How Green is Your Dental Routine?

Go green for Earth Day! Gaylord Nelson, Wisconsin Senator created Earth Day.  In 1970, 20 million Americans rallied in streets, parks, and auditoriums for a sustainable environment. After the first Earth Day, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created. Every April 22nd Earth Day is celebrated worldwide.

Fast forward to present day and we still celebrate Earth  Day. We’re focused on global warming and clean energy. Everything we do,  from brushing our teeth to eating and driving all contributes to polluting the environment. Did you know that toothbrushes are plastic and nylon which can’t be recycled? When you throw your toothbrush away it sits in our landfill forever! Floss is wax covered nylon and comes in a container that has metal. Every year 50 million pounds of toothbrushes get added to our landfill. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade because it’s not in nature’s food chain.

A completely plastic-free dental routine might not be possible, but small changes can make a big difference. There are toothbrushes made of bamboo or wood. Wood toothbrush bristles are made from pig hair. They can all be recycled and will reduce the amount of plastic in landfills. One billion toothbrushes get thrown away yearly in the US. Landfill

Change isn’t easy. If you aren’t ready to make the change to pig hair bristles then stick to your regular toothbrush. And when it’s time to get rid of it and get a new one, keep it and reuse it for household cleaning! Toothbrushes are great for cleaning bathroom tiles, toilets, computer keyboards, jewelry, and even shoes.

Bamboo and wood toothbrushes aren’t your only options for a healthy smile and healthy environment. Plastic toothbrushes are made from recycled materials such as yogurt containers and the bristles are new plastic. There are also compostable cornstarch toothbrushes that won’t clog landfills.

The most common way floss is sold in unrecyclable plastic containers.  Good news, there is plastic free and refillable floss!  Refillable floss is sold in a glass container with a protective label for drops. The bundle of floss comes in a clear compostable bag and it also has a plastic-free spool. It is completely made from silk and coated with vegetablebased wax.

 Toothbrush Tip

Show your gums some love! Don’t brush with all your strength, it’s not good for your gums or your toothbrush!  Every time you brush your teeth it affects your toothbrush. The harder you brush your teeth the quicker you will need to replace your toothbrush. Protect your gums and the lifespan of your toothbrush! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

 Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

These are the three R’s when protecting the environment. Do you leave the water running while brushing? Try filling a small glass and set it in reaching distance to rinse after brushing. Another tip is don’t leave your electric toothbrush plugged in all day every day.

How Green is Your Dental Routine?

The average toothbrush lasts up to several weeks. Unplug!

Are you ready to make the change to help save our environment? We know this is a lot of information at once, and it’s okay to take small steps and make one change at a time. It’s as simple as sharing with your family and friends about the environment and how they can help sustain it too!

Remember to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss daily!  We hope you have a Happy Earth Day!

Dr. John Schulz, D.D.S.
Stonestown Medical Building
595 Buckingham Way, Suite 331
San Francisco, CA 94132 (map)

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5 Tips for Creating Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits

Lead by Example

Family BrushingKids look to their parents to set standards in all things, including oral hygiene. How you behave is how they will act. Since the best way to teach children is by example, it is important that your child sees you brushing twice a day and flossing. Include your child in the process. Do it together, allowing them to help by putting toothpaste on your brush. Your demeanor in the dentist office will also influence how your little one behaves during their own visit. Remaining calm demonstrates that going to the dentist isn’t scary, and they’ll be much more cooperative during their own chair time.

Make Brushing Fun

Making brushing and flossing a game rather than a chore can be a great way to engage with your kids and get them excited about maintaining their oral health. Pretending the tooth brush is a hiker exploring a cave (their mouth) and the floss is a rope is one idea. Older kids can benefit from a reward system. Every time they brush their teeth they receive a gold star to add to a sticker chart. Once they get a certain number they’re rewarded with something like staying up an extra half hour past bedtime or an extra 15-minutes of electronics time.

Make a Visual Statement

plaqueDisclosingFind plaque disclosing products. These usually come in tablet form or mouthwash that turns plaque buildup bright colors. This is a great visual to help kids understand that even though they don’t see the plaque, it’s certainly there!

Teach Responsibility

Older kids get excited about the idea of having more responsibility. Provide them with the necessary tools to structure their oral hygiene routine. Have them set an alarm to alert them when it’s time to brush for bed and in the morning. They can even keep a brushing and flossing log to track the times and duration of their sessions.

Start Dental Visits Early

Teaching kids proper dental practices wouldn’t be complete without bi-annual exams. By visiting us regularly, you instill the importance of consistent exams. We love working with children, and we work hard to make the experience stress free and fun for the whole family.

Dr. John Schulz, D.D.S.
Stonestown Medical Building
595 Buckingham Way, Suite 331
San Francisco, CA 94132 (map)

Deep Cleaning: What it means to you

General-Title

You’re a good person – you pay your taxes, pick up litter, and make it to the dentist every 6 months. Now you’re being told you may need a deep cleaning…but don’t you clean your teeth every day? And isn’t a deep cleaning what the dentist always does? Not quite, although we know it can sometimes feel that way.

A regular dental cleaning is what you are accustomed to receiving every 6 months. The intention of this visit to the dentist is to maintain your healthy gums and give your teeth a little extra attention when it comes to matters of plaque and tartar, which can be difficult to remove fully with a toothbrush and floss alone. The odds are that if you are brushing and flossing every day, and taking any other steps recommended by your doctor, a regular dental cleaning is the perfect addition to your regular care that will keep your smile happy and healthy.

Deep cleaning, a necessity?

A deep cleaning, on the other hand, is what becomes necessary when the health of your teeth and gums become jeopardized by gum disease (or ‘periodontitis’). To put it in perspective, your gums are supposed to have tight and healthy seals around your teeth to protect them and keep them firmly in place. A standard part of your regular cleaning is your doctor using a diagnostic tool called a ‘periodontal probe’ to ensure this is the case; the probe is used to measure the depth of the space between your gums and teeth. Typically 1-3mm is considered normal, and there should be very little or no bleeding at all. Upwards of 4mm is a sign that you are developing ‘pockets’, which are a space between the teeth and gums that becomes prime breeding ground for bacteria and tartar buildup. Plaque that is not brushed and flossed away left on the teeth for more than 24 hours can become tartar, which only your dentist can remove. Left unattended, these pockets can deepen and compromise the tooth and the surrounding bone structure. If the dentist uses the probe and measures 4mm or more, and/or there is significant bleeding and signs of inflammation, then a deep cleaning will be scheduled to help you get your smile back on track.

Deep cleaning is not a scary process.

Oftentimes, your dentist will break the cleaning into two separate visits to most effectively treat your mouth, this is especially important if your entire mouth needs attention so that you’ll be numbed in only smaller sections of your mouth each time, making for a completely comfortable process and quick recovery. The most common forms of treatment are ‘scaling’ and ‘root planing’. The process of scaling involves using a professional tool to remove plaque and tartar from both the surface of the teeth, and the pocket area that has been created between your teeth and gums. A scaling instrument, on the other hand, removes plaque and tartar from the surface of the root of your teeth, which is below the gum line and not visible. These tools are the only thing that can removed built up plaque, as even floss cannot reach far into deepened pockets. The good news is they do a wonderful job of cleaning up any tartar that has built up beneath the visible surface.

Periodontitis is a progressive disease, and left unattended can turn into a much more serious problem. Fortunately, the treatment is typically straight forward and as long as you follow the doctor’s aftercare instructions, the bacteria should be reduced to manageable levels and your gums should return to normal and lose any signs of redness. If you are feeling pain or sensitivity in your teeth, have red and/or puffy gums, or are experiencing bleeding during normal brushing and flossing – call us. The sooner periodontitis is identified the easier it is to treat and the less expensive it is for you, if you have any concerns about your oral health just remember that a professional evaluation is never harmful and may offer you some great information.

Dr. John Schulz DDS
Stonestown Medical Building
595 Buckingham Way, Suite 331
San Francisco, CA 94132
USA
Phone: 415.731.9300

Effects of Osteoporosis on your Oral Health

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Osteoporosis isn’t a new discovery, or a disease unheard of by many. That being said, many people don’t realize how closely tied to your oral health it can actually be.
In short, osteoporosis is caused by an insufficient consumption of calcium and vitamin D. It affects the bones, making them less dense and thus more likely to break. Osteoporosis is directly tied to your long-term dental health as this weakening of the bones may heavily compromise the jaw bone. A weakened jawbone can have a host of detrimental consequences for your teeth, including increased tooth mobility, or complete tooth loss.
The best cure for the degradation of the jawbone is avoiding it all together with a balanced diet high in vitamin D and calcium, and getting a sufficient amount of exercise. Barring that, be sure to attend your dental appointments regularly so that way the structure and health of your mouth can be monitored, and any problems that may develop are addressed immediately and not permitted to deteriorate.
As it is, due to hormone imbalances and changes over life, women are most at risk to developing osteoporosis, but it can absolutely develop in either gender depending on a host of lifestyle variables, not limited to diet and exercise.
Symptoms to pay attention to that may be indicative of osteoporosis affecting the jaw include: pain and/or swelling in the gums or jaw, as well as infection; injured gums not healing in a timely fashion; teeth that become loose for no reason or after only minor strain; numbness or discomfort in the jaw; or at worst, exposed bone. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate contacting your dentist to prevent exacerbating the issue.

A Time To Give Thanks

A Time to give thanksAs Thanksgiving swiftly approaches, here is a little insight as to how to not over indulge when turkey day hits! We all know the famous expression “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach!” or “You eat with your eyes first!” This is usually the case with most of us when it comes to sitting down to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Let’s just put this out there… Gorging yourself on snacks, cakes, pies, and starches just means a really big stomach-ache and a miserable rest of the night, not to mention the potential for damage that it can have on your teeth and gums!
This year, why not give your smile the attention that it deserves?
-Instead of the incessant snacking on all of the empty calories, head over to the veggie tray! A variety of veggies can do wonders for you! Not only for your oral health, but also for your health in general. Reaching for a nice healthy snack is a great decision!
-When you are loading up your plate with all those delicious foods, try and plan out your plate. Be mindful of the items you are scooping on as well as how much of what, you are dishing. Instead of piling on mashed potatoes, rolls, stuffing and marshmallow covered yams, try this combination instead; A bigger scoop of green beans, some turkey, yams (minus the marshmallow), a smaller portion of the potatoes (minus that extra butter) and a little fruit salad on the side without the whipped topping. Your plate will be well balanced with more appropriate portions and without all of the sticky, bad-for-your-teeth toppings.
– Thanksgiving desserts are a must for most! After you have yourself a small slice, if you are able to excuse yourself and go rinse your mouth and (if at all possible) brush and floss your teeth, you will be well on your way to a happier and healthier smile! If you brush those teeth and gums after eating the sweets and dinner, they are not able to sit on your teeth allowing time for bacteria build-up and all that comes along with the damaging sugar ingredients that cause harm.
With proper oral health care and limited portion control when eating, you CAN quite literally “Have your cake, and eat it too!”
Aside from eating, here’s something fun to do. Sit down with a friend or loved one and think about a couple of specific moments when someone’s smile impacted you, or when your smile meant something to someone else; even as little as holding a door open for a stranger and the exchange of smiles that was made at that point in time. This will open up a conversation about smiles and positivity! And really, what could be better than that?!

All-in-all, we hope you have a wonderful and love-filled Thanksgiving!

 

Dr. John Schulz DDS

Stonestown Medical Building

595 Buckingham Way, Suite 331
San Francisco, CA 94132
USA
Phone: 415.731.9300

https://www.johnschulzdds.com

To Trick Or To Treat? That Is The Question!

HalloweenBlog

Halloween is a night full of spook-tacular thrills and terrifying fun! It can also be a dreaded nightmare with the overload of candy that can spark the start of a cavity! This year, why not try something new? When you are gathering your cauldron full of trick or treat goodies, try and opt for some alternatives to the sugar jitters that are bound to commence! There is no written rule that you HAVE to give out candy. This year, let’s stand out from the crowd and spice it up a little bit.
Here are some unique alternatives:
• Mini Play Doh
• Snack Packs (pretzels, popcorn, fruit chews… etc.)
• Temporary tattoos or stickers
• Spooky vampire teeth
• Halloween themed goodies (pencils, rings, toys, activity books… etc.)
• Glow sticks
• Mini juices or waters
• Small chalk packs
• Costume jewelry
• Mini bubbles
• Travel size floss and toothbrushes 😉
A couple of tips to keep in mind before the kiddos are ready to hit the town:
– Feed your child a well balanced meal before they go trick or treating.
– Use smaller candy loot bags instead of pillow cases or large grocery bags
Now, let’s be real, we all know that Halloween is a time to indulge, a little (or a lot) in the sugary goodness. Let this be a special day that your child can have a couple of pieces of candy out of their loot bag. But limit the amount they consume. Not to mention, no one likes a belly ache after too many sweets. Just keep in mind, when your child comes home from the wicked Halloween trick or treating, go through their candy. If there are any candy wrappers that are open or look to be tampered with, throw away without hesitation. And don’t let your kids keep their candy stash! If you are in control of it, you can monitor when they have a piece and how much they are eating.
If you only want to allow for a couple of pieces of candy, and get rid of the rest, consider these options:
• Dental Office Candy Buy Backs
• Donating the candy to the troops
• Make your child a deal. For every piece of candy they hand over, give them a dime and then let them pick something special they would like to do with their earnings! Instant allowance! Perhaps a movie of their choice? A dinner date? Or a new toy?
No matter what the decision you choose to go with this year, we hope you have a safe and frightfully fun filled Halloween!

Dr. John Schulz DDS

Stonestown Medical Building

595 Buckingham Way, Suite 331
San Francisco, CA 94132
USA

Phone: 415.731.9300

APRIL: Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Early Detection Saves Lives

 Oral cancer is nothing to take lightly.  Causing one death every hour, there will be approximately 45,750 new cases diagnosed this year alone.  It also tends to strike men twice as likely as women.

Contributing factors of oral cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (3+ drinks per day)
  • Over exposure to UV light
  • HPV Virus (sexually transmitted)

  7% of diagnosed oral cancer cases that have no identified cause

Smokers are 3 times more likely to develop oral cancer.  Cigars and pipes pose a higher risk than standard cigarettes.

This is how to reduce your risk of oral cancer:

  • Brush & floss regularly
  • Do not use tobacco products
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation
  • Limit sun exposure and always use SPF sunscreen
  • Regular exercise
  • Nutritional supplements ( Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Zinc, Fish oil)
  • Oral cancer screening at your bi-annual dentist exam and cleaning

Cancer Fighting

The way you prepare your meals can play a role as well.  Rather than frying food, give steaming or baking a try!  Bonus: these techniques are also more figure friendly!

Cancer fighting foods:

  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Vegetables
  • Flaxseed
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Green Teas
  • Tomatoes

84% of oral cancer cases can be detected early by your dentist

Dental check-ups are vital to oral cancer detection.  Yes, you should be going in for dental check-ups twice a year anyways; however, request you get regularly scheduled oral cancer screenings as well! Oral Cancer - spot

Oral Cancer Signs to Check at Home:

  • Check the entirety of your mouth
  • All the way inside of your cheeks
  • Underside and top of your tongue
  • Roof of your mouth
  • Lymph nodes

You’re looking for discoloration, lumps, asymmetrical swelling or any other abnormalities that you happen to see.  Even if you aren’t too sure about it, it never hurts to give us a call, ask questions and come in to have it checked out.

Get involved.  Help raise awareness.  Spread the word.  Get tested!

Dr. John Schulz DDS
Stonestown Medical Building

595 Buckingham Way, Suite 331
San Francisco, CA 94132
USA

Phone: 415.731.9300

How Focusing on These 3 Points Will Help You Spring Out of the Winter Blues!

March Blog

Happy Spring 2015

As we move out of winter, you may be changing your frame of mind from “Snuggly winter days…” to “Time for spring cleaning!” Have you ever considered a dental spring cleaning?  If you can spring clean your home, why not your teeth?!  Here are three easy points to focus on:

  1. Healthy eating
  2. Tooth care
  3. Dental check-up

Healthy Eating

When your tummy rumbles, instead of reaching for a bag of chips, grab some veggie sticks or slice up an apple!  We understand the convenience of snack foods as well as the deal you get when purchasing a bulk pack.  But most of these things lack nutritional value and do not fare well on your body, health or mouth.  Create a goal to reach for a healthy snack to fill the nutritional craving your body is after.  Your waistline and teeth will thank you!

Foods that are high in sugar wreak havoc on your teeth contribute to the start of cavities.  Food consistency also plays a role in oral health. Very hard foods can harm the surfaces of your teeth, and there’s also the potential to cause significant damage by cracking or chipping a tooth!
Reach For                                                                                  Pass On

Fruits Sodas
Veggies Candy
Whole Grains Chips
Nuts Ice Cream
Skinless Chicken Sugary Cereals
Non-Breaded Fish Hard and Sticky Foods
Low Fat/ Fat Free Yogurt Cookies
Low Fat/ Fat Free Cheese Cakes/ Pies

Tooth Care

  • Are you attentively brushing your teeth twice a day for 2-minutes?
  • Are you flossing daily (or at all)?
  • Have you changed your toothbrush in the last 3 months?

When brushing your teeth spend the full 2 minutes taking care to cover the front and back of each individual tooth. Before finishing up – give your tongue a once over as well! Many toothbrushes have a built in tongue brusher on the back of the toothbrush head.  Toothbrushes do wear out.  They can fray and lose the sturdiness to properly clean your teeth.  Toothbrushes should be replaced about every three months.

Flossing

Flossing cleans about 40% of your teeth surfaces.  Remember to reach your very back teeth.  Flossing helps to lessen plaque build-up and helps prevent gum disease.

Dental Check-up

Remember how great your mouth feels after a dental cleaning in our office?  Now that the holidays have come to a close, your teeth may be in need of a professional cleaning.  Call us for a dental check-up and cleaning.  Check-ups are recommended every 6 months unless you are experiencing a problem area in your mouth.  And, if that is the case, call us as soon as possible.  Whenever you are in pain or have a question, call us.

Now that you have these things fresh on your mind, you are ready to take charge of spring!  And you can do so with a bright shining and CLEAN smile!

References:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/still-not-flossing-more-reasons-why-you-should

595 Buckingham Way, Suite 331
San Francisco, CA 94132
Phone: 415.731.9300