There are a number of different ways to remedy the situation. Interproximal Reduction (IPR) in conjunction with Invisalign Veneers Bonding. BioClear Which is the best solution for you? Give us a call, we can do a 3-dimension scan of your mouth, take some photos and come up with the best solution that works for you.

New 360° ADA Seal Video Now Available

From the American Dental Association Take patient home care product recommendations to the next level with a new virtual teaching tool from the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The program recently released a 360° video to help educate patients about what the Seal stands for and how the wide variety of product categories goes beyond the bathroom to encourage good oral health at home and on the go. The video is interactive, allowing viewers to move the video in the direction of their choosing as Seal and oral health information is displayed on the screen. Share this resource in your office (use a pair of virtual reality glasses to really take it for a spin) or online with your patients. Then, subscribe to the ADA YouTube channel to be the first to know about new video resources from the ADA. Dr. Norman Medina is a member of the American Dental Association, the Maine Dental Association, the Mid–Coast Dental Society.

Sweet Tooth Obsession & It’s Impact on Oral & Systemic Health

Our office attended the Yankee Dental Congress in Boston in January this year. One of the courses I attended called to me, Sweet Tooth Obsession & It’s Impact on Oral & Systemic Health presented by Karen Davis, RDH, BSDH. I have a very persistent sweet tooth and I know the dangers of giving in to those cravings. This course was certainly an eye opener. We have all heard that Americans consume too much sugar and the facts are concrete to support this. The daily average consumption of added sugar by individuals is 300 calories (20 teaspoons or 80 grams). The American Heart Association recommends only six teaspoons (24 grams) daily for women and nine teaspoons (36 grams) daily for men of added sugar. That means the average American is consuming 11-14 tsps (44-56 grams) above the recommendation. I love sweets, but I cannot imagine sitting down and eating 14 teaspoons of sugar. However, I am sure it’s easy to do because our food has so much sugar added to it. According to an article by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare in 2015, the most common sources of added sugar in our diets are: Sodas, sports and energy drinks Processed sugar, such as table sugar and candy Sweet baked goods, like cakes, cookies, and pies Fruit drinks, such as fruit aids and fruit punch Dairy items, such as ice cream and sweetened yogurt Sweetened, ready-to-eat cereals   A.K.A. Sugar Below are some other names of sugar. They may sound harmless or healthier than the white processed sugar in our grandmother’s sugar bowl, but they are still sugar and can expose us to disease if consumed in excess. High Fructose Corn Syrup Coconut Palm Sugar Maple Syrup Evaporated Cane Juice Honey Brown Rice Syrup Agave Syrup Juice Concentrates Maltose/Dextrose   How do folks satisfy their sugar cravings? Besides white sugar and the those mentioned above people are leaning toward sugar alcohols such as, Xylitol, Sorbitol, Maltitol, Mannitol, etc. because they occur naturally in plants, are not completely absorbed, have lower glycemic index than white sugar, have fewer calories per gram and do not promote tooth decay like other sugars. The FDA recognizes Erythritol, Stevia, Isomalt, Sorbitol and Maltitol as being safe alternatives to white sugar because they are extracted from fruits, fermented foods, natural herbs, beets, stone fruits, berries, and starches. Xylitol seems to be all the hype these days with a few drawbacks. It’s made from berries, oats, mushrooms and extracted from hardwood trees – natural, right? Same sweetness as white sugar but is anti-cariogenic meaning that it interferes with the development of tooth decay.  Xylitol stimulates the flow of saliva keeping salivary glands working in the mouth, so the teeth stay moist preventing plaque and decay. Possible side effects are ear and yeast infections and osteoporosis. Another alternative for satisfying a sweet tooth is to rely on FDA-approved sweeteners, such as Saccharin (Sweet-n-Low), Aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal), Sucralose (Splenda), etc. but many of these have a bitter after taste and are chemically altered. We have gone to great lengths to sweeten our food to include sweeteners that may not be made from real food. Why? Our society has increased the amount of sugar in everything changing the desire of our palate. Sugar that naturally exists in food, like in a piece of fruit, isn’t sweet enough to satisfy our sugar craving. This can be changed by crowding sugary desserts with fresh fruit and yogurt smoothies. Consuming less refined sugar opens the door for your body to find natural sweetness more satisfying. What does all this added sugar do to us? Weight gain that leads to obesity. In the last three decades, obesity in the US doubled for adults and tripled for children. More than 60% of the global disease will be associated with obesity by 2020. Excess sugar sets the stage for disease by elevating cholesterol imbalance and deregulating the body’s insulin monitor, meaning it takes more insulin to balance blood glucose. Also, it increases visceral and intrahepatic fat deposition as well as increasing triglycerides, hypertension and blood pressure levels. Vitamin and mineral intake is compromised, and it increases risk and pancreatic cancer cells. The impact of excess sugar in any form in our society is doing monumental damage to our bodies. An example of this in the 9-year Northern Manhattan Study regarding stroke and stroke risk factors among Manhattan’s multi-ethnic community. The study highlights that drinking diet soda daily resulted in more than 61% risk of vascular events. What can we do? Karen Davis presented tips for gaining control. Be a label detective and decide wisely! Eliminate sugary drinks! Water is the best way to quench your thirst. If you want fruit juice, look for “100% Fruit Juice” on the label. Substitute sugar alcohols for sugar in foods and beverages (start slowly) Count sugar grams throughout the day (Fooducate) Use Xylitol gum or mints following meals – strive for 5+ Reduce cravings with substitution such as almonds, walnuts, cheese and substitute fresh fruit for desserts. In recipes, try using 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of 1 cup of sugar. Also, add almond and vanilla extract or spices, like ginger and cinnamon to add flavor without sugar (Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare). Prepare foods with fresh herbs to increase satisfaction with meals Don’t keep processed/sugary items at home Enjoy the delectable in moderation, on occasion (3 bite rule) Move more to burn more!   As much as I love sweets, this data has convinced me that I need to keep control of my sweet tooth obsession for my overall oral health and to avoid systemic disease. Other helpful resources are ChooseMyPlate.gov and the Environmental Working Group, ewg.org/foodscores

Donald Trump, deregulation, and mercury at the dental office.

I like to read the latest on dental findings because I’m always looking for something relevant to share on my dental blog. So, when I read the email from the American Dental Association, I couldn’t help but chuckle; it brought Trump’s leadership right into our little dental lives. Memo from the ADA. Starting in 2010, dental offices in Maine were required to get amalgam separators. We play by the rules, and we got our dental unit right away. The idea behind the amalgam separators is that they REMOVE metal and mercury from our suction units BEFORE it enters our town’s wastewater system. Is Camden’s wastewater treatment plant useful? I think so. I do drink a lot of the town water. Yes, I use tap water for my coffee, and yes that counts. So I like the idea of removing out as much mercury and metal as we can before sending it to the treatment plant. What deregulation means at the dental office. Starting in 2019 all dental offices nationwide will be required to have amalgam separators. But now as President Trump’s policies that are being implemented, dental offices may not be required to install the amalgam separators. So is deregulation a good thing for large and small businesses? I think I’m starting to understand why it can be financially beneficial for small businesses not to have so many regulations. We are a team of seven employees at our dental office. And I would like to think that we all get along pretty good; we sure do spend a ton of time with each other. We may not be blood, but we’re family. I don’t know about your relatives, but mine are divided when it comes to politics.  The election is over, and politics is still a hot topic.  My Facebook feed still gets heated at times. In our office, some of us voted left, and some of us voted right, but we don’t talk politics at work. I think it’s better that way. Maybe that’s one reason we’ve been able to stay friends. So, when I read the memo, I thought it was interesting. Do we live in some alternative universe? Are these the new rules? Are fewer rules going to be the new rule? I still don’t want to talk about politics with the ladies at work; they’ll just get all fired up. No dentist in his right mind ever wants to go there.

New recommendations on water fluoridation.

Since we strive to be your greatest resource for safe and reliable information for you and your families dental health we wanted to make sure you understand what the Department of Health and Human Services is recommending in the latest change in water fluoridation. We love fluoride! And the FDA and ADA still do too, they are just adjusting the dosage. In the simplest terms, fluoride is a safe mineral that helps keep enamel hard.  Hard enamel is healthy and cavity free.  You can get fluoride in two ways: systemically (swallowed) and topically (directly onto the teeth).  Systemic fluoride is important for the teeth that are developing in the jaw of young kids, topical fluoride cannot reach these areas. A typical 8-year-old has many teeth developing in the jaw. So why the change? The amount of topical fluoride has increased so much that it has started contributing to systemic fluoride dosage.  This happens when young children accidentally ingest some of their topical fluoride from things like toothpaste and mouth rinses.  You only need a little systemic fluoride to keep the teeth healthy, so the new recommendations have been adjusted.  The following is a compilation of links sent to us from ADA Morning Huddle, Today’s dental news exclusively for ADA members, discussing the new recommendations on water fluoridation. An announcement from the Department of Health and Human Serivices recommending that the optimal level of fluoride in drinking water be set at .7 milligrams per liter saw wide coverage, including reports from two national nightly news broadcasts, a news wire, and national blogs and websites. NBC Nightly News (4/28, story 7, 0:30, Holt) reported, “Federal health officials are lowering the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water for the first time in more than 50 years.” The CBS Evening News (4/27, story 13, 0:30, Pelley) reported that on Monday, the Federal government “said that less fluoride should be added to the drinking water.” Currently, 75 “percent of Americans have fluoridated water. The Department of Health and Human Services said that fluoride is already in toothpaste and mouth wash and too much fluoride can discolor children’s teeth.” The Washington Post (4/28, Bernstein) “To Your Health” blog reports that HHS now recommends that “drinking water contain .7 milligrams of fluoride per liter,” representing a change in the previous recommendation of “a range of .7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter” set in 1962. The Nightly Business Report (4/27, Mangan) reports that Deputry Surgeon General Boris “Lushniak called the new standard ‘the correct measure to help prevent tooth decay and reduce the prevalence of fluorosis.” The Nightly Business Report adds that while the new standard “is only a recommendation,” it is “likely to be taken seriously by the approximately 75 percent of community health systems nationwide that currently” fluoridate their water “to lower the rate of tooth decay in the populations.” Several news organizations refer to the ADA’s support of the announcement. The AP (4/28, Stobbe) reports that “water fluoridation has been a public health success, and communities should keep adding fluoride, said Kathleen O’Loughlin, the American Dental Association’s executive director.” O’Loughlin joined Lushniak when the new standard was announced yesterday. The NPR (4/28) “Shots” blog and “All Things Considered” radio program reports that Dr. Lushniak said, “The new recommended level will maintain the protective decay prevention benefits of water fluoridation and reduce the occurrence of dental fluorosis.” NPR adds that “the decision was welcomed by groups such as the American Dental Association.” CNN (4/28) reports that HHS said on Monday that dental fluorosis in the US “appears mostly in the very mild form – as barely visible lacy white markings or spots on the enamel,” adding that severe dental fluorosis is rare in the US. CNN also reports that the ADA “says the new recommended levels will still reduce tooth decay but minimize fluorosis,” stressing that it continues to support community water fluoridation. HHS assistant secretary for health Dr. Howard Koh said, “One of water fluoridation’s biggest advantages is that it benefits all residents of a community,” adding, “And fluoridation’s effectiveness in preventing tooth decay is not limited to children, but extends throughout life, resulting in improved oral health.” Noting that Tucson, Arizona is only one of six US cities that does not provide optimal levels of fluoride in the drinking water – one of which is actually in the process of beginning fluoridation – the Arizona Daily Star (4/28, Innes) also reports on the HHS announcement. “According to the American Dental Association, fluoride supplementation should be considered for children who drink water with less than 0.6 milligrams per liter,” the Daily Star reports. Moreover, “Many health experts say that drinking water with below optimal fluoridation levels puts residents at an increased risk for cavities.” Meanwhile, the ADA News (4/28) reports, “The Association commended the U.S. Public Health Service for issuing a final recommendation April 27 for the optimal level of fluoride for community water systems and said the ADA supports the new target.” ADA president Dr. Maxine Feinberg said, “It has now been 70 years since Grand Rapids, Mich., became the first U.S. city to begin adding fluoride to its water system,” adding, “Since then, decades of studies and the experience of tens of millions of people have affirmed that water fluoridation helps prevent cavities in both children and adults.” In a second, much more brief article, the ADA News (4/28) reports that the CDC has posted a frequently asked questions (4/28) page on community water fluoridation. The ADA News notes that the CDC’s FAQ features a “break out box” for health professionals. Also reporting on the story are The Hill (4/28, Ferris), Congressional Quarterly (4/28, Gustin, Subscription Publication), TIME (4/28, Sifferlin), the Washington Examiner (4/28, King), the Wichita (KS) Eagle (4/28, Dunn), and HealthDay (4/28, Thompson).

American Dental Association

Dr. Medina has been a proud member of the American Dental Association and the Maine Dental Association since 1994. Press here to see his American Dental Association profile page.