Colony Square Dental Associates

Fun Halloween Ideas for a Safe and Spooky celebration during Covid-19

The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping, which can only mean one thing – Halloween is finally here! And it goes without saying that this year, Halloween will look very different for all of us. However, there are still tons of fun, spooky, and creative ideas for you to try! We have compiled a list of our unique favorites in hopes to inspire you for a safer way to celebrate with your family this weekend.

Spooky Movie Night

A movie night with a chilly twist could be the perfect alternative to restore traditions for those who typically visit the theatre after trick-or-treating. With some simple black-out curtains and battery-operated flicker candles, your living area can be inexpensively transformed into an eerie indoor cinema. In fact, many channels are releasing new movies on Halloween night! And what better to pair your piping hot apple cider with, than a creepy-crawly thriller.

 

Virtual Costume Party & Pumpkin Decorating Contest

There is nothing like face-to-face interactions with family members and close friends, but the reality is, most of us have attended a few (or more) virtual meetings since the beginning of the year. So why not drop some fun hand-made invitations in the mail and make this one memorable? You could even enclose a list of items needed to participate! A virtual costume party or a live pumpkin decorating contest can be a great way to make your elderly family members laugh and feel included, even from feet or miles apart.

 

Homemade Halloween Treats

Typically, Halloween night is known for the staggering mounds of candy dumped onto the kitchen table by young children in an effort to find the perfect sweet treat after a long trek around the neighborhood. And although you can still allow them to enjoy a piece of candy or two, (so long as they remember to brush well before bedtime), it’s nice to have some yummy themed foods and snacks on hand with a bit of a healthier twist. Tangerine pumpkins with a sliver of celery as a stem, a “boo-banana” with semi-sweet chocolates for eyes, strawberries dipped in Greek yogurt, and then frozen to resemble mini ghosts, or a cauliflower crusted pizza with a pepperoni jack-o-lantern face – are all great ideas to conceptualize!

 

Glow-In-The-Dark Piñata Party

 

Gathering outdoors in smaller groups is a great alternative to ensure everyone is able to properly social-distance. And what better way to spice up this year’s Halloween celebration than with an All Hallows Eve fiesta! And, a fiesta is just not complete without a traditional pinata. Papier-mâché pinatas have been around for ages and can be store-bought or made right at home! Do you remember covering a balloon with glue and bits of newspaper? – A creative way to make your pinata POP outdoors would be to cover it with glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint! Then, once dry, fill the pinata with individually wrapped Halloween candy, and have each participant take turns hitting it with a “witches” broom. With a few sanitizing wipes handy, you will be able to easily wipe-down between swings and enjoy a new way to trick-or-treat from the comfort of your backyard.

 

So, whether you are giving out pre-bagged goodies, visiting a local pumpkin patch, or going to an outdoor trunk-or-treat in your community, we sincerely hope you will safely enjoy some spooky festivities. After all, Halloween only comes around one time each year! And don’t forget to share your photos with us on Facebook, we would love to see what new ideas your family comes up with.

Why are Dental Cleanings Important?

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. And what could be better timing? After all, with Halloween around the corner, a time for treats – usually sweets – it’s a good occasion to remind one and all about the importance of periodic visits to your dentist.

Why are dental cleanings so important? A frequently asked question, and often accompanied by, “because nothing hurts” or “my smile is covered by a mask”, has a laundry list of answers. Without understanding the value of care, too often, periodic examinations, oral cancer screenings, and professional dental hygiene sessions are put off, especially during these challenging times of Covid-19.  For some, due to age or underlying medical issues, the answer as to ‘is this a good time?’ could be to wait a bit. But, for the majority of the population, neglecting routine or preventative care is actually counterintuitive to remaining in good health.

 

Just like colon cancer screenings, chest x-rays examining for early lung cancer, blood workups, or EKGs, visiting your dental hygienist and your dentist on a regular basis is critical for your overall health and wellbeing. We’ve written numerous times about the connections between your oral health and your overall wellbeing. Be it diabetes, heart disease, and medications that impact your oral health the correlation between oral health and general health is established.

Many patients schedule visits to brighten and whiten their teeth, a positive result after the professional removal of bacteria-causing plaque and calculus and polishing. Not only does a cleaning, termed dental prophylaxis, help to keep both your gums and teeth healthy, these visits also provide Drs. Hochberg and Diora, along with your hygienist, the opportunity to complete an examination. What are they looking for?

 

  • Is your gum tissue healthy? Is there inflammation or bleeding?
  • Are there any areas of gum recession?
  • Are there areas of visible decay? Is there evidence of dental decay, fractures, or bone loss, or abnormalities on your cavity-checking x-rays?
  • Are there oral rinses or specific toothpastes that could help reduce your susceptibility to decay?
  • Do any teeth show excessive enamel wear?
  • Are you clenching or grinding your teeth? – A frequent complaint during stressful times
  • Have you had a panoramic x-ray taken to check for pathology, impacted teeth, sinus congestion, or joint disease?
  • Does your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) click or pop?
  • Are existing restorations intact? Have any fractured or are there areas of leakage?
  • Are your teeth shifting? Do any teeth seem mobile?
  • Is there an excessive amount of plaque or calculus build-up? What tools and techniques can be offered to assist you with your home care regimen?
  • When you swallow, do your glands feel normal?
  • Are there any unusual oral lumps, bumps, and growths present?
  • Is there an area where the tissue color is of concern?

 

And, we can go on from there. The important take-away is that, as with all health concerns, the sooner minor issues are addressed, the better the opportunity to avoid more extensive problems and treatment down the road. So, while you may think, “it’s just a cleaning”, it’s so much more. And while you weigh what you are comfortable with during our challenging times – please know that our goal is to help you stay in excellent health. Visit our website at colonysquaredental.com to learn more about our longstanding protocols, as well as new Covid-19 precautions, for the health and safety of both our patients and our team. And, when ready, give Colony Square Dental Associates a call at 404-874-6464, so we can work with you to answer all the important questions … and keep you smiling!

Why Replace a Missing Tooth?

Though when we are out and about in public, and with safety in mind are wearing masks, smiles still abound. They show in our eyes, are shared when we are at a safe physical distance, and are seen up close when we are in the confines of our homes with our families or on Zoom and FaceTime. And, hopefully, soon we will be able to return to sharing smiles with all whom we encounter. Smiling shows we care, we are happy or we find humor in what was said. What else does that smile show? It shows our teeth. Do you smile with confidence? Much is said about ‘whiter and brighter’ teeth. And straighter teeth. Both are important to boost our feelings of self-esteem when we share a big smile. But as we look behind the masks and see smiles, we need to go beyond esthetics when discussing the components of a healthy smile, bringing us to a facet of dentistry we highlight in the month of September.

 

September not only brings cooler weather, changing leaves, and the start of schools, it’s also Dental Implant Awareness Month. Why is this an important topic in today’s world? And why does Colony Square Dental Associates take time to address this issue? Because there is never a holiday from good health. And to achieve a healthy state of being, we need to do all the things that are beneficial to our bodies. We know what they are; we hear it all the time. Exercise. Get a good night’s rest. Decrease stress. And eat a healthy, balanced diet.

 

This is where our oral health comes in. We enjoy having a beautiful smile, but we have to go beyond. It’s fundamental to our wellbeing to be able to eat nutritious foods in comfort. When one, or more, teeth are missing, this sets off a chain of unwelcome events. Whether the lost tooth is in the back of our mouth, where no one knows it’s missing and it doesn’t impact that dynamic smile, or whether it’s in an upper front tooth, replacement is equally as important. Why?

 

There are a number of reasons:

  • Our upper and lower arches work together as a team. They join together enabling us to bite into and chew our foods. When a tooth on the lower arch is missing, the one above, over time, has nothing pressuring it to remain in place. The root of the remaining tooth can loosen from its purchase in the bone and begin to drift downwards. Now, we not only have a missing tooth, we also have a tooth, which otherwise could have been in good health, loosening its firm hold within the upper arch. As the tooth drops down, there is also the potential that the sinus cavity, resting above the roots of the teeth, can begin to descend and enlarge.
  • Our teeth are somewhat like dominos; when one starts to teeter and fall, it impacts the dominos next to it. When there is a void where a tooth has been, though not occurring as fast as the toppling dominos, the teeth adjacent to the void have nothing keeping them from moving into the space, and drifting can occur over time. This can cause loosening of the adjacent teeth as well as crookedness.
  • And, above all, the understanding of how our teeth, gums, and supporting bone work together comes into play … our bodies know when there is disuse of an area. Just like muscles that atrophy when we don’t use them, the same is true of the bone that supports the roots of our teeth. Blood flow goes to the bone tissue, keeping it healthy as is does its work to keep the tooth’s root firmly in place. But when a tooth is lost, the forces of chewing that were transferred to the bone, keeping it stimulated and healthy, are lost. Without the force, the bone volume cannot be maintained. Over time, atrophic changes can cause periodontal disease, the loss of additional teeth, and a change in your appearance. And, especially when there are many teeth that are missing, as bone volumes decrease the jaw can appear as though it has collapsed with lips looking thinner and cheeks sunken.

 

As we can see – it takes teamwork. As Dr. David G. Hochberg and Dr. Mira Diora say, each member is essential. After all, it’s you, and your health, that will be the winner or the looser. Replacing a critical member of the team keeps the entire team in good working order. And that’s where a dental implant comes into play. The dental implant itself acts to replace the natural root of a tooth. It is implanted into the site where the root of the natural tooth has been lost and then it is restored with a dental implant crown. The forces of chewing, once again transferred to the bone tissue, helps to maintain the bone tissue in the jaw, avoid, a sagging jaw, drifting of teeth, and the potential for periodontal disease and further tooth loss.

 

Whether you have lost a tooth due to accidental injury or disease – communication is the first step. Ask Drs. Hochberg & Dr. Diora if you are a candidate for dental implants. Team up with our dentists. Review your options. Learn how dental implants work and the sequence of care so that you can smile with confidence, chew in comfort, and optimize your oral health.

Dentistry, Covid-19 & Food Insecurity

Colony Square has been our dental home for over 35 years. Located in the heart of Midtown, Atlanta, we’ve seen a small diner, Gorin’s, on the corner of 14th and Peachtree become the Proscenium, the National Service Industries building is now King & Spalding and the neighborhood is home to countless residents, changing the landscape from predominately commercial, to one with enough residential to warrant the largest Whole Foods in the Southeast! And throughout this time, looking out of our office windows, we’ve seen Midtown’s growth and we are thankful. Thankful to have been able to provide quality oral healthcare to so many who work and live in the area and to those that drive from the suburbs, valuing the care and services we provide. And with so many years under our belts and the many ups and downs in our economy, we’ve weathered those storms and are appreciative of all who have continued to seek us out for their dental needs. It continues to be our honor to care for generations of patients’ families … who’ve become our friends.

And though we are a small business, we take the responsibility of being a part of the fabric of Midtown, seriously. Annually, we stop discussing hygiene visits, dental crowns & bridges, dental implants, Zoom teeth whitening, and Invisalign and put aside the world of dentistry to, in our way, give back to the community. Be it food shopping for the Atlanta Food Bank or clothes shopping for Dress for Success, buying coats and books for children, or donating to the

Ben Massell Dental Clinic, it’s important to us that we share our good fortune with others. Though our annual ‘give back’ event is typically around the holidays, with Covid-19, we are beginning our yearly event now; there has never been a time in Colony Square Dental Associate’s history that we’ve seen the need be greater.

So, how does Covid-19, with job losses and salary reductions, relate to this year’s campaign? We’ve written many times about the importance of maintaining one’s oral health and its correlation with overall health. And those who read our blogs know we strive to educate our patients about the ‘how and why’ our diets, both what we eat and what we drink, impact the health of our teeth and supporting structures. At every visit, our dental hygienists stress the importance of brushing and flossing properly, not only keeping our teeth healthy but also critical to our periodontal (gum) and supporting bone health.

But, exacerbated by Covid-19, many do not have the luxury of selecting the foods that are recommended for dental and overall wellbeing; these foods are typically more expensive. Lack of abundance of healthy choices especially impacts our youth whose teeth and bones are developing. Food insecurity has been a longstanding problem with an estimated 1 in 5 children unable to partake in meals balanced with the whole fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fishes, and sugar-free foods that comprise a balanced diet. And during the pandemic, with many schools closed to in-person learning, there are children who participate in school lunch programs missing out on breakfasts and lunches designed by dieticians to be nutrient-rich. Often, the items less costly include prepared foods, full of sodium, preservatives, and sugar additives as well as fast foods and sugary drinks and snacks. Most of these items not only do not provide the important vitamins and minerals a child needs to develop and thrive or an adult to be able to eat comfortably and smile with confidence, they contain sugars – a main contributor to dental disease. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), “dental carries is the number one disease worldwide”, often caused by poor diets. And, while there is a combination of factors that impacts oral health, there have been countless studies showing the relationship between a poor diet and dental decay. And equally, there are years of research showing a correlation between oral health and overall health.

The pandemic has worsened the crisis of food insecurity. With lines at food banks throughout our country and in our home city of Atlanta, continuing, we are jump-starting the holiday season with another Facebook challenge. Our goal is to ask our patients to challenge us to remember those who need assistance. If we all do a little, when added together, we can do a lot! How can you help? Every time you see our Facebook Challenge Thermometer, sitting on an apple, on a post, push us forward with a Like or Share. For every Like we pledge $1.00; for every Share, we pledge $3.00 to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Our campaign begins on September 1st and continues until December 1st.  At the end of each month, we will empty our piggy bank and present a donation to the director of ACFB. So all you need to do is click the Facebook icon on our website (colonysquaredental.com) or visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/colonysquaredental. Every dollar donated to ACFB purchases $9.00 worth of groceries. When we do a little; we will do a lot!

We appreciate our patient families who have helped Colony Square Dental Associates be successful in our past campaigns. And Drs. Hochberg and Diora, along with the CSDA treatment team, are hopeful for even more bountiful support this year.

Tips to Keep Our Children in Good Dental Health | Even During a Pandemic

Over the past several weeks life seems to have hit the proverbial “pause” button for many of us. We are spending more quality time with our partners, spouses and children. While slowing down the pace of our day-to-day lives could be a good thing for mental health, it is equally as important to make sure we are keeping our bodies healthy, both orally and physically. This should be a conscious family effort – with our children at the forefront.
Why is it so important to highlight the kids? Put simply, they are quite easily the second most vulnerable, aside from our elderly age group. Many factors play a part, but one very important reality is they are truly at a “carefree” stage of life. Meaning, they do not understand the seriousness of COVID-19 or the precautions that must be set in place. It is our job as their parents, guardians and healthcare providers, to ensure we do our part to keep them healthy and happy.
We have compiled a list of healthy dental to-do’s to incorporate into your household’s new daily routines:
> Assist with hand washing prior to routine dental care, such as brushing or flossing. It is important to remember this involves touching our faces. A good rule of thumb is to sing your ABC’s twice through before picking up your toothbrush.
> Remember to remind your little ones to brush at least twice a day – preferably in the morning and right before bedtime. These are good times to remove all of the sugar-bugs!
> Flossing is equally important, especially now that we have so much time on our hands. No excuses to forget this healthy habit! Did you know that if you don’t floss you are leaving 35% of your teeth’s surfaces unprotected and susceptible to plaque? 
> Encourage your family to eat a well balanced diet. Quarantine snacking gets the best of all of us from time to time. However, we must hit the brakes and limit our intake of sticky, sugary snacks, like cakes, candies, and cookies. Watch when your children snack; keep it limited; constantly eating and snacking all day can increase your family’s risk for cavities.
> We have attached a link to the American Dental Association’s website (ADA), that has provided us with  for those rainy days when keeping indoors is a must! It is a great reminder for your children and they learn about oral health in a very fun way. These range in difficulty for several age groups. We encourage you to take a look!


Now that we have our mouths healthy, it’s important to get our bodies moving too! We have listed some fun, safe, and physical activities you can do as a family to get everyone off the sofa.
> Plan an “at home” Field Day with both indoor and outdoor activities! Designate a leader and have 6-10 work-stations with engaging projects that are fun for all age groups. Use household items you already have, there is no need to go out and buy supplies! YouTubeis a great source for at-home science projects and organized outdoor games. Additionally, many local school districts are offering fun ideas to keep your children busy. We recommend visiting your child’s school website for more information on what they are offering in your area.
> Create a sidewalk chalk obstacle course in your driveway and have everyone participate. There are many ways to stay active. Each member of the family can come up with something, we are sure of it!
> Go for a walk or a nice bike ride if the weather is pretty. We should get our heart rates up daily. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends 60 minutes of play/physical activity for children daily and at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to intensive aerobic activity for adults.
At Colony Square Dental Associates, we take our jobs seriously by keeping our patients well informed of the rapidly changing world around us. For many, we are the only healthcare facility a patient, adult or child alike, visits routinely during the year. Although that may seem surprising, it is not uncommon. And as so many health concerns have been directly linked to one’s oral well-being, we urge our patients, young and mature, to keep healthy from the inside – out. 
Dr. Hochberg and Dr. Diora would love to hear about how your family has been taking a team approach to health during this time. Feel free to send us pictures or video messages on our Facebook page. We miss all of your smiling faces and would love to hear from you!

Dental Emergencies | In the Time of the Coronavirus – What Ifs?

It’s human nature to worry about the ‘What Ifs’. What if I go on a trip and leave something important at home? What if I don’t do well on a test, a presentation, an interview? What if I forget a birthday, an anniversary, an important meeting? But today we have much more important ‘What Ifs’ to consider. Be it – What If I become ill? Or – What if my job is not secure? And while we wish we could be of assistance with answers to these, and other pressing and important questions that will arise during this pandemic, there are a couple of ‘What If’ questions we can answer. Those are: What is a dental emergency? And, What if I have a dental emergency?

It’s almost been a month since the CDC, the ADA (the American Dental Association) and the U.S. government recommended that dental offices restrict appointments to emergency care only until further notice. Though we understand that this is a disruption for patients scheduled for treatment, we concur that this action has been essential to help control the spread of the Coronavirus. Hopefully, taking these precautions will increase the opportunity to ‘open the doors’ sooner, so that we can see patients safely for general care, when deemed reasonable to do so by the experts.

So, what is a dental emergency? In the past, the definition of ‘emergency’ at Colony Square Dental Associates was somewhat broad; we always did our utmost to accommodate our patient’s perception as to what they felt was an emergency. These emergencies could range from teeth that are discolored with a wedding around the corner, to a tiny chip off of a tooth, to a patient up all evening in pain from a tooth that had abscessed and needed either a root canal or an extraction ASAP. However, with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, in order to help preserve the health and safety of both our patients and our treatment team, we are using the newly released ADA guide on ‘Dental Emergencies’ to help provide us with some direction as to what is emergency, urgent and routine care. And while these provide a framework, as always, the best way for our patients of record to determine if an emergency office visit is needed is through speaking with us. While today this conversation may incorporate use of a cell phone or a Zoom Video chat, which now have a name – ‘Teledentistry’, it’s the old-fashioned phone call to get started. Both Dr. Hochberg and Dr. Diora are available to speak with you. Give the office a call (404-874-6464) for directions as to how to reach them. Or contact us via email: [email protected]; both emails and phone messages are checked periodically throughout the day.

And should you need to visit our office for emergency care, we want you to be assured that we while we have always followed standard universal precautions issued by the ADA such as:

· Single-use gloves and masks when treating patients

· An open-concept sterilization bay, designed to sequence the processing of instrumentation is based on aseptic protocol. Visible to all, our state-of-the-art center is equipped with an ultrasonic cleaner, an automated instrument washer, autoclaves, individual instrument cassette packaging with sterile verifying tape, verified by Emory, complies with OSHA and ADA standards

· Autoclave sterilization (a high-pressure steam oven) of instruments after each use, which kills infectious organisms, including Coronavirus

· Thorough wipe-down of all dental operatories, after each patient visit, with a medical-grade surface disinfectant

· Disinfection of clinicians’ hands following the CDC hand-washing technique or an alcohol based antiseptic cleaning solution prior to gloving

In addition to our everyday efforts to offer care in a safe environment, supplementary precautions were implemented as recommended by the ADA. These additional protocols include:

· Pre-screening patients: Let us know if you have a cough, fever, or chills or experienced those symptoms within the past two weeks. If you have been around anyone who has, or has been exposed, to the virus. If you have traveled/resided away from your home within the past two weeks.

· We ask patients to social distance: Should you come for emergency care, please show up no earlier than 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. If a driver accompanies you, we ask that they remain in the car or 100 building lobby during care.

· Touch point items have minimized as well. Our front office will check in for you; magazines, newspapers and our coffee machine, have been removed. We will provide you with a new pen, to take with you, should any paperwork be needed; bottle waters are available – will be placed on the counter-top by team members, wearing gloves, so you can remain hydrated. Periodically we will wipe all common surfaces with a CDC approved disinfectant. Extra hand-sanitizers will be placed throughout our office for your convenience.

We care about all of our patients and hope that you, your family and your friends remain in good health. If you have any questions, we are here for you; don’t hesitate to reach out.

Diet and Dental Health | ‘You are what you eat’

‘You are what you eat’… is a phrase thought to be as old as the early 1800s that has come to be well known over the years Today, with TV ads, the Internet, and advice from our doctors, we know that the foods we eat and the drinks we drink help determine our overall health. Of course, the challenge is to figure out the specific ‘good foods of the day’ as we know that oftentimes these may change. One year it’s spinach; the next year it’s broccoli and for a few years we have new loves – avocado toast, kale and everything green smoothies. The plus is that with more information we can become more actively involved in maintaining a healthy body. And what doesn’t change from year to year are the vast numbers of research studies creating an increasing knowledge base showing the direct correlation between foods and our body’s ability to fight off illness, sleep better, be more alert and just plain feel better.

 

Just as we make choices to reduce the risk of diabetes by watching processed sugars and our weight and keeping our heart health in mind by avoiding foods high in saturated fats or sodium and an increase in aerobic activities – our teeth do not exist in a vacuum. They are positivity or negatively impacted by our personal nutrition. With oral health, it’s a two-way street. Many patients, with certain types of general health issues, are more cavity-prone and tend to have periodontal (gum tissue) disease. And on the other hand, many oral manifestations are signals that there are undiagnosed underlying health issues. As the saying goes … ‘Bright and white teeth are a window into our overall well-being.’ To highlight the importance of raising the public’s awareness of making the best choices, The Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition designates the month of March as National Nutrition Month with their campaign this year entitled ‘Eating Right Bite by Bite’. So, it’s a good time to review some tips to help YOU stay your healthy best.

 

Around the third month of pregnancy, baby teeth begin to form. The maxim of ‘you are what you eat’ holds true even for unborn little ones. If you are a mom-to-be, the food you eat will, in part, help determine the strength of your baby’s teeth. And once your baby is born, and even before their first tooth erupts, the teeth’s strength is impacted by the correct amount of fluoride that he or she gets through both the water you drink and the foods you eat. After birth, once solid foods are introduced and into your child’s teen years, diligence towards diet will direct the development and health of your child’s adult teeth. But it doesn’t end there; we know that no matter our age – be it soon after the teenage years, in our 40’s to 60s and into our 90s, the importance of attention to nutrition is equally as important. As we age, for our teeth to last our lifetime, we need to maintain the same levels of care that helped us keep our teeth through the years. Factors, such as smoking, alcohol intake, medications and just ‘getting older’ take their toll on our oral health as they do to the rest of our body.

 

So, what can we do to be our own best advocate as we sit down to our next meal, and the next one and the one after that? Look at our choices and make them wisely. Choose lean meats, leafy green vegetables, fresh fruits, instead of fruit juices, whole grain products, less processed foods, foods low in sodium and those with no added sugars, choose your carbohydrates wisely (starchy carbs, like chips, are just as bad as candy!) dairy products (an excellent source of calcium important for both bones and teeth) that are low in fats, and as important as all that we chew – drink fluoridated water! Right from the tap. Decrease alcohol and coffee intake – they are dehydrating, which can decrease the flow of saliva, hence increasing the risk of recurrent tooth decay. Saliva is our own build in ‘oral rinse’.

 

Our teeth are an integral part of our body; if ‘you are what you eat’ be sure that you can eat in comfort and smile with confidence. If you have questions regarding understanding the correlation between what we choose to eat and drink and the link with your oral health, ask Drs. Hochberg and Diora; they’d be happy to discuss the topic in detail with you.

Children’s Primary Teeth and How to Care for Them

5 Creative Ways to Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month with your child

It is increasingly important to encourage children at a young age, to take care of their teeth. Encouragement combined with happy visits to the dentist assists with promoting a lifetime of oral health. This year, in addition to community outreach and internal office efforts, Drs. Hochberg & Diora wanted to also provide parents/guardians with their top five creative ways to celebrate children’s dental health!

 

  1. Tooth Trinkets- Whether it be a fun tooth pillow, box, or dish, the time will come when your child loses his/her first tooth. It is a time to celebrate! Encourage your child by providing them with a way to “deliver” their tooth to the tooth fairy, or perhaps they might enjoy decorating their own box. Then, leave a little something from the tooth fairy for them. Two-dollar bills, half-dollar coins, notes, and fairy dust (glitter) are all creative ways to let your little one know that the fairy was really there! Think outside the box, and they will appreciate the effort.
  2. Brushing/Flossing Chart- It isn’t always an easy task reminding your child to brush & floss every morning and every night. However, there are ways to incentivize them until it becomes a habit. One fun way is by printing or drawing a weekly brushing/flossing chart with an AM and PM box. Place a sticker in each box daily and together, choose a suitable reward for successfully filling up the chart. Before long, it will become second nature to them. They will feel as though they have earned the treat, and you will be proud of them. It’s something we consider to be a win-win!
  3. Fancy Toothbrushes- Children tend to engage more when tasks are made to be fun. Throw away the boring brushes and step up your game. Let them pick! Many companies have cartoon, light-up, electric, and multi-colored toothbrushes to choose from that they are sure to enjoy. It also helps when they like the flavor of paste they are using. The American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of approval is always an easy indicator of an approved toothpaste that has the right amount of anti-cavity fighting ingredients and fluoride. It’s your job to find the seal and their job to seal the deal!
  4. Brush Together- Have you ever heard the old saying, “Monkey see, monkey do?” As parents, we know this to be true in many stages of childhood. This also applies to dentistry. With that in mind, try intentionally planning a time to brush your teeth with your child. It helps to see how they are brushing and for how long. You might even have them pick a favorite toon and brush along to a song to make sure all the sugar bugs are gone. The goal is to develop a routine that they enjoy and make a few memories along the way.
  5. Visit the Dentist- Does your child have teeth? It’s probably time to schedule a “Happy Visit” to the dentist. By bringing them in early, they become familiar with riding in our big dental chairs, meeting the doctors, and growing accustomed to more routine visits as they grow. We make it fun by counting their teeth, providing them with a handmade comfort sock-puppet, and informing you of any concerns we may find. It’s also a great time to ask any questions you have about how to properly care for your child’s primary teeth.

Please keep in mind, if you have any unique dental tips that have worked for your little ones, we would love to hear about them! We are always looking for new ideas to share with the schools we visit during the month of February each year in celebration of Children’s Dental Health Month! Leave us a comment on Facebook.

‘Tis the Season for Giving Back | CSDA Partners with Dress for Success

As the year comes to an end, our dental family is preparing for all of the traditional holiday festivities. No matter if you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or otherwise, the most important thing is that you’re spending valuable time with close family and friends.

From our spring continuing education classes at Hinman, to our trip to California in September for the American Dental Association (ADA) seminar, we have successfully kept up with the ever-changing dental technologies on the market. And we are excited to share what we have learned with all of you in 2020.

But, as we reflect on the last 12 months, we know that we couldn’t be the family-style dental practice that we are, without our loyal patients and staff members. Each and every one of you has contributed to molding Colony Square Dental Associates into the dental practice we are today. For that, we are incredibly thankful. And because of your continued loyalty, we are able to give back to the community each year.

This year we teamed up with Dress for Success Atlanta to support their mission in preparing ladies in need with the right tools to re-enter the workplace. After speaking with Candice, a coordinating volunteer, we understood that they needed undergarments in all shapes and sizes. In true CSDA fashion, our office team was whisked off to shop for “the girls.” It was no easy task finding some of the unique sizes, but we have quite the competitive bunch who got the job done!

The bins at the donation center are empty no longer and it does our hearts good knowing we were able to help so many women acquire the confidence they deserve. We often take for granted the little things that make a life-changing difference to others who may not have access or the means to get them.

So this holiday, Drs. Hochberg and Diora would like to wish you all a healthy, prosperous, and fulfilled season surrounded by joy and love. Spread kindness as often as you can. And don’t forget to enjoy the delicious goodies guilt-free (as long as you brush and floss, of course.)

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Keeping your Breath Fresh

Keeping your Breath Fresh?

Hummus with garlic tastes great! So do tuna fish sandwiches and burgers loaded with onions on top Pure joy! However, we know there’s a price to pay by eating certain foods – the potential for bad breath. We enjoy our favorites and then run to brush our teeth, use a mouthwash or grab a piece of gum. Once the remaining offending food particles are washed away and some time has passed, typically the bad breath has resolved. But not always.

Many factors can contribute to frequent occurrences of chronic bad breath, halitosis, some of which are harmless to one’s overall health, others are symptoms of underlying medical issues and some are side effects from certain medications.

Causes of Bad Breath

Food Choices

As stated, on occasion everyone can have less than fresh breath. Foods react to the ever-present bacteria in the oral cavity. Keep eating the foods that are known culprits and the bad=breath remains. Stop eating them and it goes away. While no one wants to offend with bad breath, sometimes those onion rings just call our name. It’s not harmful to our health; it’s merely a ‘social issue’.

Dental Disease

When halitosis occurs frequently and it’s not related to food intake, further investigation is necessary to determine the underlying cause or causes. Visit your dentist. The problem could be dental disease. Both cavities and gum disease are known to cause an unpleasant oral odor. The reason? The bacteria that cause bad breath are more difficult to brush or floss away when there are pockets between the teeth and the gum tissue or when a void – a cavity – exits in the tooth’s structure. Restoring the tooth with a filling and/or improving the health of the gums not only removes the dental disease – there’s also the plus of eliminating this as the cause of bad breath.

Dry mouth

Saliva, which serves as the mouth’s bathing agent, washes away harmful bacteria. It helps break down our food and protects our teeth. When the amount of saliva production is insufficient, for whatever reason, bad breath is often a result. There are many causes for dry mouth, (xerostomia). Some are easy to identify – smoking, caffeine intake or alcohol consumption. By avoiding, or at least limiting these substances, the saliva production can return to normal levels.

But dry mouth can be a symptom of many medical conditions. While there may be a blockage in the salivary glands, there are many illnesses, seemingly unrelated to the oral cavity, which exhibit symptoms, such as dry mouth, in the mouth. It is important to first determine whether the cause is an undiagnosed medical problem. Allergy and sinus sufferers with a post-nasal drip and patients with gastric reflux find that bad breath is common. Other illnesses, such as diabetes, liver or kidney diseases need to be ruled as well. And, of course, once diagnosed, these conditions need to be treated.

Another cause of dry mouth is medications. Many medications, necessary to help us fight disease, cause is reduction in the body’s production of saliva. They may have a dehydrating effect. The good news is that there are many over-the-counter medications to help eliminate dry mouth. Drs. Hochberg and Diora are happy to offer recommendations and oftentimes have samples on hand for you to try. Not only do these products help increase your comfort level, but also by alleviating the dryness your breath will be fresher.

What is the best way to eliminate bad breath?

Once all medical and dental issues have been addressed and there is nothing left undiagnosed or untreated, there are effective ways to have fresher breath. To begin, be sure that you are following a good home healthcare regimen. Ask your dental hygienist to suggest the best products for you. Then be sure to brush and floss at least twice a day. Keep that timer on! Remember the two-minute rule of 30 seconds per each quadrant of your mouth. Limit your intake of caffeinated drinks; they reduce the production of saliva. Increase water consumption. Chew a sugar-free gum after a meal; the activity increases saliva production while removing much of the remaining food particles until you can brush. Swish a mouthwash; it helps neutralize odors.

The main take away? At some point in time everyone will have an unwelcome occurrence of bad breath. However, if the problem persists it’s important to investigate further. Be sure that it’s not a telltale sign of an underlying dental or medical problem. Visit us a Colony Square Dental Associates; we’re available to evaluate the status of your oral health to ensure that dental decay or periodontal (gum) disease is not the culprit.

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