To a Fantastic New Year!

Hello All,

We've been busy right up through the holidays.  We haven't updated in awhile, so here's some of what you missed the last month here at East Orlando Dental:

We donated to Children's Home Society for the 2014 Toy Drive.  We got lots of toys for different age groups to play with.  Here's our staff with some of the presents!

We have a winner for the Winter Raffle.. congrats to Mr. Abreu!  Winner of $500!

We had a great staff dinner to celebrate a great year in health together:

Stay tuned for more from East Orlando Dental soon!


Dr. Morales


East Orlando Gets Involved!

Tooth fairies and Peter Pan

October has been quite an exciting month here at our office!

To begin with, it was Hygiene Month this past month!  We decorated the office purple and decided to have a staff appreciation potluck to celebrate our great hard working ladies, Marlene and Sara.  Marlene has been with us almost two years now, where Sara has started with us around 2 months ago.  We appreciate how they educate and help out our patients.  Thank you for your great work ladies!

In favor of Hygiene Month, we've decided to participate in Operation Gratitude this year.  Operation Gratitude is a program where the community can donate their unwanted candy to soldiers overseas who wouldn't be able to participate.  Children and adults are encouraged to donate by the pound to their local dental offices and write brief messages to their troops with their bags of donated sweets.  We will be included in the national directory this year, so feel free to give us your unwanted candy, even if you aren't a patient of ours.  Donaters will be put into a raffle for a $25 gift card to encourage them to be selfless, and save their beautiful teeth at the same time.  Raffle and donations for us are open until November 12th, and draw will be that Friday, November 14th.  Please go here for more information:

On finding us to donate:  http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/
About Operation Gratitude: https://www.operationgratitude.com/about-us/about-operation-gratitude/

In putting this awesome plan into motion, we needed a place to premiere it.  East Orlando Dental's Veronica Suarez decided to attend the annual Orlando Children's Safety Village's Trunk or Treat 2014.  There, she met with all kinds of great kids willing to listen to facts about Hygiene Month and the goodness of Operation Gratitude.  They also, as you could imagine, had a blast picking through our toy chest full of non-food items including toys and goods.  The children left with a good sense of fun, education, new toothbrushes, and a whimsical sense of plunder as they excitedly ran from vendor to vendor.  It was a lot of fun!  Hopefully, they will think twice before gorging on the sweets and maybe even participate in the program this year.

Monday, October 20th began our Pink Out week here at the office.  We ditched the scrubs and welcomed the pink attire as our East Orlando Ladies prepared themselves for their race that awaited them at the end of the week.  Saturday, October 25th was the national Making Strides Breast Cancer 5k.  We participated at our home location, Lake Eola, with some 1,113 teams and 9,384 participants to raise over $747,181.97!  We called ourselves the East Orlando Pink Ladies, and raised together $480 towards the cause.  Not bad for a little office of less than ten!   We had a blast, and will likely participate again next year.

Halloween we were tooth fairies to get into the spirit.  Everyone turned out looking great and the patients were certainly entertained.

But wait...there's more?  Get Involved!

This month, we're collecting canned food for local needy families participating in Second Harvest's Hope for the Holidays 2014.  If you'd like to donate electronically, it's now possible!  Please go here: http://www.foodbankcentralflorida.org/goto/eastorlandodental

We're looking forward to seeing you all at Waterford Lake's annual Taste of Orlando this year on Saturday, November 15th from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  We'll have a game and giveaways, so come see us!

Finally, we plan to re-participate in Children's Home Society of Florida this year.  Details will come shortly.

That's about it.  Thanks for reading, and please feel free to participate in our efforts here at East Orlando Dental to make our neighborhood a better place.


Caring for Extractions

Doesn't seem to have an affect his smile!

Two months ago, Mohamed Farah, champion runner, missed out on his opportunity to participate in the Commonwealth Games due to an infected tooth.  His infected tooth, alongside a stomach ailment, left Farah hospitalized 4 days before the competition could begin. During athletic training prior to the event, he had collapsed with suspected heart problems and was air lifted to the hospital.

Last month was the 2014 European Athletics Championship in Switzerland.  Farah, fully recovered, not only was he able to successfully finish,  but he won.  His events were the 10,000- and the 5,000-metre races.  So what happened?

We can't say for his stomach ailments, but in all likelihood, Farah's extraction was not likely treated properly afterword, which lead to his infection.  When an extraction is performed, it is treated as most open wound injuries are cared for.  Attention is placed on keeping it clean and bacteria free.  It can be a light, swift recovery, or a longer, more painful recovery if bacteria infected the wound.  Please heed the following advice when having your tooth extracted to prevent ailments, bacteria, or unneeded pain from occurring:

  • When the extraction is finished, you may experience additional bleeding.  This is a common side effect.  Remember to keep up with your gauze pads and change them as needed to prevent harmful bacteria from reaching the exposed area.
  • If you are a smoker, refrain from smoking as it burdens the mouth's natural ability to fight off infections for itself.
  • It is common for swelling to occur.  Apply cold packs or ice to the face and mouth regularly as pain or swelling persists.
  • After 24 hours, you may begin swishing warm water with salt in your mouth to gently remove mild bacteria from the mouth and better clean your extracted area.  Mix five grams of salt or one teaspoon with 240 milliliters or eight fluid ounces of water to make the solution.  Do this up to several times a day.
  • Try to relax and let your injury cure itself.  Physical activities may cause bleeding to occur.  Additionally, while laying down, try propping your head up instead of lying flat.  The helps reduce bleeds.  
  • Accommodate your food choices with your pain level.  Start off with extremely soft foods, like soups, smoothies, gelatin, puddings, and yogurts.  After a few days, slowly add more solid foods to your diet as you see comfortable.  
  • Take all your medications (if any) as indicated or instructed by your doctor.  To not stop them prematurely or change daily dosage without their expressed consent.  
With this guidance, you should be able to have a successful heal on your exaction.  With the right measures taken, your extraction will be feeling better within just a few days of the procedure.  Slight discomfort is normal.  Please favor If you feel you did everything right, and are still experiencing throbbing pain after about two weeks, call your dentist.

Wishing you a swift recovery,

Dr. Morales


Sharks - The best teeth in the animal kingdom

  • Volusia County, FL has had more shark attacks than anywhere else in the world (210 attacks since 1882) #sharkweek
  • Volusia County, FL has had more shark attacks than anywhere else in the world (210 attacks since 1882) #sharkweek
Photo courtesy of NationalGeographic.com

Did you know Volusia County, Florida is the home to the most reported shark attacks in the world?  That's way too close for comfort.  In celebration of Shark Week, I decided to educate my patients on this beautiful biologically efficient machines and dispel some myths about their most feared anatomical feature: their fantastic teeth!

Let's face it, sharks are not everyone's favorite fish.  They have a bad reputation, and they're looks typically aren't on their side.  However, when it comes to teeth, sharks are the most superior living animal.  Here are some awesome facts about the incredible mouth of the shark:

Different kinds of shark teeth

-Sharks teeth are not mature teeth like most animals, they are a constant regeneration of baby teeth.  Three rows of them actually, so they will NEVER go without the proper equipment to eat or catch their food!

-A great white shark bites at 1.8 tons of force.  His prehistoric relative, the Megalodon, used up to 18.2 tons of force.

-Unlike humans, sharks can unhinge their bottom jaws AND top jaws for better control of biting while trying to catch a fish.

-Luckily, if you can call it that, more than 80% of all human victims survive their attack.

-Sharks have built-in toothpaste!  The exterior of a shark's is made of fluoride. We recommend fluoride to patients to prevent decay.  In fact, sharks cannot even get cavities.  That's how beautiful their teeth are.

-A goblin shark can collapse his jaws in his mouth if he is not currently eating.

-Sharks generate 40,000 psi in a single bite.  That's enough to remove a limb.

-A shark date consists of a male finding a desired female and biting her.  OUCH!

-Not all sharks have a mouth full of large, serrated teeth. The basking shark have tiny teeth that aren't even designed for feeding.  The horn shark has molar-like teeth that it uses to crush hard-shelled prey.

Hope you enjoyed some of our shark facts.  Hope you enjoyed Shark Week!

"Top 100 Shark Facts" discovery.com. discoverycommunications,LLC, 18 Aug 2014. Web.        <http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/shark-week/shark-facts/top-100-shark-facts.htm>


Are you flossing?

Has the dentist or hygienist asked you about your flossing habits lately? Did you know recent studies have shown that flossing daily can actually add up to 6 years to your life?  Although that estimate might be a little far-fetched, the thinking behind it is pretty sound. The reality is that poor oral hygiene can lead to nasty gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. These inflammatory diseases can actually lead to a narrowing of the arteries, a common cause of cardiovascular disease. By simply brushing and flossing daily, we rid our mouths of the bacteria that cause inflammatory gum disease and reduce chances of heart problems.

Flossing is an essential part of any oral health care routine. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day to achieve optimal oral health. By flossing daily, you help remove plaque from the areas between your teeth where the toothbrush can't reach. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease and cavities.

The most important thing about flossing is to do it. Pick a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your oral hygiene. Dr. Morales recommends flossing at bedtime however, people who are too tired at the end of the day may benefit from flossing first thing in the morning or flossing after lunch.

And don’t forget, children need to floss too! You should be flossing your child’s teeth as soon as he or she has two teeth that touch. Because flossing demands more manual dexterity than very young children have, children are not usually able to floss well by themselves until they are age 10 or 11.

Keep in mind that flossing should not be painful. You may feel discomfort when you first start flossing, but don’t give up. With daily brushing and flossing, that discomfort should ease within a week or two. If your pain persists, talk to your dentist.

If you find flossing difficult, consider a different flossing method. People who have difficulty handling dental floss may prefer to use another kind of interdental cleaner such as a wooden plaque remover, dental pick or pre-threaded flosser. Ask your dentist how to use them properly to avoid injuring your gums. It could be that you simply need to try another type of dental floss—waxed, unwaxed, thick or comfort floss. Stick with it and you’ll have adopted a healthy hobby for life.

Here are some tips on how to properly floss your teeth:

1. Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.

2. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.

3. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums. 

4. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.

5. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth. 

Look for products that contain the ADA Seal of Acceptance so you know they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

(Source: mouthhealthy.org/flossing)


The Importance of Screening for Oral Cancer

Did you know almost 41,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral and throat cancers this year? And that the 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed is only slightly more than 64 percent? When cancer is detected and treated early, treatment-related health problems are reduced.

The oral cavity includes your lips, cheek lining, gums, front part of your tongue, floor of the mouth beneath the tongue and the hard palate that makes up the roof of your mouth. The throat (pharynx) starts at the soft part of the roof of your mouth and continues back into your throat. It includes the back section of your tongue as well as the base where the tongue attaches to the floor of your mouth.

During your dental visit, your dentist can talk to you about your health history and examine these areas for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer. The screening will consist of a visual inspection of the mouth and palpation of the jaw and neck. Regular visits to your dentist can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily. In between visits, it's important to be aware of the following signs and symptoms and to see your dentist if they do not disappear after two weeks. The symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:
  • a sore or irritation that doesn't go away
  •  red or white patches
  • pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

Research has identified a number of factors that contribute to the development of mouth and throat cancers. Smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers older than 50 are the most at risk. More recently, the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is sexually transmitted, has been associated with cancers of the oropharyngeal region that is the part of the throat at the back of the mouth. HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers are related to the increasing incidence of throat cancers in non-smoking adults.

HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers typically develop in the throat at the base of the tongue and near or on the tonsils making them difficult to detect. Although HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers are often diagnosed at a later stage, people with HPV-positive cancers have a lower risk of dying or having recurrence than those with HPV-negative cancers. It is likely that there is a complex interaction of many external and internal factors that play a role in the development of HPV-positive cancers.

Keeping your mouth healthy during treatment:
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the first thing you should do before beginning cancer treatment is to see your dentist. After your treatment begins, be sure to check your mouth every day for sores or other changes.

Other NIDCR tips to keep your mouth moist:
  • Keep your mouth moist.
  •  Drink a lot of water.
  • Suck ice chips.
  • Use sugarless gum or sugar-free hard candy.
  • Use a saliva substitute to help moisten your mouth.

Tips for cleaning your mouth:
  • Brush your teeth, gums, and tongue with an extra-soft toothbrush after every meal and at bedtime. If it hurts, soften the bristles in warm water.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste.
  •  Use the special fluoride gel that your dentist prescribes.
  • Don't use mouthwashes with alcohol in them.
  • Floss your teeth gently every day. If your gums bleed and hurt, avoid the areas that are bleeding or sore, but keep flossing your other teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth several times a day with a solution of 1/4 teaspoon each of baking soda and salt in one quart of warm water. Follow with a plain water rinse.
  • Dentures that don't fit well can cause problems. Talk to your cancer doctor or dentist about your dentures.

Source: mouthhealthy.org/oralcancer


Bad Breath Breakdown, What Could be Causing Yours?

There are many reasons why you might have bad breath. You can get it if you don't brush and floss regularly. Bacteria that build up in your mouth and between your teeth produce the bad odor. Other problems in your mouth, such as gum disease, dry mouth or cavities, may also cause it. Sinusitis or problems with your nose may be to blame. You can also have bad breath if you eat some foods, like raw onions, garlic or cabbage. And of course smoking causes its own bad aroma. Some diseases and medicines are associated with a specific breath odor.

Having good dental habits, like brushing and flossing regularly, help fight bad breath. Mouthwashes, mints or chewing gum may make your breath fresher. If you have an underlying disorder, treating it may help eliminate the breath odor.

Why is saliva so important in the fight against bad breath?

Saliva is the key ingredient in your mouth that helps keep the odor under control because it helps wash away food particles and bacteria, the primary cause of bad breath. When you sleep, however, salivary glands slow down the production of saliva, allowing the bacteria to grow inside the mouth. To alleviate "morning mouth," brush your teeth and eat a morning meal. Morning mouth also is associated with hunger or fasting. Those who skip breakfast, beware, because the odor may reappear even if you've brushed your teeth.

Do certain foods cause bad breath?

Very spicy foods, such as onions and garlic, and coffee may be detected on a person's breath for up to 72 hours after digestion. Onions, for example, are absorbed by the stomach, and the odor is then excreted through the lungs. Studies have even shown that garlic rubbed on the soles of the feet can show up on the breath.

Does bad breath come from other sources than the mouth?

Bad breath may also occur in people who have a medical infection, diabetes, kidney failure or a liver malfunction. Xerostomia (dry mouth) and tobacco also contribute to this problem. Cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy may experience dry mouth. Even stress, dieting, snoring, age and hormonal changes can have an effect on your breath. An odor that comes from the back of your tongue may indicate postnasal drip. This is where mucus secretion, which comes from the nose and moves down your throat, gets stuck on the tongue and causes an odor.

How do I control bad breath?

It is important to practice good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. Proper brushing, including brushing the tongue, cheeks and the roof of the mouth, will remove bacteria and food particles. Flossing removes accumulated bacteria, plaque and food that may be trapped between teeth. To alleviate odors, clean your tongue with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper, a plastic tool that scrapes away bacteria that builds on the tongue. Chewing sugar-free gum also may help control odor. If you have dentures or a removable appliance, such as a retainer or mouth guard, clean the appliance thoroughly before placing it back in your mouth. Before you use mouth rinses, deodorizing sprays or tablets, talk with your dentist, because these products only mask the odor temporarily and some products work better than others.

What is my dentist's role?

Visit your dentist regularly, because checkups will help detect any physical problems. Checkups also help get rid of the plaque and bacteria that build up on your teeth. If you think that you suffer from bad breath, your dentist can help determine its source. He or she may ask you to schedule a separate appointment to find the source of the odor. Or, if your dentist believes that the problem is caused from a systemic (internal) source, such as an infection, he or she may refer you to your family physician or a specialist to help remedy the cause of the problem.