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Best and worst Halloween candy for dental health

October 15th, 2015

As dental professionals, ideally we’d love for our patients to opt for healthy snacks rather than candy this Halloween. However, we know that’s typically not going to be the case. The good news is that it’s possible to fill up your trick-or-treat bag and still be nice to your teeth. Here are just a few of the good guys, along with some you’ll want to avoid so that your scary cavity nightmares won’t become a reality.

Ranked from best for your teeth to worst.

  1. Sugar-free gum is the best treat this Halloween because it leaves no sticky residue and it is sweetened with xylitol--a natural sugar the bacteria is unable to form plaque on. Furthermore, it can actually prevent cavities as it not only dislodges food particles from between the teeth but also increases saliva, which works to neutralize the acids of the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
  2. Chocolate, with no sticky fillings, will generally not stick to your teeth and, therefore, is a much better option if you’re craving something sweet. Dark chocolate is even better, as its antioxidants, according to some studies, can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure.
  3. Sugary snacks, including candy corn, cookies, and cake, all contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause tooth decay. Although it’s a Halloween favorite, candy corn is laden with sugar that produces acid that eats away at your teeth.
  4. Although they don’t stick to your mouth, hard candy like lollipops and jawbreakers take a long time to dissolve. The longer a food stays in your mouth, the more acidic your mouth becomes. Jawbreakers actually are hard enough to chip your teeth!
  5. Sour candies are highly acidic and can break down tooth enamel quickly--especially the soft enamel in young children. And while powdery candy, like Pixie Stix, dissolve quickly in the mouth and don’t require chewing, they contain nothing but sugar and can lead to cavities by changing the mouth’s PH and giving bacteria straight sugar to eat.
  6. Chewy/sticky sweets, such as gummy candies, taffy, caramel, coconut, nuts, and even dried fruit are the worst kinds of candy for teeth because they stick to everything inside of your mouth, including the grooves of your teeth. The longer a food sticks to your teeth, the longer bacteria can feed on it--which could produce cavity-causing acid.

The general rule is that the stickier the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. And if you have the option to go sugar-free, do it! It’ll make us happy the next time you come in for an appointment, and it’ll make your smile happy, too.

What are you putting into the neighborhood trick-or-treat bags? Tell us in the comments!

Don’t forget to join us downtown on Halloween for Redmond’s Festival for the Kids, we’ll be handing out treats in front of the vacant Redmond Athletic Club from 4-6pm!

4 reasons to love fall at Redmond Dental Group

September 17th, 2015

We’re feeling the autumn vibes in Central Oregon! From the gorgeous leaves changing colors all around town to the plethora of pumpkin-spiced foods making our mouths water, we’re loving what fall has to offer. Here are just a few more reasons why:

Our partnership with Coho Coffee Co.

Next time you go for a warm drink at Coho as the weather gets cooler, snag one of our special Redmond Dental Group coffee sleeves and bring it into our office! You’ll get 50% off a teeth whitening treatment, plus $100 off your initial appointment. Then, after you complete your service, you'll get a $5 gift card to Coho Coffee to use on your next purchase! What more is there to love? Just make sure you get ‘em before they’re all gone!

The Festival of Cultures

We’re proud to sponsor this great event! Brought to you by the Latino Community Association, it includes international music, food, song, dance, cultural displays and booths, and an official citizenship ceremony. Be sure to enjoy this event that’s free to the community on September 26 in Centennial Park. And stop by our booth from 10-6 to grab a goody bag with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and a $100 off card!

Launching our Veteran’s Program

Exciting news! Historically, Central Oregon Veterans have had to drive to Portland to receive treatment. But now, Redmond Dental Group is partnering with the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow eligible Central Oregon Veterans to receive local care from non-Veteran Affair dental providers. Dr. Higbee served as a dentist in the United States Army between 1969-1971 and is happy to deliver dental services to our much deserving local veterans so they can now receive treatment closer to home. Veterans can contact Redmond Dental Group for more information and preauthorization.

Fall colors

As if our view of Bowlby Park right outside our windows could get any better, the trees are starting to change color and it’s looking as pretty as ever! Snap a photo and share it on our Facebook page next time you’re in the dentist chair.

What should I do about thumb sucking?

August 29th, 2015

While comfort for many adults may mean Netflix and tea or a nice afternoon on a paddleboard with a craft brew in hand, for babies it often manifests in. For him or her, it feels calming when they’re tired, scared, bored, sick, adjusting to challenges such as starting daycare or preschool, or trying to fall asleep at night.

Your preschooler most likely practiced this habit in the womb and perfected it as an infant. Most children stop sucking their thumb on their own between the ages of 2 and 4. Some continue the habit longer, but peer pressure in school is often an effective deterrent. However, this can significantly impact the health of your child’s teeth by damaging the alignment of the teeth and jaws.

Curbing the habit

Since children usually don’t realize that they are sucking their thumb, there is no sure way to break the habit. And methods like covering up their thumb can seem like a harsh punishment since they are seeking comfort through the act of thumb sucking. The best way to mitigate the habit may be to preempt the triggers with other options. See below for examples.

  • If your child's thumb becomes red and chapped from sucking, try applying a moisturizer while he or she is sleeping. (If you apply it when she's awake, it may just end up in her mouth.)
  • If your child tends to suck her thumb when hungry, she can learn to ask for a snack instead.
  • If they do it while watching television, consider giving them something else to hold to distract them, like a rubber ball.
  • If he tends to suck his thumb when he's tired, you could try letting him nap longer or moving up his bedtime.
  • If she turns to her thumb when she's frustrated, help her put her feelings into words.

Don’t worry too much

The American Dental Association says most children can safely suck their thumb until their permanent teeth begin to appear (usually around age 6).

Keep in mind, it’s the intensity of the sucking and the tongue’s thrust that can deform teeth to make braces necessary later. Observe your child's technique. If he or she sucks vigorously, you may want to begin curbing the habit earlier, say around age 4. Otherwise, waiting it out should be just fine.

If you notice any changes in your child’s mouth or teeth, or if you're unsure whether their thumb sucking is causing problems, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 541-548-8175. You could save time and money down the line by acting now.

Is dark chocolate good for your teeth?

July 16th, 2015

When you want to “treat yo’self,” dark chocolate might be the best answer. There has been plenty of debate over whether dark chocolate is actually good for your teeth. While it is generally true that candy generally doesn’t mix well with keeping teeth healthy, dark chocolate can actually be a cavity fighter. But the issue isn’t so black and white.

The short answer

While milk chocolate contains the combination of sugar and milk that can contribute to tooth decay, studies have shown that when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth, the ingredients in dark chocolate can actually be beneficial your oral health. Just remember to eat it in moderation.

Keep it real

A key takeaway from this debate is that when it comes to your chocolate choice, “real” chocolate is better. In other words, dark chocolate, which is 70% cocoa, is much better for your oral health in the long run than milk chocolate, which contains more sugar and milk to sweeten it.

The best choice is “real” dark chocolate with less than 6-8 grams of sugar per serving – organic if possible. Raw chocolate is even a better choice, as it is less processed, and more of the antioxidants are left intact. Be aware that chocolate is a calorie-rich food, so modify your calorie intake accordingly.

The benefits of dark chocolate

“Real” chocolate has a good source of polyphenols, natural chemicals that can limit oral bacteria. They are also able to neutralize microorganisms that cause bad breath and prevent some bacteria from turning sugar and starches into acid, which love to wreck havoc on your teeth.

Dark chocolate also contains a flavonoid compound called epicatechin. Flavonoids, a group of plant-based antioxidants, have been shown to slow tooth decay.

Tannins are plant compounds that give dark chocolate its slightly bitter taste and dark color. They have been shown to help stop bacteria from sticking to teeth because their molecules bind to bacteria before plaque has time to form. At the same time, however, those tannins can stain your teeth. If you’re using whitening strips, keep in mind they can weaken your enamel, so eating something with a lot of tannins in it, like chocolate, can undermine your efforts!

Antioxidants are a group of molecules that keep your body healthy on a cellular level. In fact, dark chocolate can contain up to four times the level found in green tea. High amounts of antioxidants in saliva have been shown to fight periodontal disease.

Sound too good to be true? Here’s what one study says:
Consuming a cocoa-enriched diet could diminish periodontitis-induced oxidative stress, which, in turn, might suppress the progression of periodontitis.
- J Periodontol. 2009 Nov; 80(11): 1799-808.

The bottom line

If you’re going to eat chocolate, make it dark chocolate. Like any sweet treat, it should be consumed in moderation—: about one ounce (150 calories) per day. And of course, a chocolate bar is no excuse to skip brushing for at least two minutes twice a day!

The American public is flooded with health news every day. Some of it is sensationalist, some of it is valid, and others should be taken with a grain of salt. Do your research, and don’t change your health habits based on one headline. If you have questions about what is or is not good for your teeth, it’s best to give our office a call at 541-548-8175 and get the answers you want straight from the source.

Tips for a healthy smile this summer

June 25th, 2015

Tips-for-a-healthy-smile-this-summer

Summer is here! Which means it’s time to enjoy all your favorite outdoor sports and activities in Central Oregon. From biking and paddle boarding to softball leagues and summer camps, sports can be a great way to have fun and stay active. However, some popular sports can expose your teeth to danger. Here are a few tips to be aware of in order to keep your teeth happy and healthy all summer long.

Swimming

Frequent swimmers (more than 6 hours a week) may be at risk for developing “swimmer’s calculus” -- yellowish-brown or dark brown stains on front teeth. Pool water contains chemical additives, which give the water a higher pH than saliva. As a result, salivary proteins break down quickly and form organic deposits on teeth.
→ Swimmer’s calculus can normally be removed by professional dental cleaning.

Diving

Scuba diving can lead to jaw joint pain, gum tissue problems, or “tooth squeeze” -- pain in the center of the tooth. These symptoms can lead to “diver’s mouth syndrome” (barodontalgia), a condition caused by the air pressure change involved in scuba diving and by divers biting too hard on their scuba air regulators. Tooth squeeze is caused by the change in air pressure, particularly if a diver has a big cavity, a temporary filling, gum disease, periodontal abscess or incomplete root canal therapy.
→ Diver’s mouth syndrome is best avoided by visiting your dentist before diving to make sure your dental health is in good shape.

Contact Sports

Sports like soccer, baseball and basketball do not require mouthguards, but they are definitely recommended. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) estimates that mouthguards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year. Using a mouthguard can prevent damage to braces or other orthodontic work, as well as prevent mouth cuts, jaw injuries and tooth damage.
→ Most sporting goods stores sell stock mouthguards and mouth-formed protectors, but custom-made mouth protectors from your dentist are the safest and most effective way to go. Although they are the most expensive option, a custom mouthguard offers the best protection, fit and comfort level because it is made from a cast to fit your teeth.

Summer sports are a lot of fun, but having teeth problems and injuries can be a huge bummer! By keeping these easy preventative tips in mind, you can be sure that you’ll be able to keep enjoying your favorite activities for the whole summer. And if you have questions about a specific sport, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Settling the toothbrush debate: Power or manual?

May 18th, 2015

Settling-the-toothbrush-debate-Power-or-manual

Wondering if that fancy-looking electric toothbrush is actually better than the one you get for free at the dentist? If the increased amount of space taken up on store shelves is any indication, electric toothbrushes are growing in popularity. But the effectiveness of the different kinds is debated. We’ll go through the different kinds of brushes, pros and cons, and some studies in order to get to the bottom of this.

Different kinds of toothbrushes

According to Oral-B, there are 3 different kinds of toothbrushes.

  1. Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush: This is the kind you plug into the wall to recharge, keeping the handle and replacing the brush head every three months. Rechargeable electric toothbrushes differ among the kind of cleaning technology they use, such as oscillating-rotating (3D Cleaning Action) or sonic technology.
  2. Regular Manual Toothbrush: Regular manual toothbrushes are the basic toothbrushes you’re probably accustomed to with a plastic handle and various nylon bristle designs on the brush head.
  3. Battery Power Toothbrush: These use an AA battery. While similar in design to regular manual toothbrushes, battery power toothbrushes have just enough vibration to add some extra cleaning action, but not as much as rechargeable electric ones.

What the experts say

In one study by Oral-B, more than 16,000 patients were asked by their dentists or hygienists to use a Braun Oral-B powered toothbrush. Dental professionals said the powered brush had a positive effect on the oral health of more than 80% of the patients. Most participants reportedly said their oral health was better after using the device.

So many patients have been asking their dentists about which kind of toothbrush to choose that the American Dental Association (ADA) has issued several news releases on the matter.
In the end, they said manual toothbrushes can be just as effective as powered ones.

Pros of power toothbrushes

  • Can be fun for children and inspire them to brush their teeth more
  • Can help people who have trouble physically moving their brushes around their mouth to clean all teeth surfaces, including anyone with a motor disability or arthritis
  • Less work and easier to use: At 6,000 to 30,000 strokes per minute, it takes less time to do a thorough job with the electrified version
  • Built in timer that automatically stops the toothbrush once 2 minutes are up

Cons of power toothbrushes

  • Manual brushing still only takes 2 minutes and you can still keep your teeth at a grade A+ level
  • Manual brushes have many styles, bristles, heads and colors to choose from
  • Manual brushes are easier to travel with: All you need is a toothbrush case and you’re all set to go for your trip. No need to worry about batteries or charging outlets
  • Manual brushes are inexpensive and often free whenever you make a trip to your dentist

The bottom line: It’s not what you use, but how you use it

While the effectiveness is still debated, what we do know is the key to preventing tooth decay lies in the way a toothbrush — electric or otherwise — is used. Just keep brushing and flossing every day and you’ll be good to go no matter what! And if you’re still undecided, don’t hesitate to ask us.

Which kind do you use and why? Comment and let us know.

10 easy things you can do to help the planet on Earth Day

April 15th, 2015

10-easy-things-you-can-do-to-help-the-planet-on-Earth-Day

Earth Day is right around the corner. And while every day is a great day to make a positive contribution to our planet, the holiday still serves as a great way for our community to come together to make the world a better place. Here are 10 simple ways to show your mother Earth some love.

1. Reduce plastic consumption
Pack your lunch in a reusable container instead of plastic sandwich bags, bring your own cloth bag to the grocery store, and reuse/recycle the plastic bags you already have. You can also carry your own water bottle, rather than buying a new plastic bottle every time--a single plastic bottle can spend between 100-1000 years in a landfill.

2. Plant a tree
This may be the most obvious one, but it really does make a difference. Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. It also provides shade that keeps homes and cities cooler!

3. Walk, hike, or ride a bike
If people in the U.S. would occasionally ride a bike for a short errand instead of driving a car, over 70 million gallons of fuel could be saved each year--not to mention the added benefit of enjoying the fresh air and exercise.

4. Recycle your paper
Only 27% of newspapers in the U.S. are recycled. If they were all recycled, it would save one quarter of a billion trees every year. Buy recycled printer paper and print on both sides instead of just one.

5. Switch out your cleaning products
Cleaning products that contain chlorine or petroleum distillates expose your family to toxins and then end up in the ecosystem. Choose nontoxic, naturally derived cleaning products, which are proven effective but won’t cause long term damage to the Earth.

6. Opt out of junk mail
Not only will you save paper, but you'll also save time by not having to fish through a sea of junk mail every day. Just pull out the pre-paid stamped envelope in your junk mail, write "please remove" on the envelope and send it back to them - on their dime. In the long run it helps everyone -- they don't have to pay for future mailings and you are no longer buried in piles of junk mail you don’t want.

7. Swap out your light bulbs
Compact fluorescent light bulbs use less energy than regular light bulbs and provide the same amount of light. They also last up to ten times longer, ultimately saving you money in energy costs - more than $30 in the lifetime of one bulb. And if you needed even more reason to switch out your bulbs, fluorescent lights generate less heat than other bulbs, making home cooling costs significantly less in the summer.

8. Turn off lights and unplug cell phone chargers
Did you know that your chargers are using electricity even though your electronic devices are not connected to them? Walk around your house and unplug any cell phone chargers, mp3 player chargers, etc. that you’re not currently using. While you’re at it, turn off any unnecessary lights.

9. Eat less meat
The UN has found that meat production is responsible for about 18% of global CO2 emissions. This doesn’t mean you have to go vegetarian, although it does help. But simply cutting down on meat consumption will make a big difference, even if your direct individual impacts aren’t apparent.

10. Shop local
Support your local economy. Buy from the farmers market, or even commit to the challenge of only eating food in a 100-mile radius. Visit neighborhood thrift stores. Keeping money and resources in the community significantly reduces the pollution caused by the production and transportation of things like food and clothing.

What are you doing for Earth Day? Comment on our Facebook page and let us know!

Unexplained toothache? It might be due to seasonal allergies.

March 16th, 2015

Unexplained-toothache

You probably know It’s that time of year again--allergy season. But did you know that allergies can cause dental issues?

The symptoms
We’ve been seeing a lot of toothaches lately due to sinus inflammation from seasonal allergies. Symptoms are most commonly localized to the maxillary (upper) premolars and molars. You may have been feeling toothache symptoms on teeth without a reason to hurt, including hypersensitivity to cold, pain on biting, sensitivity to tapping, and throbbing sensations. While it is true all of these symptoms mimic an infected tooth, they also are indicative of sinus pressure.

What you should do
Early spring-like conditions have led to an increase in seasonal allergies, in turn some of these allergies can increase inflammation in the sinus membrane leading to generalized pain in upper premolars and molars. However these symptoms generally manifest with the typical seasonal allergy symptoms, so if you don’t have your normal seasonal allergy symptoms you may want us to take a closer look.

Treatment
Once you have seen your dentist and ruled out a tooth infection, you can treat the symptoms. In order to treat sinus congestion and pressure to relieve tooth pain, you must eliminate the congestion which causes the pressure. A good trio of medications often recommended to treat these symptoms are:

1. Antihistamine (Claritin, Allegra, Benadryl)
2. Decongestant (Pseudofed, Claritin-D)
3. Topical Nasal Spray- (Afrin)

Please be sure to visit your general practitioner or family doctor to make sure these medications are safe for you. If toothache symptoms don’t resolve, be sure to revisit your dentist for a reevaluation and/or referral to a specialist.

The bottom line
Your toothache might not actually be a problem with your teeth. But even if you think these symptoms might be due to allergies, you should still come in and see the dentist to rule out actual tooth problems like decay, abscess, etc.

Call us to schedule an appointment! 541-548-8175.

What your teeth dreams mean

February 23rd, 2015

What-your-teeth-dreams-mean

Ever had a dream about teeth? They’re actually one of the most common dream scenarios. The most typical symbolic manifestation in these dreams is losing teeth. Below are a few popular explanations of what they could mean.

Keep in mind that dreams are interpreted in a variety of different ways, and can be seen in two main levels: symbolic and literal.

Symbolic: A symbol can invoke a feeling or an idea and often has a much more profound and deeper meaning than any one word can convey. At the same time, these symbols can leave you confused and wondering what that dream was all about.

Literal: Your subconscious can often pick up an illness or weakness in the body before you are consciously aware of it. In other words, your teeth might be telling you it’s time to come give us a visit!

Different meanings of dreams about teeth:

Life transitions

This type of dream echoes any emotional disturbances you may be experiencing as you or your environment is going through a period of change. Teeth falling out are symbols of a lack of balance in your life; it could be at work, at home, at school, or in one of your relationships.

Loss of power

Teeth are used to bite, tear, chew, and gnaw. In this regard, teeth symbolize power. So the loss of teeth in your dream may be from a sense of powerlessness. You may be experiencing feelings of inferiority and a lack of self-confidence in some situation or relationship in your life. This dream may be an indication that you need to be more assertive and believe in the importance of what you have to say.

Communication

Teeth falling out can mean that in waking life you’ve allowed something out of your mouth that should have remained in there permanently. It might indicate that you’re concerned about your ability to communicate or that you said something embarrassing. Your dreams could be trying to show you that you must be careful about what comes out of your mouth because once it is out, like a tooth, you can’t put it back in.

Appearance

Teeth dreams can often mean that you’re worried about your attractiveness or appearance and how others perceive you. Teeth are an important feature to your attractiveness and how you present to others. So losing them in a dream may be an indication that your sense of your attractiveness is being threatened in some way in real life.

Renewal

From the opposite perspective, this symbol also has positive meanings, including a new direction in life and renewal. Dreaming about beautiful, sparkling, shiny teeth could indicate feelings of assurance, contentment, or peace in a given situation.

Think your teeth dreams might be trying to tell you it’s time for a checkup? Click here to schedule an appointment!

9 TIPS TO EASE YOUR CHILD’S FEAR OF THE DENTIST

January 28th, 2015

CHILDS-FEAR-OF-THE-DENTIST

Every child deserves a great smile. And keeping little smiles healthy and happy means regular dental visits. But what do you do when your child clings to the leg of the dining room table he or she is hiding under, screaming like a wild banshee, because it’s time to go to the dentist? How can you help your kiddo to not be so afraid?

We have nine tips that can help make your child’s next visit a happier one:

1. Find a dentist who is good with kids. Look for someone with a heaping dose of positivity as well as a superabundance of fun, yet gentle, ideas for making children feel more comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Our own Dr. Matthew McCleery specializes in pediatric dentistry and has a friendly, easy personality that children (and their parents) find reassuring.

2. Talk about teeth. Having regular chats with your child about brushing and flossing reinforces that oral health is a normal part of everyday life. When it comes time for your child’s appointment, the topic of teeth (and checking to make sure they are still healthy) won’t seem weird or scary.

3. Schedule a Happy Visit with our office. This is our opportunity to meet your child and become good friends. Your son or daughter will be led on a personal tour of the office, have the chance to meet the dentist and give the cool dental chairs a “test sit.”

4. Make going to the dentist a twice-a-year event. When you put off dental visits, the extended time between appointments can cause children to forget just how easy and fun going to the dentist can be. Bring your child in every six months for best dental health.

5. Talk about expectations. Using “kid words,” discuss with your child what to expect during a visit to the dentist. Most fears in life stem from the unknown, so make sure your kiddo understands that dentists are simply helpful adults who know a lot about teeth and how to keep them healthy.

6. Role play. Time for a bit of make-believe. Pretend like you are the dentist and have your child sit in the “dentist’s chair.” Have him open his mouth wide and then use a toothbrush to count each one of his teeth. Switch places and have him do the same to you.

7. Don’t share prior terrible dental experiences with your children. Children often acquire their fears via the stories they hear from others. Instead, be a force of dentist positivity.

8. Avoid using scary words when talking about the dentist. Words such as “hurt,” “freezing,” “shot,” or “drill” can strike fear in the hearts of little ones. Instead, use long yet simple descriptions to talk about what might happen when your child visits the dentist. Keep words upbeat.

9. Bring a familiar comfort item from home, such as a blanket or a special toy. If your child has a favorite song, let her listen to it during the exam.

You are doing your children a huge favor when you invest in their oral care. Bravo, parents! Visiting the dentist every six months creates a lifelong habit of taking care of one of the most important things in life… a happy, healthy smile.

Ready to schedule a Happy Visit for your child? Click here to get started!

CELEBRATING THE WONDER OF THE SEASON

December 23rd, 2014

Here we are, fully immersed in December. How time flies! It’s hard to believe that 2014 is coming to an end and that a new year is nipping at our heels.

This is the time of year where hearts and minds shift to family and friends as we celebrate those things that are truly important to us. And although the chaos and busyness of the season can be overwhelming at times, the holidays have a magical way of bringing people together with good food, brightly-wrapped gifts… and way too much of Uncle Larry’s “secret recipe” eggnog.

What are your most treasured traditions?

Perhaps you take a jaunt to the Christmas tree lot every year to bicker over the best tree. Maybe your co-workers throw the best White Elephant party ever (because who doesn’t need/want a nose-hair trimmer?). Or it could be the collective groan that occurs every time your family snuggles on the couch and watches the scatterbrained Uncle Billy carelessly hand over a wad of cash to Mr. Potter in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’

Some of our employees share their favorites here:

Jessica Our family loves Elf on a Shelf. The kids get excited each morning to find Eddie in a new spot.

Courtney The first weekend in December, our family goes out into the woods to cut down a tree. We BBQ over a campfire and then go home to decorate our find.

Jayme and Joely (sisters) Christmas Eve is all about homemade pizza with family.

Matt We make sushi on Christmas Eve. On Christmas and New Year’s Day, we do something together outside (skiing, snowmobiling, hiking).

Cheers to making memories, sharing stories and celebrating the wonder of the season with family and friends!

One of the real joys for us this time of year is the opportunity to share our gratitude to those who helped make the past year so wonderful…. our patients. Thank you for your support and patronage in 2014. It’s been a pleasure to serve you.

We wish you nothing but continued health and happiness in the New Year.

Merry Christmas!

Protecting Your Teeth From Thanksgiving Dinner

November 25th, 2014

Protecting-Your-Teeth-From-Thanksgiving-Dinner

Here at Redmond Dental Group, we love sharing our gratitude with our incredible patients. Every day you fill our ears and hearts with your stories, making our lives better in the process. We are thankful for your beautiful smiles and support over the 30 years we have been serving Central Oregon. We are grateful for the advances in dental technology that allow us to provide the best possible care for you and your family. Our dedicated staff makes coming to work each day a treat. We are thankful for each other as we work together to create a compassionate, relaxing and fun environment for our patients.

Gratitude rocks! Thanks for being a part of it.

As you sit down to a bounteous Thanksgiving feast this year, please keep these easy Healthy Teeth Tips in mind:

  • Load up on turkey and other high-protein foods. Protein is great for body and teeth health as well as bone strength.
  • Drink milk. The calcium in milk and other dairy products strengthens teeth. Cheese can provide a buffer against foods with high acidity, such as wine. Try pairing them up for optimal teeth health.
  • Avoid sticky and sugary ANYTHING. Chewy candy, dried fruit, caramel corn and other sticky foods can lead to food getting trapped in the cracks and crevices of your teeth and can damage dental work.
  • Eat your cranberries. This magical fruit contains a slew of vitamins and nutrients good for your health. Consider making your own sauce in order to control the amount of sugar being used.
  • Think orange. Pumpkins, squash, carrots and other orange veggies are rich in Vitamin A, which the body uses to form tooth enamel.
  • More onions, please. Onions, especially when eaten raw, kill bacteria in your mouth that can be harmful to teeth and gums. Just be careful when leaning in to give a goodbye kiss to your Great Aunt Bertie.
  • Fiber does a body good. Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, spinach, pomegranates and other high-fiber foods help clean your mouth while you eat. Fiber stimulates saliva production and naturally scrubs your teeth while you chew.

Most importantly, water is king! It’s your best tool for keeping your teeth healthy this holiday season. Water stimulates saliva flow in your mouth, which can remove unwanted bacteria and decrease the potential for cavities. Drink frequently before, during and after meals.

Having healthy teeth is cool (and outweighs any noogie risk from your brother Brad when he spots you bringing your own toothbrush to the family shindig). Don’t be afraid to pack a travel toothbrush if you are heading out for the holidays. Brushing after the main meal is always a smart idea. If you can’t brush, at least try to floss. At the very minimum, rinse your mouth out with water after each meal to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.

As family and friends surround you this holiday season, please take a moment to give thanks for the privilege it is to live with so much abundance. We are grateful for you and wish you a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.

(While we are great at doling out Healthy Teeth Tips, we are even better at cleaning up after the holidays! Click here to schedule your appointment for a post-Turkey Day check-up and teeth cleaning.)

Women’s Medications and Dry Mouth

September 30th, 2014

Women using medication to treat a variety of medical conditions are often unaware of the potential side effects. One common side effect of medications such as blood pressure medication, birth control pills, antidepressants, and cancer treatments is dry mouth. The technical term for dry mouth is xerostomia.

Xerostomia can lead to undesirable effects in the oral cavity including periodontal disease and a high rate of decay. Many women who have not had a cavity in years will return for their routine exam and suddenly be plagued with a multitude of cavities around crowns and at the gum line, or have active periodontal disease. The only thing that the patient may have changed in the past six months is starting a new medication.

Saliva washes away bacteria and cleans the oral cavity, and when saliva flow is diminished harmful bacteria can flourish in the mouth leading to decay and gum disease. Many medications can reduce the flow of saliva without the patient realizing the side effect. Birth control pills can also lead to a higher risk of inflammation and bleeding gums. Patients undergoing cancer treatments, especially radiation to the head and neck region, are at a greatly heightened risk of oral complications due to the possibility of damage to the saliva glands.

There are many over the counter saliva substitutes and products to temporarily increase saliva production and help manage xerostomia. One great option for a woman with severe dry mouth or high decay rate is home fluoride treatments. These work in a number of ways, including custom fluoride trays that are worn for a short period of time daily at home, a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste, or an over the counter fluoride rinse. If you have more questions on fluoride treatments, make sure to ask Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee at your next visit to our office.

The benefits of many of the medications on the market outweigh the risks associated with xerostomia, however, with regular exams you can manage the risk and prevent many oral consequences of medications.

The Link Between HPV and Oral Cancer

September 23rd, 2014

Cancer has become a common word, and it seems like there is new research about it every day. We know antioxidants are important. We know some cancers are more treatable than others. We know some lifestyles and habits contribute to our cancer risk.

Smoking increases our risk of cancer, as does walking through a radioactive power plant. But there is a direct link to oral cancer that you many may not know about—the link between HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and oral cancer.

This may come as a shock because it has been almost a taboo subject for some time. A person with HPV is at an extremely high risk of developing oral cancer. In fact, smoking is now second to HPV in causing oral cancer!

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, “The human papilloma virus, particularly version 16, has now been shown to be sexually transmitted between partners, and is conclusively implicated in the increasing incidence of young non-smoking oral cancer patients. This is the same virus that is the causative agent, along with other versions of the virus, in more than 90% of all cervical cancers. It is the foundation's belief, based on recent revelations in peer reviewed published data in the last few years, that in people under the age of 50, HPV16 may even be replacing tobacco as the primary causative agent in the initiation of the disease process.” [http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/]

There is a test and a vaccine for HPV; please discuss it with your physician.

There are some devices that help detect oral cancer in its earliest forms. We all know that the survival rate for someone with cancer depends greatly on what stage the cancer is diagnosed. Talk to Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee if you have any concerns.

Please be aware and remember that when it comes to your own health, knowledge is power. When you have the knowledge to make an informed decision, you can make positive changes in your life. The mouth is an entry point for your body. Care for your mouth and it will care for you!

What is biofilm?

September 16th, 2014

Biofilm, the protective housing for bacteria, is a hot topic in the medical and dental fields. Routinely taking an antibiotic for a bacterial infection has become more complicated because of biofilm. Bacterial infections may become resistant to antibiotics in part because the biofilm allows for communication among the bacteria, allowing the infection to be sustained.

You’re probably wondering, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee , what does this have to do with teeth? Since we’re dental professionals, we can tell you why it’s important and what you should know! There is biofilm in your mouth; healthy biofilm and diseased biofilm. Both are made of the same general compounds, but when combined with certain amino acids and cellular chemicals, the diseased biofilm conquers and destroys.

Periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease or pyorrhea, is a biofilm disease. If you are undergoing treatment for gum disease and you do not continue with the treatment plan the disease will progress and/or spread due to the biofilm.

There are several ways to treat diseased biofilm. But remember, antibiotics cannot touch the bacterial infection if the biofilm is established.

When your exam is complete, the Ultrasonic or Piezo Scaler should be used. This method of spraying water disturbs the biofilm and provides an opportunity to treat the infection causing bacteria.

Remember, we all need healthy biofilm. Just as your skin protects your body, biofilm housing good bacteria protects your body. The bacteria in the biofilm replicate every twenty minutes. If your body has healthy bacteria, low levels of hydrogen peroxide are produced by the biofilm, preventing harmful bacteria from residing. Harmful bacteria do not like oxygen.

At your exam, we will take measurements around your teeth checking for “pockets”. The higher the number, the deeper the pocket giving more room for harmful bacteria where there is no oxygen. Ask what your numbers are and be involved in restoring your healthy biofilm.

How do I handle my child’s dental emergency?

September 9th, 2014

With children undergoing developmental dental changes and engaging in rough-and-tumble activities, dental emergencies can sometimes arise. If your child knocks out a tooth or experiences any type of oral discomfort, call Redmond Dental Group right away so we can provide you with a quick assessment and pain-free treatment.

Before an emergency occurs, it’s a good idea to stay informed about the problems your child may encounter. Here are a few things you should keep in mind about teething pain, loose baby teeth, and other common dental issues.

Teething Pain

Typically occurring in babies that are between four months and two and a half years old, teething may cause excessive drooling, tender gums, and some irritability. Giving your baby a cold teething ring or gently rubbing her gums with wet gauze or your finger may also make her feel better.

Loose Baby Tooth

It is normal for a child’s first set of teeth to become loose and fall out. On the other hand, if your child’s baby tooth is knocked loose, schedule an appointment with our office so we can assess whether any damage has been done.

Issues with Permanent Teeth

Sometimes a child’s permanent teeth will grow in before the baby teeth have fallen out. Even if this condition isn’t causing any discomfort, you should schedule an appointment with our office so we can determine whether your child’s permanent teeth are growing in correctly.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can result from a number of factors, including periodontal disease, rough brushing, or an injury to the gum tissue. If your child’s gums are bleeding heavily, call our office right away so we can address the situation. If you have time before your appointment, wash your child’s mouth with salted water and gently put pressure on the affected area.

Regardless of the type of dental issue your child has, you can always consult Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee for further guidance. We make sure our emergency services are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so you have ready access to convenient and professional dental care that will have your child feeling better in no time.

Some Benefits to Giving Your Smile an Extra Boost

September 2nd, 2014

For many individuals, autumn brings with it a number of new beginnings. Fall is the time that many people return to school, get back to the daily grind after an enjoyable summer, and even get married. As the weather cools down, it’s easier to enjoy the outdoors. And regardless of what fall-related events are on your calendar, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group know you’ll want to look your best.

One of the very first things that people will notice about you is your smile. And if yours has become less dazzling over the years — as teeth tend to do — you know how disappointing it is not to have the beautiful, pearly white look you’re used to.

Benefits to Teeth Whitening

For school-bound students and autumn brides, fall calendars are certainly filled. School and weddings call for large financial investments, loads of social interaction, and a large amount of personal dedication. So the last thing any bride or student wants to think about is a less-than radiant smile.

For many, there is a lack of confidence associated with their smile and investing in teeth-whitening techniques can be an effective solution. Studies suggest that not only can you experience a boost in your level of confidence, but also you may find that other advantages quickly fall into place.

A confident smile can affect:

  • Personal and work-related relationships
  • Job interviews and meetings
  • Success when dealing with customers and potential clients
  • Your personality and general happiness with your age
  • Overall outlook on daily interactions

A Real Effect on Daily Living

All of these benefits can relate directly to how you see yourself. When you are insecure with something as prominent as your smile, it can affect the way that you handle your life, everything from social gatherings to professional situations.

Now is the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate your smile. With the right teeth-whitening product and regular hygienic practices, walking down the aisle or starting the new semester with the utmost confidence has never been easier.

Labor Day: Our favorite holiday to rest!

August 26th, 2014

Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday each September here in the United States, is a holiday devoted to the American working community. The purpose of the holiday is honoring the country's workers and their contributions to the strength of our country as a whole.

How Labor Day Started

There is actually some debate as to the origins of Labor Day. It is uncertain whether Peter McGuire, a cofounder for the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, who was the secretary of Central Labor Union of New York, had the great idea. However, the Central Labor Union's plans were what launched the first Labor Day in America.

The First Labor Day

The very first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5th, 1882. The Central Labor Union then held annual celebrations on September 5th for what they called a working man's holiday. By the year 1885, the Labor Day celebration had spread to many different industrial areas, and after that it began spreading to all industries in the United States.

Labor Day Today

Labor Day today is a huge United States holiday during which we honor the country's workers with a day of rest and relaxation or a day of picnics and parades. This holiday is truly one to honor the many people who work hard to contribute to the economic well-being of our great country!

Our team at Redmond Dental Group hopes all of our patients celebrate Labor Day, and every holiday, safely and happily. Whether you stay in the Redmond, OR area, or travel out of town, have fun, and don't forget to brush!

Oral Cancer Facts and Figures

August 19th, 2014

Oral cancer is largely viewed as a disease that affects those over the age of 40, but it can affect all ages, even non-tobacco and alcohol users. Oral cancer can occur on the lips, gums, tongue, inside lining of the cheeks, roof of the mouth, and the floor of the mouth. Our team at Redmond Dental Group recently put together some facts and figures to illustrate the importance of visiting our Redmond, OR office.

Our friends at the American Cancer Society recommend an oral cancer screening exam every three years for people over the age of 20 and annually for those over age 40. Because early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment, be sure to ask Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team to conduct an oral exam during your next visit to our Redmond, OR office.

  • Symptoms of oral cancer may include a sore in the throat or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal, a red or white patch that persists, a lump or thickening, ear pain, a neck mass, or coughing up blood. Difficulties in chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaws are often late symptoms.
  • The primary risk factors for oral cancer in American men and women are tobacco (including smokeless tobacco) and alcohol use. Risk rises dramatically (30%) for people who both smoke and consume alcohol regularly.
  • Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers commonly referred to as head and neck cancers, and of all head and neck cancers they comprise about 85% of that category.
  • Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer among men.
  • Oral cancer is more likely to affect people over 40 years of age, though an increasing number of young people are developing the condition.
  • Death rates have been decreasing over the past three decades; from 2004 to 2008, rates decreased by 1.2% per year in men and by 2.2% per year in women, according to the American Cancer Society.
  • About 75% to 80% of people with oral cavity and pharynx cancer consume alcohol.
  • The risk of developing oral cavity and pharynx cancers increases both with the amount as well as the length of time tobacco and alcohol products are used.
  • For all stages combined, about 84% of people with oral cancer survive one year after diagnosis. The five- and ten-year relative survival rates are 61% and 50%, respectively.
  • It is estimated that approximately $3.2 billion is spent in the United States annually on treatment of head and neck cancers.

Cancer can affect any part of the oral cavity, including the lip, tongue, mouth, and throat. Through visual inspection, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group can often detect premalignant abnormalities and cancer at an early stage, when treatment is both less extensive and more successful.

Please let us now if you have any questions about your oral health either during your next scheduled appointment, by giving us a call or asking us on Facebook.

Diet and Dental Health: What to eat and what to avoid

August 12th, 2014

You are probably aware that guzzling soda and drinking those sugary Starbucks Frappuccinos aren’t particularly good for your dental health. But how much thought do you give to the effects of your diet on your teeth? Practicing healthy eating habits isn’t just helpful for your waistline, it also ensures that your teeth stay strong and cavity-free.

How diet affects dental health

Our team at Redmond Dental Group will tell you that your mouth is a complicated place on a microbiological level. Harmful bacteria form dental plaques which convert the sugars in food to acids that wear away at tooth enamel. Meanwhile, saliva washes away some of the detrimental acids, while minerals work to rebuild where teeth are damaged. The foods you eat are important for managing this balancing act between harmful bacteria and helpful rebuilding agents.

Rethinking your diet to prevent cavities

Carefully considering your dietary choices is a smart way to become mindful of the foods you eat and how they affect oral health.

Foods to eat

  • Calcium- and phosphorus-rich foods. We’ve all heard that milk builds strong bones, and your teeth are included in that. Milk, cheese, nuts, and chicken are strong sources of calcium and phosphorus. These minerals are used to repair damage to the teeth’s enamel.
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables. Biting into an apple stimulates saliva flow, which washes harmful acids from the surface of your teeth. Turn to other crunchy fruits and vegetables, including carrots, celery, pears, and lettuce, to increase saliva production.
  • Sugar substitutes. If you have a sweet tooth but want to decrease tooth decay, sugar substitutes such as Stevia or Equal provide a sugary kick without harming your teeth.

Foods to avoid

  • Sugary snacks. Cookies, cakes, candies, and other sugary treats provide a feast for the acid-producing bacteria in your mouth. Furthermore, these foods often get stuck in the ridges of your teeth, and provide a breeding ground for new bacteria.
  • Acidic fruits and vegetables. Foods high in acidity, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, berries, peaches, and lemons, wear away the enamel of your teeth. Because these foods can be part of a healthy diet, remember to brush after eating them or swish with a mouth rinse to protect your teeth.

Eating well is an essential part of keeping your teeth healthy. Consult Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee about your diet for tips on food habits that keep your teeth strong and cavity-free. For more information about the link between your diet and your oral health, or to schedule an appointment with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee, please give us a call at our convenient Redmond, OR office!

How to Handle a Dental Emergency

August 5th, 2014

Whether it’s a broken tooth or injured gums, a dental emergency can interfere with eating, speaking, or other day-to-day activities. According to the American Dental Association , you can sometimes prevent dental emergencies like these by avoiding the use of your teeth as tools or by giving up hard foods and candies.

Even if you take excellent care of your mouth, however, unexpected dental problems can still arise. Our team at Redmond Dental Group is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assess and resolve your individual situation. When an emergency arises, you should immediately make an appointment with our office so we can put you at ease, give you the best possible care, and help you return quickly to your regular routine.

Damaged Teeth

For tooth damage in particular, don’t hesitate to call and schedule an emergency dental appointment. You should come in as soon as possible. However, if you have some time before your appointment there are a few things you can do to avoid further injury. If you break your tooth, clean the area well by rinsing it with warm water. To ease any discomfort, put a cold compress against your skin near the area with the affected tooth.

A dislodged tooth should be handled carefully in order to keep it in the best possible condition. Gently rinse off the tooth without scrubbing it and try to place it back into the socket of your gums. If it won’t stay in your mouth, put the tooth in a container of milk and bring it along to your dental appointment.

Injured Soft Tissues

For other problems, such as bleeding gums or an injured tongue, cheek, or lip, the Cleveland Clinic recommends gently rinsing your mouth with salt water and applying pressure to the site with a moist strip of gauze or a tea bag. If you’re also experiencing some discomfort, you can put a cold compress on your cheek near the area of the bleeding. If the bleeding continues, don’t hesitate to contact our office so you can receive further help.

A dental emergency may catch you off guard, but Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee can provide fast, pain-free treatment. Follow the advice above and set up an appointment with us as soon as possible so you can put your teeth and mouth on the road to recovery.

Is your child a mouth breather?

July 29th, 2014

Have you ever watched to see if your child is breathing through his or her mouth? Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose may lead to trouble for youngsters. Kids who typically breathe through their mouth—most often children who suffer from allergies—experience problems getting enough oxygen into their blood, a condition that affects their weight, size, sleep, and even their performance in the classroom and daily life.

Mouth breathing as a child can also lead to sleep apnea, behavior and learning problems, delayed speech, dental and facial abnormalities, and even breathing problems as your child grows. There are a multitude of reasons for an individual to mouth breathe, such as enlarged tonsils, adenoids, and deviated nasal septum, but the cause is usually allergies.

As bad as the condition sounds, we want you to know mouth breathing is a treatable condition. Doing so, though, requires early diagnosis and treatment. Since our team at Redmond Dental Group sees our patients every six months, we may be in a position to identify the symptoms of mouth breathing.

If you suspect your child is a chronic mouth breather, please give us a call at our convenient Redmond, OR office to schedule an appointment with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee.

Dental Anxiety

July 22nd, 2014

If you suffer from dental anxiety, a visit to Redmond Dental Group might seem like a daunting prospect. Perhaps you had a bad experience in the past, but whatever the reason, please know that at our Redmond, OR office, there is nothing to be afraid of. We understand you may be anxious about receiving dental treatments, and we’re here to help you have a comfortable, pain-free experience that will put your fears to rest.

You’re not alone!

A 1984 study that appeared in the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that up to 75% of all adults in the United States have some degree of dental anxiety. This includes five to ten percent whose dental anxiety is so severe that they try to avoid a dentist’s office at all costs.

Treatment

If you experience dental anxiety, it is important to let our office know in advance, so we can provide you with the dental care you need with an added touch of TLC. We can assist by explaining behavioral techniques for relaxation, by administering nitrous oxide (laughing gas), or by prescribing a relaxing medication prior to your dental procedure.

Women's Hormones and Oral Health

July 15th, 2014

At Redmond Dental Group, we know that hormones affect a woman's mood, but did you know they can also impact the health of a woman’s mouth? Women are susceptible to gum disease at different times in their lives, and research shows that hormonal highs and lows are part of the problem. According to studies, there are five situations in women’s lives during which hormone fluctuations make them more susceptible to oral health problems: puberty, their menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, and birth control pill usage. So just what happens and how can you help protect your oral health? Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team have outlined the five hormonal situations and provided a few tips and tricks to fending off potential issues.

Puberty - The surge of hormone production that occurs during puberty can increase the blood flow to the gums and change the way gum tissue reacts to irritants in plaque. As a result, a woman's gums may bleed during the act of brushing and flossing.

Monthly menstruation cycle - Hormonal changes (especially the increase in progesterone) occur during a woman’s menstrual cycle. These changes can lead to red swollen gums, swollen salivary glands, canker sores, or bleeding gums.

Pregnancy - Hormone levels tend to fluctuate during pregnancy. As a result, women are at greater risk to develop a condition called gingivitis, the early form of gum disease. Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee may recommend more frequent professional cleanings during your second or early third trimester to help reduce the chance of developing gingivitis. Please let us know if you are pregnant during your visit.

Menopause - Women are known to experience numerous oral changes as they age. These oral changes can include greater sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages, a burning sensation in your mouth, or dry mouth. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can result in the development of tooth decay and gum disease because saliva is not available to moisten and cleanse the mouth. It is important to know that dry mouth can also result from many prescription and over-the-counter medications. The gradual loss in estrogen that occurs with menopause also puts older women at risk for loss of bone density, which can lead to tooth loss. Receding gums, which expose more of the tooth surface to potential tooth decay, can be a sign of bone loss in the jawbone.

Birth control pills - Some birth control pills contain progesterone, which increases the level of that hormone in the body. Women who take pills with progesterone may develop inflamed gum tissue due to the toxins produced from plaque. Be sure to tell us if you are taking an oral contraceptive during your visit.

To prevent gum disease, we recommend:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Avoiding sugary or starchy snacks

Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group encourage you to visit our Redmond, OR office and practice good oral health habits at home.

Osteoporosis and Oral Health

July 8th, 2014

Today, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group thought we would examine the relationship between osteoporosis and oral health, since 40 million Americans have osteoporosis or are at high risk. Osteoporosis entails less density in bones, so they become easier to fracture. Research suggests a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw, which supports and anchors the teeth. Tooth loss affects one third of adults 65 and older.

Bone density and dental concerns

  • Women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to experience tooth loss than those without it.
  • Low bone density results in other dental issues.
  • Osteoporosis is linked to less positive outcomes from oral surgery.

Ill-fitting dentures in post-menopausal women

Studies indicate that women over 50 with osteoporosis need new dentures up to three times more often than women who don’t have the disease. It can be so severe that it becomes impossible to fit dentures correctly, leading to nutritive losses.

Role of dental X-rays in osteoporosis

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) released research that suggest dental X-rays may be used as a screening tool for osteoporosis. Researchers found that dental X-rays could separate people with osteoporosis from those with normal bone density. As dental professionals, our team at Redmond Dental Group are in a unique position to screen people and refer them to the appropriate doctor for specialized care.

Effects of osteoporosis medications on oral health

A recent study showed that a rare disease, osteonecrosis, is caused by biophosphenates, a drug taken by people for treatment of osteoporosis. In most cases, the cause was linked to those who take IV biophosphenates for treatment of cancer, but in six percent of cases, the cause was oral biophosphenates. If you are taking a biophosphenate drug, let Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee know.

Symptoms of osteonecrosis

Some symptoms you may see are pain, swelling, or infection of the gums or jaw. Additionally, injured or recently treated gums may not heal: teeth will be loose, jaws may feel heavy and numb, or there may be exposed bone. Some of the steps you can take for healthy bones are to eat a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, regular physical exercise with weight-bearing activities, no smoking and limited use of alcohol, and report problems with teeth to our office, such as teeth that are loose, receding gums or detached gums, and dentures that don’t fit properly.

For more information about the connection between osteoporosis and oral health, or to schedule an appointment with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee, please give us a call at our convenient Redmond, OR office!

Happy Fourth of July!

July 1st, 2014

Happy Independence Day from Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and team! The Fourth of July celebrations in America may have changed a lot over the years, but there is no doubt that we Americans love to celebrate the anniversary of our country's independence! Today we're devoting the Redmond Dental Group blog to some fun facts about the Fourth!

  • My, how we have grown! This year the United States Census Bureau estimates that our country has 313.9 million residents celebrating the Fourth of July this year, but back in 1776 there were just 2.5 million members of the country.
  • Our country loves to show how proud that we are of our independence. Did you know that there are 31 United States places with the word “Liberty” in their names? The state of Iowa actually has four towns with the word Liberty in the name: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty, and West Liberty.
  • The United States loves Fourth of July food! It is expected that around 150 million hot dogs are eaten on the Fourth each year. One of the Fourth's most popular sides, potato salad, goes just perfectly with the hotdogs and hamburgers that are standard Fourth of July fare. Some people choose potato chips instead, but we wouldn't have such a plethora of potatoes if not for the prodigious production of the states of Idaho and Washington -- they provide about half of all the potatoes in the United States today!
  • Americans love celebrating the Fourth outdoors: About 74 million Americans fire up their BBQ grill every Fourth of July.
  • The Chinese contribution: Did you know that Americans have spent more than $211 million on fireworks that were imported from China?

No matter how your family chooses to celebrate the Fourth, stay safe, take precautions, and don't forget to brush after your fabulous Fourth feast!

The Connection Between Your Mouth and Your Heart

June 24th, 2014

At Redmond Dental Group, we know your dental health is closely connected to your overall health. We also know that the mouth can oftentimes be the first place to show signs of other bodily health issues.

Studies have shown possible links between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease, and researchers have found that people with gum disease have an elevated risk of suffering from a stroke or developing coronary artery disease. Believe it or not, an estimated 70 to 80 percent of North American adults currently have some form of gum disease.

Gum disease, which affects the tissues that surround and support the teeth, is an infection caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque that forms on the teeth, mainly along the gum line. In its early stages, called gingivitis, gum disease can be treated by Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and often reversed.

To help keep your mouth and heart healthy, we’ve provided following tips to help prevent problems before they arise:

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Make sure you brush gently beneath the gum line around each tooth.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Have a dental checkup and cleaning twice a year, or as recommended.
  • Eat a healthy diet. This includes avoiding foods with a high concentration of sugars or starches and consuming more fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid tobacco and copious levels of alcohol. If you smoke, quit. And remember, heavy drinking dramatically increases the risk of developing mouth and throat cancer.

Don’t put off your next visit to Redmond Dental Group any longer! If it has been a while since your last visit to our Redmond, OR office, please give us a call!

What is hand-foot-and-mouth disease?

June 17th, 2014

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease, or HFMD, is a type of contagious viral illness that causes a rash in the mouth and on the hands and feet of infants and young children, and, while rare, adults. Characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus, a bacterium that lives in the human digestive tract. HFMD can spread from person to person, typically via unwashed hands.

What are the symptoms of HFMD?

Symptoms of HFMD usually begin with a fever, sore throat, poor appetite, or general malaise. A couple of days after the fever starts, kids may develop painful sores in the mouth. A skin rash characterized by red spots may also develop, usually on the palms of your child’s hands and soles of their feet. It’s important to note some children may only experience a rash while others may only have mouth sores.

Is HFMD serious? Should we be concerned?

Usually not. Nearly all children infected recover anywhere between seven to ten days without medical treatment. Rarely, however, a child can develop viral meningitis and may need to be hospitalized. Other rare complications of HFMD can include encephalitis (brain inflammation), which can be fatal.

How can my child prevent HFMD?

There is no known vaccine to defend your child against HFMD. However, the risk of your child contracting the disease can be reduced by:

  • Making sure your child washes his or her hands often
  • Thoroughly cleaning objects and surfaces (these include doorknobs and toys)
  • Making sure your child avoids close contact with those who are infected

To learn more about hand-foot-and-mouth disease or to schedule an appointment for your child, please give us a call at our Redmond, OR office!

Oral Health Concerns Specific to Pregnant Women

June 10th, 2014

A lot of changes occur in a woman's body during pregnancy. Hormone fluctuations are responsible for many of those changes, including the need for additional attention to the teeth and gums. Women who are expecting are at an increased risk for oral health complications, including gingivitis and tooth decay, which can lead to irreversible damage. Fortunately, there are steps pregnant women can take to keep their teeth and gums in optimal health from the first trimester to delivery day. Today, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group thought we would share them.

At-home dental care

At-home dental care should not vary much from what you did prior to pregnancy. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at a minimum of twice per day using fluoridated toothpaste. Follow up with floss to keep bacteria from accumulating in hard-to-reach spaces.

Dental checkups

It is safe and recommended to continue visiting Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee for routine dental checkups and cleanings during pregnancy. However, it is very important to inform Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee about an existing pregnancy. Special steps must be taken to protect pregnant women from certain medications or X-ray radiation that could be harmful to a growing baby. On the other hand, avoiding teeth cleanings during pregnancy can lead to serious consequences, including advanced tooth decay and infection.

Food and cravings

It is no secret that pregnancy can cause a woman to crave specific foods. Sugary treats like candy, cookies, or sodas may satisfy a sweet tooth, but they can also cause serious dental problems when consumed frequently or without brushing afterward. Trade out these treats for naturally sweet fruits when possible, and never forget to brush and floss thoroughly after eating sugar-filled foods.

Signs of complications

It is important to know and recognize the signs of oral health problems during pregnancy; an early diagnosis usually translates to an easier, less-invasive treatment. Symptoms of potential problems include gums that easily bleed or are swollen, reddened, or painful. These are symptoms of gingivitis, which can lead to a receding gum line and tooth loss if left untreated.

Call our Redmond, OR office if you experience any of these symptoms or pain in a tooth, loss of a tooth, a broken tooth, or bad breath that does not go away with brushing.

June is National Smile Month: Show off your smile!

June 3rd, 2014

The community health awareness group Oral Health America has reported that 82 percent of adults are unaware of the role that infectious bacteria can play in tooth decay or cavities, and almost three out of five children aged 12 to 19 have tooth decay. Since June is National Smile Month, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group thought we’d remind our patients about the importance of good oral hygiene visits between office visits.

To keep your family’s smiles healthy and beautiful for years to come, be sure to:

  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss every day to clean between your teeth
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee for scheduled appointments

If you want to know more about healthy home care habits, feel free to ask our team at your next appointment, or ask us on Facebook!

Good Oral Health Habits When You’re Pregnant

May 27th, 2014

Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group will tell you that good oral health habits when you are pregnant are very important. A plaque or infectious buildup can affect the baby in gestation, and cause some unforeseen issues during birth. There are a few steps relating to oral health that can help prevent complications and other pregnancy issues. Here are a few things to consider about oral health when you are expecting.

Proper brushing

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is essential when you are pregnant. This will peel away any buildup that you have on your teeth, and help create a shield against future buildup. Swallowing large amounts of plaque or bacterial buildup can and will affect the gestation of the fetus, and can cause certain complications.

Floss

Flossing will also help remove a lot of the buildup in your teeth that can promote infection. Make sure you floss at least once a day. Bacterial infections fester on food buildup, and certain destructive viruses can also breed and grow on these remnants.

Morning sickness

The acidity of vomit can erode the enamel on your teeth, and create buildup of damaging particulates in your teeth. If you are experiencing regular morning sickness, rinse your teeth with a mixture of baking soda and water. This will remove buildup, and alleviate some of the acidity from the vomit.

Alcohol-free, antimicrobial mouthwash

Regardless of whether you are trying to or not, you will swallow small amounts of your mouthwash. Alcohol can affect your gestating baby. Use an antimicrobial, alcohol-free mouthwash.

Visit the dentist

If you have any dental issues, please give us a call at our convenient Redmond, OR office away. We will be able to diagnose and treat any oral health issues immediately, and make sure they do not affect your developing child. Protecting your baby includes protecting your oral health.

Memorial Day and Getting Ready for Summer

May 20th, 2014

Memorial Day didn't become an official holiday until 1971, but Americans started gathering annually in the spring to remember those who lost their lives in war during the 1860s, right after the Civil War. Celebrated on the last Monday in May, people still decorate the grave sites of war veterans and hold memorial services, but Memorial Day has also evolved into a day that signifies the beginning of summer.

During the summer months, many people take road trips to visit family members. Some head off to the airport to enjoy a long-awaited vacation far away, while others look forward to spending time with friends and family at home. However you spend Memorial Day and the subsequent summer months, there are a few things you can take care of to ensure your summertime is enjoyable.

Checklist for an Enjoyable Summer

  • Have the AC Checked. During the hottest days of summer, many families find themselves sweating it out due to a broken air conditioning system. Be proactive so you can avoid waiting for hours or days because the HVAC repair person is booked solid. Have your air conditioning system checked before or around Memorial Day each year.
  • Ensure Security While You're Away. When you leave for vacation, the last thing you should have to worry about is the security of your home. Install a home security system, if possible, and put a timer on your lights so they go on and off at normal hours. You can also alert your local police department that you'll be gone, and ask them to drive by your house once in a while to make sure everything is okay.
  • Visit Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee Before Vacation. Many people put off exams until after summer vacation. Avoid the crowds and make sure your physical and oral health are in top shape prior to vacation time so there are no unpleasant surprises.

Our team at Redmond Dental Group wants you to look forward to Memorial Day and the days of summer by preparing to spend the time safely and comfortably. As you plan ahead, take care of your health and secure your home, you can place your focus on creating memories with family members and friends while enjoying your favorite Memorial Day traditions.

How do I prevent oral cancer?

May 13th, 2014

The fact is, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, resulting in more than 8,000 deaths. Men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women, and men who are over age 50 face the greatest risk. The American Cancer Society recommends an oral cancer screening exam every three years for people over the age of 20 and annually for those over age 40. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer, which is the sixth-most common diagnosed form of the disease, is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved. Today, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent the disease.

So, what can you do at home to take an active role in preventing oral cancer?

The American Cancer Society recommends an oral cancer screening exam every three years for people over the age of 20 and annually for those over age 40. In addition, we encourage you to:

  1. Conduct a self-exam regularly. Using a bright light and a mirror, look at and feel your lips and gums. Try tilting your head back to look at and feel the roof of your mouth, and pull your cheeks out to look inside of your mouth, the lining of your cheeks, and your back gums. Pull out your tongue and look at all surfaces. Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes in both sides of your neck and under your lower jaw. Please give us a call immediately if you notice any changes in the appearance of your mouth or any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.
  2. Don’t smoke or use any tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation.
  3. Eat a well-balanced diet. This includes eating a wide variety of foods from the five primary food groups on a daily basis to meet the recommended amounts of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats you need in a given day.
  4. Limit your exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lips, especially the lower lip. When out in the sun, be sure to use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips.

Please let us know if you have any questions about your oral health, either during your next scheduled visit, by giving us a call, or asking us on Facebook.

Wishing all our moms a happy Mother’s Day!

May 6th, 2014

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." - Robert Browning

We would like to take this moment to thank all the great moms out there for being so great during their child’s visits to Redmond Dental Group. Whether it’s driving their kids to regularly scheduled appointments or for “being there” while their child is treatment, the moms who come to our office are all stellar individuals, so Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our entire staff would like you to know that we appreciate you all!

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your special day!

Choosing the Dental Filling Option that's Best for You

April 29th, 2014

Did you know there are as many types of dental fillings as there are flavors of ice cream? Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. Still, when you visit the dentist with a cavity, there are many filling options. Most of us just sit in the chair, open our mouths, and let the dentist work his or her magic. But have you ever stopped to consider what the dentist is filling and restoring your decayed or broken tooth with?

Five types of dental fillings

There are five basic kinds of dental filing material. The dentist decides which type to use based on the degree of the decay, the cost of the material, and the type of dental insurance you have.

  1. Dental amalgam, or silver fillings, have been used to fill cavities for more than 150 years. Dental amalgam is the most common type of dental filling. It's strong, durable, and less expensive than other types.
  2. Composite fillings, or white fillings, are popular because the color matches the rest of your teeth. Composite fillings are a combination of resin and plastic. They are more aesthetically pleasing than silver fillings, but are also less durable.
  3. Ceramic fillings are durable and visually appealing (tooth-colored), but they are expensive. They are made of porcelain and have been shown to be resistant to staining.
  4. Glass ionomers are typically used on children whose teeth are still changing. Constructed from glass and acrylic, glass ionomers are designed to last fewer than five years. The benefit of these dental fillings is that they release fluoride, which protects the changing tooth from further decay.
  5. Unless you’re a rock or movie star, gold fillings aren’t common. While a gold filling is durable, non-corrosive, and can last more than 15 years, it not only takes more than one dental visit to place, but, as you can imagine, it is expensive.

For more information about fillings, or to schedule an appointment with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee, please give us a call at our convenient Redmond, OR office!

Earth Day

April 22nd, 2014

The idea for Earth Day was the brainchild of Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. He envisioned an Earth Day that would be a kind of environmental teach-in. The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970, and a surprising 20 million people participated on that day. Ultimately, it became the largest organized celebration in US history.

Earth Day Over the Years

Over the years, the recognition of the day, and the number of people celebrating it all over the world, turned Earth Day into an international celebration. Because it is celebrated throughout the world, it is not only the largest international environmental observation, but it is also more widely celebrated than any other environmental event in the world. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 175 countries where over 500 million people participate in celebrations.

The Earth Day Movement

The Earth Day movement is credited with developing the idea that people should “think green”. It encouraged congress to enact laws, including one that resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. It also inspired the passage of the Endangered Species Act.

The Five R's and Their Importance

  • Reduce – Reduce by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Reduce your use of materials that wind up in landfills. Reduce the use of chemicals around your house. Reduce your use of disposable bags, plates, cups, eating utensils, and batteries.
  • Reuse – Instead of using plastic bags for your groceries or purchases, bring your own reusable bags. When you go to buy coffee at Starbucks, take a travel mug so you don't have to get your coffee in a disposable paper cup. Instead of storing food in disposable refrigerator containers, buy containers that can be washed and reused. Don't use regular batteries. Whenever possible, opt for rechargeable batteries that you can reuse.
  • Recycle – Most cities offer a recycling program to collect used bottles, cans, and newspapers. Recycling includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers and manufacturing raw materials into new products.
  • Re-buy – Make an effort to purchase things that are made through recycling. When purchasing furniture, look for items that are made from reclaimed wood. When buying paper for kids school work, computer printer paper, holiday cards, or anything else, make a point of purchasing recycled paper products. Instead of buying clothing at full retail price, shop for second hand clothing. You will save a lot of money by doing so!
  • Rethink – Rethink the way you do things so that you do them in an eco-conscious way at all times. Instead of driving to work alone, consider taking the bus or going in a carpool. Walk or ride your bike when you're only going a short distance. Plan your shopping trips and errand runs so that you can do everything on one day, and do it in a way where you can save time and gas.

Other ways to "think green" include growing your own food, composting yard waste and food scraps, or by participating in local recycling programs. Join a group like Freecycle so you can share your unneeded and unwanted possessions with people who can use them. Likewise, you'll be able to get things you need or want for free.

Earth Day teaches people that the planet belongs to everyone, so everyone is equally responsible for protecting it. Although Earth Day is an environmental celebration, our team at Redmond Dental Group wants to remind you that you don't have to wait until then to make changes that will allow you and your family to live a greener life.

Happy Earth Day from the team at Redmond Dental Group.

What to Look for when Choosing a Mouthwash

April 15th, 2014

Mouthwash is important for more than just keeping your breath fresh and smelling great. Combined with other forms of dental hygiene, it can help prevent plaque, cavities, gingivitis, and other gum diseases. But it may be difficult for you to choose the right mouthwash off the shelf. Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group wanted to share a few things to look for when choosing a mouthwash.

Fluoride mouthwashes

Fluoride has been the subject of many debates in the oral health community. If you live in the United States, the tap water already contains small amounts of fluoride to promote dental health. You may not need to use a fluoride mouthwash if this is the case. However, if you are cavity-prone, fluoride creates a protective film over the teeth that protects against these buildups. It also helps strengthen the enamel over the teeth, maintain good dental hygiene, and keep your teeth strong for the rest of your life.

Alcohol mouthwashes

Alcohol in mouthwash works as an antiseptic: it clears the mouth of germs and some viral infections. However, if you have issues relating to dry mouth, alcohol can exacerbate the problem. If this is the case, consider using an alcohol-free mouthwash. This will free your mouth from the drying effects of the alcohol base. Also, if you have children, you will want to get an alcohol-free children’s mouthwash, because kids are prone to swallowing the substance, and this can lead to toxic side effects. Even if you are an adult using the mouthwash, if it contains alcohol, you should avoid swallowing it.

Antibacterial mouthwashes

Antibacterial mouthwashes have chemicals to help fight gum disease and other infections. Most mouthwash products contain at least trace amounts of these antibacterials; however, some mouthwashes are made specifically to fight bacterial infections. Remember that mouthwash is prevention, not a cure, so if you are presently suffering from a bacterial infection, you should visit our Redmond, OR office right away. Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee may be able to recommend a more powerful antibacterial mouthwash that can help you reduce your pain and other symptoms.

Is gingivitis preventable?

April 8th, 2014

The earliest sign of gum disease is called gingivitis (sometimes called periodontal disease), and is an inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to gum tissue loss, loss of bone that supports the teeth, and eventually tooth loss. The good news is that gingivitis is easily treatable at Redmond Dental Group. Better yet, gingivitis is nearly 100 percent preventable.

Gingivitis is usually caused when plaque and bacteria accumulate on the gums, generally due to poor oral hygiene. A patient with gingivitis will have red and puffy gums that will likely bleed when he or she brushes or flosses.

It is almost entirely within our patients’ power to prevent gingivitis by brushing and flossing on a daily basis. In addition to good oral health habits, regular visits to see Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee will also help with early detection. We can often detect minor inflammation and other signs of gingivitis before it causes any discomfort or issues.

If left untreated, gingivitis will eventually progress to periodontitis, a breakdown of the tissue and bone that support the teeth. Smokers, women who are pregnant or menopausal, people with heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy or HIV infection, and people who suffer from poor nutrition are more likely to have gum disease.

To learn more about gingivitis, or if you suspect you have gingivitis, we encourage you to give us a call at our Redmond, OR office today!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 1st, 2014

What is oral cancer?

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. If you have been putting off a visit to our Redmond, OR office, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits to Redmond Dental Group can be the first line of defense against oral cancer, by identifying early warning signs of the disease, or helping you with preventive care tips to lower your chances of developing it.

Oral Cancer Rates in America

Nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and more than 8,000 die every year from this disease. It is a devastating illness: most people who are diagnosed with it do not live more than five years beyond their diagnosis. Oral cancer has a higher death rate than many other common cancers, including cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid or skin cancers. The high death rate results from the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced and has spread to another part of the body—most often, the lymph nodes in the neck.

What causes oral cancer?

While there is no way to predict exactly which individuals will get oral cancer, there are some potential causes you should know about—because in some cases, you can minimize these risk factors.

  • Age (most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40)
  • Tobacco use, either from cigarettes or smokeless chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (especially in combination with tobacco use)
  • Persistent viral infections, such as HPV16
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables

In addition, oral cancer tends to occur at a rate six times greater in men than in women, and more often for African Americans than other ethnic groups. No genetic links have been identified to explain the higher incidence in these populations, so lifestyle choices remain the likeliest cause.

Oral Cancer Treatments

Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment of oral cancer usually involves a multi-disciplinary team that includes surgeons, oncologists, dentists, nutritionists, and rehabilitation and restorative specialists. Our team will decide on the best approach for each patient, depending on the risk factors and how far the cancer has progressed. The strategy will be different in every case. Some of the most common methods include chemotherapy, radiation, and potential surgery.

Finding out you have cancer can be devastating news. If you are concerned that you might be at risk for developing oral cancer, talk to us about screenings and other things you can do to reduce your risk.

Tooth Discoloration: Common causes and what you can do to stop it

March 25th, 2014

Looking back at childhood photos, you may notice picture after picture of yourself with a mouthful of shiny white teeth. When you look in the mirror today, you wonder what happened to that beautiful smile. Many adults struggle with tooth discoloration and find it embarrassing to show off their teeth in a smile. Once you identify the cause of your tooth discoloration, there are treatment options at Redmond Dental Group that can restore your teeth and your confidence.

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

There are a host of factors that may cause your teeth to discolor. Some are directly under your control, and others may not be preventable. Here is a list of common reasons that teeth become discolored.

  • Genetics: Much of your dental health is determined by genetic factors beyond your control. Some people naturally have thinner enamel or discolored teeth.
  • Medications: Several medications lead to tooth discoloration as a side effect. If you received the common antibiotics doxycycline or tetracycline as a child, your teeth may have discolored as a consequence. Antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, and antipsychotic drugs can also discolor teeth. If you think a medication may be leading to tooth discoloration, talk to Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee. Never discontinue the use of a medication without consulting your doctor, however.
  • Medical Conditions: Genetic conditions such as amelogenesis or dentinogenesis cause improper development of the enamel, and can lead to yellowed, discolored teeth.
  • Poor Dental Hygiene: Failing to brush your teeth at least twice a day or regularly floss may lead to tooth decay and discoloration.
  • Foods and Tobacco: Consumption of certain foods, including coffee, tea, wine, soda, apples, or potatoes, can cause tooth discoloration. Tobacco use also causes teeth to turn yellow or brown.

Treatments for Tooth Discoloration

There are a variety of treatments available to individuals with discolored teeth. One of the easiest ways to reduce tooth discoloration is through prevention. Avoid drinking red wine, soda, or coffee and stop using tobacco products. If you drink beverages that tend to leave stains, brush your teeth immediately or swish with water to reduce staining.

After determining the cause of tooth discoloration, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee can suggest other treatment options. Over-the-counter whitening agents might help, but in-office whitening treatments provided at our Redmond, OR office would be more effective. When whitening agents do not help, bondings or veneers are among the alternative solutions for tooth discoloration.

If you are worried about your teeth becoming yellow or brown, think carefully about your diet and medication use. Talk to Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee to identify substances that may be causing the problem. After treatment for tooth discoloration, you will have a beautiful white smile you can be proud to show off.

Radiation and the Safety of Dental X-Rays

March 18th, 2014

It is not uncommon to be concerned about your safety when you have dental X-rays performed. Putting on a heavy lead vest may make you apprehensive. The benefits of dental X-rays far outweigh the risks when safety procedures are followed and the number of X-rays is limited to the required number.

About Dental X-rays

Intraoral X-rays are the most common, and include bitewing X-rays. These allow Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group to detect caries (cavities) and check the health of your bone and root structure. Extraoral X-rays provide the information we need to monitor your jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ), as well as look for impacted teeth and tooth development.

X-ray Safety

A set of four bitewing X-rays exposes you to about 0.005 mSv (millisievert) of radiation, which is equal to the amount of radiation you receive in an average day from natural sources. A panoramic X-ray exposes you to about twice the amount of a bitewing. In both cases the risk is negligible and worth the diagnostic benefits.

Guidelines from the American Dental Association are offered for individuals who are not at high risk for cavities. Children in this group should have X-rays every one or two years. Teenagers should have X-rays every one-and-a-half to three years. Adults can go two to three years between X-rays. If you are at higher risk, yearly X-rays are not harmful and can save your teeth.

No matter what type of X-ray you are having, it is extremely important to tell Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee or one of our technicians if you are pregnant or may be pregnant. If you are concerned about the number of X-rays you are having done, or about any radiation you are exposed to, please give us a call at our convenient Redmond, OR office and talk to us about your concerns.

St. Patrick's Day

March 11th, 2014

On March 17, everyone has a little Irish in them. St. Patrick’s Day is a joyous celebration of Irish heritage. The holiday originated as a commemoration of Saint Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. The saint arrived in Ireland in 432 and earned the reputation of a champion of Irish Christianity. March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death, has been commemorated by the Irish for over 1,000 years. St. Patrick’s Day is still observed as a religious feast day by several Christian denominations, but it is better known in the public imagination as a rich celebration of Irish culture.

St. Patrick’s Day has been an official public holiday in Ireland since 1903. Each year, the Irish celebrate with a several-day festival that includes theater performances, music, fireworks, and festive parades. The celebration is also a public holiday in Northern Ireland, Montserrat, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In other parts of the world with heavy Irish populations, it is an unofficial celebration of Irish heritage. Parts of Great Britain, Canada, Argentina, South Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United States, and Australia commemorate the holiday each year. Typical celebrations in these countries include drinking green beer, wearing green, eating traditional Irish foods, parades, and shamrock decorations.

Many people, Irish and non-Irish alike, take part in the “wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, the color originally associated with Saint Patrick was blue. His use of shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish made the green clover emblematic of the holiday, leading to the traditional green attire worn by thousands on St. Patrick’s Day. Other little-known facts about St. Patrick’s Day include the following:

  • Each year, the United States and Ireland face off in a rugby competition called the “St. Patrick’s Day Test.”
  • Montreal celebrates the holiday with an annual parade, which has been held each year since 1824. The Montreal city flag even features a shamrock in its corner, as a nod to its Irish heritage.
  • The Guinness World Records named St. Patrick’s Day the “Friendliest Day of the Year.”
  • Along with Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated saint’s day in the world.

No matter your cultural heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to let loose and celebrate your inner Irish-ness! Don your greenest attire and exclaim “Erin go Bragh!” (Ireland forever!) to everyone you meet. From Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee - have a great St. Paddy’s day!

March is National Nutrition Month!

March 4th, 2014

While you don’t have to wait to start eating right, March is the month the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics asks everyone to pay special attention to what goes into our bodies. The Academy has designated the month of March for focusing the public’s awareness on what they eat.

What Not to Eat

The academy points out that the foods you eat have a direct effect on the health of your teeth and specifically on tooth decay. Bacteria rely on carbohydrates to thrive. That is why Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group tell our patients to cut back on both candy and sweets. They consist of simple sugars that feed the bacteria in your mouth and enhance tooth decay.

It’s the hidden sugars that will cost you, though. Get in the habit of reading labels on food and looking for products with added sugar. This includes ingredients that end with the suffix “ose.” When it comes to nutrition, these foods offer little value beyond satisfying that sweet tooth.

What You Should Eat

Turn to foods that not only taste good but are good for your teeth too. Dairy products, for example, provide the body with nutritional items that support tooth enamel. Foods high in protein feature phosphorus, a nutrient critical to oral health.

You can’t really go wrong by adding color to your diet, either. Fruits and vegetables make for a colorful plate and a healthy meal. Use some caution with acidic fruits like oranges or even tomatoes, because the acid can erode tooth enamel. It is better to include these foods in a meal instead of eating them by themselves.

Remember, good nutrition is something you should worry about all year long, not just when celebrating National Nutrition Month. March just serves as a fun reminder that eating right is a proactive step in managing your dental health.

We encourage you to give us a call at our Redmond, OR office to learn more!

Antibiotic Prophylaxis or Pre-Medication

February 25th, 2014

At Redmond Dental Group, we know the human mouth contains a lot of bacteria. A bacterium can travel through your body with routine activities that are a normal part of daily living. You spread bacteria when you brush or floss your teeth, when you chew, and when you swallow.

For most people, bacteria don’t cause any problem. For some people, however, especially those who have chronic medical conditions, specific cardiac conditions, or whose immune systems are compromised, bacteria that spreads throughout the bloodstream can lead to much more serious bacterial infections.

The goal of pre-medication or antibiotic prophylaxis, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee will tell you, is to prevent bacterial endocarditis, a serious infection of the endothelial heart surfaces or the heart valves. The condition is also called infective endocarditis. A small population of people with certain health problems has a high risk for contracting this potentially deadly bacterium.

The American Heart Association states that people at greatest risk for contracting bacterial or infective endocarditis are:

  • Patients who underwent cardiac valve surgery in the past
  • Those who have suffered past incidents of infective endocarditis
  • Patients who have mitral valve prolapse, resulting in or causing valve leakage
  • People who have had rheumatic fever or any degenerative cardiac condition that produces abnormalities in cardiac valves
  • Patients who suffer from certain congenital heart diseases

For these patients, any dental procedure may cause bleeding, and prophylactic antibiotic administration is recommended as a preventive measure.

Other patients who require prophylactic antibiotics

The American Association of Endodontists extends recommendations to patients who have undergone joint replacement surgery within the past two years, suffer from type 1 diabetes, or have immune deficiencies from diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV; cancer patients whose immune systems are suppressed because of radiation or chemotherapy; people who have had organ transplants; and hemophiliacs.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also includes people who suffer from sickle cell anemia, as well as patients who suffer from conditions that require chronic steroid therapy.

Typical endodontic procedures for which antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended include root canal therapy (when it involves going deeper than the root apex), surgical tooth extractions, and any other dental, endodontic, or periodontal procedure during which the doctor anticipates bleeding.

Although different medical societies and organizations offer these guidelines as a way of identifying patients for whom prophylactic pre-medication is essential prior to dental procedures, dentists will take each patient's medical history and personal risk factors into consideration. Some doctors may choose to administer antibiotics following a procedure, especially for patients who have previously suffered from oral infections either as a result of dental procedures or that necessitated oral surgery.

For more information about antibiotic prophylaxis, or to schedule an appointment with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee, please give us a call at our convenient Redmond, OR office!

The Link Between Dental Hygiene and Your Overall Health

February 18th, 2014

When patients of Redmond Dental Group hear any mention of oral or dental hygiene, they probably think of brushing and flossing their teeth. Although these are extremely important, the term dental hygiene encompasses much more than that. Your mouth’s health, including your teeth, has an important impact on your overall physical health. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research published the surgeon general's first ever report on dental health. It is called A National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health. In that report, the Surgeon General states that the 1948 World Health Organization expanded its earlier definition of health to "a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not just the absence of infirmity."

The Importance of Oral Health to Total Overall Health

One of the most important themes that the dental health report stressed is that you cannot be healthy without oral health. It went on to explain that oral health and general health are inextricably linked, and therefore can't be seen as two separate things. Because oral health is so critical to overall health, it should be included in all community health programs. For individuals, this means that it is just as important to take care of your mouth, your teeth, and your overall oral health as it is to take care of the rest of your body. The two most prevalent dental diseases are caries (cavities), also known as tooth decay, and periodontal (gum) disease.

Ways that Oral Health Impacts Overall Health

One important way in which good oral health contributes to better overall health is seen in the findings of several studies in which the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients were significantly lowered when their periodontal (or gum disease) was successfully treated. Your mouth has roughly 500 different species of bacteria. Many are harmless, and some are even good bacteria that help maintain the balance of your intestinal flora. Harmful bacteria can infect your gums, causing gingivitis. Your body's immune system may try to fight off the alien invaders, but they attack your gums, causing inflammation and bleeding when you brush.

Now that you know how important good dental hygiene is, be sure to see to get your teeth cleaned every six months, have regular dental checkups, brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily, and replace your toothbrush at least every couple of months. Call us to schedule your next appointment at our convenient Redmond, OR location.

Choose Chocolate on Valentine's Day

February 11th, 2014

From a student handing out sweets for her classmates to an older married couple exchanging boxes of candy, Valentine’s Day is the time of year when people like to show affection by gifting sugary treats to their loved ones. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of Valentine’s Day candy, you can celebrate the holiday in a healthier way by making dark chocolate your confection of choice.

Contribute to Your Health

According to the Cleveland Clinic, studies have shown that the cocoa beans used to make chocolate contain flavonoids, which can help protect the body against damage from various toxins. Flavonoids may also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart and the brain. Dark chocolates typically contain a higher amount of flavonoids than other types, making them a great choice for chocolate lovers. However, you should keep in mind that many companies produce chocolate that is so heavily processed that the flavonoids are largely eliminated. Your best bet is to look for high-quality dark chocolates and cocoa powders that have undergone minimal processing.

Protect Against Cavities

If you think there’s no way candy could ever be beneficial for your teeth, think again. The Texas A&M Health Science Center has reported that the tannins present in cocoa beans may actually help prevent cavities by interfering with bacteria’s harmful interaction with teeth. Just like with flavonoids, tannins have been found to be present more often in dark chocolates, rather than milk chocolates, giving you another great reason to choose the richer, sweet varieties.

Avoid a Sticky Situation

One more benefit of choosing chocolate over other candies is that it is less likely to get stuck in the crevices and spaces between teeth. Gooey sweets like taffy can stay lodged in the mouth for longer periods of time, putting you at a greater risk for developing cavities. When you choose your chocolate, be sure to avoid types that also contain sticky ingredients like caramel or marshmallow, and instead opt for the plain varieties.

Remember that the health benefits you can receive from dark chocolate are largely based on eating the candy in moderation. With that being said, it’s easy to make this delicious and health conscious switch when you’re out shopping for your sweetheart, friends, loved ones, and yourself. Have fun satisfying your sweet tooth this year and Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Redmond Dental Group!

February is Heart Month

February 4th, 2014

The American Academy of Periodontology stresses the importance of good oral health since gum disease may be linked to heart disease and stroke. Thus far, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established, but there are multiple theories to explain the link between heart disease and periodontal disease. One theory suggests that oral bacteria may affect heart health when it enters the blood and attaches to the fatty plaque in the heart's blood vessels. This can cause the formation of blood clots. Another theory suggests the possibility that inflammation could be a contributing link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Gum disease increases plaque buildup, and inflamed gums may also contribute to the development of swollen or inflamed coronary arteries.

What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease is caused in part by the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries. Blood clots cut off blood flow, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Both blood clots and the buildup of fatty proteins (also called plaque) on the walls of the coronary arteries may lead to a heart attack. Moreover, periodontal disease nearly doubles the likelihood that someone will suffer from coronary artery disease. Periodontal disease can also worsen existing heart conditions, so many patients who suffer from heart disease need to take antibiotics before any dental procedures. This is especially true of patients who are at greatest risk for contracting infective endocarditis (inflammation of the inner layer of the heart). The fact that more than 2,400 people die from heart disease each day makes it a major public health issue. It is also the leading killer of both men and women in the United States today.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the bone and gum tissues around the teeth, reducing or potentially eradicating the system that supports your teeth. It affects roughly 75 percent of Americans, and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. People who suffer from periodontal disease may notice that their gums swell and/or bleed when they brush their teeth.

Although there is no definitive proof to support the theory that oral bacteria affects the heart, it is widely acknowledged better oral health contributes to overall better health. When people take good care of their teeth, get thorough exams, and a professional cleaning twice a year, the buildup of plaque on the teeth is lessened. A healthy, well-balanced diet will also contribute to better oral and heart health. There is a lot of truth to the saying "you are what you eat." If you have any questions about you periodontal disease and your overall health, give our Redmond, OR office a call!

Stress and Your Oral Health

January 28th, 2014

Stress symptoms—which include high blood pressure, severe aches, and insomnia—may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is the culprit when in fact stress may actually be the reason. While stress can be good for us sometimes, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team know stress can be physically harmful. But what is often overlooked is that stress can also take a toll on your mouth. Here’s how:

Teeth Grinding

It’s not uncommon for people dealing with stress to develop teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. People who grind their teeth at night may do so unconsciously, but the condition requires treatment to prevent the development of headaches, TMJ, and tooth damage. If you’re a night-grinder, talk to Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee. We may recommend a night guard.

Mouth Sores

Research suggests stress and depression harm your immune system, making it easier for infections to develop and stick around. That can mean canker sores or a cold sore outbreak. If mouth sores are a recurring problem for you, give us a call to schedule an appointment with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee.

Bad Habits

Stress can lead to bad oral health habits such as smoking, drinking, and neglecting your daily brushing and flossing routine. If you’ve been feeling under pressure lately, try to keep up with your oral health routine—it will serve you well when your stress levels return to normal.

Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group know there’s not always an easy way to reduce your stress levels, but eating healthy, exercising regularly, and spending time with friends and family are all good places to start.

Steer clear of that candy!

January 21st, 2014

At Redmond Dental Group, we know how tempting candy can sometimes be on our sweet tooth, but it’s important to remember that every candy and sugary treat you consume elevates your risk of developing tooth decay, which can break down your teeth.

While not all bad in moderation, when eaten in excess, candy can lead to big problems, especially if good oral hygiene habits are not followed. We have a few helpful tips if you just can’t stay away from all those treats:

1. Consume candy and other sweets during meals when your saliva can help neutralize the acids that are found in some candies, especially the sour variety.

2. Avoid sticky or hard candies, which can stay in your mouth longer than you think, resulting in acids being constantly exposed to your teeth. That leads to cavities and tooth decay.

3. Make sure the water you drink is fluoridated. Water that is fluoridated has been shown to help prevent cavities.

4. Make sure to maintain your daily oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing twice a day, and flossing at least once.

5. Visit our office twice a year for regular dental checkups and cleanings with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee. During your visit, we can help catch problems such as cavities early to reduce the effects they have on your teeth, as well as give you tips for improving your oral health.

We hope these tips have helped! To learn more about cavity prevention, or to schedule your next visit at our convenient Redmond, OR office, please give us a call!

What are the benefits of visiting a dentist regularly?

January 14th, 2014

Your regularly scheduled dental checkups with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee are not just meant to make your smile prettier and healthier. Your mouth’s health has an important impact on your overall physical health as well!

While you may brush your teeth twice a day and even floss, we would like to remind you that dental checkups with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee every six months aren’t just about addressing problems and reacting, they are about cavity and gum disease prevention.

In addition to a twice yearly thorough teeth cleaning and polishing at Redmond Dental Group, these regular visits help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and gum disease. During your visit, we’ll check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. We’ll also check old fillings and restorations, as these can wear away over time from constant chewing, grinding, or clenching.

It’s important to know that the majority of dental problems do not become visible or painful until they are highly advanced. And, unfortunately, serious oral issues are painful and expensive to treat.

While Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team always strive to provide unmatched dental care for you and your family, we are also committed to your overall wellness as well! A deep cleaning twice a year is the best way to prevent any problems that may have gone unseen. If you are overdue for your next cleaning, please give us a call to schedule an appointment at our Redmond, OR office!

Do adults need fluoride treatments?

January 7th, 2014

Many dentists and hygienists recommend fluoride treatments for their adult patients. You might ask yourself, “Do I really need a fluoride treatment? I thought those were just for my kids.” After all, most insurance plans cover fluoride treatments only up to the age of 18.

What you need to know as a dental consumer is that studies have shown topical fluoride applications performed by a dental professional create a significant benefit for adults who have moderate to high risk for cavities.

There are several circumstances that warrant extra fluoride protection among adults. Many prescription medications reduce saliva flow or otherwise create dry mouth. A reduction in saliva increases cavity risk.

Adults often experience gum recession, which exposes part of the root surface of teeth. These areas are softer than the hard enamel at the top of the tooth, which makes them more susceptible to decay.

In addition, adults often get restorative work such as crowns or bridges. Fluoride can help protect the margins of these restorations, ultimately protecting your investment.

Today many people opt for orthodontic treatment (braces) as adults. Braces make it more challenging for patients to maintain good oral hygiene. Just ask your kids! Fluoride can keep the teeth strong and cavity-free even with the obstacle of orthodontic appliances.

Have you had a restoration done within the last year due to new decay? If you have, that puts you at a higher risk for cavities. Fluoride treatments are a great way to prevent more cavities in patients who are already prone to them.

How is that flossing coming along? You know you should floss daily, but do you? If your oral hygiene is not ideal, fluoride could be just the thing to keep your neglect from leading to cavities between your teeth.

Fluoride can also help with the growing problem of sensitive teeth. Diets high in acidic foods and beverages, general gum recession, and increased use of whitening products all tend to produce sensitive teeth. Fluoride treatments re-mineralize tooth enamel and reduce that sensitivity.

Patients who undergo radiation treatment for cancer also benefit from topical fluoride applications. Radiation damages saliva glands, thus greatly reducing the flow of saliva. Saliva acts as a buffer against the foods we eat and beverages we drink. Once again, less saliva greatly increases the risk of cavities.

If one or more of these conditions applies to you, consider requesting a topical fluoride treatment. Be sure to ask Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee at your next appointment whether you might benefit from a topical fluoride application.

New Year's Day Around the World

December 31st, 2013

New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the calendar year in most parts of the world. The holiday is celebrated on January 1st of each year. Customs and celebrations vary by country, religion, and even individual desires. Whether celebrated quietly or with gusto, the day brings the start of new opportunities for those that observe it.

United States and Canada

In both the US and Canada, celebrations begin on New Year’s Eve. At midnight on January 1st the New Year is welcomed with bells, horns, whistles, and other noisemakers. Fireworks are often part of the celebrations. In New York City, Times Square comes alive with revelers. In Toronto, there are large celebrations which may feature concerts, late-night partying, sporting events, and fireworks, with free public transit service during peak party times. Many individuals in North America greet the year by making resolutions for improvements in their lives.

China

In China, many people celebrate two forms of a new year. They may observe January 1st, but the traditional Chinese New Year is based on a lunar calendar. Parades with paper lanterns and dragons made from silk are a significant part of the festivities. Legends say that the dragon spends most of its time in hibernation so fireworks are used to keep the dragon awake.

Jewish Celebration

Jewish New Year’s observances begin with Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the New Year, and end with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This ten-day celebration is held in September or October, based on the Hebrew calendar. The New Year is not marked as much with loud celebrations as with personal insight to mend wrongs and resolve to better oneself.

Other countries and cultures also have different dates for New Year’s Day observances:

  • Vietnam observes the New Year in February
  • In Iran, the day is celebrated on March 21st
  • Islamic cultures often observe the tenth day of the month of Muharram
  • Russian Orthodox observers use the Julian calendar and celebrate on January 14th
  • Buddhist celebrations are held from April 13th through 15th

If you observe New Year’s Day by making healthy resolutions, include dental care in your plans with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee. The health of your teeth and gums contributes to your overall health. Caring for your mouth now can prevent many dental problems later in life. Redmond Dental Group wishes you a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year!

Is there a correlation between my dental and cardiovascular health?

December 24th, 2013

YES!  Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care. Cardiovascular disease remains American’s leading killer, claiming more lives than the rest of major causes of death, according to our friends at the American Heart Association. In fact, an estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.

Studies suggest that people with gum disease are believed to have an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke. Since most patients are not regularly visiting a heart specialist, their regular visits to our Redmond, OR office can help detect early warning signs of heart issues, prevent gum disease, or at the very least catch it at its early stage. We’d also like you to know your numbers: blood pressure (less than 120/80), cholesterol (less than 200) and BMI (less than 25).

There are many benefits to visiting Redmond Dental Group in addition to maintaining your dental health. If it has been a while since your last visit, please give us a call!

Festival of Trees!

December 17th, 2013

The Redmond Festival of Trees is held every first Thursday of December every year! It's a great day of free family activities including viewing of over 30 creatively decorated trees, children's activities, a hospitality table, live entertainment, and visits with Santa! The fundraiser is run by the Hospice of Redmond, and the donations make it possible to provide services to terminally ill people and their families not covered by Medicare or private insurance!

This year, the tree we purchased has everyone oohing and aahing when they stop in the office! What do you think of our Grinch Tree? It was decorated by The Soap Box!

Should I have TMD treated? Why?

December 17th, 2013

TMD occurs when your bite is not properly aligned. It can cause the jaw to experience unnatural stresses and prevent it from resting properly when your mouth is closed. If you have TMD, you may have noticed a clicking noise when you chew, speak, or yawn; you may even experience pain and discomfort during these actions. In some cases, your jaw may feel “locked” following a wide yawn.

TMD can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw as well as headaches that occur when the muscles that help the joints open and close become overtired. But beyond the pain and discomfort, TMD can also cause serious dental problems if left untreated.

Because TMD is associated with a poor bite or malocclusion (which literally translated means “bad closure”), your teeth do not meet properly. As a result, extra tension and stress may be placed on your teeth, resulting in chips and cracks that allow cavities to form and may even result in tooth loss. Over time, TMD can cause teeth to break, which requires cosmetic treatment to rebuild your healthy smile, and ensure the broken tooth and its neighbors are protected from decay.

While treating TMD used to mean expensive and invasive surgery to reposition or even rebuild the jaw joints, today’s approach at Redmond Dental Group is much more patient-friendly. By restoring broken, chipped, or cracked teeth, replacing missing teeth, and using braces or other dental devices, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team can help realign your jaw so it’s able to function properly, and eliminate pain and discomfort. And there’s more good news: By restoring damaged teeth and tooth surfaces and straightening crooked teeth, you’re also left with a more attractive smile once treatment is completed.

Every patient is different, and that means your course of treatment will be different too. After a thorough examination of your teeth and jaw, our experienced staff at Redmond Dental Group will work with you to develop a treatment plan that will have you feeling better – and looking better – sooner than you ever expected. Don’t let your untreated TMD cause more pain and problems; give us a call at our convenient Redmond, OR office today to schedule a consultation.

Four Oral Health Issues Seniors Face

December 10th, 2013

Oral health is an important and often overlooked component of an older person’s general health and well-being. Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team know that for many of our older patients, oral health can become an issue when arthritis or other neurological problems render them unable to brush or floss their teeth as effectively as they once did. Today, we thought we would discuss four common oral health issues our older patients face and how they can avoid them:

Cavities: It’s not just children who get tooth decay—oral decay is a common disease in people 65 and older. Ninety-two percent of seniors 65 and older have had dental caries in their permanent teeth, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The risk for tooth decay increases because many older adults don’t go to the dentist as often as they used to, thus cavities go undetected and untreated for longer than they should. Keeping regular appointments with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee is the key to getting cavities treated in a timely manner.

Difficulty eating: Oral health problems, whether from missing teeth, cavities, dentures that don’t fit, gum disease, or infection, can cause difficulty eating and can force people to adjust the quality, consistency, and balance of their diet.

Dry mouth: Also called xerostomia, dry mouth is a common issue for a lot of seniors. Our friends at the Oral Cancer Foundation estimate that 20 percent of elderly people suffer from dry mouth, which means the reduced flow of saliva (saliva plays a crucial role in preventing tooth decay). Many seniors are on multiple medications for a variety of chronic illnesses or conditions. Common medications taken that may cause dry mouth are decongestants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, pain pills, incontinence medications, antidepressants, diuretics, muscle relaxers, and Parkinson’s disease medications. To help counter this, we suggest drinking lots of fluids and limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol. We also encourage you to check with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee during your next visit if you think your medications are causing your mouth to feel dry.

Gum Disease: Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection of the gums and surrounding tissues that hold teeth in place. While gum disease affects people of all ages, it typically becomes worse as people age. In its early stages, gum disease is painless, and most people have no idea that they have it. In more advanced cases, however, gum disease can cause sore gums and pain when chewing.

Gum disease, which can range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease, is usually caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow dental plaque to build up on the teeth. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form tartar that brushing simply does not clean. Only a professional cleaning at our office can remove tartar. The two forms of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen, and can bleed easily; in periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces that become infected.

Proper brushing, flossing, and visiting our office regularly can prevent gum disease. Seniors with limited dexterity who have trouble gripping a toothbrush should ask Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee about modifying a handle for easier use or switching to a battery-powered toothbrush.

Sealants: What are they and how do they help?

December 3rd, 2013

Molars are made up of canyons, caves, pits, and seemingly endless caverns that are a breeding ground for decay. The protective solution is a sealant. When done correctly, a sealant from Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee of Redmond Dental Group can be most effective in preventing cavities.

A sealant is made up of composite (a plastic-like) material that contains bonding agents to seal to the edge of the tooth. Sealants placed on the chewing surfaces of back teeth block food from being trapped. The process in which a sealant is placed is quite precise and painless.

First the tooth is cleaned with a sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) spray. Then an acid etch is applied to “roughen up” the surface. No saliva is to touch the tooth. This will re-mineralize the area, then a repeat etching is needed. An alcohol-based liquid then dries out the area and it must remain completely dry. The sealant is placed and guided through all the caverns, pits, fissures, and grooves. It is then cured with a special light, which makes it a hard, plastic-like material.

Sealants can last for several years. It is wise to have them examined on a semi-annual basis. If there is a break in the sealant, a high risk for decay is common. If a sealant is damaged, repair is simple, painless, and quick to complete.

Who can benefit from sealants? Anyone! Children often receive sealants as routine preventive care. Adults with deep canyons with stained grooves on their teeth can also benefit from a sealant. The process is quick, painless, and does not require any anesthesia. It is an effective way to lower dental restorative costs.

An investment in dental sealants can reap great benefits as properly cared for teeth will remain cavity free. Our Redmond, OR location is available to answer your questions so give us a call today!

Thanksgiving in North America

November 26th, 2013

Thanksgiving marks the start to the holidays; a season filled with feasting, indulging, and spending time with family and friends are always special. Thanksgiving is a holiday meant for giving thanks, and while this may seem like such a natural celebration, the United States is only one of a handful of countries to officially celebrate with a holiday.

Unlike many holidays, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, and it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. In Canada, it is celebrated on the second Monday of October, which is, oddly enough, much closer to a time when harvests were likely gathered. In addition to the different dates, the origins of the celebration also share different roots.

Thanksgiving in the United States

Giving thanks for a bountiful harvest are not new, but the modern day holiday in the US can be traced to a celebration at Plymouth in Massachusetts in 1621. This feast of thanksgiving was inspired by a good harvest, and the tradition was simply continued on. At first, the colony at Plymouth didn't have enough food to feed everyone present, but the Native Americans helped by providing seeds and teaching them how to fish, and they soon began to be able to hold a feast worthy of the name. The tradition spread, and by the 1660s, most of New England was hosting a Thanksgiving feast in honor of the harvest.

Canadian Thanksgiving

An explorer of early Canada named Martin Frobisher is accredited for the first Canadian Thanksgiving. He survived the arduous journey from England through harsh weather conditions and rough terrain, and after his last voyage from Europe to present-day Nunavut, he held a formal ceremony to give thanks for his survival and good fortune. As time passed and more settlers arrived, a feast was added to what quickly became a yearly tradition. Another explorer, Samuel de Champlain, is linked to the first actual Thanksgiving celebration in honor of a successful harvest; settlers who arrived with him in New France celebrated the harvest with a bountiful feast.

A Modern Thanksgiving

Today, Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with the best of Americana. From feasts and football games to getting ready for the start of the Christmas shopping season, Thanksgiving means roasted turkey, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole. No matter how you celebrate this momentous day, pause for a moment to give thanks for your friends, family, and all the bounties you’ve received. Happy Thanksgiving from Redmond Dental Group!

When was your last dental checkup?

November 19th, 2013

While Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team tell you daily oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, are essential to optimal oral health, regular dental checkups at Redmond Dental Group ensure your teeth are treated to a deeper level of cleaning.

We recommend for most of our patients to have a cleaning at our Redmond, OR office at least every six months. In addition to a thorough cleaning and polishing of your teeth, visits with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee help us detect and prevent the onset of tooth decay and gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. During your visit, we will check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue for signs of any decay or disease. We will also check old fillings and restorations as these can wear away over time due to chewing, clenching, or grinding.

If you are predisposed to any oral diseases, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee may recommend checking in with us more often than every six months. We want your teeth to get the professional attention they deserve! If you are overdue for your next cleaning, give us a call at our Redmond, OR office to schedule a checkup! See you soon!

What are the five things I should do in between visits?

November 12th, 2013

When it comes to keeping your smile looking its best, good oral hygiene is a must! Good oral health habits should start early and continue throughout your lifetime. Here, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group suggest five habits worth adopting that will help keep your teeth healthy:

  • Brush and floss regularly. Brush gently at least twice a day, paying special attention to the gum line to rid your mouth of food and bacteria that may lurk in between your teeth. Floss at least once a day. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
  • Make regular visits to see Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee. Regular checkups (twice yearly) will help diagnose any dental problems early on when they can be more easily treated.
  • Stop smoking. Did you know smokers are four times as likely as nonsmokers to develop periodontal (gum) disease? Tobacco, whether in the form of cigarettes, pipes, cigars, or chewable tobacco, increases oral and throat cancer risks, and raises the risk for candidiasis, an oral fungal infection. Smokeless tobacco contains sugar, which furthers your risk for cavities.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Heavy drinking dramatically increases the risk of developing mouth and throat cancers.
  • Eat healthy. Avoid snacking on foods that contain high levels of sugar or starch. We encourage you to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are known to help stimulate the flow of saliva to re-mineralize tooth surfaces and neutralize cavity-causing bacteria.

To learn more about the habits you should practice in between your visits to Redmond Dental Group, or to schedule an appointment, please give us a call today!

Halloween at Redmond Dental Group!

November 6th, 2013

A few of our staff members dressed up for Halloween!
Dr. Jade dressed up as a swarthy pirate and everyone at the front desk wore some fun and wild outfits!
We kept busy at work, but we had fun celebrating Halloween!

We hope you had a great Halloween too!

November Marks National Diabetes Awareness Month

November 5th, 2013

Diabetes is a chronic disease that increases the risk for many serious health problems, including severe gum disease. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and it’s a great time for us at Redmond Dental Group to remind our patients that the way you care for your teeth at home doesn’t just affect your oral health; keeping your mouth healthy is vital to your overall health, too.

Diabetes is the result of a deficiency, or lack of the hormone insulin to properly transport glucose (blood sugar) to the cells throughout the body. According to the American Diabetes Association, the most common types of diabetes are Type One (90-95 percent of cases), Type Two (five percent), and gestational or pregnancy diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 35 to 60 percent chance of developing diabetes, mostly Type Two, in the ten to 20 years following their pregnancy.

In the past decade, researchers have found links between periodontal (gum) disease and diabetes. Not only are people with diabetes more vulnerable to gum disease, but diabetes may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control, as well as contribute to the advancement of diabetes.

Nearly 26 million Americans currently live with the disease, with an additional 79 million in the pre-diabetes stage. There is some good news we want you to know, however; you can protect your gums and teeth from the effects of diabetes by visiting our Redmond, OR office for an exam. Patients who are living with diabetes may require more often visits to ensure their dental health remains in tip-top shape. Many insurance plans provide expanded benefits for diabetic patients, and Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee can tell you how often you need to come in for an appointment.

For more information on how we can help, please do not hesitate to give us a call at our Redmond, OR office.

Canker sores, cold sores, and mouth sores: What's the difference?

October 21st, 2013

At Redmond Dental Group, we know many people have experienced some form of mouth sores or irritation. Some mouth sores are harmless and go away on their own after a few days, while others are more serious and should not be ignored. Mouth sores occur for many different reasons, but bacterial infections, viruses, or funguses often trigger them. The best way to tell the difference between a canker sore and a cold sore is that canker sores occur inside the mouth while cold sores occur on the outside the mouth.

The most common mouth sores are:

Canker sores: A non-contagious, small, grayish ulcer with a red border, canker sores appear inside the mouth. While outside factors such as stress, fatigue, or allergies may increase the chances of developing a canker sore, most health experts believe they stem from bacteria or a virus that attacks the immune system. Canker sores typically heal within a week or two.

Cold sores: Also called fever blisters, cold sores are contagious groups of fluid-filled blisters that often erupt around the lips and sometimes under the nose or around the chin. Cold sores are the result of the herpes simplex virus, and once infected, the virus remains in the person’s blood stream.

Leukoplakia: A potential warning sign of oral cancer, leukoplakia is a premalignant lesion that appears as a white patch on the inside of the mouth, tongue, or gums. The lesions, which are caused by excessive cell growth, usually afflict those who smoke tobacco. Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee may choose to have the lesion biopsied if the outbreak appears severe.

Oral candidiasis: Also called oral thrush or moniliasis, this condition is caused by the overgrowth of a type of yeast called candida. Common symptoms of oral candidiasis include white spots inside the mouth and on the tongue, redness or discomfort in the mouth area, sore throat,difficulty swallowing, and cracking at the corners of the mouth. It is important to visit Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee if you have oral candidiasis. If left untreated, it may infect your bloodstream, which can be very dangerous. Healthy adults do not usually get thrush, and the condition is most often seen in infants, the elderly, patients undergoing chemotherapy, or people with AIDS or other diseases that are known to weaken the immune system.

Should you have a mouth sore that lasts a week or longer, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule an examination at our Redmond, OR office.

My teeth feel great. Do I still need to see the dentist?

October 14th, 2013

Absolutely. Checking in with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee on a regular basis—usually every six months—is essential to keeping your smile looking its best. At Redmond Dental Group, we are proud to offer a number of preventive procedures to ensure the health of your mouth and the beauty of your smile. Your smile is just as important to us as it is to you!

Another good reason to visit our Redmond, OR office is to check for hidden issues in your mouth you may not even realize you had. Bacteria, tartar, and cavities are known to form in the hard-to-reach crevices of your mouth and may only be detected through a professional exam. If left untreated, these cavities and decay can get worse, requiring more extensive treatment, and costing you even more time and money down the road. During your routine exam, Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team will also check to make sure your fillings or other dental restorations you may have had are in good shape.

Preventing problems before they start is the key to optimal oral health. If it has been more than six months since your last visit, please contact our Redmond, OR dental office to schedule your routine checkup! See you soon!

What's on your fall reading list?

October 7th, 2013

How better to spend the fall months than inside by the fireplace with a warm cup of cider and a book in hand? Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group encourage you to warm up your mind this fall season with a few great books. Sure it may be easy to put off reading when balancing a hectic schedule, but reading is vital to brain development. Besides, reading is always a blast!

This week, we thought we’d ask what you or your child are reading this fall. Do you have any suggestions for must-read books this year? Out of ideas for great fall reads? Ask us for suggestions, and we would be happy to provide a few. You may also ask a local librarian here in Redmond, OR for some ideas.

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your fall picks or your all-time favorites below or on our Facebook page!

Pregnancy – What Should I Know About My Oral Care?

September 30th, 2013

Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee and our team at Redmond Dental Group know this is an exciting time as you anticipate the arrival of your new little one. We want to take this opportunity to provide you with some important information pertaining to your oral health during pregnancy. Just as the rest of your body is changing, the amount of bacteria in your mouth also changes. Scientists don’t understand all the reasons why, but during pregnancy, your mouth is more susceptible to bacterial complications that could result in increased risk for gingivitis or periodontal disease. What researchers do know is the change in hormones creates a more favorable environment for gum infections and diseases when you are pregnant.

You may experience an increase in gingivitis, even while continuing with regular daily brushing and flossing, and routine semi-annual month cleanings. You will likely complain of increased bleeding of the gums with routine daily care and more tenderness in the mouth. This is due, in part, to the increased blood flow and volume that naturally occurs with pregnancy. There is a greater amount of blood flowing through your veins, which translates into slightly engorged gum tissues. If gingivitis prevails, you may also experience pain and tenderness. We can help you navigate through your specific needs.

Brushing your teeth two times a day may not be quite enough. Similarly, if you only floss on occasion, consider making this activity a daily habit. Mouthwash is also advised, or sometimes a mild saltwater rinse may feel better than a commercial brand. Consider other products with xylitol and a WaterPik for additional cleaning.

Finally, we now know that bacteria in the mouth circulate throughout the body. These harmful bacteria compromise your immune system and may increase your risk for respiratory illness and cause other strains on your immune system. Remember that nutrients as well as pathogens are shared with your baby. If you feel tired or tempted to slack on your home-care routine, remember the importance and implications of your daily decisions on how your care for your oral health.

Contact our convenient Redmond, OR location if you have more specific questions. We’re here to help you!

Navigating the World of Dental Insurance Terminology

September 23rd, 2013

Unless you work for an insurance company, you probably do not spend a lot of your time studying all the terminology that dental insurance companies use to describe the treatments and services they cover. If it seems pretty confusing, here are some of the most commonly used dental insurance terms and what they mean.

A Basic Glossary

Annual Maximum–The maximum amount your policy will pay per year for dental care at Redmond Dental Group. It is often divided into costs per individual, and (if you are on a family plan) per family

Co-payment– An amount the patient pays at the time of service before receiving care, and before the insurance pays for any portion of the care

Covered Services– A list of all the treatments, services, and procedures the insurance policy will cover under your contract

Deductible– A dollar amount that you must pay out of pocket each year before the insurance company will pay for any treatments or procedures

Diagnostic/Preventive Services– A category of treatments or procedures that most insurance will cover before the deductible which may include services like routine checkups with Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee, cleanings, X-rays, fluoride treatments, and evaluations

In-Network and Out-of-Network– A list of providers that are part of an insurance company’s “network”

  • If you visit in-network providers, the insurance company will typically cover a larger portion of the cost of the care you receive. If you visit someone who is not part of the network, known as an out-of-network provider, the insurance company may pay for a portion of the care, but you will pay a significantly larger share from your own pocket.

Lifetime Maximum– The maximum amount that a dental insurance plan will pay toward dental care for an individual or family (if you have an applicable family plan)

  • This is not a per-year maximum, but rather a maximum that can be paid over the entire life of the patient.

Limitations/Exclusions– A list of all the procedures a dental insurance policy does not cover

  • Coverage may limit the timing or frequency of a specific treatment or procedure (only covering a certain number within a calendar year), or may exclude some treatments entirely. Knowing the limitations and exclusions of a policy is very important.

Member/Insured/Covered Person/Beneficiary/Enrollee– Someone who is eligible to receive benefits under a dental insurance plan

Provider– Dr Jade Cherrington, Dr. Dane Smith and Dr. Max Higbee or other oral health specialist who provides treatment

Waiting Period– A specified amount of time that the patient must be enrolled with an insurance plan before it will pay for certain treatments; waiting periods may be waived if you were previously enrolled in another dental insurance plan with a different carrier

There are many different insurance options available, so you need to find out exactly what your insurance covers. It’s important to review your plan with a qualified insurance specialist. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the policy so you can understand it fully and be confident that you know everything your policy covers the next time you come in for treatment at our Redmond, OR office.