Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What's That Stuck In Your Teeth?

Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, longer days and laid back schedules. It's also a time to enjoy some great foods -- just be mindful of how those foods affect your smile.

Dr. Aland's son enjoys some tasty ribs, fresh from the grill.
Ribs -- One of our favorite Reno events is the "Best In the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off" held every year over Labor Day weekend. We also enjoy BBQ ribs over the 4th of July holiday! While ribs are quite tasty, the meat can wedge between your teeth, causing troubles to your bite. The discomfort can last until you find some floss and dislodge the culprit. Feel free to show off your saucy smile, just be sure to keep your teeth and gums healthy while you're at it!

Popcorn -- Many families love to visit the drive-in movies during the summer. Experiences like that create memories to last a lifetime! Popcorn is the perfect snack to occupy your teeth while enjoying a good flick, however, beware of those pesky popcorn kernels that get caught in the little nooks and crannies of your gums. Popcorn husks can be thin enough to lodge under your gums, making it extremely difficult to remove them by brushing alone. Flossing after a popcorn snack is essential to maintaining optimal oral health.

Berries -- Summer is berry season, but the seeds from eating nature's dessert can be a nuisance. Did you know the average raspberry has 120 seeds, which can jam into the grooves of your molars? Like ribs and popcorn kernels, flossing is the best way to remove them and ensure healthy gums. With that being said, berries rank among the most antioxidant-rich fruits. Feel free to eat as many berries as you want, just make sure to remove the seeds in your teeth when you're done.

Flossing vs. Toothpicks -- Traditional dental floss is the best way to remove food that has become lodged between your teeth. Floss sticks are a convenient alternative that you can keep in your purse or car. Toothpicks are another convenient alternative, but are generally not recommended due to the damage they can cause to your teeth and gums. They can lacerate your gums, causing them to bleed, or scrape away the protective enamel on your teeth. If a toothpick is all you have access to, use it with care and all should be well.

With these tips and this preventative info., you (and your teeth,) can enjoy a safe and healthy summer! If someone asks you "got teeth?" you can say, "Yes I do!"

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Travels? Don't Forget Your Toothbrush!!

The summer season is officially upon us, and that means vacation time! Packing to leave for a trip can be stressful. Have you ever forgotten to pack something really important because you were in a rush to get out of town?

Bathroom products like a toothbrush, toothpaste or floss, are among the most common items travelers forget to pack. If you get stuck in this predicament, here are a few tips to get you by.

Use Baking Soda -- If you have baking soda, you can mix a little bit with water on your finger and rub it back and forth on your teeth, using your  finger as a toothbrush. You can also use a rag to brush your teeth. Baking soda doesn't taste very good, but it will brighten your smile and help your mouth feel fresh because it's a great acid reducer and cleanser.

Dry Brushing -- If you have a toothbrush, but forgot your toothpaste, you can still brush your teeth using just your toothbrush. Dry brushing is a wonderful technique and is recommended by some hygienists as a regular method of oral healthcare maintenance. It helps you clean all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly, but it will not freshen breath. Use mouthwash or gum containing Xylitol to give you that minty fresh taste.

Swishing -- Some good 'ol high quality H2O can help dislodge food from your teeth, which is better than letting it sit there. Swishing is especially good after eating sugary snacks or drinking beverages containing sugar.

If your travels take you out in nature, keep in mind that the flavors in toothpaste products can attract wildlife. It's best to spit your toothpaste into a campfire or the cathole you're using as a bathroom (if you have one.) You can also swish your mouth with some water, then spray the residue over a wide area. Keep in mind that toothpaste contains fluoride which can be harmful if swallowed in larger amounts, so if you choose to swallow your toothpaste residue, use very little toothpaste. Above all, don't spit your toothpaste in one spot, or too close to your location. That can attract (un)friendly visitors and could put a damper on your vacay.

Keep your toothbrush and toothpaste in a sealed container, such as a Ziploc bag, when traveling to avoid contamination. Besides, opening up your suitcase to find toothpaste exploded all over your favorite outfit is never a good way to start off your time away.

Happy Trails, Safe Travels, Bon Voyage!! Don't forget to enter our Summer Photo Contest! Visit our website for details: AlandFamilyDentistry.com/contests

Summer Photo Contest

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

You Just Graduated ..... Now What?

Dr. Troy Aland graduating from Creighton
University School of Dentistry in 2004.
Graduation season has passed, and many young adults find themselves asking the question, "Now what?"


Dr. Troy Aland of Aland Family Dentistry decided to become a dentist because he loves science and enjoys helping people. "I wanted to find a career that combined the two, but I also wanted to be able to spend time with my family. I talked with a lot of doctors and professionals, and ultimately decided that a career in dentistry was a great blend of all those qualities. Plus, teeth are super cool!"

Dentistry offers a variety of opportunities for work in a professional setting:

Registered Dental Hygienist -- Dental hygienists help patients learn to properly care for their teeth and gums. They start by taking x-rays and probe your gums to look for signs of bacteria or disease, such as gingivitis. They clean calculus off your teeth, or the buildup that happens over time from food and saliva, floss in between each tooth and apply fluoride to protect your teeth from decay. The most important part of their job is building relationships with people and motivating them to take good care of their smile.

Certified Dental Assistant -- Dental assistants sit chair side with the dentist while he/she restores the patient's smile. They take x-rays and talk with patients about treatment. Their job is to keep patients comfortable during their appointment. They hold the suction equipment so the doctor has clear visibility in the mouth. They sterilize instruments and prepare rooms for patients.

Dental Office Administration --  If sucking spit or cleaning teeth all day don't fit your fancy, consider working on the administrative side of dentistry. There are many different job titles for the vast array of administrative tasks required to run a dental office. Some of the more common titles are: Office Manager, Insurance Coordinator, Treatment Coordinator, or Scheduling Coordinator. Each of these jobs require excellent verbal communication skills, as well as an understanding of dental terminology, management software and insurance. Some offices are willing to train on the job for the required skills, but more competitive wages are offered to those who have experience.

The best way to gain experience is networking with dental offices to find an  internship. Online programs are another option, but it's important to make personal connections in addition to online training. Ultimately, the best person to talk to would be YOUR dentist. If you've been influenced by your personal experience visiting the dentist, then that's a great place to start because you already have a familiarity with the office staff.

Whatever you decide to do in life, make sure you are passionate about what you choose. If you don't absolutely LOVE your career choice, you will dread going to work every day. Do what you love and love what you do!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Aland Family Dentistry Summer Photo Contest

What are your plans for the summer? Do you plan to kick back and relax on the beaches of Lake Tahoe, or maybe hang out in the sun at Wild Island Water Park? Maybe you plan to travel the world! Of course, there are plenty of things to do around Reno if you like to stay close to home.

No matter what your plans are, we'd love to hear about them -- not just hear about them, but SEE them! Stop by our office to pick up an Aland Family Dentistry "got teeth?" t-shirt, and venture off into the sunset. Take a pic in your tee and post it on our Facebook page. Or you can post it on Instagram with #AFDsmilecontest2016! 

At the end of the summer, you could win a Fitbit Alta, Kindle e-reader, or an iTunes gift card. All you have to do is post a pic in your "got teeth?" t-shirt! Be creative and have fun with your posts! Contact our office with any questions, or to schedule your next appointment -- 775.323.3366!