Dentist in Oskaloosa, IA Reveals Bacteria in Used Band Instruments

Band instruments, especially used brass and woodwind instruments, can contain heavy amounts of bacteria. According a recent study published in the March/April 2011 issue of General Dentistry, over 440 different bacteria, 58 molds, and 19 yeasts were found on 13 different used musical instruments. Researchers tested 117 sites on the instruments, including internal chambers, mouth pieces, and cases.

“Parents may not realize that the mold in the in their child’s instrument could contribute to the development of asthma,” stated R. Thomas Glass, DDS, PhD, lead author of the study. He further stated that the yeasts can cause infections on the mouth and lips. Some of the bacteria found were the types that cause staph infections, which resist many prescribed antibiotics.

The research brings to light that sterilizing used band instruments is essential prior to using them. Your student’s band instructor can provide thorough steps for sanitizing an instrument. After initial sterilization, the instrument should be wiped down frequently, especially the parts that contact the face and mouth. Dr. Glass also recommends that students should refrain from sharing instruments with others.

Dr. Jeffrey Allen, A Pella, IA dentist, believes the best way to fight the bacteria in your mouth is by following the American Dentist Association’s guidelines of brushing two times a day, flossing once a day, rinsing after meals, and keeping your semi-annual dental visits. Contact Dr. Allen’s office at (641)628-1121 to schedule your six-month appointment. A healthy mouth can play beautiful music! We support the schools and bands in Pella, and we want your young musician to remain healthy for lifelong success!

Pella Cosmetic Dentist Creates Beautiful Smiles

What defines a beautiful smile, and how can you achieve one? An average or less-than-perfect smile can be enhanced with cosmetic dentistry.  During a smile makeover consultation, your cosmetic dentist will evaluate the shape of your teeth, the size, the texture, and the color.  Dr. Jeffrey Allen is an experienced and trained cosmetic dentist offering a variety of minimally invasive, highly affective cosmetic treatment.

Veneers: To repair chipped, stained, crooked, gapped, or crowded teeth, Dr. Allen may suggest porcelain veneers. These custom-made porcelain shells adhere directly to existing teeth.  Placement of porcelain veneers customarily takes two appointments. During the first appointment, impressions are taken and teeth are shaped and prepared for the veneers. At the second appointment, teeth will be cleaned, polished, and the veneers will be bonded to the teeth.

Bonding: Bonding can close gaps between teeth and lengthens small or misshapen teeth. In one appointment, Dr. Allen can apply a resin directly to the teeth to improve the size and texture. A low-intensity light hardens the resin after the desired shape is achieved.

Whitening: Teeth-whitening is the most common cosmetic dental procedure. Dr. Allen offers home teeth whitening systems. The home system lightens and brightens teeth with a specially formulated whitening gel and a customized whitening tray. The gel and tray should be worn for a few hours each day. Home whitening systems allow you to gradually whiten your teeth, but ultimately result in whitening of 8-10 shades – the same results you’d see with a one visit whitening system.

If you feel your smile is less than beautiful, contact Dr. Jeffrey Allen, a Pella, IA cosmetic dentist at (641)628-1121 to schedule a smile makeover  consultation. I perfect smiles for residents of Pella, Oskaloosa, Monroe, Newton, and surrounding areas.

Which Toothbrush is Right for You?

Scientists think that toothbrushing tools date back to 3,000 BC when they were made of twigs. Thanks to modern technology, we no longer have to brush our teeth with trees. In fact, we have several different styles and types of toothbrushes to choose from. When deciding on a toothbrush, here are some important things to consider:

Most people choose a soft-bristled toothbrush because the bristles are more flexible and can bend easily and reach areas where food and plaque hide. Soft bristles also brush the area without cutting or bruising the gums.

The head of your toothbrush should be small to allow effective cleaning. A small head makes it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas, including the back teeth. (more…)

Oral Cancer Examinations

Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, this is a great time to schedule an oral cancer screening. Research shows that approximately 7,900 people die from oral cancer each year. Ninety percent of people diagnosed with oral cancer have used some form of tobacco. Other risk factors for oral cancer include: heavy alcohol use, sun exposure, human papilloma virus (HPV), and untreated severe periodontal disease. Found and treated early, survival rate increases dramatically.

A great time to be screened is during your regular dental visits. The process only takes a few moments. Here is what you should expect during your oral cancer screening:

  1. Prior to your examination, remove any dentures or partials.
  2. Your neck, face, lips, and mouth will be inspected for visible signs of cancer.
  3. Your throat, jaw, and neck will be felt for any lumps.
  4. The inside of your lips and cheeks will be examined for red or white patches that may indicate cancer.
  5. You will be asked to stick out your tongue so that the healthcare provider can thoroughly check the top, sides, and underside for abnormal texture, color, or swelling.
  6. Additionally, the roof, floor, and back of the mouth will be examined.
  7. The examination will conclude with your healthcare provider gently placing one finger on the floor of your mouth and using the other hand to apply pressure under the chin to check for sensitivity or lumps.

If you notice any abnormalities prior to your regular visit, contact me, Dr. Jeffrey Allen, a Pella, IA family dentist. I provide cosmetic, preventive, and restorative services to patients in Pella, Oskaloosa, Lynnville, and surrounding areas. Call my Pella dentist office today at (641)628-1121 to schedule an appointment. Remember, early detection and treatment lead the battle in fighting oral cancer.

Dental Floss Preferences

During your trip to the store, you may have noticed the large variety of both toothpaste and dental floss. When choosing dental floss, which style to choose is simply a matter of preference.

A study conducted by periodontists at University of Buffalo found that nylon waxed dental floss and Teflon floss (wide, plytetrafluoroethylene floss) yield the same results on oral health: they both remove food particles and plaque.

However, of the 60 participants in the study, 75% preferred dental tape, which is thicker than thread floss, it will not fray or break, and slides smoothly between teeth. Usually, people with more room between their teeth like dental tape. (more…)

Teeth Loss and Dementia

Recently, researchers conducted a study that found elderly people who lose their teeth may have an increased risk of developing dementia. The study included more than 4,000 participants, ages 65 and older.

Participants in the study underwent a psychiatric assessment and dental examination. Those who had few or no natural teeth experienced some memory loss or had early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Many of the patients stated that they rarely visited the dentist.

The best way to protect against developing long-term, serious oral health problems is to keep regular six-month dental checkups and cleanings.  You should maintain healthy hygiene habits at home, as well. The American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth twice daily, flossing once a day, and rinsing with water after meals. (more…)

Smile Make Over Quiz

Have you looked in the mirror and really studied your teeth? Have you decided that you need cosmetic work? I’m Dr. Jeffrey Allen, a Pella, IA, family dentist, and I would like to assist you in reaching your cosmetic goals. Prior to your consultation with me, I want you to identify what you like and dislike about your smile. The following quiz will guide you in determining what changes you would like to make and what results you seek.

1. What color best describes your teeth?

a. Bright white

b. Yellowish

c. Gray-blue

d. Brownish

2. Which term best describes the position of your front teeth?

a. Perfectly straight

b. Gapped

c. Crowded

d. Uneven

3. Which adjective describes the shape of your front teeth?

a. Nice and attractive

b. Pointy

c. Uneven

d. Rough-edged