The Tooth Fairy Is Having a Good Year!

Tooth Fairy_Dr. Larry Stone

In a recent article published in Dental Products Report it was noted that The Tooth Fairy paid a record $255 million for lost teeth in 2014! I’m not making this up – it’s true!  Delta Dental reported this in the Original Tooth Fairy Poll® based on Delta Dental estimates.

Apparently children are also benefiting from a recovering economy with the average gift from the Tooth Fairy reaching a new high of $4.36 in 2014, up from $3.50 the previous year. In fact, Tooth Fairy reimbursements have tracked with the movement of the S & P 500 in 11 of the last 12 years!

Some other notable findings from the 2014 Original Tooth Fairy Poll include:

  • The Tooth Fairy visited 81% of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth.
  • The Tooth Fairy was more generous with first-time tooth losers, leaving more money for the first tooth in 40% of homes.
  • The Tooth Fairy was stingiest with kids living in the Midwest ($2.83 per tooth) and most generous with kids living in the South ($5.16 per tooth).
  • Kids with younger parents received more money on average from the Tooth Fairy.
  • Children who received a gift as opposed to cash most often got a toy, game, toothbrush, toothpaste, book, doll, stuffed animal or dental floss.

According to executives at Delta Dental, the Original Tooth Fairy Poll helps promote good dental hygiene habits that encourage healthy smiles, and I might add, a very busy schedule for the Tooth Fairy!

It’s never too early to start good oral hygiene habits in your children. Be sure to contact me or the staff at my office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA to schedule your next visit and we can talk about your children and their teeth!

10 Athletes Who Fought Oral Cancer

Tony Gwynn #19

1.Tony Gwynn
Recently the baseball world was saddened by the death of Tony Gwynn. only 54 when he lost his battle with oral cancer. Tony inspired fans for 20 years while playing for the Padres. This prompted me to research other athletes who may have had oral cancer and I was shocked by the names I found! Indeed, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, 115 new individuals will be diagnosed with this insidious disease each day in the United States.

2. Babe Ruth
Born in 1895, Babe, the quintessential baseball player, was only 53 when he lost his life to nasopharyngeal cancer. Like many baseball players the Babe chewed tobacco. In fact he began chewing tobacco when he was 5 years old!

3.Curt Flood
Curt Flood played for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Senators, losing his life to oral cancer on January 20,1997. He was only 49.

4. Brett Butler
Born in 1957, Brett played for the Mets and Dodgers before being diagnosed with his oral cancer. He beat it !

5. Bill Tuttle
Baseball management

6. Hubert Green
One of the most successful professional golfers, Hubie Green was born on December 28, 1946. A smoker, Hubert beat his cancer and was able to return to the game he loves.

7. Jim Thorpe
Perhaps the most famous American athlete of all time, Jim Thorpe died penniless in 1953 from oral cancer.

8. Charles Robert Hamilton, Sr.
Charles “Bobby” Hamilton was a well-respected NASCAR driver who lost his battle with oral cancer in 2007 at the age of 50.

9. Donnie Walsh
Donnie Walsh was an NBA executive who worked with the N.Y. Knicks and Indiana Pacers during the course of his career. He was a smoker who survived cancer of the tongue.

10. Jim Kelly
A Hall of Fame quarterback with the Buffalo Bills, Jim is now battling oral cancer and has had several disfiguring surgeries but is fighting to survive.

In my next blog: How to keep your children away from smokeless tobacco!

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me or the office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA, today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

Photo courtesy of TheBaseballJournal.com

Fluoridated water – why all the fuss?

Fluoridated Water

When I read this morning that the city of Dallas, Texas was considering discontinuing fluoridating its public water supply I couldn’t believe my eyes! But it’s true! The city fathers want to save money ($1.8 million for a 3 year contract) by discontinuing the practice after nearly 50 years. Dallas would be the largest city in the country to do this. Approximately 210 million people in the U.S. receive the benefits of drinking fluoridated water-20 million people in Texas alone!

 So why all the fuss? Several reasons:

  • Firstly, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that fluoridation of public water supplies is one of the top 10 public health advancements in the last century! No one can seriously argue that drinking fluoridated water helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening the enamel of children’s teeth while they are forming.
  • Secondly, the move by the industrial food chain in America to a corn-based and processed food diet has wrought havoc on the decay rate in children in particular. Decay rates that were initially lowered with the help of fluoridation are now climbing again thanks to foods and drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. (As a reference consider reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.)
  • And finally, in the end, the cost of treating dental disease would be much higher than the investment needed to prevent it. In this case an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me or the office, Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA, today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

 

Mobs, saints and dentistry – dentistry’s patron saint

Patronsaint

As we think of those who have fought for our cause this Memorial Day weekend, I thought you might be interested to learn that dentistry has a patron saint. Few are aware of this fact today, but in fact, St. Apollonia is the Patron Saint of Dentistry and the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of St. Apollonia every year on February 9th. Legend has it that during the Alexandria uprising of 248, and angered by the prophecy of an impending calamity, mobs committed bloody atrocities on Christians whom they blamed for such catastrophes.

Apollonia, an esteemed Christian deaconess at the time, was seized and tortured, having all of her teeth broken or forcibly removed. Gaining a brief moment of freedom, she willingly threw herself into a raging fire to die a martyr rather than commit a blasphemy against Christ.

The legend was thus born and Apollonia became the Patron Saint of Dentistry. The faithful prayed to her for centuries, long before the advent of modern dentistry, to relieve them of toothache pain.

So now you know. Next time you visit with us, don’t feel shy about saying a prayer to this brave woman. Maybe her sacrifice can help you endure your next dental appointment! Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have or contact Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

 

Safe dental restoration materials – What’s in Your Mouth?

Dental Restorations Fabricated in the U.S.

Most people assume that whatever a dentist places in their mouth, i.e. crowns, filling materials, dentures, etc. are safe. But how do you know? Many of the products we use in daily life come from abroad and many dentists, in an effort to cut costs, are sending dental work offshore.

Today it is estimated that 15% of all dental materials are either counterfeit or “gray market” materials. In addition, approximately 25% of domestic dental laboratory sales and 38% of actual restorations are manufactured overseas.

Why does this matter? Because only restorations that are fabricated in the United States can be guaranteed to be made with materials that are FDA approved and made in an environment that conforms to ISO 9001 – an internationally recognized sign of quality.

I guarantee that we use only premium FDA approved materials and only use dental laboratories In the United States. The next time you are in the office don’t be shy about asking us for details about your dental restorations. You deserve it!

Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have or contact Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

 

Mouth Guards Part 2 – It’s Not Just About Dental Injuries!

Custom laminated mouth guard for student athletes

Recently I wrote a blog on mouth guards as they relate to preventing dental injuries in young athletes, and cheerleaders in particular. But there is another and possibly more compelling reason to make sure that any athlete is wearing a properly fitted mouth guard.

A study on the role of mouth guards in reducing the incidence of mild traumatic brain injury/concussion injuries (MTBI) in high school football players appeared recently in the Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry. The study involved six high school football teams totaling 412 players over a single season. The players were divided into 2 groups: those that wore over-the-counter (OTC) mouth guards and those that wore custom fabricated pressure laminated (LM) mouth guards. There were 24 mild traumatic brain injuries (concussions) recorded during the season. The conclusion: Wearing a properly fitted custom-made laminated mouth guard was statistically significant in reducing the incidence of MTBI/concussion injuries when compared to OTC mouth guards.

If anyone in your family is involved in contact sports please have them call our office for a custom-made mouth guard. It’s not just about dental injuries! We are so committed to protecting our student athletes that we are offering a program for any high school or college student who participates in organized sports and is a patient with Dr. Larry Stone, having annual cleanings, x-rays and exams, is eligible for a FREE protective mouth guard to protect his or her teeth.

Be sure to ask us at your next visit about this important program for your children. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have or contact Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

Oral cancer – Why 3 is 3 Too Many

doctorwithpatient

Three. That’s the number of patients I have known in my career that I have helped to diagnose with oral cancer. Doesn’t seem like a lot but believe me, you wouldn’t want to be one of them!

Consider the facts:

  • The five-year survival rate for oral cancer is only 50% and that hasn’t changed in decades. Why? Because 63% of oral cancers are diagnosed in late stages. Treatment of late stage cancers is difficult, often involving surgeries like resection  (removal) of part of the jaw bone and radiation which can lead to loss of taste, dry mouth, tooth decay and loss of teeth.
  • It is also important to note that the number of oral cancers has increased while the prevalence of all other cancers has declined.
  • 40% of new cancers are in young non-smokers, primarily 20-30 year old patients, with the prevalence favoring men 2:1.
  • 40,000 new cases of oral cancer are being diagnosed every year, primarily due to HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) infections.
  • HPV related oral cancers are 6-7 times more common in men than women.

If this isn’t a good reason to be faithful to those dental check-ups I don’t know what is. It’s not just about cavities anymore! You may have also noticed that we are also using a new laser-based cancer detecting technology called Oral-ID in the office. Make sure you ask for it at your next visit.

And be sure to visit me for a FREE Oral Cancer Exam:
Wednesday May 21, 2014
Warrington Shop-Rite
11 am – 1 pm

I will be providing these free exams on behalf of the Doylestown Hospital Community Outreach Program.

Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have or contact Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

Do Dental Services Come With a Warranty?

You may be surprised…most of ours do.

Warranty Brochure for Laurence H. Stone DDS

Occasionally people ask me half-jokingly if I offer a warranty on the dental work we perform. Obviously they weren’t aware that I actually do offer a limited warranty on all dental services we provide. After all…why wouldn’t I?

You deserve it and I’m proud of the work my staff and I do. We use first class dental labs and superior materials. My staff is well trained and has to endure the daily rigors of working for me. (Not in itself any easy task – just ask them!) We are continually striving to provide the best dental care available by attending regular continuing education programs and keeping abreast of the latest that modern technology offers.

Most of our services are guaranteed for 3 to 5 years depending on what was done. The only requirement we have to maintain these warranties is that you keep your regularly scheduled maintenance visits. For all the specifics on our warranty policy just ask for a copy of our warranty brochure the next time you are in the office or call and we will be happy to send one to you.

Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have or contact Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

 

Preventing Bad Breath – Dr. Stone’s top ten ways

fearfulwoman

There are many causes of bad breath (halitosis) and many people may be unaware they have it. It’s just one of those things that folks are often reluctant to talk about.

Causes include poor oral hygiene, gum disease, sinus and respiratory tract infections, acid reflux and more. But by far, the most common cause is poor oral hygiene. Below is a list of some easy things you can do to prevent or minimize bad breath if you think you may be suffering from it.

  1. Keep the saliva flowing. Drink plenty of water and chew Xylitol gum.
  2. Avoid antihistamines and other medications that dry the mouth, if alternative medicines work just as well.
  3. See your dentist regularly and get prompt treatment for any problems.
  4. Get your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist at least twice a year.
  5. Practice meticulous oral hygiene. That means flossing regularly and brushing your teeth and tongue diligently. That’s right, the tongue. Brushing the upper surface of your tongue every time you brush your teeth removes a lot of gas-producing bacteria.
  6. Avoid foods (like onions and garlic) you find make your breath smell bad. These foods contain aromatic compounds that are eliminated through the lungs and sweat glands. Keeping your mouth clean will not eliminate these odors!
  7. Don’t smoke or chew tobacco. They encourage the growth of mouth bacteria and irritate the nose and sinuses, making them more vulnerable to infection.
  8. Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
  9. Keep Xylitol breath mints on hand for a quick, if temporary cover-up.
  10. Finally, relax. It’s simple to reduce bad breath in the morning.

Just remember to always check with us when you are in the office to rule out any systemic causes and to make sure you are doing what is necessary  or you to prevent this problem. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have or contact Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this. See you soon!

Eating for dental health – Yes, you are what you eat.

Eatingonthewildside2

When we last considered diet in my post on “Eating on the Wlid Side,” I promised some tips on eating for better dental health. Most of what I have to say is old news, like avoiding sticky and sugary snacks like caramels and the like. But it is important to understand why this matters.

The bacteria that cause tooth decay are acid loving. In other words, they live in an acid environment and produce acids which contribute to tooth decay and inflammation in the gums. The easiest food for them to digest is sugar. Bacteria convert sugar straight to acid which in turn promotes an acid environment in the mouth by raising the pH of the saliva. It’s a vicious cycle!

There are several ways to try and combat this, the easiest being to avoid the sugary refined carbohydrates that the bacteria love. This also includes soda, energy drinks and most sport drinks. It especially includes anything sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) because certain elements of HFCS are not filtered by our salivary glands leading to more decay.

One newer alternative to dealing with the problem of salivary pH is to eat more foods containing arginine. Arginine is an essential amino acid needed for health. It is contained in foods such as spinach, soy, seafood and nuts. When arginine starts to be digested in our mouths, It makes our saliva more “basic” by raising the pH. This creates an environment that is unfavorable to the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

You can also help to accomplish this by brushing with baking soda or by mixing it with your toothpaste! We could go on and on about this so let me just close by saying, “Be true to your teeth or they’ll be false to you.” Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have or contact Dr. Laurence Stone in Doylestown, PA today to schedule your next appointment and we can talk more about this.