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Atlanta Smiles

Kids and Fluoride

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Emery Brushing Teeth

Have you ever watched a child put toothpaste on their toothbrush?  It’s not usually the delicate pea-sized amount that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends for kids 3 and older.  Even for younger kids, the AAP says only to use a “smear (grain of rice amount)” prior to the 3rd birthday.  But, why is it that the amount of toothpaste is such a big deal?

Too Much Toothpaste is Dangerous

Because of the fluoride.  Most of us know the HUGE benefit of fluoride—it helps to prevent tooth decay and cavities.  Dentists recommend fluoride use in different applications to both treat and prevent decay.   However, when it comes to small kids (ages 6 and younger), there are lots of potential issues which can be caused by fluoride as well.

According to fluorideallert.org, “children who swallow too much fluoride toothpaste can suffer acute poisoning, even death.  In fact a single tube of bubble-gum flavored Colgate-for-Kids toothpaste contains enough fluoride (143 mg) to kill a child weighing less than 30 kg (Whitford 1987a),” or 66.14 pounds.

Toothpaste for Kids

This is why introducing our children to toothpaste containing fluoride isn’t something parents should do too early.  Lots of kids will ingest the toothpaste even if they are old enough to “know better,” simply because a lot of those on the market have added flavoring like bubble gum or fruit juices to make them more appealing.

Children also don’t have the best swallowing reflexes, so they may be ingesting more of the paste than is physically safe whether they, or you, realize it or not.  Several of these kid-targeted toothpastes with fluoride will say they are safe for an age as young as 2 years, though many dentists recommend waiting until the age of 6 or older to let your child use fluoride toothpaste, simply because then you know they will be spitting it out.  It will benefit their teeth without getting ingested.

So, without fluoride toothpaste, how do parents ensure children are getting the actual amounts that are needed to perform the benefit that fluoride was designed to do, which is prevent tooth decay?

Here’s the Good News

The answer is water.  Parents are instructed to brush their babies’ new teeth simply with a toothbrush and tap water.  And parents of toddler-aged children have probably had the discussion with their pediatricians or dentists about the type of water their children drink.  Tap or filtered water from the refrigerator is safest, and beware of giving them only bottled water.  Why?  Because our local water supplies contain fluoride.  According to kidshealth.org in fact, “as of 2012, CDC statistics show that more than 60% of the U.S. population receives fluoridated water through the taps in their homes,” whether it’s naturally occurring in their water or added at processing plants.  You can even check the Environmental Protection Agency’s database to find out what’s in your water.  The same website demonstrates that water fluoridation is actually estimated today to reduce tooth decay by “20%-40%.”  And it’s been doing so safely for over 60 years.  The American Dental Association even cites the CDC as naming it “one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”

These days, not all tap water is convenient to drink (or has the best flavor depending on where you live).  No worries there either.  Many bottling companies have joined the fluoride wave by adding it to their bottled water as well.  Just check the label—most of them will advertise it right on the front because they want you to know they’ve taken that extra step.

Alternative Toothpastes

If you are concerned at all about your children ingesting too much fluoride, there are other toothpaste options readily available than the fruity, bubblegum ones with cute cartoon characters on the outside.  Feel free to ask your dentist for a good suggestion.  Some alternatives, like xylitol-based toothpastes, can also help prevent other health issues like ear infections.  Toothpastes like these are either sold at your dentist’s office, your local health food store, or easily found through an online retailer.

Dr. Giesler on Atlanta and Company

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In case you missed it, Dr. Giesler recently appeared on 11 Alive’s “Atlanta and Company” to talk about cosmetic dentistry and to show some real-life examples of cosmetic dentistry done right!

Dr. Giesler explains how listening to her patients is the first thing she does to help them improve their smiles.  As a successful cosmetic dentistry practice, Atlanta Smiles utilizes many options to fix common issues like teeth grinding that plague so many people.  One of these includes porcelain veneers, which can be read about in more detail on one of our previous Smile Blog posts here.  Dr. Giesler’s main goal when it comes to smile transformations is to make it look natural.  You want people to admire your smile, she explains, NOT your veneers.

If there are things you don’t like about your smile, there’s no reason to hide anymore.  As Christine Pullara, host of “Atlanta and Company” said on the show, “If you aren’t cheesing, make an appointment with Dr. Dina today!”

Ask the Dentists

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We want to hear from you! 

We get lots of questions from our patients when we see them for appointments, and we are always happy to answer them and help you stay informed about your dental health and wellbeing.

But what about those questions or issues that may arise between your regular visits?  Instead of waiting for your next appointment to get an answer, why not ask us now?

This forum was created as an outlet for you, the patient (and your friends and family), to ask us whatever dental or mouth health related question you desire whenever you want!  Simply visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/atlantasmilesandwellness or click on the image below to post your comment.  Feel free to share with your friends and family, too.  Chances are, somebody else is wondering the same thing.

Are Porcelain Veneers Right For You?

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What Are Dental Veneers?

Veneers are custom-designed extremely thin shells resembling natural teeth that are carefully and artistically created by your dentist and fabricated in a dental lab. The veneers are then bonded over your own teeth and can serve several purposes, the most common including straightening, whitening and lengthening. The main goal of having veneers applied is to give you a beautiful smile! This procedure is the best technique we utilize today to provide our patients with the best smile possible! Dr. Giesler has been performing smile makeovers and placing veneers for over 20 years. She has an artistic eye and works with talented ceramists. Together, their results are beautiful yet natural.

Veneers Are Not the Same as Bonding

As Dr. Giesler discussed in Best Self magazine, “many people find the idea of veneers vs. bonding a more complex decision.” So how do you know if dental bonding or veneers is the best option? The short answer is that bonding is usually recommended for more minor tooth adjustments. However, if you have teeth that are significantly discolored or have sustained heavy wear and tear, then veneers may be a better option for you. Additionally, veneers are a recommended choice for other large issues like broken teeth, substantial gaps in your teeth, or even variations in the size and shape of your teeth. Because veneers are custom-made for each patient, they look a lot more like your natural teeth. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about them becoming discolored over time, as they are created to be stain-resistant to the effects of coffee or wine drinking.

The Process of Applying Dental Veneers

It takes two to three appointments with your dentist to fully complete the dental veneer process. First, we recommend a consultative appointment in which you sit down with your doctor to discuss the procedure. At this visit, we like to provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have so that you fully understand the process. During the consultation, we will also create the best treatment plan customized to you and your schedule.

At the second visit, we begin the actual physical work of your veneers. At this point, your teeth are shaved down in preparation for application, and a temporary veneer is placed on top of your teeth. These will serve as a placeholder until your permanent veneers are constructed in a lab by our trusted ceramists and sent back to our office.

On your third and final visit, your temporaries are then replaced with your permanent, custom-made veneers.

“The true art in aesthetic dentistry is designing and creating a beautiful smile in which everyone thinks that your veneers are your natural teeth.” — Dina Giesler, D.D.S. M.A.G.D.

Demonstrations of the Application of Dental Veneers

See the videos on our Veneers services page here for demonstrations for how veneers can help with the following three major dental issues: chipped teeth, malformed teeth and stained teeth.

For more images on smile transformations performed in our office like the ones above, see our gallery here.

Bad Breath? Don’t Stand Too Close!

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One of the most common questions our doctors get from our patients is regarding bad breath, or halitosis.  There’s nothing like a bout of bad breath to kick your confidence in the teeth and keep you from feeling your best.  In order to treat this embarrassing and unpleasant condition (or even better, prevent it), it’s important to know first about its causes.

Typically, halitosis is due to bacterial build up on your tongue.  According to the American Dental Association, it can be caused by a number of things, including your diet, gum disease, dry mouth, bad habits and even particular medical conditions like sinus infections, diabetes, or liver and kidney disease.

Some of the Causes of Bad Breath May Surprise You

We all know that strong smelling foods like garlic and onions, for example, can leave a distinctive taste in your mouth that will also be exhaled in your breath.  However, lots of foods (even those that may seem harmless at the time you eat them) can cause bad breath later.  This happens when food particles remain in your mouth as a result of infrequent brushing and flossing, thus collecting bacteria and ultimately leading to halitosis.

Plaque can also be the cause of bad breath.  Plaque build-up over time can lead to gum disease, and persistent bad breath can be a warning sign that you may have developed this condition.  How do you prevent plaque?  Always brush and floss at home, but also be sure to maintain your regular cleanings and semi-annual visits with your dentist, where they have the tools and training to really get into those hard to reach places.

Dry mouth, or a decreased flow of saliva, can be due to salivary gland problems, frequent breathing through your mouth instead of your nose, or (quite commonly) different medications.  When we don’t salivate enough, it is more difficult to clear away those pesky food particles that like to attract bacteria.  The good news is that there’s a way to help create more saliva in your mouth, either by sucking on sugarless hard candies, increasing fluids, or even with a prescription for artificial saliva.  Our dentists would be happy to help you determine which option could be best for you.

Bad habits like smoking and other tobacco use is another contributing factor to halitosis.  Not only does it deaden your taste buds and stain your teeth, tobacco also irritates your gums.  In fact, the ADA reports that “tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum disease and are at greater risk for developing oral cancer.”  This fact probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise anymore.  If you have ever smoked or used tobacco yourself, it is hard to deny that the risks far outweigh the benefits.  We want you to be and feel healthy, so don’t be afraid to talk to us about stopping this habit for good!

Halitosis can also be attributed all the way to your tonsils!  In fact, the #1 reason why adults have their tonsils removed is because of bacteria.  Crypts or pockets that form on the tonsils trap food inside of them, which can remain there for days or even as long as weeks.  As you can imagine, this can cause a horrible smell that emanates from the tonsils and comes out through your mouth (think of old food rotting in your refrigerator or trash can).

Don’t Worry, There’s an Easy Fix

It’s hard to hide these and other bad habits when it comes to your mouth, and even though quick fixes like mouthwash, breath mints and gum might mask the smell for a short while, they are only temporary bandages.  Brushing and flossing are two often overlooked yet extremely important ways that you can help prevent bad breath on your own.  Make sure you brush your tongue also, since that’s where those pesky bacteria often set up shop.  Toothbrushes are a great tool for tongue brushing, or you can also use a tongue scraper if you prefer.  We are more than happy to help you find the best oral hygiene regimen to keep your breath smelling fresh and clean!

Make sure to ask us at your next visit, and keep those maintenance visits on track.  If you are a religious teeth and tongue brusher and flosser and still have a bad breath issue, you may have a more serious problem like one of those discussed above.  If that’s the case, getting in for your next checkup is the best way to find a solution.

Do You Dislike The Numb Feeling After Going To The Dentist?

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by Dina J. Giesler, D.D.S., M.A.G.D.

Do you avoid the dentist because it is not convenient? Do you feel numb for hours after getting a shot? For a lot of people, it’s hard to schedule a dental appointment during the day because of busy schedules. An important business lunch, dinner, or important presentation hinders many from seeing a dentist during a typical business week. No one wants to go back to the office when their face feels numb and huge.

We now have a way to reverse the local anesthesia at the dentist office. OraVerse (Phentolamine Mesylate) by Novalar is a vasodilator that has been used in Medical indications since 1952. It is safe and has undergone rigorous clinical studies at 20 universities and private practice research centers across the US. No drug interactions or contraindications were noted. OraVerse is administered at the same location that your dental injection is given. The average length of time that a patient “feels numb” after leaving a dental office is 3-5 hours depending how the type of anesthesia used and how much. With OraVerse patients can return to normal sensation and function in half the time with the onset in about 20 minutes. OraVerse accelerates the reversal of the soft tissue numbness that we all tend to dislike. This is a safe drug and can be used in children 6 years and older. This application can be very useful in children who tend to chew on their lip after a dental procedure is completed. OraVerse is also useful in cosmetic dental procedures in that patients need to be able to feel their upper lip and be able to evaluate the length of their upper teeth while still in the office. Ask us about OraVerse or go to www.novalar.com for more information.

A Smile Buckhead Living Magazine Article

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A SMILE……The Universal Language

It’s about the smile. It’s ALL about the SMILE. Just smile at someone and see what happens. The Smile is the Global communicator. No one should be ashamed to smile….it’s too easy to for us to give our patients great teeth. If you don’t smile because you are embarrassed of your teeth; it is misunderstood by others.  Studies show that a nice smile can enhance success in the work place and in the social arena.  Modern dentistry is amazing and now more than ever we can create beautiful smiles in one appointment!

There are many options available to you today to enhance your smile without spending a small fortune. First before you consider having cosmetic dentistry performed, a beautiful smile needs to be healthy. Your smile “says” a lot about you as a person. Ask someone you trust to give their honest opinion of your teeth.  It can be hard to be objective when looking in the mirror. Cosmetic dental procedures can boost your self confidence so you’ll have a smile that you can be proud of.

There are three reasons why people do not visit a dentist on a regular basis….Time, money and fear.  All these issues can be addressed and if your priority is to have a more healthy, attractive smile, now is the time to have the SMILE you have always wanted. It is easier now more than ever and very rewarding!

Cosmetic dentistry is not a specialty, so do your homework and find a dentist who performs cosmetic procedures every day. Always get several opinions, as there are many ways to design a better smile, just as if you are designing a new room in your home, there are always many options. The options vary with your individual wants and desires and the outcome can vary drastically. Minor improvements can have drastic results!  Some of these options include the following:

  1. Whitening (Prescription custom tray whitening and Zoom) gives the appearance of a cleaner smile.  White just looks clean.
  2. Bonding (fills in irregularities, gaps, chips)
  3. Reshaping (evens the length, width of your natural teeth to create better symmetry)
  4. Retainers or brackets to restraighten your front teeth
  5. Orthodontics
  6. Invisalign® (clear trays to straighten your teeth)
  7. Porcelain veneers, Porcelain crowns
  8. Implants, bridges to replace missing teeth.

Remember a nice smile is a healthy smile. See your dentist twice a year. Brush, floss daily to avoid periodontal disease and tooth decay. No one wants bad breath. Once your mouth is healthy and your teeth function properly, cosmetic dentistry can give you the smile you have always wanted.

Safe Guard

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April has been named the National Youth Sports Safety Month.  Statistics show dental injuries are the most common injuries sustained during sports, most of which are preventable.  As a dentist, and a mother of three, mouth guards are highly recommended for nearly all athletic sports.

According to the Bureau of Health Education, it is estimated that annually, more than 200,000 oral-facial injuries are prevented because of mandatory mouth guard wear in football alone.  Because most coaches do not require mouth guards, many parents and children don’t know the benefits, but rather the repercussions of not having one.  Below are a few common questions from our patients…

What is a mouth guard? A mouth guard is a flexible appliance worn during sports and other recreational activities to protect teeth and its surrounding soft tissues from any damage.  Its purpose is a preventative appliance for broken teeth, lacerated lips, jaw fractures and other trauma to the mouth and neck area.

Who needs a mouth guard? Mouth guards should be used by all ages, old and young!    The American Dental Association recommends the use of a mouth guard for 29 sports activities.  It’s not restricted to specific sports, but more-so those that have a chance of contact with other players or hard surfaces.   These sports could include, but are not limited to, football, boxing, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, gymnastics and skateboarding.

What are the different types of mouth guards? As a dentist, we recommend a custom-fitted mouth guard. Generic mouth protectors are available at most athletic stores, however many users complain that they are bulky and non-adjustable which defeats its purpose.  Custom-fitted protection is made by your dentist to fit each individual’s teeth and provide optimal protection.

Your ideal mouth guard should also:

  • Permit speaking and does not restrict breathing
  • Stay securely in place during action
  • Be comfortable and fitted
  • Be durable and tear-resistant

Can my child wear mouth guards with braces? Yes!  The chances of damaging the soft tissues around the mouth area are higher when wearing braces.  A mouth guard serves as the protective layer between braces, lips and cheeks, preventing lacerations, bruises and the like.

Why do my children need to wear mouth guards? Let’s be realistic, sports are naturally aggressive and involve contact with other players.  Being proactive is key!  Dental costs, time in the dental chair and the possibility of further dental problems are just a few repercussions for victims of knocked out teeth.  Rather than waiting for a tooth to get knocked out, take the extra step, in hopes to avoid that situation.

Where can I get a quality mouth guard? As previously mentioned, custom-fitted mouth guards are made within the dental office.  After taking impressions of your teeth, a special material is molded over the impression, forming the mouth guard.  It usually takes a few days to complete the guard.  Generic mouth guards are available at most athletic stores; however the response rate of users is dissatisfactory.

Take the proactive approach on your child’s team!  Should you have any questions about mouth-guards, you may refer to our website, www.atlantasmiles.com or visit with your local dentist.

When Sweet Turns To Sour

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On average, children consume 32 tablespoons of sugar per day.  Despite the health warnings against sugar, there is no sign of slowing.  It is found in most foods, including canned veggies, baby formulas, soda, bread, spaghetti sauce and microwaveable meals – whether it be natural or added.  Our lack of knowledge seems to be the cause of our overzealous consumption and more than likely is linked to the obesity epidemic as well.

Even while consumers are trying to make an effort to eat better, producers are making it virtuously impossible to understand exactly what we are eating.  By using words that we don’t commonly associate with sugar, like high fructose corn syrup, consumers are being fooled.  Before throwing in the towel on sugar, below are a few easy-to-understand facts that should help with you and your family’s day to day diet.

Buyer beware.  A few names to be conscious of when choosing your foods include, brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, malt sugar, molasses, raw sugar and any added sugar molecules ending in ‘ose’ – dextrose, glucose, maltose, sucrose.

Effects of sugar overload:

  • Feeds cancers
  • Increases cholesterol
  • Enhances risk of Diabetes
  • Raises insulin levels
  • Boosts hyperactivity
  • Kidney damage
  • Diminishes the immune system
  • Contributes to teeth loss and gum disease
  • Increases weight gain and overeating
  • Ages your skin

A great website to get a better idea of the amount of sugar in specific foods is www.sugarstacks.com.  What you find will be alarming to the eye, but great knowledge to take with you.

Now don’t get me wrong, a restricted amount of natural sugar is ok to include in your diet.  The American Heart Association ‘recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily calorie allowance – for women, 6 tsp per day and men, 9 tsp per day.’  Our body easily digests natural sugar, commonly known as glucose, which is found in whole, unprocessed foods.  For example, when craving something sweet, opt for fruits, which is easy for our bodies to digest.

As research continues to develop on the effects of sugar to your overall health, a few alternatives have been found to decrease its harmful impact; Stevia and Xylitol are two of the top two alternatives on the market today.  Stevia is an all natural sugar supplement derived from a plant.  Having over 300 times the sweetness of sugar, Stevia has been particularly popular with Diabetic patients because of its positive effect on glucose digestion.  Secondly, Xylitol not only acts as a sweetener, but is also found in many oral hygiene products to help decrease cavities (in two different forms, of course).

As mentioned above there area a variety of options out there for us to head in the right direction of decreasing our sugar intake.  Better your health and quality of life by truly knowing what you’re putting into you and your family’s bodies.  Sugar isn’t too sweet after all.

Dr. Dina Giesler Awarded The Real Leadership Award

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Dr. Dina Giesler was recently awarded the The Real Leadership Award From The Oxford Center’s 2014 NYC Conference. View the press release here (copied below).


From The Oxford Center’s 2014 NYC Conference

Atlanta-based Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs (OCE) announced the 2014 Entrepreneurs of the
Year during its first annual NYC Conference with a “Get Real” headline theme (see complete list below).
The interactive, high energy conference gathered hundreds of fast growth entrepreneurs from across the
country for in-the-trenches discussions, Q & A sessions, innovative entertainment and networking venues
to share challenges and successes.

“The winners from this hallmark conference represent some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs I
know, particularly because of their exceptional get real attitudes and results,” notes Cliff Oxford, Founder
of OCE, New York Times blogger and Forbes columnist. After nominations were received from the
expansive membership of the Oxford Center, a committee of seven prominent professionals selected the
finalists and ultimate winners based on revenue growth, EBDIA, and written responses on market
leadership and team culture.

Additional features of the Get Real Conference included a candid Q & A session with David Karp,
Founder and CEO of Tumblr (28 year-old technology entrepreneur who recently sold his company for $1.1
billion), and kick-off comments by CNN Money anchor Christie Romans.

Oxford Center’s 2014 Get Real Conference Entrepreneur Award Winners

Paul Webb, Pulsed Power Technologies, LLC
Fast Growth Entrepreneur Emerging

Steven Levy, Medium
Blogger Entrepreneur

Dr. John-Ross Rizzo, NYU – Tactile Navigation Tools
Rising Star Entrepreneur

Richard Thomas, Co-Founder Bojangles
Lifetime Legacy Entrepreneur

Ben Gibson, PNC Bank
Corporate Leader in Entrepreneur Partnership

Mike Salvador & Rick Franza, Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University
Academic Leadership for Entrepreneurs

Debra Johnson, MBA Student
MBA Entrepreneur Student

Clint Gharib, The Gharib Group
Fast Growth Entrepreneur Large

Dr. Jerry Williams, Urgent Care 24/7

Bonner Black, Nashville Musician
Entrepreneur Artist

Dr. Dina Giesler, Dental & Wellness Pioneer
The Real Leadership Award

The Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs is the nation’s largest education, commerce and
media platform for entrepreneurs who want to grow fast to the next level and exit
triumphantly. It is for emerging markets and category leaders across all industries. The 2014
Get Real Conference sponsors included Brenau University, Brenau University Oxford MBA,
Ear, Nose & Throat Institute, PNC Bank, UBER, FForward and Cosmo.