GREAT…You landed an important job interview! (And isn’t every job interview important?) Naturally, you have thought about your resume, listing your education, accomplishments and experience. You’ve selected what you will wear, and whether you will carry a briefcase or portfolio. You have decided on your references, whether or not you need a haircut, and what shoes to choose. So have each of your competitors!
So how do you stand out from the job interview crowd? Don’t overlook the most important thing you can wear…a great smile! Is your smile ready for success? After your eyes, it is the second facial feature people will notice. Your smile is your calling card, the way you present yourself to the world and to your future employer. Shy, confident, or barely there…each smile sends a different message, setting the tone for your interview,and possibly for your future.
You want to impress your interviewer as the ONE and ONLY candidate your prospective employer should hire. I see patients in my Delaware County dental office who worry that their teeth will not make a fantastic first impression. So many people suffer with discolored, broken or missing teeth or problem breath. You may feel that your teeth are crowded, or you may not like that gap between your teeth. As a Media PA Dentist, I knw these embarassing conditions can prevent you from demonstrating confidence and success.
Before your job interview, Media PA Dentist Dr. Bodak offers 10 tips for a great and successful smile.
Several weeks before your interview:
- Take a few moments to honestly evaluate your teeth, gums, breath and smile. Are you satisfied or is there an obvious problem?
- If it has been a while since you have visited the dentist, make an appointment to have your teeth examined and professionally cleaned. Yellowish tartar buildup is not healthy or attractive.
- After your dental cleaning, ask for an enamel shade analysis. If you want brighter whiter teeth, consider professional cosmetic whitening. It is affordable and can be done in a short period of time. As a MediaPADentist, I find that many patients are candidates for this service.
- Some minor problems may be addressed by simple procedures, such as contouring or cosmetic bonding, during a regular dental visit.
- For those with more extensive cosmetic dental issues, there may be a temporary solution. If you do not have the available time or funds to adress your cosmetic dental needs immediately, your dentist may be able to provide a custom-made cosmetic retainer which can give the the look you want until you are able to complete the dental procedures required.
In the 24 hours before your job interview:
- Avoid highly pungent foods like garlic and onions for 24 hours before your interview. The odors from these foods are excreted in your body oils and saliva for many hours.
- On the day of your interview, brush and floss well before you leave home for your appointment. Don’t forget to gently brush your tongue, then smile!
- Since some beverages can stain, sip water, rather than soda, coffee or tea, until your interview is concluded.
- If the job interview is scheduled later in the day, invest in a small travel toothbrush, travel sized toothpaste and floss. Visit the restroom to use them, if possible, just before your meeting.
- Not sure about your breath? Bring along a travel sized bottle of non-alcoholic mouthwash.
- Now You are Ready to Relax and Smile for Success!
If you would like to address your dental concerns with an expert in Delaware County, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia, call our friendly office at (610) 565-2868 to schedule your apppointment. You will feel comfortable and welcome here because I care about your comfort and dental health, and I never hurt anyone! We offer a number of affordable discount programs and special offers. Together, we can restore your healthy, confident smile with gentle, personalized and care by Dr. Bodak, Mdia PA Dentist.
Wishing you success and a lifetime of beautiful, healthy smiles!
So what does that have to do with a dental blog? Plenty. It is all about form, fit and function. While we all love the looks of a great smile, your teeth have an important function; they are designed to bite and chew your food for a lifetime of proper digestion. Just as tap shoes do not transform an elephant into a tap dancer, a mouth full of malpositioned teeth, ill-fitting crowns or loose dentures will not produce an effective bite, which dentists call occlusion. Your teeth, ligaments, nerves, muscles and bone, all working together, control occlusion. Your teeth must be in alignment to withstand the normal pressures of chewing food.
Inch for inch, your jaw muscles are among the most powerful in the human body. Normal chewing places about 70 lbs/sq inch of pressure on the back teeth, and clenching your teeth can increase that force to 150-300 lbs/sq inch. Bruxism is teeth grinding, often during sleep. The forces in bruxism during sleep have been measured at over 1000 lbs/sq inch of force, enough to crush the front end of a car. If normal pressure is applied evenly to your teeth, the force is comfortable. But if you have occlusal problems and all that pressure is applied to just a few spots, the teeth, ligaments and nerves can signal pain. Over time, the tooth absorbing this punishment can fracture.
You may have an unstable bite (malocclusion) due to missing teeth or periodontal disease, or if your teeth are worn down or out of place. Ill-fitting crowns or bridges can also disturb your bite. That powerful force, misdirected due to an incorrect bite, can cause pain and damage to your remaining teeth. The upper and lower teeth should fit together well, without causing your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) to become unstable. TMJ dysfunction can lead to pain in your jaw or face, as well as headaches and other complaints.
If you have an unstable on ineffective bite, bruxism, misaligned teeth or TMJ pain, see your dentist and request a bite analysis. A small adjustment may be all that is needed to correct the situation and prevent problems later. A custom night dental guard can help with bruxism, and other types of dental treatment can improve occlusion. And while we can’t guarantee that a visit to our office will give you a new superpower like tap dancing, we can relieve pain, restore occlusion and allow you to chew your food comfortably again.
You and Your Family Are Eating a Healthy Diet for life, right?
We all know the importance of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables for the health of our digestive and cardiac systems. These essentials provide fiber, water, minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients that help protect our cells. Dentists also recommend firm and crunchy foods, such as apples and vegetables, to stimulate the flow of saliva that helps to clean and protect our teeth.
The best food choices for the health of your mouth include cheeses, chicken or other animal protein, nuts, and milk. We believe these foods protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus to remineralize tooth enamel. These minerals are removed by acids, but can be restored by our diet.
But Here’s the Problem…
Your healthy food choices may be contaminated with tasteless, odorless chemicals like antibiotics, fungicides, pesticides, hormones and other agents that may be far from healthy. These chemicals can run off the crops and enter our water supply, persisting for years. Some of these compounds in higher concentrations have been linked to childhood diseases, reproductive disorders in men, and breast cancer in women. How much is safe? We really don’t know for sure. But we should be especially cautious regarding the diets of children and pregnant women.
So What Can We Do?
For one thing, avoid the foods that usually test as the most heavily contaminated, the “Dirty Dozen”, and choose the foods with the lowest tested residue, the “Clean Fifteen” . (More to come in the next blog post about those!) Organic foods are a great choice, because they are produced without the use of antibiotics, fungicides, pesticides, hormones and other chemicals, and have a much lower chemical residue. Organic foods are available at local farmers’ markets; they are increasing found in supermarkets as well. Ask where you shop and let them know you want a selection of organic foods.
Try growing your own organic berries and vegetables. In our backyard, we grew these tomatoes organically, along with organic peppers, lettuce, cucumber, and zucchini. It takes about the same effort as a non-organic garden, the food is fresh and delectable, and you will be doing your body and our planet a huge favor. Doesn’t that sound delicious?
We have all heard for many years that one small glass of red wine (3-4 ounces) each day may enhance your heart health, lower your cholesterol levels and may be associated with longevity. Now we have see that red wine, as well as foods like grapes, apples and dark chocolate, may have added benefit in keeping your mouth, teeth and gums healthy too. Red wine appears to inhibit tooth decay and reduce the risk of gum disease by helping to counteract the effect of Streptoccus mutans (S. mutans), a bacterial infection linked to tooth loss.
Antioxidant chemicals called proanthocyanidins are found in red wine and other foods such as dark chocolate. These phytonutrients prevent S. mutans from sticking to saliva and teeth. Italian researchers removed the alcohol from a high-quality Italian red wine. They added the nonalcoholic red wine to cultures of S. mutans in saliva, saliva-coated extracted teeth and saliva-coated calcium ceramic beads. They found that the addition of the non-alcoholic wine prevented the bacteria from clinging to the saliva and to the teeth. These investigators plan to extend their study to the effects of grape juice on S. mutans in the future.
Research from Cornell University and Université Laval in Quebec, Canada studied polyphenols, the chemicals in grape seeds and red wine that help neutralize the damaging effect of free radicals in the body. Free radicals can damage our cells’ DNA. Polyphenols from red wine also help control inflammation caused by gingivitis, or bacterial infections of the gums. Limiting inflammation may also protect against periodontal disease, a more serious form of gum disease that can lead to tooth decay or tooth loss, and has been linked to heart disease and stroke.
Unfortunately, the news is not as convincing when it comes to white wines. White wines have lower concentrations of phytonutrients and polyphenols, and some researchers fear that the high acid content of white wine might help erode tooth enamel.
So smile tonight, when you have a small glass of red wine with your dinner and a half ounce of dark chocolate for dessert, knowing that your teeth and gums will be a little healthier. (don’t forget to brush and floss afterwards). Here’s a toast to staying healthy!
We have long known that there is a link between diabetes and gum disease, but which comes first? Can controlling periodontal disease help reduce the risk of diabetes? The answer: Possibly YES!
Normal healthyy gum tissue is pink, not red. Healthy gums do not bleed during usual dental care. Gingivitis, or inflamed gums, is caused by bacteria in plaque. In this mild form, it is curable. But if left untreated, periodontal (gum) disease can develop where gaps form between the teeth and gums. These gaps trap bacteria, which multiply rapidly in the mouth, and further destroy the bone holding the teeth in place. In the most serious cases, the bone dissolves and the teeth cannot be saved.
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that there are nearly 60 million Americans have pre-diabetes. Many of these people will develop Type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Periodontal diseases of the gums and bony tissues of the mouth may allow pre-diabetes to progress. The gaps or pockets between the teeth and gums become infected, releasing natural toxins called cytokines. Cytokines may play a role in damaging the pancreas and disturbing sugar metabolism.
Scientists from Denmark and the Unites States have observed in animals and humans that periodontal diseases can disturb the glucose (sugar) regulation of a non-diabetic who has pre-diabetic characteristics, thus contributing to the progression of Type 2 diabetes.
According to Dr. Preston D. Miller, Jr., President of the American Academy of Periodontology, “These findings underscore the importance of taking good care of your teeth and gums: it may be a simple way to prevent diabetes, or to prevent the progression of diabetes.”
Let’s face it, we men are less likely to take care of our overall health. Many man ignore the health of the mouth, teeth and gums for years, visiting a dentist only when they have a problem. Would you like to live a long, healthy life? Good oral health is linked to longevity, but one common factor associated with infrequent dental checkups is just being male. Men are less likely than women to see their dentist for regular preventive care. The average man brushes his teeth less than twice a day. If he smokes, he may lose half of his teeth at age 72. Men are also more likely to develop oral and throat cancer and periodontal (gum) disease.
Why is periodontal disease a problem?
Periodontal disease is a result of plaque, which hardens into a rough, porous substance called tartar. The acids produced and released by bacteria found in tartar irritate gums. These acids cause the breakdown of fibers that anchor the gums tightly to the teeth, creating periodontal pockets that fill with even more bacteria. Research has proven a connection between the chronic infection of gum disease and cardiovascular disease, which places people at risk for heart attacks and strokes. See your dentist if you have any of these symptoms:
· Bleeding gums during brushing
· Red, swollen or tender gums
· Persistent bad breath
· Loose or separating teeth
Do you take medications?
Since men are more likely to suffer from hypertension and heart attacks, they also are more likely to be on medications that can cause dry mouth. Saliva helps to reduce the cavity-causing bacteria found in your mouth. Medication for the heart or blood pressure, and others such as anti-depressants, restrict your salivary flow, increasing your risk for cavities.
Do you use tobacco?
If you smoke or chew, you have a greater risk for gum disease and oral cancer. Men are affected twice as often as women, and 95 percent of oral cancers occur in those over 40 years of age. The most frequent oral cancer sites are the tongue, the floor of the mouth, soft palate ssues in back of the tongue, lips and gums. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer tican spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, irreparable facial and oral disfigurement following surgery and even death. More than 8,000 people die each year from oral and pharyngeal diseases, often because the disease is detected late. If you use tobacco, it is important to see a dentist frequently for cleanings and to ensure your mouth remains healthy. Your general dentist can perform a thorough screening for oral cancer.
Do you play sports?
If you participate in sports, there is a possibility of injury to your mouth and teeth. If you play contact sports, such as football, soccer, basketball and even baseball, it is important to use a mouthguard, which is a flexible appliance made of plastic that protects teeth from trauma. If you ride bicycles or motorcycles, wear a helmet to protect your face.
Taking care of your teeth
How much time do you spend taking care of your car? Yet your car will probably not last ten years. If you spend 8-10 minutes every day caring for your teeth, and visit your dentist for regular preventive care, your teeth can last 80 years or more. To improve your oral health, it is important to floss daily, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice daily and visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings. Here are some tips to better dental health:
· Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to reach every surface of each tooth. If the bristles on your toothbrush are bent or frayed, buy a new one.
· Replace your toothbrush every three months or after you’ve been sick.
· Choose a toothpaste with fluoride. This can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40 percent.
· Brush properly. To clean the outside surfaces of your teeth, position the brush at a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion using short, gentle strokes. To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle strokes over each tooth and its surrounding gum tissue. Spend at least three minutes brushing.
· Floss properly. Gently insert floss between teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or snap it into place. Curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and then the other.
Adapted from the Academy of General Dentistry “Dental care and oral health information you need”
Often time patients will visit our office and request to have a set of dentures made because they believe they are the only answer to their problem. Some believe their teeth are so broken or decayed that they are beyond repair. Others have noticed loose teeth due to untreated gum disease. Many patients are in pain and have chosen extraction rather than dental restoration.
Dentures are not inevitable! First and foremost, it is essential to commit to taking great care of your remaining teeth. Schedule an appointment with a caring, gentle dentist who can assess your situation and share the options you have for creating a beautiful and healthy smile.
Dentures may look real but they are like having artificial hands. False teeth are just that – FALSE. Having false teeth make it very difficult to chew and enjoy certain foods. Natural suction in your mouth keeps a full upper denture in place against the hard palate or roof of your mouth. But you can only apply 15% of the normal pressure used to chew food before suction is lost and the denture slips. Denture pastes and creams are messy and do not add security in most cases. Because the palate is now covered by a denture, many complain that food no longer smells, feels or even tastes the same. Some say that their bottom dentures are so uncomfortable that they only wear them when they go out in public.
Did you know that as soon as your natural teeth are removed, your face begins to rapidly age? The teeth are vital to keeping the jaw bone intact. When teeth are lost, the jaw bone begins to disappear. This process of bone resorption begins just as soon as your original teeth are extracted and never stops throughout life. As the bone that once held your natural teeth in place begins to disappear, your facial appearance begins to collapse and change. Your jaw bone will continue to shrink away, more and more each year.
What can you do to keep your teeth for life? Maintain good oral hygiene. Treat periodontal disease. See your dentist for regular dental check-ups and repair cavities before the tooth is lost to decay. Replacing a few missing teeth can maintain a correct bite. If you have lost your teeth and are troubled by wearing standard dentures, there are a number of options including dental implants, which look and feel like your natural teeth,, and implant-retained dentures. Age is not a barrier to obtaining dental implants or implant-retained dentures.
If you are considering dentures and would like to consult with a highly trained dentist to discuss all your options, please call our office so we may assist you – (610) 565-2868.
Your dental care is important to me.
Dr. L. Z. Bodak-G
Media PA Dentist
This year, we expect another 35,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer. This annual number has steadily increased in recent years. While the survival rates for many other cancers have improved, we have not made progress with oral cancer because it often goes undetected until the later stages. Sadly, about half of all people with oral cancer die within five years of their diagnosis. Of those who do survive, many have faced radiation treatments and/or difficult and disfiguring head and neck surgery. Early detection and treatment can make a major difference in the quality of life and years of survival.
Screening for oral cancer should be a regular part of your dental care. Your dentist is the best member of your health team to detect oral cancer at an early stage, before there are any symptoms. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. Fortunately, specialized tools such as the oral camera and magnification glasses can lead to early detection of oral cancer and improve the likelihood of cure. It is important to choose a dentist who has the skills and experience needed to recognize cancer and pre-cancerous conditions. Routine dental check-ups may save more than your teeth; they may save your life!
There are several known risk factors for oral cancer. Most patients are 40 years of age or older. Many have a history of tobacco use in all its forms, especially when combined with excess alcohol intake. Tobacco and alcohol are well-known and long-established risk factors. Yet another good reason to quit smoking and use alcohol in moderation!
More recently, we have learned that exposure to the human papilloma virus version 16 or HPV-16 is another important cause of oral cancer. This recent finding may explain many cases among non-smokers and non-drinkers. HPV-16 is the same virus that causes most cases of cervical cancers in women. The cancer may appear years or decades after the HPV-16 exposure.
Oral cancer screening is a routine part of my comprehensive dental examination. During the examination, I carefully examine the lips, inside of your mouth, palate, tongue and gums. I may be able to detect white or red spots or sores that the patients cannot see themselves. Sometimes the patient may overlook the spot at first because it is not painful. If I find anything of concern, I perform a small biopsy immediately and send the tissue to the laboratory for microscopic examination by a pathologist.
If you have not been screened for oral cancer, please call our office at (610) 565-2868 so we may assist you. I am committed to proper screening and helping patients fight and win the battle against oral cancer.
Your dental care is important to me.
Dr. L. Z. Bodak-G
Media PA Dentist
Your newborn baby already has teeth, although you can’t see them. They are sitting just below the gum line. These “baby teeth”, which give your infant a great smile and allow the pleasures of chewing food or speaking more clearly, also help guide the permanent teeth into place. How soon do you need to start caring for your infant’s teeth? Just as soon as you see them!
- Start by gently cleaning your infant’s gums and tongue daily. Use a clean wet washcloth to remove excess bacteria and formula or food residue. This daily regimen will become comfortable for your baby and prepare him for dental exams later on.
- As you see the first teeth erupt, move on to a child’s extra soft toothbrush. Replace with a new toothbrush every few months.
- Use water (no toothpaste) on the toothbrush in the beginning. Children should not swallow toothpaste. Add toothpaste, pressed firmly into the bristles of the toothbrush, once they have mastered the “art of spitting.”
- As more teeth appear, the spaces between teeth will close and it is time to begin flossing. Make a game of it, moving the floss up and down between the teeth (not back and forth, like shining your shoes).
- Don’t send your child to bed or a nap with a bottle or sippy cup. Sugars, found naturally in formula, milk, and juice can coat the teeth and lead to decay.
- Once children can assist with dressing, it is time to learn how to brush their own teeth. Make sure you know the right way to brush, and show her. Tell him about good oral health and why we want to take care of our teeth. Be a good role model – Make sure you brush daily after eating and floss! Children should be supervised until they can master the job themselves, usually about age 7.
- Emphasize healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables. Your child’s developing body, including their teeth and gums, requires a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Limit sweets to mealtimes; try diluting fruit juices, and avoid sticky foods. Sugary foods, especially when eaten as snacks between meals, can lead to tooth decay. Sugar increases the growth of mouth bacteria. These bacteria produce acid that can damage the teeth and lead to cavities.
- Don’t forget about the tongue and gums! Check for signs of gingivitis such as swollen, red or bleeding gums, or bad breath. Healthy teeth and gums require a diet rich in calcium and Vitamins C and D. If your children are not getting enough in their diet, talk with your health care provider about vitamin supplements.
- Schedule you child’s first preventive dental visit once the teeth have appeared, usually at about one year of age. Children’s dental care can be comfortable when they are familiar with the dentist and the dental examination.
- Please don’t wait for a toothache before visiting the dentist. Delaying dental treatment until there is pain may lead to lifelong dental avoidance and distress. Many adults with dental anxiety report unpleasant experiences at the dentist when they were young. You can avoid dental anxiety later on if you seek regular preventive care from a dentist who is calm, friendly, gentle and produces excellent results.
- Should your child see a pediatric dentist (pedodontist) or a family dentist? That depends on the dentist! It is the skill and manner of the dentist, as well as their experience and expertise, that will help shape your child’s attitude for years to come. If you have a good relationship with your family dentist, and he or she is comfortable with children and experienced in all aspects of children’s dentistry, your family dentist may be an ideal choice. Seek out reviews and recommendations if you are insure, and make the first visit to the dentist a positive one.
- If you and your dentist are comfortable with this suggestion, consider bringing your young child with you to your next preventive dental visit. You are their best role model. When your toddler sees that your dental visits are pain-free, your child’s dental check-ups will be much less stressful. And if your own visits are not comfortable, consider changing dentists!
- If you and your child both feel relaxed, the experience will be a positive one. Your children will enjoy visiting their dentist and you will LOVE their smile!
Next Chapter: Dental Health for the School Age Child
Many adults have missing permanent teeth that have been lost due to injury, disease or decay. Not only do missing teeth make you look older than you are, they can also be detrimental to both your health and well-being. If you have teeth that are missing, replacing them can dramatically improve your appearance by improving your smile. This will also improve how you feel about yourself.
In our grandparents’ day, there was often little opportunity for quality dental care. As a result, people expected to lose at least some of their teeth by their mid-adult years. As they began to lose teeth, their faces started to age prematurely. Losing a permanent tooth is similar to losing other parts of your body. Would you be content to lose a finger, even though you had nine others? Of course not. You could still use your hand, but you know that your hand works best when no parts are missing. Your mouth and jaw also function best when you have all 28 permanent adult teeth. Many people have lost all four wisdom teeth without any loss of function, but the other 28 adult teeth are a different story.
Each tooth functions both individually and also as part of your bite. When you lose a tooth, there is an empty space or gap left behind that affects each of the opposing teeth. If one or more missing permanent adult teeth are not replaced, the spaces or gaps will cause your remaining teeth to shift to a new spot. As these teeth shift, your bite will be disturbed and you may develop TMJ (temporomandibular joint) symptoms with jaw clicking or soreness. The gaps also become the perfect place for food to become trapped, which increases your risk of gum disease and tooth decay. If you lose enough teeth, you will also be unable to chew your food effectively.
Avoid future TMJ problems and collapse of your bite. Replacing missing teeth promptly can help prevent movement of your remaining teeth and can help preserve your bite. When a tooth is lost, the supporting bone in the jaw begins to dissolve. This is known as bone resorption. Bone resorption is an ongoing, continual and permanent process; it never stops throughout your lifetime until you replace the missing tooth. The longer the tooth is missing, the more bone is lost to resorption. This makes it more difficult to do dental restoration to replace the missing teeth.
If you have dentures, you are already experiencing ongoing bone loss and premature facial aging, as you lose more and more of your bone from your jaw . Your profile and facial appearance starts to age more rapidly. Loose dentures accelerate the rate of bone loss even more. Even if one or more teeth were lost long ago, replacing them with dental implants now can stabilize your bite and bone tissue, reduce TMJ stress, improve your ability to eat a variety of foods and enhance your smile and facial appaearance.
So replacing a tooth as soon as possible after it is lost is key to maintaining proper oral health and maintaining your facial proportions. Restoring missing teeth will reduce the shifting of teeth due to gaps and will also help prevent bone loss.
Your oral health and dental care is important to me.
Dr. L. Z. Bodak-G
Media PA Dentist