The 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays in the Rogue Valley! The Ashland Chamber of Commerce does such a fantastic job of organizing the parade, fair booths, music performances - they blow us away! We love being a sponsor for the festivities and enjoy putting together a fun photobooth as part of our involvement. The photos are free to keep and always entertaining! Below are a few of our favorites (we even got Kelsey, the event organizer herself, in the photo booth with us). If you took photos at the booth this year, you can find digital copies on our Facebook album. As always, a huge thanks to Matt at Smile Photo Booth for providing excellent service. We highly recommend him for your next event or wedding!
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Walking the aisles of an Ashland drugstore will reveal a plethora of mouthwashes and rinses. These products tout dozens of features like germ eradicating ingredients, fluoride or even teeth whitening. Many of our patients wonder about the benefits and if they should make mouthwash a part of their daily routine.
Our short answer is that brushing and flossing are the two most critical habits that will affect your dental health. If you're doing a good job of these two, mouth wash is not a necessity.
On the other hand, it simply doesn't hurt to add an additional aspect to your routine, like mouth wash. While it may not live up to every promise advertised, it can be beneficial. We like to advise mouth rinse after flossing to help wash away any excess particles of food which may have been dislodged during your flossing.
One thing to keep in mind is that mouth wash will not necessarily help with bad breath. Often, bad breath is a result of dryness and the harsh alcohol content of many mouthwashes can worsen this condition. If fresh breath is one of your primary goals, we'd recommend selecting an alcohol-free variety. Plus, its easier to handle! Additionally, chronic bad breath is often a result of plaque build -up. Ask Jordon (or your own fabulous hygienist) at your next cleaning if she thinks this may be contributing to bad breath. If so, improving your brushing and flossing is much more likely to help.
The bottom line is that you should never substitute proper flossing and brushing with mouthwash. But feel free to supplement your routine with a little rinse! If you have any specific questions, feel free to contact our Ashland dental office. If you want to make an appointment for a check up, you can call us at 541-482-4995.
Let's Talk About Flossing
Surely you've seen the headlines - "Flossing is Nonsense and My Laziness is Vindicated" or "Flossing: Government's Latest Piece of Bad Advice". All this press about flossing stems from an article published this month by the Associated Press (Read it here). Their report points out the weak evidentiary basis for floss as a method of reducing plaque and tooth decay. The American Dental Association responded saying: Trust us, flossing helps.
In reality, the AP article is less about floss and more about evidence-based medicine. They are correct in that the published and proven evidence for the benefits of floss is poor. One reason for this is that floss has been around since the 19th-century! Recommendations for flossing are based on pretty obvious assumptions: it removes plaque from in between teeth and because plaque leads to gum disease and decay, flossing will improve these conditions. But because our medical standards have risen so greatly in the last centuries, assumptions are not enough - and understandably so.
Anecdotal evidence and long-standing traditions have been replaced with evidence-based medicine. This approach is dependent on well-designed, controlled studies. Thus far, nobody has tackled a flossing study with the academic rigor we now expect. Why? We can only speculate. Studies like this are expensive and there is no fame or monetary reward to be found in proving out flossing. Flossing is cheap, easy to adopt and no-risk. This leaves us with anecdotes and weak evidence. Two of our leading dental associations — the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology — cited other studies as proof, but most of these studies used outdated methods or had relatively small sample size.
Despite our agreement regarding poor studies and evidence around flossing, this does NOT mean it has been proven ineffective either. Each of your teeth have six surfaces and brushing can only clean four of them. You simply need a method for cleaning in between your teeth to properly remove all plaque causing substances that are proven to cause decay.
We always hoped more people would talk about flossing - but not like this! At the very least, we hope this exposure will inspire researchers to conduct better studies and counteract these claims made by the AP. Oh, and by the way - even the author of the article admits he still flosses. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us directly or leave a comment. We'd love to hear from you.
For Further Reading
This 2006 study titled, “Dental Flossing and Interproximal Caries: a System Review,” recruited 808 children age 4-13 and split them into three test segments: kids who were professionally flossed 5 days/week; kids who were professionally flossed once every 3 months; and kids who reported self-flossing at home. The research lasts 18 months and unsurprisingly, the participants who were professionally flossed 5 days/week saw a 40% decrease in the risk of cavities.
One of the great things about the Ashland, OR community is the level of health intelligence. Its evident by ready the local publications or driving around town and seeing the many natural food stores and health care providers. We’ve come to realize that concern around x-rays is even greater here than many parts of the country – and rightly so! We hear questions regarding the safety and necessity of x-rays on a daily basis. This is a great question and the answer differs from patient to patient. Let’s dive in a little deeper – we think you’ll be surprised to leave just how safe today’s x-ray practices are.
First of all, there is an ever-changing landscape when it comes to dental x-rays. The American Dental Association (ADA) together with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) routinely revises their guidelines when advances in technology provide new methods of reducing exposure to radiation. In fact, today’s dental X-ray is already far superior to those of just a decade ago. This is due largely to the advent of digital technology.
The following guidelines come from the ADA and are supported by our practice:
Full X-rays are generally suggested for new patients to provide us with a full history of your prior oral care and current needs. If you’ve recently had x-rays taken at another office, we’re happy to obtain those on your behalf.
Continuing Care Patient:
One set of X-rays every 6-18 months. We generally aim for 12 unless a patient is at a higher risk or is presenting with an issue.
Continuing Care Patient with Periodontal Disease:
Dependent upon the professional judgment of Dr. Kivel.
Patients with, but not limited to, Proposed or Existing Implants and Root Canals:
Also dependent upon the professional judgment of Dr. Kivel.
In conclusion, it’s important to realize that exposure to all sources of radiation - including the sun, home appliances, minerals in the soil, X-rays - can damage the body's tissues and cells. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to from dental X-rays is tremendously small, especially with our use of digital x-rays. Our recommendation is to follow the ADA guidelines. This is because allowing a major dental issue to go undiagnosed can be much more damaging to your health than a small amount of radiation. Please feel free to ask us any questions or voice your concerns regarding x-rays and we will do what we can to accommodate your preferences.
You can also check out our great FAQ Page on Digital Xrays.
Today's blog post is brought you by a special quest author, our office coordinator, Nikki Kirkland, to keep you updated on our insurance information. Here's Nikki ...
As a service to our patients, we are happy to submit dental claims and maximize insurance benefits to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Our office accepts all major insurance carriers, including most employer-sponsored group plans and many individual plans. Currently, we are a Delta Premier Provider, which means our Delta Dental and MODA subscribers benefit from our in-network agreement and fee schedule. We are also a participating provider with Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, which includes LifeMap, HMA and RGA dental plans. To better serve our patients and community, several additional carriers are being considered for our participation.
As the end of the year approaches, it is important to keep in mind that most dental plans renew on January 1. Dental insurance is unique in that patients have an annual maximum allowed, and any unused benefits at the end of the year are lost. Now is an ideal time to schedule pending treatment and use those remaining insurance dollars. The same concept applies to flexible spending and healthcare savings accounts.
Many of our patients do not have dental insurance, but will still benefit from fair and competitive fees, treatment plan discounts and monthly payment plan options. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff is here to assist you with any questions you may have.
> Please don’t hesitate to contact our Office Coordinator, Nikki with any financial or insurance related concerns.