Very few people can say their dentist is a cover girl.

Congratulations to Dr. Sally for being recognized for her work with homeless children.

Tooth Whitening – American Dental Association
Tooth Whitening – American Dental Association

Brushing and flossing are everyday ways to keep your teeth bright, white and healthy. Still, if you might feel like your smile is lacking some sparkle or is more yellow than it used to be, you’re not alone. When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they’d most like to improve about their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists also found that nearly 90% of patients requested tooth whitening.

Thinking about teeth whitening? Get the facts first. Here are five of the most commonly asked questions about the process. 

Why Did My Teeth Change Color?
Over time, your teeth can go from white to not-so-bright for a number of reasons:

Food and Drink
Coffee, tea and red wine are some major staining culprits. What do they have in common? Intense color pigments called chromogens that attach to the white, outer part of your tooth (enamel).

Tobacco Use
Two chemicals found in tobacco create stubborn stains: Tar and nicotine. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colorless until it’s mixed with oxygen. Then, it turns into a yellowish, surface-staining substance.

Below the hard, white outer shell of your teeth (enamel) is a softer area called dentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.

If you’ve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel.

Tooth darkening can be a side effect of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications. Young children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth are forming (either in the womb or as a baby) may have discoloration of their adult teeth later in life. Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can also darken teeth.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?
No, which is why it’s important to talk to your dentist before deciding to whiten your teeth, as whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and teeth with gray tones may not bleach at all. Whitening will not work on caps, veneers, crowns or fillings. It also won’t be effective if your tooth discoloration is caused by medications or a tooth injury.

What Are My Whitening Options?
Talk to your dentist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are three ways to put the shine back in your smile:

Whitening Toothpastes
All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives that scrub the teeth.  Look for the ADA Seal for safe whitening toothpastes that have special chemical or polishing agents to provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these types of ADA Accepted products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.

In-Office Bleaching This procedure is called

chairside bleachingand usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect your gums. Bleach is then applied to the teeth. A special light or laser might be used to enhance the action of the whitening agent.

At-Home Bleaching
Peroxide-containing whiteners actually bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in a tray that fits on your teeth. You may also use a whitening strip that sticks to your teeth. The concentration of the bleaching agent is lower than what your dentist would use in the office.

Read the ADA’s Statement on the Safety and Effectiveness of Tooth Whitening Products.

Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?
Some people who use teeth whiteners may experience

tooth sensitivity. That happens when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerve of your tooth. In most cases the sensitivity is temporary. You can delay treatment, then try again.

Overuse of whiteners can also damage the tooth enamel or gums, so be sure to follow directions and talk to your dentist.

No, your baby’s fever was not caused by teething Nadia Kounang, CNN

Story highlights
Drooling, swollen gums and crankiness are most common teething symptoms
Avoid medicating teething babies, doctors say
Use cold wash rag to comfort swollen gums
(CNN)It’s a laundry list of symptoms that every parent is familiar with — a cranky baby who’s drooling, not eating and not sleeping. It must be teething.

But despite the advice parents might have heard, a new analysis in the journal Pediatrics confirms that high-grade fevers are not a sign of teething. Rather, it might be a sign of another illness, and parents and doctors shouldn’t just ignore it.

“If a child has a really high fever, or is in significant discomfort, or won’t eat or drink anything for days, that’s a red flag for concern,” said Dr. Paul Casamassimo, director of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Pediatric Oral Health and Research and Policy Center.

The analysis didn’t completely dismiss a parent’s intuition. It found the most common symptoms of teething were swollen gums, drooling and crankiness. Symptoms shouldn’t last for more than three to five days, Casamassimo said, but he did acknowledge that it can feel much longer.

“By and large, symptoms are not a chronic thing. They come and go, and the job of the parent is to comfort the child, and keep their finger on the pulse of their child. Is the child eating? Staying hydrated?” Casamassimo said.

The study said teething can lead to a rise in body temperature still below 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Teething, the study said, is also associated with decreased appetite, sleeping problems, diarrhea, rash and vomiting.

Teething through the years
Throughout history, parents, as well as practitioners, have attributed a number of maladies to teething. It was, perhaps, an easy explanation for the ever-changing behavior of an infant and illnesses during children’s vulnerable early years.

“Teething infants suffer from itching of the gums, fever, convulsions, diarrhea, especially when they cut their eye teeth,” Hippocrates observed in 4th century BC.

For hundreds of years, medical professionals believed that teething caused the deaths of children. When Lucy Jefferson, President Thomas Jefferson’s sixth child, died at age in 1784 at age 2 1/2, a letter from the doctor said she “fell a Martyr to the Complicated evils of teething, Worms and Hooping Cough.”

The 1842 Registrar General’s report of England and Wales attributed 12% of all deaths of children younger than 4 to teething. The 1891 “In Cyclopedia of the Disease of Children,” a respected medical text of the time, said “Children that have been strong and healthy up to the period of dentition often droop and die, while the delicate or sickly ones pass through it with apparent impunity.”

But as medical care improved, it became increasingly clear that there were other reasons behind infant mortality, and teething was more annoyance than a sickness.

How to manage teething
Still, there are a lot of old beliefs and advice out there for parents with cranky, drooling babies. So, how should they manage teething?

“Just comfort your child and get through it,” said Casamassimo. He said a cold rag or teething toy may help with the discomfort.

Infant pain relievers might also be an option, but Casamassimo urged parents to be careful. Regular use can lead to tooth decay, and acetaminophen is a leading cause of liver disease in children. “If you have to keep doing it day after day, ” it may be a concern, Casamassimo said.

And stay away from topical anesthetics that contain benzocaine and lidocaine, he said.

Benzocaine can lead to methemoglobinemia, a rare, but serious and sometimes fatal condition, where the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is reduced. Children younger than 2 appear to be at particular risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, lidocaine overdoses have been associated with jitteriness, confusion, vision problems, vomiting, falling asleep too easily, shaking and seizures.

While it can be a trying time, Casamassimo said, teething is normal.

“Every kid is going to have it in slightly different ways,” he said. “Pay attention to the symptoms. Ameliorate the symptoms. If things get out of hand, contact you pediatrician.”

Calgary study suggests kids have more cavities without fluoridation of water

Carrie Tait

CALGARY — The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 11:18AM EST

Last updated Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 11:10AM EST


The number of children in Calgary with rotting teeth has jumped – both in comparison with a historical accounting of kids in the city and when stacked up against their counterparts in Edmonton – since Alberta’s largest city stopped adding fluoride to its drinking water, according to a new study.

Calgary councillors voted to drop the fluoride program in 2011, while Edmonton’s continues. Tooth decay for children in Grade 2 in Calgary climbed by an average of 3.8 tooth surfaces in the 2013-14 school year compared with the 2004-05 year, while increasing by 2.1 in Edmonton, according to a study by researchers at the University of Calgary.

About 45 per cent of Canadians drink fluoridated water, according to Health Canada, which says it is safe to add the mineral to water up to a certain concentration.

Canadians have been drinking fluoridated water for more than six decades, but the debate continues. Councillors in Ontario’s Peel Region, for example, recently formed a committee to re-examine fluoridating. A resident of Terrace, B.C., last week presented local politicians with a petition signed by hundreds of people wanting to end fluoridating. Scores of cities have turned to plebiscites to make decisions on fluoride.

“We believe that the reason [the rate of tooth decay] got worse in Calgary than in Edmonton was because fluoridation was stopped,” Lindsay McLaren, a professor and researcher in the department of community health sciences at the University of Calgary, said in an interview.

Her team’s study was published in the Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology journal on Wednesday and in the International Journal for Equity in Health last week.

“An increasing number of municipalities across Canada are revisiting their fluoridation policy, and until now they had very, very little in the way of evidence on implications of cessation for dental health,” Dr. McLaren said. She declined to make recommendations based on the study’s findings, although elected officials in Alberta have already approached her. About 5,000 students participated in the 2013-14 survey, which was compared with data collected in 2004-05 school year.

While Dr. McLaren said Calgary’s cavity problem is connected to its water, the results in Edmonton could reflect factors such as nutrition or socio-economic changes.

The study focused on baby teeth, although it did show an increase in decay on permanent teeth, she said. Though those results were not statistically significant, the researcher believes it is an early indication Calgary’s water policy is also harmful for adults.

Calgary estimated it cost $750,000 annually to add fluoride to its water.

John Sprovieri, a councillor in Brampton, Ont., sits on the committee reviewing the area’s fluoridation policy.

“I don’t believe the municipal level should be the deciding level of government to mandate fluoridation,” he said. The politician also questions whether the materials used to increase fluoride in the water supply are entirely safe. Fluoride itself, he argued, is dangerous when people ingest too much.

“It is right on your toothpaste [tube],” he said.

Calgary councillor Gian-Carlo Carra voted against fluoridation in 2011 because it should not be a municipal issue, and said his reasons have not changed.

“One hundred per cent it is a provincial issue,” he said. “The province should deal with it.”

Dental care has steadily improved in the NHL over the years

By LARRY LAGE, AP Hockey Writer

When Brent Burns packs his bags for road trips, the San Jose Sharks defenseman often leaves something behind: his cosmetic teeth.

“I don’t wear them often,” he said. “I usually find them in a drawer a couple months down the road and put them somewhere safe, forget where that is, and find them a couple months later.”

Burns, a happy-go-lucky guy, said he is missing three of his real teeth and a fourth is “hanging on by a thread.” He is holding out hope it won’t join his other missing Chiclets.

“I need that one for corn on the cob,” Burns said with a gap-filled smile.

Missing teeth have been associated with hard-nosed hockey — for better and for worse — for decades, becoming a stereotype of the game even with some players, like Burns, embracing it as a rite of passage or badge of honor. Gordie Howe, Bobby Clarke, Ken Daneyko, Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull — all have grins famous for what’s not there. Chicago’s Duncan Keith had seven teeth knocked out by a puck in the Western Conference final-clinching game in 2011 against San Jose and quipped afterward: “You’ve got leave it all on the ice.”

Many casual fans might assume all players are missing a few teeth — not true — but there is far more interest in keeping the originals than there was in the 1980s, a time Kings coach Darryl Sutter recalls seeing players writing their numbers on coffee cups, putting their teeth in the cups and setting them on a shelf before games.

“The joke was switching teeth around,” Sutter said with a sly grin.

Hall of Famer Chris Pronger has great-looking choppers, though they’re not the ones he was born with, and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien can pop a perfect-looking tooth in and out like he’s a magician.

Despite player safety being scrutinized by the league more than ever and technological advances in equipment, hockey players are going to lose teeth. The only way to help players keep their teeth is to force them to attach full-cage masks to their helmets. And that, in the NHL at least, is not going to happen any time soon if ever.

If a player chooses to wear a mouth guard, he may help his chances of not having a concussion. His pearly whites, though, are still at risk from a puck, a stick, the ice or a check into the boards.

“I’ve pulled teeth out of mouth guards,” Detroit Red Wings equipment manager Paul Boyer said. “They’re not designed to keep the teeth in the mouth.”

When players do get hit in the mouth with a stick or puck during a game, they are moments away from getting professional treatment from a team dentist and perhaps an oral surgeon. The Nashville Predators and Los Angeles Kings are among the teams with a dental chair in their arenas.

“We’ve got full coverage, too,” Byfuglien cracked.

Dental care is one of the progressive moves made by the NHL, according to Predators general manager David Poile. When Poile was an administrative assistant for the Atlanta Flames in the early ’70s, he said, he doesn’t recall the team even having a dentist.

“An oral surgeon who can also do plastic surgery is ideal,” added Pronger. “I had a nice set of teeth. Now, I’ve got new ones. And, I broke my jaw and you probably can’t tell I had 50 stitches here and 27 there.”

Unlike Byfuglien, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty doesn’t wear his cosmetic tooth, which he calls “a flipper” because he said it makes his lisp worse. Doughty had all of his teeth until losing one last year and another one early this season. One got knocked out by a puck and the other was jarred out of his mouth by a high stick. Doughty says the problems have contributed to his top lip drooping onto the left side of his bottom lip.

“It’s kind of got a bunch of stuff built up in here so it’s always lazy,” he said.

Doughty also acknowledges he has been lax about protecting his teeth, and brain, to some extent by simply wearing a mouth guard.

Healthy Children’s Dental Habits

Start Early
Your child’s baby teeth are at risk for decay as soon as they first appear—which is typically around age 6 months. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. It most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected. In some cases, infants and toddlers experience decay so severe that their teeth cannot be saved and need to be removed.

The good news is that tooth decay is preventable! Most children have a full set of 20 baby teeth by the time they are 3-years-old. As your child grows, their jaws also grow, making room for their permanent teeth.

Baby Teeth Eruption Chart

Cleaning Your Child’s Teeth
Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.
For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing to ensure that they use of the appropriate amount of toothpaste.
For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.
Until you’re comfortable that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin flossing their teeth daily.
Teething is one of the first rituals of life. Although newborns usually have no visible teeth, most baby teeth begin to appear generally about six months after birth. During the first few years of your child’s life, all 20 baby teeth will push through the gums and most children will have their full set of these teeth in place by age 3. A baby’s front four teeth usually erupt or push through the gums at about six months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months. As their teeth erupt, some babies may become fussy, sleepless and irritable, lose their appetite or drool more than usual. Diarrhea, rashes and a fever are not normal symptoms for a teething baby. If your infant has a fever or diarrhea while teething or continues to be cranky and uncomfortable, call your physician.

First Dental Visit
As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to schedule a dental visit. The ADA recommends that the first dental visit take place within six months after the first tooth appears, but no later than a child’s first birthday. Don’t wait for them to start school or until there’s an emergency. Get your child comfortable today with good mouth healthy habits.

Although the first visit is mainly for the dentist to examine your child’s mouth and to check growth and development, it’s also about your child being comfortable. To make the visit positive:

Consider making a morning appointment when children tend to be rested and cooperative.
Keep any anxiety or concerns you have to yourself. Children can pick up on your emotions, so emphasize the positive.
Never use a dental visit as a punishment or threat.
Never bribe your child.
Talk with your child about visiting the dentist.
During this visit, you can expect the dentist to:

Inspect for oral injuries, cavities or other problems.
Let you know if your child is at risk of developing tooth decay.
Clean your child’s teeth and provide tips for daily care.
Discuss teething, pacifier use, or finger/thumbsucking habits.
Discuss treatment, if needed, and schedule the next check-up.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including oceans, rivers and lakes. Fluoride is also added to some community tap water, toothpastes and mouth rinses. Infants and toddlers who do not receive an adequate amount of fluoride may be at an increased risk for tooth decay since fluoride helps make tooth enamel more resistant to decay. It also helps repair weakened enamel. Bottled water may not contain fluoride; therefore, children who regularly drink bottled water or unfluoridated tap water may be missing the benefits of fluoride. If you are not sure if your tap water has fluoride, contact your local or state health department or water supplier.

Discuss your child’s fluoride needs with your dentist or pediatrician. They may recommend a fluoride supplement if you live in an area where the community water is not fluoridated.

Infants and young children may suck on thumbs, other fingers or pacifiers. Pacifiers dipped in sugar, honey, juice or sweetened drinks, can lead to tooth decay. Tooth decay can also begin when cavity-causing bacteria pass from saliva in a mother or caregiver’s mouth to the baby. When the mother or caregiver puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be passed to the baby.

Dental health basics parents need to know
Dental health basics parents need to know
Dr. Natalie Martinez- Rogers
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and we are fortunate to have Natalie Rogers, DDS contributing all month long to help parents and caregivers protect their children’s smiles as they grow.

Raising a child is a daunting task. With so many decisions to make and feel uncertain about, don’t let oral health be one of them! Just follow these simple steps to ensure you are doing the best you can to ensure their teeth are cared for properly.

For most infants, the first tooth erupts at around 7 months. Irrespective of when that first tooth comes for your child, caring for their teeth starts at this very moment. Brushing should occur on a daily basis eventually increasing to 2 minutes of brushing, 2 times per day by the time your child has their full set of “baby” teeth, around 2 years of age.

Selecting a Toothbrush

There are many different toothbrushes available on the market. When selecting one for your child keep two things in mind: soft bristle and an age appropriate brush. Despite popular belief, soft bristles clean teeth as well as hard bristles, without causing damage the surrounding gum tissue. Toothbrushes for children are often designed to best fit not only your child’s mouth, but also their grasp.

Using the appropriate brush will make cleaning the teeth easier by being sized for which teeth are in their mouth as well as the actual size of their mouth and jaw. This little detail can make a huge difference in the ease and quality of cleaning. Keep in mind, especially early on, a brush isn’t always necessary. Feel free to use a tissue or gauze. Some parents find great ease in silicone fingertip brushes as well. Whatever you can use to clean the teeth will do a great job.


Many children show interest in brushing on their own around 2 years old. This is fantastic! A child should be encouraged to do so. But do keep in mind, most children do not have the manual dexterity to properly clean their teeth until they are about 8 years old. That means after they give it a go, you should grab the brush and finish the job properly.


Technically, flossing isn’t necessary until there is contact between teeth, but it is never too early to teach ideal habits to kids. Get the routine started when they are still learning and enthusiastic about the process. Flossers work great and are much easier to use in your child’s mouth. They are usually able to do this on their own by 8 years as well.

Selecting a Toothpaste

Toothpaste with fluoride is always best, but not before 2 years of age. Excessive ingestion of fluoride can cause problems with their teeth in the future. Early on, you should use a fluoride-free training toothpaste. Begin transitioning to a fluoridated paste after 2 years, but just wet the bristles with paste until your child can consistently spit and not swallow the paste. This way you can avoid the excess intake of fluoride.

Visiting the Dentist

The American Dental Association recommends your child starts visiting the dentist within 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth. These early visits are a perfect opportunity to create happy, easy experiences to help your child acclimate to the dentist, while also serving as a screening for oral hygiene, dietary habits and specific behaviors that can negatively impact long term health goals.

For more information on Dr. Rogers and Queen City Dental see our recent Mom of the Week article on her or visit her website at

Everything You Need to Know About Bad Breath (and Kissing People Who Have It)

Everything You Need to Know About Bad Breath (and Kissing People Who Have It)
Devan Ciccarelli
The way I see it, you have two options:

Run for the hills, or
Fix it!
If you really like this person, follow these tips:

Would you like some gum?

Dr. Starr notes that we’re all susceptible to dry mouth just before kissing thanks to those pesky nerves of ours. To combat the problem, pop in a piece of gum. You should also avoid smoking beforehand, as this can exacerbate your cotton mouth.

Doc’s recommendation: The first ingredient listed in your gum should be a sugar alcohol known as xylitol. Don’t reach for brands that list this as the fifth or sixth ingredient since this negligible amount won’t fix things.

Not only will the gum stimulate your mouth to produce more saliva, but xylitol can also keep gum disease at bay since the bacteria lurking between your teeth can’t digest it.

Offer water

One common cause of dry mouth is, unsurprisingly, dehydration. To squash the issue, keep tall glasses of water handy for you and your boo to drink up.

You should also avoid sugary drinks and ease up on the alcohol. Bacteria love the sugar found in sweet drinks. Alcohol’s also a diuretic, meaning it’s only going to make your dry mouth situation worse.

If you’re a smoker, stay away from alcohol rinses, since this combination can actually increase your chances of developing certain cancers (awesome!).

Still have dry mouth? Your dentist can prescribe a strong rinse that gets to the root of the problem instead of masking it, like OTC brands do. 

Take the lead

When these subtle hints don’t work, show your partner that you can’t stand your bad breath. Swish an alcohol rinse beforehand (not Jack Daniels, Kesha), or brush your teeth pre-makeout sesh. Whatever you do will make your partner more likely to follow, since s/he won’t want to be the stinky one in the relationship.

To lazy to read all that? Here’s how you kick bad breath: pick up some xylitol gum, drink a bunch of water, and schedule your next dental checkup today. Although going to the dentist isn’t high on the fun list, the world (and your partner) will thank you for not polluting the environment with your foul-smelling sulfur and bacteria.