Derby Dental Blog

Challenges We Face as an Office as We Return to Practice

May 4, 2020

Filed under: Tips — derbydental @ 6:21 pm

Needless to say, we are thrilled to be back serving our wonderful patients.  But like everyone, we are faced with numerous challenges. 

Our highest priority is the safety of our patients and staff.  Derby Dental has always taken universal precautions for infection control, and we are now practicing protocols with heightened awareness of safety.  We know that everyone is worried about exposure, but a dentist office, with its strict protocols, is actually extremely safe.  And, of course no one enjoys wearing masks.  It’s a pain, but it’s a necessity.

Like many small businesses, we have been faced with a loss in revenue, revenue that pays our rent and pays our employees.  Dr. Whitehouse has continued to take care of her employees during this time of quarantine and everyone is excited about resuming their normal schedule. 

Finally, we ask everyone’s patience as we restart our scheduling process.  We are finding ways to manage the two months’ worth of appointments that have to fit in to an already full hygiene schedule.  Both staff and patients have to juggle work and child care responsibilities.  For those of you returning to work, we know that you don’t want to take off any more time than is necessary.  This juggling makes scheduling a challenge.  Please bear with us. We look forwarding to seeing all of you back in our dentist office and back in the swing of things in Austin, TX.

How to Maintain the Best Oral Hygiene at Home

March 25, 2020

Filed under: Tips,Uncategorized — derbydental @ 5:14 pm

When You Can’t Get to the Dentist for Your Regular Cleaning, It Is More Important Than Ever to Practice Great Oral Hygiene.

Take These Steps to Ensure Your Oral Health

  • Brush twice a day, brush two minutes with an electric toothbrush.
  • Floss before you brush
  • Use a Water Pik if you have trouble flossing
  • Floss before you go to bed
  • We recommend CoCo Floss, it’s thicker and helps dislodge debris
  • Limit intake of sugary drinks and snacks
  • Chew sugar free gum; it helps generate saliva

If you take the above steps, you will be ahead of the game when you return to the office for your regular checkup and cleaning. Here at Derby Dental, your Austin TX dentist, We really care about your well being

Dental Care for Seniors – How Aging Affects Your Oral Health

March 17, 2020

Filed under: Health,Tips — derbydental @ 5:28 pm

If it’s not one thing it’s another when it comes to aging.  At Derby Dental we take pride in understanding our the dental care needs of our senior patients and the issues that they face.  As we age, unfortunately, our mouth and teeth age as well.  Many of our patients are taking one or more medications. 

Dry Mouth

The number one side effect of most medications is dry mouth.  But dry mouth can also result from the aging process or just daily stress.  This dry mouth leads to greater risks of cavities, gum disease and mouth infections.  We all know that saliva in your mouth starts the process of digestion, but it also helps wash bacteria and food off your teeth.  This defense is essential to your oral health.  As we age, the soft root surfaces become exposed with recession, brushing techniques, clenching/grinding  and bite changes over time.  To offset the effects of dry mouth, our dentists recommend sipping water throughout the day, chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugar free candy.  Besides avoiding caffeine, dry and salty foods, alcohol and cigarettes, we may also recommend using an artificial saliva product.

Oral Cancer

One of the other dental care risks for our senior patients is the increased risk for oral cancer.  The average age for the diagnosis of oral cancer is now 62 years.  At Derby Dental we have the most advanced techniques for the screening of oral cancer, Oral ID.  Our senior dental patients should be vigilant in their semi-annual cleanings and screenings.  Maintenance and prevention are the best options to optimize care and to minimize costs.

Financial Challenges

Another factor that is important to our senior dental patients is insurance.  Many of our patients are entering retirement and may no longer have dental insurance.  This transition affects the patients’ ability to afford and seek essential dental care.  That’s why Derby Dental offers an in-house financial plan (Derby Care Plan) that mimics some of the same insurance benefits once seen with dental
insurance.  The Derby Care Plan offers patients a way to have normal preventive procedures covered and discounted rates on recommended treatments by our dentists. 

 

 

At Derby Dental, we care about providing our senior patients
the best and most affordable dental care in Austin, TX.  Don’t put off your regular screenings and
hygiene. 

Brushing Like Your Health Depends on It: The Link Between Oral Hygiene and Alzheimer’s Disease

July 8, 2019

Filed under: Health — derbydental @ 5:56 pm

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been taught that not brushing your teeth can have major consequences. Not just like having stanky no-one-will-ever-kiss-you breath, but real problems–like increased risk of heart disease and stroke associated with gingivitis and periodontal disease. If that wasn’t motivation enough to diligently floss and brush every day, now there’s new science to suggest a very real correlation (not just causation!) between poor oral hygiene and Alzheimer’s Disease.

There are jokes about folks with Alzheimer’s being able to hide their own Easter eggs but the truth is, there’s nothing to laugh about here. If you’re not familiar with Alzheimer’s, it’s a form of dementia that leads to extreme memory loss as well as a decline in cognitive abilities. A person suffering from Alzheimer’s could be standing across the street from the home they’ve lived in for forty years and not know where they are. It’s a terrifying predicament for the sufferer and also challenging for the family and loved ones.

So you know that gunky plaque stuff that builds up on our teeth? That’s actually a biofilm made up of a mass of bacteria and other microbes that produce toxins. If you let that biofilm get out of control, your gums will start to get red and inflamed. This is known as the mildest stage of gum disease, gingivitis. If left to progress even further, little pockets will develop around the teeth and you’ll develop full blown periodontal disease. The bacteria in plaque can now get deep under the gumline, causing the pockets to deepen. If left untreated, you could be looking at bone and tissue loss and your teeth will eventually become loose.

One of the key pathogens in biofilm that leads to periodontal disease is called Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. ging). This jerk of a pathogen secretes another friend in crime called gingipains. It’s these two infectious agents that have been found in 96% of those with Alzheimer’s. They are able to enter the body through diseased gum tissue as well as during invasive dental work, like extractions and periodontal surgery. In the study linked above, mice were infected with P. ging and it showed “brain colonization” as well as increased production of components that are found in amyloid plaques, which destroy connections between nerve cells that eventually leads to dementia. It’s also worth mentioning that P. gingivalis was found in 100% of patients with cardiovascular disease.

Get Whiter Teeth with KOR Whitening Treatments

June 28, 2019

Filed under: Tips — derbydental @ 6:29 pm

Some people have naturally white teeth. Years ago, I was a member of a fitness boot camp that had the audacity to hire trainers who were distractingly good-looking. One of them had a smile so pure and white that I couldn’t help but be nosy and ask him how I, too, could achieve such a blinding smile. He just laughed, ran a hand through his short brown hair, and said, “I don’t do anything. My teeth are naturally this white. I mean, I used bleach strips once like ten years ago.” And with that, he shed his tank top and did a slo-mo Baywatch run around the track. Or at least that’s the scenario my brain created.

Not all of us are fortunate enough to have naturally white teeth–and that’s okay! That’s why the populace has created a million and one options for whitening. We discussed a few at-home treatments in our last blog post, but today we’re going to talk about KöR, one of the best whitening systems on the market, and why we think it’s THE way to go for a long-lasting white smile.

Why KöR?

Derby Dental is a provider of the KöR Whitening System because it doesn’t rely on anything super high-tech or gimmicky, like lights or lasers, or big plastic cheek retractors–it’s just really solid science and chemical engineering that delivers great results. The process also doesn’t cause as much sensitivity as other whitening methods and the results are practically permanent!

What makes KöR different?

Like many other whitening systems, KöR involves a peroxide gel that is applied to the teeth. The big difference is that KöR whitening gels are under constant refrigeration from the time they are manufactured. This is a big deal because bleaching gels can degrade in room temperature environments (not to mention in a warehouse where the temperatures can get very warm). This means that by the time you bring home your whitening gel, it may be way less effective. Bleaching syringes and whitening strips don’t come cheap, so why waste money on something that only kind of works? KöR’s refrigeration ensures that your gel is 100% effective.

What’s the process like?

KöR is both an in-office and at-home process and can be altered depending on the difficulty of your case. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

  1. In-office: Take impressions for your custom trays
  2. In-office: Jumpstart conditioning with 13% Dual-Activated, Tri-Barrel Hydremide Peroxide gel in your fancy new trays
  3. At-home: Nighttime whitening for 3-4 weeks (more severe cases may need to bleach for up to 8 weeks)
  4. In-office: Whitening session with 34% Dual-Activated, Tri-Barrel Hydremide Peroxide gel
  5. At-home: Periodic maintenance (this ensures long-lasting results)

Key points to keep in mind

  • Always get your teeth professionally cleaned before starting a whitening regimen! It will be way more effective if you have a nice shiny slate to work with.
  • If you have dental work like crowns and fillings, they do not change color and will not bleach with the rest of your teeth. For example, if you have a crown on your front tooth and want to do a whitening regimen, you would need to replace your crown (after whitening is completed) to match the new bleach shade.
  • Sensitivity is also completely normal. The KöR system has a fantastic desensitizer that helps combat sensitivity

KöR produces incredible results for achieving the smile you’ve always wanted to steal from your ex-fitness trainer. Call the office to learn more or to set up an appointment to achieve those #WhiteningGoals.

 

Top 10 Foods that Stain Your Teeth

June 21, 2019

Filed under: Tips — derbydental @ 3:12 pm

  1. Green Juice

I watched a documentary on getting skinny by “juicing” and “eating less”–so I bought a juicer. I had heard that green juice, made with kale and spinach, was supposed to be really good for you (it’s also the grossest kind you can make, go figure). It wasn’t long before I noticed dark staining behind my bottom front teeth. Pulverized greens actually release more pigment that can cause staining. It was a great reason to quit juicing and go back to my burger diet.

  1. Coffee & Tea

I can’t fathom a day where I don’t drink at least two cups of coffee in the morning. According to the Crest website, it’s actually the tannins in coffee and tea that are responsible for staining. Tannins are a naturally occurring chemical compound found mostly in plants, barks, leaves, and fruit skins. Unfortunately, adding milk to your coffee or tea does not minimize the staining as it doesn’t change the amount of tannins.

  1. Tomato Sauces

This one is kind of a double whammy. Tomato sauce is pretty pigmented which can give your teeth a yellowish hue. They are also very acidic which means that they can erode your enamel and expose pores. Acid can also “roughen” up your enamel which makes it easier for more colorful gunk to stick to your teeth.

  1. Red Wine

Same as with the tannins in coffee and tea. Opt for the occasional white wine or do it like my old Aunt Cassie: drink your red wine from a box with a straw.

  1. Berries

There’s nothing I like better than a mixed berry pie. Or mixed berry anything, really. Berries are like tomatoes in that you have to watch out for the acidity as well as the pigment.

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric is a delightful and delicious root spice used in a lot of eastern cuisines. It’s also bright yellow and known for staining everything. Countertops, fingers, plates, clothes, etc. I once had a temporary crown that was stained canary yellow after eating dinner at an Indian restaurant!

  1. Soy Sauce & Sriracha

Both are pigmented and delicious. I lumped these together because I add them to almost all of my meals. They’re like two peas and a pod or a wink and a nod.

  1. Dark Balsamic Vinegar

Dark balsamic will throw their heavy pigment on your teeth without thinking twice. When cooked on low to make a syrup, the vinegar, which is of course acidic, becomes like a sticky magnet to your teeth.

  1. Colas/Sodas/Pops

Compounds in dark colas can do a number on your white teeth but the acidity also plays a part. It doesn’t matter if you’re drinking RC Cola or Sprite, the acidity will still fizzle away your enamel and leave it susceptible to staining. Fun fact: Did you know that the recipe for Coca Cola was never patented? If they patented it, they would have make their recipe public.

  1. Tobacco Use

I know, I know, not a food. But I think it’s so important to continue mentioning that smoking or chewing tobacco are so detrimental to your oral health. Smoking has long been known to deposit a sticky, tar-like gunk on the surface of your teeth and requires some diligent scrubbing on your hygienist’s part to get it removed. Who wants to kiss that?!

Think of your teeth as a white t-shirt when it comes to staining or discoloration: anything that will stain a white shirt will likely also stain those chompers.

Already done some damage and can’t cut out the coke-a-cola. No worries! We got you 🙂 Check out our blog about at home whitening options or ask us about our KOR whitening treatment! :)

At Home Whitening Treatments that (Actually) Work.

June 17, 2019

Filed under: Tips — derbydental @ 12:31 pm

There are a million reasons to smile once the weather gets warmer and all of them will be recorded on your insta-feed. Whether you find yourself pool-side at Deep Eddy, at local swimming hole, on a patio for happy hour, or at Zilker for a picnic in the park, one thing is for certain, someone will be snappin a pic.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, am I ready for this? Is my smile this camera ready? Can I handle all this extra exposure? Am I about to get insta-famous this summer?

While we can’t necessarily promise you fame and fortune, we can advise you on a few tips and tricks to get your smile celebrity status ready.

You may be tempted to look into at-home whitening options before jumping into the dentist’s chair–and there’s nothing wrong with that! There are tons of whitening strips, toothpaste, and lights available almost everywhere you shop. There’s also a lot of recipes for teeth whitening home remedies online.

Let’s break down some of these options:

Crest Whitestrips:

Crest Whitestrips are available in most grocery stores and are one of the few over-the-counter bleaching products that are ADA approved. They consist of an upper and lower plastic strip that have tiny peroxide-filled bubbles on them that “pop” when pressed against your teeth. They are usually worn for 30 minutes at a time. If they feel too slippery, try drying your teeth off before putting on the strips.

TIP ALERT! Definitely make sure to wipe any peroxide gel off your gums immediately after applying the strips. It can burn!

LED Whitening Kits:

LED-Light Whitening kits are the new kid on the block. They consist of a fancy mouth light and trays with either carbamide peroxide gel or hydrogen peroxide gel. The idea is that once you have the gel trays in your mouth, the blue light just helps speed up the whitening process. There seem to be a lot of options for these lights and at many price points. Make sure to do plenty of research before going towards the light.

Whitening Toothpaste:

Almost every brand of toothpaste has a version that claims to whiten your teeth to match Bob Ross’s Titanium White paint. Some of these can really help curb staining between teeth cleanings. Just watch out for abrasiveness. A lot of whitening toothpaste rely on a pumice-effect to scrub stains. The bad part is, they sometimes remove some of your enamel as well. This can either lead to more staining or even yellower looking teeth as the naturally yellow dentin (the layer of the tooth under your enamel) begins to show.

Homeopathic/Pinterest Methods

I’m going to stop you right here and redirect you to an older blog we did that talked about the harm in using Pinterest-approved whitening techniques, including charcoal and acidic foods. As we mentioned with the toothpaste, abrasives like charcoal and baking soda may help you achieve a whiter smile but it’s actually doing more damage in the long run as it removes your enamel. Acids, like those found in lemons and strawberries (which are two of Pinterest’s favorite whitening ingredients), will also cause irreversible damage to the enamel.

What whitening options does Dr. Whitehouse offer?

Dr. Whitehouse is a provider of the KöR Whitening system which has been touted as one of the most effective whitening systems available.

It works by utilizing a combination of in-office and at-home treatments with fully potent peroxide bleaching gels. As with most bleaching systems, some sensitivity is normal. Fluoride is the best remedy for senspost-whitening sensitivity, which you can find in lower doses in your toothpastes or extra strength at our office.

Luckily, the KoR whitening system includes an anti-sensitivity agent included in the whitening kit that can be used at home, and REALLY works!!

Happy Summer, ya’ll. Smile bright!

Where to Park at Derby?

June 4, 2019

Filed under: Tips — derbydental @ 7:39 am

No matter if you work at a cool new startup downtown, live in Rosedale or Pflugerville, or have been working for years at Dell, one thing is certain: your dentist is in a great location at the corner of Far West and Mopac.

The Northwest Hills area is pretty easy to get to from almost anywhere in Austin (barring traffic) and we have tons of delicious lunch spots nearby if you’re trying to grab a bite and get your teeth cleaned on your lunch break. (Seriously, the Boulevard Bar & Grill, Biderman’s Deli, Saffron–I could go on and on about food!) But we’re not here to talk about food or our great location…

we’re going to discuss your most burning question, the question 85% of our patients ask us:

Where the heck can I park?!

Y’all, I hear you. On the days we don’t start until 10a.m. we’re practically parking over at Wendy’s and taking a shuttle. There seem to be a large number of spots on the lot but most of them are reserved or say “Contract Parking Only”. Where does that leave you?

You’re a responsible person who left work with just enough time to get to the office for your mid-morning appointment but now you feel like a dolt because you just spent five minutes circling and now you’re late for your appointment and you’re frustrated and probably mumbling such profanities under your breath that even George Carlin would tell you to tone it down.

I know it may be tempting to park anywhere and take your chances, but please be aware that property management seems to have a whole fleet of grackles watching over the parking lot just waiting to nark on you. Management is cracking down on reserved, 30-minute, and 2-hour visitor parking and will not hesitate to tow. They’ve already had two cars towed so far!

We definitely know the frustration of not being able to find a place to park and want to find a solution. We’re in talks with the building property managers to get some designated parking spots for our patients. Until then, here are some tips for finding a spot and keeping your cool:

  1. Snag an early morning appointment. The parking lots usually don’t fill up until about 9 a.m.
  2. Wind your way up to the 5th floor of the garage
  3. Add a buffer to your travel time in case you find yourself waiting for a spot

Location is so important, especially in Austin where traffic rules our lives. We’re glad we’re in a central location, close to the major roadways, an HEB and tons of food… and we’re glad we can provide a 5-star dental experience no matter where you’re coming from. We hope to get our parking up to 5 star standards soon!

A Dental Crown? Do I Also Get A Dragon?

May 30, 2019

Filed under: Tips — derbydental @ 2:24 am

My dentist said I needed a crown and I was like, “I know, right?”

That’s a really common joke in the dental world. Almost like when an item at a store is missing a price tag–the cashier braces himself with a forced smile for the inevitable, “Well, it must be free then!” Silly mom jokes aside, let’s talk about that crown (or cap, as some call it). Dr. Whitehouse said you needed one but no one is calling you their Royal Highness, so what led us here?

 

A Super Brief Overview of Crowns

Typically, the need for a crown is caused by two main things: decay and fractures. Once a tooth has been affected by severe decay and/or fractures, a crown is recommended to preserve the structural integrity of the tooth. To do that, the doc has to remove all the decay and broken bits and then has to build a mini foundation that the crown will adhere to. The permanent fancy porcelain crown is fabricated in a lab (right here in Austin!) so while that’s getting made, the doc has to leave you with something temporary to hold the space–this is a temporary crown (or temp if you’re in the biz).

Temporary crowns are made out of an acrylic material and enable most of the normal functions of a regular tooth or crown. Since getting a crown is kind of like a mini surgery and the material of a temp crown isn’t totally heat/cold proof, sensitivity is normal. Cold sensitivity is more common but if the heat makes you jump out of your seat, we need to know. The gums are most likely to be the cause of irritation and can be alleviated with warm salt water rinses.

What to Do and What Not to Do

Stash away your almonds, granola bars, gum, taffy, or anything really crunchy, sticky, or chewy until you get your permanent crown. Also, keep the flossing extremely gentle around the crown and slide the floss between the teeth instead of popping it in and out.. No Water Pik or hydro-flossing on your temp. Your temporary crown is, well, temporary and it can pop off. If that happens, it’s not a huge deal. Call the office and we’ll get it back on.

The number one rule is to brush your teeth. Keep brushing (always and forever). Not brushing can lead to excessive bleeding and plaque buildup, which can compromise the delivery of your permanent crown.

When to Alert the Office

While sensitivity is normal, pain from pressure is not. You should be able to chew fairly normally with your temporary crown, so if you find yourself chewing on the other side of your mouth due to discomfort, let us know; this may just require a bit of an adjustment.  Throbbing, aching pain that progresses should also warrant a phone call to the office.

Four Top Tips To Prevent Tooth Decay Against One Of Its Worst Enemies.

April 2, 2019

Filed under: Tips — Tags: , , , , , , , — derbydental @ 6:24 pm

The effects of sports drinks off the court…

Let me tell you a story about a successful sports kid whose mom got pretty mad at him after he was diagnosed with a bunch of cavities at a routine dental visit. The year was 1998 and “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden was blasting through every portable CD player at West Middle School. The kid in question was Zach Blanchard–not only was he the star quarterback of the football team, he was also the captain of West’s track team and still holds the statewide record for the 400-meter dash (without, like, even trying). Legend has it that while he could throw a ball with his hands tied behind his back and run like the wind in Crocs, he wasn’t so lucky with his teeth.

Zach’s case was a curious one. How could a fit, healthy kid develop so many cavities in such a short amount of time? His mom was going nuts, exclaiming that he had just been to the dentist six months earlier with no issues. Had he developed a secret candy or soda habit? Was he not brushing at night? Zach was a good kid and he wasn’t sneaking any sugary contraband… so what could it be? Turns out, Zach’s dentist had seen this all before, he knew right away that kids who play a lot of sports usually end up drinking a lot of sports drinks as well… and you know those contain almost as much sugar as a can of soda, right?

Many sports drinks and supplements like Gatorade, Vitaminwater, and Gu Energy Gels are loaded with sugar because it’s quick fuel for the body during exercise. While Zach was sipping on Gatorade to refuel during football practice, he had no idea that he was repeatedly feeding the bacteria in his mouth. He was creating a perfectly dark, wet environment where the bacteria could consume the sugar to produce acids and start doing real damage to his teeth. Over several weeks, the damage was done and Zach’s teeth looked like swiss cheese. Thankfully, he had his problem addressed early on, and with advice from his dentist, he was able to take some precautions to keep it from happening again.

Here are some #hottips from the wise dentist for all you Zachs out there (even if you’re not into sports but maybe tend to sip on a can of soda or, lemon water throughout the day, or perhaps you take your coffee with sugar and cream? Whatever your poison; these tips can also help you:

  1. If you aren’t able to brush right away, swish your mouth with fresh water after eating or drinking anything with a lot of sugars/carbs
  2. Swap out sugary sports drinks for drink tablets like Nuun which contain all the electrolytes your body craves, without any additives or sugar
  3. Brush and floss before you go to bed. The reason flossing is so highly emphasized by your hygienist is because it mechanically disrupts the formation of biofilm (which is basically the bacteria in your mouth forming the off-white goopy stuff on your teeth. Yuck.)
  4. If you need a little extra help, a higher concentration of fluoride in a rinse or paste can certainly help! MI Paste is highly recommended and comes in a variety of flavors. You can even ask about fluoride toothpaste.

Equating cavities with unhealthy foods or behaviors is a fallacy. Even habitual fruit eaters can cause a lot of damage to their teeth due to the naturally occurring sugars and acids. So if you’re outside exercising or even staring at a computer screen with a 40 oz Mountain Dew, just be mindful of the sugar you’re consuming and the steps you can take to minimize the risks.

A chart on the Acidity of common drinks and their corresponding PH levels. tooth enamel starts to dissolve at pH less than 5.5. Drinks with pH levels less than 5.5, in order of increasingly more acidic, are flat mineral water, soda water (5.1), beer, wine, sparkling mineral water, orange juice, apple juice (3.4), red bull, gatorade, diet coke, ribena, monster energy drink, sprite, fanta, powerade, coca cola (2.3), pepsi, vinegar, lemon juice (2.0), battery acid (1.0).
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