April: Oral Cancer Awareness Month

APRIL 2015

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. Melissa E. Rinck

750 Las Gallinas Ave #215

San Rafael, CA 94903

Phone: 415 479-4977

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

Happy Spring 2015

March Blog

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

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!

Dr. Melissa E. Rinck

Melissa Rinck, DDS

750 Las Gallinas Ave #215

San Rafael, CA 94903

Phone: 415 479-4977

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

How to Help Your Kids Create Good Oral Hygiene Habits Now

Feb FB Candy Children's Dental 2

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we’re dedicated to raising awareness!

In America, 51 million hours of school is missed every year due to oral health issues. Although every month should be important when it comes to a child’s dental health, February is the one dedicated to it. Here are things to keep in mind when helping children become conscious of just how important dental hygiene is and exactly how to start creating good habits right away:

  1. Keep the sugar intake to a minimum
  2. Floss, floss, floss
  3. Brush twice a day
  4. When you brush, make sure you hit the 2 minute mark
  5. Visit your dentist regularly

Have you ever seen that amazing “magic trick” when you ask your child “Did you brush your teeth?”  And they respond with a “yes” only because their toothbrush is wet?  Then come to find out, there was no brushing going on, they merely stuck their toothbrush under the faucet and wiped their front teeth once, maybe twice. Now is the perfect time to kick this bad habit!  Dental health can be fun for kids (and adults)!

Here are 4 ways to incorporate some fun and giggles into children’s daily oral care

Toothpaste – a plethora of choices

Let’s start off with toothpaste.  There are gels, pastes, and so many different flavors; such as cinnamon, vanilla, bubble gum, and variety of different mint flavors.  Let your child choose which one they would prefer.

Flossing – 40% of cleaning your teeth comes from flossing*

Floss comes in different flavors as well and also had a variety of textures.  There are waxed, woven, and even the hand held pick form to name a few.

Toothbrush – the master tool

Choosing a toothbrush will probably be your child’s favorite.  Not only are there options as far as handheld or battery operated, but there are TONS of different designs now!  Your child can pick their favorite cartoon character or stick to the basics like their favorite color.

Brushing Timer – brush 2min 2x a day

While the tiny sand timers you flip upside down are always fun for kids to watch, there are now toothbrushes with built in timers. The brush will alert timer markers with a beep or a vibration for 2 minute duration, some even play a popular song.

Giving Kids Something to Look Forward To

This is the perfect way to create a morning and nighttime routine to get your child excited about developing healthy habits.  Getting your child involved in the decision making of choosing some cool and fun dental products makes them more apt to look forward to brushing and flossing daily.

Starting off good oral hygiene practice at a young age will propel your kids into the future for a lifetime of healthy pink gums and bright shining smiles!  A healthy smile is a smile you can be proud of!

Dr. Melissa E. Rinck

Melissa Rinck, DDS

750 Las Gallinas Ave #215

San Rafael, CA 94903

Phone: 415 479-4977

References

http://www.ncohf.org/resources/tooth-decay-facts

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

Resolve to Improve Your Dental Health

Now that we are trying to adapt to writing “2015”, have you given any thought to a New Year’s Resolution?  If you haven’t, it isn’t too late.  And even if you have, you can never have too many!  Typically, dental hygiene and dental aesthetics aren’t usually considered when it comes to reflecting on self improvement.  More than daily flossing, consider your over all oral health.

Brightening up those pearly whites

Do you avoid smiling or find yourself talking while covering your mouth due to a missing tooth, an unsightly chip, large gap, or another imperfection affecting your teeth? Everyone is aware of teeth whitening; here are more options on how easy it is to improve your smile!

Dental Fillings

We see many patients with those old silver and gold fillings. Those unsightly things are no longer the standard of care. Tooth colored composite fillings ones are crafted to match your natural color and are near invisible to the naked eye.

Bonding

Chipped teeth are often healthy, and like gaps, they too cause uneasiness in social situations. Often making you feel like the center of unwanted attention. Dental bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic procedures, and the color is matched to restore your natural looking smile.

Pain

There are a few different types of tooth pain, all of which should be reported during your dental visit: brief sensitivity to hot and cold foods, sharp pain when biting, dull aches, constant pressure, lingering pain. There is no reason to endure the pain, call so we can help!

Benefits of a Healthy Smile

Enhancing your smile offers huge gains. Not only does it boost a person’s confidence, it can improve a person’s overall health and well being.  It’s like getting a spectacularly wonderful haircut.  You feel better about yourself and notice a new glow surrounding you.  When you have a smile that you are proud of, you naturally show it off to the world! Smiling is known to lower heart rate and reduce stress. Who would say no to that?

This is your year to shine with a healthy smile

Start the year off with your best foot forward and set your mind toward some dental goals.  No matter how big or how small they may be, you will be happy with the results as well as yourself for making it happen!

Prioritize your health and take the first step by calling to schedule an appointment:

Melissa Rinck, DDS

750 Las Gallinas Ave #215

San Rafael, CA 94903

Phone: 415 479-4977

Fax: 415 479-5043

http://www.aae.org/patients/symptoms/tooth-pain.aspx

http://pss.sagepub.com/content/23/11/1372.short