Dental care: Keep that happy smile for longer

Everyone knows how to brush their teeth, right? Wrong. You will be surprised to know that a large section of people in the UAE do not know how to brush their teeth properly.

Most people stumble into the bathroom still sleepy, pick up their toothbrush, squeeze some toothpaste on it and get to moving the brush back and forth on their teeth like it was some oscillating wonder. That unfortunately, is the wrong way of brushing, says Dr Manohar Mallya, dentist and specialist orthodontist in Dubai.

Teeth, he says, should be brushed using a circular motion.

To view the correct method of brushing your teeth, log on to YouTube by typing ‘Proper tooth brushing’ in the search box.

Dental care: Keep that happy smile for longer

Brush your teeth right and get a check-up every 6 months

By Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter
Published: 07:00 April 25, 2013
Gulf News

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Image Credit: Supplied
Woman using dental floss.

Dubai: Everyone knows how to brush their teeth, right? Wrong. You will be surprised to know that a large section of people in the UAE do not know how to brush their teeth properly.

Most people stumble into the bathroom still sleepy, pick up their toothbrush, squeeze some toothpaste on it and get to moving the brush back and forth on their teeth like it was some oscillating wonder. That unfortunately, is the wrong way of brushing, says Dr Manohar Mallya, dentist and specialist orthodontist in Dubai.

Teeth, he says, should be brushed using a circular motion.

To view the correct method of brushing your teeth, log on to YouTube by typing ‘Proper tooth brushing’ in the search box.

Article continues below

Apart from brushing, there are many other things we are doing wrong when it comes to our dental hygiene. “The mouth is the focus of infection and ignoring oral and dental hygiene usually leads to problems in other parts of the body,” says Dr Mallya. (To know what you are doing, wrong see the eight dentist tips).

Decaying quietly

The reason why people do not pay enough attention to the care of their teeth is because dental problems are deceptive. They cause no immediate pain. A tooth decay continues quietly till it reaches the pulp and then one fine day, the numbing pain hits you all of a sudden.

The problem with us, says Dr Mallya, is that unlike the preening we do when it comes to our skin, hair and body, we don’t open our mouth and inspect our teeth, gums and tongue on a regular basis. What’s inside the mouth remains a mystery to most of us much of the time till trouble announces itself.

Also nobody really opens their mouth and inspects their teeth or gums from time to time because unlike the skin or hair, teeth seem not that important to most people.

The other important form of negligence of our teeth is eating the wrong types of food. We are so obsessed about reading up on good nutrition but little do we pay attention to some types of foods affect our teeth.

Visiting a dentist is considered a bothersome task and many people avoid it as much as possible. Unless it is an emergency, most people do not book regular appointments with dentists for routine maintenance which goes a long way in keeping dental problems at bay. By being stingy on smaller expenses that come with regular check-ups, cleaning and scaling, you can avoid the hefty expenses that follow due to major dental health problems.

A check-up in time keeps your teeth fine could well be the lesson to be learned here.

Fact Box

Check out what you are doing wrong and follow these tips for a happy smile and a set of teeth that can crack a walnut with ease.


Dos and don’ts:

1) Don’t neglect a check-up: Get one every six months. A problem detected early will require only a simple form of treatment such as a filling. Putting off a visit to the dentist could cost you more and may require a more elaborate treatments like a root-canal or a crown.


2) Don’t delay treatment: Some expatriates try to delay a dental treatment till they head home for their annual vacation. And “many come back with incomplete treatment or partially done work,” says Dr Mallya. “On a holiday, you do not want to be sitting in a dentist’s chair.”


3) Brush your teeth, and rinse your mouth, twice a day: Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal. If that’s not possible, rinse your mouth well after eating to dislodge any food particles stuck between the teeth and to wash away the stickiness in the mucus.


4) Know the correct way: Brush teeth gently in a circular motion, not in a back-and-forth dragging motion. Many people do not know the correct way to brush and do it aggressively which wears out the enamel (the outer covering) of the teeth. Use a soft brush or an electric toothbrush, which is very effective in cleaning teeth. Check the quality of the electric toothbrush. Do not forget to floss as flossing help reach between the teeth, which is a difficult area prone to plaque build-up.


5) Banish the plaque: Dr Mallya recommends scaling, or professional cleaning of the teeth even if you brush regularly. Scaling involves removal of the plaque that builds up on the teeth over time. Plaque is a soft, sticky film on the teeth which is infested with bacteria. It is usually the colour of the teeth but sometimes brown to black in colour. Many people fear that scaling will loosen your teeth from the roots. “It’s a misconception,” says Dr Mallya.


6) Cut down on tea or coffee: Drinking many cups of coffee and tea leaves stains on the teeth. Anything sweet or rich in high carbohydrates will leave a residue in the mouth that can cause tooth decay. Toffees and sticky sweets cause tooth problems so cut down on these.


Source: GulfNews


7) Don’t fear the drill: This is a common phobia which puts off people from visiting the dentist. The tiny high-speed drill is painless because the dentist first uses local anaesthesia before using the drill. Once the numbing sensation sets in after a few seconds, all you feel is a vibration and a light pressure. Drilling is done to clean the cavity in the tooth before it is filled up or closed.


8) Eat a balanced diet: Good nutrition is important not only for your general health but also the health of your teeth. Do not eat foods that are high in starch, sugars and carbohydrates as this will lead to plaque acid attacks on the teeth. Proper nutrition from foods such as dairy products, cereals, fruit, vegetables and meat, eggs or nuts will keep tooth decay and gum diseases away.



Smart Smiles allows kids to learn about dental care

FARMINGTON — A new exhibit at the E3 Children’s Museum and Science Center will give children a hands-on opportunity to learn about the importance of oral health care.

The “Smart Smiles” exhibit, which opens this afternoon, allows children to explore a faux dental office and participate in other interactive activities.

The museum’s education coordinator Cherie Powell said the exhibit is the result of San Juan College dental hygiene students wanting to give back to the community. The exhibit will become a permanent part of the museum, she said.

“The exhibit includes an X-ray machine, a dentist’s chair, dentist lights, and a Woody doll from Disney’s Toy Story’ that will serve as the patient,” said Powell. “There will be different examples of X-rays kids can look at, and we’ll have an egg-periment’ (using a hard-boiled egg) to show the difference between teeth that have fluoride treatment and those that don’t.”

At today’s opening, dental hygiene students will staff five different stations set up around the museum. Models of teeth will allow the kids to participate in different activities related to dental health, such as flossing and fluoride treatment.

Powell said the hands-on nature of the exhibit will hopefully serve as an effective way for children to learn about the importance of taking care of their teeth.

“It’s so much easier for kids to learn when they touch and feel things, rather than just having to listen to information. This is hands-on learning and hands-on fun,” she said.

Free healthy snacks and a goody bag with toothpaste, a toothbrush and a coloring book will be given to visitors at today’s event.

The idea for the exhibit came from one of San Juan College’s community dental health courses, which teach hygiene students how to extend oral health care to the community, said Tammy Sanderson, assistant professor of the college’s dental hygiene program.

In addition to the museum, the college also partnered with the Northwest District Dental Society and the Tres Rios Dental Hygiene Association to make the exhibit possible.

“We’re hoping to keep this relationship with the museum and hope to be able to update and add to it,” Sanderson said. “It’s really going to be educational for both kids and parents. Kids will be able to wear lab coats, pretend to take X-rays, sit in the dental chair, etc.”

In addition to the exhibit, earlier in the week, the museum received a new dinosaur model that has been set up in the museum’s dinosaur area, Powell said.

The model is of a dinosaur called Deinonychus, which was an 11-foot-long, 160-pound carnivore that lived during the early Cretaceous period, about 115 to 108 million years ago.

“Deinonychus means terrible claw,’ and I was told it was the dinosaur they used as a model for the Velociraptor in Jurassic Park.’ They made the Velociraptor larger in the movie than it actually was,” said Powell. “We’re very excited about our Deinonychus, and we may have a name the dinosaur’ contest in the near future.”


Source: Daily-Times /

Cardio Notes: Dental Health Tied to Stroke

Periodontal disease and its treatment are predictors of stroke. Also, comorbidities that increase Afib risk, antiplatelet agents in STEMI, and peptides in Afib.

Caring for Teeth Protects Against Stroke

The amount of dental care and periodontal disease was significantly correlated to incident stroke (IR) risk, a nationwide, population-based study found.

Compared with controls (IR 0.32/year) who had neither periodontal disease nor treatment for it, the IR for other cohorts (all P<00.001) was:

0.14%/year for those who regularly had their teeth cleaned
0.39%/year for those who had extensive treatment or tooth extraction
0.48%/ year for those with untreated periodontal disease

In the adjusted model, those who had regular cleanings had a significantly lower risk of stroke (HR 0.75) compared with controls, but so did those who received extensive treatment (HR 0.95), reported Dachen Chu, MD, PhD, from Taipei City Hospital, Taiwan, and colleagues.

The highest risk of stroke was in the individuals who had untreated periodontal disease (HR 1.15), especially among the youngest (20 to 44) age group (HR 2.17), they wrote in the latest issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The retrospective study spanned the years 2000 to 2010 and included 510,762 individuals with periodontal disease and 208,674 controls.

Other Conditions Add to Afib Death Risk

A Swedish epidemiological study identified disease conditions significantly associated with first-time hospitalization for atrial fibrillation and all-cause death.

Of the 272,186 patients with incident atrial fibrillation (mean age 72, 44% women), neoplasm, chronic renal failure, and COPD were most associated with increased all-cause mortality compared with controls without Afib, according to Tommy Andersson, MD, of Orebro University Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues.

The researchers noted that none of these comorbid conditions are “included in the scoring schemes used to asses thromboembolic risk,” according to the study published in the latest edition of the European Heart Journal.

In addition, the risk of death was higher for women in all age categories, but especially among those younger than 65.

Prasugrel Equals Ticagrelor in STEMI

Prasugrel (Effient) proved noninferior to ticagrelor (Brilinta) in inhibiting platelet activity 2 hours after the loading dose in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients.

But in the primary percutaneous coronary intervention setting, it took at least 4 hours for the drugs to achieve effective platelet inhibition — and then for only 56% of those on prasugrel and 40% of those on ticagrelor, according to Guido Parodi, MD, of Careggi Hospital in Florence, Italy, and colleagues.

They identified morphine use (OR 5.29) and baseline platelet reactivity units (OR 1.014) as independent predictors of high residual platelet reactivity, according to the study published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“Our data revealed a wide variability of drug response suggesting that the gastrointestinal absorption of orally administered drugs may be limited or delayed in STEMI patients because of multiple reasons including reduced or delayed drug adsorption in patients with hemodynamic disarrangement, systemic vasoconstriction, adrenergic activation, and at high risk of vomit,” they concluded.

Peptide Predicts Stroke Risk in Afib

High levels of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in patients with atrial fibrillation are associated with worse outcomes, an analysis of the ARISTOTLE trial found.

The annual rate of stroke in 14,892 patients ranged from 0.74% in the lowest quartile of NT-proBNP levels to 2.21% in the highest quartile, resulting in a hazard ratio of of 2.35, according to Ziad Hijazi MD,of Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues.

Also, the C-statistic improved from 0.62 to 0.65 for stroke when NT-proBNP levels were added to the CHA2DS2VASc score and from 0.59 to 0.69 for cardiac death, they wrote in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The researchers emphasized that high levels of NT-proBNP were common, occurring in three-quarters of this patient population who also had at least one risk factor for stroke.

Source: MedPage Today /

Proposal for dental therapists draws big crowd

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – A study done for the state says thousands of Mainers don’t have basic dental care, because they don’t have easy access to a dentist.

Maine’s Speaker of the House, Rep. Mark Eves (D-Berwick), wants the Legislature to improve that access by allowing dental therapists to practice here. Dental therapists are specially trained dental hygienists who are licensed to do basic dental procedures, including fillings and simple extractions.

A crowd of dentists and others packed a legislative hearing on the Rep. Eves’ bill today. Supporters say dental therapists are already practicing in Alaska and Minnesota, and have been allowed for years in many other countries. They say the therapists would get one to two years of extra training after becoming hygienists, along with 500 hours of clinical practice.

He says therapists would be able to bring basic dental care to parts of Maine that don’t have it now, and could provide care at lower cost than dentists. But the dentists say therapist training is not equal to theirs, and say allowing them to treat patients would pose a risk. Dr. Mary Willard, the dentist who trains therapists in Alaska says they have been practicing in that state for nine years, and there have been no problems. But Dr. Ann O’Keefe, a dentist in Waterville, said therapists aren’t trained to handle complications that can occur from extractions and some other procedures, and she said the “scope of practice” allowed under the proposed Maine law would be muchy broader than what’s permitted in Alaska and Minnesota.

Another dentist said the biggest obstacle to dental care for low income Mainers is that Maine Care will only pay for treatment at a hospital emergency room, not at a dentist office. Speaker Eves cited statistics that more than 55 percent of low income children on Maine Care…especially those in rural areas … aren’t seeing a dentist.

He told the committee the therapists could bring care to more of Maine. But a dentist said there’s no guarantee that would happen.
The Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee will debate the bill in the coming weeks.


Source: WCSH 6

Washtenaw County considers dental clinic for Medicaid patients

Washtenaw County’s next move to help low-income individuals gain access to services may be in the form of a new dental clinic for individuals on Medicaid.

“We have met people who are ashamed to smile, and that’s embarrassing. Their self-worth is lowered. Their ability to interact with people is diminished, and their ability to apply for a job is diminished,” said Dick Fleece, director of Washtenaw County Public Health.

Less than one percent of the 300 dentists in Washtenaw County accept Medicaid patients because the reimbursement rate for dental care through the program is “dismally low,” Fleece said.

There are various free clinics in existence now — including Hope Clinic and the University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s Community Dental Clinic — but there is a greater need for a clinic to provide dental services, Fleece said.

The initiative is one supported by County Administrator Verna McDaniel, who mentioned the dental clinic in December as a project she wanted to pursue this year.

Fleece and his staff in Washtenaw County Public Health, as well as staff from the University of Michigan’s Dental Clinic, made the case for a dental clinic to county leaders at a working session of the Board of Commissioners April 2.

Three out of the nine county commissioners attended the meeting: Felicia Brabec, D-Pittsfield Township; Andy LaBarre, D-Ann Arbor and Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor.

The reimbursement rate to dentists for care provided to Medicaid patients is much lower than the reimbursement rate for care for patients covered by private insurance – which often deters dentists from accepting Medicaid patients, Fleece said.

“It’s a real unmet need in this community,” Fleece said.

The Hope Clinic serves about 1,400 patients per year, and only sees patients without insurance.

The UM Dental School sees less than 1,000 patients per year and has a limited range of services that it can provide to patients, as its primary function is education.

About 20,000 Washtenaw County residents are on Medicaid with a dental benefit and have difficulty accessing services, Fleece said. Additionally, there are 43,000 residents that don’t have dental insurance.

Fleece said he had little experience with running a dental clinic, and proposed to county leaders that a separate organization run it: Michigan Community Dental Clinics Inc. — a non-profit company that runs dental clinics for 22 health departments in the state.

Fleece invited the executive director of Michigan Community Dental Clinics, Dr. Tom Veryser, to speak before the county commissioners at the April 2 meeting.

Patients coming in to Medicaid clinics have more severe dental problems than those that go to private practitioners and require extensive treatment, Veryser said.

Fleece said he didn’t think that there would be enough “benevolent funders” to support the construction and start-up costs of the clinic, and that it would likely require the full faith and credit of the county to make it happen.

“It would be wonderful if we had a benevolent donor,” LaBarre said. “I think this is a worthy endeavor to consider bonding for.”

The county’s initial investment would be about $1 million to build the clinic, which could be paid back over 10 to 20 years, Fleece said, floating the idea of building a 12-bed-capacity building and initially only filling it with eight beds.

The clinic would need to be associated with the local health department to be eligible for a higher reimbursement rate for dental services through the Medicaid program.

“If we could get the support of the board and get financing and find a spot, we could have it open … before the end of 2014,” Fleece said.

After the presentation by Fleece, Administrator McDaniel directed her staff to form a task force to further pursue the logistics to creating a dental clinic.


Source: Ann Arbor /

Sunrise Man Accused Of Being A Fake Dentist

SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – A Sunrise man could be facing jail time after he was allegedly caught performing dental work in his home without a license, according to Sunrise Police.

Luis Quintero, 49, was arrested at his home Thursday night and charged with one count of unlawful practicing of dentistry.

Deputies conducted surveillance on Quintero’s residence after being tipped off by a neighbor who complained about people knocking on her door 

asking for the “dentist,” Luis Quintero. At least four different people told police Quintero had performed dental work on them.

Quintero had no license to practice dental work, but he did work at a dental office, called Smiley John Orthodontics, for the last 13 years.

Sunrise Police got a search warrant for Quintero’s home and discovered “large amounts of dental tools, dental equipment, and dental medication” throughout the residence. In addition, detectives found $6,532 in cash at Quintero’s home.

Quintero told detectives that he was a dentist in Colombia, where he also obtained his dental supplies. Detectives said Quintero admitted to having no dental license in this country. Detectives said Quintero told them he worked on about ten patients per month for the fee of $50 for “adjusting their braces.”

According to deputies, Quintero told them he earned $50,000 a year as a dental assistant, but needed the extra money he was earning doing the dental work himself to supplement his income.


Source: CBS Local


Okla. May Broaden Tests If Dentist Spread Disease

Oklahoma health officials who discovered unsanitary conditions inside a Tulsa oral surgeon’s office said Thursday they will consider medical tests for his patients’ spouses and sex partners if lab results show his clinics helped spread hepatitis or the virus that causes AIDS.

Though it is rare for infections to spread in a dental practice, the Oklahoma and Tulsa health departments have urged Dr. W. Scott Harrington’s 7,000 patients to have their blood analyzed for signs of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Nearly 1,500 had done so through Wednesday evening.

The Tulsa Health Department said a number of spouses and significant others had submitted for medical testing despite there being no suggestion any infections have been passed on.

“We are right now focusing on patients who have been in Dr. Harrington’s chair,” spokeswoman Kaitlin Snider said. Only after attempting to determine whether Harrington’s office was the source of the infection will the board may consider recommending spouses or sex partners for tests, too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have logged only three times when infectious diseases spread in a dental setting.

The Oklahoma Dentistry Board lodged a 17-count complaint against Harrington last week, saying his clinics at Tulsa and Owasso ignored basic safety practices required by state law and common sense. His lawyer said in a Thursday statement that Harrington’s “previous record with the dental board is impeccable.”

“He is taking the recent allegations very seriously and is fully cooperating with the Oklahoma Dental Board,” lawyer James K. Secrest II said. “At this time, out of respect for his patients and the sensitivity of the issues, Dr. Harrington will make no further comment on this matter.”

According to the Oklahoma Dentistry Board, Harrington’s practice had a number of patients known to have infectious diseases. John Molinari of Ann Arbor, Mich., an infectious disease control expert for the American Dental Association, cautioned that if a Harrington patient does test positive for hepatitis or HIV, it would not mean the virus has spread. Lab work could trace the virus’ path.

“Where could they have gotten this infection? He was treating known infectious patients. It won’t translate automatically that they contracted this in the practice,” he said.

Harrington’s office looked sharp, but the state Dentistry Board said Harrington’s employees used dirty equipment, including rusty instruments on patients known to have infections; reused drug vials without changing needles and had assistants sedate patients without a license. Drugs on the premises were outdated and sterilization equipment hadn’t been certified in working order for at least six years.

Health officials inspected the oral surgeon’s office while investigating the case of one of his patients. Initially, health officials said the patient had tested positive for hepatitis C and HIV but later said the patient had only a hepatitis C infection. Subsequently, the health departments recommended Harrington’s patients be screened for three viruses that are spread through blood — HIV, hepatitis C and B. Officials noted it was very rare for such viruses to be transmitted through dental work, and the screenings were precautionary.

“Unfortunately, this just washes horribly over the whole dental profession, which has done a very good job in infection control,” Molinari said. “One outlier is so unfortunate. It is such an outlier in the standard of care that it stands out.”


Source: ABC News /