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Dr. Spadafora's Dental Blog

Discover How Xylitol Products Can Help Your Smile

October 20, 2017

Filed under: Oral Care — Tags: , , — nowmedia @ 4:14 pm

You may have grown up thinking that chewing gum is terrible for your teeth, and if you were chewing Bubble Yum and Bazooka, you were correct. But like most things that earn a bad reputation, chewing gum isn’t all negative. In fact, some types are legitimately good for your smile. Explore some of these cavity-fighting brands of gum and learn about xylitol, the active ingredient that is excellent for your smile.

Understanding Xylitol and How it Fights Cavities

The active ingredient in many sugarless gums and other products that makes them great for your teeth is xylitol. As a natural sweetener, xylitol is typically used in place of sugar for gum, candy, and other products. At its foundation, xylitol is a sugar alcohol, but it has special properties that make it decrease cavities that develop on the teeth. Learn more about these properties and how they combine to provide benefits for your smile.

Xylitol Prevents Bacteria from Sticking to the Teeth

The unique ability that makes xylitol so smile-friendly is that it naturally keeps debris from clinging to your teeth. This means that chewing xylitol gum before or after meals is advantageous because it will minimize a lot of the damage caused by your meal.

It’s Sweetness Stimulates Saliva

Another way that xylitol benefits your oral health is because its sweet flavor stimulates the production of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defense system, washing it free of debris and keeping it fresh. By boosting saliva production, your mouth is left with extra protection from cavity-causing plaque.

The Chewing Action of Xylitol Gum Scrubs the Teeth

If you’re taking your xylitol in the form of chewing gum, then the natural action of chewing the gum cleans debris from the teeth. This is a trait of all forms of gum, but when it contains sugar, the chewing action does more damage because it spreads this sugar throughout your teeth. With sugarless xylitol gum, this benefit is useful because there’s no sugar involved.

Not Into Gum? Here are Other Ways to Find Xylitol

While gum is the most popular way to consume xylitol and it provides additional benefits due to the chewing action, there are other ways to take advantage of xylitol. Check out these common alternatives to xylitol gum and see if any of them are of interest to you.

  • Xylitol Toothpaste
  • Xylitol Mints
  • Xylitol Mouthwash
  • Xylitol Sweetener
  • Xylitol Dental Kits

Try Sugarless Gum with Xylitol – Your Teeth Will Thank You!

If you grew up in the age where blowing big bubbles with a mouth full of Bazooka gum was the norm, then it may be surprising to you that gum can actually be phenomenal for your teeth. But thanks to xylitol, it’s sweet flavor comes with advantages to your oral health. Chewing xylitol gum along with your normal brushing and flossing routine is an excellent way to ensure that your smile stays fresh between biannual appointments. If it’s time for your next dental exam, contact us to schedule your appointment with Dr. Spadafora today!


How is Botox Used to Treat TMJ Disorders?

September 5, 2017

Filed under: Oral Care — Tags: , , , , , , — Dr. Spadafora @ 5:26 pm

Have you experienced jaw pain? What about unexpected headaches or aching in your ear, neck, or face? If you’ve had these types of pain, then you may have a TMJ disorder.

Understanding Your TMJ

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw to the skull. A wide range of disorders can occur in the TMJ and they can be extremely disruptive to your chewing and speaking abilities. A variety of treatments are available for disorders of the TMJ, and Botox is emerging as an effective treatment. Discover how Botox is used to treat disorders of the TMJ and learn about why it’s so effective.

Brief Overview of Botox

Botox is made from the bacteria that causes botulism and contains a toxin called botulinum that shuts down all nerve activity in muscles. It’s this feature that makes Botox so valuable cosmetically.   While most patients are familiar with Botox as a way of smoothing facial wrinkles, this treatment has found new use as an effective treatment for TMD.

How Botox Became the Go-To for TMD Treatment

Those who suffer from a TMJ disorder (TMD) endure involuntary movement of the jaw. That can result in difficulty eating and speaking, as well as painful and awkward experiences in daily life.

Botox has the ability to dull the nerves in muscles, essentially keeping them numb for weeks or months at a time. This makes Botox an excellent tool for controlling disorders of the TMJ. This temporary paralysis prevents the uncomfortable spasms that cause the headaches, pain, and other side effects that often accompany jaw joint pain and TMJ disorder.

Where is Botox Injected for TMD Treatment?

When Botox is used to treat TMJ disorders, it’s injected directly into the chewing muscles, known as the masseter and temporalis. Once Botox enters your chewing muscles, it causes them to relax. This simple action can put an end to headaches and other unwanted symptoms of TMD, especially since the effect is safe and only lasts a few months.

Botox May Also Be Effective in Controlling Lockjaw

While research on Botox use in TMD treatment is limited due to how new it is, many experts are optimistic about the potential of Botox to minimize lockjaw. The advantage of Botox is that it can quickly reduce tension in the muscles surrounding the TMJ. Since lockjaw is one of the most menacing TMJ disorders, the fact that Botox may be the key to treating it provides hope for thousands of TMD sufferers.

Our Team Can Fight Your TMD in Hermitage, PA!

The use of Botox to treat TMD is a recent innovation – and that’s important to our Hermitage dental team. We take pride in consistently finding and implementing the latest and most advanced methods of treating patients. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you!

4 Toothbrushes for Women that Will Brighten Your Wife’s Smile

August 8, 2017

Filed under: Oral Care — Tags: , , , , , — Dr. Spadafora @ 6:17 pm

toothbrushBuying a gift for your significant other can be a challenge. There are all the standard ideas – roses, jewelry, and a dinner date – but some women will appreciate a more creative gift. By upgrading your wife’s toothbrush to one that is feminine, stylish, and functional, it shows you care about her in a way that no one else does. You care that she stays healthy.

What Makes the Ideal Gift?

There is no singular product that makes the perfect gift – it depends on the individual traits of the person you love. For example, an expensive diamond necklace may be ideal for one person, but that may be considered a mediocre gift for people who care more about creativity. Another trait of an excellent gift is that it has a functional value – it’ll provide value in her daily life.

Advantages of Upgrading her Toothbrush as a Gift

Finding a high-quality toothbrush that your wife would love is a great gift for these reasons:

  • It shows you care about her health
  • It’s something she’ll use everyday
  • It adds value to her daily life
  • The right kind can show her that you know her well
  • It’s a surprising and creative gift

4 Women’s Toothbrushes that Make Excellent Gifts

Like most products, male and female variations are available for toothbrushes. The feminine toothbrushes capitalize on fun designs and colors, but with just as much emphasis on functionality. Check out these 4 feminine toothbrushes and see which is perfect for the woman in your life.

  1. Brush Buddies – Lady Gaga Singing Toothbrush

What could make toothbrushing sessions more exciting for your girlfriend or wife? Brushing with a friend while jamming out to one of the biggest pop stars of our generation, of course! One useful feature of the Lady Gaga Singing Toothbrush is that the timer lasts for a full 2 minutes, which is the ideal recommended length of a brushing session. To turn your wife’s brushing sessions into 2-minute dance parties, try the Lady Gaga Singing Toothbrush as a gift.

Features of the Lady Gaga Singing Toothbrush

  • Plays 2 of Lady Gaga’s most popular hits
  • 2 buttons control the music
  • Additional brush heads are available
  • Available for less than $10
  1. Slim Sonic Zebra by Violife

A stylish, zebra-printed electric toothbrush, the Slim Sonic Zebra will spice up any bathroom sink. With a sleek round case to ensure the brush stays sanitary, the Slim Sonic Zebra is very portable and powerful. If zebra print is the perfect compliment to your wife’s vibrant personality, then consider the Slim Sonic Zebra to bring the style back into her oral care routine.

Features of the Slim Sonic Zebra

  • 22,000 brush strokes per minute
  • Sleek and easy to travel with
  • Runs on one AAA Battery
  • Available for less than $15
  1. Sonicety HI-928 Metallic Gold

For a classy looking toothbrush that is as sleek as it is useful, the Sonicety HI-928 comes in either Dream Pink or Metallic Gold. Energy efficient and easy to use, a single AAA battery will keep it running for about 90 days with standard usage. With feminine colors, a slim look, and enough power to get the job done, this is a toothbrush that will make her smile each day.

Features of the Sonicety HI-928 Metallic Gold

  • 23,000 brush strokes per minute
  • 2 feminine colors to choose from
  • Simple, smooth design
  • Available for less than $15
  1. Sonicare DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush

Much more advanced than the other toothbrushes on this list, the DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush by Sonicare uses five different modes. Instead of running on batteries, the DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush charges via a USB connection. Multiple brush heads ensure that she’s using the optimal tool for the oral care you need and a travel case is included to keep everything sanitary while she’s on trips. For a gift she’ll use and remember, consider upgrading to the DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush – her smile will thank you.  

Features of the Sonicare DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush

  • 31,000 brush strokes per minute
  • 5 brush modes: Deep Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive, White, Clean
  • Comes in feminine pink color, black, or amethyst
  • Available for less than $200

Visit Dr. Spadafora in Hermitage, PA for Your Next Exam

Home oral care is important, and it can be done with proper technique and a basic toothbrush. But getting a cool toothbrush for a loved one can make their oral care process more fun, and boost their motivation to do it. The other part of an oral health plan is to visit the dentist at least twice per year. Dr. Spadafora and his team prioritize comfort and can put together a dental plan that suits each individual in your family. Contact us to find out how we can improve your smile.

Put an End to Your Dental Fears and Get the Help You Need

July 14, 2017

Filed under: Oral Care — Tags: , , — Dr. Spadafora @ 3:40 pm

Do you avoid the dentist because of anxiety and fear? Fear of the dentist affects about 40 million Americans and can have a devastating effect on your oral health. Dental visits are vital for maintaining strong teeth, and when you skip those then you miss out on their numerous benefits. Why let the perils of dental phobia cause your oral health to suffer? Let’s make 2017 the year that we conquer our dental fears and regain control over our oral health.

Is Dental Phobia a Real Ailment?

Dental phobia is a real medical ailment that keeps about 40 million people from going to the dentist. Skipping out on the dentist prevents you from getting exams, deep cleanings, and other dental procedures. In addition, oral cancer is a disease that is only fatal when caught late, but your dentist can detect it in its earliest stages. When dental phobia causes you to skip out on the dentist, it puts your overall health at risk.

I’m Anxious About the Dentist – Do I have Dental Phobia?

Many people have some degree of anxiety about dental visits, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they suffer from dental phobia. Dental phobia develops when this anxiety is so severe that it prevents the patient from attending their bi-annual dental visits. Patients with dental phobia can not be reasonably convinced to go to the dentist due to an inflated fear of some aspect of the experience.

What’s there to be Scared of at the Dentist Office?

Multiple patients with dental phobia may have completely different reasons for the disorder. When fighting dental phobia, it helps to understand the exact source of your fears.

Here are common reasons people may be afraid to go to the dentist:

  • Fear of the dentist themselves
  • Fear of needles involved in anesthesia
  • Fear of metal tools in your mouth
  • Fear of common dental noises
  • Fear of dental equipment and tools
  • Past negative dental experiences

Finding the Source of Your Fear

Depending on the specific source of the fear, it may be best to address the specific issue that is causing it. For example, if the fear is based on the dentist themselves, then perhaps meeting the dentist and seeing that they’re a friendly person will help alleviate your phobia. If the fear is of the dental equipment, then maybe a precise explanation of what each dental tool is used for will eliminate their anxiety. Finding the root of your fear can help you put an end to dental phobia.

Overcoming your Dental Phobia

If you or a loved one suffer from dental phobia, know that it’s a disorder worth fighting. With every missed dental appointment, your oral health suffers, and this leads to added expenses and pain in the long run. Here are some ways people commonly fight dental phobia:

  • Bring comforting items like a blanket or pillow
  • Listen to your headphones – Music or a podcast can be a welcome distraction
  • Practice meditation or Yoga before your visit
  • Consider therapy or hypnotherapy if your phobia gets worse
  • Invite someone to the appointment who helps you feel confident

Dr. Spadafora Can Help You Conquer Your Dental Fear

Patients near Hermitage, PA can count on Dr. Dale F. Spadafora for their dental care needs. Once you meet him, you’ll see that he’s a friendly, professional dentist who takes pride in restoring his patients’ smiles. Combined with our passionate staff, you’ll feel comfortable in our office. Don’t let dental phobia ruin your smile – contact Dr. Spadafora today!

Innovative Toothbrushes That Will Spice Up Your Brushing Routine

June 9, 2017

Filed under: Oral Care — Tags: , , — Dr. Spadafora @ 8:53 pm

A basic toothbrush is all you need to maintain a high standard of oral care, but why not make the process a little more interesting? One way of doing this is by switching up the dental tools you use to something a little more creative, innovative, and fun. Check out these examples of innovative toothbrushes and see which one would boost your oral care experience.

Soladey Ion5 – Solar Powered Toothbrush

Eliminating the need for toothpaste, solar power is gathered in the handle and transmits ions to the brush head. These ions interact with the acid in your mouth to kill cavity-causing bacteria as you scrub your teeth free of debris. Ultimately, this has the photo-electric effect of preventing plaque from adhering to your teeth. Here are some additional highlights of the Soladey Ion5 Toothbrush.

  • Generates Ions which kill bacteria unlike other electric toothbrushes
  • Save money by never having to buy toothpaste
  • Solar charging doesn’t require a lot of time
  • Perfect for travel and highly affordable
  • Naturally anti-bacterial due to use of ions
  • Includes a spare brush head
  • Available in five color variations including purple, blue, and black

The Rinser from Amron Experimental – The Squirting Toothbrush

Adding a unique variation on the rinsing process, the Brush and Rinse toothbrush lets you hold the brush under a stream of water and watch as it shoots upward from the handle with remarkable force. Rinsing is a vital part of the oral care process, and The Rinser makes it easier than ever. Clear off space on your bathroom sink because you’ll no longer need cups with The Rinser by Amron Experimental. Here are some of its key features:

  • Sprays water high enough for effective rinsing
  • Sleek, white, ergonomic design
  • Greener Step Replacement Heads eliminate the need for buying a new toothbrush

The Foreo Issa – The Most Powerful Toothbrush in the World

The uniquely designed Foreo Issa Toothbrush looks distinctly different than any similar product out there. Created to clean the entire mouth rather than just the teeth, the soft silicone bristles can massage the gums while preventing overbrushing. Boasting superior cleaning potential compared to standard electric toothbrushes, the Foreo Issa channels 11,000 high-intensity pulsations per minute, including micro-sweeps which specifically target the gums. It also has these notable features:

  • USB-chargeable – Each 1-hour charge lasts 365 uses
  • 100% waterproof – Ideal for brushing in the shower
  • Flexible brush head targets every part of teeth and mouth
  • Includes 8 speeds and a timer
  • Smart Investment – Comes with 2-Year Limited Warranty

Dews Self-Balancing Toothbrush – The Stand-alone Toothbrush

For a toothbrush that has all of the brushing power of a standard version but with one unique and useful skill, look no further than the Self-Balancing Toothbrush by Dews. Bags and toothbrush cases can get surprisingly unsanitary, requiring cleaning on a regular basis. Toothbrush holders take up valuable space on your bathroom counter. Eliminate the need for both with the Self-Balancing Toothbrush, a toothbrush that stands by itself. Check out the various 2-tone color variations to see which fits your décor.

Sonicare Air Floss – A Toothbrush Without Bristles

For an innovative toothbrush that cleans your entire mouth in just 30 seconds, the Airfloss by Sonicare has a wide range of useful features. Containing a reservoir that you fill with mouthwash or water, you simply blast the liquid on each tooth, removing plaque and bacteria in the process. Designed for those who hate flossing or brushing with bristles, the Airfloss by Sonicare is a one of a kind. Check out some of the features that make the Airfloss such a unique product:

  • Angled guidance tip hits all of the most difficult parts of your teeth and gums
  • Prevents cavities on the tooth surface as well as between the teeth
  • Proven to improve the health of your gums in just two weeks
  • 96% of people continued to use the Airfloss at least 4 days per week

Which Toothbrush Is Best for Making Your Oral Care Routine More Interesting?

Whether you go with a toothbrush that gets rid of the need for toothpaste via its solar power or one that can stand independently on its own, switching up your routine can reinvigorate your oral care sessions. Try an alternate toothbrush to add fun to your daily oral care experience and improve some aspects of the process.

Dr. Spadafora Can Complete Your Dental Health Plan

Even when your oral care routine is on point, it’s still only half of the puzzle. The other half involves visiting the dentist for a thorough exam. This is because only during dental visits can we ensure that you don’t have worsening conditions, screen you for oral cancer, and conduct deep cleanings. Contact our office in Hermitage, PA to set up an appointment with Dr. Dale F. Spadafora.





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752 Brookshire Drive, Suite A, Hermitage, PA 16148 USA
Dr. Dale Spadafora Hermitage, PA preventive, restorative, preventive dentist. (724) 342-7395