Oil Pulling – One Dentist Responds

The term “oil-pulling” has become such a popular thing – but what do some dentist’s think?  We went online and found an article that one dentist wrote concerning her point of view. Please note that we encourage everyone who has some questions to come in and speak with us, or their normal dentist.  As always you should consult a licensed dentist regarding your questions.

The practice itself is “pulling” or swishing oil through the teeth for an amount of time. This is supposed to go between the teeth and pick-up the bacteria that is between and around the teeth.  This does not replace the action of flossing, brushing, or using mouth wash.

“For the record, a regular oil-pulling routine should not replace routine dental visits and traditional at-home oral care. Oil pulling does not reverse the effects of tooth decay, and it’s important that patients are made fully aware of that. That being said, I do believe that it is a great supplemental therapy. The phrase “oil pulling” comes from the process of the oil being “worked” in the mouth by pulling, pushing, and sucking it through the teeth. This type of oral therapy isn’t new at all; it has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine dating back 3,000 years.” By Jessica T. Emery, DMD  Her article is found HERE

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Pregnancy and Teeth

Taking care of your teeth during pregnancy is a must – it is not the time to stop doing what you do! There are just a couple of things that you want to keep in mind!

Morning sickness happens – we know! Be sure to rinse your mouth out with water or a mouth wash after vomiting. That way the acid doesn’t sit in your mouth and wear your teeth away. The toothpaste you currently use might give you the feeling that you are going to vomit – try switching to a bland toothpaste during this time.

Make sure your dentist knows you are pregnant so you do not have to get x-rays. They might not know you are pregnant from looking at you – so make sure you tell them, even if you haven’t told anyone else.

Don’t skip your dental checkup appointment. Exams are important because with all the changes in your body you are at an increased risk for periodontal disease and tender – or bleeding gums or gingivitis. If you feel it is more than an acceptable amount make please make sure you speak with your dentist.

Making sure that you keep your teeth healthy is still important during this exigent time in your life!

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Get A White Tooth!

Going to the dentist is something we should do to keep our teeth clean and healthy. When it happens that you need to get a filling – we start to dread the thought of ruining that perfect smile with a silver filling that everyone can see. Wait – didn’t you know? You have options!

Composite fillings are available more now than ever! You have a choice to get filled with a natural looking filler, that is also being paid for by most, if not all, dental insurance plans! You do have options!

There are more reasons than just the smile to choose the composite filling over the Amalgam (the previous visible, usually silver filling). The composite resin allows for a smaller hole to be drilled into the tooth to be filled. Before the entire area around the filling would need to be drilled. The composite is bonded to the tooth and supports the structure itself. It allows for the tooth to be strong during the everyday actions of chewing.

Be aware that there are some things to consider when you choose composite fillings:

– They do need to possibly be replaced in 7-10 years
– They may not be suitable for large dental fillings
– The color is still vulnerable to staining – they may not always look the same

As always, check with your dentist about what is your best option – we are happy to help answer any questions that you may have!

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Tooth Fairy Facts from Around The World

The tooth fairy that you and I know today didn’t really come around until the early 1900’s and was just lumped into a generalization of the “good fairy”.

In Spanish and Hispanic American culture they have “The Raton Perez” who is similar to the tooth fairy originated in Madrid in 1894. When a child loses a tooth it is customary for him or her to place it under the pillow in exchange for a gift from “The Raton Perez.”

The Vikings used to pay their children for the use of their teeth – or paid a “fee.” The children’s teeth were used in creating jewelry, due to their belief that the power of the teeth would help them during battle.

There is also a story that teeth were buried to hide them from witches and evil spirits who would use the “power of the lost tooth” to place a curse. They technically were “planting” the teeth to assist in the growth of a new adult tooth.

The Egyptians would throw the teeth they lost at the sun because they believed that the sun made teeth strong.

In Asian countries, depending on which tooth is lost, they throw the tooth onto the roof or place it beneath the floor. This tradition is in line with how mice teeth grow for the life of the mouse.

In 2011 a study found that the average child received $2.60 per tooth – how much does the tooth fairy leave at your house?

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To Bleach or Not To Bleach

Everyone wants white teeth, especially those who have a lot of appearances or just love a fantastically white smile. There are some things to consider when it comes to bleaching at home versus going to the dentist to have it done professionally.

First and foremost you should always ask the question about whitening while at your dentist’s office during a check-up. Having a good clean bill of oral health is the best way to start. You don’t want to aggravate an already existing condition, or any potential issues that are on watch.

Know that teeth darken naturally as we get older. Will the color of your teeth change a bunch or even be able to get to the shade that you want? Let your dentist help you get those answers as they have a better idea than just checking in the mirror and flashing a smile. Tooth whitening is successful for 90% of people, but the rest might have issues getting that sheen due to the habits you might have picked up: coffee, tobacco, wine, etc.

Also be aware of the risks that could be associated with the practice. Sensitivity is the most common result.  If you already have sensitive teeth, this will make the teeth even more sensitive. If you do decide to bleach your teeth and the sensitivity is worse than you could imagine – call your dentist as it could possibly be damage at the root of the tooth. You just never know!

Let us know what you are thinking in the way of whitening your teeth, we may be able to give you some better options, and ones that will work for your time and wallet

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The Grill Debate

Grills have been around since they became popular in the 1980’s. Thankfully they died down but were regrettably revived in the last 5 years. You see them everywhere from athletes, to artists, and in all different shapes, designs, and sizes. Diamond to gold, platinum to colors, whatever your heart desires!

The problem with the grill fad is that people only think about how fun and flashy these can be, and not about the ugly underside of decay, disease, and jaw problems.

Teeth can be permanent (cringe) or clip-ons, so there is less damage that can happen, but at the same time these can easily be put in and not fit properly, causing stripping of the enamel, and chipping.

The improper fit can cause tooth decay, infection, and cause movement in teeth that could potential bring up the need of braces and retainers to realign teeth that may have already been fixed once before.

Think about the additional accidents that could be created by these fancy pieces. A simple bump of a glass bottle from any type of drink is usually softened by the lips. Now there is this hard item that clashes against the teeth and creates a huge risk of chipping and breakage.

So when it comes to the subjects of grills, lets leave it to the cooks of America and not the dentist offices in your neighborhood.


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Got Braces?

Life with braces can be tough. It takes a few lifestyle adjustments to get your mouth used to housing braces. But after the soreness subsides, you are well on your way to obtaining that beautiful smile you’ve always dreamt of.

Brushing is especially important because of all the new hiding spots for food and bacteria to hind. Here are five tips for keeping your teeth clean with braces:

Brush more often. The usual twice-a-day routine isn’t always enough with braces – to keep your teeth food and therefore bacteria free, brush after every meal. Consider having more than one toothbrush – one for your home and one to take with you – so that it’s convenient to brush whenever and wherever you are.

Use a floss threader. It can be difficult to get floss through the wires of your braces, so if you’re having difficulty use a threader. A product called Superfloss is a threader-and-floss string all in one and can make it even easier for you. Additionally, waxed floss glides around teeth and braces much easier than unwaxed.

Rinse with mouthwash. Again, because your braces can trap more food and bacteria you should use a fluoride mouthwash to reach spaces that your toothbrush or floss might have a difficult time getting to.

Use utensils. Cutting up food and then using a fork to eat it is much better for your braces than biting in to food items such as apples and bagels. You should also avoid sticky foods such as caramel, toffee, and beef jerky.

Get your teeth cleaned regularly. It’s more important than ever to keep up with regular checkups and cleanings. A dentist can give you a real deep cleaning, which will supplement your own.

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Be Kind this Holiday Season

For a lot of Alaskans, this time of year brings joy and happiness to our hearts. Holidays are a time to get together with loved ones and exchange gifts over a glorious feast. But for others, it is just a reminder of the things they don’t have and the struggle they live with day to day.
This holiday season, take the time to think about others in need. It could be as simple as smiling and saying hello to someone or donating your time. Here is a list of 20 of our favorite random acts of kindness:

1. Buy the person behind you in line their coffee
2. Add to someone’s meter to save them from getting a parking ticket
3. Help an elderly person carry their groceries to their car
4. Shovel someone’s driveway
5. Compliment a stranger
6. Leave an overly generous tip for a pleasant server
7. Bake for your neighbors
8. Send a card to a family member saying, “I LOVE YOU”
9. Go to AARF and take a few dogs on a walk
10. Let someone go in front of you during rush hour
11. Donate your time to a shelter
12. Recycle
13. Visit a senior center and listen to their stories
14. Stop what you’re doing and take the time to help someone else
15. Pay for a strangers meal whose eating alone
16. Give away free hugs 
17. Leave a gift for the mailman
18. Tape a bag of popcorn to the side of a Redbox Machine
19. Let someone in front of you in line at the DMV, Post Office, ect.
20. Dress up like Santa and visit a local foster home

Here at Alaska Premier Dental, we strive to take care of you, way beyond your smile. This holiday season it’s so important to remember those who are less fortunate. You’d be surprised to see how a little kindness can go a long way.
Happy holidays from Alaska Premier Dental!

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3 Major Foods to Avoid and Your Mouth Will Thank You

As Americans, we know that a healthy diet is necessary to maintain our health. But what  effect does the food we put in our mouths have on our oral health? It plays a major role. Before we digest and turn food into fuel for our bodies, it passes through our mouth, directly impacting our gums and teeth. If we are fueling our body with anything but healthy nutrients, the first effect of that will be on our oral hygiene.

Here are a few foods to avoid to prevent cavities and gum disease:

Candy– The chewier and stickier the candy, the more likely it will stick around in your gums causing cavities.

Acidic foods– Think citrus fruits or fruit juices packed with sugar. Over time, these acidic foods will erode away at the enamel in your mouth.

Sugary drinks- Just like fruit juices, sugary soda’s contain an acid that will weaken your tooth enamel. If you think you’re off the hook with diet soda, think again. If you can’t seem to kick your soda craving, use a straw to lessen the contact between your teeth and soda.

With the holidays upon us it is especially hard to pass up that dessert table, but if you can, your mouth will greatly thank you. If you or someone in your family is seeking dental care, contact Alaska Premier Dental today. We look forward to working with you and being your preferred dentist in Alaska!



American Dental Association (ADA). Retrieved from http://www.ada.org/index.aspx


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Take Care of Your Teeth This Holiday Season

We at Alaska Premier Dental understand that Thanksgiving is synonymous with stuffing, pies, rolls, cakes, and plenty of leftovers. This carbohydrate-rich, diet can really take a toll on your oral health. However, there are a few easy ways to combat cavities while still enjoying your grandmother’s famous apple pie this Thanksgiving season.

Stay away from teeth-staining goods. Did you know Thanksgiving staples such as cranberries and many different types of pies can be the worst teeth-staining foods you can eat? If you can avoid them, try and steer clear of foods that have strong colors to them. Also, be on the lookout for sticky and sweet food that will erode away at your teeth.

Try and keep your Thanksgiving meal as balanced as possible. We know it will be difficult to turn down any of the rich spreads, but if you can balance some of the carb-rich foods with a good portion of protein and veggies, it will help offset some of the acids produced when sugars and bacteria in the mouth come together.

Bring floss. A toothbrush and mouthwash are ideal, but if you find it difficult to bring those things along, it’s a breeze to toss floss in your pocket or purse. Take advantage of your secret floss stash to get all those little leftovers out of your teeth, especially when you’re done with your meal and before you take a snooze on the couch.

Use and share these few tips during your Thanksgiving holiday. Alaska Premier Dental will be available throughout the holiday season for all of your dental needs. Contact us today!


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