HIGH TECH SAFETY in the “new normal”: our 3 main components to minimize germs

Dental offices are high traffic spaces: our regular, daily interactions with patients can introduce bacterial, viral, and fungal infections into the air. The indoor air within dental offices contains unhealthy and often infectious airborne pollutants, but we believe technology keeps our patients happier and healthier. Here are three major ways we use cleaning technology to ensure our patients and staff members are as protected as possible:

SURGICALLY CLEAN AIR FILTRATION: it doesn’t just filter germs, it destroys them.

Microbial air pollution is a real health issue and this is where technology makes us a better, healthier practice. Air purification systems can play a role in significantly reducing transmittable bio-aerosols Dental procedures inadvertently generate aerosols, containing organisms and debris from each patient’s oral activity, and these can be harmful to everyone present in the clinic. Air filters result in the significant reduction of viable particles in the air. World-class medical-grade air purifiers like our Surgically Clean Air system remove chemicals, toxins, germs, and odors, but most importantly, they kill airborne viruses, to help reduce the spread of illness.

By using a six-stage purification system of filters and UV lights, we ensure that the air you breathe is clean, healthy, and odor-free. Stages 1 and 2 remove large and microscopic air contaminates. Stage 3 absorbs unhealthy odors, chemicals, and gases. Stages 4 and 5 kill bacteria and viruses, while stage 6 re-energizes the clean air before circulating it back into the room.

We invested in Surgically Clean Air systems within our office because we believe that paying attention to the quality and purity of the air in our office creates a win/win situation for our patients and team members. Learn more about what Surgically Clean Air is doing for other practices HERE.

ISOLITE SYSTEMS: Mouthpieces matter

“Isolation”, in dental terms, means keeping the procedure area (your mouth) safe and contained. Proper dental isolation is important to dental procedures because it minimizes contamination. This is traditionally done with dental dams and other tools for suction, but we use Isolite systems with our patients. Isolite technology is soft and comfortable, but provides added safety measures during your dental procedure, protecting you foreign body aspiration and shielding the tongue and cheek from injury by the handpiece or other dental instruments.

VIKING PURE CLEANING SOLUTIONS: Redefining a clean environment

As an added step in our office safety, we are soon implementing a Viking Technology Cleaning System within the practice. Viking Pure’s patented e-water is a nontoxic solution that has the power to redefine our idea of a clean environment. The chemicals that our society has come to rely on are harmful to our health, our wallet and our planet. They are also ineffective at killing the bacteria, viruses and superbugs that are plaguing our homes and businesses.

Viking Pure Solutions are not only more powerful than chemicals, but our patent-protected systems have revolutionized the very process of generating natural cleaning solutions. Electrolyzed Water is the result of a process called electrolysis: salt is electrically separated into its two main ions, sodium and chloride. Those two ions are then mixed into separate streams of fresh water, producing two solutions: Hypochlorous Acid (PureSan) and Sodium Hydroxide (PureClean). These two solutions are safer, cheaper and most importantly, infinitely more powerful than the harmful chemicals most commonly used as cleaning agents today.


After a very long 2 months, we look forward to bringing our patients back into the office for treatment. Fortunately, many of the new safety precautions recommended to dentists have been in place in our office long before COVID-19. We look forward to seeing you.

Though the link between dental health and heart health is not completely clear, experts say it’s important to take care of both. Claiming around 610,000 lives each year, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S.1 Did you know that research has found a link between this deadly disease and the health of your gums? Having gum disease increases the risk of a first heart attack by 28%, according to a 2016 study by the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden.2 “Although the findings indicate a strong link between gum disease and heart disease, it’s still unclear whether one actually causes the other,” says the American Heart Association. The two conditions have some of the same risk factors, including smoking, poor nutrition and diabetes. Researchers believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the connection.3

Prevention is the best medicine

Regular healthy habits can lower your risk of both gum disease and heart disease. And, if you already have one or both of these conditions, these strategies can help reduce their impact:
  • Brush and floss regularly. To remove plaque-forming bacteria, brush for at least two minutes, twice a day, and don’t skip the floss.
  • Choose a healthy diet, rich in essential nutrients (especially vitamins A and C). Reduce or eliminate sugar and starches.
  • Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. These habits can destroy your gums and increase your chance of heart disease.
    • 1CDC, NCHS. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2013 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2015.
    • 2Rydén L, Buhlin K, Ekstrand E, et al. Periodontitis increases the risk of a first myocardial infarction: A report from the PAROKRANK study. 2016.
    • 3Jeffcoat et al. Impact of periodontal therapy on general health: evidence from insurance data for five systemic conditions. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2014;47(2):166-74.
    • 4Gum Disease and Heart Disease. American Academy of Periodontology. Dec. 2016. http://www.perio.org/consumer/heart_disease
    via Delta Dental
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A little selfie-consciousness may be good

One recent study was conducted by NIH-funded researcher Dr. Lance Vernon (Senior instructor, Case Western Reserve University) three dentists from India, another researcher from the United States. They examined the feasibility of using smart phone video “selfies” to help improve toothbrushing technique. The small proof-of-concept study aimed to determine whether toothbrushing with selfie-taking was worth further study. As part of the study, Indian dental students were given a one-time toothbrushing training session. Then over two weeks, they recorded – on their phones in the privacy of their own home – five toothbrushing selfies. Later, the dentist researchers from India reviewed and characterized the selfies. With further analyses from my US colleague, we found some changes and variation over time in the quality and accuracy of toothbrushing. These changes may suggest that participants were trying to create a new habit, trying to change their behavior, almost as if, while taking the selfie, someone was watching them. The thought was that by using selfies, participants were more self-conscious about changing their ingrained toothbrushing approach and so may have been better able to “override” their habitual way of brushing. Also, the participants may have had more fun or been more curious about doing a sometimes mundane task. Habits are hard to change. One needs to overcome “muscle memory” to establish a new behavior. So relearning or retraining, just as with any sports-related skill, may be a gradual process, one prone to trial, error, forgetting and relapse. Some of our data might generally support this. But, based on the pilot study, it seems like adding the selfie to the mix could help people learn, well, new tricks. While it was a very a preliminary study, it opened a door. But keep in mind, it’s not just the taking of the selfie alone. Patients will need to review the selfies with their dentist or dental hygienist to get tips on how to improve and on the most important things to work on. Over time, this new, more effective brushing style could become your default habit. But then, you may need another selfie every so often, to make sure that the patient was not slipping back into old habits. An application of the toothbrushing selfie is that technology could be used to evaluate, monitor and permit providers to give real-time, convenient oral hygiene feedback to people across periods of time. This can help put a greater emphasis on prevention, which, at a minimum, should promote good dental checkups and could help keep costs down. Show us your toothbrushing selfies! We would gladly want to see them. READ MORE ABOUT THE STUDY
Oral-B unveils the world's first 'smart brush'Leading dental manufacturer Oral B has unveiled a state of the art smart brush that uses sensors to follow the path of the brush.
Named Genius, the new brush works alongside an app, so you can use your phone to track your brushing progress and highlight potential areas of weakness. Research used to develop the product suggests that 80 percent of people aren’t brushing their teeth for long enough or paying enough attention to each quadrant of the mouth. 60 percent of people miss the molars at the back of the mouth completely or devote less time to them than other teeth. Most patients aren’t brushing their teeth properly and this is contributing to an increased risk of oral disease. Even the most conscientious individual may be missing out key areas or spending less time on one part of the mouth than others. This new system detects brushing problems and encourages you to correct them and learn how to get the best out of your toothbrush. Sensors in the brush track the movement of the head, while the smart phone camera utilizes video recognition to follow the brush around the mouth. Oral B revealed the exciting new product at the MWC 2016 in Barcelona. It is expected to be available in the summer. Learn more about the new smart brush
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One of the most common misconceptions about pregnancy is that it’s unsafe to visit the dentist while you’re pregnant. Over the years, people have assumed that visits to the dentist could cause issues with a pregnancy through the various x-rays and procedures. In all actuality, scheduling an appointment with your dentist is one of the most beneficial things you can do for you and your baby during pregnancy. While it’s important to work with a dentist who you trust and one that’s well informed on the proper treatment options for expecting mothers, visiting the dentist to ensure you’re taking care of your teeth during pregnancy is extremely important. To help combat some of the misconceptions, here are three primary reasons expecting mothers should visit the dentist during pregnancy. Hormone levels can cause Periodental Disease. During pregnancy, your progesterone hormone levels are on the rise, which can cause your gums to have a weird response to plaque bacteria -- a lot more plaque buildup than normal. Often times, the build up causes gums to become more tender, swell or even bleed. If left untreated, build up can lead to a more serious condition known as Periodental Disease. At Downtown Dental, all of these issues can be treated with our pain-free, laser dentistry option, making dental care even easier for soon-to-be moms. Cleaner teeth can reduce pregnancy issues for moms. Research shows that appropriate and timely care for dental issues during pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of adverse pregnancy issues, such as preeclampsia, for expecting moms. By visiting the dentist to remove all the excess bacteria that commonly builds up during pregnancy, you can lower the risk of any possible pregnancy issues you experience that are common if left untreated. Taking care of your teeth helps you take care of your baby. Poor dental care has been linked to premature births and may interfere with a baby’s development in numerous studies. Clean teeth not only help prevent possible issues for moms, it also reduces the risk of premature birth or low birth weight for your baby.   As an expecting mom, this is one of the most special, yet crucial, times of your life and we’d love to do our part in helping ensure you and your baby are staying as healthy as possible. If you’re wondering what kind of dental work is safe to have during pregnancy, know that cavities and root canals can and should be treated to reduce the risk of infection. It’s also important to note that as an expectant mom, the best time to schedule your appointment to do these procedures is during your second trimester. In your third trimester, you may have a harder time staying comfortable during a long dental appointment. Hopefully, this post clarified any misconceptions about visiting the dentist during pregnancy. If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment as an expecting mom, please feel free to give us a call or let us know when you schedule an online appointment.
As part of our effort to stay healthy from head to toe, we wanted to take some time this month to talk about heart and dental health. A few months ago, we shared two unconventional ways to commit to total body heath. Instead of spitting out statics from the latest studies, here is how and why taking care of your teeth help keep your heart healthy. How does taking care of your teeth affect your heart health? Understanding the connection between heart and dental health isn’t complicated. Most people know if you don’t take proper care of your teeth, diseases such as tooth decay and gingivitis develops. Also, you probably know that if you don’t regularly floss, your gums can become sore bleeding can result. Studies have shown the bacteria you’ve built up from poor dental habits can make its way into your blood stream. Traveling through the rest of your body, the bacteria can provoke inflammation or cause clogged arteries. Over time, these issues can develop into more serious problems. Why does it matter? Over time, the issues caused by bacteria in your blood stream can contribute to heart disease or other heart related issues. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 2,600 people in the U.S. die of heart disease every day. That's an average of one death every 34 seconds. In short… By not taking care of your teeth and gums, you’re ultimately opening yourself up for the potential to be diagnosed with heart disease or other heart related issues if dental bacteria enters the blood stream. It is evident from research that the two are directly related. How do you prevent this from happening? While regular dental exams and cleanings are necessary to remove bacteria, plaque and tartar and detect early signs of gum disease, you can play a major role in preventing bacteria build up: • Brush for two to three minutes twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gumline without using too much force. • Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. • Use a mouth rinse to reduce plaque up to 20 percent. • Eat a healthy diet, low in refined sugars, to provide essential nutrients (vitamins A and C, in particular). • Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. At Downtown Dental, we want you to have more than a nice smile; we want you to live a healthy, vibrant life. That’s why we’re committed to total body health. Join us in staying healthy from head to toe and taking care of the most important part of your body: your heart.